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Local Referendums Have Surprise Endings

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 9:18am

By Noelle H. Lowery

Prior to Tuesday, Aug. 26, most folks were calling the referendums on Marco Island and Isles of Capri too close to call.

Not anymore.

Some 3,928 Marco Islanders cast their ballot on the non-binding referendum question regarding the construction of a new Mackle Park Community Center: “Shall the city expend up to $3.5 million to construct a new community center up to 16,000 square feet at Mackle Park?” With 2,059 yes votes, the referendum passed by a margin of 52.42 percent to 47.58 percent.

On Capri, firefighters, their families and community supporters spent the day rallying support for their “vote no” campaign on Collier County’s referendum regarding the proposed annexation of the Isles of Capri Fire-Rescue District into the East Naples-Golden Gate Fire Control and Rescue District. The efforts paid dividends.

When polls closed Tuesday, the results revealed a narrow race with just 559 ballots cast. In the end, though, the firefighters prevailed, and 286 people —or 51.16 percent —voted against the annexation, while 273 —or 48.84 percent —voted in favor for it.

Now the real work starts in both communities.  The Marco Island City Council must decide whether or not to honor the results and move forward with the new community center, and Collier County and Capri must work out the confusing and disputed funding issues surrounding the operation of the ICFRD.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida 2014 Red Snook Tournament set for Oct. 24-26

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 11:09am

This year’s tournament features lower entry fees, new kayak division and honorary chair Oliver White

The 2014 RedSnook Catch and Release Charity Tournament will be held Oct. 24-26, and supports the water quality protection and gamefish research conducted by Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

New this year is the kayak fishing division, which has become increasingly popular in Southwest Florida for recreational fishing. Anglers will enjoy lower entry fees than in years past.  Also new this year is the honorary chair, Oliver White.  White is a famed salt water fly fisher and entrepreneur. Brands from Costa Sunglasses to G. Loomis have endorsed and partnered with Oliver to promote their products and message. Jungle Fish, a recent short film he starred in, won the Lightstays Conservation Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, while an upcoming book and a television series in-the-works demonstrate his capabilities as a leading authority on the sport.

The event is sponsored by Wayne A. Meland, of Morgan Stanley.  “The RedSnook Catch and Release Charity Tournament is a reminder of one of the treasures of our region – our waterways,” says Meland. “Without clean and abundant supplies of water, recreational and sport fishing would be a thing of the past.”

Last year’s tournament netted a record $140,000 to support the Conservancy’s water quality initiatives.

For a complete schedule of events, anglers and sponsors can register or learn more at

“We believe that blue-green algae, red tide and polluted waterways are everyday reminders that all is not well in this paradise we love,” said Conservancy President and CEO Rob Moher. “We recognize that the quality of our environment is linked to our economic viability, recreation and enjoyment of all this area has to offer.”

Over the years, the RedSnook Tournament has helped support the water quality protection work of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, including:

• Working with decision-makers to communicate and to understand the importance of clean water to Southwest Florida’s overall economy and quality of life;

• Providing assistance and expertise to planned projects in order to minimize pollution – and in some cases actually enhance the quality of water that ultimately flows into local waterways;

• Creating the “Estuaries Report Card” which rates the condition of our region’s vital waters every five years including recommendations for improving overall water quality;

• Working to limit the amount of pollution from the north that enters Southwest Florida’s beautiful bays and estuaries;

• Researching and monitoring juvenile gamefish habitats to ensure abundant future fish populations;

• Helping to restore natural water flows to the Western Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands; and

• Helping to protect environmental jewels such as Ten Thousand Islands, Big Cypress, Estero Bay, the Cocohatchee Slough and the Caloosahatchee River.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida began 50 years ago when community leaders came together to defeat a proposed “Road to Nowhere” and spearheaded the acquisition and protection of Rookery Bay. The Conservancy is a not-for-profit grassroots organization focused on the critical environmental issues of the Southwest Florida region, including Glades, Hendry, Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties, with a mission to protect the region’s water, land and wildlife. Conservancy of Southwest Florida and its Nature Center are located in Naples, Fla. at 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road.

LEARN, GROW, THRIVE AT THE Y! YMCA Afterschool Program

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 11:07am

The Greater Marco Family YMCA Afterschool program offers more than a safe place for your child. Our program nurtures a child’s potential to ensure the development of healthy, trusting relationships that build confidence and character. We serve children 5 through 12 years of age.

We offer affordable care options which include financial assistance for qualifying YMCA Afterschool meets all of your needs: safety assurance, homework assistance and enrichment programs.We look forward to seeing your child at the Y on August 18th!

Afterschool, recreation, and enrichment for your child before and after school Program Benefits

Homework Assistance

Nutritious Snacks

Y Fit (Youth Wellness Class)

Dance and Tumbling

Character Development

Service Learning

Educational Enrichment

YMCA Tennis, Sports and Aquatics

Structured Recreation Activities, and much more!


101 Sandhill Street, Marco Island FL 34145


Enroll Today at the Marco Family YMCA

(p) 239-394-3144 (f) 239-394-8367



PCI Remembers Hurricane Charley: 10 Year Anniversary

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 11:05am

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is remembering the lives lost and those who were significantly impacted by the aftermath of Hurricane Charley nearly 10 years ago this month. As we mark this historic anniversary, PCI reminds homeowners, renters, and business owners that the active part of hurricane season is just beginning. In addition, PCI encourages those living in hurricane prone states to use the anniversary as an opportunity to take necessary steps now to prepare for the remainder of the 2014 storm season.

“Hurricane Charley made landfall as a strong category 4 storm with winds up to 150 mph and it packed a major punch to southwest Florida” said PCI’s counsel for state government relations, Donovan Brown. “I witnessed first-hand how this storm ripped through communities and uprooted thousands of lives. While the state of Florida bounced back even stronger after Charley and the four hurricanes that hit the state in 2004, it’s important to remember that it takes just one storm to cause billions of dollars in damage and alter lives. PCI and its members encourage you to take steps now to stormproof your home and become both financially and physically prepared for severe weather. Although you can count on the insurance industry being there in the aftermath of a storm to help policyholders get back on their feet, we can’t stress enough the importance of advance preparation.”

If you haven’t already done so, PCI recommends you contact your insurance company or agent and review your insurance policies, including your hurricane deductible and coverages. For more Hurricane Preparedness Tips, visit PCI’s Hurricane Headquarters.

Attached is a Hurricane Charley Info-graphic, and PCI’s Donovan Brown is available for interviews.

It Only Takes One: PCI Mitigation Steps to Prepare Your Property 

Evaluate your home and other property for vulnerable points. Review building codes. Fortify your windows, doors and roof.

Keep plywood, extra parts for hurricane shutters, and other storm-proofing items on hand.

Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.

Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.

Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive damage

Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.

Determine how and where to secure your boat.

Install a generator for emergencies.

If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.

Consider building a safe room.

Audition Call! The Marco Players announces 40th Anniversary Season Shows!

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 11:03am

Calling all actors! Be part of The Marco Players’ 40th 2014-2015 Season. Established in 1974, the oldest not-for-profit community theater on Marco Island will kick off the celebration with a 70’s theme. “Can you dig it?”

All those interested in auditioning for TMP’s shows are encouraged to contact us at or call Beverly Dahlstrom, President/Artistic Director at 239-404-5198 to schedule a private audition.

Visit to learn more about cast openings, preview of scripts and rehearsal dates. Becky’s New Car by Steven Dietz

Have you ever been tempted to flee your own life? Becky Foster is caught in middle age, middle management and in a middling marriage—with no prospects for change on the horizon. Then one night a socially inept and grief-struck millionaire stumbles into the car dealership where Becky works. Becky is offered nothing short of a new life…and the audience is offered a chance to ride shotgun in a way that most plays wouldn’t dare. Becky’s New Car is a “cool” comedy with serious overtones, a devious and delightful romp down the road not taken.

Directed by: Greg Madera

Audition Date: Sat., August 23, 2014. Schedule your private audition now. or 239-404-5198

Show Dates: January 7 thru January 25, 2015



New Physician Joins Florida Gynecologic Oncology

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 11:03am

Florida Gynecologic Oncology, a division of 21st Century Oncology, is pleased to announce the addition of Gynecologic Oncologist Samith Sandadi, M.D., MSc., to its practice. Florida Gynecologic Oncology provides high quality, personalized care to women with complex gynecologic problems and suspected diagnosed cancers of the female reproductive tract.

Dr. Sandadi will be joining the team of distinguished physicians at Florida Gynecologic Oncology who have held, or currently hold, faculty appointments in academic departments of obstetrics and gynecology, have published hundreds of scientific papers and book chapters, and have received numerous awards for their contributions to women’s cancer care.

“Dr. Sandadi’s clinical expertise, combined with his extensive academic credentials, make him the perfect addition to our practice,” says James Orr, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., F.A.C.S., Board Certified Gynecologist with Florida Gynecologic Oncology. “We are committed to providing women with state-of-the-art care delivered in a warm and caring environment.”

After earning his medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Fla., Dr. Sandadi went on to complete residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. He then completed fellowship training in Gynecologic Oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, N.Y.  Dr. Sandadi has also written several peer-reviewed journal articles and publications.

Dr. Sandadi is now accepting new patients at Florida Gynecologic Oncology, inside Regional Cancer Center in Fort Myers located at 8931 Colonial Center Drive, Suite 400.

For more information about our services, visit or call 239-334-6626.



Wed, 08/27/2014 - 11:02am

The Marco Island Historical Museum presents Rob Storter’s “Artwork of the Everglades”, an illustrated guide to the Everglades history.  The exhibit runs from Sept. 2, to Oct. 31, 2014 and will include an opening reception onTuesday, Sept. 2, 5-7 p.m., hosted by the Marco Island Historical Society.  Light refreshments will be served and admission is offered at no cost.

The Museum of the Everglades will also honor Storter with the exhibit, “History of Fishing in the Glades through the Eyes of Rob Storter”.  The display will take place through September and include a reception on Saturday, Sept. 20 from 1-3 p.m. at the Museum of the Everglades.

Robert Lee Storter was born Sept. 30, 1894 in Everglades City, Florida.  He lived an abundant 92 years of life as a guide, fisherman, poet and artist who chronicled what it was like in the “earlier” days of Collier County.  Storter’s exhibit “Artwork of the Everglades” transports viewers to his remote, half-wild frontier of Southwest Florida in the early part of the twentieth century. This illustrated journey features great swamps, estuaries, and the fantastic array of plants and animal life of a time gone by. Rob‘s grasp of the Everglades is demonstrated through his work, as it looks back over a life closely linked to the water; recording how mechanized methods have obscured the more simple approach of fishing.

The exhibits also tell the story of family and community triumphs and its setbacks. Rob Storter knew the Everglades before commercial fishing, real estate development, drainage projects, and tourism changed the region forever. His illustrations offer a glimpse into the wonders of the Everglades during his time and the mixed benefits of progress and the responsibilities of stewardship.

For more information about the exhibits, please contact the museum at (239) 642-1440 or visit  Museum opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is complimentary to visitors.

About Collier County Museums: More than 10,000 years of Southwest Florida history is on display at Collier County Museums’ five locations – the main museum in Naples, Everglades City, Immokalee, the Naples Depot Museum in downtown Naples, and Marco Island Historical Museum. The main location is located just five minutes east of downtown Naples at 3331 Tamiami Trail East in Naples. The Museum’s five-acre site includes a native plant garden, two early Naples cottages, a logging locomotive, swamp buggy and a WWII Sherman tank. The main facility is open Monday through Friday, from 9 am until 5 pm.  Admission is free and the site is handicapped accessible. For more information, visit or call (239) 252-8476.

Wine Legend Marchese Piero Antinori Named Honored Vintner for 2015 Naples Winter Wine Festival

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 11:00am

Antinori One of 41 Preeminent Vintners Selected to Attend Festival

Marchese Piero Antinori, president of Marchesi Antinori, one of the most historic and prestigious names in Italian winemaking, has been selected as the Honored Vintner for the 2015 Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF), a premier charity wine auction. The Naples Winter Wine Festival, which will take place from January 23-25 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, FL, also unveiled 40 other world-renowned vintners who will participate in the 2015 festival.

“I am excited and thrilled for having been selected as the 2015 Honored Vintner,” said Marchese Piero Antinori. “It’s the first time that an Italian producer has received such an honor at the Naples Winter Wine Festival, and I consider it a great tribute to all wines and vintners of my country.”

Each year, one vintner, who has significantly contributed to the Naples Winter Wine Festival, is asked to represent his/her fellow vintners. Marchesi Antinori, which dates back to the 14th century and now boasts 27 generations of wine producers, is famous for three of the world’s most iconic wines: Tignanello, Solaia, and Guado al Tasso. Regarded as a pioneer and innovator, Marchese Piero Antinori has almost single-handedly changed the way wine is produced in Italy, having been credited with propelling the Super Tuscan wines to the forefront of Italian winemaking. 2015 will mark his fifth appearance at the Naples Winter Wine Festival.

In addition to Marchese Antinori, this year’s event will feature some of the most talented and respected vintners from three dozen wineries in 15 global wine-producing regions, seven countries, and four continents, in the northern and southern hemispheres. These top vintners have created some of the most sought-after and collectable wines in the world. They are regularly recognized for their contributions by wine enthusiasts across the globe.

“Each participating vintner is a giant in the industry, and we are thrilled that they are volunteering their time and talent to this amazing event,” said Sandi Moran, Vintner Chair and Co-Chair of the 2015 festival. “These renowned vintners, paired with the finest chefs and our country’s most generous philanthropists, will help raise millions of dollars for underprivileged and at-risk children.”

The other esteemed vintners for this year’s festival include:

Featured Dinner Vintners – Will pour during intimate dinners hosted by Festival Trustees in elegant, private homes and settings throughout Naples.

Santiago Achával of Achával-Ferrer in Mendoza, Argentina

Paul Leary of Blackbird Vineyards in Napa Valley, California

Deb Whitman & Ed Fitts of BRAND Napa Valley in St. Helena, California

Nick Allen of Carte Blanche Wines in Napa Valley, California

Roberta Ceretto of Ceretto in Alba, Italy

Blakesley & Cyril Chappellet of Chappellet Vineyard in St. Helena, California

Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux in Margaux, France

Thomas Duroux of Château Palmer in Margaux, France

Nicolas Glumineau of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in Pauillac, France

Ann Colgin & Joe Wender of Colgin Cellars in St. Helena, California

Tim Mondavi & Carissa Mondavi of Continuum in St. Helena, California

Shahpar & Darioush Khaledi of Darioush in Napa Valley, California

Claude & Laurent Ponsot of Domaine Ponsot in Morey-Saint-Denis, France

Grace & Ken Evenstad of Domaine Serene in Dayton, Oregon

Bill Foley of Foley Johnson in Healdsburg, California

Valerie Boyd & Jeff Gargiulo of Gargiulo Vineyards in Napa Valley, California

Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne Winery in Sebastopol, California

Cinzia Merli of Le Macchiole in Bolgheri, Italy

Véronique Drouhin-Boss of Maison Joseph Drouhin in Beaune, France

Manuel Louzada of Numanthia in Valdefinjas, Spain

Betty O’Shaughnessy & Paul Woolls of O’Shaughnessy Winery in Angwin, California

Deborah & Bill Harlan and Amanda & Will Harlan of Promontory in Oakville, California

Merle & Peter Mullin of Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma, California

Beth Novak Milliken of Spottswoode Estate Vineyards & Winery in St. Helena, California

Barbara Banke of Vérité / Tenuta di Arceno in Santa Rosa, California and Siena, Italy

Champagne Sponsor – Will pour during the Krug Tasting & Luncheon event and during champagne receptions at each of the 16 private vintner dinners. 

Olivier Krug of Krug Champagne in Reims, France

Port Vintner – Will pour during the dessert course at each of the 16 private vintner dinners.

Dominic Symington of Symington Family Estates in Douro, Portugal

Featured Luncheon Vintners – Will pour during a luncheon after Meet the Kids Day, where guests witness first-hand the life-changing impact of the Naples Winter Wine Festival.

Bridgit & Stephen Griessel of Betz Family Winery in Woodinville, Washington

Andrea Farinetti, of Borgogno Wines in Barolo, Italy

Ann & Dick Grace of Grace Family Vineyards in St. Helena, California

Juan Mercado of Realm Cellars in St. Helena, California

VIP Party / Auction Day Vintners – Will pour at the opening party and prior to the start of the electrifying live auction.

Pam Starr of Crocker & Starr Wines in St. Helena, California

Todd Newman of Dakota Shy Wine in St. Helena, California

Mike Farmer & Lucas Farmer of Euclid Wines in Napa Valley, California

Augustin Huneeus of Flowers Vineyard & Winery in Napa Valley, California

Carole & Michael Marks of Gemstone Vineyards in St. Helena, California

Helen Keplinger & DJ Warner of Keplinger in Napa Valley, California

Melinda Kearney & Michèle Ouellet of LORENZA in St. Helena, California

Jenny Marie & Rutger de Vink of RdV Vineyards in Delaplane, Virginia

Gary, Rosella & Adam Franscioni of ROAR Wines in Soledad, California


Guests at the Naples Winter Wine Festival will savor incomparable cuisine and taste award-winning, cult classic wines. They will also have the opportunity to bid on exceptional wines, unforgettable dining experiences, and custom travel packages.

Ticket packages to this exclusive event are available and start at $8,500 per couple for festival tickets, with a $20,000 package that includes reserved seating for a party of four at the same vintner dinner and under the tent. For more information about the Naples Winter Wine Festival, please visit or call 888-837-4919.


About the Naples Winter Wine Festival

The Naples Winter Wine Festival is one of the world’s most prestigious charity wine auctions, bringing together renowned vintners and chefs with wine enthusiasts and philanthropists for a three-day festival that raises millions of dollars for underprivileged and at-risk children. Every dollar raised under the tent funds the festival’s founding organization, the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), whose annual grants and strategic initiatives have provided around 200,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel.  For more information, please


Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:59am

~It Only Takes One Storm to Change the Landscape of a Community~

Ten years ago, Hurricane Charley made landfall near Port Charlotte in Southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm, making it the strongest storm since Hurricane Andrew to impact Florida. On the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Charley, Florida’s residents and visitors are reminded to have a family emergency plan and a disaster supply kit. It only takes one storm to significantly impact your family, business, and community.

“Hurricane Charley was the first of four hurricanes to impact Florida during the 2004 season. Florida’s State Emergency Response Team worked together to provide support during the response and recovery of the storm,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “The 2004 hurricane season produced some of the most devastating hurricanes in Florida’s history and serves as a reminder that hurricanes can change the landscape of a community.”

Hurricane Charley’s impact was felt across the state as it made its way through the Central and Eastern counties before exiting the state near New Smyrna Beach. Charley left behind an estimated $15 billion in damage and was just the first of four hurricanes to impact Florida that year.

Floridians are encouraged to review and update their family and business emergency plans using the Get A Plan tool available at It is also important to keep your disaster supply kit stocked with essentials, including canned food and water, to last you and your family for up to 7 days after a storm hits.

For the latest information on the 2014 Hurricane Season and to Get A Plan!, visit, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLGetAPlan, Instagram @FLGetAPlan, and Facebook at and Black bear curriculum teaches kids about wildlife, meets Florida education standards

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:58am

Giving schoolchildren a chance to learn all about Florida black bears is a great way to teach them about wildlife, while sharpening their skills in reading, math, science and problem solving.

For that reason, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has updated its Florida Black Bear Curriculum, and put it online for the first time

The revised Florida Black Bear Curriculum is free, easy for teachers to use, and meets the new Florida Standards for educational curricula.

The curriculum offers 10 lessons on topics such as “The Black Bear Necessities” and “Oh Where, Oh Where is the Florida Black Bear?” and includes hands-on activities such as mapping and role-playing. There are also videos for students to watch such as the FWC’s “Living with Florida Black Bears.”

“The Florida Black Bear Curriculum takes children’s curiosity about black bears into the classroom, where learning about black bears can improve kids’ skills in basics like reading, math, science and problem solving,” said Sarah Barrett with the FWC’s black bear management program. “Whenever FWC staff talks to kids about Florida black bears, the response is overwhelmingly positive because kids are eager to learn and ask great questions about bears.”

With more encounters today between people and bears in Florida than in the recent past, it is increasingly important for children to learn about the state’s bear population.

The Florida Black Bear Curriculum was designed for children in grades 3-8 and has been in use since 1999, when it was created as a joint project of the FWC and Defenders of Wildlife.

Florida teachers who register on the Florida Black Bear Curriculum website can gain access to additional information, particularly in regard to how the material fits the Florida Standards.

But anyone is welcome to go to and take advantage of the educational material there.

Draft Amendment to the Fiscal Years 2014/15 through 2018/19 Transportation Improvement Program Public Comment Period Announced

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:57am

Each year the Collier Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is required to develop a financially feasible Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) that includes all transportation projects that are to be funded with state and federal dollars over the next five years.  Occasionally it becomes necessary to add, delete, or modify a project included in the MPO’s TIP.

The Collier MPO has begun a 21-day public comment period for the draft Fiscal Year (FY) 2014/15 – 2018/19 TIP Amendment.  The draft amendment is to add and increase funding for two new transit projects.  The first project is for the installation of new bus shelters at various locations throughout Collier County.  The second project is for Phase II capital improvements at Collier Area Transit’s (CAT) facility on Radio Road.  The funding for these projects will be appropriated from Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Pursuant to the MPO’s Public Involvement Plan, the public comment period for the draft amendment will end Sept. 3.  The MPO Board will consider the adoption of the amendment together with comments received within the public comment period at the MPO’s regular meeting, Sept. 12 at   9 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners Chambers on the third floor of the Collier County Government Center, 3299 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, Florida  34112

The draft TIP amendment is posted on the MPO’s website at  To view the Amendment, select “21-Day Public Comment Period for TIP Amendment” under the Latest News Section on the left side of the screen.

The draft amendment to the FY 2014/15 through FY 2018/19 TIP will also be on display at the customer service desks at the sites listed below:

  • Collier County Government Center North

2335 Orange Blossom Drive




  • Collier County Growth Management Division – Construction & Maintenance

2885 S. Horseshoe Drive




  • Naples City Hall

735 8th Street South




  • Everglades City Hall

102 Copeland Avenue N.

Everglades City



  • Marco Island City Hall

50 Bald Eagle Drive

Marco Island




  • Southwest Florida Works

750 S. 5th Street



  • All Collier County public libraries


The MPO’s planning process is conducted in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes.  Any person or beneficiary who believes that within the MPO’s planning process they have been discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, or familial status may file a complaint with the Collier MPO Title VI Specialist Lorraine Lantz at239-252-5779 or by writing to Ms. Lantz at 2885 South Horseshoe Drive, Naples, Florida 34104.

For more information regarding the TIP Amendment call MPO Principal Planner Sue Faulkner at 239-252-5715.


Sierra Grande Community Partners with Humane Society Naples for Adoption Event

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:55am

Sierra Grande, a brand-new 300-unit resort-style rental community located at 6975 Sierra Club Circle off Collier Boulevard and Rattlesnake-Hammock Road, has partnered with the Humane Society Naples (www.hsnaples.orgto promote a summer ribbon-cutting and adoption event taking place at Sierra Grande on Saturday, August 23rd, from 10am to 2pm. The event is in celebration of the community’s newly-built Bark Park, which is located on community grounds, and provides a place for residents to play with and walk their dogs

“As the area’s first new leasing community in over 10 years, this is really a special celebration for us,” states Property Manager Robin Schmitt. “Sierra Grande offers incomparable luxury amenities, and we are family and pet-friendly. This event celebrates what we have to offer, as well as gives back to the community.”

The event, which is open to Sierra Grande residents and the public, will offer dog/cat adoptions through the Humane Society Naples’ on-site air-conditioned mobile adoption unit, food, entertainment, pet-friendly vendors, leasing promotions, prizes and a raffle drawing. All proceeds from the raffle drawing will be presented to the Humane Society Naples during the event.

The pet-friendly luxury community offers 1, 2 and 3-bedroom units with eight (8) floor plans to choose from along with well-appointed interior features and numerous amenities, including a grand clubhouse, lakefront pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, wellness center, wi-fi lounge, tennis courts, a children’s play room, sand volleyball court, barbeque/picnic areas, a tot lot and a now a brand new Bark Park.

Guests who R.S.V.P. in advance will have a chance to win a $100 gift card.  Call (239) 529-5631 or e-mail For further details, visit the community’s webpage

“Blues Bash”

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:53am

The Fourth Annual Naples Bay “Blues Bash” kicking off with The Chopper Band followed by Deb and the Dynamics then Big Ray & the Motor City Kings. If you’re a blues fan, this is THE event to attend. One hundred percent of the raffle and live auction proceeds will go to our Bayshore CAPA Youth Programs Charity.
The ten buck ticket gets you great music, a fun auction and lots of BBQ! This will be a fun and entertaining evening for all of us lovers of the blues.

Marco Island Charter Middle School

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:50am

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­The first day of school for Marco Island Charter Middle School students will be Monday, August 18. School will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m.

Increased rigor in the new Florida Standards Assessment (FSA), which is replacing the former FCATs, is driving several changes at the charter middle school in order to provide students with the best possibility achieving success. Among the changes include, an emphasis on reading strategies in every subject area,

142 new computers and ancillary technological equipment throughout the school to accommodate the demands of the new state assessments, new Mathematic textbooks, new software, two new mini-computer laboratories, and a written End of Course Examination based on the new State Standards for every course on campus.

A New Student Orientation program was held on Thursday evening with over two hundred people in attendance.

The school’s annual “Back to School” – Open House will be held on Thursday, August 28 with the parents/guardians of eighth graders reporting to the gymnasium at 6:00 p.m. and all other parents/guardians reporting at 6:30 for a program that will end around 8:30. Attendees will receive a copy of their student’s course schedule and follow it for eight classes, during which time the teacher will meet parents/guardians and explain the course’s goals, and the teacher’s expectations and course requirements.

For more information, call George Abounader at 377-3200 or email him at


Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:49am

I-75/Alligator Alley Rest Area at mile marker 63Construction project: Work continues to build two recreational access areas adjacent to the Big Cypress National Preserve backcountry trails, replace the existing rest area, build a new public safety center and water treatment plant, and upgrade the existing wastewater treatment plant.  Crews continue paving throughout the project.


  • THE ENTIRE REST AREA IS CLOSED UNTIL PROJECT COMPLETION, ESTIMATED FALL 2014.  ALL FACILITIES (including the picnic area, parking, restrooms or potable water) are unavailable.  Entrance and exit ramps at mile marker 63 are open for motorists to turn around if needed.  FDOT cautionsmotorists to remain clear of the construction zone and be aware of construction vehicles entering/exiting the roadways around the rest area.  Signs are posted to advise motorists of this closure. The rest area at mile marker 34 is open.


Expected project completion is fall 2014.  The design/build contractor is Stantec/Wright Construction Group.


US 41 from Rattlesnake Hammock Road to Guilford Road:  Maintenance permit project:  Motorists should expect the outside northbound lane closed from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays for crews to install concrete utility poles.  Drivers should use caution and expect slow moving traffic.


US 41 (Tamiami Trail East) from SR 951 to Greenway Road: Construction project: Crews continue work to expand two-lane US 41 to six lanes from SR 951 to Joseph Lane and to four lanes from Joseph Lane to Greenway Road. A 30-foot median will separate northbound and southbound travel lanes. The project also includes a 10-foot multi-use pathway along southbound travel lanes and a six-foot sidewalk parallel to northbound lanes. Median openings spaced throughout the project allow for left turns and U-turns. The project also replace the traffic signal at Manatee Road. Crews are currently relocating utilities along the roadway and extending drainage structures at the canals.  Motorists should be aware of construction vehicles and equipment entering and exiting the roadway.  The contractor expects to complete work by fall 2016. The design/build team is Wantman Group Inc /Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, LLC.


SR 84 (Davis Boulevard) from Florida Club Circle to Falling Waters Boulevard:  Construction project: Crews will be installing light pole bases, pull boxes and underground conduits along both sides of Davis Boulevard.  Motorist should expect lane closures from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for this work.  Drivers should use caution, expect delays, and be aware of construction equipment entering/exiting the roadway. Estimated completion is summer 2014. Contractor is American Lighting and Signalization, Inc.

Relay For Life Turns 30!

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:30am

Lisa Honig

The American Cancer Society of Marco Island is excited to announce that Relay For Life of Marco Island is scheduled for April 18-19 at Mackle Park. Relay for Life is the single largest fundraising event in the world, and in 2015, we are recognizing 30 years of raising funds so that researchers can find treatments, preventative measures and cures for cancer.

For Relayers around the world, this anniversary is particularly meaningful as the founder of Relay For Life, Dr. Gordy Klatt, passed away last month from heart failure after a long struggle with cancer himself. This year, in addition to celebrating and remembering our local survivors and those we have lost, we will be walking to honor him and his vision to create an event that would serve as the cornerstone of fundraising for the American Cancer Society.

For 30 years, Relay For Life has been basically the same with little change to the “formula” for the event. This year, we are being given some flexibility in how we stage our event that should make it even more successful, and I hope these changes will attract more volunteers to our team! The changes include a new committee structure that spreads out the workload to minimize the time commitment for most positions and the option to shorten the event to better match the needs of the community. As most of you know, Relay For Life has traditionally been an overnight event (that is no longer a mandatory requirement), and our new committee will be deciding what hours make the most sense for us. Don’t worry, we will still have our traditional opening ceremony, survivor/caregiver laps and reception, luminaria ceremony and closing ceremony!

Relay For Life has three main objectives: Celebrate (our survivors), Remember (those we have tragically lost) and Fight Back (support the mission by getting the word out and fundraising for research and services). Relay For Life is not a walk or a run but a movement where teams of individuals, businesses and others work together to raise awareness by holding an event that everyone in the community can participate in, attend and enjoy. Yes, we walk the track but in a team format taking turns throughout the event so no one has to walk the entire time (although some do). People of all ages can participate in Relay — it is a true family affair, and for the committee and all the teams, a labor of love.

What should you do if you want to learn more and/or become involved? Whether you are an avid Relayer or brand new to the event, please join us at the Committee Rally on Aug. 26, at 5:30 PM at the Marco Island Fire Station training room. Come meet our new chair, Jamie Bergen, and other committee members who will be there to brief you on Relay and to share with you the roles available and job descriptions for each of them. This is an informational event, and there will be no pressure to commit on the spot. We want to expand our team and need volunteers with a variety of backgrounds, interests and skills who are passionate about ending this disease.

I hope you will consider taking a few minutes to join us on Aug. 26 and learn about the revamped Relay For Life and how you can help make a difference in someone’s life. I look forward to meeting you there!


This is an ongoing series of columns dedicated to informing the Marco Island community about The American Cancer Society, the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. The Marco Island American Cancer Society office is located at 583 Tallwood, Unit 101 and is open daily from 9AM-5PM. For more information about volunteer opportunities, events and services please contact Lisa Honig at 239-642-8800 ext. 3891.

To Thine Own Self…

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:29am

Artful Life
Tara O’Neill

I recently overheard a conversation between two professional photographers. One emerging; the other well-seasoned — both artistic. The seasoned artist is fabulously known for a certain genre of photographs, with a few variants, and is quite successful. The emerging artist utilizes a wide-range of subjects.

“I admire your dedication to your subject,” says our emerging artist.

“Don’t worry,” says the seasoned artist, “you’ll find your niche.”

“I hope not!” says the emerging artist.

And I said, “Bravo!” I was witnessing, and admiring, a sense of adventure in the emerging artist that was too strong to be extinguished by good sense.

Years ago, I participated in a 10-month art marketing salon that really made me step up my professional game. I’ve also read books and attended seminars to help me better manage the business side of my creativity. Through it all, I found that most marketing gurus insist you focus on a single style and genre in order to promote work that clients can recognize as yours. Lovers of art feel good when they recognize a painting as being created by Pierre Bonnard or Georgia O’Keefe or Tara O’Neill; it means they know something. They’re smart. They’re savvy.

Furthermore, the gurus tell us, marketing and promotion take a lot of time away from the studio, and if you’re going to try to sell two different products — let’s say wildlife sculptures and abstract paintings — then you will need to come up with two different marketing plans, mailing lists, promotional materials, web-sites, etc. Want to add impressionist paintings? Well, that’s a third business because it’s a third target audience, so you best get yourself a manager.

Is all this true? Well, sure, but what happens when you allow the truth of business to stifle your creativity? One thing that can happen is you get dull, flat and uninspired; not good when your stock in trade is originality and perspective. Art is not a business for sissies, but for some of us, it’s the only business. Of course, the battle between creativity and consistency exists in all industries — or at least it should.

What to do, what to do. First, don’t try to hide from the conflict. Jump in there with the rest of us and resolve it in a way that’s aligned to your nature. Can you commit to only one initiative? What sort of recompense would it take to forsake all others?

I’ve spent most of my career promoting myself as a painter, but there has always been so much more, artistically, that I’ve wanted to investigate and experience and share. I keep track, take notes, make sketches and plan. I even dare to dabble — privately. The result? My mind is open. It’s alert. It’s alive. Creative thinking solves most of my life’s dilemmas, not just the professional ones, and someday, when I feel I have both a quality — and a quantity — of off-canvas works, I hope to astound myself and you.

I also plan on thanking that emerging-but-wise photographer for inspiring me to shake things up a bit, indulge myself, and get on with it.

I’ve always been perplexed by the prevalence of “I’d rather ____” bumper stickers. “I’d rather be sailing”! (or “fishing!” or “skiing!”) exclaim car bumpers throughout the land. Why are these people driving around boasting of their discontent? I’d like a sticker that says, “If there’s something I’d rather be doing, I’d be doing it!” So, take THAT, you marketing gurus!

Anybody know any good business managers? I’m probably going to need one.

About The Author Tara O’Neill, a lifelong, award-winning, artist has been an area resident since 1967. She holds degrees in Fine Arts and English from the University of South Florida and is currently represented by Blue Mangrove Gallery on Marco Island. Visit her at

New Laws: Part 3

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:23am

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

In this issue, we will continue to look at the new laws signed into law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott on June 13. Today, we will continue to look at House Bill 807 and its impact on cooperatives under Chapter 719 and homeowners’ associations under Chapter 720.

Many of the changes to Chapter 719 were simply Acatch-up@ additions to the statute to bring Chapter 719 more in line with Chapter 718. The first of these was the inclusion of all telephone numbers in a directory and the right of the owner to consent to additional information, just as we saw in the prior amendments impacting condominiums.

Also, just as we saw with Chapter 718, an outgoing board member or committee member must relinquish all official records and property of the association in his or her possession, or under his or her control, to the incoming board, within five days after election. If not, the outgoing board member may be subject to a civil penalty.

Another area of catch up that the legislature was making was in changes to Section 719.104(4) of the Cooperative Act. This section has been amended regarding the required year-end financial reports for cooperative associations. The statue will now provide, like the Condominium Act, that within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year or calendar year, or annually on the date provided in the bylaws, a cooperative association must prepare a financial report covering the preceding fiscal year. The report must be provided to the members, or made available, no later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year, calendar year or date set forth in the bylaws.

The required financial statements include a compiled financial statement for those cooperative associations with annual revenues between $150,000 and $299,999; a reviewed financial statement for cooperative associations with annual revenues between $300,000 and $499,999; and audited financial statements for cooperative associations with revenues in excess of $500,000. Associations with total annual revenues of less than $150,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures. The law exempts cooperative associations operating less than 50 units. By a majority vote of the members, an association may waive the required reports (although some type of report is always required) but for no more than three consecutive years.

Board eligibility for cooperative associations also was addressed by the legislature in this new statute, again to be more similar to the requirements for condominiums. Section 719.106(1)(a)2, Fla. Statute, has been amended to provide that a person who has been suspended or removed from office by the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes is not eligible to be a candidate for the board and may not be listed on the ballot. In addition, persons who have been charged with theft of association funds may not serve on the board while such charges are pending. Also persons convicted of a felony are not eligible for board membership unless their civil rights have been restored for at least five years as of the date such person seeks election to the board.

The final item impacting cooperative associations, which also mirrors the Condominium Act provisions, are emergency powers granted to the board of directors. Such powers that are granted include the power and authority to determine when the property must be evacuated and granting the board power to prohibit property owners from returning to the community until it is determined that it is safe to do so. The power granted is limited to that time reasonably necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the association and the unit owners and their family members, tenants, guests, agents or invitees.

Next, we will look at the changes to the Homeowners’ Association Act, Chapter 720.


The Future of Social Security: Safe, Stable, Secure or Uncertain?

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:21am

Ask The CFP® Practitioner
Darcie Guerin

“I was too old for a paper route, too young for Social Security and too tired for an affair.” Erma Bombeck, U.S. humorist, 1927-1996)


Question: I’m curious, since I’m planning to retire soon, what is the outlook for Social Security?

Answer: You’re in luck, on July 28, 2014, the Social Security Trustees released their annual report providing insight to their financial condition. This is national Social Security awareness week so you’re in good company. Plenty of retirees and pre-retirees are discussing their cash flow needs and income resources. Here are some highlights from the Trustees 2014 report (available at

Social Security Statistics

• The maximum annual Social Security benefit for someone retiring today at age 66 is $30,396.

• The average benefit received by retired individuals and married couples, respectively is $14,748-$23,928.

• Social security payments represent 40 percent of the average wage earners post-retirement income.

• Between 1965 and 2011, the U.S. population grew by 50 percent. During this same time, the number of people receiving Social Security disability benefits during this period grew 510 percent.

• In 1935, the ratio of workers paying taxes into the system versus retirees withdrawing funds was at 40:1. Recently, this fell to a low of 2.9:1, and by 2030 ,will drop to 2:1.

What is Social Security?

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on Aug. 14, 1935, which was designed to pay retirement benefits to workers. In 1939, survivor benefits were added with disability benefits appearing in 1956.

Ida May Fuller of Vermont was the very first recipient of a Social Security retirement benefit. Having paid $24.75 into the system, Ida retired in 1949 and received $22,888.92 in benefits. Ida retired at age 65 and lived until age 100.

There are two parts to Social Security: the familiar retirement income benefit, which is the Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) program, and the Disability Insurance (DI) program, which is intended for disabled workers and their families. The combination of these two is OASDI. Payroll taxes are collected from workers to fund each component. Under Federal Law, Social Security can only invest these funds in securities issued or guaranteed by the Federal Government.

2014 Report Highlights

• If payroll income taxes alone won’t fully cover benefit payouts, the annual report states that payments will be covered until 2034 for OASI and 2016 for Disability Insurance.

• It is projected that the OASDI fund reserves will increase through 2019. By 2020, expenses will exceed total income and the U.S. Treasury will need to redeem trust fund asset reserves. If Congress doesn’t act before then, the combined trust fund reserves are depleted in 2033.

• When trust fund reserves are gone, incoming payroll tax revenue should cover 77 percent of scheduled benefits. This means that 20 years from now, if no changes are made, benefits could be 23 percent less than expected.

• Projections show that the DI Trust Fund reserve will be depleted in 2016, just two years from now. Legislative action is needed as soon as possible. Once the reserve is gone, income to the fund will only pay 81 percent of DI benefits.


Even if math isn’t your strong suit, it is clear to see that the future of this program is precarious. The program was designed when conditions were much different. Life expectancies have increased dramatically, and we’re drawing more out of the system than ever imagined. There are fewer workers paying into the system than ever before, and the rate of return on assets invested in the Trust funds is low (1.87 percent average during 2013). It is clearly important to have additional funds set aside for your retirement in addition to any anticipated Social Security payments you’ll receive.


Social Security plays a role in the lives of 59 million beneficiaries and 165 million covered workers and their families. Addressing problems now increases the likelihood that Social Security can continue to protect future generations. Here are a few suggestions our lawmakers are discussing:

• According to this year’s report, adding 2.83 percent to the current Social Security payroll tax, if done immediately and permanently, would address the revenue shortfall.

• Raising the ceiling on wages currently subject to Social Security payroll taxes ($117,000 in 2014).

• Increasing full retirement age to 67.

• Reducing future benefits, especially for wealthier beneficiaries.

In the meantime

Recognize that your financial future is largely in your hands. You can take control by anticipating your cash flow needs and identifying potential income resources. Continue to follow the news for any new developments or proposed legislation to reform Social Security, understand your own benefits and what you’ll receive from Social Security based on current law. Save as much as possible for retirement.

The job of planning for retirement never ends, even when you’re retired. The decisions you make in the months and years leading up to retirement have considerable impact on your future. Get them right, and you could be one of those retirees who can honestly say they’re “living the dream!”

Stay focused and invest accordingly.

Information obtained from outside sources is believed to be accurate. This information is general in nature, it is not a complete statement of all information necessary for making an investment decision, and is not a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any particular investment. Investing involves risk and the possible loss of principal invested, investors may incur a profit or a loss. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and subject to change at any time.

“Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP(R), CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(tm) and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S.”


This article provided by Darcie Guerin, CFP®, Associate Vice President, Investments & Branch Manager of Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC 606 Bald Eagle Dr. Suite 401, Marco Island, FL 34145. She may be reached at 239-389-1041, email Website:


Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:20am

Body, Mind And Spirit
Laurie Kasperbauer

“Karma is the eternal assertion of human freedom …Our thoughts,our words, and deeds are threads of the net we throw around ourselves.” — Swami Vivekanada


Most of us have heard of karma. We consider it to be the result of an incident or series of incidents that happen by chance that create either positive feelings (“good” karma) or negative or cautious feelings (“bad” karma). I’ve had both lately and the effect was the difference between feeling consumed with joy and appreciation of life, and feeling fearful of the next step and what catastrophe might ensue.

Bad karma afternoon: I was getting ready to leave the house, in a bit of a hurry and wearing sandals with heels. I was rushing through the house with my mind a few steps ahead of my feet, when I fell. My feet slipped right out from under me, and I landed on my wrist, dislocating my shoulder.

That same day, I was chopping vegetables for dinner. As I sliced away at the carrots,I was thinking about the celery and onion that lay in wait when the knife pared my pinkie instead of the orange root, and less than an hour later, with a bandaged finger and my left arm fairly useless, I was pulling a pan from the oven when I dropped the oven mitt on the hot coil, resulting in sparks, smoke and more than a few choice words.

I remember thinking: “What’s next?” Instinctively, I dreaded the next accident, or mistake, that would cause me pain or frustration. I was under attack by the spirit of evil karma.

Fast forward a week or so, I had the opportunity to teach the best-of-all-beach-yoga¬ experiences: a sunrise-full moonset class on Marco Island’s south beach. At 6:15 AM, I was on the beach with my lanterns and candles, full of excitement and anticipation.

There were just a few big, billowy clouds over the Gulf, and the full moon shone through them like a lighthouse beacon. As we yogis assembled our mats in the sand and began our morning practice, the moon did, indeed, set as the morning sun rose over our shoulders. And, as if it were all orchestrated by some divine maestro, with arms raised and masterful intent, a rainbow appeared before us. Just like that, a magical moment of joyous karma that promised this day to be full of beauty and positive energy.

So, what is karma exactly? Where does it come from? How is it created, and does it truly have the power to steer the path we follow?

Rolf Gates is a retired military officer, now a master yoga instructor, author and former partner of yoga giant Baron Baptiste. Gates/ book, “Meditations From The Mat,” is a journey through the eight limbs of yoga via essays and inspirational writings of ancient philosophers, modern-day songwriters and yoga gurus. Gates writes, “Imagine that each one of us lives at the center of a spider’s web of his or her own making. The threads of the web are our thoughts, words and deeds; all together, these strands form our karma.”

Yoga teaches us many lessons, but the basis of them all could be condensed into one simple rule: be present in the moment. What has already happened is history and cannot be undone. We waste precious energy and space in our conscious minds reliving the conversation or the action that we want to take back or change.

With equal entanglement and anxiety, we look to the future, rehearsing a confrontation we see as inevitable. Looking right past the moment we are in, how easily we can slip and fall, or pare out a piece of ourselves that serves us best today, in this moment.

I want to create my own karma. With my actions, my deeds, my thoughts and my choices, I choose to see the rainbow that appears overhead. By taking a few quiet moments to listen to the rhythm of the simple inhale and exhale of my breath, I can be here and now. Yoga teaches us to acknowledge the thoughts that enter in but not to marry them. If it doesn’t serve me well, I think I’ll let it go.

In a recent conversation with my sister, we were talking about relationships. We agreed that as we get older we tend to gravitate toward those connections that bring joy to our lives and avoid those that need negativity to thrive. She said, “If it doesn’t decorate my life, I don’t need it.”

So, maybe karma IS the assertion of human freedom. If we create our own beautiful web, through our thoughts and our deeds, we will be decorated with the joy and the acceptance that is held in the present moment. Without judgement or anticipation, we will be free.


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.