3 To Know: Celebrate with CJ’s

Marco Eagle

1. Celebrate with CJ’s

CJ’s on the Bay, the waterfront eatery with the outside bar at the Esplanade, will celebrate a decade on Marco Island with a party on Saturday. The resturant will offer a buffet, featuring “bone-in” ribeye steak on the grill, and “real Key West pinks” – local shrimp that are debuting on the restaurant’s regular menu, said Laura Owen, CJ’s general manager.

CJ’s will put out the food items without charge, and guests are encouraged to make a donation that will go to the Friends of Rookery Bay, the environmental group the restaurant is partnering with for the day’s fundraising. Live music will come from Jeff Hilt, followed by Jenny Woodman.

CJ's on the Bay owners Curt and Jacquie Koon, left, with general manager Laura Owen. "The Heart of the Rock" will celebrate 10 years as CJ's with a party on Saturday.

“This is all about us saying ‘thank you,’ and giving back,” said Jacquie Koon. She and her husband Curt are the “C and J” of CJ’s. Along with thanking their staff, many of them longtime employees, she thanked the Marco community.

More:Celebrating CJ’s: Waterfront eatery to mark 10 years with a big party, and you’re invited

In their 10 years of operation, CJ’s has sold 48,639 servings of calamari, which equates, she said, to 12 and a half tons of squid. There were 39,800 orders of stone crabs, 28,756 plates of coconut shrimp, and 54,900 “catch of the day,” a particularly tasty fish. It makes sense for an establishment selling this much seafood to take an interest in keeping our waterways healthy.

Read the full story at marconews.com.

2. Senate gives CDC $1M for algae health crisis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will receive $1 million to respond to communities facing health issues because of blue-green algae exposure.

The funding is part of a U.S. Senate spending bill passed Tuesday night. Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson of Florida pushed for the funding.

A special priority would be given to any locations that are subject to a “state of emergency” designation within the previous 12 months because of blooms. In Florida, 13 counties affected by algal blooms this summer fall under that designation.

Some blooms in the St. Lucie River have high levels of the toxin microcystin, according to test results of water samples taken by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The toxin can cause nausea and vomiting if ingested and rash or hay fever symptoms if touched or inhaled. Drinking water with the toxin can cause long-term liver disease.

This is what the funding could be used for, according to Rubio spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas:

  • Documenting and tracking illnesses and hospital stays related to algae exposure.
  • Public health education campaigns.
  • Any expenses that would help CDC officials and scientists on the ground to respond to particularly bad episodes of illnesses.
  • Building CDC programs for reporting blooms.

3. Germain to soon be Hertz Arena

Germain Arena will soon have a new name — and a new look to go with it.

Hertz has signed a naming-rights agreement with the Florida Everblades that will rename the home of the Everblades hockey team to Hertz Arena.

Rendering shows the original all-yellow color scheme proposed for Hertz Arena.

The news comes as the Estero-based rental car giant celebrates its 100th anniversary. Hertz’s CEO will ring the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Plans for the arena call for changes inside and out that will clearly say Hertz. Think bright yellow with bold black accents to match the company’s classic color scheme.

The exterior design of Hertz Arena, which would give it a sunny glow, would have to be approved by the Village of Estero. Estero has a preferred Mediterranean look, so one factor the Village Council might consider is whether it fits into that mold.

The design is expected to be voted on at a public meeting Sept. 26.