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Sandbar Closed for Nesting Season

A brown pelican dwarfed by his larger cousins, the American white pelican.

Submitted  By a unanimous vote, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) designated the Second Chance (SC) sandbar as a Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) in November 2015. FWC Commissioner Liesa Priddy, a Southwest Florida resident, was an ardent advocate for the CWA designation and recently visited the SC sandbar. Commissioner Ron Bergeron and Chairman Brian Yablonski also were strong supporters of the CWA designation for SC sandbar. Annually, from March 1st to August 31st, SC is closed to public access for the summer nesting season. The sandbar is located one mile southeast of Cape Romano. It is owned by ... Read More »

Amateur Wildlife Photo Contest

Submitted  There is still time to enter the Ninth Annual Amateur Wildlife Photo Contest, but don’t delay – the deadline is May 6th – just around the corner. The Marco Island Historical Museum has partnered with the City of Marco Island and the Coastal Breeze News to present the Ninth Annual Amateur Photo Contest highlighting our area’s unique flora and fauna. The selection of winners will be exhibited at the museum from May 13 to June 30, 2016. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and what began as a celebration of Earth Day has grown into a photographic tribute to the beautiful ... Read More »

MIA’s Kirby Rients Makes English Fun

Students get a heavy dose of journalism along with experience on how to publish in Kirby Rients’ Yearbook/Journalism class. Students put together the 2016 MIA yearbook.

By Barry Gwinn Kirby Rients is a much traveled English teacher and has been with Marco Island Academy (MIA) since its inception in 2011. Although MIA specializes in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curriculum, the school also thinks it is important that students are well grounded in the humanities. It didn’t take them long to recognize Rients’ contributions in this area. In 2012, Mr. Rients was given MIA’s prestigious Teacher-of-the-Year award. On March 4th of this year, Rients and two other MIA teachers (who will be separately featured in later editions of Coastal Breeze News) were personally awarded Governor ... Read More »

Morffew Shares Love of Birds

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff  When Andy Morffew wakes up in the morning the first thing that he asks is, “Which way is the wind blowing? Is it a good day to go to Tigertail?” If you have spent any time at Tigertail Beach, chances are you have seen him there, quietly photographing the birds in their natural habitat, careful not to disturb them. Andy splits his time between Hampshire, England and Naples, Florida. Although known for his photographs of birds, Andy’s background is in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. He has a Ph.D. in molecular biology. Andy retired in 2003, and ... Read More »

Give Us This Day… Our Daily Bread Food Pantry

The shelves of Our Daily Bread. Photos by Maureen Chodaba

By Maureen Chodaba Marco Island is known for its beaches, its beauty, its tourism, and its supposed affluence. But is there something hidden or omitted in that description? Thirty-eight percent of the children in Tommie Barfield Elementary School qualify for a program that provides free or subsidized breakfast, lunch and weekend food. Marco Island’s busy season of tourism winds down in the months following winter. As our “snowbirds” go away, so do many of the jobs on the island. Our Daily Bread Food Pantry, located and managed by The Family Church at 1450 Winterberry Drive, is serving the needs of ... Read More »

Coastal Breeze News Named ?Chamber Champion

Photos by Cherie Logan and Samantha Husted

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Coastal Breeze News has been named the second quarter Chamber Champion by the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce.  On April 20, publisher Val Simon was surprised with the award at the Chamber After Five event at Marco Island Florist and Gifts. The Chamber Champion is selected by the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce Business Alliance Committee as a way to recognize and thank a chamber member that is successful in business and also gives back to the community. Coastal Breeze News was nominated for this award because of the many nonprofit organizations it supports, ... Read More »

Rib Cook-off Raises Heat

Rich Stoltenborg and Jim Downey were all smiles as they showed off Downey’s grill. Photos by Samantha Husted

By Samantha Husted  Barbecue lovers, grill enthusiasts and meat-eaters alike came out April 16th to celebrate and chow down at the 5th Annual Rib Cook-off at the Marco Island Brewery. All proceeds from the event went to the Marco Island Police Foundation and its scholarship fund. The Foundation also assists members of the Marco Island Police Department should an emergency financial situation occur. It felt like a summer block party or a family reunion. Outside the Brewery there were four large tents with five grills occupying them. Smoke filled the air with its sweet smells, inviting those who passed by ... Read More »

O’Neill-Freeman Art Exhibit a Hit

Jim was photographing mangroves at sunset, when he saw this summer storm developing and quickly set up for it. Jim makes forays with his sloop, living aboard, when he photographs the Ten Thousand Islands.

By Barry Gwinn This year, Tara O’Neill teamed up with Jim Freeman for her “13th Annual End O’Season Art Extravaganza” on April 16-17. Tara’s paintings and Jim’s photographs were displayed and offered for sale in the Little Bar’s Papa Ray Room. The Little Bar has hosted the event for all 13 years. Tara did this event solo for 11 years, but for the last two years has featured a guest artist. Celeste Navara, photographer, and Judy Wittwer, shell artist, appeared previously. “The reception was a great success,” Tara said, “Maybe the best ever.” As Tara and Jim talked with guests ... Read More »

Summer at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Enjoy summer at the Conservancy with electric boat tours, kayak rentals and boat and lunch tours of the Gordon River. Submitted Photos

Submitted  Parents looking for a fun and educational way for kids to spend time over the summer – consider the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is now offering new summer activities, including a Little Explorer pre-K programs, guided kayak tours, Junior Vet Lab, wildlife hospital exhibits and an environmental education lecture series. Led by Conservancy representatives, guests will have the opportunity to come face-to-face with native reptiles, ocean creatures, and occasionally catch a glimpse of rehabilitating wildlife. Daily Education Programs begin May 1 through October 31 at 11 AM at the Wildlife Hospital Nursery Viewing Window. ... Read More »

Paved Paradise: Parking on Marco

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By Maureen Chodaba Driving down Collier Boulevard, I sang along to “Big Yellow Taxi,” one of my favorite tunes by Joni Mitchell: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” The lyrics made me think about Marco Island. We have put up some parking lots, although fortunately, we have not completely paved our little piece of paradise. But, alas, this paradise does seem to have some parking issues, taking on many different faces in many different places. It seems that parking has always been an issue on Marco Island. In 2012, there was a beach problem associated with parking ... Read More »

Berkshire Hathaway’s Judy Kenney Awarded

Submitted Judy Kenney of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty has received the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ prestigious Chairman’s Circle – Gold Award for 2015. Judy was recognized during the annual Berkshire Hathaway Home Services regional awards ceremonies held recently at The Ritz ~Tiburon, Naples. Real estate professionals from across Southwest Florida attended the annual recognition event. The Chairman’s Circle-Gold is awarded to the top two percent of the network’s sales professionals based on gross commission income or closed units. In addition to receiving this prestigious award, Judy was ranked as the 11th top producing sales associate in-company out of over 1,800 ... Read More »

Marco’s Civil Air Patrol Honored

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Submitted The Marco Island Senior Squadron and two of its members were recognized at the annual Florida Wing Conference held in Orlando on April 16 and 17. The following awards were presented at the general assembly meeting, held the Saturday morning of the conference: Major Robert Corriveau was awarded Florida Wing Professional Development Officer of the Year 2015 and Major Marian Motyl-Szary was awarded Florida Wing Information Technology Officer of the Year 2015. A Commander’s Commendation was also awarded to Major Corriveau at the Subordinate Unit Inspection (SUI) seminar later in the day, for his work as Assistant Inspector General ... Read More »

Twenty-two Push-ups for #22kill

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By Margaret Lamp Everywhere on social media you see posts of members of our military coming home to a wife, a husband, parents, children or pets. We witness tears of joy. You can sense their overwhelming happiness to be reunited with those they love. Each instance tugs at my heartstrings. I can’t imagine how that feels. I am always amazed that the camera can bring me to tears. Tears of joy and gratitude. My gratitude for our military is overwhelming at times, especially when witnessing these not so private moments. If asked why I’m crying and laughing at the same ... Read More »

Lily to the Rescue

Lily practices life-saving skills with Power Squadron member Robert Gloodt. Submitted Photos

Submitted Don’t be surprised if you see a magnificent black and white Newfoundland in a custom life jacket prancing about on Marco Island. Lily is doing her job to encourage community-wide participation in the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron’s Wear It Campaign. She is, after all, the Power Squadron’s mascot. How can attending the Wear It event in your life jacket save lives? The North American Safe Boating Campaign continues to have positive impact on boater behavior. An annual survey of recreational boaters conducted by Paul Worth and Associates, on behalf of the National Safe Boating Council, found that: ... Read More »

Uniform Crime Report Explained

By Maureen Chodaba In 1929, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) initiated a program to enable the reliable reporting of uniform crime statistics in the United States. In 1930, the FBI assumed the responsibility of collecting, publishing, and archiving this data. Today, four annual publications, “Crime in the United States,” “National Incident-Based Reporting System,” “Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted,” and “Hate Crime Statistics” are produced from data received through the Uniform Crime Report program (UCR). Over 18,000 municipality, university/college, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily participate in this program. The City of Marco Island ... Read More »

Book Offers Taste of The Dock’s 40 Years

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Submitted “The Dock at Crayton Cove, Everybody’s Kitchen” is a commemorative book written by Debby DePasquale that retells the story of how “the real taste of Naples” began. The book is a historical synopsis of the past 40 years that includes recipes and photographs, and highlights the passion that owner Vin DePasquale has for the business and the city of Naples. Opening in 1976, The Dock has become a part of Naples’ history and is beloved by both locals and visitors of Collier County. The long established Naples restaurant, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary in February. The open-air restaurant is known for its waterfront dining, delicious seafood and laid-back atmosphere. “We’re incredibly excited to share ... Read More »

The Harder Leo Worked, The Luckier He Got

Submitted Photos

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Leo Sutera is a lucky man. At the young age of 54, Leo Sutera sold his successful business and retired. In the years to follow, he travelled extensively with his family within the U.S. and internationally. Leo, now 83, lives at Hideaway Beach with Barbara, his wife of 58 years. The couple also enjoys time at their condominium in Middleton, Massachusetts. Although many people would agree that Leo Sutera is a lucky man, it was hard work, not luck, which brought him such great success. Hard Work Brings Success Leo’s story begins in Boston’s North ... Read More »

CPR Saves a Life at YMCA

Eighth grade students at MICMS became CPR certified. Submitted Photos

By Coastal Breeze News Staff The importance of CPR training was tested at the Greater Marco Family YMCA on Tuesday April 19th. Personal trainer Kathy Kurtz was training her client Wendy Bullock in the back lobby of the Y. Debbie Hobbs, who happens to be another client of Kathy’s, rushed through the door and said, “I think there’s an emergency out here, there’s a man lying on the tennis courts!” Kathy and Wendy immediately took off running to the tennis courts, as she quickly told Debbie, “Go tell the front desk!” The two women saw a man laying on the ... Read More »

City Council Highlights

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By Maureen Chodaba The Marco Island City Council held a regular meeting on April 18. In addition to two business-related resolutions, staying safe and healthy seemed to be the prevailing theme. Keith Wohltman, Flotilla Commander of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 95, and other members of the Flotilla, were presented with a proclamation from the city council, declaring May 21-27, 2016 “National Safe Boating Week.” The proclamation supports the goals of the North America Safe Boating Campaign, urging everyone to practice safe boating, particularly with the use of life jackets. Next, the Florida Department of Health in Collier County recognized ... Read More »

Planning the Future of Veterans Park

Members of the community attend a meeting on the future of Veterans Park. Submitted Photos

By Coastal Breeze News Staff A meeting open to the public on the topic of further development of Veterans Community Park was held at Mackle Park on April 19th. The original venue at Iberiabank was cancelled, and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) felt it prudent to move the meeting to Mackle Park rather than cancel it. Gathering feedback from the public on this topic has been a top mission of PRAC. Approximately 75 people attended. PRAC Chair Jerry Swiacki led the meeting, starting with a review of the purchase of the Glon property and its course on improvements ... Read More »