Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sanibel Fireman - Calendar for 2012

Sanibel Fire Rescue Calender 2012 !!

The calendar will be available in October. Fireman are getting fit and are ready for their
Photo – shoots.   You can get a signed copy
at the  Baileyfest.  Non-profit – proceeds going to Caleb’s Crusade (Childhood
Cancer) and F.I.S.H.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

‘Ding’ Days photo contest now under way

July marks the opening of the 24th Annual “Ding” Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest.

The contest, sponsored by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) and held in conjunction with “Ding” Darling Days, Oct. 16-22, 2011, honors the birthday of Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling, one of the foremost conservationists in American history and the driving force behind the eponymous J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Deadline for submission is 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15. Complete contest rules are listed below.

For an entry form and other contest information, log on and click on “Photo Contest.” Or contact DDWS at or 239-472-1100, ext. 233.

Winners will be announced and awarded prizes at Conservation Art Day on Saturday, Oct. 22, part of “Ding” Darling Days.

Entries may be delivered in person to J.N. “Ding” Darling NWR or by mail to “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, One Wildlife Drive, Sanibel, FL 33957 (ATTN: Gary Ogden).

• There is a $25 per person entry fee that provides you with a membership to the Society and is used to defray the cost of the contest.

• Only AMATEUR (all ages) photographers are eligible to enter. (May not possess a professional photographer tax identification number for the sale of photographs).

• Photos must be taken at J.N. “Ding” Darling NWR and have been taken within two years of entry date.

• Photos must be 8” x 10” (or full frame 8” x 12”) with an 11” x 14” mat. This will facilitate display in the Visitor Center. (Please – no hangers on the backs of photographs.) Frames are not permitted. Please include one 4X6 copy of entry.

• Each person may enter up to two photos but is eligible to win only one award.CHELLE KOSTER WALTON

Jazz Night to debut at Traditions next week

Traditions on the Beach, the gulf front casual dining restaurant, bar and lounge located inside the historic Island Inn on Sanibel, will host its first Jazz Night on Wednesday, Aug. 3. 

Traditions is known for the best live music and dancing on Sanibel, and is excited to feature "Prime Rib Special and Prime Jazz" next Wednesday evening.

The live jazz ensemble boasts well-loved vocalist Paul Ventura, otherwise known as “Mr. Swing,” and will be joined by Father Al & the Jazz Congregation, beginning at 6:30 p.m. In addition to the full menu of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, a Prime Rib Special and select jazz night cocktails will be featured throughout the night.

Andrea Mucciga, host of Traditions on the Beach, always focuses on creating an entertaining and enjoyable atmosphere in his restaurants, and Traditions is no exception.

“We wanted to bring a jazz night into our entertainment lineup” said Mucciga. “It’s something everyone enjoys."

Traditions on the Beach offers beachfront dining and live music Monday through Saturday, with piano man Joe McCormick and featuring vocalists Marvilla Marzan and Barbara Smith. Reservations for the "Prime Rib Special and Prime Jazz" are suggested, and can be made in advance by calling 472-4559. Special to the Reporter

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

VIP Realty Group names top June agents, teams

On Monday, VIP Realty Group announced their top agents and sales teams for the month of June.

Lamono, Nicholson and Associates – Jason Lomano, John Nicholson, Jim Artale, Keith McMenamy and Theresa Lomano – was recognized as top sales team while Kara “K.C.” Cuscaden was recognized as top sales agent.

The Mike McMurray and Trevor Nette Team was recognized as top producing team and top listing team for the month while Robin Humphrey and Martha Smith were recognized as top listing agents.

Also, Dan Cohn was recognized as top producing agent.  Diane Barr 

Sanibel Design Center offers limitless options

Homeowners no longer have to travel off the island in order to design the home of their dreams, inside and out, with the recent opening of the Sanibel Design Center.

Located in the heart of Sanibel (next to The Sanibel Bean), the showroom features the latest in interior finishes and products for anyone remodeling or building a new home. 

"We had been talking about the idea of opening a showroom on the island for a few years," said co-owner Kevin Vertesch, who partnered with Dan Hahn on Sanibel's latest business venture. "But it was a matter of timing and finding the right location."

Customers who step into the showroom, fully equipped with working plumbing and light fixtures, fans, refrigerators, cabinets and almost anything else you could imagine putting into your home's kitchen, bathroom, dining or recreational spaces — including a beachfront-style mural and backsplash, complete with tea lights and sea shells — are greeted by the Sanibel Design Center's team of designers and consultant, ready to assist you in making plans for your dream home.

"This is truly a full-service design center," added Vertesch, "because we have cabinets, showers, flooring — anything you could ever want inside of your home. We have designers on staff five days a week taking calls. And we work with all of the construction companies and interior designers on the island. Here, people can get a real hands-on feel for every aspect of designing their homes."

If customers are just thinking about remodeling or if they already have a contractor and want to see first-hand all the possible designs, colors and textures available, stop in at the Sanibel Design Center.

"We used to send customers off the island to look at products in a showroom setting," added Vertesch. "But then we thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice to have something like that on Sanibel?'"

In one section of the facility, a wall is filled with a display of various countertop materials — including marble, granite, quartz, wood and glass — while the facing facade is filled with dozens of tile options. Both Hahn and Vertesch noted that even if they don't carry what their customers may be looking for, "if they make it, we can get it."

In addition there are appliances, flooring (carpet, wood, tile and stone), bath and kitchen fixtures, cabinetry and accessories offered for a true hands-on experience. 

The Sanibel Design Center carries products from the top suppliers in the business, including kitchen and bath cabinets by Omega, Dynasty and Aristokraft and countertops by Caeserstone. Viking, known for its commercial grade quality is the featured kitchen appliance manufacturer and Moen kitchen and bath fixtures are on display.

"And new products are always arriving," added design consultant Kathy McCabe.

The Sanibel Design Center is located at 2240 Periwinkle Way, Suite 11A on Sanibel. Call 395-1201 for additional information. JEFF LYSIAK

Plans announced for 2011 San-Cap Cracker Festival

Plans are already under way for the Third Annual Cracker Festival, to be held Friday, Nov. 4. 

With its laid back atmosphere, down-home cookin’ and country music, Cracker Fest has fast become one of the Island’s most popular fall events – and all for a great cause, START (Solutions To Avoid Red Tide). 

The local Sanibel-Captiva Chapter is part of a statewide non-profit foundation whose mission is to improve the quality of our marine waters through research, public education and programs that restore marine habitat and preserve marine species. 

Last year’s Cracker Festival allowed the San-Cap START organization to provide funding for 30 Coastal Classrooms for Lee County schools. 

“Revenue from this year’s event will continue the vision by focusing on local water quality, the continuation of the Coastal Classroom project and to promote local sustainable seafood,” said Kevin Vertesch, board treasurer. 

Held behind The Bait Box, the menu will feature smoked mullet caught and prepared by local START board member and island cracker, Ralph Woodring, Dave’s pit-roasted pig with all the trimmings provided by Bailey’s General Store. Down-home spirits and down-home music add to the cracker flavor of this one-of-a-kind event and a live and silent auction will generate revenue for the local chapter of START. 

“This event truly reflects our cultural heritage here in Florida,” said chapter board president Dr. Bruce Neill. 

More than 300 guests enjoyed last year’s festivities, so call ahead to reserve your spot. Attendance to the Nov. 4 San-Cap Cracker Festival is by reservation only. Tickets are $75 each. Event sponsorships are also available. 

For more information or to receive an invitation, please call Carol Rothman at 239-699-3530 or send an e-mail Island Reporter.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sanibel Marina partners with Sanibel Sea School for 'Dolphin Daze'

Did you know that a female dolphin born under the Sanibel Causeway may live for 25 years and never venture more than 15 or 20 miles from the causeway? Pretty amazing, but female Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins have perfected the art of blooming where they are planted. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all do that as well? 

Last week during "Dolphin Daze," campers from the Sanibel Sea School studied how dolphins use biosonar – echolocation — to "see" the world around them.

Dolphins produce sound waves with the assistance of the melon, a fatty organ located in their forehead that is believed to help them focus the sound waves used for echolocation. The shape of the large rounded forehead of dolphins comes from the underlying melon gland.

To demonstrate to ourselves our echolocation works, we had a rousing game of “Echo Location,” Sanibel Sea School’s rendition of Marco Polo, only where the one who is "it" wears a blacked-out snorkeling mask and thus cannot peak.

We also learned that dolphins have a voice apart from their echolocation. They use their voice to produce a variety of clicks and whistles through which they communicate to one another. Each dolphin has a signature voice used to distinguish individuals in their social groups – these social groups are called pods. 

Back in camp, we made drums from cast off large food cans and saw how each of us can create a signature ‘voice’ distinguishable from the others in the pod.

With drums at hand, we held a drumming circle and talked about the difference between noise and music, but it was unclear whether we succeeded at the latter rather than the former.

We spent time learning to throw a cast net and gained a better appreciation for the challenges a dolphin faces to capture their daily ration of nearly 25 pounds of fish. We played cooperative hunting games, frolicked in the warm Gulf waters and pretended we were dolphins while learning to surf – dolphins are perhaps the world’s best surfers.

Sanibel Marina donated a fun-filled cruise on the Stars & Stripes for all of our campers, where we were treated to the spectacular sights of dolphins surfing in the wake. It was a great way to have a close encounter of the dolphin kind.

We are grateful to the many people who help create life-long ocean experiences and memories at Sanibel Sea School. Bailey’s General Store quenched our thirst with an unending supply of ice, and The Island Cow provided hamburgers and hot dogs for our Friday cookouts. The Bait Box donated nets, expertise and island skills to our programs. The Sanibel Community House hosts our milk and cookies on Friday afternoons, where we share our week of fun with parents and grandparents.

Sanibel Sea School is a Sanibel-based non-profit foundation; we envision a world where all people value, understand and care for the ocean. Please share our vision by joining us at CRAIG

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sanibel and Captiva Coupons

Ready to start saving money on your Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida?

Save With These Local Coupons

Sanibel and Captiva Guide coupons are conveniently divided up into three categories: Dining, Shopping & Activities. The Coupon listings below show what vacation coupons are available to download. Select a category to output or simply print them all!

#Sanibel Tide Chart for July 2011

JULY 2011
7 12:415:355:56
22 1:055:176:23
26 5:448:37 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Playing until the sun goes down: Sunset Serenade Cruise

Ever dream of experiencing a breathtaking Southwest Florida sunset on the water while being serenaded by sensual island music?

Your dream can come true with Captiva Cruises’ Sunset Serenade upon a 65-foot Skipper Liner and live entertainment by legendary singer/songwriter Danny Morgan. Passengers aboard the Lady Chadwick can delight in a cocktail from the full-service cash bar while watching the sun slip into the Gulf of Mexico between two beautiful islands. It’s a romantic (but kid friendly) way to wrap up a day on Captiva Island. 

Danny Morgan, who plays most nights on the cruise, is a longtime Captiva resident and often compared to Jimmy Buffett. Music captured his imagination as a child and he began performing as a teenager in the Cincinnati and Kentucky area. He arrived in Southwest Florida in the mid-1970s and has since carved a niche for himself that is uniquely his own. 

“I enjoy meeting all the fun people and watching beautiful sunsets,” he said of performing on the one-hour cruise. “The staff is terrific.”

In honor of the spectacular Florida sunsets, Danny composed a special song that he performs while the sun dips below the horizon – properly titled “Sunset Song” on his “It’s Always Summer” album. His music evokes images of sunny beaches, waves crashing onto the shore and beautiful, fun evenings making it perfect island music. He welcomes requests from passengers, some who have made watching the sunset from the Lady Chadwick a tradition. 

“I feel honored to watch the kids grow up,” he said of the 25 years he’s been playing on the Sunset Serenade cruise. “I’m playing at their weddings now.”

The double-decker boat offers an enclosed, temperature-controlled lower level, an open-air upper deck, which is partially covered, and full restroom facilities. The Lady Chadwick utilizes two Captiva marinas – McCarthy’s Marina and South Seas Marina – depending on the season. This year-round cruise has been popular with islanders and island visitors alike. 

Captiva Cruises, founded in 1986, is an excursion boat company, which operates a fleet of vessels and an exciting program of tours and cruises. The culture of Captiva Cruises, a recognized leader in the Florida ecotourism industry, is one committed to a course of action, which honors the islands’ history of conservation and legacy of environmental education. 

To advocate its environmental commitment, Captiva Cruises offers a Science at Sea Eco-Tour where you can become a marine biologist for an hour and a half. Haul crab-traps and plankton nets. Passengers can take part in actual scientific research that will be utilized by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Marine Lab. 

Captiva Cruises also offers a Night Sky Astronomy Cruise, in which planets, stars and constellations will be identified along the way and mythology and mysteries of the universe will be appreciated under the magic of the night sky. During the Shoreline Discovery Cruise, passengers travel to a secluded beach for a guided shoreline walk to discuss coastal sea life and beach dynamics, explore mudflats and use nets for an up-close look at some of the amazing inhabitants of the Back Bay Estuary Ecosystem. 

Other sunset cruises available include the Sunset Sail, a two-hour ride upon a catamaran, and the one-and-a-half hour Sunset and Wildlife Cruise aboard a powered catamaran.

For a complete listing of the cruises offered through Captiva Cruises, call 239-472-5300 or visit To learn more about Danny Morgan or purchase one of his albums, visit his web site at HAYES