It's easy to see why Police Officer Al Schettino works well with small folks. When he smiles, children love him. His teddy bear friendliness wrapped in a blue uniform with badges, multiple two-way radios, a taser and gun are endless fascination and inspiration for Marco Island's school children. Schettino is the island's School Resource Officer; and on Thursday, he became Marco Island's Police Officer of the Year. He smiled all the way to the podium to collect his award.
Division Chief Don Jones said he just does his job, but fellow Marco Island firefighters didn't agree with him. What they saw was a member of their crew that went far beyond daily requirements. Those actions spoke louder than words, and on Wednesday, the department chose Jones to receive the 2012 Firefighter of the Year award from the Marco Island Fire Rescue Foundation. The award was given during the foundation's annual meeting at the Island Country Club.
Under a canopy set up at the northern end of the County Road 92 bridge, a crowd assembled to rechristen the span, formerly called the Goodland Bridge, as the Stan Gober Memorial Bridge. Stan, the larger-than-life founder and owner of Stan's Idle Hour in Goodland, was honored for his impact on his community, and all the effort he put into a myriad of worthwhile causes.
As part of the Seaside Celebration, the Y honored a number of volunteers and installed the 2013 board of directors. Mel Ollman, architect of the Y's main building and long-time board member, was named a life trustee. He is the sixth trustee to be named in the past 20 years.
Dozens of art enthusiasts filled the galleries to view recent masterpieces of local artists ranging from oil, water color, photography and sculpture during “Art of Music/The Music of Art” presented by Marco Island Center for the Arts during their 2nd Tuesday Gallery Opening, January 8, 2013. Art lovers of all types were in awe over the new exhibition titled “Blur”, by internationally renowned artist Rita Blitt. Blitts inspiration for this recent collection is inspired by the music of Lancing McLoskey, who was present at this evenings showing. McLoskey is an award-winning composer from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City where he recently was awarded the prestigious 2011 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship among many other accomplishments.
After a turbulent period in the club's history, coinciding with the national economic downturn, the MIYC installed a new bridge, or slate of commanding officers, in a ceremony Saturday evening. The installation, which took place in conjunction with the annual Commodore's Ball, was held upstairs in the club's dining room, overlooking the yacht basin, the Marco River, and the "other Marco bridge," the Jolley Bridge spanning the river.
Friday was the kickoff for the 2013 Rookery Bay Nature Festival. The weekend will be highlighted by about 40 guided field activities including bird watching and kayaking. There's also a guided trek around the Shell Island Preserve area where participants will get an insight into native Calusa and post-Civil War settler lifestyles. Film maker Elam Stoltzfus will discuss his adventures in filming the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition ("1000 miles in 100 days") on Saturday. Go to www.rookerybay.org for more information.
The scene bore a faint resemblance to Da Vinci's "The Last Supper," appropriate for Father Tim, from San Marco Catholic Church, and the judges approached the contest entries with lip-smacking reverence.
All the jokes were of the shaggy dog variety. Johnny Peers, who seemed to fill the function of ringmaster as well as dog trainer and Borscht-Belt comedian, brought his Muttville Comix show to Marco Lutheran Church on Saturday. In two shows benefitting the local Kiwanis Club, the "17 and a half" dogs – Baby, the smallest, only counts as half, said Peers, the troupe performed tricks and won the hearts of hundreds of children, and quite a few of their elders, with a high-energy performance heavy on the shtick.
There are juried art shows in Southwest Florida this time of year, with national rankings, high-dollar price tags, and hotshot artists with their slick brochures and professionally crafted booths.</p> And then there's Art in the Glades. This down-home festival, put on largely by locals for locals, with a critical mass of visitors as well as most of the exhibitors coming from Everglades City and its environs, returned to McLeod Park in downtown Everglades City Saturday. It is a distinctly low-key, not to say lowbrow, cultural event, with most artists' booths consisting of little more than a card table set up under the low wooden roof of the community center next to the old Collier County courthouse.