Marcophiles: Weather radar returns ‘any day now’; a lady named Curie helps ailing people here


Comcast Cable is assuring anxious viewers who have been missing its local radar weather service that it will be back on the air soon in a new, updated version. That’s if it’s not already here in the same cable location, channel 25.

“Any day now,” says Barbara Hagen, Comcast area vice president and general manager.

“We know how valuable local radar is to people here and I am working as hard as I can to return it to Comcast TV.”

Hagen says the old radar product was obsolete.

“It had looked the same for about 20 years, was based on an old operating system, MSDOS and is no longer supported by the vendor. We were constantly rebooting it. Then it actually quit and neither the vendor nor Comcast could get it operational again.

“The new system is visually-improved, a superior product, with constant radar plus more information.”

Hagen says the service will include audio from the National Weather Service out of Ruskin, near Tampa. The video radar is from a different provider.

As a lot of people have discovered since the Comcast local radar went away, there are good Internet web sites that have detailed information, including satellite weather coverage. One of the better ones is Weather Underground, on which you can click the map on Naples and get our area, albeit not always in the closeup view the Comcast service provides.

And the web sites of our local on-air TV stations do a great job of severe weather coverage.

Radio Shack on Marco Island carries an array of weather radios, priced from $19.99 to $89.99. They come in various combinations of power sources --- battery, solar panel and hand crank.

Don Farmer Special to the Eagle
Curie Cudmore has helped patients around the world, but not takes her occupational therapy skills to people in and around Marco Island.

Don Farmer Special to the Eagle Curie Cudmore has helped patients around the world, but not takes her occupational therapy skills to people in and around Marco Island.

When Ms. Curie Cudmore rang our doorbell here soon after I had returned home from Naples Community Hospital, I anticipated getting some occupational therapy guidance and that would be it.

But Ms. Cudmore brought with her a lot more than exercise diagrams and demonstrations. When we asked questions, she answered them in full and then some.

She does the same for recent hospital patients around Southwest Florida, mostly in Greater Marco Island, including her neighborhood in Isles of Capri, East Naples and in the Everglades City area.

And she does it with the empathy and dedication she employed in several important, international venues.

“I’m like a circuit rider. I take the same approach to people from all walks of life, whether you live in Chokoloskee or Marco, for example, the care is what matters.

“Some people have money but don’t have a caregiver at all. That’s one reason I prefer working in and around the community, rather than in a hospital.”

We asked Curie how she found herself in the Marco area, having been born, raised and educated in the Philippines. We insisted she resist her tendency to be modest about her skills and talents.

“I graduated from the University of the Philippines, as a United Nations scholar for occupational therapy.

“I got to Marco because I was recruited from the Philippines after I retired from the UN and I was doing consultancy work for some local rehab agencies in the Philippines. So someone recruited me, saying they had a shortage of occupational therapists in the US. My choice was to go to Florida and they paid everything for me to come here.

“Before I lived here continuously, back in 1992, I went back and forth internationally as a rehabilitation expert, helping spread rehab work in developing countries in Southeast Asia.

“Then in 1997 I moved to the Isles of Capri, doing home care. I realized that some therapists here don’t like driving to Marco from Naples because of the bad traffic in season. It could take an entire morning to get to two patients.”

There are some good news-bad news aspects to her job.

“It can be gross, going into some homes that are filthy in every way. Some people never bathe or change their clothes and many of them aren’t aware of that.

“Sometimes the state has to intervene. That’s the hard part, when you have to invade someone’s life to help them get out of their horrible situation.”

We asked Curie what she would like to do when she retires from “riding the health circuit” here.

“I would like to do some volunteer work something meaningful. I’ve done it before and really enjoyed it. I worked for a Catholic sister, a Belgian nun, for two months in the Philippines in the mountains. Because of her I met a lot of people who did a lot of beautiful work all over the world.

“I would like to help military veterans. Many of them need so much help and I am one who has the knowledge and the skills to help them. I can help them get equipment, how to get around, live more independently. That’s my goal.”

Friends of Tigertail Submitted
Fiddler crabs are cute when they race across the sand, thumb-sized and feisty. Some people capture them for bait, but that's illegal.

Friends of Tigertail Submitted Fiddler crabs are cute when they race across the sand, thumb-sized and feisty. Some people capture them for bait, but that's illegal.

Don’t fiddle around with the Fiddler Crabs; it’s illegal

They’re only about the size of your thumb and they’re cute in a crabby sort of way. They’re also a vital part of the food chain at Tigertail Beach and therefore it’s illegal to capture them for bait. We’re talking about fiddler crabs.

The Friends of Tigertail organization has been working with the City of Marco Island and the county to stop illegal removal of thousands of fiddler crabs. It’s also illegal to even harass these little guys.

They are full-time residents here. You can recognize them by the oversized claw on the males, which they use to wave around, trying to get female fiddlers to pay attention.

They are fun to watch as they scurry along and while they dig burrows about a foot deep to hide in when danger lurks. So let’s not lurk.

Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail

Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV, in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail:

© 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 1

FloridaGoFishing_com writes:

I have a website and after reading your comment that Fiddler Crabs are illegal to collect for bait, I looked for the law. I cannot find anywhere on FWC, Collier County, Florida Sea Grant, etc. where it is illegal to collect Fiddler Crabs. Can you tell me where I can get confirmation that it is illegal so I can inform my readers.

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