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collier citizen

10.18.13

Friday

GOLDEN GATE ESTATES | GOLDEN GATE | NORTH NAPLES | EAST NAPLES | NAPLES

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Friday, October 18, 2013

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EDITOR

JAY SCHLICHTER | JSCHLICHTER@NAPLESNEWS.COM | (239) 213-6065 HAVE SOME LOCAL NEWS TO SHARE? WANT TO DISPLAY THE CITIZEN IN YOUR BUSINESS? PLACING AN AD FOR YOUR BUSINESS? PLACING A CLASSIFIED AD?

publisher

Call Call Call Call

263-4842 OR EMAIL NEWS@NAPLESNEWS.COM 263-4815 213-5373 263-4700

OUR TOWN

Bob Brunjes bob.brunjes@scripps.com

The 8th Annual “Walk for the Way” took place on Saturday, Sept. 28, at North Collier Regional Park on Livingston Road in Naples. Park officials estimate that 3,000 people attended this family-friendly, United Way Partner Agency Fair and 2.5mile walk which brought awareness to the community about the United Way and its important work helping more than 100,000 residents annually in Collier County. In addition to learning about community resources available from the 31 United Way partner agencies and a healthy walk, participants enjoyed meeting community dignitaries, a ribbon-cutting by Collier County Commissioner Georgia Hiller, live music by Robert Mezzio and a DJ, a performance by the Gulf Coast High School Cheerleaders, autograph sessions with legendary Miami Dolphin greats, Mercury Morris and Larry Little, and the first 2,500 walkers were treated to a same-day pass to nearby Sun-n-Fun Lagoon.

COMMUNITY PUBLICATIONS EDITOR Penny Fisher pfisher@naplesnews.com 435-3417

ASSISTANT Editor

Brandi Broxson bkbroxson@naplesnews.com 403-6155

ART Director

Frank Russell farussell@naplesnews.com 213-6035

ARTs

Harriet Heithaus hheithaus@naplesnews.com 213-6035

Business

Dave Osborn dosborn@naplesnews.com 263-4896

Schools

Jay Schlichter jschlichter@naplesnews.com 213-6065

Outdoors/recreation

design team

Elysa Delcorto edelcorto@naplesnews.com 263-4726

entertainment

Sarah Poston sposton@naplesnews.com 263-4894

Sports

Tom Hanson thanson@naplesnews.com 435-3458

FOOD/DINING

Tim Aten taten@naplesnews.com 263-4857

Vince Modarelli vmodarelli@naplesnews.com 213-5373

Leigh Tahirovic ltahirovic@naplesnews.com 213-5365

DIRECTOR OF DISTRIBUTION Teresa Webb Teresa.Webb@naplesnews.com 263-4765

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the right to reject or cancel any ad. The publisher assumes no financial responsibility for typographical errors but will reprint the incorrect portion without charge. Management must be notified within three days.

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Amyr Torres, 5, enjoys his first lesson in surfing with Surfers for Autism volunteers Kaiea Buck, right, and Alicia Barnes during the Surfers For Autism Beach Festival on Oct. 12, 2013, at Barefoot Beach in Naples. More than 800 people attended the free event that has helped transform the behaviors of children with special needs. Kharli Rose/Special to the Citizen

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.

Published Fridays by the E.W. Scripps Co., 1100 Immokalee Road, Naples, FL 34110. Mail subscription rates: One year — $234, six months — $117. The publisher reserves

To find a list of locations to pick up The Citizen check out: www.naplesnews.com/newsracks

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THINGS

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YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK

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Miracle Limbs 5th annual fishing tournament set for mid-November

Miracle Limbs-Courage in Motion presents its Fifth Annual All Species Fishing Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, hosted at Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club located at 7065 Hamilton Avenue in Naples. Proceeds will help the organization continue to provide financial, rehabilitation, and counseling resources to area amputees and their families. “This fast-paced tournament benefits a great cause and is truly a ‘scavenger hunt for fish’ as anglers try to catch as many of the 20 identified species as they can and photograph them to accumulate the most points,” says Bob Ayres, Miracle Limbs founder. All proceeds from the tournament directly benefit Miracle Limbs Courage in Motion, to assist Southwest Florida amputees who have suffered limb loss from diabetes, combat, cancer and accidents with counseling, prosthetics and moral and financial support from this local grassroot nonprofit charity. Cash prizes will be awarded based on total entrants. For more information about the organization and to register for the fishing tournament, visit www.miraclelimbs.org or call Bob or Diana Ayres at (239) 300-8156.

Collier County Museums hosting USO-style entertainment

During World War II, the Naples Depot was converted into a dance hall on Saturday nights to boost the morale of the aircrews stationed at the nearby Naples Army Air Field. In honor of Veterans Day, Collier County Museums invites locals and visitors to a nostalgic USO-style show at the Naples Depot, featuring the live music and memories that brought the “greatest generation” onto the dance floor. This year’s show will feature Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, the Andrew Sisters and the smooth sounds of early Motown. The show will take place on Monday, Nov. 11 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. An opening ceremony and address will pay tribute to veterans from all of America’s armed conflicts following the Veterans Day service in Cambier Park. Some chairs will be provided, but those attending are encouraged to bring their own. For more information, call (239) 262-6525.

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.

three National craft retailer Hobby Lobby holding grand opening of Naples store

Hobby Lobby Stores, a privately held national retail chain of arts and crafts stores, will open its 23rd Florida location with a ribbon-cutting and official grand opening celebration in Naples. Festivities are open to the public. This is Hobby Lobby’s sixth Florida store to open this year. Additional Florida store openings are projected for 2014. Kevin Howell is the store manager of the 55,000-square-foot Naples facility located at Immokalee Road and U.S. 41 North in the Granada Shoppes, formerly occupied by Home Depot. Local dignitaries, ambassadors from the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders will be on hand to help with the store’s grand opening and ribbon-cutting that will be held on Monday, Nov. 4, at 9 a.m. Visit www.hobbylobby.com for more information about Hobby Lobby, weekly specials, coupon offers, store locations, and online shopping, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hobbylobby.

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 arla Ottenstein, owner of Professional Organizer Florida and the author of M the “Get Organized” column that appears in the Naples Daily News, is renowned as Naples’ premier professional organizer. Services include complete home and office organization, multi-home/estate management; “light” home staging, downsizing and “gentle” transitions; move in/move out services and estate liquidation. An expert in her field, Marla combines just the right mix of compassion and humor with a dash of tough love to help her clients take control of the clutter and simplify their lives.

BIZ PROFILE

Marla Ottenstein

5Q SERVICE 1 Why did you choose to start this type of business?

Owning a professional organizing business was always in the back of my mind, so when the market tanked in 2008 and my marketing and public relations clients decided to cut back on their marketing efforts, I figured there’s no time like a recession to start a new business. The transition made perfect sense. Helping others get organized has always been a passion of mine and was something I was very good at doing, so why not jump in, feet first?

2 What is the most challenging part of your job? If you would like to nominate yourself or someone for a business profile, please email news@naplesnews.com. 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.

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Finding time to keep my own life in order during “season” can be a challenge — really! At the height of season, when I’m working with clients four to five days a week; writing my biweekly column for the Daily News, juggling speaking engagements; teaching at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Renaissance Academy and working on several ongoing charity

OWNER Professional Organizer Florida (239) 597-6277 marla@professionalorganizerflorida.com www.professionalorganizerflorida.com Hours: By appointment

projects, it’s tough to find time to breathe, let alone sort through the mail and keep up with the ironing.

3 What do you enjoy most about owning the business?

I love the flexibility of owning my own business, although sometimes my calendar is a bit ridiculous and I can’t be as spontaneous as I’d like to be, but the payoff — helping others simplify their lives — makes it all worthwhile. I’m in the business of helping people do the things they can’t, won’t or don’t want to do themselves. To me, there’s nothing better than knowing I’ve made a difference in my clients’ lives. I absolutely love my job!

4 What types of work experience or training were required for you to run your business?

My parents always encouraged my brothers, sister and me to find something we loved to do and to pursue our dreams. This entrepreneurial spirit is an inherent part of

who I am. I’ve worked as an assistant producer for NBC News; was a buyer for Bloomingdale’s in New York City; owned two successful luggage stores and created the Millennium Experience for the Ritz-Carlton, Naples. Each one of these experiences required a resolute level of determination, commitment and professionalism and, above all else, organization. When I look back, I think everything I’ve done was just a precursor to doing what I love best.

5 What are your goals for the future of your business?

I realize when people come to Professional Organizer Florida for help, they want to work with me and not with someone who works for me, therefore my goal is to continue to grow my business and to service clients, but also to find ways to help people, which may not require my physical presence 24/7, such as getting “Get Organized” syndicated and finding the time to write a series of books about getting, and staying, organized. Both are in the works, but will take time.

Grand Opening & Countdown to St. Patrick’s Day

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$345,000

9087 Cherry Oaks Trail #102 NAPLES SOLD 08/29/2013

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$118,000 7950 Mahogany Run Lane NAPLES SOLD 09/12/2013

SOLD FOR HOW

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 2,408 BEDROOMS: 3+ BATHS: 2 SOLD BY: Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty LOCATION: Cherry Oaks at Fiddler’s Creek

$4.4M

1547 Caxambas Court MARCO ISLAND SOLD 06/20/2013

MUCH? 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. To view our latest home gallery visit www.naplesnews. com and search for Southwest Florida home sales.

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 6,370 BEDROOMS: 5+ BATHS: 5+ SOLD BY: Patrick Wilkins of Keller Williams LOCATION: Cherry Oaks at Fiddler’s Creek

If you’re a Realtor and want to see your listing online and in print, email news@naplesnews.com or call (239) 263-4896.

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 1,389 BEDROOMS: 2+ BATHS: 2 SOLD BY: Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty LOCATION: Greenlinks at Lely Resort

$435,000 1200 Gulfshore Blvd. N. NAPLES SOLD 10/2/2013 SQUARE FOOTAGE:

1,450 BEDROOMS: 2 BATHS: 2 SOLD BY: Carol Verdile and Marybeth Brooks, DowningFrye Realty, Inc. LOCATION: Coquina Sands

* Real estate deed transactions are available online at naplesnews.com/news/business/real-estate/

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Local people, local issues

THIS WEEK’S GUESTS

Shannon Franklin

Brenda Iliff

Jacob Winge

Executive/Artistic Director, Naples International Film Festival

Executive Director, Hazelden of Naples

Edison State College and statewide student government leader

What does the landmark fifth anniversary mean for the future of the event?

What will merger with Betty Ford Clinic mean for substance abuse treatment?

Should Edison ban certain convicted felons? Should tuition vary by majors?

Sunday at 10 a.m. on ABC-7

Naples Daily News Opinion Editor Jeff Lytle puts leaders in Collier and Lee Counties in the hot seat and on the record. Cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers. Based on availability. Fuel charges and sales tax not included. Reservations Suggested. Offer ends Oct. 31st. 951 Bald Eagle Drive • www.rosemarina.com

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Video and text highlights at naplesnews.com/newsmakers


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Friday, October 18, 2013

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local news

Stitched with love Sewing Circle brings hope to breast cancer patients The Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida Project Hope Sewing Circle completed 10 handcrafted tote bags earlier this month. The quilted bags feature inspirational messages and will be given to breast cancer patients. From left, Anna Herrera, Karen Smith, Carleen Burch, Shirley Garypie, Mary Ann Sloan and Laura Rutizer, a previous Healthcare Network employee.

By Kaydee Tuff Citizen Contributor

Amid the steady hum of sewing machines and the buzz of friendly chatter, members of the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida Project Hope Sewing Circle enjoyed an old-time sewing bee for a great cause, on Oct. 5, at the Network’s Foundation headquarters off Pine Ridge Road. The women first learned about Project Hope through the Healthcare Network’s affiliation with Susan G. Komen for the Cure Southwest Florida. The project provides volunteers with the materials to create handcrafted inspirational tote bags for women newly-diagnosed with

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breast cancer. Once completed, the bags are filled with information and comforting items to let recipients know they are not alone in their new journey. According to Karen Smith, Healthcare Network Naples Medical Operations manager, Project Hope volunteers can create the bags at home, but the group decided to have an old fashioned sewing bee. “One of our volunteers is a breast cancer survivor so this project was especially close to her heart,” said Smith. “It’s more fun to do things together and since sewing machines aren’t as common as they used to be, this was an opportunity for those of us who have them to share our skills with others.”

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Veteran seamstress and breast cancer survivor Mary Ann Sloan acted as group instructor, navigating the sewing pattern instructions to ensure all the bags were put together correctly. Shirley Garypie provided volunteers with an amazing luncheon in a flourish of pink. “The bags turned out beautifully and the messages on them are so inspirational,” said Smith. “Being diagnosed with breast cancer is debilitating for any woman, but it is especially difficult for our patients, most of whom are already struggling with financial and social issues. When mom is sick, it affects the whole family.” Annually, the Healthcare Network provides primary care for 36,000 people in Southwest Florida (25,000 are children)

at 13 medical and dental service locations throughout Collier County, including the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®. For more information on the Healthcare Network go to www.healthcareswfl. org or contact Kaydee Tuff at (239) 6583116 or ktuff@healthcareswfl.org.

“The bags turned out beautifully and the messages on them are so inspirational.” — Karen Smith, Healthcare Network Naples Medical Operations manager

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Friday, October 18, 2013

The View From Planet Kerth T.R. KERTH

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Chuckle like a Czechoslovakian, sting like a bee

A

s I watched the fat bumblebee nuzzle over the hollyhocks this morning, I thought of Emil Skampa, our next-door neighbor more than 50 years ago. I think of Mr. Skampa almost every time I see a bumblebee, thanks to that long-ago lesson in the cinder alley behind his garage. Our Chicago neighborhood was peopled by roughhewn men and women, folks who got their hands dirty when they worked. My dad worked in a steel mill. I don’t know where Mr. Skampa worked, but he was the last of an ancient breed who walked to work carrying his lunch in a lidded pail, then returned at the end of the day with a quart of draft beer in the pail, bought at the corner tavern on Diversey Avenue. He was a short man, barely 5 feet tall, and he spoke with a heavy Czechoslovakian accent. He was a generation older than my parents, so we never saw any children at his house, but his wife was like a second grandmother to all of us kids on the block. At Halloween, Mrs. Skampa packaged a sack full of candy for each of us with our name on it. On rainy days we were welcome to sit with her in her kitchen, where she would read to us from a Czech newspaper sent to her every month or so by somebody in her far-off homeland. Behind almost every home stood a modest garage crouched by the cinder alley. Though our small early 20th century two-bedroom wood frame houses all looked pretty much the same, the garages behind the homes varied widely, built over the course of a few decades as one resident after another finally saved enough money to buy a car and then proudly built a garage to house it. In a way, the garage was the signal to the world that you had finally achieved the American Dream. But the alley belonged to us kids, it seemed. Our parents never balked at letting us play back there, where there was little traffic and small harm we might do, other than to ourselves or each other. Besides, it was in the alley that we kids first learned our deepest and longest-lasting lessons about how to be good Americans. For one thing, there was alley maintenance to be done, and it was up to us to do it. Every home was heated by coal, and the residue of all that burned coal was hard, glassy cinders at the bottom of the furnace grate. The

cinder alley always deteriorated into ruts and potholes through the course of a year, and every kid on that block carried their furnace cinders out to the alley to dump them in the right places and rake them to smooth out the bumps. Call it civic duty, but if we wanted a navigable alley in which to ride a bike or play a game of tag, it was up to us. The alley was democratic in more ways than that, though. Nearly every garage had some sort of useful

“No danger, see?” he said. And he opened his hands, his palms flat in front of our faces only inches away. plant growing next to it at the edge of the alley — rhubarb behind the Zumsteins, raspberries behind the Colangelos, or sunflowers behind the Skampas. Anything growing in the alley was considered the property of the entire block. If you were baking a pie or decorating the kitchen table, you were welcome to head out to the alley to see what you could find. And it was among the sunflowers behind Mr. Skampa’s garage that we learned another lesson about how to be a good American. There were three of us — Larry, Scott and me — and we were taking turns with a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun,

Annual Collier County facility tours now open for registration The annual tours have been selected for this year. This is something I started years ago to familiarize our citizens with the services that Collier County offers but none of us ever think about such as garbage Around pickup or water and sewTown er issues, or just about a certain facility. DONNA There is no cost to you FIALA or the county because each of you provides your own transportation to the site. Usually I try to focus just on government services, but occasionally I’ll include other sites as well, and this year I have again included points of interest that might be something you would want to know about. There are always limitations on the number of people we can include, so please call my assistant, Alexandra, at 252-8601 to sign up for those you prefer. If, at the time you cannot attend after all, call our office ASAP because we always have a waiting list of those hoping that a vacancy will occur. The tours start on Nov. 6, 2013, at 10 a.m. with a tour of the county’s government complex, the supervisor of elections office, the tax collector’s office and finally the Collier County Commission chamber. Inside the chamber, we will have the following guest speakers: County Manager Leo Ochs, the administrator of our growth management operation, Nick Casalanguida, Museum Director Ron Jamro, and finally, yours truly. The next tour will be the Mosquito Control facility and the displays of many different kinds of mosquitoes, the planes that spray, and more, to be held on Dec. 5, 2013 at 10 a.m. Then, on Jan. 22, 2014, we will have a tour of the Traffic Operations Center (the men will really love this one), and then a tour of the newly upgraded, expanded Conservancy of Southwest Florida. On Feb. 20, 2014, will be a tour of the Naples Botanical Garden to view the construction and plans as they expand with their third phase.

On Thursday, March 13, will be a tour of “The Isles,” which we are all watching from U.S. 41 East as it takes shape. I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to see first-hand what they are planning. Finally, one of the favorites – Domestic Animal Services — will be held March 18. There is always a great response to these tours and we have many “regulars,” so call soon to reserve

your spot. n Many people are fans of the Little League games for our youth, and the Cindy Mysels park is extremely popular but has never had good parking and safe passage from wherever parking can be found to the actual entrance to the park. The Parks and Recreation Department, working with the parents of these young players, has worked out a plan with the East Naples Fire Department to use the parking behind their maintenance facility — free of charge. In exchange, the county will maintain the property, keeping it mowed, etc. For safety reasons, a speed hump crosswalk and signage have been installed. Safety fences have also been installed, relieving parents of their safety concerns. Good work parents and Parks & Rec! n While talking about Parks & Rec, they are in the process of preparing the old roller hockey rink at East Naples Community Park off Thomasson Road to become a pickleball court. n The date of Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 is set for the Second Annual East Naples EXPO and Business Showcase. The location this year will be the banquet room of New Hope Ministries on Davis Boulevard, and will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. The booth sizes have been increased for added space for vendors and ease of navigating the EXPO for those attending. For further information rega rding booths for vendors or questions for those wanting to attend, see www.EastNaplesMerchantsAssoc.com.

trying to shoot a bumblebee off of a sunflower. Mr. Skampa came back to the alley with a smile on his face, asking, “What you do?” with his heavy Czech accent. “We’re just trying to shoot this bee,” we told him. We reassured him that we were being careful, and that we wouldn’t hit his garage. He shook his head to tell us that wasn’t why he asked. “Why you shoot bee?” he asked, still with that smile on his face. “Just, you know, to see who can hit it,” we said. We realized how stupid that must sound, so we mumbled something about removing a danger to the neighborhood. We didn’t want anybody to get stung. Being a hero trumps being a marksman, any day. “Bee is no danger,” Mr. Skampa said, and he reached out and cupped the bumbler in his hands. As I said, Mr. Skampa was a laborer, and the skin of his palms was thicker than moccasin leather. He shook his hands back and forth in front of his chest, and the bee bumbled angrily. “Bee sings a pretty song,” he said. He held out his cupped hands for us to listen, but the song sounded more perilous than pretty to me. “No danger, see?” he said. And he opened his hands, his palms flat in front of our faces only inches away. The furious bee roared out of his leathery hands, anxious to punish somebody softer for the humiliating interruption of his busy day. We roared down the alley, cinders flying behind us. Mr. Skampa roared with laughter. And his laughter and his lesson still echo in my heart to this day, every time I see a bumblebee busying the blooms. Mr. Skampa’s lesson came with no scolding. No anger. No lecture. Just the simple lesson of a simple man teaching the neighborhood boys that there is no place for senseless cruelty in a fair land.

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.

Yellin’ at us won’t improve a thing Some 75 years ago, a guy by the name of John Maynard Keynes wrote a book that was virtually unreadable unless you were a wistful academic economist with time on your hands and a desire to become a fast friend/ Money advisor to politicians. $marts The book, “The General Theory of EmployGERALD ment, Interest and MonKRAMER ey,” written and published during the Great Depression, explained in arcane language using mathematical formulas and references to supposedly immutable laws how economic science could be used to bring a balanced continual prosperity to an economy; all it takes is government market liquidity manipulations and spending turned on or off when needed. Thus was born a whole new area of study, macroeconomics. However, before Keynes’s ideas could gain mainstream traction, someone had to bring clarity to the terminological gibberish, logically invalid math formulas and non-existent laws contained in the “General Theory.” In 1948 Professor Paul Samuelson at the Massachusettes Institute of Technology provided what was needed in his textbook, “Economics, An Introductory Analysis,” now in its 19th edition and printed in 40 languages. Any student attending a liberal arts college takes an “introductory” course in macroeconomics probably using Samuelson’s book. Most politicians remember that course for its advocacy of government action and professors drawing aggregate demand and supply curves on the blackboard showing the power of economic science in action. Still, it took a few decades for government monetary and economic policies incorporating Keynesian precepts to become wholly accepted by those in power. Two things helped pave the way. First, In 1958 William Phillips, a New Zealand economist, wrote a paper, “The Relation between Unemployment and the Rate of Change of Money Wage Rates in the United Kingdom…” which basically identified an inverse relationship

between inflation and unemployment; higher inflation led to lower unemployment and vice versa. Thus was born the “Phillips Curve.” Second, because of the accepted truth of the Phillips Curve, Congress in 1978 gave the Federal Reserve Bank, created in 1913 for the specific purpose of providing liquidity to financial markets in times of turmoil, the mandate to “promote full employment … and reasonable price stability.” Today, the Fed actively pursues this dual task while the federal government adheres to a “more spending is always better for the economy” mantra. There’s only one problem; neither the Fed nor the government has been successful in achieving their objectives. Moreover, they never have nor will be. All the empirical evidence in the last 100 years indicates Keynes was flat out wrong in his conclusions about government spending, the Phillips Curve is phony, and the Fed is a force only for economic harm as its monetary manipulations do not lower unemployment but do create asset allocation distortions damaging to savers and investors. The late great economist Milton Friedman proved this in book after book examining the actual data. With great fanfare, Janet Yellen has been appointed as the next chair of the Fed, succeeding Ben Bernanke. She is an even stronger advocate of false Keynesian ideologies, so don’t expect things to get better. Yellen at us won’t help. Write to Gerry Kramer at GerryK3001@yahoo.com.

neither the Fed nor the

government has been successful in achieving their objectives.


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Friday, October 18, 2013

11A

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Friday, October 18, 2013

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Friday, October 18, 2013

colliercitizen.com

Lance Shearer/ Citizen Correspondent (3)

Ty Landers as Alexander Lewis, left, and and Matthew Strigel as his pal Stephen, react to an on-set explosion. Below: Playwright Laura Lorusso. “Afterlife of the Rich and Famous,” an original play by Lorusso, is being staged the next three weekends at the Golden Gate Community Center.

Lower right: The cast of “Afterlife of the Rich and Famous,” left to right, Jon Anglin, Cheryl Johnson, Ann Megna, Karen Anglin, Tiffany Adams, Ty Landers, Ellice McCoy, Matthew Striegel and Asia Johnson.

‘Afterlife of the Rich and Famous’ Original play has glamour, laughs and tugs at the heartstrings By Lance Shearer Citizen Correspondent

B

eing ‘undead’ is the hottest trend in popular culture. But the star of “Afterlife of the Rich and Famous,” newly deceased celebrity Alexander Lewis, isn’t a vampire or a zombie. He’s confused. The play, opening tonight at the Golden Gate Community Center, is a world premiere, never before seen, and, for Naples resident Laura Lorusso, the first play she’s written and produced. You wouldn’t guess it, though. Still several evenings of intensive rehearsals and a bit of script doctoring away from opening night, “Afterlife of the Rich and Famous” was a delicious romp, with crackling dialogue, an inventive setup and characters who engage your emotions and make you wonder what will happen next. “Afterlife” tells the story of up and coming action movie star Lewis, played by Ty Landers, who is struggling to deal with his newfound fame and success, and dealing via alcohol and pills. He takes too many one night, overdoses and wakes up dead, if that makes sense. The script draws on a rich vein of influences in American culture, notably “Damn Yankees” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” with its emphasis on the choices people make, how they affect the world around them, and “what ifs” in people’s lives. But Lorusso’s immediate inspiration for beginning, she said, was the death of actor Heath Ledger in similar circumstances. “I started writing the day Heath Ledger died,” she said. “I was devastated. You can’t help being moved by someone like that dying so young. I’ve always believed in guardian angels,” so she imagined that Alexander Lewis became one, and maybe had one too. There is a character in the play, a fan who is starstruck and devastated by Lewis’ death, and unbeknownst to her, he becomes her guardian angel, as instructed by “Davila,” a sassy, devilish figure in a black bustier, played with fiendish glee by Karen Anglin. Being dead, and invisible to the living characters around him, does not agree with Lewis, but gives him the opportunity for a little soul searching. Of course Davila, as she has informed him, is also searching for his soul, as a trophy, assisted by a spectral bellman, in red uniform and spiky gray hair, who as played by Ann Megna, nearly steals the show in a many-splendored role. Additional standouts in the cast are Ellice McCoy as Lewis’ love interest, Oscar-winning actress and good girl Gracie Marshall, and Matthew Striegel as Lewis’ best pal. The show’s directing credit goes to Kevin Moriarty,

with Lorusso listed as co-director, but with a new play taking shape, all of the cast members had input into tweaking the final product. “It’s always a work in progress,” said Lorusso, which is the beauty of a live production that can be adjusted as the participants discover what works and what doesn’t. “As a writer, you have a vision, but it’s nice to see other peoples vision, too.” Asia Johnson, who plays Lucy Heiner, the starstruck fan and aspiring actress, said doing the play workshopstyle kept it interesting. “It’s raw — exciting — and we get to have a big hand in it. This has been an extended Hell Week, where we keep making changes.” The dialog, said Lorusso, had been tightened considerably, although sometimes the characters did drive their points home with a hammer when the audience had presumably already “gotten it.” Scott Lilly, Moriarty’s partner as the impresarios of Let’s Put On a Show Productions, serves as producer. With Moriarty, he ran the board at the rehearsal, and the two skillfully used sound cues and snippets of musical interlude to heighten the effect, and move the action along. Although she started her script, originally created as a screenplay, years ago, it languished on the back burner, until a case of writer’s block on another project made her return to it.

“I was in the middle of a novel, and I was stuck. Somebody said, ‘Put it down, and pick up something else,’ and I had this sitting in my computer. “It’s a serious story, but the characters are so crazy, it’s quite funny,” said the author. Between a bizarre but entertaining storyline, spot-on casting, and Lorusso’s ear for dialogue that really sounds like the way people talk — and that includes some well-placed four-letter words — the production keeps moving at a brisk pace, and keeps the audience entertained — and guessing. In one modern footnote to the production, Let’s Put On a Show turned to the website Kickstarter, where people with projects can put out solicitations for funding, raised more than $1,600 to cover expenses, and even got a shout-out and a repost (although not, apparently, dollars) from famed director Spike Lee. Lorusso took a week off from the rehearsal process due to the death of her grandmother, to whom she was close, so the Monday before opening night, she was seeing a new version of the show. And in its own way, “Afterlife of the Rich and Famous” speaks to the death of a loved one. The play runs three weekends, starting Oct. 19 and ending Nov. 2, in the Joan Jenks Auditorium at the Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Parkway. Tickets are $18, with a $2 online service fee. For more information, go online to letsputonashowproductions. com, or call (239) 398-9192.


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15A

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Friday, October 18, 2013

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FAMILY ARCHAEOLOGY DAY! SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2013 11AM-2PM FREE! Sift through ancient sands looking for archaeological treasures. Create your own unique Calusa mask, and learn the ancient techniques of pottery and bracelet making. Watch real-life archaeologists in action using the tools of their trade and even have the chance to participate in excavating a replica site! This family-friendly adventure is sure to bring out the Indiana Jones in all of us! You won’t want to embark on this epic quest on an empty stomach, so be sure to check out Beach Dogs mobile hot dog cart during your adventure! Marco Island Historical Museum 180 S. Heathwood Drive • Marco Island, FL 34145 (239) 642-1440 • www.colliermuseums.com

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Barron Collier: The Man Who Made Collier County Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 2 p.m Collier County Museum, 3331 Tamiami Trail E. Naples A self-made millionaire by the age of 26, Barron Collier invested much of his personal fortune into the development of Southwest Florida. Learn more about Collier County’s namesake, his life and why he had such an impact on the region. Presentation by Naomi Goren, Curator of Education for the Collier County Museums.

FREE ADMISSION RSVP by Monday, October 21st at 5pm – 239-252-8738.


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18A

Friday, October 18, 2013

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Lance Shearer/Citizen Correspondent

Volunteer Miranda Fuentes, left, is surprised by teen idol Austin Mahone, bringing a $10,000 check for the organization. Surfers for Autism brought their ‘surf therapy’ to Barefoot Beach on October 12, giving kids with mental challenges the chance to catch a wave.

S u r fT

Surfers for Autism gets recognition and $10K from Nickelodeon, teen popstar By Lance Shearer Citizen Correspondent

t he r a p y

Kharli Rose/ Special to the Daily News (7)

Left both: With help from more than 100 volunteers, Surfers For Autism held the Everglades Surfers For Autism Beach Festival Saturday, Oct. 12, at Barefoot Beach in Naples to offer children with special needs the therapeutic benefits of surfing. More than 800 people attended for free and were wowed by the visible and developmental changes the event provides. On Saturday, Oct. 26, Crescent Beach Park on Fort Myers Beach will hold the 3rd Annual Gulf Coast Surfers For Autism Beach Festival.

he conditions were perfect for the surfers — comfortable temperatures, a light breeze and wavelets about two inches high lapping the beach. Unlike gnarly dudes hangin’ ten over awesome breakers, the surfers at the Surfers for Autism Surf Festival at Barefoot Beach appreciated the gentle seas. The group helps young people with autism, Asperger’s syndrome and related developmental issues experience the thrill of getting on a board, in this case a paddleboard, and riding the waves. Saturday, they brought their worldwide series of events to Collier County, and got some national publicity to help the cause. Approximately 120 autistic or disabled kids came to the beach to experience the bliss and freedom of splashing around on a paddleboard, and each one, when he or she headed out on the water, had the help of a couple of volunteers. Television network Nickelodeon chose one of the volunteers, teenager Miranda “Mimi” Fuentes, to single out for recognition as the recipient of a “HALO Hit.” As part of a program in which the network recognizes outstanding young people doing their part to make this a better world, Nickelodeon brings a camera crew and surprises the unsuspecting do-gooder with a visit from a celebrity and a check for $10,000 to help the work of their organization.


colliercitizen.com

Friday, October 18, 2013

19A

This all started when a pro surfer noticed how different his autistic son was in the water.” — Surfers for Autism founding member Jeff Adams.

1 Fuentes, who just turned 16 this month, did know something was up. As she lay prone on the sand, giving instruction in the techniques of paddleboarding and how to get up on the board to some of the austistic kids, she was miked up with a concealed cordless microphone, and surrounded by three guys with massive videocameras, two soundmen with fluffy-covered boom mics, still photographers, tech directors and all the Surfers for Autism personnel. As far as she knew, they were filming a piece for Nickelodeon about Surfers for Autism. They were, but with a difference. On cue, teen celebrity Austin Mahone rode up the beach on a fat-tired beach cruiser bike, and pushed through the throng to meet Mimi. “Omigod, that’s Austin Mahone,” said one of the teenagers standing nearby. “Who?” asked another voice. “Austin Mahone — he’s another Justin Bieber,” replied the first. Mahone, at 17, only a year or so older than Fuentes, has had a promising start to his career as a singer, opening for Taylor Swift, being the youngest performer ever on the Billboard Social 50, and named as one of MTV’s 2013 “Artists to Watch.” As Fuentes stood covered with sand and a big grin, Mahone said, “Miranda, I’m so happy to meet you. This is your Halo Hit,” just like he rehearsed it minutes earlier under the canopy. They talked for a moment, and he presented the check to her. But then the director said that, despite the multiple camera angles and thousands of dollars worth of high tech equipment, the network didn’t have the footage they needed, with the big reaction they were looking for. So they did it again. The segment will air as part of the TeenNick HALO Awards on Nick at Nite, on a date as yet undetermined but set for sometime in November. Fuentes, who lives in Pembroke Pines, and came over for the Surf Festival, will be honored along with several other teens for her charitable work. Each teen volunteer is paired with a celebrity; previous presenters have included Tyra Banks, Josh Duhamel, Emma Stone and, yes, Justin Bieber. HALO stands for “helping and leading others.” Meanwhile, back at the beach, the kids that Surfers for Autism is all about were waiting for their next chance to get back on the boards. The activity has a way of reaching the autistic that almost nothing else can, say the organizers. “This all started when a pro surfer noticed how different his autistic son was in the water,” said Surfers for Autism founding member Jeff Adams. “The ocean is a great equalizer. And it’s not just while they’re here. The kids’ teachers and therapists say the kids are the calmest they’ve seen them” after trying surfing. On Saturday, several surfer volunteers shepherded each kid, helping them get accustomed to the board, steadying it, and putting a paddle into their hands. The young surfers did a combination of standing on the board for classic surfing, lying on the board to paddle it, and standing to paddle in the trendy paddle boarding that has become all the rage for local boarders. Heather Albert brought her 4-year-old son CJ. “Water is his number one therapy tool,” she said. “He’s in our pool 24/7. It’s his way to relax. We normally don’t go to the beach much — it’s just too much of a challenge, so this is awesome.” Surfers for Autism, a nonprofit group, is based in Boca Raton, and has gone from a local charity in 2007 to hosting Surf Festivals around the world. They began the year with a surf day in Australia and will finish in Puerto Rico in mid-November. First, though, the group has another Southwest Florida event planned, on Saturday, Oct. 26 in Fort Myers Beach. To learn more, bring your children, or volunteer, go to www.surfersforautism.org.

Mandy Finau of Estero extends her arms like Surfers For Autism volunteer Tom “T-Flats” Flaherty at the Everglades Surfers For Autism Beach Festival Saturday, Oct. 12, on Barefoot Beach in Naples. “It was really neat. I had to focus,” she said.

1

Surfers For Autism volunteer Heather Olson helps Federico Rabinovich become used to his board during the Everglades Surfers For Autism Beach Festival.

2

2

3

5

4

Surfers For Autism volunteer Miranda Fuentes has Jacob Snyder, 12, practice his strokes before hitting the water during the Everglades Surfers For Autism Beach Festival. His mother, Suzanne, considers the surfing events a contagious journey. “He’s totally immersed. He loves it. It’s just like an infusion to his whole system.”

3

Lennard Cabot stands with confidence during his first surfing experience through the Everglades Surfers For Autism Beach Festival. “After a few times it comes like second nature,” he said.

4

Casey Anderson, 4, paddles toward shore during the Everglades Surfers For Autism Beach Festival. This was Caey’s third Surfers for Austism event. “He just has fun and we can really see some developmental improvement afterward,” said his mother, Christy.

5


20A

Friday, October 18, 2013

colliercitizen.com

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Even the enemy knows Taliban militants fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan taunted Washington over the government shutdown, accusing U.S. politicians of “sucking the blood of their own people.” The Islamist militants issued a statement describing how U.S. institutions were paralyzed as the Statue of Liberty was closed and a fall in tourist numbers had hit shops, restaurants and hotels in the capital. “The American people should realize that their politicians play with their destinies as well as the destinies of other oppressed nations for the sake of their personal vested interests,” the Taliban said. The insurgents accused “selfish and empty-minded American leaders” of taking U.S. citizens’ money “earned with great difficulty” and then “lavishly spending the same money in shedding the blood of the innocent and oppressed people.” “Instead of sucking the blood of their own people... this money should be utilized for the sake of peace,” they added. Seems they are telling the truth, doesn’t it?

Kent Maxwell | N  aples Cutting spending Many letters have appeared which compare the federal budget with the writer’s home budget, stating you obviously cannot spend more than you take in, or earn, on a continuous basis. Having said that, the writers then call for increased spending cuts. About 15 years ago the federal government was operating a budget that actually showed that the U.S. intake of funds was slightly more than its expenditures; so we were on the right path to reducing our national debt. However, in 2001, the attack on the World Trade Center led former President George W. Bush and Congress to declare war on Iraq. In the past, when wars were declared, expenditures increased dramatically and generally Congress increased tax revenues to help pay for increased costs. For example, in World War II, the top tax rate was bumped up to 94 percent, while during the Korean War, it was permitted to drop slightly to about 85 percent. Since that time, the top tax rates continued to fall, reducing the federal income, so that in 2001 it was almost 40 percent. However, instead of increasing tax rates to help pay for the war, Bush reduced tax rates, even further depleting federal income and necessitating an increase in our debt. Yes, it’s true we have to try to balance our budget, but let’s remember that while we may not like to pay more in taxes, a slight increase in tax rates for those earning over $250,000 a year could be part of a reasonable solution to reducing our debt!

Cutting spending for food stamps and assistance to low-income families is not the sole solution to our debt problem, although that appears to be the concept of many Republicans in Congress.

Hy Bershad | N  aples Giving back As one of 81 teachers who recently received a Connect with a Classroom grant from the Champions for Learning/Education Foundation, I would like to sincerely thank everyone involved who made these generous gifts possible. I’m in my 10th year of teaching in Collier County and am continually amazed by the opportunities local organizations, businesses and private individuals offer to our students. In the Army, we would often say to our fellow soldiers that “we had their backs,” and we meant it! It is heartening to know that our community feels the same about our kids. Lt. Col. Paul Garrah | N  aples Senior Army JROTC Instructor, Naples High School Different take In a letter to the editor published on Friday, retired U.S. Army Col. Joseph K. Schmitt criticizes “this administration” for the lack of leadership in the government shutdown.

The colonel is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. The lack of leadership rests with House Speaker John Boehner. Boehner has let his party be hijacked by a group of tea party zealots. As per the Constitution, the federal budget originates in the House. Our House of Representatives seems to have become a house of horrors.

Edward C. Smith | N  aples

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 news@ naplesnews.com. Our mailing address is 1100 Immokalee Road, Naples, FL 34110

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