More Straight Talk

Challenges Face Our Nation on Its Birthday

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com Like the vast majority of Americans I am saddened and disillusioned by the continued ratcheting up of the hate filled speeches and rhetoric which fill the political discourse of the day. It was inevitable that violence would spill from the hate filled environment that has been created in our nation, and we unfortunately ... Read More »

The Future is Bright

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com On a daily basis we seem to be barraged by story after story of what we can’t get accomplished or what is wrong within our nation and the world. Reports of violence, corruption and disappointment seem to sell better as the news of the day. Don’t get me wrong, not all is perfect, ... Read More »

Loss of a Friend

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com For those of you that know me best, you know I tend to keep my private emotions inside; not always a good thing, but for me it has worked. The last decade or so I’ve been more open with those feelings and haven’t been ashamed to show them outwardly. When my dad died ... Read More »

TDC Position an Important One

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com In the last several weeks there has been a swirl of controversy surrounding remarks made by Councilman Victor Rios in his role as a representative of Marco Island on the Tourist Development Council (TDC). The council is authorized by Florida Statue 125.0104 to advise the Board of County Commissioners pertaining to support of ... Read More »

All Roads Lead to Resurfacing Programs

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com When Marco Island Public Works Director Tim Pinter recently briefed council on his plans to spend just over $600,000 in 2017 to continue with the planned repaving program for the island, Councilman Howard Reed made pointed inquires as to what it would take to make a more aggressive approach and spend about a ... Read More »

Evolution of a Butterfly

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com I’ve had a lot of wonderful experiences in my life, but none better than the magnificent creation of friendships over my lifetime. This is especially true in regards to those families I’ve become close with and observed the growth and additions to those families. Moving away from some of those friends was especially ... Read More »

Reminiscing and Smiling

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com Sitting around for coffee the other morning we were talking about challenges facing the community and across the bridge just off the island. The conversation was wide ranging and involved a great many topics, some very serious and others a little more lighthearted. Having owned here for 30 years and living fulltime on ... Read More »

Defining the ‘Good Old Days’

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com Over the years I’ve had the privilege of being involved in many organizations and activities on the island since moving here fulltime in 1990. Purchasing on Marco in 1986 was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my lifetime and I truly enjoy calling Marco my home. One of those organizations ... Read More »

Not Our Finest Hour

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com For those that have followed the political landscape on Marco Island during the last six months, the events leading up to the resignation of City Manager Roger Hernstadt should not have come as a surprise. Hernstadt was not the favorite of the slate of four who swept to victory on November 8th, and ... Read More »

The Challenge of Service

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com About two weeks ago, the Marco Island City Council undertook some pretty important business, whose significance is unfortunately overlooked for the most part. On January 23rd the newly elected four councilors selected their choices for service on a number of advisory committees to coincide with their 4-year terms on council. Those individuals are ... Read More »

Inauguration Day: Maybe We Should All Take An Oath

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com January 20th will mark the “peaceful” transition of power here in our nation as Donald J. Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. The world will be focused on not only the events of the day, but on the actions to be undertaken by this new administration and ... Read More »

Reflections on the Past

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com As I sit here and write this many of you are scurrying around to take down your Christmas decorations and pack them away carefully for next year’s celebration. Many have even done a little strategic shopping for next year’s home or business decorating contest, while taking advantage of the big discounts on those ... Read More »

Wishing Public Safety Personnel a Happy Holiday

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com As I write this week’s column, I am very aware of the wonderful celebrations that are ongoing across this great nation of ours. Families, neighbors and friends are celebrating this glorious holiday season. However, as many of you know, I have a background in both the fire service and law enforcement. I cannot ... Read More »

More Straight Talk: The True Meaning of Christmas

Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com There has been much said about the “commercialization” of the Christmas holidays. One might only have to walk into any of the big box stores to see the display of Christmas decorations and ornaments as early as October. Six foot high inflatable Santas can be seen alongside Halloween lawn decorations, while our mailboxes become stuffed with ... Read More »

EDITORIAL & OPINION: Time For Change

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com On November 8th Americans went to the polls around the country and participated in what could best be described as a revolution of sorts. Throughout the nation men and women, young and old went to vote that day and sent a message that they would like to see a change in the direction ... Read More »

EDITORIAL & OPINION: Baseless Claims Cause Damage

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com In today’s world of instantaneous news and the digital matrix that winds through our lives without missing a beat, how does an individual restore his good name and reputation after allegations are brought that are found to be baseless, months, and even years, after they have been on the front page? Such was ... Read More »

Councilman Batte Cleared

By Steve “Stef” Stefanides For over a year now Councilman Joseph Batte has sat quietly awaiting a review of three ethics complaints brought against him by the former owner’s wife of a home that was the subject of numerous complaints by Batte and other neighbors due to excessive noise. Ms. Tracy Calvert, the wife of Brian Spina, the former owner ... Read More »

Be Informed

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides I’m sure that on the evening of November 8th, after all the polling places across the nation have closed and the robo-calls have ceased, Americans will breathe a sigh of relief as the electioneering will be done, at least for another two years. Our system of government, that of a Democratic Representative Republic, is ... Read More »

Marco Voters Are Smarter

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides stef@coastalbreezenews.com This is an interesting year for elections in every segment of the political scene around the country. Voters can’t help but shake their heads at the negative nature of the campaigns and some of the outrageous claims and comments being made. Here on the island we are about to elect four individuals to ... Read More »

Respect For Our Great Nation

More Straight Talk  Steve “Stef” Stefanides Our community showed its true patriotic colors this last weekend as we gathered to commemorate the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001. Those events galvanized our nation’s resolve to respond to the attacks on freedom and democracy with a united message that America will never falter in our support of the foundations ... Read More »