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Penguins in Paradise, aka Logan, Phalen, Rylan and Eden, won Best Overall during the 6th annual “Strut Your Mutt” Halloween Pet Costume Contest on Saturday, Oct. 19. The Humane Society Naples, Shelter for Abused Women & Children and Germain BMW teamed up once again to put on an entertaining event for the whole family. See more photos from the event on page 8B.
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Sarah Stanek stands for a portrait in her evil nurse outfit before the start of the 4th annual Haunted Gross House at the Collier County Fairgrounds on Friday Oct. 18. The all volunteer haunted house is 14,000 square feet, with 14 rooms ranging from an undead morgue, a jail full of ghouls, and one unlucky soul who gets the electric chair. Scott McIntyre/Staff
Space is reserved on this page for corrections and clarifications. The Citizen promptly corrects all errors of substance. Clarifications are published when the editors believe the information will help readers better understand an issue or news event. If you think we have made an error, call Jay Schlichter at 239-213-6065 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
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Goodwill a go-to place for all things Halloween
YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK
Friday, October 25, 2013
Halloween is right around the corner and Goodwill is ready! While Halloween stores offer costumes, most are mass-produced. Goodwill offers affordable options for creative shoppers to create one-of-a-kind outfits without breaking the bank. With items in every shape, size, and color — and from various eras — shoppers can rest assured they won’t run into anyone else wearing the exact same costume. “Goodwill is perfect for the budget-conscious shopper who wants to have a unique costume,” says Goodwill spokesperson Madison Mitchell. “The sky is the limit for creativity and Goodwill is a great place to find inspiration.” Halloween items are also on sale now through Oct. 31. From witches to zombies, firefighters to doctors, Goodwill has something for everyone. For a complete list of Goodwill retail and donation locations, visit www.goodwillswfl.org/locations. Need ideas? Visit Goodwill’s Pinterest page at www.pinterest. com/goodwillswfl for DIY tips and tricks.
Physicians Regional Healthcare System launches Medicare Insurance Helpline
There are more Medicare insurance options than ever before, and navigating through the information can be time consuming and confusing. To help people find the right plan for them, Physicians Regional Healthcare System has launched a free Medicare Insurance Helpline — 1-855-256-1503. The new helpline, serviced by MedicareCompareUSA, is staffed by licensed Medicare insurance specialists who provide unbiased assistance. Helpline representatives begin the process by identifying Medicare plans accepted by an individual’s physicians and hospital, including regional and national Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement plans. They can provide plan comparisons, help determine the most cost-effective Medicare prescription plan, and email or mail Medicare plan materials. Representatives are also available to assist in the enrollment process and answer Medicare-related questions. All helpline services are provided at no cost.
Editor’s note: The following is a compilation of news briefs and photos from naplesnews.com and the Daily News. Please visit our website for full versions and more photos and videos.
Harry Chapin Food Bank partners with Healthcare Network to distribute food in Immokalee
In partnership with the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, the Harry Chapin Food Bank Mobile Pantry distributed more than 7,000 pounds of food on Oct. 22 at the Marion E. Fether Medical Center in Immokalee. According to Harry Chapin Food Resourcing Manager Chris Robinson, the event assisted 443 adults, 452 children and 64 seniors for a total of 959 people representing 201 households. “Diet is an important part of promoting good health, so hosting the food bank was a natural partnership for us,” said Elizabeth Alfieri, Healthcare Network director of clinic operations. “We had a great turnout, which indicates a real need for these services.”
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Friday, October 25, 2013
hristiane Conell moved to Naples with her family from Germany in 2006. To complete the move, Conell had to receive a work visa. All C About April was not only Conell’s doorway to living in the United States but also her opportunity to run a thriving business. Conell purchased All About April from its previous owner, who relocated to Canada, and business has been booming ever since. “From the beginning I thought, the Venetian Village is the perfect spot to own a business,” Conell said. “The location is the most unique and beautiful place in Naples because it is waterfront located, and the area is very upscale.” In Germany, Conell had been a management consultant and an English school owner for many years. Owning a children’s boutique seemed like a natural next step. “I thought with commitment, creativity and analytical skill, this should be fun,” Conell said. “I love to work with kids.” — Kalhan Rosenblatt BIZ PROFILE
5Q RETAIL 1 What inspired you to start this business?
I felt like a children’s boutique is something I can relate to. Since I had experience with kids, being a mother, I thought with commitment, creativity and analytical skill, this should be fun. I owned a little English school in Germany for some years, and I loved to work with kids. That’s why we are doing all these fashion shows and photo shootings. I think there is no better way to promote the merchandise. Just look at all the cute models, and it really gives you a good idea how an outfit would look on your kid.
2 What is the most rewarding part of your job?
If you would like to nominate yourself or someone for a business profile, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the business owner’s name and title, place of business and contact information including phone number and email address. Or you can fill out a form on www.naplesnews.com/participate.
The best part of the job is to see the customer’s faces light up when they enter the store. They walk around and discover all the treasures we have. It is like watching a kid in “Candyland.” Most of our customers are grandparents and they love to buy something as unique as their grandkid. To find out what that might be, we listen very carefully to them when they describe the kids or show us photos. Very often we don’t have the kids in the store because they live up north. We see the customers leaving the store with a big smile and a pleasant anticipation how thrilled the kid is going to be about what they have chosen. Very often they
All About April send us photos of the kids wearing the outfits. All About April is a very happy place, and that is indeed rewarding.
3 What would you consider your greatest success so far?
Our customers kept telling us how much they love the store. A lot of them are snowbirds, and they come back every year. They told us that they would love to have a store like All About April up north and if I couldn’t open up another place there. This year we finally decided to tell them about the Naples Daily News Reader’s Choice Award and that they can vote for us. They did! This year we were voted champion in the category Children’s Clothes. We are so happy and proud about that.
4 What is your favorite part about owning a business in Southwest Florida?
It is definitely a challenge because of the seasons. The summer months are pretty quiet because all the snowbirds are up north. The winter month are very busy and sometimes we have three girls working on the floor. On the other hand that gives me the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my kids when they are back from college in summer. I think because of all the sunshine we have in Southwest Florida,
4350 Gulf Shore Blvd. N. #508 Naples, Fla. 34103 (239) 430-0444 Fax: (239) 430-6009 www.allaboutapril.com email@example.com Hours: Mon - Sat: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun: Noon to 6 p.m.
people are in a very good mood and very relaxed. It is so much harder to be happy when the weather is cold, rainy or windy. I know all about that because I am from Germany.
5 If you had a million dollars to put toward your business, what would you use it for?
I would rent a bigger place at the Venetian Village, where I am located right now. Since we carry not only high-end clothes but also toys, swimwear and shoes, we never have enough room. It would be so nice to have the room to display all the beautiful shoes nicely. I would love to have a play area for the kids to stay busy while the adults are browsing. There is one more thing I would like to have in the store: An area where we can keep the dads and grandfathers busy. A nice huge plasma screen with the sports channel on all the time. Sometimes we have the feeling that the men don’t want to spend that much time in the store like their wives would like.
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Friday, October 25, 2013
618 Capt’n Kate Court NAPLES SOLD 10.18.2013
730 W. Elkcam Circle, No. 203 MARCO ISLAND SOLD 10.9.2013
SOLD FOR HOW
SQUARE FOOTAGE: 1,486 BEDROOMS: 3 BATHS: 2 SOLD BY: Jeff Buchholz, John R. Wood Realtors LOCATION: Northshore Lake Villas
HOT HOMES IN SW Fla. Every week, the Naples Daily News shows homes that recently sold in Southwest Florida. We also feature six homes in our Sunday Real Estate section. It’s called Price of Paradise.
12240 Toscana Way, No. 203 BONITA SPRINGS SOLD 10.7.2013
To view our latest home gallery visit www.naplesnews. com and search for Southwest Florida home sales. If you’re a Realtor and want to see your listing online and in print, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (239) 263-4896.
SQUARE FOOTAGE: 2,387 BEDROOMS: 3+ BATHS: 2 SOLD BY: Carol Verdile, Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. LOCATION: Toscana at Vasari
SQUARE FOOTAGE: 990 BEDROOMS: 2 | BATHS: 2 SOLD BY: Julie & Brock Wilson, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty LOCATION: Smokehouse Harbour
$1.4M 350 Collier Blvd. S., No. 401 MARCO ISLAND SOLD 9.27.2013 SQUARE FOOTAGE: 3,297 BEDROOMS: 3 BATHS: 4 SOLD BY: Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty LOCATION: Madeira
* Real estate deed transactions are available online at naplesnews.com/news/business/real-estate/
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Friday, October 25, 2013
David Shnaider/ Special to the Citizen (4)
A parade of children in saints costumes, chronicling the creation of a 70-ton marble statue of the Virgin Mary, the opening of a Publix supermarket in town, Family Fun Day events such as the dunking of Father Robert Garrity are just a few of the thousands of local stories The Ave Herald has covered in the last five years.
The Ave Herald marks its fifth anniversary November 1 will mark five years that my husband and I have been publishing The Ave Herald, our news site in Ave Maria, a venture that, like so much in our town, turned out very differently from what we expected, but What’s Up which was rewarding Ave Maria nonetheless. It wasn’t long after we PATRICIA moved here that David SETTE and I realized how difficult it was to find out about what was going on in Ave Maria. Any event you might want to attend you generally found out about the day after. In the day of the Internet, Ave Maria residents were living as if Gutenberg had not yet invented his printing press. Many would make daily visits to the coffee shop just to scan the bulletin board with its layers of hand-scrawled flyers. Hence our idea of a news site — main-
ly because we ourselves wanted to find out what was going on. During the summer of 2008, my husband was frequently on the phone with “Norm,” a website designer and yoga instructor. As our news site took form, our dreams at grew. Big Cypress, a large town planned three miles away (but which never materialized) would one day need a news site too. And by 2011, Ave Maria should have 6,000 homes. Once awash in advertising revenues, as we surely would be, could a buyout proposal be long in following? (Note to any Scripps executives who may be reading this: The Ave Herald has massive potential and will entertain your offer!) We never recall our launch day without cringing. We had spent the day before handing out flyers about our news site. Norm was going to make our site live the
next day, and the thought of our neighbors arising to view charming photos of their children, taken at a recent costume parade, made us smile. Alas, Norm was evidently spending that next day on the yoga mat doing cobra pose and downward facing dog. No site. No return of frantic calls and emails. What we learned then was that although Ave Maria residents are generally kind, a few of them know how to smirk. “Weren’t you two supposed to be launching a site?” they meowed. Much later that day, my husband discovered he could figure out how to make the site live himself. As for Norm, I salute his inner divinity, as they say at the end of yoga class, but I am quite sure we will never work with him again. Our new enterprise was greeted with understandable wariness by both the Ave Maria University and Ave Maria Development Company, who had up to this time suffered coverage that was less than fair from bloggers and national media. However, soon enough it became clear
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to them that our aim was honest journalism. We ourselves took it favorably when the bloggers turned their sights on The Ave Herald, angry, we suppose, because our coverage of everyday events in a small town was not a fit with their own depiction of an unhappy extremist outpost in the swamp. Although it turns out that we are yet far from rolling in advertising revenue, we’re happy to know our news site did fill a need for information. It brings a smile when a neighbor tells us how it delighted grandparents far away to see a child’s photo in The Ave Herald. And although it happens rather frequently, we never tire of hearing from people who tell us that reading about our town in The Ave Herald was a key factor in their decision to move to Ave Maria.
To read more articles about Ave Maria, check out The Ave Herald (www.aveherald.com), which Patricia publishes along with her husband, David Shnaider.
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Friday, October 25, 2013
Halloween Horrors How kids’ costumes like the naughty leopard make it off of the shelf and out on the street Halloween: for many parents, it is a time to showcase their ingenuity and crafting skills with elaborate homemade costumes that would look at home on the set of a Hollywood movie. The rest of us scrape up some cash and Parental pace through the aisles of Advisory a costume store, desperately hoping for a miracle ASHLEY in which our children will MCCANN choose something that is both cute and affordable. It rarely happens, but parents can have Halloween dreams too. Each year there’s at least one costume that makes the news for a mini-Halloween controversy. This year’s was a “naughty leopard” which consisted of a black tutu dress that laced up corset-style across the front and had a matching sexy adult costume available for...mom? I’m unclear on that part. The kid-sized costume wasn’t necessarily immodest it was just rather ridiculous; the kitty ear headband and the hot pink leopard spot trim were the only acknowledgment of an actual leopard. The naughty leopard costume is marketed for preschoolers and caused some online outrage for looking more like something Miley Cyrus might wear to the VMAs than an actual leopard. I read it all with mild interest and decided the manufacturer could make and market it all they wanted, if parents chose not to buy it, it wouldn’t be a problem. Who would buy that? Then I had a sudden flashback of my 5-year-old son dressed in a black velour leopard-spotted suit with a big hat and a gigantic gold dollar sign necklace. I’ve had a few of those moments--passing judgment on other parents only to recall a similar situation of my own. It was a costume store kind of year, after terrible glue gun burns from my sad crafting attempts of Halloweens past, and my son wasn’t really interested in
any of the costumes that were displayed. Finally, I heard him gasp and exclaim with joy that he had found what he was going to be. My gaze followed his pointed finger and was delighted to see that it was a magician! Perfect! But as I took it from the rack and he protested, I realized it was not the magician, it was the “Big Money Daddy” costume right next to the magician. Oh no. I definitely did not want him to be a Big Money Daddy. I tried to talk him out of it. I tried to make it more acceptable by using the suit as the foundation of a really cool magician costume. He was not having it. I took a moment to think of how to tell him it wasn’t appropriate. I tried to gloss over it lightly. “Look, it’s not a good costume because he might be a bad guy. How did he get that money? You know?” He looked at me like I was insane. He asked why I would even think that, maybe he got the money from working. He had a good point. Maybe Big Money Daddy did get the money from working, who am I to judge? Maybe he’s just an extremely successful and flamboyantly dressed professional. I debated explaining drug dealers and gangsters to my 5 year old. I again feebly pointed to the magician costume. He hugged the offensive costume to his chest, eyes wide with hope and determination. And I decided it wasn’t worth it to explain the evils of the world. I lost. Sure enough, on Halloween a family friend quietly asked, “Is he dressed as a...pimp?” “He’s a Big Money Daddy.” I answered. “It’s a long story.” “So he is a pimp.” It’s not one of my prouder moments which is why it was so conveniently
Each year there’s at least one costume that makes the news for a mini-Halloween controversy.
buried in the parenting memory archive when considering the naughty leopard. It was only then that I could picture a perfectly innocent 5-year-old delighting in the fluffiness of the tutu dress and the princess-like laces up the front. I can imagine her mother trying to negotiate a more traditional version of the leopard. I can picture them leaving the costume shop, little girl skipping with happiness and mom’s head hung low as she holds the bag containing the morally questionable and almost certainly over-priced outfit. So when the naughty leopard shows up on my doorstep with her trick-or-
treat bag, I will compliment her on being a very fierce-looking leopard and I will give her parents an understanding smile ...as long as her mom isn’t wearing the matching adult naughty leopard costume because there comes a time when you simply must put your foot down.
Ashley McCann is a freelance writer who specializes in all things parenting. While not writing, she spends her days repeating the words, “Don’t touch that” and trying to find the bottom of the laundry basket.
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Friday, October 25, 2013
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Life Is Heald KEVIN HEALD
Friday, October 25, 2013
A fashionable tale to prove a Happy Meal is not necessarily bad for your heart
ur twin sons were born a month early and spent five days in the hospital learning how to eat before we were allowed to bring them home. I then spent the following 17 years trying to determine who authorized teaching them how to eat, while making mortgage-sized payments to the grocery store as homage to what good students they were. However, lest I digress, we’ll leave their wood chipper feeding habits for another column. As a result of the twins having broken their ninemonth lease early, we took them in for frequent checkups during their first few years. It was during one of these visits for our son Keegan, that our pediatrician made that quizzical face that is the opening credits of every parent’s nightmare, then cued the equally chilling soundtrack; a curious, nausea-inducing “Hmmmmmm.” “I’m hearing something with his heart, you’re going to need to see a specialist.” No. No, no, no, no. We don’t want to see a specialist. We want normal problems you can fix with shots and pills and lollipops. We’ll take runny noses and colic and diaper rash. We’ll take boogers you have to siphon out with a shop vac, but please, no specialists. Fix him here. Let’s start over, we’ll go out and come back in, how about that? The specialist explained something about an artery or a vein or an off ramp, some piece of corpuscle infrastructure that normally closes off during a child’s last month inside water world, but since the twins left the park early, well....here we are. The specialist told us about the procedure and, in trying to comfort us, said it wasn’t actually done to the heart, but in an area just outside the heart. I appreciated the effort, but this was our boy. I asked him, “Doc, how would you like to vacation not actually in Iraq, but in an area just outside Iraq?” The surgery would be done at All-Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg by another specialist. While making the arrangements, we were asked if we’d like to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, a facility that provides lodging for patients’ families, right by the hospital. Being in a different city, and with a 2-yearold voicing murmurs of discontent, we decided to accept their offer. We drove up early on the day of the surgery. We did the paperwork and they took Keegan away to change
his clothes. They then brought him back to us to wait for the surgery time. “I want my clothes on!” If you want to make everyone in our family laugh, just say those words. Everyone that is, except Keegan. The first year of the twins’ life is referred to around our house as the Dark Ages. We’ve burned all recorded evidence of this time period and moved on, but just for you, here’s the skinny. And frail.
I’m hearing something with his heart, you’re going to need to see a specialist.” They were born skinny and frail, 30 days early. They spent the next 12 months fattening up and requesting, ne, demanding, food. At the top of their lungs. In shifts. When one gave out, the other one clocked in. Hell in stereo, Satan’s sound system, call it what you want. It sucked...24....7....365. Then something happened. Maybe they hit their target weight, I don’t know, but suddenly, they became two happy little fat sacks and life was good. Until that day at the hospital when they took Keegan’s clothes and put our little fat sack in a sack that tied in the back. As bad as he’d been the first year of his life, that’s how good he’d been the second. Maybe a guilty conscious can be a thing earlier than scientists think.
Try to picture the future of emergency services in Collier County For more than 25 years the road to what could be we here in Collier County a serious emergency call have been talking, to no but more often is minor avail, about emergency in nature. We are all faservices consolidation. At miliar with a multitude long last that talk is transof first responders, on the lating into action and scene, sorting things out. results. One only has to The public may be well look at the consolidation served by all of this atA Fire Commissioner’s progress taking place in tention but there are more Perspective the East and Golden Gate effective and financially independent fire districts. efficient ways by which JIM The consolidation of to provide these services. BURKE those two districts is not Some considerations only precedent setting, it requiring 21st century will establish the benchmark for both how innovative approaches and thinking: to consolidate and the tangible benefits n A single source, integrated, all hazprovided to the residents. Once completed ard first response model. One uniform and functioning I believe that we will see under a common command such as that additional districts express interest in join- of NYFD, Washington, D.C., or Columing their consolidation. bus, Ohio. With a major step in consolidation n A dispatch system designed to clearly underway, I am presented with an define the nature of an emergency call opportunity to reflect on the bigger and fully utilizing today’s technology. picture of emergency (fire, rescue, n System staffing based on demand medical) services. for service. It is no secret that over the past 40 n Consider alternative delivery systems years fire departments have become pri- — a public safety concept. mary providers of emergency medical n A complete re-evaluation of capital services. This has been in response to the (large trucks) equipment expenditures dramatic decline in structure fires. That and allocations with renewed emphasis said, I want to make it clear that today’s on rapid response, “sprinter” type vehicles. firefighters are better trained to suppress The above considerations are just a fires, of all types, than ever before in our few of the many that would go into the history. Today’s firefighters are highly- development of a new model. My point is skilled, well-trained all-hazard first re- that if our government entities desire to sponders. They are well educated and continue providing quality public safety technology savvy with their heads firmly services (I believe they do) and to prorooted in the 21st century. vide attractive salaries and benefits, they With all of that in place, fire depart- will have to seriously reconsider the traments are still, for the most part, or- ditional model within which those serganized like old fashioned fire depart- vices are now provided. ments; an organizational model that is I am not referring to the annual budget more than 100 years old. I can’t imagine trimming that passes for efficient finanthat if we started from scratch today that cial management. The long term ecowe would structure a 21st century model nomic downturn has moved us to what around the rare task of putting out fires. is referred to as the new normal which is Certainly not when we know that close the belief that government entities will to 80 percent of 911 calls are medical and not soon, if ever, return to pre-2007 fundrescue and less than 1 percent are struc- ing levels. Economic reality is forcing us, ture fires. As I see it, consolidating the public safety agencies, to rethink what it fire districts within Collier County is a is we do and how we do it. huge step forward. The model within The opinions expressed above are which these consolidated departments mine and not, necessarily, those of my function is the next step. fellow commissioners. A word picture of what I refer to as the organizational model is that of a sheriff’s Jim Burke is a member of the North car, a big fire truck and a large box am- Naples Fire & Rescue District Board of bulance, sirens screaming, racing down Fire Commissioners.
Unfortunately, they took all that goodness when they took his clothes. He started quietly, like a long-dormant volcano. We assured the nurses he’d be fine. We should’ve requested fire-retardant Speedos instead, because shortly thereafter, we were all swimming in lava. The little dude wanted his duds. Now! And we have no idea why. It’s not like he grew up to be a fashion horse. His idea of church clothes is making sure the food stains don’t clash. He went on and on, as in, “I WANT MY CLOTHES ON!” He didn’t break from the script, he didn’t expound upon his feelings, he stuck to the message. In short, he wanted his clothes on. I know what you’re thinking: He probably had some bad-ass onesie on, or maybe some Baby Gap bling he was fond of, and they up and took it. Nope. It remains a mystery to this day. Eventually, Keegan forced their hand and scored the dope, the good stuff. A nurse came in and gave him something and boom, little Tommy Hilfiger was smiling and styling in his hospital-issued, tie-in-theback gown. The nurse said they called it the “baby six-pack.” If there’d been a microphone around, karaoke night would’ve kicked off with Keegan belting out the ABC’s song, dedicated to the little cutie in the Pull-Ups. If we would’ve gotten our hands on that stuff during the first year of Keegan’s life, he’d still be a junkie to this day. They took Keegan away and left us there. I think it was like four hours, but we just remember it as the worst 14,400 seconds of our life. Followed by the best. The surgery had gone perfectly. On top of that, Keegan was showing no signs of a hangover. We went and checked in at the Ronald McDonald House. Later that day, when the pharmaceutical joy courtesy of the infant happy hour drink specials had worn off, Keegan wanted to, like any 2-year-old party beast, go get something to eat. Ironically, we ended up at a McDonald’s. Keegan wanted a Happy Meal. Given the day’s outcome, it only seemed right to order three.
This past year, Keegan had knee surgery. The nurses were reluctant at first, but after Kevin showed them the home video, they took his advice and waited until Keegan was fully anesthetized before changing him into a hospital gown. He can be reached at LIFEisHEALD@yahoo.com.
Tiny bikes and bigger dreams I’ve yet to see the child who rides the tiny bicycle I see every day attached to a stop sign at the corner of the road. He must be a little guy judging by the size of it. He (or she?) chains it to the post every day before catching a bus Life in the to school. Slow Lane Funny how that riderless little two-wheeler has KATHRYN become such a metaphor TAUBERT for me. I see it every day as I drive into town. I wonder at its young owner, so confident his bike will be there at the end of his school day. It always is. It’s comforting to live in a place where such things are still possible, where little bicycles and little kids are still safe. As our country implodes with anger and the misguided intentions of everyone from politicians to entertainment icons, it’s a blessing to focus upon little bikes affixed to sign posts. I wonder at the dreams this child must have. How do his parents shield him from the onslaughts of the world out there, with its deepening hostility, frustration and intractability? When reminded of those things, I sequester myself in my own serene little corner of it, consoled by words and images and surrounded by trees and flowers and early morning hooting of owls. But I cannot escape for long the reality of our increasingly uncertain future. I think sometimes it’s a good thing that people don’t live longer. My parents generation worried that Elvis Presley was going to bring down society, as he and his followers gyrated across the stages of our lives. Although our parents concern over those “new” things called credit cards, far too easy to use, delude and seclude us from the truth of our bank accounts seems prophetic, their worries weren’t always so. My own dear little mother loved “pant suits” as we emerged from the era where girls required permission from school authorities to wear anything other than dresses or skirts and blouses to school. Now approaching the distal end of my own generation, are our worries so different in principle than what our
parents and their parents perceived? I always did prefer the glass half-full. Humans are an adaptable species, forced to be so by the trouble into which we keep getting ourselves. But the species that adapts, survives. So far, so good. What will that little biker’s world be like when he is my age? I hope he sees the world now as at least half filled with glorious opportunities. Age brings wisdom, but youth has optimism. This child is growing up in a place where his tiny bike is left without risk of theft. He waits with his young friends for a bus on a quiet road with little fear of being kidnapped. He goes to a school that offers him limitless chances to become whatever he wishes. There are still such places upon which we can pin our hopes and dreams. Perhaps the tireless optimism of youth is what we all need a little more of right now. I guess Elvis and women’s pant suits didn’t bring down society after all. (At least I don’t think so.) Things like “twerking,” see-through garments and unimaginable debt imbue thoughts of Elvis, long pants and real money in the bank with nostalgia, as our parents and theirs recalled covered ankles, civility among neighbors and the living on one’s income did in theirs. Perhaps we shall survive yet more paradigm shifts, again eluding “the end of the world.” Perhaps we shall acquire greater wisdom and renewed hope for a future about which we can only now dream. Many good things start with dreams. Perhaps that little boy (or girl?) of the tiny bike will see such dreams come true, and one day muse over changing paradigms in his own future yet to be. I expect we can bank on that.
Kathryn Taubert took a six-week trip to Ghana, Africa, to assist with a nonprofit economic development initiative. Life in the Slow Lane evolved from her series on living with the Ewe Tribe in Africa into musings on just about everything. Email Kathryn at email@example.com or sign up for her mailing list at www.kathryntaubert.com.
Friday, October 25, 2013
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Friday, October 25, 2013
The View From Planet Kerth T.R. KERTH
Just to be clear, let’s watch those voluminous words
ome years back, at a school where I used to teach, I took part in a group that looked at how hard it was for kids to read some of the stuff we asked them to read. We held each work up to a kind of test that asked us to count words in a sentence, count syllables in a word, and so forth. Then we plugged the whole thing into a key that spit out a grade level a kid would have to be at to read the piece and get the point. For grins, I plugged in an IRS tax form, just to see how hard it was to read. And I found out that you would have to be a Ph.D. to stand a chance for a tax form to make sense to you. Now, before we go any further, take a look at the 138 words leading up to this sentence you are on right now. Notice anything? Of the 138 words at the start of this piece, 135 of them are just one syllable long. Only three words — “sentence,” “syllable” and “level”— are longer than that. And — go figure — you’re still here. Now try reading the first 138 words of a federal tax form. Or any important form that has the power to screw up your life if you miss the point it’s trying to make. The only one-syllable words in the room will come from your mouth as you mutter, “What the….” Good thing you went and got that Ph.D., huh? Of course, there are lots of things that can make a piece of writing hard to read besides length of words and sentences. Sentence structure, for example — how many compound, complex, or compound-complex sentences are there, as opposed to simple sentences? How much technical jargon is there? Acronyms instead of the words they stand for? Stuff like that. Still, you get the point, right? When it comes to getting the point, simple is good. Conversely, unnecessary proliferation of poly-syllabification or convoluted grammatical construction is maleficent. So why, in the name of all that is decent, are the most vital words in our lives written in a style so thick you couldn’t see through them with a laser beam mounted on an X-ray? Powered by plutonium? If you don’t believe me, check out your tax forms. Or mortgage applications.
Medical billing statements. Service contracts. Take a bad step with any of them, and you’re likely to spend a good deal of your time using plenty of onesyllable words — most of them only four letters long. But read the fine print of any of these things, and you’ll go in search of a Ph.D. to explain them to you. If you are a Ph.D., you’ll want to file a malpractice suit against the school that granted you that degree — and you would do it, if you could only understand the language on the filing form.
But read the fine print of any of these things, and you’ll go in search of a Ph.D. to explain them to you. For example, for a little light reading, here is the warranty information for a heating blanket I own: “Manufacturer shall not be liable for any incidental or consequential damages caused by the breach of any express or implied warranty. Except to the extent prohibited by applicable law, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose is limited in duration to the duration of the above warranty. Some states, provinces or jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages or limitations on how long an implied
warranty lasts, so the above limitations or exclusion may not apply to you.” In other words, “If this thing breaks and you’re still cold, go sit in the sun.” I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for legal documents or government forms to start talking plain talk any time soon. After all, the only reason we need lawyers or politicians is to translate the mumbo-jumbo they write. They’ve got a good gig going and they know it. But that doesn’t mean that we have to drink their linguistic Kool-Aid. Lately I have been on a mission to announce to the professional world that I am not as smart as they are. When a nurse or doctor says I might need an MRI or a CAT scan, I ask them, “What do those letters stand for?” When an insurance adjustor says that I have to pay a fee to the Emergency Management Preparedness Assistance Trust Fund, I say, “Come again?” When my investment advisor tells me that my RSTD’s have restrictions that may render them illiquid, I say, “Huh?” And it’s amazing how many of them go as deer-inthe-headlights as I am when I ask them to talk real talk. Try it yourself. It’s liberating to admit that you don’t have a clue what those jargon-monkeys are talking about. And it’s fun to watch them dance. In the meantime, go out of your way to find the simplest way to say things, whether it’s on the job or at home. If you’ve got one of those job titles that pays time-and-a-half to say the whole thing aloud, find a way to tell what you do in one or two words. Words of one or two syllables. Me? I used to be a teacher. Now I’m a hack. And if you ever catch one of my articles awash in unnecessarily obfuscating bombastic linguistification, I hope you’ll drop me a line and in a few small words tell me to give it a rest.
The author splits his time between Naples and Chicago. Not every day, though. Contact him at trkerth@yahoo. com. Why wait a whole week for your next visit to Planet Kerth? Get T.R.’s new book, “Revenge of the Sardines,” available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine online book distributors.
It’s time to evaluate your Medicare options now
Paying for the continuing party
Mark your calendar! amounts are calculated. Open enrollment season In 2014, all refills must be for Medicare beneficiaries verified by the drug plan has arrived. In most cases, and will only be shipped this will be the one chance upon the patient’s approvyou have to make changes al. In addition, whereas in to your coverage for 2014. the past a co-pay amount This year, open enrollfor a chronic medication ment started on Oct. 15 and has been for a one-month Navigating Life’s runs through Dec. 7. Any supply, in 2014 you can reTransitions changes you make during quest a lesser supply and this time will take effect pay a reduced (pro-rated) SHERI on Jan. 1, 2014. New costs co-pay. Your prescriber SAMOTIN and benefit changes, if apwill have to write the preplicable, also begin on this scription for less than a date if you decide to keep one-month supply for it your existing coverage. Don’t wait until to be processed this way. the last moment to evaluate your options. While the noted changes are positive, Every Medicare beneficiary should Medicare continues to be confusing and review their options each year. This is overwhelming to many older adults and because your medical status may have their family caregivers. Beneficiaries changed or the medications prescribed by still must decide whether to subscribe your physicians may be different than they to “original Medicare” (Part A and Part were last year. In addition, even if nothing B) or to choose a Medicare Advantage has changed on your side, your current plan (also known as Part C). Assuming health plan or prescription drug plan can the choice is original Medicare, further decide not to participate in Medicare for decisions include whether to purchase a the coming year, not to provide coverage Medigap (a/k/a Medicare supplement) in your geographic area, or to change the plan or a Part D prescription drug plan, terms and conditions of your plan. If you do or change the one you currently have. not review your coverage, you may find that There can be consequences for not you have unexpected expenses during 2014. enrolling in such plans when you first There are a few global changes to become eligible for Medicare. If either Medicare for 2014. The hated “donut coverage is desired there is a further dehole” or “coverage gap” in Part D pre- cision regarding which plan to purchase scription plans is again shrinking as a re- and through which insurance company. sult of the Affordable Care Act. For 2014, Medicare beneficiaries can get perthe donut hole begins after you and your sonalized help to sort this all out by drug plan have spent $2,850 for covered calling Medicare or visiting the website drugs (down from $2,970 in 2013). and through State Health Insurance AsWhereas in 2013 you have paid 47.5 sistance Programs (SHIPs). Remember, percent of the cost of brand-name drugs open enrollment season ends on Dec. 7. and 79 percent of the cost of generics while in the coverage gap, for 2013 you Sheri Samotin is a national certified will pay only 47.5 percent and 72 percent guardian and certified professional daily respectively. These annual reductions money manager whose firm LifeBridge are scheduled to continue until 2020. Solutions specializes in helping adult Once you have spent $4,550 out-of-pock- children and their aging parents to naviet (down from $4,750 in 2013) you are gate life’s transitions. Services include life out of the coverage gap and are in the transition planning, caregiver coaching, catastrophic coverage zone where you daily money management, medical billing will pay only a small coinsurance or co- advocacy and estate administration suppayment for each covered prescription. port. Sheri is the author of the upcoming Additional changes to Medicare for book, “Facing the Finish: A Road Map for 2014 include the elimination of auto- Aging Parents and Adult Children” and matic refills for prescription drugs by can be reached at sheri@LifeBridgeSolumail order and a change to how co-pay tions.com or (239) 325-2680.
Extortion: the crime selling unaffordable mortgages to the ignoof obtaining something rant public and faultily such as money or inforstructured (toxic) assets mation from somebody to innocent trusting inby using force, threats vestors. Nothing could or other unacceptable be further from the truth; methods; the acquisition bankers’ running wild is of something through the a myth like Zeus and his use of force or threats. Money son Apollo. But having During the government $marts shaped the public’s opinshutdown, President ion, the banks are vulnerBarack Obama, assuming GERALD able to multiple attacks. his usual accommodating KRAMER First came legislation, bring us together style of the Dodd-Frank Act, “releadership, described the forming” the financial Republicans as extortionists: “I will not negotiate with a gun at industry. The most regulated industry in the U.S. got another thick blanket of rules my head.” But such is the state of politics today that to cover what was already in place; you attack mode is always first response and know, the ones that did nothing to prevent winning public relations points for future the financial meltdown. More importantly, the new rules essentially elections is the objective. made the banks “wards So what if the people are of the state,” meaning harmed by obstinate ReWho cares regulators assumed the publicans taking a stand power to shut down any against egregious legislaabout the institution they deemed tion that just as stubborn people a systemic risk while also Democrats refuse to actelling the banks how to knowledge as grossly anyway? conduct business. None and irreparably flawed. This is of the act’s provisions adWho cares about the dress the real causes of people anyway? This is Washington, the meltdown. Washington, the wealthThen came the grab iest party town in the the wealthiest for money. At the state USA. Even the media has party town in level, many attorneys sold out, afraid that hard general went after banks presidential criticism the USA. in punishment for their will get them disinvited “transgressions,” imto the circus. posing billions in fines. Meanwhile, as the fake indignation and hyperbolic rhetoric At the federal level, the Department of in Washington subsides in preparation Justice selectively went after those with for the next wave of congressional “ne- the biggest pockets and the audacity to call gotiations,” the true nature of extortion out the government as the major factor in in America continues to reveal itself. No, the crisis. J.P. Morgan Chase, for example, it’s not some behind the scenes Soprano has set aside $23 billion for legal bills, trigcrime family operation. Rather it’s our gering a loss for the first time in 20 years. supposed protectors in the regulatory While not yet finished, banks have to date agencies and attorney generals in fed- paid out some $125 billion to settle legal eral and state offices that are using their charges, all when industry experts are callpower to extort money from America’s ing for banks to build capital as protection private sector in the name of justice and against another financial meltdown. Hey, someone has to pay for the confairness. Banks are a prime example. Politicians with media support have tinuing party. succeeded in blaming the lingering Write to Gerry Kramer at gerryk3001@ financial crisis on predatory, profitseeking, dishonest bankers knowingly yahoo.com.
Friday, October 25, 2013
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Friday, October 25, 2013
A Celestial Train Wreck two galaxies colliding in Centaurus constellation Ted Wolfe captured this image using the telescope installed in his Naples backyard.
Astrophotographer Ted Wolfe looks up at the night sky through telescopes from his home in Southwest Florida and photographs it through specialized cameras. His pictures of colliding galaxies, dying stars, supernovas, glowing nebulas, etc., are published Looking Up in the leading national TED magazines in the field of WOLFE astronomy. Exhibits of his pictures have appeared in numerous science museums, universities and institutions, including a 20-month show featuring a large number of his images at the Kennedy Space Center. A full collection of his pictures are on permanent display at the Center for Space Studies at the University of Florida. A violent collision is underway in the constellation Centaurus as two large galaxies collide in the picture shown here, like some massive train wreck in the sky. Called “Centaurus A,” it is one of the most interesting objects in the night sky. It was first discovered by a Scotsman named James Dunlop from his site in Australia back in 1826. Astronomers have been debating about what is going on here
since then. For awhile, the debate centered on whether there were two galaxies involved (collision of a large elliptical with a spiral seen “edge-on”), or whether it was just one large spiral with a large central bulge (SA type). The Russian astronomer Minkowski and others favored the collision theory. Now the Spitzer Space Telescope has confirmed it. Centaurus A is a huge elliptical galaxy in the post collision stage with another galaxy, which it is absorbing. This large scale merging of the two galaxies began within the last billion years. (The last 7 percent of the age of the universe). An elliptical galaxy is sort of egg shaped, usually seen as a sphere of dull light with little detail showing. This contrasts with the more interesting shapes of spiral galaxies. Ellipticals represent about 30 percent of all galaxies with the rest being some form of spiral. Centaurus A is the nearest, large elliptical galaxy to us. It’s especially interesting to astronomers because the collision is showing us up close what things look like when a giant
else is going on in their nucleus, which is responsible. In this case the enormous black hole appears to be the culprit. Centaurus A is also called NGC 5128 by the optical astronomers. As seen in this picture, the whole thing is about 90,000 light years across. Its precise distance has proven difficult to pin down, but most observations put it at about 12 million light years away. Enjoy this shot of a truly rare animal in the space zoo.
elliptical goes about devouring another galaxy. This is a very rare sight indeed. Centaurus A is also an extremely strong radio object. Way back in the late 40’s, when radio telescopes were really starting to come on line, the signal from Centaurus A was the loudest thing they heard in that region of the sky. That’s where its name comes from, since the radio astronomers designated it as the “A,” or loudest sound, in the constellation Centaurus. It releases 1,000 times the radio energy of our Milky Way galaxy, and in fact, it is second only to Cygnus A as the loudest noise out there. The sound is like a distant “rumble,” which would be fitting with our train wreck scenario. However, they have traced the sound to another feature — a supermassive black hole lying like an angry (and noisy) spider in the center of the elliptical. This giant black hole has a weight equivalent to 55 million suns, occupying a space about 10 light days across. It sends out what are called relativistic jets that emit radio wavelengths. Centaurus A is termed an “active galaxy,” which includes quasars, Seyfert galaxies, blazars and radio galaxies. All of these emit an incredible amount of energy that cannot be traced back to just their native star populations. Something
Ted Wolfe has a new DVD available, which features 70 of his deep space images with original background music. For more information, go to naples.net/clubs/eas/ sales.html. Ted is a member of the Everglades Astronomical Society. Organized in 1981, it serves the community providing information in all aspects of amateur astronomy. Its goals include educating the general public, school children and other groups to the wonders of the universe. The Society meets at 7 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month at the Norris Center (public invited). Regular viewing visits to a special, dark sky site in the Everglades are held each month, allowing the general public to observe the night sky through telescopes, under pristine conditions. For more information visit the website at naples.net/clubs/eas.
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Friday, October 25, 2013
Lance Shearer/CITIZEN Correspondent (3)
Matt Benito, center, with Hilton senior staff including Marco Hilton GM Mac Chaudhry, right. Benito was honored Friday for saving the life of a guest who was choking.
Fast-Thinking Maneuver Hilton EMPLOYEE honored for saving a guest’s life By Lance Shearer Citizen Correspondent
hat does a hero look like? A hero looks like an ordinary person, the guy next door, who answers the call and does something extraordinary when extraordinary circumstances require. To Mac Chaudhry, a hero looks like Matt Benito. Chaudhry, general manager of the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa on Collier Blvd., along with his senior staff, presented a Spirit of Blue Energy award to Benito on Friday afternoon, recognizing the young man for “true leadership and courage” in saving the life of a guest at the hotel who was choking. Benito, a Marco Island resident who works as a server at the hotel’s outside tiki bar and banquets, when he is not busy with his studies as a student at Florida International University, thought he was coming in for a training class on Friday. But when he opened the door to Ballroom A, three dozen managers, chefs and supervisors, plus his parents and media representatives were waiting. They had Travis Diem, Hilton’s director for global culture and education on speaker phone, reading out the citation to honor
Benito for his swift and decisive action. Even John Dougherty, Chaudhry’s boss, was on hand for the presentation of the systemwide award. “A guest was choking, and you jumped in. You helped that guest when he needed you most,” said Diem. Another guest tried and failed to rectify the situation, and Benito used his training and the Heimlich maneuver to get the woman breathing again. Matt Benito seemed a little taken aback by all the attention, remaining silent and almost stone-faced as all the bigwigs sang his praises, draped a medal on a ribbon over his neck, and crowned him with a kids’ party-type coronet. He did break a smile when he was told he would be receiving a check for $350. The FIU sophomore economics major credited his education with the knowledge that allowed him to be a lifesaver, specifically his time as a student at Marco Island Charter Middle School, whereas an eighth grader he was taught CPR. The choking incident took place on July 13 this year, but Benito regularly receives favorable comments from hotel guests. As one recently noted, “Matt kept his cool on a day that he was busy running around the pool serving food and beverage. He was able to maintain his amazing customer service with a smile.”
Blue Energy - mom Addis Benito takes home balloons and her son’s award.
As Matt’s training kicked in, he started serving the celebratory cake to the attendees at his fete, while his general manager and his parents, Louis and Addis Benito, stood by beaming. “We want to send a message to all the kids on the island, that when you do good things, good things will come to you,” said Chaudhry. “With so much negative going on around the globe, we want to make a big deal of a good thing.” “Matt is a good kid. He proves it all the time,” said his dad.
when you do good things, good things will come to you.” — Mac Chaudhry Marco Hilton GM
Marco Hilton GM Mac Chaudhry leads the cheers as Matt Benito receives his award.
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Friday, October 25, 2013
“THEY’RE JUST GOOD PETS.
They sleep 70 percent of the time. They’re gentle. They don’t tend to be chewers. They’re generally not fence jumpers. They’re just easy.” — Donna Forster, Greyhound Adoption Kennel in North Fort Myers.
FORMER RUNNERS FOREVER FRIENDS GREYHOUND LOVERS WORK TO FIND LOVING HOMES FOR RETIRED RACING DOGS
By Laura Gates Citizen Correspondent
reyhounds can top speeds of 40 miles per hour within six strides of the box, but that doesn’t mean these sleek racers want to run all the time. “They are the 45-mile-per-hour couch potatoes,” said Darlene Izzo, who has been facilitating greyhound adoptions for more than two decades. “Once they’re retired, they take retirement seriously.” While greyhounds are second only to cheetahs in accelerating power, these racing dogs have a gentle, easygoing disposition, which make them ideal pets, say those who arrange adoptions for the former racing dogs. Izzo runs a kennel on her property in Golden Gate Estates, working with Florida dog tracks to find homes for retired runners — usually between 3-5 years old. She is president of the Fort Myers/Naples Chapter of Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions, which will become the preferred adoption agency for Naples Fort Myers Greyhound Racing & Poker in Bonita Springs on Nov. 1. Unlike some greyhound rescue organizations, Izzo is not anti-dog racing. “I am pro greyhound,” she chooses to say instead. “When they’re retired, I want them to have a good home.” Izzo is among several locals who have long taken an interest in the life of greyhounds after they leave the track. October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, as declared by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Izzo insists most greyhounds are well cared for by their owners during their racing careers, but Joanne Farrell of Homeward Bound Greyhounds, says she sees no good in dog racing. “I think it’s time they ended it,” said Farrell, adding she’s encouraged to see Florida dog tracks cutting down on the number of races. “I don’t see any reason to put a dog through it. By golly, when you get them off the track, they don’t ever want to go back.” According to a gaming study commissioned by the Florida Legislature and released in July, greyhound racing is a “dying sport.” The state’s 13 dog tracks lost $35 million on racing in 2012 and are offsetting expenses with other forms of gaming, such as poker rooms, the report stated. Current Florida law requires pari-mutuel facilities which open a card room to continue running dog races at 90 percent of their previous levels. Izzo said her organization took 60 greyhounds from the track last season, adopting out a total of 74 dogs since May. Farrell is getting fewer dogs from the track these days but has seen an increase in abandoned greyhounds, she said. “With the economy, so many dogs are being turned loose, and they’re not street savvy,” said Farrell, who often gets calls from Collier County Animal Control. “I always take them in.” Rather than operating a kennel, she uses a network of foster homes where experienced handlers provide
LAURA GATES/CITIZEN CORRESPONDENT (2)
Donna Forster takes Blazin’ Fire out for a walk at the Greyhound Adoption Kennel in North Fort Myers. She is one of several individuals serving as “matchmaker” for former racing dogs and people who want to adopt.
a loving environment until a permanent home can be found. The process takes anywhere from a few months to more than a year, Farrell said. Donna Forster also has been in the greyhound adoption business for decades. She runs the Greyhound Adoption Kennel in North Fort Myers. “My job is to try to be the matchmaker,” said Forster, who has been finding homes for former racing dogs for the last 28 years. “I try to direct people to the dogs that would easily fit their situation.” She tests each greyhound for its tolerance to children, small dogs and cats. Most adapt well to retirement living. “They’re just good pets,” Forster said. “They sleep 70 percent of the time. They’re gentle. They don’t tend to be chewers. They’re generally not fence jumpers. They’re just easy.” When someone adopts a former racer, they know exactly what they are getting. Each greyhound comes with its “gold papers” showing its pedigree. While purebred greyhound puppies cost up to $2,500, adoption fees for adults are as low as $115, and range up to about $300. The fee includes being spayed or neutered, shots and teeth cleaning. It’s not bad for a dog which can most likely trace it’s lineage back to the 1800s, Forster said. “When money is involved (in racing), bookkeeping gets very meticulous.” Forster currently has 14 dogs for adoption, acquired from several different dog tracks. In the winter, she’s often able to find homes for them locally. During the offseason, most are transported to states which don’t have greyhound racing, like Pennsylvania and Ohio. “I don’t think a dog should have to stay in this kennel longer than 90 days,” Forster said. “We do a lot of hauls up north to adoption centers up there.” Izzo works with the Hardee County Prison system to train greyhounds as therapy dogs for the elderly or people with disabilities. “Not only does it help inmates coming back into society, but the greyhounds know all their basic commands to become therapy dogs,” she said. She also pairs many greyhounds with local families. “Greyhounds make awesome family pets,” Izzo said. “They give you unconditional love, and they want to please you. There’s no words to describe what you get back from the greyhounds.” She will have an assortment of adoptable greyhounds in the dog track lobby on opening day Nov. 1. She invites volunteers and those interested in learning about greyhound adoption to stop by. Forster opens the Greyhound Adoption Kennel to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am. to 3 p.m. Other greyhound adoption organizations welcome calls to set up an appointment.
Blazin’ Fire, a two-year-old, red greyhound, is one of 14 former racing dogs currently up for adoption at the Greyhound Adoption Kennel in North Fort Myers.
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA GREYHOUND ADOPTION ORGANIZATIONS: ■ Greyhound Adoption Kennel: (239)731-3187 or www.greyhoundadoptionkennel.com ■ Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions, Fort Myers/ Naples Chapter: (239) 330-7895 or www.bayareagreyhounds.org ■ Homeward Bound Greyhounds: (239) 353-7335 or www.homewardboundgreyhounds.com ■ Greyhound Pets of America/Naples-Fort Myers: (239) 770-4833 or www.greyhoundpets.org ■ Joey’s Greyhound Friends: (239) 574-3319 or www.joeysgreyhoundfriends.org ■ Hollydogs Greyhound Adoption: (877) EX-RACER or www.hollydogs.org
Friday, October 25, 2013
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Friday, October 25, 2013
COVER STORY ‘ASYLUM FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE’ IS CRAZY, SCARY FUN
SCOTT MCINTYRE/STAFF (6)
The alive, dead and undead are present at the 4th annual Haunted Gross House at the Collier County Fairgrounds.
NIGHTMARE at the By Lance Shearer Citizen Correspondent
ust don’t say you weren’t warned. Make sure you have fresh batteries in your pacemaker and keep the smelling salts handy before you take that portentous first step, and become a guest in this particular house. The whole purpose of the Haunted “Gross” House is to scare the wits out of you. One could even make a stronger statement, although not in a family newspaper. The twisted sensibilities behind the spookatarium at the Collier County Fairgrounds have clearly worked overtime to dig deep into the dark, slimy reaches of our collective subconscious, dredging up all the primal fears lurking there. Imagine, if you will, that Tim Burton, director of “Edward Scissorhands,” “Corpse Bride” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” invited you to take a stroll through his dreams. Filling 14,000 square feet of horror, the venue gives the creators the largest haunted house in Southwest Florida, and a vast canvas on which to paint their “monsterpiece.” With tips of the headless, bloody hat to every fright movie from “Friday the 13th” to “Scream,” from Chuckie and Freddy Krueger to “Saw” No. 1 through what-
ever, the Haunted Gross House grabs you by the throat at the get-go and doesn’t let loose. The entry door, covered with bloody handprints, is opened by a young ghoul, giving a hint of the creatures to follow. The screams of the guests start right away, with a reminder that in this house, you are never far from a “scare,” and you never know where that scare is coming from. So keep looking behind you, and above you — but don’t take your eyes away from what’s just in front of you. Until your eyesight is taken away from you, repeatedly and without warning, as the room plunges into darkness. When the lights come back on — if they do — things might have changed. Have you ever felt that you were stabbed in the back by a co-worker? The receptionist who welcomes you in at the Gross House can relate, although she might not be in a mood to talk about it. And you know how clowns have a sort of weird vibe, like “what’s going on behind that smile?” The clowns inside the room bathed in spectral black light aren’t even close to wholesome, but they’d love to play with you. In fact, the whole approach is playing with you, messing with you, playing with your head. “It’s all psychology and misdirection,” said Chance
Cayla Ward in her mutilated face makeup before the start of the 4th annual Haunted Gross House at the Collier County Fairgrounds.
IMAGINE, IF YOU WILL, that Tim Burton, director of “Edward Scissorhands,” “Corpse Bride” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” invited you to take a stroll through his dreams. Filling 14,000 square feet of horror, the venue gives the creators the largest haunted house in Southwest Florida, and a vast canvas on which to paint their “monsterpiece.”
Before the crowd is let in, a performer takes a peek outside of the 4th annual Haunted Gross House at the Collier County Fairgrounds.
Friday, October 25, 2013
If you go Haunted “Gross” House – Asylum for the Criminally Insane
When: October 25, 26 and 31; gates open 7 to 11 p.m. Admission: $15 per person (all ages) for 1 walk through the Haunted “Gross” House. There will be haunted hay rides and food vendors. Hay rides are $1. Where: Collier County Fairgrounds, 751 39th Ave NE, Naples (10 miles east of Interstate 75’s Exit 111 on Immokalee Road) More info: On Halloween night, there will be a trunk or treat at 8 a.m., with free candy in a safe environment for costumed kids, and a costume contest at 9 p.m. The event is a benefit for the Life’s not “Fair” Foundation, with all proceeds going to charity. For more details, call (239) 455-1444 or go to www.colliercountyfair.com.
Performers get the full makeup treatment of fake blood as well as other scary faces before the 4th annual Haunted Gross House at the Collier County Fairgrounds on Oct.18.
IT TAKES MORE THAN 40 VOLUNTEER ACTORS, who go through a lengthy makeup and costume routine each night — honestly, they don’t actually look like that in real life — plus another 10 volunteers keeping things going, refilling the fog machines and bringing cold drinks to the actors.
Singletary, marketing director for the Collier County Fairgrounds, plus head ghoul and chief designer of the Gross House. “You get ’em looking one way, and then the ‘scare’ comes from the other way.” The “Gross” part, incidentally, is not a description, although after you go through the bloody operating room where the patient apparently was not given enough anesthetic before they started pulling her innards out, that might be hard to believe. “Gross” comes from the late Cheryl Gross, a Fairgrounds board member, who passed away from cancer in 2012, and was the original inspiration for the haunted house and its fundraising component. This year, the Haunted “Gross” House has become the Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The prisoners are crazy, the guards are crazy, and just maybe, the visitors grip on their own sanity is coming loose just a little. They did choose to put themselves through this, and pay for the privilege. “Some people cry the whole way through, some cling to each other, and some run through as fast as they can,” said Singletary. “But our actors are good — they can tone it down a little if people are bothered, or really play it up if someone is really into it. Some people want to go right back through again.” It takes more than 40 volunteer actors, who go through a lengthy makeup and costume routine each night — honestly, they don’t actually look like that in real life — plus another 10 volunteers keeping things going, refilling the fog machines and bringing cold drinks to the actors. Perhaps the coolest part of the whole experience — literally — is the morgue. This room is chilled down to what feels like freezing, complete with “stiffs,” dead bodies who’ve been “iced.” But do you think they have the decency to remain dead? And providing a stream of fresh corpses for the morgue, the execution chamber lets you be present as one of those inmates pays the ultimate price in the electric chair. Just hope nothing goes wrong with a power surge in the wiring… Singletary takes a “hands-on” approach to the business of fright. “I’m the Chainsaw Massacre guy,” he said. “You never know where I might turn up in there.” There is no age limit at the Haunted “Gross” House, although children are cautioned that this might not be
suitable for parents, if they are easily scared. Singletary said they’ve never lost anybody. “We have a Collier County sheriff ’s deputy on hand, but we’ve never had anyone have any kind of medical problem” in the four years the attraction has opereated, he said. Last year, more than 3,200 people went through the house. Opening weekend this year brought 850 visitors, compared to 600 last year, so Singletary thinks they might top 4,000 visitors over the five nights the show operates. Everyone goes through in small groups, no more than five at a time, to ensure each gets their full ration of terror. And it seems to work. “People tell us they’ve been to the Fright Factory, to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal, and to Howlo-Scream, and we’re at least as scary,” said Singletary. “One young lady said, ‘You made me pee myself,’ so that’s pretty scary” – sort of like winning the Oscar in the haunted house category. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.
Watch a video of the Haunted “Gross” House at colliercitizen.com
Other spooky & not-so-spooky events NAPLES Halloween Spooktacular on Fifth
4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at Fifth Avenue South in Naples. This ghoulish event will kick-off with children’s activities from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m., including trick-ortreating at Fifth Avenue businesses and the Shamrock Bank kid’s costume contest. The evening will continue from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. with the fabulous adult costume contest, the pet costume contest, live music, a street dance, a giant movie screen, and activities for kids and adults. Informaiton: www.fifthavenuesouth.com.
C’mon It’s Spooktacular!
Trick-or-treating, monster mash dance party, ghost stories on the lawn, and creepy creature encounter, 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 19, Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, 15080 Livingston Road, Naples. $10 per person. (239) 514-0084
Trunk or treating
Treat from decorated vehicles, kids activities, classic cars, hamburgers and hot dogs for sale, 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 31, First Baptist Church Naples, in parking lot, 3000 Orange Blossom Drive, Naples. Free. (239) 597-6057
Noon Sunday, Oct. 27 at Christus Victor Lutheran Church, 15600 N. Tamiami Trail, Naples. Join us as we gather for Trunk or Treat, games, activities and a light meal in the park pavilion. Costumes are encouraged. Information: Bridget at (239) 597-1043 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Max Hasse Trunk or Treat
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at Max Hasse Community Park, 3390 Golden Gate Pkwy. West, Naples. There will be a costume contest, bounce house, arts and crafts and music. Cost: $5 per family. Information: (239) 348-7500.
2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 26 at The Village on Venetian Bay, 200 Gulf Shore Blvd. North in Naples. Join us for a frightfully good time. Face painters, balloon artists, pumpki3n decorating, arts and crafts, and pose for complimentary photos in our spooky Halloween backdrop and much more. Enjoy trick or treating around the Village at participating merchants. Information: (239) 261-6100.
The 4th annual Haunted Gross House at the Collier County Fairgrounds. The all-volunteer haunted house is 14,000 square feet, with 14 rooms ranging from an undead morgue, a jail full of ghouls and one unlucky soul who gets the electric chair.
Scary clowns invite participants into their world in this section of the 4th annual Haunted Gross House at the Collier County Fairgrounds.
For children 2 and older, crafts and trick or treating, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 31, Immokalee Library, 417 N. First St., Immokalee. Free, registration required at http://public.collier-lib.org. (239) 657-2882.
FORT MYERS/ESTERO/ BONITA SPRINGS Mall-O-Ween
5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31 at Miromar Outlets in Estero. Trick-or-treating throughout the Miromar Outlets. Children come in costume and trick-or-treat in participating stores while supplies last. A Halloween Fun Photobooth will be offered near the Nike Outlet. Get 5” x 7” photos by Dick Parrish Photography for $5. A Halloween costume contest will take place at 6 p.m. near Bloomingdale’s. A contest for pets will begin at 7 p.m. near Neiman Marcus Last Call. Prizes will be awarded for the best costume. Information: www.miromaroutlets.com.
Halloween Fun photo booth
5x7 photos by Dick Parrish Photography, 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31, Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Road, near Nike Outlet, Estero. $5.
Pet Halloween Costume Contest
Prizes awarded, 7 p.m. Oct. 31 Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Road, near Neiman Marcus Outlet, Estero.
MARCO ISLAND Trick or Treat
Treat for kids 10 and younger while supplies last, 3-7 p.m. Oct. 31, Marco Island Branch Library, 210 S. Heathwood Drive, Marco Island. (239) 394-3272.
Friday, October 25, 2013
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
‘Tea’ for you? There is a song in the movie “Gigi” titled “I Don’t Understand the Parisians.” Well, I don’t understand the Republicans. Having been soundly defeated in their attempt to rescind Obamacare, you would think they would have learned something. No such luck. Instead of returning to the House and dealing with the major problems in this country (underemployment, a sluggish economy), they instead are opening hearings on the problems encountered with the computer system enrolling new members in the Affordable Care Act and calling for the head of the Obama appointee heading up the enrollment program. They would rather grandstand than accomplish anything helpful to this country. Hey, guys, too many people accessed the system and it crashed. Get over it. Instead, try doing something positive for a change. Unfortunately, a lunatic fringe (the tea party) has hijacked the Republican Party and is using threats (forcing primaries) against Republican moderates who are truly interested in getting the country on the right foot. Advocates of smaller government and less spending, the tea party closed down the government and cost Americans in excess of $24 billion. They then lamented its reopening with our local tea partyers (Trey Radel and Marco Rubio) voting against doing so despite the damage done to our economy. Fortunately, tea party popularity has declined substantially nationwide, but based on letters to the editor, whenever people like Ted Cruz (R-TX) speak, knees in Southwest Florida jerk. It’s a sad commentary that our local people not only tolerate, but support this behavior.
Robert F. Tate | N aples Core of progress I am the mother of two children in Florida public schools, and I have taught in and for Collier County Public Schools since 2008. The classes I have developed and taught using Common Core standards are the best, most successful, most well-received courses I’ve ever conducted. My students can’t wait to come to class because they’re having more fun than they’ve ever had and learning more than they’ve ever learned. Should these standards be revoked, I will be truly distraught, as both an educator and a parent. We have made long-overdue, necessary, progressive strides into the 21st century with these standards; to go back now would be a huge loss for the state, its educators, and, most importantly, our children, who are now competing in
a global marketplace and tasked with the job of keeping this county competitive and forward moving. Core standards were developed by educators and educational leaders and experts, not politicians. If we revoke these new standards, and Florida students continue to lag behind the rest of the country, we won’t be able to blame the poor teachers anymore. We’ll have to point the finger squarely at ourselves.
Never heard a complaint! I might also add that the Pelican Landing Association also had our beach club island replenished this summer by a similar method. So in the future, let’s look before we leap!
Ken Tonis | B onita Springs
Jennifer Marquis-Muradaz | N aples Shore thing I’m not an expert on beach renourishment, but I do agree it’s vital to all of Florida in general, and Collier County in particular. However, I believe there are alternatives to trucking the sand through neighborhoods. My wife and I spent six weeks in Bethany Beach, Del., recently. During the entire time the beaches were being replenished. Actually quite fascinating! They had two ships which dredged the sand about a mile out from the coast, attached to a large duct about 75 feet offshore, pumped the sand in, where plows and graders spread it onto the beach section by section. The work was done around the clock, seven days a week. When a section was done, they immediately measured the height of the sand with the strangest looking vehicle so they could anticipate future erosion.
what’s on your mind? The Collier Citizen welcomes letters of up to 250 words. We reserve the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, brevity, good taste and accuracy, and to prevent libel. No poetry, attacks on private individuals or letter-writing campaigns, please. Writers should limit submissions so that we may verify your letter. Letters can be emailed to email@example.com. Our mailing address is 1100 Immokalee Road, Naples, FL 34110
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to pick up your printed hurricane preparedness guide published by Naples Daily News.
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There’s a Sunshine Ace near you: Downtown Naples: 141 Tamiami Trail North East Naples: 4929 Rattlesnake Hammock Road Marco Island: 1720 San Marco Road Golden Gate: 11673 Collier Blvd (off of Golden Gate Pkwy) Bonita Springs: 9100 Bonita Beach Road San Carlos: 18911 Tamiami Trail South With our guide, featuring ABC7 meteorologists John Patrick and Allyson Rae, you’ll know what to do and how to stay safe through the storm. Visit any Sunshine Ace location to get yours today!
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Friday, October 25, 2013
END OF SEASON BLOWOUT!!! LOWEST PRICE OF THE YEAR!
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Friday, October 25, 2013
FALL INTO SAVINGS!
Mephisto Meph Me ph
(because you can never have too many shoes)
NAOT must present at purchase. se no not valid w/ w/an w/any any othe other he of offe offer fe or o on prior purchases
Buy More, Save More
EVERY SHOE IN THE STORE
Hurry In for Best Selection!
Free Shipping on Phone Orders Merrell
Mephisto, NAOT, Arche, Taryn Rose, Romus, Wolky, Cole Haan, Aravon, Hotter, Beautifeel, Thersia, Ecco, Birkenstock, Florsheim, Earth, New Balance, SAS, Saucony, Asics, Footjoy, Dexter, Hushpuppy, Icon, Teva, Merrell, MBT and many more... thierry rabotin
SHOE WAREHOUSE FamilyOwned& Operated for64Years
933 Airport Rd. S, Naples FL 34104 • 239-643-2559 3 ½ blks. N. of Davis, 1 blk S. of Naples Airport • Open Mon.-Sat. 10am-6pm. Sundays 1-5pm
Published on Feb 27, 2014
Entry for the 2013 Better Weekly Newspaper contest, in the Overall Graphic Design category. Part one of two of the Oct. 25, 2013, edition of...