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COASTAL COMMENTS

Welcome

Donna Fiala [email protected] The place is beginning to come alive again! We’re seeing people beginning to trickle in. Businesses are beginning to stock up. Restaurants are advertising for help. It’s like a sleepy little town waking up in the morning to a fresh new day. Welcome back to those who have arrived. We’ve missed you! Now, we can begin having fun again. * Guess what? Not only is our new Outback Restaurant on U. S. 41 East open and doing great business, they are open at lunch time, and now Carrabba’s has followed suit. Now, BOTH are open for lunch. ... Read More »

Put a Cork in It!

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff If you want to take a real life “hands on” approach to ending hunger, Meals of Hope is the way to go! This 501c3 organization was designed as a way for communities to come together to end hunger in their communities and beyond. So far, more than 22.5 million nutritious meals have been packaged and distributed. Locally, Neil Snyder has been dubbed “Captain Hope” by fellow Rotarians as the man in charge of the Meals of Hope campaign. His wife, most recent president of the Kiwanis Club, also joins the effort. In fact, more than ... Read More »

Daring to Dream

In her brown bomber  jacket and white silk scarf, Janina Birtolo became Amelia Earhart for the night’s captive audience. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Melinda Gray [email protected] On Tuesday, Sept. 2, the Marco Island History Museum’s Rose Auditorium hosted a packed house for the presentation of “Daring to Dream,” an original dramatic portrayal of the life and last flight of Amelia Earhart. The allotted hour flew by as local actress and writer, Janina Birtolo, delivered a fast-paced memoir, simultaneously humorous and heartfelt, detailing the famous aviatrix’s exploits. With her one-woman-show, Birtolo kept listeners at the edge of their seats from the moment she took the stage, appearing as if she’d just touched down from another soaring flight. Fully-costumed and impossibly energetic, she virtually ... Read More »

Parking Meters on Marco?

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By Pat Newman Parking meters may be making their debut on Marco Island if a proposal to install 10 meters on Elkcam Circle is approved by City Council. The recommendation came after Guy Verdi, owner of the Philly Grille on Collier Boulevard, appealed to the Marco Island Planning Board that his planned expansion was jeopardized by updated parking requirements. “We need to expand, or close our doors. I feel like Marco Island is putting us out if business,” Verdi told board members at their Sept. 5 meeting. City Manager Roger Hernstadt explained that it was his and the Planning Board’s ... Read More »

Raymond Returns to Running a Year After Accident

Roger Raymond is off and running again, leading the Marco Island Charter  Middle School cross country team. PHOTOS BY ROGER LALONDE

By Roger Lalonde On Sept. 12, Roger Raymond finished what he started exactly a year ago. He completed his normal run, something he couldn’t do on Sept. 12, 2013. He actually laid down on the spot where he sustained his serious injury. This time he got back up, finishing his run, instead of a trip to a hospital. On Sept. 12, 2013, trying to get out of the way of an oncoming car, Raymond fell as he went into an alleyway along side Marco Floor Covering, just off San Marco Road on Marco Island. The result, Raymond broke his right ... Read More »

American Patriettes Share Patriotism Through Talent

PHOTOS COURTESY OF AMERICAN PATRIETTES

By Noelle H. Lowery [email protected] Jeff Popick was looking for a way to spend more time with his daughter, Alexis, doing things she really loves doing — namely singing and dancing. His entrepreneurial spirit and background in the entertainment industry took the desire one step further, and the American Patriettes was born. A troupe of local girls ranging in age from 7-15, the American Patriettes is a performance group specializing in song and dance with a patriotic flare. Recently, the girls traveled to Miami Marlins Park — via stretch limo — to perform “The Star Spangled Banner” prior to the ... Read More »

Cleaning Out the Closet

Camel pose.  SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Body, Mind And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer [email protected]   “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 ... Read More »

Does the Game of Tennis Need More Changes?

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne [email protected] 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, ... Read More »

Wetland Restoration Webinar Series

The Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) has announced its newest monthly restoration webinar series as part of its efforts to tackle some of the biggest challenges for wetland restoration and to share insights and lessons learned from experts in the field. Twenty five experts including restoration practitioners, regulators, policy makers and academics have formed a working group to develop a series of 13 informational webinars. Webinars will be held monthly starting this month and will run through September 2015. Each will begin at 3 PM (EST), 2 PM (CST), 1 PM (MST) and 12 PM (PST), and will be ... Read More »

Talking Meta Meditation with Jillian Pransky

Jillian Pransky. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Noelle H. Lowery [email protected] Just one conversation with Jillian Pransky gives a person a sense of peace and calm that is hard to come by in today’s fast-paced, technologically-driven world. You immediately take a deep breath and relax. Your heart rate slows down. Your mind clears. The impact Pransky — daughter of well-known Marco Island artist Phyllis Pransky — has on people has garnered her a great deal of notoriety as a specialist in restorative yoga and yoga therapeutics. She is the director of restorative therapeutic yoga teacher training for YogaWorks and a founding director of Bright Spirit Yoga ... Read More »

Back to School with Dr. Jory Westberry

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By Noelle H. Lowery [email protected] With three weeks of the 2014-2015 school year under her belt, Dr. Jory Westberry is very pleased. The principal of Tommie Barfield Elementary School and her staff made it through a summer of transitions to welcome 596 students — an average of 17-21 students per class — on the first day of school. Gone are the FCAT and Common Core Standards, and in their place, TBE is implementing the Florida Standard Assessments System and the LAFS and MAFS tests. With the retirement of teachers like Gayle Dunphy, Diane Stone and Debbie Cooper at then end ... Read More »

Rookery Bay Studying Mangrove Die-off

A reference point within the die-off area is marked with white rope.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have partnered to conduct a long-term study of the 225-acre mangrove die-off area near Goodland known as Fruit Creek Farm. USGS awarded funding to this project for a minimum of three years to assess the hydrologic restoration, which now is partially underway. Since 2000, Rookery Bay Reserve has partnered with the Coastal Resources Group, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the city of Marco Island to conduct the initial assessment of the area’s hydrology and produce a ... Read More »

Local Referendums Have Surprise Endings

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By Noelle H. Lowery Prior to Tuesday, Aug. 26, most folks were calling the referendums on Marco Island and Isles of Capri too close to call. Not anymore. Some 3,928 Marco Islanders cast their ballot on the non-binding referendum question regarding the construction of a new Mackle Park Community Center: “Shall the city expend up to $3.5 million to construct a new community center up to 16,000 square feet at Mackle Park?” With 2,059 yes votes, the referendum passed by a margin of 52.42 percent to 47.58 percent. On Capri, firefighters, their families and community supporters spent the day rallying ... Read More »

Goodland Gator

‘Ray the Trapper’ attempts to snag the Goodland gator, who made no appearance that day.  PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray [email protected] There’s a new predator in town, and he’s causing quite a stir. An alligator rumored to be at least eight feet long has been trolling the canals and causing unease amongst Goodland residents. Buzz about frequent sightings has been swirling for a few weeks now, but following a recent uncomfortably close encounter, a call notifying the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was placed. On Aug. 4, Ray Simonsen Sr., one of Collier County’s four nuisance alligator trappers, came down to assess the situation. “With the influx of fresh water sheeting, and the end of ... Read More »

Do You Have the ‘IT’ Factor?

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne [email protected] There is an abundance of outstanding athletes in this world, yet some stand out from the rest of the pack. We are riveted by their excellence. In examining this incredible group of “IT” athletes, a few of these elites rise to the top: Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Edwin Moses, Steffi Graf, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Roger Federer, Rod Laver, Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, Steve Prefontaine, Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, Tom Seaver, Reggie Jackson and Willie Mays. What is the balance between genetics verses blood, sweat and tears? How did these athletes ... Read More »

And the Doughnuts Go Rolling Along

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By Carol Glassman I am so distraught! While checking on my AARP account this week, I learned from the young-sounding woman on the phone about all the wonderful deals and offers, most of which I had missed. Are you like me, weighed down by a two-inch stack of frequent buyer and discount cards for various stores and organizations? When I check into a motel, it’s all I can do to remember my name and license number and ask for a smoke-free room — how can I remember to ask for AAA, Senior and AARP rates too? But here’s the real ... Read More »

MIHS Alley Proposal – Part II

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By Noelle H. Lowery and Craig Woodward During its Aug. 1 regular meeting, the city of Marco Island Planning Board approved a proposal from the Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) to name 11 currently unnamed alleys around the island after major players in Marco’s history. With a vote of 6-1, the proposal was passed onto City Council for review and approval. The proposal is the brainchild of Marco Island historian and attorney Craig Woodward, who worked with several members of the MIHS to come up with local historical figures who were not already recognized in some way around the island. ... Read More »

Marketing Marco

The Rose History Auditorium saw almost every seat taken, the audience entertained for more than an hour by Joyce’s colorful storytelling. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

By Melinda Gray [email protected] On Tuesday, Aug. 5, the Marco Island Historical Society and the Marco Island Historical Museum hosted Jack Joyce to tell about his experiences in the early days of Marco Island real estate. “People love to hear about history. I’m telling them the history of Marco; how we did it, how we brought it to the marketplace,” said Joyce. Joyce was born and raised in Boston, where he was a food broker with his father. He attended Boston College night classes briefly, before shipping off to Korea and then Japan, but was wounded and sent home in ... Read More »

Traveling Left of Center

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust [email protected] I was looking for a good love story to break up the string of thrillers I have been reading. Instead, I found “Traveling Left of Center.” As the title indicates, these 18 short stories have protagonists who are slightly off kilter psychologically. We all know they are “out there.” It is estimated that one in four Americans suffers from some form of mental illness. Nancy Christie has given them a voice. Though not as dreary as Edgar Allen Poe by any means, Christie’s protagonists are in various stages of psychic distress. The first story, named ... Read More »

How Often Do You Brush…

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FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres [email protected] Your body? What? Never heard of body brushing? It’s one of the easiest, quickest, (cheapest), most underrated things you can do to improve your immune system among a host of other fantastic benefits! Why, you ask? It’s detoxifying. Our body releases about a pound of waste from our skin daily; if the skin is clogged from dead skin cells, the toxins that are trying to make their way out of you end up being reabsorbed instead. Dry brushing removes these dead cells, and as a result, stimulates the immune system, better enabling it to do ... Read More »