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Goodland Life

Goodland’s Orphaned Access Road – Part One


GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn 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 »

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 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 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 »

A Goodland Favorite Son Succeeds at MIA – Part One


GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn 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 »

Seafaring Norwegian Settles in Goodland

Svein, still in command, at Goodland. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn 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!


GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn 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


GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn 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 »

Goodland Returns to Normal


GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn In the July 10, 2015 issue of the Coastal Breeze, I reported the theft and vandalism of four golf carts and an attempted burglary at Stan’s. An arrest has been made in the Stan’s burglary which has no connection with the other incidents during that week. That suspect has never lived or worked in Goodland. Since my prior article, I have learned of two additional burglaries, during the same time period, both of which seem to be related to the golf cart thefts. I have reviewed police reports and newspaper articles. I have interviewed ... Read More »

Crime Wave Grips Goodland

Wandel Short trying to salvage tires.

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn On June 24th, at about 3:00am, three golf carts were stolen from the yards and driveways of sleeping Goodland residents. Two of these were dumped in a canal. The third was recovered damaged but operable. On June 25th at about 1:00am, someone attempted to pry open the cash register at Stan’s Restaurant. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office has open investigations on the above. They have developed a person of interest in the golf cart thefts. Not everyone was sleeping when the golf carts were stolen. Cindy and John Singerling, 745 Palm Pt. Dr., returned ... Read More »

Goodland Civic Association Ends Season on High Note

Greg Bello and Richard Welch grilling Olde Marco Lodge hamburgers. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn The GCA was incorporated on May 2, 1978. Its by-laws call for a meeting, open to the public, to be held every third Tuesday of each month, from October through April. It meets in the Goodland Community Center, at 417 Mango Ave. After April, we get to leave town or do some serious recreating. For as long as I have been on the board, we have faithfully adhered to this schedule. In addition, we have a potluck supper before each meeting, featuring specialties and delicacies of our members. These guys are good. Most of ... Read More »

Goodland Goes Automated; AED Volunteers Ready to Assist

Digitized map of Goodland with marked AED locations. PHOTOS BY BARRY GWINN

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn The Goodland Civic Association (GCA) really cares about the well-being of our residents. The GCA actually does something about it. The following is one such story. There are others, but none involve life and death like this one. Theresa Morgan is a personal friend of mine. She also sits on the board of the Goodland Civic Association and puts in countless hours of community service here. In her spare time she runs a thriving CPA business, which among other things, does my taxes. She has spearheaded the effort to coordinate with Collier County, and ... Read More »

Goodland Gets Its Own Flag

Sherri at her desk.

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn On November 18, 2015, the Goodland Civic Association (GCA) Board of Directors authorized the design and manufacture of an “official” Goodland flag. The board was willing to make a substantial investment and was betting heavily that a large number of Goodlanders would buy a flag or two for display either here, or at their northern residence, or both. This is exactly what happened and the orders keep coming in. To date, 66 flags have been ordered and about 51 have been sold. I have one in front of my house, and the condos that ... Read More »

The Goodland Scholarship Fund Goodland’s Gift to High School Graduates

Front entrance - Little Bar parking lot, shortly before visitors arrive. SUBMITTED photos

Goodland Life By Barry Gwinn Most visitors to Goodland don’t exactly know what to make of us. Most would agree with the aphorism that Goodland is “a drinking village, with a fishing problem.” We have our share of that, I guess. It may be time for a new adage. Something like “Goodland takes care of its own.” Since the mid 1980’s, the Goodland Scholarship Fund has been raising money and dispensing scholarships to Goodland kids who want more than a high school education. It was founded by Betty Bruno as Village Productions. From all that I have heard, Bruno ... Read More »

Street with a Split Personality


By Barry Gwinn Goodland sits on a horseshoe shaped peninsula -although some insist it is an island- which juts out eastward from the southeast corner of Marco Island. It seems to be separated and isolated from the City of Marco Island by a couple of miles of trackless mangrove forests. Consequently, Goodland streets generally lead to dead ends or to intersections with other streets which lead to dead ends. This holds down traffic volume and speed. We like it that way. You can’t get to somewhere else by going through Goodland. A notable exception to this serenity is Goodland ... Read More »

Goodlanders Gather for Fun, Food and Friends


By Barry Gwinn It’s always exhilarating to wake up in Goodland with sunny Old Florida waterscapes punctuated by the cries of ospreys or the splashes of brown pelicans diving for their dinner. At the end of the day, it is relaxing and restful to turn out the lights at night, knowing that all will be quiet and peaceful, lit only by the moon and stars, undisturbed by the hum of traffic. For pure fun however, nothing beats the bash that the Goodland Civic Association (GCA) throws for members of the community each March. It is styled “Spring Fling” and ... Read More »

MIA Footballers Boost Boat Parade


Goodland Life By Barry Gwinn For the past nineteen years, Elaine Ritchie, has raised a lot of money for AVOW Hospice through the Goodland Boat Parade. She stages it every February and somehow gets the whole town of Goodland to pitch in. The parade starts at the Stan Gober Bridge, winds its way through the bay behind our restaurants, and ends at the Goodland Boat Park at the southern end of Goodland. Crowds come from all over to revel in the festivities, and to support the parade. The water’s edge is lined with spectators. When the parade pulls in ... Read More »

No Snoozin’ in Goodland


Goodland Life By Barry Gwinn Seasonal visitors driving through Goodland or visiting some of our excellent eateries, observe a sleepy village (except on Sundays) where, during the week anyhow, nothing much seems to happen. There are no stores, beaches, theaters, or malls. The village is surrounded by water and mangrove forests. There is only one way in and one way out. What do those guys do anyhow? Quite a bit actually. One of my favorites is the self-styled Pool Sharks and Red Hot Mamas. Formed in 2009, this eclectic bunch gets together every Thursday afternoon, at a member’s house to ... Read More »

Bracing Myself


GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray It was this time last year that I was first introduced to Goodland and the completely unfamiliar phenomenon of season. I flew back to Ohio with my head still spinning, but was ready to make the quick turnaround to relocate here. In the short month spent visiting my mother, I’d gotten caught up in the whirlwind of fun; so many things to do jam-packed into so little time. Over the last week, the air has once again become thick with an almost palpable anticipation for the sudden influx of tourism that’s just around the corner, and ... Read More »

Seashells by the Seashore

Her doggies.Photos By Melinda Gray

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray Someone asked me recently what I love about the beach. It was then I realized why I’ve always gravitated to the nearest body of water. The Great Lakes stay cool, even in the dead of summer; the Atlantic Ocean’s waves make me feel like a little kid, no matter my age; the Gulf of Mexico is warm and clear, reminding me of the Caribbean Sea, the most beautiful body of water I’ve ever seen. Despite their differences, every shore I’ve walked along has made me feel like I’m at standing at the earth’s end. At night, ... Read More »

The Power of a Kind Heart

The impromptu event ended with a group photo for Margie. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray In my 35 years of being perpetually lost in the big city shuffle, I have never had the pleasure or privilege of witnessing unity and support within a neighborhood like I’ve experienced here. On Saturday, Dec. 6, the small island community of Goodland came together in a very big way with a tremendous show of love and support for one of their own. Nearly 400 familiar faces gathered in Margood Harbor Park to participate in a benefit to raise money for 30-year beloved Goodland resident, Margie Fortune. Two days before Thanksgiving, Margie was diagnosed with colon ... Read More »