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Updated: 13 hours 15 min ago

Letter to the Editor: Bill Harris

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 10:18am
Like most cities, Marco Island has ordinances governing where, when and how you can display political signs. Some of those rules, including Section 530-527(17), prohibit mounting political signs on vehicles, whether parked or being driven. And some of the rules prohibit political signs from being placed in the public right of way, as well as prohibiting vehicles from being parked within so many feet of any intersection, and within vacant lots without the owner’s permission. These requirements are for political fairness and equality, and for public safety and protection of property.

You would think that our stalwart “captains of industry” and leaders of some of our citizen’s advocate groups and newsletters would abide by, and obey, the letters of the law. Or, perhaps they feel that they are above the law. You would also think that our Marco Island Police Department would recognize these violations that occur in full view at the polling places and enforce the ordinances, especially since some of the members of the MIPD Foundation are aware of the violations that occur within 30 feet of where they are stumping for their chosen candidates. And since patrol cars pass by the polling place several times every day. It makes one wonder whether the violations would be tolerated and ignored like this if the vehicles and mounted signs were advertising for the other candidates, instead of just for the candidates they support. I’ve filed complaints with the MIPD about these violations, and they’re “investigating”. Hopefully the investigation will conclude in time to stop these violations before election day. C’mon, Man!! Make it an even playing field for all the candidates! You’re supposed to be impartial.    

Thanks, Bill Harris Marco Island, Florida

Letter to the Editor: Marco Island City Councilman Amadeo Petricca

Sun, 10/26/2014 - 2:28pm

Marco Island City Councilman Amadeo Petricca: I support Victor Rios for council

I approached Victor Rios to inquire if he would consider being a candidate for Marco Island City Council. After several conversations, Mr. Rios decided to be a candidate. I support his decision and formally endorse Victor Rios’ candidacy for council.

He is a person of integrity; he is honest, ethical and a fiscal conservative. Mr. Rios has an engineering degree and an MBA degree. He is well-respected and known for due diligence when working on projects.

He has attended 90-percent-plus council meetings over the last several years and has spoken to several items on the council agendas. He is very familiar with city ‘s operation and I feel he has the qualification to deal with the many issues that council is confronted with.

He has no personal agenda other than to represent all of the people of Marco Island. Mr. Rios, in my opinion, will deal with the facts when making-decision.

With that being said, I encourage all voters to consider Victor Rios as your candidate when you cast your vote.

Amadeo R. Petricca

Member, Marco Island City Council

Marv Needles and Paul Tateo, Co-Chairs Rental Task Force

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 8:03pm

The City of Marco Island is reviewing ordinances that address several issues related to the lifestyle and rights of residents and property owners who chose to rent their properties. The issues identified by the city are: excessive noise, illegal parking, trash left in swales and lack of taxes being collected from rental properties.

At the August 22nd meeting of the Planning Board, an agenda item was added to address concerns thought to be the result of rental activity in residential neighborhoods. As an active member of the community, the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors (MIAAOR) volunteered to establish a Task Force to review the issues and report back at the Planning Board’s November meeting.

While the Task Force was establishes by MIAAOR, any recommendations proposed by the Task Force will not represent a position of MIAAOR, but that of the Task Force participants. The Realtor group’s action was intended to provide meeting space and help initiate and organize community involvement.

The Task Force is chaired by two Realtors, Marv Needles and Paul Tateo, who each have had a long history of community involvement. In addition, representatives of other community organizations are participating, as well as residents and property owners who rent their properties.

The Task Force is in the process of collecting data and input from others and intends to review and analyze the city’s concerns with the intent of finding and recommending solutions. The hope is to find and recommend solutions that benefit all parties that may be affected by the issues.

The Task Force intends to provide an update of the group’s activity at the Planning Board’s November 7th meeting. The Task Force would appreciate any input from our readers. All comments will be shared with the Task Force and the Planning Board with its final recommendations, expected at the Planning Board’s December 7th meeting.

Comments can be sent to

All comments will be forwarded to the Task Force.

Letter to the Editor: Craig R. Woodward

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 8:00pm

I have known Litha Berger since 2002 when I worked with her on a continuing care facility that was proposed by one of my clients for Marco Island. Litha was the professional consultant on the project having spent her career working with assisted and independent living facilities. Unfortunately for the Island, that facility was never completed as many of our residents have expressed a desire to be able to continue to live on the Island even when they need assistance and cannot live alone. In the last 12 years that I have known and dealt with Litha I have found her to be very compassionate and concerned with Marco’s future as well as involved in our community. In addition she is reliable, honest and will seek out and be open to different opinions before making decisions. We are fortunate this year to have a good selection of candidates running for the three open seats, but one criteria should be diversity and having a woman back on the Marco Island City Council would be a good way to give more of our Islanders representation. Litha clearly will be an asset to the City Council and should be one of your choices when you vote.


Craig R. Woodward, Esq.

Letter to the Editor: Joyce & Rich Kaelin

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 7:58pm
It has been too many years since we have had a woman on City Council.  It is now time to rectify that with Litha Berger as our candidate.  Litha has been very active in the community and sincerely cares about Marco Island. I hope you will give Litha consideration when you vote for City Council candidates. Thank you. Joyce & Rich Kaelin


Letter to the Editor: JOAN MYERS

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 7:56pm

Have you noticed something missing on Marco City Council? I have; it’s called a woman’s point of view. Luckily, that issue can finally be resolved. Vote Litha Berger for City Council

Have you heard the expression that if you need something done, you ask a busy person? Simply put, she knows how to get things done. How else could she raise children, obtain her college degree and work full time simultaneously?

She’s worked tirelessly for her community working on the Parks and Recreation committee, the Big Flag Committee and welcoming our newest community members as a former President in the Newcomers Club. She spent her professional career in the health and long-term care fields addressing the needs of an aging population. This experience continues to guide her today giving her insight into issues that Marco’s residents have or will encounter.

I have not met a more civic minded individual than Litha. Every decision she makes will take into account the safety, wellbeing, fairness and equality of all of our residents. A vote for her will be a vote for you!



Joan Myers



Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:35pm

Joycee Elkin, a visitor from Jacksonville, was the Big winner at Monday night Bingo at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island. She is being congratulated by Miriam Slavich. Bingo is being played every Monday. Doors open at 5:30 PM. The Public is welcome.


Over 75 tons of shredded material collected iberiabank

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:33pm

Over 75 tons of shredded material collected iberiabank

Boys & Girls Club of Collier County gives back to the community with Publix school supply drive

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:31pm

Boys and Girls Club of Collier County recently distributed more than 2,000 cases of free school supplies to families and community partners that includes schools served by the Club, churches, shelters, and other non-profit organizations.

The school supplies were generously donated by Publix Supermarkets and its customers as part of their annual school supply drive. Items included notebook paper, glue, markers, crayons, scissors, pencils, pens, folders and more.

More than 30 different schools and organizations throughout Collier County received an invitation to pick up the supplies, followed by Family Night where families of Club members were given bags full of supplies. For some schools and organizations that could not pick up their supplies, Club members personally delivered them to their locations.

“We are extremely grateful to Publix and its customers for their generosity,” said Paul Schultz, Vice President of Operations at the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to extend this generosity to our community partners and families while teaching our members the importance of giving back.”

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


Island Theater Company

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:29pm

The Box Office is open and tickets are currently on sale for the Island Theater Company’s upcoming fall production of Stonewall’s Bust sponsored by Centennial Bank.

The Island Theater Company is delighted to bring you Stonewall’s Bust by John Morogiello (author of last year’s hit show Blame It On Beckett). Stonewall’s Bust will run from October 25th – November 8th. This year’s southern comic gem is about nervous New Yorker Paul Streyker who bites off more than he can chew when, while visiting his girlfriend’s hometown deep in Dixie, he breaks a priceless Confederate heirloom and lies about it. Paul’s attempt to save his own skin with a dubious story involving moans, chains, and a supposed poltergeist sets off a string of hilarious and dire events that threaten his career, his relationship, and his very life.

The cast of Stonewall’s Bust includes some island favorites along with some new faces to the theater.

Joseph Lang plays the liberal northern city boy, Paul Streyker, who with lives with Nancy.

Joe came to Southwest Florida twelve years ago from New York. He realized he wanted to pursue acting when in his teens. He has performed in many local theater productions in Naples and Marco Island. You may have caught him in Visiting Mr. Green, Come Blow Your Horn, The Fourth Wall or Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

Karen Frizzell-Anglin plays Nancy Weller, the small-town southern debutante, who has spent most of her years since high school living in New York and loving it.

Karen began her acting career in 1996 as Zaneeta Shinn in The Music Man under the guidance of her mother. She continued to perform locally in numerous plays throughout the years. Her most recent performance was in last season’s Always A Bridesmaid. Some of her favorite shows include Mama Won’t Fly, Butterflies Are Free, Lets Murder Marsha, Love Sex & the IRS and Afterlife Of The Rich and Famous, just to name a few.

Mai Puccio plays Nancy’s genteel and likable mother, Liddy Weller, who comes from old Southern money but has fallen on hard times.

Mai caught the acting bug at age 3. She is a graduate of Bennington College with a BA in Theater Arts. She is a veteran of the theater having appeared in many productions in Naples and on Marco Island, including favorites Art of Murder, Fiddler On The Roof, and The Odd Couple. She gave an amazing performance in the lead role of Myrtle Dyrtle in ITC’s debut production A Bad Year For Tomatoes. She played playwright Tina Fike in Blame It On Beckett and her most recent performance and personal favorite was in Always A Bridesmaid earlier this year.

Cheryl Johnson plays housekeeper/curator Bathsheba Polk, who is secretly jealous of Liddy’s place in society. Bathsheba writes a religious column for the local paper.

Cheryl hails from New Jersey and has lived in Southwest Florida for 12 years. She is new to the theater with three shows to her credit, Afterlife Of The Rich and Famous, Fox On The Fairway, and Motherhood Out Loud. This is her first performance with the Island Theater Company.

Abby Yetter plays Bathsheba’s daughter, Kim Polk. Kim is the assistant editor of the town paper, an ex-cheerleader who is somewhat embarrassed by her poor past. She is pleased with her current success….particularly snagging Slab.

Abby began acting in community theater productions at age 5. She graduated high school early and completed her B.A. in 3 years and has a long list of credits in theater, film, television, commercials and voiceovers. She has been trained in acting, dance, and voice and has performed in numerous productions throughout Pennsylvania, New York and Las Vegas. Some of her favorite shows include Peter Pan, Annie, Oliver, Blame It On Beckett and Rumors. You may remember her as the vivacious blushing bride in last season’s Always A Bridesmaid.

Jared Wagner plays Slab, the town sheriff, engaged to Kim, and Nancy’s former high school love. Slab doesn’t trust Yankees, or liberals and is unable to distinguish between the two.

Jared Wagner is a graduate of AADA in New York and has an extensive background in theater. In addition to performing in over forty shows from South Bend to New York to Marco, he includes improv in his list of credits. He made his debut with ITC in last year’s Blame It On Beckett. He credits Robin Williams for influencing his acting career at age 13. Since then Jared has performed in numerous shows including favorites Les Miz, Hairspray, The Music Man, Beauty And The Beast and Blame It On Beckett. Jared is currently directing ITC’s children’s theater production of The Music Man.

John Moulton plays wealthy televangelist Earl Templeton. Earl has his own TV station and theme park.

John is a 4th generation Southwest Florida resident. He made his stage debut two seasons ago in ITC’s Mama Won’t Fly, where he had several signature parts. From there he jumped right smack into the lead role of middle-aged, disenchanted dramaturg, Jim Foley, in Blame It On Beckett. He tried his hand as assistant director for last season’s Always A Bridesmaid but decided he prefers acting.

Guy Glover is Earl’s Cameraman. Guy is a newbie to the theater. This is his first theater performance, although he has wanted to try his hand at acting since he was a child. Guy currently performs with the Stage 2 Improv group around Southwest Florida.

Stonewall’s Bust opens October 25th and runs weekends through November 8th at the Rose History Auditorium, 180 S. Heathwood, Marco Island at 7:30 with matinees on Sunday at 2:30.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in person at the Marco Island Historical Society Gift Shop, 180 S. Heathwood or Centennial Bank, 615 E. Elkcam Cr. They can also be purchased online at, by calling the ticket office at 239-394-0080, or at the door 30 minutes prior to each performance.

Group discounts are available! To reserve seats for a group of 10 or more, please call the Box Office at 239-394-0080 to make your reservations and receive 10% off on your order. Student groups receive additional discounts.

Opening Night tickets include the “Meet the Cast” Opening Night party following the performance.

Additional cast information, show dates, and tickets, can be found at or LIKE their page on FACEBOOK at ISLAND THEATER COMPANY to stay up on all the latest news.

Evening performances begin at 7:30 pm. Sunday matinee performances are at 2:30 pm. Doors open a half-hour prior to performances.


For additional press information, cast interviews, or photos regarding Stonewall’s Bust contact the Island Theater Company office (239) 394-0080.

Take Stock in Children recognized The Immokalee Foundation with statewide award in excellence Successfully providing Collier County’s youth with scholarships, mentors and hope

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:26pm

The Immokalee Foundation, an affiliate of Take Stock in Children, was recently recognized with a coveted Excellence Award for successfully providing at-risk youth with caring volunteer mentors, college readiness curriculum and college scholarships.

The Immokalee Foundation has shown great results with a high school graduation rate of 100 percent with 100 percent of those students entering college with the guidance of 86 mentors from the local community. This is well above Florida’s average high school graduation rate of 57 percent for students living in poverty, with only 28 percent enrolling in college.

TIF, currently serving 125 students, received the award at TSIC’s College and Career Readiness Summit. Attracting more than 250 participants from statewide programs, attendees learned from national leaders about the latest data on youth poverty, mentoring, college readiness skills and career pipelines.

“This award is a source of great pride to The Immokalee Foundation, and highlights our dedication to changing the lives of students through this program,” said Joe Zednik, TIF’s chairman. “Our students are counting on us to make the difference in their lives to ensure they succeed academically and professionally.”

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to success through college and post-secondary preparation and support, mentoring and tutoring, opportunities for broadening experiences and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about TIF, volunteering as a mentor or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit

Take Stock in Children, a Florida 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, provides mentors, scholarships and hope for Florida’s low-income and deserving students. Incorporated in 1995 and maintaining a 96 percent high school graduation rate, TSIC is Florida’s flagship and most successful mentoring and scholarship program. In every Florida county, TSIC scholars in middle and high school pledge to meet regularly with their mentor, maintain academic standards, and remain drug and crime-free on the way to achieving a high school diploma. The reward for fulfilling these commitments is a scholarship to a Florida state college, university or vocational school. To donate, volunteer or learn more about Take Stock in Children, call 888-322-4673 or visit

Kiwanis Club Mystery Night Dinner – October 18th

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:25pm

The East Naples Kiwanis Foundation will present their annual Mystery Night Dinner fund raiser on October 18th from 5pm to 8pm at the Naples Lakes Country Club. The Play: “Fall Magic, It’s Quicker than the Eye: The mystery which shuffles the deck and deals out death!” Enjoy a wonderful dinner and solve the mystery that takes place during the meal. The cast of performers are volunteers from the Naples Players and from the various Kiwanis Clubs. Win prizes and participate in the auction. Grand Prize is a night for two at the Marco Island Hilton Hotel and a $100 gift certificate for dinner at the Old Marco Pub! This fundraising event supports the activities and projects locally as well as their International partnership initiative with UNICEF – Eliminating Maternal Neonatal Tetanus. There is a $75 cost for a plated dinner and mystery show – – and lots of fun and enjoyment. For questions or tickets, please call Nancy Markham at 774-2898 or Jeff Macasevich at 692-0101.

Alligator District Jamboree on the Air

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:25pm
Date: Saturday, October 18, 2014

Time: Stop by from 8:00AM – 5:00 PM

Location: Naples American Red Cross (Behind Bob Evans Restaurant) 2610 Northbrooke Plaza Dr. Naples, FL 34119

Cost: No Charge!

Details: All Scouts and general public are invited to an amateur HAM radio “Jamboree” with 14,000 Scouts from across the world! Every year Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) brings Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers together through the airwaves to learn about amateur radio operation. This is a great recreational use of “old school” technology to speak with other scouts in areas your Scout may never go in their lifetime.

Special thanks to the Amateur Radio Association of Southwest Florida for their assistance in helping with a Collier County event for Collier County Scouts. Boy Scouts can get a start on their Radio Merit Badge with this activity! Don’t forget, we will have a JOTA station if you are at Cub Scout Extravaganza as well!

For more information contact: Paul Burke, District JOTA Chairman

(858) 539-6564

Arthrex Donates $5,000 to Collier Child Care Resources, Inc.

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:24pm

Collier Child Care Resources, Inc. (CCCR)  announced that it has received a $5,000 contribution from Arthrex, Inc. to help provide partial tuition assistance for the children who are enrolled at the NCEF Early Childhood Development Center located at Florida SouthWestern State College, Collier Campus.  About forty percent of these families live at or below the poverty level and cannot afford the cost of child care on their own.  Approximately 75% of these families receive some form of tuition assistance.

“We are proud to support and partner with Collier Child Resources, Inc. as the organization’s mission aligns well with Arthrex’s overall commitment to the education and well-being of our community,” said Lisa Gardiner, Arthrex spokeswoman and a member of the Arthrex Charitable Committee.

Niccole Howard, Executive Director of CCCR said, “We are sincerely grateful for Arthrex’s continued support. This generous contribution helps to ensure that our most at-risk children for school failure experience a quality early learning environment.”

For the past three years, Arthrex has been a member of the “CCCR Business 100,” a group of local businesses that supports CCCR’s early learning programs.

Collier Child Care Resources, Inc. operates three early learning programs: The NCEF Early Childhood Development Center, located at Florida SouthWestern State College; and A Step Up Development Center at Golden Gate and Immokalee High Schools, for the children of teen parents who wish to continue their high school educations.  In addition, CCCR operates a Training Resource Center in Immokalee that offers professional development for early learning professionals and conducts annual early childhood conferences.

To learn more, make a donation, or find out about volunteer opportunities at CCCR, contact Collier Child Care Resources, Inc. by visiting or call (239) 643-3908.

Author Rick Chiantaretto

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:23pm

Author Rick Chiantaretto’s novel Death of the body was recently featured in Tampa and Orlando Style Magazines on pages 61-64. Check out the article at

With Halloween around the corner, many readers are looking for just the right book to send them shivering under the covers. We wanted to tip you off on some top spooky reads for young adults (and adults who like their creepy reads on the mild side!) from popular and new and up and coming authors. You might have recommendations as well.


Death of the Body by Rick Chiantaretto

Horowitz Horrors by Anthony Horowitz

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Forbidden Game by LJ Smith

Covenant by Wade Le Fevre

Through Glass by Rebecca Ethington


These spooky novels would make a great October article on “Top Spooky Reads” or “Creepy Recommendations for your October Book Club”. The Young Adult Library Association’s YALSA Teen Read Week which was organized to encourage teens to read more is also in October. During October 12-18, 2014, the American Library Association will host events for teens nationwide to inspire them to read. Visit to learn more.


The fascination in spooky books spikes during October and The Horror Writers Association gives us an insight as to why. They say that as children, we might be afraid of the shadows looming from a half-closed closet door or of the monster we believe lies under the bed. Terrors of the imagination run wild at that age. As we age however, horror by nature gives us a personal touch — an intrusion into our comfort levels. It speaks of the human condition and forcibly reminds us of how little we actually know and understand. And that’s where many teens are during their teenage years.


Author Rick Chiantaretto will also be at the St. Petersburg Main Library at 3745 9th Ave. North, on Saturday October 18 at 2pm to discuss topics such as “How to Write a Thriller” to “Why We Are Attracted to Spooky Novels” and has inspired teens to write at local Florida schools.


If you would like review copies of author Rick Chiantaretto’s Death of the Body or Rebecca Ethington’s Through Glass, or to interview the authors on why readers are fascinated with creepy reads,  please let me know and I will coordinate any requests. You can reach me at 801 477-7858 or and I will coordinate any requests.


Brain Attacks Can Cause a Lifetime of Physical Challenges: Learn about strokes and more at the Health Plus Lecture on November 12

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:22pm

IBERIABANK, a 127-year-old subsidiary of IBERIABANK Corporation, and Physicians Regional Healthcare System continue the Health Plus Lecture Series with the life-saving topic of “Brain Attacks” on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at the Marco Island branch ofIBERIABANK at 605 Bald Eagle Drive. A welcome reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the presentation starting at 6:00 p.m.

According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the nation’s third leading cause of death with more than 750,000 Americans experiencing a new or recurrent stroke each year. A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when a blood clot blocks blood flow in an artery, or when a blood vessel breaks which can interrupt blood flow to the brain. When this happens, brain cells begin to die. Neurosurgeons, Dr. Eric Eskioglu and Dr. Brian Mason, will present many facts about brain attacks, as well as the latest life-saving technology and innovative treatment options for acute stroke, brain aneurysms and other brain and carotid artery diseases.

Dr. Eskioglu, is a vascular and endovascular neurosurgeon who serves as the medical director of the Neurovascular and Stroke Institute at Physicians Regional. Dr. Mason, is a neuro-interventional radiologist and endovascular surgeon. He is the medical director of neuroendovascular surgery and interventional neuroradiology at Physicians Regional. These specialists are among a select number of surgeons nationwide who are specifically trained and highly experienced in both minimally invasive and traditional cerebrovascular surgery. Physicians Regional-Pine Ridge is the first and most tenured Comprehensive Stroke Center between Sarasota and Miami, and Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard holds a Primary Stroke designation.

This lecture is open to the public with a $3.00 admission fee, however, seating is limited. Please call (239) 403-5169 to make a reservation. For additional information about the Health Plus Lecture Series, please contact Keith Dameron with IBERIABANK at (239) 403-5136. Lecture content is provided by the featured physicians. IBERIABANK is responsible for hosting this event and not responsible for lecture content.

Cooler weather brings more hunting opportunities

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:21pm

Football season is in full swing, and the 2014-15 hunting season is cranking up. Heck, in Zone A, they’re already into general gun season. But for the rest of us, I’d like to cover some things you should know regarding three hunting seasons that are just around the corner: muzzleloading gun, gray squirrel and the first phase of dove.

Immediately following the close of crossbow season in each zone, the muzzleloading gun season begins. Season dates on private lands run Nov. 22 – Dec. 5 in Zone B, Oct. 18-31 in Zone C and Dec. 6-12 in Zone D.

During muzzleloading gun season, bows and crossbows are also legal methods of taking game on private lands, in addition to muzzleloaders. But on wildlife management areas (WMAs), only muzzleloaders may be used.

The most common types of game to take during muzzleloader season are deer and wild hog. Regarding deer, only bucks that are legal to take in your area may be harvested, and the daily bag limit is two. You can hunt wild hogs year-round on private lands, and there are no bag or size limits.

For hunting deer, muzzleloaders firing single bullets must be at least .40-caliber. Guns firing two or more balls must be 20-gauge or larger. The only muzzleloaders that can be used during muzzleloading gun season are those that are fired by wheel lock, flintlock, percussion cap or centerfire primer (including 209 primers). Muzzleloaders that can be loaded from the breech are not legal to use during this time.

It’s also legal to shoot gobblers and bearded turkeys during muzzleloading gun season. You may now take up to two a day on private lands, but there’s still a two-bird fall-season limit. You can’t hunt turkeys in Holmes County during the fall or winter. And on WMAs, you may still shoot only one turkey per day and antler/size restrictions on bucks/hogs can differ, so check the specifics of the area before you hunt.

Gray squirrelseason on private lands starts Oct. 11 statewide and runs through March 1. There’s a daily bag limit of 12 gray squirrels, and shooting fox squirrels is against the law.

Legal shooting hours are from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset. Except for turkeys, hunters may take resident game over feed such as corn but only on private lands. No baiting is allowed on WMAs.

The first phase of the mourning and white-winged dove season began this year on Sept. 27 and ends Oct. 27 statewide. Shooting hours during this first phase is noon to sunset, and there’s a 15-bird daily bag limit.

The only firearm you’re allowed to use for hunting doves is a shotgun, but you can’t use one larger than a 10-gauge. Shotguns must be plugged to a three-shell capacity (magazine and chamber combined).

You may hunt doves over an agricultural field, as long as the crop has been planted and manipulated under normal agricultural practices. However, it’s against the law to scatter agricultural products over an area for the purpose of baiting.

Some things you can’t do while dove hunting include using rifles, pistols or crossbows; shooting from a moving vehicle; and herding or driving doves with a vehicle.

In addition to a Florida hunting license, you’ll need a $5 muzzleloading gun permit to hunt during muzzleloader season. To hunt deer, you need a $5 deer permit, and if you’d like to take a fall turkey, you’ll need a $10 turkey permit ($125 for nonresidents). If you’re going to hunt doves, you’ll need a no-cost migratory bird permit, and if you hunt on a WMA, you also must have a management area permit, which costs $26.50.

All are available at your local county tax collector’s office; through license agents; by calling 888-HUNT-FLORIDA; or by going online to

So if you’re going after that monster buck during the muzzleloading gun season or small-game hunting with friends and family, I hope I’ve helped explain some of the things you need to know.

Friends of Fakahatchee announce Fall swamp walk schedule

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:20pm

The Friends of Fakahatchee have announced their Fall schedule of swamp walks in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.  In addition to its five-hour Biologist-Led Swamp Walk, the group is again offering the 3 1/2 hour Tram Tour and Swamp Walk.

Both adventures take visitors into the heart of the Fakahatchee Strand, home to more orchid species than any other place on the North American continent.   The Preserve is also a haven for diverse wildlife and migratory birds.

For many visitors, a Friends of Fakahatchee Swamp Walk is the highlight of their Florida visit. Led by experienced guides, participants wade in cool water up to their waists observing the native wildlife and plants in the Fakahatchee Strand.  Participants will be required to sign a standard release of liability form.

The Biologist-Led Swamp Walk is a long and strenuous adventure beginning at 9:30 a.m. and concluding at 2:30 p.m.  The cost is $75 per person with $60 youth tickets for those under 18.  This walk is offered Friday, Nov. 7, Saturday, Nov. 8, Friday, Dec. 12, and Sat., Dec. 13.

The Tram Tour and Swamp Walk begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes by 1 p.m.   It begins with a ride on the group’s Ghost Rider tram to the site of the swamp walk.  After about 90 minutes of walking through the swamp, participants board the tram for the return trip.  The Tram Tour and Swamp Walk is offered Thursday, Nov. 13, Thursday, Nov. 27, Thursday, Dec. 11, andThursday, Jan. 1, 2015—New Year’s Day.

Swamp walkers should dress appropriately for the weather and wear long pants and lace-up boots or sneakers (no waders or open-top boots).  A hat and long-sleeved shirt are also recommended.  Walkers should bring water, snacks, and bug repellent if you are sensitive.  A change of clothes for the drive home is also recommended.

The park entrance is on the west side of SR 29 between I-75 and U.S. 41. Swamp walkers meet at the Ranger Station off Janes Scenic Drive no later than 9:30 a.m.  It is located at 137 Coastline Drive, Copeland, FL.


For full details, driving directions and reservations, please

Stone crab season opens Oct. 15 in state, federal waters

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:20pm

Florida’s recreational and commercial stone crab claw harvest season opens Oct. 15 in state and federal waters. To ensure this valuable resource is available for generations to come, take care when removing crab claws, and follow all protective management guidelines for stone crab harvest.

To be harvested, stone crab claws must be at least 2¾ inches in length when measured from the elbow to the tip of the lower immovable portion of the claw (see illustration). View a video on how to properly remove the claw, and increase the likelihood of survival of the released crab.

Claws may not be taken from egg-bearing stone crabs. Egg-bearing females are identifiable by the orange or brown egg mass, also known as a “sponge,” which is visible on the underside of the crab when it is picked up or turned over.

Recreational harvesters can use up to five stone crab traps per person. Stone crabs may not be harvested with any device that can puncture, crush or injure a crab’s body. Examples of devices that can cause this kind of damage include spears and hooks. Recreational and commercial traps may be baited and placed in the water 10 days prior to the opening of the season but may not be pulled from the water for harvest purposes until Oct. 15.

Harvesters are encouraged to take only one claw, even if both claws are of legal size, so that the released crab will be better able to defend itself from predators. A crab that is returned to the water with one claw intact will also be able to obtain more food in a shorter amount of time and therefore regrow its other claw faster. There is a recreational daily bag limit of 1 gallon of claws per person or 2 gallons per vessel, whichever is less.

The season will be open through May 15, 2015, closing May 16.

Stone crab regulations are the same in state and federal waters.

For more information on harvesting stone crabs for recreation, as well as commercial stone crab regulations and licensing information, go online to (click on “Saltwater”).



Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:19pm

DATES: 4 November 2014 to 10 February 2015

DAYS OF PRACTICE AND TIMES: Every Tuesday 5:30–7:00 pm or 7:00- 8:30 pm (There will be some Tuesdays where there will be no practice due to holidays and Christmas Break). We will have two sessions for our practices (5:30 and 7:00pm) we only ask that you do one or the other.

LOCATION: Golden Gate Middle School, 2701 48th Terrace S.W., Naples 34116.

TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS:  10 January 2015 day trip to Sarasota Area Games (Not all Asst. Coaches needed).

30-31 January 2015 overnight trip to State Games (Not all Asst. Coaches needed).

ASSISTANT COACH REQUIREMENTS: Must be a Class A volunteer with Special Olympics (requires a background check) and have knowledge of basketball and be able to teach and work with athletes with intellectual disabilities.

FINAL NOTE: If you are interested please contact the Special Olympics office by email at or phone 239-775-1991.  Thank you for your time and consideration.