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Results for February 8th 2016

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 11:48pm

As of February 8th 2016

Approaching Mid-Season all Divisions Remain Close

Sand Bar knocked off Speakeasy and are now tied for first with them in the Island Division. CJ’s on the Bay holds a slim a half game lead over Stonewalls in the Marco Division, while the West leads the East by two games in the Legends Division.


Tuesday February 2nd 2016

Sand Bar – 9
Speakeasy – 6

Sand Bar and Speakeasy played another tight ballgame against on another with Sand Bar coming out on top. Jon Wiseman was the catalyst for Sand Bar with four hits with Dan Gulick having three. Wayne Bombaci belted a home run in the win and had two RBI. Jerry Engel had three hits for Speakeasy


Mutual of Omaha Bank – 20
Brewery – 13

The Bank laid a twenty-seven barrage on the Brewery and turned four doubles in the win. John Gross pulled the trigger on hits; Mark Mekota, Jack Martin and winning pitcher Jack O’Brien had three. Herman Griffith, Bill Thompson, and Rick Benedetti mashed a triple, with Griffith having four RBI, O’Brien three; Gross, Thompson, Martin, George Grygorcewicz, and Bill Shurina two. Chris Flynn and Chuck Reich stung the ball for four hits for the Brewery and Mike Schwab had three. Flynn, Jim Dorey, Jim Gilligan, Nick Jacullo, and Jimmy Cuevas all had two RBI.



Nacho Mama’s – 20
DaVinci’s – 14

Steve Hummel, Gary Revall, and Pete Oellrich had three hits for Nacho Mama’s. Revall Orellich, Bill Wright, Andre Paquette, Frank Benedetti, and John Barrett drove in two runs. DaVinci’s John Haskins and Craig Cunningham blistered the ball for four hits, with one of Haskins’ a home run; Tom Pugh and Murph Knapke had three hits.   Haskins drove in three runs in the game.


Thursday February 4th 2016

Sand Bar – 21
Mutual of Omaha Bank – 5

Sand Bar cashed out the Bank on twenty-six which lead to the game beginning ended due to the mercy rule (15 run differential). Jim George and Dan Gulick pelted four hits, Jim Stewart, Rod Lashley and Charlie Lamb had three. Lashley hoisted a three run home run with George and Jim Hultgren whacking a triple. Lashley and Wayne Bombaci racked up five RBI, Gulick three, George and Lamb two. Bill Thompson and Mark Mekota had three hits for the Bank.


Brewery – 25
Macho Mama’s – 24

It was a down and dirty slug fest between the Brewery and Nacho’s with both team racking up twenty-eight hits, ending with the Brewery winning in extra innings. Tom Whitlock and Mike Schwab pounded out four hits for the Brewery; John Remhoff, John Sherwin, Chuck Reich, and Art Sinisi three. Schwab, Nick Jacullo and Jim Gilligan thumped a home run. Sherwin and Jacullo chased in four runs, Gilligan and Phil Holmes three; Chris Flynn, Reich, Sinisi, and Schwab two. Nacho’s Steve Hummel pummeled the ball for five hits, Bob Williams and Gary Revall four, Ron Peterson three. Hummel, Revall and Peterson all launched a home run with Jim Ramage contributing a triple. Hummel chalked up five RBI, Revall and Peterson four, Williams two.


Speakeasy – 19
DaVinci’s – 7

Twenty-nine hits came flying off of Speakeasy bats with Mike Endelman going a perfect five for five, Ray Kane scorched four; Tom Buettner, Jerry Engel, Mike Puskar and Bob Monaco three. Kane and Jimmy Cuevas clouted a three run home run. Monaco also drove in three runs, Bob Grant and Tom Gazzillo two. DaVinci’s John Haskins torque the ball for four hits; Jim Vitas, Murph Knapke, and Andre Paquette had three. Grady Fuller hoisted a solo home run and Paquette was credited with two RBI.


Wednesday February 3rd, 2016

Rookies – 7
Crazy Flamingo’s – 6                                            

Larry Anspach knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh giving Rookies the team’s first win of the season, as well as notching his first pitching win. Anspach tagged the ball for three hits; John Hollerbach, John DeRosa, Doug Kemp and Ralph Leiterding had two with Al Cenicola driving in two runs. John Cavanagh stoked three in his first game back off the disable list for Flamingo’s. Teammates Jerry Kratz, George Bennett and Tom Grucci had two hits, with Grucci smacking a triple.


CJ’s on the Bay – 10
Stonewalls – 8

CJ’s scored a come from behind win scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Joe Cervelli peppered the ball for three hits for CJ’s; George Lancaster, Ron Hobson, and Joe Kruse had two. Lancaster and Hobson had three RBI; John Hollerbach who belted a home run had two. Stonewalls Mike Walsh and Gary Schneider lined three hits while Dave Coward and Chet Dal Bianco had two. Jim Green ripped a triple in the loss.


Joey’s Pizza – 12
Mango’s – 6

Mike Arnold, Ray Niemeyer, Denny Davis, and Fred Kramer all had two hits for Joey’s with Arnold hoisting a home run. Arnold had three RBI and Jack Mateja two. Danny Stanard stung the ball for three hits for Mango’s, Bob Travers and John Robichaud had two. Stanard and Travers chased in two runs each.


Friday February 5th, 2016

CJ’s on the Bay – 16
Mango’s – 7                        

Joe Kruse laced three for CJ’s while Joe Cervelli, Angelo Polizzi, Fran Diotte and Pat Coraggio had two. Cervelli and Joe Callahan had a triple; Coraggio drove home two runs. Mango’s Warren Uhl, Ron Irwin and Jim Baumann had two hits with one of Baumann’s a triple.



Stonewalls – 11
Rookies – 10

Stonewalls’ rallied from an 8-3 run deficit by scoring four runs in both the sixth and seventh inning to earn the win. Tom Purtell and John Luegering slapped the ball for three hits; Jim Green, Bob Smith and Mike Walsh had two, one of Green’s a triple. Green, Luegering, and Smith each drove in two runs. Nick Brooks lashed out four hits for Rookies; John Hollerbach, Al Cenicola, and Ed Kopecky two. Brooks had three RBI; Doug Kemp hoisted a two run homer for two RBI with Fred Kramer collecting two as well on a triple.


Crazy Flamingo’s – 14
Joey’s Pizza – 4

George Bennett, Don Schwartz, John Cavanagh, Tom Polsten, Tom Grucci and Ray Zielinski all had two hits for Crazy Flamingo’s. Polsten who whacked a triple had three RBI, Grucci and Zielinski two. Paul Burnett nailed three hits for Joey’s and Denny Davis had two.


Monday February 8th, 2016

Stonewalls – 11
Mango’s – 7

Mike Walsh drilled three hits for Stonewalls; Tom Purtell, Doug Stang, Bruce Chambers, Paul Womack and Gary Schneider had two. Purtell and Chet Dal Bianco tripled in the game. Warren Uhl and Jim White lead Mango’s with three hits, Bob Traver and Paul Vorwick two. Traver and Vorwick had triple, with Traver also clobbering a homerun giving him three RBI in the game.


Rookies – 10
Joey’s Pizza – 5

Rookies behind the nine hit pitching of Larry Anspach and two hits apiece from Nick Brooks, Doug Kemp, John Hollerbach, and John Gill won the team’s second game of the season. Hollerbach and Ed Kopecky each smacked a triple. Kemp accounted for four RBI; Kemp, Kopecky, Al Cenicola, and Ralph Leiterding two.


Crazy Flamingo’s – 19
CJ’s on the Bay – 7

Don Schwartz lined three hits for Flamingo’s with John Cavanagh, Joe Furst, Ray Zielinski and John Ranieri having two. Steve Slaggie clocked a home run in the win. CJ’s Joe Cervelli, George Lancaster, Joe Kruse and Fran Diotte had two hits. One of Diotte’s hits was a triple, while Roger Fleming had a solo home run.


Wednesday February 3rd, 2016

West – 18
East – 12

Chuck Wilson and Buff Morris laced three hits for the West, with Gary Badger, Tony Brock, Lee Dilk and Bob Grimm having two. Badger that slammed a home run had two RBI as did Morris. Jack Stevenson and Jeff Dougherty zinged four hits for the East; Ron Townsend, Frank Flint, and Dan O’Sullivan had three, Charlie Pineno two, with Dom Fiorda cracking a triple. Townsend, Dougherty and O’Sullivan drove in two runs in the loss.

Friday February 5th, 2016


East – 22
West – 7

The East put the wood to the West with twenty-five hits along with seven errors to end the game due to the mercy rule. Ron Townsend and Jeff Dougherty pounded four hits, Bob Beaver three; Dom Fiorda, Jack Stevenson, Frank Flint, and Dan O’Sullivan two. Fiorda, Townsend and Dougherty each drove in two runs. Gary Badger, Dick DeAnna, Alan Schneider and Tony Brock had two hits for the West, with Brock having three RBI.


West – 8
East – 7

Don Mandetta peppered the ball for three hits, Dick DeAnna and Bob Grimm had two for the West. Mandetta and Alan Schneider belted a home run with Chuck Wilson and Bob Grimm having a triple, Schneider and Grimm each drove in two runs. The East’s Bob Beaver lined three hits, Dan O’Sullivan and Ron Burger had two. Charlie Pineno whacked a triple giving him two RBI in the game.


ISLAND DIVISION STANDINGS Wins Loses Sand Bar 2 7 2 Speakeasy 7 2 Mutual of Omaha Bank 3 2 Brewery 1 4 Nacho Mama’s 1 4 DaVinci’s 1 4


MARCO DIVISION STANDINGS Wins Loses CJ’s on the Bay 8 3 Stonewalls 7 3 Crazy Flamingo’s 5 5 Joey’s Pizza 5 5 Mango’s 4 7 Rookies 2 8



Results for January 25th 2016

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 11:03pm

As of January 25th 2016


Sand Bar and Speakeasy remain unbeaten in the Island Division with both teams invoking the mercy rules in their wins (15 run differential) this past week. In the Marco Division CJ’s holds a half game lead over Stonewalls, who increased the teams winning streak to four games.The Legends Division saw the West win two games by one run and hold a two game advantage over the East even though there is only a one run difference in total runs scored by both teams through six games.


Tuesday January 19th 2016

Speakeasy – 17
Nacho Mama’s – 11

Speakeasy used a twenty-three hit barrage on Nacho’s too remain undefeated. Winning pitcher Dan Moriarty and Tom Buettner drilled four hits, Mike Endelman had three. Buettner hammered a home run with Moriarty, Endelman, Jimmy Cuevas, and Mike Shone smacking a triple. Buettner and John Rysak drove in four runs and Moriarty three. Gary Revall lashed out four hits for Nacho’s, Pete Orellich and John Barrett had three. Revall blasted a home run and triple, Bill Wright mashed two triples and Steve Hummel one. Hummel and Jim Ramage had two RBI.


Mutual of Omaha Bank – 17
DaVinci’s – 2

Jack O’Brien tossed an eight hitter against DaVinci’s as the Bank invoked the mercy rule (15 run differential) to end the game after eight innings. Tom Pugh tagged the ball for a triple for DaVinci’s. Ed Kingsbury led the Bank spanking the ball for four hits while George Grygorcewicz proved the power whacking two triples. Grygorcewicz chased in five runs, Kingsbury four; Herman Griffith, Bill Thompson, Bill Shurina, and O’Brien two.


Sand Bar – 21
Brewery – 9

Sand Bar’s torrid hitting attack left them still undefeated. Jim George pelted the ball for four hits; Jon Wiseman, Jeff Kaczka, Rod Lashley, Jim Stewart, and Dan Gulick had three. Lashley and Stewart launched home runs, while Dan Dumbauld and Charlie Lamb cracked a triple. Lashley and Tom Bishard recorded four RBI, George two. Chris Flynn had three hits and two RBI for the Brewery, Tom Whitlock also had two RBI.


Nacho Mama’s – 16
DaVinci’s – 5

Nacho Mama’s Steve Hummel pummeled the ball for four hits, while Bob Williams chipped in with three. Gary Revall, Pete Oellrich and Gary LaMotte provided the power for Nacho’s all clubbing a triple. Williams drove in four runs, Hummel and Bill Wright three, John Barrett two. DaVinci’s John Haskins and Dave Manzello lined three hits; Jim Williams whacked a triple giving him two RBI.


Thursday January 21st 2016

Mutual of Omaha Bank – 15
Nacho Mama’s – 9

Bill Thompson hammered the ball for four hits of which three were a double to pace the Bank. George Grygorcewicz and Rick Benedetti drove three runs in, Thompson and Bill Shurina two. Nacho’s Jim Ramage drilled four hits for Nacho’s, one a triple, and Frank Benedetti had three hits. Ramage had three RBI, Benedetti and Andre Parquette two.


Speakeasy – 19
Brewery – 4

Speakeasy ended the game after seven innings due to the mercy rule (15 run differential) with an unblemished recorded. Ray Kane uncorked four hits for Speakeasy with Mike Puskar having three. Kane and Tom Buettner blasted a home run. Kane racked up four RBI, Mike Endelman three; Buettner, Puskar, Bob Grant, and Bob Monaco two. Winning pitcher Dan Moriarty limited the Brewery to twelve hits; one of them was a triple by Mike Schwab.


Sandbar – 16
DaVinci’s – 0

In a merciless attack Sand Bar end the game due to the differential being greater then 15 runs. Sand Bar launched three homeruns one by Jeff Krazck who had three hits, and one by Jim Stewart and Dan Gulick. Krazck and Stewart drove in three runs; Gulick, Wayne Bombaci, Rod Lashley, and Charlie Lamb two. Winning pitcher Jim George a spun a six hit shut out.


Wednesday January 20th, 2016

Mango’s – 21
Rookies – 10                                            

Mango’s twenty-one hits propelled them past Rookies. Dan Stanard, Joe Barry, and Dan Cody lined three hits, John Robichaud, Warren Uhl and Jim Battye had two; one of Robichaud’s being a home run. Robichaud RBI total for the game was four, Stanard and Barry three; Uhl, Baumann, and Ron Irwin two. Dick Corley, John DeRosa, Doug Kemp and Ralph Leiterding had two hits for Rookies. DeRosa who walloped a homer run had six RBI in the game.


Joey’s Pizza – 18
CJ’s on the Bay – 8

John Wood and Randy Wesolowski were perfect at the plate going four for four; Fred Kramer swatted the ball for three hits, while Ray Niemeyer, Bill Kaschube and Jim O’Meara had two. Kramer drove in four runs, O’Meara three; Don Rooksberry, Gary Zentner, and Paul Burnett two. CJ’s Joe Cervelli and Ron Hobson nailed three hits, with Bob Levasseur, George Lancaster and Joe Kruse having two. Hobson and Kruse drove in two runs.


Stonewalls – 14
Crazy Flamingo’s – 6

Errors along with some timely hitting lead too Stonewalls scoring five runs in the first inning handing Flamingo’s their second consecutive loss. Dave Coward punched out three hits for Stonewalls, teammates Jim Green, Doug Stang, Chet Dal Bianco, Bob Smith, John Robichaud and Angelo Polizzi had two. Dal Bianco hit a solo homerun and Stang had a triple. Coward chased in three runs, Stang and Smith two. George Bennett, Tom Polsten, Joe Furst and Ray Zielinski had two hits for Flamingo’s. Tom Grucci had a bases empty homerun, while Dave Banghart collected two RBI.


Friday January 22nd, 2016

CJ’s on the Bay – 7
Mango’s – 6                        

Joe Kruse laced three for CJ’s while Joe Cervelli, Angelo Polizzi, Fran Diotte and Pat Coraggio had two. Cervelli and Joe Callahan had a triple; Coraggio drove home two runs. Mango’s Warren Uhl, Ron Irwin and Jim Baumann had two hits with one of Baumann’s a triple.


Monday January 25th, 2016

Stonewalls – 10
Joey’s Pizza – 6

Tom Purtell lashed three hits for Stonewalls; teammates Chet Dal Bianco, Mike Walsh, and Bob Mann had two. Green who had a triple and Walsh chased in two runs. Don Rooksberry and Paul Burnett had a big day for Joey’s stinging the ball for three hits; one of Burnett’s was a home run giving him three RBI in the game


Mango’s – 13
Crazy Flamingo’s – 3

Mango’s Jim White stroked three hits; Dan Stanard, Joe Barry and Warren Uhl two with one of Uhl’s being a three run homerun. Besides Uhl, White and Paul Vorwick each drove in three runs in the win. Ray Zielinski and Tom Grucci had two hits for Crazy Flamingo’s with Jerry Kratz smacking a two run home run.


CJ’s on the Bay – 14
Rookies – 6

Bob Levasseur and Fuzz Fazekas drilled three hits; Joe Cervelli, Ron Hobson, and Joe Kruse two for CJ’s. Hobson launched a two run home run and Levasseur a triple.            Cervelli recorded three RBI; Hobson, Fazekas, and winning pitcher Angelo Polizzi two. Larry Anspach and John Hollerbach nailed three hits for Rookies, Dick Corley and Rick Larkin had two.


Wednesday January 20th, 2016

West – 14
East – 13

The West scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh for the win after the East had scored two in the top of the seventh to break an 11-11 tied ball game. Alan Schneider rapped three hits and Lee Dilk two for the West. Ron Townsend pummeled the ball for four hits, Roger Wise three; Mike Rectin, Jack Stevenson, Frank Flint, Bob Beaver, and Charles Pineno had two. One of Wise’s his was a triple.

Monday January 25th, 2016

West – 12
East – 11

It was another wild game between the two Legends teams with the East tying the game in the top of the seventh on Jack Stevenson grand slam home run, only to see the West win in the bottom of the inning on a Dick DeAnna game winning base hit. Chuck Wilson banged out three hits to lead the West; DeAnna, Lee Dilk, Bill Dauch, Rick Condle and Buff Morris had two. Wilson, Condle and Dan Mandetta clouted a home run. Wilson and Mandetta had three RBI and Ernie Famiglistti two. The East’s Frank Flint smacked the ball for four hits, Jack Stevenson three; Bob Beaver, Dom Fiorda, and Bill Diamond two. Besides his grand slam home run Stevenson also cracked a triple. Stevenson racked up six RBI and Flint two.

ISLAND DIVISION STANDINGS Wins Loses Sand Bar 2 4 0 Speakeasy 4 0 Mutual of Omaha Bank 3 2 Nacho Mama’s 1 4 Brewery 1 4 DaVinci’s 1 4


MARCO DIVISION STANDINGS Wins Loses CJ’s on the Bay 5 2 Stonewalls 4 2 Mango’s 4 3 Crazy Flamingo’s 3 3 Joey’s Pizza 3 3 Rookies 0 6



Results for January 18th 2016

Mon, 02/08/2016 - 10:25pm

As of January 18th 2016


The 2016 is off to a very competitive start with Sand Bar and Speakeasy undefeated and in first place in the Island Division. In the Marco Division Crazy Flamingo’s and CJ’s on the Bay are tied for first. In the newly formed Legends Division the East and West teams are tied with only a one scoring differential between the two teams through the four games played.


Tuesday January 12th 2016

Brewery – 11
Mutual of Omaha Bank – 5

Phil Holmes rapped out three hits for the Brewery one a triple leading the Brewery to the win. Nick Jacullo hoisted a two run home run. Holmes recorded three RBI, Jacullo and Mike Schwab two. Bill Thompson and Bill Shurina had three hits for the Bank; one of Thompson’s being a triple giving him two RBI in the game.


Nacho Mama’s – 16
DaVinci’s – 5

Nacho Mama’s Steve Hummel pummeled the ball for four hits, while Bob Williams chipped in with three. Gary Revall, Pete Oellrich and Gary LaMotte provided the power for Nacho’s all clubbing a triple. Williams drove in four runs, Hummel and Bill Wright three and John Barrett two. DaVinci’s John Haskins and Dave Manzello lined three hits; Jim Williams whacked a triple giving him two RBI.


Thursday January 14th 2016

DaVinci’s – 14
Brewery – 7

Tom Pugh lead DaVinci’s to the team’s first win of the season with three hits, with Tom Tankersley tagging a solo home run. Teammates Jim Williams drove three runs; Craig Cunningham, John Haskins, Jim Vitas and Murph Knapke two. Mike Schwab and Dave Droddy had three hits for the Brewery, with Droddy picking up two RBI.


Sand Bar – 12
Nacho Mama’s – 8

Sand Bar’s winning pitcher Jim George helped his own cause with three hits. new league member Dan Gulick walloped a homerun and Rod Lashley a triple; Gulick had five RBI and Jon Wiseman two for Sand Bar. Bill Wright and Gary LaMotte drove in two runs each for Nacho’s.


Speakeasy – 14
Mutual of Omaha Bank – 8

Speakeasy sprayed out twenty hits, four from Rich Krumholz and three from Ray Kane in beating the Bank. Kane and Tom Buettner had three runs driven in the game. Herm Griffith uncorked four hits; Griffith and George Grygorcewicz smacked a triple. Grygorcewicz had three RBI and Ed Kingsbury two.


Wednesday January 13th, 2016

Stonewalls – 10
Joey’s Pizza – 8                                               

Although Joeys out hit Stonewalls, Stonewalls was able to win the game due to Paul Womack knocking out three hits and accounting for five RBI. Chet Dal Bianco had two hits, while Tom Purtell launched a two run homerun in the win. Joey’s Fred Kramer and Paul Burnett lined three hits; Don Rooksberry, Gary Zentner and Bill Moors had two. Burnett and Zentner each drove in two runs.


Crazy Flamingo’s – 12
Mango’s – 7

Crazy Flamingo’s Jerry Kratz stung the ball for three hits with Joe Furst and Bob Mann having two to help hand Mango’s the team’s first lost of the season and remain unbeaten. Kratz had three RBI and Tom Grucci two. Mango’s Jim Baumann laced three hits while John Robichaud and Dan Stanard had two. Robichaud two hits were a triple and solo home run, Chet Dal Bianco also homered for Mango’s, his being a two run shot.


CJ’s on the Bay – 13
Rookies – 1

Roger Fleming zinged out three hits for CJ’s, while Joe Cervelli, Bob Levasseur, George Lancaster and Fuzz Fazekas had two. Fleming, Cervelli and Joe Kruse chase in two runs each in the game. Winning pitcher Angelo Polizzi limited Rookies to six hits, two by Doug Kemp.


Monday January 18th, 2016

CJ’s on the Bay – 11
Crazy Flamingo’s – 10                       

CJ’s handed Flamingo’s their first loss of the season and moved into a tie for first with Flamingo’s. Roger Fleming had three hits for CJ’s , while Joe Cervelli, Fuzz Fazekas and Joe Callahan had two. Fran Diotte clouted a homerun giving him, Ron Hobson, Fazekas and Callahan two RBI in the win. Flamingo’s Dave Banghart zinged out three hits and giving him four RBI; Don Schwartz, Tom Grucci and Tom Polsten had two hits with one of Polsten’s being a home run. Schwartz and Polsten had two RBI.


Stonewalls – 12
Mango’s – 4

Jim Green and Dave Coward were the catalyst for Stonewalls stroking three hits each, with Tom Purtell and Don Rooksberry having two. Green chalked up four RBI; Chet Dal Bianco and Coward two. Mango’s Warren Uhl and Jim Baumann had two hits, and Jim Battye two RBI off winning pitcher Bruce Chambers who limited Mango’s too nine hits.


Joey’s Pizza – 18
Rookies – 3

Joey’s invoked the mercy rule (15 run differential) after five innings. Ray Niemeyer peppered the ball for three hits; Don Rooksberry, Denny Davis, Randy Wesolowsk and Bill Moors two for Joey’s. Teammates John Wood and Fred Kramer whacked a triple. Kramer and Moors drove in three runs; Rooksberry, Wood and Jim O’Meara two. Winning pitcher Bill Kaschube held Rookies to eight hits with Nick Brooks and Jerry Lenhoff both having two.


Wednesday January 13th, 2016

East – 13
West – 8

The East won the game in extra innings scoring five runs in the top of the eighth inning. Dan O’Sullivan scorched the ball for four hits, Dom Fiorda, Mike Rectin, Bob Beaver and Bernie Berman had three, Ron Townsend two. O’Sullivan and Rechtin cracked a triple with both having three RBI,Townsend and Roger Wise two. Dick DeAnna nailed three hits for West; Alan Schneider, Tony Brock, Chuck Wilson, Bill Dauch, Bob Grimm, and Leroy Fishleigh two. Schneider and Vorick each drove in two runs.

Monday January 18th, 2016

West – 14
East – 10

Dick DeAnna had a career day at the plate blistering the ball for five hits one being a home run giving him four RBI in the game for the West. Gary Badger and Alan Schneider contributed two hits apiece with Schneider thumping a triple; Tony Brock chased in two in the win. Dom Fiorda, Mike Rectin, Danny O’Sullivan, and Bill Diamond had three hits for the East with Diamond belting a homerun and O’Sullivan a triple; Ron Townsend two hits. O’Sullivan chased home three runs.

ISLAND DIVISION STANDINGS Wins Loses Sand Bar 2 2 0 Speakeasy 2 0 Nacho Mama’s 1 2 Mutual of Omaha Bank 1 2 Brewery 1 2 DaVinci’s 1 2


MARCO DIVISION STANDINGS Wins Loses Crazy Flamingo’s 3 1 CJ’s on the Bay 3 1 Joey’s Pizza 2 2 Mango’s 2 2 Stonewalls 2 2 Rookies 0 4



International Support for Mangrove Restoration

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:23pm

Renee Wilson

Officials met onsite with representatives from China Rilin and China Green. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is partnering with China’s Rilin Group to help restore 225 acres of mangroves in Collier County. The industrial group has committed $5 million to restore and monitor the mangrove forest at Fruit Farm Creek within the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR).

RBNERR and its partners have been researching causes of the mangrove die-off in the area, which includes construction in the 1940s of state road 92, to develop a plan to restore environmental conditions such as historical water flows in the estuarine area. This project will enable implementing these advances in research that support the importance of restoring water flows to improve habit vital to encourage natural mangrove growth.

The project’s first phase, which entailed permitting, engineering and design, site surveys, vegetation clearing, excavation and fill removal, was completed in 2012 and included funding from private donations, a grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and in-kind donations from local businesses.

“We are pleased to work with China’s Rilin Group and our community partners to continue to restore this forest,” said Keith Laakkonen, director of Rookery Bay Reserve and Southwest Regional Administrator for DEP’s Florida Coastal Office. “Mangroves are not only vital to our local economy but provide numerous benefits worldwide. This innovative project and accompanying research may prove beneficial to restoring and protecting these critical ecosystems around the globe.”

“We want our investment in Rookery Bay to help restore that mangrove system, and other mangrove ecosystems in other parts of Florida and the United States,” said Wenliang Wang, chairman of China’s Rilin Group. “We believe the results can also be deployed to China’s coastal areas where mangroves have been impacted, and urgently need to be restored and regenerated. The Rilin Group will continue to make strategic investments in environment and ecosystem preservation, and make its humble contribution to the protection of international ecosystems and the environment.”

Partners on the project include: Coastal Resources Group, Inc. (the project manager), the Ecology Group, J.R. Evans Engineering, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, the City of Marco Island, Friends of Rookery Bay and China’s Rilin Group.

Mangroves are instrumental to protecting Florida shoreline and providing habitat for marine life that are the basis of the $7.6-billion sports fishery industry, which employs 109,000 people. The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve encompasses 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters on the Gulf coast of Florida in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


Renee Wilson is Communications Coordinator at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. She has been a Florida resident since 1986 has joined the staff at the reserve in 2000.

Salute to Veterans: Manny Puglisi

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:21pm

By Maggie Gust

Mary and Manny Puglisi
at their Marco Island home, January 2016. PHOTOS BY MAGGIE GUST

Emanuel “Manny” Puglisi (pooh-glee-see) served in the 76th Field Artillery Battalion of the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946.

Manny was born in Sicily, Italy, and came to this country with his parents in 1937. His older brother and sister had each been born in America, but his parents subsequently returned to Sicily due to his father’s health and the need to be near family. When they came back to New York City, Manny was 13. He began immediately to literally build a life for himself.

At age 14, he started working after school in a woodworking shop, sweeping up and doing other chores. This job gave him money, a dollar a week, but also chronic sneezing. After his father died from his chronic kidney disease, Manny and his mother moved in with his sister and her husband. Their place in Greenwich Village, like so many rentals at that time, had a communal bathroom shared with other tenants on the floor. Eventually, they were able to move to a place with their own bathroom and hot water, though not a bathtub. They did have a wash tub.

(Several years ago, Manny and his wife Mary visited this building where he lived with his family in the late 1930s. It was after the gentrification of Greenwich. One of the tenants, a young man, welcomed them into the building and Manny noted that the original tile on the vestibule’s floor was still there. Everything else had been transformed. There was now an elevator in the four-story building. Manny’s family had paid 19 dollars a month for their apartment, but the friendly tenant informed them his unit was 3,900 dollars a month. They did not journey beyond the vestibule and thanked the gentleman for his hospitality.)

On December 7, 1941, Manny had just visited his father’s gravesite when he heard on the radio that Pearl Harbor had been attacked by the Japanese. His reaction was the common one of shock, since Japanese diplomats were in Washington, D.C. and had been working on peace talks with the U.S. His wife Mary remembers being in a movie theater with her older brother Dominic at the time. The movie was stopped, the lights came on and there was an announcement that all military personnel were to report back to their posts. It was not until the movie let out that they learned about the attack.

By this time Manny, although still in school, was learning the furniture making trade at the shop where he still worked. After graduation he worked there full time, still sneezing. The shop was closed in 1942 and the foreman and employees including Manny, went to work in a defense plant making lockers for military personnel to stash their belongings. Since metals, including steel, were used for the manufacture of war materiel, ships, bombs, ammunition, etc., the lockers were made from wood. Hence, the need for skilled woodworkers.

In 1943, he was drafted. When given a choice between the Pacific and European theaters, he chose the Pacific because he did not want to fight his former countrymen. After basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he was sent to Fort Ord, California. While there, he displayed a talent for instructing his fellow troops and was promoted to corporal and then to platoon sergeant as a trainer. This was his position through most of the war, training the infantry at Fort Ord. In early 1945, everyone knew they were gearing up for the Invasion of Japan and Manny, like everyone else in his battalion, expected to be deployed at any time. However, the events of August 1945 with the atomic bombs being dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed his destiny and that of millions of others. The expected losses of a million American lives and two or more million Japanese lives were averted.

For the final few months of his service, Manny was transferred from training to stockade duty. His most vivid memory from this time is of guarding a very large muscular man who was serving time for going AWOL and/or some other minor offense. The man was Joe Louis’ (heavyweight boxing champion of the world 1937-1949) former sparring partner. At 120 pounds, Manny kept a cautious distance, but close enough to be effective at his duty. There was never a problem.

Asbury Park Press (New Jersey) article dated 10/6/2009 about the family egg farm, proudly displayed in the Puglisi home. Their sons Michael, John and Paul are shown. SUBMITTED PHOTO

When Manny was discharged in early 1946, he was a U.S. citizen. Shortly after he was drafted and began his service, the Immigration and Naturalization Services offered naturalization to non-citizen service personnel, per congress’ Second War Powers Act of 1942. No one was given citizenship automatically and no one was forced to apply for naturalization, it was simply offered. INS helped the service personnel complete the petition, which required having an honorable record in the service. They were exempt from fees and some other requirements in place at that time. In addition to the petition, they had to take the Oath of Allegiance in court. In some places, there were such a large number of personnel accepting naturalization that judges traveled to the camps and set up temporary courtrooms to preside over the oath. Over 100,000 service personnel were naturalized, including 13,587 in the first U.S. naturalizations conducted overseas.

When Manny came home to New York, he returned to his furniture-making trade and was soon a foreman in the shop. In 1950, he bought 17 acres of land in New Jersey, built chicken coops and buildings to house them, purchased 2,200 chickens and waited for the laying of eggs to begin. Everything was done manually at that time – collecting the eggs, washing, drying, candling (looking for imperfections by passing the eggs over a light source and discarding rejects), sizing, and packaging. At that time, there were 18,000 egg farms in New Jersey and about 30 dealers who came twice a week to the farms to broker deals for the eggs. The egg farms were literally next door to each other.

In April 1954, Mary, a Brooklyn girl, and Manny married and she joined in the work on the egg farm. Three sons, John, Michael and Paul followed over the next six years. They started helping out on the farm as youngsters and were paid for their work.

Times started to get tough when prices dropped after people from the South started getting into egg farming. Many New Jersey egg farmers closed up shop for good. Manny and Mary were feeling a tight squeeze as they tried to make a go of the business and see to the needs of their family of five. Ultimately they had to go out of business. They sold the chickens, paid off creditors, and leased the farm. Manny’s former boss at the furniture-making shop offered him a partnership to come back. But after visiting the shop and promising to think about the proposal, Mary noticed he didn’t look happy when he returned home. She encouraged him to say no to the furniture shop and that together they would make it somehow. Besides moving the family 70 miles and back into the city after enjoying the quieter (as quiet as it could be with thousands of chickens) country life, his heart was still with the chickens.

So, they worked together, candling the eggs at night, with an intercom in the house so that they could keep an ear on the kids. Manny went door-to-door selling his eggs. The first door he knocked on was the home of the DiStefano family. In the course of conversation, they discovered that they were from the same place in Sicily! The DiStefanos referred Manny to many other people, and within a short time he had a nice route of customers and they were able to keep the business going and feed their kids.

The man who leased the farm was not paying the rent, so they decided to take the farm back. That rent money was needed for the mortgage on their home. They were able to get a large loan from the bank to help them get restarted. Manny remodeled the farm, installed a new machine that cleaned and weighed the eggs. Although there was still a lot of handwork involved, that machine enabled production to skyrocket to 3,600 eggs an hour. The next step in his business growth was going wholesale. He sold his retail to another farmer and concentrated on diners, stores, restaurants and the new Perkins Pancake House that opened in the area.

Manny and Mary instilled a strong work ethic in their sons from an early age, but also encouraged innovation. When his sons wanted to build a greenhouse on the farm, he suggested a brooder house instead, which would be more closely aligned to the business, instead of whatever they were going to grow in the greenhouse. If they took 30,000 chicks and raised them in a brooder house, they could split any money that was saved by raising their own, instead of purchasing, chickens. Each son ended up with several thousands dollars. Lesson learned.

All three sons are presently involved in running the egg farm. Each is responsible for a different aspect of the business. Five of their 10 grandchildren are working at the farm and at least one more has expressed his intention to join up after he finishes college. They recently purchased a second, larger egg farm in Middletown, Delaware, which they are upgrading. Between the two sites, they produced about two million eggs a day and employ 90 people.

That machine I mentioned earlier that allowed Manny and Mary to get back on their feet by processing 3,600 eggs is left in the dust by his sons’ equipment. Their machines process 150,000 eggs an hour and at one farm, they are upgrading to a machine that will process 200,000 eggs an hour. Today, there is no handwork involved. Eggs are completely untouched by human hands until the consumer opens the package.

From the 1950s when there were 18,000 egg farms in New Jersey, the number is now down to two. The Puglisi Egg Farm is the only one that is family owned and they are the number two egg producer in the state, right behind a Japanese corporation that is number one. There are about 150 egg farms across the United States, mostly in the Midwest region.

Manny on his egg farm in the early days. PHOTO COURTESY PUGLISI FAMILY

Manny retired in 1986, and although Mary still was involved in the business at that time, they started coming to Marco Island for the winter in a unit at South Seas. In 1991, they moved into their home here, spending a few months of each year with the family in New Jersey. Both are very active in volunteer work both here and up in New Jersey with the Saint Vincent dePaul Society. In addition to donating and collecting food that is used to help local residents, their organization also sends a cargo container of food to Haiti or Jamaica, every few months. Their sons continue the Puglisi tradition of giving back by donating eggs to local food banks in their areas and supporting other charitable causes.

Manny is very devoted to the Italian American Society (IAS) and has served as president in the past. He enjoys playing bocce very much and while president of the Italian American Society was instrumental in installing courts at Mackle Park. Manny and a few other members of the society on the bocce court panel actually built clay courts in the park in approximately 1999. Those three original playing areas have since been replaced by cement courts, and a fourth court added recently. (See the January 8, 2016 issue of Coastal Breeze News.) Bocce is quite popular and an estimated 100 to 150 people a day enjoy the local courts. IAS sponsors a team, and several condo associations have their own leagues. Participation in bocce tournaments is always quite high.

I mentioned earlier that Manny literally built a life for himself in this country. He started working almost as soon as he got here, sweeping up in a woodworking shop. Then he learned that trade which gave him a living until he went into the military during World War II, and then again upon his discharge. When he purchased the egg farm, he was able to build the chicken coops and subsequent additional buildings. He laid the foundations and put up them up entirely on his own. He managed to do all the handwork involved in keeping his business going, while also marrying and starting a family.

After they moved to their home here on Marco, Manny wasn’t finished. Besides building the original bocce courts with his fellow IAS members, they also built a skateboard park at the YMCA (subsequently replaced a few years ago), and have shared their time, skills and financial support with other local organizations. Manny built all the cabinets and furniture in his home, which are exquisite and qualify for display at any fine furniture store (See photo). Everything was built in his two-car garage.

Manny Puglisi, for your service to this country in World War II, we salute you! We thank you for your generosity to this community and for making Marco Island a nicer, friendlier place by your presence here.

Drop Anchor – The Residents Take Over

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:18pm

By Barry Gwinn

Jack Swisher and his water
still. Stills were manufactured in Lincoln, Neb. and purchased
by Swisher for distribution.
Just fill up metal tank and one gallon of distilled water drips into clear plastic container. Process took about an hour.

As earlier reported, the Drop Anchor Trailer Park today is a gathering of brightly painted and colorful trailers and mobile homes. Mostly empty in the summer, the park fairly explodes with activity in the winter. There is a constant to and fro of residents socializing and visiting with each other, catching up on the past year and enjoying the present one. They genuinely seem to like each other here. They will jump at any excuse to socialize, gathering for monthly potluck suppers (and occasional happy hours) in their sunny recreation center. This year there was a festive Christmas potluck supper; there was a soup supper (Italian wedding soup) scheduled in January; and the men take the women out for breakfast every February. Incorporated now as the Drop Anchor Mobile Home Owners’ Association, the park is governed by nine directors serving staggered three-year terms. For the past 20 years they have had little trouble getting people to serve on the board. The park is a tightly run ship, with various committees seeing that park rules are adhered to. The result is an attractive, orderly, and well-maintained park.

Dennis Grill is just finishing up his second five-year term as president of the board and of the association. Grill, who still sports a natty crew cut, is retired from the information technology department of a Des Moines, Iowa insurance company. “Mike Higuera and I have been kind of alternating as president,” said Grill, “Neither one of us could have done it without Lyle Chamberlain (the park’s long serving secretary).” In 1985, Dennis Grill and Agatha (pronounced aGAYtha) Norton arrived in Goodland and have been coming ever since. Too young to qualify for a unit at Drop Anchor, they rented a cabin (seasonally) in Margood Park. “We didn’t make the cut,” said Dennis, “But we moved in as soon as we could.” For much of the last 19 years, Grill says he has held every office in the park except treasurer. The board meets monthly at 9 AM. Each member gets three minutes to speak to an agenda item and the agenda is strictly adhered to. “This is a self-owned, self-managed park. Everything is done by volunteers,” Grill says, “So it’s cheap to live here.” Rents ranged from $3K to $4K annually before incorporation in 1990. Today they are only $825 per year, per unit. With obvious pride, Grill points out that the rates had not been raised for 10 years before the most recent one. The annual fee includes water, sewer, garbage collection, a boat slip, and road, grounds, and dock maintenance. “The park is an extended family,” says Grill, “We all know everyone.” Despite the small size of the units, “We are happy and satisfied because we can be outdoors and with friends.” Grill’s unit is typical, about 900 square feet. “Just right for the two of us and easy to maintain,” says Grill.

J.W. “Dub” Abbott in his Drop Anchor mobile home. Dub was the first president of the Drop Anchor Mobile Homeowners’ Association – 1989.

J.W. “Dub” Abbott is a sprightly centenarian from Louisville. He served a hitch in the Marines in 1932 and retired from General Electric in 1979. He has been coming to Goodland since 1984. He and his wife rented a place on Henderson Creek in 1979 for five years until, at the urging of a friend, he looked over on Marco Island. His wife had wearied of the isolation of Henderson Creek and wouldn’t stay for the whole winter. He discovered the Drop Anchor Trailer Court and liked what he found. “I heard the fishing was great and saw the large size of the catches the trailer park residents were bringing in,” said Dub, “I felt that this was a place my wife would stay in all winter.” He was right. The proximity of a fine beach and the development of a first class city up the road probably didn’t hurt either. In 1984, Dub bought a trailer for $5K. In 1987, he sold it for $7K and bought Unit F for $20K, also paying $300 for a dock space. It was a water front singlewide mobile home, located on the site of what had been the park’s fish cleaning station, which was usually heaped with piles of fish. “Nearly everyone in the park was a fisherman. There were few golfers,” recalled Dub, “I liked fishing the best.” JoAnn Methner is Dub’s daughter. She and her husband, Don, have wintered in Unit F since 2006. She says that Dub was the first president of the park when it was organized in 1989. “He was the only guy who had a computer at the time,” said Methner, “His job was to go around the park and see how many people he could recruit for the park homeowners association. He managed to sign up seven members. There were about 60 people here then, 47 of which joined the Association.” In 1996, Methner recalls the whole island being abuzz about a movie being made in Goodland. It was “Gone Fishin’” starring Joe Pesci and Danny Glover. The producers hired 18 Goodland boats to go out and play in some scenes. Each owner was paid $100 a day for his boat. The players got $60 a day. The film crew set up a tent in Margood Park to feed the crew and bit players. A stunt lady was killed during the filming, attempting to make a jump over a boat ramp. “I think dad thought he would be a big movie star,” Methner said, “He put on a flashy shirt, anchored his boat in the river and awaited instructions from the director.”

Residents take pride in colorful homes. PHOTOS BY BARRY GWINN

Jack and Bobbie Swisher arrived in at Drop Anchor Trailer Park in 1974, from Clorinda, Iowa. Jack had various businesses, involving cars, real estate and granite memorials. Jack was a B17 and B29 instructor pilot in WWII. In 1964, the Swishers paid $5,000 for a house in Naples, but after 10 years, sold it for $6,500 and bought a singlewide mobile home in the park for $5,000. (According to Grill, units have recently sold for from $80K to $160K.) The Swishers still spend winters there, but have added a porch almost as big as the mobile home. “I came for the fishing,” said Swisher, “I was hoping Bobbie would like it better than Naples.” When he got there, Swisher found the trailer park to be poorly run and maintained. There were still a lot of transients there with their travel trailers. Wild parties were not uncommon. Allen Greer, who was a successful park developer and, according to Swisher, a past Florida Lt. Governor, bought the park in 1974, the same year the Swishers moved in. Greer resided in Sarasota and had retained the local manager of the prior owners. Things changed for the better when Allen Greer moved to the park in 1975. “Greer was the new sheriff in town,” said Swisher, “It was his way or the highway. There was no board of directors.” At the same time Swisher found Greer to be likable. “Each week, three or four of us would get together with Greer, mix some highballs and listen to the Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street Club on the radio.”

View of Margood Park from Drop Anchor, circa 1994. PHOTO BY DENNIS GRILL

Over the years Greer made the park more attractive and improved the standard of living for the residents. Swisher recalled that Greer was instrumental in getting Marco water into Goodland. In 1975 each lot had two water lines coming into it. One line ran in from an artesian well serving the whole park. The well had become polluted with salt when the lining started to rot. The other line ran from a cistern, also servicing the whole park. It was big enough to store and disburse all the rainwater for the year, Swisher told me. “The cistern water was for drinking,” said Swisher, “The well water was only for flushing.” Drinking water that had been sitting around in a cistern was not an attractive option for the park residents. “Many of us had stills, which we used to purify the cistern water,” recalls Swisher, “I brought down a small still from Iowa which could distill one gallon at a time. I sold a number of them to the residents.” Swisher still keeps the still on hand, just in case. Mindful of residents’ complaints, Greer prevailed on Collier County to run a waterline into Goodland. Swisher recalls that at that time, late 1970s, the water works on Marco had run a line down San Marco Road to a water tank, servicing Moran’s Marina at the south end of the Goodland Bridge. Extending this line into Goodland solved the park’s water problems.


When Greer bought the park it was overrun with varmints and vermin. The varmints stayed under the trailers, making a stench. The cats in the park did their best to control this crowd, but the competition was keen. “We had some of the damndest catfights you ever heard,” recalls Swisher, “It kept us awake at night.” Greer, who lived in the park, also heard the ruckus. He decreed that all residences must be skirted and those who didn’t comply must leave the park. “I don’t recall any who had to leave,” said Swisher, “It took a while, but everyone complied.” There was no appeal from a Greer decision.

Swisher remembers that the park was a bit of an eyesore. There was a dense gaggle of TV antennas dominating the space over the residences. It was thought that reception was best when the antennas approached the stratosphere. “They were all over the place,” said Swisher, “It was ugly eyesore. A bird couldn’t fly through there. We used to call them the goose stranglers.” When cable came in, Greer had it run into the park and made the residents get rid of their antennas. Once again there were no holdouts.

Drop Anchor Mobile Home Owners’ Association celebrates its 25th anniversary, March 2015. PHOTO COURTESY OF JACK AND BOBBIE SWISHER

The park residents were mostly happy about the way Greer was running the place – except for the fact that Greer was raising the rental rates by 10% every year. By about 1986, Swisher and four or five others began negotiating with Greer movement to buy the park. “It took a lot of selling to get everyone to subscribe,” recalls Swisher, “Some were able to pay cash. Others were allowed to pay in installments.” Swisher says there were 72 units then. There are only 63 units today; some have since been cleared for visitor parking and green space. Park records show that Greer wanted $1.6M for the park. After two years of negotiations, he agreed to sell it for $1M. Greer had been making a lot of money from rents, and in addition had gotten a $500K mortgage on the park. Some of the trailers encroached on county property. Greer had been charging different rents for different properties. “The park was a gold mine [for Greer]” noted Sara-Jane Higuera, an early association historian. It was generally agreed that although the share prices would be unequal, the total subscription would equal $1M. Fifteen residents were able to pay their full share price (Abbott and Swisher among them); others paid $5K down, and three special cases only had to put $1K down. At least a dozen proposals were rejected by one group or another. The early subscription payments enabled the group to pay $250K down to Greer and obtain a bank loan of $750K. The balance was paid when subscription installments were paid in full. Today the park is free and clear. It is a credit to our community and a monument to what a determined and united group of people can do for themselves.


Barry was a practicing attorney before he worked as a Special Agent of the FBI for 31 years. Barry worked for several government agencies another ten years before retiring to Goodland in 2006. Barry is presently the Secretary of the Goodland Civic Association.


Taking “No” for an Answer

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:12pm

Richard Alan

I recently had a not-so-unusual discussion with a potential customer, regarding the time process for her ring to be totally restored. Now to most of us business folks this is considered high season, and in our goldsmith shop my son and I are straight out with the influx of custom and repair work, resulting in the burning of lots of midnight oil. The volume is kind of like drinking from a fire hose.

We take in, on an average day, anywhere from fifty to seventy watches for various reasons, such as battery replacement, straps, adjustments, repairs – you name it, not to mention the occasional eyeglass repair requiring the use of my expensive state-of-the-art laser welder. And that’s not counting the incoming jewelry repairs. I’m not complaining, but it is a lot to contend with all at once.

Needless to say, we pretty much start the morning with a full plate, so to speak. So early one morning, while at my busy workbench, I hear a commotion in the showroom where a customer is loudly demanding that she “refuses to take no for an answer!” I got up from my bench to find out what the ruckus was all about.

Apparently, the customer’s diamond ring was in need of major restoration. Prongs and diamonds were missing, the ring was cracked and even missing sections, and add a century of wear and tear…in a nutshell, the ring was shot to Hades. It required days of work to bring the ring back to life. In my estimation, between diamonds needing replacement and labor alone, at least a thousand dollars or more to complete. She agreed to that. Only one problem…she wants it now! And I have to do it while she waits!

I explained that it is impossible to do it now, the Ken and Barbie instant magic jewelry workshop is in for repair. (Needless to say she failed to appreciate my attempt at humor.) Her release valve must have popped, she went up one side of me and down the other, that I will do what she says and that I should stop wasting time and get busy on her ring! Besides the fact that this type of repair is more of an art form requiring not just time, but it is also very meticulous, requiring skill and expertise. A job I would do at night, in peace and quiet. I simply don’t rush anything; nothing good comes from a rushed repair.

She doesn’t know me so well, does she? There was no reasoning with this person. She ranted, “I want it done and I want it now!” She carried on like a spoiled five-year-old. It was embarrassing to witness. After I rolled up my descending jaw, I noticed the looks on the faces of the other customers, and that said it all.

It’s time for the “bum’s rush,” meaning I hand her back her ring, tear up the work envelope and escort her to the door.

The same thing happens with watches, only not so dramatic. Most folks understand; they leave the watch, pick it up a couple of hours later (or even better, the next day). I think it has to do with some study done on people’s personalities, types A, B, C or D, or some nonsense having to do with passive aggressive behavior or passive and non-compliant personalities. And boy do I get them all! “Oh you can’t change my ten watch batteries while I wait?” I know of several jewelers that take up to a week to perform a battery change for a customer’s watch, and they are still in business, so me asking to “please give us a couple of hours” is not horribly inconvenient for most people.

Unless they are a type “J” personality (First letter to the word J-E-R-K). “Oh, I have to leave it?” One person told me to give it back, they will bring it to Naples where they do it right away. Must be nice to have that kind of time on one’s hands. Did she figure the gas used?

Forgive me, I don’t jump off my bench like a demented jack-in-the-box every time someone walks in with a watch battery and wants it…NOW. No “ifs, ands, or buts.”

In the slow summer months my son and I don’t mind doing them while folks wait, because we have the time. We just can’t accommodate everyone here and now in season.

As I write this story from my office, I overheard a customer insisting to one of my sales persons I personally told her I would repair her dentures? No, I never did and no we don’t. I made a deal with the local dentists – they don’t sell diamonds, so I lay off the denture repairs.

Ask anyone who is a patron here, my staff (and especially my son) will bend over backwards to accommodate “nice people,” and especially our V.I.P. customers.

Then there are the ones who are just impossible, in fact, rude. One of my friends, who works at a local restaurant, was subjected to a patron who demanded her immediate attention every time he snapped his fingers. If I were in her shoes, and he snapped his fingers at me, you can bet his clam chowder would make an “accidental” three-point landing in his lap! “My apologies…would you like oyster crackers with that?”

So please, during our busy season, remember patience is a virtue, be kind and understanding to the island’s business community, and especially your local goldsmith. Besides, what’s your hurry anyway?

While I am on the subject of “No,” I may be kicking a political bee’s nest but here it goes anyway… Here’s my personal comment on the city putting the kabash on the Island Plaza improvements. Congratulations to the powers that be that dragged out and complicated that project, it would have greatly improved the look of an out dated mall and increase business for all its tenants. Proof, once again the island’s small businesses suffer to bureaucratic red tape nonsense that anyone who wants to start a business here has to endure. Shame on those responsible! Who wouldn’t want a better looking mall? The mall owner lost over $100,000 on multiple plans and legal issues. Yet one of the saboteurs had the gall to demand payment for the cost of their own reels of red tape they created on the project! Amazing but not surprising.

Now we will see how long it will take to acquire permits to slap on some paint and patch holes in the crowded unsafe parking lot? Ironically due to my past experiences, I knew this project was doomed from the start. There are always two sides to a story, and I may not have all the facts straight. But I fail to see what harm the project would have caused the island.


Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and business owner of the Harbor Goldsmith who hopes he will not be tarred and feathered then burned at the stake by “the powers that be” in Veterans Park anytime soon. He welcomes (until his public demise) any questions you might have about “All That Glitters.” 239-394-9275,

Art Flicks Schedule

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:11pm


The Marco Island Center for the Arts Third Annual Art Flicks program, featuring foreign, independent and “art” films, has begun. All films are shown at 10 AM at Marco Movies, located at 599 South Collier Boulevard in Marco Island. Admission is free, and the program includes lively discussions concerning the films and the art of film.

The theme for 2016 is “Food, Glorious Food.” Upcoming films are:

February 16, 2016: “Kings of Pastry.” Contenders seek France’s highest honor in the sublime art of patisserie, employing vast amounts of sugar, butter and eggs- not to mention adrenaline- to create gorgeous, fantastical, delicious creations.

March 1, 2016: “Babette’s Feast.” Not only is this one of the great films about food, it is also a story from the human heart that holds the viewer with the beauty of the here and now. It speaks to all the senses.

The Art Flicks program is made available in large part due to the generosity of Marco Movies and Nick Campo. “The Art Flicks program was such a huge success the past two years,” commented Hyla Crane, Center for the Arts executive director, “the committee had a real challenge raising the bar for 2016. I think they were successful!”

Marco Island Center for the Arts is located at 1010 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island, and is open from 9 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday. It has a full-time gallery and gift shop. For further information concerning Marco Island Center for the Arts activities, classes, or upcoming exhibits, please visit



Fishing the 10,000 Islands in February

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:10pm

Capt. Pete Rapps

Heidi with her first keeper tripletail on a Captain Rapps charter. PHOTOS BY CAPT. PETE RAPPS

February is a great time to go out for a fishing trip in the 10,000 Islands, but you’ll want to make sure you prepare for what you’re going to experience! While February will have most of the same temperatures as January when it comes to air and water, we’re typically not seeing the same strong wind gusts and cold fronts we experience in January, which can make for a really comfortable fishing experience and day out on the water. The air temperature can be expected to reach around 52-76 degrees Fahrenheit, while the water temperature will hover in the middle 60s.

The new moon this February falls on the 8th and the full moon is on the 22nd. February is another month with extreme tides around the full and new moon. We will have some extreme low tides the mornings of the 6th-11th and the 21st-25th. Again, be sure to do your tide chart research if fishing those days. You will want to avoid fishing during some of these extreme negative low tides. As I mention each winter, an east wind accompanied with cold temperatures will make the tides a lot lower and last longer than a tide chart prediction shows.

Looking at the moon phases, tides, and the Solunar calendar, I like what I see for peak bite days on the 6th-11th and 21st-25th. Refer to the Solunar peak bite times section of our website for more info and monthly Solunar bite charts.

Pompano and trout really flourish in the grassy and sandy areas of the 10,000 Islands during February, and these are what you’re going to be catching during those final two hours before the incoming tide. When fishing for these fish, I often suggest using a bucktail type jig, and I’ve found that the more glitter the jig has, the more successful you’re going to be! A good place to start, if you’re looking for that perfect jig, is with the Don’s Jigs, which can be found at Everglades Bait and Tackle.

While fishing in February, break out your light casting gear and tie on some 10 lb. test line and 2’ of 20 lb. fluorocarbon leader. Equipped with the jig of your choice, you can not only expect to reel in some really excellent trout and pompano, but you may find yourself catching Spanish mackerel, jacks, and ladyfish as well.

If the backwater bays and rivers are where you’re planning to fish during your February trip, you can expect to have a great time reeling in all kinds of snook, mangrove snapper, and ladyfish, which you may find live bait works best for. Pilchards and thread herring with lures really seem to attract the fun to catch fish lurking in these backwater areas, and the mangrove snapper in particular really seems keen to nibble on pieces of shrimp.

Whether you plan to fish in the backwaters, or the flats, you’re bound to have a great time experiencing fishing in the 10,000 Islands in the month of February. With winter’s serious winds calming down, and things getting a little more temperate, you’re bound to have a really great time out on the water.

Need some lessons? Book a charter and we’ll show you how it’s done!

Capt. Pete Rapps,,

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Cuba: On the Road to Cienfuegos and Trinidad

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:06pm

Vickie Kelber

Cienfuegos features French-inspired neoclassical architecture. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

Three and four hours east of Havana, on the Caribbean side of Cuba, are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. Both are colonial cities, the first with obvious French influence, the other Spanish.

The highway from Havana to Cienfuegos and Trinidad was in good condition, but many of the secondary roads appeared to be more primitive. Traffic was light; we passed a few Yank Tanks, those American classics from the 50s, Ladas, other Russian and some Chinese makes of cars, and some horse carts. Outside of Havana, there was a Mercedes Benz dealership; certainly only a non-national or member of Cuba’s one percent has the money to buy one. Because many people cannot afford cars, Cuba is a place where hitchhiking is still alive and well, and we saw evidence of this along the way. Bus stops dotted the highway; many people waiting there held umbrellas against the sun.

We passed sugar cane fields, rice paddies, small herds of cows, larger herds of goats, and the occasional worker with a machete clearing a field. There were billboards spouting propaganda, most of them political in nature, although there was one touting an area beach and another advertising a tourism website. Near Cienfuegos, there were thermoelectric and petrochemical plants.

Catedral de la Purisima Concepción in Cienfuegos

At a roadside rest stop with a restaurant and gift shop near the turn off for the Bay of Pigs, the sinks in restrooms were adorned with fresh flowers. A proud, older gentleman invited people to see his banana trees growing out back and handed out samples; he refused money that was offered.

Although it was not unusual to see mule or horse drawn carts around Havana, as we got closer to Trinidad, they were more and more the preferred mode of transport. Public transportation is not good here. The people cramming bus shelters were waiting for one-horse carts that seat eight to ten people. A crew making repairs on the side of the road worked from a horse drawn vehicle.

Cienfuegos, the third largest port in Cuba, was an architectural delight. Although first discovered by the Spanish and visited by such privateers as Sir Francis Drake and Henry Morgan, it was developed as a planned, gridded city by the French, primarily from Bordeaux and Louisiana, in the early 1800s. Best described as eclectic neo classical, there were wide, colonnaded avenues lined with elegant, balustraded buildings. The main focal point was Parque José Martí with its stately trees, marble statues, a gazebo, and a miniature Arch de Triumphe. The park was WIFI enabled, so its benches were inhabited by people furiously tapping away on smart phones or working on tablets and laptops; not a typical sight in Cuba. The park was ringed by a church, Catedral de la Purisima Concepción, with stained glass windows imported from Paris and Barcelona and other public and government buildings. They were painted a rainbow of pastel colors, embellished with decorative bas-reliefs that resembled icing on a cake. The Teatro Tomás Terry, featuring gold leaf mosaics, has hosted performances by such notables as Sara Bernhardt, Anna Pavlova, and Enrico Caruso.

Plaza Mayor in Trinidad

While my husband availed himself of one of the benches in the park, I visited the Casa de la Cultura Benjamin Duarte. Once known as the Palacio de Ferrer after the sugar baron who resided there, it had a cupola (mirador) that provided a view over the city. The eclectic interior with its marble floors and staircases and decorative features including Moorish inspired tile work and neo classical bas relief walls and ceilings was quite lavish, but in moderate disrepair. The winding, wrought iron staircase leading up to the outlook looked a little shaky, but seemed in good repair as I climbed it.

The palm tree lined Malecón in Cienfuegos was short, but elegant, passing by the Yacht Club as it lead to Punta Gorda, the once aristocratic and still lovely neighborhood jutting out into the bay. Stately nineteenth century villas and palacios turned to brightly colored wooden homes from the early to mid twentieth century as we reached the tip of Punta Gorda, and it was there that we had lunch, feasting on an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, and grilled meats while looking out to Cienfuegos Bay.

Trinidad, founded in 1514 and known as the Village of the Holy Trinity because it was the third town established by the Spanish when they explored what is now Cuba, was a well-preserved Spanish colonial town. In Havana, housing was of both old and new construction, but in Trinidad, all the houses have been declared “heritage,” and modern architecture is not allowed.

Downtown Trinidad

Prior to the economic crisis in Cuba in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a federal budget for preservation. During the crisis, this support stopped as money was diverted to more pressing needs, such as education. Trinidad then became self financed for preservation. Tax money doesn’t go to the federal government; instead it goes to the city’s historic office. They use 45% of the money for restoration in the historic center, 25% for restoration outside the center, and 30% for social needs.

The Spanish Colonial architecture with its Moorish influence was seen throughout the city. Many of the once palatial houses (now duplexes) in the historic center had gated windows. In the nineteenth century, it was the custom that young, unmarried women would dress up in the afternoon and sit in the windows with their chaperones as they searched for eligible young men who walked by. Typical of the Spanish style, Trinidad’s main plaza, Plaza Mayor, was surrounded by a church and red tile roofed grand homes that once belonged primarily to people involved in the sugar industry. The well-landscaped plaza was decorated with frilly white wrought iron fencing and streetlights, a marble statue, two bronze statues of sleek greyhounds and tall green and white terracotta vases. Some of the buildings off of the plaza were decorated with tile work. The structures in the historic center and smaller ones outside of it were painted in pastel shades of amber, saffron, azure, and seafoam, with brightly contrasting trim. The cobblestone roads were made from river rocks and sometimes a bit tricky to negotiate. Donkey and horse drawn carts were frequently seen.

School children on their way to lunch in Trinidad.

Trinidad is known for its pottery studios, many of which have been passed down through the generations, embroidery and knitting, tobacco, seafood, especially grilled lobster, and popular dance clubs, one of which is housed in a cave. The local drink is cancháchara, made from raw rum, mineral water, honey, and lime; it must be stirred constantly to distribute the honey.

Near Trinidad are popular beach resorts, the Escambray Mountains and Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills). Here, there are ruins of 75 sugar mills; the remains of plantations, slave quarters and a 147-foot tower testament to what was once a thriving business that helped build Trinidad.


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 a former board member 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 Original Snowbirds…White Pelicans

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:00pm

Bob McConville
Master Naturalist

White pelicans are very large and grace Florida’s waters during fall and winter.

It is estimated that humans have been in the Florida region for more than 14,000 years. Naples became a destination point just over 100 years ago and Marco Island was a mosquito-infested area until development escalated in the 1950s. Long before northern tourists began visiting our beaches to seek refuge from the winter cold there was a different type of “snowbird”…the white pelican.

This giant of the skies breeds primarily in the interior regions of North America and makes its way to Florida, Central America and South America for relief from the colder climate. They will winter on the Pacific coast and the Gulf of Mexico, along the Mississippi River and down to Panama. They have been observed as far south as Columbia and some also spend their winters here in Florida.

Their Latin name is Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, which literally translates as “red billed pelican.” The white pelican is very light colored with just a splash of black under the wings that is very visible during flight but no so much when they are on the ground. This bird is huge in several respects. It is one of the longest birds on this continent with a potential length up to six feet. The wingspan can approach 10 feet and is the second largest wingspan of any North American bird behind the California condor.

A juvenile white pelican in flight has not acquired all of its white feathers, but will do so over time.

Their orange, not quite red, bill is quite large with a length of nearly 16 inches. When in their migration areas this bill will usually be a duller color than when they mate in their northern habitat. The upper bill will be flat. However, during breeding season, in the spring months, the bill will become a brighter orange, as do the feet, the skin around the eyes and the iris. A protrusion will appear on the upper bill at this time also and is referred to as a “horn.” This will shed after the birds have mated and laid eggs. Of all the pelican species this is the only one to develop a horn.

Year-round residents and visitors to South Florida have witnessed the familiar sight of brown pelicans diving head first into area waters to catch their meals. White pelicans are quite different. They will actually work as a team in groups of about 12, herding fish toward a shoreline or shallow water by beating their wings and maintaining a set formation. Sometimes one group will actually direct fish to another waiting group and then, that group will return the favor. I recently witnessed about three-dozen of these hunters corralling fish from deeper waters to a shallower area for easier feeding. They will eat about four pounds of fish each day.

Like all animals after an easier meal they will sometimes steal food from other birds, like gulls or cormorants. This is called “kleptoparasitism” and can be seen occasionally when bald eagles harass ospreys until that osprey drops its catch. Other birds will utilize the same technique as well.

These large pelicans will breed in colonies of several hundred pairs, but not here in Florida. Mating will take place once they have returned to their summer homes in Canada and our most northern states. The female will usually lay two or three eggs, and both parents will share the duty to incubate the eggs for about a month. After hatching, the young will stay in the nest for three to four weeks. When they leave the nest they will spend the next month with other youngsters in a creche (pod) and their immature feathers will appear. During this time the parents still care for the young until they have learned to fly.

White pelicans feed in a marsh near Marco Island. PHOTOS BY BOB MCCONVILLE

In Florida there are several frequent locations to view these exquisite gliders. Here in South Florida they can be seen in Bradenton (Anna Maria Island), Sarasota (Myakka River State Park and Sarasota Bay), Charlotte Harbor Preserve and White Pelican Island in Placida and Alligator Creek Preserve in Punta Gorda. Closer to home they are usually seen around Pine Island, Sanibel Island and North Captiva Island in Lee County.

In the immediate area they have been seen at Tigertail Beach, Hideaway Beach, the Marsh Trail, Cape Romano, Everglades City, Chokoloskee and even a rare visit near the Naples Pier.

The white pelicans will be here for a few more months, until Mother Nature sends a signal that the northern migration should begin. They have specific stops along the way and know exactly when to continue their journey. They will cover thousands of miles each year in their quest to assure that the next generation will thrive.

Catch a glimpse while you can. These original “snowbirds” are magnificent to view and should not be missed!

BIO: Bob is the owner of Stepping Stone Ecotours and a naturalist for a dolphin survey team on the Dolphin Explorer. He is a member of Florida SEE (Society for Ethical Ecotourism). Bob loves his wife very much!


Bob is the owner of Stepping Stone Ecotours and also a naturalist on board the Dolphin Explorer survey program. He is a member of Florida SEE (Society for Ethical Ecotourism). Bob loves his wife very much!

Glide and Slide

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 5:57pm

Wayne Clark

During the men’s final of the 2015 U.S. Open between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, early in the first set, Djokovic took a hard fall when attempting to change direction while on the full run.

Before the match began, in a pre-match player strength comparison chat session, Djokovic was given a check on his chart for the quality of his footwork and his speed on the court. The overall opinion of all of the analysts was that arguably, Djokovic was possibly the quickest player in today’s game.

So how can the quickest player, with the best footwork in tennis, lose his footing?

Pro players do specific training drills to enhance their ability to move well on all court surfaces. These days with the amount of spin and pace that pro players put on the ball, quick movement and radical change of running direction is vital to their performance. As crazy as it sounds, they are actually sliding on the hard courts! Because of the foot speed of the players, this maneuver is now becoming a regular occurrence in the game. However, it is also a threat to injury, simply from the fact that we are not supposed to be able to slide on concrete!

As I stated in one of my previous articles “lazy feet lead to lousy shots.” While the pros certainly do not have lazy feet, you do occasionally see them take a hard fall, simply because they are pushing the envelope and lose their footing.

As an instructor, in both tennis and pickleball, I find that with recreational/club level players, most injuries are from falling on the court. These falls are derived from two things: improper footwork and a macho attitude of “I am not going to lose this point!”

Trust me, I am very competitive when I participate in any sport. However, I am not competing for a grand slam title or millions of dollars in prize money and endorsements. It’s just not worth it to injure myself for an extended period of time, simply to win a point in a club match. Yes, I want to win, but sometimes I just need to say “nice shot” and go on to the next point.

Professional tennis players (as players in any top professional level of competition) are, as I stated before, “pushing the envelope.” They are not necessarily doing it for the prize money, they are doing it for the title.

If you are a regular reader of my column, you are already aware that the Har-Tru clay courts we have here in Florida, because of the more granular make up of the material, along with the HydroCourt watering systems, tend to keep the clay surface moist. These style courts are really designed more to slow down the game and provide a softer/cooler surface to play on, rather than to promote sliding on the court.

The actual purpose of sliding on a clay court is that we are utilizing our feet as a breaking system, allowing ourselves to be more balanced before, during and after contacting the ball. The ability to successively do this, takes specific training in order to learn the proper way with which to slide both proficiently and safely. While most adult players don’t necessarily need to slide into their shots, we should still glide and slide with our feet when playing on a clay court . As an instructor, part of my advanced juniors training includes teaching the kids how to properly and effectively slide on a clay court.

Djokovic and Federer show their ability to slide, glide and be balanced on both clay and hard courts.

Like a hockey player sliding to a stop on his skates, the same physics apply when we are sliding on a clay court. Proper weight distribution and balance between the upper and lower body allow us to slow down, or stop and change direction. Just like coming to a sliding stop on skates, the more balanced weight we apply on our feet, the more our feet dig into the court surface and the more we slow down.

When watching players like Djokovic and Federer, as they move on the court, whether they are sliding into a shot or not, it appears as if they are on hockey skates, gliding smoothly and quickly across the ice. The coordination of upper and lower body balance is phenomenal to watch. Their movement is catlike, as a panther or a cheetah chasing down its prey.

The difficulty in mastering this is that if we don’t apply a certain, different amount of pressure to each foot independently, while we are actually sliding on both feet at the same time, we are going to lose our balance, and like ice skating, probably catch too much weight on one foot, lose our balance and wipe out!

So how do we find a way to master this ninja balance act without injuring ourselves?

As a child growing up, our house had a large den/family room with wood floors. My mom made sure they were always clean and shiny, which meant they were highly waxed and very slippery. I spent many years running around in my socks, sliding on these wood floors, just goofing off and having fun. As I began playing tennis, I had the privilege of training and playing on real crushed brick/terre battue red clay courts, which encouraged and reinforced me to slide like I had done on the wood floors in my den at home.

As a coach, I have taken this experience and adapted it to the training of my advanced juniors. I have two indoor racquetball courts at the MIRC, which have very slippery wood floors. I utilize them to teach these young players how to slide. The slippery wood floors, along with thick fluffy gym socks, provide a perfect environment for which to learn to slide. I utilize the lines on the racquetball court to teach them how to slide at different speeds and come to a stop at specific distances and areas on the floor. Once they have conquered the ability to slide on a slippery floor, sliding on a clay court is a piece of cake.

I am not saying we all have to slide into our shots on clay, but understanding the priority of overall body balance when hitting a forehand or a backhand will improve our strokes and reduce our unforced errors.

So when you are watching players on TV at tournaments like the French Open or the Monte Carlo Masters, where they glide and slide, appreciate the physical coordination and control of upper and lower body balance they are able to execute. There is a cadence and timing to their motion. Their fluid movement and balance is like watching ballet. It is truly a beautiful thing to observe.


Wayne Clark is a certified professional tennis instructor with over 23 years experience coaching players on all levels of the game. Wayne is also qualified in pickleball instruction. He has been the head instructor at the Marco Island Racquet Center since 2001. The Racquet Center offers clinics, private and group lessons for both tennis and pickleball. Coach Wayne’s Island Kids Tennis juniors program runs year round and has classes for players from kindergarten through high school. Contact Coach Wayne by email at, by phone or text at 239-450-6161, or visit his website at

Island Valentines

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 5:54pm

Laurie Kasperbauer

The holiday of love and romance is upon us. Pink and red hearts decorate retail stores; restaurants advertise two for one specials; the hotel industry creates “romantic weekend getaways;” and that odd little winged cherub appears everywhere, bow and arrow ready. It’s a very special time for me for a couple of reasons. First, it’s my birthday. Conveniently I was born on February 14th amidst the Valentine hoopla, and with all the “gentle” Hallmark and retail reminders, my husband has not forgotten my birthday even once. But the real reason it’s a very special time for me has more to do with Marco Island.

Living in the Midwest, each fall we looked for a warm vacation spot to spend a week in the winter. Leaves changing color in Iowa was not a sign of autumn for us, but instead a bold reminder that cold and snow would soon be landing on our doorstep. So we looked south and ended up here. We often stayed at the Radisson Resort Hotel because it was in our budget. We’d spring the extra bucks for a beachfront unit and sleep with the sliders open so we could hear the surf at night. On the morning of my birthday, we would make a run to the Chocolate Strawberry for a beautifully wrapped box of ripe strawberries covered in my favorite food group…chocolate. We would spend every day on the beach regardless of the weather, because no matter what the conditions were here, it was better than what our family and friends were experiencing in Iowa. I remember renting cabanas just to block the wind so we could lounge comfortably in 60-degree sunshine.

Each night of our Marco vacations we would take a beach towel to the edge of the surf for sunset. We couldn’t possibly imagine a single one of our precious seven nights here, without taking in the sun setting over the Gulf. Dinner was not nearly as important as was the experience of sitting on the sand for sunset. Sustenance of mind and spirit trumped food every day of the week.

The scent of warm, salt air. The rumble of lawn mowers and smell of fresh cut grass. The sound of birds singing. The beautiful array of color provided by flowers growing outside in February! The ability to go for a run in shorts and a t-shirt. The smiling faces of other joyful vacationers, like ourselves, grateful for their limited reprieve from a northern winter. This was February to me. This was my birthday.

On occasion we brought the kids with us on our winter escape. We upgraded to a two-bedroom condo and utilized every square foot. We never traveled to Disneyworld. We didn’t even take them for an airboat ride. Instead we brought a 99-cent bag of plastic army men to the beach for the boys and beach towels for the girls. The boys created sandy forts and stick ships for their rubber soldiers while the girls read books and soaked up the sun. As a special treat we sometimes went to the little lunch kiosk at the Marriott and ordered tuna melts. They became known at home, in our Iowa kitchen, as Marco Island Beach Sandwiches. We still call them that today, and the kids request them whenever we get together.

Recently, in my realtor role, I was showing a beachfront condo to a customer of mine. The unit was several floors up and the view was spectacular! The lines on the beach created by a recent raking were interrupted below by footprints and pathways created by beachcombers. My client joked that if he bought the unit he would want the beach raked smooth every night. As I peered over the railing at the sand below I was struck by a memory from many years ago. I was in our rented condo here on Marco and the kids were with us. It was my birthday morning and evidently the kids and my husband were awake long before me and had disappeared on a secret mission. My attention was drawn to the lanai and the beach beyond, and when I got to the railing of our building I looked out to the water and then below to the beach. There was my family looking up and waving from a freshly created message in the sand. It said “Happy Birthday Mom” in giant letters created by small footprints.

So pink hearts and Cupid have great significance to me, not just because it’s my birthday. More important, they are a reminder of this beautiful place where I once spent precious days of vacation. Where everything I encountered, from the beautiful landscape to the lush tropical aromas, were memories to be savored and carefully stored until our next February holiday on Marco Island. Valentines are my reminder to not take for granted that I live where I once vacationed. Valentines remind me that I am living my birthday wishes every day of my life. Pink hearts and Cupid. Marco Island, Be Mine.


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.


The Last Anniversary

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 5:47pm

Maggie Gust


By Liane Moriarty

Harper Collins 2006, 388 pages

Genre: Domestic Fiction

Collier County Public Library: Yes


“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you might as well make it dance.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Warning: Do not read this book in the vicinity of sleeping babies or people with a nervous disposition. Your frequent spontaneous peals of laughter may startle them.

“The Last Anniversary” is not a new book, but it is presently on the New York Times Bestsellers List. It was originally published in Australia in 2005. Apparently interest in it has been revived due to the huge international success of the author’s more recent books. Frankly, as much as I enjoyed her other novels, this is my favorite – so far.

Sophie Honeywell is a 39-year-old Sydney, Australia resident who works in human resources. She is the only child of Hans and Gretel Honeywell, a couple with an insatiable sense of fun and bottomless love for life, each other and their daughter. Sophie is a lovely person inside and outside with a sparkling personality who inspires confidence in almost everyone she meets. Three years prior, she broke up a year-long relationship with Thomas Gordon, just seconds before he was going to whisk her away to Fiji in order to propose to her on one of the island’s white beaches. She was puzzled to hear his voice on the phone, asking to meet for a drink after work. He would only say that someone had died and he really could not say anything further on the phone.

At the hotel lounge, Thomas explained that Aunt Connie, the family matriarch, had died in her sleep the day prior. Among the very organized stack of papers she left was a letter addressed to Sophie. Aunt Connie and Sophie had only met briefly two or three times during her time with Thomas. Aunt Connie and the rest of Thomas’ family lived on Scribbly Gum Island, a suburb of Sydney, across the river, though Thomas himself rarely visited the place when Sophie knew him. The letter from Aunt Connie informs Sophie she is the new owner of her lovely home because she knew Sophie would love and appreciate it. She shares a special memory with Sophie from one of her visits to the island, a small moment that meant literally everything to Aunt Connie.

Although Scribbly Gum Island is fictitious, scribbly gums are in fact a type of eucalyptus tree. Moriarty used the very real Parramatta River as the location for her tiny island of six homes. Aunt Connie and Aunt Rose’s grandfather had won the island in a bet with a very wealthy man in the early 20th century. During their childhood, there were two homes – one for grandfather and one for the girls and their parents. Like millions of other people around the world, the Doughty family had a tough time during the Great Depression.

Then an incident occurred which was to turn around their bleak circumstances. Alice and Jack Munro had been renting grandfather’s house after he passed away and on one particular day they asked the Doughty girls, teenagers at the time, to stop by for tea. When the girls got to the house, a marble cake was cooling, the tea kettle was whistling, and the Munros were gone, save for their baby girl, nestled in her crib. The sisters took the child home with them, and talked their father into letting them keep her.

Thus “The Munro Baby Mystery” is born. Connie, the older of the sisters, had an entrepreneurial mind and a fascination with mysteries, especially the real-life mystery of the Mary Celeste. This was a boat that was found abandoned in the Atlantic, on its way from New York to Italy, all ten people who had been aboard had disappeared. No signs of struggle or violence. Connie draws an analogy between the Mary Celeste and the Munro Baby Mystery and the Munro baby, named Enigma by the Doughtys, became a regional celebrity. Her story becomes the family business, a virtual gold mine. Besides tours of the Munro Home, there are souvenirs, selling the story to the media, and an anniversary festival celebrating the date they found Enigma.

By the time Sophie enters the picture, Enigma is grandmother to Thomas, his sister Veronika, and their cousin Grace. She has been a living mystery for 73 years. The emotional ramifications of Connie’s death will rock this rather dysfunctional family to its very core and make this festival marking the discovery of the Munro baby the last anniversary. It is a heck of a ride.

“The Last Anniversary” is filled with Moriarty’s (does Sherlock Holmes pop into your mind?) trademark wit, and her profound insights into human behavior. She tackles some serious issues in this book – adultery, rape and postpartum depression. Grace is a very successful children’s book writer and illustrator who at age 33 has just given birth to 8-week-old baby Jake. She is repulsed by being a mother and by the baby himself. She is convinced that the child does not like her at all. She fears that the maternal dysfunction of her great-grandmother Munro, who abandoned her own baby, is in her DNA. She sits and stares at a carton of milk on the table for two hours, unable to move. Because of Grace’s physical beauty and her own reserved personality, no one recognizes the signs and when Callum, her husband, shares with his own mother that Grace is just not herself, he is basically just shushed. Sometimes husbands don’t get enough respect.

Only a writer of Moriarty’s caliber and remarkable insight into human behavior could produce novels that cover such hot-button subjects and manage to make the reader laugh, drop kick them in the heart, and yet keep turning the pages.

I rated this book 4.25/5.0. After you read it, you might want to send it up north for your family and friends to have it on hand during their next blizzard.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Maggie Gust has been an avid reader all her life. Her past includes working as a teacher, as well as various occupations in the healthcare field. She shares a hometown, Springfield, Illinois, with Abraham Lincoln, but Florida has been her home since 1993. Genealogy, reading, movies and writing are among her favorite activities. She is self-employed and works from her Naples home. Contact her at or

Avow Groundbreaking for New Building

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 5:46pm


Thelma Lyon (center) joyfully tosses dirt to launch the construction of Avow’s newest facility on the Avow campus in Naples.

Avow held a celebratory groundbreaking event for its newest building, The Lyon Palliative Care and Hospice Center, on the Avow campus in Naples. During the public ceremony Avow leadership and special guest speakers Diane Meier, MD, FACP and R. Sean Morrison, MD, co-directors of the Patty and Jay Baker National Palliative Care Center at Mount Sinai in New York, and Avow benefactress Thelma Lyon addressed the crowd and participated in a symbolic shovel toss.

Avow’s newest building will serve as the new home for its palliative care and hospice clinical teams plus community bereavement. It will be located adjacent to the Ispiri Community Center on the southeast side of the campus.

Construction on the two-story, 24,000 square foot building will begin this month with expected completion targeted for November 2016. The building was designed by Phil Krieg, AIA, principal at Burt Hill/Pollock Krieg Architects. Construction will be facilitated by DeAngelis Diamond Construction.

The new facility will be the fourth building added to Avow’s fifteen-acre campus. The E & L Smith Administration Center was built in 1992. The Frances Georgeson Hospice House Inpatient Unit was built in 2003; the Ispiri Community Center was added in 2010.

The interdisciplinary facility will be built with ongoing community support garnered through the Promise 2 Give Campaign for Avow which, in addition to constructing the new facility, is dedicated to grow palliative care programs for adults and children and sustain hospice services at Avow.

According to Avow President & CEO Jaysen Roa, “Construction of The Lyon Palliative Care and Hospice Center is made possible thanks to the generosity of Thelma Lyon. Thelma has been engaged in the national conversation about palliative care for a number of years and she is extremely passionate about advancing this new kind of care in our local community. Thelma was also instrumental in helping us secure our guest speakers, Doctors Meier and Morrison.”

Domicile, Residence and Homesteads, Oh My!

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 5:44pm

Darcie Guerin

“The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.” ~ Confucius

Question: As a retiree from another state, with homes in both places, I’m confused about the difference between residency, homestead and domicile. I read all the information on various workshops and seminars on this topic, yet I’m still confused. Please help.

Answer: Actually, it’s not as complicated as it may appear. Let’s start with a little history to help understand the background of the subject matter and the differences between the three terms.


In 1862, during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln signed the Federal Homestead Act opening 500,000 square miles of territory in the western United States for settlement. The Act offered free 160-acre parcels of land to anyone willing to settle on them. After five years, these “homesteaders” would become the owners of the land as long as certain conditions were met, such as building a home and living on the property. Although the Federal Act was repealed in 1976, many states, including Florida, have their own homestead laws. Homestead simply implies that a home is exempt from seizure or sale for debt.

In Florida, the homestead law exempts multi-million-dollar mansions’ total values from attachment. This is one reason why professional athletes and celebrities homestead in Florida.

Domicile vs. Residence

You can only maintain one “domicile” at a time, yet have many “residences” in different states. A former “domicile” must be formally unclaimed, but it can remain as your residence. That is the slightly fuzzy difference.

It’s a common misconception that establishing Florida domicile means staying in the Sunshine State for 183 days. You must also formally become a non-resident of your former domicile state. The laws are subjective and the ultimate determination depends on intent and actions.

Why the Differences Matter

Sunny Florida boasts many enticing qualities, tax benefits being one of the most popular, right after our great weather and lifestyle. If you decide to domicile, and homestead in Florida, your former domiciled state’s tax department will certainly miss the tax revenue you previously provided.

With increasing deficits, states are keen on keeping all forms of tax revenue, including yours. If you spend time between one or more residences during the year, it is important to choose one state and clearly identify it as your domicile.

Top Five Reasons to Domicile in Florida

  1. Florida has no state or personal income tax.
  2. Florida has no estate or death tax.
  3. Homestead laws provide protection against loss of your home to an unsecured creditor.
  4. The Florida “Save our Home Act” provides an exemption for the first $50,000 of taxable value for all taxing entities, except the school district which allows a $25,000 exemption. Once a property qualifies for the homestead exemption, the assessed value for tax purposes can’t increase more than three percent during any given year.
  5. Tenancy by the entirety is a form of joint ownership for married couples providing unique asset protection benefits only applicable if a creditor has a claim against only one individual of the married couple.

According to the Florida State Statutes, Chapter 196, there are ten factors property appraisers consider to determine the intent of someone establishing domicile and claiming a homestead exemption:

  1. Formal declaration of domicile recorded in public records.
  2. Evidence of location where dependent children are registered for school.
  3. Place of employment.
  4. Date non-Florida residency was terminated.
  5. Voter registration card with address or other official correspondence from the supervisor of elections, matching the physical location where exemption is being sought.
  6. A valid Florida driver’s license and evidence of relinquishment of licenses from other states.
  7. Motor vehicle registration on vehicles owned by applicant.
  8. Address listed on federal income tax return.
  9. The location of where applicant’s bank statements and checking accounts are registered. Although not exclusively necessary, work with Florida financial professionals whenever possible to support intent.
  10. Proof of payment for utilities at the property where permanent residence is being claimed.

That’s all there is to it. The more of these items accomplished, the more likely Florida domicile will be upheld if your former state contests your status. Obviously, your former state will work hard to keep your tax revenue while we welcome you to sunny Florida.

Hopefully this helps you understand the differences between residence, domicile and homestead, and why getting it right is important. As always, check with your tax professional to determine the tax consequences of any financial changes that may occur. Legal issues should also be examined as documents and arrangements vary from state to state. Your attorney can advise you if they’ll need to be modified. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional can help you coordinate the financial aspects of your move. Stay focused and plan accordingly.


This general summary shouldn’t be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in advice. Always consult with an attorney about the protection offered via your residence. The opinions expressed are those of the writer, but not necessarily those of Raymond James & Associates, and are subject to change at any time. Information contained in this report was received from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy is not guaranteed.

“Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.”

This article provided by Darcie Guerin, CFP®, 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:

Begin Lent With Knights of Columbus Fish Fry

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 5:43pm


Knights and Columbiettes celebrate first take-out order two years ago.

The San Marco Knights of Columbus Fish Fry opens for the 2016 season on Friday, February 5th at the San Marco Catholic Church Parish Hall, 14 years after its inaugural dinner.

For the second year in a row, every Friday through March, the Knights will serve their in-house seasoned Atlantic Cod filets, which became instantly popular when it was introduced last year. The half-pound portion of fish is baked or fried to perfection and served along with French fries or baked potato, coleslaw, a roll and butter, and dessert. Coffee and tea are included and bottled water, soda, wine and beer is available for purchase. Tickets cost $12 per meal (adults) and are available at the door. Meals for children under 12 years of age are only $5.

The Knights of Columbus Fish Fry was the brainchild of the former San Marco Catholic Church pastor Father Eugene McCarthy in 2002. The former pastor wanted the dinners to raise money for a new parish hall. Fourteen years ago, Past Grand Knight Joe Granda teamed up with Knights’ Joe DiSalvo (who moved to Orlando), and Paul Kutcher (who now lives in Tampa), to serve fish and French fries to 105 Marco Islanders who turned out for the initial event. In recent seasons the Knights have served as many as 905 meals in one evening. Grand Knight John Caltabiano says, “with the popularity of cod and the heavy influx of visitors this should be a great year.”

The first Fish Fry occurred in the old parish hall, which was ultimately torn down and replaced with the existing structure. Current pastor Father Tim Navin says he is proud that the meals and the hall act as means of bringing the parish and the Marco Island community together.

Past Grand Knight Ben Farnsworth inaugurated take-outs for Knights’ meals during his tenure in 2014. Some nights, take-outs now account for as many as 100 meals. Simply arrive at the Parish Hall, go to the carryout desk and place your order. You will be heading home with your meal in less than five minutes.

The doors open at 4:30 PM for early birds and the Knights serve until 7 PM. As always, the women of the Knights, the Columbiettes, are a mainstay in the dining room helping to seat guests and serve. There will be a Fish Fry held every Friday evening through March 18, 2016 at the San Marco Catholic Church Parish Hall, 851 San Marco Road, Marco Island. For more information, contact Ben Farnsworth at 239 394-6105 or

Naomi’s Hot Little Paws

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 5:41pm

Naomi &
Karina Paape

Rosie, a four-year-old rescue cat, is recovering from an infection. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Dear Fellow Felines: I was a bad girl the other evening when I decided to help with getting dinner on the table. And guess what? I got burned, but it served me right! Therefore, I’m humbly sharing my wrong-headed actions with you so you don’t make the same mistake I did. It really wasn’t worth it.

As you all know, I am a cat, albeit a very special one whose main task in life is to supervise operations over here at For the Love of Cats, Marco Island’s no-kill cat shelter. Those of you who’ve been diligently reading my monthly missives for the last three years know that I always have my paws into something. Well this time it was a pot of stew that I decided had simmered a bit longer than the recipe called for. I looked over both shoulders, but didn’t see a soul in sight; just the household’s other three cats who were standing by.

Since it wasn’t in my nature to let dinner get ruined, I gracefully leaped up onto the stove with every intention of turning off the offending burner. The only problem was that I landed on the very burner from which the pot had just been removed. Unobserved by me, shelter founder Jan Rich had moved the pot to a cold burner while I was looking over my shoulders. I let out a show-stopping cry and within seconds my staff (remember, dogs have owners, cats have staff) came to my aid and plunged my paw into a canister of flour. I’ve been limping ever since and have milked quite a bit of pity out of the whole sorry affair.


But no matter what escapades I get myself into, there’s always a cat here in the shelter who has been through far worse. Take sweet little Rosie. This beautiful, 4-year-old black cat was rescued over by Tallwood with a severely infected armpit. Poor thing had been dumped there by her former guardians. One of her front legs had gotten entangled in her collar so that it was chafing her left armpit with every step she took. Had she been in the wild much longer she would have lost her leg to amputation.

In addition to medication, my staff is treating Rosie’s infection with hydrotherapy, which involves laying her on her side in the sink and running semi-hot water over the wound for five minutes a day. She is such a good sport, but still so traumatized by being abandoned that I can’t get her to come out of her kitty condo and play with me. So let this be a lesson to each of you: never let your staff adorn your neck with anything other than a break-away collar. Said collars are designed to release under pressure so kitties like Rosie don’t get choked or entangled.

Also of note are the two kitties I took in who had dangerous eye infections requiring immediate surgery. As the result of the herpes virus, a cat named Sergio was found suffering greatly after his eyelids attached themselves to his eyeballs. The second cat, Alanna, ended up with a lacerated eyelid after being beaten up by another cat in her household. The attacking cat got one of its front claws hooked through her third eyelid. Once Sergio and Alanna were free of their cone collars, they each got to go to new fur-ever homes. As I’ve said so many times before, I love happy endings!

Speaking of which, the number one question my staff gets asked at the Farmer’s Market is what to do with a cat that has lapses in litter box etiquette. There are all kinds of reasons, the most common being territorial disputes and bullying by another cat in the household. If you don’t think either of these issues is the culprit, you would be well advised to take kitty to the vet to check for a urinary tract infection. Cats with UTIs often associate the pain of urinating with the litter box so they go elsewhere.


If you like playing detective, or using scientific approaches, I have three ideas for you from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University:

* Set up one or more “spy-cams” (“nanny cams”) at locations that have been soiled. Have the feed sent directly to your browser or smartphone, or review the images later.

*Ask your veterinarian about the use of fluorescein dye. It is administered to one cat at a time, and it causes urine to glow green under fluorescent light.

*Use “Spray Alert,” a product that sounds an alarm when a sensor material is sprayed, alerting you so that you can determine immediately who’s responsible.

Now lets talk about the weather! I know the majority of us felines are indoor-only cats. But you have to admit that we’ve had some cold and nasty weather of late so I had to do some winterizing. It took a lot of web surfing, but I managed to find a heated cat shelter designed for outdoor cats. Boy, what a set up! The exterior of the shelter is waterproof, as is the floor, so it kept me dry even during that one monster monsoon that dumped five inches of rain. An under floor heater kept me nice and toasty warm; all I had to do was plug it in, kind of like a feline RV. I parked mine on the lanai so I could monitor gecko races.

Love, nips, and purrs!


Naomi is a 6-1/2-year-old Tortie and a permanent resident at FLC. She is the shelter supervisor and takes her salary in food. She would love for you to learn more about For the Love of Cats at its website,

NEWS UPDATE”Smallwood Store”

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 8:51pm

Skip Merriam brings us up to date as to the happenings at the Smallwood Store. Enjoy!

Sponsored by Coastal Breeze News.


Young Sailor Sets Sights on Spain

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 2:57pm

By Samantha Husted

Zach has been sailing since he was eight-years-old. Now at 13, Zach is preparing for his first-ever international competition later this month. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Zachariah Schemel isn’t what you’d call an average 13-year-old. Zach is homeschooled, he spends his weekends in Miami, and he’s about to compete in an international sailing competition in Spain.

The Marco Island resident got his start in sailing at the age of eight when he spent a summer at the Marco Island Community Sailing Center. He enjoyed sailing so much he went on to join the racing team at the Naples Community Sailing Center where he stayed and practiced for two years, honing in on the more competitive side of sailing. Now Zach races for the Coral Reef Yacht Club Youth Sailing program in Miami, which is one of the top youth programs in the country. He and his mother Shannon, his father Christopher, and his two younger brothers Elijah and Caleb spend their weekends on the east coast so that Zach can practice. Zach sails all day Saturday and all day Sunday and then it’s back to Marco.

Later this month Zach will be competing in the 2016 International Palamos Optimist Trophy in Catalonia, Spain. Over 576 sailors from across the world ages eight to 15 will compete in the four-day regatta event.

To even qualify for the competition is an accomplishment in and of itself. This past October Zach competed in the U.S. Optimist Dinghy Association’s Spring Team Qualifier in Newport, Rhode Island. His performance there has allowed him entry into the upcoming international competition. The opportunity to represent his country at an international regatta, and to be a member of the prestigious U.S. team, is a highly coveted honor among young optimist sailors.

“I’m nervous because I’ve never gone to an international regatta before. But I’m excited for the same reason,” said Zach.

Zach cold weather sailing in Seabrook, Texas, January 17, 2016 (Zach’s 13th birthday!). Zach competes in sailing competitions across the United States.

According to Zach the conditions in Balearic Sea, where he will be sailing during the event, are going to be a little different than what he’s used to in Biscayne Bay. “It’s going to be really, really windy and there could be six to eight foot waves. In Miami where we sail it’s pretty shallow,” said Zach. “You don’t really have big waves. You have lots of little two-foot waves. But in Palamos it’s going to be deeper.”

But Zach isn’t too worried. He’s sailed in similar conditions before in the many competitions he’s been in across the U.S.

In the summer, when he’s not busy competing in sailing competitions, Zach volunteers his time working at the Marco Island Community Sailing Center’s Summer Camp Program, teaching other kids how to sail. It’s what he loves to do.

As for future plans, Zach says sailing is definitely on the menu. “I’m planning on trying to get a scholarship to college for sailing,” said Zach.