By Barry Gwinn
An unnamed tropical depression, 350 miles west of Marco Island, caused more serious flooding on Goodland Road on Tuesday, August 30. Torrential rains also added to the maelstrom, with rainwater having nowhere to go due to seawater gushing in through the road’s only two drains. The result was the usual chaos in traffic trying to get in or out of Goodland.
On Wednesday, August 31, the flooding continued, although not quite as severe.
On Thursday, September 1, Hermine, now a tropical storm, was approaching the Big Bend of Florida’s panhandle. It was partly cloudy here, dry, and breezy. Goodland Road, however, suffered flooding as bad or worse than the previous two days. By mid-afternoon, 8” to 20” of seawater covered portions of the road. The traffic was largely confined to commercial vehicles, zigging and zagging to avoid the deeper spots. I observed a pickup truck, which zagged when he should have zigged, immersed in water up to his right rear truck bed at one particularly deep spot. Goodland residents, many of them women who had gone shopping or to doctors’ appointments earlier in the day (my wife among them), struggled to get back in the afternoon. It was literally a white-knuckle trip for them, both hands gripping the wheel, unblinking eyes glued to the water ahead, hoping for the best. I stood and watched as they inched by, through what appeared to be more like a river rather than a road.
Every car or truck which came through the flood during the week had its undercarriage submerged and thoroughly soaked by the salt seawater. At least two local Goodland merchants have recently had to replace their commercial vehicles when the undercarriages rusted out. Their businesses require deliveries and pickups in Marco Island. They have no choice but to plough through the seawater. “I wince every time I have to go out [through a flooded road],” says Jay McMillen, owner of All Marine boat repair service in Goodland, “After seven years of doing this, I had to get a new truck [due to a badly rusted undercarriage]. Now my new truck is taking a worse beating.” John Hackett has a thriving painting business in Goodland with customers also on Marco Island. “Last year the undercarriage of my van literally dropped out,” said Hackett, “It was shot through with rust. It was the saltwater that did it.”
Through the week, to the writer’s knowledge, the rest of Collier County’s (CC) roadways were dry – at least there were no reports to the contrary. On Tuesday evening, a local NBC crew did report 18 inches of standing water in a Marco Island resident’s yard – nothing about flooded Marco roads. On Thursday, a local CBS crew came out to film the Goodland Road flooding, reporting it that evening. I am told that there was no mention of other road flooding in the county. Since then, NBC-2 news and WINK news have filed at least four reports from Goodland.
At their September 13 meeting, the CC commissioners voted unanimously (5-0) to write a letter to the City of Marco Island (CMI), proposing that both CC and CMI give top priority to Goodland Road, deferring all other road projects. Deputy County Manager, Nick Casalanguida made the presentation to the commissioners. The project would involve a 3-foot elevation of the road. CC and CMI would each apply for grants and MPO money. The remaining $2M owed to CMI would be applied toward the project. CC would supervise the project and take ownership of the road upon completion of construction. In July, County Manager Leo Ochs and Casalanguida drove to Marco Island and met with CMI Manager, Roger Hernstadt. Hernstadt agreed that the above might be the best option, but it needed to be taken to city council. Both CC and CMI rely heavily on federally funded MPO money for highway infrastructure. MPOs (Metropolitan Planning Organizations) are mandated by the federal government in metropolitan areas of over 50,000. The Marco Island-Naples area easily qualifies. The CC MPO, made up of local government and governmental transportation representatives, recently approved a budget of $266M, $138M of which is dedicated to highway projects. A large portion of this is designated for the I-75 interchange at Collier Boulevard and improvements to SR29. With CMI’s help and collaboration, CC hopes (between the two municipalities) to obtain a $6M piece of this pie for the elevation and reconstruction of Goodland Road. The problem is that this budget is set through fiscal year ’20-’21 and Goodland Road is not included in it. Judging from the last two commissioners’ meetings, the county now has the political will to get this done as soon as possible. There was a consensus that the safety and health of the people of Goodland would be at increased risk at any delay in the project. Commissioner Penny Taylor was particularly forceful in suggesting that the County should even consider borrowing the money, should the MPO not make it available until 2021. Commissioner Georgia Hiller wanted the County to take back the road now and proceed, regardless of CMI’s collaboration. She wanted it added to the county budget “now.” Taylor concurred saying, “we should do it with ‘em or without ‘em.” Deputy Manager Nick Casalanguida reminded the commissioners that CMI still owned the road. Chairman Donna Fiala was perhaps the most determined and eloquent of all. “This is urgent,” she said, “the sea level is rising faster than anticipated. This can’t wait until [fiscal year] ‘20-‘21 (when new five year MPO funding will be obtained). [The people of Goodland] are county taxpayers. They are our people and it’s our responsibility to take care of them.” Alarm for the safety and wellbeing of Goodland was palpable throughout the discussion. The commissioners were also anxious that a system of communication be set up with the Goodland Civic Association, pending the completion of construction, lest any Goodlander not be able to summon or receive rescue for a weather or health event. “This is going someplace,” Fiala assured the commissioners, “We’re not going to let it languish.”
It is getting so that increasing portions of the road are covered to some extent at every monthly spring tide. Every high tide brings water at least to the edge of the road. The situation is a recurring nightmare bringing with it the despair of having no fix in sight. The GCA has long felt that CMI, which has owned the road since 2002, has turned a deaf ear to our pleas for remediation or even adequate maintenance of the road. The constant flooding of our only way out or in, along with the potholes and deteriorating road way is disruptive to our lives, destructive to our vehicles, and a ticking bomb, threatening our personal safety. Chairman Fiala’s words and determination are an encouraging balm and a beacon of light in a stressful situation.
Barry was a practicing attorney before he worked as a Special Agent of the FBI for 31 years. Barry worked for several government agencies another ten years before retiring to Goodland in 2006. Barry is presently the Secretary of the Goodland Civic Association.
MIND, BODY And Spirit
I was boarding a plane, heading for home a few weeks ago, when I spied my seat up ahead. I like the aisle seat where I can get up and move around easily to stretch and move my restless legs. So there in the middle seat sat a beautiful young woman with her arms wrapped around the bicep of the young man by the window. Her head was burrowed into his chest and her eyes were closed tight. Honeymooners, I thought. But as I was settling my bags and ready to sit down next to her, she looked up and we glanced at each other. Her eyes were red-rimmed and her face wore the expression of dread.
At that moment my mind flashed back to my trip to Iowa three years ago. I had received the call that my dad’s health had taken a sudden turn. With the knowledge that doctors did not expect a recovery, I knew I was headed to my hometown to say goodbye to my father. I walked through RSW toward the gate dragging my feet and swallowing tears. Maybe this woman was having a similar experience, I thought.
The flight crew made announcements, the passengers made adjustments, and the plane growled its way to the runway. And as we lifted off the pavement, my seatmate gripped the hand of her partner and effectively stopped the flow of blood to his fingers. Anxiety and fear kept
Once we were airborne, I decided to cut the tension with a simple greeting, “are you headed home?” I asked. She relaxed just a smidgen, and told me that her and her husband were heading out on a vacation together, and it would be the first time they left their two young children for any length of time. We chatted a bit and then we retreated into our generous 12 inches of individual air space for the duration of the flight. I started my movie and she reached for the white paper bag stuffed into her seat pocket. Uh oh.
It would be my guess that at least half of all airplane passengers aren’t aware that there IS a white paper bag in the seat pocket. I remember one time, many years ago, my little white bag sat on the floor at my feet…full. As we were getting off the plane, a kind gentleman ran up and handed it to me. “Here! You forgot this!” Obviously, he didn’t know it’s purpose (and therefore, its contents) or he would have left it on the floor.
For nearly all of the first 30 years of our marriage, my husband and I flew on an airplane once a year. We hightailed it out of Iowa for a week in the winter, seeking sunny skies and solar heat. And from the moment the trip was booked, I began to stew about getting on the airplane. I prepared instructions for our children and our parents more comprehensive than a Will and Testament. I did not sleep the night before our departure. I held my boarding pass in a sweating palm, and I walked through the gate with locked knees. I’d sit in my seat on the airplane and the first thing I looked for was the white paper sack in the seat pocket. Once found, I would tuck it in the front, easily accessible. Then I’d look for my husband’s “motion sickness relief” baggie for backup. As the plane took off, I would alternately glance out the window to make sure we weren’t making any sudden turns or nose dives, and stare straight ahead to hold off the sudden turns and nosedives in my belly. I was certain that by not moving, I was doing my part to keep the plane in the sky.
When anyone would leave their seat, I was sure the captain was in the cockpit wrestling the controls to keep us from tipping. Each time the “ding” of the flight attendants’ bell rang, I knew it was the pilot informing them of our impending crash. I would listen for any changes in the sounds of the engines, knowing for certain one was going to burn up and send us spiraling. I would silently curse the happy passengers. How could they concentrate on the words of a book or magazine? Why would they leave me alone to worry the plane into stability? Even my husband would close his eyes and fall asleep. I was confident that everyone with eyes closed was silently praying. I quietly hoped the captain was not on his first solo flight.
Back to the present, I no longer look for the white paper sack when I board a plane, but I have tremendous sympathy for anyone who does. The only thing worse than irrational fear, is irrational fear and sickness. You can’t keep the plane in the sky when you’re spilling your breakfast into a bag. So, when I saw this poor, young woman with baggie in hand, staring forward, teeth clenched, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of guilt. Here I sat, watching my movie, snacking on pistachios and M&M’s. How did I get to be one of those people who selfishly ignores the fact that they’re on an airplane? I know how. I stopped listening to that particular voice in my head.
One of the many lessons I have learned on my yogic journey is to recognize that there is always a voice speaking inside my head. From the moment I wake in the morning, until I fall asleep at night, I am inundated by an internal commentator. The importance of recognizing that the voice exists, is knowing you get to choose whether or not to listen to it. In his book, “The Untethered Soul,” Michael A. Singer says, “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice in your mind – you are the one who hears it.”
Yoga has helped me to sort the things I can control from the things I cannot. If I sneeze on an airplane, it will not throw off the equilibrium of the aircraft. I can’t control its balance or its fate. And knowing I am not singlehandedly responsible for keeping 735,000 pounds and 150 lives from falling out of the sky is a huge relief. Just give me my M&M’s and a good movie. And I’ll leave the little white sack in the seat pocket for the next guy.
Laurie Kasperbauer, RYT 200, enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes. Laurie is also an active Florida realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. She can be reached at Harborview Realty, 291 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, or by calling 712-210-3853.
Over the past few months I’ve addressed issues regarding the reef structures here in South Florida on several occasions. Recent visits by my wife, Cathy, and me have resulted in viewing the natural reef formations in the Florida Keys. The unfortunate “bleaching” of these once beautiful structures is caused by numerous factors, and has increased worldwide over the last 20 to 30 years. Sea temperature, sedimentation, salinity and nutrient quantities can all change the look of the corals. These organisms are considered “stressed” by many scientists and, although the coral is not visually stimulating to our eyes, it is still alive. Measures are being taken to plant and grow new corals on the bayside of the Keys and eventually replant them along the main reef structure, hoping to at least neutralize any further loss of coral. Hopefully this is the end of reef devastation and the beginning of new life.
Closer to home, there are some new reef structures in our area waters. I’ve had the honor to address residents and guests at the Marco Island Historical Society’s auditorium several times this year, but September 21st was an evening to remember. We discussed the advent of the fall season and how, by some miracle of nature, fish in our waters know exactly when to journey from deeper waters to our mangrove coast. They will feed here and eventually head back offshore. In the spring the goliath grouper, sawfish, certain shark species and more will come to our shores to spawn and feed. Migrating pelagic species, like the whale shark, also make their presence known.
As these sea creatures move away from the coastline they are finding new shelter. There are now 36 artificial reefs in Collier County that many of them can call home. Since January 2015 these structures are showing signs of life. Vegetation is growing, a variety of fish are arriving and a new look has been created under the waters.
On September 21st Katie Laakkonen, environmental scientist for Collier County, gave us an informative look at how the program evolved and the ongoing dives to monitor the progress. Katie actually dove nearly 100 potential sites to help the team decide on the best 36 locations. The depth had to be just right, with all structures in place from 45 to 75 feet deep. The amount of sand and the substrate (the hard limestone base below the sand) had to be perfect as well. Numerous factors came into play to assure that the sites were perfect. Katie continues to dive them and report growth and activity.
In the Marco Island area there are two structures known as Marco 1 and Marco 2. Marco 2 is also known as Rooney Reef. The funds allocated for the reef program were grants and private donations. The Rooney family made a substantial contribution to the project and the Marco 2 reef bears their name. Kathleen Rooney was on hand to see this presentation by Katie as well.
These artificial structures will be in place for a long, long time. In earlier years items such as boats were sunk to create a reef. Wood and metal will break down over a period of a few decades or so. The new reef structures, made of concrete and limestone, have an expected longevity of several centuries.
They are sure to draw more visitors to the area who can scuba the sites or try their luck catching a fish or two. It is the end of old-school thinking and the beginning of a process to make things better here!
The reef coordinates can be found if you Google “Collier County Artificial Reef Locations.”
Bob is the owner of Stepping Stone Ecotours and a naturalist on board the Dolphin Explorer survey program. He is a member of Florida SEE (Society for Ethical Ecotourism). Bob loves his wife very much!
By Barry Gwinn
At about 3 PM on September 14, about a dozen signs were posted along Goodland Road between San Marco Road and Angler Drive. No witnesses have come forward. The signs, tongue in cheek, and also apparently unpermitted, purported to give credit for the poor condition of the road to the City of Marco Island (CMI), which has owned this stretch of road since 2002. In what was one of the quickest known responses to a road problem by CMI, the signs were gone about an hour later. “On my way home today, at 4:15 PM, I saw a Marco city truck stopping and tossing [the signs] in the back of the truck,” Greg Cameron said, “I’m not sure who placed them, but they sure seemed to get attention fast.” CMI didn’t get them all. One was retrieved by a WINK News van before being spirited away. It was featured in a news cast at 5:30. The WINK news report was one of four local TV news reports from Goodland Road that week. The flood prone and crumbling road has become a cause celebre around the county and somewhat of an embarrassment to CMI. I am aware that whoever paid for and posted these signs was fed up with CMI’s perceived neglect of the road.
After our September hiatus, Marco Island Writers, Inc. is back on Wednesday, October 12, 2016, resuming its regular second Wednesday of the month schedule.
The agenda is a panel presentation on First Page Critique. Members have submitted the first page of a current work for anonymous review by a panel of peers. At this meeting, the panel will read and discuss 10 or 12 of the submissions. All who send in first pages that are not read at the meeting will get written feedback from the reviewers. This is a “double blind study” in that neither writers nor reviewers will be identified.
All panel members will read all submissions, and they will determine together which ones to discuss at the meeting. Their comments will include a variety of issues that are essential to all writers and should provide a well-rounded discussion. No need to have a first page submitted to benefit from this meeting.
Marco Island Writers, Inc. is open to writers of all skill levels and genres. No matter what motivates your interest in writing, our group may be able to help you gain a new level of enjoyment from it. Our motto is “Writers Helping Writers.” Meeting place is Marco Center for the Arts, 1010 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island. First time visitors are welcome with no admission fee. We meet the second Wednesday of each month, year round, 6 to 8 PM. Doors open at 5:30 PM for sign-in and social prior to the meeting. For more information, call Elisabeth Noyes at 239-394-5856 or visit our website www.marcoislandwriters.com.
Dimensions of Dementia
In my experience, most of us know someone with dementia, either a family member, a friend, or a neighbor. So, it is not surprising to learn that in Florida there are 510,000 people with Alzheimer’s in 2016, just one of the many dementia diseases, but the most common. That figure will rise to 720,000 by 2025 according to the 2016 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures report at alz.org/facts.
However, that projected number might be reduced if one or more of the current research projects pan out. We can be cautiously hopeful, both because of the number of research studies underway and also the progress scientists are making in identifying proteins and substances that affect the brain.
While many studies focus on finding a drug to prevent dementia, a team from the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia, has come up with a promising drug-free solution to treat it in mice. It involves sound waves that are able to gently open up the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the brain’s microglial cells responsible for the worst symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The team reports fully restoring the memory function of 75 percent of the mice with zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue. The treatment actually removed amyloid plaques in the mouse brains that may cause dementia. Treated mice displayed improved performance in three memory tasks: a maze, a test to recognize new objects, and one to get them to avoid places. One of the researchers, Jurgen Gotz said, “This discovery fundamentally changes our understanding of how to treat this disease…I foresee a great future for this approach.” The team plans to start trials with higher animal models, such as sheep, and hope to get human trials underway in 2017. (Check online for Science Alert, March 18, 2015)
Another study from Harvard Medical School focuses on the blood brain barrier as chronicled in a May 26, 2015 NY Times article by Gia Kolata, “Could Alzheimer’s Stem from Infections? It Makes Sense, Experts Say.” This report indicates that the blood brain barrier can become leaky with age, allowing foreign substances to seep through. The medical team focused on infections and came up with a startling hypothesis which could explain the origins of plaque that pockmark the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers report that a virus, fungus, or bacterium can get into the brain, passing through the blood brain barrier.
The brain’s defense system rushes in to stop the invader by making a sticky cage out of proteins, called beta amyloid. The microbes become trapped in the cage and die. What is left behind is the cage, a plaque that is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s. In one study with mice, Dr. Robert D. Moir, the original researcher collaborated with Dr. Rudolph Tanzi. They injected Salmonella bacteria into the brains of young mice that did not have the bacterial infection and no plaques. Overnight, the bacteria seeded plaques, Dr. Tanzi said. The above study shows how plaque can be formed in mice. Other studies such as the above Australian study on ultrasound removed plaques in mice. These add to the promising research but human trials will tell the tale.
A third small study showing promise comes from the University of Manchester. Researchers there report news of an anti-inflammatory drug that worked in mice reversing the inflammation of their brain and memory issues. The drug is non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory, a common one used for menstrual pain. It can target an important inflammatory pathway called the NLRP3 inflammasome, which damages brain cells. Twenty mice were genetically altered to exhibit symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Ten were injected with mefanamic acid by using a mini-pump under their skin for one month. Ten others were treated the same way with a placebo. The team found the ten treated with mefanamic acid had a reversal of their memory loss. The placebo group remained unchanged. The team was led by Dr. David Brough and cautions that this drug has side effects and should not be taken for Alzheimer’s disease at this stage until studies in people show that it is safe. But since the drug is already available and toxicity is known, the time for it to reach patients should, in theory, he said, be shorter than if we were developing completely new drugs. This news was published in the journal Nature Communications and reported in the International Business Times August 13, 2016 edition.
It does seem that researchers are getting closer to the much-needed preventative for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in general. And given what you’ve just read, I think we should all give a shout-out to the mice involved. These little creatures, so cute in Disney form, but so unwelcome in our homes, are providing much good information to scientists around the world. So, here’s to Mickey, Minnie, and all their little friends. I’m hoping to keep their essential role in mind the next time I see one face to face.
Shirley Woolaway has an M. Ed. in counseling and worked in journalism, in business, and as a therapist in Pennsylvania. She has 25 years personal experience with dementia as a caregiver for family members with Alzheimer’s disease, and nine years as the coordinator of an Alzheimer’s Association memory loss/caregiver support group, earlier in Pennsylvania and now on Marco Island. We believe that Shirley’s insights will prove helpful to many of our readers.
For help on all aspects of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias call the national Alzheimer’s Association confidential, 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900 or the local Bonita Springs office at 239-405-7008 for care consults and support group information. Also helpful with local educational programs, workshops, and support groups, is the Naples Alzheimer’s Support Network, 239-262-8388.
“Ove is fifty-nine. He drives a Saab.” Knowing his age is an important point in any man’s story. In Ove’s case, knowing that he drives and has always driven a Saab is essential in understanding him. One’s choice of vehicle reveals much about one’s character, in Ove’s mind. He evaluates others based upon their vehicle brand.
When we first meet Ove, he seems to be totally disagreeable, rude and disdainful to a salesman at an electronics store who is trying to help him choose an iPad. Chapter two takes us back three weeks and we learn Ove’s morning routine which begins with waking at 5:45 AM without an alarm clock. He had never owned one of the gadgets and has simply awakened at that time every day of his life and got up when he woke up – simple! After putting the coffee on to brew in a respectable percolator, not a fancy espresso or computerized brewer, he dresses and goes out to do his inspection of the neighborhood, to ensure there have been no burglaries overnight. Also to check if anyone had overstayed their welcome in the guest parking lot and exceeded the 24-hour limit. He keeps a notebook with the license plate numbers and if those vehicles show up in that notebook two days in a row, he calls the license bureau, gets their info, calls the offending party and lets them know about their transgression. It is, after all, the principle of the thing – people should obey signs.
He also had to check the trash bins now that the idiots in charge had decided trash needed to be separated. If he found a jar with the metal lid in the glass bin, he would unscrew the lid and put it into the metal bin – some imbeciles couldn’t even sort their own trash. If only the residential association had agreed to put in 24-hour surveillance cameras as he had suggested, they would be able to capture their misdeeds on tape and could put a stop to this irresponsibility, face the culprits with their misdeeds. Next he checked the bicycle shed to make sure no stray bikes were lying around. Then he went back to his two-story row house, locked the door and drank his morning coffee.
This particular Tuesday morning when we first accompany Ove on his morning inspection of the neighborhood, it is the day after he has been made redundant, having retirement forced on him. They had waited until Monday to let him loose because they did not want to ruin his weekend by telling him on Friday. Such consideration. After doing his inspection and drinking his coffee he had nothing to do, no work to go to after 31 years of faithful attendance. Ove surveys his neighborhood through the window, where The Poser (who drives an Audi for heaven’s sake) is jogging about and his girlfriend, the Blond Weed, is walking her handbag dog. A family has purchased the home directly opposite, probably a bunch of foreigners, but they hadn’t moved in yet. Ove decides it is a good time to install that hook in the ceiling in the living room. But he is distracted by a crunching sound coming from the front of his house.
It is the new neighbors – the Pregnant Foreign Woman and the blond Lanky One who cannot back up his Japanese car with a trailer on it. He has scraped the side of Ove’s house, after which he and his wife, the Pregnant Foreign Woman, apologize. On his second attempt, he crunches Ove’s mailbox. So Ove takes over and backs the trailer into their driveway, even though motor vehicles are not allowed in the residential area. Someone has to save the incompetent fool from himself. Then he stalks back to his own place. The Pregnant Foreign Woman later sends their 3-year-old and 7-year-old daughters over with a dish of saffron rice and chicken to thank Ove. The 3-year-old and her mother immediately take to Ove, somehow undeterred by his brusque façade.
The Ove in the early chapters, who refers to his neighbors by nicknames instead of their given names, has just been forced out of his job and recently lost his wife. He actually wants nothing more than to be with her. He still makes coffee for her every morning and hasn’t removed any of her clothing from the closets. Her Post-It notes are still on the fridge. He visits her gravesite regularly and does nothing without talking it over with her. He brings a fresh plant to her every week and plants them in the snow.
The arrival of the Pregnant Foreign Woman and the Lanky One changes Ove’s life. They and some of the others continue to interfere with his attempts to end his life. When Ove finally manages to get that hook in the ceiling, is near to blacking out, the useless rope breaks. They make nothing like they used to. When he tries to join Sonja by asphyxiation in the garage, the Pregnant Foreign Woman is banging on the garage door needing a ride to the hospital because the useless Lanky One has fallen off the ladder (borrowed from Ove of course). She insists on bringing along those children. There was no room for them in the ambulance. She turns to Ove for help and he of course helps because it is the right thing to do and that is what Ove is all about – doing the right thing.
Gradually he starts referring to his neighbors by their names instead of their nicknames and becomes more engaged in life outside his little two-story row house. In the flashback chapters, we learn about Ove’s childhood, how he developed a passion for construction and buildings as well as a fierce loyalty to Saab, how he met his wife Sonja and their life together. We also learn about his history with his neighbors, including Anita and Rune who were once great friends with Sonja and Ove. Now Rune is losing his memory and Anita is exhausted from caring for him and from fighting the authorities at social services who want to put him in a care home. This is not right and Ove feels a need to make it right because that is who he is.
“A Man Called Ove” is full of humor, with great characters, most of them likeable. Backman’s writing, or at least Mr. Koch’s translation of it, is smooth and every sentence advances the story and unfolds the characters for the reader. It is a deceptively easy, fun read that has a lot to say about human nature, our interactions with each other and how difficult it can be to go on living after a catastrophic loss. It is the story of how a bunch of incompetent imbeciles brought a man bent on suicide back to life. And how that man managed to set many things right. Rating 4.5/5.0
Maggie Gust has been an avid reader all her life. Her past includes working as a teacher, as well as various occupations in the healthcare field. She shares a hometown, Springfield, Illinois, with Abraham Lincoln, but Florida has been her home since 1993. Genealogy, reading, movies and writing are among her favorite activities. She is self-employed and works from her Naples home. Contact her at [email protected] or maggiesbookinblog.com.
FOLLOW THE FISH
Capt. Pete Rapps
October can prove to be one of the favorite months of year for many 10,000 Islands fishing enthusiasts. Although still a hot summer month, you can expect to see the regular rainstorms begin to taper off as the season begins to change. The daytime temperatures will average in the 87 degree range while the water temperature will hover in the lower 80s. The first few days of October are the new moon and the full moon falls on the 16th. Fishing a few days before and after the peak moon phases typically produce a good bite as the baits get washed in and out with the big tides.
Around this time, we can start to see some good sized schools of live bait, such as thread herring, pilchards and mullet begin to pour into the area. You will want to get out your casting net and keep a look out for them near the shorelines at higher tides. In lower tides, you will need to look a little deeper in order to find them. A good rule of advice is to watch for where the birds will be flocking and swooping right where the schools of bait are hanging out.
Whether you have chosen to use your freshly caught bait or have purchased some live shrimp, you shouldn’t have any trouble landing yourself some good sized redfish during the October fishing season. If you have some live shrimp on hand, try throwing them under a popping cork for an instant hookup. However, if you have some live bait, like threads or pilchards, don’t hesitate to toss them out there either. Cut mullet can tend to work well too.
The redfish aren’t the only fish that are on the move this season. You can find the snook fattening up around the outside bars and cuts. You can find them on the move into the backwaters and they will love some tasty live bait. We would recommend tying up 3-4’ of 40 lb. fluorocarbon leader tied up to a 30 lb. line, and toss those baits into the deeper eddies against the mangroves shores.
You don’t want to miss out on the good number of spotted sea trout either. You can find them near the outside grassy flats in 3’-5’ of water and they will typically feed well on an incoming tide. If you are looking for a lot of trout action, you should try using a popping cork with a weighted live shrimp. However, if you are hoping to get your artificial arsenal out, we’d recommend you use a 3/8 oz. lead head jig heads with a soft plastic bait such as the DOA C.A.L. 4” jerk bait or the “AIRHEAD.”
Contact Capt. Pete Rapps by email at [email protected] or by phone 239-571-1756. Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers year round expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the 10,000 Islands of the Everglades National Park, and springtime tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top-notch fleet accommodates men, women and children of all ages, experienced or not. Between our vast knowledge and experience of the area, and easygoing demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class website for booking info, videos, recipes, seasonings, and more at www.CaptainRapps.com.
ALL THAT GLITTERS
Call them what you will, manmade diamonds, created diamonds or even lab created, many of you reading this probably never even heard of such things, especially consumers who have not been in the market to buy diamonds in the last decade or so. Oh, I still get an occasional geriatric couple who have not been involved with even the notion of purchasing a diamond since before the invention of the color TV and can’t understand why they are so darned expensive today.
Go figure? That was around the same time you could buy a Marco waterfront lot with a Deltona home for the outrageous price of $25,000!
On another note, I recently read somewhere that there are actually enough diamonds on this planet to fill a coffee cup for every human being on Earth. “I’ll take my cup full of five carats of gem quality please, hold the cream and sugar.”
So how can something that is apparently in large supply cost so much?
They can’t all be the prettiest diamonds in those coffee cups. Most diamonds end up in drill bits or grinding wheels (over 80% of mined diamonds are not suitable for the jewelry industry).
Gem quality diamonds are of course very expensive because they are rare in nature. Judging by the dismal quality stones I have been seeing set in some new engagement rings lately many are slipping through quality controls these past years.
Part of the problem is that there is a huge wholesale market for horrible quality one carat diamonds in the $1,000 to $2,000 price range, and some uncaring jewelers can sometimes more than double their investment on one single stone. The only thing I can’t figure out is how a salesperson could keep a straight face during the process of presenting it, the diamond would have to be shown in a dark showroom, or the customer is totally inebriated or blind or both. (I mean no disrespect to the visually impaired but even a seeing eye dog would not choose these diamonds if he or she had a choice.) Nevertheless it’s a fact, I see this junk on ladies’ fingers all the time, and the naive still buy them.
There is another factor; a very large percentage of people purchasing diamonds would not know the difference between a good or bad diamond. Many get taken over the coals price-wise, some get exactly what they paid for, and some are duped beyond belief. I know I appraise diamonds practically every business day. Everybody’s happy when my appraisal is spot on the money that he or she paid, woe is the moment when my number is nowhere near their recently purchased number and I mean a serious “the jeweler got the gold and they got the shaft.”
So now the public has a new choice… lab created diamonds, and guess what? They aren’t cheap either! I fathom to find a reason to sell them in my shop, just what I need, customers expressing doubt that the real mined diamonds they are finally buying from me after a fine jewelry famine of nearly ten years are possibly lab created? That means fake, right? According to the scientists who created the created diamonds both are made from the same thing…carbon, and then again so is the lead in your #2 pencil. They are trying to convince me and you the process is much quicker than the million or so years Mother Nature takes to create the same thing.
I refuse to sell them and now I have to go out and purchase a new expensive and complicated created diamond-testing contraption so I don’t get taken over the coals when I buy my natural diamonds.
It makes no sense to me that many of my longtime natural mined diamond suppliers from all over the U.S. are telling me to get on the bandwagon and sell this stuff. It’s like being a Rolls Royce dealer who also sells used mopeds!
I’m being told lab created diamonds will be the best thing since the iPad or the new Apple Dick Tracy web watch, or whatever that damn thing is.
Oh a word to the wise: Don’t bring your new fangled two-way radio wrist phone thingy to your local jeweler when it’s on the fritz or you have the inability to set the planet’s twenty-four different time zones or how to monitor the oceans’ tides in twenty-four countries.
For Pete’s sake it’s not a wristwatch, it’s a personal computer on your wrist, or as I call them – an “arm pad device.” I for one don’t know a darn thing about them and let’s be honest, if you are not exactly the sharpest technology tool in the shed, or an M.I.T. graduate you have no business buying one in the first place. Wow! That felt good expressing how I feel about that!
Now that I’m on the subject of a thing making no sense, last month I was in the boondocks (We’re talking for real Farmersonly.com country) in upper central
Florida for a visit to see my youngest daughter. I was very surprised this town even heard of the World Wide Web. Although while seeking directions I was duly informed by the clerk at the local Ace Hardware/hay, feed and tackle store that the town had two working traffic signals, one sheriff and a deputy. While enjoying a quick bite in the one-and-only breakfast joint in town, a local middle-aged+ couple in well-worn Sunday “going to meeting” attire asked if they could join me and my friend, “Seeing we was sitting at the only large table with all them extree chairs.” While looking over their menus they immediately started to complain about the establishment’s cost for a breakfast special that included coffee, orange juice, two eggs, ham or bacon, grits or potato… all for $4.95, and then he asked if the orange juice was an endless glass. I nearly spit out my coffee when I noticed they were both wearing black Apple fangled wrist computer things and soon sat there comparing Friday’s Wall Street closing numbers and interesting stocks they should buy? Well dunk me in sheep’s dip!
I honestly hate my cell phone, I misplace (purposely lose?) it sometimes for days and don’t even miss it, heck my daughter just showed me how to check my missed calls…all eighty-five of them, so I certainly don’t want one strapped to my wrist. I had to mention that cyber-country weekend experience because it totally blew my mind.
While I admit when it comes to the technology highway I may still be on a dirt road in some respects, and I like it that way just fine, as far as diamonds go, I’ll take mine natural thank you.
Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and a dealer of natural diamonds for over forty-five years and is the owner of The Harbor Goldsmith of Marco Island and welcomes your questions about “all that glitters.” www.harborgoldsmith.com.
Gary Elliott & Sandy Elliott
Recently 13 one-bedroom beachfront condos were for sale, ranging in price from $289,000 to $489,900, at five condo buildings. These condos are located at the north and south ends of the beach in Sunset House North, Emerald Beach, Tradewinds, Admiralty House and Apollo. They range in size from 504 to 750 square feet. Monthly condo fees range from $395 at Tradewinds to $659 at Apollo. Depending on where in the building the condo is located, some have direct views of the beach, some look at the beach from the side of the building, and some balconies look over the city. All allow monthly rentals 12 times a year except the Apollo, which allows weekly rentals 52 times a year. The condos feature large pools, BBQ areas and covered parking. None of them allow pets. One bedroom monthly rentals facing the beach in season range from $3,500 to $4,000. One bedroom condos at Apollo rent for $1,300 to $2,000 per week in season. Each of these condo buildings has a different personality and feel.
Emerald Beach was the first condo built on the beach in 1966. Today it is a charming, one-of-a-kind boutique style beach condo with all the amenities today’s residents want. It has been lovingly restored and maintained. It has seven floors and only 48 apartments and is ideal for those looking for low density living on
Sunset House North was built a few years later in 1971. This mid-size condo has seven floors, 92 condos and is north of Emerald Beach.
The Tradewinds just south of Emerald Beach was built in 1973 and has 12 floors with 204 condos. This is a friendly, social condo with lush landscaping. A new bridge over the sand dunes to the beach is the next project planned here.
Admiralty House has 17 floors with 200 condos. Here, the owners are forward thinking about budgets and reserves. For instance, last year the Admiralty added two new high efficiency cooling towers totaling about half a million dollars with no special assessment. Several years ago sprinklers were added in all common areas along with a new smoke detection system throughout the building, including individual apartments. Their latest project involves replacing inefficient lighting with new LED lighting inside and outside the building.
The Apollo with 10 floors and 90 condos followed much later in 1990 and is located at the southern end of the beach. The Sunset Grille restaurant and bar on the first floor of the Apollo attracts residents and islanders alike. The Apollo is popular with investors and part-time residents because it is easy to rent weekly and one of the few condos on the beach that allows weekly rentals.
Ask The CFP® Practitioner
“I always avoid prophesying beforehand, because it is much better policy to prophesy after the event has taken place.”
~ Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
Question: What is the difference between fiscal and monetary policy? Can you also explain the role of central banks, especially during these interesting economic times?
Answer: Central banks exist to oversee a country’s monetary system. Monetary and fiscal policy are two ways of exerting influence on economic activity. These topics can be perplexing.
Fiscal policy is the supply side of the equation. To create economic activity, governments cut taxes and increase spending, freeing up money to encourage economic growth. Money in motion has a multiplier effect. For instance, infrastructure spending on roads and bridges creates jobs. Equipment and materials must be purchased. The wage earners will spend income and provide additional tax revenue to offset the original government expenditures. The tricky part is knowing when to cut back on spending. In the short-term, government debt will likely be higher, but in theory it will be paid down gradually once the economy recovers.
Monetary policy describes how central banks, such our Federal Reserve System, control the supply of money. The Federal Reserve System was founded in 1913 by Congress and is considered an “independent” central bank. The Fed consists of twelve regional banks located across the country. The role of the Fed is to promote full employment and provide steady economic growth. The Fed’s tools include setting bank reserve requirements, regulating the money supply by purchasing and selling U.S. government bonds, and setting the discount rate or Fed Funds rate that is so often in the news. Simply stated, providing “easy money” is the Fed’s current way of stimulating a sluggish economy.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is a powerful example of fiscal policy. The ARRA provided $831 billion of support for the economy. Recovery.gov breaks this down showing $290.7 billion in tax relief, $264.4 billion in benefits, and $261.2 billion in contracts, grants or loans. Transfer payments, although often necessary to provide a societal safety net, do not create direct tax revenue income. Job creation does create a net positive impact on the economy as well as the lives of our citizens.
ARRA also provided another $543 billion in spending. That sounds like a lot, but it really wasn’t when compared to the overall economic output decline of $754 billion between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2009. Meanwhile, the federal deficit exploded and grew to $1.4 trillion (or 10% of GDP). And, at the same time monetary policy (easy money) was in full expansionary mode.
While ARRA Federal spending did cushion the economic downturn, it wasn’t enough to produce a strong recovery. One reason is that most state and local governments are required to balance their budgets. This made it difficult for them to provide any support due to the housing crisis and drop in property tax revenue. So, when the recession hit and revenues decayed, most municipalities cut spending (laying off teachers, police, and firemen). Employment in state and local government is still well below the pre-recession level.
Central bankers here and around the globe are growing tired of having to do all the heavy lifting with monetary policy to support growth. Some have suggested the need for fiscal policy to take a bigger role.
Observations Going Forward
While there was much apprehension over the deficit in 2009 and 2010, the larger problems are in the future. There are 10,000 baby-boomers turning 65 each and every day. As they enter retirement there will be greater demand placed on Medicare spending. In addition, there is a precedent of high inflation for healthcare costs, and finally we must consider our increasing life expectancies. Fiscal expenditures are increasing and we need to consider what will be the source of these funds. The issue of paying for healthcare and retirement of an aging population isn’t unique to the U.S., other countries face a similar difficulties. Central banks are paying attention and adding these facts into their policy calculations.
Both presidential candidates are proposing increases in infrastructure spending to repair roads and bridges. Additionally, there is a need for improvements in sewer, drainage, and other systems, which are sorely needed as evidenced by the aftermath of Hurricanes Sandy and, more recently, Hermine. Jobs help the economy. Technology, innovation and job creation will lead us through these times. As outlined, the multiplier effect (money in motion) is constructive and necessary for a recovery.
By defining fiscal policy, monetary policy and the role of central banks, hopefully you now have a better grasp of the significance and enormity of these topics. By exploring a few examples, the catalysts for the policies and their intended results, we hope to understand what our domestic and global financial systems are facing. Stay focused and invest accordingly.
There is no assurance that any of the trends mentioned will continue in the future. Information received from outside sources is believed to be credible. The opinions expressed are those of the writer, but not necessarily those of Raymond James and Associates, and subject to change at any time. Material is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute recommendations, investment advice or an indication of trading intent.
“Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.”
This article provided by Darcie Guerin, CFP®, Vice President, Investments & Branch Manager of Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC,
606 Bald Eagle Dr. Suite 401, Marco Island, FL 34145. She may be reached at 239-389-1041, email [email protected] Website: www.raymondjames.com/Darcie.
Rumination from the Rock and Beyond
Editors Note: Please see other great articles on our national parks in our special edition.
After I completed my undergraduate degree, I wanted to see our beautiful country so I headed off from the East Coast towards California with two friends. I remember thinking how HUGE and diverse it was, with pockets of cities densely populated and hundreds of miles of open land in between; you could see forever.
It was June in Wyoming and high mounds of snow enclosed both sides of the road as we entered the very first U.S. national park, Yellowstone National Park, named after the Yellowstone River.
Old Faithful and the other geysers, the deep colors of the steaming mineral springs, the roiling bubbling mud pots and waterfalls were undeterred by the accumulation of snow. We played in the snow in shirtsleeves and periodically watched bison and elk grazing the new, tender shoots of grass and leaves far away from the stockpile of snow by the road. Periodically, there were traffic snarls as tourists stopped to ogle the animals along with bears that seemed to gravitate toward the roadway. Yellowstone is magnificent, magical and mysterious all combined together.
Down the road south and lower elevation is Grand Teton National Park – a sight that will take your breath away. When you drive into the valley there are mountains to the west that are snow-covered and almost surreal because of their monumental size compared to the relative flatness of the terrain. The Snake River coils its path in front of the mountains and looks like flowing mercury in the sunlight. There are three main mountains that were called Trois Tetons (Three Breasts) by French fur trappers around 1820. The Grand Teton, logically, would be the Big Breast at 14,770 feet.
“Leave me here,” I told my companions, and began my love affair with Wyoming. I had no problem getting a job at Jackson Lake Lodge in the park and frankly, I would have done the most menial of tasks just to BE there looking at those mountains every day.
From the elevated dining room there is a panorama view of the Grand Tetons through floor to ceiling windows. We could watch the animals in the marshy areas, note the changing foliage, snow melting through the summer, new snow frosting the tops of the mountains and a whole new group of tourists arriving daily with some funny questions. Here’s a few:
“Is that a llama out there?” (No, it’s a moose.) “Is there an elevator to the top of the mountains?” (No.) “How about an escalator?” (Really?) “Is that a reindeer?” (No, it’s a moose.) “Can we walk down there and feed the animals?” (They’d hear you coming and leave, this isn’t a zoo.) “Who puts all those animals out there?” (They live here.) “Is that a buffalo?” (No, it’s a moose.)
Sharing information with visitors was fun because there is such joy in being or working in our national parks. My appreciation for our parks continues to grow with each new park exploration or repeat exploration. They are well maintained by people who care deeply about them. The beauty and diversity of each beckons us to explore, appreciate, learn and preserve them for future generations without exploiting them for monetary gain.
Jory Westberry has been a dedicated educator for over 40 years, the last 14 as Principal of Tommie Barfield Elementary, where she left her heart. Life is rich with things to learn, ponder and enjoy so let’s get on with the journey together!
All Things Golf
In the last issue of Coastal Breeze News, my column Skill Development Part I gave readers an overview of why developing skills should be the main focus of a golfer’s plan to improve. Working on skills, and discovering certain techniques that help accomplish each skill, are the overall goals. Many skills were listed in my previous column, and now I will be breaking each skill down one column at a time. This series of columns will attempt to provide an understanding of each skill, and provide practical application to improve the skill.
Solid contact is the first skill we will discuss, and the most important skill for many golfers. It’s simple, if a golfer can consistently make better contact he/she will be a happy golfer.
“Gear effect” is the main reason solid contact is so important. Gear effect is the term used to explain how and why hitting the golf ball off-center changes the ball flight. When the ball contacts the face somewhere other than the center of gravity (CG), it causes the face to change its orientation and affects the spin of the golf ball.
Gear effect when hitting a driver plays a bigger role than when hitting irons. The CG varies from club to club, but also from manufacturer to manufacturer. For this reason we will not use center of the club face when talking about solid contact. As a side note, this is a huge reason to get custom fit for golf clubs, especially the driver. The main reason we need to know gear effect is that it can cause a ball that was going to be in play to turn into one that is not in play.
As important as solid contact is to every golfer, for all the reasons mentioned above, it is usually not the skill to focus on when trying to improve, even if the golfer is not hitting it solid. In some improvement performance processes solid contact can be improved while working on other skills, especially for a less experienced golfer. The golfer that needs to focus on the skill of solid contact the most is the golfer who has developed a contact point pattern that is not in the correct part of the club face. Usually this pattern is towards the heel or the toe of the club with the irons, and the driver pattern can vary because it is played off a golf tee. The pattern is consistent, but consistently not ideal.
For the remainder of this column we will focus on the golfer who has a pattern that is consistently off the desired contact point, such as the pattern seen in Photo 1. This golfer found the same point on the toe of the club face eight out of 10 times, but he also found variables at impact to hit the golf ball straight. The golfer’s club face is closed, left in this example because he is right-handed, but contact is on the toe of the club face, so the ball starts right off where the club face is pointed at impact (Gear Effect). Continually making these two variables negate each other is difficult, especially when under pressure, or while handling other variables such as uneven lies, hitting out of the rough, etc. Hitting 30 seven-irons in a row on the range that seem pretty good is not a big problem for this golfer.
The first step of the process is to set up to the golf ball. Place a golf tee, pool noodle, or something that will not hurt you if you hit the object, just outside the toe of the club. Then hit 10-20-30 golf balls, while trying to discover what helps not hitting the object. During the process monitor contact point with Dr. Scholl’s foot spray, dry erase marker, or face tape applied to the face of the club. (In my case, the Foresight Launch Monitor monitors contact, as seen in Photo 1.)
Questions need to be asked during this process, or the golfer needs to ask himself these questions if he is not assisted by a coach. The most important question is, if the golfer is missing the object and improving contact, how is the golfer accomplishing the task of not hitting the object just outside the toe of the club? If the golfer does not figure out how the goal is being accomplished when the pool noodle is taken away, he/she will get the same results as before. The goal is to add an external object or focus to create a new internal feeling that helps the golfer hit the
golf ball solidly.
Another example is to apply the dry erase marker, foot spray or face tape on the club face, and then make a horizontal and vertical line to make four equal quadrants on the club face, as seen in Photo 2. Now try to make contact in one of the quadrants. The next shot try to contact another quadrant, until contacting all four quadrants has been accomplished. This is a wonderful skill development drill.
My goal as an instructor is not to change the Photo 1 golfer’s whole approach. The golfer in this example is pretty successful with this pattern, I could really mess him up if I tried to change his entire approach.
The practical examples above are based on figuring out techniques that work for the individual, instead of a generic technical solution being determined by the coach or the golfer. The best learning is done through self-discovery, not “how to”
If you have a contact point pattern that is not conducive to good, consistent golf, follow these applications, and let me know how the process worked for you.
Todd Elliott is the Head Golf Professional at Hideaway Beach Club on Marco Island, Florida. Todd is a PGA and CMAA member. Todd is Titleist Performance Institute Level 3 Golf Certified. To contact Todd email him at [email protected], or on Twitter @elliottgolfpro.
Coach Wayne’s Corner
Every sport has its season ending championship series or game. In football it’s the Super Bowl, in baseball it’s the World Series, in hockey it’s the Stanley Cup, in soccer it’s the World Cup, etc.
But the sport of tennis is somewhat different. Professional tennis is played on a year-round basis and does not have a season.
Tennis professionals carry ongoing ranking points during the year. These points are accumulated by how far they may get through tournaments held during the entire year. The farther a player gets in each tournament and the more tournaments they win, the more points they
These points determine a player’s world ranking. The world ranking affects where they will be placed in the draw of each tournament they compete in. The placement of players in the draw mathematically prevents top ranked players from competing against each other until the quarters, semis or finals of the tournament.
While there is no championship to decide who is number one in the world, there is a year-ending ATP World Tour Final. In this tournament, which is held in November, in London, the top eight ranked qualifying players compete in a round robin format, as opposed to a single elimination draw which is utilized in regular tournaments.
While it is considered quite an accomplishment to win this year ending tennis event, it does not carry the weight or honor of winning a Grand Slam!
All tournaments played during the year have ranking points. Certain tournaments carry more point values than others. The larger tournaments require a higher ranking to be able to qualify to compete in. It’s like Minor and Major League Baseball. In tennis, lower ranked players, must play in what is referred to as the satellite tour/challenger events. These smaller tournaments do not carry as high of a ranking point value as the larger tournaments. They also do not offer as much prize money. Players often struggle playing on the satellite tour, hoping to gain enough points to qualify for higher-ranking point value/higher prize money events.
There are four tournaments which are the most prestigious and carry the highest point values. They are referred to as the Grand Slams, aka “the majors.” They are, in order of occurrence, the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
Originally, three of the four Grand Slam tournaments were played on grass. Now, the only one that is still played on grass is Wimbledon, which is considered to be the Holy Grail of tennis tournaments and is referred to simply as “The Championships!” The U.S. Open and the Australian Open are played on hard courts and the French Open is still now, and has always been, played on clay.
An interesting note in tennis history is that the U.S. Open is the only major to have been played on all three surfaces and the only player to win on all three surfaces was Jimmy Connors.
Beyond the ranking point value of the majors, there is a certain honor and privilege in being a Grand Slam champion. No matter what the highest career ranking you may have achieved, if you won even just one Grand Slam event, it puts you in a group of a special champions!
When you review and look at a players carrier history, while there may be a footnote of how many months a player held the number one world ranking, or what their career win / loss percentage was, a players success is measured by how many majors they have won.
The great Rod Laver, aka “The Rocket,” who despite being banned from playing the Grand Slam tournaments for the five years prior to the Open Era, still won 11 singles titles. He is the only player to twice achieve the calendar year Grand Slam, in 1962 and 1969, and remains the only man to do so during the Open Era. While he also contributed to five Davis Cup titles for Australia during an age when Davis Cup was deemed as significant as the Grand Slams, Laver has stated that major titles are the most important thing for a player to have on their career resume!
Roger Federer stated in a recent interview, that while he was disappointed that he was unable to compete in the 2016 Olympics, he was more upset that he would not be able to play in the 2016 U.S. Open.
Federer already holds two Olympic medals, as well as a list of stand alone statistical records which is too long to list in this article, including holding the longest run as number one ranked player in the open era of tennis. But the highlight of his career is his accomplishments in major titles. He has won more majors than any player in the history of open tennis. Federer has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, including seven Wimbledon’s, as well as five consecutive U.S. Open titles, 2004 to 2008!
At age 35, and currently recovering from knee and back injuries, Federer realizes the opportunity for him to win another major is becoming more challenging each year. He has stated that he has no plans of retirement in the near future and is looking forward to being back in good health and ready to compete at the Australian Open in January of 2017. However, it will be quite a challenge for Federer to win another major.
One thing that makes the Grand Slam events different from all other tournaments is that the men must play three out of five sets and win seven rounds to become champion.
Depending on his ranking in the beginning of 2017, when Federer plays at the Australian Open, he may have to play three of the top five seeds in the draw to win the tournament, and those will most likely be back-to-back matches in the quarters, semis and final.
Two other top dogs in the hunt for Grand Slam titles in 2017 are Andy Murray, who has arguably had the best year of his career, and Novak Djokovic, who is currently also at the top of his game.
There are other sharks in the water as well.
Despite all of his injuries, Rafael Nadal is always a threat, and let’s not forget Federer’s fellow countryman, Stan Wawrinka, who just won the U. S. Open title.
All of the above mentioned players are top contenders and frequently comment on how competing in the majors is so important to them.
Between ESPN, the Tennis Channel and coverage by the major networks, all four of the Grand Slams will be televised. So, make an effort in 2017 to watch some of the Grand Slam events. Even if you are not a big fan of watching tennis on TV, you may just discover what an exciting, and entertaining sport tennis truly is.
Wayne Clark is a certified professional tennis instructor with over 25 years experience coaching players on all levels of the game. Wayne is also qualified in pickleball instruction. He has been the head instructor at The Marco Island Racquet Center since 2001. The Racquet Center offers clinics, private and group lessons for both tennis and pickleball. Coach Wayne’s Island Kids Tennis juniors program runs year round and has classes for players from kindergarten through high school. Contact Coach Wayne by email at [email protected], by phone or text at 239-450-6161, or visit his website at marco-island-tennis.com.
Dying to Survive, Part 4 Coping With Heart Disease, Complacency, Indifference, and a Flawed Healthcare System
By Roy Eaton
As they began to place the mask over my face, for the first time in my life, I truly believed I was now in God’s hands and felt a calmness engulf my body and mind.
The next thing I remember was hearing hushed voices in the background to my right and wondering if I was alive or had gone to another place. I had read and heard of patients who could not be revived after surgery and others who were left comatose and later been taken off the respirator and passed. Because I feared this could occur while unconscious, but cognizant, Debbie and I had developed a code to minimize such an occurrence. If I was heavily sedated, but conscious, she would take my hand and I would use my thumb to communicate. I would squeeze once for yes, twice, for no. If I couldn’t use my thumb, I would blink my eyes in the same manner. Within a few seconds, although heavily sedated, I recognized Debbie’s voice. The doctor told her she could see me for a few seconds, but I most likely would not be responsive. She took my hand and asked if I was in pain. She would later tell me that at first, I began continuously blinking both eyes and intermittently squeezing her hand with my thumb, but calmed down after a few seconds and focused on her questions. She had asked if I was in pain and I squeezed her hand twice. She asked if I knew who she was and I had squeezed once. She then asked if I knew she loved me and I again had squeezed once. The doctor became concerned for I heard him say, “We have to go, you’re over-stimulating him. I don’t want him coming out of this too early.” I thought, no we don’t want him to be over-stimulated. Debbie would later tell me that I was brought out of the recovery room five hours later.
The next few days were rough. When I awakened and viewed the stitched incision that ran from the inside of my left elbow to the wrist of my hand I was disturbed. I thought, did they cut this with a can opener? Debbie and I laughed later when I said I could always say I survived a “great white attack.” I had never experienced the degree of pain felt when they sat me up for the first time. That is, until the second day, when “Nurse Ratched” came to remove the three drainage plugs from my chest cavity. She slowly pulled out the first two as I moaned and groaned. She said she would remove the third one on the count of three. On two, she removed the third in one quick tug. I immediately, but subconsciously wanted to retaliate by yanking out every stand of hair from her head. The second night following my surgery Debbie took me for walks, which really helped, because I was home by the afternoon of the fourth day. But my stay was again not without incident. I am highly allergic to perfume and a sign had been posted on the door of my room. Yet, a nurse had entered my room heavily scented in perfume and was asked to leave. When confronted, she replied, “I’m the only one assigned to you today, so it’s me or no one.” My immediate response was, “Then it will be no one.” The next time she entered the room, I barely detected a scent.
When Debbie and I returned home I chose not to enter the premises, but opted instead to take a walk even though it was a warm, humid afternoon. I grabbed the red, heart-shaped pillow that had been provided to prevent movement of the breast bone which had been wired shut, clutched it firmly against my chest, and went for a twenty minute walk, praying the entire time that I would refrain from coughing and sneezing. Debbie couldn’t take off from work, which was OK, since a nurse came daily to check my vitals and see how I was doing. The first month was difficult for the pain, at times, was excruciating, which caused me to seek an epidural to ease the pain, and when that proved ineffective, a dozen sessions of acupuncture, which eliminated most of the discomfort.
During the next few years I periodically experienced periods of angina, which my cardiologists believed were related to the progression of the disease in my minor veins and spasms in the lining of the artery walls. Other than my normal bi-annual stress testing, no major heart procedures were ordered for a period of ten years. But, in 2009, I would again be forced to enter another cath lab for an angiogram.
The cartilage on the inside of both knees had been worn from excessive use, which resulted in the inside of the femur resting with minimal cushion on the inside of the tibia. I received shots in both knees for several years, but the positive effects soon became negligible, and I was scheduled for a double, partial knee replacement. After completing my preadmission testing and consultation for my pending surgery, I experienced a mild episode of angina and my general practitioner sent me to a local hospital for a stat blood test of my liver enzymes, a test she was unable to conduct at her office for an immediate reading. The next thing I knew, I was being admitted into the hospital and within an hour was visited by a cardiologist on call who told my wife and I that I would have a stress test probably followed by an angiogram and the insertion of several stents. I asked if my liver enzymes and EKG showed signs of a cardiac event. “No, but I want to be certain” was the reply. I asked to be released but was told if I left the hospital against the advice of my attending physician, my insurance would not cover my visit. I called my internist whose partner and husband explained the purpose of my visit, but that too did not gain my release. I was told I would be kept overnight for observation and if all went well, I’d be released the following day. As I prepared to go home the next morning I was told an echocardiogram would be conducted and if that was OK, then I would be sent home. After my testing and my time for release passed, I asked to speak to the doctor but was told he was in the middle of a procedure, and although my test was OK, I would be kept in the hospital for further testing. I contacted my primary cardiologist and scheduled a next day appointment with him. I then called a local cardiologist who was a friend and back-up for my primary specialist and told her my story. It was as if I was the participant in a bad episode of “The Twilight Zone.” She came down within a half hour and signed me out. Because of what had occurred, I could not be cleared for surgery unless I underwent another angiogram, which was conducted by my primary cardiologist the following day. No major blockages were found and I had my surgery.
Throughout the years I learned to differentiate between angina, chronic back pain, a result of a serious fall in my late twenties, and re-flux, developed from my strict vegan diet and heavy doses of niacin taken to increase my HDL. Although one can never be sure, I found if I took an aspirin and pain failed to subside, I felt relatively assured it was either my back or reflux, the latter not seeming to be positional.
I have periodically undergone various forms of cardiac testing during the last seven years, and to date had only one frustrating, inexplicable incident. Several years ago I received the results from another nuclear stress test, which stated that I had stents in place, had no bypass surgery and no signs of damage from a cardiac infraction. I called several times to talk to either the doctor who interpreted the data, or the director of the facility but was not taken seriously. The final time I called and asked that my name be given to the editor of the Harvard Medical Journal. After a long pause, the nurse on the phone said, “you can’t be serious.” I said I certainly was, “because I am the only documented patient in history to have the dead muscle caused by a cardiac infarction (heart attack) completely rejuvenated without the use of stem cell replacement!” I later showed my report to my primary cardiologist who agreed, when possible, all future stress testing should be conducted on site.
This is my story told to the best of my recollection. Though my wife and I have endured an unimaginable sequence of events, we believe we are truly fortunate for we’re still alive, and through trial and error and a degree of luck, and are blessed to have, what we consider, the best team of practitioners in their fields of expertise. And, although we think our experience has been difficult, we do not believe it to be entirely unique. Over twenty-five million Americans suffer from heart disease and millions of others from different life-threatening illnesses. And, we believe many of their stories are more complex and their outcomes, less favorable.
Although great strides have been made to slow the progression of heart disease, it continues to shorten the lives of over half a million people each year. Hopefully, my story illustrates the need to be diligent when selecting physicians, and scrupulously attentive when monitoring the care they provide. Maintaining sound health and dealing with life-threatening illnesses require a collective effort and should be treated as such. Since patients are often confined by self-imposed limitations and frightened by long-term prospects when first informed of severe illnesses, the more expedient and accurate the prognosis, the more likely one is to begin to address the disease. And, the more empathy, understanding, and concern shown to a patient, the more apt one is to enjoy a better quality of life. Yes, heart disease, like any sickness, can be a progressive and debilitating illness, but having this affliction doesn’t mean we cannot live and enjoy a relatively normal life with our loved ones and friends.
By Steve “Stef” Stefanides
The impact that Marco Island has on the tourist tax income levels within Collier County was on full display earlier this week when Jack Wert, the executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau shared a memo from personnel at the Research Data Services Group.
Much discussion was spent on the reduction of the tourist tax dollars during the first half of 2016, but that may be directly related to the ongoing renovations being done at the Marco Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa on the island.
Only 20-25% of the original meeting space is presently available for use due to the renovations, which are continuing. Couple that with the reduction in available rooms and you can envision the major positive impact that the facility will have within Collier County when it becomes fully operational.
Future numbers will be impacted once the Marriott’s 238 room units and meeting space, which are not in use while undergoing renovations, become available. The meeting space is being expanded to almost 100,000 square feet of state-of-the-art ballrooms and meeting areas.
Had those 238 units been available at the 76.9% occupancy rate, the numbers for Collier County would not have been negative, but would have shown a 2.2% increase in tax revenues. Those numbers would have also reflected another 7,000 additional overnight guests for that same time period.
The closures of the Hilton on the island and other properties, such as the Ritz-Carlton and the La Playa Club in Naples, for renovations will also have a temporary impact on the numbers being reported.
Sustaining the growth seen from 2013 to 2015 sets a fairly high bar for any area. However, with the reopening of the newly renovated JW Marriott Resort on Marco in 2017, and the facelift being done at the Hilton, scheduled for completion later this fall, Marco Island is poised to remain a major attraction for the Southwest Florida area and Collier County.
Add to that the expected upscale corporate bookings that the JW Marriott is anticipating, and Marco Island will continue to be a very desirable location to book a vacation or a corporate retreat.
Marco Island’s Police Chief Al Schettino and Fire Chief Mike Murphy have extended an invitation to all Marco Island residents to participate in “Coffee with the Chiefs” at Starbucks on September 30 and October 27 from 7:30-9:30 AM. Starbucks is located at 1080 N. Collier Boulevard, Marco Island.
Chiefs Schettino and Murphy believe that keeping the lines of communication open with the public is integral to developing positive partnerships within the community. The goal of this open forum is to identify, prioritize and solve local problems, including safety, crime, and quality of life issues.
This is a great opportunity to meet and talk to the Island’s Police and Fire Chiefs in a casual setting and to directly voice any questions or concerns.
For more information, please call the Marco Island Police Department at 239-389-5050 or the Marco Island Fire Department at 239-389-5040.
Keeping You Safe
Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, commonly called CPR, is one of the main elements to survival in cardiac arrest. To clear up a common misconception before going any further, the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest is very simple. A heart attack occurs when a blocked artery prevents oxygenated blood from reaching one or multiple sections of the heart. If the blocked artery is not medically evaluated and treated rather quickly, the part of the heart that is normally nourished by the affected artery begins to slowly die. The longer a person goes without treatment the heart will sustain greater damage. Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate and intense or could start slowly and persist for hours, days or weeks before the actual event of the heart attack. Symptoms can range from, but are not limited to, chest discomfort or pain affiliated with or without pain that radiates to the left arm, pale skin, nausea, shortness of breath, diaphoresis (sweating) and any other discomfort elsewhere in the upper body. Heart attack symptoms can appear the same or different for women and should be dealt with more cautiously due to its potential discreetness. More common symptoms for women include arm, back, neck, and jaw pain; these symptoms may indicate a heart attack and should also be treated with a sense of urgency. Unlike in cardiac arrest, the heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack, but with any of these symptoms listed above, dial 9-1-1 right away for immediate medical attention.
Cardiac arrest, like mentioned earlier, is an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an ineffective-irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other vital organs. Basically, the heart stops completely or it may just quiver and not beat efficiently. Each year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur in the United States. The American Heart Association (AHA) has found that almost 90 percent of people who suffer out of hospital cardiac arrests die. With these numbers being so high, it’s up to all of us to make a difference. CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. The AHA has found that if you are called on to administer CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you love: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend. This is mainly because70 percent of out of hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. Unfortunately, only about 46% of people who experience an out of hospital cardiac arrest get the immediate help that they need before professional help arrive. Talking from experience, a firefighter/paramedic is thrilled when called to a cardiac arrest and someone on scene is doing good effective
There are many organizations that offer CPR classes, and for the most part, are all very similar. All of these organizations stay very current in what are the latest CPR techniques and stay up-to-date on research in what saves lives most effectively. That being said, it is important to always stay current and take a CPR class every two years. The Marco Island Fire Foundation in conjunction with the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department offers free CPR classes that teach you the most recent material prepared by the American Heart Association. To schedule a CPR class at the fire station please contact Mary Husted at 239-389-5040. Always remember that there are three key elements in the chain of survival when in cardiac arrest:
1. Early recognition and calling 9-1-1.
2. Early CPR.
3. Early defibrillation.
This fire safety message brought to you by the City of Marco Island Fire Rescue Department. Chris Bowden is a Marco Island Firefighter/Paramedic as well as the Public Education Coordinator. Growing up on the Island, he feels passionate about giving back to the community. During his time off, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Katie and daughter Emily. Chris can be contacted at [email protected] or 239-389-5040.
Getting to Know Your Firefighters
Robert Riegler, known mainly as “Bobby” by his fellow firefighters, is truly one of the best in the business. Born and raised in Miami, Bobby graduated from Christopher Columbus High School and has more than 15 years experience being a firefighter and in emergency medical services. He is currently working on his bachelor degree in emergency and disaster management. Robert started his career with AMR (American Medical Response) as an emergency medical technician, quickly working his way up the ladder to shift supervisor overseeing more than 300 employees and 70 ambulances daily. He also served as part of AMR’s Miami-Dade County Division Federal Disaster Strike Team as a lead supervisor during Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, Hurricane Ivan in Pensacola, and Hurricane Charlie in the Southwest Florida/Port Charlotte area. Working alongside with FEMA DMAT teams and multi-Florida agencies during Hurricane Charlie, Robert found new interest working with Collier County EMS crews and became familiar with all of the Southwest Florida emergency personnel. In 2006, Robert joined the Collier County EMS Department as a paramedic/firefighter but soon after, decided he would make the transition to the highly respected Marco Island Fire Rescue Department. Being with Marco Island Fire Rescue for nearly nine years now, he holds the title of Rescue Lieutenant. Aside from work, he makes time at home for his lovely wife of 14 years Michelle and four adorable kids: Robert Jr., 13, Nicholas,10, Madison,8, and last but not least, Aubree, 2. He volunteers as a football coach, and also as a baseball coach for a little league team. He also manages his own lawn and landscape corporation.
By Roger LaLonde
The Marco Island Academy Homecoming Queen Jamy Spencer was surprised and thrilled to be named. She thought it was “pretty cool.”
Bon Deese, named Homecoming King, was pleased but his football team’s loss to St. John Neumann on Friday night slightly dampened the honor. Marco Island Academy (MIA) lost, 31-21.
Seven football players were part of the court, but did not take part in the halftime ceremonies to be with their team during halftime strategy discussions with the coaching staff.
Deese was not able to put on his crown until after the game.
Football players were represented by relatives at half time when the full court was announced and Spencer received her crown.
Players in the court included Dom Moller, Jay Cartwright, Jack Fabian, Tanner Prange, Kyle Ginther and Will Carlisle.
Spencer, a senior, is the daughter of John and Amy Spencer. She was escorted by her father. She is a cheerleader, plays basketball, is a member of Key Club and the Student Leadership Team.
Deese, a senior, was represented by his mother, Celeste Hardie. Deese is a member of the basketball and baseball teams.
Senior Caitlyn Smith is the daughter of Chris and Cathy Schmidt. She was escorted by her father. She is a member of the Interact Club and Student Leadership Team.
Senior Will Carlisle is the son of Scott and Sandy Carlisle. His parents represented him at half time. Will plays football, basketball and is a member of the Key Club and Interact Club.
Senior Kalli Jacobs is the daughter of Steve and Kay Jacobs. Her father was her escort. Kalli is a member of the STEM Club, Key Club and plays tennis.
Senior Kyle Ginther is the son of Darren and Lisa Ginther. He is a member of the football and basketball teams. He is also a member of the STEM Club.
Senior Sydney Feriozzi is the daughter of Stacy and John Feriozzi. She was escorted by her father. She is a captain on the MIA cheerleading team and a member of the Student Leadership Team.
Senior Joey Politi is the son of Danielle and Joe Politi. He is a member of the Key Club. His mother was his escort.
Senior Larysa Chistik was escorted by her brother Ivan. She is a captain of the cheerleading team.
Senior Tanner Prange is the son of Jim and Missy Prange. His mother served as his escort. He is a member of the MIA football team.
Junior Elizabeth Schultheis is the daughter of Stephany Riordan who was her escort. Elizabeth is a member of the soccer team and Key Club.
Junior Jack Fabian is the son of Tad and Maria Fabian. He was represented by his mother. Jack is a member of the football team and Key Club.
Sophomore Sierra Prange is the daughter of Missy and Jim Prange. She was escorted by her father.
Sophomore Jim Jay Cartwright is the son of Jenny and Jay Cartwright. A member of the football team, he was represented by his parents.
Freshman Susan Lynn is the daughter of Susan and Ron Linn. She was escorted by her father. She is a member of the cheerleading team and the MIA Poetry Club.
Freshman Dom Moller is the son of Vince and Tina Moller. A football player, he was represented by his parents.
By Roger LaLonde
Marco Island Academy lost to St. John Neumann in a ruggedly fought football game, 31-21, that dampened a part of its homecoming week on Friday, September 23.
By the end of the game, referee flags were flying as emotions got the better of both teams.
The win gives St. John Neumann a 1-0 record in Class 2A-District 7 play. MIA falls to 0-2.
The Rays coach Damon Coiro wanted his team to get off to a fast start, which they haven’t been doing. It didn’t look good when the Celtics scored first. The extra point made it 7-0 after just 90 seconds into the game.
But Vinnie Moller finished off a drive with a five-yard score and Tyler Gresham caught a Matt Grille pass and shred tacklers for a 79-yard touchdown jaunt. When Moller made good on a two-point conversion the Rays were ahead, 14-7, after one quarter.
Just nine seconds into the second quarter the Celtic quarterback, Jensen Jones, hit wide receiver Ross Zepeda, who raced 53 yards for a score. MIA’s Bon Deese blocked the extra point kick to leave the Rays up 14-13.
When the Celtics Stanley Thompson ran for a 12-yard score and Tevon Petit made good on a two-point conversion the Celtics took the lead, 21-14, as the second quarter ended.
Jones hooked up with Ross Zepeda for a 75-yard pass play for a touchdown and the extra point put MIA in a 28-14 hole in the third quarter.
But MIA scored when the Celtics punter saw the ball soar over his head and the Rays tackled him on the Celtics one-yard line. Moller scored and Josh DaCruz’s extra point kick made it 28-21 as the third quarter ended.
The fourth quarter saw each team mount drives, but penalties and solid defensive plays didn’t change the score until 4:14 left in the game.
After back-and-fourth penalties, the Celtics Juan Pablo Pinilla made good on a 22-yard field goal to end the scoring.
MIA’s Bon Deese also blocked a field goal try. Late in the game Deese went from tight end to tackle to strengthen the defense. Kyle Ginther was a stalwart on the defensive line. Quarterback Matt Grille, Moller and Gresham led the offense.
The Rays host First Baptist Academy at 7 PM on September 30.