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Events, things to do and opportunities to give back to our community in and around Bonita Springs

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Outlook bright as Bonita Y plans reopening

By Peter R. O’Flinn

prof@swspotlight.com

Bonita Springs – The Bonita Springs YMCA is poised to reopen under the ownership of the South County Family YMCA of Venice, nine months after being shuttered by Collier County based YMCA of the Palms. In late January the Venice Y reached an agreement in principle to assume ownership of the Kent Road facility from the Palms. The deal is subject to remaining due diligence, documentation and formal lender approval. “The Bonita YMCA is going to be front and center in the community or I would not do it,” said Ken Modzelewski, chief executive of the Venice Y. “That will be my driving principle.” (See related article regarding the Venice organi- zation on page A22.) ”If all goes well I might be trying to shoot for a March 1 opening,” he said. “I feel confident that the due diligence should go quickly.” Prompt lender approval to decouple the facility from the Palms can’t be presumed, although verbal assurances have been given. “We are putting plans in place,” said Modzelewski. “The pool is a big mess. There is no doubt about that. We will purchase new equipment, which has to be prewired into the floors. We need to determine whether there are enough circuits to handle the equipment.” The deal came together in late January when the Palms accepted a price from Modzelewski significantly below that previously proposed by the Palms. It was the culmination of two years of behind the scenes work by members of the former Bonita Advisory Board to the Palms, led by Dennis

Continued on page A22

Board to the Palms, led by Dennis Continued on page A22 Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com Ken

Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com Ken Modzelewski, chief executive of the South County Family YMCA of Venice, stands outside the Bonita Springs YMCA on Kent Road. Nine months after closing, the Bonita Y is poised to reopen.

Local Hero – Pamela Jones-Morton

By Kathy O’Flinn

kathy@swspotlight.com

Bonita Springs – Estero resident Pamela Jones-Mor- ton, 64, phoned her col- leagues at Lovers Key and told them she would not make it to the holiday party because there was an accident on Hickory Boulevard. She didn’t offer the details. She was too shaken. Moments earlier Jones- Morton was driving behind a convertible Camaro, just

about to approach the bridge to cross Big Hickory Pass, when an oncoming SUV came into her lane, barreled right up the front of the Ca- maro immediately in front of her and rolled over on its side. She slammed on her brakes and then did what most ordinary people would do. She dialed 911. After that, her actions were extraordinary. Running up the bridge she yelled into the phone. “I don’t remember exactly what

I said, something along the lines of, ‘We have an accident on Hickory Bridge. It’s a bad accident. There’s a roll over.’” When she reached the car she saw a woman getting out of the Camaro and then she saw fire coming from beneath the SUV. “I screamed, ‘Fire!’ I just gave the phone away. I didn’t have time. When I saw the flames I knew this whole thing was going to get out of control. And something

Continued on page A18

Inside

out of control. And something Continued on page A18 Inside Building in Bonita A9 Market Pulse

Building in Bonita A9

Market Pulse

A12

Love of

Bonita Award

B1

City Election

Results

B4

Bonita Award B1 City Election Results B4 The Diabetic Detector B17 Bonita Business

The Diabetic

Detector

B17

Bonita Business

Beat

A25

Award B1 City Election Results B4 The Diabetic Detector B17 Bonita Business Beat A25
Page A2 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight BONITA BAY Three outstanding properties all in popular Harbor

Page A2

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Page A2 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight BONITA BAY Three outstanding properties all in popular Harbor Lakes
BONITA BAY Three outstanding properties all in popular Harbor Lakes and all with outstanding lake
BONITA BAY
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They are very reasonably priced and
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kitchen with granite counters and more. Priced at $797,000. (Below)
Million dollar views from this upscale hi-rise decorator-
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Joyce Maloney, CLHS
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239 273-5272
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc.

This month

A4

The wrong pair of shoes

A7

Dog Track update

A7

Bonita Library

A9

Habitat building in Bonita

A10 Prayer Breakfaast

A12 Market Pulse

A17 Tennis tournament

A21 City compensation study

B1

Love of Bonita Award

B4

City Election results

B7

Bob Gillette

B9

Open for business

B17 The diabetic detector

A18
A18

Every Issue

A4

Ben Nelson’s column

A7

Up and Down the Trail

A14 Spotlight Real Estate Watch

A21 Healthy News

A25 Bonita Business Beat Perez Industries Bonita Estero Dental Group

B1

Why I love living in Bonita Springs Deborah Maclean Kathy Anderson

B2 Events

B11 Artist Spotlight Dick Cunningham

B14 Teacher Spotlight TJ Cheever

B15 Catch of the month

B16 Community updates

B17 Bonita’s Best Friends

B18 BTV Schedule

B19 Opportunities to give back

B22 Restaurant Guide

B19 Opportunities to give back B22 Restaurant Guide B11 Advertising Sales S O U T H
B11
B11

Advertising Sales

S O U T H W E S T

Kathy O'Flinn

kathy@swspotlight.com

Office Manager Katie O'Flinn katie@swspotlight.com

Contributing Writers Bill Barnes Charles J. Cavaliere D. K. Christi Meghan Easterly Chad Gillis Max Harris Dorota Harris Ben Nelson Jr. Peter R. O'Flinn Heather Thomson Christina Wells

Contributing Photographers William L. Meyers David Michael Robert L. Smith

Locally owned and operated since 2010

(239) 287-6474

info@swspotlight.com

PO Box 1946 Bonita Springs, FL 34133

Southwest Spotlight, LLC

swspotlight.com

Publisher Peter A. O'Flinn

peter@swspotlight.com

February 2012 Page A3 Southwest Spotlight

February 2012

Page A3

Southwest Spotlight

February 2012 Page A3 Southwest Spotlight
Page A4 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight The wrong pair of shoes By Ben Nelson Jr.

Page A4

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

The wrong pair of shoes

By Ben Nelson Jr.

info@swspotlight.com

Bonita Springs – As I hur- ried home one evening from

a Council meeting, I had a

hundred things going through my head, none the least of which was trying to figure out if I had packed everything for the Orlando vacation that my wife and I were going to leave on as soon as I arrived home. Lori had the car ready to go, so when I got home we left immediately… me still dressed in my suit and tie.

Although we were going to arrive late at the hotel, the plan was to have a good nights sleep, head out the next morning and then walk way too much, eat way too much and spend way too much money at the “House of the Mouse”. After completing the three hour drive, we were checking in at the resort’s front desk when suddenly it dawned on me that I hadn’t packed any shoes other than the black dress shoes I was wearing. Now,

I know that I’m getting a

little “long in the tooth” but I’m not quite ready to go

out in public wearing short pants with black socks and

black dress shoes

there a store open in the hotel where I can buy some

sandals?” I asked the clerk. She paused typing for an instant and motioned towards the map of the huge resort. We found the store just as it was getting ready to close and although they had mouse ears all over them, I found a pair of

yet. “Is

forty-dollar flip-flops. They looked comfortable, so we paid the nice young lady and went to our room for the night. The next morning we got dressed in our tourist garb and headed out, hand in hand towards the “happiest

place in the world”

or at

least a hundred yards down the long hallway to the ele- vator. After I pushed the lobby button I looked down at my feet. Lori was looking at me. “What?” she said. I made a face and wiggled my feet. “I can’t believe this

but, I already have a blister between my toes. These shoes obviously aren’t going

to work out.” She shrugged.

“No big deal

has to

be somewhere in this place

There

Lori Nelson | Special to the Spotlight
Lori Nelson | Special to the Spotlight

where you can find some- thing better, right?”

We began by stopping at every little shop in the resort until we found a really expensive looking store that had beach apparel and other outdoorsy stuff. The closest thing that I could find that looked like something a grown man would wear was a pair of opened toed sandals

made of black rubber. (No

they weren’t “Crocs”) They looked more like bedroom slippers but, they felt like heaven compared to the flip- flops that were eating my toes… so for another fifty dollars, my feet were happy, the offending flip-flops were in a bag and we were on our way to Epcot. After we got off the bus we walked briskly towards

that giant silver ball at the

entrance, anxious to finally get started having fun. (Flip,

flip, flip, flip

over at me and frowned. I looked down at my comfy, yet noisy bedroom slippers. Little repetitive noises make Lori crazy, so I curled my feet up tight like a bird on a perch as I walked and the noise stopped. But within 60 seconds, I was concen- trating so hard on keeping my feet scrunched up that it was causing me to walk like I had mashed potatoes in the back of my pants. Lori, being like every other understanding and compas- sionate wife, started laughing at me, “What in the world are you doing?” she giggled. “Is there something you want to tell me?”“Oh, you’re

Lori looked

)

funny!” I said, throwing my

hands in the air. I relaxed my feet and kept walking.

“See! I’m

just trying to stop them from doing that!” (Flip, flip, flip ) ”

Lori said frowning

down at my noisy feet as we walked. “Don’t worry about it, it’s not that bad.” Ten minutes later. (FLAP, flip, FLAP, flip, FLAP,

Lori stopped dead

in her tracks in front of a

dinosaur and spun me around like I was one of the other ten year olds at Disney World. “What!” I whined. She pointed at my rubber feet. “Those have got to go or we’re going to go!” I

looked down.“But

They’re

FLAP

“Well

(Flip, flip, flip

)

)

so comfortable!” Lori was already walking towards the giant souvenir store. “… and

it feels like I’m walking ”

around in bedroom slip-

Let’s go!” She

said dragging me by the hand. (FLAP, FLAP, FLAP ) “Mannnnn…!” In the store we found

actual shoes

actual shoes. They were “Crocs” with closed toes, heels and of course

mouse ears everywhere. They were also comfortable, quiet and “only” 60 dollars. But all

four of us; my lovely wife, me and both my feet, were happy for the rest of the

for just under $150.

day

well, close to

“Don’t care

all

(Well, not including admis- sion, food, lodging, travel expenses and Excedrin.)

To this day the shoes stare at me from a dark corner in my closet

To this day the shoes stare at me from a dark corner in my closet, reminding me that you can never be too prepared. But if you see me at the grocery store some day, walking rather oddly, it’s just me trying to get my moneys worth out of the wrong pair of shoes.

grocery store some day, walking rather oddly, it’s just me trying to get my moneys worth
grocery store some day, walking rather oddly, it’s just me trying to get my moneys worth
February 2012 Page A5 Southwest Spotlight Open Friday-Monday

February 2012

Page A5

Southwest Spotlight

Open Friday-Monday
Open Friday-Monday
Page A6 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight

Page A6

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Page A6 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight
February 2012 Page A7 Southwest Spotlight Up and Down the Trail Spotlight Staff Report staff@swspotlight.com

February 2012

Page A7

Southwest Spotlight

Up and Down the Trail

Spotlight Staff Report

staff@swspotlight.com

Dog Track slot vote on track, sort of

As reported in last month’s Spotlight, the owners of the Bonita dog track want to introduce slot machine gambling. First they need Lee County voter approval. In early January, Bonita Springs City Council unan- imously requested Lee County Board of Commis- sioners call a referendum of all Lee County voters on the proposal. “Let’s find out if the County wants it,” said Council member Martha Simons. “It is not for us to say whether we want it or don’t want it. It’s to see if the people want it.” On January 24, Simons and other Bonita represen- tatives spoke in favor of the referendum at a Lee County Commissioner meeting. At that meeting County Commissioners, by a 3-2 vote after considerable dis- cussion, directed County staff to begin work on an ordinance that, if adopted by the Commission at a later date, would put the refer- endum on the November ballot. The ordinance itself would be considered for adoption only after a public hearing. As Commissioner Tammy Hall said to her fel- low commissioners, “You will have another bite at the apple.” But one week later, at its January 31 meeting, the Commissioners found them- selves playing "beat the clock" to meet a deadline under a law proposed the previous day in Tallahassee. That pro- posed law allows a County to set a slots referendum only if action is taken by January 31. By another 3-2 vote Commissioners approved putting the refer- endum on the November ballot. But, a prior public hearing on the issue and an ordinance will still be required, the County Attor- ney's office told the Spot- light. “It is true that jobs will be created by the expansion of gambling,” said Commis- sioner Frank Mann on Jan- uary 24, when he and Commissioner Brian Bigelow voted no."What concerns me is that it is a short-term solution that will have a long-term negative impact on the quality of life… I am concerned about the foot in the door," said Mann. “Lee County has all of the beneficial assets anyplace

in the world would like to have, the beaches and the

warmth,” he said.“Folks have come here for the last half- century because of that. I don’t want to have to hang

a sign on the county line

that says,‘Whatever happens

in Lee County stays in Lee County."

Tax dollars and the Library

The issue of expanding

Lee County’s Bonita branch library has been around for

a

quite a while. Who knew

it

could trigger a philosoph-

ical debate on government spending on the City Coun- cil dais? But that’s what happened

in mid January when John

Spear took exception to the City’s continuing demand that the County fund library expansion, and Bill Lonkart took exception to the excep- tion. Their exchange of views carried faint echoes of a statewide debate last year, when Governor Scott rejected federal mass trans- portation dollars for a Tampa- Orlando railway. The City Council dia- logue started amidst a dis- cussion of strategic priorities. “The library did not make the cut, and yet we continue to pound on it,” said Spear, referring to the City’s ongoing quest that Lee County expand the facility. That got Lonkart’s atten- tion. The citizens of Bonita have “paid through the nose” to the County, and deserve more, he said. He recounted the work of the

library task force that deter- mined Bonita taxpayers have paid a lot more than the County has spent on the Bonita branch, which the task force found insufficient

in size.

“I have never seen a pub- lic groundswell to double or triple the size of that library,” said Spear. “A place

where you stack dusty old books in a two story build-

ing …I don’t think that is a 21st century approach.” “Frankly it offends me just as much to waste $4 million of Lee County money as Bonita Springs money because it is all our money,” said Spear. “I am

as outraged as you” that the

County has spent less than collected “but that is a County governance issue.” “It all comes down to dollars and cents,” said Lonkart. “The County has an obligation to give us the same treatment they give everybody else, and they have kept all the money…

If we can utilize money more effectively, then we should do it. We should get compensation for all the years.” City taxpayers paid about

$2.5 million toward Lee County library operations in each of the last three years, about $1 million more yearly than the County allo- cated for the Bonita branch. Before the recession, when tax rates and property values were higher, the dis- crepancy was greater. In the

period 2001 through 2008

Bonita taxpayers paid $24 million more than the County spent on the Bonita branch. That money and payments by other County

taxpayers helped fund a County library reserve that reached $60 million in 2007. Since then, the reserve has funded operating expenses, and the construction of new Cape Coral and Ft. Myers libraries. Recently, the reserve stood at $9 million. In February, County commissioners are antici- pated to consider Bonita’s request for funding library expansion, according to City staff. Ray Judah, one of the five commissioners, has indicated his support for a $4 million expenditure.

Fertilizer follies

There is too much nitro- gen in parts of the Imperial River, according to Florida state standards. In a Catch-22, the City may need to spend close to $1 million for projects to prevent fertilizer from reaching the river, while battling proposed state leg- islation that would nullify current City fertilizer use rules. Those rules are designed to curtail the flow of fertilizer into the river.

Water quality in the Imperial River has improved in the last decade, but the freshwater section of the river is still “impaired” according to the state. The nitrogen content is too high. To help meet state standards Bonita Springs, like other municipalities in southwest Florida, adopted rainy sea- son restrictions on nitrogen and phosphorous applica- tion a few years ago. This is chemistry 101.

Fertilizer is applied, rains wash fertilizer into the river, nitrogen levels rise, dissolved oxygen levels fall. Fish leave or die. Increased nutrient loading has also been linked to harmful algae blooms. Bonita Springs’ restric- tions are similar to many other municipalities in

Continued on page A21

harmful algae blooms. Bonita Springs’ restric- tions are similar to many other municipalities in Continued on
Page A8 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight

Page A8

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Page A8 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight
February 2012 Page A9 Southwest Spotlight Habitat for Humanity is building in Bonita By Heather

February 2012

Page A9

Southwest Spotlight

Habitat for Humanity is building in Bonita

By Heather Thomson

heather@swspotlight.com

Bonita Springs – It’s early Saturday morning at Ren- aissance at Rosemary Park off Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs. The air is crisp and the sun is peeking through trees, slowly warming Bonita Bay volunteers and Habitat construction crew members as they gather to work.

With three houses there’s plenty of work to divvy up between all of us. – Cal Walker

Alongside Shadow Wood and Pelican Landing, com- munity members of the three communities have raised over $2.6 million and built 54 homes since 1996. This winter culminates in the building of three new homes in Bonita Springs, which the groups are very excited about. Kitty Green, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties, stands at

the foundation of the home

and talks to the group, brief- ing them on what their jobs will be for the day and how the volunteer organizing has been going. She steps aside for Cal Walker, lead volunteer and fundraiser alongside his wife Judy, to lead the group in a short prayer and pep talk. Today is an exciting day. Today is

a wall-raising day. “We just love this,” says

Judy while the guys slip into their gloves and receive instructions from the con- struction crew about safety and the floor plan. “It’s almost like a club for the people who have been doing

it for a while. There are jobs

that we all like to do and that we kind of excel at.” The guys laugh and tease each other as they grab wall after wall, shifting and turn- ing to help each other with the weight. No one ever holds more than anyone else. They are glad for the work, though, and happy to be helping with the project. “There’s nothing worse than getting here at eight o’clock in the morning and not having any work to do,” says Cal, laughing,“But with

three houses there’s plenty of work to divvy up between all of us.”

We just love this.

Judy Walker

Aside from Cal and Judy, there are over 50 other vol- unteers in the Bonita Bay community who literally go

door to door making sure information is spread about Habitat. Pelican Landing’s 10th home stands next to Bonita Bay and Shadow Wood’s, already having host- ed a kickoff party inside its four walls. Shadow Wood’s is the center home, with

building coming right along, and a community golf tour- nament culminating in a surpassing of their million- dollar fundraising goal. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore second hand resale operation at 27821 S. Tami- ami Trail in Bonita Springs opened last month, offering furniture, appliances, and home improvement items, all keeping in the spirit of Habitat’s mission:“to follow God’s lead and partner with the community to provide decent, affordable homes for

people in need so they may build better lives for their families.”

Three communities, working alongside each other for one common goal, is

something that Habitat and the Bonita Springs commu- nity are happy to see.

Habitat and the Bonita Springs commu- nity are happy to see. Heather Thompson | heather@swspotlight.com Habitat
Habitat and the Bonita Springs commu- nity are happy to see. Heather Thompson | heather@swspotlight.com Habitat

Heather Thompson | heather@swspotlight.com Habitat for Humanity and volunteers from Bonita Bay, Shadow Wood and Pelican Landing are building three homes in Bonita Springs.

Heather Thompson | heather@swspotlight.com
Heather Thompson | heather@swspotlight.com
Heather Thompson | heather@swspotlight.com
Heather Thompson | heather@swspotlight.com
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Page A10 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Food for thought and action By D. K. Christi

Page A10

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Page A10 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Food for thought and action By D. K. Christi dk@swspotlight.com

Food for thought and action

By D. K. Christi

dk@swspotlight.com

Bonita Springs – The Bonita Springs Prayer breakfast is

a lesson in faith. It is remi-

niscent of the famous quote from Field of Dreams: “Build

it and they will come.” Nearly

15 years ago, Bonita Springs residents Jim and Natalie Wismar were involved in multiple neighborhood improvement projects such as Habitat for Humanity, Paint Your Heart Out and Renaissance. Former Mayor Jay Arend provided encour- agement and the City part- nered on many initiatives. “Six years ago Jay Arend approached me about estab- lishing a non-denomina- tional Prayer Breakfast in Bonita Springs,” said Natalie Wismar, ”to bring citizens into an awareness of River- side Park and to enjoy it. In the end it became clear that the outdoor facility would not be a feasible venue. The first Prayer Breakfasts were held at Spanish Wells.” This year’s event, sched- uled for February 21 at 7

a.m., has grown from the original 200 diners to an expected attendance of near- ly 1,000 at The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa.

“Mary Catherine and Larry White had been a part

of the St. Louis Prayer Break- fast. She has produced the Bonita Springs Prayer Breakfast program from the beginning,” added Wismar. “Bonita Springs is a won- derful and diverse commu-

Staff Photo | info@swspotlight.com
Staff Photo | info@swspotlight.com
the beginning,” added Wismar. “Bonita Springs is a won- derful and diverse commu- Staff Photo |
February 2012 Page A11 Southwest Spotlight nity comprised of people from all over the country,

February 2012

Page A11

Southwest Spotlight

nity comprised of people from all over the country, and indeed the world, many of whom bring their vast resources and talents to the area. However, it is also a community with tremen- dous needs and challenges. Scripture tells us that ‘to whom much is given, much is required,’ and the Prayer Breakfast, encourages those in our community who have been given much to help the less fortunate among us and to pray for the well-being of our city,” added Carolyn Herbold, another board member. Ron Miller, a board mem- ber since its beginning, works with the keynote speakers. “The original ten to fifteen people worked on a design similar to the National Prayer Breakfast and became the Board of the Breakfast. Our speaker this year is Chip Ingram, teaching pastor for Living on the Edge, a daily radio and TV program heard on over 800 stations and even in numerous interna- tional areas, including China and the Middle East.” Ingram is the author of 11 books, including his newest release: Living on the Edge: Dare to Experience True Spirituality. Past speak- ers include Ambassador Tony Hall, Andy Card (President Bush’s Chief of Staff), Wayne

Huizenga, and Jim Daly (President of Focus on the Family). The program has typically had a patriotic theme, and has included both local and nationally known musicians. Last year’s program high- lighted one of the Sisters Sledge, of “We Are Family” fame. This year’s program will be a Salute to Presi- dents.

The Bonita Springs Prayer Breakfast has grown from 200 people to an expected attendance of nearly 1,000 this year.

The agenda includes pro- fessional Christian enter- tainment. Singer Lindsey Graham was privileged at a young age to open for The Crabb Family and to share the stage with Kevin Spencer. She continues to open for known groups, and she par- ticipated in the Amazing Grace Gaither Homecoming videotaping in Nashville, TN, released in 2007. Graham has also performed for the Naples Opera Society. Gordon and Carol Bleich are a husband and wife team

from Bonita Springs. Gordon is on staff at The First Baptist Church of Naples as a pianist and together they are chil- dren’s choir directors. Gor- don has a Music Education Master’s Degree from Oak- land University, Rochester Hills, MI. Their love for each other, music and the Lord enable them to uniquely share the gospel in vocal and piano artistry. The Bonita Springs Prayer Breakfast brings together a wide cross-section of people who find a common bond of service to the community through service committees and contributing time, talent and financial resources to a long list of service and charity organizations. One thing for certain, you’ll be in the company of people who put their heart into the Bonita Springs Community.

who put their heart into the Bonita Springs Community. If you go… Bonita Springs Prayer Breakfast

If you go…

Bonita Springs Prayer Breakfast

When: February 21, 7 a.m. Where: The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa. Cost: $35. For more information:

bonitaspringsprayerbreakfast.com.

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Page A12 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Federal Reserve Senior Economist to speak at Market Pulse

Page A12

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Federal Reserve Senior Economist to speak at Market Pulse

By Nigel P. Fullick

Special to the Spotlight

Bonita Springs – I doubt many of us think of Bonita Springs when considering key economic events to which the entire world pays attention but, on February 10 at FGCU, our commu- nity and country will again turn to Bonita Springs/ Estero for a snapshot of the economy in 2012.

the country and the world. In 2010, Federal Reserve District President Sandra Pianalto was the keynote speaker followed by Sixth District President Dennis Lockhart in 2011. The 2012 event will feature another first. Michael Bryan, Senior Economist for the Federal Reserve Bank’s Sixth District is the keynote speaker. FGCU business students and faculty also look for-

“It is exciting that our community is now recognized for being serious about business.”

– Christine Ross, CEO, Bonita Springs Area Chamber

Over the past six years, Market Pulse has not only become the premier eco- nomic event in our South- west Florida community, but also one that has been broadcast live worldwide. Reuters News Service, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have all sent their reporters to stream the conference live around

ward to Market Pulse. “We had been trying for several years to get anyone from the Federal Reserve Bank to speak at FGCU. For the Chamber to bring in actual Fed Presidents, who were also sitting members of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee, is nothing short of amaz- ing,” stated Dr. Gary Jackson,

is nothing short of amaz- ing,” stated Dr. Gary Jackson, David Michael | Special to the

David Michael | Special to the Spotlight Brad Hunter, National Director of Consulting at Met- rostudy, returns to the Bonita Estero Market Pulse as the introductory speaker this month.

Director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at the University and a past presenter who also assists with the format of the event. Brad Hunter, National Director of Consulting at Metrostudy, who has pre- sented to the FDIC, Harvard as well as the Federal Reserve Bank, returns as the intro- ductory speaker. “He has proven to be uncannily accurate with his forward looking overviews of the local and regional economies,” says Bonita Springs Area Chamber CEO Christine Ross, sharing her pride in the event’s success. “It is exciting that our com- munity is now recognized for being serious about busi- ness and providing national speakers to present the most timely information to our citizens. FGCU President, Dr. Wilson Bradshaw, has made a personal commit- ment in supporting Market Pulse and we are so proud of our chamber committee members who use their

influence to bring the world to Bonita Springs’ door.” The event is open to the public and starts at 8 a.m. February 10 with a conti- nental breakfast and pre- sentations begin at 8:45 a.m. in the university main ball- room. Tickets may only be purchased by calling the Bonita Springs Area Cham- ber at 239-992-2943.

Nigel P. Fullick is a mem- ber of the 2012 Market Pulse Committee and is Vice-Pres- ident of Element Funding in Bonita Springs.

is Vice-Pres- ident of Element Funding in Bonita Springs. If you go… Bonita Estero Market Pulse

If you go…

Bonita Estero

Market Pulse

Where: Florida Gulf Coast University When: February 10, 8 a.m. Cost: $35 For more information:

239-992-2943

Where: Florida Gulf Coast University When: February 10, 8 a.m. Cost: $35 For more information: 239-992-2943
February 2012 Page A13 Southwest Spotlight

February 2012

Page A13

Southwest Spotlight

February 2012 Page A13 Southwest Spotlight
February 2012 Page A13 Southwest Spotlight
February 2012 Page A13 Southwest Spotlight
February 2012 Page A13 Southwest Spotlight
Page A14 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Spotlight Real Estate Watch By Bill Barnes Chief Executive

Page A14

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Spotlight Real Estate Watch

By Bill Barnes

Chief Executive Officer Bonita Springs Estero Association of Realtors

Bonita Springs – We are now able to report on the real estate activity for all of 2011 for the Bonita Springs- Estero market area, as the data done for the year is effectively complete. The general summary is that it was a much more active year than in 2010 or 2009, in every category that we record. Following the national trends we see that Southwest Florida is affected by the “upstream”markets that flow to this area, that being the central Midwestern states, with an increasing flow com- ing from the New York and Connecticut markets. Also in 2011 the flow here has been accelerated by inter- national buyers from north- ern Europe and Brazil. The big four reasons for the increased activity level are (1) Ability of the buyers to have the funds, mostly cash reserves from stock sales, corporate bonuses and asset sales in the north. (2) Expanded marketing of the

area by our tourist develop- ment organizations and our economic development organizations, such as the Bonita Springs Estero Eco- nomic Development Coun- cil, of which our organization is a proud member in 2012. (3) The favorable tax struc- ture and political stability of both Florida and the Unit- ed States. And (4) the excel- lent high tech marketing that is being done worldwide by real estate companies and agents in this area. The pow- erful attractive websites, many with multi-lingual

pages and auto response sys- tems bring our market to the fingertips of buyers worldwide. The 2011 market in con- dominiums and single family homes was almost a mirror of each other. This similarity in numbers means that we are not a condo dominated market as you see in some parts of Florida. We are also not a track house single fam- ily home market with little or no options for genera- tional stepping up or “down- sizing”, which allows everyone to stay in the same

area and yet find housing for their needs. There were 2060 Condo- miniums that came into the market in 2011, and 2032 single family homes that came into the market, with only a gap of 28 units which is exceptionally unusual and speaks well for our market. Given the end of the year numbers it was a year of highs and lows. In March 255 condominiums came into the market, after which the new listing declines for four consecutive months,

Continued on page A16

7 0 6 0 5 0 4 0 3 0 2 0 1 0 0
7
0
6
0
5
0
4
0
3
0
2
0
1
0
0
Monthly Transactions Number of real estate transactions in the Bonita Springs Estero market 2010 2011
Monthly Transactions
Number of real estate transactions
in the Bonita Springs Estero market
2010
2011
January
160
January
165
February
175
February
215
March
219
March
271
April
263
April
312
May
174
May
236
June
179
June
216
July
144
July
183
August
132
August
189
September
121
September
183
October
80
October
133
November
125
November
153
December
177
December
188

Highlights

 

26868

Hickory Blvd.

$2,375,000

Bonita Beach

4851 Bonita Bay Blvd. Bonita Bay

$2,300,000

23790

Tuscany Way

$1,875,000

Pelican Landing

18149 Via Portofino Way Miromar Lakes

$1,835,000

23790 Tuscany Way $1,875,000 Pelican Landing 18149 Via Portofino Way Miromar Lakes $1,835,000
23790 Tuscany Way $1,875,000 Pelican Landing 18149 Via Portofino Way Miromar Lakes $1,835,000
February 2012 Page A15 Southwest Spotlight

February 2012

Page A15

Southwest Spotlight

February 2012 Page A15 Southwest Spotlight
Page A16 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight VOTED MMolinosolinos’’ #1 ITALIAN RISTORANTE 2 FOR 1 DINNERS

Page A16

February 2012

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then reversed and increased for four months before declining to a monthly total of 180 new listings in December. The single family homes market hit a high of new listings in March of 193, then began a four month decline in new inventory but again peaked in Sep- tember then declines for December. As with the other parts of the market, both national and interna- tional news daily affects the sellers and the buyers in their decisions. In sales, the longest trend line of 2011 was the seven consecutive months of

declining sales. This started in March and then for seven months declined to only 65 condo sales which were about only a third of the 193 condo sales seven months before. This is due to financing problems, tighter restrictions, objec- tions to condominium rules and regulations, and lack of buyers with cash for sec- ondary homes. However after October we have seen two months of condo sales increases, most of which have come from exception- ally low prices and sellers willing to sell at prices sometimes 24 percent under the original list price and in other cases less than owed to the bank. Single family home sales peaked in April but never

returned to that high of 143 sales. But like the con- dominiums, the sales in November and December trended up from 65 to 79 sales. The price reductions have helped make the sales attractive to many new buy- ers. The end of the year December sales of luxury homes showed continued strength. Market activity was strong by all reports from the field and we expect 2012 to be less errat- ic than 2011 and showing an increase in all market sectors in Bonita Springs and Estero.

Jody Burr, of the MLS Service/Data Department of BEAR, contributed to the reporting in this article.

Springs and Estero. Jody Burr, of the MLS Service/Data Department of BEAR, contributed to the reporting
Springs and Estero. Jody Burr, of the MLS Service/Data Department of BEAR, contributed to the reporting
Springs and Estero. Jody Burr, of the MLS Service/Data Department of BEAR, contributed to the reporting
February 2012 Page A17 Southwest Spotlight Tennis greats play for new pediatric pharmacy a l

February 2012

Page A17

Southwest Spotlight

Tennis greats play for new pediatric pharmacy

a

l

Spotlight Tennis greats play for new pediatric pharmacy a l Karson and Madison would be healthy.

Karson and Madison would be healthy. For a parent, the diagnosis of can- cer in a child could not pos- sibly be more devastating. Barbara’s Friends is doing a great service to this com- munity of parents and I am thrilled to be a part of it. In addition, I recently moved to the northeast and Florida in March sounded like the place to be.” Since its inception, the Tour Players Classic has been an event enjoyed by

Bonita Bay mem- bers. This year, the fundrais- er is open to the public. The schedule features a variety of tennis events and match ups. On March 2, the night matches will feature mixed doubles and men’s doubles competition. In the Mixed Event, Gigi Fernandez and Mikael Pernfors will play Joanne Russell and Tim

homes for the duration of the tournament.” “We play the event for the children, to give them hope and to improve their future,” says Professional Donald Johnson. “We love the opportunity to help the Bonita Bay members with this charitable endeavor.”

“It is a great organization and I have made some

w o n d e r f u l friends over

the

says Profes-

s

Mikael Pern- fors. “I also enjoy seeing the other pros. If we can have fun playing and help some- body in need, it’s all worth it.” First-time participant Gigi Fernandez felt a per-

sonal tie to the beneficiary

of the event.

“Being the mother of healthy twins, who spent the first two weeks of their lives in the neo-natal inten- sive care unit, I have a soft heart for anything to do with kids’ health,” says Fer- nandez. “I knew in the end

years,”

i

o

n

world’s #1 doubles rank- ing, is an Olympic gold medalist and Tennis Hall of Fame induc- tee. Pernfors won three ATP Tour titles. Palmer, Wilkin- son, Leach, and Johnson each won grand slams and held top ten world rankings. Eight-time Grand Slam champion Fred Stolle will serve as commentator for the matches. Gates open at 5 p.m. with the matches beginning at 6 p.m. The $75 admission fee includes food, beverages, and an access book providing dis- counts and coupons at Bonita Bay Club and Mediterra. March 3 begins with a pro-am event at 10 a.m. fol-

The tournament has attracted former French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Olympic champions.

Wilkinson. In Men’s Dou- bles, Rick Leach and Jimmy Arias will face Jared Palmer and Don Johnson. Fernan- dez ,who formerly held the

lowed by the Wells Fargo Kids Cup Challenge featur- ing local pediatric cancer survivors swinging with the pros. The $50 spectator fee

By Christina Wells

Special to the Spotlight

Bonita Springs – On March 2 and 3, 18 touring pro greats will join the fight against cancer at the Fifth Annual FineMark National Bank & Trust Tour Players Tennis Classic held at Bonita Bay. The tournament, which has raised more than $565,000 for Barbara’s Friends, The Children’s Hos- pital Cancer Fund, has attracted former French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Olympic cham- pions. This year’s proceeds will support the construc- tion of a new pediatric phar- macy in the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Flori- da 136-bed, 292,000-square- foot expansion. The tournament has become a yearly tradition for a number of the com- petitors. “More than 70 percent of the professionals playing in this event are repeat par- ticipants,” says Pat Valva, tournament co-chair. “The players appreciate the charity and the generosity extended by our membership. In fact, nearly half stay at resident

includes lunch. At 2 p.m.,

touring pro-led mini clinics will offer participants the opportunity to improve their game for a $100 fee.

A gala dinner dance and

live auction will take place

at the Bonita Bay Club Sat-

urday evening. Tickets are

$200 each. Serving as this year’s M.V.P. (most valuable

patient) for the event, will

be Olivia Ramsey, a seven-

year-old pediatric cancer survivor from Fort Myers

who has received treatment

at

the Children’s Hospital

of

Southwest Florida and

the Barbara’s Friends Out-

patient Clinic.

Florida and the Barbara’s Friends Out- patient Clinic. If you go… Tour Players Tennis Classic Where:

If you go…

Tour Players

Tennis Classic

Where: Bonita Bay Club When: March 2, 5 p.m. Cost: $75, includes matches, dinner and 2 drink tickets For more information:

239-343-6950 or www.tourplayersclassic.com.

$75, includes matches, dinner and 2 drink tickets For more information: 239-343-6950 or www.tourplayersclassic.com.
Page A18 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Pamela Jones-Morton from page A1 Kathy O’Flinn | kathy@swspotlight.com

Page A18

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Pamela Jones-Morton

from page A1

2012 Southwest Spotlight Pamela Jones-Morton from page A1 Kathy O’Flinn | kathy@swspotlight.com Pamela Jones-Morton

Kathy O’Flinn | kathy@swspotlight.com Pamela Jones-Morton was recently awarded the very first Medal of Valor from the Bonita Springs Fire and Rescue District.

back and I said, ‘Mam your car’s on fire you got to move now’. When I said that, she was out of there

be done. I would hope that if I needed help someone would be there.” For her valiant efforts in saving the lives of the woman and child, Jones-Morton was recently awarded the very first Medal of Valor from the Bonita Springs Fire and Rescue District. When asked what in her background may have con- tributed to her selfless and courageous act, this retired educator and volunteer at Lovers Key State Park explained that maybe her years of living abroad as an educator in Japan, Ger- many and Brazil taught her self sufficiency and inde- pendence and enabled her to help when it was needed. This isn’t the first time

in a hurry with me”. Smoke was visible at that point and soon the car was engulfed in flames. It wasn’t until the fire engine arrived that the flames were put down leaving a charred metal skeleton of a wreck. Even as she tells the story almost a month later, Jones- Morton doesn’t think what she did was heroic. “I did what needed to

needed to be done right away.”

She knew the people from the Camaro got out safely but they hadn’t heard

a peep, not a cry, nothing

from the rolled SUV. The passenger windows were down on the ground and the driver was on the high side. When she looked through the windshield all she saw was the driver’s face pleading, “Help me! Help me!” She ran around the SUV, tried to open the back door which was locked then screamed at the window, “Unlock your doors.” As soon as she heard the click she ran to the back door

again, swung it open, threw stuff out, a cooler and floor pads like a dog digging a hole and she stepped into the smell of smoke. “As soon as I looked up the baby was right there, in the car seat sideways.” At the same time the driver said, “Save the baby.” “The baby seat was a nightmare. I don’t have children or grandchildren.

I was pushing buttons.

Which buttons open it? So I’m pushing and pushing and finally it snaps. That was valuable seconds.”

“When I saw the flames I knew this whole thing was going to get out of control. And something needed to be done right away.”

She grabbed the baby and got her outside the car. Then she went back in and walked up to the front on the passenger side windows as the glass crunched beneath her. The driver was hanging and was having trouble with her seatbelt. “That I knew how to work. I pushed the seat belt and she dropped down. She said something about her

“As soon as I looked up the baby was right there, in the car seat sideways.”

that Jones-Morton has been commended for her actions. In 2008 she was nominated by the Park Serv- ice and recognized by Gov- ernor Charlie Crist for a Governor’s Points of Light award for her hundreds of hours of volunteer work as a Master Naturalist at Lovers Key State Park and for her exemplary service to the community. At the time, it was a surprise to her and later at a reception at the Governor’s mansion she and the other winners were able to share their experiences. Her reaction at the time was “You gotta be kidding me. Me?” Today she says, “But it was just a wonderful kudo. It was very very nice”. And so is she.

a wonderful kudo. It was very very nice”. And so is she. Pamela Jones-Morton | Special
a wonderful kudo. It was very very nice”. And so is she. Pamela Jones-Morton | Special
a wonderful kudo. It was very very nice”. And so is she. Pamela Jones-Morton | Special

Pamela Jones-Morton | Special to the Spotlight Pamela Jones-Morton pulled a baby and a woman out of this SUV before it was completely engulfed in flames.

the Spotlight Pamela Jones-Morton pulled a baby and a woman out of this SUV before it
the Spotlight Pamela Jones-Morton pulled a baby and a woman out of this SUV before it
February 2012 Page A19 Southwest Spotlight

February 2012

Page A19

Southwest Spotlight

February 2012 Page A19 Southwest Spotlight
Page A20 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight

Page A20

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Page A20 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight
Page A20 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight
Page A20 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight
February 2012 Page A21 Southwest Spotlight Tennis Elbow Surgery – A golfers perspective By JL

February 2012

Page A21

Southwest Spotlight

Tennis Elbow Surgery – A golfers perspective

By JL Watson

Lee Memorial Health System

Tennis elbow—caused by overuse of the arm and fore- arm muscles that results in lateral elbow pain—is a bit of a misnomer. Though the condition does affect many tennis players, it is more common in those who do not play tennis at all; such is the case of Benjamin Crews. A recreational golfer, Crews noticed an uncom- fortable and annoying pain. After a few weeks, the pain worsened. He started corti- sone shots, wearing a brace and playing less golf. When the pain became unbearable, he met with orthopedic sur- geon Antonio J. Flores, M.D. Dr. Flores explains that tennis elbow involves the muscles and tendons of the lateral forearm that attach to the outside bony area of the elbow. “Even though this con- dition is commonly referred to as ‘inflammatory,’ it is thought to be a degenerative process that results in micro-

thought to be a degenerative process that results in micro- scopic tears of the affected tendons,”

scopic tears of the affected tendons,” Dr. Flores says. Patients like Crews describe pain on the side of their elbow, just below the bony prominence—known as the lateral epicondyle. Pain often is associated with activities such as extending, gripping or twisting motions of the wrist.

“Simple tasks like open- ing a door or shaking hands become painful,” Dr. Flores says. According to Dr. Flores, most cases of tennis elbow resolve without the need for surgery. But, when respite from sports activities or strenuous work, braces or steroid injections do not work, surgical intervention may be necessary. “Tennis elbow surgery is usually performed through an incision on the outside of the elbow,” Dr. Flores explains. “The damaged muscle or tendon then is removed or released.” A monitored postopera- tive rehabilitation program allows all tissues to heal and involves specific stretching exercises, ultrasound, ice massage and muscle-stim- ulating techniques. For Crews, tennis elbow surgery meant three months off the golf course. But, now he is pain-free and back to the game. “I have a five handicap,” Benjamin says. “I can play a lot of golf without any pain.”

says. “I can play a lot of golf without any pain.” Up and Down from page
says. “I can play a lot of golf without any pain.” Up and Down from page

Up and Down

from page A7

southwest Florida, including Sanibel, Sarasota, and Lee and Charlotte counties. For several years, some state legislators in Tallahassee have introduced legislation that would effectively strip localities of their “home rule” ability to regulate fer- tilizer use. According to pre- emption supporters, like the Florida Retail Federation, local laws “restrict state com- merce and act as a redun- dant regulation on Florida’s retailers.” A website called thefertilizerfix.com has been set up to support their view. State regulation is good enough, they say. The City, along with many other members of the Florida League of Cities, disagrees. City Council recently unanimously approved a letter to state legislators opposing the state preemption bill. “This bill effectively denies local communities the ability to protect our water bodies with more stringent stan- dards,” it said. The Board of Lee County Commis- sioners has expressed a sim- ilar view. While the City fights state preemption of its fer- tilizer law, it may need to implement projects to cap-

ture nutrients before they reach the Imperial River. A Storm Water Master Plan prepared for the City by Intera, Inc. proposes the creation of nine retention ponds or similar facilities over a five-year period to mechanically reduce nitro- gen inflow into the fresh- water portion of the Imperial River. The total cost of these projects is $1,710,000. Intera’s report states that some projects could be eli- gible for cost sharing, poten- tially bringing the cost to $925,000. City staff is reviewing the proposed proj- ects and will make recom- mendations to City Council as to which to pursue.

City employee compensation study

A review done by con- sultant Katie M. Busch of Delray Beach for the City provided some interesting data points to enable the City to begin analyzing com- pensation arrangements for its 62 employees. Busch categorized the employees into 42 different job positions and then com- pared their wages to the average wages of employees holding similar jobs in other south Florida cities. These included Cape Coral, Clear- water, Fort Myers Beach,

Naples, Wellington and Col- lier and Lee Counties. The report offers a rough gauge that City employees, who have not received a general salary increase in over four years, are not over- paid as a group. Thirteen of the jobs in the City had wages at or around the peer group averages, 22 were sig- nificantly less and six were significantly more than those averages. The report does not show that any individual employee is overpaid or underpaid relative to market averages. Any interpretation of that sort would be simplistic, and erroneous. That’s because any individual’s compensation is the product of various factors not addressed in the report, including professional expe- rience, job tenure, specific duties and performance. The report provides a framework for next steps, which include analyzing employee specific data. Busch also quoted other compensation studies that show wages of public and private sector employees in Florida are roughly equal. Benefits are slightly higher for public sector employees, but this is more than offset by incentive pay in the private sector, she reported.

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Page A22 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight YMCA from page A1 Church. That group’s efforts were

Page A22

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

YMCA

from page A1

Church. That group’s efforts were crucial in raising funds needed to facilitate the transfer. Since 2010, when the Palms began to consider alternatives to its ownership of the Bonita facility, it’s been a roller coaster ride for the Bonitians who worked hard to keep a YMCA in Bonita. Early on, others made overtures to purchase the building, including St. Matthew’s House and a local Bonita Springs church. Before narrowing the search to the Venice Y, the Palms gauged interest from other YMCA organizations, including the Marco Island

Y and other Florida Y’s from

the east coast and as far north as Tampa. And then there was the matter of price. At first, Modzelewski thought the Palms was ready to simply hand over the Bonita Y. The Bonita Advisory Board, impressed by the strength and success of the Venice

Board, impressed by the strength and success of the Venice Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com Nine months

Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com Nine months after closing, the Bonita Springs YMCA on Kent Road is poised to

reopen.

operation, supported that option. Then a price was put on the building. The Palms lost money operating the Bonita facility, it said, and needed to recoup those losses. That notion didn’t sit well with many Bonitians who contributed about $7

million in cash and in kind donations to build the facil- ity. In 2004 the Palms was handed the keys when the national Y encouraged for- mation under a preexisting organization. During 2011, as negoti- ations continued, Modzel- ewski practiced patience and

restraint, so that the pur- chase price did not eat up funds needed to restart the operation. “The day we reopen the doors, there won’t be a member there,” he said when contacted by the Spot- light around Labor Day. “We are anticipating losses in

the first year or two or three.” And then, at Thanksgiv- ing time,“We are still work- ing on it. It’s a negotiation. They want more money than we want to offer.” Also the Venice Y, though financially strong, stretched

a bit to take over other Lee County Y operations in

2011.

Like Modzelewski, for-

mer members of the Bonita Advisory Board were not fans of paying for a building that Bonitians had already paid for. But if a YMCA was to return, they tackled

a practical necessity, raising money to enable Bonita to move on. Tom Schreck, who led the fundraising effort, had high praise for those who stepped forward. “People called or let it be known they wanted to help. They asked, ‘What can we do?’” he said. The purchase will be funded by substantial con- tributions of a few donors, who asked to remain anony- mous. They are a mix of original Bonita Y contrib- utors and new supporters.

“There was a genuine acknowledgment of the need of the community, and that the YMCA is a worthy thing to invest in. That moti- vation is a very positive thing,” said Schreck. Some dissatisfaction with the past is understandable,

he said. “But there is a time and place when you just have to put it behind you. The sooner we can get over the issue of the history, the better off we are.” In past years the Bonita community has displayed its customary generosity, contributing upwards of

$140,000 annually to defray operating costs at the Bonita

Y. The Spotlight has previ- ously reported that the Palms first asked $1.5 mil- lion and then around $900,000 for the Bonita facility. Subsequently, the asking price was cut to an amount substantially lower than that. The Spotlight has been asked to keep the agreed price confidential, but can report that it is a six figure amount signifi- cantly less than half the last asking price reported.

cantly less than half the last asking price reported. Looking to Venice, Bonita Y sees its

Looking to Venice, Bonita Y sees its reflection, and hope

By Peter R. O’Flinn

prof@swspotlight.com

Venice – Newspaper articles

tell the story of a financially failing YMCA, the victim of overly ambitious plans, errant predictions of growth during

a boom period and a facility

built in an area isolated from many in the community it was supposed to serve. “YMCA in Trouble,” reads one headline. “YMCA loses

battles with financial woes, likely to close,” reads another. And then,“Will YMCA turn into just another memory,” and “Must the Y die?”

Is it the story of the Bonita

Springs YMCA? No. The arti- cles hang on storyboards in

a corridor of the Venice

YMCA. From the Sarasota Herald-Tribune 30 years ago,

they tell of an organization near demise.

A determined community

saved the Venice Y, as subse-

quent headlines tell, “Y fund growing,” “Y contributors work to make the difference,” “YMCA funders hanging tough,” and finally “YMCA saved.” Today, the Venice YMCA, or the South County Family

YMCA as it is officially called,

is a vibrant organization. It

operates two facilities, in Venice and Englewood. In 2011 it took over YMCA operations in Lee County, other than Bonita Springs. Now the Venice Y is poised to reopen the Bonita Y, after striking a deal with

Collier County based YMCA of the Palms. The deal cul- minates two years of work by the Bonita Advisory Board to the Palms. Spend an afternoon at the Center Road facility in Venice and it’s easy to see the poten- tial the Bonita Advisory Board saw. It’s a far cry from the Y of work-out machines,

a gym and a pool. Think of it as the YMCA, reimagined.

“The South County Y is

a community hub, and we

are very proud of that,” said Ken Modzelewski, chief exec- utive of the Venice operation,

“We sponsor and partner with eighty community organizations.” He ticked off a few. The Women’s Resource Center, the American Cancer Society and the Seratoma speech clinic. They are given per-

manent space “because we are the Y,” he said. Not to mention the Sher-

iff’s department that trains

scuba divers in the pool, the Loveland Association of Handicapped Adults, the Senior Friendship Center, the Boys and Girls Club, the Salvation Army summer

“Community outreach means immersion in the community.”

– Ken Modzelewski

youth program, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the bas- ketball programs of the

Venice Christian School and the Epiphany Cathedral. Its mantra is ‘get involved’. “Community outreach

means immersion in the community,” said Modzelewski. “We have start- ed coalitions to improve the community, whether its healthy kids or adult pro- grams.We work with church- es and youth programs. If there is a fundraiser, even if it is for somebody else, we should be there.” “If a community group wants to have a meeting in our conference room, they just let us know and they can use it,” he said,“For any-

one who wants to work with the YMCA, we are here. Most of it is free of charge.” “Part of the Y is the build- ing, but then you take the programs into the commu- nity. It is a process and does not happen overnight. But once it does, everyone says, ‘Gee, look at what the Y did’.” “I am not a fisherman, and I am a bad golfer,” said Modzelewski. “To me this is my world.” And quite a world it is. Modzelewski’s small office just off the reception area is simply furnished. But the Venice facility is virtually a village. There are eight buildings with over 100,000 square feet on the campus. The 55,000 square foot health and well- ness center is the centerpiece. There is an Olympic size pool, 25,000 square foot gym, infant care center, preschool center, before and after school building, skate park, a cafe- teria, and a charter school for 350 students. “We have nearly 25,000 members,”said Modzelewski. “On a daily basis 3,500 people go through the door, and that’s not counting the kids in our after school program. We have over 130 pieces of

cardio equipment, so even at peak time anyone can get on the equipment.” Ken Modzelewski has spent “a lot of time” in Boni- ta. “I have walked the Y. I looked at the communities, starting with google earth. I have driven around figuring distances between the Y and the schools, and 41.” Modzelewski is aware that many Bonita residents live in gated communities with their own facilities. In Venice, he says, many members come from gated communities. They are great places, he said, “but many don’t have the depth and breadth of what we bring if you want to live

a healthy lifestyle.”

“We have to get the community to love their Y.”

– Ken Modzelewski

“What we also bring is socialization,” he said. “We have the 94 year old on the treadmill, and the six week old in infant care. We have groups that drink their coffee and read their newspaper. You have to create that atmosphere of enthusiasm

and synergy.” “I attempt to inspire folks to do better, and I expect I will be personally spending a lot of time in Bonita,” said Modzelewski. “We have to get the com- munity to love their Y,” he said. “Venice loves its Y, Englewood loves its Y. No one knows what the South County Family YMCA is, and who cares?”

said. “Venice loves its Y, Englewood loves its Y. No one knows what the South County
said. “Venice loves its Y, Englewood loves its Y. No one knows what the South County
February 2012 Page A23 Southwest Spotlight Lynette Grout Lynette Grout Pam Doyle Pam Doyle These

February 2012

Page A23

Southwest Spotlight

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Page A24 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight

Page A24

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Page A24 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight
February 2012 Page A25 Southwest Spotlight BONITA BUSINESS BEAT Perez Industries – Room for improvement

February 2012

Page A25

Southwest Spotlight

BONITA BUSINESS BEAT

Perez Industries – Room for improvement

Spotlight Staff Report

staff@swspotlight.com

Perez explained. For homeowners who don’t like pool enclosures,

“We don’t cut corners – never will.” – Joe Perez

he installs decorative pow- der coated aluminum fences since state code requires a barrier around pools. A grandfather of two youngsters, he speaks pas-

It’s so tragic.”

He attributes his success

to continually trying to

improve his methods and products. “We always think there is room for improvement.

We’re always looking for different fasteners that will withstand the weather bet- ter, different methods of doing things so they’re stronger,” he said. The biggest challenge he faces right now is the economy and the cost of goods. “The market on alu- minum fluctuates so much.” He adds that his prices are good for 2 months and sometimes he has to absorb the loss. Fluctuating fuel prices also present a challenge. But he said, “Find- ing the work isn’t that difficult if you do good work and it’s very easy to work with the Building Depart- ment here in Boni- ta.” Perez is most proud that his com- pany has been able

to survive the eco- nomic downturn and not diminished

the quality of the work. He says he still tries to put out the best possible product for the customer. “We don’t cut corners

– never will. We try to make sure that the customer has

a satisfactory business

transaction with us and he

feels good about what he has spent his money

on.”

Bonita Springs – Before Bonita Springs was incor- porated and when farms bordered each side of Old 41, Joe Perez was doing

additions and lanai enclo- sures to RVs and mobile homes in places like Lime Tree Park in Bonita and Riverwoods Plantation in Estero. That was in the mid-1980s when he started Perez Aluminum. In 1999 he changed the name to Perez Industries. “Today I do more residential homes. Most of it is for private homeowners. The rest is subcon- tractor work for builders. We do mostly exterior work: storm shut- ters, pool enclo- sures, fascia and roof repairs, impact windows,” said Perez. “I’m a general contrac- tor. We do just about anything. We do a lot of work by referral,

mostly by word of

mouth.

been

long,”

Perez worked for a number of companies, prior to starting his own company. He explained that lanai con- struction is ex-posed truss work. It’s finish work. “With what we do, everything is exposed so you have to be very neat. And that’s one of the things we try to stress – neatness,”

that’s one of the things we try to stress – neatness,” Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com Joe

Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com Joe Perez started Perez Aluminum, now Perez Industries, over 25 years ago in Bonita Springs.

sionately about this subject. “We have more drown- ings of children in Florida than any other state in the country. I recommend alarms on doors and a bar- rier around pools because

a child can wander off

while you’re on the phone.

It only takes a few minutes.

while you’re on the phone. It only takes a few minutes. We’ve so here The changing

We’ve

so

here

on the phone. It only takes a few minutes. We’ve so here The changing face of

The changing face of dentistry

Spotlight Staff Report

staff@swspotlight.com

of disease,” said Dr. Feeney. Many diseases do show up in the mouth. Inflammation may be a sign of periodontal disease or something more serious. Early detection by the dentist can be life- saving.

Studies have shown that people see their dentist far more often than they see their physician.

“We’ve become more aware of the links of peri- odontal disease and heart

Feeney. The population under 39 years of age has had fewer cavities. The days of silver fillings are long gone. A more conser- vative approach, sometimes

referred to as microdentistry, is used today with the advent of white composite fillings which don’t require the drilling of a massive channel. Other techniques include the use of computerized anes- thetic and nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas. Along with a passion for dentistry, Dr. Feeney teaches anatomy and physiology at Florida Gulf Coast Univer- sity. A past chairman of the board of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Com- merce, and currently Chairman of the Chamber’s Foundation Board, Dr. Feeney somehow finds time to play rhythm guitar in the classic rock band he founded called the Mighty Quint. Over the past six years his band has played for several charity events hosted at various local venues. Dr. Delgado-Feeney

currently is a member of the board of directors

of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Com- merce. When they are not in the office, the doctors might be attending anyone of their children’s athletic events. “They are all physi- cally active,” explained Dr. Delgado-Feeney, in Tae Kwon Do, gymnastics and basketball. With busy careers, com- munity and charitable endeavors, and a big family, these two doctors are quite

active as well.

Bonita Springs – A coffee

table-sized book of testimo- nials sits on the table as you enter Bonita Estero Dental. That and a friendly greeting from the staff help make patients feel welcome and comfortable. “We have a great staff. We truly enjoy being in each others company,” explained Dr. Feeney. At Bonita Estero Dental, Dr. Owen Feeney and Dr. Claudie Delgado-Feeney, par- ents of four young children, have TVs for patients who want to watch Ellen

and laugh. “We keep the patient engaged, talk it through and make sure they are comfortable with what we are doing,” said Dr. Feeney, and in the end,“it’s not as bad as what your mind had planned”. They offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetics is what Dr. Delgado-Feeney loves to do. “I like work- ing with people, mak- ing them improve their smiles and improve their confidence. I enjoy cosmetics and

would do it all day if I could,” she explained. Dr. Feeney likes doing implants. “It’s exciting to help patients gain function- ality,” he said. Studies have shown that people see their dentist far more often than they see their physician. “So we

become screeners for a lot of other things as well. When we do our checkup,

we always check the tissue and look for different signs

we always check the tissue and look for different signs Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com Dr. Owen

Staff Photo | staff@swspotlight.com Dr. Owen Feeney and Dr. Claudie

Delgado-Feeney

disease. If you have peri- odontal disease, you have an increased chance of heart disease,” said Dr. Feeney. There are cases of patients who, once they have their periodontal infection re- solved, can get off their heart medications. With the inflammation cleared up, the heart has an easier job. Fluoride and sealants have changed dentistry “in a dra- matic fashion,” explained Dr.

up, the heart has an easier job. Fluoride and sealants have changed dentistry “in a dra-
up, the heart has an easier job. Fluoride and sealants have changed dentistry “in a dra-
Page A26
Page A26
Page A26 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Sunset of the month Maxine Saul | sunset@swspotlight.com February’s sunset

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Sunset of the month

A26 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Sunset of the month Maxine Saul | sunset@swspotlight.com February’s sunset of

Maxine Saul | sunset@swspotlight.com February’s sunset of the month was submitted by Maxine Saul. Maxine is the winner of two tickets to the Bonita Blues Festival March 9 and 10 at Riverside Park. Email your best sunset photos to sunset@swspotlight.com for a chance for your photo to be the next sunset of the month and win tickets to the Bonita Blues Festival.

for a chance for your photo to be the next sunset of the month and win
for a chance for your photo to be the next sunset of the month and win
February 2012 Page A27 Southwest Spotlight

February 2012

Page A27

Southwest Spotlight

February 2012 Page A27 Southwest Spotlight
Page A28 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight

Page A28

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Page A28 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight

Events, things to do and opportunities to give back to our community in and around Bonita Springs

to give back to our community in and around Bonita Springs S O U T H

S O U T H W E S T

S P O T L I G H T

Vol.3, No.2

FEBRUARY 2012

SECTION B

Why I love living in Bonita Springs

By Deborah M. Maclean

Special to the Spotlight

Springs By Deborah M. Maclean Special to the Spotlight Bonita Springs – I have read with

Bonita Springs – I have read with interest the oth- er submissions titled un- der ‘Why I love living in Bonita Springs’. I am pleased to have been asked to share why I live here with you. I live here because of the location and natural resources. We live in a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot humid summers and mild dry winters. We are protected on our westerly boundary by the Gulf of Mexico and on our easterly boundary by the DRGR [Density Reduction Groundwater Resource] which is adjacent to the Everglades. Right down our center is the Imperial River. This triage swaddles us

and gives us our near tropical climate zone. I love our balmy summers and the wild sexy storms that replenish the DRGR and the Everglades. These monsoons cause ex- plosions of growth a natural pruning and

a heightening of color and a cleansing of buildings and roadways. To me summer is

glorious. Did you know that if you and I had chosen to live just a few miles north near the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers; we would experience colder winters. Sadly

if we continue to sprawl eastward we will,

as in Atlanta, disrupt this delicate weather pattern.

Continued on page B8

By Kathy Anderson

Special to the Spotlight

Bonita Springs –In 1969, during a family Christ- mas vacation in Miami, my sis- ter, her friend, and I were al- lowed to have the car for one day as long as we promised not to go to the out- door rock con- cert in Ft. Laud- erdale. Begrudg- ingly, we agreed and headed west

on Alligator Al- ley (2 lanes back then). Arriving in down- town Naples with nothing happening there, we pulled over at the phone booth on Fifth Avenue and called our friend’s mom back in Indiana. When Mrs. Ford told us how to get to Sanibel, off we went! Arriving on Sanibel and following signs directing us to the beach, the three of us felt as though we’d arrived on Gilligan’s Is- land! The day was glorious. We picked up beautiful shells, listened to the surf, and watched many different types of birds. Once we realized the time was getting late and we were told to “be back by dark”, we headed down McGregor Boulevard, which

back by dark”, we headed down McGregor Boulevard, which Kathy Anderson Continued on page B8 Love

Kathy Anderson

Continued on page B8

Love of Bonita

By Heather Thomson

heather@swspotlight.com

Bonita Springs – There was once a man

who lived in a small town on the border of a small county. No one ever took great notice of this town, but this man knew that there was something special about it. When he was young, he had moved there with his family and they welcomed guests to their new motel from all over. He went to school and his family sold the

motel, and soon he was a successful lawyer. He had a lovely wife who had grown up in the same town, and four children who they brought everywhere with them. Life was good for them. But he had a prob-

lem; his heart was over- flowing. This is not the kind of overflowing that

a doctor can fix. This

man had to find a way

to fix it himself.

And so when his fa- ther-in-law invited him

to join a club of volun-

teers, he did, soon after inviting his own father. Suddenly he realized that he loved his town more than he ever realized. And soon he was joining more clubs and volunteering more, his family in tow all the way. When the announce-

ment was made that their hometown would become a city, there were concerns. Would the independence of their town be threatened? But he assured his friends that he trusted in his town-turned-city new government, small but strong, new but ready to learn. He saw in his surroundings a place that could thrive and would benefit from the title “City of Bonita Springs”. And soon he found that his overflowing

Continued on page B8

And soon he found that his overflowing Continued on page B8 Heather Thomson | heather@swspotlight.com Don

Heather Thomson | heather@swspotlight.com Don Thompson has been named the 2012 Love of Bonita Award recipient.

on page B8 Heather Thomson | heather@swspotlight.com Don Thompson has been named the 2012 Love of
Page B2 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight EVENTS Beginning Birding Thur., Feb. 2, 10 a.m. This

Page B2

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Page B2 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight EVENTS Beginning Birding Thur., Feb. 2, 10 a.m. This beginning
Page B2 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight EVENTS Beginning Birding Thur., Feb. 2, 10 a.m. This beginning

EVENTS

Beginning Birding

Thur., Feb. 2, 10 a.m. This beginning birding pro- gram is just one of many nature programs offered by park services at Lovers Key. Bike tours, beach walks, kayak tours, manatee and dolphin talks and a fishing clinic and more fill out the February calendar. For reservations call 239 465-4588 or for details go to floridastateparks. org/loverskey. Cost: programs are free, charge for park admission, discounted price on kayak, bicycle and canoe rentals if registered for a pro- gram.

bicycle and canoe rentals if registered for a pro- gram. Farm Fresh Market Saturdays 7:30 a.m.

Farm Fresh Market

Saturdays 7:30 a.m. to noon Come to one of the most popular markets in the region. Fully stocked farm-fresh veg- etable vendors plus fish, baked goods, cut flowers, orchids, cosmetics, antiques, fashions, jewelry, books and more. Where: Promenade at Bonita Bay. Cost: Free. For more information go to www.boni- talions.org.

Free. For more information go to www.boni- talions.org. Book Sale Fri., Feb. 3 & Sat. Feb

Book Sale

Fri., Feb. 3 & Sat. Feb 4, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friends of the Library of Bonita Springs will be holding their book sale to raise funds for Library programs. Find your favorite authors at bar- gain prices. There will be a large selection of gently used paperbacks, hard cover fiction and nonfiction books, chil- dren’s books, tapes, CDs and puzzles for sale.Where: Bonita Springs Library meeting room, 26876 Pine Avenue.

Bark in Riverside Park

Sat., Feb. 4, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring your dog for a day of food, music and more: pet contests all day, pet CPR demonstrations, raffle and silent auction, microchipping on site. All event proceeds benefit Southeastern Guide Dogs. Where: Riverside Park on Old 41 Road ½ mile north of Bonita Beach Road. Cost:

Free

Bonita Estero Market Pulse

Fri. Feb. 10, 8 a.m. Economic overviews of the

local and regional economies will be presented by keynote speaker Michael Bryan, Senior Economist for the Federal Reserve Bank’s Sixth District. Brad Hunter, National Direc- tor of Consulting at Metros- tudy, returns as the introductory speaker. This event is open to the public. Where: Florida Gulf Coast University, main ballroom. Cost: $35. Tickets may only be purchased by calling the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce at 239 992-

2943.

City Hall Open House

Sat., Feb. 11, noon to 2 p.m. To inform residents about the new communication ini- tiatives it is undertaking, the city will host an interactive tour of new technologies it hopes will encourage residents to connect with the city. Res- idents will learn about QR codes, new web templates, social media platforms, chan- nel 98 and more. There will be fire and police cars and trucks and gadgets for families and kids to explore. Where:

Bonita Springs City Council Chambers and parking lot area. Cost: Free.

Old-Time Florida Fish Fry

Sun. Feb 12, noon to 2 p.m. The Lions Club and the His- torical Society will co-host a Fish Fry. The American Folk Trio will provide the enter- tainment with a variety of country, folk and gospel tunes. The artist cottages will be open. Reservations required. For advance tickets through the Lions call Ken Shivel at 239 992-0154 or the Historical Society at 239 992-6997. Where: Liles Hotel in Historic Bonita Springs. Cost: $10 per person in advance or $12 at the event.

Cost: $10 per person in advance or $12 at the event. Vow Renewal Ceremony at Lovers

Vow Renewal Ceremony at Lovers Key State Park

Tues., Feb. 14, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Love is in the air at Lovers Key on Valentine’s Day. Cou- ples are invited to the park

for a special wedding vow renewal ceremony at the gaze- bo on the beach. Each couple will receive a photo taken at sunset and champagne punch, treats and music will complement the sunset. Pre- registration is required by February 6 so that all couples can be entered into a drawing for a Valentine’s Night stay donated by the nearby Lovers Key Resort. To register go to www.friendsofloverskey.org or call the event chair, Cheryl Hohmann, 239 765-9482. Where: Lovers Key State Park. Cost: $45 per couple, non- refundable donation.

Celebration of Reading

Fri. Feb. 17, 6 p.m. Best selling authors will join Gov. Jeb Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush for this annual event which is in its 12th consecutive year. Individual tickets, available at www. celebrationofreading.org or by contacting Tina Matte at 239 277-6295, include the reading event followed by a gourmet dinner and a book- signing with the authors. Florida’s Celebration of Read- ing raises funds for family literacy programs. Where:

Hyatt Regency Coconut Pointe Resort & Spa. Cost:

$250 per person.

Coconut Pointe Resort & Spa. Cost: $250 per person. Lions Pride Park Sat., Feb. 18, 11

Lions Pride Park

Sat., Feb. 18, 11 a.m. Celebrate with the Bonita Springs Lions Club when the ribbon is cut for the new nat- ural playground, Lions Pride Park, their gift to the children of Bonita Springs. Current Lions Clubs International President Sidney “Sid” L. Scruggs will be in attendance. Where: Depot Park, off Penn- sylvania Avenue. Cost: Free.

Bonita Springs Prayer Breakfast

Tues. Feb 21, 7 a.m. Chip Ingram, teaching pastor for Living on the Edge and author of 11 books, is the featured speaker. Musical entertainment provided by singer Lindsey Graham and pianist Gordon Bleich. For more information visit

www.bonitaspringsprayer-

breakfast.com. Reservations

Continued on page B20

February 2012 Page B3 Southwest Spotlight ForYourHealth LECTURE SERIES Lee Memorial Health System brings you

February 2012

Page B3

Southwest Spotlight

ForYourHealth LECTURE SERIES Lee Memorial Health System brings you a complimentary lecture series designed to
ForYourHealth
LECTURE
SERIES
Lee Memorial Health System brings you a complimentary lecture series designed to introduce you
to the latest health topics and treatments available right here in Southwest Florida.
Lectures are scheduled through April with topics to include
cardiology, neurology, orthopedics and cancer.
Brian Hummel, M.D.
Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Murali Muppala, M.D.
Cardiologist
Steven Priest, M.D.
Cardiologist
New Treatment Option for Aortic Stenosis
Join cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Brian Hummel and cardiologists Dr. Murali
Muppala and Dr. Steven Priest as they introduce you to transcatheter
aortic valve replacement, also known as TAVR. An alternative to traditional
open-heart surgery, TAVR is performed through an artery in the groin. Lee
Memorial Health System’s HealthPark Medical Center was the rst facility
in Florida to o er this procedure outside of clinical trials.
Trianon Bonita Bay
3401 Bay Commons Drive, Bonita Springs
Seating is limited. Reservations are requested. Please call 239-454-8762.
www.LeeMemorial.org
Drive, Bonita Springs Seating is limited. Reservations are requested. Please call 239-454-8762. www.LeeMemorial.org
Drive, Bonita Springs Seating is limited. Reservations are requested. Please call 239-454-8762. www.LeeMemorial.org
Page B4 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Nelson in a landslide, Simmons for District 4 By

Page B4

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Nelson in a landslide, Simmons for District 4

By Peter A. O'Flinn

peter@swspotlight.com

Bonita Springs – On January 31 Ben Nelson Jr. was reelected Mayor of Bonita Springs in a landslide victory over challenger David Grothaus. Nelson's tally was just short of two-thirds of the ballots cast, according to unofficial results of the Lee County Supervisor of Elections. On election night Nelson and his wife Lori greeted well-wishers at a packed Trianon Hotel on US41. "This isn't about me, it's about the people of Bonita Springs," said Nelson. Throughout the campaign Nelson stressed the importance of civic pride in the City's accomplishments, as well as the need for consensus building and civil discourse. His affirmation by the voters appears as a mandate for that style of government in the City, which was formed on a nonpartisan basis just 12 years ago. This election marked the fourth time Bonitians have sent Nelson to City Hall, first as District 6 Councilman for two terms, and now twice as Mayor. Grothaus put a strong effort into his campaign. In the end his uphill climb against the incumbent proved too steep. Peter Simmons won the other contested City election, for City Council member in District 4. He garnered 47 percent of the vote according to unofficial results. "I am humbled and excited to serve the citizens of Bonita Springs,” said Simmons, as he and his supporters celebrated their victory at Backwater Jacks in Bonita Bay. Roger Brunswick was the first runner up to Simmons with 22 percent of the vote, followed by Barbara Barnes-Buchanan and Wes Norris. Many observers viewed the group as a high quality field with little difference among them on substantive issues. Simmons conducted a high energy campaign. "We knocked on close to 4,000 doors over the course of the last six months,” he said. Council members Janet Martin and Bill Lonkart were reelected without opposition. The unofficial election results are subject to certification.

unofficial election results are subject to certification. Staff Photo | towntalk@swspotlight.com Mayor Ben Nelson and
unofficial election results are subject to certification. Staff Photo | towntalk@swspotlight.com Mayor Ben Nelson and

Staff Photo | towntalk@swspotlight.com Mayor Ben Nelson and Lori Nelson at the Trianon Hotel, after the Mayor’s reelection.

Nelson at the Trianon Hotel, after the Mayor’s reelection. Staff Photo | towntalk@swspotlight.com Peter Simmons,

Staff Photo | towntalk@swspotlight.com Peter Simmons, right, celebrates with campaign manager Joseph Russo after learning he won the District 4 City Council seat.

after learning he won the District 4 City Council seat. Staff Photo | towntalk@swspotlight.com Supporters cheer

Staff Photo | towntalk@swspotlight.com Supporters cheer as Mayor Nelson addresses the crowd. Nelson was reelected Mayor of Bonita Springs in a landslide victory over challenger David Grothaus.

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Page B6 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Ristorante Enrico 26831 Tamiami Trail S. off West Terry

Page B6

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

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February 2012 Page B7 Southwest Spotlight Bob Gillette – one of the oars in the

February 2012

Page B7

Southwest Spotlight

Bob Gillette – one of the oars in the boat

By D.K. Christi

dk@swspotlight.com

Bonita Springs – Bonita Springs philanthropist Bob Gillette says he is “one of the oars in the boat – each does what they can to move it ahead.” He finds himself in the middle of a project and wonders how he got there. He says he “agreed to be adopted” by the Bonita Springs Veterans’ Affairs Committee (VAC). David Grossi and City Councilman Steve Slachta are the prime movers. Just in time, Gillette added the extra financial push that the VAC needed to bring the Vietnam War replica memorial to Riverside Park this past November. Gillette repeated that process in support of a per- manent memorial honoring all veterans, etched marble with figures and “No one left behind” in the same park by next Veterans’ Day. The VAC is currently raising money through donations and brick sales to fund the memorial and needs about $25,000 more. Gillette’s sup- port has moved the project forward timely while fund- raising continues.

the project forward timely while fund- raising continues. Contributed | Special to the Spotlight Bonita Springs’

Contributed | Special to the Spotlight Bonita Springs’ philan- thropist Bob Gillette’s local contributions honor veterans.

“Really, David and Steve are out front, doing all the work,” says Gillette. “Many community organizations are engaged in fundraising. Things that would happen without me anyway occur a little faster. Everyone’s special contributions are important; mine might be a timely check.”

Involvement with veter- ans developed through friendships with veterans like the Tuskegee airman, 90- year-old Washington Ross, who flew the legendary P51 Mustang, and other veterans who resided in the Birm-

This is a small city with big hearts. Many people work together across organizations to produce big results.

—Bob Gillette

ingham, MI retirement com- munity Bob Gillette’s company built. Many of the residents were World War II veterans, often living in iso- lation and alone. He organ- ized a trip to a meeting that honored a group of elderly veterans that for many was their first time out in a long time. The veterans’ stories touched his heart and led to Gillette funding two award- winning documentary films as co-producer, sitting in on veteran interviews and trav- eling to foreign war sites.

The documentaries, Our Greatest Generation, veterans from WWII, and most recently, Our Vietnam Gen- eration, included full-color photo books of each. Keith Famie was Producer/Direc- tor.

forever changed and many Vietnam vets who were denied honor when they came home. I just naturally continued supporting vet- erans when I bought my home in Bonita Springs.” Gillette served in the mil-

my home in Bonita Springs.” Gillette served in the mil- The Bonita Springs Veterans Advisory Committee

The Bonita Springs Veterans Advisory Committee is currently raising funds for a proposed Veterans Me- morial slated for Riverside Park on Old 41 Road.

“When I tell you that nearly every veteran in the city and every employee attended the premiers at the Detroit Fox Theater, you understand why – to honor veterans whose lives were

itary; his lack of combat experience gave him an even stronger desire to honor those who fought in the wars. One of Gillette’s favorite charities is New Horizons,

providing tutoring and after school activities for Bonita Springs youth. “Bob and Ellen Nichols do an excellent job; I enjoy helping them. New Horizons is one of the Bonita Springs Prayer Breakfast supported charities.” He also praises the Prayer Breakfast Com- mittee members with whom he works closely. The VAC will host a table at the break- fast this month. Gillette’s analogy to oars in a boat, each person con- tributing their best, pretty much sums up why he is so involved in Bonita Springs activities and the All Service Veterans Tribute Monument in particular. “This is a small city with big hearts. Many people work together across organizations to produce big results. The All Service Veterans Tribute Monument is an example. This memorial honors all those who served in all branches of the service, men and women who deserve honor and respect. Hope- fully, it will give the younger generations in the commu- nity an idea of what came before them.Veteran families

Continued on page B8

give the younger generations in the commu- nity an idea of what came before them.Veteran families
Page B8 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Deborah Maclean from page B1 We have since the

Page B8

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Page B8 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Deborah Maclean from page B1 We have since the begin-
Page B8 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Deborah Maclean from page B1 We have since the begin-

Deborah Maclean

from page B1

We have since the begin- ning been careful to preserve our climate and quality of life. I love Bonita Springs because we continue to pro- tect ourselves. This is not to say we are

a bunch of tree-huggers. I

also love Bonita Springs for all its eccentricities. The hot competition for political con-

trol between factions is not new to us. Near the end of the last Great Depression

our recent forefathers burnt the town hall and all the tax records. Many of the men of Bonita Springs partici- pated in the shooting of Edgar Watson in Everglades circa 1918. We are a fiery lot and it looks like we attract the same ilk from afar to live here on the coast and

the edge of the Glades. Surely you remember the movie ‘The Wind Across the Ever-

glades’?

So I love Bonita Springs from the ground up and for being the crazy melting pot

it is from the mutinous islanders on Hickory Island, to the brilliant minds in Bar- nacle Bay and the other gated communities and lastly the few remaining rebellious Crackers. I love Bonita Springs because we all fiercely and publically protect what we have and we don’t seem to have any trouble keeping it interesting.

Deborah M Maclean is publisher of The Banana Peel, a free e-zine on local politics.

of The Banana Peel, a free e-zine on local politics. Kathy Anderson from page B1 was

Kathy Anderson

from page B1

was lined with such beau- tiful Royal Palms! Eventually we made it back to Miami (after dark). Our enthusi-

asm about the beauty of southwest Florida inspired my parents to visit Ft. Myers before heading back to Indi- ana. Like my sister and I, they were so enchanted with southwest Florida that they bought a winter home here

in January 1972.

Now that I had a place to come to, I seemed to visit southwest Florida at

least once a year. After just

a few years, I knew that

someday I would also make this my winter home too.

Fast forwarding to retire- ment from teaching in Ohio

in 2002, I was experiencing

many life changes and suf- fering empty nest syn- drome! While visiting a good friend the following spring at Highland Woods in Bonita, I decided it was time to leave Cincinnati and fly south to become a snowbird. Everyone seemed so nice and friendly. After spending a couple

weeks unpacking boxes, I decided I had the rest of my life to unpack boxes so

I contacted the Literacy

Council of Bonita Springs to volunteer to teach Eng- lish as a Second Language. Making many friends with other tutors and with the students made me feel as though I had lived here a long time. It truly gave me

a new life! Within a few

months, the director called and hired me part-time. Eventually I was asked to

help start a Moms & Tots Program for the Literacy Council. I continue to this day serving as Moms & Tots Family Literacy Pro-

gram Coordinator for the new Literacy Council Gulf Coast. A friend and tutor told me about Newcomers Club

of Bonita Springs and sug- gested that I consider join- ing. Newcomers and its sister organization, Encore, have given me the oppor- tunity to develop many wonderful friendships with people I feel I’ve known all my life. There are so many activities to be involved in that I could be busy seven days a week if I wanted.

I’ve traveled to Costa Rica, Alaska, and Turkey with some of the women. And

my latest addiction, Mah Jongg, was learned in New- comers! Living in Bonita Springs is wonderful! Most every- thing I do is close by. After living in a large city for 31 years, I like the simplicity and friendliness that Bonita

offers. Everyone is so nice and friendly. Our beautiful BLUE sky is amazing and puts a smile on my face when I wake up each morn- ing. The twinkling stars are gorgeous. Going to all the beautiful places southwest Florida has to offer is just a short drive away. As I told one of my sons while watching our beautiful sun- set one evening, I have widened my horizon since living here. Like many peo- ple, I started out as a snow- bird but found myself happier when in southwest Florida. Although I have wonderful memories of Cincinnati, I sold my home in 2009 and haven’t looked back since. Southwest Flori- da and especially Bonita Springs truly is Paradise for me!

da and especially Bonita Springs truly is Paradise for me! Love of Bonita from page B1

Love of Bonita

from page B1

heart was finally sated by his love for his newfound city. Organizations abound- ed, and he found himself surrounded by people and events and growth that ben- efited not only from his dedication, but from his family’s also. From Cele-

brate Bonita to Movies in the Park to Rotary Christ- mas Tree Sales, it is apparent when he is not present. This man’s name is G. Donald Thomson. This year he is being honored with the Love of Bonita Award, following past recipients Audrey Georges, Ira Hawk, Hank Hochstetler, the late Pat Lord, Jacqueline “Jacke”

McCurdy, Richard “Dick” Miller, Donna Roberts, Marjorie Rubacky, David Short, and David and Sarah Zimmermann. His love is one that has become all- inclusive, with community and family working in com- munion with one another. Welcome to the family, Bonita Springs, from our family to yours.

to the family, Bonita Springs, from our family to yours. Gillette from page B7 and friends

Gillette

from page B7

and friends will have a place

to know that their commu-

nity says thank you.” Gillette’s fishing boat is

docked at Pelican Bay Yacht Club, and he is a member

of several organizations such

as the men’s Bible study group. “I’m not much of a golfer; but I keep my mind

busy.” Retired from 32 years

in the retirement home busi-

ness he founded in Michigan, his firm is building the Amer- ican House senior living community on Imperial

Street in Bonita Springs with

partners. “It will offer residents a full kitchen in each unit so that communal dining is a

choice, not a replacement for independence. I want to support independent liv- ing as long as possible.” Senior residents can count on gaining a new friend.

I want to support independent liv- ing as long as possible.” Senior residents can count on
February 2012 Page B9 Southwest Spotlight Habitat for Humanity ReStore opens Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com The

February 2012

Page B9

Southwest Spotlight

Habitat for Humanity ReStore opens

B9 Southwest Spotlight Habitat for Humanity ReStore opens Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com The Bonita Springs

Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com

The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce helped celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony of Habitat for Humanity ReStore last month at 27821 S. Tamiami Trail in Bonita Springs. In the center holding the scissors is Donna Marie Clavin, Vice President Habitat for Humanity of Lee & Hendry Counties.

TOWN TALK

Government Day

of Lee & Hendry Counties. TOWN TALK Government Day Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com The 2012 City of

Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com

The 2012 City of Bonita Springs/Estero High School Government Day was held last month at City Hall. Students shadowed different positions throughout the City including the Mayor, City Attorney, Bonita Springs Community Policing Sergeant, Community Relations/Special Events Coordinator, City Clerk and President of Chamber of Commerce. Each student was briefed for a mock council meeting.

Each student was briefed for a mock council meeting. Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com Open for business

Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com

Open for

business

Members off the Community along with the FGCU – Small Business

Development Staff at

a Ribbon Cutting

ceremony last month

to celebrate opening

the SBDC office at 27300 Old 41 Road, Artist Cottage #1, in Bonita Springs.

at 27300 Old 41 Road, Artist Cottage #1, in Bonita Springs. Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com Councilman Stephen

Contributed | towntalk@swspotlight.com

Councilman

Stephen

McIntosh

with Estero

High School

students

Victor Arriaga

and Kaelin

Groce.

| towntalk@swspotlight.com Councilman Stephen McIntosh with Estero High School students Victor Arriaga and Kaelin Groce.
Page B10 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight

Page B10

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Page B10 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight
Page B10 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight
Page B10 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight
February 2012 Page B11 Southwest Spotlight Artist Spotlight: Dick Cunningham By Meghan Easterly meghan@swspotlight.com

February 2012

Page B11

Southwest Spotlight

Artist Spotlight: Dick Cunningham

By Meghan Easterly

meghan@swspotlight.com

Bonita Springs – When looking at the vivid nature photography of Dick Cun- ningham, viewers don’t always realize the patience and sometimes peril involved in capturing the perfect shot. The beauty of photography is that behind each perfectly captured

shot, is a story that is often as colorful as the photo- graph. Talking to Cunningham

at his Bonita Beach gallery,

buyers can hear the stories behind the photos that span the photographer’s 40-year career.

“My work showcases the incredible beauty and diversity of this country by careful use of light, color and composition.”

“I’ve been involved in art and photography my whole life, having had a father who was a profes- sional photographer and an artist mother,” Cunning-

ham said. “Ever since I was

a kid I loved to tromp

around in the woods.” Cunningham received his degree in professional photography from Roch-

ester Institute of Technology

in 1971 and has been refin-

ing his craft ever since. Like many photogra- phers he started out doing portraits and weddings, but

as the wild called to him

he found himself more and

more capturing nature. “You know it’s funny but you can wander around for days sometimes and never

funny but you can wander around for days sometimes and never Meghan Easterly | meghan@swspotlight.com Dick

Meghan Easterly | meghan@swspotlight.com Dick Cunningham has been involved in art and pho- tography his whole life.

mations that I find very fascinating.” Sometimes Cunning- ham’s work takes him into uncomfortable situations and even dangerous ones.

were sitting at the end of the bridge so I turned around and a grizzly was sitting at the other end where I had just come from,” Cunningham. “I

esting as nature. “My work showcases the incredible beauty and diversity of this country by careful use of light, color and composition,”

country by careful use of light, color and composition,” The Wave by Dick Cunningham get a

The Wave by Dick Cunningham

get a shot and all of a sudden s o m e t h i n g changes, light or a storm and you quickly get a half dozen shots in a few minutes that are all good,” Cunningham said. “It’s very satisfying to cap- ture a feeling that other people sense also.” The photog-

rapher is shoot- ing mostly digital these days but says he still shoots with his Fuji panorama film cam- era too because the quality

is so good.He does his own printing and sells images up to 4x8 feet on paper or canvas. “I’ve had mixed feelings about digital; each tech-

nique has its own unique pros and cons,” Cunning- ham said. “The digital is much faster to use and lighter and the quality is now outstanding plus you know immediately whether you have the shot you were looking for.” In the end, Cunningham finds beautiful results and

for.” In the end, Cunningham finds beautiful results and The Sentinel by Dick Cunningham has shown

The Sentinel by Dick Cunningham

has shown his work in the most prestigious art shows in the United States and will be at the Bonita Springs National Art Festival at the Promenade this month on Feb. 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival benefits the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs. “My photographs are from the swamps of Florida to the mountains of Alaska and the wilds of Africa,” Cunningham said. “I seem to be drawn to the west, especially Utah for pho- tography. There’s some- thing about the vastness, the way the light glows, and all the weird rock for-

the way the light glows, and all the weird rock for- Floating Aspen by Dick Cunningham

Floating Aspen by Dick Cunningham

all the weird rock for- Floating Aspen by Dick Cunningham Brooks Lake Wyoming by Dick Cunningham

Brooks Lake Wyoming by Dick Cunningham

He was once shooting in Alaska when he began crossing a river on a floating foot bridge. “When I was about halfway across I looked up and a Grizzly and her cub

bided my time wondering if I was going to have to swim. Luckily they left after a few minutes.” No matter where he is shooting, Cunningham says he finds no subject as inter-

Cunningham says.

Dick Cunningham’s

at

his gallery at 3421 Bonita Beach Road, Unit #408

www. DickCunningham. com.

or online at

work

can

be

seen

Cunningham’s at his gallery at 3421 Bonita Beach Road, Unit #408 www. DickCunningham. com. or online
Cunningham’s at his gallery at 3421 Bonita Beach Road, Unit #408 www. DickCunningham. com. or online
Cunningham’s at his gallery at 3421 Bonita Beach Road, Unit #408 www. DickCunningham. com. or online
Page B14 February 2012 Southwest Spotlight Teacher Spotlight: TJ Cheever By Heather Thomson heather@swspotlight.com Bonita

Page B14

February 2012

Southwest Spotlight

Teacher Spotlight: TJ Cheever

By Heather Thomson

heather@swspotlight.com

Bonita Springs – Bonita Springs Charter School is abuzz with students playing outside, and teachers and staff working busily inside. But at the library, students and teachers work quietly through stacks of books as they finish their day. One in particular leads the way to a table in the back, where we can draw the least attention from the busy students. Meet TJ Cheever, 6th grade World History teacher. How long have you been teaching at Bonita Springs Charter School? This is my 4th year here. Was there anything spe- cific about the charter school setting that drew you here? No; they hired me right out of college. I went to FGCU. I applied and I was lucky enough that they hired me. There weren’t that many County jobs at the time, so I was lucky to get a job here. Since I’ve been here I’ve really enjoyed myself. You teach World History to 6th graders here. Was

that something you studied in college? My degree is in Social Studies. I can teach anything from 6th to 12th grade, as long as it’s Social Studies. I taught Geography for three years, so this is my first year teaching World History. The whole county will be chang- ing to that next year, but we wanted to get a jump start on that, so we just started with it this year. It’s been a bit tough because we don’t have text books. It’s been interesting trying to find ways of keeping them interested and invested without the assistance of a book. But in my class we’ve done a lot of projects. I’ve made lots of packets of notes, things like that. We watch a lot of videos, too. They have fun with that; they play a lot of games, too. Is there any reason that you chose middle school over high school? I intern at the high school level, with seniors. I go to Dunbar high school, and at Palmetto Ridge High School. In middle school, especially 6th grade, they are still young enough that

especially 6th grade, they are still young enough that TJ Cheever teaches World History at Bonita

TJ Cheever teaches World History at Bonita Springs Charter School.

you can scare them a little [laughs], and you can straighten them out a little easier. They’re still eager to

learn. You can sense the change when they come back from Christmas break; they are suddenly more

interested in girls or boys, so it’s more difficult to keep their attention. But I like middle school because you can try and help them to make good decisions before they get on into high school where they’re going to be faced with a lot more decisions, tougher decisions.

We’re going to build our own Roman arch bridge.

Are there any special projects you start with the students now that you have entered the second semester, and the new year? We’re coming up on studying Greece and Rome, so they are very excited about that. We’re going to build our own Roman arch bridge, which is cool. They can see how the construction work- ed. They come in little pack- ets, and they are actually strong enough that the kids can stand on them. It’s cool because they can see how the bridge stays together even without having to use glue

or any kind of adhesive. It’s just the pieces fitting together. For Rome we are all going to create our own mytho- logical gods. We talked about the importance of dragons in China, where they all designed their own dragon and its name and what kind of power it would have. We all built our own board games when we learned about Mesopotamia. It’s real- ly a lot of fun. Is there any specific place or time that you would like to go back to, as a World History teacher? I would want to go back to see ancient Greece and Rome, just to see what it was really like. I mean, we know what historians tell us, but history is written a cer- tain way. I have the kids read political cartoons so they see that the artist always wants you to see the image they want you to. To prepare them for later learning. I always tell them to think smarter, not harder. So that’s where I would go, because I feel like it would be exciting and just different from what we’ve learned.

So that’s where I would go, because I feel like it would be exciting and just
So that’s where I would go, because I feel like it would be exciting and just
February 2012 Page B15 Southwest Spotlight Catch of the month Contributed | catch@swspotlight.com Pete Palson

February 2012

Page B15

Southwest Spotlight

Catch of the month

February 2012 Page B15 Southwest Spotlight Catch of the month Contributed | catch@swspotlight.com Pete Palson of

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Bonita Bay Banter

By Charles J. Cavaliere

Special to the Spotlight

Bonita Bay – The thermome- ter at the entrance of Bonita Bay indicates residents have raised over $800,000 to date for this year’s United Way of Lee County Campaign. They are on the way to over $900,000. Grant Kurtz, who volunteers as head of the neighborhood campaign por- tion of the fundraiser, reports that Bonita Bay residents have donated over $9 million dol- lars since 1999, when the pro- gram started. “Dick Miller has done a fabulous job as chair,” said Kurtz. Dick Beightol now co-chairs the

campaign with Miller. The community patrol at the north gate replaced over 4,000 car windshield stickers in the last month. That’s a lot of elbow grease for this yearly chore. Paula Scheb, Director of Tennis, reports that the Fine- Mark Tour Players Tennis Challenge is scheduled for Mar. 2 and 3 with some of the best tour players com- peting. Funds raised will go to the event’s charity, Barbara’s Friends, the cancer fund of the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. For more information about this event, turn to page A17. Joe Calabrese, Co-Presi- dent of the Bocce Club, said that two tournaments are

planned in February – a Cou- ples Tournament (Feb. 15 & 16) and a Women’s Tourna- ment (Feb. 29 & Mar. 1). Ground breaking for three additional courts is expected shortly after Easter. The Pickle Ball Club ex- pects tournament play to be introduced in the winter or early spring according to the Club’s President, Dave Zaun. Claude Weir, President of the Bike Club, has several organized rides planned for members during season in addition to a beach party cookout. Over 4,100 members have used the Fitness Center since Jan. 1, says Tammy Mugavero. Hours are now 6:30 am to 7 pm, daily.

says Tammy Mugavero. Hours are now 6:30 am to 7 pm, daily. Spanish Wells Snippets By

Spanish Wells Snippets

By Martha Crider

Special to the Spotlight

Spanish Wells – For six years in a row, February is Charity Month at Spanish Wells. The non-profit organization, Spanish Wells Cares, Inc., will host its annual tennis and golf tournaments, Feb. 25 and 26, respectively, to

raise funds for Bonita’s dis- advantaged kids. The Sunday afternoon golf tournament will be followed by an awards banquet and“lively”live auc- tion, open to everyone regardless of their partici- pation in tennis or golf. It is all great fun, and it is all for the kids! This year’s recipients of

the proceeds are Bonita Springs Assistance Office (BSAO) and the Bonita Chapter of Shoes That Fit, Inc (STF). Support for BSAO is for the Health Care Pro- gram for Children, providing specialized dental and med- ical care as well as products such as diapers and baby

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