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Tag Archives: Marco Island

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 »

Mackle Park – A New Beginning

The water spray park at Mackle Park.

By Maureen Chodaba  Mackle Park, located at 1361 Andalusia Terrace, Marco Island has been a hub of community activity for many years. This oasis of recreation has served Marco Island’s residents and visitors of all ages with its outstanding programs and facilities. Whether attending a “Be Fit Over 50” class, taking a stroll around the lake, or attending Camp Mackle, it has been one of the best places to be for fun on the island. Soon Mackle Park will be going through some changes. And these changes appear to be good ones for this community. August 5, 2016 will bring ... 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 »

They Are Here to Kill Us!

opinion

Beyond the Coast By Tarik N. Ayasun Terror has once again arrived in America. This time it is in our home state of Florida. Forty nine Americans killed and many more injured in Orlando. Only three hours driving time from Marco Island. The murderer Islamist terrorist was born and raised in this country. He grew up and lived amongst us. He has been identified by officials as Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Florida, an American-born citizen with Afghani parents. Ladies and gentlemen, time has come to recognize that we are in danger and our government is neglecting us. They do ... 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 »

Governor Having Love Affair with Goodland? It sure looks that way after second visit in two months

Photos by Barry Gwinn
Patty and Kelly Kirk

By Barry Gwinn On March 4, 2016, Governor Rick Scott paid a visit to Marco Island Academy (MIA). He was there at the invitation of founder and board chairman, Jane Watt, to confer awards on four of the school’s outstanding educators and to see for himself why this school was doing so well. It was about noon when he concluded his visit to MIA. Before leaving, he asked directions and distance to Goodland. The Governor had made the acquaintance of Patti Kirk eight years before, when both worked out at the same Naples fitness center. He had enjoyed meals at ... Read More »

Seasonal Condo Sales and ?Active Listings

Smokehouse Harbour, a water-direct condo. Photos by Gary Elliott

CONDO  REPORT Gary Elliott & Sandy Elliott Of the 164 condos sold on Marco Island during January, February, March and April 2016, 100 of them were two bedroom units. Two bedroom condos made up 61% of the condo market this season compared to 57% last season. Three bedroom condos represented 20% of condo sales this season, and one bedroom condos were responsible for 16%. Three percent of the sales were for either studio or four bedroom condos. Condo sales prices this season ranged from $81,000 for a one bedroom inland condo to $2,075,000 for a four bedroom beachfront condo. Median ... Read More »

Planning Board Update

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By Maureen Chodaba The Planning Board of the City of Marco Island serves as the Land Development Regulation Commission in managing growth and development, while protecting our island’s integrity and small town character. Their recommendations are brought forward to the Marco Island City Council. This board held its regular meeting on June 3. Several important items were addressed. The board unanimously approved a time extension of a temporary use permit for Rose Marina. In the course of its ongoing construction, the marina encountered the need for an 80-day extension for the temporary use of vacant land, owned by the marina, ... 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 »

Letter to the Editor

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Letter to the Editor, June 1, 2016 This letter is in response to the Naples Daily News Editorial on June 1, 2016 regarding improving inter-government communication.  I am running for City Council on Marco Island and this is one of my main campaign issues.  It is imperative that Marco Island has an improved working relationship with the Collier County Board of Commissioners because without one, Marco Island essentially has “taxation without representation”.  Demographically, geographically and monetarily, in terms of taxes, Marco Island is almost identical to the City of Naples.  Yet, so frequently Marco Island is an afterthought. Marco Island ... Read More »

Understanding the ?Fertilizer Ordinance

By Amber Crooks, Senior Natural Resources Specialist, Conservancy of Southwest Florida  With the approval of a fertilizer ordinance in the City of Marco Island this past March, ordinances are now in place all the way up the coast to Sarasota and beyond. In fact, over 90 Florida municipalities have adopted fertilizer rules since 2008. Why have so many cities and counties across Florida placed such importance on the proper application of fertilizers? Fertilizer products containing nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous can contribute to polluted water. Once applied to your lawn, these nutrients may make their way through the soil ... Read More »

When It Rains, It Drains

Submitted Photos
Are we protecting Marco’s waterways from stormwater runoff carrying loose soil, gravel and trash from construction sites?

Submitted It happened just last week on Little Hickory Bay in North Naples. A local news station reported that paint was dumped down a drain leading to a canal. It was paint leftover from a multi-million dollar project dumped by unsupervised workers. Can it happen in Marco at a construction site near you? Marco Island is surrounded on all sides by water. Marco River, Factory Bay and Big Marco Pass to the north; Barfield Bay to the east with the Gulf of Mexico to the west; and Roberts Bay and Caxambas Pass at the south end. We have 100 miles ... Read More »

Island Plaza to Receive a Face Lift

A rendering of the clock tower that will grace the front of Island Plaza.

By Don Manley Work should begin shortly to spruce up the more than 30-year-old Island Plaza with an updated appearance. A groundbreaking was held this week for the approximately $2.3 million project being undertaken by the plaza’s owner, Hendricks Commercial Properties Group, based in Beloit, Wis. Located at the corner of North Collier Boulevard and Bald Eagle Drive, Island Plaza is home to a Bealls Outlet store, a CVS Pharmacy, Jet’s Surf Shop, Davide Italian Cafe & Deli and other retailers, with office space located on its second floor. Plans include the addition of a clock tower near Jet’s, updated ... Read More »

Surge Youth Soccer Tryouts

Sweetbay Memorial Cup championship winners- Surge U8 boys

Submitted Surge Soccer Club youth tryouts and registration for the 2016/17 season is this Saturday, June 11, from 10-11:30 AM at East Naples Community Park, 3500 Thomasson Drive, Naples. Surge Soccer Club has partnered with the Florida Fire Juniors to give boys and girls in East Naples and Marco Island the opportunity to learn and play soccer in a professional environment with the best coaching staff in Southwest Florida. The 2016/2017 season runs from September 2016 to May 2017 (9 month program). The following programs are available: •  SURGE FFJ Pre-Academy – Boys & Girls U7 & U8 (2009, 2010 ... Read More »

MIA’s Cruz Awarded Scholarship

From left: Debbie Orr, Duneshka Cruz and Barbara Markel at the awards ceremony. Submitted Photo

Submitted  The prestigious P.E.O. STAR Scholarship, for the 2016-2017 academic year, was presented to Duneshka Cruz, a senior at Marco Island Academy (MIA). The scholarship was presented to her at the MIA Awards Ceremony by Barbara Markel, a representative of the local P.E.O. Chapter. Duneshka was recommended for this scholarship by Chapter GT of Marco Island. She will be attending the Penn State Schreyer Honors College, where she plans to study Forensic Science and Pre-Med. The P.E.O. STAR Scholarship is a $2,500 scholarship based on excellence in leadership, extracurricular activities, community service, academics and potential for future success. The program ... Read More »

New Owl Book on Bullying

Dr. Dolores Burton. Submitted Photo

Submitted  On Thursday, June 16th from 3-4 PM, Dr. Dolores Burton will read her new book, “Bully Billy is Back: The Burrowing Owls are Worried,” at the Marco Island Public Library. The book is illustrated by local artist Jo-Ann Sanborn. Current statistics show nearly one out of every four students (22%) report being bullied during the school year. After seeing the results of bullying in schools during her career as a teacher and school district administrator, Dr. Dolores Burton decided to do something about it. “Bully Billy is Back: The Burrowing Owls are Worried,” is a delightful story of Manny, ... Read More »

WeddingWire Awards Marco Island Florist

Submitted Photo

Submitted  WeddingWire, the leading global online wedding marketplace, named Marco Island Florist Home and Gifts as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016 for professional wedding services in Marco Island and Naples, Florida. The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016 recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The esteemed awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding florists, based on their professional achievements from the previous year. While many industry award winners ... Read More »

Historical Society Celebrates Savage Bridge Naming

From left: Craig Woodward, Commissioner Donna Fiala, Emily and Herb Savage,
and Pat Rutledge. Submitted Photo

Submitted As a prelude to the monthly Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) meeting and program, a special celebration was held to mark the renaming of the Smokehouse Bay Bridge to the Herbert R. Savage Bridge. Members and guests of the Society joined Herb and Emily in singing “God Bless America” and cutting a cake that pictured the two of them on the bridge at the dedication ceremony held May 30, 2016 – Memorial Day. Stepping up to the microphone with words of gratitude and praise for Herb’s decades-long contributions to Marco Island were MIHS board member, County Commissioner Donna Fiala, ... 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 »

Savvy Women Seminar

From left: Speakers David Garrett, Jessica Hernstadt and Kevin O’Fee. Submitted Photos

By Coastal Breeze News Staff It is undeniable that women’s roles have changed dramatically over time. Often heads of their own households, many women today are busy working while taking care of their children or aging parents. Women face many issues, some arising from widowhood, divorce or second marriages, some from their roles as parents and caregivers. Planning for their financial future has become challenging for many women. On May 19, a seminar on Marco Island entitled “Savvy Women, Smart Investors Take Charge of Their Financial Future” tackled these issues with presentations and discussion. Speakers included Kevin O’Fee, a financial ... Read More »