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Cybercrime on the Rise

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Ask The CFP® Practitioner Darcie Guerin darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)   Question: According to the news, it appears that cybercrime and identity theft are on the rise. What can we do to protect ourselves? Answer: You’re right; these types of crime are on the rise. The Federal Trade Commission reports that between 2011 and 2013, odds increased by 65 percent that if you were notified of an online data compromise, you’d become an actual victim of identity theft. Because that’s where the money is. Willie Sutton (1901-1980) the notorious ... Read More »

Construction, Charity Abounds in Collier County

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net The HUGE Reef Project has begun! Surely you have all read about the kick-off event and the project, but many of you did not know that attending these initial events were Florida Representative Kathleen Passidomo, Nancy (everybody loves) Richie, Marco Island City Council Vice Chairman Bob Brown, City Council Chairman Larry Sacher, City Manager Roger Hernstadt, Bernadette (need I say more than Bernadette?), many members of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, and of course, yours truly. Have you been watching the huge piles of construction material that comes and goes every day of the week ... Read More »

Famous Last Words

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By Pat Newman Famous last words: “My immune system is so strong, I could walk through a typhoid ward and not get sick.” Ha! That’s what I get for bragging and laughing at the Tamiflu commercial with its giant-sized sickies balancing on teeny-tiny beds, sipping medicine from thimble-sized cups. I unexpectedly contracted the flu while visiting Gainesville. It hit me like a Florida Gator linebacker. One minute I was chatting on the phone, and the next, I was dragging myself to the car for a trip to Walgreens. I headed for the OTC aisle and loaded up with Super-Strength Cold/Flu ... Read More »

Questions…More Questions

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BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun tayasun@taray.com As I sit in front of my computer preparing this piece for the Coastal Breeze News, I find myself drowning in questions and no answers. It is moments like these when I think my head is about to explode. It reminds me of my childhood when I used to lie down on a blanket in our back porch in suburban Istanbul on hot summer nights, gazing into the pitch black sky with millions of sparkling stars and wondering where did all this start; where is it going; how does everything work; why does the heart ... Read More »

The New Face of Philanthropy

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Ask The CFP® Practitioner Darcie Guerin darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” — Albert Pike, American attorney and soldier, 1809-1891.   Question: My wife and I make charitable contributions by check each year to several organizations. A friend mentioned that there are other ways to make donations that might give us more tax advantages. Can you explain what some of those approaches might be? Answer: Yes, there are several ways to simplify and potentially improve the tax consequences of your charitable donations. I will ... Read More »

Big Events Kick-off the New Year

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net Happy New Year to all and my wishes for a great year filled with joy, happiness, good health and lots of fun! And speaking of fun, the Smallwood Music Festival will be held Saturday, Jan. 31, at the old Rod & Gun Club in Everglades City from 11 AM until dark. General admission is $10 (bring your own chair) or $40 for special seating. All proceeds will benefit the Ted Smallwood Store, a 501(c)3 charity. Among the spectacular array of South Florida musicians who are donating their time and talents for this fundraiser are Wholetones, Raiford ... Read More »

Big Events Kick-off the New Year

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By Pat Newman It’s Jan. 9, 2015, and the memories of a heart-warming Christmas still linger…the smell of evergreens, sparkling lights, Baby Jesus in the manger, bourbon-infused eggnog, and the of warm hugs of my children home for the holidays. Yes, it’s all here and more, including my two adult children. Unfortunately, the third child couldn’t make it home for our cozy reunion as she is in South Korea. I never knew two young men could kill so much time fishing and watching back-to-back episodes of Arrested Development on DVD. Then, there are always informational pod casts and texting to ... Read More »

Havana to Tehran: When Does it End?

Men on street with bicycle cart - Centro Habana, Havana, Cuba. SUBMITTED photo

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun tayasun@taray.com Having traveled around the world for many years and negotiated many deals with various customers, distributors and some governmental organizations, I may claim to know something about what negotiations are all about. Negotiations are never “all or nothing.” There does not have to be one winner and one loser. While the goal of any negotiation is most certainly getting what you want, the fact is that the best deals are always a result of “give and take.” There is a definite technique involved in negotiations, and this is not a God-given talent or a result ... Read More »

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

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Ask The CFP® Practitioner Darcie Guerin darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible!’” — Audrey Hepburn   Question: Every year, I make New Year’s Resolutions and never follow through. What suggestions can you make so I’ll do things differently this year, especially with my finances? Answer: Only 5 percent of those Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions actually keep them for the entire year. Florida is the top state for making resolutions, with 65 percent of us committing to some sort of change or improvement in our lives. Of this group, 54 percent are women and 39 percent are ... Read More »

A Sense of Community

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COASTALCOMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net What a wonderful time of year! People seem to be sparkling as much as the festive lights all over the Island. There have been so many parties and events over the past few weeks which continue to keep us all together. As I was thinking about writing this column and accentuating the holiday season, I again feel that the island is so blessed to have the City Council who voted to buy the Glon Property, now the Veteran’s Park, and the focal point of many of the Island festivities. I truly believe it is because you ... Read More »

Try Something New

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By Pat Newman The New Year is just around the corner, and it’s time to step out of my comfort zone and pick up a new skill or hobby. “Today’s” Hoda Kotbe strummed the guitar before a TV audience of kazillions recently, after only a few months of lessons. Bravo, Hoda! So what should I pick up for 2015? I ran through a mental check list of things I have always wanted to try, and quickly dismissed most of the options due to fear or expense. Platform diving, trapeze flying and swimming with sharks topped the “too chicken” list. Becoming ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor: Jo-B Bromley

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Sixteen years ago, I moved to Goodland. From the minute I turned the key to enter my new year-round home, I knew that I landed in a very special place in the world. Dec. 6th confirmed my feelings. A week ago, my sweet friend, Margi Fortune, was diagnosed with colon cancer. Three days later, through a few e-mails and Facebook messages, a ball started to roll. With only four days to take the field, our team was ready. Margood Harbor Park was the setting of a very successful fundraiser for Margi. I’d like to thank all the major players, you ... Read More »

This is Not Who We Are!!!

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BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun tayasun@taray.com I must have heard or read this expression hundreds if not thousands of times last week after the release of the CIA report by Senator Diane Feinstein and the Senate Intelligence Committee. From the President down to the last uninformed person in America, the expression was repeated time after time. If this is not who we are, who are we? No one informed us about “who we are” up to the writing of this article. I am beginning to have an identity crisis already. If we are going to tell our enemies all our military ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor: PLEASE STAND UP

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This past Saturday night in the Christmas Island Style Holiday Parade, the newly formed Marco Island American Legion Post 404 Color Guard had the honor of carrying the flags of America. Three veterans carried 3 flags, one of which was the American flag. As we marched down San Marco I thought, Where are all the patriotic Americans? Why are all these people showing such disrespect towards the American flag? A few people knew what to do and they did it. They proudly stood and either saluted the American flag or put their hand over their heart. But the sad fact ... Read More »

The Oil Change: Slipping on Oil

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Ask The CFP® Practitioner Darcie Guerin darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com “If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day.” — Anthon St. Maarten, author of “Divine Living”   Question: Would you explain why oil prices are falling and how this affects the economy? Answer: Oil prices have tumbled dramatically since last summer, and this will surely influence the economy and consumer behavior. Like other materials, the price of oil depends on the principles of supply and demand. An added dimension is that oil prices are closely ... Read More »

The Ghosts of Christmases Past…

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By Pat Newman How does the song go? “It’s the most wonderful time of the year?” Really? My recollections beg to differ. My childhood Christmases were filled with red velvet dresses, school extravaganzas, manger scenes and cookies shot out of an aluminum cookie “gun,” as it was referred to by my holiday-glazed mom. We had the traditional needle-dropping tree, large colored bulbs hanging off the gutters and plenty of family drama. It wasn’t until I became the MOM (Madwoman of the Moment) and had to execute the exacting duties of the Christmas holidays that I realized how ultimately dysfunctional our ... Read More »

Congratulations to Jack, Deb and Kathleen

Dianna Dohm (in blue) was volunteer of the year for 2013.

COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net It’s 9:00 on a Sunday evening and the SR 951/Collier Blvd. road is ALIVE with road construction activity at this time! There are huge trucks and machinery everywhere, lights blazing, and resurfacing taking place while the least amount of traffic is on the road. It’s impressive indeed. When we all get on that road in the morning, we’ll be amazed at how good it looks, and all while we were home taking it easy or sleeping. This evening they were resurfacing from Manatee Rd. south past Fiddler’s Creek. The road construction company has been outstanding ... Read More »

A Golden Girl’s Plan

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Ask The CFP® Practitioner Darcie Guerin darcie.guerin@raymondjames.com “All great changes are preceded by chaos.” — Deepak Chopra   Question: My father recently passed away, and I’m concerned about my mom, who is retired. What suggestions do you have to help guide her? Answer: Your mom is lucky to have you, and I’m sorry for your loss. Today, more than ever, our financial well-being and physical health are closely related. Having a solid economic foundation and a strong social network both contribute to the quality of life. Rising and unexpected medical expenses threaten financial security as we age. Anything we can ... Read More »

MIHM Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Style

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net The Marco Island Historical Society celebrated their 20th anniversary in a number of big ways! First, on Veteran’s Day, the MIHS unveiled and presented the “Veteran’s Memorial Wall,” the masterpiece of Malenda Trick. That wall depicted all phases of World War II, as well as other wars suggested by verbal contributors who were enthusiastic about her work. Malenda was shy about all of her talents, but the rest of us weren’t. There were cheers and congratulations throughout the packed museum! If you have not been by the Marco Island Museum yet, you’ll want to get ... Read More »

Holiday Catalogs

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By Pat Newman I know the holidays are closing in on me when I need a hand truck to empty my post office box. Last week alone, I collected 14 catalogs advertising merchandise ranging from “whimsical” Mah-jongg guest soaps to a creepy two-and-a-half foot “traditional Santa head” with poinsettia. Judging by the pounds of catalogs I see in the post office’s trash bin, I am guessing that many of my fellow postal patrons don’t have the time or interest in armchair shopping. I lust after these truly inspiring gift magazines. I rarely order anything, but the sheer volume and originality ... Read More »