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S O U T H W E S T

SEPTEMBER 2012 Vol.3, No.9 FREE

Events, things to do and opportunities to give back to our community in and around Bonita Springs
P R S R T S T D
U . S . P O S T A G E P A I D
F T M Y E R S , F L
P E R M I T # 9 8 0
R E S I D E N T I A L C U S T O M E R
E C R W S S
Paving Paradise 10
Commentary: Homeless Shelter 20
Restaurants 33 to 36
This signpost at Bonita Beach gives plenty of directions, but why would you want to go anywhere else?
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www.swspotlight.com Page 5

Spotlight News




Little Hickory Ducks
Isaac’s Sucker Punch
Spotlight Staff Report
staff@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs – By 10 a.m. Sun-
day morning August 26, the time
of an emergency meeting of Bonita
Springs City Council, the mass of
Tropical Storm Isaac was predicted
to track west of the City, in the
Gulf of Mexico.
That didn’t mean there was no
emergency.
The issue was Little Hickory
Island, and Isaac’s potential sucker
punch. As the storm approached
Bonita, the counter clockwise
winds of its northeast quadrant
first were expected to push gulf
waters away from the beach. That
concerned City Manager Carl
Schwing. It could cause a false
sense of security, he said. The
back end, or southeast quadrant,
of the storm was expected to push
gulf waters toward Little Hickory
Island, with tides up to five feet
higher than normal.
Council approved a mandatory
evacuation of Little Hickory Island,
ratifying action by Lee County’s
emergency operations center. The
Sheriff ’s patrol was instructed to
advise island residents of the threat
by bullhorn.
As Isaac veered further west on
Sunday and Monday, the storm
surge was minimal. Little Hickory
Island was spared significant dam-
age. Tidal flows, although moder-
ated, operated essentially as
predicted. As Isaac hit during Sun-
day afternoon’s low tide, large
swaths of Estero Bay emptied of
water. Monday morning’s high tide
and westerly winds brought waters
brimming to the tops of some sea-
walls, with minor street flooding
on Little Hickory Island.
Mon., Aug. 27, 10 a.m. – Surf laps at a seawall on Little Hickory’s
north end.
Sun., Aug. 26, 9:30 a.m. – Ace is the place with plenty of plywood.
Sun., Aug. 26, 10 a.m. – City Manager Carl Schwing discusses Isaac
storm track at City Council Emergency Meeting.
Mon., Aug. 27, 10 a.m. – Surfing off Little Hickory Island.
Sun., Aug. 26, 5 p.m. – Isaac’s onshore winds and low tide empty parts of Estero Bay.
Staff Photos | staff@swspotlight.com
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operated since 2010
(239) 287-6474
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Bonita Springs, FL 34133
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S O U T H W E S T

Events, things to do and opportunities to give back to our community in and around Bonita Springs
Publisher & Editor
Peter A. O'Flinn
peter@swspotlight.com
Advertising Sales
Teri Lamaine
Kathy O'Flinn
Office Manager
Katie O'Flinn
Contributing Writers
Bill Barnes
Charles J. Cavaliere
D. K. Christi
Martha Crider
Meghan Easterly
Mark Generales
Max Harris
Dorota Harris
Josh Musselman
Ben Nelson Jr.
Patrice Shields
Peter R. O'Flinn
Heather Thomson
George White
Contributing Photographers
David Michael
Vicki White
Page 6 September 2012 Southwest Spotlight





8 STEM Grows in Lee Public
Schools
Emphasis on Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics
9 Captain Kathy Rairden
Delta District top cop on the
Bonita beat
10 Paving Paradise
City to connect Old 41 and Imperial,
and move 14 tortoises
11 City Road Projects
Millions for roads and penny pinching
paint
11 Simons Sez
City Council considers talkative
colleague
12 Bonita Library Expansion
Dollars running dry in Ft. Myers
12 Bonita Election Roundup
How your neighbors voted in the
August primary
13 Green Role Model
FGCU’s Solar Array has 11,000 panels
17 Pink Warriors
Local giving aids cancer survivors
18 Banyan Tree Park
Improvements
A Bonita landmark, now landscaped
with 400 plants
28 Bonita’s Dance Studios
Joy of dancing inspires local
programs
Commentary
20 Peter A. O’Flinn
Progress on Homeless Shelter
regulations
20 City Council Corner
Janet Martin on why Bonita
is the tops
20 Café of Life
Former Mayor Jay Arend on Rose-
mary Park plans
Business
14 Bonita Business Beat
Classic service at Tuffy
15 Spotlight
Real Estate Watch
Top of the market sales grow
Arts & Entertainment
22 Events
What’s happening this month in
Bonita?
24 Artist Spotlight:
Vocalist Wendy Renee
Recording artist trades snow for
sunshine
Columns
26 The Other Ben
Mayor Nelson says old dogs
still do tricks
27 Bonita Nature Place
Goober’s 20/20 view of
Pine Lake Preserve
29 Boating Bonita
Mark Generales’ inaugural column
on SW Florida boating
30 Mind and Soul
Life is a learning opportunity
from God
31 Bonita’s Best Friends
Katrina, a golden terrier who talks
through her eyes
32 Meg-a-Mom
Joy of Child Gardening
33 Why I Love Bonita
Ceel Spuhler, Florida Chrome
Restaurants
35 Restaurant Guide
News & Features
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www.swspotlight.com Page 7 Southwest Spotlight





BONITA SPRINGS YMCA 27200 Kent Road, 34135 www.BonitaSpringsYMCA.org 239.221.7560
OUT OF THIS WORLD FUN
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YMCA SWIM, SPORTS & PLAY
Fall activities are in full swing at the Bonita Springs
YMCA. Register for Fall Sports by Sept. 4.
Next Swim Lesson session begins Sept. 10.
Weekly afterschool program with bus transportation,
dance classes and more! Financial assistance available.
Page 8 September 2012

Spotlight News




By D. K. Christi
dk@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs – Is kinder-
garten too early to start stu-
dents thinking about their
future careers? It’s never too
early, say Lee County Public
Schools and they have the
support of many others
including the Foundation
for Lee County Public
Schools, local businesses, not-
for-profit organizations, and
area colleges and universities.
That and the demand to
fill U.S. STEM careers explain
the current student focus on
Science, Technology, Engi-
neering and Mathematics
(STEM). The goal is to pre-
pare today’s students to com-
pete globally for the jobs of
the future.
This academic year, solar-
powered boat races and other
exciting projects and intern-
ships will fill the school cal-
endar to make lessons come
alive and help students see
the relevance of their aca-
demic courses.
Algenol, a Bonita Springs
business developing biofuels,
is one of the local businesses
partnering with STEM and
the Foundation for Lee
County Public Schools.
Their involvement has
included support for: FGCU
STEM scholarships, the
Algenol STEM Challenge
where students from area
schools compete with
Algenol scientists and engi-
neers in projects such as the
solar-powered boat races,
student and teacher intern-
ships at Algenol, the reading
initiative to improve reading
skills using Kindle Fires in
elementary schools and in-
service training for teachers.
“Many of the STEM
activities were implemented
in selected schools as the
programs began. Now, we
have exciting plans to
expand to more schools for
the 2012-2013 school year,”
said Marshall Bower, Presi-
dent and CEO of the Foun-
dation for Lee County Public
Schools.
Bower recently unveiled
the three main directions for
STEM activities supported
by the Foundation. They
include Stemtastic, Stem@
Work and Teacher Immer-
sion.
Stemtastic will continue
this year. An all district job
and education fair to be
held this Spring at Lee
County Public Education
Center in Fort Myers, Stem-
tastic will include presen-
tations and interactive
experiences for students K-
12 presented by every local
education entity and busi-
ness enterprise that supports
the STEM initiative. The
last event had over 2,000
participants. Drawings, raf-
fles and giveaways at the
event are supported by busi-
ness and education sponsors,
all with the intent to start
students thinking about the
excitement of STEM careers.
Stem@Work is in its third
year; all high schools will
be engaged for the first time.
Twenty students at each high
school will be exposed to
STEM career workplaces for
a minimum of twenty hours
each. Shaw Development
and Algenol are two involved
companies from the Bonita
Springs area.
“Teacher Immersion is
the third exciting program,”
explained Bower. “Twenty-
five teachers and adminis-
trators will experience
internships at STEM busi-
nesses while substitutes are
in the classroom.” A suc-
cessful end result would be
to help teachers create
dynamic science courses for
their students.
As students head back to
the classroom this fall, it
will be more than reading,
writing and ‘rithmetic. The
emphasis on STEM will con-
tinue and grow.
STEM Grows in the Schools
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
Local students participated in the Algenol STEM Solar Boat Challenge held earlier this year at the Algenol labs off
Alico Road.
www.swspotlight.com Page 9

Spotlight News




By George White
george@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs – There are
no Matt Dillon’s in Bonita
Springs, no big, tough, silent
lawmen who scare the bejab-
bers out of criminals just
by glowering menacingly at
them. No sir, the head of
law enforcement in this area
is – Captain Kathy Rairden.
Captain Rairden is in her
19th year with the Lee
County Sheriff ’s Depart-
ment, and she has done it
all since she joined the force
after an early career selling
snow skis, tennis equipment
and surfboards. This Naples
High grad has done every-
thing from being a traffic
cop to working undercover
in narcotics, from stopping
crooks who try to pass bogus
checks to intercepting bogus
medical prescriptions. She
worked for several years as
a detective, and then stood
up to the pimps and assorted
lowlifes as a member of the
sex crimes unit.
Lieutenant Adam Sed-
wick, one of the officers
who works under Rairden,
praises her as a shining
example of what a captain
should be.
‘‘She is an extremely
intelligent law enforcement
officer and I am constantly
learning from her example,”
Sedwick says. “She works
tirelessly for the citizens of
Delta District (which
includes Bonita) and she
does everything she can to
resolve the issues that are
brought to her attention.”
Despite the imposing cre-
dentials, Rairden is as folksy,
as down-home as Sheriff
Andy Taylor. Married to
husband Mike, himself a
retired law enforcement offi-
cer, and the mother of an
8-year-old daughter, she
laughs often and easily and
talks at length about reduc-
ing crime in her district –
which stretches all the way
from the Collier County
line north to Gladiolus Drive
in Fort Myers. Approximate-
ly 75 people report to her
including 46 officers who
work out of Rairden’s dis-
trict. The city of Bonita
Springs contracts an addi-
tional 16 officers.
The majority of the work
done by the deputies is the
investigation of burglaries,
Rairden says. Car burglaries
are specifically a challenge
“because of our beach
access. So, typically they (the
criminals) may start in Col-
lier County, hit Collier
County’s beaches, then work
their way north all the way
up to Sanibel. They actually
pay $6 to go over the Sanibel
bridge!” she says with a quiet
chuckle.
And there is no end to
the stupidity of criminals.
Rairden mentions thieves
who have stolen computers,
not realizing that when a
laptop is turned on, many
times it has a camera. “So
oftentimes we actually have
pictures of the bad guys,”
she says. And there was the
young woman visiting her
grandparents in Spanish
Wells who had stolen an i-
Phone and wrapped it in
tin foil. “She thought that
that was somehow going to
stop the signal,” said Rairden,
chuckling.
Increasingly, though,
much of the crime in the
Bonita Springs area has
come from the east coast of
Florida. “A lot of organized
groups come over here to
do residential burglaries,”
said Rairden. “One group
did seven in one day. By the
time we know about it,
they’re back across the Alley.”
What can Bonitians do
to help the deputies? “The
biggest thing, and something
that we try to get out as
much as possible, is that if
you see something, or even
THINK you see something,
you’ve got to report it. If
you see somebody in your
neighborhood that doesn’t
look familiar, that you kind
of get a funny feeling about
– call us. We’ve GOT to get
people to call us.”
Closing garage doors is
huge. Putting valuables in
the trunk is another –
“putting them on the floor-
board is not good enough.
Putting a towel over them
in the front seat is not good
enough.”
The most important
thing she and her deputies
need to do, Kathy Rairden
says, is something really old-
fashioned – education. “I
guess the best way that I’ve
found to really combat any
of this – whether it be a
residential burglary, a rob-
bery, sexual battery – any
of that, is to really try to
educate people to protect
themselves, their homes,
their cars,” she says.
Keeping Bonita Safe for its Citizens
Staff | staff@swspotlight.com
Captain Kathy Rairden heads the Lee County Sheriff’s Department Delta District
which includes Bonita Springs.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Department South District in
Bonita Springs provides a FREE crime readiness
assessment of your home or business.
Crime practitioner Ron Kohl does the inspection.
He can be reached by calling
477-1840 or email rkohl@sheriffleefl.org
The most
important thing
she and her
deputies need to
do, Kathy Rairden
says, is something
really old-fashioned
– education.
Page 10 September 2012

Spotlight News




By Peter R. O’Flinn
prof@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs – Just a few
years ago Bob’s Barricades
littered the area landscape.
Roads were like parking lots
and frustrated Bonitians
waited, literally years, for an
Italian contractor to finish
U.S. 41 widening work (not
a City project, City staff were
quick to say).
Major City road construc-
tion projects helped cure the
congestion. East Terry Street
was widened, as were parts
of Beach Road and Old 41.
Most importantly, Imperial
Parkway was built, giving
the City an additional north
south roadway.
The City has paid more
than $55 million for that
work and other road projects.
According to 2011 City budg-
et documents, City debt and
general fund monies (about
55%) was the primary fund-
ing source, together with
impact fees (about 27%) and
gas tax revenue (about 14%).
Now, if funding is
approved by City Council at
budget hearings in Septem-
ber, the City will embark on
the construction phase of
another road project, the
Shangri-La Road extension.
The Project
The Shangri-La Road
extension will connect Old
41 and Imperial Parkway by
extending the eastern part
of Shangri-La Road.
Shangri-La Road is locat-
ed at the intersection of Old
41 by the Arts Center, and
travels east, ending shy of
Imperial Parkway.
The project has been
inching forward on the City’s
projects list ever since it was
first planned amidst the con-
gestion of 2006. A feasibility
study done at that time
recommended the extension
“in order to keep pace with
the anticipated growth and
development in the area.”
It will “improve circulation
throughout the City,” it
stated.
“It’s going to make a
difference for people who
live in the area, and how
they travel,” said Jim
Melton, the City’s acting
public works director.
More than just
asphalt
Paving paradise is not
cheap. Budgeted cost for the
project is almost $6 million,
or more than $1,500 for
each of its 3900 feet. City
staff is hopeful the actual
project cost will be less than
$5 million.
More than $1 million of
the project cost relates to
design, engineering and
other planning work, accord-
ing to City documents. Most
of the design work has been
completed.
Other significant costs
relate to construction of
drainage, purchasing private
land and building the actual
roadway.
Paving Paradise, and Moving $900 Tortoises
Contributed | City of Bonita Springs
The Shangri-La Road Project will stretch from Windley Key to Red Rock Road, providing a connection to Imperial Parkway.
Continued on page 14
A new connection
between Old 41 and
Imperial Parkway,
for about $5 million.
www.swspotlight.com Page 11

Spotlight News




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Millions for Roads,
Penny Pinching
Paint and Art
Late summer is budget time at City
Hall. In late September City Council
will adopt next fiscal year’s budget.
As has been the case recently, road proj-
ects, together with beach renourishment
this year, continue to consume most of
the City’s capital budget.
In the budget plan, road projects are
seemingly stacked like candies in a Pez
dispenser. Once a road is completed, another
ratchets up in priority.
Next year’s priority is the Shangri-La
road extension, at a total project cost in
the $5-$6 million range. Next in line is a
project to widen Old 41 south of Beach
Road, with a ten-year budgeted cost greater
than $14 million. At a recent budget hearing,
City staff suggested that project move up
the queue, replacing the $7 million West
Terry Street improvement project. The
Terry Street project will be downsized
because of reduced traffic counts, according
to City staff.
Road projects are now earmarked to
consume most of the City’s projected future
excess reserves, according to the City Man-
ager’s “budget at a glance.” Actual spending
authorizations will be considered year-by-
year.
Some road construction is driven by
the requirement to spend road impact
fees for that purpose. But if, as is said,
budgets are measures of priorities, then
road construction is clearly a very high
priority for City Council.
Other City priorities, however, can have
a rocky road at budget time.
Take Old 41 redevelopment, which City
Council ranked early this year as its top
strategic objective.
At a recent budget hearing, Council
deliberated for 15 minutes before approving
$15,000 for paint for a volunteer program
to improve the look of downtown buildings.
It is based on the City’s highly successful
“Paint your heart out” program a few years
ago.
“Do we have to decide this today?”
asked one Council member. Another
speaker suggested a pared down $5,000
“pilot program.”
Another item, to build a median pedes-
trian and traffic-calming oasis on Old 41
north of Terry Street, was deferred.
Next, the City’s Art in Public Places
board request for an additional $10,000
was turned down in a split vote. That vol-
unteer group is responsible for the cost
efficient acquisition of signature sculptures
in Riverside Park. Its total annual budget
is $10,000.
“Every dollar counts for infrastructure,”
said one of those voting against the item.
“We have a lot of infrastructure to do.”
Simons Sez
The agenda for City Council’s late August
meeting contained words that might feel
at home in the Congressional Record. But
those words, “formally censure” and “rep-
rimand,” certainly seemed out of place in
the City with the small town charm.
But there they were, placed by Mayor
Ben Nelson.
The matter he proposed for Council to
consider was action against Council member
Martha Simons for violations of the City’s
code of conduct.
Although words like disruptive, unpro-
ductive and disrespectful were used, the
charge against Simons boiled down to the
notion that she talked too much during
Council meetings.
The Bonita City Council is a collegial
and dedicated group, and it has stayed that
way in no small part thanks to Nelson’s
leadership. In his five years as Mayor, Nelson
has tried to run efficient meetings in a
thoughtful and civil manner. Recently he
had his share of challenges, as Council
considered topics ranging from zoning
code revisions to backyard hens.
And then of course, there were meetings
on St. Matthew’s House, the mother lode
of public participation, complete with
scores of residents stretching out the back
of City Hall, all taking their three minutes
for public comment until the light on the
podium blinked red, pleading “please stop.”
What of the District 5 Council member
in all of this? Martha Simons, who in a
delightfully introspective moment has
reflected, “Do I go on? Yeah. Sometimes I
can’t help myself. But it is my obligation
to ask questions. I must try to pick the
questions that are most important.”
That’s the puzzle that City Council had
to tackle when presented with Nelson’s
agenda item. What of the wonky and intel-
ligent Simons, Florida League of Cities
award winner, knowledgeable on everything
from Spring Creek oxygen levels to Talla-
hassee turmoil, from zoning laws to Gov-
ernor Scott’s Oak Creek funding vetoes?
And what of her “contributions” on any
and all of these issues at any and all Council
meetings?
The most Bonita Springs City Council
could muster up on Nelson’s agenda item
was a motion to think about it later. That
passed with only the slimmest majority.
Council’s body language and talk, what
little there was, seemed to say, “The message
has been sent, let’s move on.”
One Council colloquy sounded like sib-
lings around the Thanksgiving table.
“Ben, Martha has already apologized in
so many words,” said Bill Lonkart, reflecting
on comments by Simons.
“Bill said you have apologized,” said
Nelson, turning to Simons. “But you haven’t
apologized for anything because you don’t
think you did anything, do you?”
“I have obviously irritated you, Mayor,”
said Simons.
Inevitably, Ben Nelson reverted to his
positive persona. Reflecting on Simons’
contributions during the meeting, he
unfurled the white flag, saying, ”Council-
woman Simons, you have done a beautiful
job today.”
Martha Simons met him in the middle.
She promised to amend her behavior (“My
style at times is irritating. My mom says
that too.”), and to study Robert’s Rules of
Order (“which is really boring.”)
During another part of the Council
meeting, Simons raised a zoning question.
As Simons, Nelson and staff began a detailed
discussion of the matter, a Council member
on the left side of the dais could be seen
making eye contact with another, signifying
a knowing, “Buckle up. Here we go.” A
Up and Down the Trail
Continued on page 12
Page 12 September 2012

Spotlight News




half-hour later, discussion on that item,
the first of about ten zoning items, ended.
The meeting lasted five hours, perfectly
normal in the City with the small town
charm.
Thank You CH2M Hill
Recently the City had a little help from its
friends, from Seattle, New York and Mongolia
(yes, Mongolia) in sprucing up a landmark
in the heart of town, Banyan Tree Park.
The more than forty volunteer visitors
were employees of CH2M Hill, the interna-
tional engineering firm that runs community
development for the City. They were in
town at the Hyatt for an annual meeting of
the company’s project developers. At each
meeting, they perform a community service
project in their host city.
The group supplied and planted more
than 400 plants around the Banyan Tree,
softening the landscape. John Dulmer, the
City’s Community Development Director
credited Avalyn Gauntlett, Community
Development’s office manager, with an idea
to protect the tree’s sensitive aerial root
structure. The plantings were grouped to
provide a natural barrier against access to
the roots. That’s what’s done in Gauntlett’s
native Jamaica, Dulmer said.
Mike Kirby, Dan Stark and Dulmer did
most of the preparatory work on the project.
On a recent Wednesday, Stark, who supervises
projects from the Mississippi to the Atlantic
for CH2M Hill, maneuvered a Bobcat around
the site while Kirby, the City’s environmental
specialist, laid out planting beds.
More is planned, said Dulmer. The plant-
ing beds will be extended. Also, diagonally
across Old 41 the perimeter of Lemon Tree
lot, which hosts the farmer’s market, will be
planted courtesy of CH2M Hill.
The first four symbols of the company’s
unusual name, which read like a flashback
from a forgotten chemistry experiment, are
derived from the last initials of its founders’
names. There were two H’s, hence “H2.”
Gimme Shelter
If you want to advertise, you expect to
pay for it. Lee County has taken that concept
a step further.
If you deal with the County, be prepared
to pay not to advertise.
That’s the policy Bonita Springs ran into
recently with a simple request, for nice look-
ing bus shelters. As a result, the City will be
paying the County $1,500 per year for each
new shelter that, at the City’s request, does
not contain advertising displays. The
County will install the shelters along the
LeeTran route to Collier County. The cross
county service began last year after years of
effort by City officials. According to City
staff, ridership is substantial.
Last November City Council said it want-
ed nice looking shelters. As an example,
some Council members mentioned the typ-
ical design of Collier County bus stops. In
bureaucratic parlance, these are called
“enhanced shelters.”
In August, City staff informed Council
that the enhanced shelters will be installed.
The structure will have a dark slate color,
and a “patina green” roof color.
In addition to the $1,500 advertising
offset charge, the City must pay the County
a design fee and a yearly additional charge
to cover shelter enhancements.
Initially five shelters will be installed
along Old 41.
Weak Prospects for
Library Funding
The City has another request pending
before the County government up in Ft.
Myers. It wants an $11,000,000 library. The
answer is starting to look like, “Lots of luck.”
As a result, it appears that City Council
will likely reconstitute the City’s volunteer
library task force in September to study the
City’s options.
The existing Lee County library on Pine
Avenue is outdated and too small in the
view of City Council and many Bonitians.
That view is shared by County staff,
which has been working with City staff on
library expansion.
As the Spotlight reported last spring, Lee
Library director Sheldon Kaye has proposed
an $11 million new facility of 25,000 square
feet, double the current size, at the current
Bonita library site.
At a February budget workshop, the
majority of County Commissioners agreed
that a new facility is needed.
However, paying for the project is another
matter.
The Lee Library is now running a signif-
icant operating loss. That loss, together with
recent library construction in Ft. Myers and
Cape Coral, has depleted the library capital
fund.
Lee Library Director Kaye is pitching a
countywide library tax increase, commencing
in 2014, that he believes would improve the
Library system’s financial footing and position
it to fund a new Bonita facility.
So what are the City’s other options?
City officials could continue to pressure
County Commissioners for funds from
other County revenue sources, in addition
to the library fund. Commissioner Ray
Judah, the chief proponent of that course
of action, was defeated in his reelection bid
last month.
Another alternative would be a bold
move. The City could attempt to secede
from the Lee County library system, and
build its own facility. Currently, Sanibel and
Ft. Myers Beach maintain independent
library systems.
Under Florida law, Lee County approval
is required for secession. Otherwise City
residents would continue to pay for the
Lee County system as well as a new Bonita
facility.
When asked by the Spotlight about the
likelihood of Lee County approval, Mayor
Ben Nelson was not optimistic. “They can’t
even pay their bills the way they are, so I
doubt it,” he said.
Then there is the issue of funding if the
City goes its own way. Currently, City tax-
payers pay library property taxes $1.2 million
greater than the cost of operating the Bonita
branch.
The City’s task force likely will be asked
to consider whether that excess cash flow is
sufficient to finance a major facility, without
raising taxes or calling on other City surplus
funds currently earmarked for other pur-
poses.
Earlier in the last decade, when library
tax rates and property valuations were higher,
City taxpayers paid Lee County about $25
million in excess property taxes above the
cost of running the Bonita branch. Those
days, and those monies, are gone.
Other creative ideas are being bandied
around town, including building a library
as part of a mixed-use government facility
on Old 41, with different entities (including
some of the sheriff, tax collector, elections,
DMV, county, city and perhaps federal
offices) sharing the cost.
Up and Down
from page 11
Bonita Election
Roundup
In August, Bonita Bay resident Cathleen
Morgan (53.5%) defeated Les Cochran
(46.5%) to win a seat on the Lee County
School Board. Morgan was helped by her
support in Bonita Springs, where she received
57% of the vote.
Trey Radel also received strong support
in Bonita to help him defeat five opponents
in the Republican primary for Connie
Mack’s congressional seat. City Council
member Peter Simmons was an early
supporter and heavily involved in the
campaign. In Bonita, Radel received 36%
of the vote, versus 30% district wide.
Other Bonita totals include Chauncey
Goss (20%), Paige Kreegel (17%), Byron
Donalds (14%) and Gary Aubuchon
(10%).
Political pros know the power of polit-
ical advertising, particularly negative adver-
tising. For proof they can look to Bonita
Springs results in Commissioner Ray
Judah’s recent Republican primary defeat
by Larry Kiker. Among the 44% of Bonita
voters who used absentee ballots, Judah
received more votes than Kiker. But among
the remainder, who stuck around for the
onslaught of negative ads against Judah,
Kiker won 66% of the vote in Bonita.
County wide, Kiker received 63% of the
vote.
In the only other competitive County
Commission Republican primary, Cecil
Pendergrass (31%) defeated Doug St. Cerny
(25%), Don Stillwell (24%) and Warren
Wright (19%). In Bonita tallies, St. Cerny
(31%) received the most votes, then Stillwell
(27%), Pendergrass (26%) and Wright
(15%).
Mike Scott took care of business in
Bonita with 75% of the vote to help him
defeat Tim Fisher in the countywide Repub-
lican primary for sheriff. Larry Hart received
71% of the Bonita vote to help him defeat
Kyle Lee in the countywide republican pri-
mary for tax collector.
Staff | staff@swspotlight.com
www.swspotlight.com Page 13

Spotlight News




By DK Christi
dk@swspotlight.com
FGCU – Florida Gulf Coast
University’s Solar Array, com-
pleted in 2010 and probably
the second largest found at
a state university in the nation
and certainly the largest in
Florida, has 11,000 individual
panels, covers 15 acres and
contributes 18% to FPL ener-
gy savings on campus. It’s
just the “tip of the iceberg”
when it comes to FGCU envi-
ronmental projects, a trade-
mark since FGCU was
conceived by the legislature.
“FGCU President Bradshaw’s
pro-active support has been
critical,” shared Steve Magiera,
Vice President, Administrative
Services and Finance.
“My commitment to envi-
ronmental sustainability is
both personal and profes-
sional,” said FGCU President
Wilson G. Bradshaw, who
drives an electric-powered
Chevrolet Volt. “FGCU was
built and continues to devel-
op on a foundation of eco-
logical awareness and
preservation, and as such we
recognize the University’s
role as a good neighbor, a
thoughtful steward, and a
role model for co-existing
development and conserva-
tion.”
The “tip of the iceberg”
began with the original ice
thermal plant, conceived and
built in 1997 with rebate sup-
port from Florida Power and
Light. Twenty-four ice tanks
in the beginning grew to 140
– the second largest “ice farm”
in the United States - freezing
at night during off peak hours
and cooling the campus dur-
ing peak hours, with $1/2
million annual savings and
FPL rebates, “still a viable
and environmentally friendly
cooling system, but currently
maximized,” according to Jim
Hehl, Director of the Physical
Plant.
Susan Evans, FGCU Chief
of Staff, was one of the “orig-
inal five” FGCU administra-
tors twenty years ago. “The
original ten-year plan
required unique criteria: an
environmental orientation,
non-tenured faculty, and a
required student service
learning component,” said
Evans. Land acquisition, per-
mitting and even a legal tussle
with environmentalists sup-
ported these commitments.
Early construction, following
the ice thermal cooling plant,
was designed to fit into the
environment, not change it.
“The ‘original five’ drove onto
the FGCU acreage in a four
wheel drive and cut a path
with a machete, awed by the
beauty. The first FGCU Pres-
ident, Dr. Roy McTarnaghan,
picked blue and green for
colors and the Eagle as the
FGCU symbol to represent
the earth and sky and wildlife
around us,” remembered
Evans.
FGCU President William
Bradshaw, appointed in 2007,
took construction to the next
step, as one of the first signers
to the American College &
University Presidents’ Climate
Agreement: all new FGCU
construction will be Leader-
ship in Energy and Environ-
mental Design certified
(LEED) from a minimum
of Silver to a maximum of
Platinum. The U. S. Green
Building Council national
certification standards include
four point levels: Certified,
Silver, Gold and Platinum.
The College of Arts and Sci-
ences has Platinum LEED
Certification; the new Marieb
Hall expects to attain Silver
(it’s not served by the Solar
Array); and residence halls
are currently either seeking
certification or already cer-
tified Silver. New construction
incorporates LEED criteria
in contractor specifications.
Barrett Genson, Director
of Facilities and Planning,
has his eye on the Innovation
Hub (IHUB). “FGCU’s devel-
oping public/private part-
nership with Galvano
Development Company and
John D. Backe, former CEO
of CBS will take FGCU off-
campus to a 240 acre tract
of land designated for
research and innovation to
discover unique renewable
energy applications,” said
Genson. The $12.5 million,
32,000 sq. ft. cutting-edge
research facility will explore
renewable energies, sustain-
able building design, and
leading edge environmental
practices. An entire research
park, built with sustainable
practices, will be an anchor
site for a potential research
corridor between FGCU and
Southwest International Air-
port, attracting businesses
that will diversify the eco-
nomic base of tourism and
construction to include
research with international
implications. The appoint-
ment of Dr. Joseph Simmons
to the FGCU Backe Endowed
Chair in Renewable Energy
promises to attract additional
resources and lead to exciting
renewable energy applica-
tions.
The FGCU campus is a
living, environmental learn-
ing lab. “See the students in
boots studying the lakes?
FGCU only built on half the
land; the rest is a natural
habitat with a growing
wildlife population,” said
Evans. “In addition to the
required service learning
component, all students
complete an environmental
issues colloquium.” FGCU
gives students a green expe-
rience for their future use.
They take what they have
learned with them. President
Bradshaw sets the example
in his personal and profes-
sional life; his Chevrolet Volt
is plugged in outside his
office.
Florida Gulf Coast University
A Green Role Model
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
Aerial view of Solar Array covering 15 acres on FGCU campus
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
Site of Innovation Hub, a 240 acre research park that is a joint partnership with FGCU,
Galvano Development Company and John D. Backe.
“People think about road
construction,” said Assistant
City Manager John Gucci-
ardo. “ But in order for that
to work, we have to deal
with water runoff.” In this
case, that includes sheet flow
from 5,000 acres of Tropic
Acres, the largely undevel-
oped area of dirt roads and
large parcels north of
Shangri-La Road.
The water drainage por-
tion of the project is esti-
mated to cost more than
$1 million. That includes
the $100,000 purchase of
a parcel for a settlement
pond and the construction
of a system of ditches to
carry water to an area
behind Buffalo Chips
restaurant on the west side
of Old 41, almost a mile
away. The water will tra-
verse over land owned by
Seminole Gulf Railway,
which has been paid
$60,000.
Most of the 3,900-foot
length of the proposed
roadway is within a public
right of way on 22 parcels
of private land. The pro-
posed roadway, together
with a planned sidewalk
and room for bike lanes, is
wider than the right of way.
As a result, the City will
be purchasing 50-foot wide
portions of those parcels
over the length of the road-
way. No houses or other
buildings will be taken.
The current estimate for
building the actual roadway
portion of the project is
about $1.7 million.
Tortoises in the hole
The City’s Melton has
tweaked Shangri-La Road
plans to deal with many
contingencies, but when
time came to reconnoiter
the drainage area west of
Old 41 he encountered the
unexpected. Gopher tor-
toises.
Gopher tortoises are an
endangered species that can-
not be disturbed without a
permit from the state.
“We found them over by
the railroad,” said Melton.
There was a touch of annoy-
ance in his voice, but that
seemed to be tempered by a
career full of knowledge that
this simply comes with the
turf.
The City will pay $900
per head to move 14 tortoises
to new homes in central
Florida.
Page 14 September 2012




Business & Real Estate

By D.K. Christi
dk@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs – The Cor-
porate Tuffy name goes all
the way back to the 1970’s,
but Tuffy in Bonita Springs
has only one name these
days, Kris Miller. Kris and
his wife Annette purchased
the business at 27790
S. Tamiami Trail in 2004,
representing a marriage of
two long-time interests, busi-
ness and classic cars.
“If Kris had his way, we
would have 14 garages full
of classic cars. At the
moment, we have a 1940
Chevy. Once we went to
many classic car shows; now,
we go occasionally. Owning
a business and spending fam-
ily time with our son changes
our priorities,” shared
Annette Miller. This is not
the time of year for long
trips in the 1940 Chevy;
there’s no air conditioning.
Annette and Kris attended
Drexel University in Penn-
sylvania where Kris majored
in business. He was always
a car buff. They moved to
Bonita Springs in 1992 and
Kris worked in the automo-
tive business for other
employers. He developed a
reputation then for skill and
integrity, so much so that
many customers today fol-
lowed him from Cape Coral
and Golden Gate Estates.
When the current Tuffy
franchise was available for
sale, the owners approached
Kris and Annette. The rest
is history. Kris could apply
his business skills and his
automotive interests to a
wide range of vehicles,
“bumper to bumper.” The
only work they don’t do is
body work. They provide
services to fleet owners and
service every model auto-
mobile.
“Our mechanics are
mature; they have been in
the business a long time and
keep their skills current,”
shared Annette. “Two
employees have been with
us since we opened; two are
new this year. Customers
know what to expect when
they trust us with their auto-
mobiles. I am the only ‘desk’
person; Kris is on site every
day. This is a ‘hands-on’
team.” The manager and Kris
have known each other and
worked together in various
capacities for nearly twenty
years. One new employee is
a diesel expert.
Family for Kris and
Annette includes their son
and extended family on both
sides that live in Florida.
They occasionally return to
Pennsylvania to visit with
college friends. Bonita
Springs is home where they
enjoy a little boating and
camping in their limited
spare time. Does Kris think
he’ll bring his son into the
business? “Right now, at
eleven, his career hopes
change often. His current
plan is to become a pilot,”
shared his mom.
Annette’s analogy for
finding a trustworthy
mechanic reaches women:
“It’s like a hairdresser. You
get advice until you find the
right one that knows your
hair. You stay with that one
because you trust them with
something valuable. A car is
nearly a weapon; safety is
critical. Finding a trustworthy
mechanic is vital to a family’s
safe travel.” In other words,
stick with a trusted mechanic.
Tuffy offers specials; but
they don’t offer the cut rate
oil changes as loss leaders.
“We do quality work and
that includes the thorough
inspections with an oil
change. Today’s automobiles
will last a long time with
proper maintenance. Both
of our current automobiles
have over 140,000 miles each.
Of course, that’s an advantage
of owning a car repair service
– the same advantage we
pass on to our customers,”
explained Annette.
Simple things will help a
car operate efficiently. In
addition to oil changes and
thorough safety checks, tire
inflation is a key to the best
gas mileage. Poor tires are
dangerous with all the rain
and storms in Southwest
Florida. Dash warning lights
are not foolproof. A trust-
worthy mechanic will catch
unexpected issues. Repeat
customers are at the heart
of a family-owned business
in a small community. “We
have a great crew and wel-
come new customers to dis-
cuss their automotive needs,”
adds Kris.
“Customers know
what to expect when
they trust us with
their automobiles”
— Annette Miller, Tuffy’s
Bonita Business Beat
Classic Service at Tuffy
Staff | staff@swspotlight.com
Tuffy owners Kris and Annette Miller and their son Jake
with their 1940 Chevy
Staff | staff@swspotlight.com
Tuffy employees (front) Jim Hough, owner Kris Miller,
(back) Reed Oregon, Service Manager Alan Wilsker and
Scott Jones
Paving Paradise
from page 10
www.swspotlight.com Page 15




Business & Real Estate


DIVORCE, MARITAL & FAMILY LAW
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When it comes to sensitive divorce,
marital and family issues, we understand.



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. d rrd a
By Bill Barnes
Chief Executive Officer
Bonita Springs Estero
Association of Realtors
Bonita Springs – The July
2012 Market report shows
that July was the slowest
month in some time for real
estate activity in most major
categories.
The “summer slump” was
somewhat of a surprise as
the trend lines for prior
months had been on an
upward climb. Traditionally
the summer months have
been slow as many are on
vacation or have returned
to the North to enjoy the
summer days at some lake-
side retreats; the summer of
2012 has been different, again
International news, the
upcoming Presidential elec-
tions and even the very well
publicized local elections
have distracted buyers and
sellers.
Many buyers and possible
corporate relocation poten-
tials come to the area and
do research into homes,
schools and the economic
environment and the local
media, both in print and on
the internet, affect decisions
on whether it is the time to
buy or to wait.
The single family homes
market saw 61 closings in
the under $400,000 range.
The total of 147 new single
family listings was equal to
the lowest monthly new
inventory in 2012. On the
sold and closed single family
homes list, July, with 96 sales,
was the lowest in four
months since March with
93 units sold.
The condominium mar-
ket also showed a summer
slowdown. 146 new condo
units were listed for sale in
July; this was the lowest num-
ber of units to enter the mar-
ket in any month of 2012.
Field reports are that many
of the units have been rented
out for the summer and thus
are not on the market as the
sellers wait to return to the
market in the fall. This may
also account for the sale of
only 94 condo units; this is
the second lowest number
of sales other than in Feb-
ruary when most condos
were full of seasonal own-
ers-guests.
There were 15 single fam-
ily lots listed for sale but
only 8 sold in the month;
this was well down from 34
single family lot sales in Jan-
uary 2012.
The top of the market




70


70
10
20
30
40
50
60
10
20
30
40
50
60

0

Spotlight Real Estate Watch
The top of the
market in our
“Top Ten” sales
continues to grow
and do well even
in the middle of
the summer.
Continued on page 16
Monthly Transactions
Number of real estate transactions
in the Bonita Springs Estero market
Highlights
from July’s top 10 sales
26367 Woodlyn Dr.
Bonita Bay
$1,950,000
11810 Via Novelli Ct.
Miromar Lakes
$1,910,000
18050 Via Bellamare Ln.
Quail West

$1,242,237
22221 Red Laurel Ln.
West Bay Club
$1,150,000
2010
January 160
February 175
March 219
April 263
May 174
June 179
July 144
August 132
September 121
October 80
November 177
December 177
2011
January 165
February 215
March 271
April 312
May 236
June 216
July 183
August 189
September 183
October 133
November 153
December 188
2012
January 195
February 170
March 256
April 294
May 272
June 257
July 200
Page 16 September 2012


Giving Back



Love INC
Love in the Name of
Christ operates a phone-in
clearinghouse where trained
church volunteers screen
requests for help from callers
within their service area-
Alico Road to Immokalee
Road. Love INC verifies the
need then connects individ-
uals and families to a church
ministry, church volunteer
and/or local service agency
best equipped to meet those
needs. Love INC assistance
may come in the form of
needed transportation, job
search assistance, clothing
donations, etc. Prayers, vol-
unteers and donations are
needed to transform lives.
To contact Love INC call
239 405-8595.
Meals on Wheels of
Bonita Springs
For over 40 years this
organization has served pre-
pared meals to homebound
people in Bonita Springs. It
is a non-profit organization
operated by local volunteers.
Last year they delivered over
9,000 meals to anyone who
needed a meal. For each
client, drivers deliver a hot
meal, milk or fruit drink, a
bread roll and a cookie
dessert. They deliver to clients
from Coconut Point Road
south to Bonita Beach Road
and from the Gulf of Mexico
to Bonita Grande. Call 598-
1300 to be a volunteer driver
or if you know someone who
needs their service. They are
currently looking for a coor-
dinator who assigns drivers
their routes.
Music for Minors
Foundation
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. The candi-
dates are then interviewed
for participation in the MFM
program. The students that
are accepted into the pro-
gram are notified and invited
to a reception where they
are honored with a yearly
grant for the instrument of
their choice. Each year the
students are re-certified to
ensure they continue to meet
Foundation requirements.
The organization offers a
variety of volunteer oppor-
tunities for individuals or
groups who have an interest
in furthering the musical
education of children. For
more information, call 239-
947-1943.
Bonita Springs
Assistance Office
For over 30 years the
Bonita Springs Assistance
Office has served as a primary
social service agency in Boni-
ta Springs. The organization
has helped thousands of area
residents at a time of crisis
and believes in providing a
hand-up, not a hand out.
The assistance office believes
in fostering independence
and self-reliance through
education and by bridging
temporary financial needs.
Clients who are able to work
are shown how to locate jobs
and become productive
members of our community.
For more information on
volunteer opportunities or
donations call 239-992-3034.
Bonita Springs
Lions Club
This local club has been
recognized as a world leader-
a model club that funds char-
itable needs in excess of
$250,000 annually. Their
weekly farm markets, thrift
store and pancake breakfasts
during season help them
operate a charitable eye clinic
and contribute to the support
of many local charitable
organizations. For more
information visit their web-
site bonitalions.org.
Opportunities to Give Back
in our “Top Ten” sales con-
tinues to grow and do well
even in the middle of the
summer. Ten properties
including 7 houses and 3
condos were all over one
million in closed sales vol-
ume. Bonita Bay leads the
way with six out of the
“Top Ten” being in that
community, followed by 2
in Miromar Lakes, and one
each in Quail West and
West Bay Club. The July
“Top Ten” did not include
any “super sales”, those over
three million, which we
have seen in the past three
months.
Jody Burr, of the MLS Serv-
ice/Data Department of
BEAR, contributed to the
reporting in this article.
Real Estate
from page 15
Staff | staff@swspotlight.com
www.swspotlight.com Page 17


Giving Back



By Kathy O’Flinn
Kathy@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs – Tania Karia
Nieto Batten is a long name
for this petite brunette. Her
easy laugh belies the struggle
she’s fought for almost the
past two years. This Bonita
Springs resident is happy to
be back in the classroom with
her students.
A stone’s throw away,
Rebecca Chartrand, a licensed
practical nurse, proudly dis-
plays the scrapbook of mem-
ories she assembled to remind
herself of how far she’s come.
Two women. Each with
their own stories. Both are
breast cancer survivors.
Tania first felt a lump in
her breast in February 2011.
That discovery was then fol-
lowed by a normal mam-
mogram and a biopsy that
was inconclusive but Tania
and her husband Jeremy
opted for a lumpectomy. As
Tania describes it, “The doctor
returned with a sad face. The
tumor was cancerous.”
A PET scan, CAT scan
and genetic testing would
help them decide the best
treatment. The cancer was
not hormone based as most
cancers are, explained her
husband. When Tania shared
the results of the genetic test-
ing with her family in her
native Ecuador, she was told
that 17 female relatives on
her Dad’s side had had breast
cancer.
“It’s not something they
ever spoke about,” she
explained. A radical mastec-
tomy, six months of
chemotherapy and almost
three months of radiation
kept her confined to bed for
long periods of time.
“We prayed a lot,” she says.
After her doctor told her she
had a good chance, a close
friend and eight year breast
cancer survivor reassured her.
“I’ve always worked and
we volunteer weekly with
the deaf teaching Bible class-
es.” She thought, “We have
insurance. We’re going to
be fine.”
Reality set in when the
expenses quickly mounted
to $2,000 then $4,000 a
month. “Co pays, travel
expenses, time lost from
work, it was costing more
than we were making,”
explained her husband.
The genetic testing alone
was $3,000 which the insur-
ance company didn’t cover.
“I didn’t work for a whole
year. We ran out of savings,”
said Tania.
While undergoing chemo-
therapy, a social worker told
her about LIGHT (Long-
term Impact through the Gift
of Hope & Treatment) of
Southwest Florida. “LIGHT
helps people who have insur-
ance. They paid my insurance
premium for almost a year.”
It was Susan B. Komen who
put her in touch with LIGHT,
a grantee of Komen funds.
“The Cancer Alliance of
Naples (CAN) paid part of
our rent,” added Tania. They
are now living in his parents’
home to catch up on their
expenses.
In 2012 Susan B. Komen’s
Southwest Florida affiliate
put $825,000 back into the
local Southwest Florida com-
munity. A dozen organiza-
tions, including LIGHT and
CAN received monies so they
can help patients like Tania
and Rebecca.
Rebecca works as a care-
giver in a life care facility.
“I’ve always been a caregiver.
Now I was a caregetter,” she
explained. This role reversal
was prompted by her cancer
detected in a routine mam-
mogram.
“I knew right away it was
going to be a financial bur-
den,” she said.
She has insurance, but
she is also the primary
income earner while her hus-
band is studying for his mas-
ter’s degree with an
occasional stint as a substitute
teacher.
The first week of care it
cost $500 for the hospital.
Everyday she was seeing a
doctor and it cost a $50 copay
for every visit. The first
chemotherapy copay was
$200. “I maxed out on the
copay with my operation,”
she said.
With her insurance plan,
the first $3,500 comes out
of the patient’s pocket and
then on January 1st it starts
all over again.
She lost time from work.
She needed two weeks to
recover after surgery and sev-
eral days off every four weeks
for chemotherapy. The scrap-
book was her release. “It was
very therapeutic for me,” she
explained. She calls her hus-
band “her rock.” With two
rounds of chemotherapy
with 52 weeks of IV’s in the
second round, every patient
needs a rock.
One of her coworkers told
her about LIGHT who
helped her meet her treat-
ment expenses. Chick Accuso,
Treasurer with LIGHT said,
“We surely do appreciate the
grant we receive from Susan
G. Komen for the Cure, as
we could not have done what
we did without it.”
Rebecca’s scrapbook in-
cludes photos of herself with
her funny hats she crocheted,
wearing her Halloween cos-
tume to radiation treatment,
and photos of friends and
coworkers who supported
her. She says it’s been a curse
and a blessing and she feels
better and stronger than
before. She’s become a
Zumba enthusiast. She says
she’s changed. She doesn’t
let the little things get to her
and tries to remember the
blessings and the kindnesses
of strangers.
Pink Warriors
Susan B. Komen
Eases Financial Burden
Staff | staff@swspotlight.com
Tania Karia Nieto Batten and husband Jeremy Batten
Staff | staff@swspotlight.com
Rebecca Chartrand with husband Paul Chartrand
In 2012 Susan B.
Komen’s Southwest
Florida affiliate put
$825,000 back into
the local Southwest
Florida community.
Page 18 September 2012





Town Talk
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3300 Bonita Beach Road, Ste.122
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
(Bonita Beach Rd & 41-next to Publix)
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Super Store
239-947-1955
e Cadillac of Vacuums
that Deserves a Test Drive
#1 Rated by Consumer Guide
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TOWN TALK
Planting of
Banyan Tree Park
More than 40 volunteers, all employees of
CH2M Hill, supplied and planted more than
400 plants around the Banyan Tree in Banyan
Tree Park to protect the tree’s sensitive aerial
root structure.
Contributed photos | Special to the Spotlight
www.swspotlight.com Page 19





Town Talk
TOWN TALK
Congratulations Judi
The Bonita Springs Estero Chapter of the
Women’s Council of Realtors congratu-
lates its current chapter President, Judi
Gietzen, on being elected 2013 District
Vice President. Gietzen was elected at
the WCR Florida State Convention last
month in Orlando.
FineMark National Bank
& Trust Promotes Shelley
Anderson to Managing
Executive of the Bonita
Springs Office
Ms. Anderson joined FineMark in 2009 and
has spent more than 3 decades in South-
west Florida working with high net worth
clients. Most recently she served as Senior
Vice President in the bank’s trust area. She
is active in a number of community organi-
zations, including Center for the Arts of
Bonita Springs, YMCA of Bonita Springs,
Bonita Springs Community Fund, Zonta
Club of Bonita Springs and Speakers As-
sembly of Southwest Florida.
Women’s Council of Realtors Elects Officers
The Bonita Springs Estero Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors elected its
2013 officers last month at Pelican Sound. From left, Emily Ross-Campos, Secretary;
Cheryl Ankenbrandt, Treasurer; Alana Consolo, Vice President of Membership;
Michael Jackson, President Elect; Jay Berube, President.
David Michael | towntalk@swspotlight.com
David Michael | towntalk@swspotlight.com
B.E.A.R. Gives Back
The Bonita Springs Estero Association of Realtors donated $1,764 to Habitat for
Humanity at a breakfast meeting at The Club at Barefoot Beach. From left, Dave
Arter, Pam Olsen, Joe Harris and Cheryl Garn.
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com
By Peter A. O’Flinn
Publisher
In the midst of all the
turmoil over the proposed
Bernwood homeless shelter,
it’s good to see that City
Manager Carl Schwing and
Development Director John
Dulmer have not taken their
eye off the ball on a very
important aspect of this
matter.
The moratorium enacted
last spring gave the City
breathing room to step back
and give careful thought to
what new code provisions
on homeless shelters are
advisable. That’s exactly
what City staff has been
doing.
Schwing hired an inde-
pendent consultant knowl-
edgeable in planning matters
and reached out to com-
munity leaders for their
constructive views.
The draft code provisions
staff has produced contain
two notable and welcome
provisions. The first is a
limit on the number of beds
in any shelter. The second
essentially requires that any
shelter be approved by City
Council.
A size limit reflects a sen-
sible principle of land use
planning. That is, when it
comes to social services, reg-
ulations should enable the
community to do its fair
share to help the less fortu-
nate. As we have said on
these pages, fair share in
Bonita does not mean a
mega-shelter.
The size limit in the draft
code is 30 beds. ”We did
not pull that number out
of thin air,” says Dulmer,
who notes that 22 homeless
persons have been identified
in the City.
Some may quarrel with
that number, and other pro-
visions of the proposed reg-
ulations. No one can doubt
the thoughtful and extensive
effort of City staff on this
issue.
Page 20 September 2012



Commentary



Commentary
Progress on
Homeless Shelter Regulations
By Jay Arend
Webster’s dictionary
describes trust as “reliance
on the integrity, strength,
ability, surety, of a person
or thing, to believe”. We are
fortunate to have a city that
has demonstrated those char-
acteristics in the short 12
years of our existence. This
is evident when you look at
what this little community
was and the progress it has
made since incorporation.
We now have the opportu-
nity to demonstrate our
effort again showing that we
as a City care about one
another by demonstrating
our “trust” in each other.
When I was elected to
the first City Council, I
thought of my district as,
“District Two, The District
that has the least, but offers
the most opportunities.” By
opportunities I meant the
most opportunities to
improve the physical area,
so as to make it a more
attractive part of the City.
I soon realized because
of the many cultures in the
area, we had to build “trust.”
To do this it was important
to communicate with the
residents, and we did this
by holding neighborhood
meetings. We had Sunday
afternoon Fairs, where we
would serve snacks and had
several agencies that would
provide services for people
who needed them. We had
Paint Your Heart Out Days
and Night Out Against
Crime Walks as well as other
events. Eventually, a group
of people from gated com-
munities formed the Ren-
aissance Group, an
organization that raised
funds for street improve-
ments, Habitat for Humanity
homes and other projects to
improve the Rosemary Park
area. Not to be outdone by
the gentlemen of the Ren-
aissance Group, the ladies
formed an organization
called “Girl Friends”. The
ladies would meet with some
of the mothers from Rose-
mary Park and have lunch
or invite the mothers and
children to events in an effort
to build a relationship
between the cultures. All of
this and more was done to
build trust and friendship.
Today we have a chance
for another opportunity for
the Rosemary Park area. The
Café of Life presently serves
meals near the Banyan Tree
in the downtown community
park. The facilities are not
the greatest, but to the hungry
it does not matter, they never
complain. The food is pre-
pared in the kitchens of many
homes in Bonita Springs,
brought to the park and kept
warm until served. Not the
best accommodations for the
volunteers but they never
complain either. You have to
witness the organization they
have built. Their Board of
Directors functions as effi-
ciently as any Board I have
ever seen. They have people
responsible for every phase
of the organization. All of
this is being done outside
with hungry people including
children sometimes sitting
on the ground or standing
holding a plate of food and
something to drink while
trying to eat their one main
meal of the day, It is some-
thing to witness – it is some-
thing that can be better.
Presently, The Café of
Life is prepared to build and
maintain a park in the Rose-
mary Park area. The park
will have a Pavilion with a
roof over seating area. There
will be a basketball playing
area, a grassy area for activ-
ities and a playground for
the neighborhood children
to use. It will have restrooms,
outside drinking fountains,
picnic tables and grills for
evening or weekend cook
outs. Most importantly, it
can be a meeting or gathering
place for the local neighbor-
hood. All of this will not
cost the City anything and
the only thing the Café of
Life would want is a dignified
place to use three hours a
day, five days a week. To do
this we need trust. Trust in
the commitment, trust that
the neighborhood will
embrace it and trust the City
Council will support the
concept.
The people who have per-
formed in the past to
At a recent Economic
Development Workshop
held at City Hall and hosted
by our city staff and our
Community Development
(CH2MHill) staff, I was
drawn to the results of the
2010 Business And Employee
Classification Data charts.
The city of Bonita Springs
leads the State and Lee Coun-
ty in the Arts, Entertainment
and Recreation class. Accord-
ing to the 2010 North Amer-
ican Industry Classification
System, the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported that
Bonita Springs has a higher
percentage of arts, entertain-
ment and recreation busi-
nesses and workers who earn
a living in those professions
than both the County and
State. Thinking about this, I
was not surprised given all
that our city has to offer.
Take Arts and Entertain-
ment. The Center for the
Arts of Bonita Springs is first
notch offering classes for all
ages in many mediums as
well as Broadway caliber
shows, film festivals, chil-
dren’s camp and many
unique, exciting exhibitions.
The trice annually held
nationally recognized Fine
Art Festivals have put Bonita
Springs on the map as thou-
sands of residents and visitors
flock to these shows held at
the Promenade.
Music and the
Big Screen in
Riverside Park
I cannot fail to mention
the ever-changing entertain-
ment venues held in our
own Riverside Park which
include the annual Celebrate
Bonita event, Holiday in the
Park, July 4th-Star Spangled
Bonita fireworks and laser
show and the Sunday con-
certs in the park where dur-
ing season almost every
Sunday you can bring a chair
or blanket and enjoy the tal-
ented musicians as they fill
the park with melodies we
all know and love. And
Movies in the Park, what
can I say about spending an
evening under the stars with
your family and friends
watching a movie on the big
screen, closest thing to a
drive in experience some
will ever have.
I also would like to add
our local restaurants to this
list. Many of them offer
nightly entertainment allow-
ing our local talent a stage
to perform from. You will
also find many outstanding
local hotels that offer many
amenities that include enter-
tainment, restaurants, golf
and of course-swimming
pools.
Beaches and Birdies
of All Kinds
When I consider Bonita
Springs recreation, I am not
sure which to list first, but I
decide that our beautiful
beach has to top the list,
from daybreak to sunset, our
beaches are the best. From
collecting shells to walking
for exercise to swimming or
just sitting in the sun enjoy-
ing just being at the beach,
there is something for every-
one to do. Bonita Springs is
also home to Lovers Key
State Park, which is often
voted one of the State’s best
beaches by various television
shows and magazines. Then
there are our many beautiful
golf courses designed for all
playing levels by many pro
golfers offering a day out-
doors in paradise. The Impe-
rial River and Estero Bay
offer so much to our boating,
kayaking and canoeing
enthusiasts and the new
craze-paddle boarding. Our
location is perfect for Eco-
tourism based businesses.
And I cannot forget to men-
tion, also located in Bonita
Springs is a recreational
opportunity for our four
legged friends-Dog Beach.
Another plus is our close
proximity to the CREW
lands offering hiking, birding
and a wonderful backdrop
for photographers.
The city’s Parks and
Recreation many facilities
offer places to swim, fish,
exercise, play sports or just
contemplate nature. And we
are not done yet. Coming
next will be the addition of
a Community Garden, a
project being driven by
members of the Bonita
Springs Rotary Clubs.
Something for
Everyone at the Y
Writing about recreation
would not be complete with-
out mention of our Bonita
Springs YMCA. Many
thanks go to our new friends
from the South County Y
family for believing in the
Bonita Springs Y community
and to those who never gave
up. Our Y offers swimming
lessons, fitness classes, sports
leagues, and summer camp,
just to mention a few of
their programs. One of my
favorite childhood memories
is learning to swim at the Y.
So, remember that as we
enjoy all of the wonderful
opportunities in the Arts,
Entertainment and Recre-
ation fields, it takes businesses
City Council Corner
Bonita is Tops in Arts, Entertainment & Recreation
By Janet Martin
Building Trust
and Friendship
A Dignified Place for the Café of Life
Continued on next page Continued on next page
Today we have a
chance for another
opportunity for the
Rosemary Park area…
this will not cost the
City anything …
Peter A. O’Flinn is the
Publisher of the Southwest
Spotlight News Magazine.
He can be contacted at
peter@swspotlight.com
www.swspotlight.com Page 21
Letters to the Editor
Sunset of the month
September’s sunset of the month was submitted by Woody and Sandy Gingrich of Lancaster, PA. They’ve been visiting Bonita Beach for over 20 years. Email your best sunset
photos to sunset@swspotlight.com and your photo could be the next sunset photo of the month.
Every Word is the Truth
I had to smile when I read about Mayor Ben Nelson's
adventures with his little Scout truck. I can attest that
every word is the truth; in fact he might have left out some
details to protect his reputation as a level headed civic
leader. You see, my insurance office was directly across Old
41 Road from the sand and palmetto field where he tried
to defy the laws of inertia and gravity.
I had a large plate glass window in front of my desk and
I watched him navigate the figure-8 dirt track, winding
through palmetto patches, by the hour with sand spewing
on every turn. Did I immediately call the Sheriff’s Department
or report his antics to his father? No! I went home for
lunch. I was living with my parents at the time, and told
my parents, with amusement in my voice, what a smart
father Ben Nelson (Senior) was. I told how he was teaching
his young boy driving abilities and confidence and letting
him get recklessness out of his system in a semi-safe envi-
ronment.
Byron Liles, Bonita Springs
Woody Gingrich | sunset@swspotlight.com
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. All letters are subject to editing
for space, grammar and factual accuracy. Send to
editor@swspotlight.com
and people to create and
offer to each of us these
opportunities for memo-
rable experiences. From
Movies in the Park to main-
taining a golf course, there
are local people making that
happen. Leading the way in
the Arts, Entertainment and
Recreation class is a mighty
fine thing to have on our
city’s resume.
Janet Martin is a Coun-
cilmember from District 2 in
Bonita Springs.
improve Rosemary Park now
again want to demonstrate
their willingness to invest in
the Rosemary Park area by
building this facility. I know
of no reason not to believe
them, for they have met the
definition of the word trust.
Now is the time for the City
of Bonita Springs to take
one more step forward in
its effort of growth and tak-
ing care of its own.
Thank you for caring –
and trusting.
Jay Arend served as Mayor of
Bonita Springs from 2004 to
2008.
City Council Corner
from previous page
Jay Arend
from previous page
Southwest Spotlight





Page 22 September 2012



Arts & Entertainment


Patriot Day Service
Tues., Sept. 11, 9 a.m.
The Bonita Springs Fire and
Control Rescue District, Lee
County Sheriff ’s Office and
the City of Bonita Springs
invite the public to a remem-
brance service honoring all
emergency response person-
nel. Where: Riverside Park.
For more information, call
949-6262.
Coastal Cleanup
Sat., Sept. 15, 8 a.m. to noon
Volunteers are provided with
bags, gloves, and a data col-
lection form. Garbage is
brought back to the park and
weighed, then volunteers
enjoy one of Buffalo Chips
famous hot dogs or ham-
burgers and delicious Royal
Scoop ice cream. Where:
Bonita Beach Park. For more
information, call 340-5384.
Cost: Free.
Shape and Tone
Exercise Classes
Sept. Mon, Wed and
Fri, 8 a.m.to 9 a.m.
This is a non-impact body
toning class with routine set
to music. Class begins with
warm up and is targeted to
work every major muscle
group. Optional hand held
weights are used for several
routines. Wear non-marking
athletic shoes and bring mat.
Where: Recreation Center,
26740 Pine Ave. Cost: Free.
for members; $6 for non-
members.
Fundraisers
Love INC, Celebration
Fri., Sept. 7, 6 p.m.
To mark its second year of
assisting more than 200 fam-
ilies, this celebration evening
will include dinner (catered
by Fitzgerald’s); special music
by the trio, Shiloh; words of
Love INC’s impact by a client,
a volunteer, and a church
partner pastor; door prizes;
Love INC volunteer recog-
nition and appreciation; and
the introduction of a new
opportunity for the Love INC
community. For more infor-
mation or to join the cele-
bration, please email Ron at
rwatford@loveincswfl.org or
call 239-405-8595. Space is
limited. Where: First Pres-
byterian Church of Bonita
Springs, 9751 Bonita Beach
Road. Cost: $10.00 (Free to
Love INC volunteers, thanks
to a donor.)
Arts &
Entertainment
Auditions - Youth
Theater
Thur., Sept. 6, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Auditions for the Center for
the Arts Youth Theater’s next
production, Louder + Faster
= Funnier, are open to ages
10 & up. Call the Center for
the Arts of Bonita Springs
to schedule a time. 239-495-
8989.
Color Exhibition
Reception
Fri., Sept. 7, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Celebrating color in all forms,
is the theme of this exhibition.
All media will be explored.
Opening reception will
include a special “Colors”
contemporary dance per-
formance by artist Angela
Hicks. Exhibition continues
through September 27.
Where: Center for the Arts
of Bonita Springs. Cost: Free.
Films for Film Lovers
Mon., Sept. 10 & 24, 7 p.m.
Man on the Train, scheduled
for September 10, is a French
film (2002) about male
friendship between a teacher
and a robber. It was reviewed
by Roger Ebert in 2003 who
said, “I have seen “The Man
on the Train” twice, will see
it again, cannot find a flaw.”
In Divided We Fall, Septem-
ber 24, a Czech film (2000),
a childless couple in Nazi
occupied Czechoslavakia
agree to hide a Jewish friend
at great personal risk of dis-
covery and execution. In a
New York Times review A.O.
Scott said it scrambles the
facile categories of innocent
victims, monstrous villains,
cowardly collaborators and
heroes of resistance almost
beyond recognition. Where:
Center for the Arts of Bonita
Springs. Advance reservations
suggested 239-495-8989.
Cost: $8 per person.
Bling It On!
Wed., Sept. 19, 5:30
to 8:30 p.m.
A fun and informative
evening resulting in a lovely
piece of beaded jewelry to
bring home. The evening will
start with wine, something
tasty to eat and time to min-
gle. A demonstration of bead-
ing techniques will follow so
that each participant will leave
with a bracelet and earrings.
Where: Center for the Arts.
Call the Center for the Arts
at 239-495-8989 to register.
Cost: $50 per person.
Art Walk-Center for
the Arts Studios
Thur., Sept. 27, 5 p.m.
to 7 p.m.
Enjoy a stroll through the
Promenade and view artists
at work. Musical entertain-
ment and light refreshments
included. Where: The Prom-
enade at Bonita Bay. Cost:
Free.
Meetings
Republican Club of
Bonita and Estero
Thurs., Sept. 6, 6 p.m.
to 8 p.m.
Winning candidates of the
Republican Primary will
speak. Where: Breckenridge
Clubhouse, Estero. For more
information contact Kathy
McMichael, President,
kathymcm2003@yahoo.com.
Democratic Club of
Bonita Springs &
South Lee County
Tues., Sept. 18, 6:30 p.m.
The Club is hosting a meet
and greet for US Congress
District 19 Candidate Jim
Roach. Hors d’oeuvres, wine
and soft drinks will be avail-
able. Where: Old 41 Restau-
rant (Old 41 and Bernwood
Parkway).For more informa-
tion contact Larry Byrnes
239-634-6469.
Come watch the
action live and in
person
Wed., Sept. 5, 5:30 p.m.
Wed., Sept. 19, 9 a.m.
Bonita Springs City Council.
Where: City Council Cham-
bers, 9101 Bonita Beach
Road.
All dates, times and prices
are subject to change.
EVENTS
Small Town Charm.
Big Bright Future.
Government Works –
City Budget
Workshop
In case you missed it, here
is your chance to observe
how the City budget is pre-
pared and presented to the
public. Stay tuned for all the
developments.
Bonita Historic Tour
Produced by the Bonita
Springs’ Historic Preserva-
tion Board and in collabo-
ration with the Bonita
Springs Historic Society this
program focuses on 8 dif-
ferent historic buildings every
Bonita resident should be
acquainted with.
Government Works –
Old 41 Workshop
Bonita Springs is a hub
with tremendous potential
for economic development.
This workshop points out
several aspects of how to re-
vitalize our downtown.
City Meetings
Don’t miss a beat. The
City broadcasts its elected
officials’ meetings live on
channel 98. Every week you
can re-visit the most recent
City Council Meetings, City
Council Zoning Meetings,
Local Planning Agency Meet-
ings and the Zoning Board
Meetings. You can also see
the latest Fire Commission-
ers’ meeting Mondays at 8
p.m. This program is pro-
duced by the Bonita Springs
Fire Control & Rescue Dis-
trict.
If you have any ideas for
programming you would
like to see on BTV98 please
email us at lora.taylor@city-
ofbonitasprings.org . Please
write in subject: BTV98 sug-
gestions.
BTV98’s schedule is subject
to change. For more complete
information on all current
programming, visit www.
bonitatv.org.
This month on
BTV98
Channel 98
www.swspotlight.com Page 23



Arts & Entertainment


Page 24 September 2012



Arts & Entertainment


By Meghan Easterly
meghan@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs – Musical
artist Wendy Renee was cre-
ated to sing. She gathered
song into her lungs at age
7 and has been letting it
flow ever since.
“Music has been in me
since day one and I was
crazy enough to pursue it,”
the singer songwriter says.
As a child she put togeth-
er musical groups and
arranged talent shows in
her Minneapolis neighbor-
hood and at school. As her
musical abilities strength-
ened throughout high
school, she knew that music
was her calling in life.
“Minneapolis is a very
rich city as far as the arts
go and has an incredible
music scene,” Renee says.
“That’s when Prince was a
huge deal.”
Renee tried out for the
movie Purple Rain and was
cast as an extra. From there
she talked to the producer,
made connections and
began her recording career
writing and producing
music.
“I sang in a variety of
bands, and when auditions
came for the musical pro-
duction of Beehive, that got
me into musical theater,”
Renee said. “I did that for a
number of years.”
She also added Christian
music into her repertoire
and became the worship
leader at a prominent church
in Minneapolis. Eventually
life led her to Southwest
Florida. Six years ago she
traded snow for sunshine
and has made her home here.
Now the artist can be found
singing, recording and devel-
oping her talent throughout
the area.
The artist loves the great
female singers of the 20th,
and now 21st, centuries. Fans
can listen to her perform
songs from great vocalists
like Aretha Franklin, Etta
James, Adele, Nora Jones
and Tina Turner.
On Sunday mornings
she can be found leading
the praise and worship at
The Springs worship service
in Riverside Park in Bonita
Springs. Other nights of
the week fans follow her to
Café Luna on 5th Avenue,
Handsome Harry’s on
Third Street and at private
country clubs throughout
Southwest Florida. Some-
times she is solo, other
times she sings as a duo
with musician Bruce
Inman. Her busy schedule
is displayed on her website
at www.wendyreneeandco.
com along with samples of
her music, CDs and infor-
mation about her.
“When I perform as solo,
I think at least with the
clubs, I have an opportunity
to do current music and I
love that I can stay current,”
Renee says. “I still do the
songs that are standards,
Motown and jazz, but I can
do Beyonce and Lady Gaga
and Katy Perry.”
“Then I love worship
leading because it’s totally
different,” Renee says. “It’s
more helping people to con-
nect more personally.”
“I perform at an assisted
living facility, and I hear
people comment that a song
brought them back to a cer-
tain time in their life,” Renee
says. “I get to see that trans-
formation. If they lost their
spouse, I play their song,
and I can feel that energy.”
Currently Renee is
spending a lot of time in
the studio writing and
recording music. She has
three CDs coming out. One
is based on a one-woman
show she is producing that
is called At Last and features
songs from the great ladies
of soul. A second album is
her original music and a
third is a Christian album.
She is also learning to play
the piano to expand her
musical skills.
“I have lots of energy
and just love to enjoy life
and enjoy music,” Renee
says. “It’s what I was created
to do so I have such joy
when I’m doing it. I think
that comes across.”
Artist Spotlight
Created to Sing, Musical Artist Wendy Renee
Vocal artist Wendy Renee can be found performing throughout Southwest Florida.
Wendy Renee, singer, songwriter and recording artist, loves the power of music.
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
Six years ago she
traded snow for
sunshine and
has made her
home here.
www.swspotlight.com Page 25



Arts & Entertainment



/DV9HJDV7ULEXWH%DQGVDUH3HUIRUPLQJDWWKH6WDJH
0aII tcr upccmIng scheduIe cr check www.thestagebcnIta.ccm






1nsert ycur emaII address
and get specIaIs & updated
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& SATURDAY
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Page 26 September 2012




Community


Bonita Springs – Our dogs
Molly and Winston have
become old dogs. Molly is
graying, overweight and
cranky. She waddles around
the house like an oversized
stuffed pepper, eating any-
thing she can find. Around
7 pm she stares at my wife
and me until one of us picks
her up and puts her on the
couch so she can watch The
Wheel. When she gets tired
of our company we set her
back on the floor and she
slowly walks into the bed-
room so she can sleep
alone. Our once trim, ath-
letic Jack Russell now seems
chronically tired and a little
depressed
Our rescue Winston has
become the Old Eccentric
Uncle of the house. He is
still trim, but he’s stinky,
deaf, near blind, and more
than a little forgetful. His
Terrier courage seems to
have left him as he now star-
tles easily and yips at the
slightest touch. Quite often
at dusk he stands motionless
in the front yard, gazing
intently for hours towards
the western horizon. Lori
thinks he’s waiting for his
previous owner to come back
for him... romantically look-
ing off into the distance for
the return of a lost love. But,
since I too am becoming an
old dog, I know that puzzled
look on his face. He just
can’t remember why he went
outside. Just put a set of car
keys in one paw and a
grocery bag in the other and
he’s me... trying to figure
out where he parked at
Publix.
The dogs and I occasion-
ally forget that we aren’t
young dogs anymore. But,
we can’t help it. There are
powerful instincts at work
here… to chase the rabbit,
to lift the refrigerator, to
fight the pit bull, to do a
handstand on the pool deck...
to feel the thrill of getting
away with something reckless
again. Oh, we old dogs can
still accomplish some young
dog stunts, but in the end,
there is almost always a price
to pay.
Last week in Georgia,
Winston, inspired by the
mountain air, began running
around the pond like a young
pup. He was going full speed,
ears flopping in the wind,
tongue hanging out, smiling
a big doggy smile. You could
almost hear him yelling
FREEDOM as he rounded
the corner, trying to leap
onto the dock. Unfortunately
his vision isn’t what it was
and he jumped five feet too
soon, causing him to plow
face first into the side of the
dock. After he ricocheted off
of the dock he fell into the
water, yipping and flailing
around, trying to keep from
drowning. I know it sounds
horrible, but the water was
only three inches deep. So
as soon as he finally stood
up and realized he was rela-
tively unharmed, he skulked
over and hid behind the air
conditioner for the rest of
the morning, his confidence
and pride shaken for days.
Molly, on the other hand,
no longer runs much. Mostly
because she’s shaped like a
melon and the slightest
bump or rise in the ground
causes her skinny little front
legs to collapse and her chin
to skid on the ground. But
also because she’s content
to take it easy as she wades
around in the pond or rides
with me on the four- wheeler.
That is, until she sees a soccer
ball. Instantly (albeit briefly)
she becomes a young super
dog again… obsessively
barking while she chases and
herds the ball like a world
champion soccer player,
punching it like a seal with
her snout. She used to carry
on like that for hours, but
now she will suddenly stop
after a few minutes and walk
back to the air conditioning
of the house, her Kibble and
her blanket. She has become
a dog quite aware of and
content with her limitations.
As for myself, after 45
years in the construction
trade I still cannot resist the
temptation to grab the
sledgehammer out of the
hands of a twenty-year-old
and show him how it’s done.
Although it feels good to be
the big dog, rather quickly
my body gives me a painful
and not so subtle hint and I
casually hand off the 16-
pound hammer back to the
rookie along with a firm pat
on his back. On the drive
back to the office I assess
the damage I’ve done to
myself, stretching out the
familiar spasms in my shoul-
der and lower back while
burying my face in the air
conditioning.
When I limp home that
night I do so with a smile,
because I am no longer dis-
couraged by the limitations of
my age and the mileage on
my body. I’m proud to have
earned them… and to curl up
on the couch with some kibble
and a blanket next to Molly
and Winston.
Read more antics from the life
of Mayor Ben Nelson Jr. at
www.spotlight.com or www.
theotherbennelson.blogspot.com
The Other
BEN
BEN NELSON JR.
Old Dogs
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
Ben Nelson and Molly go for a ride.
“Oh, we old dogs
can still accomplish
some young dog
stunts, but in the
end, there is
almost always a
price to pay.”
www.swspotlight.com Page 27




Community


Color Exhibition
Opening Reception
Center for the Arts of Boni ta Spri ngs
Friday, September 7, 6:00pm
J oi n us “ L i v e” at t he Pr omenade i n Boni t a Bay.
Tickets: call 239-495-8989 or visit www.artcenterbonita.org
Blues with
MUDB ONE
Thursday, September 20, 7:00pm
$15 members / $20 non-members
Li ve!
at the Promenade
The Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs Presents
“Palm Burst” by Alan Avery
On display through September 27, 2012
**Mention this advertisement and get**
2 tickets for the price of 1
Center f or the Arts of Boni ta Spri ngs
2ó100 O|d 41 koad º ßonita Springs º PL
239.495.8989 º www.artccntcroonita.org
MUDBONE is a true SWFL “Super Group” comprised of some of the area’s
most notorious musicians. Rick Howard, David Johnson, Bill E. Peterson
ĂŶĚDĂƌŝŽ͞ĂƚŵĂŶ͟/ŶĨĂŶƚĞďƌŝŶŐƚŽŐĞƚŚĞƌƚŚĞŝƌǀĂƐƚĐŽůůĞĐƟǀĞŵƵƐŝĐĂů
ĞdžƉĞƌŝĞŶĐĞĂŶĚǀŝƌƚƵŽƐŝƚLJƚŽƉƌĞƐĞŶƚƚŚĞŝƌĞĐůĞĐƟĐƚĂŬĞŽŶdŚĞůƵĞƐ͘:ŽŝŶ
us at our cafe theater at the Promenade for a night of blues! Refreshments
including beer and wine will be available.
Li ve!
The Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs Presents








Li ve!
The Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs Presents








Li ve!
The Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs Presents








Li ve!
MUDB ONE
Blues with








Li ve!
MUDB ONE
Blues with








Li ve!
MUDB ONE
omenade at the Pr








, S Thursdayy, September 20, 7:00pm








, September 20, 7:00pm








, September 20, 7:00pm








, S Thursdayy, September 20, 7:00pm
will be
**Mention this advertisement and get**
er and wine including be
t the Pr er a t e thea f a t our c us a
ƚ LJ ƚ ŝ Ɛ Ž Ƶ ƚ ƌ ŝ ǀ Ě Ŷ Ă Ğ Đ Ŷ Ğ ŝ ƌ Ğ Ɖ dž Ğ
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WFL “Super Gr MUDBONE is a true S








s / $20 n er b em $15 m
, September 20, 7:00pm
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ailable v a will be
t of blue or a nigh f omenade t the Pr
Ğ Ŭ Ă ƚ Đ Ɵ Đ Ğ ů Đ Ğ ƌ ŝ Ğ Ś ƚ ƚ Ŷ Ğ Ɛ Ğ ƌ Ɖ Ž ƚ
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n shme e fr e s! R t of blue
Ŷ ŝ Ž : ͘ Ɛ Ğ Ƶ ů Ğ Ś d Ŷ Ž
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son er t e P Bill E. vid Johnson,
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Opening Reception
Color Exhibition
ickets: call 239-495-8989 or visit www T
J oi n us “ L i v e” at t he Pr omenade i n Boni t a Bay
2 tickets for the price of 1
**Mention this advertisement and get**








Opening Reception
Color Exhibition
.art 5-8989 or visit www w.artcenterbonita.org
J oi n us “ L i v e” at t he Pr omenade i n Boni t a Bay
2 tickets for the price of 1
**Mention this advertisement and get**








Opening Reception
Color Exhibition
.artcenterbonita.org
. J oi n us “ L i v e” at t he Pr omenade i n Boni t a Bay
2 tickets for the price of 1
**Mention this advertisement and get**








, September 7, 6:00pm Friday y, September 7, 6:00pm
Center for the Arts of Boni ta Spri ngs
Opening Reception








, September 7, 6:00pm
Center for the Arts of Boni ta Spri ngs
Opening Reception








, September 7, 6:00pm
Center for the Arts of Boni ta Spri ngs
Opening Reception
































On display through September 27, 2012
9 4 . 9 3 2
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Center f or the Arts of Boni ta Spri ngs








On display through September 27, 2012
“Palm Burst” by Alan A
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Center f or the Arts of Boni ta Spri ngs

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oves

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Brenda Bergin
Downsizing & Moving Coordinator
NEED ASSISTANCE DOWNSIZING & MOVING?
Call: 239-248-7284 or email: BrendaBergin@earthlink.net






Member: National Association of Senior Moe Managers
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Bonita Springs – While out
for a stroll at the Bonita
Nature Place, I happened
to overhear an interesting
conversation between two
people. One of them was
explaining the Conservation
20/20 program. I want to
share their discussion with
you.
He explained that Con-
servation 20/20 is a joint
Lee County Division of
County Lands and Lee
County Parks and Recre-
ation program. He said that
a 1994 land use study report-
ed that in Lee County only
10% of the county lands
were dedicated for conser-
vation. So, in 1995, a citizens
volunteer group formed to
lobby local government offi-
cials to create a county-
based land acquisition
program to purchase and
save more natural areas for
the future. They named this
the Conservation 20/20 pro-
gram to reflect their vision
of Lee County in the future
with large undeveloped
acreage of environmental
importance.
In 1996, Lee County res-
idents voted to increase their
property taxes to fund pur-
chasing and protecting these
natural areas. He continued
to explain that the Pine Lake
Preserve is one of these prop-
erties. Recognized as an
important habitat area and
its close proximity to the
Imperial River made this land
worthy of consideration. In
2000, the Conservation 20/20
Board voted to purchase the
144 acres named the Pine
Lake Preserve.
I know this land well as
I have many Gopher Tor-
toise friends that have winter
(dry season) burrows there.
Since the property is prone
to holding water from the
summer rains, it is not con-
sidered the best place to dig
a burrow. I have to admit
that the property is beautiful,
offering us many delicious
plants to eat. I have wit-
nessed it being used by some
people to hike, bird watch
and for photography. The
preserve is located across
from the YMCA on East
Terry and it is boarded by
Bonita Grande and Kent Rd.
Preserving large areas of
prime natural habitat is so
important to my friends and
me as our future survival
depends on it. Thank you
to those who saw the need
to form the Conservation
20/20 program and to those
who continue to support it
and the many other local
conservation efforts.
Goober is a gopher tortoise
living at the Bonita Nature
Place.
Goober and
Conservation 20/20
The Conservation 20/20 Board purchased the 144 acres
of the Pine Lake Preserve, an important habitat area in
close proximity to the Imperial River.
staff@swspotlight.com
Page 28 September 2012




Community






Community


By D.K. Christi
dk@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs – Bourne 2
Dance at 25091 Bernwood
Drive, # 8 is the new kid on
the block in Bonita Springs
when it comes to dance
instruction for youth. Sarah
Zecchino, owner, and two
instructors opened at the
present location just a year
ago after the former Dance
Dynamics, where they
taught, closed. Many former
students followed. The cur-
rent twenty students will
likely double by the time
school begins. Class variety
is typical of most dance stu-
dios: Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Point,
Contemporary, Hip Hop,
Creative Movement and
African. “Creating excite-
ment right now,” said
Zecchino, “is the planned
class for ‘Daddy and me,’ in
January, a class that has been
very successful in the New
York area.”
Unique to Bourne 2
Dance is the shared studio
with Florida Gulf Coast Uni-
versity’s Dance Team. The
Company, an advanced class
at Bourne 2 Dance, will per-
form with the FGCU Dance
Team at basketball games
in the future. The sheer joy
of dancing guides the pro-
grams, however, competitive
venues may be considered.
Students perform at recitals
and community events.
Instructors have strong
dance credentials. Zecchino
holds a degree in psychology
and dance and performed
with the Buffalo, New York,
Jane Reed and Dancers.
Classes began in August but
have open enrollment.
“Perhaps the popularity
of dance studio instruction
results from the reduction
in public school budgets.
Students no longer have as
many choices in the school
system and parents recog-
nize the life-long value of
dance instruction,” explains
Patrice Shields, Marketing
Director at the Center for
the Arts, 26100 Old 41 Road
where Angela Hicks, Edu-
cation Director and profes-
sional dancer teaches the
children’s dance program.
Hicks will be performing
with her sister in “Live” at
the Promenade, October 11,
for a show that even includes
sword balancing.
Center for the Arts stu-
dent enrollment varies from
fifty to a hundred students.
Fall classes begin the second
week in September and
include: Ballet Fairytales,
Jazz/Hip Hop, Ballet, Dance
Around the World, Broad-
way Dance, Creative move-
ment, Modern dance and
more. Competitive events
are not part of the program.
The object is self expression
through the art of dance
and includes community
performances.
“We are the opposite of
‘Dance Moms’, the reality
television show,” assured
Chris Shelly, lead teacher at
Angelica Dance Academy.
“Dance and music bring out
children’s inner thoughts,
let them express themselves
while helping them to focus,
listen, follow directions –
all of which also contribute
to better academic perform-
ance. They may start out
awkward, but with encour-
agement each child blossoms
at their own pace.” Bonita
Springs residents watched
Angelica Dance Academy
students in bright red, white
and blue costumes at the
July 4 parade. According to
Lara Demetrides, owner,
“We are the oldest Bonita
Springs children’s dance stu-
dio. We offer both non-
competitive and competitive
dance lessons, it’s the stu-
dent’s and parent’s choice,
and provide the full range
of dance instruction options
including Dance Theater.”
Angelica Dance Academy
is a family affair. “My daugh-
ters started here twenty years
ago, and now my grand-
children are in classes,” said
the office manager, Beth
Foreman. Children stay with
the program from as early
as two years old through
college. They join local the-
ater groups, community
productions and some
receive professional con-
tracts and/or return to the
studio as instructors and
choreographers. Awards line
the walls of the second floor
dance studio at the “green
building,” 27771Tennessee
and Old 41, where approx-
imately a hundred students
receive instruction. “Many
of our students are home
schooled,” added Foreman.
“This gives them an organ-
ized opportunity for social-
ization.” Auditions are
currently open for a boys’
competitive hip hop team.
Bonita Academy of
Dance, one of the newer
studios, 10347 Bonita Beach
Road, is “small with only
75 students, making our
student to teacher ratio
about 1:6 per class,” accord-
ing to Director Kristina
Adamski. “Our main goal
is to make dance fun for
the kids and affordable. We
charge minimal fees for
classes and costumes and
no recital fees and give fam-
ily discounts for parents
with multiple students.
Classes beginning with age
two include: Ballet, Tap, Jazz,
Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contem-
porary, Musical Theater,
Mommy & Me and Tum-
bling - making them a one
stop shop for parents who
have kids interested in dif-
ferent activities like gym-
nastics and dance. Their
professional, award winning
teachers work patiently with
all students, beginning or
advanced and they are
famous for their “Kids Night
Out.”
Within all these programs
subtle differences exist. Parents
and guardians may observe
classes and ask questions to
discover which programs best
meet the needs of a particular,
potential dancing star who
wishes to get up on her or
his toes.
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
Dancing at Center for the Arts
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
Posing at Bourne 2 Dance
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
In motion at the Bonita Academy of Dance
Up on Your Toes – Bonita’s Dance Studios
The sheer joy
of dancing guides
the programs
Contributed | Special to the Spotlight
Angelic Academy dancers
www.swspotlight.com Page 29




Community






Community


By Mark Generales
mark@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs – It’s an early
morning not unlike so many.
The sun’s just up and about
to begin drying the heavy
dew that left the grass and
walkway wet as we dry off
the boat. It promises to be
one of those days that many
of us live for. Mine began
so many years ago . .
As a native Californian,
I spent much of my youth
on the beach, surfed many
days before heading off to
school. But those magic
summers spent with grand-
parents and cousins in New
Hampshire on the Lake
cemented my love of the
water and boating. I was 5
when my grandmother first
let me take out the alu-
minum jon boat alone. The
one with the smelly 5hp
Johnson. I’d spend as many
hours as she would let me
crossing the wake, spinning
her around and speeding as
fast as that 5hp would take
me – leaning forward help-
ing her get up on a plane.
Pure freedom. It was glori-
ous and like so many folks,
set me on a course that has
never ended.
As I wipe the boat I think
of all the people that only
see Florida by land. They
marvel at the beauty and
are revitalized by the weath-
er. And yet, this paradise
hides much of her beauty –
beauty that can only be seen
on the water.
Motoring out, the sun
glints off the bow rail on a
clear SWFL morning. Dol-
phin pairs are busy feeding.
A ray jumps off to my left.
Another day of sun and fun
and adventure. Fisherman
speed by as they head north
to the mangroves of Pine
Island Sound. Several big
boats head to the Gulf. Later,
families will pass by with
tubes and beach chairs and
coolers set for a day at Key-
waden, Lovers Key, Ft Myers
Beach and Sanibel.
I think back to my
excitement the first time I
took my own boat out on
calm waters of SWFL. I’d
driven by car from Bonita
to Ft Myers Beach and the
Caloosahatchee and was
mesmerized by the water
and views. I watched boats
head into the gulf and back
bays and the urge to join
them was overwhelming. I
couldn’t wait to get out on
such gorgeous water in such
awesome surroundings. I
stopped at a marina to pur-
chase a local chart. I asked
the fellow behind the count-
er where to go? He asked
what we wanted to do. I
said “Well, I think I want
to take it easy and just take
my family and go have a
picnic on a beach”. He said
“Well, that’s easy - how
about Picnic Island?” So
we learned of the “Miser-
able Mile”, manatee zones
and Florida boating. And
fell in love. That was 12
years ago.
For me, getting on the
water is salve for the soul.
I’ve boated from California
to New Hampshire, the
Thousand Islands to the
SC Lowcountry and now
SW Florida. Boating’s
cathartic attributes signif-
icantly outweigh any neg-
atives. For what is so
wonderful today is the
tremendous degree of flex-
ibility that exists to get out
on the water. Buy a boat,
rent a boat or join a boat
club. Keep your own boat
at home, in a slip or in dry
storage. There is no one
way – and all these exist
because different people
have a varying desire to be
involved and committed.
No, I don’t sell boats or
memberships. I just love
to share what being on the
water has meant to me. The
freedom. My overwhelming
joy at seeing nature up close
and very personal. And the
ability to include those I
love. We live in water lovers
paradise and boating opens
the window to it. Don’t let
fear or cost or lack of
knowledge keep you from
one of life’s truly great
experiences. Today you
absolutely can enjoy boat-
ing and the water on your
terms. We will visit more
on this topic and others in
the future. Until then, keep
an eye out for that green
flash – happy sunset!
BOATING
BONITA
MARK GENERALES
Beauty on the Water
Page 30 September 2012




Community






Community


Bonita Springs – As I watch
the many yellow school
busses drive down the
road, I am mindful of
the start of a new
school year. At the
same time I can’t help
but stop and remem-
ber my own school
experiences while
growing up in Poland.
I’m sure many of you
reading this have won-
derful memories of
your own school days.
Actually, I think I’ve
heard many of you tell
me how you walked
10 miles to school, in
the snow, up-hill, both
ways! It’s amazing that
regardless of how quickly
time flies by we generally
have fond memories of our
school years, all that we did
and how our experiences
shaped us. It is clearly proven
that education is an enor-
mous and important asset
for every person, young and
old alike! Education opens
doors and windows to the
world.
Education or learning,
however, is not only a text-
book experience. It is how
we approach people, deal
with our struggles and appre-
ciate each day. Learning is
sometimes a challenge but
keeping our mind and soul
open for the experience
makes every day worthwhile
and fulfilling.
I, for one, am a firm
believer that our learning
experiences don’t stop after
grammar school, high school
or college. Instead, we have
the opportunity and respon-
sibility to continue learning
every day of our life.
Although it may seem like a
daunting task, every day we
should find an opportunity
to learn something new,
whether it is from a book or
magazine, a person we meet,
or an encounter with nature.
Every moment is a learning
moment!
It is said that “Life is a
gift from God. How you
use your life, is your
gift back to Him.”
Let’s modify that a
bit and say “Life is a
gift and a learning
opportunity from
God. How we use
that gift and all that
we learn along the
way is truly our gift
to Him.”
Dr. Stan J. Strycharz
is a licensed, clinical
psychologist practic-
ing in Bonita Springs.
He can be contacted
at www.drstan.net.
MIND
SOUL
STAN J. STRYCHARZ, Psy.D.
The Wheels on the Bus
Go Round and Round …
So do the Wheels
of Our Mind!
Helpful tips:
Keeping our brains and minds active helps us as we get older with con-
centration and social skills. A great way to exercise our minds is to actively
seek out learning opportunities:
Sign up for a class at your local community center. Consider an art class
or even a computer class!
Read an article in a magazine, periodical, or local paper (Southwest
Spotlight!) every day. Deepen your knowledge in something that is of
interest to you.
Learn to play a new game. Chess, checkers, bridge, mahjong are all fun
hobbies that will keep you thinking and keep your mind fresh.
Share your education and learning experiences with others. Consider
volunteering at a school or community center. Be a mentor or be a friend
to someone who values your education and experience!
Contributed | dog@swspotlight.com
Poochini is September’s dog of the month, and is the winner of a $25 gift certificate
to Pet Paradise in Bonita Springs. Poochini loves birthday parties. Email your favorite
photos of your best friend to dog@swspotlight.com and your dog could be the next
dog of the month.
Dog of the month
www.swspotlight.com Page 31




Community






Community


By D. K. Christi
dk@swspotlight.com
Bonita Springs – “Look for
the silver lining,” is often said
to comfort people who expe-
rience challenges. Hurricane
season evokes many mem-
ories for residents of South-
west Florida. Once the
frightening and damaging
aspects pass, many people
are able to find their pieces
of that silver lining. Jennifer
Semro of Bonita Springs is
one of those lucky people.
She had two precious pets
that filled her life with joy
and companionship for
many years. When they
passed, she went a long time
without finding another dog.
Along came Hurricane
Katrina and an interrupted
vacation due to gasoline
shortages. Feeling a little sad,
she decided to take a drive
instead to the Humane Shel-
ter. After they introduced
her to many dogs and none
caught her eye, she said, “I
really prefer a little scruffy
dog.” They had a small gold-
en terrier mix in the back,
not yet processed; and it was
love at first sight. “It was the
eyes,” said Semro. “She still
talks to me through her big
eyes.”
According to the AKC
definition of terriers, people
familiar with this group
invariably comment on the
distinctive terrier personality.
These are feisty, energetic
dogs whose sizes range from
fairly small, as in the Norfolk,
Cairn or West Highland
White Terrier, to the grand
Airedale Terrier. Terriers typ-
ically have little tolerance for
other animals, including
other dogs, but make engag-
ing pets for energetic own-
ers.
Therein lies the magic
of a mixed breed that Semro
calls “dog” and named “Kat-
rina” in honor of the storm
that brought them together.
Unlike her Terrier cousins,
Katrina is a great hostess. “If
someone comes to the door
without a dog for Katrina
to entertain, she looks lost
as if to say, ‘Where’s the dog?’
She even shares all but a
couple of favorite toys that
she immediately makes clear
only belong to her,” said
Semro. Weighing in at 13
pounds, one of Katrina’s best
friends is a 100 pound golden
retriever!
“Katrina was kept in a
crate by the people that
owned her before she went
to the Humane Shelter,
explained Semro. It took
three months to mitigate her
fears after I brought her
home.” Now Semro is con-
sidering Katrina for a therapy
dog at Hospice, her disposi-
tion is so friendly to all.
Semro takes her love of
dogs one step further. “I like
photographing dog faces,”
she says and advises pet own-
ers to photograph their pet
at the pet level, not aiming a
camera down at the animal.
“A dog’s attention span is
not long; a short session is
best.” Of course with a subject
like Katrina, with one ear
up and the other perma-
nently down, a great photo-
graph comes naturally.
Bonita’s
Best Friends
D.K. CHRISTI
The Eyes Are
the Windows
to the Soul
Jennifer Semro | Special to the Spotlight
Katrina, a golden terrier mix that talks through her big
eyes
Bonita’s Best
Friends
If you have a dog that
you think is particularly
wonderful, contact us at
info@swspotlight.com, and
he or she could be
the next dog featured
in this column.
Page 32 September 2012




Community






Community


Bonita Springs – My daugh-
ter is obsessed with cooking.
If I enter the kitchen she
comes running yelling,
“Mommy, I want to cook
with you.” If I’m tired and
just cooking something quick-
ly, I try to explain that some-
times cooking simply consists
of boiling water and dumping
in pasta. But she is eager (and
relentless) so I try to come
up with something more
exciting.
I have discovered that cer-
tain activities (like cutting veg-
etables with a butter knife, or
peeling garlic) take more time
than others. For a four-year-
old, taking up a bit more time
is usually good. Example: if
we are using butter in a recipe,
I let her cut that uptoo.
We make guacamole from
scratch, often having a bit of
heartburn from the excessive
garlic. We eat roasted veggies
that look like they were cut
with a plastic, disposable,
knife. We congratulate her
on being such a fine chef and
chuckle at how proud she is.
We find that dinnertime is
less of a chore and more of
an enjoyable moment with
our daughter. Since we try to
teach her to make healthy
choices, dinner tends to be
more loaded with vegetables
and fruits than normal (plus
those all have to be cut so we
gain time).
This summer we had the
joy of visiting relatives in Ten-
nessee and West Virginia that
had beautiful gardens filled
with tomatoes, corn, beans,
squash, peppers, melons,
cucumbers and potatoes. Our
daughter was amazed to learn
potatoes grow under ground
and that you have to dig them
up. She loved digging potatoes
and then going home, wash-
ing off the dirt and turning
them into dinner. Blackberry
picking was a huge success,
especially when we covered
the berries with fresh ice
cream and made dessert. The
farm to table connection was
planted in her mind and she
declared how much better
dinner was when she was
able to share in some of the
work.
The only thing that we
could not convince her of
was that we actually ate the
eggs that we gathered from
the chicken. She gathered the
eggs and when we cooked
them for breakfast the next
day I showed her the eggs.
But, she still didn’t believe
that the eggs we were eating
had come from the chickens.
There are simply some times
when you give up trying to
convince a four-year-old of
anything. To her, baby chick-
ens come from eggs and we
would never eat a baby chick-
en. So, we will have to save
that lesson for another sum-
mer.
Now that we are home
we are preparing our con-
tainer gardens for organic
tomatoes, and herbs. We plant
our seeds and watch as they
sprout. We transfer them to
our containers, water them
and watch them grow. She is
delighted when the little green
tomatoes grow and then ripen
to a deep red. They hardly
ever make it into a salad
because she strips the vines
clean and eats the tomatoes
before they make it to the
house.
The good news is that we
have plenty of herbs for her
to pick and cut because she
won’t eat them unless they
are well hidden in dishes. So
even though we try to keep
her stocked with fruits and
veggies, kids will be kids and
when it comes to herbs she
says, “I don’t eat leaves.”
Meg-a-Mom is the secret
identity of Meghan Easterly,
a writer, photographer, edi-
tor and all around super-
mom living in Bonita
Springs.
MEGA
MOM
MEGHAN EASTERLY
Joy of Child Gardening
www.swspotlight.com Page 33




Restaurants


6DWXUGD\V

NEW FLAT
BREAD MENU
9070 Bonita Beach Road • Bonita Springs, FL 34135 www.fitzgeraldspub.com
239-949-2111
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By Ceel Spuhler
Bonita Springs – My name
is Ceel Spuhler and the past
34 years I have lived in Bonita
Springs. Not being a Florida
Cracker the phrase “Florida
Chrome” was initiated for
all us “townies” that live here
longer than 25 years.
I landed in Bonita by
sheer accident, traveling
southward to make my new
home in Key West. I ran
out of sufficient funds to
get to Key West so I stopped
in Bonita in 1978 and got a
job at the Roof Top and the
rest is history.
Roof Top, a restaurant
on Hickory Boulevard, was
Bonita’s 5 star restaurant of
its time. Now replaced by
condos, it used to be right
across the street from Big
Hickory Seafood Grille.
The close, warm envi-
ronment that Bonita Springs
extends is one main reason
I never left. Granted, in
1978 things were much dif-
ferent, but with tourism and
real estate growth, this town
has managed to keep itself
quaint and has saved its his-
torical history.
The feeling of “home” is
expressed by the small town
streets of old Bonita. The
Wonder Gardens and its
beautiful environment
accompanied by the Shangri-
la’s growing opportunities
as well as the Banyan Tree
give this town a peaceful
and serene feeling.
For these reasons this
“Florida Chrome” is here to
stay!
Why I Love Living in
Bonita Springs
Do you love living in Bonita Springs?
Let us know why in 600 words or less and your article
could appear next month as part of the “Why I Love Living
in Bonita Springs” series. Contact us at love@
swspotlight.com.
Page 34 September 2012




Restaurants


Molinos Molinos
’’
# 1 I T A L I A N R I S T O R A N T E
OPEN DAILY FOR DINNER ONLY, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Reservations Required - 992-7025
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26841 South Bay Drive - Bonita Springs
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Enjoy our 40% discount
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RESERVE A PRIVATE WINE CELLAR DINING ROOM
www.swspotlight.com Page 35




Restaurants


Shoppes at Pelican Landing
24600 Tamiami Trail S#204
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
(239) 498-6808
Open Daily 5 - 10 pm
Closed Sundays in September
For menu & wine list visit us at lafontanellarestaurant.net
We specialize in Pasta, Veal, Chicken, Seafood & Steak
Entire
Check
WITH AD.
Maximum discount $75 per table.
18% Gratuity added before discount.
Expires 9/30/12
25% OFF 25% OFF
RESTAURANT GUIDE
B O N I T A S P R I N G S
Buffalo Chips
Al, Chip and JC Greenwood’s Old 41 original for 30
years strong. It’s “where locals go.” 1st place winner,
Florida State chicken wing and chili cook-offs. Full
menu including burgers, fish and steak and spuds.
Boars Head premium deli sandwiches. Featuring Bonita’s
Hall of Fame. “If it looks good, we’ll find a place for it
on the walls or ceiling,” says Al. Lunch and dinner daily.
26620 Old 41 Rd. 239-947-1000. www.buffalochip-
srestaurant.com.
The Fish House
A Bonita bayside bistro. Come by car or boat. Fresh
seafood in a relaxing environment, dining inside or out,
with a pet-friendly outside patio. Specialties include
blackened tuna bites, hot blue crab and shrimp dip,
oyster baskets, grouper tacos and lobster tacos. Alternative
choices, including heart healthy items. A key-lime pie
that “melts-in-your-mouth.” Open daily 11 a.m. to 10
p.m. 4685 Bonita Beach Rd. 239-495-5770. www.the-
fishhouserestaurants.com.
Fitzgerald’s
A taste of the old country right on Bonita Beach
Road, from the Kilkenny crab dip and Mulligan’s Irish
stew to Granny McCarthy’s bailey cheesecake. Home of
the belly-buster burger. salads, sandwiches and full meal
menu. Traditional flat breads. 20 beers on tap. Open
daily 11:30 a.m. to close. Open Sunday for breakfast at
7:30 a.m. 9070 Bonita Beach Rd. 239-949-2111.
www.fitzgeraldspub.com.
Gatsby’s Pizza
Owners Greg and Jackie Chapin are reopening in a
new Bonita location. Gatsby’s, making pizza since 1977,
famous as the home of the Buckeyes, will reopen on Sept
1st for the first Ohio State game. Plenty of TVs for all
those Buckeye fans and a piano. Open Mon. thru Thur.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Sun.
4450 Bonita Beach Road in Liberty Bank Plaza. 239-
676-5011.
Hot Caboose Island Grille
Featuring foods from the Caribbean and American
South. For lunch, try the Island Paradise – grilled jerk
chicken with homemade southwest dressing, avocado
and red onions wrapped in a garlic-crusted naan. Enjoy
indoors or outside patio. Open Mon-Fri 10am to midnight;
Sat & Sun 7am to midnight. 27755 Old 41 Road at the
corner of Dean Street. 239-676-7997.
Hungry Hound Dawgs
Outdoor picnic tables invite Bonitians to enjoy locally
made frankfurters and sausages with only the freshest
ingredients. Owner Rick Price, a 30 year Air Force veteran,
dreamt for years of owning a hot dog vending company.
He developed his passion for German sausages while
stationed in Europe and now offers a full menu of dawgs
and sausages. Pick one of his specialties or create your
own! Open Mon-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat until 2pm, closed
Sun. Corner of Old 41 & Abernathy Street. 239-877-
6501. www.hungryhounddawgs.com.
La Fontanella Ristorante
Owner Moe has over 35 years in the business, and
the experience shows. He and his staff assure customers
the finest dining experience. Serving gourmet Italian
cuisine, specializing in pasta, veal, chicken, seafood
and steak. “If you can’t cut the veal with a fork, the
meal is free.” Specials daily. Open Mon. thru Sat., 5
p.m. to 10 p.m. 24600 S. Tamiami Trail at the Shoppes
at Pelican Landing. 239-498-6808. www.lafontanel-
larestaurant.net.
Lake House Bar and Grill
An open air café with one of Bonita’s finest water
views. A hot spot for lunch and dinner, popular among
both locals and tourists. Featuring the Bonita Burger,
veggie rollup, tuna salad and sandwiches and more
sandwiches. Plus tacos, fish and chicken dinners. Open
daily 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., happy hour 11:30 a.m.
to 6:30 p.m. Located next to the Trianon Hotel. 3401 Bay
Commons Dr. 239-948-4400. www.lakehousebarandgrill.net.
Molino’s Ristorante
Classic Italian in a beautiful indoor room and an al
fresco patio setting, featuring pasta, meat and fish
dinners. Family owned since 2003. Try the Vitello alla
Saltimboca or one of the many other specialties of the
house. Full bar and wine cellar. Summer hours, serving
dinner only. Smoking section available. Open daily 5
p.m. to 9 pm. 26841 South Bay Dr. at the Bonita Bay
Promenade. 239-992-7025. www.molinosristorante.com.
Old 41 Restaurant
A sure bet since the day it opened in Bernwood.
Specialties include eggs, omelets, pancakes, waffles,
homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, Angus burgers,
chili, Taylor pork roll, sausage gravy, creamed chipped
beef, home cooked roast beef and turkey and “real”
Philly cheese steaks. Open daily 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Corner
of Old 41 and Bernwood Parkway. 239-948-4123.
www.old41.com.
Pino’s Pizzeria
Joe and Linda Russo, are the owners and operators
of Pino’s where, “It’s all about the taste.” They offer the
kind of Brooklyn family owned and operated business
you don’t often find these days. Their big portions, low
prices - and friendly attitude will have you coming back
for more... and more… and still more! Open Mon. thru
Fri. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sat. & Sun 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Pelican Landing Publix Plaza, 24600 S. Tamiami Trail.
239-676-5332. www.pinospizzeria.net.
Ristorante Enrico
Owner Enrico Costagliola was born in his mother’s
restaurant in Torregaveta, Italy, south of Naples. “I still
cook like my mother, with only the freshest ingredients.”
Fresh pasta, seafood and Italian specialties. Antipasto
salad, penne, lasagna, lobster ravioli, linguini with white
clam sauce, zuppa di pesce, veal, chicken and shrimp. 18
pizza and calzone creations. Lunch and dinner specials.
Open daily Mon-Sat 10am to 10 pm; Sun 11am to 10pm;
26831 S. Tamiami Trail near Publix across from Bonita
Bay. 239-949-2204.
Royal Scoop
Life’s short…eat dessert first! The oldest homemade
ice cream store in Bonita. 35 ice cream flavors, 12 low-
fat and sugar-free choices. Their scoopologists make the
thickest shakes, biggest sundaes and best cones. Delicious
lunches featuring Boar’s Head meats and cheeses and
fantastic family recipes for chicken, egg and tuna salad.
Kids menu. Open Mon. thru Sat. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.,
Sunday open at Noon. 15- 8th Street, eight blocks south
of Bonita Beach Rd. off Vanderbilt Dr. 239-992-2000.
www.royalscoop.com.
The Stage
Come for the food, and stay for the dancing. Full
menu, including Maryland crab cakes, sweet and sour
tenders, egg rolls, vegetable salad, grilled salmon salad,
prime rib, filet mignon, salmon, roasted chicken, signature
meatloaf, full bar with 10 beers on tap. Live music, with
tributes from Led Zeppelin to Jimmy Buffett, from Elvis
to Rod Stewart. Open 4 p.m. to close Wednesday thru
Saturday.9144 Bonita Beach Rd. in Sunshine Plaza,
behind Fitzgerald’s Pub. 239-405-8566. www.thestage-
bonita.com.
Page 36 September 2012




Restaurants


Ristorante
Enrico
Four years in the same location
26831 Tamiami Trail S.
off West Terry Street
(239) 949-2204
Mon-Sat 10-10, Sun 11-10