Coastal Breeze News Thu, 11 Sep 2014 01:37:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Time to Welcome Marco Island’s Baby Dolphins Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:34:48 +0000 Stepping Stones
Bob McConville
Master Naturalist

A playful Skipper (mom Halfway) tosses a propagule.

A playful Skipper (mom Halfway) tosses a propagule.

This is the first of three articles this fall about dolphin births, with updates on the new moms and calves.

SEPTEMBER, 2014: Within the next few weeks a naturalist on board the Dolphin Explorer will exclaim to passengers, “Here’s one of the first of this season, a newborn bottlenose dolphin!”

It is birthing season for the bottlenose dolphins in our area. The 10,000 Island Dolphin Survey Team, on board the Dolphin Explorer, will be keeping a sharp lookout for newborns this season and has already made a list of adult females that could possibly be moms this fall. Candidates include Sparky, Sydney, Tess, Victoria, Batman (yes, Batman’s a girl), Tattoo, Darwina, Sparkle, Cosmo, Orange and a few more.

Nine of the 10 mentioned above have already given birth in the past. The 11th female, Orange, is of proper age and physical maturity to be a first time mom. If she does give birth, it will produce the Survey Team’s first known grandmother, Sparky (Orange’s mom).

Although dolphins can give birth any time of the year, the physical setting of warm, shallow waters surrounding our area provides ideal conditions for fall births. All five newborns from 2013 were born in September, October or November. Since a dolphin’s pregnancy term is 12-13 months, this is also mating season. Several large males that are not year-round residents of this area are making an appearance, and, conversely, some males who are generally in the Marco survey area are conspicuously absent, possibly searching for mates in other nearby areas.

Lama (mom Dolly) takes a giant leap out of the water.

Lama (mom Dolly) takes a giant leap out of the water.

The newborn dolphins are a sight to behold. They will weigh between 25-30 pounds at birth. They will be a darker grey than the adult and significantly smaller, since moms can weigh upwards of 400 pounds. The very brand new youngsters will appear to have creases on their skin. These are called “fetal folds,” and occur because of the way the unborn calf is compactly positioned inside mom prior to birth. These folds can remain for several weeks until the baby’s skin fills out from drinking the very rich milk from mom.

The fluke (tailfin) and the dorsal fin are soft and pliable at birth which makes it easier for mom to push the baby out. These fins will become more rigid in a very short time. When born, the calf comes out tail first. Mom will immediately coax the youngster to the water’s surface to take its first breath. The newborn will breathe once every 3-30 seconds until it gets used to its new lifestyle. If there are other adult females in the area at birth, it is not uncommon for them to help the new mom get the young one to the surface.

The first 30 days of life are critical for both mom and baby. According to researchers affiliated with UCLA, the calf does not sleep during this period. This means mom is awake much of the time as well. In addition to feeding the herself, mom must eat enough to provide nourishment for both of them, increasing her food intake up to 50 percent. She must also watch out for predators. There are sharks in our area, and the calf would be a nice meal so mom is on a constant vigil to protect her little one.

Anji (mom Avery) is easily recognized by the large notch in the dorsal fin. Photo by Kent and Meredith of the Dolphin Explorer

Anji (mom Avery) is easily recognized by the large notch in the dorsal fin. Photo by Kent and Meredith of the Dolphin Explorer

A great example of this is September 2013 newborn Skipper. Stuck like glue to its mother, Halfway, this young one learned how to survive in Marco Island’s back waters. Just a few months ago, a sighting of the two revealed that Skipper had semi-circular bite marks on its side, a telltale sign of a close encounter with a shark!

It will be interesting over the next several months to see which females give birth. I will continue to update our readers throughout this time with additional articles. If you are just visiting our area right now and want to learn about the new calves you can obtain the information by going online to, click the “environment” tab and then click “stepping stones” for further articles.

So which females will give birth this fall? Will it be Orange, Sydney, maybe Tess? The team on board The Dolphin Explorer is anxious to let us know! For all of the calves to be born I wish them in advance a healthy, happy birthday!


Bob is the owner of Steppingstone Ecotours and a naturalist with the Dolphin Explorer’s survey team. He is a member of Leadership Marco 2014. Bob loves his wife very much!

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Butterfly Gardening in Florida Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:32:14 +0000 PLANT TALK
Mike Malloy

Butterfly Man

Butterfly Man

It’s summer in Florida. It’s hot, and the butterflies are in full swing. Florida has a year-round butterfly season because of the usually warm weather, much to the delight of all those crazed butterfly enthusiasts living here in Southwest Florida. Some migrate in the winter like Sulfurs (yellow butterflies) and monarchs, but many stay here and flourish.

I am going to write a six-part series on the butterflies of Florida. Starting with the Monarchs — probably the most recognized butterfly in the country. Monarchs, Queens and Soldiers, all are in the Danas genius, and their larvae all feed on the same host plant (plants female butterflies lay their eggs on), and that is milkweed.

There are hundreds of different milkweeds, but a few that are easily found here in Florida are scarlet milkweed (Asclepias; red or yellow, they are both called scarlet), giant milkweed (Calatropis), orange milkweed (Tuberosa), white milkweed (Perennis) and balloon milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa). Milkweeds are one of the host plants that also serve as a nectar plant (plants adult butterflies feed on). They accumulate toxins from the flowers which make them distasteful to their predators throughout their adult life. One way to distinguish the queen larvae from the monarch is the queen has three sets of antenna — front, middle and rear — where the monarch only has two, one on the head and another on the rear.

Red pentas

Red pentas

All the males of the genus Danas have scent sacks in the middle of their hind wings which emit a scent used in attracting females. The monarch is mostly orange, whereas queens and soldiers are more of a brown. All have white spots bordering the outside of both fore and hind wings.

If you have never seen a monarch chrysalis, it’s something to behold it is jade green with a gold ban around the top. The chrysalis of both queen and soldiers are just the same, but some queen’s chrysalis can have a pink hue to them. The chrysalises are so beautiful that many jewelers have tried to make the same as jewelry. Personally, they don’t come close to the real thing. Remember who makes these flying flowers!

So remember these guys need all the help we can give them. Plant milkweed in your garden. It also works in pots and window boxes, and I GUARANTEE they will come. The monarchs’ numbers are growing here in the south, nevertheless let’s just keep planting.

Milkweed perrennis

Milkweed perrennis

Next week, I will cover our three Heliconian butterflies the Nymphalidae Family, found in Florida in abundance: the zebra longwing (Florida’s state Butterfly), Julia and the gulf fritillary.


About The Author

Mike Malloy, local author and artist known as “The Butterfly Man” has been a Naples resident since 1991. A Collier County Master Gardener, he has written two books entitled “Butterfly Gardening Made Easy for Southwest Florida,” and “Tropical Color – A Guide to Colorful Plants for the Southwest Florida Garden”, and currently writes articles on various gardening topics for several local publications. Mike has planted and designed numerous butterfly gardens around Naples including many schools, the City of Naples, Rookery Bay, the Conservancy and Big Cypress. Bring your gardening questions to the Third Street Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings or on Thursdays at the Naples Botanical Garden where he does a Plant Clinic or visit his website,

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All That Glitters Along the Costa del Sol Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:30:49 +0000 ALL THAT GLITTERS
Richard Alan

I’m currently traveling in Europe and exploring in southern Spain to what is known to all as the Costa del Sol.

My summer trip began with landing in the old city of Malaga. I have always loved traveling by the seat of my pants, so I rented a car with a GPS and then hit the road with no predestined hotel arrangements. Sure, it’s risky; it also keeps the trip interesting.

It was my first time in Malaga, and that made for a frustrating day for even my “trusty” Spanish GPS. It was confused by this ancient city and its maze of streets, — if you can call them streets — adding to that the fact the roads are always maddeningly one way that bring you to all opposite directions from where you have to go. You can see the hotel, but try to drive up to the entrance? Even with a map provided by the hotel receptionist (I finally found the hotel by accident!), I never found their special parking garage and used a public one I stumbled on instead.

The city of Malaga was really bustling with activity due to a huge religious festival, and that happened to include a slew of special end-of-the-summer bull fights. Though outlawed in one or two Spanish cities, it is a tradition still practiced here. A sport that is not for the squeamish; let’s leave it at that.

Walking around town, I discovered its beautiful citrus tree-lined boulevard with lush gardens that provided shade and followed the ancient Moorish city walls. It’s warm here, but comfortable with no humidity and a wonderful breeze off of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s not as hot as Marco Island, I’m sure.

There are crowds of people, but the many upscale boutiques and jewelry stores are eerily empty except with salespeople who appear listless and bored to near death. It’s no wonder. Spain has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe, and the empty and boarded up store fronts lay testament to that fact.

Only here and now it is festival, and bars, cafés and bodegas are packed to the gills. Kinda reminds me of weekends on Marco in the season.

It’s been a fun two days, but I’ve got places to go and people to see. Time to pack up the car, and mosey on down the road. The famous fortress city and the world most renowned rock is less than an hour or so away to…Gibraltar!

Wow! It’s hard to explain the sight before me, but magnificent comes to mind. I parked the car in Spain and followed the crowd toward the towering edifice before me. It looks surreal, and draws everyone to it like a moth to a flame.

Soon a British soldier asks both my traveling companion and I for our passports. Customs? Yes, for now, we are on British soil (or should I say rock?). For those of you who do not know this fact, me included, Gibraltar is a small living and breathing city, with hospitals, supermarkets, elementary and high schools, and a better public transit system than we have at home!

The beautifully tree lined streets are crammed with retail shops of all kinds. Every other one was a duty-free jewelry store or a pub that sold fish and chips. Only thing is some shops required you to pay in English Pounds, and the exchange rate for our U.S. currency leaves a money spending Yank like me not much for his money. The military presence is obvious here. There is an air base and functioning landing strip you have to hurry across before you enter the rock, and the town is embraced by tall, unscalable wall that has been a fortress city for centuries.

Control Gibraltar; you control the entrance to the Mediterranean.

Spending one night in a hotel here costs more than I wound pay for five days in a nice four star hotel over the border in Spain. That’s less than a football field away. Adios Gibraltar!

Next city we ventured to was Marbella with its beautiful beaches and promenades. We decided to stay here for the night and poke around both the city and surrounding towns. We honestly visited a half a dozen or so, but none impressed us enough to stay long.

Traveling the Spanish southern coast is a breathtaking experience for it is extremely mountainous with hair pin turns, steep inclines and roller-coaster declines. Even the road signs warn the traveler that the impending trip is not for the faint of heart or novice driver.

The thing that impresses you about these southern coastal cities is almost every one of them has ancient castles and walls built by the Moors, who obviously dominated the Spanish coast 1,000 years ago, and that kind of history to me is never boring, although my wife will tell me, “You see one crumbling wall, you have seen them all!”

This is one reason why she has not accompanied me on this part of the trip. I’ll meet up with her in a week or so in Mallorca.

The Moor’s presence becomes even more unmistakable with our the next destination — the majestic city of Seville.

The city is a mixture of ancient Arabic and Christian architecture for Moorish and Spanish kings and queens alike, with a river flowing thru the center crisscrossed by both antique Parisian style and modern, flamboyant, high-tech bridge designs with huge castle walls as a back drop. The result is an eclectic jumble that somehow works, and that’s what makes this city so awe inspiring. Many of the female inhabitants, including small children, wear traditional costumes such as the bright and colorful, polka dot-design Flamenco dancing outfits. Some will join friends and perform in the streets. The music they dance to can simply be just the clapping of hands from onlookers. This city will invoke memories for many year to come.

The coastal towns are revelling in religious celebrations — that include obligatory bull fights — all day, all night, all week long. There is partying in the streets in Almeria, the last northern coastal city on the Costa del Sol. This is where we decided to stash the car for a few days and enjoy a wild and crazy Spanish festival first hand, and this city did not disappoint us.

Throughout the city, there were small roving “marching bands” literally invading a courtyard, bodega, outside bar or even an indoor restaurant. The bands stand on chairs or counters dancing and blowing all kinds of horns and beating drums. This crazy, unbridled, wild performance brings the patrons, wait staff and even chefs to an out of control frenzy of communal singing and dancing! It was impossible not to join the madness!

Then in an instant, there is silence, and they disappear into an alleyway to the next destination. What a hoot!

The seafood here at the festival is the best I have ever experienced, a tapas of simple bread, cheese and olives with aged thin sliced ham is heaven on earth.

Speaking of heaven! I found a line of jewelry that is now selling here in Europe that will be the next big thing since Pandora, and I will be the exclusive dealer of that new sensation on Marco Island this coming holiday season. More on that surprise later.

Adios amigos, for now!

About The Author

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith at Island Plaza and welcomes your questions about all that glitters. Contact him at 239-394-9275 or

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The Studio Kill Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:26:50 +0000 BOOK REMARKS
Maggie Gust


B5-CBN-9-5-14-16By Charles Fleming

Asahina & Wallace, 2014, 262 pages

Genre: Mystery (Novel Noir)


“One difference between film noir and more straightforward crime pictures is that noir is more open to human flaws and likes to embed them in twisty plot lines.” – Roger Ebert


Set in 1947 Los Angeles just after the murder of Bugsy Siegel, “The Studio Kill” tells the story of John McClellan, chief detective for Continental Studios. His responsibilities include looking after and cleaning up after the studio’s movie stars, both major and minor, as well as attending to other events of interest to the studio executives.

McClellan is honest, hardworking and no-nonsense in his approach to his work. These admirable characteristics get him into hot water when he investigates the death of the wife of a Continental Studio movie director. To McClellan, her “suicide” was obviously a murder. He takes it personally since he had a tender spot in his heart for her dating back to before World War II. Strangely, McClellan is more grieved over the death of Claire Korman than is her widower.

This book is a film noir in print. Not only does Fleming use the vocabulary of the time period, but it is brimming with plot twists and developed characters that keep the reader flipping pages. There are several dead bodies, a kidnapping or two, rough 1947-style LAPD “interrogations,” multiple sightings of Hollywood stars at Romanoff’s, Chasen’s, and various bars around the area. Fleming enriches the star sightings with little tidbits of historical information on their misbehavior and how adept the studios of that time were at keeping such things out of the media.

Murder, gossip, kidnapping, romance, hate, betrayal, poisoning — this novel noir has it all. There is even a communist-hunting U.S. congressman! “The Studio Kill” is a great escape on a hot summer afternoon or evening. Curl up with the book and chances are that four pages into it you’ll be reaching for a Camel, your cigarette lighter and a highball. I had visions of Robert Mitchum, Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Marie Windsor, Robert Montgomery, Barbara Stanwick, Gene Tierney, Humphrey Bogart dancing in my head as I read this. Let me know who you see in the smoke-filled rooms of “The Studio Kill.”

Rating: 4.5/5.0. Available in paperback and e-format. Unfortunately, not available at Collier County Public Library.

About The Author

Maggie Gust is a life-long avid reader whose career path has included working as a teacher and in various positions in the health care field. A native of Illinois, she has lived in Florida since 1993 and presently works from her home here on Marco Island. e-mail: 

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Patient Feedback Matters Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:24:29 +0000 To Your Health
Scott Lowe
CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd

Just as the title says, patient feedback matters — and we want to hear from you.

I recently received this letter from a patient who had visited the Emergency Room at Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard. Though we need to hear all your feedback — the positive and the negative — it’s nice when a patient takes the time to say, “Job well done.”

With the patient’s permission, I am sharing the letter today:

Be it genetic or otherwise, my entire family is gastro-intestinally challenged. So, it was not that big of a surprise when (once again) I started to experience some unpleasant upper-GI issues. However, as these symptoms seemed to get exponentially worse over a two-week period, I finally accepted something had to be done.

I also confess that, medically speaking, I tend to wait until the last minute for everything. Of course, this is not a good plan for any patient. Had I simply visited Dr. Portu or Dr. Becker (my Primary Care Physicians) earlier in the week, the entire ER ordeal could have been avoided.

I haven’t actually been to an ER in quite some time — my children weren’t “bone breakers,” thank goodness. It’s also likely that I watch far too many medical shows on TV because my visit did not match my pop-culture-driven expectations.

Of course, who among us has not suffered through an unnecessarily long wait in an Emergency Room at some point? I would even suggest that some try to avoid the ER altogether out of fear of “waiting.” Well, this was certainly not the case at Physicians Regional. Due to the potentially life-threatening nature of my complaints, I was ushered back immediately.

What’s more, unlike TV, there was no panic, no loud medical alarms sounding overhead, no ambulances squealing into the drive, no unnecessary scurrying about. In fact, I would describe my entire visit using two words: “calm” and “focused.” As my symptoms were basically mirroring those of a heart attack, “focused calm” was exactly what I needed.

Everyone I came into contact with was simply extraordinary. What’s more, the ER physician got in touch with Dr. Portu immediately. It was so comforting to know that my regular doctor was “there” without actually being there.

Of course, thanks to modern technology, my medical history was at their fingertips. Yes, the staff questioned me — as they should — but frankly, I trusted the medical records more than I trusted my memory at that point.

Plus, absolutely no one asked me for anything related to payment until it was determined that I was, in fact, stable. I understand that service providers deserve to be paid, but the fact that my health was deemed more important than my credit card information was HUGE in my book.

Though I don’t recommend a trip to the ER for the purpose of medical testing, what a relief that all the tests I needed were immediately done on-site. Within two hours, I was appropriately tested, diagnosed, medicated and released. Literally, just one day later, it’s like the episode didn’t happen at all.

It is so comforting to know that Physicians Regional — and such amazing medical care — is located practically down the street from where I live. Not that I wish for another ER visit anytime soon, but I will gladly return for more “focused calm” care should the need arise. My sincere thanks to all of you.

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Flat Out Gorgeous Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:18:59 +0000 ARtful Life
Tara O’Neill

B7-CBN-9-5-14-5Chances are that if you’re reading this in the paper, you live here year-round, or you are someone revolutionary enough to visit Florida in summer — when the really exotic stuff happens.

Yes, it’s hot; it’s buggy; it rains alot. But, the number one complaint among Floridaphiles is that it’s so darn humid. Some days are like breathing through a wet army blanket, but it’s easily worth it to experience the extravagant theater of summer skies.

Are you on Facebook? Facebook is flush with South Florida sky photographs, and not just sunrises and sunsets but also perfect white puffs scudding levelly under blue glass ceilings; thunder-filled monsters towering over rooftops like fluffy Godzillas ready to stomp us; feather clouds and cottage cheese clouds. Nimbus, cirrus, cumulous, stratus and multiple combinations, all brought to you by the wet heat of summer. Ain’t it grand?

Funny thing happened the other day: My husband and I were enjoying family posts on Facebook when a deluge of sunset photos started popping up on the screen. We “oohed” and “ahhed” and clicked and scrolled until my dearest looked at me and said, “You know, we do live one block from the beach.” That was a double-blink moment.

He grabbed the beach chairs, and I grabbed the camera (go figure). Five minutes later, there it was, our sky. A kaleidoscope of colors sprayed over every cloud found in the Audubon Guide Book of Clouds (oh yes, there is one, and I own a well-thumbed copy). And the people, the people on the beach all looked so…so inspired. While cameras clicked, sweethearts remembered being sweethearts and held hands; runners, walkers and sitters were all smiling, their faces turned naked and joyful to the greatest show above earth. A couple waltzed. Then a passerby drew our attention to what was happening behind our backs.

Have you ever noticed how the sunsets in summer can be even more flamboyant when facing east? Those massive cumulonimbus come sliding across the Everglades towards the Gulf oF Mexico, and the setting sun slaps them full in the face. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which way to turn when you’re so magnificently surrounded.

These are not the skies of winter nor spring, when the humidity drops and the high pressure systems roll in bringing dry air and clear skies. Those skies have a much quieter beauty. The dawn wakes by gently sliding a silver note under the blue-black pillow of night. The note opens. The sky is blue. Later, the sun lays a thin blanket of pink and orange over the horizon, and drops it’s weary head upon, and then under it. The last light fades, and the stars take over. The winter stars. With low humidity and away from lights, the stars canvas the sky from one horizon to the other.

Ironically, what most visitors to South Florida criticize is one of our finest assets — our complete flatness. You hear them, “No mountains, no hills, no views at all unless you’re on the water.”

And I say to them, “Oh yes, we have mountains and hills, and Godzillas and bunnies and sheep and feathers and cottage cheese, and even the vaguest of poodles. And they change constantly. Every day. Stop by some summer.”

To my kind readers: I’ll be travelling the month of September, and will enjoy extended periods of being quite off the grid. So I hope, like me, that you’ll be looking forward to my next column October 17.

About The Author

Tara O’Neill, a lifelong, award-winning, artist has been an area resident since 1967. She holds degrees in Fine Arts and English from the University of South Florida and is currently represented by Blue Mangrove Gallery on Marco Island. Visit her at

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Summer Fun, Island Style Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:15:53 +0000 GOODLAND LIFE
Melinda Gray

Hello from my kayak to yours!

Hello from my kayak to yours!

It’s September, statistically the slowest month before the inevitable up-swing into another season, and finding fun things to do locally is getting more challenging. Thus, despite last weeks of record-breaking heat, my best friend, Alicia Cameron, and I set out on our first Goodland kayak journey; no small feat for a couple of full-time moms with full-time jobs.

A long-term shortage of recreation time has made me an unwilling indoor-girl — something I’ve always fought by taking last-minute adventures, often throwing caution to the wind. I once found myself clinging to the side of a cliff, mocked by my mind’s useless “would, should and could haves,” but through my past impulsiveness, I’ve learned the importance of planning things out.

Putting our easily burned bodies out in the hot, mid-afternoon sun proved to be the least of our worries. Alicia hadn’t kayaked since she was a kid, and I had only done so once before. Among losing my phone to the canal and shredding my hands on barnacles, the all-around failure of that first attempt had me feeling a bit wary. Fortunately, in the days leading up to our meticulously planned trip, everything started to fall into place.

Consulting the tide chart, we debated how and when we should go, and finally set the departure for 1:30 PM from my dock. The night before the trip, we promised each other that we would venture out no matter what. Alicia packed the snacks and beverages, having assembled practically a full picnic; she left nothing out. I gathered the safety items on our list. Early that Sunday morning, the weather man promised that we would see smooth kayaking later that afternoon.

As I found on my first trip, getting into the kayak was a piece of cake, and with an early start, we paddled against the tide with ease. The cool breeze that greeted us at the end of the canal felt glorious after the wall of humidity we’d hit coming out of the air-conditioned house.

We spent four hours exploring our home from this new point of view. Cruising in and out of Goodland’s many canals, we felt like a couple of professionals by the time we passed Marker 8.5. Floating around Buzzard Bay, we ate our lunch and snapped some silly “selfies” before heading back the way we had come.

We came to our last stop at the ramp in Margood Park. This was my moment of truth. A nagging worry silently grew throughout the day, and it had me dreading the end of our trip where I would be faced with getting out of my kayak. I was haunted by my previous attempt at exiting a kayak; it had been utterly graceless and pretty traumatic.

Thankfully, the day ended as perfectly as it had started. With a quick call to fellow Goodlander Jason Sines, who, until now, I knew only as “the kayak guy.” We got a little help up the ramp and a ride home for our boats. Anyone enjoying happy hour at Marker 8.5 later that evening probably witnessed our multiple high-fives; we felt wonderful, like we had really accomplished something.

Alicia and I have been best friends from virtually the moment we met, and getting some much needed “girl time” on our only mutual day off was just what I needed. The experience was only made better by the fact that we did something outdoors that required some physical activity. It may have been the adrenalin influencing my mood, but I’ve never been happier to be where I am. I love Goodland.

Melinda Gray studied journalism and political science at Youngstown State University in Ohio. Before relocating, she wrote for The Vindicator and The Jambar in Youngstown, and is currently a contributing writer for an emergency preparedness website. Melinda now lives in Goodland with her two children. She can be contacted at or 239-896-0426



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Cleaning Out the Closet Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:14:25 +0000 Body, Mind And Spirit
Laurie Kasperbauer


“It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small, and the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all!”- lyrics from “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel


I love a clean house.

Shining countertops and freshly scrubbed floors. Beds made up with crisply cleaned linens, and bathrooms that smell, well, not like a bathroom.

But, it goes even deeper than that for me. I love an organized home. “A place for everything, and everything in it’s place.” When I need a screwdriver or scissors, I can go to the appropriate drawer, and there it is. Resting snuggly between the hammer and the pliers, I find the red-handled screwdriver, and my scissors lay beside the scotch tape atop the wrapping paper.

When I discover something that’s irreparable, unusable, doesn’t fit, or I just don’t need it, it’s gone. I utilize the recycling bin and garbage container with equal enthusiasm, and I know my way in and out of The Bargain Basket like a donation pro. I know several people who follow an equilibrium when it comes to purchases. When a new pair of shoes is introduced to their closet, an old pair is either thrown out or given away. Balance. Space. Peace.

You have probably read in this column before about the “Eight Limbs of Yoga.” The most commonly recognized are the Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (mindful breathing). The Yamas (Five Moral Restraints) are the base of the Eight Limbs. I see them as the root of the yoga tree. The strong tentacles of discipline from which the other Limbs grow. The Yamas address non-violence, truthfulness, nonstealing, moderation and non-hoarding. It’s the fifth Yama, Aparigraha (non-hoarding), that comes to mind today.

How many of us are holding on to something that we really don’t need or can’t use? Maybe it’s a dress that’s hung in our closet for nearly a year with the price tag still attached. It has never fit right, and the color is odd but it was on super sale and it looks nice on the hanger. Surely, there will be an occasion to wear it some day. Or, could it be a collection of golf hats with stained brows and worn brims that lay stacked on a shelf; no longer worn but displayed, nonetheless. What is this attachment we feel? Are we actually hoarding or simply failing to surrender out of fear? Perhaps we anticipate a sense of loss and don’t want to grieve for something we once had?

While purging the excess in our closets and cupboards can be challenging, bringing that concept to our conscious minds creates a far more lofty quest. Aparigraha suggests attachment to our thoughts is as wasteful as the attachment we hold to possessions. Clutter created of past hurts, held anger, perceived injustice, grief and frustration obfuscate clear thought and mindful intention. Further, we justify our attachments with precious energy. Afraid or unwilling to let go of what is familiar, we grip tightly to our fear, pain or resentment. We rationalize with dog-eared beliefs, our “bargain-basement” judgements we garnered years ago. We stack them on the shelf of our subconscious where they take up space without function.

At the end of a recent beach yoga class, a student said to me that every time I said, “Let it go…” she thought of the recent hit song by Idina Menzel titled, “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen.” While the song interrupted the mindfulness of this individual’s practice, (I’m quite certain I say, “let it go” frequently) it could have been worse.

When it comes to yoga and preparing for the Asanas, we often set an intention or determine a mantra. Something to draw our focus inward, something to repeat with the rhythm of our breath, something that will serve us when we walk off the mat. If “let it go” are the words you carry and the practice you keep, you’re probably heading in a better direction than the one from which you came. When you let go of a thought or a desire, a memory or a premonition, you are freeing space for the good things to come. There’s fresh energy released when we surrender what takes up space without function. There is weightlessness that comes with the newly found space. With weightlessness, we look up and see joy in the moment.

The familiar yoga pose pictured here is commonly called “Camel.” Camels are known for their ability to carry heavy cargo for great distances, but at the end of the day, the camel kneels and drops the weight from his back. Once a servant to the burden, he is able to release what is no longer necessary and find sweet relief.

A closet, free of clutter gains us space and self satisfaction. A mind, free from the attachment of judgment and fear provides us opportunity and clarity.

Happy housekeeping!


Laurie Kasperbauer is an active Florida Realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. Laurie also enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes.


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Naomi’s Summer Vacation Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:11:31 +0000 FOR THE LOVE OF CATS
Naomi & Karina Paape

Glamour Puss Winner, Milo

Glamour Puss Winner, Milo

Dear Fellow Felines:

I feel the love. I know I was missed, that my absence was noticed. I even know that I missed my last deadline, but — for the first time in my life — I took a vacation! Imagine! Me, your most esteemed tortie and chief supervisor over here at For the Love of Cats, got into cars and boarded airplanes. I travelled as far south as Key West, an island where cats are revered, and as far north as Boston, where dogs rule.

And yes, as one would expect, coming home was quite a shock. I waltzed into a shelter full of strangers: litters of new and maturing kittens and a couple of moms, one of whom was so feral all she did was hiss at me. Kittens were climbing the walls of the romper rooms, and doing paw stands and backflips in their kitty condos. There were orphans; there were colony rejects; there were abandoned litters; and even a gorgeous, long haired, Himalayan-looking, lone kitten I couldn’t resist naming Armani (yes, I do have exquisite taste). He’s so handsome that he was adopted within minutes of crossing the shelter’s threshold, a phenomenon we call “insider trading.”

Back to the business at hand. Let’s start with “Tinker.” This three-month old, drop dead gorgeous silver tabby was trying to eat his way into one of our managed colonies (colonies are groups of feral cats who are fed daily by my staff). Given that cats are so territorial, however, poor Tinker couldn’t get near the food. Fortunately, the sharp-eyed volunteer who takes care of this particular colony noticed this pitiful looking, odd cat out, but the poor thing was so malnourished, and loaded with parasites, that I had to quarantine him for a while. He did tell me, however, that the meal plan here is more than meeting his needs.

The next happy-to-be-rescued feline is “Russell,” a four-month-old kitten that’s been with us for a month now. A sharp-eyed homeowner found him in some bushes, but thought he was dead. The poor boy was so weak from starvation that he couldn’t move. In fact, the day he came in we weren’t even sure he’d make it through the night. He was so severely dehydrated that he spent the night in the shelter’s ICU (a.k.a. co-founders Jim and Jan Rich’s guest room), where he was kept toasty and fed every couple of hours.

Then, my staff informed me, we unexpectedly took in a group of five-day-old kittens. Their mother had been shot twice and killed. We’re not sure who rescued the babies, but they are taking full advantage of their second chance at life. They jump, climb, run, wrestle and enjoy daily tumbling sessions.

And talk about difficult cases, I took in a litter of four terribly sick, three-week-old kittens. The poor little babies’s eyes were swollen with puss, and they were constantly coughing and sneezing because of an upper respiratory infection. Such infections are quite contagious and require special handling by my 70-member staff (we all know that dogs have owners and cats have staff).

By now you must all know that I’m not the campground type of girl, but I couldn’t resist this one chance in a lifetime moment to spend the night in a tent. I was all worried about falling prey to bears, gators and bobcats when I discovered three abandoned kittens. It was a good thing because Jan tells me that, “Kittens rarely survive the night in the wilderness.” She also said, “We were lucky that this must have been a very recent event.”

The shelter’s newest addition is “Berkshire,” a barely four-week-old kitten found all by his lonesome. Someone probably dumped him. He was so frightened and hungry that he hissed at me when I tried to introduce myself the other day, but after some warm kitten milk, this little lion morphed into a sweet, purring lamb. Jan thinks he is, “as cute as can be.” As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

So, you ask, how did I spend my summer vacation? I started in Key West where I saw the most shocking thing — a trained tortie! Everyone knows that torties can’t be trained. What would my “Most Esteemed Tortie Fan Club” think? I’d been wandering around trying to decide what to do with my tortie self when I heard the most magical words: “Cat show for cat people. Starts in five minutes. Any dog lovers go back to your seats.”



My indignant self (I was still fuming about the audacity of training a tortie!) snagged a front row seat and waited to see what said tortie — “Georges” — had up her fur. This aging performer is a classic Hemingway cat with six toes, giving her a pair of thumbs with which to perform gravity defying acrobatics. And in keeping with the tortie pledge, Georges wasn’t as cooperative as “Catman” would have liked. In an effort to soothe her ego, however, he reminded her: “Without you, there is no show. You are the catalyst.” Music to my ears, and that is all it took to get Georges back in the show. I, of course, did a back flip and meowed a string of “bravos!”, beaming with pride that Georges had not, in fact, sold her tortie soul. She was simply strutting her tortie stuff, demonstrating the superiority that resides in the hearts and minds of torties worldwide.

Since the heresy of “training” a cat was intriguing to me, I took Catman aside between shows and interrogated him about how one trains a cat. He told me that it takes a year-and-a-half to teach them how to climb ropes and jump through hoops of fire, and another year-and-a-half to get them used to crowds of people so they don’t get distracted or head for the hills.

Now let me tell you about Boston. I spent two weeks looking for cat pals, or even just one cat. Any cat would do! But as I strolled Beacon Street, all I saw were dogs. Dogs, dogs, dogs. Everywhere dogs! Adding insult to injury was the fact that, in front of Whole Foods, was a stainless steel bowl of water. So I drank, and then I looked up at the clear plastic bin attached to a railing. It was full of dog treats. The sign said, “Help yourself,” so I rifled through looking for cat treats. But not a crumb was to be found. I’ve decided that Boston is not a good place for cats to go.

Which leads me to my final words of wisdom: My (okay, For the Love of Cats) 2015 Glamour Puss calendar is now out and available for sale. It’s only $15 and is available on our website ( Once the Farmer’s Market starts back up (November 5), you can purchase one at our booth, and while there, you can meet some of the kittens we bring every week. Don’t forget, the calendar sells out pretty fast, so if you’re looking for stocking stuffers, you better stock up!

Love, nips, and purrs!


Namoi is a 5 1/2-year-old Tortie and a permanent resident at FLC. She is the shelter supervisor and takes her salary in food. She would love for you to learn more about For the Love of Cats at its website,

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Does the Game of Tennis Need More Changes? Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:10:21 +0000 READ MY TIPS
Doug Browne

Change for the sake of change. Does the collegiate game really need a complete overhaul to attract more fans?

Not too long ago, every single college tennis match was the best two out of three contest, and each match counted to determine the final score. For quite a long period of time, the order of play was consistent. Each university fielded six singles matches, and then the day was concluded with three doubles contests. Clearly too many duals were decided after the singles play and that rendered the doubles meaningless.

So, in the mid-1970s, the format was altered with doubles beginning each dual-match with the singles players determining the outcome. Unfortunately, the leaders of college tennis decided that the format needed another tweak: condense each doubles match from two out of three sets to one eight-game pro set, and the doubles winner would only win one point. Therefore, the overall scoring was slightly transformed with teams winning 7-0, 6-1, 5-2 or 4-3 instead of 9-0, 8-1, 7-2, etc.

For the most part, the small changes make sense, but there is one hitch. If one of the schools wins two of the doubles matches, play is stopped. So, if the No. 2 team is on the verge of victory, this particular team does not get to enjoy their big moment. It is no different in singles action, as once the outcome is decided, a few singles matches are not completed.

Call me old fashioned, but this never happened in my era; unless there was an injury, we played to the bitter end. I feel sorry for the hundreds of talented collegiate stars who play for losing teams; if their teammates lose early, they are not able to compile a winning record. So, to me, some changes might enhance the game, but other modifications could destroy the fabric of college tennis.

The latest proposal is to keep condensing or shortening the game so it may be packaged for television. The goal is to have the college game fit into the perfect box: “Tune in to the Tennis Channel or ESPN and see the Florida Gators challenge the FSU Seminoles from 4-7 PM.” So, to speed up the game a little more, doubles matches will only be one set and no warm up for the singles contestants. To add insult to injury, every match will be no-ad scoring. Wow!

Now, to keep an open mind, the viewer is now fully engaged in this collegiate clash and will be less likely to flip the remote and change the channel. Sounds good, right. As Lee Corso of ESPN fame says on Saturday Game-Day, “Not so fast.” As we move forward, it is quite possible we are eliminating one of the more fascinating aspects of the sport. The fit athlete is somewhat compromised because the games and sets will move along too quickly, so this new scoring system might favor the quick starter who may or may not be in superb physical condition.

Due to the new, brief doubles format, one has to wonder if the right team is “winning” the deciding point? It was reported that the college “heads” debated whether to keep doubles or eliminate them entirely. Really? Oddly enough, I am one to support many of the changes in the game of tennis: new equipment, new coaching techniques and faster more athletic athletes. My concern for the collegiate tennis player is that the game will be so abbreviated that the better player may no longer dominate. Sure, most viewers love upsets, but we don’t want to reward the player who is not the complete player.

Stay tuned, and please let me know how you feel about these new ideas for college tennis.


Since 2000, Doug Browne was the Collier County Pro of the Year three times, and has been a USPTA pro in the area for 28 years. Doug was also honored in the International Hall of Fame (Newport, Rhode Island) as Tennis Director during the 2010 summer season. Doug has been writing about tennis for the last 19 years.

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Somebody’s Watching You! Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:09:01 +0000 Ask The CFP® Practitioner
Darcie Guerin


“I know a baseball star who wouldn’t report the theft of his wife’s credit cards because the thief spends less than she does.” — Joe Garagiola


Question: Identity theft and cybercrime attacks scare me. What can I do to reduce the risk of this happening to me?

Answer: You’re right to be concerned. Although the above quote by Joe Garagiola may suggest otherwise, identity theft is no laughing matter. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), fraud and identity theft are the fastest growing crimes in the nation. Florida has the highest incidence of consumer fraud in the country with 1,000 complaints per 100,000 people — almost twice the average of other states.

Identity theft occurs when someone wrongfully obtains another’s personal information to commit theft or fraud. Identity theft does not discriminate. It crosses social, educational and economic boundaries; anyone can be a victim.

Old-school thugs steal purses; pick pockets, go through mail and dumpster dive for information. With the increased use of smartphones and tablets, criminals adapted their practices and now tap these electronic devices to gather intelligence. Interestingly, the FBI reports that crimes such as bank robbery and muggings are on the decline while cybercrime is on the rise.

Sophisticated deception techniques include the “skimming” of credit and debit card information at ATM’s or gas stations. “Phishing” is another way the bad guys collect personal information. Criminals will pose as a reputable financial institution via email or on the phone and trick you into providing the personal data necessary to tap into your financial profile.

Once the culprits have your information, they’ll make purchases and change the billing address to delay your knowledge of the activity. Thieves also create new credit lines, apply for additional cards, initiate cell phone service, open bank accounts, obtain driver’s licenses and create entire new identities. Some criminals go as far as filing for bankruptcy in the victim’s name to evade creditors.

In February of 2013, 11 South Florida residents were charged in a $34 million tax refund scheme. The defendants worked with knowing participants to target victims by using businesses, bank accounts and E-filing identification numbers in their own names to execute the fraud. By using identities of real people, some deceased, they’ve filed thousands of bogus tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. Tax refunds were received at addresses and through bank accounts the fraudsters controlled.

Who’s Watching You?

Social media is an inexhaustible source of information for lawbreakers. For instance, on most profiles, there is access to sensitive material including name, address, birthday, family relationships, employment status and daily routines. Play it safe and know that not everyone viewing your profile has your best interest at heart.

Even the youngest members of the family require protection. Thieves are 51 times more likely to target children because they can manipulate information for years before the crime may be detected. Children are easy targets because of their universal use of electronic devices. Forty-one percent of children have had a stranger try to befriend them on social networking sites, 63 percent of children have responded to online sites and 77 percent of children have downloaded a virus. Make the same effort to protect youngsters’ identity as you do for their physical security.

10 Steps to Safeguard
your Information

There’s no guarantee that you won’t be a victim, but awareness and prevention may reduce the risk:

1) Smartphones and other devices often contain more sensitive information than a wallet; treat them with the same cautionary care.

2) Sanitize or “wipe” computers and smartphones before discarding.

3) Shred all documents with any personal information.

4) Practice situational awareness when using an ATM and while speaking on the phone.

5) Only carry credit or debit cards that you’ll be using, and leave your Social Security card at home.

6) Don’t give out personal information by phone, internet or mail, unless you know whom you’re dealing with or have initiated the contact.

7) Only use “https” computer web sites or those with the padlock icon on the security status bar.

8) Secure your mailbox or consider using a post office box.

9) Don’t use obvious passwords such as birthdays or pets names.

10) Thoroughly review all credit card and bank statement transactions each month reporting any suspicious activity (close inactive accounts).

If you’re the victim of identity theft, take immediate action by phone and in writing. Document all correspondence and notify any of the three major credit-reporting bureaus, asking them to place a fraud alert on your credit report. This will put an alert on all of credit files. Notify all of the financial institutions you deal with of the breach of security, file a police report (get a copy for your records) and contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877-438-4338 or at

For some victims, problems are resolved quickly, but for others, it may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars and take countless hours to repair the damage. Stay focused. Trust, but verify.

Information obtained from outside sources is believed to be accurate and reliable, but we do not guarantee the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and subject to change at any time. “Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP(R), CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(tm) and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S.”


This article provided by Darcie Guerin, CFP®, Associate Vice President, Investments & Branch Manager of Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC 606 Bald Eagle Dr. Suite 401, Marco Island, FL 34145. She may be reached at 239-389-1041, email Website:




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Superfoods! Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:07:46 +0000 FITNESS DIVA
Crystal Manjarres

If you’re like most people, you probably have a routine when it comes to just about everything from what you eat for breakfast to what you do before you go to bed. This could be a good or bad thing depending on what goal you are trying to achieve.

When it comes to your diet, there is nothing wrong with eating the same foods for a while in the short term, but in the long run, you definitely need to feed your body a plethora of vitamins and minerals — you know nutrients — in order to function optimally.

Some fun foods that pack a serious nutritious punch are called super foods — and boy, are there a lot! I’m going to give you the most popular that are widely touted as anti-aging foods.

Acai: For those of you who don’t drink wine (like me!) but want the anthocyanins that it contains, look no further than this tiny but powerful berry. It literally has 10-times the antioxidants and 30-times the anthocyanins of red wine with beneficial fats, fiber and phytosterols that help your digestive and cardiovascular systems. It also has the same type of fat as olive oil — that beautiful oleic acid that helps decrease inflammation (and hence aging).

Allium Foods: Think garlic, onions, scallions, chives, leeks and shallots. These are great antioxidants for the liver and help promote glutathione; this alone is responsible for eliminating carcinogens and other harmful toxins helping to keep cancer at bay.

Greens: I’m talking about wheatgrass, barley grass and blue-green algae. These foods are rich in chlorophyll and are powerful antioxidants; they eat free radicals for breakfast! Make sure to get fresh wheatgrass and/or barley grass juiced instead of in powdered form as that is where the most potent nutrients are. There are so many benefits to both (and algae) that it would take up the rest of this article, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. Eat spirulina and chlorella to help diminish allergies, control ulcerative colitis symptoms, as well as for the plethora of antioxidants.

Hot Peppers: Where do I begin? Peppers are high in vitamin C, carotene and flavonoids, and are great at eradicating headaches of all kinds, providing relief from arthritis, battling sinus infections, helping to prevent cancer tumor growth and more!

Sprouts: High in “life force” energy due to living enzymes help our bodies to digest at their optimum level — they are nutrient powerhouses! According to Steve Meyerowitz (AKA “Sproutman”), “…Alfalfa sprouts have more chlorophyll than spinach, kale, cabbage or parsley.” So you could toss in a handful to a smoothie, soup or salad, and up your nutrient content like crazy. They have powerful antioxidants that help prevent DNA destruction, protecting us from the progression of aging.

Nuts and Seeds: Nuts are awesome for heart health; they have great protein, healthy fats, vitamins (E and B), minerals (like calcium, magnesium, and potassium) and phytochemicals.

Fermented foods: Fermented foods are nature’s probiotics; these beneficial bacteria strains help us stay healthy, fight sickness and disease, enhance digestion, and fight urinary tract and bladder infections to boot. In addition to reducing the risk for intestinal cancers (among a host of other benefits), they also help prevent tooth decay. Who knew? Find them in yogurt, raw sauerkraut, kombucha, kefirs and more!

This is just a small sample of superfoods that you should try incorporating into your diet. Start slow so as to not overload your system with too much “house cleaning,” and you’ll feel even better than you imagined!


Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “Empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email She can also be reached at or and 239-333-5771.




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Instructor or No Instructor? Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:05:55 +0000 Golf Tips
Todd Elliott

Tiger and Butch Harmon

Tiger and Butch Harmon

Tiger Woods announced this week that he would be parting ways with swing coach, Sean Foley. Anytime Tiger hires or fires any one on his team, there is a serious amount of attention. The talking heads of The Golf Channel, NBC and other networks have all chimed in on this topic. They have compared his records during his time with the three teachers he has had as a professional, Butch Harmon, Hank Haney and Foley.

The talking heads and two of Tiger’s former instructors have stated that Tiger would be better off without a golf instructor moving forward. Tiger knows a lot about the golf swing. He has the latest technology to analyze his golf swing and ball flight, and his past instructors believe he can simplify his thoughts by going at it alone.

There have been a few really good tour players who did not have a golf swing instructor, and many decorated tour players who would go see an instructor rarely. Bubba Watson, PGA Tour player and top 15 golfer in the world, stated he has never taken a golf lesson in his life. Statically, Bubba is one of the best ball strikers in the world. So, is golf instruction necessary?

Many times the decision to take golf instruction is based on personality. Are you willing to listen? Are you willing to work to get better? Do you have a plan or golf goal? A student like Tiger Woods enjoys a structured learning environment, and likes challenging the information given to him. Tiger needs goals and direction; he enjoys that journey. Watson does not seem to enjoy a structured environment, and being told what to do. However, he does have a mental coach to keep his mind sharp on the course. Both Tiger and Watson have found success following their own blueprint.

If you want to be successful in anything you must set goals. As a golf instructor, my goals are to get my students to the reach their physical capabilities on a more consistent basis. No instructor has taken a middle-aged, 15-handicapper and put them on the PGA Tour through great instruction. The best thing I can do for my students is get them to set goals and come see me periodically to stay focused on those goals.

Tiger and Hank Haney. SUBMITTED photoS

Tiger and Hank Haney. SUBMITTED photoS

All students will waiver from the goals if they stop coming to see me for instruction. I am not saying you need Hank Haney with you 110 days of the year like Tiger Woods did in the late 2000’s, but periodic lessons are crucial for achieving golf goals. The most important factor is feedback. I set goals for the student, and give them a blueprint to achieve those goals. The student must play and practice with those goals in mind. Periodically, they need to come see me for a tune up. The tune up will include many questions. What is your most common miss, left, right, thin, fat, etc.? What part of your game is costing you the most strokes? Do you feel more confident on the course since we set golf goals? How close are you to your goal? The answers to these question will allow me to narrow the focus of the lesson. Narrowing the focus allows me and the student to achieve at a faster rate.

I believe Tiger maxed out his physical potential with each instructor. Foley and Tiger had five wins the one year he was fully healthy and prepared. They had goals that they did not achieve, but at least they had goals. Injuries got in the way of those goals. Watson, in my opinion, is the second most talented golfer in the world other than Tiger in the last 20 years. In my opinion, Watson has not maxed out his physical ability because he has not asked for enough help staying focused on his golf goals.

What are your golf goals? The only way to expand your golf goals is to become better physically and mentally. A golf instructor is only one piece of the puzzle. Go see your local PGA Professional to set your golf goals, and to achieve more, see a fitness professional who will communicate with your golf instructor about your golf goals.


Todd Elliott is the PGA Head Golf Professional for Hideaway Beach. Todd is TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Certified as a golf professional. This gives him the ability to give golf specific physical screening to detect any physical limitation that might affect the golf swing. Todd is an active Student Mentor at FGCU; a volunteer with the First Tee program and was presented the 2010 and 2011 PGA’s President Council Awards on “Growing the Game.”

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The Dumbbell Nebula Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:04:24 +0000 SOUTHERN SKIES
By Mike P. Usher

Starting with tonight’s chart, we are entering a period of several months where we have no bright planets available for viewing in the evening hours. This unfortunate situation will last through autumn and through much of the winter. We are just on the wrong side of the Solar System!

Jupiter is available in the east from 5 AM onwards, and Venus pops up just before the Sun does. But, who wants to get up that early? Jupiter does make it into the late evening hours in mid-December, but it’s February before a well-placed early evening appearance occurs.

We will return to the Summer Triangle area now in the west where the summertime Milky Way is still high in the sky, and it’s hard to miss our old friends Altair, Vega and Deneb. This general area is stuffed with star clusters and the occasional planetary nebula, typical when viewing through the thick part of the galactic disk. If the sky is reasonably free of light pollution, notice the dark lengthwise gash in the Milky Way running through Cygnus. Called the Great Rift, it’s not really a gap in the Milky Way but a giant cloud of dust placed between us and the more distant regions of the galactic disk. We see only the foreground stars with the naked eye.

Not far above the center of the chart tonight is the Dumbbell Nebula. The Dumbbell is a planetary nebula which is bright enough to see in your binoculars. Planetary nebulas actually have nothing at all to do with planets so it’s a terrible misnomer, but we are stuck with the name. When early telescope users first detected these nebulas, they appeared round and disk-like, much like a planet does, hence the name.

While most planetary nebulas do look round, some do not, and the Dumbbell Nebula is a perfect example of the other kind. As you might guess from the name, the nebula has the appearance of a hand weight in a small amateur telescope. Larger amateur telescopes reveal a shape more closely resembling a rectangle with a complex internal structure that your eye can’t quite follow. The nebula’s actual 3D structure is thought to be blimp-shaped, viewed from the side.

To find the Dumbbell Nebula, locate the star marking the arrows point in Sagitta and very slowly pan to the right with your binoculars; a tripod helps greatly. Although large for a planetary nebula, the Dumbbell will appear quite tiny in your trusty 9×50′s — a slightly elongated patch of fog. It’s modestly difficult to find so take your time.

See you next time!


Mr. Usher is a Director of the Everglades Astronomical Society which meets the second Tuesday of the month Sep. thru May at 7:00PM in the Norris Center, Cambier Park, Naples. E-mail:


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Leadership Marco 2014 Wed, 10 Sep 2014 00:57:52 +0000 By Noelle H. Lowery

Every community needs strong leadership, especially from the business professionals serving it.

Enter the local chamber of commerce. Every year all over the country, these business organizations spearhead educational programs to help develop and inspire business owners and professionals in their communities to take more active leadership roles locally. In Florida, the statewide program — Leadership Florida — was founded in 1982, and leadership programs exist on municipal and county levels throughout the Sunshine State.

Since 2002, the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce has sponsored its own program dubbed Leadership Marco. A series of 10 experience-based educational sessions, Leadership Marco provides future and current business and community leaders with a broad understanding of Marco Island, its history, its government, its economy and its ecology with practical and in depth discussion on these issues.

At its heart, Leadership Marco helps develop a network of informed citizens prepared to assume leadership roles in the island community, providing leadership-minded individuals with the opportunity to experience the community from public, business and individual perspectives; to develop interest in the future of Marco Island; and to create an environment to inspire community leadership.

It is a forum to identify, enlighten and engage current and future leaders to improve the quality of life in the Marco Island community by broadening community perspectives; building leadership skills; creating working relationships among class members; providing for personal growth and development and encouraging and developing a network of community contacts.

The benefits of Leadership Marco do not end with the January graduation ceremony. Program alumni work each year to raise funds for college scholarships for local high school students. Leadership Marco sponsors three major fundraising events annually — the Paddle Challenge, Wet Paint Live and the Souper Bowl — to aid in the effort. In 2013, Leadership Marco alumni raised $15,000 for their scholarship program.

The 2014 Leadership Marco class consists of 14 business leaders from Marco Island and Naples. From July to December, this group will participate in educational sessions all over Collier County. These sessions are conducted by local professionals who volunteer to share their knowledge and expertise in their respective fields. The topics include:

• Team building

• Marco Island History (Marco Island Historical Museum)

• Media Day

• Hospitality and Tourism

• Education/Parks and Recreation

• Law Enforcement

• Culture and Real Estate

• Health Care and Fire/Rescue

• Agriculture and the Environment

• Government, Transportation and Infrastructure

For those interested in participating in Leadership Marco 2015, the application process will begin in March 2014. Contact the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce at 239-394-7549 or visit for more information.

Michael Sbertoli, Associate Vice President Investments, Raymond James & Associates Inc. Education: William Rainey College. On Marco since 1981 “Managing the Fort Myers office of Raymond James these past seven years pulled me away from the day-to-day actives around our beautiful city. Now that I have moved back to the Marco office and partnered with Darcie Guerin CFP, Leadership Marco brings me up to speed on Island happenings.” Michael Hutch, Advertising Account Executive, the Marco Eagle. On Marco Three years “I want to learn as much about this community as possible.” Lisa Popoff, Owner, Ricks Island Salon and Day Spa. Education: Henry Food Community College (Dearborn, Michigan) and American College (Paris, France). On Marco 30 years “As a business owner, I feel it is of the utmost importance to know everything about our surrounding community and what it has to offer…The island is constantly changing and growing, and it is important to stay on top of the game.” Lisa Honig, Unit Executive Director, American Cancer Society-Marco Island. Education: University of California, Irvine. On Marco Seven years “To gain better insight into the inner workings of Marco Island so that I can better serve my organization and our supporters and volunteers.” Lisa Chapman-Bushnell, Broker/Associate, Re-Max Affinity Plus. On Marco since 2010 Lana Withers, Dental hygienist. Education: University of Florida. On Marco 10 years “To gain in knowledge and understanding about Marco Island’s past and present I can be more connected to my own roots. Leadership Marco is my path to this goal.” Kody Wilson, Dockmaster, Esplanade Marina. Education: Abilene Christian University. On Marco Six years “I hope to learn more about Marco Island’s rich history and all aspects of living and working on Marco Island.” John Cox, President and CEO, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. Education: Lincoln Christian University (Lincoln, IL). Lives in Naples (one year). Jim Murphy, Community Bank Manager, Mutual of Omaha Bank. Eduation: City University of New York. 21 years in Collier County Jessica Hernstadt, Attorney. Education: Boston University and Case Western Reserve Law School. On Marco since February 2014 “I am new to the area and Leadership Marco presented an excellent opportunity to learn more about the community and its history.” Charlette Roman, Marco Island Planning Board; Collier County Planning Commission; Collier Citizens Council; Rookery Bay 1000-hour volunteer. Education: U.S. Army War College Graduate; Webster University; Loyola University in New Orleans. On Marco January 2002 “I wanted to meet other leaders in our community, make new friends, and gain a more in-depth knowledge of our Island, especially our businesses.” Pat Rutledge, Retired after 40-year career with a Fortune 250 Company, Pitney Bowes. Education: Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, Connecticut). Part-time residency on Marco for five years, and full-time resident for the past two years “Ever since moving to Marco Island, I thought it would be a privilege to be a participant in the Leadership Marco program. It is an excellent opportunity to interact with current and future leaders of the Island, to learn more about the inner workings of our community and to identify opportunities to contribute to its future success.” Bob McConville, Stepping Stone Ecotours and Florida Master Naturalist with Dolphin Explorer. Education: University of Maryland. Three-and-half years in Collier County “Leadership Marco provides excellent insight to the workings of agricultural, city and suburban areas of Collier County. My goal is to understand how all of these pieces of the puzzle affect our community. This is an excellent Chamber program!” Austin Bell, Curator of Collections, Marco Island Historical Society. Education: University of Florida. On Marco since June 2013 “I am participating in Leadership Marco because it offers an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the Marco Island community, to which I am still relatively new. As an employee of the MIHS, a nonprofit organization that exists to benefit the public, I feel obligated to learn as much as I can about the community we serve.” ]]> 0