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Condos along Smokehouse Bay

Marina at The Esplanade. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Condo Report By Gary and Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com Most people catch a view of tranquil Smokehouse Bay from one of the restaurants or shops at The Esplanade on Collier Boulevard or as they stroll along the promenade adjacent to the marina. A few lucky people keep their boats at the marina at The Esplanade, but some of the luckiest people on the island are the owners and renters of condos along this beautiful waterway. Smokehouse Bay condos are centrally located on Marco Island, reflect amazing sunsets over the water, and feature direct access boat docks to the Gulf. This ... Read More »

Meet Breezy: The New Coastal Breeze Mascot!

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By Val Simon val@coastalbreezenews.com Breezy was welcomed into the Coastal Breeze family in September. He is a yellow Labrador puppy that has boundless energy. You should know in August, two days shy of his 13th birthday, my family had to put our beloved black lab, Bo, down. His full name was J.T.’s Mr. Bodacious. It was difficult on the family, as our daughters grew up with Bo by their side as their guardian, playmate and defender. A few months after Bo’s departure from our lives, I began to half-heartedly look at the Humane Society and Domestic Animal Services websites and ... Read More »

MICMS to Host GaudÌ Traveling Exhibit

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Submitted Marco Island Charter Middle School will be displaying giant reproductions — approximately 50 feet — of the fascinating architecture of Antoní Gaudi. A Teacher’s Discovery Traveling Exhibit, the huge, featured reproductions will be hung in the hallways outside of the Spanish, Art and Performing Arts classrooms during the week of Jan. 26-30. Like a passport to Spain, the exhibit celebrates architecture as art, the beautiful city of Barcelona and Spanish culture and demonstrates how Gaudi gave the world one of the finest examples of architecture as art. Brightly colored images on lightweight satin fabric include: Sagrada Familia and Casa ... Read More »

Things Are Coming Up New at Porky’s

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By Don Manley Porky’s has changed in some subtle and some not so subtle ways. The words “Last Stand” were dropped from the name and replaced by “Restaurant and Lounge” back in 2013 when Bob and Linda Berkowitz of Marco purchased the business from Wayne and Brooke Carmignani, who opened Porky’s in 1998. A more recent development is one that diners may have noticed on Porky’s menus and on their taste buds, as well. Those modifications are the handiwork of the restaurant’s new general manager, Michael McNaboe, and its new chef, Fernando Gonce. McNaboe, a long-time Marco restaurateur, and Gonce, ... Read More »

Dr. Lam and the Wound Care Center at Physicians Regional

Dr. Gary Gallo inspects the hyperbaric chamber before
treatment. PHOTOS BY PAT NEWMAN

By Pat Newman We all recognize that oxygen is a vital element for life, but in its purest form, it can be a miraculous curative for patients dealing with hard-to-heal wounds. Every year, doctors are faced with between 1.1 million and 1.8 million new cases nationwide of chronic wounds, plus the 8 million existing cases. Obviously, the need for cutting-edge wound care is essential. For patients living on Marco Island and Naples, treatment is just a phone call away at Physician’s Regional Health Care System’s Wound Care Center on Collier Boulevard. The addition of a third hyperbaric chamber enhances the ... Read More »

A Day with the Clays for MIA

Finishing in first place were, from left, Tom Horton, Glenn Lubeznik, Don Henderson, Gary Landis and Wes Blackwell.

By Don Manley Clay pigeons were the prey for 65 marksmen who blasted away with varying degrees of success to raise money for Marco Island Academy. The occasion was the Bill Rose Memorial Sporting Clays Classic held Jan. 17 at Gulf Coast Clays at Port of the Islands, formerly the Port of the Islands Gun Club. About 12,000 was raised for MIA through participant registration fees, sponsorships, and silent and live auctions. A Marco resident, successful businessman — he founded Rose Marina — philanthropist, avid boater and flier, and former US Marine, Rose passed away in 2010 at the age ... Read More »

Under the Sea

We circled the reef site while awaiting a thumbs up from the divers. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

By Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com The sky was overcast and the wind was blowing a cold snap our way in the early morning hours of Jan. 9 when I donned my jacket and gloves and joined the 120-person roster on board the Big Cat Express at Rose Marina in Marco Island. We lucky few would soon witness the ribbon cutting ceremony and deployment of the first cluster in Southwest Florida’s new artificial reef. The official kick-off ceremony for the deployment was held Jan. 8 at the reef material staging site located on Collier Boulevard on the east side of the Jolley ... Read More »

Now at the Marco Island Historical Museum

Pirates say, ‘Arrrrrrrrrrr!’ SUBMITTED photoS

By Coastal Breeze News Staff History buffs are never at a loss when it comes to things to do and programs to see at the Marco Island Historical Museum (MIHM) and Rose History Auditorium. After his highly successful Jan. 13 program with John Ruthven, renowned wildlife artist and conservationist John Agnew has generously allowed his work to remain on display at MIHM until mid-February. Agnew’s career began in natural history museums and zoos where he designed amazing exhibits, produced illustrations, and painted murals and dioramas in the US and as far away as Moscow. His paintings now hang in collections ... Read More »

Marco Police Foundation 4th Annual Rib Cook-Off

The judges sample the contestants’ wares, as Lynette LaCava looks on. PHOTOS BY DON MANLEY

By Don Manley They came, they grilled and in the end, big fun was had by all. Such was the lot of the contestants, the judges and the bevy of enthusiastic onlookers who turned out for the Marco Island Brewery’s Fourth Annual Rib Cook-Off, which benefits the Marco Police Foundation Scholarship Fund. The Brewery-sponsored event saw eight contenders vie to be selected as one of the three preparers most skilled in barbecuing that gustatory delight — the pork rib. In the end, it was cook-off newcomer Jim Gratkowski of Gratkowski Painting Contractors, who snagged the first-place trophy with a recipe ... Read More »

Music, Movies, Art at the Center for the Arts

Bob Chase with Salvador Dali

By Don Manley Officials with the Marco Island Center for the Arts have packed the facility’s schedule with programs sure to please locals and visitors to the island alike. First, on Sunday, Jan. 25, 4:00-5:30 PM, the Center will feature jazz vocalist Rebecca Richardson and The Rebecca Richardson Trio. They will present a program entitled “A Tribute to the Great Jazz Vocalists.” Richardson has been compared to the great female jazz voices of the ages, such as Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. She began her formal training at the age of 13, winning All-State and All Northwest honors ... Read More »

Berkshire Hathaway Welcomes Ken Bennett

Ken Bennett. photo By Don Manley

By Don Manley Count Ken Bennett among the legions of people who have fallen in love with Marco Island. Bennett is the new managing partner at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Marco Island office, a post he assumed four months ago. “I love the beach,” he said. “I think it’s one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. I like the laid back feel here. The people are all very friendly. It’s a much slower pace of life, which I think is great. It’s a little paradise, and it’s a well-kept secret, too. The whole lifestyle is just beautiful. It kind ... Read More »

TBE Profile: Dana Vogel

Miss Vogel takes some time before starting the day to go over homework with her 4th-grade students. PHOTOS BY NOELLE H. LOWERY

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com For Dana Vogel, coming to Marco Island was like going back to her childhood stomping grounds of Bethany Beach, DE. “I have family that live on Marco Island,” she says. “Marco Island reminds me of Bethany Beach, DE. When I lived there, I remember not having to lock our doors at night and being a smaller, tight-knit community. I feel safe on Marco Island just as I did when I lived in Bethany Beach. It’s a feeling that unfortunately is not so easy to find anymore.” That’s why she jumped at the chance to teach ... Read More »

Marco Island Yacht Club to Install New 2015 Bridge Officers

Submitted On Saturday, Jan. 24, the Marco Island Yacht Club will hold its gala annual event, the Change of Watch and Commodore’s Ball. New officers will be installed at the formal and festive event, which will be held in the Harbor Dining Room, overlooking the yacht basin, the Marco River and the Jolley Bridge spanning the river. In preparation, Clubhouse Manager Tom Leonard and his staff are planning for more than 80 members and guests. Dress is formal, with gentlemen wearing either the MIYC club uniform or black tie. The time-honored installation ceremony, Change of Watch, is based on the ... Read More »

Pancakes, Planes and Festivals in Everglades City, Oh My!

Rod and Gun Club

By Pat Newman Season has sprung in Everglades City, and the list of upcoming events is growing by the day. Pancakes and Planes You don’t have to be a pilot to fill-up on pancakes Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Everglades Airpark in Everglades City. The season’s first pancake breakfast is free and open to the public 10 AM- 12 PM. Hosted by Wings 10,000 Island Tours, the once-a-month event has been going strong for about 12 years. Chuck Gretzke of Wings 10,000 Island Tours said the breakfasts are held to focus attention on the small airport which has the distinction ... Read More »

Density Credit Ratio Transfers — The debate continues

New Planning Board Chairman Dr. Marty Roddy rolls up his sleeves, ready to get down to business. PHOTO BY PAT NEWMAN

By Pat Newman Marco Island Planning Board’s first meeting of 2015 focused on some lingering issues and addressed new business like allowing artificial turf and a temporary use permit for Rose Marina. Dr. Marty Roddy took over as chairman following the resignation of Monte Lazarus. As a newly appointed city magistrate, Lazarus was required by Florida state law to vacate his seat. The board voted 5-1 to increase the commercial component of mixed-use from 25 percent to 50 percent in C-4 zoning districts. Dr. Bill Trotter recommended that the ratios should be changed to 50 percent residential and 50 percent ... Read More »

San Marco CCW Presents Rainbow of Fashions

Submitted The San Marco Council of Catholic Women (CCW) will host its annual “Rainbow of Fashions,” Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 11 AM at the San Marco Church Parish Center. Lunch will be catered by Speakeasy, and fashions will be provided by Kay’s on the Beach and Patchington. There will be door prizes, a Chinese auction and raffle. Tickets are $50 per person, with proceeds benefiting CCW local charities and scholarships. Reservations are required by Jan. 23. For more information or to make reservations, contact Lynne Minozzi at 239-642-3836. Checks are to be made out to the San Marco CCW, and ... Read More »

Bringing History to Life at MIHM

The re-enactors, pictured in the back row (l-r) are Doreen Hertel as Bertha  Potter Palmer, the Belle of Sarasota and Cattle Queen; Don Mills as Bion Barnett, early Florida banker; Ed Mirocco as Dr. Louis Olds, Homeopathic doctor and early Marco Island resident;
Kathy Mirocco as Dr. Mary’s Olds; Lee Lindbergh as Baron Gift Collier; and Betsy Perdichizzi as Tommie Barfield, the Queen of Marco Island. Pictured in the front row (l-r) are Mary Lou Jankowski as Mrs. Maggie Collier, the wife of Captain Bill Collier; Evelyn Case as Nurse Hazel Pettit Griffin; and Marion Nicolay as Deaconess Harriett Bedell, the Missionary to the Everglades. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Earlier this month, members of the Marco Island Historical Society portrayed historically important Marco Islanders at a reception for the opening of the “Painting Southwest Florida History” exhibit, which was held Jan. 6. The exhibit will be at the Marco Island Historical Museum until March 21.   Read More »

The Man Who Put Man on the Moon

Tom Williams and Darrell Loan. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Submitted Rocket scientist Darrell Loan took the Marco’s Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution out of this world at its Jan. 15 meeting at the Hideaway Beach Club. Loan, a part-time Marco resident, was one of the few “rocket men” whose brilliance, imagination and dedication put the first men on the moon, astronauts Neil Armstrong, followed by Buzz Aldrin, July 20, 1969. Loan’s exploits are recounted by long-time Marco resident Tom Williams in “Surrounded by Thunder,” his historical narrative about the golden age of America’s space program. Williams’ book is fact, written from several years of interviews with ... Read More »

Calusa Garden Club Holds Meeting

Diane Hughes (l-r), Juliette Flasche and Bridget Murphy check the schedule.

Submitted Marco Island’s Calusa Garden Club held their first meeting of the year on Jan. 12. Prior to the meeting a workshop about air plants was presented by Connie Lowery. During the meeting, it was announced that president Dale DeFeo had won two state awards: “The Mentoring Award” and a petite floral design award, which will be featured in the 2016 calendar. DeFeo, a well-known floral designer, presented the program after the meeting. It was titled “Blue Ribbon Horticulture Entries and Pot e’fleur.” A field trip, planned by Opi DeFalco, will occur in March and will be open to the ... Read More »

K of C Bingo Season Opens with Record Crowds

Record crowds filled the hall for Bingo at San Marco Chuch.

Submitted The San Marco Church Knights of Columbus Bingo pulled in almost 500 players in the first two sessions of this season — the most players ever. Attendance for the opening night Bingo was up more than 70 percent over the previous year, a record opening night. The Jan. 15 Bingo games brought in 23 percent more players than the previous year. Joe Fatony, the Grand Knight of the San Marco K of C said, “Opening night temperatures were cool, which usually makes Bingo a more attractive entertainment alternative for seasonal visitors, but there was still a record crowd for ... Read More »