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Author Archives: Mint Design Co.

Solving the Student Debt Crisis

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Marco Islander Abigail Widynski is a Millennial — one of those people who according to the Pew Research Center was born between 1981 and 2000. Academic research has characterized this generation as always being treated as special and important by overprotective parents; as being motivated, goal-oriented and confident folks who are no strangers to over-achievement and pressure to succeed; as being civic-minded and progressive, supporting social equality and high levels of education; and as being just the tiniest bit entitled. They also are a generation racked with student debt. For instance, in 2010, Pew Research ... Read More »

Gala Tickets Almost Sold Out

Submitted Marco Island Center for the Arts has announced that ticket sales for its annual gala have exceeded expectations. Although a few tickets remain available, almost all tables are full, and anyone desiring to attend the gala should contact the Center immediately. This year’s gala will be a “show stopper,” according to Executive Director Hyla Crane. The gala is a Masquerade Ball, with masks available at check-in or attendees may bring their own. The event is set for Feb. 15 at 6 PM. Coming the day after Valentine’s Day, attendees can enjoy an evening of fantasy, intrigue and magic making ... Read More »

Everglades City Round-Up

By Pat Newman Mention “Everglades City” to any Floridian, and their immediate comeback will be “Seafood Festival.” This weekend, the small fishing community will host its famously-popular Seafood Festival, now entering its fourth decade. According to local historian Marya Repko, the first event was staged as a fundraiser to buy playground equipment for McLeod Park. Since that modest event, the festival has grown to enormous proportions. While fresh seafood is the major draw, there is also music, amusement rides and brew. In addition to local talent, Nashville headliners Craig Campbell and “OUTSHYNE” will perform. Also on the bill is the ... Read More »

Smallwood Music Festival

PHOTOS BY VAL SIMON

By Pat Newman More than 700 people came out in support of the historic Smallwood Store Saturday, Jan. 31, at a benefit music concert staged to raise funds for the Chokoloskee landmark enmeshed in a legal tangle. “It was a real community event,” declared Marya Repko of the Everglades Society of Historic Preservation (ESHP). Approximately $10,000 was raised to help defray legal costs which involve the access road leading to the store. By 2 PM, 500 wristbands were sold out, and concert goers were marked with a felt pen signifying their paid admission. A black-and-white photo of Smallwood Store taken ... Read More »

More Holiday Ornaments in the Winter Garden

Christmas Flower (Euphorbia leucocephala)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Last time I gave you names of some plants that become beautiful holiday ornaments in our gardens during the holiday season here in South Florida. Now that Thanksgiving is over, I think! And Christmas is coming, or is it the over? Or are they all on the same day? This year they seemed to be celebrated at the same time! I would like to continue with others that will bring joy to our hearts and souls during this festive time of the year. Creating joy and happiness in the eyes of any gardener, beginner or old ... Read More »

Are you ready for 2015?

Tennis

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Attention sports fans: The new year is filled with big-time events, including the first-ever NCAA football four-team playoff and the big championship game, NFL playoffs, outstanding NBA and NHL games and the Australian Open. Speaking of the big event in Melbourne, house money is probably leaning towards picking Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams capturing singles titles. However, who else is in the running? Last year, Li Na won the women’s singles crown but now has retired due to nagging injuries. Remember, Serena has not won this prestigious tournament in four years, so she may be ... Read More »

Senti-Mentally Foolish

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I don’t know. Sometimes, it feels like I am a rock; I am an island, not just living and working on one. Heck, I can go weeks — even months — without even leaving the island! I just finally realized I’m not a kid anymore. (My AARP membership proves it without a doubt!) Even so, one of my customers called me “kiddo” the other day. For crying out loud, I’ll be 61 soon. When will people finally consider me as being a full-fledged adult? I’m told I don’t look my age. I sure feel it! ... Read More »

Condos along Smokehouse Bay

Marina at The Esplanade. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Condo Report By Gary and Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com Most people catch a view of tranquil Smokehouse Bay from one of the restaurants or shops at The Esplanade on Collier Boulevard or as they stroll along the promenade adjacent to the marina. A few lucky people keep their boats at the marina at The Esplanade, but some of the luckiest people on the island are the owners and renters of condos along this beautiful waterway. Smokehouse Bay condos are centrally located on Marco Island, reflect amazing sunsets over the water, and feature direct access boat docks to the Gulf. This ... Read More »

The Stress Test

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FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com Now that the holidays are over and done with, many people breathe in a collective sigh of relief. Glad that the treats and eats are no longer around. Glad that there are no more presents to wrap or gifts to buy. Glad there are no more parties to partake in. Glad the traveling is over. And so on. So many people welcome January with open arms, high hopes and healthy food in the fridge. Smiles and good intentions — for the first few weeks anyways. What people don’t realize is that life continues on pretty much ... Read More »

Great Horned Owl of Big Cypress

This Great Horned Owl watches from its nest in Big Cypress Swamp. PHOTOS BY BOB MCCONVILLE

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist Raptors…birds of prey. When we think of some of the major hunting birds in South Florida, there are a few that always come to mind. Naturally, everyone watches when a majestic bald eagle soars overhead. Red-shouldered hawks, vultures, ospreys, peregrine falcons and other such creatures also make the grade. One of the fiercest hunters in the area usually misses most top 10 lists — the great horned owl. One of the most common owls in our country, the great horned owl’s range covers most of North and South America, including an active nest in the ... Read More »

Conversational Drifts

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Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Some of my favorite conversations — whether I’m actively involved or just eavesdropping — consist of one bright topic setting off a circuit of others. There are times when linear conversations — those that start with one topic and finish with it before moving to another — have their proper place, but it’s exhilarating to listen as creative ideas spark like electric arcs from one to another freeform. A recent article by David Pitt of the Associated Press on the spate of piano store closings around the country has ignited an impressive nationwide debate as to ... Read More »

Cybercrime on the Rise

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Ask The CFP® Practitioner Darcie Guerin darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)   Question: According to the news, it appears that cybercrime and identity theft are on the rise. What can we do to protect ourselves? Answer: You’re right; these types of crime are on the rise. The Federal Trade Commission reports that between 2011 and 2013, odds increased by 65 percent that if you were notified of an online data compromise, you’d become an actual victim of identity theft. Because that’s where the money is. Willie Sutton (1901-1980) the notorious ... Read More »

Deep Down Dark

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Hector Tobar Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014 309 pages – Nonfiction Collier County Public Library: Yes “Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories Of 33 Men Buried In A Chilean Mine, And The Miracle That Set Them Free” is the complete title of this account of the August 2010 accident at San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile. When the men of A shift report for work on Aug. 5, 2010, most of them are aware of the thunder-like noise and dust, or “smoke,” coming from the mountain mine. A few are even aware of the half-inch ... Read More »

Gratitude

The family. PHOTO BY LAURIE KASPERBAUR

Body, Mind And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com My children are here. In my house. Four adult children, their four significant others and our five grandchildren, ages 5 months to five years. They’ve been here nearly a week celebrating our own Christmas Holiday. That makes 10 adults, counting my husband and me and five young children, living in the same house for a week. Over the last six days, I have felt joy, pride, anxiety and exhaustion, but most of all, I have felt gratitude. I experienced overwhelming joy the very first morning when the babies all woke early, greeting each other ... Read More »

Have a Plan

A heap of exhausted kittens. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines: What a whirlwind the holidays were for me and my loyal staff of volunteers here at For the Love of Cats. We had cats and kittens coming and going non-stop for two weeks. Everywhere I looked I saw cats being loaded into and out of carriers; kittens climbing the romper room walls, tumbling around in colorful balls of fur, stretching sore muscles, carb-loading at their troughs, standing in and knocking over their food and water bowls, wrestling and tackling one another, and chasing each other around in dizzying circles; ... Read More »

Introducing General Surgeon Dr. Brian Smith

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To Your Health Scott Lowe CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd We have all heard the story countless times: the one where “person X” or “person Y” comes to Southwest Florida on vacation and decides to stay. As it turns out, this really happens — sometimes at your neighborhood hospital. When Richmond, Virginia’s, Dr. Brian Smith and his family chose Marco Island for their recent vacation, little did they know that their lives were about to change. As the Physicians Regional Collier Boulevard campus tends to dominate the landscape for a brief stretch of Collier Boulevard just a few miles north of Tamiami ... Read More »

Meet Breezy: The New Coastal Breeze Mascot!

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By Val Simon val@coastalbreezenews.com Breezy was welcomed into the Coastal Breeze family in September. He is a yellow Labrador puppy that has boundless energy. You should know in August, two days shy of his 13th birthday, my family had to put our beloved black lab, Bo, down. His full name was J.T.’s Mr. Bodacious. It was difficult on the family, as our daughters grew up with Bo by their side as their guardian, playmate and defender. A few months after Bo’s departure from our lives, I began to half-heartedly look at the Humane Society and Domestic Animal Services websites and ... Read More »

MICMS to Host GaudÌ Traveling Exhibit

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Submitted Marco Island Charter Middle School will be displaying giant reproductions — approximately 50 feet — of the fascinating architecture of Antoní Gaudi. A Teacher’s Discovery Traveling Exhibit, the huge, featured reproductions will be hung in the hallways outside of the Spanish, Art and Performing Arts classrooms during the week of Jan. 26-30. Like a passport to Spain, the exhibit celebrates architecture as art, the beautiful city of Barcelona and Spanish culture and demonstrates how Gaudi gave the world one of the finest examples of architecture as art. Brightly colored images on lightweight satin fabric include: Sagrada Familia and Casa ... Read More »

Things Are Coming Up New at Porky’s

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By Don Manley Porky’s has changed in some subtle and some not so subtle ways. The words “Last Stand” were dropped from the name and replaced by “Restaurant and Lounge” back in 2013 when Bob and Linda Berkowitz of Marco purchased the business from Wayne and Brooke Carmignani, who opened Porky’s in 1998. A more recent development is one that diners may have noticed on Porky’s menus and on their taste buds, as well. Those modifications are the handiwork of the restaurant’s new general manager, Michael McNaboe, and its new chef, Fernando Gonce. McNaboe, a long-time Marco restaurateur, and Gonce, ... Read More »

Dr. Lam and the Wound Care Center at Physicians Regional

Dr. Gary Gallo inspects the hyperbaric chamber before
treatment. PHOTOS BY PAT NEWMAN

By Pat Newman We all recognize that oxygen is a vital element for life, but in its purest form, it can be a miraculous curative for patients dealing with hard-to-heal wounds. Every year, doctors are faced with between 1.1 million and 1.8 million new cases nationwide of chronic wounds, plus the 8 million existing cases. Obviously, the need for cutting-edge wound care is essential. For patients living on Marco Island and Naples, treatment is just a phone call away at Physician’s Regional Health Care System’s Wound Care Center on Collier Boulevard. The addition of a third hyperbaric chamber enhances the ... Read More »