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Author Archives: Mint Design Co.

Elliott Mascoop Stamps Out Hunger

Elliott shows us the growing pile of food drive donations at the post office. Photos by Jessica Hernstadt

By Coastal Breeze News Staff For 29½ years Elliott Mascoop has worked for the United States Postal Service. Some people in his position might be counting the days to their retirement. But Elliott is busy thinking of ways he can do more to help others, and then acting on them. Elliot spearheads local efforts for the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive, “Stamp Out Hunger,” an organized food drive of grand proportion carried out by postal workers throughout the entire country. In fact, it’s the largest one-day food drive in the United States, in its 24th year helping the ... Read More »

The Story of Passover

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Submitted Passover is quickly approaching, and many Jewish families on Marco Island are busy in preparation. This year the holiday begins on the evening of April 22, and ends in the evening on April 30. To learn more about this important holiday, Coastal Breeze News contacted the Passover Committee at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island, who graciously provided this explanation for our readers. Passover marks the liberation of the Israelites from 400 years of slavery in ancient Egypt. They were led to freedom by their leader, Moses. God performed many miracles in the process of the Israelites’ redemption. First ... Read More »

All Aboard for Meals of Hope

Submitted Marco Island Meals of Hope will hold a “Happy Hour for Hope” on the Marco Island Princess, April 25, 2016 from 5 to 7 PM. Happy Hour for Hope will feature live entertainment from Rosetta Stone, a buffet of wonderful hors d’oeuvres and reduced price libations. Rosetta Stone will bring her beautiful voice and her performance will grace the happy hour as she has done for years. The event is open to the public with admission donation of only $10. Chairman Bill Morris is especially excited about this month’s Happy Hour for Hope. “Island Princess has really upped its ... Read More »

Development Update at Lunch and Learn

Mark Strain and Commissioner Fiala begin their presentation. Photos by Maureen Chodaba

By Maureen Chodaba On April 7, the conference room at the office of the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors (MIAAOR) was the site for a Lunch and Learn session with Board of County Commissioners (BCC) Chairman Donna Fiala and Mark P. Strain, Chief Hearing Examiner and Chairman of the County Planning Committee. The presentation provided an abundance of information of development and redevelopment trends in Collier County. Dawn Norgren of Island Title 5 Star Agency, LLC welcomed the group with a brief discussion of real estate trends in the area. The general consensus was that sales were down this ... Read More »

A Caregiver’s Burden

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Dimensions of Dementia Shirley Woolaway I never thought dementia would play such a large part in my life, but it did, and it started with my mother. As an active 70-year-old, after dad died, she moved from her home in Pennsylvania to Phoenix to be near her sisters. For a few years all was well, until on a visit, I noticed she forgot to cook most of the fish defrosted for supper. A year later she missed a connecting flight to a family reunion in Colorado, despite the specific information I’d given her. Then, she stopped washing her clothes regularly ... Read More »

Black Cat Quartet to Perform

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Submitted The Black Cat Quartet will appear in a classical music concert at the Marco Island Center for the Arts on May 12, 2016 at 5:30 PM. Tickets are $25, and seating is limited. The Black Cat Quartet members have performed with each other in a variety of ensembles for over 10 years. The program at the Center will include J.S. Bach Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 44, No. 1 and Four for Tango by Astor Piazzolla. The group is a string quartet. It chooses repertoire that pushes the ... Read More »

Noontime Rotary Inspirational Programs

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Submitted Avoidable Blindness Project in Mexico The Marco Island Noontime Rotary Club is proud to partner with the Rotary Club of Buxton, Michigan to in turn partner with a Rotary Club and community in Empalme, Mexico to provide eye examinations and prescription eyeglasses to people in need. This is the longest running international project of the Noontime Rotary Club. The gift of sight has been given to thousands of very grateful residents of Mexico, many of whom travel by foot for miles and wait patiently in line for hours for this opportunity to improve their sight. The Buxton Rotary Club ... Read More »

Beach Steward Program Needs Coordinator

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Submitted Volunteers across the globe help local governments by offering their time and talent on committees, boards and councils. So it is here too. Through the Volunteer Beach Steward Program, Marco Island’s citizens offer to be stewards of the beach, providing education and information for beachgoers and making our greatest asset, the beach, the best it can be. The City of Marco Island is seeking a volunteer Beach Steward Coordinator for the Beach Steward Program. Primary responsibilities would be to coordinate volunteer stewards logistically, be knowledgeable on City of Marco Island beach ordinances, local wildlife and proper beach etiquette, and ... Read More »

Marco Company Books Cuba Cruises

By Don Manley Week-long cruises to Cuba that blend cultural-immersion and tours of the island’s three largest cities can now be booked at America Travel Arrangements on Marco Island. The Carnival Corporation will begin offering service to the island from Miami on May 1, after receiving approval from the U.S. and Cuban governments, said Ewout DeVries, who co-owns America Travel with his wife, Jill. He said reservations are being taken for the first available departure date, which is in September. But the trips are anything but inexpensive. DeVries said the starting price for an inside cabin is tentatively $1,800 and ... Read More »

East Naples Hosts ?Inaugural Pickleball Championship

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Submitted  The U.S. Open Pickleball Championships was founded by racquet sport professionals and life long athletes, Terri Graham and Chris Evon. Graham and Evon spent over two decades working for Wilson Sporting Goods in Chicago, where Graham was the Business Director for indoor racquet sports and spearheaded racquetball, squash, badminton, platform tennis and most recently, you guessed it, pickleball! The two recognized the time was right for a world-class international pickleball event and in 2014 they started Spirit Promotions, LLC to organize the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships. To their delight, these Marco Island part time residents needed to look no ... Read More »

Focus on Marco’s Health

Photo by Andrea McKinney
Firefighter Paramedic Chris Bowden attends DOH-Collier focus group.

By Maureen Chodaba Recently the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department hosted a focus group presented by the Department of Health in Collier County (DOH-Collier) in the development of a Community Health Assessment (CHA). By late summer, the CHA will be completed, released and then used to develop a new Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The CHIP is designed to address specific opportunities for improved health as identified by the community. Some of the attendees included Robert Ostbye, MPH, program manager of DOH-Collier; Andrea McKinney, operations analyst/public information officer of DOH; and Marco Island Firefighter Paramedic/Public Education Coordinator Chris Bowden. Based ... Read More »

ROMEOs Do Lunch

By Maggie Gust If you’re out for lunch on any Tuesday here on Marco and see eight or so men gathered together, chances are they are ROMEOs. Wherefore art thou, ROMEOs? It is the acronym for Retired Old Men Eating Out, coined by Fred Stavola, the group’s social engineer. Every four months, Fred determines the restaurant schedule for the lunch bunch and distributes it to the members. Their lunch spots are rotated, with no place being repeated consecutively within that four-month cycle. Variety is the spice of life, after all. Most of the men met initially through the Marco Men’s ... Read More »

Pier 81 Flag Pole Dedication

Photos by Val Simon

By Tom Kraemer Under skies of brilliant blue, temperatures in the wonderful eighties, and a gentle but gusty breeze blowing in from the east greeted over forty cheerful and patriotic residents and friends showing their pride and love of America. Gerry Rosenblum, Pier 81 Association President expressed gratitude to neighbor, Pier 81 Marina for donating the flag pole. Craig Tirrell, Cub Scout Master along with Melanie Burns, Boy Scout Leader, Randall Olsen and Megan Olsen, Webelos Leaders, led the scouts (Grant Tirrell, James Olsen, Nathan Olsen, James Burns and Michael Distel) who served as the Color Guard in formation to ... Read More »

Local Authors Unite at Authorfest

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By Samantha Husted sam@coastalbreezenews.com There were memoirs, romances, coloring books and even murder mysteries available. Authors sat at their booths surrounded by their many publications, eager to discuss writing processes and publishing preferences with anyone who happened to pass by. On March 29th, the Marco Island Writers Inc. group held it’s fourth annual Authorfest at the Marco Island Center for the Arts. The authors, all of whom were local, filled the Center with collections of their works that were available for purchase. It was a wine and cheese sort of social. Writers and community members alike perused the rows of ... Read More »

MICMS Students D.C. Trip – A Week of Wows

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By Roger LaLonde roger@coastalbreezenews.com It was a week of wows around every corner when Marco Island Charter Middle School eighth graders and chaperones visited Washington D.C. over the holiday break. A bus ride to Fort Lauderdale, then a plane trip with a layover, didn’t lower the element of excitement. Coordinating the trip, for the ninth time, was Joe Jarrett, technology teacher and D.C. Club sponsor. Overall there were 43 students, Jarrett and eight chaperones. To be eligible for travel club, student qualifications included academic, behavioral and community service standards, along with trip behavioral expectations. On the very first day they ... Read More »

MIPD’s Lean Organization

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By Maureen Chodaba Marco Island Police Chief Al Schettino leads a force of 34 full-time law enforcement officers who protect and serve this city. Marco Island has a permanent population of 16,413 and a service population of between 30,000 to 50,000. That computes to 2.12 police officers per 1,000 permanent residents, far less than many other Florida cities. For example, Sanibel reports a 4.01 to 1,000 ratio, Naples has 4.2, Mt. Dora has 3.89, and Venice reports a 2.31 to 1,000 ratio of officers to residents. Add on the regular full-time service population plus our seasonal population and Marco Island’s ... Read More »

NEW LOCATION! Veterans Community Park Meeting

In the last edition, Coastal Breeze News reported a meeting seeking public opinion on future enhancements at Veterans Community Park was scheduled for April 19th at 5:30 PM. This meeting WILL take place on that date and time, but the location has been changed to the Community Center at Mackle Park (not IberiaBank). For several months, PRAC has sought public feedback on future amenities at Veterans Community Park. Dr. Gerald Swiacki, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee will give a brief history of Veterans Community Park and then take public comment on future enhancements. Some members of the Parks ... Read More »

City Council Highlights

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By Maureen Chodaba The Marco Island City Council held its regular meeting on April 4. Chairman Brown was present, as well as Councilors Batte, Honecker, Honig, Petricca, Rios, and Sacher. Councilor Sacher was supported by his colleagues when he asked to move the action items up on the agenda since he could not be certain that he would be present for the entire meeting as he was recovering from surgery. A resolution was passed authorizing a “piggyback contract” for the city to enter into an agreement and accept the bid from Preferred Materials, Inc. for the annual street and roadway ... Read More »

$250K Boost for Marine EMS

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By Maureen Chodaba Governor Rick Scott recently signed the 2016-2017 state budget, providing funding of $250,000 for a Marine Fire Rescue Facility on Marco Island. To find out more about the existing facility, community needs and how the state funds would be used, Coastal Breeze News spoke to Fire Chief Mike Murphy. The present facility, built in 1965, is located at 751 E. Elkcam Circle. The station responds to approximately forty percent of all emergency calls, and also houses the fire/rescue boat, which responds to 911 emergencies on the waterways surrounding Marco Island and the 10,000 Islands. The boat is ... Read More »

Gentle Giant Release

Photos by Samantha Husted
Following her full recovery from brevetoxicosis, this manatee is ready to be released.

By Samantha Husted sam@coastalbreezenews.com On April 7th, Rookery Bay in congruence with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo released a manatee on Shell Island Road in Naples. The manatee in question was a 1,000-pound female who was rescued back in January after falling critically ill due to the effects of red tide, or harmful algae bloom. While red tide is commonplace in much of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, its impact on wildlife can be devastating. “The animal was showing signs of brevetoxicisity. It was having facial seizures, was unable to swim and ... Read More »