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Tag Archives: Natalie Strom

FPA Awards Announced


By Natalie Strom CBN has done it again. The excellent staff at Coastal Breeze News has brought home four more awards for its work in 2013; this time from the Florida Press Association. Having already received seven national awards from the Association of Free Community Papers in April, Coastal Breeze is again being rewarded for the fruits of its labor with these latest honors from the FPA. The 2013 Better Weekly Newspaper Contest, hosted by the FPA, recently announced its random list of winners. The list can be found at Award placement will be announced in July at ... Read More »

The orange tree of the sea

Artwork in the Goodland Post Office depicts the strong stone crabbing heritage tied to the village.

By Natalie Strom It’s the crab that keeps on giving. It’s the mighty, yet delicious stone crab. The Southwest Florida delicatessen is much more than your average shellfish. Learn all about it during a day around town at the “Are You Smarter Than A Stone Crab” event. Hosted by the University of Florida IFAS Extension, this tour takes those who are hungry for knowledge and a tasty treat of fresh stone crab claws through Marco Island and Goodland to learn more about “the orange tree of the sea.” Goodland is home to many stone crab fishermen who work long, ... Read More »

Mullet Mayhem

By Natalie Strom It was the 30th Annual Mullet Festival. Thirty years of celebrating the bait fish that grew Goodland from an old, empty pineapple farm into a full-fledged fishing village. The weekend-long event began on Friday, Jan. 25 and wrapped up at sunset on Sunday, Jan. 27. Friday’s kick-off was all about getting folks in the mood to dance, drink and filet some fish. Saturday’s festivities honored that tradition with the usual mullet filleting contest. Buckets of mullet were prepped by some of the fastest fish handlers in town, and then the mullet went to the fryer or ... Read More »

One HUUUGE Experience: Part One

By Natalie Strom Love him or hate him, you have to admit, his success in Cape Coral has been “HUUUUGE, Florida, HUUUUGE!” You know the man: Billy Fucillo of the Cape Coral Kia dealership. With his trusty sidekick, Caroline, Billy has turned his low-budget television and radio ads into a sensation in Southwest Florida. His dealership, boasting three lots of new and used cars is as HUUUUGE as he says it is. And so are the car deals and prizes to be had if such car is purchased. That is how I am going on a five-day, four-night cruise ... Read More »

There’s Something in the Water

The white marker indicates a “Very Low” presence of red tide while the green markers indicate there is less that 1,000 cells per liter. The small amount indicates red tide is “Not Present.”

By Natalie Strom Marco Island’s waters and beaches have seen a recent invasion by a number of algae species. Some bad, the others just fine. Sightings and monitored reports by FWC have found red drift alga, graceful red weed, Alexandrium monilatum and red tide to be present along Marco’s coastline as well as within Marco’s canals. Nancy Richie, Marco Island’s Environmental Specialist, along with her award-winning crew of volunteer beach stewards, have noted that both red drift and graceful redweed have washed up on Marco’s beaches. Richie noted that often storms or passing fronts from the Gulf can wash ... Read More »

Tour de Taverns 5.0

By Natalie Strom On your mark, get set, pedal! The fifth annual Tour de taverns, one of the most popular fund raisers around, is fast approaching. Sponsored every year by the Sandbar and Island Bike Shop, the poker bicycle ride takes place on December 7, beginning at 10 AM. That’s right. It’s a poker ride – and it’s for a very good cause. Every year, the funds raised are given to a sick child in need of medical care. This year, young Avery McCaskill will receive all funds raised from the event. Miss Avery is currently receiving treatment for ... Read More »

Out of this World Opal

The Gamai Necklace.

By Natalie Strom He knew it was out there; an opal that had yet to be discovered. For over forty years, Peter Piromanski successfully prospected for the opal gem in Coober Pedy in South Australia. This, after all, was the place to be to find opals of all shapes and varieties in the country, which, in fact, mines 97 percent of the world’s opal. Then, one day, while in the middle of nowhere in western Australia, not too far from Perth – an uncommon opal mining site – he stumbled upon it. The Australian Fire Opal. As the story ... Read More »

Goodland Golf Cart Ordinance


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom My anonymous letter writing stalker is at it again! Last edition’s article entitled, “Goodland Remarks,” discussed both positive and negative comments I receive regarding my views of Goodland. It was really an effort to praise our community, especially the kids, but one reader clearly misinterpreted the heart of the article. I clearly made a huge mistake when I jokingly told the story of a “naysayer” who sent me an anonymous letter about an article I wrote about a year ago regarding Goodland’s golf carts. Well, it seems the golf carts are still a hot button topic ... Read More »

Goodland is for the Dogs


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom Dogs are never lost in Goodland. And it’s not just because our island is only .6 square miles with the only way of getting out being a long and winding road. It’s because they have great homes that they wouldn’t want to leave. Dogs in Goodland are never lost, but they are found. There are countless stories of Goodlanders who have found or rescued dogs in the most peculiar ways. These dogs become constant companions and are forever grateful for being saved of an unsure life. So, I thought I’d share a few of these stories. ... Read More »

There’s No Place Like Home


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom I recently traveled back home to visit my family and old friends. A quick five-day trip to celebrate a friend’s baby on the way, meet another friend’s new two-month old and spend quality time with my three siblings, dad and grandparents suddenly took a turn for the worse when, only two days in, I was knocked to the ground with an awful stomach virus. Unable to fly back to Goodland, I was at the mercy of my family, of which my dad, primarily helped take care of me. He let me borrow his Nissan Leaf – ... Read More »

Summer Time and the Living’s Easy


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom It’s easy to take it slow in Goodland. Most of us are busy, yet relaxed because our living environment makes us happy – literally. Everyone smiles; everyone waves; and everyone takes time to take a time out when needed. This includes our local businesses. As the summer comes into full swing, it’s time for many of our local haunts to take a break for themselves; a chance to really take it slow for a couple months. Leading the race to relaxation was The Old Marco Lodge. Known for its beautiful views, delicious salad bar, live ... Read More »

MICMS Spring Band Concert a Joy


By Natalie Strom Nearly 250 students performed to a full crowd at Marco Island Charter Middle School’s gymnasium on May 21st. The evening was full of surprises. Irish dancers and bumble bees made appearances to coincide with the evening’s song choices. Band Director Martie Miller mixed things up with songs like Queen’s “We Will Rock You” by Sweeney and Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” while working in pieces like “Tribal Drums” by Shaffer and “Celtic Air and Dance No. 2” by Sweeney. Soloists performed and different instrument sections also had their moment in the spotlight, giving every member ... Read More »

Honoring National Everglades Day


By Natalie Strom In honor of the Second Annual National Everglades Day, April 6th, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR) was ready to throw a party. Just last year the date was chosen as it is the birthday of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, a champion of the Everglades, known best for her book, “The Everglades: River of Grass.” She was at the forefront of the fight towards redefining the Everglades as a treasured river rather than a useless swamp. Much has been learned about “The River of Grass” since Douglas wrote the book in 1947, but the devastation to ... Read More »

Marco’s Mahogany Masters


By Natalie Strom – Meet Sean and Nathan O’Donnell. Identical twins, living on Marco Island, each married with three young children. By trade, the brothers run a painting company, Ace Performance Plus, where they specialize in painting and power washing. But by passion, they mold mahogany into statuesque pieces of art. Every Wednesday, at the Marco Island Farmers Market the O’Donnell twins set up their booth and listen to the “oohs” and “aahs” coming from those who pass by – but most people stop. They stop to admire the beauty of the wood, the intricacy of the carving – or to ... Read More »

Laugh out Loud with Knights of Columbus


By Natalie Strom On Saturday, February 9, The Knights of Columbus will have you laughing all night long as they host an evening of entertainment featuring comedian Tim Walkoe. Sign up for this one-day event and chuckle in the name of children’s charities supported by The Knights of Columbus. If you haven’t heard of Tim Walkoe, you may as well be living under a rock. The Grand Prize winner of ABC’s “America’s Funniest People” has been on HBO, Showtime, A&E, TNN, PBS and much more. A headliner of over 100 comedy clubs nationwide, including the Comedy Stop in Las ... Read More »

Farmers Market Focus Arrowhead Beef: Florida raised & grass-fed


By Natalie Strom Beef – it’s what’s for dinner. And now you can purchase it at the Marco Island Farmers Market. Newcomer to the Wednesday market at Veterans Park is Arrowhead Beef, offering farm-direct, hormone-free, pesticide-free, antibiotic-free, grass-fed beef from Florida. What a mouthful! And what a concept! Co-founded in 2010 by George Fisher and Tom Pellizzetti, Arrowhead Beef, LLC is a cooperative of family farms located near Chipley, Florida. Every family-owned farm that is a part of the co-op raises French cattle known as Parthenais. “Our cattle’s bloodline goes back to the 1890s,” explains Steve Dunn, Market Ambassador ... Read More »

Bumper Crop


PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie It is common knowledge on Marco Island that Florida Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) are present, popular and so abundant that they are found in almost every neighborhood on the island. Not only do our residents enjoy these charismatic birds of prey, but people travel from all over the world to see them. Professional photographers charge top dollar to school the amateur how to photograph them in the “best light,” though any ol’ camera will do. One can’t go wrong when the subject has big yellow eyes, long downy legs and attitude that could take on ... Read More »

A Visit with Marco Urgent Care


By Natalie Strom Vacationers visit Marco Island to escape the cold weather, but often can’t escape the dreaded cold or flu. When this happens, where do they turn? Naples Community Healthcare Systems offers an Urgent Care Center on Marco Island to visitors, part-time and full-time residents of Marco in need of treatment of non-emergencies, illness and minor injuries. For over 20 years, NCH Healthcare Systems has provided Marco Island with quality urgent care services. Located centrally at 40 Heathwood Drive, NCH Urgent Care of Marco Island is “open 365 days per year – even holidays,” states Diann Chairge, Director ... Read More »

Pirates commandeer the Marco Museum


By Natalie Strom Ahoy mateys! Arrrr ye ready for a day of plundering and pillaging at the Marco Island Historical Museum? On January 26, the museum will host its first ever Pirate Day in honor of the pirates of Florida’s coasts. It’s true; pirates played an integral role in Florida’s history. Just ask James and Sarah Kaserman, authors of “Florida Pirates: From the Southern Gulf Coast to the Keys and Beyond;” they will be the special guests of the day. In an effort to give the museum branches their own identities, “all of the Collier County Museums have an ... Read More »

One Million Acts of Kindness


By Natalie Strom In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy where six school teachers and administrators and 20 young students lost their lives, Ann Curry of NBC News came up with the concept #26Acts of Kindness. Encouraging people through her Twitter account to commit one act for each of the 26 lives lost, she wrote on her December 18 blog, “I know the truth: if you do good, you feel good. It’s the most selfish thing you can do. Right now, this country wants to heal. I think the only thing comforting in the face of ... Read More »