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Author Archives: Mint Design Co.

Twenty-five Years of Joy

Island Country Club volunteers hand out hundreds of turkeys.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff The Joy of Giving has ‘wrapped up’ its 25th year. “This was a monumental year for us,” said Nicki Davis, founder of the Joy of Giving, “not only in the number of years we have supplied gifts to children, but in the numbers of children needing help. The amount of funds raised was also significant. We identified 1,002 children in need and raised over $80,000 to make their Christmas special. We couldn’t do it without the kindness of so many. The generosity of different groups and organizations is amazing and it is what makes the ... Read More »

Our Lady of Guadalupe


By Coastal Breeze News Staff For many it’s an annual celebration. The faithful walk the distance from Kretch’s Restaurant on Bald Eagle Drive to San Marco Catholic Church at dusk. They walk in honor of the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe and her appearance to a Mexican peasant in a vision on December 12, 1531. Some walk as a way to give thanks to Our Lady of Guadalupe, others as a way to pray. It is one of the largest religious holidays in Mexico. The popularity of the day is increasing as seen by the growing number of ... Read More »

How to Build a Green Home

Visit the Hennell’s green model home at 316 Bald Eagle Drive.

By Natalie Strom What makes a good home? Sturdy walls, hurricane rated windows, fine and fancy appliances. These are all things we either have or probably desire in a dream home. But what makes a smart home? One that can utilize simple concepts and smart technology while actually saving the homeowner money. That’s a smart home. How is it possible? Through the implementation of “green” features, and that is exactly what Steven A. Hennell Inc. and Endless Summers Realty hope to give their clients when working with them to create the home of their dreams. Steve Hennell has been ... Read More »

St. Mark’s Changes Windows


By Natalie Strom Coastal Breeze News has closely followed the Artists in Residence at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church for the past year regarding the amazing etched and stained glass windows made for the Advent and Epiphany seasons respectively. As the Christian faith moves from the birth of Christ to the season of Epiphany, a time of celebration where the three wise men visit the baby Jesus, the etched glass windows will be removed and the stained glass windows made the year prior will be hung on January 8. Artist Janet De Riseis’ window titled “Mary Pondering,” was inspired by ... Read More »

HUUUUGE Part 2: The Cruise


By Natalie Strom “Now remember Duffy, what happens on the ship stays on the ship,” I said as we boarded the Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Sea cruise ship in Miami. “Got it!” she replied. We stuck to that story, but upon my return I remembered the promise I made to my readers in the previous edition – a full breakdown on the “Cruise With Huge” courtesy of the Fucillo KIA car dealership in Cape Coral. Duffy bought a KIA from the dealership, and she got a free cruise, a strawberry pie and a $1,000 shopping spree. (Wait to ... Read More »

Dolphin Explorer Takes Center Stage

Seymour Receives Oxygen. Submitted Photos

Submitted Spend an evening with Captain Chris Desmond, the founder and director of the 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project, and his survey team of naturalists and biologists. Hear stories of the amazing marine creatures and other wildlife they encounter aboard his boat the Dolphin Explorer – even the Florida panther has made an appearance. A lecture and film, sponsored by FGCU’s Renaissance Academy, will be held on January 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Marco Island Center for the Arts. Tickets for this event, which includes a light buffet, are $30 per person; reservations are needed as space is ... Read More »

Marco Island Chamber Year in Review


Submitted What a year for the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce. Once again, in its 36th year, the Chamber devoted itself to helping the needy as well as representing the business community and fostering tourism and commerce. 2013 saw the Chamber build on the success of past programs and institute new ones for the benefit of the Marco Island community. President Nancy Carrington reflected on her year in office: “With a professional staff of only three people, supported by 35 superb non-paid volunteers, our Chamber produced outstanding results. Our ‘Souper Bowl’ brought out the imagination and talent of students from ... Read More »

Sue Monk Kidd to visit Sunshine Booksellers

Submitted Make your plans now to come by Marco Island Center for the Arts on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at 4 PM to help Sunshine Booksellers and author Sue Monk Kidd celebrate her newest book, The Invention of Wings. The book is set for release on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. At the ticketed event, Sue will be giving a talk about the book and answering questions. The ticket price of $39 will include a copy of the new book, as well as priority seating and signing. A portion of the ticket price will be donated to the Marco Island Center ... Read More »

Expectations for Florida’s housing sector in 2014

By Coastal Breeze News Staff News from economists at the Florida Realtors 2014 Real Estate and Economic Summit in Orlando indicates that growth is expected to continue but at a slower rate than we experienced in 2013, according Florida Realtors Chief Economist John Tuccillo. “The real estate market is going to grow, and we’ll probably see about a 10 percent increase in residential sales,” Tuccillo said. Home values will rise at roughly five percent a year, which is in line with historical trends. However, in the last 18 months, home values have gone up about 12 percent.” Average sale prices ... Read More »

Kiwanis brings cheer to Manatee Elementary students

The joy flowed from these 3rd-grade girls from Ms. Martinelli’s class.

By Noelle H. Lowery It was scene right out of the North Pole. On a recent chilly morning at Manatee Elementary School, Christmas carols poured out of a media center decked out in traditional red, green and gold. Candy canes and cookies sat at the ready, as children lined up — some grinning ear-to-ear others looking just a little apprehensive. After all, they were about the have a one-on-one conference with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who sat in rocking chairs surrounded by their elves and bags of toys, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, games and art supplies. All of this ... Read More »

Veterans Park Battles Fire Ants


By Noelle H. Lowery Few insects make their presence known like fire ants. A person may not feel them crawling up his or her leg, but the telltale painful burning sting certainly cannot be mistaken. This is a familiar sensation for some who have visited Marco Island’s Veterans Park recently. Whether for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration, Movie Night in the Park or the Farmer’s Market, some people have had a number of stinger-to-skin encounters with the pesky little critters. According to Marco Island Public Works Director Tim Pinter, whose department is in charge of dispatching the ants, ... Read More »

LCEC line project to continue in 2014


By Noelle H. Lowery On Dec. 9, some Marco Island residents were left in the dark after an aged distribution power line failed. The failure caused stress to a nearby pole which broke. The line went down, leaving a live electrical wire on the ground. The power went out for about 2,200 Lee County Electric Cooperative customers. This incident is one example of why LCEC has been working since the first quarter of 2013 to replace and rebuild the overhead distribution line — wires, poles and associated hardware — along San Marco Road. According to Karen Ryan, an LCEC ... Read More »

Coffee with the Councilor


By Noelle H. Lowery Bill Harris is a concerned citizen of Marco Island. He attends almost every City Council meeting, and tries to keep track of anything that may interest his fellow Marco residents. He also keeps a log of promises made by those running for and/or presently serving on the City Council. “One such promise that was made by the majority of those last elected to the council, was transparency in government, and Town Hall meetings where the citizenry can ask questions and get answers,” explains Harris. To date, though, this promise has gone unfulfilled. That’s why Harris ... Read More »

Building Paradise: Q&A with Herb Savage

Herb Savage sits in his office where he keeps memorabilia, amazing photographs and architectural plans. PHOTO BY NATALIE STROM

By Natalie Strom Many Marco Island residents know Herb Savage. The man has lived here since 1979, but his legacy on Marco Island supersedes that date. As the official architect to the Mackle Brothers, Savage helped create the vision that is now Marco Island. Approaching his 95th birthday on January 6, Coastal Breeze News asked Savage to sit down and share some of his memories of building an island, thoughts on how Marco has grown over the years and how it feels to be surprised by a birthday party thrown in his honor at the Rose History Auditorium at ... Read More »

Florida for the Holidays

St. Augustine has a variety of holiday events scheduled at the holidays.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Since moving to Florida 15 years ago, we find ourselves increasingly spending the holidays in the Sunshine State. It’s not that we don’t like traveling at the holidays; we do. It’s the weather. We spent one Christmas in the Rockies. It snowed every day, and for three days, it was so bad that we couldn’t leave the condo. New York City is my favorite place at the holidays. Three years ago, we had a great trip there. We had a wonderful time seeing all the lights and decorations, checking out the displays in the ... Read More »

The Spotted Sea Trout


FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps The spotted sea trout (Cynoscion nebulosus), also called speckled trout, specs, trout or spotted weakfish, is a common shallow water fish found in our area of the Ten Thousand Islands. They are closely related to the northern weakfish (Cynoscion regalis). Even though most of these fish are caught on shallow grassy flats, spotted sea trout reside in virtually any inshore waters from the outside flats to far up our coastal saltwater rivers where they often move to for shelter during the colder winter months. Contrary to its name, the spotted sea trout is ... Read More »

Giving back to wildlife, our way of life

Friends of the Fakahatchee Tram Tours. SUBMITTED photo

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie As the rest of the country is shoveling snow, commuting dangerously on icy roadways and bundling up in scarves and coats, we are walking the sunny Marco Island crescent beach in flip-flops or even barefoot, gift shopping in shorts and t-shirts and asking for an iced peppermint latte to cool off. What a wonderful time of year! Most of us, if not all of us, live and visit here for the beauty and wildlife life that is just out our backdoors. From boating, fishing, beachcombing, tennis, golf to just our easy way of living ... Read More »

A Goldsmith’s Tales of Christmas past


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan While working yet another long day and burning many evenings worth of midnight oil in my workshop with my 21-year-old son, Andrew, I tried to ignore hearing his complaints about working late. I came to the realization that this was to be my 44th Christmas season in this crazy business. If he only knew what I had to endure when I was his age. Forty-four Christmas seasons as a bench jeweler! Even Santa’s head elf would have been impressed with the volume of work I would push out in those days and in a ... Read More »

How to engage this season

Customer service is key. SUBMITTED photoS

BUSINESS BASICS Camden Smith DREAMFly Marketing Anyone can speak to you, but not everyone can make you want to buy. Become the business person who makes every client feel special, encouraging them to invest in the company by purchasing your goods and services. Become the best sales person possible with five quick steps. The first step to engage customers is to greet them with a friendly tone within three to five seconds of walking through your business’s doors. So often in retail, customers may be ignored due to staff helping others. Assign a greeter for the door to ensure every ... Read More »

What a Weekend!

It’s Stan’s! Go there at night and get a glow stick in your buzzard punch. I’m all for it.

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom Yes! What a weekend! It’s always nice to take a time out from the hustle and bustle of working life and actually spend some regular time in Goodland. No work, no volunteering, just a bit of a good time with friends and local business owners. On Friday night we went down to Stan’s. I usually go on Sunday like everyone else, but we wanted to try something different, and it was worth it. Owner Steve Gober and his sons were there, working away as usual. But Steve made the time to sit and talk with us. ... Read More »