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Tag Archives: life

Al Bismonte

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By Maureen Chodaba Upon entering the Marco Island home of Al Bismonte, you are greeted by a garden ornament with the message “All Things Grow With Love.” That is a theme that lives and flourishes in the heart of this man of many talents. This “retired” pediatrician from Waukegan, Illinois enjoys a home that is filled with more than one hundred orchid plants. “They are not my hobby, they are my therapy,” says Bismonte with a smile. Surrounded by their beauty, Bismonte explained his secret in caring for these thriving plants. “Sometimes people think an orchid has died, but it ... Read More »

Marine Habitat Project Growing

David Wolff, Ocean Habitats, and one of the standard-sized artificial 
dock habitats he invented. Photo by Don Manley

By Don Manley A pilot project designed to revitalize the cloudy waters of Marco Island’s canals to restore their function as sustainable marine habitats teaming with a diverse array of fish, shellfish and other aquatic life, has caught on with residents. At the request of their owners, six of the artificial dock habitats were installed in March behind six homes that abut a canal that runs between Elm and Perrine Courts. Since then, 19 more have been deployed, all of them purchased by the city for the pilot project at a cost of $10,000, which includes installation, as well as ... Read More »

Technology and Nature Keep Rookery Bay’s Marine Life Healthy & Happy

Photo by Dave Graff
Flounder often cover themselves with sand, leaving only their eyes exposed.

COASTAL CONNECTIONS Renee Wilson June is National Aquarium Month and some exciting things are happening in the watery world at Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Located between Naples and Marco Island, the 16,500 square-foot center features a two-story exhibit hall and was developed to serve as an interactive gateway into the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The center’s exhibits, nature store, art gallery and more provide a comfortable environment for kids of all ages to learn about the estuary. The center is also responsible for keeping many species of fish and other marine life comfortable in its seven aquarium ... Read More »

More Than a Number

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MIND, BODY And Spirit Laurie Kasperbauer  lkasperbauer@gmail.com A few years ago I was driving on the Island when I noticed a couple standing on the sidewalk waiting for the traffic light. The man wore the rounded spine of at least eight decades on Earth; his right hand clutched the handle of a cane, punched to the pavement for support. The woman was white-haired, and equally bent, with tubes in her nose that extended to an oxygen tank she pulled wagon-style behind her. But more than their postures and their accessories, I noticed that the fingers of their free hands were ... Read More »

Since She Went Away

Since She Went Away
By David Bell
New American Library –
June 21, 2016 - 432 pages
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
4.0/5.0 stars

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com Bell is an accomplished storyteller who is equally adept at both character development and plot advancement. I first read his “Someone I Used To Know” last year and was riveted by the nuances of his characters’ personalities. The same is true of “Since She Went Away.” I was invested in these characters by the end of chapter one and put the book down only once. This is basically the story of RN Jenna Barton, a single mom, and her teenaged son Jared, detailing how their quiet lives in tiny Hawks Mill, Kentucky were up heaved by ... Read More »

Senior Safety Fair

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Submitted Step Smart Collier and the South Regional Library will host a free Senior Safety Fair from 1 to 4 PM on Thursday, June 16, 2016, at the South Regional Library, located at 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway in Naples. This free Senior Safety Fair focuses on fall prevention – the leading cause of injury and death to seniors. The program will feature table displays and demonstrations by the Supporting Partners of Step Smart Collier in addition to a formal presentation on the steps seniors can take to reduce the risk of falling. Guests will have the opportunity to visit table ... Read More »

Paradise Reef Premier

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Has anyone noticed how much traffic there is out there? It’s as busy as during season! Sometimes we can’t even get out of the government parking lot! For the last few years the Governor has been working on growing jobs, jobs, jobs everywhere. Well, with jobs come people and cars and housing and more children. What IS the perfect world? Let’s face it – our unemployment rate is very low, so it looks like that is good for the people living here, but surely it must have also brought people who are new to the area ... Read More »

Can Al-Anon Help?

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Submitted  Heavy drinkers commonly say that their drinking is not as serious a problem as some people may think. People who are close to them also have a tendency to minimize how seriously the drinker’s alcohol abuse has affected them. They are trying to keep things as normal as possible under conditions that are sometimes unbearable.   How Can Al-Anon Help? A Member Shares Her Story Submitted  In November of 2011 I picked up a pamphlet in the doctor’s office titled “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism” and browsed through it. Words began to leap off the pages at me and aroused feelings that I ... Read More »

Deputy Chief Chris Byrne Retires

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By Samantha Husted On May 27th hundreds gathered in the Rose Hall Auditorium at the Marco Island Historical Museum to bid farewell to longtime firefighter, Deputy Chief Chris Byrne. Chris started at the Fire Department in 1983 when he was just 20 years old. In the past 33 years he’s seen Marco Island grow from a sleepy little town to a bonafide city. He’s been witness to the evolving emergency response technologies and has played a significant role in laying the foundation for the department we know today. Chris grew up just two hours east of Marco Island in Miami. ... Read More »

Emotions High at MIA Graduation

Photo by Roger LaLonde
Teacher Robert Eder with MIA students before graduation. From left: Jordan Roath, Cameron
Ragan, Eder, Jacob Golec, Matthew Nugent, Jose Ramirez and Austin Acosta.

By Roger LaLonde  More than 400 family and friends packed the Family Church for the Marco Island Academy (MIA) graduation on June 3. Laughs, cheers and tears made for a special occasion. Valedictorian Stephen Vale brought about the first jolt of laughter when he told of “Not having a normal high school experience.” He chose to go the dual enrollment path his junior year, going to Florida SouthWestern State College. “It was definitely tough the past two years, missing out on all the fun and experiences at MIA.   Due to his youthful looks, Vale said, “On the first day, ... Read More »

Rotary Essay ?Contest Winner

Essay contest winner Christopher Kimble and MICMS Principal George Abounader. Submitted Photo

Submitted The Marco Island Noontime Rotary Club honored Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) 8th grader, Christopher Kimble, for being the Rotary District 6960 Comprehensive Essay Contest Winner this year. Christopher earned the award “For his essay applying the ‘Four Way Test’ to relationships with friends or family, and exemplifying its application through golf.”  The certificate was accompanied by a gift card, and both were awarded at Rotary’s May 5th luncheon, during which Christopher delighted the Rotarians, their guests and his parents with a reading of his winning essay.   The Rotarian Four Way Test Essay By Christopher Kimble The ... Read More »

The Jewelry Genius

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net It’s the beginning of the end of the 2016 seasonal madness. It’s nice to look around and take a breather, maybe sort the things out in your life that went on the back burner – or maybe you completely forgot about them all together, like the fact you can no longer fit an automobile in your garage or your yard looks like a category three hurricane passed through it. It’s time to get the simple things done that were impossible to do the past few months. It’s also that time of the year for inspection ... Read More »

Social Skills for Children

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Submitted Manners and Dance with Ms. Laura is pleased to announce brand new summer activities. Beginning July 2016, Laura Spell will bring her brand of life and social skills, as well as modeling and charm, to Venetian Village. A long-time Naples resident, Spell is offering two-hour workshops on select Saturdays this summer to teach children ages 6-12 valuable life and social skills. These include: self-confidence, poise, presence, introductions, dining etiquette, hygiene and basic sewing. Children will learn time-honored life and social skills as part of additional two-hour workshops on select Saturday afternoons. Workshops in introductions and polite conversation, dining etiquette ... Read More »

A Carefully Constructed Village

“The Neighborhood Gang,” circa 1992 Photo by Laurie Kasperbauer

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com “You are a piece of the puzzle of someone else’s life. You may never know where you fit, but others will fill holes in their lives with pieces of you.”  – Bonnie Arbon In 1996 a book was published by none-other-than, Democratic presidential hopeful, Hilary Clinton. The title of the book is “It takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us.” The phrase, “it takes a village,” is thought to be an African proverb, built on the premise that raising a child is a collective effort that extends beyond the mother and father ... Read More »

Charlie Mike: A True Story of Heroes Who Brought Their Mission Home

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com Charlie Mike:  A True Story of Heroes Who Brought Their Mission Home By Joe Klein Simon & Schuster, October 2015 – 320 pages Genre: Biography Collier County Public Library: Yes “Charlie Mike” is not the name of any person, but military shorthand for “continue the mission.” This is the story of some veterans from America’s 21st century wars and their reorientation to civilian life. Navy veteran Eric Greitens was the initial driving force behind the organization that grew to be named “The Mission Continues.” His life had been filled with a desire to achieve excellence in ... Read More »

Deputy Chief Chris Byrne Retires

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By Samantha Husted On May 31st the City of Marco Island Fire Rescue Department will bid farewell to longtime employee Chris Byrne. Chris started with the fire department as a firefighter in 1983 and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming Deputy Chief. Chris has dedicated himself to the citizens of Marco Island, Collier County and the State of Florida. He has held leadership roles through various task forces, such as the State Coordinator of the Collier County Hazardous Materials District Response Team, the Collier County Marine Emergency Response Team Coordinator, as well as the Commander of the Collier County Strike ... Read More »

Don’t Wait to Evacuate

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By Marco Island Police Chief Al Schettino At 6:30 AM on October 24, 2005, Hurricane Wilma made landfall at Cape Romano, seven miles south of Marco Island, with 125 mph winds and torrential rain. Wilma, a Category 3 hurricane, left widespread damage to South Florida that was estimated at $22.3 billion dollars. Approximately 3.2 million South Florida residents were left without power in the days and weeks following the storm. Eleven years later, Florida’s population has grown by 2.1 million, with the majority never having experienced a hurricane. I recommend that all new Florida residents take time to review this hurricane ... Read More »

‘Baby’s First Breath’

Von Schroth expertly touching up a turtle.

By Samantha Husted sam@coastalbreezenews.com Baby dolphins come into this world tail first and swimming. Just moments after birth, the mother dolphin will gently nudge the newborn up to the surface so that it can take its first breath of fresh air. This image was the inspiration behind artist Michael Von Schroth’s latest wood sculpture, “Baby’s First Breath.” Von Schroth has been working with wood as a medium for over 26 years. You may have seen him. For the past 20 years he has set up shop next to the Gators’ Crossroads bar, just past the intersection of US 41 and ... Read More »

City Council Highlights

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By Maureen Chodaba The City Council of Marco Island held a meeting on May 16. Councilor Larry Sacher was on an excused absence. The meeting had an extraordinary start, as Marco Island Fire Chief Mike Murphy read a proclamation making May 16, 2016 “Chris Byrne Appreciation Day.” After 33 years of service to the community, Deputy Fire Chief Chris Byrne plans to retire at the end of the month. Chief Murphy said “It is a sad day for us that he has to leave. He does have to leave, because it is a pension requirement.” He went on to say ... Read More »

Mangroves…Florida’s “Walking Trees”

Photos by Bob McConville
Mangrove trees in the background, a great egret prepares to land in search of a meal.

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist  Take a boat ride through Rookery Bay and you will see them. Head the other direction towards Florida Bay and, undoubtedly, they are prominent. Just walk to Tigertail Lagoon here on Marco and they can’t be missed. Mangrove trees are everywhere! Worldwide there are more than 50 species of mangrove trees. Here in Florida three species call our state home. They are the red mangrove, black mangrove and the white one. Of these three the red is probably most well known. They are some of Florida’s true natives, thriving in salty environments. All need ... Read More »