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Home » Tag Archives: Southwest Florida

Tag Archives: Southwest Florida

Camp Able 2014: Going Beyond Special Needs

Campers kayak and paddle board with Capri Fish House on Isles of Capri. PHOTOS BY ALEXANDRA DIAZ

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Schaeffer McHenry, Ellie Bennett, Gage Wheeler and Mary Evelyn Webb could not be more different. McHenry is a junior at the Air force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO; Webb is a Mississippi native who attends the University of Mississippi. Bennett and Wheeler both attend Lely High School. Bennett is a bubbly, talkative junior, and Wheeler is a senior, quiet and a young man of few words. The one thing these four have in common: A special connection with people who have special needs. McHenry’s 23-year-old cousin, Sara, has Down Syndrome. Webb’s mother suffers from Huntington’s ... Read More »

From Sea to Shining Sea

The audience watched as the first strokes of color were placed in the piece, promising what looks to become a vibrant finished product.

By Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com The first time I had the pleasure of meeting local artist, Malenda Trick, was nearly two months ago. The Marco Island Foundation for the Arts (MIFA) had chosen to honor her as their first annual artist of the year. I noticed right away how open, friendly and down-to-earth she was. She instantly put me at ease, a treat I see far less often than one would think. After accepting her award, she spoke of her two previous Veterans Day projects in which she painted 35 individual portraits of veterans in Southwest Florida and then in Sarasota. ... Read More »

Caves of the Yucatan Peninsula and Florida

Bob and Cathy explore an underground  cavern in Mexico. SUBMITTED PHOTO

STEPPING STONES  Bob McConville  Master Naturalist In early June of this year, my wife, Cathy, and I took the opportunity to visit the Yucatan Peninsula area of Mexico. The marine life and geology of this region are positively fascinating. In addition to snorkeling with whale sharks — the largest fish on the planet — we ventured inland to Mexico’s jungles to learn more about the ecology. What we found was absolutely surprising. This portion of the peninsula sits right where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea. The closest land mass is Cuba, and just north of that is ... Read More »

Our Veterans: From Sea to Shining Sea

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff In May, Malenda Trick made a big announcement about a new Veterans’ Day project during the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts annual Scholarship Awards Luncheon, and now, that project will become a reality. Beginning Tuesday, July 15, Trick will be painting historical images of our nation’s valiant soldiers at war on an 18-foot-long, double-sided memorial canvas wall at the Marco Island Historical Museum. She will paint images of our Florida soldiers at war on one side and our national efforts on the other. The memorial will depict Trick’s impression of images captured during wartime, ... Read More »

Skin Wellness Physicians Now Open

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Submitted Daniel I. Wasserman, MD, board certified in dermatology with a dual fellowship in Mohs micrographic surgery and laser and cosmetic medicine, is opening a new dermatology practice under the name of Skin Wellness Physicians. Services include general dermatology, skin cancer detection and treatment, Mohs micrographic surgery, laser and light medicine and cosmetic rejuvenation. Wasserman recently moved from a group dermatology practice where he provided medical care for more than three years to the Naples and Marco Island communities. His decision to begin a new venture is motivated by a firm belief in delivering high quality individualized health care and ... Read More »

Independence Day

Birds of a feather!! Goodland's favorite winged-resident, Pirate, and his feathered friend, this year's Buzzard Queen. Pretty ladies got a "hello" and a wave.

GOODLAND LIFE  Melinda Gray  melinbrya3@yahoo.com Living in a seasonal town is still very new to me. Though I am trying to acclimate quickly, many unfamiliar things about my home continue to surprise me. My July 4th memories have always been made of Hallmark staples: red, white, blue, family, fireworks and food. But, they also were tainted by the woes of over-planning and stress. I expected this year to follow that time-tested recipe, sprinkled with a touch of homesickness. The sheer distance from my son, family and friends all but guaranteed a lonely, wistful holiday. Contrary to my expectations, this Independence Day ... Read More »

A Call to Artists

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Submitted The Marco Island Foundation for the Arts and the Marco Island Historical Museum are working together to bring a unique art show to Marco Island called “Painting SW Florida History.” Artists from Collier and Lee counties are invited to participate in this exciting event, which will be held at the Marco Island History Museum, Jan. 6–March 21, 2015. Southwest Florida was one of the last frontiers to be settled in our country. The stories of those early pioneers who came in the 1800s and early 1900s have been told through several books written locally and many old photographs. These ... Read More »

Native Beauty on Display

The starting point at the MIHM native plant walk.

By Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com During the hustle and bustle of an average day, I wonder how often we notice just how amazing Southwest Florida is. I find when I take time to notice the natural beauty of my surroundings, I truly appreciate living here. The native animal and plant life that surrounds us is a fascinating mixture of beauty and strength. Mother Nature is wild, and taming her takes a special touch. The Marco Island Historical Museum (MIHM) has accepted her challenge, and has been busy cultivating an impressive exhibit featuring native plant life available around-the-clock for the enjoyment and ... Read More »

MIA Inaugural Summer Camp with an Environmental Twist

Dr. Richard Murphy (left), director of education for the Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Oceans Futures Society, gives students an outdoor lesson near Tigertail Beach.

By Noelle H. Lowery  noelle@coastalbreezenews.com The first-ever Ambassadors of the Environment Camp in Florida was a rousing success for the joint partnership between Marco Island Academy and Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society. It was a journey that began five years ago when MIA Founder and Chair Jane Watt discovered the Ambassadors of the Environment Program through the Ocean Futures Society and its director, Dr. Richard Murphy. Currently, the active, hands-on outdoor education program has locations in California, French Polynesia, Grand Cayman, St. Thomas, Hawaii, and Turks and Caicos. Many of the programs are affiliated with the Ritz-Carlton or a cruise ... Read More »

Marco’s Real Estate Round-Up

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Real estate is the largest single industry in this area. It is the topic of conversation for hundreds of our neighbors, friends and family. Whether it be industry news, agent information, technology updates or new designations and awards, those involved in real estate want to know. Below is a compilation of real estate news items received by Coastal Breeze News: Marco Island Specialist Certification Jon Busch, Kathy Hunt, and Susan LaGrotta of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty have received the new Marco Island Specialist Certification from the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors (MIAAOR). They ... 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 »

School Board Candidate Forum Held on Marco

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com During the last week of June, the Southwest Florida Citizens Alliance (SWFLCA) held two of four planned candidate forums for those running for the District School Board of Collier County in the Nov. 4 election. The first was held on Marco Island at the Marco Island History Museum on Monday, June 23. Eight of the nine candidates participated in the Marco Island event, which was moderated by Jared Grifoni, the host of “Resistance Radio” on WGUF-98.9, and Marco Island Academy junior Marcus Daffner. Composed of five members from five districts, the Collier County School Board ... Read More »

2nd Annual SUP Poker Run

Rescue vessels were on hand to assist in the case of an emergency. Even the youngest attendees took part.

By Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com Southwest Florida’s trademark bugs and humidity didn’t deter standup paddle board (SUP) enthusiasts of all ages from enjoying the 2nd Annual SUP Poker Run on Saturday, June 14. The Capri Fish House on Isle of Capri was packed to the gills with volunteers, coaches, participants, athletes and professionals who came to support sending the local Special Olympics (SO) athletes to this year’s SUP Invitational in Key West. The team created the annual poker run with the sole purpose of raising money to help offset the cost of attending the highly anticipated invitational, which includes bussing, food ... Read More »

‘The 4th Letter of Ponce de Leon’

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com What if the great Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon tried to set up a colony along the shores of Southwest Florida? What if he wrote a letter to the king of Spain about the mysteries he found on the gulf coast shores but the letter was lost in the sands of time? What if the letter reappeared 500 years later, found on a beach by a curious little girl and her father? What if finding this letter turned everything historically known about Ponce de Leon and his expeditions upside down? These are the questions ... Read More »

Goodwill and Mutual of Omaha Bank Join Forces

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Submitted Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. and Mutual of Omaha Bank have joined forces to provide entrepreneurs from low and moderate income backgrounds the opportunity to develop business skills and receive funding to become more independent and successful. Through Goodwill’s MicroEnterprise Institute, more than 215 entrepreneurs have received business training and many have successfully started their own business. MicroEnterprise sessions typically meet for six weeks and cover an array of topics including developing a business plan, feasibility planning and cash flow.  Representatives from Mutual of Omaha Bank and other partners often provide the instruction for the classes. In addition ... Read More »

Manatee Middle School Hurricanes ‘ROAR’

Karina Miranda and Seraphanime Garcia paired up with a presentation  on manatees and Florida panthers. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

By Nancy Richie At Manatee Middle School, the teachers and sixth-grade students didn’t slow down just because school was winding down for the summer. For eight weeks, they worked hard, researching their own Southwest Florida backyards. This hands-on, end-of-the-school-year research assignment is part of the Collier County Public School (CCPS) Pre-Laureate writing program. CCPS’s most capable students have the opportunity to pursue an AP Laureate diploma, the most demanding CCPS diploma available. This Laureate Program continues to grow with 80 Laureate graduates from five high schools this past year, compared with just three at one school when the program began ... Read More »

The Long Trip Home

One last walk along our private Lake Erie beach.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com The mission: a seemingly impossible road trip with the ultimate goal of packing up the last of my worldly possessions. I’ve got to gather what’s left in Ohio and bring it all back home to Goodland. I hear the “Mission Impossible” theme song in my head every time I think about the gravity of the situation, but it’s time to say goodbye to what was and start laying some permanent roots. I will admit, in the weeks leading up to this mission I wasn’t looking forward to seeing Ohio. The daunting 24-hour drive promised to ... Read More »

EcoTour Provider Training Series Back at Rookery Bay

Rookery Bay Reserve naturalist Randy McCormick explains the role of mangroves in southwest Florida’s environment during while touring the Reserve. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROOKERY BAY RESERVE

Submitted With approximately 97 percent of Southwest Florida’s ocean-based economy coming from tourism and recreation, ecotour professionals serve as ambassadors of local natural areas. These ecotour professionals often rely on their knowledge of natural history to provide clients a memorable experience. In order to meet the growing educational needs of ecotour professionals, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in partnership with Florida Sea Grant, is offering a series of field and classroom-based programs this summer. Back by popular demand, the Ecotour Provider Series promotes sustainable tourism practices by providing guides, naturalists and tour operators with information, tips and tools to ... Read More »

The Eagle Has Landed

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Submitted The eagle has landed and can be found at its temporary perch outside the city of Marco Island’s Community Room, located at 51 Bald Eagle Drive, behind City Hall. Standing 9-feet tall, the majestic 800-pound statue of an American Bald Eagle stands sentry there awaiting a move to its eventual home atop the Freedom Fountain that will grace the Veterans’ Memorial at Marco Island’s Veterans’ Community Park. The Freedom Fountain will be built at the Memorial’s entrance, joining the Flag Plaza where the American, Marco Island, state of Florida and POW/MIA flags proudly wave above an inscribed brick-paver plaza. ... 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 »