Thursday , August 21 2014
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Getting Your Goat

Facing Southeast, 11PM August 22nd. The bright star Fomalhaut is a relatively close neighbor of the Sun and seems to have a planetary system around it.  SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net Capricornus, the goat, is the second faintest constellation in the zodiac after Cancer, but it is rather easier to pick out than its near neighbor Aquarius. Capricornus is framed by several modestly close pairs of stars which are quite noticeable once initially located. This constellation is usually referred to as a goat, but classic drawings of Capricornus show a sort of hybrid creature with goat forequarters and a fishlike tail. This makes Capricornus a member of “the sea” — a term covering a large patch of sky which contains constellations with a water ... Read More »

w17¢ Goes a Long Way

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by Carol Glassman This is so pathetic it can only be true. A few weeks ago an elderly friend from out-of-state entertained me with a surrealistic tale of horror involving a co-op utility company to which she is attached — not having a choice. She was widowed eight years ago, but had always looked after family finances and paying the bills, quite proud of being able to handle the simple transactions online. A month ago, she received a taped phone call from the utility company telling her the bill was overdue and if not paid within one day, her service ... Read More »

PRAC Tackles Farmers’ Market Issue

File Photo.

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com It was a scene unfamiliar to the members of Marco Island’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Twenty community members attended the committee’s special workshop Aug. 5 focused on the future of the Farmers’ Market. These 20 individuals were all market vendors. In attendance representing city staff were City Manager Roger Hernstadt, the city’s Recreation Facilities Manager and Farmers’ Market Manager Alex Gliana and Community Events Coordinator Samantha Malloy. Sandi Reidemann and Jacquie Koon of the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce were present. The workshop came on the heels of rising concern over suggested changes ... Read More »

City Council Approves Lobbyist

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com During the 2014 legislative session, Florida lawmakers had a $1.2 billion budget surplus to dole out to pet projects in their districts. Marco Island City Manager Roger Hernstadt and the City Council are betting this was not an anomaly. “This year, the Legislature had extra money and went on a buying spree,” explained Hernstatd. “(Marco Island) was not in the game. I don’t know how long this environment will last, but I felt it was worth the council’s consideration to see if they want to get into the game.” To that end, councilors voted 5-1 ... Read More »

Fiddler’s Creek

Fiddler’s Creek announced that homebuilder Taylor Morrison has opened two model homes with additional models planned in two villages within the luxury, master-planned community. The Farnese VII is a one-story residence, offering 2,100 air-conditioned square feet and 2,889 total square feet. The home features two bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and a den situated around a great room with adjoining kitchen and breakfast nook. The Farnese VII also provides a screen covered lanai with an optional covered outdoor living plan and two-car garage with an optional tandem third-car garage. The Farnese VII is currently priced from $419,900, plus lot premium. The Lazio ... Read More »

Going Fishing? Prepare for Success!

Make certain you have a net ready to bring in your catch. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com South Florida summers are steamy and hot and full of afternoon and evening thunderstorms of varying degrees of intensity, so good preparation and weather awareness is a must for a safe and successful day on the water. It’s often best to plan to leave early in the morning while the air temperatures are still pleasant and the threat of storms is lower than it is during the hot, afternoon hours. Be sure to take along adequate rain gear, should you find yourself caught in a storm. A protective hat, sunscreen, lip balm and ... Read More »

Mid-Season Sea Turtle Update

A sea turtle hatchling swims to the water at Guana Tolomato Mantanzas Research Reserve. PHOTO SUBMITTED BY THE DEP

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com For the last three months, Mary Kelly Nelson has been busy combing the beaches of Marco Island searching for evidence of Loggerhead sea turtle nests for Collier County’s Natural Resources Department. She has not been disappointed. Thus far, Nelson has found 68 turtle nests on Marco’s shore, down from 87 during the same time period last year. Even so, false crawls — tracks or other signs left in the sand by a sea turtle who has abandoned its attempt to nest — are down from 156 at this time last year to 97 this year. ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor: Andrea Cooper

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Dear City Council, I recently emailed the council with a plea for you to reconsider down sizing the Marco Island Farmers Market. Thanks to those of you who responded. Since then, I have spoken to many of the shop owners of the stores in the Marco Town Center plaza.  They tell me that their business is more profitable the day of the farmers market.  They make more money because people from Marco Island and Naples shop in the stores and eat in their restaurants after the market. I encourage the council to slow down on making this very important decision ... Read More »

Fiddler’s Creek

Fiddler’s Creek announces that construction is underway on a new Somerset model at Chiasso, a village of 59 classical Mediterranean-style single-family homes within the luxury, master-planned community. The model is anticipated to be completed and open for viewing in the fall. Offered by D.R. Horton, the Somerset is a two-story residence offering 3,461 air-conditioned square feet and 4,297 total square feet. The home features a luxuriously appointed master bedroom, master bath, and powder bath on the ground floor and three guest bedrooms and three additional full baths on the second floor. The second floor also provides an entertainment/game room with ample ... Read More »

Independence Day 2014

USS Constitution. FILE PHOTO

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun tayasun@taray.com I am writing this article on July 4, 2014. Today is Independence Day. A very special day when we as Americans commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring our independence from the kingdom of Great Britain, when a number of patriots said “NO” to a king and “YES” to freedom and established a representative Republic. As a naturalized citizen, one of millions who chose to pledge their allegiance to this great country, I am full of pride, happiness and patriotism. Seeing the stars and stripes fly against a perfectly ... Read More »

NAPLES BOTANICAL GARDEN CLOSURE TO COMPLETE ELEANOR AND NICHOLAS CHABRAJA VISITOR CENTER

Naples Botanical Garden will be closed Monday, June 2 to Thursday, October 23 2014 as we complete construction on the Eleanor and Nicholas Chabraja Visitor Center. During this time, large scale projects such as the completion of the center and three new gardens, the LaGrippe Orchid Garden, the Charismatic Garden and Kathryn’s Garden will be completed. These new gardens are designed by renowned Landscape architect Raymond Jungles. The Garden was awarded a $500,000 grant from the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, in support of the construction of the new Eleanor and Nicholas Chabraja Visitor Center.  The Garden’s grant submission ranked number ... Read More »

Fiddler’s Creek

Stock Signature homes is offering the move-in-ready Victoria Grande at Isla del Sol, an enclave of 34 custom estate homes located within the luxury, master-planned community. The Victoria Grande is a one-story plan offering 3,897 air-conditioned square feet and 5,706 total square feet. The home features a split floor plan with four bedrooms, four full baths and two half baths. The front entrance of the Victoria Grande provides a covered entry and foyer that lead to an adjoining living room and dining room. There also is a spacious family room just off the kitchen with breakfast area and wet bar. ... Read More »

City to Revamp Farmers’ Market Formula

Bella Maria was among  many food venders who participated in the Marco Island Farmers Market last season. PHOTO BY JAMIE BOZICNIK

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com What started out as a budget discussion about raising the vendor rates for the Farmers’ Market from $775 per booth to $950 turned into a debate about changing the overall vendor composition of the market, even limiting and excluding certain types of vendors, such as arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, prepared foods and open-air food concessions. At the heart of the discourse during a recent special meeting of City Council were the size of the market and the reported rising concern from local restaurants about the market’s “food court,” where a number of restaurants from ... Read More »

Red Tide ‘Not Present’ — For Now

These ominous blood-red tides are caused by a large accumulation of algae in coastal waters and are especially common along the coast of Florida. While disconcerting, only some are harmful to marine life: these are known as HABs, harmful algal blooms, and can even pose a risk to humans.

By Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com This time last year, Marco Island and other Southwest Florida coastal communities were reeling from the negative effects of a prolonged red tide bloom. Reports of the bloom began in December 2012 with Marco Island presenting “very low” to “low” concentrations of red tide, and by mid-February 2013, those concentrations crept up to “medium” status. The 2013-2014 season has been a very different story. Currently, the Collier County Natural Resources Department is reporting that Karenia brevis, or K. brevis — the naturally-occurring dinoflagellate that causes “Florida red tide” — is “not present” in samples of water ... Read More »

Teamwork Works at NCH

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Straight Talk Allen S Weiss, M.D. President & CEO NCH Healthcare System NCH has three primary goals: (1) Improve the quality of care, (2) increase patient safety, and (3) enhance the patient experience. To accomplish these goals requires one thing in particular — shared decision-making from all of our 4,000 colleagues. With an “A” grade on safety for both campuses from Leapfrog, a well-respected national accreditation organization, we must be doing something right in terms of integrating the formidable resources of our entire caregiving team. This team-based model involves those who are closest to patients and families. By being involved ... Read More »

Focus on Utilities Budget

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Nearly two months after proposing a new — and aggressive — general city budget plan for FY 2015, City Manager Roger Hernstadt and Finance Director Guillermo Polanco were at it again during a special-called Marco Island City Council meeting held on June 19. This time, the Marco Island Utilities budget was under the microscope. The usual scrutiny was given to the Utilities’ perceived “spend-spend-spend” mentality, especially in light of the 7 percent rate hike that took effect on Nov. 1, 2013, and the news that $2 million of the $6.9 million the city received last ... Read More »

A Celebration of Success

Faculty, staff and members of the class of 2014 prepare for the MIA’s first-ever graduation ceremony, which was held at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort.

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Family, faculty, staff and school board members joined together Friday, May 30, to salute and celebrate the first-ever graduating class of the Marco Island Academy. The ceremony was held in the Capri Ballroom at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort. Among the local dignitaries in attendance were MIA Founder and Chairwoman Jane Watt, former MIA principal George Andreozzi, current Principal Melissa Scott and Marco Island Marriott General Manager Rick Medwedeff. The ceremony marked the end of a week filled with nervous excitement and anxious anticipation for the 20 students who made up MIA’s class of ... Read More »

Junior Achievement Recognizes IBERIABANK

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IBERIABANK was recently recognized by Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, Inc. for the third year in a row for teaching greatest number of classroom volunteer hours of any company in Southwest Florida. During the 2013-14 school year, 23 bankers from IBERIABANK taught 30 classes in 11 different Southwest Florida schools. The Junior Achievement curriculum is based on financial literacy, business, economics, entrepreneurship and free enterprise. It is estimated than nearly 300 volunteer hours were donated through classroom instruction and lesson preparation by IBERIABANK associates. In addition to IBERIABANK’s overall volunteerism, Junior Achievement named Pete D’Alessandro as their “Rookie Volunteer of ... Read More »

Hodges’ Innovative STEM Programs

Hodges University announced today that it will begin offering STEM programs in a competency-based learning format beginning this fall. Competency-based learning (CBL) is a self-paced, academically rigorous and highly affordable degree completion option especially designed for adult learners and non-traditional students.  Hodges is one of the first four-year institutions in the State of Florida to offer a CBL version of an associate or bachelor’s degree program. Programs to be offered in the new format are an Associate and Bachelor’s in Computer Information Technology and an Associate and Bachelor’s in Digital Design and Graphics. Instead of enrolling in a specific number ... Read More »

Snakes of Big Cypress Swamp

Young Cottonmouth, Big Cypress Swamp

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist When I am not at work on Marco Island, I absolutely love giving tours of the Big Cypress Swamp. I mean I really LOVE it!!!! There are several diverse habitats in that area, and they support a wide variety of wildlife. People are positively fascinated to hear the facts about ‘gators, ‘crocs, hawks, eagles, owls…..and snakes. I try to emphasize in my columns that there is an order to things on this planet, all the way down to the smallest ecosystems. Every plant, tree and animal serves a purpose, even the creepy, crawly things. ... Read More »