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Letter to the Editor: Roger T. Hernstadt, City Manager

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 9:08am

A prolific writer of letters to the editor has once again misstated the facts which can unfortunately mislead or bias public opinion.  The City has been consistent in explaining that the “bucket plan” was designed to accumulate money to meet the known existing needs for renewal and replacement obligations of the general fund.    This does not mean any new general fund obligations approved by the Council (by the way there have been none to date) or the utility debt which is current approximately $150 million and scheduled to be paid off in 2033.   This community needs to arrive at a consensus whether we should incur additional debt or not and avoid paying debt issuance costs and interest or not.  The principal cost of the capital items is the same in either case.  Next, even with the “bucket plan” – the City of Marco Island’s municipal taxes are one of the lowest in the State. In fact, the City of Marco Island’s municipal taxes are even less than what our unincorporated neighbors pay for fire rescue service only. Isn’t true that most Marco Island residents are transplants and can compare their other property to their Marco Island municipal taxes very well on their own?  Why isn’t the writer pontificating about the County or the School Boards taxes since that’s where the vast majority of your tax dollars are allocated?  I also disagree with the writer’s allegation that the City operations are not transparent. As evidence of my opinion, I encourage all interested parties to read the agenda packages, especially our monthly departmental reports and attend or watch City Council meetings.  You will have find it extremely easy to find out what is going on in your City without having to rely upon the biases of others’ Letters to the Editor.


Roger T. Hernstadt, City Manager

Bingo Winners!!

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 11:31am

Joann Irvolino was the the Big Winner at Monday night Bingo at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island. She is being congratulated by Bert Thompson. Bingo is being played every Monday. Doors open at 5:30 PM. The public is welcome!

Marco DAR Celebrates its Founders Day and Marco Anniversary

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 11:31am

It was more than just a pre-Season get together October 16th.  It was a mini-reunion of local DAR members and an opportunity to observe the organization’s Founders’ Day.  The luncheon at Kretch’s marked the 124th anniversary of the founding of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It also was the 38th anniversary of the Marco Island Chapter.

The DAR was founded in 1890 with the simple mission of promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism. This nonprofit, nonpolitical volunteer women’s service organization is dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and securing America’s future through better education.  It has nearly 177,000 members in 3,000 chapters around the world. These timeless, uniquely American principles keep the DAR strong and vitally relevant in this ever-changing world.  Regent Karen Lombardi welcomed returning snowbirds as well as full-time residents. Special guest, Ammo, a service dog for veterans being trained by member Debra Haeussler, deservedly was the center of attention.

The Marco Island DAR meets the third Thursday of November, January, February, March and April, with a luncheon and an always interesting program, outing or speaker. The group welcomes members from other chapters who are living in or visiting the area and it welcomes potential new members. So, if you have a Patriot in your lineage who served in The American Revolution, please contact Karen Lombardi at (239) 394-0028.



Tue, 11/18/2014 - 11:13am

By Collier County Schools and City of Naples ID Theft Task Force


Learn how to prevent becoming a victim of identity fraud on

Wednesday, November 12, 4:45 PM to 6:15 PM, at the

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Collier county School District Administrative Center, 5775 Osceola Trail in Naples.


This program will be moderated by Jeff Lytle, former Naples Daily News Editorial Page Editor, and feature speakers: Kevin Rambosk, Collier County Sheriff, Thomas Weschler, the Chief of Police for the City of Naples, Chad Parker, Lieutenant of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Financial Crime Bureau,

Carrie Kerskie, P.I. and author of Your Public Identity: Because Nothing is Private Anymore, Chris Vernon, Esquire, Theresa Ronnebaum, a Victim Services Program Specialist and also Jim Robnett, IRS Special Agent in Charge of Criminal Investigation.


This forum is brought to you by a consortium of community organizations.


Arturo’s re-opens with sole proprietor Judy Barney

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 11:13am

Longtime Marco Island resident Judy Barney has set the first week of November for the grand re-opening of Marco Island culinary mainstay, Arturo’s Italian Restaurant at 844 Bald Eagle Drive.

Though the Zagat, Wine Spectator and AAA Approved Arturo’s has been in business on Marco Island for almost 19 years, Barney’s role has changed from co-owner to sole proprietor of the popular restaurant.

A very familiar face to patrons, Barney has been responsible for maintaining Arturo’s public image for many years—at the restaurant and throughout the community.

With the dawn of a new era, Barney promises: “Something old, something new, but everything decadent, delicious and a little different.”

As for the menu, she says: “We are keeping our most popular menu items such as Arturo’s famous stuffed pork chop. However, we are also excited about launching new themed wine dinners and a VIP rewards program for our guests.”

In November and December, Barney also plans to experiment by offering new menu items—a process meant to encourage customers to play an active role in Arturo’s future.

Barney adds: “What has always set Arturo’s Italian Restaurant apart: our guests are truly our friends. Everyone who passes through our doors feel like family—it’s like coming home. Every hour is happy hour.”

Istanbul Impressions

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 11:03am

Vickie Kelber

Our apartment was on the ‘modern’ side of the Bosphorus, below the Galata tower.

When we first planned our trip to Istanbul, I was surprised how many people told me that their dream was to travel there or that it was on their “Bucket List.” Everyone I knew who had visited told me that it was beautiful and that we would love it; they were right.

It’s difficult to capture the essence of the city in words. There are the cliches of old and new, where east meets west. In a small way, the city reminded me of Budapest where the Danube divides the historical Buda from the more modern, commercial Pest. In Istanbul, it is the Bosphorus Strait and its Golden Horn that divides the European side from the Asian side and the old from the “new.”

Although probably inhabited earlier, the Greeks colonized Istanbul, giving it the name Byzantium. In the 300s, it was declared the capital of the Roman Empire and renamed Constantinople. Upon the division of the Roman Empire into East and West in the 400s, it was the capital of the Byzantine Empire. In the 500s, it became the core of the Greek Orthodox Church and later the center of the Catholic Latin Empire. The Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church is still located here.

In the 1400s, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans, and with its new name of Istanbul, was designated the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Under Sultan Mehmed, people of all religions were encouraged to live in Istanbul and the city prospered. In the 1500s, under Suleiman the Magnificent, the city continued to thrive. It remained the Ottoman Empire until defeated by the allies in World War I.

Following a War of Independence led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the Republic of Turkey was established in 1923, and the capital located in Ankara. Turkey was neutral during most of World War II, joining the Allies in February 1945. There are artifacts of the Classical, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras throughout the city, and Istanbul was named to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.

As with Rome, Istanbul was built on seven hills. From the rooftop terrace of our apartment in the “new” part overlooking the Bosphorus’ Golden Horn, the skyline, with its domes and minarets of the many mosques and stately buildings, is unique and beautiful. Add to that, the calls to prayer by the Muezzins throughout the day, and it is all quite exotic.

The public transportation system, a patchwork of trams, buses, ferries, funiculars and historic trolleys is good. It is easy to reach almost any place that one might want to visit, and taxis are readily available and reasonable.

The first thing that struck me in this city of 14 million people is how crowded it was, particularly in the tourist areas. We were there not in the height of the tourist season, but the lines at popular attractions were long and throngs were everywhere. On the days that there were two cruise ships in port, the historic areas were best avoided. The main shopping street, Istiklal Caddesi, was a moving sea of humanity. We were glad that our apartment was in a less touristed area, for it was a quiet, peaceful refuge, with many cafes, restaurants, galleries and shops close by.

The historical trolley on Istiklal Caddesi. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

The second thing that impressed me was how kind the people were. Yes, the hucksters at the Grand Bazaar and around the tourist area of Sultanhamet were annoying. But, ignoring them worked, and some of them brought smiles to our faces with their well rehearsed opening lines, such as “How can I help part you from your money today?”. Throughout our visit, there were many instances of kindnesses extended.

Being proverbially Swiss, I arrived at Dolmabache Palace, the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire built in the 1800s, half an hour before the first English tour; the only way to see the Palace is with a tour. Ironically, the other person who also showed up that early was a young man from Switzerland! Rather than make us wait the half hour, the guard approached a Korean tour group whose guide was about to lead his group in English and asked if we could join them. That meant that we then were ready for the tour of the Harem half an hour before the first one. To fill the time, the guard there lead us on a short cut to the art gallery with its National Palaces collection and gave us a private tour of the paintings. We returned in time to join the first tour of the day at the Harem.

Another day, I wanted to take the historic trolley that traverses Istiklal Caddesi. At the end, it circles Taksim Square and then returns to the top of the street to pick up the next group of passengers. I was at the far side of the Square when it slowly passed me, and I asked where the stop was located. The driver stopped the trolley, the conductor opened the security gate and invited me onto the trolley far from the designated stop. He told me I was “special” and could ride to the stop thus insuring I would have a seat. The conductor struck up a conversation with me. He said his English wasn’t very good and used his iPhone to translate when he didn’t know a word. Just before we got to the actual stop, he used his phone to wish me a “good trip” and then went off to let on the other passengers.

Another time, I saw a young bride and groom having their photo taken. I asked if I could also take a photo. They smiled and said yes. After taking their photo, they insisted I stand with them to have a photo taken of the three of us.

As my husband was back at the apartment nursing his Achilles tendonitis, I felt very safe throughout the city by myself, although I did have one incident. Our local contact had told us about the Syrians who have been displaced by the war. (Note: This was prior to the more recent escalation of fighting in Syria and mass exodus of refugees to Turkey.) The Turkish government provides refugee camps, but many have left the camps to come to the city and have been reduced to begging. She asked that we not encourage them by giving them money. As I came out of our apartment one morning, a couple with two children were walking up the street. The man had a sign in Turkish; I’m assuming it was asking for money. The woman came up to me and tapped me quite hard on my arm. I looked right at her and sternly said, “çok ayip,” which basically means “shame on you” in Turkish. She backed off immediately.

Two guards at Dolmabache Palace went out of their way to accommodate me when I arrived too early for the first tours of the day.

We had been warned of two scams to avoid. One is a shoe shine man dropping his brush. When you go to pick it up, he will shine your shoes and then demand money. We did pass one who dropped his brush. I ignored it and walked on. My husband, who can sometimes be an easy mark, didn’t totally fall for it, but he did point out to the man that he had dropped his brush. By then, I was far ahead of my husband, and he scurried to catch up, thus avoiding any further scam.

We also had been warned about salesmen, especially in the Grand Bazaar, offering tea and then proceeding with a hard sell. The only tea I was offered was when I went to a local, non-touristed restaurant for take out. After I gave my order, I was invited to sit at a table and brought a glass of apple tea “on the house” in one of those delightful tulip shaped glasses. The bill for the food was 27 lira. The lowest denomination of paper lira is 5; single liras are coins. I gave the cashier 30 lira, and he gave me back a 5. When I noted that was not right, he, who didn’t speak English, indicated not to worry about it. The next day, when I returned for take out once again, I added 2 lira to my payment, and he smiled and thanked me in recognition and again offered tea.


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.



Keeping Florida Wild: Thank You for Voting Yes to Amendment 1

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 11:00am

Nancy Richie


Florida, a sensitive and dynamic peninsula, unique in its habitat, wildlife and hydrology in the world, is the third most populous state in the nation. From the outcome of the election, it apparently has a majority of very wise people who hope to allow the next generation by providing clean water and protection to natural lands and wildlife. With a population that has doubled in 10 years to 20 million and predicted to be 30 million in the next 35 years, the overwhelming approval to keep Florida wild was an amazing historical decision made last week by more than 75 percent of the voters. Thank you Florida voters!

Thanks to the affirmative vote of the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment 1, Florida will dedicate funds to ensure wildlife has a place from the panhandle to the Keys to live, travel and thrive. It is also a meaningful message from the people of Florida that they value clean water, a healthy life and wildlife. Thank you Florida voters!

This $20 billion approval is the largest land conservation project ever in a single state. It is the legislative mechanism that will help repair the lack of funding in past years for land conservation and fill the gaps of the Florida Wildlife Corridor project — a project that will allow conservation of Florida’s lands and waters for wildlife preservation and diversity.

Without raising any taxes, monies from the state’s real estate transactions (“doc stamps”) will be directed for conservation. Since the 1960s, these “doc stamps” were historically allocated for land and water preservation, but since 2009, the monies have gone to the state’s general revenues while funds for conservation projects were slashed to almost 95 percent. With Amendment 1’s approval, an approval that crosses political party lines, Florida is back on track, directing one-third of the doc stamp funds, or $1 billion per year for 20 years, to protect the most precious assets of this state — its land, water and, of course, our children. Thank you Florida voters!

There are many projects that will benefit from this funding, but one that encompasses the entire state is the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Its area is 15.8 million acres (9.5 million acres already protected; 6.3 million acres that need protective status) of diverse habitats meandering down the length of Florida’s peninsula that are and will be protected, restored and connected. With the priority of protecting sensitive wetlands, groundwater and surface waters, and wildlife, such as some of Florida’s 548 threatened and endangered species, will benefit and in turn enhance all Floridians’ lives for generations to come.

Thank you Florida voters!


For more information on the Florida Wildlife Corridor Project, please go to For more information on Florida and/or Marco Island’s environment, please contact Nancy J. Richie, environmental specialist with the city of Marco Island at 239-389-5003 or by email at

The Art of Seeing

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:51am

Tara O’Neill

“What I have not drawn, I have never really seen.” — Frederick Franck, “The Zen Of Seeing”


I recently visited my dear friend, Barbara Sills, who lives in the Orlando area. There’s lots going on in Orlando — all the time — and Barbara is never at a loss when it comes to trying new and interesting things. In fact, she’s downright intrepid.

I’ve known Barbara nearly 40 years, and she still never ceases to surprise me. Although I try to expect the unexpected, my friend managed to thoroughly gob-smack me on this last visit. Hanging on the walls of her living room were three acrylic-paint landscapes; two were painted by Barbara and one by her husband, John. I’ve never known either of these good folk to draw so much as a stick-figure!

Turns out they’ve been going to paint parties, a relatively new creative enterprise popping up all over the country. Participants follow, step-by-step, the brush and color work of a lead artist while sipping wine, noshing on tasty bits, and enjoying supportive camaraderie. It’s a non-intimidating and fun environment for the complete beginner to get in touch with their creative side, and it can also be enjoyed by advanced painters.

I have personal knowledge of paint parties because I used to host them with my friend and fellow artist, Betty Newman, when we shared a studio together.

Naturally, John’s and Barbara’s paintings are primitive — being their first works — but still they are strong, convincing and full of freshness. They are delightful. Most important, Barbara is in love with her new hobby, and it has changed the way she looks at things. While chatting about painting, she confessed to now being hyper-aware of the colors and their shapes all around her.

“It’s weird,” she said to me. “I find myself driving slowly over bridges trying to solve what color the water is, but you’ve been painting so long you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.”

Oh, she couldn’t have been more wrong! I am perpetually distracted by those very elements of our visual world. So much so, my ever alert husband is often challenged with preventing me from walking into, or tripping over, obstacles. (He does the driving.) Plus, I often create embarrassing spaces in my conversations because my attention was captivated by a particular shade of blue in the shadows.

So, maybe not so weird. Wonderful would be a better word. It’s looking at an apple, and instead of seeing an apple, seeing a star-shaped highlight, crescent-shaped shadows, and colors that are seldom red. It’s finding every color of the spectrum in a cloud. White is the best; next time you look at a great painting with a “white” object, like a cloud, or a woman’s dress, or a man’s shirt, or a field of snow, notice how little, if any, pure white paint the artist has laid down, and yet, you still read those objects as being white.

I’m proud to welcome my friend into the family of abstract seers — those that see what others can’t, or won’t, or don’t. It’s fantastic that she went there so quickly, but probably not so surprising.

FYI, Betty Newman will be hosting paint parties this year at Marco Island Center for the Arts. For more information, contact them at, or call 239-394-4221. Treat yourself.


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


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters In The End

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:49am

Maggie Gust

By Atul Gawande
Henry Holt (sold by MacMillan), 2014
300 pages. Genre: Medical Nonfiction

“If end-of-life discussions were an experimental drug, the FDA would approve it.” — “Being Mortal.”

The author is a general surgeon practicing in the Boston area, who has written previous books about medical practice (“Better,” “Complications,” “The Checklist Manifesto”). His name may be familiar to you. In “Being Mortal,” he is opening a conversation about how we deal with not just end-of-life issues but also debility and decline in our well-being.

“‘Being Mortal’ is about the struggle to cope with the constraints of our biology, with the limits set by genes and cells and flesh and bone. Medical science has given us remarkable power to push against these limits…I have seen the damage we in medicine do when we fail to acknowledge that such power is finite and always will be.”

This is pretty much the kernel of this book. Dr. Atul Gawande’s writing is informal, easy to read, much like listening to your nephew the doctor explain things to you.

I always thought America was behind the rest of the world in how we isolate our elderly and those in debilitated condition, forcing them from their own places into nursing homes. Actually, I was taught that in my sociology classes. It turns out the rest of the world does not do much better. In societies where multigenerational households still exist, they come with their own tensions and complications. Elders around the globe still prefer autonomy and want to maintain their independence as long as possible. This usually works until they start to fall, to forget or to have a medical event of some kind. Then decisions need to be made about interventions.

Choices usually involve hiring help to come into the home, moving the elder or debilitated relative to another family member’s home, assisted living or a nursing home. Too often, the patient is left out of the conversation, and the “care” devolves into the family and the medical providers deciding what to do. This is why Dr. Gawande exhorts the importance of advanced directives and having “hard conversations” with your loved ones ahead of time.

Knowing what the patient wants is essential for the family and friends, as well as the care providers. Family usually wants everything possible done. If X does not work, then try Y, etc. In “Being Mortal,” the author notes that an advanced directive especially when coupled with the “hard conversation” will not only ensure the patient’s autonomy, but also relieves the family of having to decide whether to prolong the patient’s agony with another procedure or treatment.

Much of the book details the experiences of several patients including the author’s father, a urologist, and his treatment for a spinal tumor that was misdiagnosed for a year, as well as a couple of patients. He weaves back and forth, telling their stories, as well as that of the founding and growth of assisted living in the United States, hospice and a newer movement called independent living. Independent living involves people staying in their own places and getting what help they need. It works in a manner similar to a co-op — some people just need a handyman to come in and change the light bulbs, fix a broken lock, etc., while others need help with bathing, dressing and other basic activities of daily living.

There are innovations occurring all over the country as more and more older adults and people with debilitating conditions are determined to keep their autonomy and dignity absolutely as long as possible. He gives an example of one doctor who turned a nursing home on its head. Somehow he got approval from the state government to bring in dogs, cats and parakeets, planted a vegetable garden in the front lawn, brought in kids from a nearby school as well as the employees’ kids to liven up the place.

“Being Mortal” addresses a lot of crucial issues. Dr. Gawande explains how he had to relearn how to talk to sick patients. Instead of just offering them information and options, he needed to learn how to let the patient know that she, the patient, was in charge. A palliative care nurse gave him these new communication skills.

The author and his family generously share their story of his father’s illness and death. In chapter 7, “Hard Conversations,” he includes the account of the discussion he, his father and his mother — all three physicians — had with his father’s oncologist as well as a later discussion with the home hospice nurse. The elder Dr. Gawande knew exactly what he wanted to do and laid it all out to the nurse practitioner, astounding both his wife and his son. He exercised his autonomy and also gave his family clarity about how to handle the end, relieving them of the responsibility. The wife and son thought they knew what he wanted, but without that conversation, they would never have realized they had it all wrong.

Although the topic is serious, this book is not the least bit morbid. It addresses issues we all have either already dealt with or will have to deal with in the future. He indicates we are in a transitional phase in this society regarding this issue, are making strides forward, but we still have a long way to go. First, we have to talk about it.

Available in the usual book markets; not yet available at Collier County Public Library.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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.


Help Keep Dolphins Safe Why Venture Offshore?

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:48am

Captain Mary A. Fink

If you enjoy catching a mixed bag of fish, viewing abundant wildlife and beautiful scenery, venture out on a trip in the 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuge located 15 miles east on 41 from the 951/41 intersection. Port of the Islands Marina is an ideal location to depart from as it provides easy access by kayak, canoe or larger vessel into the mangrove maze of the awesome 10,000 Islands.

If a light craft such as a kayak or canoe is your preferred way of transport, be sure to consult with a local tide chart before venturing out, as paddling against the tide will surely wear you out in no time. Obviously, it’s wise to plan your departure at the beginning of an outgoing tide and work your way back to the marina when the tide changes. The Port of the Islands Marina provides bait, tackle, beverages, ice and necessary facilities, and the staff is helpful and will gladly offer tips relating to the area to help you enjoy your adventure. The Faka Union River provides direct access to the Gulf of Mexico along a series winding mangrove islands, which are home to numerous local fish species, including the coveted snook, tarpon and red fish as well as many others.

During the late fall and winter months when cold fronts and associated winds stir things up, the islands provide not only a perfect fishing habitat but also protection from wind and high seas found offshore. When seeking a desirable fishing location watch for “active water.” or signs of activity from above and below the water’s surface. Feeding birds and the presence of baitfish are obvious clues to a desirable fishing location. Water moving in and around mangrove points is another good bet.

Be sure to make your presentation as close to the mangrove roots as possible and allow the water to move your bait along the edge to provoke a strike. The more natural the movement of your offering in the water, the better, which is why light tackle is highly recommended. Light tackle being defined as 15-20 lb braided line with a fluorocarbon leader about the same strength. Braided line is more abrasion-resistant than monofilament so it trumps mono when fishing around areas of dense structure, such as the islands.

There are a number of bait options that have proven to be successful in the islands. If you are fortunate enough to have a live well on your vessel, you will enjoy success with live bait offerings such as minnows, crabs or shrimp. Live or frozen shrimp can be purchased at the marina at a reasonable price.

Artificial offerings that work well include soft plastics and hard bait (plugs) imitating shrimp, crab, minnows or baitfish among many others. Live bait as well as soft plastics should be tipped or rigged on a jig head from 1/8oz to 3/4oz in most inshore situations. Jig head weight should be based on tidal strength at the time. Chartreuse is one of my favorite jig head colors for inshore use where the water is more tannic due to the prevalent mangrove roots found in the islands. You can liken tannins to a tea bag placed in a cup of water.

During the late fall and early winter when cold fronts are common, stay inside the 10,000 Islands in the craft of your choice and enjoy the boundless beauty and ideal fishing conditions provided by the natural structure of the areas mangrove islands.


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

Help Keep Dolphins Safe

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:45am

Bob McConville
Master Naturalist

A special thanks to Naturalist Kent Morse for his contributions to this article. Kent has been studying dolphins on Marco for 10 years.

The 10,000 Islands Dolphin Survey Team is on the water nearly every day of the year conducting their survey of dolphin activity in the area.

It’s unfortunate that many of the mammals they have catalogued have dorsal fins that do not look normal. Most of these are oddities are the result of encounters with fishing line, leaders or hooks.

In less than three years, two dolphin rescues have taken place right here in our area. Both of these were successful, and both involved fishing line entanglement. It might not seem to be an important matter to most, but the future dolphin population could be at risk if people are not more careful. This was very evident in the second rescue.

Just two months ago, the survey team initiated a successful rescue of an 11-month old dolphin known as Skipper. Not only did she have some monofilament line wrapped around her tail but there was a stainless steel leader there a well. This was a potential life threatening injury.

Notice that I used the word “she” to describe this youngster, and that is very important. During the rescue, it was determined that Skipper was a female. Skipper is not just any female calf. She is the daughter of Halfway, one of the most productive adult females in our area. Halfway is the mom of at least four babies, possibly more. In saving Skipper, those bloodlines could be continued, and Skipper could potentially be responsible in producing many young ones herself. Had she not been rescued, it could have been a long-term negative effect on Marco’s dolphin population.

Here are some tips to help keep dolphins like Skipper, Seymour, Lucky Charm, Finley and others that have been injured a bit more safe.

One: Never feed wild dolphins. Feeding teaches them to depend on humans for food and draws them closer to fishing vessels. It is illegal to feed them per the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Two: Dispose of extra bait properly. Dumping leftover bait in the water may attract dolphins to fishing areas. Freeze your bait, give it to a fishing neighbor or dispose of it when you reach land.

Three: Reel in your line if dolphins appear. Never cast your line towards dolphins. Wait for them to pass to avoid any harm.

Four: Change locations if dolphins show an interest in your bait or catch. Move away to avoid unintentionally hooking one. You could save your fishing gear as well by moving on.

Five: When you catch a fish that you won’t keep, release it quietly away from the dolphins if possible.

Six: Check your gear before going on the water. Inspect your gear for line breaks or snags. First of all, you don’t want to lose that nice catch. Also, even small amounts of line in the water can be harmful if entangled or ingested.

Seven: Use circle hooks or ones that corrode. Circle hooks may reduce injuries to marine life. Corrodible hooks — anything other than stainless steel — eventually dissolve.

Eight: Recycle fishing line. Place all of your broken or used fishing line in a recycling bin. If no bin is available, cut the used or broken line into small pieces and then dispose of it.

Nine: Stash your trash. Littering is illegal on land or water, and it can be harmful to wildlife. Dispose of all trash properly.

Whether you are a recreational fisher or a commercial operation, I think it’s important to remember one thing: The dolphins were here long before us. This is their habitat, and by sharing it with them, we need to be respectful of their way of life. Let’s all do the right things to keep them safe and protected.


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


Sunshine in Goodland

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:43am

Melinda Gray

Donald Sunshine and local artist Tara O’Neill next to the painting of her own house on Goodland.

It’s no secret that upon my first visit to Goodland, I recognized it to be a very unique place, unmatched in its beauty and rich history. As I left the main road and first arrived on this little island, the feeling of being transported back in time was so overwhelming that it was elemental in my decision to leave Ohio and move here in search of a better life.

It’s hard to describe the pride I feel when others get to see my beloved home as I do, but recently I had an opportunity to witness just that at a reception celebrating the opening of the new art exhibit titled “Architectural Water Colors of Historic Goodland.” On Tuesday, Nov. 4, visitors came to the Marco Island Historical Museum to see Goodland represented in water color paintings and pen and ink sketches by local artist Donald Sunshine, a retired architect and Virginia Tech professor.

Among the attendees showing their support were some very proud Goodland residents, who were thrilled to see the familiar historical architecture they know so well now immortalized and on display for the world to see. Their smiles and excitement made apparent the fact that they felt the same as I do about Goodland.

“I grew up here, so I am very happy to see this. I think it’s an honorable presentation of our little fishing village, one of the last still functioning on this coast,” said Tara O’Neill, a local artist who lives on Marco but grew up in Goodland. “And he did my house, which was the original cistern of the island. I’m very much an advocate for the preservation of these fabulous historical structures.”

Museum visitors made their way around the gallery, taking in the sights of Goodland that adorned the room. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

While working on this project, Donald said he began to wonder what would become of Goodland amidst the anticipated growth and development impacting the surrounding areas. According to Collier County Parks and Recreation, Goodland has more historic structures per square mile than anywhere else in the county. The 17 represented in this exhibit are displayed alongside historical commentary by local author Betsy Perdichizzi.

“Of course, there will be changes, we’ve already seen some, but I think overall the mindset will stay the same. Goodland is zoned as a fishing village with rules that would drive some people on Marco crazy. They love to visit, and God bless them for that, but those aren’t the people that buy here,” said O’Neill.

Goodland resident and Goodland Arts Alliance member Pam DeSmit recalled a bit of wisdom passed on to her when she moved here: “‘Some people belong in Goodland, and some people don’t”…It’s a great little place to live, and this exhibit is amazing. I love it!”

In my quest to know the history of my home, I’ve found that the fight to stave off development and character-altering change has understandably made this place seem like a well-kept secret, known only to those lucky enough to live here or by chance visit. But sometimes it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who wants to shout it from the rooftops: Goodland is great!

If you missed the opening reception, fear not! This wonderful and enlightening show will be on display at the Marco Island Historical Museum until Dec. 31. I encourage everyone to come and enjoy some of our fascinating local history illustrated by Donald Sunshine’s exhibit.

For more information about “Architectural Water Colors of Historic Goodland” contact the Marco Island Historical Society at 239-642-1440 or 239-389-6447. The exhibit will be located in the museum at 180 S. Heathwood Drive on Marco Island.

And speaking of local art, please don’t forget to check out the GCA’s Annual Holiday Bazaar, Nov. 15 and 16, 10 AM-4 PM at Margood Harbor Park in Goodland. You don’t want to miss this unique, island-style holiday shopping experience, with two full days of great music, delicious food and more brilliant local art. Hope to see you there!


Melinda Gray studied journalism and political science at Youngstown State University in Ohio. Before relocating, she wrote for The Vindicator and The Jambar in Youngstown, and is currently a contributing writer for an emergency preparedness website. Melinda now lives in Goodland with her two children. She can be contacted at or 239-896-0426


Heed the Greed and Focus on Need

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:40am

Darcie Guerin

“Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Question: During the Great Recession, my husband and I had losses in real estate and the stock market. While we’re still “okay” and have sufficient assets for a comfortable retirement, we disagree on how much risk to take with our portfolio. Can you help?
Answer: Your situation isn’t uncommon. The desire to recoup losses is human nature. The problems arise when people think increasing risk is the way to recover. Before deviating from your current financial plan there are two important questions to consider prior to taking on additional risk: “What are the trade-offs?” and “What are our needs?”.
Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?
Thermostats regulate and increase efficiency by keeping temperatures level and steady. Thermometers, on the other hand, measure and reflect climate changes. The analogy here is that financial planning is like using a thermostat to even out finances over time. When approaching retirement, it is recommended that financial risk be reduced. Steady income and cash flow derived from investments is generally more comfortable than pushing your portfolio to extremes and reacting to continuously changing circumstances. This is why having a plan in place is so important.
Unfortunately, the “Great Recession” was nondiscriminatory in causing emotional and financial damage. A series of unfortunate circumstances, events and decisions decreased net worth for many. The non-technical term we use to describe investors wanting to get back to where they were before the crisis is “get-evenitis.” The Las Vegas term is “doubling-down,” and this usually doesn’t end well. Looking back and trying to create what was is often counterproductive.
A Whale of a Loss
Individual investors aren’t the only ones who experience “get-evenitis.” Bruno Iksil, known as “The London Whale” for the size of the trades he placed for JP Morgan, lost at least $6.2 billion for his firm while hiding trades and the extent of the losses. Bruno gambled big and lost big. At Barings Bank, another trader, Nicholas Leeson, experienced significant losses and tried make it up by taking unauthorized and extreme risks. Nick ultimately lost $1.4 billion and caused the demise of the bank.
Bruno and Nick may have felt that they needed to take excessive risks to keep their jobs. As an investor contemplating your future, ask yourself if the risk is worth the possible reward and if you can adjust your needs to the current reality.
It was what it was
In most households, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) may feel responsible for past losses and want to take on more risk than is appropriate or necessary to recover what was lost. Academic studies site that gender, marital status and personal experience influence risk taking behavior. As you may expect, single males are the No. 1 risk takers, and that explains why they have the highest car insurance premiums.
In contrast, single females typically have the lowest risk tolerance, although this will depend on overall economic status. Higher net worth single women will typically take on more risk, and married men fall somewhere in the middle. I like to avoid generalizations, but men usually act as CFO and are the ones asking about higher risk investments. When this happens, the direction of our discussion depends on several factors, including actual needs, risk tolerance levels, the couple’s health condition, whether they anticipate any inheritance or transfers of wealth, and of course a thorough review goals, all assets and any debt.
Going forward, the keys to success are communication and, of course, forgiveness. What’s past is past. Take an honest look at what current needs are and weigh them against the potential of existing assets and sources of cash flow. Acceptance of today’s reality is the first step towards resolution and when quality planning may resume.
What is Success?
Success at age 16 might be having a car, a part-time job and a date on Saturday night. At age 22, the goal may be finding a better job to support your lifestyle. At age 30, supporting a family and purchasing a home may be the objective. As we approach and enter retirement, adequately funding a desired level of income to meet our needs with peace of mind, and to perhaps leave a legacy is typically the objective. Whatever your definition of success, it is subjective, uniquely personal and changes shape over time.
Set the tone for your present reality, abandoning pride, ego, regret and “get-evenitis.” Only you and your spouse can determine how much risk is appropriate to match your comfort levels.
Have the discussion and don’t be afraid to ask for help from an objective third party. Stay focused and invest accordingly.
This information is general l in nature and is not a recommendation of any particular investment. There is no guarantee any particular investment strategy will be successful. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and subject to change at any time. Consult with the appropriate legal and tax professionals for advice on these matters.
“Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP(R), CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(tm) and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S.”

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

Should You Buy a Telescope?

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:39am

By Mike P. Usher

As you are walking the dog this morning, take a look straight up (the zenith). The lack of early evening planets continues, but you can see Jupiter rising around midnight and is high in the sky by dawn not far from the bright star Regulus.

This is the time of year when everyone asks me, “What kind of telescope should I buy for my spouse/child/grandchild?” The quick answer is none. Take the money set aside for a telescope and purchase binoculars instead. There are two reasons for this. First, the expectations of what you will see through the telescope far exceed the reality, and secondly, a telescope is a precision engineered optical device, and such devices are not inexpensive.

Still, with Christmastime fast approaching and money burning holes in pockets, people still insist on buying telescopes. I’ll throw out a few prices so you can help orient yourself and see what is a fair deal versus a rip-off.

The prices given are for stripped down basic models with decent optics. Specifically, models called Newtonian reflectors with Dobsonian mounts (NOT tripods), minimum of accessories and NO electronics. Dollar for dollar they are the best buys today. Add $200 and up if you want electronics.

Please note all telescopes come with a very steep learning curve! In my lifetime, I have never seen a pre-teen have the patience required to master a telescope, although they really do enjoy viewing with one.

Quality telescopes are sold by aperture — the diameter of the mirror (or lens). All sizes given below are in reference to the aperture. The length of the telescope is 4-8 times larger than the aperture, plus the mount.

6 inch (150mm): The smallest size considered useful by amateurs, about $300. Easily portable, an excellent size for young teens.

8 inch (200mm): Possibly the most common size used by amateurs, about $350. Very portable, widely owned by amateurs of both genders and all ages.

10 inch (250mm): Recently, became the average size used by amateurs, about $575. Starting to push the boundary of what can be transported by a standard-sized car. They weigh about 50 pounds, and are rather bulky.

12 inch (300mm): About $1,100. You need a pickup truck or SUV here for transportation. They weigh about 80 pounds, and are quite bulky.

In case anyone is interested, I own a 20 inch. It tops the scale at 197 pounds, and is unbelievably bulky!!

For additional useful information and a list of manufacturers, please drop me an e-mail at

See you next time!


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


Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:37am

Laurie Kasperbauer

Imagine waking up on your most ideal day. What would it look like? Not a hard question to answer really, and if you asked 1,000 people, you would likely receive 1,000 different responses.

Again, imagine waking up on your most ideal day. What would it look like? Would the sun be streaming in the window or would there be the soft patter of rain against the panes of glass? Who would be with you as you woke to your ideal day? Or would waking up alone be your preferred way to greet the day? Looking out the window, would you see snow-capped mountains or a white sand beach? Maybe you would be back in the bedroom of your childhood home where looking out the window you see the hackberry tree your father dug from a ditch and planted with painstaking care some 50 years before.

Maybe, on this model day you wake up pain free with only positive thoughts running through your mind. The anxiety that plagued your sleep has dissipated; your breath comes more freely; the throbbing in your knee joint is gone.

How would you choose to spend your most ideal day? Are you staying under the covers, blinds drawn, settling in for a day of old movies on the tube? Or do you spring from the bed with heart-pumping enthusiasm ready for a long walk on the beach or a morning at the gym? What will you eat for lunch on this fine day? Where will you spend your afternoon? Are you going out for a fine dining experience, or will you be watching a football game on the tube with the three food groups: chips, dips and sips?

Recently, I was asked this question of my ideal day and the timing was everything. I was in the last few minutes of a particularly vigorous power yoga practice. I was drenched in sweat and physically spent. My legs were barely functioning, my hips were on fire, and the only thing on my mind was making it to the end.

The rhythmic music faded and a voice came over the sound system, “Imagine waking up on your ideal day. What would it look like?” My mind reacted instantaneously. I forgot about my physical discomfort and the beads of sweat rolling between my fingers. Instead, my thoughts shifted to my family. My husband and I were in a sun-lit room in our home beneath a virtual “monkey-pile” of our grandchildren. This monkey-pile is not a stretch for the imagination if you know the actions of four boys under the age of 5 and one very independent little girl. In my vision of this ideal day, our own children were scattered about this same sun-lit room, encouraging the scrambling and wrestling of babies and grandparents. That’s it. My whole ideal day involved my family, my husband and my dog.

We relocated to the beach, spent the afternoon in the mountains and finished up on the sand for sunset over the Gulf. Luckily, the imagination can change geographic location in a nano-second, without regard for logistics and time.

So, what exactly does thankfulness have to do with conjuring up your ideal day? For me, they are the same. Each day, first and foremost, I am thankful for my family. I have good days, even great days, about 29 times a month, but no “ideal” day could occur without them in it. I am thankful to live in a community where the sun shines nearly every day, and I am just a walk away from one of the most beautiful beaches on earth. I am thankful for a body that functions well enough to power me through an hour of exercise. I am thankful for a mind capable of creating beautiful images of loved ones in the blink of an eye. I am thankful for the freedom to choose where I live, where I travel, where I eat my dinner and with whom I spend my time.

Back in the days when Marco Island was our vacation destination, I remember walking on the beach feeling overwhelmed by the beauty of my surroundings and the complete gratitude I felt to be there. It was at that moment that a hymn from my childhood floated into my mind, and I began to recite it like a mantra as I walked. To this day, when I walk on the beach, when I sit at the water’s edge, or when I take in that first full view of the

Gulf’s panoramic majesty, this same hymn lands in my subconscious without invitation or provocation:

“This is the day that the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

In imagining our “ideal day,” we discover what we are most thankful for. We learn the aspects of our life we appreciate the most. The people, the activities, the components of life we hold most dear, float to the top.

At this time of Thanksgiving ask yourself what your ideal day would look like, and as each image unfolds, may you rejoice and be glad in it.


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.

Pluses of Perfect Posture

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:36am

Crystal Manjarres

Do you suffer from lower back pain? Upper back pain? Hip or neck pain? What about headaches? Do you drag through your day lacking energy? If so, your posture may be to blame.

If you find yourself standing most of the day, you probably have a habit of doing the same repetitive motions one-sided: standing with your weight more on one leg over the other, shifting your weight onto one hip more than the other, hyperextending (locking) your knees, rolling in or out on your feet, or perhaps you were born bowlegged or knock-kneed. These slights add up into a myriad of issues that can cause all sorts of discomforts from knee pain, to hip and lower back pain.

Sitting is even worse, as your spine bears the brunt of your weight when you sit and promotes the perfect environment for rounded shoulders, a concave chest, a tilted head, a rounded upper back, an arched lower back (although this can also be from standing as well) and a protruding abdomen.

Sometimes we may even have uneven shoulders due to carrying a heavy purse on the same side or lugging heavy grocery bags around.

Some of the benefits of beautiful posture are breathing better (buh-bye, fatigue!), balancing our joints and muscles, looking taller and leaner, and our clothes fitting better. What many people may not realize is the correlation with the dreaded pooch — or as I like to call it, the human fanny pack. When I was growing up, I noticed how it seemed as if every woman I knew had a pooch (men had kegs, AKA “beer bellies”). I thought women had it because they had babies, and men had it because they ate too much. While there is some truth to both of these statements, many people who slouch or slump in their chairs on a regular basis are not only crowding their internal organs (think of a pile-up on a high-way) and contributing to their pooch, but they’re also contributing to poor digestion, which can lead to weight gain.

By lengthening the spine as we sit in a neutral position, opening our collarbones, and gently sliding the scapulae down our back (imagine you’re tucking your angel wings into your back pockets), we enable the body to breathe more efficiently through the rib cage — I like to imagine it as an accordion, expanding three dimensionally. As I mentioned before, when you’re posture is ideal, you breathe better and digest better which gives you much more noticeable energy.

Here are some easy tips you can implement in your everyday life:

  • When standing and sitting, imagine that you have a heavy robe on your shoulders pulling them open and back and that you are wearing a crown on your head; you don’t want the crown to slip off by dropping your chin down, so keep your eyes level.
  • Always think of staying long in your body — especially through your waist to avoid lower back pain. Imagine your head is a balloon, and your body is floating straight up in the sky.
  • Keep your knees slightly bent or “soft” to avoid hyperextension. Imagine if you were standing on the beach. Balance your weight through your toes and feet, working your way up through the knees, pulling your bellybutton to your spine, opening your shoulders, and stretching the crown of your head towards the sky like a sunflower.
  • When you do find that you are having digestion woes, try gentle abdominal massage in a clockwise motion coupled with gentle pelvic contractions to promote circulation and help with digestion.
  • Practice deep breathing. Emphasize a longer exhalation to promote a fuller inhalation. Take your time, close your eyes and release any tension that is creeping into your muscles. Deep breathing relaxes tight muscles.

Above all else, be patient with yourself when implementing these changes. Do them as often as you can, and you will reap the rewards.


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, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “Empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email She can also be reached at or and 239-333-5771.

Community Tour Schedule Announced

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 5:01pm

Donna Fiala

First things first, as of Dec. 1, Collier County will add an additional EMS vehicle to Marco Island.

* Last week, my friends Shirlee and Brian Barcic and I decided to have dinner at the Bistro Soleil, located at the Olde Marco Inn. Now, I’ve been to many events at the Bistro and always enjoyed them, but have never just had dinner there with friends. What an outstanding experience THAT was! It felt very special to enjoy a dining experience in this historic place. The service was just wonderful, the food was so good it makes my mouth water just thinking about it (oh my goodness, I haven’t tasted roasted potatoes like that since my mother made them), and the ambience was a beautiful experience.

While there, we witnessed another Marco form of entertainment: “Marco Murder and Mayhem,” the Historical Frightseeing Tour of Marco Island, with tour guide Gina Sisbarro, which starts with a drink at the Bistro Soleil. The trolley tour was sold out with happy fun-seekers. Check their website at, or call 239-537-8353.

Marco’s “frightful past” comes alive with tales of hard times, hostile tribes and lawless crimes that led to murder— many unsolved to this day. It sounds like an enjoyable adventure. It’s always fun to find something new to try for a little entertainment. They also offer private tours upon request.

* Port of the Islands has been requesting road signs to be placed on U.S. 41 E. in front of their facility for a long time, which would announce their boat launch, ramps and storage. They have not had a response until recently. The FDOT has stated that since there is a small charge for the boat launch they are prohibited from erecting road signs because it would appear that the state of Florida is promoting one business over another. So with this column, I would like to announce that the Port of the Island’s Boat Launch is open to the public.

* My annual community tours are again in place. They fill up pretty quickly, so if you see one or two of them that appeal to you, please call Alex in my office at 239-252-8601 to sign up. We can usually hold about 30 people. There have been a couple tours that filled up so fast and had so many extra on the wait list that we were able to arrange to double the participants if the agency could accommodate us.

Usually we have five tours, but we have one out there awaiting possible approval. If not approved, we’ll schedule another one to fill the spot. One of the tours is the County Landfill. It will surprise you to see this facility. We will ride up to the top of a closed cell and watch the open-faced cell at work. You will be amazed at this clean, odor-free operation, plus you will also see the gas to energy facility on the premises. Many landfill operations in Florida and other states come to see this operation and look for direction to improve their own facility, which the County is happy to provide. Here is what is planned:

  • North Water Reclamation Facility and North Naples Recycling Drop Off Center, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2 PM.
  • Naples Daily News Building at 1100 Immokalee Rd.,Friday, Jan. 16, 2 PM.
  • Ave Maria, Thursday, Feb. 5, 12:30 PM (The folks at Ave Maria will provide a bus for 40 participants to ride together to the site, leaving from the Collier County Government Center.)
  • Collier County Landfill, Thursday, March 12, 10 AM.

These tours include walking, climbing stairs and standing, so please wear comfortable shoes. In most cases, the participants will use their own transportation to the site. The tours are free because we provide no transportation or food, but you will receive lots of great information and education. We hope you will join us this year.

* Dec. 2 will be the joint meeting of the Marco Island City Council and the Collier County Commissioners to be held at the County Government Center at 1 PM. We hope you will join us for this workshop. Speakers will be welcome. Please take a speaker slip from outside the Commission Chamber and submit it to the County Attorney. You will be given three minutes to present your questions or comments.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your family with love!


It’s a Matter of Taste

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 4:52pm

By Carol Glassman

Friends of mine recently opened a new French restaurant, and as I drove home after my first satisfying visit, I thought of how happy they looked, working like the proverbial dogs but in their own business at something they love doing. Owning and running a restaurant isn’t for the faint of heart, and any time I had even a passing thought of entering the food business, I admit I had to lie down until the feeling went away. It also is not for the inexperienced.

Both of my parents were wonderful cooks and bakers, and I spent many hours in the kitchen observing, with little ‘hands-on’ experience. When I got married, I could boil an egg (sort of) with varied degrees of hardness. As a new bride, I had more guts in the kitchen than brains, but always figured if I could read a book I could follow a recipe. What I didn’t know was the gigantic errors I was about to make were not explained in any cookbook, nor was the massive cleanup that always followed.

We have all had those mini-disasters — when the cake fell (either in the pan or on the floor) and we were blessed to have that container of chocolate syrup in the pantry in order to improvise and serve a pudding. I never managed to do anything quite that simple.

My first experiment into the world of fried food was classic. We invited two couples for dinner, and I decided homemade French fries would be wonderful. Maybe they would have been, if I had known what I was doing. I heated the oil to the correct temperature, even used a special thermometer — and then dumped in enough carefully sliced potatoes to feed a few armies. They fried, and fried, and fried, but remained an anemic, pasty color, resembling an untanned tourist. They stuck together in a clump, and after quite a long time, it was clear even to me, that there was a problem. As I began to remove them from the oil, I noticed the ones that were left began to turn brown. Could it be that simple? Cook a few at a time? Lesson learned.

Then there was the time we invited a very elegant couple to dinner, and I decided to make a cake with a chocolate pudding-like filling. In order to keep it fresh and tasty, that was the last thing I was preparing. The cake was baked, and as I mixed the chocolate, my spatula became caught in the Mixmaster’s blades. Have you ever seen airborne liquid chocolate fly through a room and decorate your kitchen (and yourself) from top to bottom?

With an hour to spare, we sanitized the walls and floor, even managed to scrape it off me and the ceiling. I decided maybe I’d make the coffee ahead of time “just in case.” I had one of those old-fashioned percolators — remember the kind with the basket on a hollow spindle? I added my secret ingredients and with the coffee on I turned my back. Now, I don’t ever recall reading that the spindle could become blocked — perhaps with stray coffee — but it did, and when that happened… Imagine an Old Faithful geyser of hot coffee blowing all over your kitchen, immediately after you had removed a layer of chocolate ganache.

I could have wept, but instead, I recalled my dear grandmother’s favorite cooking disaster story. As a bride, she and her husband moved into a new apartment, which they were having redecorated. She wanted to impress her new husband by making pancakes for his breakfast, while he was apparently in a hurry to get to work. As she rushed through the preparations, she saw the pancakes looked kind of heavy and, like my fried potatoes, refused to get brown. Grandfather must have been a good sport; he ate a few, complimented her, and went on his way. Only then did Grandma discover that in her rush she had grabbed the bag of wallpaper paste instead of flour.

Leave cooking to the pros, and make reservations!


OBITUARY: Ruth E. Roseboom

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 4:37pm

Ruth Elaine Roseboom, 82, of Celebration, FL, passed away Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014.

She was born on Feb. 1, 1932, in Chillicothe, Ohio, the daughter of the late Wilbert and Clara (Leasure) Davis.

She was preceded in death by her husband John, son Bret and daughters Kelly and Joni. Surviving are her son Matt; sister Mary Marie Blue; grandchildren Amy Kearns, Michael Flesher and Chris, Kevin and Quinn Roseboom; and great-grandchildren Austin and Justin Kearns.

Ruth was a graduate of Chillicothe High School in Ohio. She was a mother, wife and homemaker most of her life in Ohio, but most recently worked as a proofreader for the Marco Island Sun Times, Coastal Breeze News and Orlando Attractions Magazine. Ruth loved cruising, traveling, rooting for the Cincinnati Reds, walking her dog Sweetie and spending time visiting with her family and friends in Ohio, on Marco Island and in Celebration.

Funeral services will be held at 11 AM, Saturday, Nov. 22 at the Marco Presbyterian Church, where Ruth attended while living on Marco Island. A service and burial will be held in Chillicothe, Ohio, at a later date.



Marco Island Yacht Club Annual Fall Regatta

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 4:32pm

By Coastal Breeze News Staff

This weekend — Nov. 15-16 — Marco Island residents will be treated to a colorful sight in the Gulf directly off the Marco Island beaches thanks to the Marco Island Yacht Club’s Annual Fall Regatta. Up to two dozen sailboats, along with their skippers and crews from South Florida, will converge on Marco Island to compete for sailing awards.

Proceeds from the Regatta will go to the Marco Island Community Sailing Center Youth Sailing Program which promotes interest in sailing on the Island through its education and instruction programs. The MICSC began 12 years ago as a summer program to teach sailing to children between the ages of 8 and 13. It has grown over the years and now provides instruction to more than 100 youth every summer on the beach between the Yacht Club and the Jolley Bridge.

While the lesson fees partially fund the program, the cost of boat and sail repairs and replacements, training materials and scholarships for financially-challenged children come from community donations. In the near future, the MICSC hopes to be able to: add a boat lift; acquire more Laser sailboats to accommodate our advanced sailors; expand our curriculum to include sailing instruction for all ages; and develop a high school sailing team.

Races will start on Saturday and Sunday at approximately 10:30 AM, and will conclude by about 3:30 PM. A series of courses will be established by the race committee (based on existing wind and sea conditions) with mark points identified by large, red inflated buoys accompanied by officials on “mark boats.” The boats will be divided into competitive classes based on type, size, sail configuration, etc. The best venues for Island residents to view the racing will be either on the beach or in any of the condo buildings along the beach.

If wind conditions are as anticipated, boats with spinnaker sails (the large balloon sails of different colors) will be hoisting their spinnakers as they round the mark closest to the beach. This will provide wonderful photo opportunities.

The Marco Island Marriott will be offering special discounted prices for the weekend for community residents to watch the regatta out at the Marriott beach. Specials include: $5 car parking for the day and a BBQ cash sales on the beach during the event. There will also be a “play-by-play” narrative of the races provided by yacht club members at various times on the Marriott beach.

Race events will conclude Sunday evening with an awards dinner at the Marco Island Yacht Club and a silent auction. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from this silent auction will benefit the Marco Island Community Sailing Center, which is operated by a volunteer board of directors in conjunction with the city of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department

Co-chairs for the event are Yacht Club members Lois Dixon of Marco Island and Des Moines, Iowa, and Yacht Club Sailing Fleet Captain Chuck Downton of Marco Island and Cincinnati, OH.