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Tag Archives: Southwest Florida

Small Trees but Big Show

Jatropha Peregrina

Plant Talk By Mike Malloy For all of us who want to have one of the showiest trees in town in our gardens (Royal Poinciana) and just don’t have the room because of their size, here are some of my favorite small trees that can be grown in courtyards, containers and small yards here in southwest Florida that can also be as special as the big boys. Dwarf Poinciana (Caesalpinina pulcherrima) is the little brother to the Royal Poinciana but a much smaller size. This evergreen shrub that can be pruned and trained into a specimen small tree, usually about ... Read More »

Fine Art on Marco Island

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Submitted The Marco Island Public Library The Marco Island Public Library and the Marco Island Center for the Arts work cooperatively to provide monthly art shows at the Marco Library branch on Heathwood Drive. The month of February will feature the charming watercolors of Marco Island artist Elizabeth (Betty) Sheridan. Elizabeth’s drawings are inspired by local color in both northern (Hadley, MA) and the tropical surroundings of Southwest Florida. Her work features bright tropical flora, lively greenery, landscapes, seascapes and buildings in clear tones with evocative light & shadow. MI Chamber of Commerce The Marco Island Chamber of Commerce office ... Read More »

Bromeliads in the South Florida Landscape

Concentrica

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Bromeliads are finally getting the attention they deserve. Until recently, they were only popular with a small segment of house-plant enthusiasts. Today, bromeliads are prized tropical treasures in many Southwest Florida landscapes and public and private gardens. Featuring a wide range of color, leaf shapes and textures, bromeliads are as beautiful as they are hardy. If you’re looking for beautiful, exotic-looking tropical plants that are easy to care for and drought tolerant, look no further than bromeliads. Bromeliads are in the Bromeliaceae family, which is native to the tropical Americas. The pineapple plant is the most ... Read More »

So, How Do You Feel?

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To Your Health Scott Lowe CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd There seems to be quite a lot of information written about health care issues. In addition to this—my regular column in Coastal Breeze News—practically every local publication features some sort of healthcare-related column. Add the “news-related coverage” that local journalists assign to the comings and goings of doctors and staff from Southwest Florida’s abundant healthcare originations and, invariably, it can get confusing. Why? We sometimes don’t know who or what to believe. And yes, I most certainly include myself in the aforementioned group of “we.” However, as the CEO of Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard, I would like ... Read More »

Stretton, FACA 2A Player of the Year

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He was the target for every team he played, yet he produced, leading his team to a record season of wins, 16 and fewest losses, 7. For his effort Marco Island Academy’s Cole Stretton was named Florida Athletic Coaches Association 2A Player of the Year for Southwest Florida. Stretton averaged 22 points a game, yet Coach Roger Raymond pointed to his unselfish team play. “Cole is one of the most unselfish players I have ever coached,” Raymond said. “There were games where he could have scored more, but chose to pass off in support of his teammates. In one game ... Read More »

Join Us for “Discover Tigertail”

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Submitted Friends of Tigertail Beach is hosting “Discover Tigertail”, February 21, 2015 from 9AM to noon. This is a free family program that addresses the marine life and other wildlife that inhabit the Tigertail Beach lagoon. There will be nine “information stations” spotted around the lagoon. Take part in seining for creatures from the lagoon or enjoy hands-on activities about loggerhead sea turtles, shore birds, sharks, butterflies, plants, seashells and more. Our specialists are from Rookery Bay, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the Marco Shell Club. Featured again this year, will be the very popular scavenger hunt, “Question Quest”, enjoyed ... Read More »

Civil Air Patrol SAREX training

Final briefing of air and ground crews before mission. SUBMITTED photoS

By Col. Dave Gardner On 23-25 January 2015, the Civil Air Patrol’s Marco Island Senior Squadron conducted a three-day search and rescue exercise (SAREX) with a mission-base at the Marco Island Airport. 21 CAP members from the Marco Squadron and 1 from the Naples Senior Squadron participated in the sorties and managed the SAREX. Civil Air Patrol squadrons combined their experienced personnel and equipment assets to conduct this large three-day event. Having aircrew and administrative staff from both Squadrons flying and working together helped hone their skills in searching for downed aircraft, lost boaters and kayakers, as well as spotting ... Read More »

Steven A. Hennell: Building Marco’s Green Dream Homes

Looks can be deceiving... this home is GREEN!
Building High Efficiency Healthy Homes

By Coastal Breeze News Staff What makes a good home? Sturdy walls, hurricane-rated windows, fine and fancy appliances. What makes a smart home? One that can utilize simple concepts and smart technology while actually saving the homeowner money. Ask Steve A. Hennell of Steven A. Hennell Inc., Custom Home Building and Remodeling. Last year, the Marco Island custom home builder won the Aurora Award for “Green New Construction” at the 2014 Southeast Building Conference (SEBC) for his Florida Green Building Certified Model Home at 316 Bald Eagle Drive. The home now serves as the model center for Hennell and consists ... Read More »

Aqua Construction and Development: Custom Homes to Commercial Projects

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By Don Manley Quality rather than quantity is of primary importance at Aqua Construction and Development. “Our goal is not to build the most homes, but instead the most beautiful homes,” said Rod Bushnell, who founded the company more than 23 years ago. Aqua Construction has centered its sights on redefining waterfront luxury living with a combination of exquisite design and thoughtful architecture. From concept to creation, each custom home is built to the buyer’s specifications with the highest quality craftsmanship. Through its four-step construction process, the company prides itself on providing a personalized home building experience with exceptional customer ... Read More »

A Family Affair at AP Builders Construction Services

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By Don Manley The construction business is a family affair for AP Builders Construction Services founder and owner Alex Parker III. He grew up learning at the feet of his father, who was a premier carpenter in metropolitan Detroit from the 1950s through the 1970s. By the age of 12, Parker began spending summers on rough-carpentry crews. From there, he progressed to finished carpentry at age 18. When he was 20, Parker built his first home, and with that, a career in custom home building was born. Those lessons he learned from his father included more than important instruction in ... Read More »

Jane Watt, In Her Own Words

The students headed out en masse to Big Cypress, and they came prepared with mosquito nets.

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Jane Watt is many things. She is a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a former pharmaceutical sales representative, an educated woman with a degree in zoology and a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. As the founder and chairperson of Marco Island Academy (MIA) — the local public charter high school — she also is a woman from a small Midwestern town who moved to Southwest Florida and succeeded in bringing high-quality secondary education to Marco Island and its surrounding communities, and she did it with no background in education. Watt details ... Read More »

Rookery Bay’s Citizen of the Year

Pictured from left to right: Chris Hagan, past president of East Naples Civic Association; Gary Lytton, citizen of the year; and Marci Seamples, president East Naples Civic Association.

Gary Lytton, director for Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, was named “Citizen of the Year” by the East Naples Civic Association at their annual banquet on Jan. 19. The award is given annually to a citizen that has provided a long history of service to the East Naples community. “Rookery Bay Reserve is the jewel of East Naples and has been a great asset to the entire community,” said Chris Hagan, past president of the association. “During Gary’s tenure it has flourished. His dedication and hard work in environmental education has been exceptional.” Lytton, with degrees in biology and marine science, ... Read More »

MIA, Lely Players Earn Player of Week Honors

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By Roger LaLonde roger@coastalbreezenews.com Three Marco Island Academy and three Lely High School basketball players have been named “Player of the Week” by the National Scouting Report. Scott Hills, NSR director of scouting for Southwest Florida, began the award in the fall for football and volleyball. He provides the plaques and certificates after coaches from Southwest Florida provide the nominees. “I have continued the awards for basketball, and since everyone has enjoyed the acknowledgement, I will continue for softball and baseball,” he said. “We do it for the kids, for the accolades they deserve for being the top athlete in ... Read More »

VenturePitch

The Tamiami Angel Fund II (T2), a family of member-managed funds organized to invest in early stage, high potential, accelerated growth companies, will present the inaugural VenturePitch SWFL on Wednesday, March 11. The event is open to the public and begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Naples Silverspot Cinema, Theatre 12, located at 9118 Strada Place. The ‘Shark Tank’- style event brings together four early stage entrepreneurs who will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges and attendees. One company will be selected as the most investible. “We’re excited to bring VenturePitch to Southwest Florida and offer a ... Read More »

Conservancy Gets Grant

The Toyota U.S.A. Foundation has awarded the Conservancy of Southwest Florida with a grant for $175,000 to fund STEM education programs at the Conservancy. Toyota supports the Conservancy in teaching children to be tomorrow’s conservationists by providing funding for hands-on activities in indoor and outdoor laboratories. The STEM Institute at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida encompasses all of the Conservancy’s Learning Adventures programs (K-12 field trips and outreach programs), including the new STEM Smart program designed for high school students. The STEM Institute programs connect real-world research experiences with classroom curriculum. Programs are inquiry-based, teaching critical thinking skills, and consist of ... Read More »

February, March with M.I. Historical Society

Grace Kelly. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Coastal Breeze News Staff The Marco Island Historical Society is presenting a vast array of educational and entertaining programs at Rose History Auditorium throughout February and March. Every Friday in February Ted Eismeier will present “Mapping Florida History,” a study group that will consider Florida’s past, present and future through the lens of maps. Topics will include Florida’s discovery and development, demography, economy, politics and environment. The group will meet Feb. 6, 20 and 27 at Rose Auditorium from 1-2 PM and on Feb. 13 from 2-3 PM. There is a one-time fee of $5 per person. To join ... Read More »

Bald Eagles, Wildlife Come to Center for the Arts

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Submitted The “Bald Eagle and Wildlife Exhibit,” a collaboration between the Marco Eagle Sanctuary Foundation and the Marco Island Center for the Arts, will be featured February 1-24 in the Center’s Lauritzen Gallery. The work of 20 well-known artists will portray the strength and majesty of our national icon, the Bald Eagle, as well as the beauty, delicacy and lifestyles of many other Florida environmentally-protected wildlife. The Artists, who hail from all over Southwest Florida, Tampa, Indiana, Michigan and Toronto, work in acrylics, clay, hand color on glass etching, pencil, photography, stone sculpture and watercolors. Through the artists’ vision and ... Read More »

Smallwood Music Festival

PHOTOS BY VAL SIMON

By Pat Newman More than 700 people came out in support of the historic Smallwood Store Saturday, Jan. 31, at a benefit music concert staged to raise funds for the Chokoloskee landmark enmeshed in a legal tangle. “It was a real community event,” declared Marya Repko of the Everglades Society of Historic Preservation (ESHP). Approximately $10,000 was raised to help defray legal costs which involve the access road leading to the store. By 2 PM, 500 wristbands were sold out, and concert goers were marked with a felt pen signifying their paid admission. A black-and-white photo of Smallwood Store taken ... Read More »

Under the Sea

We circled the reef site while awaiting a thumbs up from the divers. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

By Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com The sky was overcast and the wind was blowing a cold snap our way in the early morning hours of Jan. 9 when I donned my jacket and gloves and joined the 120-person roster on board the Big Cat Express at Rose Marina in Marco Island. We lucky few would soon witness the ribbon cutting ceremony and deployment of the first cluster in Southwest Florida’s new artificial reef. The official kick-off ceremony for the deployment was held Jan. 8 at the reef material staging site located on Collier Boulevard on the east side of the Jolley ... Read More »

Berkshire Hathaway Welcomes Ken Bennett

Ken Bennett. photo By Don Manley

By Don Manley Count Ken Bennett among the legions of people who have fallen in love with Marco Island. Bennett is the new managing partner at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Marco Island office, a post he assumed four months ago. “I love the beach,” he said. “I think it’s one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. I like the laid back feel here. The people are all very friendly. It’s a much slower pace of life, which I think is great. It’s a little paradise, and it’s a well-kept secret, too. The whole lifestyle is just beautiful. It kind ... Read More »