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Updated: 13 hours 44 min ago

3D Mammography Coming to PRCB

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:13am


Though the celebrations of October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness month are now underway, ask any health-conscious woman and she’ll quickly tell you: Breast health is a year-round focus.

To that end, Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard will soon be the first hospital in Southwest Florida to offer 3D digital tomosynthesis for early breast cancer detection — mammography that allows for a more detailed understanding of breast tissue. Now FDA approved, 3D mammography has already resulted in an earlier detection of invasive and noninvasive breast cancers in multiple studies and is expected to be available to patients in November.

This new screening technology also reduces the need for follow-up imaging that can happen with the illusion of an abnormal area in a traditional 2D view. This saves patients time and travel, additional radiation exposure and unnecessary worry.

To explain, rather than the flat image of traditional 2D mammography, 3D mammography allows radiologists to look through visual slices — one millimeter at a time — to study objects at different heights in the breast. When compared to 2D alone, there is a 27 percent increase in cancer detection and a 40 percent increase in invasive cancer detection.

Though still a great tool for breast cancer detection, standard mammogram is limited to two views. The tomosynthesis represents a giant leap forward as it takes multiple images from different angles to produce a 3D image of the breast — providing far better detail but still using a comparable radiation dose to a traditional mammogram.

Think of it this way, comparing a standard mammogram with 2D imaging to tomosynthesis 3D imaging is similar to comparing a standard x-ray to a CT scan. In both cases, the later produces higher quality and greater visibility of details. What’s more, 3D mammography does not increase test time or cause a more uncomfortable examination, quite the opposite. The length of time to get these multiple images is similar to that of the traditional mammogram but with less compression.

Plus, with 3D digital tomosynthesis, a radiologist will provide the patient with a verbal assessment within 30 minutes. It is also anticipated that patients will receive a screening mammogram and their written results within 24 hours.

Now, for those occasions when surgery is necessary, recent studies indicate when a surgeon utilizes ultrasound guidance in the operating room to remove a breast tumor, patients experience better outcomes. Ultrasound guidance decreases multiple trips to the operating room and improves the final outcome post-operatively.

Dr. Sharla Gayle Patterson of Physicians Regional Comprehensive Breast Center is the only surgeon in Collier County certified by the American Society of Breast Surgeons in Breast Ultrasound.

Dr. Patterson notes: “The use of ultrasound greatly increases the likelihood that all the cancer will be removed the FIRST time.” How? Ultrasound-guided breast surgery helps to better target the problem. It also provides for a better detection and leads to improved cosmetic results by saving innocent breast tissue.

For more information, please call the Comprehensive Breast Center at 239-348-4396.




2015 Relay for Life Kick-off

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:12am


Mention the word “cancer,” and almost every person can relate an experience, be it with a family member, a friend or that individual him or herself. In spite of research and progress in the fight against this dreaded disease, an individual can easily feel ineffective and hopeless in the quest for a cure. However, the ideas and actions of one man did indeed make a difference and created a worldwide phenomenon.

In 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon walked and ran for hours around a track in Tacoma, WA, raising $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. This was the birth of the Relay For Life, which has grown to become a global movement, raising $5 billion to fight cancer. Sadly, Dr. Klatt passed away August 3, 2014, from heart failure after battling stomach cancer. Although he is not here to celebrate, the 30-year anniversary of his creation, his legacy lives on. Today, the Relay For Life continues to celebrate survivors, remember those who have lost their battle, and fight back in the hope of eliminating cancer from our world.

Marco Island resident Maureen Chodaba is one such survivor. She credits research funded by the American Cancer Society with saving her life. Chodaba says, “My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1968 and died less than a year later. When I was diagnosed in 1995 at the age of 38, I felt that I was looking at a death sentence. I am alive today, because of the efforts of individuals who have raised funds for research and better methods of treatment. As a survivor, I will not give up the fight until we find a cure.”

Chodaba looks forward to participating in the 2015 Relay For Life of Marco Island — “One World One Hope” — to be held on April 18, 2015, 11 AM-11 PM at Marco Island’s beautiful Mackle Park. Chodaba continues, “Mackle Park is the perfect setting for this wonderful community event. The Relay For Life is a walking event. You don’t have to be an athlete to participate. It’s a perfect event for the entire family!”

The American Cancer Society and the committee for the 2015 Relay For Life of Marco Island cordially invite everyone in the community to attend the kick-off for this family-friendly community event in the fight against cancer. The kick-off will take place on Tuesday, October 28, 5:30-7:30 PM at the Marco Lutheran Church, 525 North Collier Blvd. Come and learn how YOU can make a difference.

For more information and to RSVP for the kick-off, please call the American Cancer Society at 239-642-8800 or email




Think Pink

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:11am

By Melinda Gray

Even Coastal Breeze Newsstaff does their part: Cherie Logan adding pink to her hair. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

The staff at Salon and Spa Botanica of Marco Island is at it again. For the second year in a row, they are participating in “Pink Hair for Hope” in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Stan’s Idle Hour in Goodland will host the entire salon team on Sunday, Oct. 26, where they will provide a pink hair extension to anyone wishing to donate $10 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

The Pink Hair for Hope movement was started nine years ago through hair-extension company, SO.CAP.USA, and has been growing exponentially ever since. So far this year, over $2.5 million has been raised in salons across the country. Here at home, Salon and Spa Botanica hope to surpass the $3,500 they were able to raise in 2013.

In fact, they’re trying a few new strategies this year. Their event at Stan’s is now later in October, in hopes of a drawing a bigger crowd, and they are reaching out to more local restaurants and businesses to boost participation. Last week, Porky’s Restaurant and CJ’s on the Bay on Marco Island both showed their support by hosting the salon team at each restaurant in Pink Hair for Hope events.

“I can’t imagine what a fundraiser like this would do during season, but this shows the incredible amount of support we’ve got,” said salon owner Tom Brummitt. “We have clients who have dealt with breast cancer personally. I guess everyone knows somebody who has been affected, but the research seems to be paying off. With longer life expectancy, advancements, education, programs and events, it’s building awareness as much as it is raising money.”

Diane Schreiner, a hair designer and nail tech at Salon and Spa Botanica, moved to Marco Island a few years ago, and brought the idea with her from the salon she worked at in Illinois. They had been participating in Pink Hair for Hope since 2006 and had seen widespread support. Schreiner said she originally became involved because of her mother, now a 10-year survivor of breast cancer.

Columnist Melinda Gray sports pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness too.

“We got into it, and it became a huge thing. We would get whole volleyball teams, basketball teams and cheerleading squads coming in for pink hair extensions,” said Schreiner, “We raised $8,000 the first year, and we were the only salon doing it.”

As of Oct. 7, the salon has already raised $500. Last year, the main event in Goodland saw support not only from Stan’s, but from all of the other local restaurants and the community as a whole. The tiny island was dressed in pink and having a good time, said Goodland resident Tammi Williams, coordinator and nail tech at Salon and Spa Botanica.

Williams, whose best friend has been struggling with breast cancer, said watching her friend fight with such amazing strength has inspired her. “Everybody is excited about it, and that makes me so happy. It’s fulfilling to be able to do something that spreads hope in the world,” she said.

Interested in showing your support? Call Salon and Spa Botanica to make an appointment at 239-394-6633. The salon is located in the Shops of Marco, 141 South Barfield Drive. And come on out to Stan’s Idle Hour on Sunday, Oct. 26, between 1-5 PM to get your own pink hair extension and join in the cause. Extensions come in light pink and fuchsia, and the team will be set up to put them in right there on the spot.

To learn more about Pink Hair for Hope, visit



Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:07am

By Coastal Breeze News Staff

Jessica Riccardelli sets the ball .

Talk about team spirit! Lely High School’s yearly PINK OUT brings out the “pink” in all the students. Pink Out is an evening of volleyball between Lely players and rivals Naples High School. T-shirt sales carrying the Pink Out theme are sold before and during the game.

The JV team lost their bid against Naples High in three games. The games were close though, the last of which was 13-15, Naples High. The Lely girls were ecstatic they played so well and fought so hard. It was definitely not an easy win for Naples High.

Before the Varsity girls played, teammate Alyssa Johnson spoke about her mother who is facing her second battle with cancer. Survivors were then asked to stand, and team members, carrying roses, ran into the audience and gave them a rose.

Like their JV counterparts, the Naples High Varsity team ended up besting the Lady Trojans in three games. Again, the third game was won by a mere two points.

Funds raised by pink t-shirt sales went to Florida Cancer Specialists. Sponsors for the event included Millennium Physicians Group, Centennial Bank, RF Medical Services, Jump Hair and Nails, Red Rooster, Breakfast Plus, Coastal Breeze News, RCCI Design and Build, Insurance Solutions, Tom Mahoney Lawn Service, Marco Island Pinch a Penny, Petit Soleil Restaurant, Fred Mundie Attorney at Law and Keep In Touch.




Realistic Expectations

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:02am

Golf Tips
Todd Elliott

Golf is not an easy game.

I find that beginning golfers struggle with limiting their expectation. They see the person next to them on the range hitting the golf ball high and far. They want to make the ball fly far as well, and they expect to produce something similar. When I stand next to a basketball player dunking the basketball into the hoop, I do not change my own expectation of my own game. I simply do not have the physical capability to dunk the basketball. I would have to train for years, and it still may never happen.

Physical capabilities are not as recognizable when looking at a golfer like in other sports. For example, a random 5’8” male, really fit and strong, hits a driver about 215 yards off the tee. Rory McIlory, 5’8”, golf fit and golf strong, hits his driver 340 yards off the tee — two gentlemen who have the same build but totally different physical capabilities for the game of golf and different experience levels.

The terrific aspect of golf is a golfer can increase his/her golf capabilities to a higher level even if they start training at an older age. Golf is a sport that does not require much running speed and explosiveness. With that being said, golf has many variables for improvements. To become a better golfer, it takes improved technique in all aspects of the game, golf specific physical training, golf equipment fitting, mental strength and realistic expectation. It is mandatory for a golfer to educate themselves in all five aspects of the game, no aspect being more important than the other. A golfer can have a magnificent looking swing but be mentally weak on the golf course. A golfer can have a functional golf body but have bad fundamentals in their swing. Also, golfers can be held back from success because their set of golf clubs does not allow them to perform at their best.

Comments like, “I am too old to get in shape,” or “It is not the arrow; it is the Indian,” are hurdles for me as an educator and a teacher. An example is a golfer who is hitting a driver that max height is 6 feet off the ground. If I tried to change their swing to get them to hit the driver higher, it could ruin their game. If I fit them with a driver that fits their golf swing and then correct their swing to hit the golf ball higher, the results with come immediately. The Indian can always improve their swing, but it is impossible without the correct arrows. The student who improves their body, swing, clubs and mind has a higher ceiling for improvement.

One way to improve listed above sticks out to most golfers, realistic expectation. Realistic expectation also can be called course management. Realistic expectations should affect the decisions on the course, such as which target to pick for each shot, what club to select for each shot, and knowing what is a good score on each hole. In short, what is the correct shot to play on each and every shot?

The biggest topic of conversation during a playing lesson is what target a golfer chooses on each shot. If a 30-handicapper hits a pitch shot over a bunker to a pin on the right side of the green, they usually are having unrealistic expectations. The 30-handicapper should be trying to hit a pitch shot that will land and stay on the green. The proper shot should be left of the bunker. The target should be 35 feet away from the pin if necessary. One out of 10 times, the 30-handicapper will get over the bunker and get the golf ball close to the pin, but six times out of 10, the ball goes in the bunker. Now, the 30-handicapper has a shot that is more difficult than the previous golf shot, and the score for the hole is 3 or 4 higher than it should be. Only because the golfer picked the wrong target.

The second topic concerning realistic expectations is most amateurs do not take enough clubs when hitting approach shots to the green. Most amateurs carry distance and total distance they hit the golf ball vary greatly, depending on the club they are hitting. For an amateur hitting a pitting wedge, the carry distance and total distance is usually similar. When an amateur golfer hits a hybrid, the carry distance and total distance can be drastically different. Most amateurs have to consider where the pin is on the green. If a golfer hits a four hybrid 180 yards to a back pin but the ball landed on the front of the green and rolled to the back of the green, they should also use the same hybrid for a 160-yard shot to a front pin. Take all the elements out of play, let the ball land on the front, and roll to the back of the green. Take the long putt instead of being in the front bunker. The amateur golfers should always be thinking, “How can I get this shot on the green.”

The last realistic expectation will help a golfer know what a good score is for his/her particular handicap. Twenty-five percent of the time a golfer will play to their handicap. If a golfer is an 18-handicapper, bogey is their friend. So many good rounds are wasted because a golfers hit to a spot that leaves them in a difficult situation on the course. Then, the golfer makes a bad decision and compounds the mistake. Next thing you know, the golfer took an eight on a Par 4, instead trying to make a five. A golfer should always try to improve in all facets of the game, but managing the game on the course takes self-awareness.

The faster a golfer realizes they cannot dunk, the faster they realize they need to settle for the jump shot. Go see a local PGA professional who can help you set realistic goals but also understands that playing to your potential requires realistic expectations on the golf course.


Todd Elliott is the PGA Head Golf Professional for Hideaway Beach. Todd is TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Certified as a golf professional. This gives him the ability to give golf specific physical screening to detect any physical limitation that might affect the golf swing. Todd is an active Student Mentor at FGCU; a volunteer with the First Tee program and was presented the 2010 and 2011 PGA’s President Council Awards on “Growing the Game.”




Relax, It’s Just the Doctor

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:56am

To Your Health
Scott Lowe
CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blv

As the CEO of Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard, I’m used to interacting with doctors, but for many, that is not the case.

Though some people may be (at least somewhat) apprehensive about a trip to the doctor’s office, other folks worry to the point of experiencing high blood pressure surges — a phenomenon referred to as “white coat syndrome.” In addition, if someone you know claims, “I don’t have time to go see the doctor,” there’s at least a chance this is their fear talking and not common sense.

As children, many of us looked at doctors as if they were “super human.” Plus, doctors didn’t seem to have actual first names — they were all named “doctor” followed by a mature-sounding last name. However, by the time we become adults, we hopefully know one very simple fact: Doctors are people too.

It occurred to me that this fear may be, in part, “fear of the unknown.” Therefore, could part of the remedy be as simple as getting to know more about each other?

As Physicians Regional is blessed with hosting a group of amazing physicians, let me take a moment to introduce two of our most recent additions. After all, fear subsides when familiarity rises.

First, both may be new to this area, but they are by no means new to medicine. Second, both also are extremely friendly, outgoing and easy to talk to.

A native of Puerto Rico, Dr. Vivian Torres received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in San Juan before embarking upon a residency at Damas Hospital in Ponce, PR, followed by a General Surgery Residency at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan.

After a subsequent Fellowship in Vascular Surgery at Wayne State University in Detroit, Dr. Torres became a very welcome addition to the surgical team at both our Collier Boulevard and Pine Ridge locations. She also plans to add office hours at our facility on Marco Island.

For Dr. Torres, a focus on vascular surgery matched her desire to work with her hands; she enjoys the immediate gratification associated with the immediate results that often accompany her work. As vascular treatment often extends over time, Dr. Torres takes advantage of the time invested to nurture and develop mutually beneficial relationships with her patients. Plus, her fluency in both English and Spanish provide a benefit to both patients and co-workers each day.

Like Dr. Torres, Dr. Natasha Choyah places a huge emphasis on the importance of the doctor/patient relationship. In fact, due to her focus on Family Medicine, gaining a clear understanding of her patients and their family medical history is one of her top priorities.

She received her Doctor of Medicine from The University of the West Indies in St. Augustine and completed her Family Medicine Residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Dr. Choyah sees patients primarily at our Marco Island facility. Her presence represents a boon to those on Marco in need of a dedicated “medical partner” — specifically in family medicine. Her husband, Dr. Paul Rubinton, is also an urgent care physician at our Marco Island clinic.

Of course, in Dr. Choyah’s world, “family” means everything. Not only did Dr. Choyah and Dr. Rubinton move here to be closer to family in Naples, they arrived with three young children in tow. From my perspective, her commitment to family — to all families — appears to be limitless.

Vivian Torres and Natasha Choyah both have first names and both shop at Publix. Furthermore, Vivian prefers Vanderbilt Beach and Delnor-Wiggins State Park, while Natasha boldly exclaims: “I never met a seafood restaurant I didn’t like.”

Like all of the doctors at Physicians Regional Healthcare System, they are your neighbors, and most importantly, they want to get to know you too.




Airline Passenger Rights

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:46am

Vickie Kelber

What are your rights as a passenger if your flight is delayed or cancelled or your luggage lost? Since 2009, the US Department of Transportation has issued some laws that ensure certain rights for domestic airline passengers.

When there still was a Continental Airlines, I remember that booking online and having an option to hold a booked flight for 24 hours without payment. Well, it turns out that is the law. If you book through an airline, you have the right to lock in a price for 24 hours without payment. You are entitled to cancel within those 24 hours without penalty. This applies only to flights made directly with the airline, not those booked through a third-party service.

Most airlines will charge you for the cancelled flight but then refund your money without penalty. I’ve read that some airlines allow a 24-hour hold option when booking, but if you opt out of that choice, they charge a penalty. Yes, it is confusing. Of course, if you cancel or change or flight after the 24 hours, you are subject to the airline’s cancellation fees, which can be as high as $200 for domestic flights and more for international. As of the writing of this column, Southwest Airlines was not charging a penalty for changed or cancelled flights. Conditions change quickly in the airline business, and this may no longer be true by the time this is published.

There also is a rule referred to as “involuntary refunds” that provides for full refunds if your flight is delayed more than a specified amount of time. The specific amount of time can vary by airline; you must check the fine print in an airline’s contract of carriage. You may also be entitled to a full refund if an airline makes a significant change in the departure schedule. Airlines don’t always notify you of changes, so it is important to always check your flight schedule prior to the departure day.

There are regulations ensuring passenger rights when there are delays on the tarmac. Airplanes are not permitted to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours (four hours for international flights), although there are exceptions for reasons of safety, security and air traffic control. After a two-hour delay, travelers must be provided with “adequate” food and potable water, and lavatories must be in good working condition and clean. Notification of delays of more than 30 minutes must be made at the gate, as well as on the airline’s telephone reservations system and website. Airlines that violate these rights are subject to heavy fines, as well as paying compensation to passengers. According to statistics from the Department of Transportation, from May 2009 to February 2010, before passage of this law, there were 664 delays of more than three hours among the major domestic airlines; subsequent to passage, from May 2010 to February 2011, there were 16.

Travelers bumped involuntarily from their flights are entitled to cash, not vouchers or discounts. Short delays for bumped passengers must be compensated at double the price of the tickets up to a set amount. For delays of more than 2 hours domestically or 4 hours internationally, the payment is four times the value of the ticket up to a set amount. If a flight is cancelled and you choose not to reschedule, you are entitled to a full refund without penalty. There is no compensation if the airline is able to get you to your destination within one hour of the original arrival time.

Airlines will try to compensate involuntarily bumped passengers with a voucher, discount, upgrade or frequent flier miles. Know that you are entitled to cash rather than these forms of compensations. Caveats include: you must have a confirmed reservation; you must have complied with the carrier’s check-in deadline (usually 10 to 30 minutes before departure time, although the deadline can be longer); rules are applicable only to planes that carry at least 30 passengers. Also, if you volunteer to be bumped for whatever the airline might offer, make certain that you have a confirmed seat on another flight. Airlines will sometimes try to have voluntarily bumped passengers fly standby.

If there is loss, damage or delay to your baggage, you are entitled to compensation. Carriers have different guidelines for reimbursement. For lost luggage, you can be reimbursed up to $3,300, but the airline has the right to ask for receipts or proof of purchase, and reimbursement is made based on a depreciated value for luggage and contents. That $25 or $50 dollars you had to pay to give them the privilege of carrying and losing your luggage? It should be refunded.

The US Department of Transportation publishes an online consumer guide to air travel at For European Union flights, this website is helpful: Another resource is Airfare Watchdog has a condensed, non-legalese guide to the major airlines contracts of carriage at

The Department of Transportation can apply penalties to flights that are chronically late as defined as a delay of 30 minutes or more over 50 percent of the time. I’ve noticed more and more that flights seem to be arriving earlier than the posted ETA; I wonder if the arrival times are being inflated to guard against complaints of delay.

From experience, I’ve learned that when trying to deal with a bumping situation or a cancelled flight, it may be more helpful to call the airline rather than dealing with the gate personnel. The gate staff may be overwhelmed with all the angry passengers; when you call the airlines, you have one person listening to just you. We once had a delayed flight from Newark to Washington, which was supposed to connect with a flight to Ft. Myers. Because of the delay, we were bumped from the overbooked Ft. Myers flight. It was late at night, and we were getting nowhere with the gate attendant. I called the airline, explained the situation, and quickly had a flight booked for the next day and a hotel arranged while other people who had been bumped just became angrier with no resolution.

Prior to deregulation of the airlines and the elimination of the Civil Aeronautics Board, when there was a delay or cancellation except for an occurrence such as an “act of God,” airlines were required by Rule 240 to offer booking on the next flight available even if with a competitor. If only first class was available, an economy passenger was entitled to that seat. A sparse few airlines still include this rule in their “conditions of carriage,” but my guess is you have to be aware of that stipulation and fight for it.

Finally, if you have a complaint about the violation of your rights as a passenger, airlines must acknowledge your complaint within 30 days and resolve it within 60. Unresolved complaints may be taken further to the FAA’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division via phone call, written or online communication.


Vickie is a former member of the Marco Island City Council and Artistic Director of the Marco Island Film Festival, and has been a volunteer for many island organizations. She is presently on the board of the Naples Mac Users Group. Prior to relocating to Marco, Vickie served as a school psychologist, Director of Special Services, and college instructor and also was a consultant to the New Jersey Department of Education.


The Elusive Green Flash

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:45am

By Mike P. Usher

Have you ever seen a green flash? A green flash will sometimes happen at the moment of sunset; it usually requires an unobstructed horizon like the Gulf of Mexico. Essentially, they are a mirage effect that happens under certain atmospheric conditions.

Light from the Sun is refracted (bent) as it passes through the atmosphere. Blue light is refracted more than green light, and red light is refracted the least. In addition, blue light is heavily scattered by the atmosphere, which is why the sky is blue. Essentially, this refraction gives us three images of the Sun (red, green and blue) that are almost, but not quite, on top of each other. With a slight magnification, we can observe the Sun with a thin green upper limb and a red lower limb. DON’T TRY THIS YOURSELF! The blue limb is usually scattered away.

When the last tiny bit of the Sun disappears below the horizon the green limb remains above the horizon for a second or two. This green limb is normally invisible to the naked eye, but if there is an inversion layer in the atmosphere, the green limb is magnified — the origin of the green flash!

A dramatic ray of green light is very rare; generally, one gets a small green glow. A green flash is best seen when your eye is above the inversion level — airline pilots see green flashes frequently — but even just a little altitude helps. This explains why people on the beach rarely see a green flash; it’s not the best spot! Instead, raise your eye up higher above the water by getting off the beach. All the green flashes I have seen were from the beach parking lot. Even better would be a view from a beachfront condo.

Halloween is coming! If you have a small telescope set it up outside on the sidewalk and give the trick-or-treaters a different kind a treat, a view of the fine first quarter Moon we have on October 31. For many, it will be the most memorable event of the evening. It will collect quite a crowd too; Sometimes, I have had as many as 100 children (plus their parents) stop by for a visit over the course of a couple of hours. They won’t forget about the candy, though, so have plenty on hand!

See you next time!


Mr. Usher is a Director of the Everglades Astronomical Society which meets the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00PM in the Norris Center, Cambier Park, Naples. E-mail:

Hello Holly! First Baby Dolphin of the Fall is Here!

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:43am

Stepping Stones
Bob McConville
Master Naturalist

This is the second article in a series of three about Marco Island’s young dolphins. The first article can be viewed by going to under the “Environmental” heading, then under “Stepping Stones.”


The light creases in baby Holly’s skin, called fetal folds, tell us that this young one is very, very new. These folds will fill out in just a few weeks, as the baby grows.

It is Thursday morning, Oct. 2, and the Dolphin Explorer is on the water, as usual, surveying the area dolphins. Naturalist Kent Morse and Captain Michael Tateo, along with several guests, enjoy multiple sightings which include a few adult females. Information is being logged into the data base for research purposes. Among those seen is two-time mom Sparky, but no new calves are noticed.

The very next day Captain Michael is again at the helm; this time, with me along side as naturalist. It’s the luck of the draw. As we enter the main channel from the Gulf of Mexico toward the Isles of Capri, Michael excitedly yells, “Is that Sparky in front of us with a new calf?” Sure enough, he was correct! Just one day earlier Sparky was seen with several other dolphins. Today, she is mothering a new baby, less than 24 hours old, and the first newborn of the fall.

Respectfully, we maintained our distance from the pair and visited a very short while, giving them the privacy to begin life’s journey together. If all goes well, they will be side-by-side for at least three years, and Sparky will need all the rest and energy she can create over the next few months to raise her calf.

There were only a handful of guests on the boat October 3 — two couples and a family of three. Among the family members was an energetic, happy nine-month-old baby girl named Holly. Let’s see, a bouncing baby on the boat and a bouncing baby in the water. Hmmm. It was unanimous. The newborn is named Holly.

Michael and I both chuckled as we watched Holly (in the water) bobbling along. Just learning how to swim and breathe, it looked like a rubber toy being tossed by the nearly calm waters. Birthing season has begun.

The adult female, Sparky, is known quite well. This is the fourth calf she has produced. When the survey team first sighted her in 2006, she already had a calf along side named Orange. In 2007, Sparky gave birth to Pinta, and in 2011, her third offspring was Keegan. On October 3, Holly became the newest family addition.

On Thursday, October 2, Keegan was seen with a few other dolphins, but not in the presence of mom Sparky. Since it was the first time Keegan was seen away from mom, it was a key point for the survey team. Later in the morning, Sparky was seen with other dolphins nowhere near Keegan. This created even more excitement. Sparky did not have a new calf with her at that time.

On Friday morning, Sparky was seen with her new offspring, confirming the young one was less than 24 hours old and was given a birth date of October 3. Did Keegan somehow know it was time to leave mom? It certainly seems to be the case!

If you look at the photos included here you can see how tiny Holly actually is. Newborns are normally in the t25-pound range. Also, you can notice the “creases” on the baby’s skin. These are called “fetal folds” and are a result of the balled positioning in the womb. These folds will decrease over time, as the young one enjoys the rich nutrients of mother’s milk.

Here’s another unique possibility for Sparky. As mentioned above, Orange was already a year or two old when first seen with mom. Orange is now of the proper physical maturity and age to be a mom as well. If she were to have a calf this year, it means that Sparky would be the first known grandmother to the survey team, and Grandmom just had a calf of her own. This is so unique!

The Dolphin Project team is noticing some other events in the Marco waters as well. One of our other adult females, Cosmo, had a calf named Hunter in 2011. The last sighting of Cosmo was by herself, and Hunter was nowhere in sight. This puts Cosmo on the short list of potential moms for this fall. There is similar behavior among other females as well.

Using Cosmo and Hunter as an example, Hunter was born in 2011. During the first two years of the newborn’s life, it is critical to stay close to mom. She will nurse the calf, protect it from predators, teach it how to fish and how to socialize. When the calf turns two, mom may become pregnant again. Since the pregnancy period is 12 months long, and Hunter is turning three, this could explain Hunter’s absence at this time. The youngster has had that final year to hone its skills and prepare for life away from mom.

As for Sparky and newborn Holly, it was good to see the first calf of this fall. This does not necessarily mean that Holly is the only one in the area. There’s a lot of territory to be covered and too many places for moms to keep the young ones protected. There could already be other babies in the area.The search will continue. Surely, other newborns will be found.

Nearly one dozen adult female dolphins are potential moms this fall. Does this mean there will be a dozen new calves this year? Probably not, but it sure will be exciting to see what happens in our area waters over the next two months! It’s just another phase of the journey, another stepping stone, bridging one dolphin generation to the next. I can’t wait to see more!


Bob is the owner of Stepping Stone Ecotours and a naturalist on board The Dolphin Explorer. He is a member of Leadership Marco 2014 and Bob loves his wife very much!

My Sisterhood of the Lycra Pants

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:40am

Body, Mind And Spirit
Laurie Kasperbauer

I feel that I’m in pretty deep. Not quite over my head, but once in a while, I am definitely treading water. From time to time I think about the fact that when my husband and I moved to this tropical vacation-land in Southwest Florida, I had a notion in my head that I’d be spending long hours at the beach with a flirty novel on my lap and an umbrella-clad beverage within reach. The reality of this mid-life transition looks remarkably different than the vision that was in my head, though.

My imagination could not have conjured up the fullness of this life I am currently living. In my new reality, the beach towel has been replaced by a yoga mat. The beverage at hand is a Tervis mug of lemon-infused water, and the “flirty novel” is a weighty binder filled with words like Virabhadrasana and Sutras and diagrams of the human skeleton. In other words, I am up to my acromia in Yoga Teacher Training.

I’m not quite sure the exact day it happened. The moment when yoga seeped into my soul and became something more than Downward Dog. I suppose the notion began when our daughter returned from India where she did her own yoga training. She was different — completely. When she headed to the other side of the world, she was off-course. Unsure. Not fully happy. When she returned, she was confident and calm. She glowed from the inside out. She talked about breath and meditation and sitting in stillness. Huh? I wanted to hear about how she could stand on one leg with the toes of her other foot resting in her hands near the crown of her head. Isn’t THAT yoga? You know, getting into the poses?

Fast forward to the present. For nearly 30 hours per weekend, I find myself hip-to-hip with seven other yogini’s-in-training. Women who were strangers to one another just a month ago have now spoken aloud what our inner voices chant. We have shared, sweat, cried, embraced and laughed. We have invaded one another’s personal space and created room for growth. We are mothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters, survivors, grievers, explorers and learners. Throughout this process, I have been invigorated, inspired, challenged, exhausted and hungry, and when I say hungry, the sensation comes not from my belly but from my heart. I want more. Give. Me. More. Yoga. Deepen the exploration of the noise in my head, the knots in my fascia, the potential of my self.

Recently, I was writing to a dear friend back north about my experience. The words came pouring out as I typed wildly on my computer, “…yoga teacher training is like a needle that has penetrated my heart. I’ve been injected with this serum of calm and energy and joy and fear, and it’s slowly seeping into my bloodstream. It is intense, to say the least, and depending on what I can retain, it could possibly change my life.”

That was a couple of weeks ago, and now, it’s obvious to me that retaining what I’m learning is irrelevant. The change is happening. One day recently, I was sitting outside with my eyes glued to my i-Pad. My husband was in the pool when he said, “You have an aura about you. It’s calm and attractive.” I looked at him, wondering who he was talking to, but it was just us and our dog and his eyes were on me.

It seems everywhere you look lately there is a resonating theme of awareness and strength. Be healthy. Find balance. Stay informed. Exercise. Know your body. Quiet your mind. Take time for yourself. Seek stillness. In other words, practice yoga.

Looking at the photo of my fellow teachers-in-training, I see the faces of warriors. We are not all bendy with open hips and twisty spines. We aren’t all masters of Sanskrit or human anatomy. We are simply women with hearts exposed and minds open. Each of us have followed our own unique path. We all have our individual story to tell. When our training ends, we will each take away our own interpretation of our experience. This too is yoga.

For me, in this moment, I feel joyful and humble, gratitude and fear, but emotions shift. Perspectives change. Capabilities come; abilities go. Only the stillness is constant. Reaching it is what we call yoga.


Laurie Kasperbauer is an active Florida Realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. Laurie also enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes.



New Laws: Part 5

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:39am

Condo Law
By Bob Murrell
Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A.

Today, we will review two bills that were signed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott on June 13, with both effective on July 1. The first of these bills, House Bill 7037, has limited impact on Community associations, but because of the potential impact on community association managers (CAMs), it may have an impact on the operations of community associations.

H.B. 7037 attempts to clarify the duties and responsibilities of CAMs by expanding the definition of community association management and the professional practice standards in Sections 468.431 and 468.334, Florida Statutes.

Section 468.431 grants or clarifies, depending upon which side of the fence you are on, the right of the CAM to perform certain tasks. In addition to the powers and duties already supplied to the CAM, this amendment provides that the CAM may also do the following: determine the number of days required for statutory notices; determine amounts due to the association; collect amounts due to the association before the filing of a civil action; calculate the votes required for a quorum or to approve a proposition or amendment; complete forms related to the management of a community association that have been created by statute or by a state agency; draft meeting notices and agendas; calculate and prepare certificates of assessment and estoppel certificates; respond to requests for certificates of assessment and estoppel certificates; negotiate monetary or performance terms of a contract subject to approval by an association; draft pre-arbitration demands; coordinate or perform maintenance for real or personal property; and other related routine services involved in the operation of a community association, in compliance with the association’s governing documents and the requirements of law, as necessary, to perform such practices.

Some of the above-mentioned practices were already being performed by CAMs. Many of them have been considered the unauthorized practice of law. The unauthorized practice of law is determined by the Florida Supreme Court. The Florida Supreme Court is already considering some of these issues before it, to determine which, if any, is the unauthorized practice of law. It is hoped that this really will not change the operations of associations in any real way, but will help to clarify for the CAM, as well as for the association, what authority the CAM has to perform these duties.

Another important addition is found in Section 468.4334(2)(a) and (2)(b), which provides that the association may indemnify the CAM from liability under Section (2)(a) but that indemnification is limited by the requirements of Section (2)(b).

H.B. 7037 then addresses issues in the Condominium Act, the Cooperative Act and the Homeowners’ Association Act. Section 718.116 is amended to provide for a release of lien form that can be filled out by the CAM, pursuant to Section 468.431, at least until the determination of the Florida Supreme Court’s unauthorized practice of law inquiry is completed.

Section 718.116(6)(b) was amended to provide a form for the first 30-day letter that the association would send out. This form can now be filled out by the CAM. This was being done by some associations and by some CAMs but not by all.

Section 718.121(4) was amended to provide a form for the second notice to the owner regarding past due assessments. This form is prepared at the time of the preparation of the claim of lien. Although this can now be filled out by the CAM, it would still be wise for an attorney to draft this letter since it will accompany the lien, which the Florida Supreme Court has already determined must be prepared by an attorney.

We will next look at the changes to the Cooperative Act and the Homeowners’ Association Act.




Chili Chefs Spice It Up

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:37am

By Coastal Breeze News Staff

The Marco Island Fire Rescue Foundation held its Second Annual Jerry Adams Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, Oct. 11. There were 18 willing chili chefs, many of them firemen representing various fire stations around the county, as well as a few restaurants, fire department supporters and just great chili makers. They each wanted a chance to win the “copper ladle” trophy.

An island favorite among the booths was manned by Chief Mike Murphy of the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department, who teamed with Marco Island Police Chief Al Schettino to serve up chili. There was white “hot” chili, buffalo chili and ostrich meat chili, spicy chili and mild chili, just to name a few. On top of chili, CJ’s on the Bay offered a buffet for those who wanted a bit milder meal. Don’t forget all the add-ons: special sauces, cheeses, onions, green pepper, spices, fritos, corn bread and anything else that could be used as an add on was added on!

For $10, patrons received a coffee mug and got to eat all they wanted. CJ’s provided happy hour prices on drinks, and entertainment was provided by Jeff Hilt. Marco the Mouse was on hand for youngsters. The new fire boat was manned for tours, and a newly wrapped Fire Foundation vehicle was on display and helped to carry supplies.

The event was a huge success and is held in honor of Jerry Adams, one of our local firemen who lost a battle to cancer. Jerry made many pots of chili in his time at the fire house so it is a fitting tribute. Pictures of Jerry dotted the Esplanade.

First place went to Stonewall’s Restaurant. Second place went to Chef Jack Bowden. Third place went to Craig Weinbaum and his daughter from East Naples Fire Control and Rescue District.

Sponsors were key to the event’s success. They included: CJ’s on the Bay, Condee Cooling and Electric, Clausen Properties, Mango’s Dockside Bistro, Kathy Bogan-Premiere Properties, Darcie Guerin-Raymond James, Dr. Megan Welker, DDS, Dry & Clean Carpet Cleaning, Marco Island Marriott Resort, Sami’s Kwik Stop, Marco Island Brewery, Dr. Thomas Schulte, DO, PA and Elite Nails. Prizes were by Mutual of Omaha Bank, Rose Marina and the Hilton Marco Island, Sunshine Stitchers, Pete Guerin, Coastal Breeze News, Sun Times and the Marco Eagle.


Mental Fishing: ‘STEP’ It UP

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:31am

Captain Mary A. Fink

Although the act of fishing is physical, it is my belief that 75 percent of successful fishing is mental or cognitive in nature. For the purposes of this explanation, I will use the acronym “STEP.”

The “S” stands for “seeing.” When seeking or hunting fish, it is imperative to “see” and observe the current environmental conditions, such as tidal exchange, wind, water temperature and depth. Additionally, look for things like structure and cover found around mangrove islands, beaches, docks and reefs. These observed conditions serve as the roadmap to where a current ideal fishing habitat is likely to be.

For example, a mangrove point on an incoming tide where water is washing in and around the point could be a good bet. The presence of birds feeding offshore in the Gulf or from a local inshore fallen branch could offer helpful clues as well. Look for water that is alive with activity either from above or below. “Seeing” is the first step to success!

The next step is “thinking!” Based on the environmental conditions and habitat you have observed, think about the most effective fishing technique you can use to be successful. These techniques include cast and retrieve, drift fishing, bottom or still fishing, and trolling.

Once you have chosen your fishing technique, you must now “execute” that technique though effective bait presentation. This “execution” phase or third phase of “STEP” is the only real physical part of fishing. During the execution phase, it is important to experiment with various live and artificial bait presentations, retrieval speeds, jig head or sinker weights, and jigging techniques. Continue to experiment until you experience success and hook up.

The final phase in “STEP” is to “process feedback” by evaluating and analyzing what is happening during the execution phase. If the fishing action is slow, make changes in location or technique. If fishing action is good, keep doing what you are doing. If fishing starts hot and gets cold, make a move. If action starts cold and becomes hot, stay where you are. It’s all about analyzing and making adjustments to find the best results.

All of the elements of “STEP” boil down to simple awareness, mental processes and making adjustments. To experience better fishing results today, practice using the elements of “STEP”: Seeing, thinking, executing and processing results. Good luck!


Captain Mary specializes in fishing the beautiful Ten Thousand Islands. She holds a “six pack” captains license and has a knack for finding fish. A passionate angler possessing over 35 years of extensive experience in both backcountry and offshore fishing, Mary offers fishing expeditions through her Island Girls Charters company. When fishing with Captain Mary, you will be exposed to a variety of successful techniques including cast and retrieve, drift fishing, bottom fishing and sight fishing. Visit to learn about fishing with Capt. Mary, or reach her at 239-571-2947.

Butterfly Gardening in Florida: The Heliconia Trio

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:29am

Mike Malloy

The Julia

This is the second installment in my 10-part series on Butterfly Gardening in Florida. This time we’re going to focus on the Heliconia genus of butterflies, which includes the Zebra Longwing (Zebra), Florida’s state butterfly; the Julia; and the Gulf Fritillary.

Let’s begin with the Zebra butterfly, also known as the social butterfly. It travels great distances during the day for néctar, but always returns to the same place at night to roost. Zebras commonly roost together in large numbers, which is why they’re nicknamed social butterflies. While hanging motionless, they are vulnerable. To discourage predators at night, they emit a foul odor. Zebra butterflies have a longer lifespan than other butterflies, as long as six months, versus only a few weeks for most butterflies.

It is a thing of beauty to watch a Zebra butterfly fly. It appears to gently float from side to side. When bothered, however, a Zebra takes off like a jet plane. It is black with yellow stripes, which appear white from its underside. A Zebra’s larva is white with black dots. It also has black, fierce-looking spines, which are actually very soft. A Zebra’s chrysalis is unique because it features four tiny gold window-like panes in the center.

The next butterfly in the Heliconia group is the brilliant orange Julia, also known as the Orange Longwing. As is common in nature, male butterflies have more vibrant colors than females. Like the Zebra, the Julia is a warm-weather butterfly and does not migrate north. Its chrysalis is very similar to the Zebra’s, except it lacks the gold window-like panes. Its larva is brown with white dots and a light-colored head. The chrysalis of a Julia butterfly looks like an old twig or dead leaf, which is very beneficial at this vulnerable stage.


The last butterfly in the Heliconia group is the Gulf Fritillary. It is orange as well with silver markings on its top, bottom, and especially, its underside. The Gulf Fritillary is easy to distinguish from other members of the Heliconia group, as its wings are smaller and more rounded than the Zebra or Julia butterflies, which have long, narrow wings. The Gulf Fritillary looks more like a traditional butterfly.

Unlike the Zebra and Julia butterflies, it does not feed on nectar. The Gulf Fritillary is very abundant in the Gulf region and especially here in Naples. Its larva is orange with black stripes, and also has those seemingly fierce-looking black spines. A Gulf Fritillary’s chrysalis also resembles an old twig or dead leaf, which once again proves advantageous in keeping a low profile amongst predators.

There is one thing all three of these butterflies have in common, and that is their love for Passion flower. If you want this trio to make appearances in your garden, just plant Passion flower. Remember, Passion vines grow with a passion, literally, so give them lots of room. Any Passion flower will do, but I’ve had very good luck with Suberosa, (small greenish, white flowers); Incense (blueish purple); and Lady Margaret (maroon color). Interesting fact, there are several compounds in Passion flower that are toxic, so after larvae and butterflies ingest it, they are toxic to their predators.

Watch for my next Butterfly Gardening in Florida installment, where I’ll cover.…



Mike Malloy, local author and artist known as “The Butterfly Man” has been a Naples resident since 1991. A Collier County Master Gardener, he has written two books entitled “Butterfly Gardening Made Easy for Southwest Florida,” and “Tropical Color – A Guide to Colorful Plants for the Southwest Florida Garden”, and currently writes articles on various gardening topics for several local publications. Mike has planted and designed numerous butterfly gardens around Naples including many schools, the City of Naples, Rookery Bay, the Conservancy and Big Cypress. Bring your gardening questions to the Third Street Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings or on Thursdays at the Naples Botanical Garden where he does a Plant Clinic or visit his website, He also can be heard every Saturday at 4 PM on his call-in garden radio show, “Plant Talk with Mike Malloy,” on 98.9-WGUF.



Are You Ready for a Great Tennis Invention?

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:24am

Doug Browne

I don’t know about you, but I love conveniences. It’s been a long time since I walked through my bank to do a transaction. Heck, I seldom go into a fast food restaurant to do a quick order because I love the drive thru. Walgreens has made their pharmacy so convenient that one may pick up their prescriptions at the drive through window. Awesome!

The new Pick-Up Wall for tennis ball machine enthusiasts may be the most incredible new invention because it is so easy to get the best workout, and there is little to no down time. In other words, one of the biggest drawbacks for renting a ball machine is that the player must take considerable time to pick up their balls after the first batch has run out. Unless the club or facility has a great ball mower, this can be a big hassle.

After once the ball machine has fired out all of the balls in the machine, the player must scurry around the court picking up balls, and perhaps losing the momentum of grooming out their stroke. It is somewhat counterproductive; the determined player has “fixed” their weak overhead smash and is excited to hit more balls, but now must take an extended break to pick up balls.

This amazing Pick Up Wall allows the player or players to have continuous action for an hour or two with no hassles. “Our ball machine court time sales have increased 200 percent,” exclaimed a pro from the east coast of Florida.

Let’s break down the importance of this new ball machine concept. Just last week when I was coaching at a visiting at a club, students had to pick up balls with tennis cones and the archaic ball baskets. So, picking up balls can be rather laborious, and takes too much valuable time away from hitting balls and improving one’s game.

Here’s how this machine works. At the back end of the tennis court, there is a pitch set up to catch the balls, and then it has an attachment to scoop up the balls and send them into either the ball machine or huge basket.

As long as the practice player has energy, the machine will go on and on. This Pick Up Wall is perfect for a doubles team or a league team who wishes to work on the tips from their weekly clinic. Need to work on the overhead smash? No problem, the balls will keep coming as long as the player wishes to go back and strike the tough lob. If the low volley is your Achilles heel, set the machine to hit at the feet and work for minutes or hours to perfect this weakness. Remember, the special pitch at the end of the court will pick up any ball struck to this area. Servers may use their basket and serve an entire basket and continue without having to pick up one single ball!

I have always been concerned about the down time in a tennis session. I’ve been using the ball mower since 1984 so my students will hit more balls in each class. Now, the Pick Up Wall takes it to another level. This new “practice court” allows the students to have non-stop action for the entire period. Students now will take their time-outs for water and a brief towel break, but that’s all. With this new invention, tennis players will have a quality workout or lesson that will be a breakthrough in the industry. If you would like to learn more, please access the web page at


Since 2000, Doug Browne was the Collier County Pro of the Year three times, and has been a USPTA pro in the area for 28 years. Doug was also honored in the International Hall of Fame (Newport, Rhode Island) as Tennis Director during the 2010 summer season. Doug has been writing about tennis for the last 19 years.




I Do Windows!

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 9:39am

Sherri Medeiros has a knack for seeing things more clearly, especially when it comes to her business, See-Thru Window Cleaning, Pressure Washing, Scratch and Waterstain Removal Inc. For 15 years, See-Thru has offered professional cleaning and glass restoration services to homeowners and businesses on Marco Island and surrounding communities. “I especially enjoy providing superior service to a diverse and interesting clientele,” Sherri says. “I love when a client looks through the clean glass and is amazed at the difference we made. I employ a professional team of window cleaners and pressure washers, many of whom have worked for my company for years. This gives me feeling of tremendous satisfaction.”

Sherri has been a Marco Island resident since 1987. “This area has a wonderful hometown feeling which lends itself to trusting and long-term client relationships. Making business relationships is easy and enjoyable and many clients become friends,” she says. “The residential homes, condos, businesses, restaurants, hotels, store fronts and new construction have the most beautiful views, especially with clean glass. We are pleased to provide our services in such a grand place! Quality and perfection is clearly our view.”

This experienced female entrepreneur known as the “See-Thru Sherri” is easily recognizable around town. She is often spotted wearing her pink t-shirt that states “I DO WINDOWS” and always carries a supply of pink cards and pink pens.

Medeiros explains that she apprenticed with master window cleaner Eddie Mills for two years, learning the professional art of window cleaning. “When he decided to retire his squeegee, I took the business over. I love to clean windows, but also wear the hats of business manager, estimator and bookkeeper. I keep up-to-date on latest cleaning technologies and tools of the trade by attending the International Window Cleaning Association’s convention annually,” she adds.

See-Thru Window Cleaning/Pressure Washing, Scratch and Water Stain Removal Inc. has a menu of services that include cleaning screens and sliding-door tracks, pressure washing exteriors, pool cages and driveways. “We offer storm protection, meaning we will hang, clean and remove hurricane storm shutters and the ‘glass renew’ polishing system which promises to remove scratches and water stains from glass surfaces,” notes Medeiros. “Clean glass gives a feeling of clarity,” she states. “Quality and perfection is clearly our view.”

Sherri’s fiancée Steve Verbaro is the businesses forefront manager. “He supervises the crew and greets each client,” Sherri says. She is an active member of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, promoting their businesses and services, and belongs to MICA (Marco Island Civic Association), Marco Island Power Squadron and Marco Island Fitness Club. They also contribute to Marco Island Fire Department, American Cancer Society, San Marco Catholic Church, For the Love of Cats, Florida Wildlife Federation and the Girl Scouts.

“Gift certificates for our services are always a wonderful gift to give,” Sherri adds, “and you can like us on Facebook.” Checkout their websites on and or give them a call at 239-641-7159.


Singing to the Beat of her Own Drum

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 9:38am

Performing is Sabrina Williams’ way of life. Her melange of Reggae, R&B, Jazz, dance and theatre has prompted music critics to call her “one of the most versatile live performers of the day.”

Jamaican by birth, Williams has been in the music business for 35 years. She moved to the United States in 2009, and now resides on Marco Island, performing at the Marco Island Marriott, Naples Waldorf, Ritz Carlton and other familiar venues. “I look forward to relocating my company Reggae Woman International to the US, so we can continue to produce shows, develop and record artists, and continue to perform. I will be teaching voice technique to young and old because that’s the most readily available instrument. The breathing that’s involved is great for one’s health,” Williams notes.

Her inspiration to perform came from the pure satisfaction she derived from music. “I wanted to share it with the world,” she says. “Entertainment has always been in my blood: singing, acting, dancing, song writing and, more recently, show production.

“South African singer Miriam Makeba inspired me to sing, especially African songs. Dawn-Marie Virtue, a voice coach, helped me develop confidence in my abilities. Guitarist Janet Enwright said I should always be prepared and perform every time as though the most important critic is in the audience because you never know when opportunity can present itself,” Williams notes.

The Williams family is very musical. “My grandparents, aunts, cousins and my mother, who writes, sings and plays the keyboard for my daughters, have always supported me. They are proud of me as an artist,” says Williams.

Her initial resources included “raw talent and opportunity…I did one performance in Southwest Florida and word got around. I was then introduced to the right people, such as J. Robert Haughtaling, and my recognition grew.”

Her advice to other women looking to start their own businesses is: “Just go for it. Nothing tried, nothing done. Be bold. Learn to take advice and criticism.”

Williams’ musical training includes attendance at the Nat Horne School of Musical Theatre in New York and private voice tutoring. She centered her career in the 1980s and 1990s on Jamaica’s North Coast, performing on the hotel circuit. Williams also performed in Jamaica’s National Pantomimes and in “Revelations,” a remake of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

In 1982, she wrote, “Where are You Now?: A tribute to Bob Marley,” which earned her an appearance on Reggae Sunsplash ’91, airing worldwide on Pay Per View and featuring Ziggy Marley, Dennis Brown and Shabba Ranks. In the Jazz arena, Williams had performed with Donald Byrd, Monty Alexander, Branford Marsalis and Nora Jones.

She would also like readers to know that she is seeking a booking agent to free her up to concentrate on the creative aspects of her work. Williams is available for bookings at or by calling 239-878-8059.




Relationships Heart of Blue Mangrove

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 9:35am

Christie Marcoplos is an entrepreneur at heart. It all started when she began working at the age of 15, and she owned her own florist and gift shop in New Hampshire for a time. When she moved to Southwest Florida, she tried to shake the business bug and worked a few years for Clyde Butcher at his Big Cypress Gallery in the Everglades.

Alas, Marcoplos could not resist, answered the siren’s call of entrepreneurship once again. On Dec. 5, 2006, she opened Blue Mangrove Gallery, now located at 1089 N. Collier Blvd. in the Marco Town Center. “I felt compelled to follow my calling,” she says. Representing some 300 artists, Blue Mangrove carries an ever-changing array of artisan jewelry, glass, pottery, accent furniture, art, photography, notecards, books, women’s handbags and accessories. Have children? No problem, Blue Mangrove has special treats — games, puzzles, books and stuffed animals — for them as well.

“I love handcrafted art of all mediums and especially working with such dedicated, hardworking and fun people who strive to make their living from a craft they are passionate about,” Marcoplos notes. Many of Blue Mangrove’s vendors are “Fair Trade” vendors, while others give back by donating a percentage of their sales to charity or by training people to become skilled craftsmen, thus creating jobs and sustaining livelihoods and communities.

For Marcoplos, her business experience has found its strength and success in relationships. “With my first business, I had loads of support from family, friends, the bank and all the other businesses in town because it was a small town. Plus, I had lived there for quite some time. Moving here and opening another business was a huge leap as that support system was far away. Luckily, I met great artist friends who have continued to demonstrate their faith and support. My 30-year-old son is extremely supportive yet lives miles away in Idaho.”

It was these relationships that carried Marcoplos and Blus Mangrove through the first three years of business. “During my very first winter, Marco began to feel the economic downturn, yet no one knew why. I survived those years — thankfully — from the support of the community, good friends and being fortunate to move my business to a much better location within (Marco Town Center). The first 3 years were extremely difficult.”

Christie Marcoplos and Celeste Navarre

She also credits her own inner drive and determination: “I am still learning everyday, yet my personal inner drive and the words ‘don’t be afraid to fail,’ which a colleague of mine told me in my early 20s, have pushed me the most.”

To budding entrepreneurs looking to make their retail fantasies realities, Marcoplos says, “Do your homework. Owning a retail business is not for the faint of heart or a nice little hobby. You must be able to be work 24/7 to get it off the ground, plus be aware of your neighbor businesses and respectful to what they provide. Be honest, diligent and passionate. Your passion will see you through, and it is a constant learning process.”

She also encourages them to choose carefully when it comes to merchandise and from where it comes. “Think about what you purchase, the trail of how it arrived, the businesses you purchase from and their business and ethical practices,” Marcoplos urges. “Be mindful of your choices as the trail runs deep, and we all have the right to practice what we believe in by understanding our individual steps we chose on this planet.”

A Passion for Shells

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 9:33am

Emily Savage and her shop Shells By Emily are testaments to how a simple idea or hobby can turn into a long-standing business. Savage started her business in 1985 in a 400-square-foot space at 651 S. Collier Boulevard and a cigar box as a cash register. It had $25 in it. “We started with two card tables that we bought for $1 a piece at a garage sale and folding chairs too,” remembers Emily. “I took a large 4×8 real estate sign, painted it and used it as a partition wall in the store between the public and private area.”

The catalyst for the business: A honeymoon visit from her niece and new husband. “They took me shelling,” she explains. “I had lived here three years, and had not gone shelling.” It was love at first sight. From that day and every one after for three years, Emily went shelling.

“We had so many shells that Herb (my husband) said I needed to open a business,” quips Emily. “I thought maybe a door is being opened to me. Sometimes, you walk through those doors, and sometimes, you turn your back on them.” Despite having no business experience, she walked through the door, and never looked back.

Today, Shells By Emily spans 1,750 square feet of retail and workshop design space, showcasing more than 600 types of shells and a wide array of original artwork, crafts and arrangements made of shells, driftwood and silk flowers. There are boxes of shells sold individually and some items are sold in small bags. A few shells can be ordered by the gallon. Emily’s inventory also includes collections of local shells that “shellers” have either donated or sold to her. She donates a lot of shells to Scout troops, churches and to the Marco Island shell Club for their craft sales which benefit the scholarship program of the Shell Club.

“We make almost everything we sell. We do workshops. We also make arrangements to order as well. We create the arrangement to a client’s specifications and personal price range,” says Emily. Judy Daye and Jae Kellogg are part of the creative team.

In addition to support from her husband Herb, Emily credits her success to Dorie Dufault, who she met at the Marco Island Shell Club. Dorie came to the brand new shell shop on Tuesday and Thursday and taught Emily floral arranging and design. Dorie’s husband, Roland, loved working with wood and created a number of items for the shop for many years.

Even with 30 years of business under her belt, Emily says she still is learning new things every day. Some of the most important business lessons she has learned include: “You never have enough money. You have to plan and have to try to decide what is going to be needed before you are down to nothing. Find out if there is a market for (your product). Find out if there is competition. Make sure you have the facility to provide (your product), and be sure you can do what you said…I did everything by the seat of my pants…Over the years, you never stop learning. If you do, then you might as well close the door.

“Most important of all is to love what you do,” she adds. “If you do, the passion will be there and it will show in your work.”




Marco Island Skin and Body Boutique

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 9:32am

Beautiful skin has always been a way of life for Pam Campbell — from her days as a professional model to today as the owner of Marco Island Skin and Body Boutique. She has been a medical esthetician and makeup artist for more than 30 years.

“As a professional model, I always loved working with the makeup artists, and they always told me a beautiful face always starts with beautiful skin,” Campbell explains. “So, I went to school to learn just that!”

Initially, she worked for large cosmetic companies, such as Yves St. Laurent, Givenchy and Lancome. At one point, she was the spa director for the Estee Lauder spas. She went into business for herself in Michigan, and carried on when she moved to Marco Island in 2006. “I decided to continue to do what I love,” says Campbell. “After working in a salon atmosphere for a few years, I knew that I preferred more of a medical setting, and really felt that it was time to go on my own.”

In her third season at her current location — 997 N. Collier Blvd., Suite A — Cambell’s business has grown from a steamer, a bed and a hot towel cabinet to a state-of-the-art boutique, offering skin care, make-up, facials, micro peels, VI peels, Microcurrent “Mini Lift” Treatments, Botox, dermal fillers, airbrush spray tanning, airbrush make-up, bridal make-up and hair artistry experts, waxing, massage therapy and sports massage. She also offers permanent cosmetics and eyelash extensions. Her newest piece of equipment is an LED light that gives dramatic results firming the skin. She also is continuously going to classes and training sessions to remain up to date on the latest products and procedures.

Campbell recognizes that passion and knowledge are two very important aspects to starting any business. For those interested in starting a skin care boutique, she says, “you must be passionate about what you do and educated on products other than what you carry. People will ask your opinion of products, so you should know something about them before you comment.” These components help her educate her clients and treat them special.

For Campbell, though, the ultimate key to her business — the key to maintaining and persevering — is remembering that personal care treatments, such as skin care and massage, are very personal and should be tailored to the desires and needs of the client. “I believe that we can bring out the best in anyone through taking time to know their lifestyle, eating habits and routines,” she notes. “Not everyone stays inside the house and stays out of the sun. I try to develop skin care routines for people based on their personal lifestyles.”

At the end of the day, though, Campbell has two secret weapons upon which she relies to recharge her own motivations and passion for her work. “I give glory to God for my success and have dedicated my business to Him,” she says. “My family is very supportive of my business, and my husband John is my biggest fan.”

For more information on Marco Island Skin and Body Boutique, call 239-398-0244, visit the boutique on Facebook or check out the website at