Saturday , April 25 2015
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Until Next Year

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By Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com   It’s that time of year again. The transporters rumble onto the Island empty, with the wind whistling through their metal frames. And they leave heavily-filled with vehicles systematically stacked atop double-decker trailers. Their destination is someplace north of the Florida-Georgia line where they will once again be reunited with their rightful drivers. Wandering around our tropical locale I see lanai furniture neatly assembled in nooks and corners; boats covered and tethered; hurricane shutters rolled down. The houses look asleep. Driveways quiet. Soon, there will be parking spots open just outside the grocery store doors, and ... Read More »

Catch Mercury if You Can!

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By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net As the too bright Moon in the east is nearly full, we might as well look westward to a slightly darker sky. Venus is unmistakable as it floats high in the west; it is in fact the brightest object in the night sky other than the Moon. Below Venus, and a little to the right and just above the horizon lies the planet Mercury. Mercury is much more difficult to locate than Venus; at the time and date of the chart it’s only a little brighter than Polaris. During the next several days it will ... Read More »

Naomi’s April Woes

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By Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines: Spring has pounced, we’re still in the paw-grip of kitten season, and sherpas packing fleas are pitching tents in our warm and radiant fur coats. Now let’s talk bikini season. Most felines, such as ourselves, eat way too many carbohydrates in the form of dry food. I don’t care how much your staff (as you may recall only dogs have owners; we felines have staff) pays for a bag of the good stuff, even if it’s $175 for an eight -pound bag. Cats don’t need to carbo-load like amateur athletes in ... Read More »

Can You Really Boost Your Metabolism?

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By Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com I’m sure you’ve read the claims splashed across fitness magazines and various canisters of green tea: “fire up your metabolism” reads Herbalife’s Ultimate Thermofit or “naturally boosts metabolism – no jitters” reads Garden of Life’s fucoThin Green supplement. Sounds legit, right? Sadly it’s not. The scary truth is that these supplement companies need no evidence whatsoever that what they claim is actually true. It’s frustrating for the consumer who wastes their hard-earned cash on flimsy statements, which further demonstrates the rule of thumb that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. ... Read More »

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

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By Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net For many island businesses, the month of April is usually when things begin to wind down a little. It can still be busy but not as crazy as the prior months and many call it “a good busy”. A good busy is running your business at an easy controllable pace where you make your customers really, really happy and actually make money at the same time. That would be a perfect world but for me. April is totally the opposite in my world; it can be as hectic as the week before Christmas, No really, many ... Read More »

It’s All Good

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By Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com   Painting outside can be an unparalleled pleasure for an artist, but it can also present some unexpected challenges. I usually enjoy besting the forces that endanger my mission – though sometimes I’m not so successful. It seems when the troubles are nature-made, I am usually prepared and able to rise above…but when they’re man-made, well, sometimes the buckle just breaks and patience snaps. In my plein aire experiences I’ve dealt with the surprise of sprinklers, swarms of mosquitoes, the rise of fierce winds and the fall of rain. I’ve been nipped by dogs and ‘saluted’ ... Read More »

Spring

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Body, Mind And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com Just a couple of weeks ago, on March 20th at exactly 6:45PM, Spring officially arrived on Marco Island. That is the moment when the sun crossed the celestial equator as it moved along its ecliptic path. And most of us were completely unaware of the event. Here in our temperate cocoon, the shifts between seasons certainly exist but the changes are more subtle and gentle than those I experienced living up north. In Iowa you can feel Spring in the air weeks before it arrives. The breeze carries a hint of warmth and ... Read More »

No One Goes There Anymore, It’s Too Crowded

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I think it was Yogi Berra who coined the phrase above. I had to chuckle a few days ago, while my staff and I were handling a crowd that seemed to appear in the shop all at once. (A lost tour bus?) My sales ladies and I were dashing about like whirling dervishes when I overheard someone complain to her friend while waiting to be served that she dislikes coming to this store because every season when she comes in we are always busy and she has to wait… Twenty-one plus years in business ... Read More »

Arc to Arcturus

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SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net   Extend the curve of the Big Dipper’s handle eastward and you will reach the bright star Arcturus. (You can always find it easily by remembering the mnemonic arc to Arcturus). The star itself is hard to miss; it’s the fourth brightest in the whole sky and the brightest star in the northern hemisphere – although Arcturus is close enough to the celestial equator to be easily visible over nearly the entire Earth. For the Hawaiian Islands this star appears directly overhead on summer evenings; ancient Polynesians could use this information to navigate ... Read More »

Have You Thanked a Doctor Today?

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To Your Health Scott Lowe CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd On Monday, March 30, our nation, once again, celebrated National Doctors’ Day. At Physicians Regional Healthcare System, we know the extraordinary role our local physicians play in our community. We witness their profound impact on a daily basis. Here’s some history: the very first Doctor’s Day took place on March 30, 1933 in Winder, Georgia. Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided we should set aside a day to honor physicians. On March 30, 1958, a resolution Commemorating Doctors’ Day was adopted by the United States House of Representatives. ... Read More »

Chihuly at Fairchild

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Speaking of Travel Vickie Kelber As part of the Art at Fairchild program at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, a special installation of glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly will be on display until May 31, 2015. Instituted in 2004, Art at Fairchild has brought exhibits by such artists as Roy Lichtenstein and Fernando Botero to this tropical wonderland; Chihuly was here once before in 2005. Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly is credited as a leader in establishing glassblowing as a fine art. He studied at the University of Wisconsin in the first university level ... Read More »

‘Til the Cows Come Home

Local farmers lead their cows in a descent from their summer home.

Speaking of Travel By Vickie Kelber Although we have visited Switzerland a number of times, usually choosing to spend a month at a time, our travels have always taken place between early June and late August. On our last trip, we went a little later in the season, determined to stay until the cows came home. Cows are an important part of Swiss culture and economy. Think Swiss cheese and chocolate. The cow has become a ubiquitous symbol of the country. After landing at Zurich Airport and getting on the internal transportation tram, we were greeted with a recording of ... Read More »

Somewhere Between Duty and Distraction

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Artful Life By Tara O’Neill Here’s one that definitely doesn’t apply to just artists, but certainly requires some artful adjustments: The Home Office. You know, the one that modern technology promised would help us shed the scales of The Work Place and allow us the freedom and flexibility to work from our own nests? May I just say, it ain’t that easy. In fact, it can be really hard. How, for example, is one to stay focused (yes, the f-word) when the kittens need feeding – and then play-time, dang they’re cute – and there’s that laundry to do, the ... Read More »

Appraising an Appraisal

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All that Glitters By Richard Alan Mystery… It’s something an appraiser of fine jewelry such as myself comes across now and then. The mystery is the document I am reading, a professional appraisal that is supposed to describe the piece of jewelry in my hand in every detail, but what I am reading in no way describes anything. An appraisal dated December 14th 1965, from John Doe Jewelers, One ladies gold diamond ring……. $2,500.00 Huh? I don’t know of any insurance company of this day and age that would even consider accepting this appraisal. It’s like describing a car as… ... Read More »

Expectations

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“A gift that far exceeded my expectations”

Body, Mind And Spirit By Laurie Kasperbauer ……you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you might find, you get what you need…. - Rolling Stones   I celebrated my birthday recently and as always, I was humbled by the wishes of family and friends. Because I was born on Valentine’s Day, it’s an easy birthday to remember, which is a distinct advantage, especially for my husband. Not that he forgets important dates like anniversaries and birthdays, but because he sees constant reminders of Valentine’s Day through advertisements and store displays, he sometimes even plans ... Read More »

Naomi’s Up to Her Ears in Kittens!

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For the Love of Cats Naomi & Karina Paape Dear Fellow Felines: I’m up to my tortie ears in kittens! I’m talking lots and lots of kittens! Just the other day I was making my morning rounds – taking inventory if you will, and thought surely my eyes were deceiving me; so much so that I had to dig out my calculator. The numbers weren’t lying. Sometime in the early hours of a placid March morning, nine kittens appeared as if out of thin air. We – For the Love of Cats, Marco Island’s no-kill cat shelter – had recently ... Read More »

Before the Dog

Looking south, 9:00PM Apr 3. See how many star clusters you can
find with your binoculars in the Milky Way.

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher Shining high in the sky tonight in the southeast is the bright star Procyon in the otherwise non-descript of Canis Minor – the little dog. Canis Minor processes but two stars – Procyon being the brightest. Procyon is larger, hotter and brighter than our Sun, but the primary reason it’s the seventh brightest star in the sky is that it is so close to us, only 11.46 light years. Procyon is thought to be approaching the end of its life and will soon become what is known as a red giant star and expand ... Read More »

NCH Meeting Cancer Head On

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By Allen S Weiss, M.D. Cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis have changed dramatically for the better. Today, hospitals such as NCH, staffed by greatly experienced and highly competent medical personnel, are making tremendous progress in meeting the challenges of cancer. Last week, NCH added to its prestigious record in fighting cancer, earning National Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This highly respected, independent reviewing organization, established in 1922, awarded NCH “Silver” status and rated us “excellent” in six of seven categories. That placed us among the top 10% in the nation. To earn ... Read More »

Fly Fishing on the Middle Provo

There is fly fishing year round on the Middle Provo, even when the ground is snow covered. photoS BY Vickie Kelber

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber This column is my husband’s idea. He suggested I write about something in which he is interested. So, at least this week, no museums, no churches, and except for a quick mention, no shopping, no restaurants,…..just a river and some fish. To learn more about fly fishing and the Provo River, I met with Ben Nelson, Matt Puodziunas, and Peter Robinson of Trout Bum 2 in Park City, Utah. Trout Bum 2 is a comprehensive retail and guide service. In 2013 and 2014 it was named Park City’s best fly fishing shop by readers of the ... Read More »

Do You Eat Chocolate Because it’s Healthy?

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FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com I’m sure you’ve read the seemingly too-good-to-be-true articles touting that chocolate (dark specifically) is a superfood, or full of anti-oxidants, or can improve memory, or even that it is good for your heart. The question is, are these claims accurate? The answer is… sort of. Despite the claims that one or two squares of quality dark chocolate can “…reduce the risk of death from heart attack by almost 50 percent…” per a WebMD article, science is still investigating these hypotheses. Case in point, Howard Sesso, Associate Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School is leading a ... Read More »