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.com EstEro | Bonita springs | naplEs JULY | AUGUST 2009

$1 Million-Plus Market Continues Momentum The housing market has been showing signs of recovery for some time, but primarily in homes costing $250,000 or less. The homes priced in the lower 20 percent of the market spent the least time on the market, and recovery seemed to be centered around that demographic. More recently, however, the million dollar-plus housing market has started showing signs of making a comeback. In the Naples, Bonita, and Estero areas, only 24 homes priced at $1 million or more had closed at the end of January. At the end of March, the year-todate closed sales for homes over $1 million totaled 100, and by the end of May the number had again jumped dramatically, to 207.

Perhaps the most visible increase in this area was in homes over $5 million. During the first couple of months of the year, these homes were selling at the rate of only one per month. By the end of May, however, the closing rate on five million-plus homes had tripled, for an average of three closings every month. That’s a huge difference when you’re talking about that amount of real estate. These increases are in keeping with the trends seen in the rest of the real estate market. For instance, in January sales of million dollar-plus homes accounted for 6.33 percent of closed sales market-wide. In comparison, 6.24 percent of the year-to-date sales at the end of May were million-plus

leading the recovery of the housing market. Does this mean that the real estate market is trending away from being a bargain-hunter’s market?

D. Michael Burke, p.a.

Estero /Bonita Springs/Naples Luxury Real Estate Expert

dollar homes – a difference of less than a tenth of a percent. The statistics clearly demonstrate a strong snowball effect: Sales of homes costing $1 million and up are steadily gaining in momentum. They are even keeping up with lower-priced home sales, which were initially thought to be

FEATURED PROPERTIES Sweet Bay in Shadow Wood at The Brooks, Bonita Springs

I believe what we are seeing here is the natural next step in the recovery of the Florida real estate market. Prices dropped, attracting buyers who were interested in getting a good home for an exceptional value. As the number of closed sales increased and the homes left on the market decreased, more and more buyers started taking notice. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: The more homes sell, the more confident potential buyers are, which in turn leads to even more sales.

offered by:

Therefore it is only natural that this trend should also affect the housing market Lee and Collier Counties are most well known for: high-end luxury homes. As buyers in this market take note of the upward trend in home sales in general, their confidence is renewed as well, leading to a similar increase in the million dollar-plus market. Are the days of getting a bargain on luxury real estate drawing to a close? I don’t think so – not yet, that is. But both sellers and buyers should know that the higher-end homes are making their comeback as well, signaling that now more than ever, if you snooze, you lose!

D. Michael Burke, P.A., REALTOR®

The Colony – Palermo, Bonita Springs

C.5707 - Gorgeous views of the Gulf and Bay in this 3rd floor end unit w/3 bed, 3.5 bath, 3295 under air, 4215 total sf. Stunning unit in neutral tones, travertine tile, custom built-ins & speaker system thru-out, hardwood floor, plantation shutters, window treatments, speaker system, plus so much more! State-of-the-art kitchen, 42” cherry cabinets, granite countertops, built-in/paneled appliances. Grand living room/dining room w/two wall-wall glass sliders leading to the incredible travertine tiled main terrace. Family room, guest suites, private baths & built-ins all w/entrances to rear balcony. Impressive master suite, w/striking vast entry, two closets, expansive windows & private entry to terrace, offering yet further tranquil views of the Gulf and Bay. Offered at 990,000.

H.4114 Beautiful 4 bed+den, 4.5 bath, 3474 under air, 4195 total sf, w/stunning European flair throughout in this 2 story home w/ loft, dramatic rod iron/wood curve staircase & master suite on the first floor. Hardwood flooring, crown molding, built-ins, granite in all baths, kitchen & master suite on the first floor. Gourmet kitchen, stainless steel & paneled built-in appliances, gas cook top, French style cabinet’s w/crown. Gorgeous views to the family room w/wall to wall double French doors leading to the paver patio w/floor to ceiling curtains surrounding, built-in custom gas heated pool/spa all surrounded w/rod iron fence, beautiful tranquil views of the 18th tee & lush landscaping beyond. Offered at $1,250,000. Call Michael 239-777-0473

Call Michael 239-777-0473

To have Your Home Featured In the Next Issue Call D. Michael Burke, P.A. 239.777.0473

To: 26269 South Tamiami Trail Bonita Springs, FL 34134

John R. Woods Realtors

FT MYERS, FL PERMIT NO 815

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www.CoconutPointRealEstate.com Website owned and maintained by Michael Burke of John R. Wood REALTORS, Bonita Springs, FL 34134


2 | July | August 2009

Healthy Living Dining Out With Food Allergies

Expert Advice for a Safe Meal (NUI) - When dining out, North Americans with food allergies can find restaurant visits stressful, if not hazardous. Cross-contamination, uninformed servers or mixed-up orders can easily turn a dinner date into a fiasco involving an EpiPen and ambulance. The Good News? Many restaurants are taking steps to accommodate the more than 12 million North American diners who have food allergies. Consumers can make informed decisions, whether they’re sensitive to shellfish or have celiac disease - a condition in which the body cannot process gluten. “There have never been more tools available to the consumer with food allergies to access health information and to act on what they find,” said Andrea Levario, executive director of the American Celiac Disease Alliance. Levario, on behalf of UNO Chicago Grill, offers the following tips to help consumers enjoy safe and healthy restaurant meals: Research your options online before you come in. Responsible chains put menu information online. For example, UNO presents detailed health information, including notes about its gluten-free dishes, on its Web site, www.

unos.com. If a restaurant doesn’t post nutrition and ingredient information online, try calling ahead to speak to a manager. Take advantage of posted information. Many restaurants offer nutritional information through lobby kiosks. Other establishments may have pamphlets that they can provide upon request. Alert your server. A good server will make your experience his top priority -he will want to ensure that you have an enjoyable, safe meal. Tell your server about your specific allergies, and ask him to communicate your needs to the kitchen. Ask the manager for special accommodations. Managers should personally check special-needs orders, adding another safety-control measure to your meal. “Dining establishments are growing in their understanding of food allergies and other customer health needs - some in response to new laws, some voluntarily like UNO,” said Levario. “I believe these activities are an example of a very positive health-consciousness trend within the restaurant industry.”

The Earlier, the Better:

Building Immune Defenses Against H1N1

(NUI) - Recently, scientists discovered that the 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu virus is more like the H5N1 avian flu than the historic 1918 pandemic H1N1 Spanish flu strain, and that current mutations of the virus have rendered previous flu vaccines less effective. In a teleconference with colleagues, Dr. Roger Mazlen, an internist in Rosyln Heights, NY, discussed the cur-

rent Swine Flu outbreaks. Aside from traditional medical school, Dr. Mazlen received specialized training at the National Institute for Health (NIH) and is the former Clinical Research Director for Immunotec, Ltd. in Canada. He has practiced internal medicine and nutrition for more than 30 years. Swine flu, or H1N1, was first isolated in a pig in 1930, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus has demonstrated an ability to migrate from domestic pigs to humans. Dr. Mazlen said there are several factors contributing to the current swine flu outbreak, including environmental, cultural and economic issues. “The current recession, loss of retirement funds, compromised nutrition, reduced exercise, obesity and other factors produce immune depression. A depressed immune system cannot fight off the invasion of viral and other pathogens that attempt to find a home to set up infections in our bodies,” he says. Dr. Mazlen suggests protection strategies for a potentially larger H1N1 outbreak during the 2009 through 2010 flu season. “Frequent hand washing is a start. Also, lots of daily water helps to hydrate the body and assist the immune

system,” he said. Vitamin and mineral supplements add fortification, but Dr. Mazlen suggested also adding fish oil because of its clinically-proven immune function support. There is also a natural immune – stimulating product that he has used with over 500 patients, including his family members. The product was originally developed in Russia but is now made in the U.S. The product, Del-Immune V, is available at www.delimmune.com. Dr. Mazlen said that Tamiflu, the currently recommended prescription medication used in flu and Swine flu, is most effective when used within a few hours of the first viral symptoms. But Swine Flu, as reported by the CDC, has an ability to mutate within hours. Tamiflu may be effective for Swine Flu in the morning, and may be ineffective by the end of the day because of viral mutation. Early measures to protect health might be the key to minimizing potentially serious infections this flu season. Dr. Mazlen closed the discussion by expressing his concern over whether it is Swine Flu H1N1 or a mutated form of the Swine Flu. “It is important to have an immune defense strategy this year - the earlier the better,” he said.

Using Fitness to Launch You to Better Success (NUI) - Your journey through life should begin with one simple question: “What can I achieve with better health?”

Toll Free Phone/Fax 1-888-431-9444 maximumimpactpubishing2@gmail.com

The Publisher, Maximum Impact Publishing is independently owned and operated and is not affiliated with any real estate association, board or company. Opinions expressed are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the Publisher or advertisers. The Publisher regrets any inaccuracies contained herein, but accepts no liability for damages arising out of errors in advertisements beyond the amount paid for the space actually occupied by the advertisement in which the error occurred. Errors must be brought to the newspaper immediately and before any subsequent insertion of the advertisement. We reserve the right to restrict all ads to their proper classifications and to edit or reject any copy.

“Look 20 years ahead in your life, and you will know there’s no success without health,” says fitness expert Shawn Phillips, author of “Strength for Life” and “ABSolution: The Practical Guide To Building Your Best Abs.” “You can’t sacrifice your health for your success. They are interdependent goals.” Health and fitness can impact your life, relationships and business ventures. Physical fitness can increase mental and emotional health, giving you more energy and a clearer mind. Phillips recommends using the following fitness goals to launch your personal success: • Set goals for the next 90 days, as well as a vision for the next year. Your vision is your ultimate destination - your personal definition of a strong life. Goals form the steps you need to take to realize your vision. • Don’t narrow your goals to just fitness, but also personal and professional goals. That way, you’re not only getting into shape, but also improving your ability to excel in life. • Establish two quantifiable goals, such as losing 10 pounds of fat or gaining three pounds of muscle, and two mental health goals, like improving a relationship or pursuing new interests.

• Find ways to reinvigorate your mind and body, including eliminating refined foods, sugar and empty calories from your diet, getting restful sleep and taking up light exercise to help you get used to moving. “When you are strong, healthy and alive with energy, you are more effective, more confident and more in control,” says Phillips in an interview with SUCCESS Magazine. “Your results in life will improve as you do.”


July | August 2009 | 3

verb 1 [ trans. ] prepare (food, a dish, or a meal) by combining and heating the ingredients in various ways. shall I cook dinner tonight?

Barbeque Chicken Ingredients: Dry Rub: Combine rub into small bowl and mix thoroughly 1/4 cup each of light brown sugar, ground black pepper & sweet paprika 2 tablespoons each of chili powder & kosher salt 1 tablespoon garlic powder Mop Sauce: 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice 1/4 cup beer 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 2 teaspoons dry rub (see above) Directions: Clean chicken. Remove back bone, keel bone and wish bone. Make a small hole in the skin at the bottom of the breast which will then be used to hold the legs up snug with the chicken. Pour 2 Tblsps. of canola oil on the chicken and coat both sides with the dry rub. Place the chicken on the barbeque (but not directly over the burners). Use a smoke box on 1 side of the barbeque with the burners on at about 300 degrees and place the chicken on the other side of the barbeque with the burners on that side off. Baste the chicken with the mop sauce about every 20-25 minutes. NOTES: Only flip chicken once about half way through the cooking time (total cooking time is around 2 hours if not directly on the burner). Check the temp of the chicken, at 165 degrees it is done. Let sit for about 5 min. after your pull it off before you cut into it.

Crepes with Serrano Ham, Brie and Cantaloupe Ingredients: Batter: This batter makes about 20 or so small 7 inch crepes. 2 large eggs 3/4 cup milk 1/2 cup water 1 cup flour 3 tablespoons melted butter 1/4 tsp salt Filling: Thinly sliced Serrano ham (you could also use prosciutto) Thinly sliced cantaloupe Cut up brie. Directions: Mix batter ingredients in blender, pulsing for about 10-15 seconds until combined. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Put a little butter in a small nonstick skillet on medium heat. When warm, ladle about 1 oz of batter into the pan, swirling around. When it is ready to flip (usually about 30-60 seconds), it will be dry on top and crinkly around the edges. NOTE: When it gets close to being ready to flip it will release from the pan. Once flipped, put filling ingredients on half of the crepe, like an omelet. 2nd side should be done in about 1 minute. Once done, fold and serve

Cheesecake Ingredients: Cake: 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs 2 tablespoons sugar 3 tablespoons melted butter (or margarine) 19 ounces of softened cream cheese (3 packages) 1 cup sugar 2 teaspoons of lemon rind. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 3 eggs 9� spring form pan The glaze requires: 1 cup of mashed fruit 1 cup sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1/3 cup water Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Mix the crumbs and the sugar together VERY well. Add the melted butter and stir until the crumbs are coated. Pour the crumbs into the spring form pan and form the crust. Make sure the sides and bottom are coated very well. Carefully put the crust in the heated oven for 10 minutes. Note: It should turn a bit darker, and will hold it’s form quite a bit better. Cool. Note: Lower temperature to 300 degrees. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar while beating. Add the lemon peel and vanilla. Beat each egg in one at a time. Pour the mixture onto the crust and place into the oven at 350 degrees. Cook for 1 hour. Place it in the fridge for a few hours. Glaze: Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and heat it up until it starts to boil. Note: You can mix in fresh fruit with the glaze on the cheesecake When the cake and glaze have cooled down, remove the sides of the spring form pan, pour the glaze on and pile on the leftover fresh fruit.


4 | July | August 2009

Destination Information

Travel and more Bed-and-Breakfasts Offer Pampering, Value, History

(NUI) - Bed-and-breakfasts aren’t just for the old folks anymore…”We’re seeing a lot of travelers in their twenties now,” said Katherine Brown, proprietor of the Bloomsbury Inn in Camden and a board member of the 74-member South Carolina Bed and Breakfast Association. “They’re like anyone else ... they appreciate the per-

sonal touch. Bed-and-Breakfasts offer a great deal of service at a better price point than people originally think.” Romantic getaways are a particular specialty. “We’ll get the chocolate, arrange the fine dining, put the rose petals on the bed, that whole host of things that makes a stay

with us a total experience,” Brown said. South Carolina’s bed-and-breakfast community also offers diversity in price points, geography and history. (Brown’s own establishment, for instance, was the home of Civil War diarist Mary Boykin Chestnut.) As for cost, $100 or a little more a night will get you the front porch mint julep experience in the state’s small towns, on up to a few hundred dollars a night in the highend B&Bs in Charleston. Bed-and-breakfasts are an excellent way to get luxury accommodations in communities that don’t have a lot of business-level hotels. For instance, the Oak Manor Inn sits on a shady lot near the picturesque little campus of Coker College in Hartsville. Owner Steve Tinney caters to the typical bed-and-breakfast traveler but also to businessmen in town for meetings. And, while they’re known for their breakfasts, of course, bed-and-breakfasts also can provide luxury dining. Abingdon

Manor, located in Latta just off Interstate 95 in northeast South Carolina, is a prime example. There, innkeepers Mike and Patty Griffey have added fine dinner cuisine, along with cooking classes and well-received e-newsletters, to the usual morning fare. And for those with a special appreciation for the fruits of the vine, there’s Kilburnie, the Inn at Craig Farm. Owned by Johannes Tromp, a former general manager of the Windows of the World restaurant atop the World Trade Towers, this bucolic setting near Lancaster has been listed in Wine Spectator magazine for its fine collection. A great place to start the search is at www. southcarolinabedandbreakfast.com, the association’s Web site. There, potential guests can search by city, check out individual properties and even download favorite recipes.

Three Simple Tips for an Affordable Family Camping Trip (ARA) One of the best imaginable “staycations” for families is a return to the great North American camping experience. If you are among those who are shedding the conveniences of a hotel room for the first time and are seeking a more comfortable experience, consider these top tips for an incredible camping trip:

1. Pick the right campsite. Backyard or backwoods? Chances are, your backyard is a wonderland that you’ve never truly experienced, and camping there allows you to do so without forfeiting your creature comforts. And it’s free, making this a great first option. But if you’re in the mood for a little more adventure and the idea of getting away inspires you, check out your local campgrounds and parks. Many campsites are available, including prime waterfront sites if the deep woods are not your thing, with basic fees of less than $20 per night.

2. Choose the right gear. Borrow or buy? If you’re “staycationing” for the first time, borrowing camping gear from a friend is a great idea. It will allow you to try it out without risk and gain a better idea of what features you like when it does come time for you to buy. If you are ready to buy, remember that although purchasing gear is the most expensive part of camping, it is just a one-time expense and with care, your gear will last for years to come at little or no additional cost. Choosing a quality tent is important, so resist the temptation to buy an inexpensive one; with tents, you typically get what you pay for, and if your bargain tent ends up leaking during a sudden storm, you’ll regret the entire experience. Remember, if you need to store extra gear, you’re better off choosing a tent that sleeps more people than you need or that includes added storage space. When purchasing sleeping bags, look for bags that are rated to the lowest temperature you’re likely to see. To make the campsite more user-friendly and comfortable, consider adding camp pads beneath your sleeping bag and additional furniture such as tables, folding hammocks, cots and chairs.

3. Bring the right essentials and be creative. Be creative - make cooking a family affair by bringing your own portable grill and easy camp recipes from the Web. Let the kids share in the cooking fun by toasting marshmallows and making s’mores for dessert. For personal care, most family campgrounds offer basic amenities, although sometimes they can be limited, so stick to bringing the basic toiletries but skip the extras, like blow dryers. Lastly, remember to bring these inexpensive items that become absolutely priceless in the outdoors: first aid kit, flashlight, pocket knife, charcoal and starter fuel, trash bags, dish soap and for the kids - cards, books, board games and ghost stories for having fun no matter what the weather brings.

Top Tips for Smart and Safe Travelers (ARA) – You booked your trip and the excitement for your upcoming vacation increases as you count down the days before your travel adventure starts. But to help ensure your vacation becomes a travel delight and not a travel nightmare, there are some things you should consider prior to takeoff. Prep Your Passport

Make sure you sign your passport and fill out the emergency information page. Consider making a copy of this information and leaving it, along with your trip itinerary, with a family member or a friend. Pack for Safety

What you pack can help you avoid being a target of crime. Research the appropriate attire of the location where you will be traveling. Dressing too flashy or too casually instantly tells locals you are a tourist. Also, consider leaving jewelry, watches and extra cash at home where they are safe. Secure All Luggage

Put your name, address and telephone number on the inside and outside of all pieces of luggage. Put a copy of your travel itinerary inside your luggage, especially if you are on a tour. That way, if your luggage is lost, the airline can direct it to where you are located. Purchase Global Medical Assistance

Did you know that your medical insurance might not protect you while traveling and that only 8 percent of plans cover an evacuation for medical reasons while you’re in a foreign country? It’s a smart idea to purchase medical and travel assistance from a company like On Call International. Handle Prescription Medications with Care

To avoid problems with customs, keep any prescription medications in the original, labeled containers and consider bringing copies of your prescriptions along with the generic names in case questions arise.


Real estate .com EstEro | Bonita springs | naplEs Grandezza, Estero

H.3977 - Fantastic upgrades thru-out in this 3 bed+den, 2 bath, 1975 under air, 2686 total sf home. Tile on diagonal, including guest bed & den, granite countertop all baths & kitchen. Detailed custom tile in-lays, glass etching on French doors, designer light fixtures & ceiling fans, under mounting lighting. Gourmet kitchen, stainless appliances, built-in oven, 42” paneled cabinets. Lanai w/pavers, built-in heated pool/spa, large lake view w/stunning fountain. Offered at $418,900

Grandezza, Estero C.4581 - 2+den, 2 bath, 1727 under air, Carriage home in private gated golfing community. Vaulted ceilings, tile in main living areas. Kitchen w/breakfast bar opens into the comfortable living room offering fantastic views of the large lake & golf course. Great centrally located community, with beautiful 53,000 sf club house. Offered at $209,000. Call Michael 239-777-047

Call Michael 239-777-0473

Bonita Bay, Bonita Springs

Twin Eagles, Naples H.2011 4 Bed, 3 ½ bath, 2910 under air, 5079 total sq ft. Beautiful serene lake views, tropical landscaping, nestled on a cul-de-sac. Kitchen, w/stainless built-ins, granite countertops, decorative backsplash tile. Formal living & dining room, family room w/fireplace & built-in. Lanai w/pavers, built-in heated pool/spa w/ private entry to master suite. Offered at $749,000.

L.680 Build your own custom estate home on this large lot on the 10th fairway in this exclusive golfing community, w/two golf courses designed by Nicklaus & Player. Private Community offers miles of scenic walking trails, biking paths, parks gardens, 47,000 sf clubhouse, HarTru tennis courts, fitness club, dining & has hosted the ACE Group Classic & PGA champions Tour! Offered at $129,000.

Call Michael 239-777-0473

Call Michael 239-777-0473.

Finding the Right Price for Your Home Selling a home quickly and for the right price is a balancing act: Price too high and you won’t sell, but price too low and you may lose money. The stakes are high! This explains how Michael Burke and his Team can help you make the right decision.

Our Comparative Market Analysis

With this service, we look at all the factors that might influence the value of your property, and come up with a price that’s guaranteed to attract buyers. Our CMA includes a thorough inspection of your home, research on other sold properties in the area, and tips on how to quickly make your home more attractive – some of our findings here could bring as much as five dollars in extra sales price for every dollar you invest. By the end of our CMA, you’ll have a checklist of strategies to sell your home for the highest value possible. Putting this kind of care into pricing and finding the Pricing Factors ASKING PRICE

+15% +10%

PERCENTAGE OF BUYERS

10%

30%

Market Value

60%

-10%

75%

-15%

90%

market niche for your home will also help the sale go faster. Contact Michael Burke Michael@CoconutPointRealEstate.com for a free CMA on your home.

How Pricing Works

Studies show that price accounts for 80 per cent of the effectiveness of any real estate marketing campaign. That’s why it’s imperative to price your SW Florida home at fair market value right from the start. With this approach, you’ll often find that the first offer on your home is your best offer. The figure below illustrates that only homes priced at market value (or below) appeal to the largest group of buyers. Over pricing your SW Florida home shrinks the prospective buyer pool by more than 50 per cent. It further illustrates that a property priced just 15 per cent above the market value appealed to none of the qualified buyer pool.

Time on market can also significantly impact the value of your home. Your property will attract the most interest from buyers and real estate agents when it first appears on the market, with activity decreasing as the market time increases. As the chart shows, the most opportune time to generate a sale on your SW Florida home is three to seven weeks after listing it with a real estate agent.

A C T I V I T Y

Nails in the Fence Author Unknown

The next time you are tempted to say something hurtful to someone just because you’re angry, you might want to stop and remember this story: it’s a keeper. Read it here. There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.” The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said “I hope you can forgive me father for the holes I put in you.” “Of course I can,” said the father.

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moneymatters 6 | July | August 2009

Special Valuables Require Special Insurance (ARA) - If you’re remodeling or redecorating this season, you’re probably also buying some goodies to spruce up your home - like an antique dining set, original artwork or a high-end oriental rug.

in underwriting valuable articles can provide the most competitive pricing, broadest policies, and in the event of a claim, accurate estimates for replacing or restoring an item,” she says.

or “scheduled personal property”) that’s added to your homeowners or renters policy. This will boost your limit and broaden your “cause of loss” for specific items.

Insurance experts warn that your homeowners or renters policy often won’t replace higher value items if they’re damaged or destroyed. Similarly, your policy might not cover your most unique or sentimental possessions.

For off-beat and sentimental items, like your family heirloom Civil War rifle or that costume from Star Wars you bought on eBay, you’ll likely need a specialty insurer in order to find coverage. However, Krywar says most specialty policies protect more common valuables like a family’s wedding china or silverware, a few paintings and a small jewelry collection.

Why is that important? Take a wedding ring. The average cost of a diamond ring is almost $4,000. But if it’s stolen your standard homeowners policy would probably only cover about $1,000. And on a standard homeowners or renters policy, jewelry is covered for “named perils” like fire, theft or lightning. When scheduled separately, it’s covered on an “allrisk” basis, even if you drop your diamond into the running garbage disposal.

Special items warrant special coverage For unique and hard-to-value possessions, it’s best to go with an insurer that specializes in such items, says Jaclyn Krywar, who works for QBE Specialty Insurance. “A company that specializes

A floater could float you Another option is inland marine coverage (often called a “floater”

Farris adds that most consumers find the cost of scheduling to be very reasonable. For example, to cover a $3,000 ring costs about $30 a year on a policy from QBE Regional’s General Casualty or Unigard brands. When deciding which items to schedule, the experts say to consider anything valued over $1,000

or any group collectively valued over $2,000 (think china set). “Schedule items you couldn’t afford to replace on your own,” Farris says. “And consult with your independent insurance agent to make sure your most prized possessions are adequately protected.”

Protecting your rebuilt nest egg: ID theft basics for boomers (ARA) – When the shock of shattered nest eggs eased, many North Americans got down to the serious work of rebuilding their financial futures. Already, tentative predictions of improvement are replacing dire warnings of doom in headlines across North America. If you’re a baby boomer, you may be in better financial shape than people in other generations. But you might also feel greater pressure to preserve the wealth you’ve retained and

protect your ability to continue saving for retirement. Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing threats to the financial health of North Americans. The FTC recommends the following to avoid ID theft – deter, detect and defend: Deterring ID theft * Always use passwords for credit, bank and other personal accounts, especially if you access them online, and ensure the passwords are not something easy to guess.

* Inquire about security measures in use by businesses with whom you must share your personal information, such as doctor’s offices or even your own employer. * Secure your own personal information by shredding documents with identifying information before you trash them at home or at work. Never share personal information over the phone, through mail or online unless you’ve initiated the contact and you’re con-

fident about whom you’re dealing with. * Don’t carry your SSN / SIN card with you and share the number only when absolutely necessary. Ask if you can use an alternate type of ID when asked for you SSN / SIN. Detecting ID theft * Keep an eye on your credit report for any suspicious activity. Review your report at least once a year; more often if you’ve previously been a victim of ID theft.

* Watch out for signs your ID has been stolen, such as not receiving expected bills or mail, receiving credit cards you didn’t apply for, calls or letters from debt collectors about products or services you didn’t buy, etc. Defend against ID theft Consider enrolling in an ID protection program that helps monitor your credit report. These products can monitor your credit reports at all three major credit reporting bureaus on a daily

basis and sends regular “all clear” e-mail alerts to give you peace of mind that there have been no changes to your credit reports. If suspicious activity such as unauthorized new accounts, credit applications, address or public records changes or potentially negative information appears on your credit files, the product alerts you quickly. Visit www.ProtectMyID. com to learn more.

Summer Can Be Expensive - Maximize Your Money (ARA) – The summer months can bring big expenses. The weather is nice, your wardrobe needs a short-sleeved update, you’ve got vacation time to travel and extra daylight hours to tackle home improvement projects on your list. With so many potential expenses, it’s important to maximize your money. David Bach, founder of www.FinishRich.com and No.1 New York Times bestselling author of “Fight For Your Money,” offers tips on how to protect your finances, fight for your money and help reach your summer goals. * Don’t take anybody’s word for anything A handshake and someone’s good word used to be enough to ensure they’d follow through on the service they’d promised. No more. Get all guarantees and warranties for products and services in writing. * Do your homework Use the resources available to you online and comparison shop for everything. Educate yourself about any product or service you’re in the market for and, before you send anyone money or sign a contract, check them out thoroughly. Never hesitate to ask for references and make sure to follow up. * Figure out the total cost If you put items on your credit card and don’t pay the bill in full each month, you’ll end up paying much more for

the item than you ever thought. Look for stores like Kmart that offer layaway and purchase your patio furniture, lawn equipment or even the kids’ clothes for back to school. With Kmart layaway, you select your items in the store, make a down payment at the layaway counter, make your payments every two weeks and, once your payments have been completed, take your items home with no interest payments. * Resist efforts that pressure or intimidate you Salespeople fight hard for each sale they make, but most honest salespeople don’t pressure you to “act now or else.” That’s a sign you shouldn’t act at all. If you think you’ve been scammed, it’s important to report it to the appropriate authorities. * There’s no such thing as a set price With many services and consumer goods such as cars, gym memberships and cable TV, not everyone pays the same price. You’ve got more power than you think and it pays to try to negotiate whenever you can. * Money gives you control, so hold onto it as long as you can Use cash whenever possible and, if you’re using credit cards, try to pay them off in full each month. Avoid entering into long-term service agreements if you can, since they can end up costing much more than they’re worth.


July | August 2009 | 7

Get Puzzled What’s a math challenge you ask?  A math challenge is group of numbers formed in a block filled with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Each number is only used once. Each row is a math equation. Each column is a math equation. Some of the numbers are missing.  You fill in the missing numbers.

Try to fill in the missing numbers

Use the numbers 1 through 9 to complete the equations. Each number is only used once. Each row is a math equation. Each column is a math equation. Remember that multiplication and division are performed before addition and subtraction.

Answers on page 14 Compliments of www.WuzzlesandPuzzles.com

Phrase Scramble 1 Unscramble the tiles to reveal a message. Hint: Famous Lines from Famous Things

Crossword

Answers on page 14

Crossword puzzles provided by BestCrosswords.com

The objective is to insert letters in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3 x 3 box must contain the letters A through I exactly once. What could be simpler? Answers on page 14

Compliments of www.sudokucollection.com

Across 1- Nabokov novel; 5- Chieftain, usually in Africa; 9- Autocratic Russian rulers; 14- Hindu music; 15- Ballot choice; 16- The number system with base 8; 17- Epic narrative poem; 18- Conforming to a custom; 20- 3.26 light years; 22- According to; 23- Nailed obliquely; 24- Latin I word; 26- Agitated state; 28- Discoverer of America; 32- Metamorphic rock; 36- Actress Gardner; 37- Winged; 39- Frog sound; 40- Freeway access; 42- Eject; 44- Eye sore; 45- Pong maker; 47- Chou ___; 49- Black bird; 50- Shipworm; 52- Military post; 54- Travel on water;

56- Streetcar; 57- Mid-month times; 60- Barrett of Pink Floyd; 62- Feature; 66- Conveying to destination; 69- He sang about Alice; 70- Sheeplike; 71- A big fan of; 72- It may be floated; 73- Feudal lord; 74-“All the Way” lyricist Sammy; 75- Bang-up;   Down 1- Get ready; 2- California wine region; 3- Borodin’s prince; 4- Capital of the Bahamas; 5- Capable of being evoked; 6- Crowd; 7- ___ boy!; 8- Staggers; 9- Mazel ___; 10- Disperses; 11- ___ extra cost; 12- Contest, ethnicity; 13- Dog-powered snow vehicle; 19- Pealed;

21- Anarchist Goldman; 25- Blandly urbane; 27- Business abbr.; 28- 200 milligrams; 29- Egg-shaped; 30- Truman’s birthplace; 31- Sharp pain; 33- Little bits; 34- Decline; 35- Loose coil of yarn; 38- Acclaim; 41- Urgent; 43- Seasoning plant; 46- Agency of the United Nations; 48- Some nest eggs; 51- Seine feeder; 53- An African antelope; 55- Song part; 57- Billy ___ had a hit song with “White Wedding”; 58- Hindu mother goddess; 59- “Night” author Wiesel; 61- Actress Merrill; 63- Switch ending; 64- Extended family unit; 65- Accent; 67- Flight formation; 68- Advanced degree?;


Shadow Wood at The Brooks, Bonita Springs

H.4085 3+Den, 3.5 bath, 3154 under air, 5701 total sf stunning courtyard home. Attention to detail and fabulous upgrades thru-out. Surround sound, built-in entertainment center, state-of-the-art security system, gourmet kitchen, granite, tile, hardwood floors, tray ceilings, faux paint, designer window treatments, plantation shutters, built-in entertainment center & much more…Paver Courtyard w/private cabana, built-in gas heated pool & flower beds. Offered at $899,000. Call Michael 239-777-0473

Grandézza, Estero

H.3936 Estate home w/abundance of upgrades & details thru-out. 3 bed+Den, 3 bath 2824 under air, 4154 total sf w/separate formal living & dining room. Tile on diagonal, tray ceilings, crown molding. Gourmet kitchen, w/ granite counter-tops, 42” maple cabinets w/ crown molding, built-in appliances, designer cook top hood, nook with large miter window offering outstanding views of golf course & lake. Incredible lanai w/pavers, stunning pillars, finished ceiling & built-in heated pool & spa. $679,000.

EstEro | Bonita s

Choose success.

Few real estate agents are as driven as Mich committees, this multi-million dollar produce involved. Whether you are selling or buying, state-of-the-art marketing methods, integrity satisfaction. His drive to succeed is tempere

Call Michael 239-777-0473

Grandézza, Estero H.2168 3+Den, 3 bath Mediterranean style great room open floor plan, with 2481 underair and 3282 total sq ft. Coffered,volume ceilings, gourmet kitchenwith granite counter-tops, and upgraded tile. Home offered at$519,000 with a beautiful lakeview located in a private gated golfing community.

Choose Michael Burke as your real estate agent, and sit o

Call Michael 239-777-0473

Grandézza, Estero

Grandézza, Estero

H. 3630 - 2+Den, 2 bath, 2000 under air, 3627 total sq. ft. Faux finishes, window treatments, chair railings, crown molding, tile, hardwood floors.. endless upgrades. Kitchen, granite countertop/backsplash, cabinets w/crown molding. Expansive sliders from great room to lanai w/built-in pool w/tropical views & lake beyond. Offered at $419,000.

H.2908 Spectacular open great room floor plan, with 3 Bed+Den, 3 bath, 2939 under air, 3925 total sq ft. Many added touches in this designer decorated home for a casual lifestyle with custom features throughout. Enjoy the kitchen w/state-of-the-art builtin appliances, 42” wood cabinetry, granite counter tops. Offered at $979,000 w/custom pool w/views of a lake, golf course and woods located in a private gated community.

Call Michael 239-777-0473

Call Michael 239-777-0473

Shadow Wood at the Brooks, Bonita Springs

Fountain Lakes, Estero C.4396 Cozy, spacious 2 bed, 2 bath, second floor Coach home with 1480 under air, 1630 total sf. One of the few units available with a landscaped view. Tile floor, dramatic high ceilings. Golf, amenities and clubhouse included in monthly fee. Offered at $169,950. Call Michael 239-777-0473

H.3582 3 Bed+Den, 3.5 Bath, 3014 under air, 5693 total sf Courtyard home w/ beautiful expansive views of lake, golf course & woods. Numerous upgrades thruout, crown molding, plantation shutters, tile, hardwood floors, custom built-ins, Bose surround sound. Stunning gourmet kitchen, w/granite countertops, 42” cherry cabinets w/crown molding, decorative tile. Offered at $759,000. Call Michael 239-777-0473

Grandézza, Estero

Grandézza, Estero H.3999 3+Den, 3 bath, 2493 under air, 3500 total sf. Rich in detail & incredible views of large lake & golf course beyond. Tile, tray ceilings w/crown, archways, window treatments. Kitchen, 42” cabinets, granite counter tops, nook w/miter window. Lanai w/pillars, built-in pool & pool bath. Offered at $599,000.

H.3817 3 Bed+Den, 2 bath, 2207 under air, 4027 total sq. ft. Tile on diagonal, window treatments, accented painted walls, tray ceilings w/crown molding, stunning archways thru-out. Gourmet kitchen, 42” raised paneled cabinets, pantry w/wine cooler, nook w/mitered glass. Great private guest suite w/bath leading to the large lanai w/built-in pool. Offered at $449,000.

Call Michael 239-777-0473

Call Michael 239-777-0473

The Colony – Castella, Bonita Springs

Grandézza, Estero H.3625 - 3 Bed+Den, 3 bath, 2455 under air, 4046 total sq. ft courtyard home w/Tiki Bar. Great for entertaining w/builtin pool & spa. Numerous upgrades thruout.Tile, crown molding, blinds, topelighting, state-of-the-art kitchen. Discounted golf membership & golf cart also for sale. Offered at $499,000. Call Michael 239-777-0473

C.5318 3 Bed, 3.5 bath, 2665 under air, 3225 total sf. End unit residence w/tropical views of Estero Bay, golf course and wooded preserve. Numerous upgrades. Gourmet kitchen, built-in stainless appliances, upgraded cabinets/drawers. Great Room w/expansive solar tinted windows, floor to ceiling glass sliders leading to the incredible tiled terrace. Luxurious master suite and bath w/double sink granite vanity and roman style tub surrounded in tile. Offered at $599,900. Call Michael 239-777-0473

Visit www.CoconutPointRealEstate.com for Additional Pictures of These and Other SW

Website owned and maintained by Michael Burke of Jo


C.5257  - 19th floor 3 bed, 3.5 bath, 3295 under air, 4215 total sf w/breathtaking panoramic views of the Bay & Gulf of Mexico. Designer decorated 10’ ceilings, crown molding, plantation shutters, window treatments, tray ceilings, granite countertops, state-of-the-art kitchen, custom artist’s murals. Must see to truly appreciate the beauty & views of this residence.  Residence is one of only 13 units offering a private indoor separate two-car garage w/adjoining large A/C storage room, $945,000.

Real estate .com

The Colony – Palermo, Bonita Springs

Call Michael  239-777-0473

springs | naplEs

Choose Michael.

hael Burke. A member of numerous local real estate er keeps tabs on the local market by staying intimately , Michael brings to the table strong negotiation skills, y, and the ambition it takes to achieve 100 percent ed only by his understanding of his clients’ needs.

on the side of success.

C.5016 - First floor turnkey immaculate 3 Bed, 2 bath, 1627 under air, 2007 total sq. ft. condo Blinds thru-out, tile, carpet, double door entry to bedroom/ den. Large kitchen w/raised paneled cabinets & crown molding, comfortable living room w/ spectacular views of lake & golf course. Master bedroom, large walk-in closet, private entry to the lanai. Offered at $299,000 furnished.

Grandézza, Estero

Call Michael 239-777-0473

C.5674 - 3+Den, 2 bath 2nd floor Carriage Home with 2387 under air, 2860 total sf w/bundled golf in this beautiful Mediterranean inspired community. Tile, berber carpet, hardwood floor, window blinds thru-out. Kitchen w/42” maple paneled cabinets w/crown molding. Sliders from living room to lanai with beautiful tropical views. Offered at $299,000 partly furnished.

Vasari, Bonita Springs

Call Michael 239-777-0473

V.1238 - Mediterranean style villa w/3 bed+den, 3 bath, 2376 under air, 3712 total sf, w/master suite on 1st floor. Stunning two story ceilings, plantation shutters, tile on diagonal. Private 2nd floor bedroom, kitchenette & loft looking down to living room and gourmet kitchen w/stainless steel appliances, cabinets w/crown molding, granite countertops. Expansive wall-wall sliders leading to the lanai w/private custom built-in pool and views of expansive lake. Offered at $499,000.

Rapallo at Coconut Point, Estero

Spring Run at the Brooks, Bonita Springs

Call Michael 239-777-0473

H.3826 - 2 Bed+Den, 2 bath 2000 under air, 3449 total sq. ft. Decorated in neutral tones w/relaxing Tommy Bahama Décor’. Tile on diagonal, tray ceilings, crown molding, plantation shutters, window treatments, high ceilings. Automatic roll down shutters front/ rear & new high efficiency A.C w/extended warranty. Sliders leading from greatroom, kitchen nook & master suite to Lanai w/solar heated built-in pool & flower beds w/tranquil views of lake & landscape beyond. Offered $419,000.

H.3837 2 Bed + Den, 2 bath 1750 under air, 3539 total sq. ft. Views of the 17th fairway w/tropical landscaping surrounding. Upgraded w/tile main living areas, tile inlays, blinds, crown molding, chair railings. Large sliders thru-out in living room, breakfast nook, master suite leading to the lanai w/paver, built-in heated pool & outstanding views beyond. Offered $479,900.

Spring Run at the Brooks, Bonita Springs

Call Michael 239-777-0473

Grandézza, Estero

H.3828 3 Bed, 3 bath 1878 under air, 3938 total sq. ft. Private guest Cabana, spacious kitchen/nook, center island, cabinet’s w/crown molding & large sliders opening to the courtyard w/pavers, builtin heated pool & spa. Tile in main living areas, intercom, blinds, high ceilings thruout. Master bedroom & greatroom with separate entrances to the screened lanai. Offered $419,000.

Grandézza, Estero

Call Michael 239-777-0473

Call Michael 239-777-0473

H.3620 Beautiful designer decorated 4 Bed+Den, 4.5 bath, 3495 under air, 4867 total sq. ft. Estate home w/countless upgrades. Tile on diagonal, tray ceilings, rope lighting, window treatments. Formal living, dining room & den w/double door entry w/ stunning built-in. Gourmet kitchen, builtin appliances. 42” cabinets w/crown molding, family room w/expansive corner sliders opens the room to the lanai w/tropical wooded views beyond. Built-in pool/spa & grill, w/separate guest suite entry w/private bath off the lanai. Offered at $899,900.

Grandézza, Estero

Call Michael 239-777-0473

Call Michael 239-777-0473

C.5026 - Turnkey, 2 Bed, 2 Bath, 1209 under air, 1428 total sq. ft. first floor unit, tile in main living areas, neutral tones & decorative window treatments Perfect for the avid golfer, w/views of the golf course/lake from the living room, lanai & master bedroom. Wonderful bundled golf community, with numerous amenities. Offered at $239,900.

C.5684 - 3 Bed, 2 bath end unit 1642 under air, 2010 total sf. Designer decorated in a neutral tropical décor’. Great features, tile main living, faux finished accent walls, window treatments, radio/intercom thru-out, plus more. Expansive sliders in living room with entry to the screened tiled lanai offering beautiful tropical views of large lake and golf course. Offered at 264,900 furnished.

Grandézza, Estero

C.5305 3 Bed + Den, 4.5 bath, 4068 under air, 4988 total sf. Decorator ready residence in an exclusive community w/panoramic views of the Gulf & Bay. Private elevator, vestibule, tray ceilings, crown molding. Kitchen w/built-in stainless appliances, granite countertops, custom 42” cabinets. Master suite w/private entry to terrace & marble baths. Offered at $1,150,000

The Colony – LaScala, Bonita Springs

Call Michael 239-777-0473

Call Michael 239-777-0473

W Florida Homes or Call D. Michael Burke, p.a. 239.777.0473 for Additional Information

ohn R. Wood REALTORS, Bonita Springs, FL 34134


10 | July | August 2009

verb 1 [ trans. ] prepare (food, a dish, or a meal) by combining and heating the ingredients in various ways. shall I cook dinner tonight?

Beef Pochero Ingredients: 1/2 kilo stewing beef, cut into cubes 1 small head of a cabbage, quartered 1/4 kilo Chinese cabbage (pechay) 2 medium sized potatoes, quartered 5 plantains peeled and sliced in the middle 1 big can of pork and beans 1/2 cup tomato paste 2 cups water 1 small onion sliced 3 cloves garlic minced salt and pepper to taste Directions: Fry the plantains until slightly golden brown. Take off the oil and set aside. SautĂŠ the garlic and onions. Add in the beef. SautĂŠ until it changes color. Season with some salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and water Mix and let it boil. Cover and simmer over low medium heat until beef is tender. Once the beef is tender, add in the potatoes. Let it simmer some more until the potatoes are cooked. Add in the rest of the ingredients - veggies, pork and beans and plantains. Note: just pile them in and cover for a few minutes allowing the veggies to wilt a bit. Gently mix them until ingredients are well incorporated into the sauce.

Thai Style Coconut Milk Soup

Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad

Ingredients:

Ingredients:

1 small shallot, chopped 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed, cut, and smashed 3 1/8� ginger rounds 2 Tbsp cilantro, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped 2 lime leaves, rough cut 1/2 tsp red curry paste 1 1/4 cup chicken stock 1/2 cup coconut milk 1/4 tsp fish sauce 1 tsp lime juice cilantro leaves for garnish

Watermelon Feta Mint Finishing salt if desired

Directions: In a small saucepan over medium heat, sweat shallots in a little canola oil until soft. Add the ginger, lemongrass, curry paste and lime leaves until fragrant and starting to brown. Add the cilantro and chicken stock, bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Add coconut milk and heat over very low heat until just warmed through. Add fish sauce and lime juice. Makes about 2 cups. Enough for several amuse bouches, or 1 large bowl.

Directions: Cut a large rectangular chunk of watermelon With a melon ball scoop or rounded measuring spoon, scoop out a round hole from the melon. Fill with crumbled feta and mint Garnish with a bit of finishing salt (if desired) and a mint sprig, and serve on a chilled salad plate.


July | August 2009 | 11

In and Out Water-conserving, money-saving tips for summer gardens * Groom soil for optimum water absorption and retention. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service recommends adding water-retaining organic material to your soil. * Look for alternative water sources other than the outdoor tap – such as collecting the water that drains from your air conditioner. Consider collecting roof runoff in a rain barrel for use in flower beds and vegetable gardens. * Irrigate efficiently with low-volume irrigation systems and smart watering practices. Many communities now require all newly built homes to use low-volume irrigation in their landscapes. On average, micro sprinklers and drip irrigation uses 80 to 90 percent less water than traditional irrigation systems. To learn more about low-volume irrigation, visit www.misterlandscaper.com. For more information on water conservation, go to www.nrcs.usda.gov. * Design your landscaping to minimize evaporation. Windbreaks and fences slow the movement of the wind over the ground and the evaporation it causes. (ARA) - Summer 2009 may be a bit less dry than last year in some areas of the country, according to the National Weather Service’s Seasonal Drought Outlook. But it still makes sense, both environmentally and economically, to conserve water as much as possible in your gardening and landscaping efforts. Conserving water makes sense environmentally, and can also help your family reduce your water utility bill this summer. Here are some tips for conserving water and saving money by reducing your water bill in your corner of planet. * Choose drought-resistant native plants for your landscaping needs. From ornamental grasses to shrub roses, many drought-tolerant native species can be found in your geographic region that offer bright color and visual appeal.

choose the right hot tub

in ten easy steps

(ARA) - Soothing hot tubs have become a favored home improvement that promotes relaxation and provides a sanctuary from everyday pressures. But how do you find the hot tub that’s right for you? Consider these factors before making your decision: 1. Capacity Consider your family size and how often you expect to entertain friends and relatives. Seating options typically range from one person to seven. 2. Jets One of the big advantages of factory-manufactured hot tubs is the variety of jet types. Over the long term, you will appreciate the different types of massage for relaxation and recovery - so look for hot tubs that offer a wide variety of jet types, not just the total number of jets. 3. Entertainment Look for spas with practical entertainment features such as stereos with integrated memory to store digital music, USB ports

docking stations for your iPod, MP3 plugs and subwoofers. 4. Size and Space How large is your backyard or patio? If you have limited room or a small access gate, consider models that are less than 30 inches tall or models with a small footprint. 5. Construction Select a hot tub with full-foam insulation to ensure heat retention. Inexpensive models without foam will cost more over time to operate. Also look at the skirting/cabinetry as it is important to the overall look. 6. Covers Make sure that your hot tub comes with an insulating cover and be sure to utilize cover locks to keep children out of the spa when adults are not supervising. 7. Manufacturers Not all hot tubs are created equal, so choose a brand with a local authorized dealer for service and a track record for making quality products.

Now is the time for a deck safety check (ARA) - Your deck is the perfect place to enjoy the warm weather with friends and loved ones. But an unsafe deck could possibly collapse, causing serious injuries to you and your guests. So, if it’s summer, it’s time for a deck safety check. The number of deck failures and resulting injuries has been increasing at an alarming rate. The experts at the North American Deck and Railing Association, Inc. (NADRA) offer the following tips to help determine whether your deck is safe to use or needs a few repairs before the summer fun can begin: * Use the “10-Point Deck Safety Checklist” at nadra.org to determine maintenance, repair and replacement needs.

* If you’ve never had your deck professionally inspected, make an appointment today. * If you find your deck is not safe to enjoy, NADRA advises taking immediate action to have it repaired or rebuilt as necessary. A key element of enjoying your deck for years to come is making sure it is safe and code compliant. When hiring a deck builder, there is more to consider than just price. NADRA recommends homeowners contact their city or county building department to speak with an inspector knowledgeable about deck construction. For more information visit www.nadra.org.


12 | July | August 2009

Feature Columnist This column is produced by the Financial Planning Association and provided by Al Procaccino, a member of FPA and Certified Financial Planner with Castle Financial.

www.castlefinancial.com

It’s Summertime – Not a Bad Time for a Midyear Financial Checkup The weather’s great, so staying inside with your finances probably doesn’t sound like a very entertaining option. But a midyear review of your tax situation, retirement and spending issues can be far more valuable than the rushed attempt most people make at the end of the year—or when it’s too late at tax time.  Summer’s actually a good time to do this task because there’s still enough time to correct lapses in savings, spending or tax planning. Here’s what most people should cover: 

Retirement savings: Given the state of the economy, it’s not a bad time to review your retirement funds and your current investment allocation. If you are on schedule to max out your contributions to your company retirement plan this year, great. But don’t forget to check your other retirement accounts to see if you’ll have enough cash on hand to contribute the maximum in each account by their respective deadlines next year. 

Health and health insurance: Increasingly, what we pay for health insurance will be tied to the state of our health. While the weather is good, commit to a plan to walk or hit the gym a specific number of hours a week. Many insurers reset premiums at mid-year in a rising cost environment, so make sure you’re ready to

switch plans or negotiate different coverage if necessary during open enrollment in the fall. 

Taxes: If you got a sizable refund in April or found it necessary to empty savings to pay Uncle Sam, it’s definitely time to reassess what you’ll owe at tax time next year. Also, if you think you’ll have some losing stocks in your taxable investment accounts, keep an eye on those in case you’ll need to offset gains in your portfolio at the end of the year. 

Spending: Either on your computer or on paper, take the time to figure out where you’re money’s going. A look at the last six months of spending may reveal opportunities to reduce spending and redirect money toward more necessary goals. Reserve fund: Most financial experts encourage you to have between three and six months of living expenses in an emergency fund. If you don’t have that minimum, go back to your spending review and see where you can start socking money away.  College savings: If you are saving for your child’s education or your own, check to see if you’re on track with the goals you made for the year. It’s also a good idea to read the latest news on financial aid since schools change their financial aid policies annually. Even if your kid’s still in

grade school, it’s a good idea to learn as much about college financial aid while you’ve got plenty of time to learn. 

Special goals: If your car is suddenly looking like it will need to be replaced or if this might be the last year for your furnace, see if you can direct more money into a reserve fund to cover replacement costs or at least a heavy down payment. If there’s a vacation you want to take by the end of the year or a special household purchase you want to make, focus on the cash you’ll set aside to make that happen. Of course, if you have credit card debt rolling over from one month to the other, maybe that should be your initial focus. 

Credit: If you haven’t set a schedule for receiving your three credit reports throughout the year, do it now. You have the right to get all three of your credit reports – from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax – once a year for free. You can do so by ordering them at www.annualcreditreport.com. By staggering receipt each of your credit reports at different points in the year, you’ll get a continuous picture of how your credit picture looks. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to focus on possible errors in a single report, which will give the other two credit agencies time to update their files.

Simple solutions to save money at home this summer home. Pull out the heavier items, such as blankets, towels and blue jeans, and let them hang dry on a line outside or even over the doors inside of your home.

(ARA) - As summer rolls around, you may find yourself getting that familiar anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach. No, not just because it is time to slip into a swimsuit (that’s an entirely different issue to contend with). You’re probably getting antsy thinking about all the money you are going to spend at home while the kids are on summer vacation.

But shake off those blues and face the sunshine. Hannah Keeley, lifestyle expert and host of the PBS program “Hannah, Help Me!” offers easy ways to cut costs and still enjoy a cool, comfortable summer with your family. Be appliance “smart.”

Clothes dryers are notorious for sucking up a lot of the energy used in your

Dishwashers are a great convenience, but that convenience comes at a price. Don’t run your machine unless it is completely full. Also, consider opening the door of your dishwasher when it hits the drying cycle so your dishes air dry and you save money. Re-think your routine and old habits.

No need to take long showers after a day at the pool or beach. Pick up a timer and set a time limit for every person in the family (yes, even the teenagers). Five minutes per person should do, not to mention help prevent your family from pouring money down the drain. Turn off the water when conditioning hair, shaving or brushing teeth to further conserve energy. Even when they are not in use, electronics like stereos, TVs and DVD players continue to drain energy. Those commonly found, bulky “wall wart” plugs that feel warm to the touch even if the device is turned off

are costing you money. Plug all electronic equipment into power strips and simply switch them off when not in use, or if your family is away from home, and you’ll see instant savings on your electric bill. And turn off those computer monitors when not in use. Stay Cool.

For every degree you raise your thermostat in the summer, you can cut cooling costs up to six percent, depending on your lifestyle, system settings and local climate. Install a programmable thermostat to help conserve energy and save money on your cooling bills with very little effort on your part. You might also consider installing a variable speed air handler, such as those offered by American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning, which reduces moisture levels in the air so you can keep the thermostat at a higher setting and still feel comfortable.

Keeley reminds us that in just a few simple steps, you can have more fun, enjoy your family, and save some serious money this summer. “And it all starts at home,” Keeley says.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder vs. General Anxiety About the Economy (NUI) - Worries about finances have long been a leading cause of anxiety for North Americans. When asked what stressed people the most in a recent online poll at the Anxiety Disorders Association of America Web site www.adaa.org), 45 percent responded “personal finances.” Even among those who feel the economy is improving, a majority named it as a source of their stress. Another ADAA online poll confirms that sentiment: Nearly 77 percent said the economic downturn has caused a moderate amount to “a lot of stress.” If so many people share such deep stress and worry about their bank balances than they did before this financial freefall, does that mean they all have an anxiety disorder? Does it mean anxiety disorders are on the rise? The answer: No. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful and uncertain situations. It’s your body telling you to stay alert and protect yourself, in this case to watch your spending, try to save for an emergency, work to keep your job or consult a trusted financial expert. However, you may have generalized anxiety disorder if you worry about the economy or your finances for many hours every day, you can’t sleep or perform your usual tasks and you’re aware that your fears are irrational. Also known as GAD, this type of anxiety disorder differs greatly from the normal anxiety we may feel about the economy or any other stressful event. GAD is not triggered by a specific situation: The world doesn’t need to experience an economic downfall for someone to have GAD. Even in the best of times, GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1 percent of the U.S. population, in any given year, and women are twice as likely to be affected. People with generalized anxiety disorder experience persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about issues like money, health, family or work for six months or longer. They don’t know how to stop the worry cycle, which they feel is beyond their control. Physical symptoms of GAD may include fatigue, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, irritability, edginess, muscle tension, and gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhea. Help can be found by visiting the ADAA Web site www.adaa.org, where you can find resources to help manage anxiety, find a local therapist, receive an e-newsletter for people living with anxiety disorders or purchase self-help books.


CoconutPointRealEstate.com

MarKEt rEport EstEro | Bonita springs | naplEs

Michael@CoconutPointRealEstate.com | 239-777-0473 COMMUNITY

ADDRESS

Bedrooms

COPPERLEAF Wisteria Pointe 23600 Wisteria Pointe Dr, #905 Caraway Lakes 23320 Caraway Lakes Dr LIGHTHOUSE BAY AT THE BROOKS Lighthouse Bay 10831 Halfmoon Shoal Rd, #101 Lighthouse Bay 10751 Halfmoon Shoal Rd, #201 Lighthouse Bay 23741 Old Port Rd, #14204 SHADOWWOOD AT THE BROOKS Morningside 23021 Rosedale Dr, #202 Oak Strand 9359 Oak Strand Dr Lake Forest At Shadow Wood 9570 Lakebend Preserve Ct SPING RUN AT THE BROOKS Hidden Lakes 23770 Clear Spring Ct, #1402 Streamside 9010 Spring Run Blvd, #706 Autumn Lake 23546 Sandycreek Ter, #510 GRANDEZZA Grande Estates 20050 Legacy Ct Sabal Palm 20141 Seagrove St, #306 Cypress Cove 20048 Seadale Ct PELICAN LANDING Palm Colony 24627 Ivory Cane Dr, #201 Pelican Landing 25044 Ridge Oak Dr THE COLONY Palermo 4875 Pelican Colony #1101 Merano 23761 Merano Ct, #102 MEDITERRA Brendisi 29111 Brendisi Way, #202 Celebrita 16465 Celebrita Ct Lucarno 16615 Cortona Ln RAPALLO AT COCONUT POINT Rapallo 8600 Via Rapallo Dr E, #106 Rapallo 8549 Via Garibaldi Cir, #203

Full Bath

Half Bath

Living Area

Year Built

Private Pool

Private Spa

List Price

D. Michael Burke, P.A. Selling Price

Cost/ Sq. Ft.

% of Asking

Closed Date

3 Bed 2 0 1845 2001 No No $299,000 $275,000 $149 92% 1-Jun-09 3+Den 2 0 2231 2002 Yes Yes $549,000 $525,000 $235 96% 19-May-09 2+Den 2 0 1548 2002 No No $184,900 $175,000 $113 95% 3-Jun-09 3 Bed 2 0 2264 2000 No No $269,000 $235,000 $104 87% 1-Jun-09 3 Bed 2 0 1402 2000 No No $179,999 $174,000 $124 97% 20-May-09 2+Den 2 0 2040 2000 No No $355,000 $330,000 $162 93% 26-May-09 2+Den 2 0 2000 2001 Yes Yes $435,000 $408,500 $204 94% 22-May-09 4+Den 5 0 4480 2007 Yes Yes $1,700,000 $1,700,000 $379 100% 18-May-09 2+Den 1513 2001 No No $224,900 $211,000 $139 94% 15-Jun-09 2 0 2 Bed 2 0 1209 1998 No No $160,900 $160,000 $132 99% 10-Jun-09 2+Den 2 0 1792 2000 No No $344,500 $335,000 $187 97% 15-May-09 4+Den 3 0 3217 2002 Yes Yes $1,095,000 $950,000 $295 87% 12-Jun-09 2+Den 2 0 1540 2001 No No $198,900 $190,000 $123 96% 3-Jun-09 2+Den 2 0 2000 2004 Yes No $410,000 $390,000 $195 95% 1-Jun-09 3 Bed 2 1 2112 1995 No No $336,900 $322,000 $152 96% 28-May-09 3+Den 3 1 3329 2000 Yes Yes $775,000 $740,000 $222 95% 26-May-09 3 Bed 3 2002 No No $849,000 $765,000 $236 90% 29-May-09 1 3240 3 Bed 2 1 2060 2004 No No $345,000 $300,000 $146 87% 15-May-09 3+Den 3 0 2873 2006 No No $699,000 $690,000 $240 99% 28-May-09 4+Den 4 1 4164 2005 Yes Yes $1,220,000 $1,157,000 $278 95% 27-May-09 3+Den 3 1 3824 2006 Yes No $1,295,000 $1,150,000 $301 89% 19-May-09 2+Den 2 0 1706 2006 No No $315,000 $272,000 $159 86% 9-Jun-09 3 Bed 2 0 2584 2007 No No $379,900 $330,000 $128 87% 15-May-09

DOM

130 299 72 85 64 116 219 427 209 74 81 78 221 125 74 146 85 78 85 81 747 72 112

To view more closed details visit www.CoconutPointRealEstate.com and click on Market Reports

Hear what your neighbors are saying about Michael Burke . . . .

“Michael Burke is one of the most thorough, innovative, caring and creative realtors we have ever dealt with. We whole heartedly recommend Michael and his team. His professionalism and dedication to serving his clients needs is the Ultimate real estate experience.” - Darlene and Don Polyschuk (Toronto Canada) “Having purchased and or sold over one dozen homes in the last 20 years, I found Michael to be unique among the realtors I have dealt with in the past. Like many others, Michael has a comprehensive understanding of the southwest Florida real estate market that serves his clients well, which is compelling given the current economic climate. What sets him apart is the high level of integrity and the attention to detail that we found to be part of our transaction. I would solidly recommend Michael Burke to anyone looking to sell or purchase property.” – Matthew & Regina Staudt (Upper Saddle River, NJ )

JULY/AUGUST Events 2009

Important “239” Numbers

Bonita Springs, Estero, Ft. Myers, Naples

Germain Arena: (Estero) July 8–12 - Cirque Du Soleil Saltimbanco. For further information, time, tickets & other shows call (239) 948-7825 or visit www.GermainArena.com. Coconut Point Mall: (Estero) Live entertainment located at Plaza Del Lago Dr. patio. Wed w/ Lo Monaco (Maurice the tenor), Thurs & Sun w/Andrea Garofolo, Fri w/Frank Tourino singing the hits of Sinatra, Elvis, & more, Sat w/The Manipulators singing rock, funk, soul & jazz. Gulf Coast Town Center: (Ft. Myers) 8-10pm – Weekend concert series Hammond Stadium: (Ft Myers) For the Miracle baseball schedule call (239) 768-4210. Hammond Stadium, 14100 Six Mile Cypress Rd. Broadway Palm Dinner Theater: (Ft. Myers) June 11–August 8, Peter Pan. For more info & listing of shows visit www.BroadwayPalm.com or call 239 278-4422

Barbara B. Mann Theatre: (Ft. Myers) For info & shows, visit, www.bbmannpah.com/index.php or call (239) 481-4849.

Historic Palm Cottage & Norris Gardens: (Naples) July 1-25, Aug 1-29, Tues-Sat 1-4pm. (239) 261-8164.

July 4 Celebration: (Ft. Myers) All Day at Centennial Olympic Park. 12-5pm – Childrens activities. 5pm – musical entertainment by Stokeswood. 6:30pm – Infinity Show Band. 8pm – Vertical Horizon. Followed by fireworks synchronized to a selection of patriotic music. For further info visit www. centennialpark.com/events/fjuly. html

Venetian Days: (Naples) July 2 & Aug 6, 6-9pm. Live music & waterfront dining at The Village on Venetian Bay.

July 4 Parade, Fireworks: (Naples) July 4. 10am Parade - begins at the corner of 3rd St. So. ending near Naples City Hall on 8th St. So. Fireworks 9pm - at Naples Pier 12 Ave S, for further information 213-7120. Festival: (Naples) July 4. Festival at Sugden Regional Park at Lake Avalon, 4284 Avalon Drive, gates open 3pm.

Summer Jazz on the Gulf: (Naples) June-Sept. Live jazz throughout the Summer around the Naples Beach Hotel. Call (800) 2377600 for more information. Third Thursday on third: (Naples) July 16 & Aug 20, 6-9pm. Summer time music & entertainment in the courtyards & plazas of Third St. Philharmonic Center: (Naples) 5833 Pelican Bay. For more information & current shows visit www.philtickets.org/tickets/index. aspx or call (239) 597-1900.

EMERGENCY Police, Fire, Medical ............................................. 911 Lee County Ambulance (Non Emergency) .....................................................................335-1600 Lee County Sheriff (Non Emergency) .....................................................................477-1200 Lee County Emergency Management (Weather & Disaster Spills) .........................477-3600 Poison Control Center.......................... 800-282-3171 Hospitals: North Collier Hospital...................................513-7000 Health Park Hospital.....................................433-7799 Chamber of Commerce (Local Area): Bonita Springs Area . ...................................992-2943 Estero Area . ................................................948-7990 Library (Local Area): Bonita Public Library ...................................992-1043 Estero South County Regional Library.........390-3200 License (Lee County): Animal License ............................................432-2083 Boat Registration/Fishing License................339-6000 Drivers License . .........................................278-7192 Vehicle Registration - Lee County .....................................................................339-6000 Voters Registration . ........................339-6300 Medical (Lee & Collier Counties): Gulf Coast Hospital - Ft. Myers....................768-5000 Lee Memorial Hospital - Ft. Myers............... 332-1111 North Collier Hospital (NCH) Downtown Naples .......................................552-7000 North Collier Hospital (NCH) North Naples ...............................................436-5000 Poison Control Center ......................... 800-282-3171 Newspaper Bonita Banner . ...........................................765-0110 Coconut Point Press . ..................................777-0473 Ft. Myers News Press .................................335-0233 Naples Daily News .....................................992-3609

Rich Mathews

Leslie Maloney

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PROFESSIONAL CLEANING INC.

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• Residential • New Construction • Commercial • Rental Property • Water Damage

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Public Schools (Lee County): Edison Community College.................. 800-749-2322 Florida Gulf Coast University................ 800-590-3428 School District of Lee County....................... 334-1102 Real Estate Services Michael Burke P.A., John R. Wood Realtors .....................................................................777-0473 Homestead Exemption - Lee County...........339-6120 Property Appraiser - Lee County..................339-6100 Social Security . ......................... 800-772-1213 Southwest Florida Int’l Airport .....................................................................590-4800 Transportation Airport Shuttle Service . ...............................216-7777 Greyhound . .................................................334-1011 Lee County Bus Transit ..............................533-8726 U.S. Postal Service Lee & Collier Counties.......................... 800-275-8777 Utilities (Lee County): Embarq ............................................... 866-304-6820 Electric Florida Power and Light....................... 800-262-1322 Florida Recycling & Waste .............332-8500 Gas Service - Teco (Peoples Gas) ............................................................. 877-932-6747 Solid Waste - Lee County ......................338-3302 Telephone Sprint (Bonita) ..................................... 800-699-0728 Sprint (Lee County) ..............................800-339-1811 TV Cable Comcast ............................................. 800-432-4770 Time Warner ................................................574-2020 Water/Sewer Bonita Springs .............................................992-0711 Unincorporated Lee County ................ 800-485-0214 Veterinarians Florida Veterinary 24-Hour Emergency ............................................................. 239-992-8878

President Ofc (239) 992-2226 Cell (239) 580-7914

State Farm Insurance Agency

Call 992-8896

Licensed & Insured

Specialize in Maintenance Contracts p ro l i n e p ro c l e a n @ y a h o o. co m

20321 Grande Oak Shoppes Blvd., Suite 308 • Estero, FL 33928 Pro-Line BC.indd 1

11/13/07 10:45:28 AM


14 | July | August 2009

Problem Solving Great Summer Looks Looking Like New

One of the best ways to stay cool and stylish this season is to layer sheer, lightweight tops. Layers add dimension and levels, and make you look put together and in the know with little to no effort. Keep the palette soft and neutral for a light, airy style. You’ll love the ease and comfort of this simple trend. You can easily slim down your look by combining bright colors with contrasting dark colors. Draw attention to areas you want to play up by wearing bright hues like pinks and yellows, and use darker colors to play down areas you’d prefer not to highlight. It’s an instant makeover at no cost.

(ARA) - Summer fashion always calls for bright, fun colors. However, those bright summer clothes come at a cost - more maintenance and tricky summertime stains. There are tricks you can use to keep your favorite summer clothes looking as fresh and bright in September as they did in May. This season, it’s all about shopping your closet. You can easily get the look you want by taking a pair of dark denim jeans from your closet, cuffing the bottoms and pairing them with embellished sandals and a bright top. No matter the month, a pair of dark jeans is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing you can own. To keep your denim looking darker and brighter longer, turn jeans inside out before you wash them, use cold water, add a color booster and stain remover and line-dry.

Moms and dads can let kids get creative when picking out clothes from their closet. Mixing and matching colors, patterns and prints is a great style for kids this season. Parents can feel comfortable knowing their kids’ creative pairing of clothing is right on trend. When shopping your closet, it’s important to keep your clothes in great shape. Since many families are heading outdoors in the warm weather, they’ll be more likely to get dirtier faster - especially if you have young, active kids in your household. To keep clothes looking good all season long, pre-treat stains and add a product like Clorox 2 Stain Fighter & Color Booster to your laundry because detergent alone is not enough.

PUZZLE SOLUTIONS

Math Challenge 2 Answers

6

X

X 9

61

+

+

3

-

/

X

5

X

1

-9

As you sweat it out this summer, keep in mind that your skin can take a beating under the hot summer sun, especially when you exercise. In fact, the more you sweat, the more your skin temporarily loses its natural ability to protect itself from both burning UVB rays and aging UVA rays. Even if you wear a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) sunscreen, sweat and humidity can cause sunscreen weardown, putting you at risk. Here are some tips for finding a durable sport sunscreen this summer:

• Look for very sweat-resistant and very water-resistant products, indicators of increased sunscreen durability

• Look for ultra lightweight, noncomedogenic lotions that won’t clog pores or cause breakouts or run into eyes to cause stinging

• Look for a sport sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) that provides broad-spectrum protection and apply generously. Most adults do not follow sunscreen application instructions, achieving only 10-25% of the expected SPF. For optimal protection, it is important to ap-

ply sunscreen generously, using approximately 2 full tablespoons to cover the entire body. Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45 and Sunscreen Sprays SPF 45 and 60, contains innovative stabilizing Helioplex technology, which delivers strong and long-lasting protection against both burning UVB and aging UVA rays. These products also contain a matrixed waterproof technology comprised of large molecules that create an invisible, yet breathable, shield on the skin to help keep sunscreen in place during physical activity

While no sunscreen is clinically proven to minimize or prevent skin cancer, dermatologists have long recognized that exposure to UVA and UVB rays can promote the risk of skin cancer.

12

+ X

33

12

5

Phrase Scramble Answer I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.

SUDOKU ANSWER

For more information and tips from Sam Saboura, visit www.laundryroom101.com.

• Look for sunscreens that are made specifically for sports; ones that provide exceptional, longlasting sport sun protection that keeps skin well protected during play

2

8

Use sweatproof sunscreen this summer when playing outdoor sports (NC)—There is nothing quite as invigorating as a run through the park or a game of touch football in the dog days of summer when the sun is hot and the air is warm and inviting.

/

-

+ 7

4

CROSSWORD ANSWER


July | August 2009 | 15

Relatively Speaking Keep Your Dog Happy When He’s Home Alone won’t destroy something in the house and your neighbors won’t be bothered by barking.

(ARA) – Dogs love our company and knowing they’re part of the pack. But the fact is humans have to leave the house some time, whether it’s for work, to run errands or to go to a place where dogs aren’t welcome. So when you can’t be home to entertain your dog, how do you keep him busy and happy when he’s alone?

Most dogs are social animals and are happiest when they are surrounded by their humans. Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety and cry, bark and whine when left alone, while others just use their alone time to sleep. No matter what your dog’s personality, making sure he has something to keep him occupied during his time alone helps ensure your dog

Plan Ahead for Safe Senior Driving

(NUI) - No one wants to admit that aging affects their ability to drive safely. But experts agree that, although not all drivers are the same, driving ability generally begins to deteriorate around age 55. Kathleen Marvaso, AAA’s vice president of Public Affairs, said that as the population ages, senior-driver safety is becoming an increasingly relevant and challenging issue for many families. “Many adult children of senior drivers are looking for help navigating this new and sometimes challenging road,” she said. “Our research shows that one of the biggest questions is how to begin the conversation.” AAASeniors.com, AAA’s senior safety and mobility Web site, offers the following advice: * Plan ahead. It’s never too early to begin the conversation. Planning ahead means you can discuss gradual adjustments that may be needed over time as a senior gets older. Sometimes, just a few simple adjustments, such as avoiding night or highway driving, can help prolong a senior’s safe driving years. * Approach the conversation with safety as the main objective. Because driving is such a big part of independence, AAA advises to be prepared to face some resistance from the senior driver. Having facts and concrete examples available will help; and a caring tone may make all the difference. * Talk about the issue during discussions about retirement. Take the same careful approach to transportation that you would with finances and other retirement-related decisions. Future transportation needs may affect other retirement decisions, such as selecting a retirement home. For example, convenience to public transportation or the availability of onsite transportation may become important criteria. “At AAA, we want to foster a society where older adults can remain confident and independent and live to their full potential,” Marvaso said. “AAASeniors.com gives seniors and their families the tools necessary to create an action plan to help manage the inevitable consequences of aging, and to help seniors drive for as long as safely possible - and remain mobile thereafter.”

* Crate training is a valuable tool for when you’re away or even when you have people over and your dog just needs a quiet place to himself. A crate that is large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in with a soft pad to sleep on is a great substitute for the dens wild dogs take refuge in. A favorite blanket or shirt that you’ve worn can be comforting for your dog. * Whether he’s in the crate or roaming free, “busy” toys are a great way to keep a dog occupied. Fill safe toys with peanut butter and freeze them or add in small treats that will fall out as the toy

is rolled around. Rotate toys (give a toy one day and a different toy the next) to help prevent boredom. Hide low fat treats around the house for your dog to find randomly throughout the day.

time you’re away. Most people don’t have large, fenced in yards and dog doors so an indoor dog potty like the UGODOG is an easy way to keep messes contained.

* If you’re going to be gone for several hours, make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise before you leave because a tired dog is a happy dog. Leave a radio on so your dog has friendly voices to keep him company.

* Keep your arrivals and departures low key. Don’t squeal and go overboard greeting your dog when you walk in the door and don’t linger and feel bad for the dog when you leave. The less of a commotion you make, the less your dog will panic when you walk out the door.

* Feed your dog his biggest meal of the day before you leave so he’ll have a full stomach and want to take a nap. * Make sure you have a place for your dog to relieve himself to avoid any accidents during the

For more information on the UGODOG, training tips and ideas to keep your dog busy, visit www. UGODOG.com.

Summer Reading A Fun Way to Help Your Child Find Their Inner Bookworm

(NC)—Helping your children develop a love for reading is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Moreover, it is a gift that will last a lifetime. Don’t let your child’s reading comprehension fall behind his or her classmates this summer, especially when there are many opportunities for them to not only maintain but improve their reading skills. Here are some simple tips to keep reading fun and to engage your child through the summer months and the rest of the year.

to identify their reading level. Then ask your child what he or she would like to read. Trust your local librarian with the rest.

Set aside time to read together as a family and enjoy reading out loud in character voices with your children. Visiting the library or participating in a summer reading program can be a lot of fun for children.

Encourage your children to read anything and everything – street signs, menus, recipes and books are all great tools to strengthen their literacy skills.

Show them reading is fun

Reading at the right level

There are two things to keep in mind when helping your children foster a love for reading this summer: their reading level and their interests. Check with your child’s teacher at the end of the school year

Set an example

Simply having books, magazines and newspapers around your home will encourage your children to view them as part of daily life. Let your kids see you read so they know that reading is important and that it can be an enjoyable pastime. Make reading an everyday activity

Start a home library

Even at a young age, start a home library for your children even if it’s just a shelf or two in your own library. Books should be accessible for young children to handle freely.


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