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Bonitians speak out
By Heather Thomson
Riverfest Thank You A6 81
Bonita Springs - For any business it's good to step back periodically, take stock of what has been accomplished, and reset the course for the future. It's good for government too and, on October 24, City Council will convene a strategic planning session at the Trianon Hotel. "The vast majority of this workshop will be the Council going through a methodical process determining priorities. Not how to get them done or who should do it, but "what the priorities are;' said City Manager Carl Schwing. The Spotlight recently asked Bonitians from across the City for their views on top City priorities over the next two to three years. Early last decade, roads, the environment and green space topped Bonita's list of priorities. Today, not surprisingly, economic development is on many minds. See what they said, on page A16. And what's on your mind? The City wants to know. See page A16 for the City's questionnaire. You can drop it off or mail it to City Hall, or just email your views to City Clerk Dianne Lynn at the address provided on the questionnaire. Schwing would like to receive community input in early October, in time to compile it for the City Council workshop. "We want to involve the community without everyone having to show up at the workshop;' where there will be some time constraints, he said.
City Elections A21
Stoff Photo I info@SWSpo~ight.com
Bonita Springs' resident Cullum Hastey expects the walking trail along the Imperial River, called the Bonita River Trail, to be ready in about a year.
Bonita River Trail: One man's vision
By Peter R. O'Flinn
Bonita's Boy Scouts Real Estate Watch Sixth Grade
A12 All B7
Bonita Springs - In the 1990s Cullum Hasty set out to do the improbable. Now, he has accomplished what seems the impossible. Over 14 years, as Bonita Springs teemed with real estate development, Hasty has assembled prime parcels along a mile-long corridor of the Imperial River for one pur-
pose, their preservation so a public trail can transport walkers into the old real Florida. In September, the last critical link was acquired, a parcel with over 100 feet of river frontage. Hasty expects the walking trail, called the Bonita River Trail, will be ready in about a year. Initially the trail will start at Bonita Springs' new Carpenter Lane Park, located
Continued on page A14
Small Business of the Year A19
AS A6 A6 A9
The pursuit of happiness Library update Redistricting Meet Dave Grothaus
AS A6 Ben Nelson's column Up and Down the Trail
A11 Spotlight Real Estate Watch A19 Bonita Business Beat A20 Opportunities to give back A23 Sunset of the month B2 B7 Events Teacher Spotlight
A 12 Bonita's Boy Scouts A16 Bonitians speak out A18 LARC A19 Small Business of the Year A21 City Elections
B11 Bonita's Best Friends B13 Artist of the month Dave Kellum B 15 Catch of the month
81 81 83
Why I love living in Bonita Springs Thank you Bonita inspires authors
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The pursuit of happiness
By Ben Nelson Jr.
email@example.com Bonita Springs - I spent the weekend attempting to do something that is rare for me to engage in ... nothing. Lori and I traveled to Georgia, hung our hammocks side by side on the porch, poured ourselves a cool drink and kicked back with books that we weren't all that interested in reading. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful, quiet day in the mountains and then... our neighbors woke up. Old Billy down the creek had apparently acquired four more hound dogs ... making it an even eight Ironically, we call Old Billy the Dog Whisperer. I say ironically because he loves to train hunting dogs, but it involves very little whispering and a great deal of screaming and barking. Today,he was apparently training a dog to imitate a seal '~, ARF,ARF!" Ten minutes later, the hound was still at it I lowered my book and looked at Lori over the top of my glasses. She looked back at me with her eyes crossed. Right! I got up and walked over to the end of the porch and was preparing to scream a neighborly "SHADDUPP!ll" when on the other side of the ridge I heard someone crank up a chain saw. It revved up to a high-pitched scream and then stayed that way.Well, at least I couldn't hear the dog barking anymore. I went back to my hammock and tried desperately to meditate the noise away. But after ten minutes of brain scrambling noise I sat up. "Oh for Pete's sake ... How big of a tree is he cutting down?" Lori didn't reply. "Hey!" I hollered to her through cupped hands. Nothing, she just kept reading. I leaned towards her and then I noticed the headphones. She was in her own little world listening to her iPod. How dare she not be as upset as I was about the lack of peace and quiet! But before the "sitcom" husband in me had the opportunity to try to make sure she was as irritated as I was, I heard my closest neighbor crank up a leaf blower. This lady has been known to chase a single leaf down her 1,000foot drive way. "ENOUGHl" I roared, shooting out of my hammock like it was a catapult! Lori looked up. "Did you say something?" "Oh... very funny" I said and then I pointed up the mountain. "These people have no right to disrupt the one day that I have to enjoy the blissful quiet of these lousy mountains!" I slipped on my boots and went trudging off through the gate and up the hill. "What?" hollered Lori. "ARRRGHl" was all I could get out As I approached the obsessive-compulsive leaf chaser, I noticed that she had a big smile on her face, which was irritating, but it stopped me in my tracks. She was methodically moving back and forth cleaning her driveway with a genuine look of contentment on her face. She was oblivious to me, and everything around her. I knew that look It was the look of contentment you get from doing a simple task that you really enjoy. Sweeping, gardening, painting ... (Well, not painting, at least not for me.) I didn't have it in me to take that from her, so I turned my attention towards the inconsiderate neighbor with the screaming chain saw. As I pushed through the brush straight up the hill, I could see him at the bottom of the gully. He was surHe was concentrating but relaxed as he circled the log, cutting away everything that wasn't a bear. I knew that There was no possible excuse for that. But when I reached Billy'shouse I could see exactly what was going on. The entire family was in the front yard watching a tiny Boston Terrier play a game of tag with an extremely large bloodhound. The small dog was popping in and out of different places under the old house. It was absolutely hilarious. And the laughter of the family was surpassed only by the look of joy that the Boston Terrier wore. It was clear that everyone around me was blissfully involved in their own personal pursuit of happiness. But how was I supposed to tolerate my neighbors' pursuits when they were in such obvious conflict with my own? Since that day, the noise of life doesn't bother me quite as much, not only because I realize that I'm responsible for generating a great deal of my own, but because I believe that the pursuit of happiness is likely the primary goal and right in allour lives,deserving of as much respect and tolerance as we can give to one another. Oh, .. also because I bought some great headphones.
Neil Nelsonl Special to the Spo~ight
The pursuit of happiness is likely the primary goal and right in all our lives.
rounded by logs that were carved into bearsl The one he was working on was a particularly large carving of a mother and her cub that was magically appearing from a large oak log. I could see his face through the visor. lookaswell.Hmmpb. .. Probably someone I'd like to talk to someday, I thought .. but not today, he looked busy and ... happy. As I made my way back, everything had quieted down except for the barking dog.
.... S9uthwest Spotlight
Up and Down the Trail
Spotlight Staff Report
The Everglades Wonder Gardens, a defining presence on Old 41 for over 75 years, is no longer for sale. "We just let our listing expire. We took it off the market and we are preparing for another season;' said David Piper. Piper runs the business together with his wife Dawn Marie Piper. The Wonder Gardens is a unique roadside attraction that preserves an old Florida flavor dating to 1936, when it opened with a 35 cents admission fee. Recently, it has enjoyed some of its best years, with yearly attendance near alltime highs. Piper considered a sale of the property in a limited process after initiallyexploring a transaction that would have preserved the property for public use. ''We were just trying to do what is best for Bonita;' he said.
Wonder Gardens no longer for sale
The most viable option for a bigger improved Bonita Springs library is ~ new facility in a new location, not an expanded library at the present location. That, in substance, is the preliminary conclusion of Lee County staff and engineers, according to City documents. Last spring, the volunteer BonitaSprings Library Task Force determined that the existing Lee County library on Pine Street was inadequate for local needs. It concluded almost 36,000 square feet, or three times the existing space, was needed. City Council endorsed their view. "The existing library land parcel is not large enough to accommodate a 24,000 square foot building addition," and associated improvements, said a report prepared by Daniel Lee Cruz, Lee County Department of Construction and Design. Other similarly sized County libraries are situated on land well over twice the area of that available at the Bonita Springs Library site on Pine Avenue, it said Based on these comparisons, "it is reasonable to presume that without the addition ofland, a library expansion ... " to a total size of 36,000 square feet "is impossible:' The report listed 16 "extraordinary challenges anticipated as part of any development of the exi~g site;' including that the exist-
County: New building best for bigger Bonita &brary
ing building is below currently required flood elevation. City staff reported that Lee County staff has been reviewing library options available with "willingness and enthusiasm". For a building of 36,000 square feet, County engineering staff has preliminarily concluded that looking at other properties "for a new building or retrofitting an existing building" is the most viable option, City staff said As reported first by the Spotlight last month, the County's new budget now has a line item for the new or expanded library, but the "amount and timing is to be determined" That is not a "no" to a bi~er library, But it sure isn't a yes" either. And what about that $4 million some Bonitians believe the County has committed? That is the commitment of one man, County Commissioner Ray Judah. He made it first in 2007 and repeated it when the City Council met with the Lee County Commissioners this May. Judah has said that funds could be allocated once a definitive plan is developed As we reported last month, Judah said some of the four other Commissioners might say the County never made a commitment. "I will have to remind them" of the contributions of Bonita, he said. At a minimum, several commissioners may need reminding. At th~ May meet_ing between City Council and County Commissioners, one Commissioner mused about the need to "look at our library system as a whole." Another labeled the meeting "a happy little get together while we talk about money we don't have:' Starting in 2007, County Commissioners came under pressure to spend down library reserve funds. They obliged As library property taxes fell, the reserve fund dropped from $60 million to about $9 million. City Councilmember BillLonkart has his eye on over $600 million in other County reserve accounts. "They do have the ability to help us;' he said. In mid September, Mayor Ben Nelson wrote to the Lee County Commissioners requesting a firm commitment for the library project.
down the Imperial River. A few years ago after heavy rains, monitoring station gauges showed the river's depth at a near record depth. When Simons picked up the phone, Cullum Hasty was on the other end. "C'mon, let's go down the river;' he said. '~e you kidding?" said Simons. An hour later Simons found herself in the front seat of Hasty's sixteen-foot canoe. "Don't worry;' he said, "I'll do the steering." As the canoe hurtled forward, Simons came to a realization, "I am not a passenger, I am a human crash dummy! All I could do was put my oars up in front of myself and backpedal a lot;' she said. A trip that normally takes two hours was over in just twenty minutes. There will be more river fun Saturday October 22. It's Bonita's 5th annual Riverfest at Riverside Park, including a fish fry, rubber duck race and artist displays at the Liles Hotel And, there's the Imperial River Challenge, at more normal levels than Simons' ride, for canoe and kayak enthusiasts.
Martha Simons recently recalled the ride of a lifetime
Bonita Riverfest set for October 22
There's more than one way to do democracy, and the way representatives are elected in Lee County and Bonita Springs is a good example. In Bonita Springs, voters in each district separately elect City Council members. Only the Mayor is elected by citywide vote. Compare that to Lee County where every County voter gets to elect every Commissioner, no matter the district. So, for example, residents of Alva, Lehigh Acres, Captiva and Cape Coral have as much say in electing Bonita Springs District 3 represe~tative, Ray Judah, as do Bo~ta Springs voters. And VIce versa. The rationale for this system is that although Commissioners are accountable at the ballot box to all voters in the County, voters in each district nevertheless have someone to turn to on a regular basis to convey their concerns. "It helps things run a little bit more smoothly if people know who to go to get the information that they need;' County Planner Rick Burris told the Spotlight. The one and only substantive requirement is that the five individuals serving as Commissioners must
Lee County redistricting
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Dave Grothaus throws hat into the Mayoral ring
By Peter R. O'Flinn
Bonita Springs - At an early August City Council meeting, David Grothaus' appointment to a vacancy on the City's Veteran's Advisory Committee was approved. At the session, Grothaus dutifully apprised Council of his extensive background in law enforcement and military service, including his start as a state trooper in Missouri and senior positions with the ATF bureau, from which he retired four years ago. He also served in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army. As Grothaus headed back to his seat, he crossed paths with the next speaker, Captain Kathy Rairden of the Lee County Sherriff's office. The affable Rairden stopped to chat briefly with Grothaus .. To laughs among those in Council chambers, Mayor Ben Nelson Jr. quipped to Rairden, "You are recruiting our people right in front of us:' As it turns out, Grothaus is looking for a different
job, Nelson's job. He wants to be Mayor. "I have always had a hankering for politics, from when I was a kid watching Walter Cronkite on television;' Grothaus told the Spotlight in a recent interview at a local coffee shop. When I was in the cadet program at highway patrol, I was elected vice commander of my class. So I have always had an interest in being at the front of the pack and helping to shape things:' The Hatch Act and other regulations prohibit the involvement of federal law enforcement and active military personnel in partisan political activity. So Grothaus' interest in entering the political arena was deferred. Uncle Sam even cost him a false start shortly after he and his wife settled in Bonita in 2009. "I was looking at City Council, but at the time the election was held I was called up to active duty:' His days in the Army Reserve are drawing to a close, and with his current "inactive" status an additional call up is not in the cards.
Contributed I firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Grothaus is running for Mayor of Bonita Springs.
To Grothaus, a goal deferred is not a goal denied. He saw that the Mayor's race was upcoming and pulled up City documents where he saw that the Mayor's role is "kind of a Councilman at large!ambassador for the City." "I thought, 'I can do that;" said Grothaus. '1have the qualifications. So I made the decision that I was going to do it,"
Since the days he watched Walter Cronkite, Grothaus, who builds a fourmile outdoors run into his daily regimen, has been busy. In staccato style, he ticked off a list of life experiences. "I worked as a cop. Worked as a manager. Managed budgets. Worked on Capitol Hill. Lived in five different states. Been on every continent except Antarctica. I have a Master degree in management, undergraduate degree in business, and an associate degree in law enforcement." His resume fills two single spaced pages, including a 17-year career at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Starting as a Special Agent in St. Louis, he rose to management positions in Washington, DC including chief of Legislative Affairs and chief of Advanced Firearms and Operations Training. He managed a $380 million budget for the ATF's Field Operations unit. Grothaus holds a Master Degree in Management from Johns Hopkins and attended the Executive Leadership Institute at the Uni-
versity of Virginia, among other educational accomplishments. And then there are his professional certifications. He is an open water diver, holds a commercial pilots license, a certified fraud and fire investigator, a member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, and a member of the Airborne Law Enforcement Association, to name a. few. "From an educational standpoint and from an experience standpoint I am well suited for this job;' he said. "I haven't just been a cop." What about the fact that he is a relative newcomer to the area? "I chose to live in Bonita;' he said. "This is where I picked. They are not getting me by default. I wanted to move here. I chose this ]?lace.That is why I am here. "I am qualified, and that should be all that matters to people. It should not be a question of how long you have been in Bonita," said Grothaus. "It's a question of why would you be a good Mayor:'
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Number of real estate transactions in the Bonita Springs Estero market 2010 January February March April May June July August September October SOURCE:
Spotlight Real Estate Watch
By Bill Barnes
Chief Executive Officer Bonita Springs Estero Association of Realtors
Springs-Estero Market continues to respond to both national and international news. Buyers are responding to opportunities, but then they often pull back in response to the nightly political or business news. The five-part look at the market shows interesting trend lines with only one consistent trend. Condos entering the market have increased for two months with 139 in June, 159 in July and 173 in August. Price declines and condos being listed both reflect a national trend In lower priced condos being unloaded due to less discretionary spending and the continuous rumors of the threat against mortgage interest deductibility in second homes in the future. August and September are traditionally slow months in the condominium market The August sales of 86 is 23 sales higher than August of 2010. As more condos flow
Bonita Springs - The Bonita
into the market the sales of units continues a five-month decline from a high of 175 condo sales in March. The single-family homes coming into the market continues to climb with 125 in June, 133 in July and 168 in August This increase does not seem to be related to the national trend of more distressed or foreclosed homes. Our local market seems to have bottomed out in July as to prices and there are still good buys in each price level. Many of the homes that may have gone
into the distressed sales group have been saved by excellent refinance opportunities with area lenders through quick and easy electronic processing programs. Our single family homes market had a nice August uplift over July with 29 more homes sold in August. This August uptrend is usually a factor of families trying to get into a home before school starts. This was accelerated in 2011 with the unusually early start of public schools on August 8. Just below 75 percent of the single-family
sales were under $300,000 which represents 73 of the 100 sales in that price range. The high end of the Market seems to have seen a drop in median prices for the first time in many months. Six of the "Top Ten" were under one million in August after several summer months of high sales. The top of the "Top Ten" was a sale of $3,500,000 in Rookery Lake at Bonita Bay. Other sales above the million dollar mark were on Bonita Beach, Marina Isle at Bonita Bay and River Reach.
160 175 219 263 174 179 144 132 121 80
December 2011 January February March April May June July August
125 177 165 215 271 312 236 216 183 189
from July's top 10 sales 4041 Arrowwood Ct. Bonita Bay 26636 Hickory Blvd. Bonita Beach 27553 River Reach Dr. River Reach Shadow Wood at the Brooks $3,500,000 $2,950,000 $1,420,000 $850,000
Lot, Land & Boat Dock .CondoNilia • Single Family
lady Burr, of the MLS Service/Data Department of BEAR, contributed to the reporting in this article.
Ii L keti
Boy Scouts of Bonita
By Kathy O'Flinn
cil of Boy Scouts of America.
Then it was very much an agrarian economy. "The 1910
the Southwest Florida Coun-
Bonita Springs - Turning
the corner at Shriver and Crockett in Old Bonita, the young recruits, with parents in tow, spilled out of pickups, vans and family cars on a muggy Tuesday evening. Replaying a scene from many of their fathers' early lives, they came to Fellowship Hall at the historic First United Methodist Church for the first Cub Scout meeting of the school year. Rachel and Chris Coglin looked on as their son Jacob, 7, ran through one of the obstacle courses. "He loves camping and outdoor stuff. He wants to get a pocket knife;' Rachel said with a laugh. That was Jacob's reason for joining the cub scouts. Most kids just want to have fun. Debby Roskuski, assistant scout leader, has been involved with scouting for 21 years. "It's an awesome opportunity for boys to learn and meet friends: "We have had scouting in Lee County from at least 1918:' according to Ron Barbour, District Director of
the advent of cell phones and modern communications we don't do that anymore."
sonal fitness according to its website. Today, scouts can earn medals in entrepreneurship, robotics, compos-
aluminum. Today locally there have been many service projects by Eagle scouts. One scout named Trevor collected toys for Health Park. On hospital visits a child now
Handbook gave instruction on how to stop a runaway horse ...
can select a teddy bear or a puzzle or some other toy from Trevor's closet. "There are church playgrounds, park shelters and innumerable projects that kids do;' said Barbour. Many scouts find lifelong hobbies or careers from the badges they've earned. "Steven Spielberg, an Eagle Scout, earned a photography merit badge and the first film he ever made was of a scout troop;' said Barbour. Of 115 merit badges, 50 percent are career oriented. As adults, a large percent of former scouts use what they learned in scouting everyday, according to one survey. Marlon Omdahl is pretty
David Michael I infa@swspo~ighl.com
Bonita Springs scouts were at the Patriot Day ceremony at Riverside Park last month.
Handbook gave instruction on how to stop a runaway horse, how to protect yourself from rabid animals and how to raise farm animals;' said Barbour. He learned Morse Code as a young scout ''With "It has evolved as the nation has evolved. We've kept up with the times without changing our basic principles," The Boy Scouts aim to build character, develop citizenship and foster perites, computers and space science. During World Wars I and II, scouts collected all types of materials needed for the war effort - thousands of pounds of clothes, cans and
excited about camping. "I like the camping trips and the activities;' he said. Camping still is a mainstay of scouting. Bonita Springs scouts camp at Price Sanders Scout Reservation in Punta Gorda or Camp Flying Eagle in Bradenton. Rowboats, canoes and rope courses, 1,200 acres of trails, a 48-foot climbing tower and ecology lodges help develop a love for outdoors. On weekend camping trips boys sleep in tents, cook their own food and build their own fires. When it's raining, they learn how to stay dry. "Scouting is built on success, learning a skill, then going on to the next skill A lot of what we do reinforces lessons learned;' said Barbour. "Their troop and Cub Scout meetings teach them self reliance and leadership. It transfers into their thinking that if they can accomplish this they can accomplish anything;' he said. Older boys also have the opportunity to achieve the Eagle Scout rank. Nationwide, only three to five percent of scouts earn the rank.
Continued on page A14
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and the owners of a billboard on 1-75. Hasty worked for over three years just to get one owner's attention. He started by knocking on the trailer door, left a note, then another,then tried series of "funny notes'; left phone messages, sent letters, then registered letters. "I could see lights on inside and hear people;' he said, "but they never opened the door." Finally, years later, Hasty received a call The owner had passed away, said the executor of the estate. "I heard you might be interested in the property;' she said. Eventually, the Bonita River Trail may join trails on the drawing board for lands of CREW, the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, the watershed east of the City. "The natural health of the river is in good condition because of CREW," says Hasty, "66,000 acres of clean water coming in because CREW is up there. The City of Bonita benefits from CREW and it is the gateway to CREW. Those two things work together." There is potential that a contiguous trail could reach as far as
Continued on next page
from page Al north of Oakland Drive in the vicinity of the Flamingo Island Flea Market. In time, the trail will start further west, at the end of Dean Street in old Bonita. It will travel east along the Imperial River through an existing tunnel under 175, "large enough to drive a semi through;' says Hasty, and then continue through Bonita Nature Place and Lee County's 20/20 lands on Bonita Grande Drive. "The River Trail is very cool" said City Councilmember Martha Simons. It's an opportunity to experience a very natural Florida environment in an urban setting. It took a lot of patience, and Cullum actually went out and did it," Hasty's idea had its genesis on the river in the 1990s. "I canoed the river and thought how beautiful it was on the water. I made it my business to come down here and look at all the properties along the edge of the river:' What he saw was "fantastic," he said, "and terribly under appreciated. Nobody had seen it all and it seemed like just a beautiful public asset. I felt somebody has to do this." His next step was old school. He printed out black and white line maps of each property from the Lee County Property Appraiser's site and cut them with scissors. "I cobbled the map together with adhesive tape and made the trail;' he said. Hasty researched property ownership along the river and found that, in the area east ofI -75, substantial property was owned by an alphabet soup of government agencies. They included the Florida Department of Transportation, the public safety department and South Florida Water Management District. Another owner was TIIF,
Initially, the Bonita River Trail will start at Carpenter vicinity of the Flamingo Island Flea Market. the state's Trustees of Internal Improvement Fund. The role, Judah declined credit. "It is Cullum who had the
north of Oakland
Drive in the
"This will be one of the great tourist attractions in Southwest Florida."
- Cullum Hasty
Florida legislature created the Improvement Fund in 1855 to encourage railroad development. Back then, it gave away 3,840 acres of swampland and state backed bonds for every mile of track laid. When Hasty began planning the river trail, the City of Bonita Springs did not exist. He approached Lee County Commissioner Ray Judah. "Don't you think that we can have cooperative effort here and make a river trail?" Hasty recalls asking. In a few days Judah had assembled all the governmental property owners, and their answer was a resounding "yes."The City ofBonita Springs now owns much of that public land. When asked about his vision," said Judah. "It is pristine old Florida Cullum recognized that and he saw the opportunity to work with the county, private property owners and other conservation organizations and piece together a contiguous trail along the river:' "It is a very precious natural treasure that Cullum has not just been able to protect;' said Judah, "but to make accessible for this and future generations:' Although much of the area eastofI-75 was publicly owned, almost all the land needed west of the highway was privately owned. Hasty cajoled some landowners to grant easements to the City for the walking trail, others agreed to sell their parcels outright.
The City purchased some parcels. Colleagues of Hasty purchased others, and then granted easements to the City for the trail. The City has been an active participant in the project, including purchasing several important parcels and pursuing grants to facilitate it. Hasty is particularly appre-
ciative of the efforts of Gary Price, former City Manager. The Bonita River Trail, when completed, will traverse over thirty parcels. Some owners cooperated quickly, others not so. Owners of parcels with long river frontage agreed to easements, including Flamingo Island Flea Mar-
from page Al2 "It's a very high honor," said Barbour. Two Presidents and 181 astronauts were Eagle Scouts. Twenty-one merit badges are required for the rank including the personal finance badge, physical fitness, environmental science, first aid and three citizenship badges. Joel Morrison, a 20-year Scoutmaster, proudly stated that nine Eagle Scouts came from his troop in the last 15 years. "Two or three more are knocking on the door;' he said. Older scouts can also par-
ticipate in the Explorer program where scout leaders try to match up the boys' career interests to real life. "There is an Explorer Post at the Estero Fire Department;' said Barbour. It's an opportunity to introduce scouts to the profession. Scouts can then make a. decision on whether it's a career fit or not. "The 'or not' is just as important as the 'ah hal' moments;' added Barbour. The Boy Scouts is no longer an all boy organization. Its Venture program is designed for girls and boys ages 14 to 20. They acquire high adventure skills such
as scuba diving or climb a highpoint on backpacking treks in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. As a volunteer organization, the Boy Scouts rely on parents like David Schmidt, a former scout and a troop leader for many years. "I get to see them become future leaders and turn into fine young men;' he said. Whether Marlon, Jacob and the other young scouts go on to become Eagle Scouts, Explorers or Venturers, they're sure to learn new skills,have fun in the process and yes, maybe even get a pocket knife.
Mon ...sat.9-7pm Sunday 1 (].4pm
STERILE PRODUCTS USED
J..:.. Sputhwest Spotllght
had the slowest growth, about 6 percent As required by state law, County staff's redistricting work was done with all the rigor of an exercise where votes count on a district, not countywide, basis. Standards included compactness to avoid gerrymandering, alignment by census tract geography, prominent physical features and established neighborhoods and avoidance of minority dilution. After public comment and Commissioner input in August yet another, sixth, version was prepared, so now Matlacha Isles shares a district with Matlacha, the Vines community shares a district with the rest of Estero, and Bayshore shares a district with Tice. There is still one more chance for public input, on October 11 at the Lee County courthouse. Don't fret if you don't get a chance to go. No matter where the district lines fall, you can still vote for every Commissioner, everypIe see this, the more it will be protected;' said Hasty. He is considering the feasibly of a suitable restaurant set up in a manner to "appreciate the river." "I bet this trail will be at least nationally famous;' said Hasty when asked to predict body still votes for "your" Commissioner, and you can still call on whichever Commissioner you want Did you know that the inspector who gives you your building permit works for the organization that is expanding the Panama Canal? The City is taking a look at its contract with CH2MHill, to which it outsources community development work. Most Councilrnembers say they are satisfied with the quality of the work; questions have been raised whether some cost savings can be realized ... The City locked in an interest rate on its debt refinancing that most homeowners would salivate over, 2.21 percent. The new deal will be a bank borrowing for the remaining ten years on the City's $24 million outstanding debt Previously, the City borrowed in a cooperative pool with other cities through the Florida League of Cities. the future. "I bet it will be known of in Germany" and other areas from which people visit the area. "This will be one of the great tourist attractions in Southwest Florida;' Hasty believes, "I think the biggest problem will be parking.'
Up and Down
actually live in their own district So, if every voter in the Coun~ gets to elect every district s Commissioner, why has the County embarked on a months long redistricting process? The answer is simple - it's the law.And by all indications the law is taken very seriously. In July, County staff prepared for County Commissioners' five alternative rearrangements of district lines to equalize the population of each district reflecting the 2010 census numbers. Lee County's population increased over 40 percent over the last ten years, and now totals over 600,000. District 3, which includes Bonita Springs, Estero and Fort Myers Beach, increased 20 percent The largest increases were in Lehigh Acres, Gateway and the area surrounding Florida Gulf Coast University. The city of Fort Myers area
Lake Trafford, almost 20 miles east. Hasty is working on ideas to make the Bonita Nature Trail an environmental attraction. "I have always thought that the more peo-
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I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
I I Strategic Planning I Questionnaire I The Bonita Springs City Council will hold a Strategic Planning Session October 24 at 8:30 a.m. at the Trianon Hotel. There will be some I public input at the meeting. In an effort to be more effective, the I City is looking to gather information for the Council to review prior to the Strategic Planning Session. I Please complete and return to City Hall by October 10 or I email dianne.lynn@(ityofbonitasprings.(om City of Bonita Springs I Attn: Dianne Lynn, City Clerk/Director of Administrative Services 9101 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Spri ngs, FL 34135 I I What are the top 4 PRIORITIES for our City to address over the next 2 to 3 years? I 1. __ 2. __ I 3. _ I 4. _ I What are the top 3 STRENGTHS of our City? I 1. _ 2. _ I 3. __ I What are the top 3 WEAKNESSES of our City? I 1. __ 2. __ I 3. __ I What are the top 3 OPPORTUNITIES for our City? I 1. __ 2. __ I 3. _ I What are the top 3 THREATS to our City? I 1. _ 2. _ I 3. _ I I The City of Bonita Springs thanks you for your participation. I Sponsored by I I ~ ....... I ~
What are your top priorities for our City to address over the next 2 to 3 years?
LINDA LILES EastofI-75:
To build up the downtown area of Bonita Springs... It would be great to have more businesses, stores, or even a dinner theater. The artist cottages (I was a guest artist at one) and the Liles Hotel GARY PRICE are great magnets, but there should be Old Bonita: more great placesfor families to come to. I Unless they increase taxes or incoming think thereshould be some policeprotection revenue, then it doesn't make much difas well; maybe police riding horses.People ference. It's about survival. They need to should feel safe... There are so many manage the upkeep of the City. It's about vacant buildings in downtown Old 41 keeping the people here safe. that should befilled with placesfor families to visit My husband is part of the pioneer TAYLOR POOLE family, and in turn I fell in love with 7th grade Bonita. It's a beautiful town ... we need to Bomta Middle: I would say stuff for families to do. getpeople to -wantto come to the downtown Peoplecan comefrom other states, or even area. from Bonita, and they can go out and bond and learn more about each other. I CLIFF WELLES would alsosayprotecting the environment, Old Bonita: The most pressing issuefor Bonita and so people can go and enjoy the beauty of SWFL is economicdevelopment. Wecannot nature and see what the earth has to offer rely on tourism and luxury homes to to us. maintain it We need to bring in clean, high tech industries to promote growth FRED FORBES and hirepeople. If we don't have the infra- Hunter's Ridge: The existing City Council, el'en though structureand carefullythought out economic incentives, we won't be able to attract from time to time they do something that I don't like, they need to do more of what them here. they've been doing to keep us in great financial shape... for economicdevelopment JOHN ELLIFF and in thefuture not raising taxes. If your Bonita Bay: Iwould say thefurther development of city is not in goodjinancial position, then downtown Bonita as a shopping experience. no one has an incentive to come here. A company wants to move to a city that has its act together... I would advocate that DR. WILLIAM GREGORY our city find a way to have a community Cedar Creek: I think that there is a true need for development council. affordable housingfor people in the service industry in this area. For the past ten KATHY MCGRATH years, I have lived and work here and I Bonita Shores: I think we need jobs, and I think we just think that ten more years down the road, this could present an issuefor these need to encourage businesses to come... I people;firemen, policemen, teachers,retail think if people havejobs, then they'll want workers, etc. This area of Florida. is just to spend money at those businesses. It's a chicken/egg kind of thing. But we don't an expensive area. just need high- techjobs. We need working classjobs that will goyear round. We can't PATRICK McCOURT only rely on tourism and seasonaljobs. Little Hickory Island I think the top two priorities in any government ought to be lessgovernment JEFFREY BROWN and lower taxes. .. We have more than an Village Walk: We have a high vacancy rate in our abundant amount of parks ... I question retail business. We need to get retail in why we want to put more money into the library. This is the 21st century and I am Bonita. The other is to get the County to holding in my hand, on my iPad, more put money asidefor our Library. information than is in the public library... ED FITZGERAID I would like to see our City government Worthington: representing us at the County, to be a lobIt's a tough question to answer. I'm bying arm for us to say to the County, 'Guys, you are killing our citizens with your taxes'... The fire department is not a City responsibility but maybe the time has come when it should be. It is the third or fourth largest item on our tax hill.
satisfied with the way this city runs...We just can't rush into big projects right now. We have done so much; we have our parks and our roads. We need to maintain our stability right now ... I do think we should put some money into the library.Expanding it would be a nice project, providing a placefor residents to read and meditate ... I think the YMCA in Bonita is another facility that needs City support. Most of the people who use it don't live in the gated communities. It's a part of Bonita Springs, and that's what people want.
'-' Sputhwest Spotlight
with the help of the City Cuncil and the new Economic Development Council.Now is the window of opportunity. We really should focus on this area. My shop is here, and I live it, and 1 see it every day. SUMMER SHIPE
5th grade Bomta Elementary:
Spanish Wells: The key issue here and everywhere: jobs. The issuewe have to addressisgrowth
in the business sectorfor small businesses. The City does playa role in this. How do you attract businesses to the City? I know they have been concentrating on this. How do you get people to come here in such a bad economy? DAVID PIPER
Maybe putting more money into a program that would help people. 1 think preserving more land areafor nature and for the animals is important, too. Sooner or later, this kind of stuff will run out, it's going to be gone. So we need to take care of it while we have it. DEBORAH MACLEAN
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Gulf Coast Resort
There are so many things in the City that I think need attention. To narrow it down: it might be time to revisit employee benefits because we are in more depressed economic times. We also don't want to have to lay people off. .. I think with all the library tax we pay, we need to hold the County responsible... Surface water management is a regional issue, not just our city problem. Lee County needs to step up ... In district 5, there needs to be more attention to our ordinances in place about more people living in singlefamily homes. It's lowering property values and eroding neighborhoods... I think they need to apply pressure to the school board so Bonita can have its own high school. MARYMEIMA
Since 1995 I have been trying to promote Old 41. I was on the Main Street Committee. We should repackage the Old 41 area and bring it to a new life,with smaller businesses.~ don't have a boutique shopping area. We should get businesses to the community without using tax dollars... The City Charter is a nicely written document that says 'we are not going to expand, expand, expand.' It is government lite. Gary Price was a miser who put money away. We should continue to follow the City Charter... We need to have a larger County library. BOB PRITT
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Open Daily 5 - 10 pm
I would say,how to resist the urge to do things that sound good, but that we cannot afford to do until the current economic crisis is over. How do you do economic development, buying money for governmental purposes, but without money? We need to live within our budget realities... within the next 2-3 years 1 think this is a time for austerity. A lot of people want us to go out and buy things like the golf course and the Y, but 1just think we need to commit to our austerity, and take it slow. BOB AUGUSTINE
Pot' menu & wine list visit us at lafontanellarestaurant.net
San Carlos Estates:
It's a combination of things. Tourism and economic development. We need to bring more people to Bonita. We have so many restaurants, but they are empty. We need to attract people so we can bring in money, and there are people out there with money. MARIBEL SLABAUGH
Bonita Springs Assistance Office:
This is a question at the Chamber of Commerce GovernmentAffairs Committee that we are addressing... We are trying at the Chamber of Commerce to attract big companies to our area. We need to be able to provide the workers for them, though. So I think if we had a kind of vocational education center, we could also encourage more companies to come to our area . The other issue is affordable housing . people need a home that meets their needs and that they can afford. SUSIE SAYGER
I think we need to do something constructive in the central part of the City. They have taken down some of the undesirable things downtown and there is open property there. I would like to see the Bamboo property used in a constructive fashion. It would be nice if we could encourage some development that would bring people into the Old 41 area. We need to have a focus. We have the Liles Hotel, but more needs to be done ... I applaud what has been done for nature parks in the City. I would like to see the enhancement of thoseproperties.
6th grade Bomta Middle:
PHILLIP HOBBS I think parks are really important. Stuff people can go to for free ... and still have a lot of fun together, because it's kind of tough for people right now.
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I want us tofocus more on the Old 41 corridor... I think it's the right time for the downtown 41 corridor to be developed
cor nap Job Creation at
.... puthwest Spotl1ght
LARC Learning about life
By Heather Thomson
email@example.com Bonita Springs - Up on Old 41, there's a fairly nondescript storefront in the line of Bemwood storefronts. But just inside the entrance a colorful sign reads "Please sign in:' A big flower stands next to it The space is welcoming and homelike. When I first walk in, I am greeted by about 15 bright faces, seated at tables on the right side of a Ushaped room. Wendy Borgman meets me and gentlyoffers me a cup of coffee. Welcome to LARC and its Bonita Springs office. Participants have the chance to interact with patrons at the Rec Center and they get to go out and be part of the community. At this point, I think the interview is done, but Wendy surprises me. She invites me to join their morning group session. Everyone is gathered in the common area, with mismatched couches, La-ZBoys, love seats and office her 6's and 9's, and now she is learning to memorize her address. John is a poet with his friend Amy. They have poems on the LARC website. As a group, they all play money games together, and some have worksheets on telling time. Every month, they choose three topics that they will learn about, and at the end of the month they compile a fact sheet, which is two
Investing Lessons from the Vineyards
As an investor, you cau get plenty of advice from financial experts on the evening news or cable financial shows. But you may actually be able to Iearn some deeper truths about investing by observing other professionals - such as winemakers. At first glance, you might not see what these "guardians of the grape" can teach you about building an investment portfolio. Mter all, they're shaping Sangiovese while you're seeking stocks, they're bottling Burgundy while you're buying bonds, and they're mastering Malbec while you're monitoring mutual funds. Where's the connection? Start by considering the life cycle of wine and the concept of "vintage." For example, a particular wine is labeled a 2005 vintage if it is made from grapes that were predominantly grown and harvested in 2005. Yet given the requirements of wine production, this 2005 vintage may not. actually hit the markets until 2008 - and some aficionados may think tile wine won't taste its best until 2018. If you translated this type of scenario to tile financial world, you could say that the 2008 investment "vintage" was not promising, given that the value of almost all inveslments even the quality ones - fell last year. But if you were to hold these quality investments for the long term - as you should, because investing is a long-term activity - you might find that the 2008 vintage investments may eventually become productive vehicles that can help you achieve your financial goals. So, what lessons can you learn from winemakers? Here are a few suggestions: • Be patient. Winemakel'S put a lot of time, effort and money into planting today's grapes - for which they will not see one penny of profit for many years. Yet they have the discipline to wait patiently until the products of their labors come to fruition. Are all their wines successful? No - and all your investments may not be, either; But given enough time, quality investments can usually help you work toward your financial goals. • Have jaitb in your strategy. Wine drinkers' tastes can change from year to year. Yet winemakers don't rip out their vineyards and replant them with today's "hot" varietal. Instead, they cultivate ihe grapes they've planted, make the best. wine they can and maintain their belief that their products will find a market. As an investor, you can't allow yourself to be swayed by today's hot tips and trends. Instead, build a portfolio of quality iuvesunents that can stand the test of time. • Adapt your goals to Y01tr situation. One of the most famous winemaking regions in the world, Napa Valley,contains R number of microclimates that vary by temperature, rainfall and soil. Napa Valley winemakers know which grapes will do best in which microclimate, and they concentrate their efforts accordingly. And you, as an individual investor, should make your investment decisions based on your own "microclimate" - your risk tolerance, family situation, time horizon and other factors. In other words, you should choose ihose investments that are best suited for you and that have the best chance to help you meet your goals. Investing, like winemaking, is filled with challenges. But by observing how winemakers work, you may learn some things that can eventually help you raise a glass to your own success. Call me today for a complimentary appointment in my office or your home.
There is much laughter and joy
Since 1954, LARe has met the needs of adults with developmental disabilities in Lee County. In January of 2002, LARC came to Bonita Springs and today serves over 40 adults in our area. Wendy Borgman is Director of Adult Day Training Services. Here, she explains, participants try to increase overall life skills and independence through activities, projects, and discussions, all while having fun and the opportunity to spend time with one another. 'We arrange our program around their longtime goals. They are all working on things that are meaningful and important to them; they might be enjoyable or even necessary depending on their abilities;' says Wendy. Community trips and involvement are part of the path of learning. Sometimes speakers come in. ''We have a lot of people who come in and collaborate with us who are ~art of United Way Agencies,' says Wendy. So they'll come in and spend half a day or even a full day with our folks. It's really a lot of fun." There have been partnerships with FGCU, Edison State College, and local high schools. LARe's work crew is called the Mobile Enclave. Since 2001, they have had a contract with the City of Bonita Springs. They go from site to site in the city and they clean. They go to places such as the Rec Center, the ball fields, the soccer fields by the YMCA and the park behind Home Depot
Heather Thomson I firstname.lastname@example.org LARC came to Bonita Springs in 2002 and today serves over 40 local adults. chairs. Here is where, every day, the LARC participants meet to have group. They discuss everything from their goals, to current events, and everything that may come to mind I am introduced to some of the most kind and inviting people I have met. I met Shelly, Rosa, David, Armando, James, Jerry, Jimmy, Ilana, James, linda, Valerie, Allison, Joyce, Kristen, Lance. and Ian. I want to tell every story I heard, but paper only has so much space. Jerry gives the weather report every day; Jimmy is the fashion expert; and one woman, Girtha Mae Long, celebrated her 85th birthday a few years ago, making her the oldest participant to ever take part inLARC. I asked them to tell me a few of their experiences at LARC. James told me about a giraffe that he was afraid of. He is so incredibly tall that not many things are taller than he is; he was afraid it might bite. Linda is determined to reach her goals. She used to have trouble telling the difference between pages long, single-spaced, with all the facts that they learned. They also make posters that they put up on the walls, filled with pictures and definitions of what they studied. We went through some of the facts during my visit to the LARC office: they ranged from the inventor of the p'olio vaccine to chlorophyll. This month they are studying cats. There is much laughter and joy in this group. They all know each other as though they have lived together as a family their whole lives. For that half hour, I am welcomed into this family, and LARC has left a kind of mark within me. After the Pledge of Allegiance, it is time for me to leave. Unfortunately, group is over, and the normal routine of everyone's day is about to take over. I hear Linda ask Wendy a few times if I can stay all day. After I leave, I can't help but look in my rearview mirror, wishing that I could have said, "Yeah, linda. I'm going to stay."
J..:..._, S9uthwest SpotUght
Bonita Business Beat
Spotlight Staff Report
email@example.com Bonita Springs - The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce announced Wiebel, Hennells & Carufe as the 2011 Small Business of the Year last month. Doug Wiebel founded the full-service CPA firm in Bonita Springs in 1989. The firm has grown to 30 employees in season. "The small town feel of the community was what we liked," says Wiebel. "We liked the people and saw the potential for growth." Quality and personal attention at WHC leads to minimizing taxes and maximizing profits. ''When you call our office you'll never get an electronic answering machine. You always get someone answering the phone personally;' says Wiebel. On casual Fridays employees wear denim and donate 5 dollars to charity, which the company matches. Relay for Life is one of the many local causes that benefit from Don Denim for a Cause at WHC. "We feel it's great to give back to the community because it's where we live and work;' says Wiebel. Every day at WHC is Earth Day thanks to the firm's Go Green Initiative. When computers need upgrading, instead of throwing the entire computer away, processors and components are upgraded to current technology. The company has gone paperless and all files are saved in a digital PDF format. They firmly believe in reduce, reuse and recycle. Wiebel, Hennells & Carufe's offices are located at 9420 Bonita Beach Road, Suite 200, in Bonita Springs.
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Doug Wiebe I and Scott Hennells, of Wiebel, Hennells & Carufe received the 2011 Small Business of the Year Award from Christine Ross, President, and Sabra Smith, Chairman of the Board, of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce last month at the Bonita Bay Club.
"'A Hfgh Powered M10rtgag Com'pany 'th A Hom,e Town Feel'"
J urn ~ FHANAJUSDA and FonH n NEI . On al Loans. -0,
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tribute over 10,000 hours in shopping for groceries, preparing and serving meals, serving on the Board of Directors, arranging special events such as Thanksgiving and Christmas luncheons, and "lending a helping hand" to anything and everything in meeting the nutritional and supplemental needs of the less fortunate. You can become a volunteer by ernailing email@example.com or calling 239-495-9325.
Opportunities to give back
nutrition and healthcare. Over 96 percent of donations raised directly reach the people who need it most Hope for Haiti has been at the forefront of the emergency response to the devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010. Rather than reinvent the wheel, Hope for Haiti partners with those who are successfully ministering to the poor and who will be there for the long term. Visit hopeforhaiti.com to read about the numerous projects underway to help Haiti's people. Volunteers can help with special events and fundraisers by calling 239434-7183.
Spotlight Staff Report
There will be a tag sale on October 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bonita Springs Community Hall to benefit the Music for Minors Foundation. Funds raised will help the foundation purchase musical instruments this fall for Lee and Collier County students. The Foundation works closely with middle school string orchestra and band leaders to identify qualified seventh grade students who have had a year of orchestra or band, that demonstrate a sincere desire, and that have a financial need. For more information, call 239-947 -1943.
Music for Minors
Joann's House at Hope Hospice
Hospice serves anyone facing a life-limiting illness, regardless of age or illness. It offers high-quality care that brings the patient and family medical, emotional and spiritual care and support focusing on comfort and quality of life. Hospice treats pain and manages symptoms while allowing most patients to remain at home. Hospice offers grief and bereavement services to family members and the community. Volunteers are the heart of Hope. Anyone 14 years of age or older with a caring heart and time to share can become a Hope volunteer. For more information, visit hopehospice.org or call 239482-4673.
Delectable food from over 25 area restaurantsl Fun for' he entire fam'ii~,vl
ThIS 20-year-old local 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization is helping to improve the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of Haitian children and their families through education,
Hope for Haiti
In its formative months in 1998, the Cafe of Life offered coffee to its clients. From this humble beginning the Cafe of Life has become a fixture in Bonita Springs, serving luncheon meals Monday through Friday to individuals and families from all walks of life. More than 850 volunteers con-
Cafe of Life
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_D~:ma:re& Shop at D_dl" Thrift Sfr.3I'"~_:n25_Bonita Beech Rood __ ..
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One hot tomato, and other election topics
By Peter R. O'Flinn
Bonita Springs - Stevie
Tomato's is gone from the Prado shopping center, but it is leaving one heck of an aftertaste. Apparently, it will linger until at least January 31,2012. That is the date of Bonita Springs' City elections. In the mayoral race, Dave Grothaus is challenging incumbent Ben Nelson [r., and in recent separate interviews with the Spotlighttbey offered a sharp contrast on several issues, including a zoning law change spawned by Stevie Tomato's. Two years ago Stevie Tomato's requested an exception under Bonita Springs' zoning law to sell liquor outside. The special exception required passage of an ordinance, or law. The process took five months, too long in the view of some. In February, after considerable debate, a 4-3 City Council vote approved a streamlined process for future applications. The result, Ordinance 11014, allows special exceptions and variances to be approved by City Council resolution rather than adoption of a law. "This ordinance really troubles me;' said Grothaus. "It is a slap in the face of every citizen in the City ... I really think that this is a huge mistake because it in essence takes the public out of the debate. That is not right" Under the streamlined procedure, the "first reading" of the proposed zoning action is eliminated, he said "When they come in and read and vote all in one fell swoop, it does not give the public time to react" He raised questions about the case of Stevie Tomato's.
Zoning law changes
"I heard the claim there of six months or something like that I don't know why. Did he not turn in some paperwork? I don't know the details. It is something to look into?' "I really don't like this ordinance because it cuts the public out;' he said "I think it is wrong." In criticizing the ordinance, Grothaus raised a broader concern. "I don't think City Council should be caught up in their own opinions so much;' he said. "It is okay to have them but "they need to be listeners, assimilate information and then make a decision. Not just say how you feel. That is not the right way for a Council to act." Nelson took strong exception to Grothaus' characterization of the ordinance. "To characterize this as a slap in the face of people is just inflammatory rhetoric;' said Nelson. "To make that accusation shows a disconnect from what is happening in the small business community. Small businesses are suffering:' he said, "and they should not suffer because of the length of the bureaucratic process?' ''Anybody I have had the opportunity to explain" the new ordinance to "has applauded this as leadership on City Council's part;' said Nelson. "It does away with some of the bureaucracy without affecting the citizens right and ability to comment and have input, and the City Council's ability to make a good decision:' Nelson said his decision to vote for a changed zoning process had a different food source - a pizza parlor, not "thewings, burgers and beer at Stevie Tomato's. He remembers the pizza parlor owner's lament about a slow zoning pace. "You are killing
us with this stuff I have rent to pay," he recalls the owner saying. It's City Council's job to be open to public input, and "time after time" has accommodated public concerns, said Nelson. "People hire us to have good judgment, to weigh all the evidence, including people's opinions?'
Last month City Council unanimously approved $50,250 in funds to match private sector investments in the Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council, recently formed to help existing businesses in tough economic times and
Economic Development Council
lion square feet. "What is the benefit for the citizens in Bonita?" said Grothaus. "My presumption is they will try to fill that space. You can look at that as either good or bad The City did not develop those buildings, somebody else did. We already are getting taxes out of that as a City. If they put a business in it does that give more taxes to the City? Do we make any more money if there is a business in there? We definitely will get more traffic:' "I beg to differ;' said Nelson. When vacant buildings are filled, the entire community benefits, he said. "There is a definite benefit to the community to have
man;' said Nelson. "Bureaucracy does not make the
elusions about a lot of these things because I don't feel
C,! believe we should do everything we can to make our city strong economically but I think we need a measured targeted approach that preserves our charm, that makes our city attractive."
- Dave Grothaus
community tick." The city needs to have a return on investment from the EDC, he said. Some of it is quantifiable. Another part is just having a successful community. like I know the whole story." "I would be interested in calling every single manager in and going through their budget line by line saying, 'OK justify why you need this', and go through it line by line. Make them come up with good reasons;' he said "The proof is in the pudding;' said Nelson about the 2012 budget. "That is the easiest way to say it" The City is a great contract government with a first class budgetary system, he said 'We are very lean yet have high quality services, and with a low property tax rate." "Take a look," he said, contrasting Bonita Springs' "firm, steady financial state" with nearby governments that he characterized as financially stressed. "In Cape Coral, they have $4 million they can't come up with, Marco has issues, and Lee County has troubles!' "I am so proud to represent this community. When I go outside the City ... they say 'Wow. Bonita Springs. You guys are showing everybody how to do it?" "We have a fiscally stable government in a time of recession. That is a tribute to all the people who have been City Council members and all who have been Mayor;' said Nelson. "Does it have anything to do with me?" he asked, "I will let other people talk about that:'
The City's 2012 budget
Grothaus expressed reservations about the City's use of surplus funds to cover expenses in the recently completed 2012 budget. In the final $19 million budget, about $1.8 million will be funded from surplus accumulated in better times, an amount similar to 201 L At year-end 2012 surplus funds are projected to be about $6 million. "This is only going to last so long," said Grothaus, referring to surplus funds that the City projects at $6 million at year-end 2012. "And if we keep digging into this every single year, it won't be long before that is gone. And then what do we do?" The City's disaster fund of $5 million "seems kind of low to me for the region that we are in:' he said. "It just seems like a low number?' When asked what items in the budget he would cut, Grothaus demurred, "I have a real hesitancy to look at black and white numbers and make a judgment call... Numbers don't lie but they also don't tell you the whole story sometimes. I think you need to be very deliberate when it comes to cutting. I have reserved drawing con-
"When Igo outside the City ... they say Wow. Bonita Springs. You guys are showing everybody h owto do i )}' o it.
- Mayor Ben Nelson
to attract new business. "I believe we should do everything we can to make our city strong economically but I think we need a measured targeted approach that preserves our charm, that makes our city attractive;' Grothaus said. But he voiced considerable skepticism about the Economic Development Council, along with a caveat "I am not sure on this one yet. I am still studying it; he said. "I came out of a big bureaucratic machine, and 1 kind of see a big bureaucratic machine starting up here;' he said "That is my fear of this." If that is the case then "we need to put the kibosh on it;' he said The Council has highlighted a need to fill vacant commercial space in Bonita Springs, estimated at 1.5 milvitality and jobs for people. It's about having a quality community." "Ask the people in Bonita Bay whether they like the fact that the Target site and other buildings outside are vacant;' said Nelson. Ask "the"talented executives from all over the world" who live in Bonita Springs, he said "They will tell you that seeing vacant buildings scares them to death. It does not take long before that decline in property values can seep in beyond the gate. It will. The gate will not keep that out:' Concerning the City's investment in the Economic Development Council, he said, "The goal of the EDC is to get on its own two feet. But to get that process started the community needed to make an investment in it" "I am a small business-
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Letters to the Editor
Fair and accurate
Thank you for the fair and accurate reporting on the law suit filed against the City Council. You pointed out that the action is not about economic development or developers that might have been delayed; we do not question the motives of City Council on this issue. What is in question are the civil rights of every citizen in Bonita Springs. In an effort to aid developers the City Council has changed our charter and violated the rights of every citizen to "due process" under our existing laws. Our city charter states very clearly that change to our charter must be put to a vote of the people. Regrettably, in their response the City Council did not answer the question, but attempted to confuse the issue by questioning whether a group of citizens, rather than one individual citizen, had the right to ask the question. This type of legal game is an attempt to take the public eye off the real issue. It deliberately runs up the cost to taxpayers, and delays the ultimate question that must be answered Is City Council required to obey its own laws? City Council is not above the law. If an ambulance, on the way to a medical emergency, is required to honor the speed limit, the City Council is certainly required to obey the law in its efforts to expedite approval for developers.
Patrick McCourt, Bonita Springs
Not truly balanced
Your article about the Bonita Springs City budget in the September Spotlight was entitled "Bonita's balanced budget." The city budget is not balanced as long as we are using reserves. The fire budget is balanced. A big difference. The Southwest Spotlight is true journalism, which is why I read it cover to cover.
Deborah Maclean, Bonita Springs
Letters to the editor policy: The Southwest Spotlight publishes letters to the editor as space allows. Please write thoughtfully on local topics and be respectful of others. Letters containing personal attacks and abusive language will not be considered for publication. Include a phone number to verify writer's identity. Letters are published at the Spotlight's discretion.
Sunset of the month
Tony Quinn I firstname.lastname@example.org
October's sunset of the month was submitted by Tony Quinn. Email your best sunset photos to email@example.com photo of the month.
and your photo could be the next sunset
--------------------------------~~~~----~=-~~-=~--------------------------------Page A24 i5,. S9uthwest Spotllght October 2011
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Events, things to do and opportunities to give back to our community
in and around Bonita Springs
I love living in Bonita Springs Thank you
coupled with a recreational lifestyle only available on the sun-drenched coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Bonita Springs incorporates all the benefits of living in a beautiful coastal area while offering the cultural, social and business opportunities that are often present in an urban situation, however on a smaller, more familiar and comfortable scale. In addition to the obvious benefits of beautiful weather, azure warm waters reflected in the same color Bonita Springs' skies, recreational opportunities surround me on a regular basis. Worldclass golf courses, fine hotels and exceptional opportunities for locally owned dining experiences are here year around Bonita Springs offers diversity in the civic events and activities that occur every month throughout the year. These events celebrate the great diversity of people and culture that constitute Bonita Springs. We celebrate the arts at the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs; we highlight the ethnic and cultural traditions of different peoples with festivities and celebrate the beauty and rhythm of music during the Bonita Springs Blues Festival. In the late 19th century the community was dotted with plantations growing pineapples, bananas and coconuts and was simply called Survey, Florida I love living in Bonita Springs because it accomplished incredible growth in a short time and is constantly striving to develop a better quality of life through educational, humanitarian and political activities, while respecting the beautiful natural resources of our beaches, the Imperial River, and Lovers Key State Park. Bonita Springs is all of these things and more for me personally. In this community I met my husband and established our ties to the local community as a married couple. During my years living here I have also been fortunate to experience a community of people that gen uinely cares for the needs of other people, both locally and internationally. The charitable and humanitarian organizations that are present in Bonita Springs are model examples of social responsibility towards the unfortunate and those that live with special needs. I am especiallyproud to have served locally in various capacities that provide positive help and support for everyone in the Bonita Springs family without prejudices of any going on in our growing city make me realize that I need to work in and with the local community to provide additional opportunities to touch the local community and to welcome our seasonal guests. I most especially love living in Bonita Springs, not just for the people, the opportunities and all of the great accomplishments of the last decade; I love Bonita Springs as a place to live and work because annually we not only, "Sing the Blues;' we celebrate the blues of sea and sky as the welcoming highlight to our city and ever growing cultural and ecofriendly community. Do you love living in Boni-
kind All of the positive things
One year ago the Southwest Spotlight was merely an idea. That idea blossomed into a 16 page newspaper mailed to 12,000 homes last December. In 11 short months, that small newspaper has more than doubled in size and evolved into the resource for the Bonita Springs community that you are reading today. Now, 20,000 copies are available everywhere you go in Bonita Springs. Send us your photos and they will appear in the pages of this section. Tell us why you love living in Bonita Springs and those words could appear on this page next month. Tell us how to improve and we will. Tell us what we can do better and we will listen. Thank you for supporting our advertisers. It is your support that has allowed us to grow and become a community resource for Bonita Springs.
By Teri Lamaine
Special to the Spotlight
Bonita Springs - Often friends and relatives askme why I love living in Bonita Springs. My response usually involves a list of the many positive aspects of living in a community of vitality and great potential on the Gulf Coast of Florida I've lived most of my life in urban areas of southern New Jersey and always felt a need to move to a community that offered a radical change from the hustle and bustle of living in the shadows of Philadelphia and Atlantic City.Bonita Springs provides just the right lifestyle for me and my husband because it offers multiple opportunities for personal and professional growth and development
By Peter A. O'Flinn
ta Springs? Let us know why in 600 words or lessand your article could appear next month as part oj the "Why I lo~eliving in Bonita Springs" senes.
Bonita Springs - Thank you for reading the Southwest Spotlight each month. You are the reason we have expanded and added our second section, Town Talk. Town Talk is all about the people that play, work, and love living in Bonita Springs. The Southwest Spodightis your community resource, and the pages of Town Talk are all about you, our readers.
Taste of Coconut Point
Sat., Oct. 9, 12 noon to 5 p.m. The fourth annual Taste of Coconut Point is a fabulous day of food and fun with your favorite Coconut Point restaurants, live bands and a children's play area. Proceeds benefit The Bonita Springs Area Chamber Leadership & Education Programs and the Simon Youth Foundation. Where: Coconut Point Mall, the event will be under tents in the south lakeside parking lot. Cost $3/adults, children 12 and under are free. Youth Outreach Programs. Where: Copperleaf Golf Club. Cost: $100 per person includes golf and cart, lunch and prizes. Hole Sponsorships available at $250. For more information, call 239495-8989.
ents Dan Heck and his new organ and guitar inspired jazz.trio featuring Stu Shelton and James Martin. Rebecca Richardson and trumpeter Dan Miller join the trio as well for a great night of jazz. Where: Promenade at Bonita Bay, space 114. Cost: Tickets are $20 members/$25 nonmembers. For more information, call 239-494-8989.
Art Walk Riverfest & Fish Fry
Sat., Oct. 22, 1-7 p.m. Bring the whole family to the fourth annual Riverfest & Fish Fry featuring kayak and canoe races starting at 2 p.m. and a fish fry at 5 p.m. The Imperial River 2mile challenge starts at Kent Road and finishes at Riverside Park. Race registration is at 1 p.m. at the Liles Hotel in Riverside Park. A butterfly release, a duck race and live music from 4 to 7 p.m. by The Mighty Quint. Where: Riverside Park on Old 41. For more information, call 239-949-6262. Thur., Oct.27,5 to 8 p.m. The last Thursday of each month you can visit Artists' Studios, view their art, demonstrations and enjoy a live concert, light refreshments and visit other merchants. Where: Promenade at Bonita Bay. Cost Free. For more information, call The Center for the Arts 239-4958989.
Community Yard Sale
Sat., Oct. 15,8 a.m. Here's an opportunity to sell what you no longer need or find that treasure you've always been searching for. Pre-register to reserve your table, space is limited. Where: Bonita Springs Recreation Center, 26740 Pine Avenue. Cost: $10 per table. For more information, call 239-9922556.
For the Kids Family Activity Days
Sat., Oct. 15,22 &29, 1to 3 p.m. Children will be escorted through the Exquisite Corpse & Robotic Portraiture Exhibition by a docent and will then complete an art project with instructors. Where: The Center for the Arts. Cost: Free. For more information, call 239-495-8989.
Farm Fresh Market
Sat. Oct.15,22 & 29, 7:30 a.m. to noon Come to one of the most popular marketsin the region. u 11 y t",.,.,..,_II-rD" h vegetable vendors plus fish, baked goods, cut flowers, orchids, cosmetics, antiques, fashions, jewelry, books and more. Where: Promenade at Bonita Bay. For more information, visit bonitalions.org.
Arts & Entertainment
Mon., Oct. 10 &24,6:30 p.m. This film series offers foreign and independent films meant
Films for Fdm Lovers
Fri., Nov. 4,5 p.m.
Handbag Happy Hour
The 9th annual Handbag Happy Hour will benefit the Island Coast AIDS Network featuring silent and live auctions, music with a live DJ, 100's of designer, celebrity and brand name handbags to bid upon and a fashion show. Cost: $75 for general admission! $100 for VIP, and will include open bar, heavy hors d' oeuvres. Where: Miromar Design Center, Estero. For more information or to receive an invitation, email Mitch Haley or call 239-3372391 ext. 211.
to offer insight into the lives and cultures that exist around the world. As It Is In Heaven, showing Oct. 10, was nominated in 2005 for Best Foreign Language Film. Night on Earth, showing Oct. 24, is a collection of 5 vignettes taking place in the enclosed space of a cab ride, each occurring simultaneously in five different cities and 5 different time zones. Where: Promenade at Bonita Bay. Space 114. Cost $8. For more information, call 239-4958989.
Mon., Oct. 31,6 to 8 p.m.
Halloween in the Park
Fri., Oct. 14,6:00-8:00p.m. "Robotic Portraiture" and "The Exquisite Corpse" break the mold in art exhibits. Both these traveling shows are the work of internationally known artists. Deena des Rioux combines influences of science fiction, ancient artifact and futurism in her robotic portraiture art. Join the fun and help assemble the glass body parts in the corpse exhibition. Complimentary hors d' oeurvres, wine and punch. Where: The Center for the Arts. Cost: Free. For more information, call 239-495-8989.
Dress yourself and your kids in their scariest or funniest costume and head to Riverside Park for candy. Sponsored by Bonita Springs Estero Association of Realtors and the City of Bonita Springs. For more information, call 239-949-6262.
Small T()o\'ft au.".
Sports Tee Off for Kids
Come watch the action live and in person
wed., Oct. 5, 5:30 p.m. wed., Oct. 19,9 a.m.
BonitaSpringsCityCounc~ Where: City Council Chambers, 9101 Bonita Beach Road.
24830 S. Tomia - flail #1 BOO
wed., Oct. 19,
7:30a.m. The Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs annual charity golf tournament to benefit Youth Scholarships and
Bonita Springs, Fl 34134
An Evening of Jazz
Thur., Oct. 27,7 p.m. Live at the Promenade! pres-
All dates, times and tmces are subject to change.
Bonita inspires authors
By O.K. Christi
Fall Reading list Bonita Springs - Is it the water? Bonita Springs is home to many successful and aspiring authors. New fiction novels celebrate stories and characters released from buried manuscripts to the published page. It takes passion and courage to publish; the competition is stiff and the reading public is equally fickle. Self-publishing and e- books have increased the competitive landscape while providing opportunities for new authors. Renee Gardner, member, Friends of the Bonita Springs Library; Joyce McDonald, whose career was wrapped around the written word and Jim Hughes, whose legal career prepared him to release his novels, are local neighbors with books for the fall reading list. Life in Bonita Springs inspires each in a different way. "I hope no one will be offended when I say that the quirky characters that I have met here will find their way into my books;' says Renee Gardner, author of two cozy mysteries, The Tap Dancing Gorilla and And the Dog Took the Cat. "Also the dichotomy of the two Bonita Springs inspires me: first, the old, or real Bonita Springs, a sleepy little Florida town with dusty unpaved roads, quaint streets, mom and pop stores, abandoned houses, trailer parks and farms; second, the new Bonita Springs of gated communities and high end shops." Gardner's sense of humor shines through in these entertaining murder mysteries for a cozy evening's read. Jim Hughes, author of the recently released action/adventure novel, The Cuban Affair and The Baja Project, both national Indie Book Awards finalists, is inspired "by the dangerous beauty and challenging outdoors of Southwest Florida, particularly, Bonita Springs. The Cuban Affair is based in southwest Florida, as is my third book - not yet finished - which is presently titled, The Alchemist. Many scenes in this new fast-paced action/adventure take place throughout Lee and Collier counties, specifically Bonita Springs:' Projected publication is early 2012. Hughes spent over 30 years as a trial lawyer in Boston's South Shore and now spends his time writing split between Maine and Florida, never far from the sea and the intrigue from foreign shores. International travel combined with the investigative mind of an attorney merge in the attention to detail found in books such as The Cuban Affair that builds a case for a new energy source around the research of a Florida
Continued on page B4
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Business After Hours
Maxor Ben Nelson Jr., Councilman Bill Lonkart, Neil Snyder and Joe De Simone at Worthington Country Club last month tor the Chamber's Business After Hours event.
Business Before Business
BobbyJo Cusimano of Speedy Electric and Mario Castro of Audio Interventions were at Florida Gulf Bank last month for the Chamber's Business Before Business Event.
from page B3
Gulf Coast University professor and reaches from Southwest Florida to the sands of the Middle East. Hughes may often be found at the Farm Fresh Market at the Promenade Saturdays signing books for his loyal following of readers who enjoy the fast-paced action that builds to the very last page. A recent addition to the Bonita Springs authors scene is a longterm resident with a rich writing career already, Joyce McDonald. Her first fiction novel, Killing the Cure, was just released to rave reviews atAmazon.com. LI McDonald was a feature writer for a daily newspaper, a publications
editor for a string of banks, and an executive newsletter writer and editor. She is also the co-author of a biography, Semka - The Sammy Skobel Story and currently teaches a course in memoir writing at Florida Gulf Coast University. A researcher at heart, McDonald's sources are listed at the end of Killing the Cure, a gripping suspense novel that chases a cure for cancer through the stranglehold of a corrupt pharmaceutical industry. Romance weaves a web of distraction as the young medical researcher fights his way through the "gang of scoundrels:' Action and suspense fill the stories by these Bonita Springs neighbors, a little local color for the fall reading list. Just a word to the wise: be careful what you say and do, their next novels might include a character like you.
Coastal Clean-up Calling all musicians
David and Cole Piper and over 300 other volunteers helped clean-up the beach last month.
The Bonita Springs Concert Band opens the concert season at Riverside Park November 6. Rehearsals begin October 6 in the band room at the Three Oaks Middle School . All rehearsals are Thursdays from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Interested musicians should email bon itaspringsconcertba firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Is it tough convincing students to read assigned material? It is. With reading, kids are usually into it, or they're not. There's not ever a happy medium with them. Textbook reading is very difficult for them to do. The textbooks are written at a pretty high level, so we spend a lot of time teaching text structure and how to read and use textbooks. The kids pretty much have a few favorites that they end up picking out and reading. We do Accelerated Reader here, and in that program they receive points for reading. If, at the end of the first quarter, they have received all their points, then they get a 'I'-Shirt. They get to wear it un-tucked on Mondays, and that's a huge thing because we require shirts tucked in and collared shirts, so it's a good incentive. We're looking forward to lots of kids meeting that AR goal in this first quarter. We have a phenomenal reading staff here. I'm not just saying that because it's my school They are experienced, and they know what they're doing, and they care. We don't just send the kids to the library and say,"Okay, go find a book." We test them, and find what their interests are, and then we try to help them learn what they want to learn. We try and steer them in the right direction. With the introduction of different mediums like iPads, Kindles, e-readers, and even Google Books, have you shifted the way you introduce materials to your students? No, we haven't. We're sticking with print material for now. We have a library that's added about $15,000 worth of new books over the last year. Some of the kids do have Kindles and Nooks, and I do see it going in that direction eventually. We are in the media age, and I can see textbooks someday being on those types of things, but for now we are taking the traditional approach to reading. We concentrate on vocabulary, phonics, and comprehension. We try to do it the oldfashioned way, but it seems to have worked for a long time. Are there many kids that read outside of the classroom, ie. for entertainment? We are seeing more and more kids read outside of the classroom. There was a period of years when education in its infinite wisdom decided that kids coming into middle school didn't need reading any more. So
Continued on page B8
Character - Plot - Settin How to read in sixth gra
By Heather Thomson
Bonita Springs - Debbie Brawner has three sixth grade reading classes every school day. From 1:50 p.m. till around 3:40 p.m., her afternoon is filled with reading, vocabulary, and "Bell Ringers", a start-of-class activity in which the class fills in the blanks on vocabulary sheets and reads the answers aloud after they have all finished. She and her class read A Lost City, stopping periodically to review vocabulary words and introduce literary devices. But her day begins much earlier. At 10 a.m., she is already in her classroom, helping a new reading teacher prepare for class. In fact, you could say that Debbie's days began long ago. She remembers when Bonita Middle was only a cluster of portables where there is now the Community Pool And how things have changed! How long have you been
teaching here at Bonita Middle? Well, I started at Bonita Middle in 1978, so this is the beginning of my 34th year here. I was born in Miami, and I taught in the Midwest for three years, but I hated the winters. So, I came back to Florida and ended up on the opposite coast Is this the subject you've always been interested in teaching? I spent a lot of years teaching challenged kids and exceptional students, but I always taught reading. So, yes, Ilove reading. I love the process of reading. I love seeing the kids light up when they "get" something. I love seeing them in the library checking out new books. So, yeah, I'm passionate about reading. We're approaching the middle of the semester holidays, etc. - are there midterms or big projects, or is there is there a shift in concentration for students and teachers?
Debbie Brawner teaches sixth grade reading at Bonita Middle School. We hit the ground running right at the beginning of the year because there are a lot of things at stake with all the big testing. We're also §etting ready to start our One Book, One School" project, which is a wonderful thing. This will be our sixth year doing it. Every student gets the same book, and we read it together as a school at different times during the day, and teachers volunteer to read it on TV, and then the kids answer questions and there are lunch prizes. So it has become a big project that we participate in for around three weeks. And we'll be starting that in about a week.
nc"ng A a~oble (lS161rJ3
~ ..... S9uthwest Spotlight
Open for business
The Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce celebrated the re-Iocation of Bonita Academy of Dance last month at 10347 Bonita Beach Road #117, near Johnny Malloy's. Pictured in the center holding the scissors are owners Kristina and Corey Adamski.
Passing the gavel
Chamber Annual Luncheon
Citizen of the Year
John Warfield, pictured with his wife Maggie, was the recipient of the Chamber's Citizen of the Year award last month. Outgoing Chairman of the Board of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Sabra Smith, of Algenol Biofuels, passes the gavel to incoming Chairman of the Board James D. Dati, Esq., of Bond Schoeneck & King, PLLCat the Chamber's annua f meeting and awards luncheon last month. ------. Arlene Sheehan, Council member Janet Martin, Gary Price and Trish Leonard at the Chamber's annual meeting and awards luncheon.
Liz Shikany, Bill Shikany and R~er Brunswick at the chamber's annual meeting and awards luncheon. Outgoing board members Bill Shikany, Brian Farrar, George Ghanem and Tennille Sevigny were honored.
David Michael I towntalk@SWSpotlight.com
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there was some time where they had their last formal reading classes at the base elementary level and came to middle school, and all instruction continued in math, science, social studies, and language arts; but read-
ing was no longer offered to them. It was a time where we saw reading scores plummet. Fortunately there were administrators who saw that kids not only in middle school but also in high school - on the secondary level needed reading. It has come back in the last few years. We do see a lot more kids reading, and a lot more sue-
cesses with that. If you could be one literary character, who would it be and why? I think I would be Tom Sawyer. I really do, because he just seemed to enjoy life and went through it kind of oblivious to what was going on around him, but he still accomplished a lot. He broke barriers, in his own way..
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Companion by day, ratter by night
By Max Harris and
Bonita's Best Friends
Bonita Springs - Writing
about dogs for this column, we don't often get the opportunity to make fashion comments. This month is an exception. We met Christine and Brian with their Yorkshire Terrier Tullah at a coffee shop at Coconut Point. Tullah is the best -dressed dog we have met, and that Saturday she was probably the best-dressed visitor at the cafe too. TuUah was wearing an elegant barrette of ribbons carefully coordinated to match her cape of purple lace inset with beads. Overall, a very fetching ensemble. And certainly an attentiongetter ... Tullah captivated children, and put to shame passers-by whose unadorned dogs could boast of nothing more than a collar. As a puppy, Tullah was a surprise Christmas present for Christine. Christine tells us that she was such a perfect Christmas gift that she will be happy if she never gets another present. Tullah is now age five, and we under-
stand that so far Brian has not put that to the test. We look forward to hearing what happens when he does ...
two dogs play well together. Yorkies of course have strong terrier personalities, enjoy play, and are not intimidated
land, and was developed by weavers in the cloth mills which were an important industry there in Victorian
from Scotland from which to breed a dog for their needs. The first time their new breed appeared at a show in England, in 1861, it
The breed is named for the county of Yorkshire in northern England.
was described as "the broken-haired Scotch Terrier:' But in 1870,a popular British sporting magazine commented that "they ought no longer be called Scotch Terriers, but Yorkshire Terriers, for having been so improved there." And the new name stuck. So today Tullah is at the end of a long and proud line of Yorkshire Terriers. Although even today, the American Kennel Club website comically describes the characteristics of the breed as "companion, ratter." So if like many of us in South Florida you suffer from rats in your roof, a Yorkie could be the perfect dog: companion by day, and ratter by night (although Tullah would need a change of
clothes firstl) But really, Tullah illustrates how beautifully the Yorkshire Terrier has evolved from those origins. Still retaining all the best terrier characteristics of alertness and liveliness, we can see that Tullah is an ideal companion. Very affectionate to her owners, she also has the advantage over our larger dog that she can go anywhere with them, in a bag. If her feet don't touch the ground, she can travel in airline cabins, or go shopping. In fact with Christine and Brian she could have spent the rest of the morning shopping in Coconut Point ("She loves that" says Christine, "she's a real girl") ... while we with Blue would have been left out on the sidewalkl
Bonita's Best Friends
Bonita Springs resident Tullah, a Yorkshire Terrier, has all the best terrier characteristics of alertness and liveliness.
Tullahjoined a household that already had a Beagle, now nine-years-old, and the by much. The breed is named for the county of Yorkshire in northern Engtimes. The weavers needed dogs to catch rats in the mills, and brought terriers
If you have a dog that you think is particularly wonderful, contact us at email@example.com, and he or she could be the next dog featured in this column.
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Fantasy and history
By Meghan Easterly
Bonita Springs - Dave Kellum isn't your typical clay artist His work has audiences falling through the looking glass to join Alice for her tea party and time traveling through history to witness battles such as that of the civil war ships the Monitor and the Merrimack. Kellum's fantastical works of clay come from deep within the artist's imagination and bring scenes to life in three dimensional form. "I've been using clay since I was a little kid and I think I really like having a third dimension as opposed to painting;' Kellum said. "I love this realm of clay, how Artist Dave Kellum works it feels, how it is limitless." studio. Kellum grew up in Bonita really good:' Kellum said. "I and says his love of art began loved the John Tenniel illusat an early age and gained trations because they really fuel with the encouragement got me into the story." of his middle school art He created one scene, teacher, Diane Chase. then another and eventually "She was a teacher that had eight scenes from the let you create whatever you story. He spent a year planwanted and if you needed ning out the concepts and help, she taught you," Kellum creating each piece. That was said. "That freedom really 12 years ago. to do whatever you wanted Since then Kellum has and to ask questions when gone on to create other feats you needed to, that really of imagination and history. worked." He calls many of his hisCu r r e n tly----------torical pieces Kellum is oneof Even I could do "Steampunk the artists in the something else, I Sculptures." Center for the Steampunk is Arts Artist Stu- probably wouldn't. a sub-genre of dios at The That's why I keep science fiction, Promenade. alternate hisWhen walking doing it, I love it. tory and specthrough the stuulative fiction dios, viewers will know when with pieces typically corning they come to Kellum's studio. from the era of steam power, His clay pieces challenge the specifically the 19th century viewer to use their imagior the Victorian era. These nations. His work varies from pieces deal with futuristic the realm of fantasy to the types of innovations that slightly macabre. Victorianleople may have "'Alice in Wonderland' envisione One piece that was probably the first thing draws a lot of attention is that I did that I thought was "The Battle of the Iron Clad
Photos by Meghan Easterly
on a piece of clay in his
Gopher Tortoises:' Civil War buffs are drawn to the piece because on the top it features the historic battle of Hampton Roads when the ironclad warships the Monitor and the Merrimack fought in what is regarded as the most important naval battle of the Civil War. As viewers get deeper into the piece they notice port windowsthat they can look into to see below the battle into the watery depths of Chesapeake Bay. Here the viewer notices that the ships are actually attached to the backs of two large Gopher Tortoises in leather battle gear who are lugging the ships around as they battle in the rough seas. ''A lot of times I will just see a movie poster, or there will be a historical event that I think would be cool to do;' Kellum said. He says his inspiration varies widely.Mosdy, if something appeals to him he just has to create it He often calls his work "unsellable art" because it doesn't always
The piece "Youn~ Frankenstein" by Dave Kellum IS based on the movie poster of the film and contains intrinsic detail of the scientist's laboratory.
fit into a niche that people purchase. His work is the stuff of Hollywood films or science fiction and Kellum knows he would probably do well if he were to move to a larger city, but Bonita is
Artist Dave Kellum shows Alice wearing an expression of frustration in "lea Party" from his series "Alice in Wonderland" based on the classic by Lewis Carroll.
Some clients choose to have the look of embedded fossils or stones in the counters. "These are great because you can do any color and you can incorporate anything into them;' Kellum said. Through the down economy Kellum continues to create every day, even if sales aren't going well. He says you have to get creative as an artist and figure out how to do what you love and still make a living. "Being an artist for me was a process of elimination. rm not qualified for anything else, it's amazing," Kellum said "Even if I could do something else, I probably wouldn't. That's why I keep doing it, I love it" Kellum's creations can be found on his websites at www.thepinfish.com and www.celebvoodoo.com. The artist is in his studio at The Promenade Thursdays and Fridays and will be open Monday through Saturday during season.
Artist Dave Kellum creates detailed, clay, nautical charts like this one of Southwest Florida.
his home; it is where he is raising his family. Although some of his wilder imaginative pieces have not sold, many of his smaller pieces do sell well. He does a series of nautical
charts created from day that work well as large wall art or displays. Clay creates rise to the land and depth and current to the seas, making a much more interesting nautical chart to look at. He is experimenting with encaustic (wax painting) to give a softer texture to the sea and create rich color in the water. Another popular item that won't break the bank are his Celeb Voodoo Dolls. These clay dolls represent different celebrities and take on their personalities not only through their features but also through their clothing and accessories that help to portray their personalities. He will also create custom voodoo dolls that make interesting gifts. Besides pieces that are purely art, Kellum also creates functional concrete countertops and installs them in homes. These are about the same quality as granite but with a much different look.
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Peter O'Flinn, Nigel Fullick, Tony Erpenbeck, Joe Taylor and Dave Arter at the Bonita Springs Estero Women's Council of Realtors pre-season kick-off at The Reserve. Last month, Nigel was the recipient of the Pat Lord Award for Volunteerism and Service Stewardship.
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Heather Wightman, President of the Bonita Springs Estero Chapter of the Women's Council of Realtors, at the WCR pre-season kick-off.
Our local Women's Council of Realtors Chapter has seen incredible growth while Debra McAlister-Brown has been the Vice President of Membership.
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Catch of the month
Bonita Springs resident Pete Paulson, with a recent Grouper tttat he caught 32 miles offshore with recreational fisherman Gregg Bedell. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and your fish could be the next catch of the month.
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