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Guest Commentary

Classical Education vs. Progressive Education

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By Jory Westberry If you’ve been following the campaign rhetoric during campaigning for the Collier County School Board, you may have heard the term “Classical Education” proposed by two candidates as the ideal education for the students in Collier County schools. But what is it and how does it compare to the education our students are receiving now? Classical education began with the Greeks and Romans over 1,000 years ago and declined during the 1800s with the Progressive belief that students “learn by doing,” rather than memorizing. Classical education is based on the Trivium subjects, which are grammar, logic and ... Read More »

Critical Wildlife Areas

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By Charlette Roman State-designated Critical Wildlife Areas, or CWAs, established by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), are very important for the preservation of our local environment. These specified areas ensure that the most vulnerable wild creatures are protected for future generations. Because wildlife will concentrate in a CWA, we can protect large numbers by closing off a very small area. Marco Island benefits by having two CWAs. The Big Marco Pass CWA, which includes all of Sand Dollar and parts of Tigertail lagoon, was designated as a Critical Wildlife Area in 1988. This FWC-managed area protects shorebirds ... Read More »

Guest Commentary Guest Commentary on Dairy Consumption

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By Larissa Bersh Writer Larissa Bersh is a high school student at Marco Island Academy and will begin her junior year this fall.  Even as a young person, it feels as if the world around me is constantly changing. Not a day goes by that doesn’t bring news of a scientific breakthrough or groundbreaking medical discovery that alters what we thought we knew as fact. It goes without saying that, as our knowledge continues to grow, we do our best to adapt to these changes. But sometimes we find ourselves stuck deep in a rut of tradition, shielded by the ... Read More »

Local News From the Nest

Submitted Photos. The young fledgling being fed in the nest.

By Linda J. Turner Director of Operations Marco Eagle Sanctuary Foundation This past February 21, the resident bald eagles, Paleo and Calusa, hatched an eaglet at the Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary, formerly known as the Marco Eagle Sanctuary. In a little over three months, this healthy eaglet rapidly grew to the size of the adult female eagle. Because female bald eagles are 25 percent larger than the males, it is speculated that this offspring is a female. The young eagle, now a fledgling, has been flying all over the Preserve property utilizing almost every tree, considerably more ... Read More »

GUEST COMMENTARY: Marco Island Property Owners Public Forum

Your Water, Your Ambulance and Your Insurance Marco Island Property Owners (MIPO) will conduct its last public forum for the season with two guest speakers on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 3 PM in City Council Chambers located at 51 Bald Eagle Drive. Florida House Representative Kathleen Passidomo will discuss two issues of great importance to the health and safety of Marco Island residents: Cleaning up of Florida’s polluted water, a topic that has been the subject of considerable finger pointing and blame passed amongst state, federal, and conservation agencies and the U.S. Sugar Company. Marco Island would like to ... Read More »

GUEST COMMENTARY: Standing Watch

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Q: Boaters or Manatees? A: How about the “Environment”?   I hear it all the time – “…do you want to keep boating, or save manatees?” It’s as if the two are thought of as mutually exclusive. Generally, the one asking the question is working on the premise that manatees are truly and desperately endangered, and are also wonderful for the environment. They seem to believe that the more manatees we have, the better off our estuarine systems would be. Thanks to the “educational” initiatives of groups like Save the Manatee Club, they have also accepted the premise that all ... Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Standing Watch

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The Board of Directors of Standing Watch has been of the opinion that the Manatee should have been removed from the Endangered Species list since the year 2000. As populations in all areas of Florida have steadily risen since such records have been kept, the species has expanded well beyond their purported historical range. As animals are now found up the eastern seaboard to Virginia, and across the Gulf Coast to Texas, thermal pollution outfalls are encouraging manatees to venture into areas where they have previously never been. With numbers growing into the thousands at some individual sites in Florida, ... Read More »

GUEST COMMENTARY: Marco Islanders – Making Sense of the Republican Race

By John Arceri Vice President, Caxambas Republican Club As the primary race for the Republican candidate for President heats up and gets more complex, the members of the local Republican organization, the Caxambas Republican Club of Southwest Florida, tries to make sense out of the race by determining which of the present candidates have the characteristics that make a winning Republican candidate and, more importantly, a great President. To this end, the members have developed what they believe are the 6 most important characteristics a successful candidate must have as well as rating each of the present major candidates on ... Read More »

GUEST COMMENTARY: What We Leave Behind…

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By Hector Fernandez So there has been much ado lately about discussions, ideas, opinions and plans for some kind of facility, building, offices, veterans’ facility, etc. at Veterans Park. It seems that some of the speculation and rumors were laid to rest at this past week’s PRAC meeting where City Manager Roger Hernstadt presented some of those ideas. So as usual, I am going to look at this issue from an architectural point of view. I like to divorce the hearsay and sticky political mumbo jumbo from things. After all, after the years have passed and we are all long ... Read More »

Misunderstandings Regarding Veterans Community Park

Dr. Gerald Swiacki, 
Chairman Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Dr. Gerald Swiacki, Chairman Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee There has been a great deal of inaccurate and misleading information circulating, recently, regarding Veterans Community Park. As Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC), I would like to correct any misunderstandings. Let me begin by reviewing some history regarding the property. The 6.85 acre property, formerly known as “The Glon Property,” was purchased by the City of Marco Island for $10 million in 2003. The intended purpose was to maintain green space and add a multifunctional park for the enjoyment of citizens and visitors. The previous Veteran’s ... Read More »

GUEST COMMENTARY: Roger Raymond

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Raymond has been with MICMS since the beginning,
formulating its sports program. PHOTOS BY ROGER LALONDE

By Roger Lalonde Roger Raymond has stepped down as athletic director at the Marco Island Academy. Kelly Monnot, dean of students, and successful volleyball coach, takes over. I have known Roger Raymond since we met when the Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) was getting off the ground some 17 years ago. His “aw shucks” straight ways caught me off guard when so many were playing it politically correct to get what turned out to be one of, if not the best, charter schools in Florida. There were many key people who believed in the absolute need for the school. ... Read More »

Guest Commentary

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Mr. Harris, try using facts instead of misinformation! In his most recent LETTER TO THE EDITOR Bill Harris once again attempts to mislead the Marco Island Community with misinformation and irrelevant statements. To wit: He specifically challenges my comments that despite the contention of a small group of people at the July 20 Regular Council Meeting that while they demanded that Council “listen to the people” that, in fact, the number of petitions submitted only represented about 20% of the registered voters. He states: “Councilor Sacher should recall that year 204 only showed about 36 percent overall voter turnout, so ... Read More »

Shoot the bull, chew the fat

By Wade Keller Speaking to the Marco Island council last Monday (June 16) was somewhat goofy. After being on Marco Island almost 20 years I’ve had interesting hobbies from “acting” at Marco Players, Toastmasters, Rotary, Friends of Library on to promoting two clubs, CHESS and Points…CounterPoints. In addition on work side have published personal memoirs along with wife Sue. We’ve done about 40 books. Of those here are a few who lived on Marco at some point: “Tell Me a Story, Grandpa” by Bill Rose, “An Ordinary Man in Extraordinary Times” by Tom Owens, “In the Shadow of Satan” and ... Read More »

GUEST COMMENTARY/OPINION: Thoughts on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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by Sheila McKlveen It’s been reported Silicon Valley interests are joining with strawberry growers and other agriculture corporations to lobby for “comprehensive immigration reform” because the country needs foreign workers to harvest crops and design software (San Francisco Chronicle 8/2/13). Most of the Catholic bishops tell their congregants they must welcome the stranger, contact their representatives to pass the Senate’s reform bill; it’s the way Jesus would vote, presumably (Catholic News Agency 5/23/13). So why am I against “bringing people out of the shadows,” giving folks who’ve worked here for years, many of them, the opportunities I enjoy? One of ... Read More »

GUEST COMMENTARY: Stop Expansion of Oil Drilling in South Florida

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By Karen Dwyer Residents of Golden Gate Estates are deeply concerned about the effects of oil drilling on their neighborhood as well as on protected wildlife habitats and wetlands. The proposed drill site is only 1,000 feet from family homes and is adjacent to the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and the Western Everglades. Background In May of 2013, Dan A. Hughes applied for permits to drill an exploratory oil well in Golden Gate Estates. Residents first learned about the proposed drill site when they received a letter from Total Safety asking them for contact information so they could be ... Read More »

Oil Drilling or Life: The Importance of Preserving Golden Gate Estates

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By Roseann Lahey The Dan A. Hughes Company is waiting for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s decision as to whether or not they can have a permit to drill for oil and gas in the Golden Gate Estates area of Naples, Florida. The demand for these resources is always high, and our reliance on foreign countries is increasing. This does not mean that oil drilling corporations should be allowed to search for crude close to homes, nature preserves and wildlife sanctuaries. Something is drastically wrong with this possibility. When did people, their homes, the native wildlife and the sensitive ... Read More »

Guest Commentary: Will we ever have such Patriotism again?

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By Ben A. Wolfe Recently while reading several articles in some old (very, very old) small town newspapers, my mind was bent on going back to earlier times. As I looked at pictures of servicemen and their families gathered for their final farewells before departing for some foreign soil, many of them never to return, my heart was touched again as it had been decades earlier. But wait, I am getting ahead of the story. The years were 1942-43. World War II was in full swing on all fronts. America had been brutally attacked like never before and thousands of ... Read More »

To the Graduating Class of 2013

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By Roy Eaton During the next month, over four million students will be graduating from various schools, colleges, and universities across our land. As you listen to your commencement speakers’ addresses, I’m sure some of you will be focused more on receiving your diploma and the summer freedom that awaits, than on the advice that will be given. I’m sure many of you are curious about what you will hear. Will the speaker hold your attention and will the message make a difference in how you govern your future? I thought of the numerous graduation ceremonies I was forced to ... Read More »

GUEST COMMENTARY: So why is the USPS going broke?

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By Ben A. Wolfe One very hot day I was sitting on my front step here on Marco Island. It was almost 12PM when the mail carrier stopped in front of my mailbox, shutting off the engine of his little vehicle because he had a box to deliver that was too large to put in our mailbox. After putting the box on the front porch, we chatted for a few minutes about the sad state of the current business climate in our country, both public and private. The mail carrier returned to his vehicle. (Let’s call him Jim.) Jim, upon ... Read More »

Nero Continues To Fiddle While Rome Burns: Part VI

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Final Summary By Roy Eaton America is the greatest nation, but we have temporarily lost our way, for we have strayed from the inherent qualities that have made us the envy of most other countries. We lack empathy for our fellow man, civility in our actions, restraint from entering conflict, and the will and resourcefulness to solve complex problems through negotiation. In addition, our complacency, lack of self-discipline, inability to compromise, and propensity for greed have decimated our economy and tainted our image as the indisputable guiding light of democracy and capitalism. We must correct our present course by reorganizing ... Read More »