Tuesday , February 9 2016
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Taking “No” for an Answer

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I recently had a not-so-unusual discussion with a potential customer, regarding the time process for her ring to be totally restored. Now to most of us business folks this is considered high season, and in our goldsmith shop my son and I are straight out with the influx of custom and repair work, resulting in the burning of lots of midnight oil. The volume is kind of like drinking from a fire hose. We take in, on an average day, anywhere from fifty to seventy watches for various reasons, such as battery replacement, straps, adjustments, ... Read More »

Cuba: On the Road to Cienfuegos and Trinidad

Parque José Martí is WIFI enabled, a rarity in Cuba.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Three and four hours east of Havana, on the Caribbean side of Cuba, are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. Both are colonial cities, the first with obvious French influence, the other Spanish. The highway from Havana to Cienfuegos and Trinidad was in good condition, but many of the secondary roads appeared to be more primitive. Traffic was light; we passed a few Yank Tanks, those American classics from the 50s, Ladas, other Russian and some Chinese makes of cars, and some horse carts. Outside of Havana, there was a Mercedes Benz dealership; certainly ... Read More »

Island Valentines

Beach Valentines. PHOTO BY LAURIE KASPERBAUER

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com The holiday of love and romance is upon us. Pink and red hearts decorate retail stores; restaurants advertise two for one specials; the hotel industry creates “romantic weekend getaways;” and that odd little winged cherub appears everywhere, bow and arrow ready. It’s a very special time for me for a couple of reasons. First, it’s my birthday. Conveniently I was born on February 14th amidst the Valentine hoopla, and with all the “gentle” Hallmark and retail reminders, my husband has not forgotten my birthday even once. But the real reason it’s a very special ... Read More »

Naomi’s Hot Little Paws

Tosca has fun at the Farmers Market.

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines: I was a bad girl the other evening when I decided to help with getting dinner on the table. And guess what? I got burned, but it served me right! Therefore, I’m humbly sharing my wrong-headed actions with you so you don’t make the same mistake I did. It really wasn’t worth it. As you all know, I am a cat, albeit a very special one whose main task in life is to supervise operations over here at For the Love of Cats, Marco Island’s no-kill cat shelter. ... Read More »

Pending Condo Sales on Marco Island

Nautilus, a water-direct condo.

CONDO REPORT Gary & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com Last week 56 condos were listed as pending on Marco Island, down about 30% from the same period last year. These are condos with a signed contract between buyer and seller but have not yet closed. Closings follow about a month or two after a contract is signed. This drop in pending sales may be due to a combination of higher seller list prices, a softening of confidence in the global economy and a colder and wetter than normal January. Pending sales provide a good indication of what is currently happening in ... Read More »

Why New Year’s Resolutions Really Matter, Part Two

Dr. Robert Atkins - Dr. Alexandra Grace - Dr. Nicole Costello (L to R SUBMITTED PHOTOS)

To Your Health Scott Lowe CEO, Physicians Regional Healthcare System I have often wondered why so many people make New Year’s resolutions every year, yet few seem to follow though. And yes, I have been guilty of this as well. But who says the “New Year” has to start on January 1? When it comes to your health, the day YOU resolve to make positive changes could be defined as your personal New Year’s Day. As I look at my calendar, I see that the issue of Coastal Breeze News that will carry this specific column will hit newsstands on Friday, ... Read More »

Cuba for the Senses

Music is everywhere!

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber By the end of our time in Cuba, visiting three of its cities, the beach, and the mountains, I felt as if I was on sensory overload, for Cuba is a country that truly appeals to the senses. Visually, it was a delight. The first thing that struck me, flying over the island on the way to the airport in Havana, was how green everything was. Once in Havana, there were bright colors and visual stimulation everywhere. There were the famous “Yank Tanks,” American cars from the 1940s and 50s, with their vivid colors; bubble gum ... Read More »

How Much???

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I’m pretty sure the question is asked in every jewelry store on the entire planet on a daily basis. I’m talking about folks who wish to purchase fine jewelry, diamonds, precious gemstones platinum, gold and high-end wrist watches to be exact. For many of the uninformed masses it’s darn near impossible for them to get their head wrapped around the fact that yes, this stuff is expensive, has been and always will be. If gold were cheap we would make cell phones and automobiles out of it. The ones in the know, well they know ... Read More »

“Family Matters”

Boone, Porter, Penn and Odie PHOTO BY MARY KASPERBAUER

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com It happened again. Our whole family gathered together here for our holiday celebration. For four joyous nights we had 15 people and two dogs sleeping under the same roof. But for nearly three weeks they streamed in and out, in various combinations of individual families, at the mercy of work schedules and “paid time-off.” In 19 days I made no less than 19 trips to the grocery store. I washed bedding and towels in quantities that would rival Motel 6. I baked cookies, made pies, fried fish and tossed salads. I wiped milk off ... Read More »

Two-Bedroom, One-Bath Condos… A Great Option!

A view of one of the Seabreeze  condo buildings near the pool. PHOTOS BY GARY AND SANDY ELLIOTT

CONDO REPORT Gary & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com Last week there were only six two-bedroom, one-bathroom inland condos for sale on the island, compared to 38 two-bedroom, two-bathroom inland condos. These two-bedroom, one-bathroom condos built around 1970 are on the market with an average list price of $179,000 and 751 square feet. For comparison, two-bedroom, two-bathroom inland condos on the market average $318,000 with 1,045 square feet, and were built during the 1980s. These two-bedroom one-bathroom condos can be found at Seabreeze, Seabreeze South, Seabreeze West, Southwinds, Aquarius and other inland condominiums. The Seabreeze at 240 North Collier Boulevard is a ... Read More »

Better to Own a Safe Than Sorry

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net It’s a fact: there have been a rash of burglaries on our safe and secure island paradise. Barely a couple of weeks go by where I face a sobbing and distraught customer describing to me what was lost due to a break-in or a “misplacement” of valuable jewelry. Try and guess how many of these unfortunate souls are looking for appraisals on the lost articles? “It was a diamond ring that kind of look like this (crude drawing) and I think it was yellow gold, I’m not quite sure of the diamond size or what ... Read More »

In a Word

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com The word was privacy. Our grandson, just short of six years old, and a few weeks into his kindergarten school year, said to me, “Nana, I can spell that word. Privacy.” Uh huh, I thought. “Go ahead,” I said. “P.” Good start. What comes next? “R. I.” Hmmm. Now he has my attention. “V. I.S.Y.” Nice work! I say. I’m truly impressed! Phonetically correct. Are they teaching kindergarteners to read, I ask my daughter? Evidently yes. I remember kindergarten as an introduction to the days of the week, snack time, recess and nap. But ... Read More »

Where Do Marco Island Condo Buyers Come From?

The Smokehouse Bay Club. PHOTOS BY GARY AND SANDY ELLIOTT

CONDO REPORT Gary & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com The Marco Island MLS shows 588 condos sold on Marco Island in 2015, representing $315 million in sales. Year after year, more than 550 condos are sold by realtors to people from all over the world. Where do all these condo buyers come from? Interestingly, the majority of condo buyers come from four distinct parts of the country. The Midwest, the Northeast and buyers moving to or already living on Marco Island represent about 25% each. All the rest of the United States represents another 23% and international buyers represent only 2% of ... Read More »

Why New Year’s Resolutions Really Matter, Part One

(L to R) GET MORE SLEEP, Dr. Laura Nowosielski, Family Medicine. CUT BACK ON ALCOHOL, Dr. Doris Corey, Family Medicine. QUIT SMOKING, Dr. Richard Roland, Pulmonology

To Your Health Scott Lowe CEO, Physicians Regional Healthcare System Well, we’re just a week or so after the dropping of the ball in Times Square—as well as the dropping of countless New Year’s Resolutions by seemingly well-intentioned Southwest Floridians. I have to be honest, I have been guilty of losing sight of my best intentions not long after settling into the next calendar year. Legend has it that New Year’s Resolutions date back to the Babylonians. Babylonia was an ancient Semitic state and cultural region based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). The Babylonians reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes they’d earn good favor in the ... Read More »

Travel to Cuba – Logistics

Sunrise on part of the Vedado section of Havana. The famed Hotel Nacional is the building with the double red roofed cupolas.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Travel to Cuba for US citizens is evolving. There are a host of new transportation options either already in place or planned including ships, ferries, charter and commercial flights, even trains (well, sort of….read on). While more choices are available, travel still requires that visitors from the US meet one of 12 broad categories to justify their trip; under US law, travel to Cuba purely for a vacation is not allowed. The 12 accepted purposes include visiting a close relative, educational activities which involve “people to people exchanges”, journalistic, religious, and humanitarian activities, public performances, professional ... Read More »

Roadside Attraction Reinvented

Up close and personal with an iguana.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber When I was growing up in the Northeast, my father loved road trips. He also loved roadside attractions. I think his favorites were Roadside America, an indoor miniature railroad and village in Pennsylvania and Santa’s Village in New Hampshire. We spent long summers in northern Maine, which meant frequent trips to New Brunswick, Canada, which had its own attractions. We never crossed the border without a stop at one of them…Magnetic Hill where cars appear to roll uphill, the longest covered bridge in the world that crosses the St. John River, the giant “flower pots” formed ... Read More »

Naomi’s Holiday Cheers

Recently rescued parking lot kittens. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines: Merry Christmas to one and all! I know each of you is under the tree at this very moment, contemplating the wands, laser pointers, and catnip mice Santa Claws and Rudolph delivered in the wee hours of this morning, not to mention the salmon, turkey, chicken, and beef flavored treats spilling out of your over-stuffed stockings. Thanks to the efforts of my staff here at For the Love of Cats (Marco Island’s no-kill cat shelter), the 154 cats and kittens we rescued this year are enjoying Christmas in the ... Read More »

Seasonal Condo Activity

A typical open house sign along Collier Boulevard. PHOTOS BY GARY AND SANDY ELLIOTT

CONDO REPORT Gary & Sandy Elliott www.marcoislandcondoguy.net www.SandyElliottInteriors.com During season, owners and renters push condo occupancy rates on the island to the maximum. Friends and relatives come for a week or two, and visitors vacation at local hotels and enjoy the superb weather and activities in January, February, March and April. During season, a favorite leisurely pastime between beaching, boating and fishing is checking out open houses. Condo and home owners may be looking to downsize, upsize, change location or to compare their condo’s value for a future resale. Renters check out open houses looking for next year’s rental possibilities or ... Read More »

“Giving Back”

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. ~ Maya Angelou   When I lived in Iowa I taught my first yoga classes. Our studio was in a city recreational building, much like our YMCA here. Interest in yoga was just beginning to blossom in my Iowa hometown, and like many, I was inspired by the potential “work out” I might receive through yoga, while completely oblivious to the spiritual aspects of the practice. I’ve heard it said ... Read More »

Peace on Earth

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MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com Twas the night, before the day we had anticipated. The day of dreams fulfilled and joy long awaited. Hope, hung like stockings on the mantel of our minds. Hope for unity, community; hope that together we might find   All dwellers of earth, both the man and the beast; The deep sea and its life forms; the forest creatures and trees. Hope, that together we will learn to live our lives in balance, We each give of ourselves. We each rise to the challenge.   On this night before the day we profess earthly ... Read More »