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Local Referendums Have Surprise Endings

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By Noelle H. Lowery Prior to Tuesday, Aug. 26, most folks were calling the referendums on Marco Island and Isles of Capri too close to call. Not anymore. Some 3,928 Marco Islanders cast their ballot on the non-binding referendum question regarding the construction of a new Mackle Park Community Center: “Shall the city expend up to $3.5 million to construct a new community center up to 16,000 square feet at Mackle Park?” With 2,059 yes votes, the referendum passed by a margin of 52.42 percent to 47.58 percent. On Capri, firefighters, their families and community supporters spent the day rallying ... Read More »

New Laws: Part 3

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Condo Law By Bob Murrell Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. In this issue, we will continue to look at the new laws signed into law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott on June 13. Today, we will continue to look at House Bill 807 and its impact on cooperatives under Chapter 719 and homeowners’ associations under Chapter 720. Many of the changes to Chapter 719 were simply Acatch-up@ additions to the statute to bring Chapter 719 more in line with Chapter 718. The first of these was the inclusion of all telephone numbers in a directory and the right of the ... Read More »

Public Safety Center on Alligator Alley

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Collier County Bureau of Emergency Services staff has announced that construction of the long-awaited Public Safety Center fire station facility on Alligator Alley is nearing completion. Located at Mile Marker 63, the county anticipates beginning services by the fourth quarter of this year. First approved in 2011 by the Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott, the fire state will be operated by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The Board of County Commissioners (BCC) and the Bureau had pursued a fire station and Public Safety Center for many years in an effort to decrease response ... Read More »

Tips and Tricks: Surviving High School

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By Gabriella Perez It’s that time of the year again for those of us still in school. Our two months of fun and relaxation have sadly come to an end, although returning to a new year of school can be kind of exciting not to mention slightly nerve wracking for those new to the area. Though once school is in session, you really start to miss those lazy summer days doing nothing but eating, sleeping and hanging with friends. This year, I will be junior at Marco Island Academy, which is a huge relief knowing I survived those first two ... Read More »

Total Immersion

Eight year-old Santino Galvez, pictured at the 2014 AAU Super Regional Tournament.

By Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com I’ve written once before about Goodland’s own, Nick Lemke, and his Shima Dojo, at the Marco Island YMCA. To this day, it ranks as one of my most favorite stories. Every time I talk to Sensei Nick and his students, I get to know them better, and I love that each person in this close-knit group is just as committed to each other’s success as they are to their own personal achievement. I always feel welcome into their dojo family. In fact, many of his students are family, like brothers, Luca and Santino Galvez; father and ... Read More »

Aurora Award

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Marco Island custom home builder Steven A. Henell Inc. won an Aurora Award for construction and design excellence at the 2014 Southeast Building Conference (SEBC) held recently in Orlando. Competing against the top home builders from 13 states in the Southeast, Henell was honored in the “Green New Construction” for 316 Bald Eagle Drive model home. This year’s Aurora Awards competition attracted a record 382 entries, and entries were judged by a panel of housing, design and construction experts. A total of 143 Aurora Awards were given plus 26 “Grand Awards” and six “Best of ... Read More »

Marketing Marco

The Rose History Auditorium saw almost every seat taken, the audience entertained for more than an hour by Joyce’s colorful storytelling. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

By Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com On Tuesday, Aug. 5, the Marco Island Historical Society and the Marco Island Historical Museum hosted Jack Joyce to tell about his experiences in the early days of Marco Island real estate. “People love to hear about history. I’m telling them the history of Marco; how we did it, how we brought it to the marketplace,” said Joyce. Joyce was born and raised in Boston, where he was a food broker with his father. He attended Boston College night classes briefly, before shipping off to Korea and then Japan, but was wounded and sent home in ... Read More »

Theater Camp: ‘Into The Woods’

Ryan Sullivan and Jessica Lang played the Baker and his Wife.

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com In its summer camp grand finale, the city of Marco Island’s annual theater camp pondered the consequences of wishes and dreams in its production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into The Woods.” Directed by Booey Blassneck, campers performed the musical for the city’s Camp Mackle and during two Aug. 9 performances at Marco Players Theater. Premiering on Broadway in 1987, “Into The Woods” is the story of a baker and his wife and their fondest dream to have a child. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong! Their story is woven among the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy ... Read More »

Grants Awarded by Noontime Rotary

Bruce Graev, president of the Rotary Club of Marco Island, presents a $4,000 check  to Neil Snyder for the Meals of Hope project at The Snook Inn where a fund-raiser event was held Tuesday, Aug. 12. More than 100 people attended donating enough to package more than 11,000 meals. SUBMITTED photo

Submitted The Rotary Club of Marco Island (Noontime Club) recently announced the list of organizations receiving grants from their fund-raising efforts of the past year. Topping the list is $36,000 for college scholarships for local students. The club is currently providing $3,000 per student for this academic year to a total of 12 students. They are at various stages of their college careers and must maintain an acceptable grade point average and carry at least 12 credit hours in order to remain eligible for their scholarships each year. The club has been awarding scholarships to local students since 1973. The ... Read More »

Fiji — Another Island Paradise

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By Kay Dougherty Yes, Marco is an island paradise but — SPOILER ALERT — it turns out that there are others too! Fiji with their “300 Islands of Sun” is a different sort of paradise. One with its own distinctive sights, culture and rituals. My sister and I just returned from a seven-night cruise of the Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands with Captain Cook Cruises of Fiji. To our amazement, we have been converted from cruise scoffers to cruise zealots and have the fervor typical of new converts. It’s a long journey to Fiji, but as we drew close, we looked ... Read More »

Magistrate or No Magistrate? That is the Question

Members of City Council meet at a workshop with the Code  Enforcement Board to discuss their possible replacement with a Magistrate. PHOTO BY CAROL GLASSMAN

By Carol Glassman Whether to replace the city’s Code Enforcement Board (CEB) with a magistrate turned out to be a difficult question, when five members of City Council (Councilmen Kiester and Batte were absent) met Tuesday, Aug. 12, for what they had anticipated as a joint workshop with the CEB. After about 15 minutes of expressing their opinions and irritation with the topic at hand, the misunderstanding about the workshop format and the draft ordinance prepared by City Attorney Burt Saunders’ office, the meeting almost ended before it began. Council Chairman Ken Honecker, frustrated with the chain of events, was ... Read More »

Get Out and Vote on Mackle Park Referendum

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com The time has come for Marco Islanders to cast their ballot and let the City Council know where they stand on the construction of a new Mackle Park Community Center to replace the current 25-year-old center. The referendum question: “Shall the city expend up to $3.5 million to construct a new community center up to 16,000 square feet at Mackle Park?” It is a question that — in some way, shape or form — the Marco Island community has been dealing with since 2005 when the city released the Mackle Park master plan. Since the ... Read More »

Optimist Soccer

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Lyndsi Koszo and Meghan Bonos are the ultimate soccer moms. Three months ago, the two Marco Islanders — with the support of the Optimist Club board. “We both have a passion for youth sports having grown up playing on various teams throughout our lives,” explains Lyndsi. “We recognized the need in the community for a comprehensive soccer program, focusing on core soccer skills with an emphasis on teamwork, character development and having fun at the same time. The Optimist program embodies these core values. It was a natural fit for us to volunteer to help ... Read More »

Capri Fire Annexation Vote Set for August 26

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com It’s all over but the voting. On Aug. 26, the residents of the Isles of Capri will gather at the community hall to cast their ballot on the referendum that seals the fate of the Isles of Capri Fire-Rescue District (ICFRD). Whether residents will vote to annex ICFRD into the now mega East Naples-Golden Gate Fire Control and Rescue District or vote to remain independent remains to be seen, but if the referendum is approved by voters, the ICFRD will cease to exist on Oct. 1. The district has been operating since 1977. ICFRD firefighter ... Read More »

MIFRD June Update

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Six months into 2014 and the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department has been busier than ever. At the Aug. 4 City Council meeting, MIFRD Chief Mike Murphy reported that through June the department had answered 1854 total calls, ranging from fire alarms and incidents to medical calls to marine rescues. This accounts for a 6.5 percent increase over the same period of time last year. Moreover, occurrences of concurrent overlapping emergency calls are up 38 percent over 2013. For all of 2013, MIFRD had 683 overlapping incidents; for the first six months of 2014, the department ... Read More »

City Manager Hernstadt Aims to Fill City’s Bucket List

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By Carol Glassman City Manager Roger Hernstadt addressed approximately 50 residents of Hideaway Beach last week, accompanied by Fire Chief Mike Murphy, Assistant Chief Chris Byrne, Public Works DirectorTim Pinter, Assistant Chief of Police Dave Baer, some colorful handouts and an assorted table full of groceries and edibles valued at about $5 each. Hernstadt seemed determined to make the city’s budget and longterm debt presentation both simple and entertaining as he introduced himself and encouraged the audience to take his business card and never hesitate to contact him with questions or concerns. Briefly, Hernstadt pointed out that in order for ... Read More »

Donation Secures Freedom Fountain for Veterans’ Park

Rendering of the Freedom Fountain and Flag Plaza. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com A decade ago, Marco Islanders envisioned a new city park when they approved the $10 million bond referendum to purchase the old Glon property. This park would include a memorial to Marco Island’s veterans, and would be called Veterans’ Memorial Park. Part of the plan included a memorial flag plaza with benches and lush landscaping. It would be the perfect gathering spot for veterans’ celebrations or moments of silence to honor fallen heroes. It also included a water feature known as the Freedom Fountain, the piece de resistance of the memorial. In 2007, the Veterans’ ... Read More »

‘What Happened to Ochopee?’

A future explorer rides the lion that guards the door, 
painted gold in honor of the Golden Lion Motor Inn.
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By Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com Southwest Florida’s history is rich with accounts of rugged pioneers and adventurous prospectors searching for places to settle and on which to build thriving, prosperous enterprises. One such person was James Gaunt. In 1928, Gaunt bought 250 acres of swamp land along the then brand new U.S. 41 and set his sights on farming the land. His produce would be tomatoes, and a thriving Everglades community dubbed Ochopee grew up around Gaunt’s farm. Unfamiliar with Ochopee? Drive east down U.S. 41 towards Miami, and just three miles past the intersection of U.S. 41 and State Road ... Read More »

Planning Board Approves MIHS Alley Name Proposal

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By Noelle H. Lowery and Craig Woodward During its Aug. 1 regular meeting, the city of Marco Island Planning Board approved a proposal from the Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) to name 11 currently unnamed alleys around the island after major players in Marco’s history. With a vote of 6-1, the proposal was passed onto City Council for review and approval. The proposal is the brainchild of Marco Island historian and attorney Craig Woodward, who worked with several members of the MIHS to come up with local historical figures who were not already recognized in some way around the island. ... Read More »

New at the Marco Island Center for the Arts

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff “What do you see when you see Marco?” That was the question asked of 59 artists for the new exhibit at the Marco Island Center for the Arts — Over the Bridge: Your Vision of Marco. Entries cover a wide range of artistic disciplines, including acrylic, clay, fabric art (including batik, quilting and trapunto stitchery), jewelry, metal sculpture (cold cast), mixed media, oil, pastels, photography, shells craft and watercolor. In La Petite Galerie, the Center is featuring the quilting and jewelry making of Marco Islander Linda Kropp. Each of Kropp’s quilts tells a story in ... Read More »