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Master Gardeners Graduate

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 11:19pm

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Collier County office held a formal graduation ceremony on June 11, for 13 volunteers who successfully completed the 13week Master Gardener certification program.

The Master Gardener certification program is a 13-week program that covers an array of gardening topics including soils and fertilizers, plant identification, insect and pest identifications and control, pesticide safety, Florida native plants, and experience interacting with the public.

The graduating class of 2015 including

Walter Dehmel, Tatiana Burkhart, Sharon Hild, Connie Willson, Jeanne Estes, Tonimarie McGlynn-Long, Barbara Pace, Maria Giovine, Tracey Burton, Yvette Boland, Sharon Killoy, Maria Schoenfelder, and Christal Beheler, will join the existing 70 Master Gardeners that support the University of Florida Cooperative Extension office with public education volunteerism.

Collier County Master Gardeners are volunteers in action helping people to beautify and protect our environment. The newest class of 13 graduates will be advising homeowners on how to design, plant, and care for their landscape in an environmentally friendly way Through educational tours, plant clinics at Home Depot, Lowe’s, local libraries, Naples Botanical Garden, 3rd Street Farmers Market and the Extension Office, and supporting the public with inquiries regarding plant problem diagnostics, Florida Friendly landscapes, plant identification, integrated pest management, plant growth and maintenance. Volunteers also make occasional home visits as Florida Yards and Neighborhood advisors and host the Yard and Garden Show in the fall and the Garden Workshop Series in spring.

If you want to learn more about how to become a Master Gardener, please contact Isabel Way, UF/IFAS Collier County Master Gardener Coordinator at iway@ufl.edu or call the UF/IFAS Collier County Extension office at 239-252-4800. For more information on events go to collier.ifas.ufl.edu/Calendar.shtml/

2nd Annual NoGala Gala Benefits Collier 211

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 10:22pm

Gear up and get ready for United Way of Collier County’s second annual Nogala Gala dinner and a show event on Friday, July 10 on 5th Avenue South, downtown Naples. The fundraiser, which will help support United Way’s program, Collier 211- information and referral helpline for health and human services, includes cocktails at either Vergina or Mangrove Café beginning at 5:00, a 3-course dinner to follow at either restaurant, and the night will conclude at Sugden Theater, with the Naples Players performance of “Legally Blonde, The Musical” which will begin at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $125 per person and are available now! It is recommended to dress comfortable and casual. To purchase tickets online, go to www.unitedwayofcolliercounty.org and click on events/Nogala Gala.

For event or sponsorship information, please contact Robyn Quataert at robyn.quataert@uwcollier.org or (239) 261-7112, Ext. 203. For ticket information, contact Dayhanna Acosta at Dayhanna.acosta@uwcollier.org or (239) 261-7112, Ext. 201.

Collier 211 offers free, anonymous, and confidential help and referrals 24/7, in a variety of languages. Dial 211 or 239-263-4211 and text 898-211 for help. Visit www.Collier211.org for more information.

Boys & Girls Club 2015 Summer Enrichment Program

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 10:21pm

In partnership with the Naples Children & Education Foundation, founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival – the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County recently began the 2015 summer enrichment program at its Main Campus, 7500 Davis Boulevard, as well as Immokalee site locations. Program hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will run through August 4.

To combat summer learning loss, the Club is offering the Summer Brain Gain initiative — a summer learning loss prevention program that includes but is not limited to activities such as reading, mentoring, dance and music, swimming, arts and crafts, organized sports and field trips, and are available to youth ages six to 18. Each day, Club members receive breakfast, lunch and a snack that support the Club’s initiative of healthy lifestyles.

“We are ecstatic to see that our summer enrollment has increased by 73 percent from last year and is a huge testament to the success of the Club’s programming. With the average American student losing approximately one month’s worth of learning during the summer, it is critical that we keep them engaged in activities that are both fun and educational so that they will be on track for the Fall,” said Jodi Truel, Unit Director at the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County.

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) is committed to supporting charitable programs that improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County Its primary fundraiser, the Naples Winter Wine Festival, is the largest global event of its kind, and has raised in excess of $135 million in its first 15 years for annual grants to 40 beneficiary organizations and seven strategic initiatives.

Boys & Girls Club members join Meals of Hope effort

Recently, more than 250 members and staff from the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County worked together to package more than 52,000 meals to feed the hungry through Meals of Hope. 30 stations were set up for the processing and packaging of the fortified cinnamon, sugar and diced apple oatmeal.

The meals are being donated to the Harry Chapin Food Bank as part of the Feeding America Network and then distributed to 160 partner agencies throughout Hendry, Charlotte, Lee, Glades and Collier County.

The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County will be joining Meals of Hope at their warehouse on July 24 to take part in their Christmas Eve in July packing event. The event is a summer kick-off for the 3rd Annual “Holidays Without Hunger” packing event held on Christmas Eve at the Harborside Event Center in Ft. Myers. The goal for “Holidays Without Hunger” is to pack over 500,000 meals in two hours.

The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County (BGCCC) is a non-profit, youth development organization, which annually serves 3,000 of the most at-risk children and teens in Collier County. The Club provides a safe, positive place where local youth can acquire: academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. The Boys & Girls Club is dedicated to its mission, which is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. To learn more about the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County or to arrange a tour, call 239-325-1700 or visit www.bgccc.com.

River of Grass Greenway

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 10:20pm

The River of Grass Greenway (ROGG) project will not be continued unless there is an indication of community support by July 1.

 

The feasibility of the ROGG is being measured in large part BY THE GRANTOR on public comment. So far only the OPPOSITION has made an effort to voice an opinion. The grant closes in July. If you support ROGG, PLEASE, send an email to the grant coordinator Mark Heinicke mhenic@miamidade.gov by July 1.

Contact Maureen Bonness Or Patty Huff and ask what else you can do

  • Maureen: bonness@infionline.net
  • Patty: snookcity@gmail.com

Collier County Medflight accredited

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 10:20pm

The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) announced that Collier County MedFlight, a County Emergency Medical Services-run rotorwing service, was awarded accreditation on June 3, 2015. MedFlight provides highly skilled flight paramedic teams to care for adult and pediatric patients in Collier County as well as the surrounding counties

CAMTS is an organization of non-profit groups dedicated to improving the quality and safety of medical transport services. The commission, which has 21 current member organizations, offers a program of voluntary evaluation of compliance with accreditation standards demonstrating the ability to deliver service of a specific quality.
The commission believes that the two highest priorities of an air medical transport service are patient care and safety of the transport environment. The commission’s standards often exceed state or local licensing requirements and in order to obtain accreditation, a medical transport service must be in substantial compliance with the accreditation standards.

Collier County MedFlight is one of four rotorwing programs accredited in the state of Florida and only the second public service organization to be awarded accreditation in the United States. This marks a significant milestone in the progression of the MedFlight program and comes during its 40th anniversary serving Collier County.

For more information, contact Collier County EMS Chief Walter Kopka at (239) 252-3757.

Big Cypress Preserve – Oil and Gas Plan Comments

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 10:19pm

The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comments on Nobles Grade 3-D Seismic Survey/Plan of Operations (Plan) to explore for oil and gas within Big Cypress National Preserve.

The Plan seeks approval to conduct a seismic survey over a 110± square mile area to identify subsurface geologic structures that may contain commercial quantities of crude oil and natural gas in the Sunniland Oil Trend. The applicant, Burnett Oil Company, Inc., proposes to conduct the seismic survey by using small, portable seismic receivers (geophones) and recording devices, which measure and record subtle vibrations in the ground.

No explosives will be used to create the vibrations or seismic acoustical signals, and there will be no ground disturbances from detonations. Instead, vibrations will be created using mobile plates attached to special off-road vehicles which are placed against the ground, vibrated, and then moved on to the next location. The source and receivers would be placed in a line grid to allow the applicant to map the subsurface geology.

The the plan may be viewed on the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://goo.gl/pQMUvJ. The Plan will be available for public review and comment through July 17, 2015. Comments received will help inform the preparation of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document which will itself be subject to public comment. Based on analysis of environmental impacts, the NPS may approve, request modification to, or reject the plan.

Interested individuals, organizations, and agencies are encouraged to provide written comments through the NPS PEPC website. Comments may also be sent to the Office of the Superintendent, Big Cypress National Preserve, 33100 Tamiami Trail East Ochopee, Florida 34141 or entered in the PEPC system website. Copies of the Plan are available upon request by contacting Big Cypress National Preserve Environmental Specialist Don Hargrove by phone at 239-695-1150; via email at Don_Hargrove@nps.gov; or by mail at Big Cypress National Preserve, 33100 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, Florida 34141.

FREE Dental Services

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 10:18pm

Dr. Zachary Zaban, Dr. Andrew Haidet, the team at Mission Hills Dentistry and other area dentists will be providing free dental services to those in our community who may not otherwise receive basic or routine dental care.

People in our community will have the opportunity to receive free dental care from Dr. Zaban, Dr. Haidet, the Mission Hills Dentistry team and the following area dentists: Nestor Villarreal, DDS, Whitney Howard, DMD, Frederick Klepes DDS and Jordan Martin DDS.

Saturday, July 18th – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Mission Hills Dentistry, located at 7485 Vanderbilt Beach Road in Naples. A choice of one free cleaning, filling or extraction will be provided per patient.
Patients will be accepted on a first come first served basis. They can call Mission Hills Dentistry at 239-776-7626 for more information.

Actor’s Workshop

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 10:17pm

This workshop is for anyone who wishes to hone acting skills or anyone who desires to learn the “how-to’s” of acting. Emphasis is placed on learning to release the life of the character by breaking down the scripts of scenes from plays, i.e., determing objectives, actions, inner monologue, and sub-text, creating the character’s back story, and actuating the character’s vocal and physical qualities. Then, scenes will be rehearsed and performed by class members. Individualized attention with workshop size of 6 to 10 participants.

July 18 – August 29, 2015 10 am – noon
The Marco Players Theater Rehearsal Space
$140 per person payable by check at the first meeting.
Call Beverly Dahlstrom at (239) 404-5198 by July 13.

Led by Anna Segreto
Anna Segreto studied acting and directing at the American Stanislavski Theater in NYC, and has taught acting classes and workshops at the Naples Players for over ten years. She has also served as director for both Naples Players and KidzAct productions. In addition, she has been a high school drama teacher, director and Thespian advisor for most of her teaching career.
 

The American Dream is Alive and Well

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 9:58pm

ARTFUL LIFE
Tara O’Neill
taraogallery@marcocable.com

In the artful world, there are a lot of talented people who refuse creative careers because they’re afraid they won’t reach The Top. “You’re either Elton John or some hack playing in a Holiday Inn,” a young, exmusician once told me (the “ex” is his description, not mine.) For him, to dedicate his life to music and not reach big stage SuperStardom was to set himself up for failure. In the same vein, many’s the painter who gave up their brushes because they realized were never going to be the hottest ticket on the New York scene so what was the point.

Really? Those were the only choices? What about all that stuff in the middle? As in many professions, there exists choices for musicians, actors, writers, painters, et al, that, while lacking SuperStardom, offer comfortable livings and great personal rewards. Imagine another field that people would refuse to enter if they couldn’t be the world’s best. Medicine? Construction? Education? Hospitality? Sports? Goodness gracious, the country would come to a standstill.

I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with reaching for the stars, it’s the all-or-nothing fallacy people swallow that constantly amazes me. My musician chose a career in finance and does moderately well, but hasn’t tickled anything ivory in years, says he misses it but simply hasn’t the time. His career choices are perfectly honorable, but here’s the thing: he will never be mentioned in the Fortune 500, so why is he willing to accept relative anonymity in that field and not in one motivated by personal passion?

Why are the arts so intimidating? Is it the fragility of a creative ego? When artful people blithely tell me they never wanted to spoil their passion by turning it into a career I tend to scoff. Yes, occasionally I’ve been known to scoff. Not only does the argument not hold water, it’s leakier than my first boat. Who would not want to experience the complete joy that comes from being paid to do what you love? And what will we ever do better than that which we love to our core? Talk about a recipe for success. Perhaps it comes down to defining success. What is it you need to say, Hey! I’m doing okay! I love what I do and I’m earning a good living. Isn’t that what the American dream was supposed to be about? It certainly can’t be tied to the notion that if you don’t make your first million by thirty you’re a washout.

So to all you scriptwriters, copywriters, and journalists; you studio musicians, live performers, and commercial composers; you set designers, and chorus dancers, you working artists who will never make it to the spot light or the tabloids: Thank you for keeping your dreams alive, and for inspiring me to do the same. The world owes you gratitude for your dedication to your calling… not sure I can say the same for a great many of those SuperStars.

 

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

Happy Fit of July!

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 9:54pm

FITNESS DIVA
Crystal Manjarres
Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com

It’s that time of year again: swimsuits, sand, and sun– sans snowbirds. We locals love having the beach all to ourselves! The question is, will you actually get out there and enjoy it?

Some of us will and some will hibernate like it’s winter in Canada counting down the days until it blows us into the safer, more fully-clothed weather of the fall. Some will get out there and enjoy every sunrise, every foamy lick of the gulf while others will only admire it from a glance– out of the window. Why is that? For the majority of us (and I’m referring to the female population here), it’s because it’s the dreaded-should-be-outlawed-swimsuit season and we would rather shave our head than be caught in public wearing what only we feel comfortable in private.

Why is that? Why should a swimsuit dictate our fun? Why do we nit-pick our every flaw, or even worse, that of others? Does it really matter at the end of the day? If this were our last moment, would we really be so concerned about what others think that we would miss out on our own happiness– especially since they could care less anyways!

I heard this great quote once; it said, “when you’re in your twenties, all you care about is what everyone else is thinking about you. When you hit your forties, you could care less what everyone thinks about you. When you’re in your sixties, you realize that no one was ever even thinking about you!” I think this is so true! We are all so focused on ourselves that no one is really thinking about anyone else– and if there is a small chance that this is not the case, then do you really want someone like that in your life? Do you really want to let someone who is not your cheerleader take away your peace?

We need to own our bodies: the so-called “flaws” and all. Did you know that without a golf ball’s imperfections, it would be useless in the sport? It is those specific “flaws” that make it so valuable. The same is true for all of us. There is so much more to us than our outward appearance.

Take care of your body, yes. Eat healthy, exercise, sleep well, work and play in moderation, and make sure to relax. But ignore the media telling you to look like someone else– if you were supposed to be identical to that woman in the magazine, then trust me, God would have designed you that way. But everyone knows that even the models themselves don’t look like their pictures! It’s an unrealistic facade. You are remarkable. You are a masterpiece. You are unique. There has never been, nor will there ever be another YOU.

So get out there and enjoy your summer to the fullest! You only get to live this day once!

 

Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a certified personal trainer and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “Empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email Crystal@ PinkIslandFitness.com. She can also be reached at www.PinkIslandFitness.com or www.101FIT.com and 239-333-5771.

Glaciers – Visit them Soon

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 9:53pm

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL
Vickie Kelber

Alaska is home to thousands of glaciers including this one in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Although I love a tropical climate, many of our travels have taken us to places noted for their glaciers. These visits have always occurred in the warmer months, for I would never venture forth in winter to an area capable of producing glaciers. Even my glacier skiing experiences were in the northern hemisphere in August.

Simplistically, a glacier forms when, over years, more snow accumulates in the winter than can melt in the summer. The mass of snow gradually turns into glacial ice. While new snow/ice is added to the top of the glacier, the bottom is slowly worn away in a process called ablation.

Due to ablation, there is constant movement under the glacier forming crevasses and blocks of ice (seracs) as well as changes in the terrain such as the build up of rock and soil called moraines and bowl like formations known as cirques.

There are glaciers in every part of the world except mainland Australia. Some of the world’s most visited glaciers are the Patagonian glaciers in Argentina, with Perito Moreno Glacier being one of the most popular. One of the more exotic locales for a glacier is on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Unfortunately, the glaciers in this area have receded more than 80% and it is predicted that they will disappear in the 2020s. What would an aspiring Hemingway write about if he/she were to visit then?

The popular Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska.

Pakistan is home to possibly the longest glacier outside of the polar regions, the Baltoro in the Karakoram range of the Himalayas. I don’t know about you, but seeing that glacier is not in my travel plans anytime soon.

In China, the best known glacier is the Hulong in the Yunnan Province. New Guinea has glaciers as does New Zealand where the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers flow down into a rainforest.

Norway boasts the largest glacier in continental Europe, the Jostedalsbreen. lceland’s Vatnajökull is larger, covering 8% of the country. The Vatnajökull has active volcanoes as well as hot springs within its caves.

Antarctica is a popular tourist destination, with Harker Glacier among the most beautiful ones there. So many people visit Antarctica that a special organization was formed in 1991 to establish guidelines for responsible tourism to that area.

In our country, Alaska has thousands of glaciers. Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay, a popular tourist stop, is 21 miles long. The Hubbard Glacier between Alaska and Yukon Bay, Canada is one of the largest in North America; it is believed its retreat is increasing the number of earthquakes in that area. I find it interesting that the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred, in part, because the tanker had to change course to avoid icebergs formed by the retreat of the Columbia Glacier.

The Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, another popular tourist destination, has lost 1900 feet since 1946. Since 1850, the largest glaciers in Glacier National Park, Montana have retreated by two thirds and some of the smaller ones are disappearing. As at the Mendenhall, the glacial recession in this park is rapidly accelerating.

Although miles long, the Canadian Rockies’ Columbia ice field has lost half its volume in the last hundred plus years, with notable acceleration since the 1980s. We will be visiting these ice fields this year, but not without a guide because it is so dangerous due to the melting.

The Aletsch Glacier looking toward its origin; the sheep are marked with green paint to assist in locating them.

The glaciers with which we are most familiar are those in Switzerland. If you count the minor ones as well as the majors, there are more than 1500 glaciers in this alpine country. Switzerland is where we have gone glacier skiing in the summer as well as hiked to a mountain restaurant that no longer exists because that part of the mountain collapsed due to a retreating glacier. There is another glacier to which we hiked in about an hour’s time in the 1990s. When we returned 12 years later, it had receded so much that we hiked almost three hours and still were not able to reach it.

The largest glacier in Switzerland is the Grosser Aletsch which is the one visitors see when they make the long and expensive trip to the top of the Jungfraujoch. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it covers about 45 square miles. Although still more than 14 miles long and 3300 feet at its thickest point, it is retreating about 100 feet a year and the recession is accelerating. On a hot summer day, the water that runs off it is equivalent to 60,000 liters (think 5,000 crates of 12 one liter bottles) a second. We first visited the Aletsch in 1991. I took pictures and then happened to see a photo in a magazine taken from the same vantage point in the 1940s. I was shocked to see the difference; the difference we noted on our most recent visit was even more alarming.

Studies from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have found that the rate of dissipation and disappearance of glaciers is rapidly accelerating. In the last 15 years, Swiss glaciers have receded by 20% and it is anticipated they will lose another 50% of their area in the next 30 years. The country is so concerned with its receding glaciers that there is a special website (http://glaciology.ethz.ch/messnetz/glacierlist.html) which lists all the major ones and an interactive chart showing the annual changes since 1880. Melting of the glaciers will have a devastating economic effect on the country. Obviously, tourism will be affected, but, more importantly, they will lose a critical water source. More than 50% of their electricity and 26% of their drinking water come from glaciers; not to mention the flora and fauna that will be affected.

Since 2005 in Switzerland and other alpine countries, a unique method is being attempted to try to preserve some glacial areas integral to the skiing industry. These sections are being wrapped in a layer of plastic foil that reflects heat and radiation. The hope is that this will preserve parts of the glaciers that are critical to the economy of these locales. One of the other sites employing this technique is Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany where it is feared the glaciers on the Zugspitze will disappear in the next twenty years. While somewhat successful in slowing the melt in the targeted areas, this approach is very expensive and cannot be used to sustain entire glaciers.

Not all glaciers are receding; in fact a very few are advancing, including the Perito Moreno. For many of the glaciers, however, think about planning a trip sooner rather than later.

 

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

 

Sharks Among Us

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 9:49pm

STEPPING STONES
Bob McConville
Master Naturalist

Tiger Shark with blacktip sharks.

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is already halfway complete. Sitting here contemplating the first 6 months of the year and then the last 12 months total, I realized that it has been 1 full year since I was right where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea and that’s where my wife and I were swimming….with Whale Sharks! About the size of a small school bus, it was quite an experience to be in the migratory route of these plankton eating giants.

It got me thinking about the Gulf Stream current, other migrating species that utilize this conveyor belt and other predators that come into our waters. With recent news headlines teeming with information about attacks it seems relevant to talk about something that may bother residents and visitors… sharks!

From the Yucatan Peninsula to the Texas coastline and all the way to the Florida Keys, the Gulf of Mexico is home to more than 45 species of sharks. Some are deep water dwellers while others can be found in our rivers and canals. Several varieties are right here in the Marco Island area.

The anatomy of a shark is quite amazing. Even though there are more than 400 species worldwide, the basic body structure is very similar throughout.

All sharks have cartilage for their skeletal structure rather than bones. This allows them to maneuver better than other sea creatures and also helps with their speed. We can all picture the open-mouthed poster from the movie “Jaws” quite well and we remember how intimidating that was. Well, the jaw seems so big because it is not attached to the skull. Both the upper and lower jaw can operate independently of each other and this allows for a very powerful bite on its prey.

They have many rows of teeth and the shape of these teeth may depend on the individual shark species’ diet. They are very sharp and can rip thru meat and bone with little difficulty. Teeth will break or fall out constantly. Since they have several rows of teeth and with the front row being the most vulnerable to removal it is estimated that sharks can regrow thousands of teeth in their life span.

Sharks depend highly on their sense to help find food as well as awareness in the water. They have an internal sense for them to detect vibrations in the water and this is called the Lateral Line.

They can also detect electrical charges from their prey. As the move through the water all living things will produce some type of electrical current. This sense is called the Ampullae of Lorenzini.

The strongest sense for a shark is smell. Just under the snout are two “nares” or nasal cavities. Water enters one nare and exits the other. The water goes into nasal sacs and over a series of skin folds which gives the shark the opportunity to register the smells. The shark’s brain will analyze the smells to determine if they are prey, predator or mate. About two-thirds of a shark’s brain are filled with these olfactory lobes to best recognize what is near them. Once a scent is identified and the shark decides to pursue, it starts swimming. The back and forth movement of the head helps this predator to better locate the source of the smell until it is in sight.

How keen is this sense. Research shows that they are able to respond to one particle of blood for every one million particles of water. This is like us trying to determine what is in a swimming pool when only one teaspoon of something is dropped in!

They also have very keen eyesight and they can see well both at day and at night. Depending on the amount of light, the eyes will dilate to help better see objects in their path.

Hearing is another major advantage to them. Some species have the ability to hear prey that are miles away. They hear sounds at an extremely low frequency from a long distance.

Shark Week begins on TV very soon and we will see lots of video with calm waters and then, all of a sudden, this fin slowly elevates to break the water’s surface and the infamous music plays in the background! That fin strikes fear into young an old alike. But sharks do have more than that one fin. Most species have six fins: a pair of pectoral fins, a pair of dorsal fins, two pelvic fins and anal fin and a caudal fin. The front dorsal fin is the one we see most often in films. It seems that the most important fin is the caudal fin, or tail fin. For most sharks the cartilage frame extends into this caudal fin, primarily into the upper lobe of the tail. This is the main source of thrust and forward motion. The shape of the tail fin reflects the shark’s lifestyle.

These sometimes huge fish are all over the world. Some species we know quite well and others are still a mystery. Some travel thousands of miles on their migratory paths while others appear to be more localized.

One thing that I do know very well…when I hear that theme song from the movie “Jaws” in my head, I’m just a little more timid when I go swimming in the Gulf. Maybe that’s just me…or is it?

 

Bob is the owner of Stepping Stone Ecotours and a Naturalist for the dolphin survey team based on Marco Island. Bob loves his wife very much!

Independence

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 9:47pm

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT
Laurie Kasperbauer
lkasperbauer@gmail.com

“Independence is Happiness” – Susan B. Anthony

Seek independence and run with it! SUBMITTED PHOTO

On July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was adopted and thirteen colonies broke free from the governance of Great Britain. Those thirteen colonies would one day become part of the United States of America, and for the more than 200 years that have passed since it’s signing, we have fought every day to maintain the independence implied in that landmark document. John Hancock, in his support of this newly-sought freedom, concluded that Americans would have to rely on the “Being who controls both Causes and Events to bring about his own determination.”

While John Hancock was no doubt referring to the larger body of all Americans as the “being” to control both causes and events, I believe the same logic holds true for us as individuals. If we are truly independent, then we must take responsibility for our own actions and reactions and therefore, own our destination. The colonists of 1776 faced battle to preserve their freedom, and thousands of troops have sacrificed for the safety and independence of our country since. Seeking clarity of mind and body as individuals seems a small task in comparison. Especially if, in the words of Susan B. Anthony, independence equates to happiness.

The philosophy of yoga teaches us that getting uncomfortable on our mat is one step we can take toward conquering the blockages that impair freedom of mind and movement. Holding a posture a few breaths longer than we would like, allows us to stew in the thoughts that begin to settle into our consciousness. Once we get past the frustration, the discomfort, and the blaming (after all the instructor got you into this position) we are free to explore what is really going on inside. Why do I feel the way I do? In what way do I contribute to these feelings? What can I release in order to gain an ounce, an inch or a moment of freedom?

Freedom is worth fighting for. Through concentration and focus; through battle; and through being truthful with ourselves. Each of us, individually, is responsible for our own actions and reactions. We make our own choices, we create our own destiny. Yoga is a map guiding us toward the destination.

On Independence Day we celebrate the freedoms we are granted as citizens of this great country. Realizing that collectively we are all part of the “being” John Hancock referred to hundreds of years ago. As a country, we control the causes and events that lead to our destiny. As individuals, we create our own destination. Through our words, our actions, our thoughts and our reactions.

Dig deep. Seek independence. Find happiness.

 

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.

 

Goodland Civic Association Ends Season on High Note

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 9:45pm

GOODLAND LIFE
By Barry Gwinn
bgwinn@comcast.net

Folks start to arrive at the Community Center.

The GCA was incorporated on May 2, 1978. Its by-laws call for a meeting, open to the public, to be held every third Tuesday of each month, from October through April. It meets in the Goodland Community Center, at 417 Mango Ave. After April, we get to leave town or do some serious recreating. For as long as I have been on the board, we have faithfully adhered to this schedule. In addition, we have a potluck supper before each meeting, featuring specialties and delicacies of our members. These guys are good. Most of the time, this is much better than eating out and always cheaper.

When I became GCA secretary in March 2008, the attendance at meetings was sparse and sometimes controversial. I am told that in the late 90’s GCA membership was north of 300. I have not confirmed this but know that by March, 2008, it had plummeted to 112. This was due to warring factions on the board, which alienated a lot of the Goodland community. I witnessed some of this first hand. The members had lost faith in the GCA and didn’t renew their memberships. It is hard to blame them.

Greg (right) and Barry presiding.

Starting in 2008, under the successive presidencies of Mike Barbush, Joanie, Fuller, and Greg Bello, the warring factions were dealt with and the board was stabilized. We were finally able to pull together and start addressing pressing community concerns. Collier County came on board and good things started happening. The community gradually recognized that things had changed drastically for the better. Since 2008, our membership has more than doubled. It now stands at 238 and counting. The response has been both encouraging and heartwarming to the GCA Board. It seems like the Goodland community is aware of and approves of what the GCA is doing.

Even so, attendance at our monthly potluck suppers was sparse. Not realizing how lip smacking good the food was, our members would arrive only for the town meeting, which followed the supper. The lowest attended supper has traditionally been the last one of the season. This year our membership came early and stood in line to break bread with their neighbors. The last supper was the best attended of the year.

The GCA has always counted on our wonderful restaurants to help us out with special events. It is unusual that a community with a permanent population of about 400 would have four restaurants, all of which are known throughout southwest Florida for their entertainment and cuisine. This year, some of this delicious restaurant food started making its way to our potluck suppers.

Town Meeting in progress.

At our February 17 supper, Amy Bozicnik of the Little Bar, brought over a huge bowl of peel and eat shrimp, with cocktail sauce. On March, 15, Chef Mike Duncan of Marker 8.5, came over with a large tray of delicious corn beef and cabbage. On April 21, our last meeting, we grilled up remainder of hamburgers (left over from our community picnic) , provided by Shelly Ballante of Olde Marco Lodge.

I have to also give some credit here to a couple of Goodland gals, who have never failed to provide a couple of tasty and well regarded tasty dishes for each of our potluck Suppers.

Linda Van Meter always brings one of my favorites. It is a concoction of rice and sausage in a tomato sauce. I suspect there is a hint of Michigan in this dish. We know that whatever the turnout, because of Linda, we will always have enough good food. Linda has been doing this since I came on Board in March 2008.

Line forms on the right.

For the past two years. Nancy Gwinn, my lovely wife, has sent over a heaping helping of south central Pennsylvania potato salad. She can’t always make the meetings but never fails to sweat it out in our kitchen at home using her own recipe for this touch of old rural Pennsylvania.

And so we look forward to the coming year, starting in October, 2015, we anticipating larger crowds and more and tasty dishes at our potluck suppers. People are discovering what I have known for years. At dinner time each third Tuesday, the place to be is with your neighbors at the Goodland Community Center.

 

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

Fishing the 10,000 Islands in July

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 9:41pm

FOLLOW THE FISH
Capt. Pete Rapps
CaptainRapps@gmail.com

SUBMITTED PHOTOS
Andy Schapps with a nice Triple Tail.

Here in the Ten Thousand Islands, the weather in July is somewhat predictable, as are the fishing patterns. Expect the bite to drop off during the mid day heat and slack tides. The bite is early in the day, and again late in the afternoon/early evening after the mid day storms cool things off a little.

Day time air temperatures are now hovering around 90 degrees each day, bringing the water temperatures up to 87 degrees.

Anglers can get into some nice Snook on the outside islands. Top water plugs and suspended soft plastic artificials will produce some nice morning action. Of course nothing beats a livewell full of Pilchards and Thread Herring. You can live chum with a handful of these guys, then follow up with a nice one on your hook.

The Trout bite will remain steady. They are generally smaller than the winter Trout, but around in good numbers. They will take anything from a live shrimp, to a buck tail jig, to a topwater plug. Fish early on the incoming tide for your best results. You can count on the Redfish to take a 3” Gulp shrimp on a ¼ oz jig head on the last half of the incoming tide around oyster bars or mangrove lined shorelines. Live shrimp under a popping cork works great for Reds too!

Triple Tail are hanging around markers and structure, and will happily take a live shrimp on a circle hook. Permit and Cobia are hanging around offshore structure. Bring some small silver dollar sized crabs with you for the Permit. Cast net some nice 6” mullet to present to the Cobia.

John Czencz with a nice Trout on a Captain Rapps Charter.

Mangrove Snapper are larger in size than most of the year and are hungry for a live shrimp around the Mangrove roots. Shark are all over the place and love Ladyfish. Some Tarpon will be around on the flats early in the morning and in the evening. They are looking for live Ladyfish and Mullet.

Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and Spring time Tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top notch fleet accommodates men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Between their vast knowledge & experience of the area, and easy going demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class web site for Booking info, Videos, Recipes, Seasonings, and more at www.CaptainRapps.com

Bridezillas…Chapter One

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:34pm

ALL THAT GLITTERS
Richard Alan
harborgoldsmith@comcast.net

They say it’s all about the dress, and many a bridezilla have been revealed on more than one reality show. I have had the pleasure of experiencing more than I can count, firsthand in my jewelry stores over the decades, before it was even in fashion.

For those of you who have no idea what a ‘bridezilla’ is- this is the best description I found on the internet: One incredibly ridiculously spoiled young female brat who thinks she is the center of the universe just because “Her Wedding” is eighteen months from now. She feels everyone in the world has to drop everything and come running, in this twisted prime-donna’s mind. All living creatures involved in the wedding will experience emotional scars from her terrible and impending wrath. (A spin on ‘Godzilla’ – an ancient Japanese cult monster).

Any readers who have experienced a bridezilla up close and personal can relate to this article. If you happen to be one, or worse, one in training, I suggest you turn the page, for my article may set you off, making you cause destruction and mayhem to local buildings or power-plants.

Laugh if you will, I can spot one after less than 30 seconds into a conversation. Her devouring stare and body language says it all. I immediately warn the staff of impending doom and its ugly aftermath.

It all starts at the very beginning…the engagement ring.

In a nut shell, the first big mistake is the groom who brings the future bridezilla and her mother to “help” pick out a ring. The problem was that this groom had called me ahead of time to convey his price range of no more than $3,000 for the diamond and ring. But the future bride’s mother (a former, semi-retired bridezilla.) had other ideas, and insisted that her spoiled brat or bridezilla-in-training should have at least a two-and-a-half carat ring, which would easily set him back at least eighteen thousand bucks, a little over his budget. The lack of color on his face says it all.

Within moments it goes from bad to worse, the groom-to-be now looks like he’s been turned inside out, and the future wedding party (or future train wreck) heads for the door. It was obvious to me that the mother and daughter were totally disgusted due to my lack of $3,000 two-and-one-half carat diamonds. I thought that was the end of it. So I thought!

A couple of months later they are back for wedding bands, and I noticed a nice one carat diamond on her ring finger. They told me it was an heirloom from his deceased grandmother’s estate. He avoided the eighteen thousand dollar two-and-a-half carat diamond bullet! Alas, the young she-wolf seemed appeased…for now.

Well, as expected, there will be nothing but the best for her majesty. To his surprise, she produces a photo of the exact diamond studded wedding ring she wants, and no other ring will soothe the savage beast.

Problem is the ring is an exclusive design that can only be purchased at a Cartier jewelry store, and it costs a little over $15,000! Sorry, I can’t help you with that dude, Cartier does not sell wholesale to other jewelers. She wants that ring, not a reasonable facsimile thereof. Good luck! It was nice seeing you again.

Luckily, I escaped this one physically and monetarily intact.

I later heard it on the coconut telegraph that she micro-managed every aspect of the absurdly expensive wedding, and on top of it all, had a meltdown in the church, making everyone wait for over an hour before walking down the aisle. I firmly believe in what goes around, comes around, and it did. To add insult to injury, the perfectly prepared cute juvenile nephew lost one of the wedding bands that fell off the pillow somewhere in the church. My friend who attended the wedding said she should have post-dated the gift check; the marriage lasted less than a year. I can still hear this divorced bridezilla roar from under the Marco Bridge at every full moon!

Another bridezilla comes to mind that nearly caused me to be placed under protective custody (for her protection, not mine), after the pain and anguish I endured from her, not to mention my time, sanity and money.

The wedding band. All for one simple groom’s wedding ring. I sensed it was going to be a bad one from the start, and my instincts are always correct. Yeah, as I walk through the valley of death! Oh woe is me!

She brought four other persons to pick out one gold wedding band. It was immediately apparent to me that the groom-to-be had no say in the matter.

Months passed. Let’s just say the original design was changed and reconfigured by this bridezilla more times than Bruce Jenner’s license photo. So many times that I was so confused and dumbfounded that 24 hours before the wedding there was still no finished wedding ring! Make it wider! Make it thinner! Make it white gold! Make it yellow! Add diamonds! Now take them out! It’s too tight! It’s too loose! Mama Mia!

Then she called me the day before the wedding, “where’s my fiancé’s wedding ring?” I told her good question, as far as I know it’s still in that crazy mixed-up mind of hers!

“What do you mean you don’t have it?” I told her after the last (and what never seems to be final) product, I cut my losses and I melted the ring, diamonds and all, into a solid ball. And I suggest that she and her wimp-in-shining-armor had better head to the mall and buy a ring, because I’m not spending another penny or a second of my time on this adventure. And please convey my sympathies to the groom.

I slept with a loaded handgun in fear for weeks after that. I heard that particular marriage dissolved in three months. Luckily, that ex-bridezilla wails under some bridge in Ft. Meyers.

Please note that no names or descriptions have been mentioned to protect the innocent and guilty alike.

Stay tuned for more on man-eating Southwest Floridian bridezillas, next time.

 

Richard Alan is a designer/ goldsmith/ bridezilla slayer and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith on Marco Island and welcomes your questions about all that glitters. 239-394-9275. harborgoldsmith@comcast.net. Check out our new web site www.harborgoldsmith.com.

 

 

 

Tulip Time in Holland

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:33pm

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL
Vickie Kelber

Variegated tulip at Keukenhof.

One of the best times to visit Holland is when the flowers, for which it is known, are in their full splendor, on display at Keukenhof Gardens, from mid-March through mid-May.

Although people often use the terms “Holland” and “the Netherlands” interchangeably, Holland refers to only two of the twelve provinces that comprise the country of the Netherlands. North and South Holland are home to the Netherlands’ major cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and other popular destinations such as Leiden, Delft, and Haarlem.

Tulips are not native to Holland; they were imported from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in the sixteenth century. Their popularity led to a period of “Tulip Mania” in the following century, and what was one of the first economic bubbles in recorded history. Until the market collapsed, their price increased to the point of one highly prized bulb being worth as much as a canal house in Amsterdam or 12 acres of land.

Keukenhof Gardens, located in Lisse between Leiden and Haarlem about 30 miles southwest of Amsterdam, features a display of more than seven million flowers from the major Dutch growers. There are some 800 varieties of tulips, along with a multitude of other blooming bulbs including daffodils, narcissi, hyacinths, bluebells, crocuses, lilies, and amaryllis. Azaleas and rhododendrons add to the profusion of color. Hosting more than half a million visitors during its nine-week season, on the grounds of what was the estate of a countess in the fifteenth century, there are indoor pavilions, a windmill, ponds with swans, ducks, and water spouts, and about 3,000 trees that provide shade along the nine miles of pathways. Artists are invited to display their sculptures throughout the garden; many of the pieces are available for purchase.

Some of the more than 800 varieties of tulips at Keukenhof Gardens.

The varying species and luxurious colors of the blooms, not to mention their fragrance, can be dizzying. It’s difficult to pick a favorite, but I think mine are the parrot tulips, with their frilly, feathery, multi-hued petals. Keukenhof has a theme each year. This year’s was Van Gogh and included a flower mosaic self portrait of him, made of thousands of tulips.

A free guided tour is offered once a day. There is a 45 minute “whisper” boat trip that traverses the area’s canals. So named because of its quiet electric motor, it leaves from a dock behind the windmill. It is relaxing, but not optimal for taking photos or even viewing, as one’s level of sight is below the blooms. For a more unique experience, there are flying tours over the gardens and surrounding flower fields in a classic DC-3 plane.

Visitors can fortify themselves as needed in one of the five restaurants and other food stalls, which offer such Dutch delights as waffles, herring, and smoked hot dogs, as well as those wonderful pofferties, mini pancakes. Yes, there is shopping; sixteen shops feature goods such as cheese, bulbs, Delft ceramics, and other traditional Dutch souvenirs. There is WIFI in Keukenhof, so visitors can send instant picture postcards. There are lockers for those who bring backpacks but don’t wish to carry them. Wheelchairs are available free of charge and scooters can be rented for a very reasonable fee. Both require a deposit and can be reserved ahead of time.

Bus transportation to Keukenhof is available from Leiden, Schipol Airport, or The Hague. Purchase of an all-in-one ticket for transport and entry prevents having to queue up at the garden’s ticket booth. From Amsterdam, via Leiden, it takes a bit less than an hour and a half. The most popular option from Amsterdam is to take the quick train from the city to the airport and then Bus 58 to the gardens. The combination bus/entry tickets can be purchased at the VVV Amsterdam tourist information offices. At the airport, Bus 58 leaves from the second island outside the arrivals level entrance.

One of the more exotic tulips in Holland.

To see tulips in their natural growing stage, visit the 10 mile-long, 4 mile-wide Boolenstreek region. Bikes can be rented outside of Keukenhof for a ride through the fields; maps are included with the rental. For those driving, there is a 37 mile signposted Bolenstreek Route. Along the way, roadside stands sell bouquets and garlands that many people use to decorate their cars. I’ve taken a train whose path traversed the growing fields, and it was amazing. The neat swaths of red, pink, purple, orange, white, and yellow, as far as the eye could see, as the train chugged along, were mesmerizing.

A visit to Aalsmeer, the world’s largest flower auction, can complete the Dutch flower experience. In what may be the largest single roofed building in the world, the size of 50 football fields, more than twenty million plants and flowers are sold daily. Although the rise of internet bidding and increased growing markets in other parts of the world have affected some of the activity at Aalsmeer, more than half of the world’s cut flowers are sold through this auction. A large clock counts down from a high price per stem until it reaches a lower price at which an interested buyer presses a button to lock in his/her purchase price. A raised platform gallery allows visitors to observe all the activity below, including workers biking from one end of the huge structure to the other, and trucks and carts whizzing by to deliver flowers.

There are information points along the gallery (tulip shaped, of course), with explanations in four languages including English. Known as the VBA (Verengde Bloemenveillingen Aalsmeer), the auction is open weekday mornings from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM (9:00 AM on Thursdays). Mondays are the busiest, Thursdays, the quietest and early arrival (by 8:00 AM) is essential. Located near Schipol Airport, Bus 198 from there takes about twenty minutes. From Amsterdam, Connexxion Bus 172 from Centraal Station takes just under an hour.

Among the tulip fields of Holland.

It’s not too early to think about and plan a trip to Holland for next year’s tulip season. Tours, cruises, hotels, and apartments during prime viewing season can fill quickly. Selecting a date to go can be tricky. Too early in a cold year, and the flowers will not have fully blossomed yet. Too late in a warm year, and the height of the blooming season may be over. The unconfirmed dates for next year are March 24 to May 22, 2016. Remember that Easter will be March 27 next year and April 27 is King’s Day, a national holiday in the Netherlands.

Mid-April seems to be a popular time to visit. The only drawback to tulip season in the Netherlands is that the weather can be somewhat chilly and rainy. We spent a week there once in spring flowering time and never took off our raincoats. We missed the opportunity to sit and relax in sidewalk cafes, but the sight of the magnificent blooms was more than compensation.

If you happen to be there April 23, 2016 (unconfirmed date), there will be a flower parade from Noodwijk to Haarlem which passes by Keukenhof in the afternoon. Visitors are allowed to leave the gardens to watch the parade and then return. Even if you are there the day before or after, look for special events revolving around the season.

My thanks to Art Manburg for sharing his beautiful photos from his and wife Delores’ recent visit to Keukenhof.

 

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

 

Memory Man

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:31pm

BOOK REMARKS
Maggie Gust
winetaster13@gmail.com

By David Baldacci, Genre: Suspense

Grand Central Publishing, April 2015, 406 pages

 

A horrific scene is encountered by the reader at the very beginning of this latest novel from the prolific Mr. Baldacci. It is the memory of the murder of Amos Decker’s family in their own home – his wife Cassie, almost 10-year-old daughter Molly, and Cassie’s brother Johnny Sacks (is Baldacci a “Sopranos” fan?). Amos remembers coming home from work and finding the grisly scene that destroyed his life. He cannot not remember because he can forget nothing.

For a few brief moments, 22-year-old Amos was a defensive back in the NFL. Then he was slammed by an opponent in a hit so vicious that his brain literally bounced around in his skull. He died twice there on the field, but his team’s head trainer refused to let him go. He was not supposed to survive, but he did. It took months of treatment and rehabilitation, but Amos Decker emerged with an inability to forget anything, and a vocation to be a police officer. He had an overwhelming need to protect and help others.

The inability to forget anything is called hyperthymesia. Amos doesn’t need a To Do List or mnemonics to help him remember the names of the planets, the Seven Dwarves, Santa’s reindeer, or the names of the 43 US Presidents. If he reads it or experiences it, he remembers it forever. The football injury also left him with synesthesia which in his case means that he sees time in pictures, counts in color and sometimes associates color with people or objects. For Amos, death is blue, nine is violet and five is brown, etc. Synesthesia is a benign neurological condition in which people’s cognitive and sensory channels of the brain are not separate, but somehow trigger each other, i.e., a letter or number will evoke a color, smell, feeling, or taste, etc. It is being studied extensively because it has many variations. Mary J. Blige, Billy Joel and Geoffrey Rush are among today’s celebrities who have the condition. Most people who have it were born with it, but it can also be acquired by trauma, as in Amos’ case.

After the introductory scene of Amos’ remembrance of finding his family killed, we next see him in the present, 16 months after that fact. The bank took his house back because he could not make the payments without his wife’s salary, and eventually he left his job as a detective on the Burlington Police force to grieve full-time. He started picking up work as a private investigator. He had no car but used the bus or walked. To say he had “let himself go” would be a gross understatement. The only thing that made him feel at all, even if just for a few minutes, was eating. Baldacci describes his new protagonist: “He was fifty pounds overweight, probably more. Probably a lot more. Six-five and a blimp with bum knees. His gut was soft and pushed out, his arms and chest flabby, his legs two meat sticks. He could no longer see even his overly long feet.”

He is at the breakfast buffet at the Residence Inn where he lives when his ex-partner Mary Lancaster approaches him to explain they have made an arrest in the deaths of his three family members. Someone has walked in and confessed. She promised to keep him updated. Amos decides he needs to talk to this guy in person. Conveniently for him, a shooting has taken place at the city high school, so the police department is stretched thin and he actually pulls off an interview with the confessed killer. Amos is positive the man did not do it.

Thus the story really begins. How could the murders of Amos Decker’s family be related to the high school shooting? Why does someone walk into the police station and confess to a triple murder, which for 16 months had left the cops stymied, at the precise time of a school shooting? Read all about it. Baldacci takes the reader on a raucous roller coaster ride to the conclusion with plenty of his plot twists and character enrichment. Amos Decker’s mind is wondrous to observe. Even though he has an infallible memory, he still has to use his smarts to figure out how events, places and people fit together. The climax of the story near the end when Amos faces off with the bad guys, earns Baldacci a perfect ten for creativity. I have read a lot of mysteries and thrillers in my lifetime, but I have never read a scene like the one served up in Memory Man.

The over-riding theme of this book is release of suffering and healing. The major characters have all experienced psychological and/or physical trauma. The motivations for their actions are based on their need to “even the score” in hopes of finding some peace, quelling their psychological turmoil or just getting revenge. This is a definite change for Baldacci from his usual theme of power, domination and political intrigue.

Memory Man is listed as a standalone, but I doubt it. The final chapter hints heavily that we will see Amos again, along with some of his cohorts. With the huge success this book has had so far, barely two months from publication, it is clear that Baldacci fans love this new character. Amos is a thoroughly decent man with just enough foibles to make him likeable to the rest of us poor humans with our feeble memories. He has, perhaps, an over-developed sense of responsibility. Physically and cognitively he is not the average mystery/suspense hero, but that is exactly what makes him so appealing. With Baldacci’s excellent writing skills and storytelling ability, Amos Decker will be thrilling readers for some time to come.

Rating: 4/5.0. Available in e-format, hardcover and audio format everywhere. Also available at the Collier County Public Library.

Of note: Flannery O’Connor fans, the USPS issued a 93-cent stamp in her honor on June 3. Flag Day is June 14. Have a wonderful Father’s Day on June 21.

 

Maggie Gust has been an avid reader all her life. Her past includes working as a teacher as well as various occupations in the health care field. She shares a hometown with Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois, but Florida has been her home since 1993. Genealogy, walking on the beach, reading, movies and writing, are among her pursuits outside of work. She is self employed and works from her Naples home.

 

 

 

What is an architect?

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:29pm

ASK AN ARCHITECT
Hector C. Fernandez
AIA

So you may be asking yourself; “What is an Architect?” “What do they do?”, “Do I need one for my project?” Let me start by providing some background on what an Architect is and the services they provide.

Architects have been with us for a very long time. The role of the Architect traditionally has been to act as the creator or designer of ideas for all kinds of buildings, structures, dwellings, bridges and even entire cities and towns. In today’s modern world the Architect’s role has become much more diverse and encompasses a broader range of technical aspects. The modern Architect still plays the principal role of the creator or designer of an idea as well as the person that executes the drawings or instructions that the builder will use to build that idea. However, modern day Architects work much closer with a broader group of team members and consultants such as Engineers and General Contractors, depending on the complexity of a project, to see the project thru.

So you may ask yourself “When do I need the services of an Architect?” Although admittedly I am somewhat biased and do believe that any construction or remodeling project would greatly benefit from the input and involvement of an Architect, let me paraphrase what the State of Florida says on the matter:

“An Architect is required on any project that is intended to be used for human habitation or human use including but not limited to multi family buildings commercial buildings industrial buildings etc.”

Although an architect is not required for single-family homes duplexes or townhouses it is strongly recommended that one be used. In fact many municipalities have stricter guidelines and ordinances that do require the use of an Architect for the design of all structures, including those exempt by the State of Florida. Make sure to check with your local Building Department and Zoning and Planning Departments.

So if you’re thinking of remodeling or perhaps you want to undertake building that dream home, I strongly urge you to seek out the services of a licensed Florida Architect. Some of the immediate benefits of using an Architect for the design of your new home would include an original custom design that is exclusively developed for your needs and tailored to your tastes. Another advantage is that you have the security of working with a licensed professional in the state of Florida that is backing up their design and coordinating that design with the builder. By using an Architect the client is assured that a professional will oversee all aspects of construction and ensure that the highest level of quality is maintained at all times without compromise to design or cost.

The cost of an Architect is typically a very reasonable percentage of the overall cost of the project. Logically your next question may be: “How much will an Architect’s services cost me?” Good question, but it does not always have a one-size fits all answer. It is important to understand that costs vary from project to project depending on size, location, complexity and details.

Typically for residential design the Architect will base their fee using one of two industry standard methods. First one will be based on a percentage of the assume cost of construction. Typically that percentage ranges anywhere from 5% to 10% in the South Florida area. Another method is a simple price per square foot calculation. Again this typically can range from $5 to $10 per square foot depending on the projects’ complexity and the level of detail required. Services in either scenario will include the design of the home as well as the execution of the technical drawings that will include structural engineering, electrical engineering, plumbing engineering and site design.

With detailed drawings of the design in hand a client can submit for a building permit and can also seek prices from various contractors on the cost to build the design. In some cases the Architect may also be a licensed contractor who can provide full and complete “design build” services to the client. Think of this as a “One Stop Shop” type scenario. In my experience I have found this to be a very successful business model for clients to use.

I hope I’ve helped shed a little bit light on what an Architect’s role is and what they can do for you on your next project. I hope you will consider contacting an Architect before you undertake your next remodeling or design project. Remember projects first start with a great idea.

There are some great resources for those of you out there who may be looking for an Architect. You may want to contact either the local or state chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for a list of licensed architect in your area. You can also visit the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to verify an Architects’ license and to make sure that they are in good standing with the State of Florida.

So remember after you’ve dealt with your realtor and before you call a builder… “Ask an Architect.” www.myflorida.com; www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/arch/index.html; www.aiafla.org; www.aiaflasw.org .

 

Hector C. Fernandez, AIA, can be reached at Infoh366@aol.com, or by calling 239-330-8124.

Goodland Goes Automated; AED Volunteers Ready to Assist

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:28pm

GOODLAND LIFE
By Barry Gwinn
barry@coastalbreezenews.com

From left: Board member Theresa Morgan, Goodland Civic Association and Noemi Fraguela, AED Coordinator for Collier County.

The Goodland Civic Association (GCA) really cares about the well-being of our residents. The GCA actually does something about it. The following is one such story. There are others, but none involve life and death like this one.

Theresa Morgan is a personal friend of mine. She also sits on the board of the Goodland Civic Association and puts in countless hours of community service here. In her spare time she runs a thriving CPA business, which among other things, does my taxes. She has spearheaded the effort to coordinate with Collier County, and educate Goodlanders about the AEDs (automated external defibrillator) in Goodland.

An AED is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm to a heart that has gone into sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a condition that usually causes death if not treated within minutes. According to the National Institutes of Health, each minute of SCA leads to a 10 percent reduction in survival, so using an AED on a person who is having SCA may save the person’s life.

I asked Theresa to give me a summary of the successful drive to obtain AEDs for Goodland, and then to educate Goodlanders on their use. I can do no better than to quote her reply, which follows:

In April of 2014, GCA President (and physician) Greg Bello invited Collier County EMS to come speak at the association’s monthly meeting regarding the merits and use of AED devices. Noemi Fraguela, AED Coordinator for Collier County, came and gave a fascinating presentation – laced with humor and hard facts – leaving all in attendance wishing they had one of these devices in their homes! Greg’s invitation to Noemi Fraguela had a purpose – he believed that it was critical for the Village of Goodland to have one or more of these devices available to the community, as we are a distance from Marco Island EMS, and like much of Collier, have an aging population. We learned at that presentation that, in an emergency situation, a life is much more likely to be saved if measures, including possible use of an AED, are taken while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. So, in the aftermath of the compelling presentation, the GCA board decided to pursue this endeavor.

Fraguela diligently navigated the involved departments in Collier County, enabling the placement of not just one, but two AED devices in Goodland; one at the county boat ramp and the other at the county’s Margood Park.

Following placement of the devices, Fraguela and her team returned to Goodland to give two AED and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) general training classes – enthusiastically attended by over fifty Goodlanders. Attendees at the class were offered the opportunity to sign up for the AED ‘call list’ – meaning that in the event of a cardiac emergency, a call goes out to everyone within 1,200 feet of an AED device, in hopes that life-saving measures can be applied. Unbelievably, such a call went out just a few days after the first class. Less unbelievably, over ten Goodlanders responded and arrived well in advance of the ambulance! What a village!

Wait, there’s more! That first emergency brought to light a different problem. The historic old homes in Goodland are not well marked. Because of this, even the ten neighbors who responded had difficulty finding the address! Undaunted, Bello and fellow Goodlander, Glen Lester, performed a Village-wide reconnaissance and created a general mapping format which was presented to the community at an association meeting, along with a call for volunteers to help digitize and refine the map. Well, Goodland being Goodland, neighbor Justin Brown stepped up, and with his mapping software created a digitized map of every home on the island, ready for laminating and presenting to our call list volunteers. Even EMS requested a copy for distribution to ambulance personnel.

Thus ends the saga of the Goodland AED project. Timeline: one year, start to finish. So, perhaps you are thinking, “isn’t it great how a community can come together.” Well, it’s true, but that’s Goodland folks. That’s how we roll.

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