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Donation Secures Freedom Fountain for Veterans’ Park

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 11:33am

By Noelle H. Lowery

A decade ago, Marco Islanders envisioned a new city park when they approved the $10 million bond referendum to purchase the old Glon property. This park would include a memorial to Marco Island’s veterans, and would be called Veterans’ Memorial Park.

Part of the plan included a memorial flag plaza with benches and lush landscaping. It would be the perfect gathering spot for veterans’ celebrations or moments of silence to honor fallen heroes. It also included a water feature known as the Freedom Fountain, the piece de resistance of the memorial. In 2007, the Veterans’ Memorial Fundraising Committee was created to help make this plan a reality.

Now, seven years and $455,000 in community donations later, the veterans’ memorial soon will be complete thanks to a very generous $81,000 donation from Bob and Thelma Sargent. The donation gives the committee the final funds necessary to begin work on the Freedom Fountain. All told, the Sargents have donated more than $100,000 to Veterans’ Memorial Park.

Lee Rubenstein, chairman of the fundraising committee, made the announcement July 30 during an impromptu meeting of the committee held at Iberia Bank. In addition to the committee members, City Manager Roger Hernstadt and City Councilor Joe Batte were in attendance.

“This is really big for our veterans,” Batte said. “It’s also big for the people because the people really paid a lot of money for this property and (now) have something which really demonstrates a place to honor veterans and moving toward the completion of that.”

The Freedom Fountain will sit at the memorial’s entrance, joining the flag plaza where the American, Marco Island, state of Florida and POW/MIA flags proudly wave above the inscribed brick-paver plaza. The plaza is accented by a planter bench in the center and memorial benches and trees along the perimeter with the Veteran’s Memorial Circle in the background.

The approximately $200,000 fountain will stand 10-feet tall and have a 26-foot circumference. Topping it will be the 9-foot tall bronze, in-flight American eagle, which is temporarily perched outside the city of Marco Island’s Community Room, located at 51 Bald Eagle Drive, behind City Hall. An artist’s rendering of the Freedom Fountain is on permanent display at both City Hall and Mackle Park.

During the announcement, Rubenstein praised the community for its generosity and also thanked the City of Marco Island for its support for the project. He also expressed gratitude for the assistance of Marco’s VFW Post 6370 and the contributions of large donors like Jim and Allyson Richards of Marco, whose gift was the first large donation toward the Freedom Fountain, and the Sargents. Full funding for the bronze American eagle was donated by Marco residents Mike and Jill Havey.

The Sargents were able to make the donation thanks to a stock buying program through the Community Foundation of Collier County, which works with families, individuals, attorneys, and estate and financial planners to create philanthropic gift plans. Because the Veterans’ Memorial Fundraising Committee set up a fund through the foundation, the Sargents were able to transfer their stock to the foundation which then sold it immediately, while securing a tax deduction for the Sargents.

“The donor gets a better tax deduction,” explained Eileen Connolly-Keesler, the foundation’s president and CEO. “It’s a win-win to be able to use that for a charitable gift.”

Currently, Rubenstein plans to hold a dedication for the Freedom Fountain on Dec. 7. Fountain contractor Crystal Waterscapes informed him it would take at least 90 days to complete the fountain, so achieving the Dec. 7 goal hinges on the contractor’s availability, possible supplier delays, receipt of necessary governmental permits and any other unforeseen issues.

Iberia Bank Manager Keith Dameron applauded the fundraising committee for its efforts: “You have brought Veterans’ Park to life thanks to the generosity of this community. What you do and what this community does is inspirational.”

The Fundraising Committee and the city are continuing to secure funds for future enhancements to the memorial and park. Commemorative brick pavers still can be purchased, as well as commemorative inscriptions on the fountain’s granite panels. Tax deductible donations also are being accepted. Donation forms and information on purchasing brick pavers and fountain inscriptions are available at Mackle Park or by calling Patty Mastronardi of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department at 239-389-5035 or Rubenstein at 239-564-9894.

For online information to donate to the fountain or purchase pavers visit:

‘What Happened to Ochopee?’

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 11:30am

By Melinda Gray

Local resident and Vantastic Tours guide,
Nile Duppstadt. Trail Lakes Campground is one of their most popular tour stops.

Southwest Florida’s history is rich with accounts of rugged pioneers and adventurous prospectors searching for places to settle and on which to build thriving, prosperous enterprises. One such person was James Gaunt.

In 1928, Gaunt bought 250 acres of swamp land along the then brand new U.S. 41 and set his sights on farming the land. His produce would be tomatoes, and a thriving Everglades community dubbed Ochopee grew up around Gaunt’s farm.

Unfamiliar with Ochopee? Drive east down U.S. 41 towards Miami, and just three miles past the intersection of U.S. 41 and State Road 29, you will see a small building resembling a storage shed. That is the Ochopee post office — 34141. Known as the smallest post office in the United States, it is a fully functional post office and serves the surrounding populations of Miccosukee and Seminole Indians.

Still, the post office, Big Cypress National Preserve and a handful of small businesses — Joanie’s Blue Cab Cafe, Trail Lakes Campground, Skunk Ape Research Center, Everglades Chickee Cottages and Everglades Adventure Tours — are pretty much all that are left of Gaunt’s dream.

So, what happened to Ochopee? That is the question Ochopee native and author Jeff Whichello asked in his first book, “What Happened to Ochopee?” On a cloudy day in July, many fans of Ochopee congregated at the Trail Lakes Campground and Skunk Ape Research Center to meet with Whichello, have him sign copies of his book and regale him with stories from days gone by.

It was a backyard barbecue, block-party style gathering, complete with hot dogs on the grill. Everyone knew everyone else, and one visitor even brought an old Everglades City School yearbook to look through with Whichello.

Sat., July 26, brought a cool breeze, cloud cover and a local crowd to celebrate Whichello’s book, ‘What Happened to Ochopee?’

Whichello’s book is his love letter to a childhood filled with adventure, native wild life discovery and time spent in exploration of his Florida Everglades home. His family ran the Golden Lion Motor Inn, an epicenter of local get-togethers and community gatherings in its hay-day. He tells stories of the motel pool, a cool oasis open to the public free of charge; tailgating and football-watching parties; even the occasional celebrity just passing through.

Whichello explores the rise and fall of his home town through first-hand experience, extensive research, eye-witness accounts and historical documents pictured throughout. The beginning of Ochopee’s end came in 1968, when construction began on what was intended to be the biggest airport in the world, right in the middle of the Everglades.

Environmentalists rallied to stop the project, and with the aid of few influential politicians, they succeeded. Whichello details the hearings and meetings that tell of the ongoing battle waged between locals and the powers that be.

Unfortunately, the situation shifted momentum to the opposite, but equally extreme, side of the political spectrum invoking a subsequent report from the National Academy of Sciences suggesting curtailing the impact of development by preservation of land surrounding what is now Big Cypress National Preserve.

Refreshments were served. Visitors enjoyed grilled hot dogs and all the fixings.

The rest, as they say, is history; one by one, residents were squeezed from their land as the fist of the government tightened around them. Among the long list of casualties, Whichello’s family business, a motel, restaurant and bar, was claimed and then converted into what is now Big Cypress National Preserve headquarters.

Still, Whichello pines for the days when the swamps and canals served as his playground; when as a child, he and his younger sister was often left to their own devices while their parents built and ran their motel and restaurant; when the children made their own adventures, becoming acquainted with the local wild life around them and fighting off boredom with young imaginations. Whichello remembers leaving his own trail of tears as he watched his family pack up and move to Brandon, near Tampa, as his parents and many other business owners were forced to shutter their storefronts and homesteads as Ochopee slowly began to fade.

And, even though he lived and worked in New York City and then in Alabama for a combined six years, he always maintained friendships and his connection to the land with regular visits to the Everglades.

These days, he is working to put the wealth of stories in his head into book form. He feels he was successful with his first attempt — “What Happened to Ochopee?” — and he hopes his next book, detailing the whole story of Golden Lion Motor Inn, will be finished by next year.

“I’ve spent my whole life writing, but never have I finished an entire book,” Whichello explained. “As of Jan. 15, 2014, it’s not just finished and sitting in my closet, it has been put into a format they call print. Now that it’s been done, I find myself going back through the other 50 or so books I started but never pursued. Is it possible that I might find them homes as well? I don’t have 20 more years to wait. I have to pick up the pace.”

Dave Shealy and his Skunk Ape Research Center is planning an expedition to track the legendary man-beast later this year.

Planning Board Approves MIHS Alley Name Proposal

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 11:17am

By Noelle H. Lowery and Craig Woodward

Herb Savage holding a sign with his name reversed
similar to “Elkcam” for “Mackle.”

During its Aug. 1 regular meeting, the city of Marco Island Planning Board approved a proposal from the Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) to name 11 currently unnamed alleys around the island after major players in Marco’s history. With a vote of 6-1, the proposal was passed onto City Council for review and approval.

The proposal is the brainchild of Marco Island historian and attorney Craig Woodward, who worked with several members of the MIHS to come up with local historical figures who were not already recognized in some way around the island. The resulting list includes modern Marco marvels, early island pioneers and important figures from the Key Marco Cat and Cushing expeditions.

According to Woodward, the alley locations correspond to the persons or events after which they will be named. For example, the alley behind Sasso’s and the Sea Turtle parking lot, which stretches from Winterberry Drive to Valley Avenue on the south end of the island, is slated to be called Muspa Way for the Indians who lived on Marco Island between 500 B.C. and 1300 A.D., predating the Calusa. Woodward found that early European maps identified Marco Island as “Muspa,” “Muspa Island,” “La Muspa” and “Punta de Muspa.”

The next three issues of Coastal Breeze News will examine the MIHS’s alley proposal in depth through the words and pictures collected and written by Woodward, beginning with modern Marco, then on to pioneers and wrapping up with the Key Marco Cat and Cushing expeditions.

Designed by Herbert Salvage and Jim Vensel, chief architects for Mackle Brothers, this landmark building has a feeling of openness with a glass fronted entrance and a sight line that leads the eye through the social room and large pool to the beautiful beach view beyond.

“Modern Marco” encompasses the beginning of development of Marco Island by the Mackle brothers and The Deltona Corp. in 1965 through present day. When the Mackles opened the island in 1965 having pre-named all of the streets, they did not name any for their staff who would later have a large impact on Marco. Except for Elkcam (Mackle spelled backwards), and the later naming of Frank Mackle Park, Gene Sarazen Park (by Marco Island Civic Association) and Jane Hittler Park (founder of the Greater Marco Family YMCA and other civic achievements), the generation who created the Marco Island we know today goes unrecognized — until now.

Alley No. 1, a 3,000-foot stretch of alley located behind Bealls, CVS and Ehlen Flooring from Elkhorn to West Elkcam Circle, will be named “Herb Savage Way” for Herbert “Herb” R. Savage. Few on Marco Island are unfamiliar with Savage, who leads islanders in rousing renditions of “God Bless America” at various Veteran events and whose 95th birthday recently was recognized by a City Council proclamation.

Savage served as the chief building architect for The Deltona Corp. working under Jim Vensel. He designed the Deltona Sales and Administration office which was the first building done in a Polynesian-style and was located where the current Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department is. He went on to design the first 22 model homes (on Chestnut and Tahiti) all done with modern air conditioning, gas for cooking and affordable prices. The original Country Club was designed by Savage as a Polynesian village that would have nine buildings all with wood shake roof and bamboo trim.

Jim Vensel’s Master Plan for the development of Marco Island.

On the beach, he first designed the Voyager Hotel and later the adjacent Marco Beach Hotel with its stunning front entry drive and its spectacular lobby view over the pool and Gulf of Mexico. He also designed the original Quinns on the Beach bar and restaurant as well as the glass building that is currently Marco City Hall. The “face and image” of Marco was shaped by Savage. He has been a member and supporter of many of Marco’s organizations — a visionary forefather who has become a beloved Island resident.

Alley No. 2, a 2,600-foot stretch of alley located behind Walker Marine, Porkys Restaurant and Lounge and Wells Fargo Bank between Bald Eagle Drive and East Elkam Circle, is set to be named “Jim Vensel Way.” The land planner and designer of Modern Marco, Vensel was a long-time employee of the Mackle Brothers and was vice president for architecture and engineering. He arrived with the Mackle Brothers — Robert, Elliott and Frank — the first day they set foot on Marco Island to survey it for possible development.

Amazed at the Island’s potential, Vensel’s big concern was fresh water, which was not readily available on the island in sufficient quantities. They found an old rock quarry seven miles north of Marco owned by the Colliers and brimming with fresh water (now known as Marco Lakes). However, it would require a pumping station and a purification plant on the island. In addition, Vensel laid out all of the roads and canals, placing the roads whenever possible in areas of higher ground and the canals in marsh or swampy areas. It is the Marco Island we know today that he created over Memorial Day weekend in 1964.

Anthony David Lema was an American professional golfer who rose to fame in the mid-1960s, but lost his
life at age 32 in an aircraft accident.

Vensel also named all of the streets, including Elkcam, and honored many of Marco’s pioneers with streets named after them in Caxambas. After Vensel was done, he had provided for 10,839 home sites of which 75 percent were on 91 miles of canals, 275 acres for business and commercial, and areas for hotels, condominiums, apartments, five schools and 17 church parcels. We owe a lot of the vision for a well-planned community to Vensel.

Like “Savage Way,” it is appropriate that “Vensel Way” be in the Elkcam Circle area.

Alley No. 3, a 1,200-foot stretch of alley located behind McDonalds and Cocomo’s Grill between West Elkcam Circle and Park Avenue, is slated to be called “Neil Bahr Way.” Bahr began his career with the Mackles with a successful franchise in Ohio. In fact, he was so close to the Mackles that he was known as the “fourth Mackle brother.” Bahr was in charge of the marketing and sales efforts, and earmarked $600,000 for advertising for the Grand Opening of Marco Island on Jan. 31, 1965, including full page spreads and color supplements in 30 major newspapers, bus placards, and nearly 700 television and radio spots.

Bahr’s efforts were very successful. In the first month, Deltona received more than 50,000 requests for information, and 25,000 people showed up for opening day. Bahr oversaw sales offices in 47 foreign countries, mostly in northern U.S. but also in Europe, Latin America and the Far East. He created the Air Caravan Program “Fly & Buy.” Clients who signed a contract and wanted to see the property could fly down for a two-night/three-day weekend at the Voyager for $99. Nearly 75 percent of the lots and more than half of the houses were sold this way. Much of the rapid success of the selling of Marco Island is attributable to Bahr.

Tony Lema Tournament Poster.

Alley No. 4, a 1,200-foot stretch of alley located behind Veterans Memorial Park and Island Tower, will be called “Tony Lema Way” in honor of “Champagne” Tony Lema, the Mackle brothers’ choice to be the first resident golf professional at the Marco Island County Club.

Before getting a start in golf, Lema was a U.S. Marine serving in Korea. He had 19 professional wins, and in 1964, he beat Jack Nicklaus by 5 strokes to win the British Open. Unfortunately, he was killed at age 32 in a plane crash on July 24, 1966, a time when he was second only to Arnold Palmer in fan popularity.

To celebrate his memory, the Tony Lema Tournament was created, kicking off on February 28, 1967, with Richard M. Nixon and Frank Mackle Jr. teeing off. For 14 years, the tournament brought national attention to Marco Island and also many celebrities. A partial list of participants included Palmer, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, Ken Venturi, Perry Como, Ara Parseghian, the Gatlin Brothers, Peter Falk, Mickey Mantle, Jimmy Dean, Evel Knievel, Johnny Unitas, Johnny Bench, Joe DiMaggio, Don Shula, Jackie Gleason, Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, Bob Griese, James Garner and Dave Kocourek. Notably Sarazen, Venturi, Parseghian and Kocourek would later chose to live on Marco.

See the Aug. 22 and Sept. 8 issues of CBN for the next installments of the MIHS’s alley naming proposal.

New at the Marco Island Center for the Arts

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 11:10am

By Coastal Breeze News Staff

“What do you see when you see Marco?”

Diane Reed Eiler

That was the question asked of 59 artists for the new exhibit at the Marco Island Center for the Arts — Over the Bridge: Your Vision of Marco. Entries cover a wide range of artistic disciplines, including acrylic, clay, fabric art (including batik, quilting and trapunto stitchery), jewelry, metal sculpture (cold cast), mixed media, oil, pastels, photography, shells craft and watercolor.

In La Petite Galerie, the Center is featuring the quilting and jewelry making of Marco Islander Linda Kropp. Each of Kropp’s quilts tells a story in colorful scraps of fabric and intricate stitchery. She is also a talented jewelry-maker combining beads in unusual patterns and bodacious colors.

These two exhibits will run through Aug. 25, and will be celebrated at the Center’s Second Tuesday reception on Aug. 12 from 5:30-7:00 PM. Two popular local authors will join the Second Tuesday festivities. Don Farmer, the author of “Deadly News,” and Tom Williams, who wrote “Surrounded by Thunder,” will be on hand to sign their books.

Although summer is almost over, the Center continues to add to its summer program offerings. Award-winning master potter Sandy Howe will be teaching a class in “Hand Building Cylinders and Making ‘em Tall.” The class will meet September 15, 17 and 19, 1-4 PM; the cost is $144 for members and $180 for nonmembers.

Jason Reinhart’s iPhone
Photography and Editing class. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Get the creative juices flowing with a beginners’ class in drawing taught by multi-talented instructor Diane Reed Eiler. Learn about composition, contour, value and perspective. “Drawing I: Learning the Basics” will meet September 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 9:30 AM-12:30 PM; the cost is $144 for members and $180 for nonmembers.

For all of the painters in the crowd, Eiler also has added a class in watercolor to the schedule. The class, which is geared to students of all levels, will meet on September 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 1-4 PM. The cost is $144 for members and $180 for nonmembers.

Jason Reinhart is holding one final iPhone Photography and Editing class on Sept. 24 from 10 AM-12 PM. The cost is $40. Learn the basics, get some expert tips and download a few simple applications before Reinhart moves back up North.

For more information about any of the above classes or to register, contact the Center at 239-394-4221 or visit the Center’s website at




Hurricane Prep Guide

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 11:07am

By Noelle H. Lowery

Roughly 15 years ago, the Marco Island Civic Association (MICA) released a Hurricane Preparation Guide. In June, board members decided to dust off the old guide and created a revised, refined and updated version. The new free, 16-page guide was available to the public at the end of July.

It was a labor of love for MICA member Jim Curran, taking eight weeks of research, writing and editing. The guide focuses solely on preparing for hurricanes on Marco Island. It includes a storm surge map of Marco, tips on how to prepare for a storm, an evacuation checklist, a listing of local media outlets and information on evacuations, hurricane shelters and securing businesses, boats, docks and swimming pools.

To help with the effort, Curran enlisted Jim von Rinteln, who has an extensive background in emergency operations management. As a helicopter pilot and senior staff officer in the U.S. Army, von Rinteln assisted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during hurricanes Iniki and Andrew in 1992. From there, he moved to Marco Island and went to work for Collier County, first as the emergency operations coordinator and then as emergency recovery coordinator. During his time with Collier County, 17 hurricanes blew through Marco Island, requiring evacuations.

“As times changed and information about hurricanes matured, the guide didn’t,” says von Rinteln. He sites hurricane preparedness myths that were in the original guide, including taping windows, leaving the attic hatch open and slicing lanai screens.

“The state has made great strides over the last 20 years in hurricane readiness, and I offered to help MICA. It progressed to putting together a guide that is Marco Island specific. We talk about boats and evacuations, about emergency responses. We are trying to walk the average citizen through what they need to think about when a hurricane is approaching,” he adds.

“It gives residents a schedule for preparedness, and if you are ready for a hurricane, you are 85 percent ready for everything else. It is good to be prepared year round.”

Von Rinteln and MICA members worked closely with the city of Marco Island, the Marco Island Police Department and the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department to zero in on Marco-specific information.

According to Dick Adams, MICA’s president, the release of the new hurricane prep guide is part of MICA’s ongoing effort to change its image in the community. “Often, MICA has been viewed in the community as a policeman because of the deed restrictions, but that is not what we are all about. We are not a political body. We don’t endorse candidates. We hold events for the community at large,” explains Adams.

“MICA is one of the oldest and largest civic organizations in Florida, and we have really put our resources into community affairs in the last couple of years,” adds Adams. “It is about community activities versus community activism.”

To that end, MICA manages and maintains Residents’ Beach, sponsors City Council Town Hall Meetings, is the largest contributor to the city’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display, helps with monthly beach clean-ups, honors a local “Humanitarian of the Year” and assembles a discount program for MICA members. It also has donated funds to Veterans’ Memorial Park and the American flag at the base of the Jolley Bridge.

Currently, MICA is piggy-backing on the city of Marco Island’s new Thorguard Lightning Predication and Warning System at Residents’ Beach. The system alerts beachgoers when conditions are right for lightning and covers an area of beach stretching from the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort north to Tigertail Beach.

MICA’s next step will be to add a hurricane preparedness seminar — possibly next year — to accompany the new hurricane prep guide. The guide now is available at no charge in seven locations around Marco Island, including MICA’s office, MIPD, MIFRD, Marco Island City Hall, Residents’ Beach, the Marco Island branch of the Collier County Library and the Marco Island office of the Collier County Tax Collector.

For more information, visit MICA’s website at

Minto Communities, The Isles of Collier Preserved Recognized

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 11:03am

By Coastal Breeze News Staff

Minto Communities won eleven Southeast Building Council (SEBC) Aurora Awards and four Florida Sales & Marketing Council Excel Awards for The Isles of Collier Preserve in Naples. Awards were presented at the SEBC’s 2014 Southeast Building Conference held in Orlando, July 24-25.

Minto received four Grand Awards for Best Community Site Plan, Best Recreational Facility/Special Amenity for the Discovery Sales Center at The Isles of Collier Preserve, as well as Best Kitchen for the Jasmine Grande model home and Best Attached Home for the Hibiscus Grande Retreat model. Additional awards recognized Minto for detached single-family home design, landscape design and green construction.

Excel Awards presented to Minto and United Landmark Associates, Minto’s advertising agency, recognized The Isles of Collier Preserve for Best Logo, Best Direct Mail Piece, Best Magazine Ad and Best Sales Office Information Center for the Discovery Sales Center.

“All of us on the Minto team are gratified by this industry recognition,” notes Minto Vice President William Bullock. “Every aspect of The Isles of Collier Preserve has been meticulously planned by Minto to protect the spectacular lands and waterways that surround it, and to create a sustainable community that is in harmony with nature.”

Bordered on the south by Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the north by Naples Botanical Garden, and the west by Naples Bay, more than half of The Isles of Collier Preserve’s 2,400 acres is dedicated to natural habitat and preservation areas that are connected by eight miles of scenic recreational trails for biking and hiking, and blueways for exploration by kayak or canoe.

The Isles of Collier Preserve is located at 5445 Caribe Avenue on U.S. 41/Tamiami Trail East, south of Thomasson Drive. Discovery Sales Center hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 AM-5 PM, and Sunday, 11 AM-5 PM. For information on The Isles of Collier Preserve, call 888-693-4306 or visit

In addition to The Isles of Collier Preserve, Minto’s new home communities on Florida’s west coast include Bonita Isles in Bonita Springs, TwinEagles in Naples, Harbour Isle in Bradenton and Sun City Center in the Tampa Bay area. In addition, Minto is building in the Laureate Park neighborhood within Lake Nona in Orlando, TownPark at Tradition in Port St. Lucie, PortoSol in Royal Palm Beach, Boca Reserve in Boca Raton and Villas By The Sea in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.

‘Love That Dress!’ Tickets on Sale

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 11:01am

By Coastal Breeze News Staff

Sales from this year’s event are expected to exceed $75,000. SUBMITTED photo

Tickets for Love That Dress!, benefiting PACE Center for Girls, are now on sale for $30. Tickets to Love That Dress! are limited and are only sold on-line at Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are still available.

With the support of presenting sponsor White House Black Market and many more generous contributors, Love That Dress! is expected to raise more than $75,000 to help abused, neglected and abandoned teenage girls served by PACE.

Guests can stake their claim on thousands of deeply discounted new and gently worn dresses and accessories, bid in the lavish silent auctions, and enjoy camaraderie and cocktails with friends at two different Love That Dress! events this year.

Guests can shop in Collier County at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club on August 23 and in Lee County at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Estero on August 27. Both events are from 6-9 PM.

In preparation for Collier’s ultimate feel-good shopping spree, PACE is seeking dress donations of any kind from wedding gowns to sundresses. Donations will be accepted at the following collection sites from Aug. 1-18:

Collier County:

• White House Black Market on Fifth: 555 Fifth Avenue South, Naples

• White House Black Market at Waterside Shops: 5485 Tamiami Trail North, Naples

• True Fashionista’s: 2355 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #178, Naples

• Lux Boutique: 4262 Gulf Shore Blvd North, Naples

“It’s truly the ultimate feel good night out for women where they can shop and enjoy great bargains from Gap to Gucci while spending time with friends,” says Marianne Kearns, executive director of PACE Center for Girls-Collier at Immokalee.

PACE Center for Girls Inc. is a non-residential delinquency prevention program targeting the unique needs of girls — ages 12-18 — facing challenges such as abuse, school truancy, academic failure, foster care, exposure to substance use and/or incarcerated parent(s). At PACE, girls find a supportive environment focusing on their strengths through a gender-responsive approach that centers on the emotional and physical safety of each girl. As a result, PACE reduces the significant long term costs associated with teen pregnancy, substance abuse, unemployment and long term economic dependency.

For more information, visit

Summer Sojourn

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 11:00am

By Coastal Breeze News Staff

Local resident Peter Vale has completed his first year studying theology in Rome, and he has been given a summer assignment in Sweden.

Vale is spending four weeks at Kristus Konungen (“Christ the King”) Parish in Gothenburg, which is the second-largest city in Sweden next to Stockholm and sits a little more than halfway down on the country’s west coast.

Vale reports it’s a very active parish, with four priests and two daily Masses (three when it’s not summer). He said: “I plan on doing all of the usual things (serving Mass, helping out in the parish office, sitting in on groups/meetings, etc.), as well as getting involved in some hospital and prison ministry here in the area. So far, everyone has been incredibly welcoming, and I’m looking forward to an enjoyable assignment!”

For more information on Peter’s time in Rome, see “Peter Vale: Positive Contribution without Fear or Compromise” on

Rookery Bay Reserve Volunteer

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 10:59am

By Gabriella Perez

Gabriella Perez. SUBMITTED PHOTO

As a student attending Marco Island Academy High School, there are many opportunities available for me to improve my academic experience and better prepare myself for the college years ahead. One of these opportunities involve volunteer work, which not only helps my community but provides me with volunteer hours and experience required to graduate.

As a teen living in Florida and being near the ocean, it also gives me an advantage to help with ongoing programs and events that may not be offered anywhere else. One of the programs I have experience with offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities — Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Rookery Bay provides volunteer jobs for everyone from teens to elders, and a few of the jobs here involve helping and maintaining our environment. That includes grounds keep volunteer, native butterfly garden attendant, turtle egg monitoring and bird nest monitoring. Volunteers also can choose from greeter, interpreter, welcome desk, touch tank or fish feeder.

I was first introduced to Rookery Bay through my guidance counselor, when I was informed of the many volunteer programs available. Naturally, I was very drawn to this environment because of the love and care shown towards the surroundings and wildlife. As I continue to volunteer here, I hope to better my human interaction skills and helpfulness, as well as expand my knowledge of the many plant and animal species that share my home.

Everyone is welcome to volunteer at Rookery Bay, especially teenagers. Whatever job you choose to participate in, it requires quite a bit of time and patience. Because of this, volunteers have a chance to completely understand their job and the importance of it. First of all, in order for a teen to start the volunteering process, they must attend orientation at Rookery Bay. This enlightens the volunteer with a little more information about Rookery, such as what it is all about, who it helps and why volunteers are a such big part of keeping it up and running. Also, teens are given a tour of the reserve to familiarize themselves with locations and exhibits.

Most of the jobs offered are great way for teens to better their social interaction skills and learn the importance of little hard work, helping to prepare us for jobs we will face in the future. Volunteers play a very big role in helping maintain Rookery Bay. All who help in the preservation, restoration and management of the reserve are greatly appreciated, and Rookery Bay could always use another pair of hands.

As an active volunteer, I have come to really enjoy working in Rookery Bay’s environment. The overall feel of the atmosphere is very inviting and friendly. Everyone is there to help, and it’s a place all ages are welcomed. Though my sister and I have only been at Rookery Bay for a few weeks, we’ve noticed how interested people are about our experience. My parents even are considering volunteering too mainly because of how much we enjoy it. I strongly encourage anyone interested in volunteering, either for school or in free time, to give Rookery Bay Reserve a try. I assure you — from first-hand experience — there’s a job for anyone willing to try, and you won’t be disappointed.

For more information on volunteering at Rookery Bay, contact Donna Young at 239-530-5974, or visit

MIA Ready to Kick Off 2014 Season

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 10:53am

By Roger Lalonde

Cole Stretton (1) lined up for a big MIA play on defense last year.

Back in the spring junior Cole Stretton, outstanding in basketball and football, predicted that the football team will be the talk of the school this year.

That was after the basketball team won its first district basketball title and the football team had recorded one win last season against some very tough foes.

This is a new season, and new head coach Greg Fowler is impressed by the work ethic of the team. Fowler and his staff have worked with the players on a new option-based offense and 3-5 defense.

“The kids are picking up the new systems well, and their effort in the weight room will be evident this fall,” Fowler said.

The coaching staff includes Fowler, former head coach Andy Delgado, Steve Schneider, Pete Kulger, Chris Burt, Chuck Ludwigsen and Chris Liebhart.

The Rays went to their first football camp at the University of Jacksonville this summer.

“We spent three days at Jacksonville University, competing with schools larger than us, and I was impressed with the players’ ability to execute the offense and defense,” Fowler said.

He expects Stretton to again have a major impact, expanding his role on offense as quarterback and receiver. “Cole has been competing for the starting quarterback position, while also taking reps at receiver on offense,” Fowler said. “His athleticism will be helpful on both sides of the ball.”

Stretton also plays strong safety on defense. Fowler’s son Andrew, a sophomore, is also taking reps at quarterback.

Fowler also has high expectations for his quartet of running backs that include Cayden Couture, Tyler Gresham, Fritz Larose and Patrick Michel.

“Our offensive line is a much improved group of young men who should open some good running lanes for our talented group of backs,” Fowler said.

Defensively, the Rays have implemented the 3-5 scheme. “I believe the 3-5 will allow us to utilize our skill players and limit the number of linemen playing both ways,” Fowler said.

The D-line will be anchored by seniors Irving Cerventes and Preston Reese. Behind them is a skilled group of linebackers with the 6-foot-2, 220-pound sophomore Gresham patrolling the middle. The secondary will be led by corners Tyler Wallace and Brian Flynn.

Gresham was all-everything in Marco Island Charter Middle School sports in 2012-2013. He transferred to Marco Academy after a year at Lely High School. Michel, a speedy back who sat out all but one game last season due to surgery, is ready to go. He too was an outstanding athlete at Charter Middle with Gresham.

The Manta Rays will be up against a rugged schedule with games against 2A-District 6 opponents St. John Neumann, First Baptist Academy, Moore Haven and Evangelical Christian Academy.

The team opens at Highhlands Christian at Pompano Beach with a 7 PM game on Aug. 29. Its first home game will be hosting Somerset Academy of Homestead at 7 PM on Sept. 5 at Winterberry Park.

MIA Rays 2014 Football Schedule

8/29, 7pm – Highlands Christian, Pompano Beach

9/05, 7pm – hosting Somerset Academy, Homestead

9/19, 7pm – hosting Community School of Naples

9/26, 7pm – Moore Haven

10/02, 7pm – Jupiter Christian at Jupiter

10/10, 7pm – hosting St. John Neumann

10/17, 7pm – Evangelical Christian, Fort Myers

10/24, 7pm – Canterbury, Fort Myers

10/31, 7pm – hosting First Baptist Academy of Naples

11/07, 7pm – All Saints Academy, Winterhaven

Change-of-Command for Marco Island Civil Air Patrol

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 10:48am

By Lt Colonel Richard Niess, CAP

Marco Island Civil Air Patrol Squadron Commander Capt Bob Corriveau. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Marco Island Civil Air Patrol recently held its Change-of Command Ceremony at the Marco Island Executive Airport. The ceremony included the incoming Squadron Commander Capt. Robert Corriveau assuming command from the outgoing commander Lt. Colonel Lee Henderson, who has been the commander since 2006.

The change of command ceremony is a military tradition that represents great symbolism to this formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding officer to another. The passing of the Colors from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the unit and its members are never without official leadership, a continuation of trust, and also signifies an allegiance of the members to their unit’s new commander.

The ceremony opened with the presentation of the Colors by the Civil Air Patrol Charlotte County Composite Squadron 6-Cadet Color Guard. The audience then recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The national anthem was sung solo by Nancy Damico followed by the Invocation by Colonel (Ret.) Frank Damico.

The following special guests were introduced:

• Joe Batte, Marco Island City Council

• Bob Sargent, a WWII Veteran, CAP Squadron Supporter and generous donor to the Marco Island Veteran’s Park

• Lee Rubinstein, Commander Marco Island American Legion Post 404

• Bob Boone, First Chief of Police of Marco Island

• Lt Colonel Dave Moruzzi, Past Southeast Region Assistant Chief of Staff-Operations

• Lt Colonel Ray Rosenberg, Commander Florida Wing Group 5 and formerly Past Commander Marco Island Senior Squadron

• Lt Colonel Jim Kaletta, Deputy Commander Florida Wing Group 5

• Lt Colonel Lee Frank, Past Commander of Marco Island Senior Squadron

• Capt Judy Schiff, Commander of Naples CAP Senior Squadron

Is Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘10,000 Hour’ Theory Valid?

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:35pm

Doug Browne

Ever since my directing stint at the prestigious Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, I’ve been on-court coaching a huge variety of students, and it has fueled my creativity to write more tennis articles.

It is easy to have fresh ideas when one is so involved in the game of tennis, and most players make the same mistakes no matter where they hail from or whether they are young or old. The problem for so many tennis players is they fail to truly understand their limitations; mistakes are inevitable, but the count will undoubtedly rise if they don’t make modifications.

Author Malcolm Gladwell highlights the idea that in order to consider yourself an expert in your field you must log at least 10,000 hours of practice in his book “Outliers.” Unless the tennis player is an incredible athlete and is able to put in countless hours of practice, he must take a more realistic approach. However, too many youngsters try to defy the odds, and then stubbornly approach their shots with too much power.

One of my favorite examples of this poor shot-making is when the player is returning serve in the ad court and the serve jams the returner, still trying to hit the ball with the inside-in pattern (smart approach: crosscourt return). After our junior match last week, I asked a 13-year-old player why he attempted such a low percentage shot and he looked at me as clueless as one could be. Clearly, he did not have any type of plan and was just shooting from the hip.

Without a doubt, I am biased; most young players need extensive coaching so they are better equipped to hit the correct shots under pressure. With so many inexperienced tennis players always attempting the most difficult strokes, they neglect to learn about how to truly execute a point. Case in point: If the typical teenager constantly hits the ball too hard and cannot have a legitimate rally, he is unable to learn the nuisances of the sport.

Whether I am viewing the Wimbledon finals or a big local finals event, certain points last at least six or seven shots. Both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic temper many of their strokes as they need to feel out their opponent. When Novak and Roger are embroiled in a longer point, each player judiciously waits for their big moment, and they pull the trigger. Conversely, unproven recreational players are too impatient, and they ‘go for broke’ too early and too often.

Believe me, wise opponents are fully aware of what is happening on-court. If they sense immature shot selection, they will alter their games and make sure to keep the ball in play at any price. Perhaps the real problem on the tennis court is a microcosm of our current way of life; far too many people are looking for a quick fix and want immediate gratification. How else can one explain when a young tennis player is trying to knock the cover off every ball and few land inside the lines?

When I was cultivating my junior career under the watchful eye of tennis pro Thomas Wright, he always made it clear what he wanted to see from me. “Every time you come off the court, Doug Browne, your tennis shirt better be soaked in sweat, or I’ll know that you didn’t work very hard,” Tom emphasized with passion. It is common for me to tell my academy kids that I practiced at least six hours a day each summer because I needed to work if I wanted to have a huge American Twist serve or a big overhead smash.

Yes, it is nice to be talented in any particular sport, but unless heavy dedication is included, forget it. If tennis were so easy (no one needs to practice long hours), then why would we be in awe of Novak Djokovic or other giants in the sport of tennis? As my tennis mentor, Jak Beardsworth, once offered, “No feet, no game, no future,” emphatically refers to players needing to be in constant motion to gain fluidity in order to be consistent and accurate.

Sorry, folks, but there are no short cuts in the world of excellence.

Over my career, I have been blessed to serve hundreds of successful business executives and one commonality is long hours and hard work. Successful people sacrifice time with their loved ones, and it is due to be fully committed to their careers to provide for their families. This drive to be outstanding is what one must have to be great on the tennis court, and unless one is willing to make certain commitments, then the player will not climb to the top of the mountain.

In summary, tennis is a heck of a lot more fun when we keep the ball in play. Set realistic, attainable goals, and you will love the game for a lifetime.


Since 2000, Doug Browne was the Collier County Pro of the Year three times, and has been a USPTA pro in the area for 28 years. Doug was also honored in the International Hall of Fame (Newport, Rhode Island) as Tennis Director during the 2010 summer season. Doug has been writing about tennis for the last 19 years.

FOT Quarterly Beach Clean-Up

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 2:06pm


Susan LaGrotta

Saturday, July 12, proved to be a sunny, 82-degree day for the Friends of Tigertail Beach Quarterly Cleanup. Seventeen enthusiastic volunteers collected eight bags of debris weighing approximately 60 pounds from the parking lot, playground, boardwalk and beach. FOT Board members Dick Stone, Susan LaGrotta, Ray and Kathy Apy signed in volunteers, provided water bottles, trash bags and T-shirts. Joe Parisi, membership chairperson, spoke with potential new members.

While Art Dobberstein collected trash on his paddle board in the lagoon, three lone volunteers filled three bags of garbage along the boardwalks. The most unusual item, found by Joan Robbins, was a written warning from Miccosukkee Tribal Police Department for speeding on July 4! Other items reclaimed included sandals, clothing, cigarette butts, plastic water bottles, glass beer bottles, metal and metal bottle caps, soda and beer cans, broken beach umbrellas, cardboard box for a raft, straws, food wrappers and paper cups with covers. Unfortunately, the cigarette butt holder was overturned with numerous cascading butts, filters and miscellaneous garbage.

Art Dobberstein used his paddle board to collect trash.

Many thanks are extended to all who helped to make this clean up a successful event. Future volunteers are graciously invited to participate in FOT’s next beach clean up — International Coastal Cleanup on September 20. Tigertail Beach is a special Marco Island gem and warrants care and attention to preserve its uniqueness.

Friends of Tigertail is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the stewardship of the unique, rich natural area that comprises Tigertail Beach and Sand Dollar Spit, and to educating the public about these places. Those interested in joining the organization should contact Membership Chair Joe Parisi at 781-864-2392.



Surviving Year-Round in a Seasonal Town

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 2:00pm

Melinda Gray

The smallest baby alligator at Corey Billie’s. I named him Ducky.

Doldrums – a state of inactivity or stagnation; a dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits.

The term “summer doldrums” is new to me, but apparently it describes what I’ve been experiencing but successfully fighting off. How does a person of modest means ensure survival when home is a place that lives and dies by the season? I admit, I’m no expert, but this Ohio girl is trying to quickly acclimate to her new home, and I’ve learned a few things along the way.

When I think of survival, I think of basic necessities: food, clothing and shelter; but finding ways to combat boredom and enjoy life are equally important. Having money helps make survival and enjoyment possible. As thrifty as I try to be, my outgoing financial responsibilities always seem to exceed the money I bring in.

In addition to writing, I work at Corey Billie’s Airboat Rides, and I’m hoping to take on a third job for next season. I’ve never been one to save for a rainy day —something I now take literally — but I plan to squirrel away as much as possible in preparation for next summer.

Hands down, the best lightning photo I’ve ever taken. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

A survival strategy that my current budget allows: taking joy in the little things. When life slows down, the little things stand out, and they make for a constant source of free entertainment.

I’m used to living in the epicenter of what’s happening in America. After all, Ohio’s motto claims it to be “the heart of it all,” but here it feels like weather news is the only news that directly affects me. Somehow, southern Florida’s weather manages to be spontaneous and yet predictable at the same time. I take pictures of everything to ensure the inevitability of catching an impressive shot now and then, and this time of year is proving to be very photogenic.

High tides are getting higher as we get deeper into the summer, and while I love the excitement of dodging saltwater puddles on my way home from work, it makes roadside landscaping near impossible. In February, I inquired as to why the vegetation along San Marco Road looked like it had been beat into submission; I was told that it’s necessary to keep it from gobbling up the road. In recent weeks, that same plant-life I once pitied has indeed started reaching its green fingers toward traffic, as if it were on steroids.

The Great Gatsby and Atlas Shrugged are two of my favorite books, and I found them both here in Goodland’s post office.

We’ve had an “el Niño” of tourism this year as a result of Marco Island’s award-winning beauty, and as an unexpected result, the long lines at Publix have not receded. Pool noodles, sun block and bug spray continue to fly off of the shelves.

This is the time when a lot of businesses shut down for a break, and the ones that choose to stay open slow substantially. Here in Goodland, The Old Marco Lodge, Marker 8.5 and Stan’s are still pulling people in on any given day of the week, and I’m still left wanting for a place to sit at the bar on Sundays.

Boredom and hellish heat make this the perfect time of year to enjoy a good book in a cool place, and the book-share area at the post office has grown. I read a lot, but haven’t had a new book to read since December. Now, there are so many more titles to choose from.

For me, northern summers saw snowbirds returning home in flocks from their winter migration in the South. While the slow, cold winter months offered a break from the crowd, harsh weather conditions weren’t exactly optimal to enjoying one’s surroundings. Braving a blizzard to go on an outdoor family adventure isn’t advisable.

A much-needed, after-work, happy hour beverage.

On the contrary, getting in touch with some of SWFL’s nature only requires a portable source of drinking water and a talent for having fun while slow-roasting. It hasn’t been hard for me to keep busy. Watching alligator babies grow; training a stubborn puppy; watching Netflix; and annoying native Floridians with my enthusiasm for inclement weather are just the tip of the iceberg. I’m already devising my full-proof plan to combat next year’s summer blues. What can I say? I’m a Virgo; even if I have nothing else, I will always have a plan.


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




Why We Do It

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 1:58pm

Artful Life
Tara O’Neill

Self-deprecating humor is not in my DNA. I figure the rest of the world has enough opportunities to critique us that we don’t have to steal anyones’ negative thunder. That being said, I seldom miss the chance to laugh at myself when I do or say something foolish, and for that, there’s plenty of opportunity.

Recently, I had a happenstance chat with Linda Chambers, an artist I greatly admire and a fellow instructor at Marco Island Center for the Arts. She commented on how stridently I market my work and myself.

“I have to,” I replied. “It’s my business; it’s how I pay my mortgage.”

Linda seemed a little surprised but certainly not shocked. Yet, for some reason, I thought it necessary to share that I was confounded by the artists we knew who continually put themselves and their art on the line; haul their precious works to and from shows, festivals, and exhibitions; took the time and effort to teach; all for the love of…what? “If I weren’t earning a living,” I said. “I’d still be creating, but my endeavors would just be gifts to my enormous extended family and select friends.”

What bull. Thinking back on this immaculately glib response, I can only conclude: I WAS HAVING ONE OF THOSE DAYS.

“Well,” said Linda graciously. “There’s probably a different reason for every artist. Some do it for the awards.” (That would mean acknowledgement from your peers that you have accomplished your artistic standards. Darn it! I knew that.)

“Some,“ she continued, “like instructors, might do it for the chance to share their vision, their understanding of art, with others. (Darn it! I knew that, too!) Okay, I’m surely misquoting Linda, but I plead forgiveness as I believe I have her general ideas true.

Obviously, our conversation inspired me to obsess…I mean ponder…the various impetus behind every artist‘s endeavors: to share joy or pain; to unveil; to record; to invoke a story; to pass on an extraordinary reaction to a seemingly ordinary subject; to make people happy; to make people think; or to communicate something. Truthfully, our desires are as various as leaves on a tree. See? I did know this.

All that marks the difference between professional artists and artists is dollars — much like the difference between professional athletes and amateurs. It’s simply a matter of being paid, but not being paid makes one no less an artist anymore than not being paid makes one any less an athlete. Think world famous golfer Bobby Jones, who never did turn pro, or Vincent Van Gogh, who only sold one painting in his lifetime. We each strive to accomplish what we need to satisfy our souls — nothing more, or hopefully less, than that.

Legend has it that Pope Julius II once said to Michelangelo, “You are not an artist through choice; you are an artist because you have no choice.” Amen to that.

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

Butterfly Time of the Year

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 1:54pm

Mike Malloy

Zebra caterpillar. PHOTOS BY MIKE MALLOY

July is here. What does that mean? It’s summer in Florida? Yes, but it is also the start of the full blown butterfly season. In Southwest Florida, we have a year round butterfly season. While numbers of butterflies like Monarchs and Yellow Sulfurs will migrate, many of the same and others stay in South Florida and prosper year round, much to the delight of all those crazed butterfly enthusiasts living here.

In spring, summer and fall, the numbers of these little flying flowers rise dramatically because the temperatures are warm just like they like it and all their host plants (plants that female butterflies lay their eggs on) and nectar plants (plants they feed on sipping nectar) are in full bloom. They are cold-blooded insects that use the sun to warm their bodies which in turn enables them to fly. Around 60 degrees is the temperature they say usually is their taking off point; this is their most vulnerable time because their movement is restricted. When the weather is cool and cloudy, I’ve seen butterflies remain motionless for days not moving a muscle, hiding on the underside of leaves going almost undetected. On the other hand, butterflies do not like extreme heat which will also make them hide in shaded areas. Basically as a Floridian, when you’re too hot or too cold so are the butterflies. To me, the numbers of butterflies are already quite numerous maybe because this past winter was not as cold as it had been in the two previous winters making them more active — if you know what I mean!

Migrating Monarchs

Much of the butterfly’s natural habitat here in Southwest Florida has been destroyed by what some call progress. To me, building more strip malls that just lay empty is plain crazy. We all need to help replace what has been lost. Butterfly gardening is not only a great way to observe these beautiful creatures; it will also contribute to their conservation and increase their numbers.

Finding a location for your garden, there should be at least four hours of sunlight a day, not necessarily direct sun but bright light. I think that can be found almost anywhere here in Southwest Florida. I have found full sun is almost too much for most plants especially in the summer. There are some butterflies that prefer shady areas, so providing varying light situations will attract a larger variety of winged flying flowers making ideal conditions for maximum numbers.

A good irrigation system is important to any garden but particular in a butterfly garden. Pop up irrigation sprinkler heads used for watering lawns are too forceful, and can blow larvae off their host plants possibly killing them, nevermind shredding the plants and flowers. Drip irrigation systems, soaker and micro irrigation are the best, putting water where it belongs at the root systems of the plants. We don’t want to waste water particularly because of the cost, but also it is Florida’s precious natural resource. All the systems mentioned above are low pressure with none or little waste through evaporation.

Red penta nectar plant

Remember to include a viewing area (a place with a bench where you can sit) in your garden to watch the butterflies unique and various unusually habits. For example, the monarch butterfly is very territorial, and will chase off any unwanted intruders, usually other males looking for mates. I have actually seen a monarch chase birds out of “their” self-designated areas. Another example is that male and female sulfur butterflies will spiral skyward in their unusual mating ritual. These viewing areas are also a great place to relax and have your evening cocktails.

A big bonus in butterfly gardening is attracting hummingbirds to your yard. Many of the plants adult butterflies use to nectar on are also some of hummingbird’s favorite plants. Two of the most popular with hummingbirds are Fire bush (Hamelia patens) and Fire spike (Odontonema strictum). This is the red one, but it also comes in pink and purple. Red is the favorite color of both butterflies and hummingbirds.

To attract butterflies to your garden, first you need host plants. These are the plants female butterflies deposit their eggs on, and they also feed the new larvae (caterpillars). Some butterflies have one single host plant, while others have several plants they will use to rear their caterpillars. Some of Southwest Florida’s most common and abundant butterflies and their host plants are:

Underside of Giant Swallowtail

• Monarch – milkweeds (many different varieties).

• Queen – milkweeds

• Orange-Barred Sulfur – sennas (cassias)

• Cloudless Sulfur – sennas (cassias)

• Black Swallowtail – parsley, fennel and dill

• Polydamas (Gold Rim) – Dutchman’s pipe

• Zebra Longwing – passion vine

• Gulf Fritillary – passion vine

• Julia – passion vine

• Giant Swallowtail – any citrus or wild lime

The second group of plants you’ll need in your butterfly garden are nectar plants, which are plants adult butterflies feed on. Some of the best are:

• Ruby Red Penta (Penta spp)

• Beach Sunflower (Helianthus debilis)

• Golden Dewdrop Duranta( repens)

• Fire Bush (Hamelia Patens)

• Salvias (Salvias spp)

• Blanket Flower (Gaillardia puchella)

• Porter Weed (Stachytarphaeta urticifolia)

• Lantana (Latana ssp)

• Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea)

• Shrimp Plants (Justicia spp)

• African Bush Daisy (Euryops spp.)

Passifloria incense host plant

These are only a few of the many nectar plants and host plants that are out there.

Remember, butterfly gardening is guaranteed! Plant the right host plant for the right butterfly, and they will come to your garden. Plant nectar plants, and they will stay in your garden. You have everything they need, why would they leave?Always make sure you have enough host plants to sustain your caterpillars because most will not eat any other plant other than their specific host plant. One more thing that’s very important ……NO PESTICIDES! Remember to follow our videos on YouTube under the South Florida Plant Pickers and on Facebook under Mike Malloy.


About The Author Mike Malloy, local author and artist known as “The Butterfly Man” has been a Naples resident since 1991. A Collier County Master Gardener, he has written two books entitled “Butterfly Gardening Made Easy for Southwest Florida,” and “Tropical Color – A Guide to Colorful Plants for the Southwest Florida Garden”, and currently writes articles on various gardening topics for several local publications. Mike has planted and designed numerous butterfly gardens around Naples including many schools, the City of Naples, Rookery Bay, the Conservancy and Big Cypress. Bring your gardening questions to the Third Street Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings or on Thursdays at the Naples Botanical Garden where he does a Plant Clinic or visit his website,

MIHS presents Jack Joyce

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 1:53pm


In early 1963, Jack Joyce joined what was to become the largest and most successful independent dealership for the off-site sales and marketing of Marco Island and the other nine Mackle-built communities throughout Florida.

A fellow Boston College classmate knew of the Mackle’s reputation and suggested that Joyce apply for the sales manager position in Boston. Never having been to Florida or even in real-estate sales, reluctantly Jack applied and was hired. Over the 11 years that followed, the company grew to four offices, three sub-agencies and more than 65 sales associates throughout New England.

Three times Jack was recognized as Deltona’s “General Manager of the Year” and several times received Deltona’s “Agency of the Year” award for sales performance. As Joyce says, “It was hard work but unbelievably rewarding. Selling a dream of someday living on a beautiful tropic island in Florida — what better way to make a living?”

Come and hear Joyce share his many memories of the early days of selling and marketing Marco Island during his Aug. 5 presentation dubbed “Marco Island, The Early Days of Selling and Marketing: How It All Worked.” Joyce will regale the audience with funny stories about things that happened during the early years of marketing, the origin of “Margo the Mermaid” and perhaps his greatest memory of all, meeting and getting to know Mr. Frank Mackle, chairman of Deltona Corporation.

The event is sponsored by the Marco Island Historical Society, and will be held at the Rose History Auditorium. There is no fee for members, but non-members are asked to pay $5.



Yes, It Is All About You!

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 1:52pm

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Alan Lakein, American Author and Businessman.


Question: I’m curious, what is the difference between a Financial Advisor and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™? In addition, what should I expect when working with an advisor or planner?

Answer: Anyone can call himself or herself a financial planner, yet only those meeting the requirements of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. may display the CFP® certification. Earning a professional designation demonstrates a level of commitment by an advisor to obtain and keep the certification.

The requirements to obtain the CFP® certification include a minimum of three years experience dealing with the financial planning process, passing a 10-hour comprehensive exam demonstrating a mastery of practical and theoretical financial planning knowledge, background checks and continuing education to maintain the designation. According to CFP® Board examination statistics, the exam pass rate fluctuates between a low of 42 percent and a high of 66 percent. When working with a CFP® professional, you know that the advisor has a base level of expertise backed by a larger organization. There is a certain level of confidence with the certification.

Not everyone needs to or wants to work with a CFP® professional. Some people decide to do their own planning. Do you need a planner? You may want to turn to a professional for advice and guidance if you:

1) Want to improve the management of your finances but don’t know where to start;

2) Lack the time, desire or discipline to do your own planning;

3) Have a need for an objective and professional opinion on an existing plan;

4) Require additional expertise in certain areas; or

5) Experience a life-changing event, which needs serious attention.

Before hiring any financial professional, consider what services you may need, what services they can deliver, if they hold the proper licenses for any investments you may need, what you’ll be paying for, how much those services cost, and how the adviser or planner is paid. Finally, ask if the planner has experience in dealing with clients like you.


Financial advisors are thinking partners. Select someone you are comfortable with personally and professionally for this important relationship. The more your advisor knows about you, the more assistance they can provide when things are going well and, more importantly, when you run into financial challenges. Here’s what to look for and expect when establishing this partnership.


Expect an advisor to get to know you and your family by gathering information about current circumstances, future goals and concerns. Your plan may be straightforward or require a more complex solution. It all starts with a conversation.


Based on your time horizon and needs, an advisor will assess the type and level of risk you can afford to take. If an investment sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In periods of low interest rates, reaching for higher investment returns may imply greater risk to principal and could be a ploy to separate you from your money. Be skeptical about “guarantees.” Financial advisors cannot share losses or gains in a client’s account. Never, under any circumstances, approve a financial plan or initiate transactions until you clearly understand what you’re agreeing to buy or sell.


One size doesn’t fit all. Appropriate strategies and recommendations should be tailor-made based on what’s best for you. When it is necessary to make modifications to your plan due to changing circumstances and goals, you’ll make those decisions and adjustments together. A financial plan isn’t an off-the-rack solution; this is an ongoing process.


Your advisor will discuss relevant market developments so you’ll understand their implications. This allows you to make financial decisions based on facts and careful research, rather than emotions and market volatility. When appropriate, your advisor will work with your CPA, attorney and other professionals to address all aspects of your financial and estate planning needs. Frequent and frank communication with everyone involved is essential.

Stockbrokers, investment advisors and financial planners come from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Before hiring anyone, find out about his or her credentials; understand what a designation means and how it was earned. Choosing someone to work with in connection with your financial affairs may be one of the most important decisions you make for you and your family. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) provides an online tool designed to help understand professional designations.

Remember, it really is all about you. Investing hard-earned money is a serious task. Your attention and involvement are necessary. I hope that you will find the benefits of working with someone who is familiar with your unique situation to be profound. Stay focused and invest accordingly.

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

“Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP(R), CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ 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:


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, or Please contact Darcie with any questions you would like to have answered in this column.




Are You Really Hungry?

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 1:49pm

Crystal Manjarres

Have you ever eaten after you have just finished eating something? Have you ever been chewing, not even tasting your food, while perusing through your pantry for more? Have you ever celebrated with food? Punished yourself with food? Rewarded yourself with food? Eaten out of boredom? Eaten because it tasted good? Because you didn’t want it to go to waste?

If any of the above apply to you, then you are not alone; even I have succumbed to many (if not all) of the aforementioned at some time in my life. I remember so clearly in my Home Economics class in high school when my teacher told us how every single social activity we do revolves around food: birthdays, football games, holidays, get togethers, even meeting a friend for lunch or drinks. We associate food with pleasure and company.

Take away that pleasure and throw in a bad day at work or a stressful day with the kids and many of us seek food for comfort. I’ve noticed that for me — a Type A perfectionist personality — I have to feel like I have some control over my life. When I lose that control, I seek out any way I can to regain my footing, so to speak. I noticed that I sought food subconsciously and had been doing this most of my life.

I was raised by a single father who, bless his heart, let me eat whatever I wanted— no limits on any food at any time. As my brother and I got older and he worked longer hours, home cooked meals were replaced with drive-thru dinners and Little Debbie snacks. You’d be shocked to know that I was still underweight due to all of the sports I participated in. That is until I graduated high school and — BAM! — the weight suddenly piled on.

As a girl who ate like a trucker (two 1-lb steaks for a meal, four servings as a salad, and gorging on buffets until I lay in bed sick the rest of the day), I was never told to watch my portions, nor was I educated about nutrition. I was always encouraged to eat, and to be a thick girl was to be a strong, growing girl.

Only I wasn’t growing up as much as I was filling out.

Long story short, I met my husband who educated me about nutrition and portion control; I kept up with the nutrition and workouts and have spent the past 10 years educating others on the importance of it as well.

But…the emotional eating is always there. If I’m not careful, I’ll find myself slipping back into it — eating more carbs than I know I should because I had something unexpected pop up. At least I stop as soon as I recognize it. I try distracting myself, deep breathing and praying. What I find really helps me is going for a walk and visualizing how healthy I want to be and feel. I also tell myself: “I am not a garbage can.”

Exercise ALWAYS works for me. ALWAYS. Recent studies are confirming this as well. They state that when a craving hits distract yourself with a thirty minute walk, and by the time you are finished, your craving should be nonexistent.

If yours hasn’t, chances are you are dehydrated or you really do need to eat —real food.

What do you do to combat emotional eating? Any tips or tricks that work for you? I have many more, but I’m out of space!

Write to me and share yours! Let’s help each other stay the course!


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.

Florida Bird Migration: It’s All About the Tilt

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 1:19pm

Stepping Stones
Bob McConville
Master Naturalist

Swallow Tailed Kites are here in South Florida right now, but the White Pelicans and other migratory bird species are not. Hmmm….it seems odd that they all do not frequent our area at the same time. Why would that happen? Don’t they all come from the north to winter in our area? Don’t they all come at the same time? The answer is a resounding NO, and it revolves primarily around one factor: the tilt of the earth.

Let’s refresh with some basic science classes to figure this out. The earth is in an orbit around the sun. We all know that. The earth is approximately 93 million miles from the sun, most of the time. Our orbit is not a perfect circle so sometimes we are 91.5 million miles from the sun, and other times, we are as far away as 94.5 million miles.

Since we are on average 93 million miles away, we can calculate that the earth travels 584 million miles around the sun in one year (C=3.1416 X 2R).

This means that we are traveling about 1.6 million miles a day thru space, or nearly 67,000 miles an hour on this orbit. I just looked out my window, but I don’t see any breeze at this speed.

We also know that the circumference of the earth at the equator is nearly 25,000 miles. So in one 24-hour day, we are spinning 1,040 miles per hour at that location, which is 0 degrees latitude. Now Marco Island is approximately at 22.9 degrees latitude, north of the equator. If we took a cross-section of the planet along that latitude, we would find that we are moving about 940 miles per hour.

So we are traveling thru space at 67,000 miles per hour, and we are spinning here on Marco Island at 940 miles per hour. I just looked out my window again, and I STILL don’t see a breeze! In addition to all of this, this earth is tilting!!! How are we even alive?

The fact of the matter is that these conditions are ideal to support life as we know it. Long, long ago the planet spun so fast that days were only four hours long. The tides were so severe because of this that water rushed in and out for hundreds of miles. As the earth’s rotation slowed, we began to form what we have today. But what about that tilt?

In addition to the gravitational pull of the sun that keeps us in a specific orbit, the locations and gravity of other planets and the moon have an effect on the the Earth’s tilt. During the first day of spring and the first day of fall, we experience an equinox. We have equal amounts of solar energy on either side of the equator. As the planet’s tilt changes, about 23.5 degrees every 91.25 days, we receive more warmth on one side of the planet than the other. In June, we have the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, when we have the most solar energy on our continent, and we have the opposite in December when we receive the least energy. This creates our four seasons.

So in a one-year rotation around the sun, we experience this full cycle. The June solstice creates the longest day of the year for us, a day when we experience the most sunlight. The planet has moved 23.5 degrees since the spring equinox. We are now swinging back the other way. Our hemisphere will remain warm until the fall equinox and will grow cooler as the southern half of the earth receives more solar energy. And then it will happen all over again. This tilt is very, very important to plant and animal life and to migration patterns.

The movement of birds from the north to the south on our continent is controlled by three — food, light and temperature. As birds further north experience a depletion of food supply, they will travel south. As the light of day becomes less and as the temperature begins to fall, other birds will also begin a southern journey. Some birds from the arctic will begin their migration as early as July. Instinctively, they just know when to head this way. Other birds will eventually join the parade. They will use the sun as a compass as well as visual landmarks. Some will use a concept called “magnetoception,” the ability to detect magnetic fields for navigation. (It’s been discovered that some animals have a “catch of prey” rate of about 50%, but when they face north that rate goes to 75-80%!).

So it’s all about the tilt because the tilt determines food supplies, light and temperature. But wait! We forgot about those Swallow Tailed Kites that come here at the hottest time of year! What’s their story?

It’s still about the tilt. These kites migrate here from the south, coming north to Florida. They feed mostly on insects and other flying buffet items. They come here from as far away as Peru and Brazil.

Refresher course! What happens in South America this time of year? You’ve got it! There is less solar energy in the southern hemisphere as the earth tilts so these birds migrate here for food, more light and warmer temps. They will stay here until the fall equinox…again when the earth tilts.


Bob is the owner of Steppingstone Ecotours as well as a Naturalist on the Dolphin Explorer. He is a member of Leadership Marco 2014 and Bob loves his wife very much!