Newsletter August 26 - 31, 2012

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Current news of interest of Naples and Southwest Florida.  Keeps you up-to-date with other postings or news and events about Naples
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 The Florida Keys - For those of you that have never been here before, the Florida Keys are a 106 mile long chain of islands that begin at the very bottom of Florida's mainland. They are often referred to as America's Caribbean.
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Emergency officials 'getting ready to get ready' for Tropical Storm Isaac

Emergency officials are stocking shelters, reviewing hurricane plans and urging residents to prepare as Tropical Storm Isaac barrels toward Florida.

If projections hold, Isaac could hit Southwest Florida as a Category 1 hurricane on Monday. If the storm comes ashore near Naples, as forecasters currently predict, it would be the first hurricane to hit the coast since Wilma in 2005 and the first since Collier County’s new emergency services center opened in 2009.



The Counter burger joint opens today in the same block as Bravo! Cucina Italiana in Mercato in North Naples.

It's time for a New Build-Your-Own-Burger joint with a full bar, like The Counter in Mercato

Burger lovers should rejoice today.

THE COUNTER - Custom Built Burgers is targeted to open Aug. 18 in the same block as Bravo! Cucina Italiana in Mercato in North Naples.

This may be one of those places where you may need a little more time to do your homework anyway. With the possibility of more than 312,000 different burger combinations, it may be best to go online to familiarize yourself with the extensive menu of gourmet ingredients before you arrive awestruck.

The California-based chain gives patrons a clipboard to check off items wanted on each burger. Choose among beef, turkey, chicken and veggie burgers, burger size, type of bun, 12 cheeses, 20 sauce options, four of 20 different toppings, and from nine premium toppings such as a fried egg, avocado or sautéed mushrooms.

The 2,800-square-foot space seats 161 people. The interior is contemporary space with beach artwork showcasing photography by Gary Copeland. The restaurant also features an outdoor patio seating 66.

The Counter Menu - Burger Bar Order Form

For more information, visit TheCounterBurger.com

  • In a pickle: Questions about spring training baseball remain with Lee Commission changes

    Will Lee County continue pursuing the Washington Nationals, trying to persuade them to leave their current spring home in Viera and relocate to City of Palms Park, the Red Sox previous home?

    The answer is yes. Lee County manager Karen Hawes and assistant manager, Doug Meurer, are scheduled to meet with Nationals executives Aug. 31 in Washington.

    "We're going to sit down at a table with the ownership and see we what we got, where we're at," Meurer said.

    The Minnesota Twins, who have trained at the Lee County Sports Complex since 1991, are asking for about $45 million in upgrades to their facility, which will be 22 years old when the team reports for spring training in February 2013.

    A Feb. 1 deadline has been set to approve an agreement on stadium and practice facility upgrades or a new lease agreed upon by the Twins and the county could be voided. Could the Twins deal be dead? Commissioner Tammy Hall doesn't anticipate any snags.


  • Getting out the vote: There’s an election Friday, and art is looking for your ballot People's choice awards at the annual Naples Art Association members' show opening Friday at the von Liebig Center — just lots of eye-catching art.

    The emphasis is on "lots": von Liebig curator Jack O'Brien said the center has to limit the size of the works to 36 inches square so it can get them all in. There are 112 this year, and he has to get them all in the area of the Watson gallery so people who come to the public reception Friday can vote.

    Papa John’s founder to raise price of pizza because of Obamacare . Papa John’s founder to raise price of pizza because of 'Obamacare'

    John Schnatter, CEO and founder of Papa John’s Pizza.

    Papa John’s warns it will have to raise the price of its pizzas due to President Obama’s health care law.

    In a conference call during last week’s shareholder’s meeting, John Schnatter, CEO and founder of Papa John’s, said pizza will cost up to 14 cents more when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014, according to Politico and WNEW.

    Schnatter, a Romney supporter, held a private fundraiser for the GOP presidential candidate at his Kentucky home in April. Schnatter also has a home in Naples.


    A quote from the John Wayne movie "Mcclintock"

    "I don't give jobs, I hire men with a fair wage for a fair days work. That way we're both happy".

    Papa John's pizza controversy: Another fast-food chain embroiled in culture war.

    Food for Thought

  • Restaurant/Foodservice employees (not corporate types - they receive benefits) typically receive little or no benefits. Sad but true. Typically only a few "Key" people may receive some benefits.

  • When a Food Service/Restaurant employee does receive medical benefits, they are of lower quality, more of a shared expense/risk policy with the employee's cost exposure greatly increase, Management included.

  • Vacation time. Mostly unpaid or minimium compared to most Industries.

  • Holiday pay, forget about it!

  • Food Services benefits as a whole does not compare well with other Industies. This is again true with the rank and file employee and Management.

  • Fast Food/Restaurants in particular are notorious for hiring part timers, no benefit cost.

  • What is papa's marketing cost? 10%, 15% on Sales of 1 -2 $$$ Billion dollars. Spend 1% of marketing for Benefits for your loyal employees and reap the benefits (happy and loyal employees).

  • If we can reject buying shoes, clothes, Apple products etc because of abusive labor laws, then we can refuse Papa Johns pizza too.

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  • Kids Free Fridays at Rookery Bay
  • When: August 10, 17, 24, 31, 2012 | 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Where: Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center - Naples, FLPrice: Free - $5 | Ages: All ages

    Stay cool indoors at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center during the Kids Free Fridays program. Children 12 and younger who are accompanied by an adult, get in free. (Admission for adults is $5)

    Educators will present a different topic each week tied overall to marine mammals, including dolphins, manatees and whales. Activities include a marine critter touch tank, story time, films, and crafts, including mammal track printing and manatee puppets.

    Kids can also participate in a live video Q&A with trainers at the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, Fla.

    A caterer will be on-site to sell kid- and mom-friendly lunches, such as sandwiches, snacks and gourmet salads.

    Registration is not required

  • Shelling in the Ten Thousand Islands
  • When: Through July & August | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Where: Marco/Naples area -Price: $60 | Ages: All agesTickets: http://www.fishandtournaples.com

    Two people for $60 shelling summer special for 1.5hrs. Limited seating available through July & August only! Our Florida naturalist captains will take you and a guest shelling in the remote Ten Thousand Islands.

    Call 239-970-0066 to book your trip.

  • Barrier Islands Guided Walk
  • When: August 24, 28, | 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.Where: Bowditch Point Recreational Park - Fort Myers Beach, FLPrice: Free - $1 | Ages: All ages

    Barrier Islands guided walk: 1 to 2:30 p.m. Fridays and 9:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays, Bowditch Point Park, 50 Estero Blvd., Meet at the upper patio, Fort Myers Beach. Free. $1, parking or free with a Lee County Parks & Recreation parking Sticker. 239-533-7444 or www.leeparks.org

  • Murder Mystery Dinner Train: Dice, Deeds, & Death
  • When: August - Every Friday 2012 | 6:30 p.m.Where: Colonial Station - Fort Myers, FLPrice: $66 - $74 | Ages: All agesTickets: http://semgulf.com

    Seminole Gulf Railway, Murder Mystery Dinner Train presents “Dice, Deeds, & Death.” All passengers are hereby warned that pickpockets, card sharks, and hustlers are running rampant throughout the country’s train system. While railroads are trying to stop it, the mob is trying to take over the action.

    Join the fun as we unravel a comical mystery before your eyes. It is up to you to decide just who the killer is and why they would do such a dastardly deed.

    A prize will be awarded to the one super sleuth in each dining car. Price includes a scrumptious five course dinner, murder mystery show and train ride. Cash / Credit beverage service on board the train. Full bar, wine list, beer, and non-alcoholic offerings.

    Train departs promptly at 6:30 pm. Friday: $66, plus tax and gratuity, Saturday $74, plus tax and gratuity

    239-275-8487 or http://semgulf.com

  • CCSO's Hot Summer Nights - Fleischmann Park
  • When: August 24, 31, 2012 | 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.Where: Fleischmann Park - Naples, FLAges: All agesTickets: http://www.colliersheriff.org/Index.aspx?page=3027

    This popular program hosted by the Collier County Sheriff's Office will take place Friday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. at parks and other locations throughout Collier County.

    Open to students in middle and high school. Hot Summer Nights includes water slides, music, dancing games, sports, roller skating, and water park events. Kids can snack on snow cones, popcorn and hot dogs served up by deputies.

  • Texas Hold Em Tournament
  • When: August - Every Friday 2012 | 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.Where: Fred's Food, Fun & Spirits - Naples, FLPrice: Free | Ages: 18+Tickets: http://www.fredsnaples.com

  • Third Street South Farmers Market
  • When: August - Every Saturday 2012 | 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.Where: Third Street South - Naples, FLPrice: Free | Ages: All ages

    The farmer's market includes fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, homemade pasta, live herbs and plants, spices and teas, salsa, jams and jellies. The market is located behind Tommy Bahama, 1220 Third St. S., Naples. Free admission. Call 434-6533 for more information.Third Street Farmers Market

  • Shelling in the Ten Thousand Islands
  • When: July/August - Daily, 2012 | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Where: 750 Palm Point Dr. Goodland, FL 34140 -Price: $60 | Ages: All agesTickets: http://www.fishandtournaples.com

    Two people for $60 shelling summer special for 1.5hrs. Limited seating available through July & August only! Our Florida naturalist captains will take you and a guest shelling in the remote Ten Thousand Islands.

    Call 239-970-0066 to book your trip.

    750 Palm Point Dr. Goodland, FL 34140

  • Isles of Capri Kayak with Up A Creek Kayak Tours, Ten Thousand Islands Kayak - Mangrove Estuary Kayak Tours
  • When: August Daily, 2012 | 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.Where: Isles of Capri Paddle Craft Park - Ten Thousand Islands Kayak with Up A Creek Kayak Tours - Waters of Rookery Bay Reserve -Ages: 12+Tickets: http://www.upacreekkayak.com

    Paddle through twisting mangrove tunnels, quiet bays and over mudflats teeming with life on a 2.5 mile naturalist-guided tour. Linger with wading birds, soaring ospreys and leaping fish as you experience this pristine estuary and quiet, non-motorized launch site.

    Tour includes brief paddling instruction and all equipment. To register, visit the website www.upacreekkayak.com or call 239-293-6232

  • Orange Jeep Tour [Florida Safari]
  • When: May 1 - Aug 31, 2012 | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Where: Ave Maria La Piazza Town Center - Ave Maria, FLPrice: $20 - $30 | Ages: All agesTickets: http://orangejeeptours.com

    Take a jeep safari through beautiful and historic south west Florida ecosystems that are part of a massive wildlife preserve and then cool off in a 14 million dollar water park. Common sightings include gator, deer, otter, bear and numerous species of birds and small animals.

    Learn about conservation and history while enjoying a custom jeep ride narrated by a professional guide. Suitable for all ages the jeep ride is smooth non challenging with a variety of seating options, after that enjoy a cool dip in the water park and visit the town for a bite to eat at one of the restaurants and shops located in the town center.

    Information: 239-434-JEEP (5337)

  • Baby boot camp
  • When: August 24, 2012 | 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.Where: Miromar Outlets - Estero, FLPrice: Free | Ages: All ages

    A certified fitness professional offers exercise classes for pregnant, post-natal and ultra fit moms. In Miromar Outlet's Playland

    For more information, go to MiromarOutlets.com

  • Free admission for all emergency workers at Naples Zoo
  • When: Aug. 1-31, 2012 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Where: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens - Naples, FLPrice: Free - $19.95 | Ages: All agesTickets: http://www.napleszoo.org

    Free admission: Emergency workers are admitted free by purchasing an online ticket at www.napleszoo.org and redeeming it at the zoo along with identification from work (police, paramedics and firefighters) to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, Aug. 1-31, 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples. Adult and child guests of emergency workers get $2 off regular admission. 239-262-5409

  • Mammals: Take a Walk on the Wild Side
  • When: August 24, 2012 | 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.Where: Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park - Naples, FLAges: 4+Tickets: http://www.floridastateparks.org/delnorwiggins/default.cfm

    Friday August 24th, 9:30amCome and learn the different native and exotic species of mammals in the park. You will learn their different habitats, diets, and the impacts that the exotic species have on the natives. Please call in advance for reservations and if you need assistance at 239-597-6196.

  • Flea and Farmers Market
  • When: Every Saturday and Sunday | 7:30 a.m. to noonWhere: Collier County Fairgrounds - Naples, FLPrice: Free | Ages: All ages

    The NEW location for the only weekly flea market in Collier County that was previously located at the Naples Drive-In Theatre for many years.

    Every Saturday and Sunday at the Collier County Fairgrounds. Eleven miles east of 75, just after Waterways on the right.

  • Free admission for all emergency workers at Naples Zoo
  • When: All August 2012 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Where: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens - Naples, FLPrice: Free - $19.95 | Ages: All agesTickets: http://www.napleszoo.org

    Free admission: Emergency workers are admitted free by purchasing an online ticket at www.napleszoo.org and redeeming it at the zoo along with identification from work (police, paramedics and firefighters) to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, Aug. 1-31, 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples. Adult and child guests of emergency workers get $2 off regular admission. 239-262-5409

  • Isles of Capri Kayak with Up A Creek Kayak Tours
  • When: August 2012 | 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.Where: Isles of Capri Paddle Craft Park -Ages: 12+Tickets: http://www.upacreekkayak.com

    Paddle through twisting mangrove tunnels, quiet bays and over mudflats teeming with life on a 2.5 mile naturalist-guided tour. Linger with wading birds, soaring ospreys and leaping fish as you experience this pristine estuary and quiet, non-motorized launch site. Tour includes brief paddling instruction and all equipment. To register, visit the website www.upacreekkayak.com or call 239-293-6232

  • Walk on the Wild Side
  • When: August 24, 2012 | 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.Where: Lovers Key State Park - Bonita Springs, FLAges: 12+

    Take a mile-long guided hike along our Black Island Trail with a park ranger to learn about the fascinating vegetation and wildlife that reside in this maritime hammock.

    Reservations required, call (239) 463-4588

  • Matinee at the Museum: Wind Across the Everglades
  • When: August 24, 2012 | 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.Where: Collier County Museum - Naples, FLPrice: Free | Ages: All agesTickets: http://www.colliermuseums.com

    Filmed in, and around Goodland, Florida. Florida is portrayed as a tough and rowdy place, and a teacher turned game warden takes on a gang of unruly poachers who are killing rare birds for their fashionable, valuable plumage. Based on a true story. Starring Burl Ives and Peter Falk. Movie begins at 1 p.m. in the Collier County Museum’s lecture hall.

  • Fortune Teller
  • When: August 24, 2012 | 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.Where: Bha! Bha! A Persian Bistro - Naples, FLPrice: Free | Ages: All ages

    One of Bha! Bha!'s three regular experts will offer a glimpse into the future for you. Complimentary with dinner.

  • Fort Myers Miracle's Fill 'er Up Friday
  • When: August 24, 2012 | 5:30 p.m.Where: Hammond Stadium - Fort Myers, FLPrice: $7 - $10 | Ages: All agesTickets: http://fm1.glitnirticketing.com/fmticket/web/ev_list.php

    Tonight it's the Fort Myers Miracle vs Palm Beach Cardinals (gates open at 6 p.m., game starts at 7:05 p.m. )

    Game specials/activities: ++Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida will collect donations of gently used clothing, accessories, and household goods from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the parking lot. Make a donation and receive a ticket voucher for the Aug. 31 game.

    ++Register at the Bahama Breeze booth for a chance to throw out the first pitch of the game (must be registered by 6:30pm).

    ++$1 beers and sodas from 6 to 7pm. Fill 'er up with the All-You-Can-Eat menu for only $14. That includes a general admission ticket for the game, brought to you by Bahama Breeze, Budweiser, Hampton Farms and B103.9.

    ++After the game kids can sprint the bases

    ++Team autograph party in the picnic pavilion after the game, players will be signing autographs.

    Advance tickets: $6.50-$8.50Day of game tickets: $7.50-$9.50

    For more information, go to www.miraclebaseball.com

  • Back to School Bash at Sun-N-Fun Lagoon
  • When: August 24, 2012 | 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.Where: Sun N Fun Lagoon‎ - Naples, FLAges: All ages

    Back to School Bash: 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 24, Sun-n-Fun Lagoon, North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livingston Road, Naples.

  • Third Street South Farmers Market
  • When: August 25, 2012 | 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.Where: Third Street South - Naples, FLPrice: Free | Ages: All ages

    The farmer's market includes fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, homemade pasta, live herbs and plants, spices and teas, salsa, jams and jellies. The market is located behind Tommy Bahama, 1220 Third St. S., Naples. Free admission. Call 434-6533 for more information.

  • Flea and Farmers Market
  • When: August 25, 2012 | 7:30 a.m. to noonWhere: Collier County Fairgrounds - Naples, FLPrice: Free | Ages: All ages

    The NEW location for the only weekly flea market in Collier County that was previously located at the Naples Drive-In Theatre for many years. Every Saturday and Sunday at the Collier County Fairgrounds. Eleven miles east of 75, just after Waterways on the right.

  • Summer Jazz on the Gulf at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf ClubSummerJazz on the Gulf at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club

    The smooth sounds of Jazz continue this summer at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club’s 26th annual “SummerJazz on the Gulf” free concert series. Gorgeous sunsets, beautiful views of the Gulf, and refreshing breezes provide the perfect backdrop for the fun, free concert series held on the resort’s scenic Watkins Lawn overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

    “SummerJazz on the Gulf” takes place one Saturday evening per month from 7 - 10 p.m. beginning in June. This year’s concerts will be on:

    • Saturday, June 25
    • Saturday, July 23
    • Saturday, August 27
    • Saturday, September 24, 2011.

    The entertainment lineup is not yet set, but last year’s entertainment included performances by Blue Dice, Late Night Brass, The Mike MacArthur Band, and Denise Moore and Then Some. All of the concerts are free, family-friendly, and open to the public.

  • Mercato's Summer Series of FUN!
  • MUSIC & MOVIES @ Mercato
    Plan your hot summer nights around great
    Mercato Nights Music Series:Movies on the Lawn
    06/07/12 - Jahgape06/19/12 - Secretariat
    07/05/12 - Damn Outlaws07/17/12 - Jaws
    08/02/12 - Mubone 08/21/12 - The Great Outdoors
    09/06/12 - The High Chiefs09/18/12 - Tootsie

    Hurricane season's arrival means time to check your property, flood insurance NAPLES — Making sure your property insurance is in order before the storm can make all of the difference after a storm.

    Hurricane season, which began Friday, is an important time to make sure you know what your insurance covers — and what it doesn't.

    This year in Collier County, it's also important to learn the details of changes in flood risks based on the 2012 FEMA flood insurance rate maps that went into effect May 16. New changes to the maps were announced Friday with more specific information to be released by June 14 that could ease the need for new flood insurance policies for thousands in Collier.

    Since half of the year is hurricane season, June through November, and the peak of that season lasts three months, August through October, it's good to know your risks and how to protect yourself and your property.

    Wildlife Clinic: watch for gopher tortoises under your car

    LOOK BEFORE DRIVING AWAYPlease take a minute to look under your car before driving away from our beach parking lots. Gopher tortoises frequently rest under parked cars. Injuries to these beautiful creatures are preventable if we all just take a moment and remember to look under our vehicles.

    SURPRISE RESCUEA man spotted a small cat in the road on Collier Boulevard when he was out for a morning jog. Somehow, the cat was uninjured, despite two trucks straddling it as they sped along. The jogger grabbed the cat right before it got to the median. The frightened cat burrowed into the jogger's chest as he carried it back home. Believing it was a stray house kitten, the man and his wife offered it food. It didn't take long for them to realize he had rescued a baby bobcat, not a domestic kitten!

    Senior cents-ability: there are discounts for seniors in many places — just ask If you're a retiree, coffee is still free at your local bank and at Chick-fil-A.

    There are senior discounts around time that may not be openly advertised, but they are there.

    Health and medications may be at the top of the list for senior needs, and some area institutions honor that. Local retail heavyweight Publix offers several basic prescription medicines free for all customers, but it's the first-line diabetes meds — metformin and lisinopril — that make the difference for seniors.

    Snook season gone until 2013

    Florida's snook fishing season will remain closed on the west coast until 2013 instead of opening as planned on Sept. 1, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced this week.

    Wildlife officials made the decision in light of a 2010 cold kill, which reduced the snook population on the state's coasts.

    Snook season was closed on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts on Jan. 16, 2010, but it reopened last September on the Atlantic Coast, where the freeze was not as severe.

    Recreational snook season is expected to reopen in the Gulf on Sept. 1, 2013. Until then, catch-and-release of snook will be allowed.


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