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Drop Anchor – The Residents Take Over

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GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net As earlier reported, the Drop Anchor Trailer Park today is a gathering of brightly painted and colorful trailers and mobile homes. Mostly empty in the summer, the park fairly explodes with activity in the winter. There is a constant to and fro of residents socializing and visiting with each other, catching up on the past year and enjoying the present one. They genuinely seem to like each other here. They will jump at any excuse to socialize, gathering for monthly potluck suppers (and occasional happy hours) in their sunny recreation center. This year there ... Read More »

Drop Anchor Trailer Park – The Early Years

Downtown Goodland, 1964. 
Ritschard apartment complex with main entrance underneath. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net Drop Anchor is a collection of sixty-three gaily painted and well maintained 1950s, 60s and 70s travel trailers, and single wide manufactured homes crammed onto less than two acres of land in the heart of Goodland. Today it is a quiet, well-run, close-knit community, revered by its residents and neighbors. Goodland kind of grew up around it. The first residents were winter visitors, lured here by word of mouth, warm weather, fabulous fishing (always the fishing), and Woodall’s Campground Directory. Always known as Drop Anchor, the park was developed as a trailer park, and ... Read More »

New Cancer Statistics Web Site

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ACS Cares Submitted In its efforts to promote cancer education, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has launched a new web tool that makes it easy to find and share cancer statistics (CancerStatisticsCenter.cancer.org). The ACS Cancer Statistics Center uses data collected from ACS, along with other significant data gathered from a variety of sources. The information has been organized and is now available through the new website. ACS made sure that the information is clear and easy to read. Readers will be able to view breakdowns of cancer rates and survival rates by state and cancer type. The new website is ... Read More »

Rookie Agents Corral Car Thieves. Save Careers.

New Agents Class #9, Dec. 1964 - Gwinn is front 4th from right.

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net On November 30, 1964, at the age of 26, I reported to the Justice Department in Washington to be sworn in as an FBI Special Agent. After three months of training, we were all given our first office assignments. The protocol then was to serve for a year in your first office; then be sent to your second office for three or four years. Sometime after that, you would land permanently where the Bureau thought they needed you. Our class. New Agents Class 9, waited eagerly for our assignments. They varied in desirability from ... Read More »

Reflection, Recognition and Resolve

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AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY CARES Lisa Honig Sr. Manager Distinguished Events American Cancer Society, Marco Happy New Year Marco Island! I hope that you all enjoyed the holiday season with family and friends and are rested and ready for yet another action packed season. Before we move into 2016 I’d like to look back on 2015 and provide you with the results that because of your generosity led to another record setting year for the third year in a row. All I have to say is $507,000! This is the final tally of all the hard work completed by our volunteers, sponsors and ... Read More »

The Noes Arrive in Goodland

Noe and Pettus houses, street side – 1965

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net After the war, Walker Noe used his G.I. Bill to get a B.A. in English Literature from Center College in Danville, Kentucky (1948). Walker claims he never bought a book while there, but paid close attention and took good notes in class. He and his wife were housed in prefab housing for vets and were paid $110 per month. “That was more than enough to get by on,” Walker said. After college Walker taught high school, managed large farm operations, and finally moved back to Stanford where he opened a real estate and insurance ... Read More »

SALUTE TO VETERANS Walker Noe Goes to War

A l05 mm howitzer, France (1944)

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net Walker Noe has wintered in Goodland since 1985. He has lived in a cottage at 519 Goodland Dr. W., which he purchased from his father who had the place moved over from Caxambas in the 1960’s. Walker was born at Stanford, Kentucky on May 18, 1923, the first of five siblings. Walker’s father owned a hardware store and sold Nash automobiles as a sideline. In 1932, due to the Depression, Walker’s dad lost his businesses. The family was forced to move to a farm in nearby Hubbell. “We moved from a house with all ... Read More »

Goodland’s Orphaned Access Road – Part Two

Goodland Road at Angler Drive, ½ hour before high tide. Tide overtaking road from right.

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net Rich Pappy, a long time resident and Goodland Civic Association (GCA) board member and officer, had previously told me that after the second Interlocal Agreement in 2002, the Village of Goodland was riven by strife and bad feelings. “Many residents felt betrayed by the GCA, for allowing City of Marco Island (CMI] to take over jurisdiction of Goodland Road,” Pappy said, “We didn’t like the GCA leadership and started a rival organization, the Goodland Preservation Coalition. We siphoned off a lot of GCA members.” “The animosity between the two groups became toxic,” Pappy said, ... Read More »

Goodland’s Orphaned Access Road – Part One

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GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net There is only one way in and one way out of Goodland. It is aptly named Goodland Road and designated CR 92A by Collier County. On good days, one need only dodge potholes, and endure a washboard drive over the crumbling roadway. On bad days, the waters of the Gulf of Mexico on one side, and the Marco River on the other, cover substantial portions of the road creating shifting one-lane travel and traffic backups. A refrain that I hear over and over is “Why doesn’t the County do something about this?” The short ... Read More »

How Do You Measure Student Learning?

Johnathan Watt; Students’ individual talents cannot 
only be measured by standardized tests. PHOTO BY JANE WATT

FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt JaneWatt01@gmail.com website: JaneWatt.org As the chairman of the board of Marco Island Academy (“MIA”), a public charter high school for the past five years, I have had an opportunity to witness firsthand how the current standardized testing strategies affect students, teachers and administration at the school. As a parent of three children in the public school system, I have personal experience with how the testing has affected my own kids. In both cases, there is an unnecessary amount of stress caused by the abundance of standardized testing in schools today. During the past few years, legislators ... Read More »

Little Bar’s Merrill Fest Raises $20K

Merrill’s friends use five different modes of transportation to the Little Bar.  PHOTOS BY BARRY GWINN

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net Niki Bauer and her brother, Ray Bozicnik, have been the owners and operators of the Little Bar in Goodland for over 25 years. In general, Ray looks after the food end of the business, while Niki oversees the front of the house. Among Niki’s responsibilities is the booking of musicians, for the entertainment of the Little Bar patrons. Over the years she has developed a core of performers, which consistently delight her customers with some of the best blues music in Southwest Florida. I can personally attest to this. A 34-year-old blond haired, blue-eyed ... Read More »

Calusa Island Marina – Goodland’s Good Neighbor

At the Calusa Island Marina, a 25,000 pound forklift approaches launching area. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net I have lived across the street from the Calusa Island Marina (the “Marina”) for the past 10 years. Despite the rumbling of forklifts and the beeping of back-up signals, I am content to be hemmed in by a navigable waterway on one side, and a boatyard on the other. Boats and boating have always been high on my list since I had my own wooden rowboat at age 12. I began my seafaring days in 1950. In 1950, the Marina was just a part of a largely undeveloped area on the southeastern end of ... Read More »

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY CARES By Nikkie Sardelli October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In just this year alone, approximately 231,840 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and of that number, a saddening 40,290 will lose the battle. This is 40,290 too many. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the U.S., and the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Additionally, there will be about 2,350 men diagnosed, with about 440 of them losing their battle. The American Cancer Society is involved through their annual nationwide Making Strides Against Breast Cancer ... Read More »

Stand Up and Speak Out for Charter Schools!

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FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt JaneWatt01@gmail.com website: JaneWatt.org Recently I served as a panelist at the 2015 Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools Quality Charter School Authorizers Task Force meeting in Fort Lauderdale. District and charter representatives from across the entire state gathered to share ideas. Representative Janet Adkins and Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie co-chaired the annual summit meeting. We met to discuss issues related to the charter school movement in Florida and discover ways for district and charter schools to better collaborate. There are many reasons why working together is so important. The highest performing districts in the state also ... Read More »

A New Day for MIA

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FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt JaneWatt01@gmail.com website: JaneWatt.org The students at MIA will not notice any major changes on campus this week. However, October 1st will be one of the most pivotal days in the school’s history. What is the major change? MIA will officially have a permanent location on Marco Island. We are proud to officially announce that we are buying our land. Thanks to a generous private loan of $2 million dollars from Bill and Karen Young, Marco Island Academy will purchase the San Marco property from its current owner Kinsley Investments. The loan is being offered at a 2½ percent ... Read More »

A Goodland Favorite Son Succeeds at MIA – Part One

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GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net Tyler Gresham is going into his junior year at Marco Island Academy. It will be tough to top his sophomore year there. Last year, Tyler, as fullback, was the leading rusher on the MIA football team. He also played middle linebacker on defense. During the winter and spring, he starred on the basketball and track teams. In the classroom, Tyler finished the year with a weighted 3.65 GPA. Tyler doesn’t load up with creampuff courses, either. His schedule included a number of honors and AICE courses. AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) is written ... Read More »

Why Back to School is the Best Time of Year

Students take the opportunity to socialize before school starts. PHOTOS BY JANE WATT

FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt JaneWatt01@gmail.com website: JaneWatt.org As summer quickly comes to an end, I commonly hear parents and students grumbling about the first day of school. Occasionally, I even catch myself joining in on the conversation. Who doesn’t love the freedom and flexibility that summer brings? There are no schedules, no homework and plenty of time for vacation. Plus, I love to spend time with my family. This year, just like the last one, I have three children in three different schools on the island: Marco Island Academy, Marco Island Charter Middle School and Tommie Barfield Elementary. All three ... Read More »

Seafaring Norwegian Settles in Goodland

Svein, still in command, at Goodland. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net After spending much of his life on the high seas, Svein Sleipnes (pronounced “Sven Slipeness”) has chosen a quiet canal-front residence in Goodland to ultimately spend his retirement. Svein and his wife Katherine, along with sons Hans, 15, and Christian, 12, became my neighbors in 2011. Like many on the east coast, they were attracted by the uncrowded west coast, and particularly by the leisurely laid-back lifestyle of Goodland. Being on the water with great fishing next door didn’t hurt. Svein Sleipnes was born in 1957, in the picturesque town of Volda on the ... Read More »

Sailors Love it Here!

The Kathryn. PHOTOS BY JIM FREEMAN

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net Goodland has long been known as a fishing community, both commercial and private. Being located in the Ten Thousand Islands, with quick and direct access to the gulf, makes it a natural for fishermen. With our many canals, almost every waterfront residence here has a fishing boat sitting on a lift out back. We didn’t all come here to fish, however. Goodland is also ideally situated for sailors, especially for trips to the Keys, Dry Tortugas, the Caribbean, or even the Bahamas. There are a few sailboats on lifts here. Larger sailboats can be ... Read More »

How We Got to Goodland

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GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net Everyone has a story about how they ended up in Goodland. Many, like Nancy and I had never heard of Goodland or knew where it was. Our story begins back in 1993. That was the year that my company sprung for a retirement seminar at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando. The three day seminar was for the benefit of those of us in the Philadelphia Office who were facing retirement. When I discovered that no attendance was being taken, we started touring Florida instead. When the seminar was over, we decided to stay for ... Read More »