Friday, September 25, 2009

A little color can pick up dampened spirits

Bringing color into your life can be as simple as getting your nails done with one of the fall season’s hot hues. The Espana nail line features dark plums, deep greens and bold fuschias. The line is available at Head to Toes nail salon in the Village shopping center.

Even if the economy is rough one's spirits can still sail through the choppiness with a little bit of color.

Adding color to your wardrobe or directly to your body can be an easy way to help chase the blues away.

Getting your nails painted is an easy way to bring a burst of color into your life without putting your bank account in the red.

Darker, more bruting colors are hot this fall. Deep hued reds, greens and plums are on the fashion palette this fall.

Tina Daubenspeck, owner of Head to Toes nail salon in the Village shopping center, carries a fall line by Espana. Biker chic shades are the it thing to make the nails pop this year, according to Daubenspeck. She also said short active, nails are look the best with these dramatic dark hues.

"Today's woman is active" she said.

For those looking for something a little more brighter and gentler, colors in the fuschia family are trendy this fall. But all shades can make a difference in attitude.

"Say it with color," Daubenspeck said.

Cape Nails owner Melissa Tran said she expects purple to be a popular color this season.

For those looking for a quick, inexpensive pick-me up for their wardrobe, Susan Flinn, owner of C. Turtles recommends stockpiling some scarves. She sells cotton knit scarves in a variety of hues for $24. Scarves can either be used as a neck covering or as a belt.

"It changes your whole outfit," Flinn said.

Pat Whitaker, a Sanibel resident, grinned as she watched Daubenspeck dab a coat of deep red on her nails.

Daubenspeck said that color suits everyone.
"You don't have to have long talons to wear color," she said.

Permanent facility for multiple medical specialists proposed

The preliminary site plan for the Tarpon Bay Medical Center, a two-building facility which plans to house a number of medical specialists on Sanibel.
Plans to construct a permanent medical facility on Sanibel, which will offer a number of doctors, specialists and on-site laboratory services to the community which has long gone without, were presented to the Planning Commission for their consideration on Tuesday.

The applicant, Dr. John Frizzell, is seeking to construct two single-story office buildings on the 2.4 acre parcel, located at 600 Tarpon Bay Road, currently owned by the Samuel M. Bailey Trust.

Dr. Frizzell, a gastroenterologist from Frederick, Md. who also owns a home on West Gulf Drive, would like the facility to offer medical specialists - such as a cardiologist, oncologist, pediatrician, OB/GYN, family practitioner, etc. - and laboratories for blood work and/or X-ray examinations which are currently not available on Sanibel.

According to the application, Building "A" would be comprised of one unit containing 1,953 square feet of space and three units, each containing 1,245 square feet of space. Building "B" would be comprised of three units, each containing 1,896 square feet of space. The facility would accommodate seven practitioners and 14 employees.

The buildings would be situated approximately 30 feet apart, with a portico and connected common deck provided to allow for patient drop-off and pick-up.

Commissioner Paul Reynolds questioned why the site plan associated with the application contained eight handicap-accessible parking spaces, rather than the requirement of four spaces.

"People who have a handicap tag can park in any available space, but people who don't have one can't do that," he said, noting that limiting the number of regular parking spaces at the facility may be problematic. There are a total of 62 spaces budgeted on site.

Dr. Phillip Marks, who praised the notion of bringing such a medical campus to the island, questioned the interior design plans submitted within the application. Those drawings revealed only building dimensions, absent of interior wall layouts and designs.

"I think I'd like to see more detailed drawings, like where the blood drawing stations might be or where the X-ray machine might be located," he said, adding that those layouts could be adjusted throughout the process until plans become finalized.

Prior to the current application for the Tarpon Bay Medical Center, a resolution allowing for a temporary medical facility at the site had been approved last September. Because the Samuel M. Bailey Trust still owns the property and intends an identical use permit for the site, planners were requested to extend that resolution for another year. The commission voted unanimously, 7-0, in favor of that request.

"Sam Bailey's dream is to have a medical facility on that site," said Planning Commission chair Michael Valiquette. "He's been working on this for quite some time and has turned down more money from a restaurant developer in order to bring this to Sanibel."

Representatives for Dr. Frizzell also agreed to provide elevation drawings and detailed floor and roof plans when the resolution is brought back to the commission on Oct. 13.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"VIP Realty Group names top producers for Sanibel office"


On Tuesday, VIP Realty Group, Inc. announced their August Associates of the Month from the Sanibel office.

David Schuldenfrei is a New Jersey native who graduated from the University of Miami with a BBA. He is a graduate of the Realtors Institute and a Certified Residential Specialist. He practices real estate as a Broker Associate with over 30 years experience in the Sanibel/Captiva real estate sales market. Whether you are buying or selling real estate, he can get the job done quickly and efficiently for you.

Lynda Traverso has been selling real estate on Sanibel and Captiva since 1988. Having closed over $300,000,000 in sales during her career, she remains one of the island's top producers. In 2006, and again in 2008, Lynda was named leading residential sales associate for all of VIP's Southwest Florida offices in Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers and Sanibel/Captiva. She is also consistently a member of VIP Realty's Chairman's Club Club, an honor reserved for VIP Realty's top producers.

Bob and Vivienne Radigan are year round Sanibel Island resident sand professionals since 1979 with over 25 years full time real estate experience with two #1 real estate firms in Southwest Florida. Consistent top producers both local and state-wide in VIP's Presidents Club and Coldwell Banker's International Presidents Elite in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007. They specialize in Sanibel and Captiva Islands luxury homes and condos, resort properties, beach and other waterfront properties, 1031 tax-free exchanges and investment real estate.

The McMurray-Nette Team is comprised of Mike McMurray, Trevor Nette, Brooks Selby, Inga Wilson, Arika Bjorkedal and Martha Smith. The McMurray-Nette Team is a partnership of trust and commitment that each and every team member brings to their clients so that their real estate experience is as special as it can be. They are dedicated to every person who comes in contact with them and they make it a point to offer the highest service.

VIP Realty Group, Inc. has provided Southwest Florida with a full range of real estate services for more than 25 years. As the largest locally-owned residential real estate firm in the region, VIP Realty offers services in new home sales, resales, relocation, annual and vacation rentals and property titles.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Benifit for Capt. Jerry Way at "Tween Waters"

Benefit for Capt. Jerry Way this Saturday at ‘Tween Waters
Capt. Jerry Way, the islands’ oldest and most respected fishing guide, is battling lung cancer. Way’s friends hope to raise money to help with medical costs as he undergoes radiation therapy.

Benefit for Captain Jerry Way

Saturday, Sept. 26
6 to 9 p.m.
Wakefield Room
Tween Waters Inn
15951 Captiva Drive
For more information
Lamar Williams, 239-340-1506
In order to raise funds for Sanibel and Captiva's most venerated fishing guide, Captain Jerry Way, a benefit will be held this Saturday, Sept. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Wakefield Room at 'Tween Waters Inn.

Captain Jerry is fighting lung cancer and his friends and colleagues are hoping to raise money to help lessen the financial burden of medical costs as he undergoes radiation therapy.

According to event organizer and dear friend to the honored guest, Lamar Williams, Captain Jerry is a respected island figure who is the "Oldest fishing guide on Sanibel and Captiva. He has been a guide since 1962.

"He taught me all I know about fishing and took me under his wing at a time when it was hard to break into the business. He's just a real good guy," Williams said.

Williams decided to take action in support of his long-time friend and organize the benefit, which will feature a $15, all-you-can-eat hog roast, cash bar, live music, a 50/50 drawing and a silent auction.

So far, Williams reports, the silent auction contains more than 20 guided fishing trips, several stays at different resorts such as Jensen's Twin Palms and 'Tween Waters Inn and restaurant gift certificates.

Tickets for the 50/50 drawing will be sold throughout the evening and, after the auction, the winner will be announced and will receive half of the money collected by the drawing. The other half will be donated to Captain Jerry - of course, the winner of the drawing can always put their prize money back into the benefit pot.

"Everybody can sit around and cry about it or we can do something," Williams said, noting that to date, he is expecting between 200 and 300 people to attend the event.

'Tween Waters Inn is located at 15951 Captiva Drive in Captiva. For more information about the event, contact Lamar Williams, 239-340-1506.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sanibel Stoop

The Sanibel Stoop - A Guide to Shelling

The entire west coast of Florida abounds with molluskan sea­ life, especially offshore along the vast extent of the shallow continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico.

Sanibel and Captiva Islands both jut out into the rich waters of the gulf and offer a natural catch-all for the billions of shells cast up during strong northwestern winter blows. Come summer, the gentle southerly breezes set up offshore currents that take away most of the shells that shellers have not already added to their collections.

Seashells have always dominated the lives and activities of most people in this semitropical garden. Over a thousand years ago, the native Calusa Indians harvested millions of large whelks for food and used the emptied shells for tools and weapons. Many of the nearby islets and ancient village sites of these now-extinct people are built of mounds of these broken whelk shells.

Early Spanish explorers, sailing out of Cuba, frequently visited the protected bays of what is now Lee County, and in lieu of elusive gold and pearls, they stocked up with water, deer meat, fish and colorful seashells. As the area opened up to Spanish and later English settlers from the north, the barrier islands gained fame as a secluded haven for farming, fishing and shelling.

By the time a small ferry boat for automobiles had been established in 1928, Sanibel had already become famous as a vacation spot for shellers. The “Sanibel Stoop” was a familiar phrase used to describe the position used by shellers while collecting their treasured finds. The abundance and variety of marine shells attracted scientists from Harvard, Chicago and the Smithsonian Institution. New dis­­­­­coveries led to the publication of scientific ac­counts and field identification books.

But the charm and irresistible lure of shelling is embodied in the common names of Sanibel’s best-known shells: the angel wing (a clam that burrows deeply in the mud), the banded tulip (a snail shell shaped like an unopened tulip bearing spiral bands), the lightning whelk (bearing zigzag, lightning-like color streaks), and the rose petal tellin (a delicate, pink bivalve used in shellcraft). Even the three kinds of cockle shells have descriptive names: prickly, strawberry, yellow and egg cockles.

Seashells are a natural, vibrant part of nature. They are the outer, protective houses of soft, living animals. As the animal grows, it gradually adds liquid shell material to the edge of its shell. Color pigments are added by special glands just before the new layers harden.

Most gastropods (one-shelled conches, whelks and periwinkles) have separate sexes, with females laying their eggs either loosely in the water or within small chains of leathery capsules. These “rattlesnake” chains, containing hundreds of “baby” shells, are frequently cast up on the gulf-side beaches. The bivalves (two-shelled clams, oysters and scallops) may have separate sexes or possess both male and female organs in the same individual. Most bivalves shed millions of eggs and sperm freely into the ocean’s water, usually in the springtime.

There are about 275 kinds of shells found in the shallow waters of Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Another 500 species live far out in the Gulf of Mexico in depths ranging from 80 to 2,000 feet. Each species has its preferred habitat and ecological requirements. The half-inch, colorful coquina clam lives only along a fairly narrow band of sloping sand beach where the waves can bring them oxygen and food during high tide. The small angulate peri­winkle seems happier in mangrove trees and on wharf pilings.

In size, sea snails, like the Florida horse conches, may reach a length of almost two feet, but the vast majority of local species never exceed an inch. Most mollusks live for several years. The lightning whelk becomes mature and may lay eggs at the age of three. They may live for 15 to 20 years and reach a maximum size of 18 inches. Scallops, on the other hand, live only for two years before dying of “old age.”

Mollusks are an important part of the web of life found in the sea. They are a major source of food for bottom-feeding fish and for many aquatic birds. Some snails are effective scavengers and keep the seascape clear of dead sea animals. Billions of clams and oysters are constantly filtering and “purifying” our local waters. Without relatively undisturbed and pollution-free populations of shells, the natural environment could not maintain its normal health. For these reasons, local laws prohibit the collecting of live shells and sand dollars within the city limits of Sanibel. This includes the exposed sand flats at low tide. After a winter northwest storm, many dead shells may be cast upon the gulf beaches.

The unique Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, devoted to explaining the “miracle of the mollusk,” is now located in the center of Sanibel Island on Sanibel-Captiva Road, just one mile west of Tarpon Bay Road. Its numerous colorful and educational exhibits depict local habitat panoramas, explain the biology of shells and the history of Florida fossils and tell how shells have affected our lives in medicine, agriculture, shellfisheries, art, religion and even in shell craft. There is an extensive library and friendly experts are on hand to assist members and scientific visitors with identification and information. All school and tour groups are welcome but do require advance reservations. There is an intriguing gift and shell book shop, but they sell no shells. The hours of this unique museum are from 10am until 4pm daily (except major holidays), and there is plenty of free parking. Adult admission is only $7, children aged 5 to 16 are $4, and those 4 years old and under are admitted free. Museum members are also admitted free. New members are welcome. You can also purchase memberships for yourself or for your family for an entire year. The annual single membership is $25; the family membership is $40. For more information on museum hours, tour schedules, and membership info, please call 239-395-2233 or 888-679-6450.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cycling on Sanibel Island

Vacations are a time to leave the hurried life behind. Strolling the beach, taking time to watch a sunrise or sunset and sitting by the water are relaxing. Another way to slow down is to explore the islands by bicycle.

Biking is a way of life for many islanders. Bicycle on Sanibel and your biggest hills will be the bridges that span canals and the Sanibel River. The challenges are few, and the rewards are great when riding about on some of the 22 miles of paved bicycle paths on Sanibel. Captiva, too, can be lovely, but the paths fade to public roadways in many sections of Captiva Drive, and safety of the inexperienced might want to be considered.
Bicycles with cabooses, bicycles made for two, little tike bikes and one-speed, wide-tire bikes with coaster brakes... bicycles here come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. There are almost as many places to rent bikes as there are routes to explore.

If riders decide to use the public roadways, it should be noted that in Florida bicycles are considered vehicles and subject to the same rules of the roads as vehicles. Hand signals should be used when turning; headsets are not allowed; lights must be used at night, and bicyclists under sixteen must wear helmets.

On the bike paths, riders should yield to pedestrians and demonstrate courtesy when overtaking other cyclists. An audible signal should be used to alert people on foot, and passing should be done to the left. In marked crosswalks, bicyclists have the same rights as pedestrians. Treating each other with respect keeps everyone safe and enhances the vacation experience.

For a wild adventure, be sure to head down to the bay end of Tarpon Bay Road to witness a spectacular panoramic view of the bay. While there, you may want to consider cooling down on a sealife and nature cruise, giving your legs a rest while paddling a canoe or kayak or checking out the critters in the Touch Tanks. Bike rentals are also available at the Tarpon Bay Explorers facility. Then head up the Sanibel-Captiva Road bike path to the main entrance of the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Wildlife Drive is well-used by automobiles, walkers and cyclists. The Education Center is worth a visit and opens daily at 9am. A handy map, orientation video, helpful volunteers, outstanding exhibits, restrooms and drinking fountains are some of the many reasons to stop. Admission to Wildlife Drive is one dollar per person.

The drive itself is over four miles in length; keep in mind it is an additional four miles back to the Education Center via the Sanibel-Captiva Road. The surface of the drive is hardened, making bicycling easy. The road is one-way for all traffic, bicycles included. The drive is open from sunrise to sunset.

Consider taking time to stop by three other nature-oriented facilities which are just off the Sanibel-Captiva Road. Near the refuge and Sanibel school is the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW). With good timing on a bike trip, cyclists may want to participate in the 11am educational program offered there.

A mile down the road from CROW, closer toTarpon Bay Road, is the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. SCCF has a nature center, butterfly house and native plant nursery. Quite close by is the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum.

Both have educational programs that may lead to a second visit or more. After the Shell Museum, don’t miss that panoramic view at the bay end of Tarpon Bay Road.

Another little side road, lacking a separate bike path, becomes the culture loop. Off Palm Ridge Road, across from the fire station, is Dunlop Road. It leads to a beehive of activity that includes the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, the studios and performing arts center for the Barrier Island Group for the Arts, City Hall and the Sanibel Public Library.

A triangular route wraps around the east end of the island, encompassing East Gulf Drive, Lindgren/Causeway Blvd. and Periwinkle Way, with a little extension to the lighthouse. Most of this lighthouse loop is partly shady. Beach condos and motels line East Gulf. Lindgren is residential. Periwinkle to East Gulf Drive is primarily residential, but beyond East Gulf there are little shops and eateries.

To the east beyond the intersection of East Gulf on Periwinkle, the road splits in two at its end. The road veering left passes by a small parking lot that looks out onto San Carlos Bay and then curves, leading to a parking lot at the fishing pier and the Sanibel Lighthouse. The right fork on Periwinkle leads to the Lighthouse Gulf Beach parking area. Although there is no bike path or road that connects the two parking areas, there is a footpath that leads to public restrooms.

Bicycling is a great way to visit the many shopping areas along Periwinkle Way. It is also a fun way to explore the beaches of the islands. By using the island map in this book, you can make your own itinerary. Be sure to bring along water and sunscreen. Have a great ride.

Florida Bicycle Safety

• All bicyclists under the age of 16 must wear helmets.

• On the roadways, bicycles are considered vehicles and must follow the same rules of the road.

• Use hand signals when turning.

• Headsets are not allowed.

• Lights must be used at night.

• Yield to pedestrians.

By: Kristie Seaman Anders

Shopping :: Sanibel-Captiva, Florida - Let Sunny Day Guide help plan your next family vacation and fully experience the Sanibel-Captiva Islands of Florida.

Shopping :: Sanibel-Captiva, Florida - Let Sunny Day Guide help plan your next family vacation and fully experience the Sanibel-Captiva Islands of Florida.

Shared via AddThis

Island Cow :: Restaurants & Dining :: Sanibel-Captiva, Florida - Let Sunny Day Guide help plan your next family vacation and fully experience the Sanibel-Captiva Islands of Florida.

Island Cow :: Restaurants & Dining :: Sanibel-Captiva, Florida - Let Sunny Day Guide help plan your next family vacation and fully experience the Sanibel-Captiva Islands of Florida.

Shared via AddThis

Birds of Sanibel

Birds of Sanibel
By: Rob Pailes & Kristie Seaman Anders

Not everyone visits Sanibel Island just to enjoy the sunny beaches, art galleries, and top-notch restaurants this tropical island paradise has to offer. Every year thousands of visitors come to Sanibel to head outdoors and enjoy watching some of the 300+ species of birds that either inhabit or visit this coastal barrier island. In fact, this area is considered one of the top birding destinations in the world. A trip to Sanibel is not complete without spending time enjoying the spectacular birdlife for which the island is so well known.

First, you should go to the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. Both locations are excellent examples of the islands' varying ecosystems and contain lots of birds and other wildlife. It’s best to go either early in the morning, later in the afternoon or at low tide, but don’t forget mosquito repellant. Take binoculars if you have them, especially if you are watching shorebirds. Take your time, look closely and you can truly enjoy the beauty of each bird’s plumage and its intriguing behavior.

The following bird descriptions will help you enjoy looking for and viewing these island treasures. The birds included here are generally the larger and easier birds to locate and identify. When visiting the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, you can pick up more information on the many other species found throughout the area.

You can also visit for a look at the award-winning bird photography of local photographer Robert Pailes. View stunning pictures of Sanibel’s birds and other wildlife, as well as shop for fine art wildlife prints, posters and greeting cards. Good luck, and have fun birding Sanibel!

Great Egret
This bird is tall, elegant and white, with a yellow beak and black legs. During the spring and summer months, fine lacy, white feathers trail down the back of the bird. These breeding plumes were highly prized by plume hunters a century ago. Today, hundreds enjoy the vast feeding grounds protected by the refuge and Florida’s Aquatic Preserve program.

Also known as the fish hawk, the osprey has been fairly successful at raising its young here on the islands. Because an osprey has a white belly, dark back and wings, visitors commonly confuse the bird with the southern bald eagle. The osprey has a chocolate-colored eye stripe and darker tail that distinguishes it from our national bird. In the past, as suitable nesting trees declined, ospreys began using power line poles. Unfortunately, young birds were often electrocuted. Currently, volunteers assist the birds by providing artificial nesting platforms which can be seen along many of our major thoroughfares.

White Pelicans
Seen only in the winter months and primarily in the upper reaches of Pine Island Sound, the white pelican is second only to the condor in size as the largest bird in North America. The white pelican is sometimes seen in the early mornings at the refuge in the winter. It is all white except for a black strip on the back edge of its wings. The beak is yellow and the attached pouch is used to scoop fish out of the sound.

Sometimes known as the snakebird, the anhinga is a dark, duck-like bird. Its yellow pointed beak is used to stab fish as the bird swims underwater. The neck is extremely thin except when expanded to swallow a fish. Easily confused with the cormorant, the anhinga has a longer, wider tail with a pale brown stripe on the edge.

Roseate Spoonbill
This elegant pink bird is often mistaken for a flamingo. Standing about two feet tall, the bird has a grey, spatulate-shaped beak and red legs. Numerous in spring, summer and fall, spoonbills migrate to Florida Bay in the winter months for nesting and rearing their young. Several “bachelors” stay in the area of the Ding Darling Refuge all year.

White Ibis
Mostly white in color, this medium-sized wading bird has a long, curved orange-red beak and matching legs. In flight, black patches at the ends of the white wings are easily seen. Blue eyes and redder beaks during breeding times make these birds quite striking against the blue-greens of the water. An immature white ibis is brown in color and its beak and legs are a faded orange.

Reddish Egret
Rarer than most of the other wading birds, the reddish egret has amused visitors with its unconventional fishing methods. The bird is slate gray in color, about two feet tall, with a brick red head and throat. The reddish egret feeds by confusing its prey. It dances, stumbles, and flaps its wings to the extent that a little fish doesn’t know what the bird will do next. At that moment of confused hesitation the fish becomes lunch for the reddish egret. Look for a bird that flops around like it’s drunk; chances are you are seeing a reddish egret feeding in the mud flats of the refuge.

Little Blue Heron
A smaller bird with a purple head covering, the body of the little blue is almost steel blue in color. It also has characteristic greenish legs and its beak is blue tipped in black.

Also known as a marsh chicken or common gallinule, the moorhen may be encountered as one walks the trails of the freshwater wetlands. The bird is all black except for a white patch on either side near the rear. Its face is covered with a colorful yellow and red plate that continues out to the tip of the beak. One red stripe encircles its yellow legs. Its toes are long, designed to walk on water plants. It clucks like a domestic chicken and is probably the noisiest bird of the wetlands.

Snowy Egret
Smaller than the great egret, the snowy egret also has a white body and black legs. Its beak is black, with some yellow beneath the eyes. It can also be distinguished by its bright yellow feet. Called “Yellow Slippers” by Seminole Indians, this bird has breeding plumes that adorn its back and usually curl just above its rump.

Brown Pelicans
The most widely recognized coastal bird, the brown pelican is known most for its beak and pouch. The pelican is often seen diving into the water or perched atop a channel marker. The immature pelican has a mottled brown head, and the mature adult bird has a white head with a chestnut brown suede stripe down the back of its neck. Its webbed feet are situated far back on the body, designed more for paddling than walking on land.

Great Blue Heron
The largest of the wading birds in this area, the regal great blue heron is hard to miss. The bird can reach 3 to 4 feet in height, has a gray-blue body with lighter head, and a navy blue stripe above its eye. Its beak is gray-black and its legs are green-yellow to blue in color. Two other morphs can sometimes be sighted in this area, the great white heron and the Ward’s heron.

A small bird commonly thought to be a duck, the cormorant is actually related to pelicans. Its throat pouch can expand to accommodate a foot-long fish! A cormorant has a yellow beak with a hook on the end and orange patches on its jowls. Its neck is stockier than an anhinga’s and its tail is shorter. This bird also chases fish underwater for its food.

Tricolored Heron
Once known as the Louisiana heron, this bird is commonly confused with the little blue heron until it turns to face you. A white stripe down its throat and chest, widening to cover its belly, differentiates this bird. The tricolored heron has a white topknot of feathers during its breeding times that looks like the hair of Dennis the Menace, standing up and not knowing which way to lie down.

Red-Shouldered Hawk
One of the most common birds of prey in the area, the red-shouldered hawk in Florida is paler and smaller than its northern relatives. Rusty patches on its shoulders give this mottled brown bird its name. This hawk eats lizards, crabs, snakes and mice.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

F.I.S.H. desperately needs food to help feed the hungry

F.I.S.H. desperately needs food to help feed the hungry

A few cans of tuna, some beans and a couple of boxes of macaroni and cheese.

That?'s pretty much the supply of food left at Friends In Service Here (F.I.S.H.) to feed the growing number of hungry families and individuals on the islands.

"We are getting virtually no donations of canned goods,"? said F.I.S.H. president Maggi Feiner.

Feiner said she is seeing more needy clients every day. Over a short period, she now goes through nearly a ton and half of food.

The local human service organization ran out of milk one day and is tripling how much food they buy from the Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers. Though F.I.S.H. buys the food at discount, the larger food bank is running low too, Feiner said.

Aside from that issue, the money - about $500 a week used for basics food items such as eggs and milk - diminishes the amount of emergency funds available for helping needy residents pay for utility bills and rent, Feiner said.

The $500 figure is based on helping about 50 people a week at around $10 a head, she added.

The problem has several roots: seasonal residents and visitors are not here to donate, the lack of people is causing the seasonal slowdown and - in some cases - a shutdown of businesses, leaving workers laid off and without a paycheck.

"Everybody'?s gone,"? Feiner said.

Though the lower population and slower business activity is standard at this time of year, coupled with the poor economy and high unemployment, more people are becoming strapped and without money to meet basic needs.

Canned items food donations for people and even pets are desperately needed, Feiner noted. The dog and cat food helps owners keep their pets and not be forced
to relinqish them to the shelters.
To make a food donation or to help, visit F.I.S.H. at their Walk-In Center at The
Sanibel Realty Center, located at 1630 Periwinkle Way, Suite B. The Walk-In Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For additional information, call F.I.S.H. at 472-0404.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lily & Company store, offer more jewelry and art

Lily & Co. to remodel store, offer more jewelry and art

At the groundbreaking ceremony for Lily & Co.'s expansion are, from left, Karen Bell, Michael Valiquette and Dan Schuyler, along with four-legged friends Lily, Gracie and Angel.
At the groundbreaking ceremony for Lily & Co. expansion are, from left, Karen Bell, Michael Valiquette and Dan Schuyler, along with four-legged friends Lily, Gracie and Angel.'
Fact Box
Lily & Company Jewelers joins BCMA
The Bailey's Center Merchants' Association has welcomed Lily & Company Jewelers as the newest merchant of the BCMA. Co-owners Karen Bell and Dan Schulyer opened Lily & Co. in 2006 across the street from the Bailey's Center.
"Lily & Co. has always participated in the BCMA events," said Ken Kasten, BCMA President and Sanibel Shell Automotive Owner. "It just seemed natural that we invite them to become an official member."
"We are proud to be part of the Bailey's Center Merchants' Association," said Lily & Co. co-owner Dan Schulyer. "They have always been good neighbors to us."
As in years past, Lily & Co. will participate in the 24th annual Baileyfest on Sunday, Oct. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Bailey's Center, located on the corner of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road. Lily & Co. will provide parking for Baileyfest at their 520 Tarpon Bay Road location.
The 14 merchants who are members of the BCMA are Bailey's General Store, Bailey's True Value Hardware, Biddles Bucket, The Grog Shop, Nick's Frozen Yogurt, Hillgate Communications, Island Cleaners, Island Cinema, Lily & Company Jewelers, Sanibel Barber Shop, Sanibel Beauty Salon, Sanibel Shell Automotive, Select Vacation Properties and The Video Scene.
Lily & Co. Jewelers are getting ready to expand their business and their space.
The three-year-old upscale jewelry store will be adding more work from local artists, children?s and men?s jewelry and an estate and consignment section, said Dan Schuyler, co-owner of Lily? & Co.
Schuyler and Karen Bell own the local business, which is known for its designer and couture jewelry, friendly service and canine greeters Gracie and Angel, both yellow labs, and Lily, an Australian labradoodle.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the expansion last Thursday afternoon.
Schuyler said Lily? & Co. will double its size of its sales floor. Within this extra space, 11 more jewelry cases will be placed as well as several more wall units. The added jewelry cases will hold a children?s section containing pendants, bracelets and earrings. A new men?s section will include, tie tacks, pens, cuff links and money clips.
"We'?re really excited about it,"? Schuyler said.
For watch aficionados, there will be a expanded section for timepieces. And for art collectors, Lily? & Co. will be featuring a more extensive collection of artwork from prominent local artist Myra Roberts and Luc Century, a fine glassmaker and sculptor. He will be making one-of-a-kind gift pieces, including vases and bowls.
In addition, there will be an expanded gift area to include art and Sailor Valentines from local crafter Sandy Moran.
The fashionable inclined can check out the new designer hand bag section. And there will also be a much requested area for estate and consignment pieces, Schuyler added.
"It'?s another community service,?" he said.
Lily & Co. is heavily involved in community service on Sanibel, which takes the form of fundraisers and goodwill to local charities along with their sought-after designer pieces which have helped the business become an island mainstay despite a rough economy.
"What has happened over the last three years is incredible,?" Schuyler said. ?"We
have become the neighborhood jeweler. Not only do we sell jewelry - we build relationships.?"
On Saturday, Nov. 28, Lily? & Co. plans to hold a ribbon-cutting for their newly remodeled store on Tarpon Bay Road. A huge community party is also in the works for their grand re-opening.

Sanibel Cafe announces new chef

Sanibel Cafe announces new chef

! Sanibel Cafe, located in the Tahitian Gardens shopping center, has added Joey Faria to their staff as the new chef and kitchen manager.

Faria owned his own catering business and worked as a personal chef in the Fort Myers area. His career spans 30 years and is rooted in the Boston area, where he worked in some of the city's nicest restaurants.

Sanibel Cafe is known for its' homestyle menu. You'll find many of your favorites rejuvenated with the addition of fresh fruits and vegetables purchased from local vendors. Daily lunch specials feature fresh soups and salads. Many island residents will be happy to learn that gluten free options are now offered as a regular part of the menu.

Sanibel Cafe opens daily at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast. You'll find friendly faces and good home cooked food. Stop in and try the new specials served by the same friendly and attentive staff. Call 472-5323 for more information.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sanibel Fishing Pier to Close for Repair Work

Sanibel Fishing Pier to close for repair work

The Sanibel Fishing Pier will be closed between Sept. 21 and Oct. 5.

On Monday, Sept. 21, the City of Sanibel will begin repair work to the City Fishing Pier. Construction will continue through Monday, Oct. 5.
The City Fishing Pier will not be available for use during this construction project. We apologize for any inconvenience you may experience while this important public improvement project is completed.
The project involves the removal and replacement of wood decking, hand rails and other miscellaneous items. The City of Sanibel has contracted with Bridge Masters Construction, LLC to perform this work. The Lee County Tourist Development Council (TDC) is providing funding for this project.
Anyone with questions regarding the City Fishing Pier Repair Project is invited to contact the City of Sanibel Public Works Department at 472-6397.
Source: City of Sanibel

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Woman searches for owner of dog she found home for in '93

Info still listed on microchip
 "Woman searches for owner of dog she found home for in ’93"
Donna Ferres is looking for the home of this dog found wandering along Santa Barbara Boulevard. Sixteen years ago Ferres found the same dog, then a puppy, lost in her neighborhood. She had a microchip implanted in the dog for future identification and she has come back after all those years, lost once again.

A Fort Myers woman has an incredible story she hopes will have a happy ending, especially for an 18-year-old pooch that desperately needs the public’s help. Sixteen years ago Donna Ferres found a puppy wandering around her neighborhood. Ferres had the puppy spayed, vaccinated and a microchip surgically implanted for future identification purposes. Ferres eventually found the puppy a good home, and went on with the rest of her life. Until she got a call Thursday from Lee County Animal Control, which said the dog had been found wandering around Cape Coral. Though Ferres had successfully found the dog a home nearly two decades prior, the pet’s owners never had the information stored on the microchip changed. Ferres was shocked when she saw the dog for the first time. “She was old and I didn’t recognize her body so much as her face,” she said. “She still has the same cute face.” Having helped the dog, a terrier mix, in the early stage of its life, now Ferres wants to help the dog locate its owner. Ferres said the dog is plagued with bad eyesight, hearing and hips, and it is probably only a matter of time before it passes away. “I just want the owner to have closure, and to be the one to decide when it’s time for her to go. She is old and she really misses them,” she said. The dog was found by animal services Thursday, running along Santa Barbara, though Ferres did not know the exact location on the boulevard where she was found. Ferres speculates that the dog did have a caring owner and was not abandoned. She attributes this theory to several pieces of evidence, including dental care and a scar along the dog’s leg that indicates expensive knee surgery. Ferres thinks the animal got out, became disoriented and could not find her way back home. “I doubt very seriously that someone released her,” she said. “She’s very social, knows children ... think she’s been in a family where there’s children and other dogs.” Now Ferres is reaching out the community, hoping that someone somewhere will recognize the pooch and alert her owners. For more information on the lost dog, contact Ferres at 768-1310.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Local Sports & RecreationSeptember fitness class schedule at the Rec Center

"September fitness class schedule at the Rec Center"

Effective Monday, Sept. 7, the Sanibel Recreation Center will offer the following fitness class schedule:

Land Aerobics: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:15 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.

Body Sculpting: Tuesday and Thursday at 10:15 a.m.

Stability Ball: Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. and Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Shallow Water Aerobics: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m.

Deep Water Aerobics: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday and Saturday at 9 a.m.

Aqua Jog: Thursday at 9 a.m.

Water Pilates: Tuesday and Thursday at 10:15 a.m.

For more information, please call the Sanibel Recreation Center, located at 3880 Sanibel-Captiva Road, at 472-0345. Daily, weekly, semi-annual and annual memberships are available. Visit their Web site at for additional details.

Source: City of Sanibel

New Manager at McT's Restaurant

New manager hoping to restore McT's reputation
McT's Shrimp House & Tavern, located at 1523 Periwinkle Way.
It has been nearly a quarter century in the making, but Brian Silveira has finally joined the staff of the first restaurant he ever dined at on the island.
"When I visited Sanibel for the first time back in 1985, I had my first meal here at McT's," said Silveira, who recently was named the manager of McT's Shrimp House & Tavern. "Back then, this and Timbers were the places to go. I want to bring that reputation back to McT's."
According to Silveira, who spent the past 17 years helping run Timbers, McT's had long been a "staple" for local residents and out-of-town tourists looking for a place to find good food, giant portions and reasonable prices.
But in recent years, he said, McT's had drifted from its original mission.
"McT's had seen better days... and will see better days again," he added.
As part of his new plan to restore the restaurant's image, Silveira has helped revamp the dinner menu. Indicating that McT's used to be famous for its many shrimp offerings, their current menu boasts 15 individual dishes - from an all-you-can-eat Old Bay seasoned peel-n-eat variety to Baked Oscar, Beer Battered, Almondine, Sauteed Scampi, Coconut, Zydeco and Say Cheese recipes - featuring the freshest shrimp in Southwest Florida.

Appetizers also include a wide variety of seafood fare, with Oysters Your Way, Clams Casino, fried calamari, sauteed mussels and - for the hearty appetite - the Beach Bucket: peel-n-eat shrimp, three oysters, three clams, mussels and crawfish, steamed hot with Old Bay seasoning.

"McT's Shrimp House & Tavern was known for having big portions and a good value," Silveira said. "Our tavern has a real pub-style menu, with some lighter fare. But our main menu features shrimp, shellfish, Alaskan King Crab, snow crab, Maine lobster... we've got it all."

Although he only joined the staff four weeks ago, Silveira noted that he has high hopes that their revamped menu and additional shrimp offering will bring back some of their longtime customers who may have discarded McT's during the past few years.

"Our portion sizes are larger and our prices are now in line for what they should be," he said. "Now we're like we were in the old days when you saw people with smiles on their faces and bringing lots of leftovers home."

Silveira also said that in the month he's been on staff, several diners have thanked him for making the "much-needed" changes.

"I'm blessed with a motivated staff who wants us to succeed," he added. "We're going to bring back McT's to what it used to be."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sanibel afternoon on the Beach


With Lee County's Blind Pass open, fish pour in
Anglers deem dredging project a huge success
Having fished Blind Pass about 20 times since it was reopened July 31, Bob Murk has learned one thing:
The system works (in other words: The fish are back).
"I've caught just about everything here - ladyfish, jacks, mackerel, snook," the Fort Myers retiree said. "I mostly fish for snook. You want to know the biggest one I've caught? Forty-one inches. That was a nice fish."
Passes between barrier islands are dynamic systems, opening and closing as tides, currents and storms dictate.
Blind Pass has closed and opened many times over the years; when it's closed, water from Pine Island Sound can't flush into the Gulf of Mexico, so it becomes murky, stagnant and excessively salty, and seagrass, fish and invertebrate populations collapse.
After the pass closed in the summer of 1999, a $246,307 project in March 2001 opened it by dredging 17,500 cubic yards of sand. But the pass closed a month later.To keep it open, a larger, more elaborate and more expensive plan was devised.
On Dec. 3, 2008, Energy Resources Inc. of Chesterfield, Mo., started a $3.2-million project to dredge 148,038 cubic yards of sand - the project was financed by the state, Lee County and the Captiva Erosion Prevention District.
Rather than simply digging a ditch to connect the bay to the Gulf, Energy Resources dredged 800 feet into the Gulf, 4,000 feet on the inside of the bridge and 500 feet into Roosevelt Channel.
Dredging was complete on the afternoon of July 31, and Energy Resources was scheduled to officially open the pass Aug. 5 by removing a sheet-pile wall that separated the bay from the Gulf.
But during the night of July 31, high waves tore a 30-foot-wide hole in the berm on the south end of the wall, and the Gulf and bay have been connected ever since.
"It's looking very good," Lee County coastal engineer Robert Neal said. "After two weeks being open, it was getting wider both on the north and south sides. We were afraid it would fill in, but with the current at 3.5 feet per second on an outgoing tide, that's not happening."

One thing that is happening is improved water quality.
"We went up in a helicopter, and it looks much better," said Loren Coen, director of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Marine Laboratory. "We're actually seeing a change in color in Roosevelt Channel and Dinkins Bayou. It's certainly improving the color and probably the salinity of those areas."
With the pass open, the fish poured in.
But how do fish find a newly opened pass?
"In general, the rate at which fish find new things depends on how much they move around," said Aaron Adams, head of Mote Marine Laboratory's Charlotte Harbor Field Station. "Mackerel, which move around a lot, will find things quickly. Grouper, which don't move as much, will take longer."
During the summer, snook spawn near shore, in or near passes.
Mote tagging studies show that an individual snook tends to stay along a single stretch of beach during spawning season.
"My guess is that opening the pass attracted snook already associated with Sanibel and Captiva," Adams said. "So the pass is bringing in and concentrating fish that would have been scattered along the coastline."
Opening the pass is also attracting fishermen.
"I'd been watching news about it on the Internet with great interest," said Kevin Griffin of Hampshire, England. "I was here three years ago when the pass was closed and wanted to fish here when it was open. The fishing is pretty good, I have to say. I've caught snook, a blue runner, pompano and, always, catfish."