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Feature Stories

What Does “Back to School” Mean to You?

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RUMINATION FROM THE ROCK AND BEYOND Jory Westberry What memories do the words, “Back to School” tickle in your head? An end to goofing off and feeling so free that when the wind blows through your hair it erases any schedule you had? The time to play was paramount to even eating lunch or dinner when you were called; you dutifully looked apologetic when reprimanded for being late, while in your heart you wanted to keep playing forever. “Back to School” means many things to many people. For the retailers it’s a much needed lift after the sultry summer with clothing sales, ... Read More »

Call to Artists

Attendees at 3rd Annual Harbor Arts & Music Festival. Submitted Photo

Submitted  The Goodland Arts Alliance (GAA) is celebrating its 5th Annual Harbor Arts & Music Festival by way of making it a two-day event, March 11 and 12, 2017. Formerly a one-day outdoor arts festival, 2017 promises more great art, more great music, a wider variety of food, and even more wide-spread advertisements and promotions reaching into art communities throughout the country. Held in picturesque waterfront MarGood Harbor Park, juried by a selection committee of five professional artists, with musical line-ups coordinated by JRobert Houghtaling and Tom “Cello Man” Porter, this event has garnered great praise from past participating artists. ... Read More »

Noontime Rotary Supports MICMS

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Pat Ettensohn (left) and Tarik Ayasun.

Submitted At the August 11, 2016 Noontime Rotary Club meeting, Pat Ettensohn was proud to present a check for $5,200 to the Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS). Each year the Marco Island Sunrise and Noontime Rotary Clubs hold a golf tournament as a joint fundraiser for their clubs. Traditionally, the Noontime Rotary Club dedicates their portion of the proceeds to MICMS. Rotarian Tarik Ayasun, who is also the MICMS board president, received the check on behalf of the school. For information regarding membership in the Marco Island Noontime Rotary Club, contact Pat Rutledge at prutledge49@yahoo.com. Read More »

Sandlin Real Estate Team Welcomes Matthew Mann

Matthew Mann. Submitted Photo

Submitted RE/MAX is known for having outstanding agents who are among the most productive in the industry. The Sandlin Real Estate Team is consistently among the top producing teams in all of RE/MAX. During 2015 the Sandlin Team was recognized as the #1 producing RE/MAX Team on Marco Island, in Naples and throughout Collier County. The team finished #4 in sales within the state of Florida for RE/MAX Teams. The team has successfully closed over 1,800 real estate transactions over the past 15 years. That’s one sale every three days! For 15 years… The only way to sustain and improve ... Read More »

Everglades Seafood Festival

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Submitted Everglades City celebrated another glorious Seafood Festival in February this year when an estimated 40,000 people visited this historic rural town, the first seat of Collier County. The organizers, the not-for-profit Betterment Association of the Everglades Area, are pleased that so many people from all over the state helped to make it a success and are distributing proceeds to needy causes in the local community. They are already planning the next Festival. Mark your 2017 calendars for February 10th through 12th. For information and to see snapshots of the 2016 event, see www.evergladesseafoodfestival.org. To become a sponsor, phone the ... Read More »

Busy Afternoon for First Responders

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by Steve ‘Stef’ Stefanides Mid-afternoon on Wednesday emergency personnel on Marco Island were dispatched to two unrelated incidents; one of which resulted in the death of roofing contractor on Marco Lake Drive and a lightning proximity strike at the south end of the island to a teenager walking on the beach. Units from Marco Island Police, Fire/Rescue and Collier County EMS were initially dispatched to Front Street on the island for a possible lightning strike. The actual location of the incident was on Marco Lake Drive and involved two workmen from a roofing company, one of which brought an aluminum ... Read More »

Betty Kimble Shares Art of Calligraphy

Betty Kimble with her calligraphy students. From left: Gina Roberts, Anthony Cosentino, Gaby Porter and Mona Anderson

By Samantha Husted While some may consider it a dying art form, it seems that calligraphy has found its home on Marco Island. All thanks to artist Betty Kimble. Each year for the past 12 years that she’s lived on Marco, Betty has held a two-week calligraphy workshop in her condo. Space is limited and only the most serious of students need apply. This year, due to popular demand, Betty held two separate classes. The first round of students consisted of: Gaby Porter, Gina Roberts, Mona Anderson and Anthony Cosentino. “They all have their own style. I try to teach ... Read More »

What’s New ?in City Government Communications

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By Maureen Chodaba Communication is the key to transmission, conveyance and disclosure of information between individuals. In the operation of any legislature, it is the path of transparency among those in positions of authority and the citizens of that protectorate. And so it is with the City of Marco Island as government communications just became more effective and clear. Some may remember the days before the construction of the Community Room at 51 Bald Eagle Drive, when meetings of city government were held at Mackle Park. A handheld microphone was passed from councilor to councilor in the course of the ... Read More »

The Wall Street Dollies: Investing in Friendship

Kathy Sullivan outlines the bucket list and challenges. Photos by Maureen Chodaba

By Maureen Chodaba Understanding the ups and downs of the stock market can be a challenge. The jargon itself can prove to be baffling. For 20 years, a group of Marco Island women have been meeting to learn about the market and do some investing of their own. The Wall Street Dollies are proud to be one of the longest existing investment clubs in Florida. The group originally started as a mini club within the Newcomers Club of Marco Island. Original member, Phyllis Marco, said, “Two other clubs said we would never survive. Here we are 20 years later!” The ... Read More »

A Look Back at the Dome Home

Southern view of the dome home (1997).

By Coastal Breeze News Staff In our August 5, 2016 issue, Coastal Breeze News featured a story on the Cape Romano dome homes, haunting structures that are disintegrating and slipping away into the sea. Readers were encouraged to email us their experiences, stories and photos. The response was overwhelming, and we will be sharing these special memories in this, and other upcoming issues. One of the responses we received was from Mary Nelson, a monitor with the Collier County Sea Turtle Protection Program, who is also known locally as the “Turtle Lady.” Mary told Coastal Breeze News how much she ... Read More »

Travel “Here & There” Without Leaving the Island

“Marco Sunset” by William Ward Moseley

By Don Manley The opportunity to take a virtual journey, as portrayed with canvas and paint, to select locations in the U.S. and Canada is the focus on the most recent art installation at the Marco Island Historical Museum. Entitled “Here & There,” the show features 30 pieces works created by artist William Ward Moseley of Eagle Creek. He specializes in landscapes, some with buildings and some without, depicting scenes from across North America, skillfully painted in a realistic, impressionist style. Moseley is represented by galleries in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, and his landscapes have been on exhibit in ... Read More »

MIPD Professionalism Exhibited

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By Steve “Stef” Stefanides Monday mornings at the Marco Island Police Department (MIPD) are fairly routine for Police Chief Al Schettino and his staff. August 8, however, was not one of those normal Mondays; Schettino was called out from a staff meeting to take a call from an individual who had used the direct line to threaten lives and property at the Marco Marriott Resort by the use of explosives and sniper fire. In return for not initiating the attack he wanted the City of Marco Island to pay an undisclosed amount of cash to avert the incident. “Every potential ... Read More »

Looking For Pierre – a Dapper Dolphin!

“Homeland” will be in storage during the Mackle Park construction.

By Maria Lamb Pierre, an artist-created fiberglass dolphin, was last seen looking dapper wearing a beret and scarf of brightly painted squares. He was created in 2003 by Geoffrey Stephenson, a fifth grader at Tommie Barfield Elementary School, with his art mentor Sidney Ann Pitchford. Pierre was part of the Dolphin Debut, which brought 36 life-sized dolphins to life in the hands of local artists, who contributed their time and talent to help raise money for the Marco Island YMCA and the Art League of Marco Island. The auction raised $123,000 for the two organizations. For six weeks the “celebrity ... Read More »

Helping Marco Island’s Burrowing Owls

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Submitted As part of Truly Nolen Pest Control’s mission statement, and in the spirit of adding value to the lives they touch, Pest Control Technician Rafeal Rodriguez takes that statement to another level by making a difference for Marco Island’s burrowing owl population. Over the last few weeks, Rodriguez has visited many burrowing owl habitats and trimmed the weeds to allow the owls to have easy access to their homes. “Our company always encourages our employees to give back to the community and we help clean up Tigertail Beach every three months as part of that effort,” said Joe Jayne, Marco Island service ... Read More »

Marco’s Creative Mailboxes Part III

Photos by Maria Lamb

By Maria Lamb  Marco Islanders love their feathered friends, as is evident from the creative mailboxes throughout the island that honor them. A vibrant blue and gold macaw, hand-painted by artist Denise Santos, a beautiful swan and two very different pelicans were a few of the unique mailboxes recently spotted on the island. See a one-of-a-kind mailbox in your neighborhood that you just have to share?  Tag Coastal Breeze News in your Facebook photo or on Instagram: coastalbreeze_news.  Read More »

Aerospace and Rocketry at Camp Mackle

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Submitted  Excited voices chanting, “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Launch, launch, launch!” could be heard at Camp Mackle. On July 28, 2016, Marco Island Civil Air Patrol (CAP) conducted an Aerospace Education and Rocketry Workshop at Camp Mackle for more than 60 children ages 6-12. Captain Jesse L. Baker told the campers about the services that CAP provides to the community, and its three main missions: Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services. The squadron constantly practices search and rescue exercises to always be “mission ready.” Captain Baker explained CAP’s weekly air patrols of the Wilderness ... Read More »

Pokémon Take Over Museum

Alexandra and her mother, Arlene Hernandez are both enthusiastic Pokémon Go players. Submitted Photos

Submitted  Nearly 170 people came out to the Pokémon Go Lure Party held July 30th at the Marco Island Historical Museum. The popular smartphone application is the latest development in the Pokémon craze, which began in the 90s, and has been downloaded by millions of people, both young and old, all over the world. “Not only is Pokémon a fun and easy-to-learn game,” said Lisa Marciano, museum manager at the Naples Depot Museum and event organizer, “but also it gives family members, no matter how old they are, an excellent opportunity to bond over a shared activity.” The Marco Island ... Read More »

Feds Feed Families Food Drive

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By Laurie Harris,  Public Affairs Officer  Since 2009, when the U.S. Coast Guard began participating in the Feds Feed Families food drive, nearly 57.2 million pounds of food has been collected; more than 17.9 million pounds last year alone. The Feds Feeding Families was designed to help food pantries stock up during the slow summer months when donations are usually down. This is particularly true on Marco Island when season comes to a close, and many jobs are eliminated during the summer. To support the Coast Guard’s 8th Annual Feds Feed Families campaign, the Marco Island U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary ... Read More »

ENMA Networking Event

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff The East Naples Merchants Association (ENMA) holds networking events on the second Thursday of the month.  On August 11th the gathering was held at Sam Snead’s Oak Grill and Tavern at Lely. The atmosphere was fitting for the fine buffet Sam Snead’s presented for the 50 or so members and guests in attendance. After networking time, the restaurant’s General Manager Scott Casselberry welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming. Members of the board were introduced and guests were invited to say a few words about their business. If you would like more information on becoming ... Read More »

Iowa Hills Challenge 20,000 Riders

Start: Glenwood, Iowa with Team Lamb: (From left) John Lamb, 69, Charles Lamb, 72, Thomas Lamb, 24, and Bruce Lamb, 67. Submitted Photos

Submitted An ESPN sportswriter, Rick Reilly once wrote, “Iowa is so flat you can watch a train pull out for three days.” To flatlanders, a hill is an interstate overpass. But it is a myth that Iowa is flat. Each year, twenty thousand cyclists come from all over the world to Iowa to be part of the longest, oldest and largest recreational touring bicycle event in the world. This is not a race, but a non-competitive ride with all levels of riders represented; from Tour de France veterans to unseasoned riders, and plenty in between. Each rider who has done ... Read More »