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Tag Archives: end

Caves of the Yucatan Peninsula and Florida

Bob and Cathy explore an underground  cavern in Mexico. SUBMITTED PHOTO

STEPPING STONES  Bob McConville  Master Naturalist In early June of this year, my wife, Cathy, and I took the opportunity to visit the Yucatan Peninsula area of Mexico. The marine life and geology of this region are positively fascinating. In addition to snorkeling with whale sharks — the largest fish on the planet — we ventured inland to Mexico’s jungles to learn more about the ecology. What we found was absolutely surprising. This portion of the peninsula sits right where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea. The closest land mass is Cuba, and just north of that is ... Read More »

Supreme Justice

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BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Max Allan Collins Thomas & Mercer, 2014 336 pages “I always turn to the sports page first, which records people’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.”Earl Warren, 14th Chief Justice, SCOTUS   Someone is assassinating the justices of the Supreme Court in this nifty little thriller set in the future, circa 2030. “Summertime and the readin’ is easy” to paraphrase that famous Gershwin tune. “Supreme Justice” was quite a delightful surprise. I was hooked by the end of the first chapter. Joe Reeder, CEO of ABC Security, is a former Secret Service ... Read More »

Some Things Should Just Stay Broken

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ALL THAT  GLITTERS Richard Alan  harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I fix this, repair that. A solder here, a laser weld there, and lately the use of quick set epoxy glue and enamels have their merits. You already know if you enjoy or dread reading my column that I have acquired an excellent reputation repairing or restoring almost any piece of jewelry that enters my establishment. (Not to mention household objects, such as statues, dog collars, ladies shoes, belts, electric razors, Rolls Royce and Bentley interior parts, sunglasses and numerous ceremonial pieces from all religious denominations.) News of my expertise also has crossed the ... Read More »

A Golden Reputation

Owners of new Marco Island business, Golden Gate Jewelers, Annelie and Amir Kathein. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

By Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com I love my job; it’s the vehicle through which I’ve met some of the most wonderful people since I’ve been here. Getting to know people is inherent in interviewing them for a story, and I recently had the pleasure of meeting, and interviewing one such family. The Katheins opened Golden Gate Jewelers of Marco on June 3, and contrary to what the name might suggest, they are not from Golden Gate, but rather Florida’s east coast. They are very excited that Marco Island is the location of their second store; owning a jewelry store here has ... Read More »

Vibrant Ljubljana

A ride along the river in Ljubljana is a peaceful diversion.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber I have two words for people who say the capital cities of Europe are old and stagnant: visit Ljubljana (lyoo-BLYAH-nah). The capital of Slovenia and located approximately in the center of this small country, it is young and vibrant. With a population of about 280,000, the 60,000 students in this city help invigorate it. It is a captivating city in which to spend some time. Major rebuilding after an earthquake in 1895 has made this city an architectural delight with a mixture of some original and restored Baroque and Vienna Secession (art nouveau), along with ... Read More »

What’s Behind a Front?

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By Lt. Bill Hempel, United States Power Squadrons I find TV weathermen to be most confusing. They seem to be happy if there is a threat of a hurricane and sad when there is nothing to report: “There is a tropical depression forming off the coast of Africa (smile, smile).” Then, there is this low pressure thing that they say is bad. When they talk about isobars with the pressure up, I am really lost. But the big question in my mind is: What is a front? In simple terms, it is the line of demarcation between two air masses ... Read More »

A Meeting with Mr. Misguided

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Artful Life Tara O’Neill You are NOT going to believe what happened to me. This story begs the question: If someone is misguided, then who or what guided them there? I recently participated in a Naples event called “An Evening on 5th.” It involved visual artists and musicians scattered up and down the avenue to enhance the dining and shopping experience of the out-and-abouters. Sounded nice. I rather like talking to folks when I’m at my easel; I feel the more information the public has about the creation of art, the better for artists. The event was well organized, although ... Read More »

Planning for the Future at MIA

Jane Watt and Melissa Scott are all smiles these days and rightly so. The leaders of Marco Island Academy are celebrating the testing gains their students made in 2014 — both in the end of course tests and the FCAT-2.0. MIA’s first-time test-takers made the largest gains of any high school in Collier County in Algebra and the second largest for both U.S. History and Reading. Overall, in learning gains, MIA ranked first amongst all Collier County high schools in Biology and U.S. History, second in Geometry and third in Algebra. “This really sets us up for success,” says Scott, ... Read More »

Bear With Me

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By Carol Glassman Bears are such cuddly creatures, aren’t they? All the bears I have met are cute and cuddly. My first meeting with a bear I called “Honey” occurred when I was 7 years old, and enjoying being the youngest child in the family until Mom brought home our baby brother. With my position as family baby quickly usurped, I could have been damaged for life had she not had the wisdom to bring me Honey at the same time. Did I mention that Honey was quite stuffed? That year, the largest department store, which also sponsored the annual ... Read More »

The Next Generation of Explorers

Community members and MIA donors attended a special VIP reception before the presentation. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

By Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com Friday, June 20, the Marco Island Historical Museum hosted “Cousteau: Past, Present and Future,” a presentation by Dr. Richard C. Murphy, director of science and education at Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society. Set to a slide show featuring mesmerizing images of our earth’s underwater world, he talked about the Cousteau family legacy and briefly touched on some present and future endeavors. The event was co-sponsored by the Marco Island Historical Society and Marco Island Academy, and it highlighted one of those present endeavors: The Marco Island Academy/Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment (AOTE) Summer Camp, the ... Read More »

The Question of a Public-Private Partnership

Bob Olson addresses the Marco Island City Council during the June 21st  reading of the Marriott’s PUD amendment. Olson spoke frequently against the Marriott PUD amendment in the months leading up to its final approval on June 16. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com During its June 16 regular meeting, the Marco Island City Council put to rest the debate over the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort’s $150 million renovation project, approving the PUD amendments by a vote of 6-1. Even so, new questions rose about the Marriott’s offer to give the city $1 million to expedite the renovation of the Smokehouse Bay Bridge. Marriott General Manager Rick Medwedeff made the offer during the project first appearance before City Council on June 2. The $1 million contribution to will cut the construction schedule by eight months, eliminate any potential ... Read More »

AAA Lot Mowing Cited for Repeat Violations

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By Carol Glassman Donald Liston, a tractor operator for AAA Lot Mowing owned by Bernard Wegman, ran up a very expensive tab for his lunch break May 12. Liston decided to have his lunch “with a better view” and “possibly seek another client,” but chose the wrong location. 1929 Indian Hill Street is a privately-owned lot that for approximately 15 years, according to city staff, has been deemed unmowable. In addition, the lot has been posted by Wegman himself, as a result of a previous conviction, as a protected gopher tortoise habitat. In December 2012, Wegman’s company was found guilty ... Read More »

D-Day to Disgusting day…

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On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. My father-in-law was amongst these men who accepted his duty to his country without hesitation, without question and with deep commitment to the United States of America, his country. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “We will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Continental Europe. More ... Read More »

The Eagle Has Landed

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Submitted The eagle has landed and can be found at its temporary perch outside the city of Marco Island’s Community Room, located at 51 Bald Eagle Drive, behind City Hall. Standing 9-feet tall, the majestic 800-pound statue of an American Bald Eagle stands sentry there awaiting a move to its eventual home atop the Freedom Fountain that will grace the Veterans’ Memorial at Marco Island’s Veterans’ Community Park. The Freedom Fountain will be built at the Memorial’s entrance, joining the Flag Plaza where the American, Marco Island, state of Florida and POW/MIA flags proudly wave above an inscribed brick-paver plaza. ... Read More »

Slovenia

An early morning walk in Lake Bled is like walking into a fairy tale. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Located at the northern end of the Adriatic, Slovenia has only 26 miles of coastline. While the Venetian/Mediterranean architecture of the coastal resorts is lovely, the real draw in Slovenia is the natural beauty found in its interior and the charm of the capital city, Ljubljana. Bordered by Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia, and slightly smaller than New Jersey, Slovenia boasts that it is the only country with “love” in its name. Unfortunately, people often confuse Slovenia with Slovakia, a country formed after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia or Slavonia, a region in eastern Croatia. Part ... Read More »

Enforcement Action Filed Against FGG

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Nearly two months ago, bulldozers powered by Florida Georgia Grove LLP (FGG) laid waste to what many considered a historic Indian shell mound on Chokoloskee Island near the Ted Smallwood Store. While FGG spokespeople denied the claim publicly, contending the company did nothing but move dredged spoil, it now appears the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking a closer look into what happened on the island during the last week of April. Nakeir Nobles, a public affairs representative with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, confirms that the Corps has “an enforcement action out” ... Read More »

Happy Daddy’s Day!

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FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com With the arrival of Father’s Day, it got me reminiscing about the recent Mother’s Day that just passed — my first with my son Elijah. I remember last year at that time going to “see” him for my last 3D/4D ultrasound for my birthday and how precious that time was. Flash forward to now, and I have a budding toddler in my arms who at ten months started walking, waving hi and bye, signing the word milk, loves to laugh, dance and get into everything! He loves giving me hugs and kisses (sometimes with teeth—his ... Read More »

Marco Makes Strides Against Breast Cancer

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AMERICAN CANCE SOCIETY CARES Lisa Honig In 2013, a group of passionate volunteers led by Marco Island American Cancer Society board member Monte Lazarus worked together with the American Cancer Society to hold a “Luau Against Breast Cancer.” For a first-time event we had a wonderful response from the community with support from First National Bank of the Gulf Coast, Hammock Bay Golf and Country Club and the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and Spa. This year’s event will once again be held in October (date/location TBD) and the first planning meeting will take place on June 23, 2014 in ... Read More »

Take a Hike: Sand Dollar Island is Waiting for You to Explore

Critical Wildlife Area. PHOTO BY NANCY RICHIE

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie NRichie@cityofmarcoisland.com Take a hike and explore one of the most beautiful ecosystems in southwest Florida, walking from Tigertail Beach Park parking lot on the new boardwalk, through the tunnel of mangroves, around the southern end of the Tigertail Lagoon, then heading north to the very tip of Sand Dollar Island “spit” that curls around toward Hideaway Beach, and then tracing your steps back. It takes almost three hours at a moderate pace; longer if you stop a few times taking in the abundance of wildlife that you can’t help but encounter. Once out on the ... Read More »

The Gulf Stream: A Migratory Highway

A newborn loggerhead, less than 2-inches long, gets ahead start towards the Gulf Stream current that will take it thousands of miles before returning to Marco Island 20-plus years from now. PHOTO BY BOB MCCONVILLE

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist Over the next few months, there will be a lot of attention given to the loggerhead turtles that nest on our local beaches. Not so much fuss will be made once the eggs have hatched, but many people are very aware of the absolutely magnificent, nearly impossible journey that these youngsters take. It is nothing short of a miracle. Some of them will catch the Gulf Stream current just off our shoreline, grab a transfer into the Atlantic Ocean and continue up the coastline until they turn east toward Europe and Africa. But they ... Read More »