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Feature Stories

Great American Realtor Days in Tallahassee

Steve Josselyn, Governor
Rick Scott and Bette McGilvray. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Bette McGilvray As in years past, the Marco Island contingent made up of Bette McGilvray (MIAAOR President, 2014 and Florida Realtor’s Key Political Contact for Rep. Kathleen Passidomo), Dick Shanahan (MIAAOR Legislative Committee Chair 2014), and Steve Josselyn (Legislative Committee member), teamed with NABOR (Naples Area Board of Realtors) to meet with legislators in Tallahassee last week to discuss issues relevant to all of us Florida Realtors. The four main issues MIAAOR and NABOR presented to our legislators were as follows: • Support for SB 176 and HB 11, which look to lower the commercial lease sales tax from ... Read More »

MICMS Student Nominee for Tech Trek

MICMS 7th-grader Laura Poelstrap (left) is pictured with her science teacher, Mary Jo O’Regan, who nominated her for the Tech Trek camp. PHOTO BY NOELLE H. LOWERY

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com “If we’re going to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, we’ve got to open doors for everyone. We need all hands on deck, and that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering and math.” - First Lady Michelle Obama, Sept. 26, 2011   At a time when more than 80 percent of girls are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers but only 13 percent choose a STEM field for their career, Laura Poelstrap is leading the way at Marco Island Charter Middle ... Read More »

ENFD Mergers

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff While East Naples Fire Control and Rescue District Chief Kingman Schuldt prepared to head to Tallahassee to testify about his district’s proposed mergers with Golden Gate and Isles of Capri fire districts, the Board of Collier County Commissioners voted expand ENFD’s boundaries to include Ochopee. During its March 25 regular meeting, the BCC unanimously approved the creation of a merger plan between the county-managed Ochopee Fire Control and Rescue District and ENFD. This merger could be easier than the others, though, as it may be possible to complete with a simple Interlocal Agreement. Currently, the ... Read More »

Kevin Barry: Laws of Life Essay Winner

Kevin Barry with Debbie Cooper, TBE reading specialist. PHOTO BY NOELLE H. LOWERY

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Ask Kevin Barry what “tolerance” means, and he will give you a couple of definitions. The Tommie Barfield Elementary School fifth-grader first will tell you that tolerance, “is the willingness to accept others who are different.” Second, he will say, “it is the capacity to endure harsh environments or difficult situations.” Ask Barry for an all-encompassing example of these definitions of tolerance, and his answer will be Abraham Lincoln. “He showed tolerance,” explains Barry. “He defended the slaves, and he fought for freedom for everyone to be treated the same. He showed tolerance all of ... Read More »

Writing Contest

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Submitted The Collier County Public Library Adult Programs have collaborated with Marco Island Writers to offer a Writing Contest for the general public. Submit a poem, short story or essay to MarcoIslandWritersInc@gmail.com by April 12 stating what made you come to Marco, what keeps you here or coming back or simply why you love Marco Island. A team of published writers from Marco Island Writers will select six final entries to be read by each author at the event on Tuesday April 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Marco Island Library. Entries can be serious or humorous – share your ... Read More »

Rookery Bay Nets 15-foot Sawfish

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Submitted March 7 was a big day for Rookery Bay Reserve Fisheries Biologist Pat O’Donnell and his volunteers. The team captured three endangered smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) in Fakahatchee Bay while out on its monthly shark monitoring and tagging program. The biggest — a female measuring nearly 15 feet — is the largest sawfish captured by Rookery Bay since May 2000. It is no secret that many species of shark come into shallow, protected estuarine bays of the Ten Thousand Islands to give birth to their young. These back bays provide young sharks with plenty of food and protection from ... Read More »

Tyler MacDonald Featured at Festival of the Arts

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Submitted This weekend — April 5-6 — Veteran’s Park will be transformed into an outdoor art gallery, as Howard Alan Events and the Marco Island Center for the Arts bring the Marco Island Festival of the Arts to the island community for the first time. The juried art festival benefits the Center for the Arts. Chief among the line-up of artistic talent is Marco’s own Tyler MacDonald. At just 18 years old, MacDonald already has won numerous awards and national recognition for his work including second-place in the National Wildlife Federation’s annual photo contest. His passion for wildlife photography is ... Read More »

A Marco man’s high adventure

The Day Before the Race. SUBMITTED photoS

By John Scott The sheer excitement of sliding down the backside of six feet of following sea in a small but well crafted open sailboat for the first time was an exhilarating awakening to the powerful forces of nature. We methodically rose on a wave’s front side, reached its crest and accelerated, only to skate into its trough. We would slow and repeat the cycle over and over. Watching the froth bubbling, smelling the fresh salt air, hearing the wind gusts fill our sails and feeling the constant rhythm of motion glued a grin on my face and an adrenalin ... Read More »

Touring The Isles of Collier Preserve

The gang’s all here! PHOTOS BY NOELLE H. LOWERY

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com On a blustery and sunny March day, Collier County District 1 Commissioner Donna Fiala hosted a special constituent tour of East Naples’ newest eco-friendly resort-style community — The Isles of Collier Preserve. Spearheaded by Minto Communities Florida, the 2,300-acre development boasts some 1,649 home sites, which include coach homes, paired homes and single-family residences ranging in size from 1,600-3,900 square feet. The piece de resistance of the outdoor living community, though, is the 1,300 acres Minto set aside to remain undeveloped. This protected land encompasses lakes, preserves and natural habitat with miles of hiking, biking ... Read More »

Karate Kids

Students responded in sync to Sensei Nick’s direction.

By Melinda Gray When people think of Karate, they think of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Mr. Miyagi, but make no mistake young grasshoppers, there is much more to it than the Hollywood portrayal. Nick Lemke, owner and sensei of Shima Dojo, will tell you that. On Saturday, March 22, Shima Dojo held their Third annual All-You-Can-Eat Blue Crab fundraiser. Unlike the previous fundraisers, which were held at the YMCA on Marco Island, this year it was hosted by Marker 8.5, and the setting was perfect. Students showed off their skills to proud parents and audience members enjoying their meal. ... Read More »

A barking good time

Oscar hits the stage in the Puppy Parade. PHOTOS BY JULIA BARNETT

By Julia Barnett Mutts and Martini’s returned to Marco for the sixth year, running this past Wednesday, March 19, 2014. The event once again brought barks and bucks to the Esplanade Plaza, all in the name of charity. The “Yappy Hour” event ran from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and included a puppy parade, a silent auction, and a 50/50 raffle. Mutts and Martini’s is an annual fundraising event held to benefit Bedtime Bundles, a local charitable organization that provides necessities to migrant workers and their families, especially children, living in Collier County. Founded in 2006 by Karen Saeks, Bedtime Bundles ... Read More »

Naples Chabad Dedicates World-Class Mikvah

The ribbon-cutting ceremony -- let to right, the Yitzchak family, Maria Elias, Chabad President Dr. Art Siegel, Sally Aaron, Rebbitzin Ettie Zaklos.

By Carol Glassman Jewish law states that building a mikvah is more important to a community than building a synagogue and that even a community’s most treasured assets such as the synagogue and the Torah scroll may be sold to raise the funds needed to build a mikvah. (A bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion, literally means “a collection,” generally a collection of water.) When Sally Aaron of Marco Island learned that the women of the Chabad of Naples community were traveling to Miami once a month to use the closest mikvah, she found that “unacceptable” and donated ... Read More »

Habitat recognizes St. Mark’s

Rev. Lisa Lefkow, right, was greeted by Lauri Shafer, a member of the St. Mark’s Habitat team. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Submitted Sunday March 23, was “Habitat Sunday” at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Rev. Lisa Lefkow, executive vice president of Collier County Habitat for Humanity, presented the congregation with a plaque recognizing the congregation’s building of Habit homes number seven and eight. It read, “With gratitude and appreciation for your tremendous expression of faith in action,” ending with a quote from Psalms 68:10, “From your bounty O God, you provide for the poor.” The congregation took an offering during the service to build St. Mark’s ninth Habitat house. Later, during coffee time, the congregation’s members signed lumber that will be used ... Read More »

Marco Riders Honor Dasti

Photos by Marilyn Honahan

By Marilyn Honahan On Saturday, March 22, the Marco Riders got together for an evening aboard the Marco Island Princess. The evening was arranged by long time member Marvin Tomlin. There were 79 members and guests in attendance. After an excellent dinner and a fun door prize drawing, there was a surprise award. Carmen Dasti was honored by his fellow riders for his leadership and unending loyalty to the group and its members. Dan Honahan made the presentation citing Dasti’s willingness to help everyone and always being a “Stand-Up” kind of guy! Honahan added, “He’s got a heart bigger than ... Read More »

Local Women Doing a World of Good

By Melinda Gray The Marco Island Woman’s Club (MIWC) was formed in1966 by 16 friends who shared the desire to help support the people of Marco Island and various non-profit groups. Today, the civic-minded organization is an active social network for the women of Marco Island. The club is comprised of roughly 180 women who live on the island at least 6 months out of the year. The MIWC boasts a long history of helping the community and providing scholarships to Marco Island high school students. This year, two very popular club events helped raise money for their education fund: ... Read More »

Special Olympics Event Draws Regional Athletes

Hundreds of Special Olympics athletes from all over Southwest Florida competed at the March event. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

By Coastal Breeze News Staff As a prelude to the Special Olympics Summer Games held at Walt Disney’s Wide World of Sports this May, hundreds of athletes from all over Southwest Florida came to compete in the Special Olympics held at Golden Gate High School in March. Special Olympics Florida trains individuals who are intellectually challenged for eight weeks prior to competitions. The program offers the coaching and competitive events absolutely free, in an effort to provide opportunities for physical fitness and preparation for entering other community sporting events and school. These athletes are amazing and inspirational. They are supported ... Read More »

Laying Foundations at AMI Kids-Big Cypress

The students mix the mortar for the wall.

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com The adage “teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” is alive and well at AMI Kids-Big Cypress, and Director of Education Dr. Derek Tolley is leading the way. Tolley has created a new vocational training program for AMI Kids’ students that includes certification in construction safety, masonry and electrical trades. This program follows the success of the non-profit organization’s culinary arts certification program in food safety, handling and kitchen management, says Ron Boyce, executive director of AMI Kids-Big Cypress. “A lot of our kids have left and have been able ... Read More »

Last Event of Season for Canadian Club

PHOTOS BY MATT FUNKE

By Melinda Gray The Marco Island Canadian Club held their last event of the season at the Marco Island Historical Museum on Thursday, March 27. The “Networking Symposium: What You Need to Know to Buy, Sell or Rent Properties in Southwest Florida” was aimed at answering questions Canadians might have regarding real estate on the island. Event sponsor and founder of The Island Title 5 Star Closing Team, Dawn Norgren, introduced the esteemed panel of experts, versed in various real estate issues. They then proceeded to network through the crowd of 120 club members in attendance. Club founders, Gary and ... Read More »

Dr. Ellen Prager to Speak at Rookery Bay

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Submitted On April 4, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is celebrating Everglades Day with films, naturalist presentations, a guided walk and featured lecture by Dr. Ellen Prager called “Dive into the Story: Ocean Science and Storytelling, Fun for All” at 1:30 PM. From her books and adventures, the author and marine scientist will share stories and images that blend ocean science with entertainment, making it fun for people of all ages. Learn while you laugh and be amazed by the ocean’s strange creatures. See how even scientists can be surprised and get a sneak peek at Prager’s about-to-be released ... Read More »

Passover moves bingo to Wednesday

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Submitted Monday night bingo at JCMI will take place on Wednesday, April 16 in observance of the religious holiday of Passover. A complimentary supper will be served which will observe the holiday, including traditional matzo. Doors will open 5 p.m.; dinner is served at 5:30 p.m. Bonanza is posted at 6:15 p.m., and the game is called at 7 p.m. Complimentary tea, coffee, ice cream and drinks will also be served. Bingo at JCMI is in its 15th season. The game is open to the public. For more information call the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island Synagogue office at 239-642-0800. Read More »