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Author Archives: Mint Design Co.

Life After the Test

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FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt JaneWatt01@gmail.com website: JaneWatt.org Many schools across the country have spent the last eight months preparing for the end of year high stakes tests. For example, at Marco Island Academy (MIA), a public charter high school in Southwest Florida, we have administered countless numbers of tests in the past couple of months to comply with the state mandates. Out of ninety full-time instructional days in the second semester, we have administered tests forty-nine of the days. Since we are a small school, the logistics of the testing have been a nightmare. The teachers have juggled their lessons ... Read More »

Great Southern Whites

Zebra longwing, Florida state butterfly.

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com No, this is not another article on sharks on the west coast of Florida, which seems to have dominated the news since the summer started. Funny, “Jaws” was one of my favorite movies. Anyway, it’s about a couple of South Florida’s beautiful butterflies. Well this is another great year butterfly gardening in South Florida. It seems every year has a new surprise. This year the white butterflies in South Florida are more abundant then I have seen. Actually, I have seen more great southern whites, Florida whites and cabbage whites this year then I have seen ... Read More »

Missing the Man

Darwin Wesley Teague:
My dad, who taught by example and remains with me in spirit. PHOTO BY LAURIE KASPERBAUER

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived and let me watch him do it.” Clarence B. Kelland   As Father’s Day approaches, I suppose it’s only natural that my thoughts float to memories of my dad more frequently than usual. He passed away nearly two years ago of complications from a neurological disease that was never definitively diagnosed. One day he fell in the kitchen of my parent’s home and throughout the 3 years that followed, his body cruelly failed him; one muscle, one nerve ending, one electrically-charged synapse at a ... Read More »

Naomi’s “Meow Power”

Coach Naomi, thinking about the job ahead.

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi &Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines: It’s official! My triathlon team has a name – “Meow Power.” A big thanks to all of you who answered last month’s call for team name submissions. The winning name was submitted by Claire Baumler, one of my volunteers. What do you, dear readers, think of a minor team name modification, something along the lines of “Naomi’s Meow Power?” I think this is only fair since I am responsible for thinking this whole endeavor up in the first place. Moreover, I have to whip my team of three into ... Read More »

Interns Help Protect Sea Turtles at Rookery Bay Reserve

Norris and Windle share dormitory space and have become fast friends.

COASTAL CONNECTIONS Renee Wilson renee.wilson@dep.state.fl.us With 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters that protect 150 species of birds and many threatened and endangered animals, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve has a big responsibility– and a devoted team of volunteers that work daily with staff to help achieve it. Through the Reserve’s citizen support organization, Friends of Rookery Bay, volunteers and interns are assisting with a variety of duties, from taking care of the butterfly garden at the Environmental Learning Center to maintaining beach-nesting bird area postings, and even monitoring sea turtle nests at the Cape Romano complex. Two young ... Read More »

The Teapot and the Scorpion

Looking South, June 26 at 11:00 PM. Also be sure to check out  the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter if the clouds clear out early! SUBMITTED PHOTOS

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net Tonight the two brightest, or at least the easiest to find, constellations of the zodiac are riding high in the sky; Sagittarius the Archer or Centaur (actually it’s both) and Scorpius the Scorpion are easy to locate. Sagittarius has the famous teapot asterism that really jumps out of the jumble of stars that fill this region of the sky; and Scorpius is one of the very few constellations that actually look like the thing they are supposed to represent. The teapot asterism consists of eight stars, all roughly equally bright. This time of ... Read More »

Producing Different Trajectories

The three wrist movements to know: extension 
/flexion, ulnar/radial deviation and supination/pronation. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

GOLF TIPS Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org There are so many variables in a golf swing. If I were to go back to college, I would take physics, kinesiology and biomechanics classes to become a better golf instructor. I study all the aforementioned now, but it takes me a couple reads or views to let the information soak in. A couple years ago I started studying how the golfer’s wrists movement heavily affect all the variables in the golf swing. The golfer’s wrists are most influential at impact. They affect loft, club face direction, and many other parameters that affects how the ... Read More »

Don’t Fish for What You Can’t Swallow

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ARTFUL LIFE Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com We’ve all done it. Maybe in a moment of insecurity, maybe just needing a little attention, but, at one time or another, we’ve all fished for compliments. Does this dress make me look fat? How’s your dinner (that I slaved over)? Do you like my haircut? Pretty harmless stuff, right? No one really expects a negative answer, what would be the point? You look beautiful. This is delicious. Yes, it’s very attractive. It’s just a matter of kindness – until it isn’t. I have a friend, an imaginative composer and true piano virtuoso, who publishes a ... Read More »

Will Nadal Show Up at Wimbledon?

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com In the last few years, Rafa Nadal has bowed out in the early rounds at Wimbledon to Steve Darcis of Belgium, Lukas Rosol, Czech Republic and Australian teenager Nick Krygios. Curious, indeed? How can such dramatic upsets occur to one of the greatest players of all time? The Nadal camp will site Rafa’s recent struggles with his ailing knee but many other tennis enthusiasts point to possible doping. Say it isn’t so, Rafa. In today’s heavily scrutinized sports world, fans tend to be suspicious when unusual events surface. Let’s simply examine the Lance Armstrong bicycling ... Read More »

Tigertail Life’s a Beach, Man!

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By Steve Gimmestad steve@coastalbreezenews.com “It was the lowest point in my life,” laments Tony Smith (smiling). “I applied for a dishwasher position at the Pewter Mug here on Marco and was turned down. Try telling that to your girlfriend. Man, it was tough!” Luckily, it turned out to be a serendipitous moment for all of us. Tony Smith is the person who now runs the show at Tigertail Beach. But it didn’t start out that way. He played a lot of tennis as a kid and parlayed that into a gig at the Hilton as an interim Tennis Pro. “While ... Read More »

Remaking the Marriott

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By Don Manley Everything is on target with the $250 million expansion and improvement project at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club and Spa. Among the multi-phase project’s enhancements are expanded meeting space, additional guest rooms, a new exhibit hall, a revamped roster of restaurants and more. “It’s going great,” Rick Medwedeff, the Marriott’s general manager said of the project. “We are moving right on schedule. We have a substantial number of construction workers here working to get this project done. We have a lot to accomplish during the 90 day window. What we’re very excited about is, ... Read More »

Marco Contributes to Boating Safety World Record

A panoramic perspective of the “Wear It!” effort, held at Rose Marina. PHOTOS BY DON MANLEY

By Don Manley Please forgive members of Marco’s boating-oriented organizations if you should occasionally hear them shouting “We’re No. 1” should you encounter them on the island. They’re merely elated over the fact that Marco outdid six other sites around Florida with the number of participants in the National Safe Boating Council’s “Ready, Set, Wear It!” event. Held May 16 by the National Safe Boating Council, “Ready, Set, Wear It!” promotes safe and responsible boating by having participants gather at designated locations wearing life jackets, in hopes of setting a world record for the most people wearing the flotation devices ... Read More »

Fay and Bedford Biles’ Contributions to Marco Officially Recognized

Fay Biles, center, is surrounded by fellow members of the  Tri Delta sorority, Bridget Carpico, left, Jean Rice, Linda Spell and Gay Petty. PHOTOS BY DON MANLEY

By Don Manley Fay Biles and her late husband Bedford were enthralled the first time they laid eyes on Marco Island. It was 1967 and the couple had traveled to the island from their northeastern Ohio home to check out what a salesman for the Mackle Brothers had touted to Bedford Biles as a beautiful new island that was just starting to be developed. “We had already said that when we retired, we were going to move to Florida,” Fay Biles recalled recently. “He (Bedford Biles) was from North Carolina and he hated the cold weather. He said, ‘They offered ... Read More »

Safe Summer Driving

Safe summer driving can 
help avoid tragedy during the “100 Deadliest Days.” SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted Summer driving is so dangerous that the automotive safety industry labels the time period from Memorial Day to Labor Day the “100 Deadliest Days.” Although Marco’s crash statistics drop in summer months, along with its population, there are still hazards that are unique to summer. Chief of Police for the Marco Island Police Department Al Schettino tells us that it is reasonable to expect more young drivers on the roadways during the summer. Teen drivers, in particular, pose an increased risk to themselves and others on the road. “The lack of experience puts teen drivers at a disadvantage; they ... Read More »

Westberry Among Changing Guard

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By Don Manley Jory Westberry is moving on to the next phase of her life after 14 years as the principal at Tommie Barfield Elementary School (TBE). Last week’s end to the school year also marked the close of her tenure at TBE, as well as her 25-year career with the Collier County school district. The move is a painful one for Westberry. “I love this place,” she said. “I love the kids. I love the staff. There wasn’t a day that I ever was sad to come to work. I was always excited. Never had a crabby day, honest ... Read More »

TruPayroll Seeks Support in Attaining Grant

Submitted Marco Island based TruPayroll is seeking support in its effort to qualify for a $100,000 grant from Chase Bank’s Mission Main Street Grants program. Mission Main Street will award 20 grants of $100,000 to small companies that submit a business profile, a grant questionnaire and meet relevant eligibility requirements. To be eligible, businesses must also receive at least 250 votes at the program’s website, https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/b/31625. Founded in 2007, TruPayroll is an accounting, tax and payroll firm specializing in serving small and mid-sized businesses. It also has offices in Naples. “TruPayroll is striving to grow and expand its services in ... Read More »

Marco Island’s U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 9-5 Boating Safety Course

Boating safety includes knowing the weather. The Marco Island Police 
Department on Twitter is another tool for weather information. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Submitted ‘It’s time to develop or refresh your safe boating skills. The Marco Island U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will be holding the “Boating Skills & Seamanship” four week – eight session course beginning on Monday, July 6. The course includes information about equipment for your boat, handling your boat, rules of the road, weather, course navigation, knots, Florida boating law and more. In addition, the Marco Island Flotilla tailors the course to address the nuances of the Marco Island waters. Educating the boating public on recreational boating safety as a means of “preventative search and rescue” has been one of ... Read More »

Marco Island Academy 2015 Graduating Class

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Daring to dream, Jane Watt took on a mission. The goal was to see Marco Island high school aged children given the chance to stay on the island for a more individualized, caring classroom environment. Four years ago, after great effort, the dream became a reality. Now, for the first time in its history, Marco Island Academy has had a graduating class with students starting as freshmen and spending the entire four years within its classrooms. Like the dream upon which the school was built, these students will create their own dream. Congratulations to the ... Read More »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala It’s amazing to me how people with a special talent seem to be attracted to one another, such as a talent in music. It seems musical people are attracted to other people with the same talent, or creative people are attracted to creative counterparts, like Sandy and Jim Johnson, Tara and George O’Neill, Phil Fisher and Natalie Guess, Paul and Eileen Arsenault, and Janice and Dave Wohl. I met Janice at a craft show where she was displaying her creative sewing work: designs on towels, blouses and shirts, names on clothing, special occasion aprons and assorted other sewing ... Read More »

That Reminds Me…

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By Steve Gimmestad steve@coastalbreezenews.com It was sundown on the St. Croix River in late spring. The river rats were gathered on the island as was usual all summer long. Youthful enterprise reared its ugly head as one of the rats proposed a swim across the channel. It was getting dark but three strapping lads stepped up and accepted the proposal. They dove into the cool water and began their odyssey. It was about 200 yards across and the waning moon didn’t help navigation. After what seemed much longer than it actually was, they made landfall on the other side. It ... Read More »