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Sunday, 10 January 2021 08:45

Proposed Toll Roads And Panther Saftey

People were responsible for most of the 22 Florida panthers deaths in 2020.

According to data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, one was hit by a train Another was killed by a panther. One person killed one panther intentionallyon March 7th. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a $5,000 reward in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for information leading to a suspect. Purposefully killing a panther, can land a person in federal prison for one year and fined as much as $100,000.

Authorities ask anyone who knows something about the panther’s death to call a 24-hour state hotline at 888-404-3922, or a federal tips line at 844-397-8477. People can also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cars killed the other 19 panthers found dead last year. The toll for 2020 finish lower than recent years — 27 in 2019 and 30 the year before.

The FWC estimates there are between 120-230 adult panthers living in the state. The subspecies of cougar was down to about 30 panthers in the early 1990s.

“We typically say the number of panther fatalities and roadkill are increased with the increase in panther population size,” said Dave Onorato, a panther biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Under that logic, a lower death count might spell a bad turn for the endangered species. “It’s plausible. We don’t want to make too much of it yet, but it certainly gets our attention,” Onorato said.

Florida panthers are the only puma still roaming east of the Mississippi River. Their former range across the American Southeast has shrunk to a corner of the lower Florida peninsula. Scientists estimate between 120 and 230 adults live in the wild.

“For the most part we think the population is holding steady and stable,” Onorato said. “Signs don’t seem to show that it’s increasing at the moment.”

Environmentalists say the low numbers, and variability in the population estimate, mean the panther remains extremely at-risk.

One concerning factor for the 2020 figures is that biologists have tracked fewer panthers with radio collars than usual, according to Onorato. Their work, he said, has been hampered in part by the pandemic. Scientists have documented infections of the coronavirus in large cats. “We don’t want to be the ones responsible for transmitting (a disease) to panthers,” Onorato said.

panther kittens

Kittens are sometimes left to fend for themselves when parents are

killed. Florida panther kittens have blue eyes, and a spotted coat,

which helps to camouflage them better from potential predators.

The spots gradually fade as the kittens grow older.

 

 

Among researchers’ current focus is a mysterious neurological disorder in panthers, which is visible in animals hobbled by weak back legs. Onorato said biologists don’t know what causes “FLM.” feline leukomyelopathy. At least one animal with evidence of symptoms was recently spotted around the Big Cypress National Preserve, he said, researchers have positioned more cameras on public land in hopes of documenting the disorder’s prevalence.

The greatest challenge for panthers, environmentalists say, is the squeeze of development. “We’re heading toward a habitat that’s just too small to sustain a big cat,” said Matthew Schwartz, director of the South Florida Wildlands Association.

He and other advocates spent much of 2020 fighting a proposed toll road expansion known as M-CORES, which could bring a new highway near panther habitat. The leader of The Nature Conservancy in Florida called it an “existential threat.” A section of the three-part project, the Southwest-Central Connector, would run from Collier County to PolkCounty through prime Florida panther habitat.

Proponents of the toll road say it would spur development in rural Florida. But those rural areas, environmentalists say, offer crucial habitat for animals like the panther. Committees studying different segments of the road project suggested the state avoid environmentally sensitive areas.

“It really would open up the spine of Florida,” said Lopez, of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Frankly there’s no additional space for the panther to go. ... Each panther needs a ton of habitat to hunt and reproduce successfully.”

Some nature advocates say they are skeptical of the idea that more panther deaths in the past have been a sign of a growing population. They wonder if lower death numbers in 2020 might show what would happen with fewer drivers in panther territory. People, they say, could have stayed at home more during the pandemic.

Bradley Cornell, a Southwest Florida policy associate for Audubon Florida, said panther deaths are a reminder of the importance of preserving conservation land and big ranches as habitat in the middle of the state where the animals could expand.

The Florida Wildlife Federation campaigns to secure wildlife crossings in Southwest Florida. The organization’s local field representative, Meredith Budd said “FWF has opposed the toll roads since the idea manifested during the legislative session in 2019,”

“If the roads do move forward, crossings would be critical. They need to be considered and implemented across the board for roadways that bisect wildlife habitat — and land acquisition is also going to be essential” stating additional habitat surrounding crossings will be needed for them to function properly so wildlife may move through as intended.

 

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I hate to start off in such a negative way, but I'm positive it's essential to your well-being: If you don't make a special effort to take care of your brain, your brain may stop taking care of you.

Alzheimer's disease is on the rise and now considered the third-leading cause of death in America. One-third of all seniors will develop it, and it's not just older people who are suffering from alarming cognitive decline. Younger people are also showing unexpected signs of brain dysfunction including memory loss, an inability to focus and a tendency to prefer violent video games over a quiet walk in the woods.

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No doubt you've heard about many ways to wake up, juice up and help you rewire for a happier, healthier brain. Learn a new language, get eight hours of sleep, swear off processed foods, meditate daily ... and the magical elixir that I champion above all, enjoy exercise.

There's overwhelming evidence of the importance of physical activity when it comes to protecting, maintaining and improving the health of your brain, which is what makes you ... you.

Indulge me briefly as I summarize just one factor among many: Exercise stimulates the production of a protein called FNDC5, and that triggers the flow of BDNF -- brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF has a huge impact on brain rejuvenation. It preserves the brain cells you already have, and it promotes neurogenesis, the growth of new neurons, especially in the hippocampus, the precious area of your brain associated with memory.

Don't worry. None of this is on your final exam. But before I lose you to glazed-eye syndrome, I want to tell you about two evidence-backed ways to boost brain health that you probably haven't heard much about -- yet. Even if you decide not to pursue them, you've goosed up your brain health a bit just by learning something new. Win-win.

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All exercise is good for the brain. Physical activity increases cerebral blood flow, reduces brain-damaging plaques and works to promote brain health at a cellular level. But it turns out that strong legs are super important for brain function, especially as we grow older.

According to a 10-year British study reported in the journal Gerontology, leg strength was a better predictor of brain health than any other lifestyle factor they researched.

So! How are you going to build your leg strength? Walking helps, but focused, functional leg strengthening should be calling to you, too -- leg extension machines in a gym, lunges at home, whatever you decide.

My favorite way to build leg strength is through yoga postures. If it becomes yours, too, your brain will last longer and be stronger than you can imagine.

EFFORTFUL LEARNING.


The newest twist in brain training -- research led by Sarah McEwen, Ph.D., at the Pacific Brain Health Center -- involves combining physical exercise with mental exercises, done at the same time. It's called "effortful learning" or "dual tasking" -- linking a cognitive task to a physical task -- and McEwen and her colleagues feel this kind of training is crucial if people want to protect themselves from Alzheimer's and dementia.

 

For instance, a brain health coach -- and I believe every home should have one -- will ask a client to work out math problems while doing bench presses, or recite poetry while riding a stationary bike.

"I am going to say a sequence of four numbers," brain trainer Ryan Glatt tells his clients, "and I want you to step on those numbers in the reverse order I say them with your right foot."

What? Yes, it's a challenge, and that's just the point of effortful learning, because when the brain and the heart are challenged simultaneously, the brain's overall brain function improves. 

That's not true of playing brain game apps. Surprise.

"A brain game app makes you better at playing the game but doesn't improve overall brain functions," reports Dr. Cody Sipe in the January Fitness Journal. "Exercise, by contrast, affects multiple domains of cognitive ability -- especially when we do effortful activities that challenge the brain and the body simultaneously."

 

Please chew on this while reciting the alphabet from Z to A.

"Do not call for black power or for green power. Call for brain power."
                                                                       - Barbara Jordan

Marilynn Preston

Florida Lawmakers have been busy, here are a number of bills related to
Education.These bills have
already been introduced and are in commitee at this time.

FL H0075
Feminine Hygiene Products in Public Schools

Bill Summary
Citing this act as the
"Learning with Dignity Act";
defining the terms "feminine hygiene products" and "school building"; requiring school districts to make feminine
hygiene products available,
at no charge, in female
restroom facilities of public school buildings, etc.

FL S0254
Education

Bill Summary
Requiring specified teachers to have received, at a
minimum, a bachelor's
degree; requiring private schools to provide specified students with a certain amount of time for recess; requiring private school students to
participate in the statewide
assessment program;
requiring private schools to comply with the State
Requirements for Educational Facilities of the Florida Building Code, etc.

FL S0258
Internship Tax Credit Program

Bill Summary
Designating the "Florida
Internship Tax Credit
Program"; providing a
corporate income tax credit for qualified businesses
employing degree-seeking student interns if certain
criteria are met; specifying the amount of the credit a qualified business may claim per student intern, etc.

FL S0264
Higher Education

Bill Summary
Requiring the State Board of Education to require each Florida College System
institution to conduct an
annual assessment related
to intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity at that institution; prohibiting the State Board of Education from shielding Florida
College System institution students from certain speech; requiring the Board of Governors to require each state university to conduct an annual assessment
related to intellectual
freedom and viewpoint
diversity at that institution; prohibiting the Board of Governors from shielding state university students from certain speech, etc.

FL S0174
School Safety Funding

Bill Summary
Revising certain allocations to school districts;
specifying uses and
distribution requirements for certain safe schools
allocation funds for the 2021-2022 fiscal year;
requiring each district school superintendent to remit
specified unused funds from the 2020-2021 fiscal year to the Department of Education by a specified date;
authorizing the department, upon request, to
redistribute such funds to certain school districts for a specified purpose, etc.

FL S0178

Public School Transportation

Bill Summary
Revising the requirement that district school boards provide transportation for certain students; requiring
a district school
superintendent to request a review of a hazardous
walking condition upon
receipt of a written request from a parent of a student; requiring, rather than
authorizing, a district school board to initiate a specified proceeding relating to
hazardous walking
conditions, etc.

FL S0188
Solar Energy Systems Located On the Property of an Educational Facility

Bill Summary
Prohibiting costs associated with such systems from being included in the
calculation of total cost per student station for the
purpose of a limit imposed on such costs for certain
new construction, etc

FL S0190
Required Instruction of African American History

Bill Summary
Beginning in a specified school year, requiring the Department of Education to annually verify that school districts, charter schools, and specified private schools
implement certain instruction relating to the history of African Americans;
specifying requirements for school districts, charter schools, and specified
private schools relating to such instruction; requiring certain statewide, standardized assessments to include, when appropriate, curricula content from
the history of African
Americans, etc

FL S0192
Students With Disabilities in Public Schools

Bill Summary
Requiring school districts to prohibit the use of seclusion on students with disabilities in public schools; requiring school districts to adopt
positive behavior interventions and supports and certain policies and procedures; creating the Video Cameras in Public School Classrooms Pilot Program; requiring
continuing education and inservice training for instructional personnel teaching students with
emotional or behavioral disabilities, etc

FL S0200
Retaining Students Back a year/Promoting to higher grade in mid-year

Bill Summary
Authorizing a parent to
request that his or her
student be retained in a grade level for a specified school year; requiring school district superintendents to grant such requests if they are timely received;
requiring school districts to administer a certain
assessment to specified students; clarifying that specified students may qualify for midyear promotion; authorizing a parent to request such promotion or to request that his or her student continue to be retained, etc.

FL S0202
Standard High School Diploma Award Requirements

Bill Summary
Adding a new requirement for the award of a standard high school diploma to
Academically Challenging Curriculum to Enhance Learning students; requiring certain students to submit a Free Application for
Federal Student Aid in order to be awarded a standard high school diploma, etc.

FL S0220
Public Records and Public Meetings

Bill Summary
Providing an exemption from public records
requirements for any
personal identifying
information of an applicant for president of a state
university or a Florida
College System institution; specifying that personal identifying information of applicants who are in the final group of applicants is no longer confidential and exempt at a time certain; specifying that certain
meetings are not exempt from public meeting
requirements; providing for future legislative review and repeal of the exemptions; providing a statement of public necessity, etc.

FL S0128
Florida Talent Development Council

Bill Summary
Requiring the council, by a specified date, to submit to specified entities a report that includes recommendations on the feasibility of
establishing and implementing the Pathways in
Technology Early College High School (P-TECH)
program or a similar
program; providing requirements for the report, etc
.
FL S0146
Civic Education

Bill Summary
Requiring the Commissioner of Education to develop minimum criteria for a
nonpartisan civic literacy practicum for high school students, beginning with a specified school year; authorizing students to apply the hours they devote to practicum activities to certain community service requirements; requiring school districts accept nonpartisan civic literacy practicum activities and hours in requirements for certain awards; requiring the State Board of Education to designate certain high schools as Freedom Schools, etc.

The Center Square

Friday, 08 January 2021 22:41

Dating Apps Are Mixing Up The Gene Pool

Commentary on dating apps follows a familiar theme, presenting them as encouraging shallowness, objectification, and STIs while creating a generation incapable of intimacy. Depending on just how judgmental the author is, these features may be presented as civilization-ending threats or merely sad. Unfortunately for the authors of these articles, these claims bear little relationship to the truth, at least in Switzerland – although that's unlikely to stop them being written.

Dr Gina Potarca of the University of Geneva examined a study of Swiss couples who met in the last ten years. Relevant questions included how they met, their plans for the future, and their satisfaction with the relationship. As noted in PLOS ONE, this fills a gap in knowledge on the topic since previously; “Surveys that measured where couples met have been scarce, and when such data existed, the sample of couples formed through dating apps was usually small.”

Dr Potarca distinguishes between traditional online dating sites – even if they now have app versions – and pure apps like Tinder and Grindr. Websites have users provide extensive information about themselves and show matches largely on that basis, while apps are based on proximity, with users showing initial interest largely based on photographs with much less detailed information in text form.

It's certainly plausible that a medium where photographs, rather than biographies, dominate the decision on whether to initiate contact wouldn't be great for long-term compatibility. However, that is not what Potarca found.

After controlling for factors such as age, religious belief, previous relationships, and urban/rural location, Potarca found no significant difference in relationship satisfaction between those who met their partner on or offline. Dating websites that match for compatibility did come out ahead of other ways of meeting on this measure, be they apps or through friends or hobbies. Nevertheless, apps were not significantly worse than any of the other main alternatives.

Nor was there any sign those who met via app were looking for something shorter term. The app contingent were just as likely to express an intention to marry as their counterparts, and were actually keener to move in together.

In an even bigger blow to stereotypes, women who met their partner via app were more likely to say they planned to have a child in the near future than those who met through any other method, although the fact their male partners were less keen might signal trouble down the track.

One big difference between app-forged relationships and those initiated in other ways emerged, however. Apps create much more social mixing, for example between partners of different levels of education. This is one of the few features revealed by previous studies on the topic, which have also shown apps lead to more interracial couples.

"Knowing that dating apps have likely become even more popular during this year's periods of lockdown and social distancing, it is reassuring to dismiss alarming concerns about the long-term effects of using these tools," Potarca said in a statement.

Potarca didn't look at how often matches lead to long-term relationships, or what proportion of users wanted that. Naturally a study restricted to one country isn't necessarily globally representative, but it's probably more indicative of the situation in another country than an author's three app-using friends.

 

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New data suggest that nearly all COVID-19 survivors have the immune cells necessary to fight
re-infection for 8 months or more!

The findings, based on analyses of blood samples from 188 COVID-19 patients, suggest that responses to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, from all major players in the "adaptive" immune system, which learns to fight specific pathogens, can last for at least eight months after the onset of symptoms from the initial infection.

"Our data suggest that the immune response is there -- and it stays," LJI Professor Alessandro Sette, Dr. Biol. Sci., who co-led the study with LJI Professor Shane Crotty, Ph.D., and LJI Research Assistant Professor Daniela Weiskopf, Ph.D. "We measured antibodies, memory B cells, helper T cells and killer T cells all at the same time," says Crotty. "As far as we know, this is the largest study ever, for any acute infection, that has measured all four of those components of immune memory."

The findings, published in the January 6, 2021, online edition of Science, could mean that COVID-19 survivors have protective immunity against serious disease from the SARS-CoV-2 virus for months, perhaps years after infection.

The new study helps clarify some concerning COVID-19 data from other labs, which showed a dramatic drop-off of COVID-fighting antibodies in the months following infection. Some feared that this decline in antibodies meant that the body wouldn't be equipped to defend itself against reinfection.

Sette explains that a decline in antibodies is very normal. "Of course, the immune response decreases over time to a certain extent, but that's normal. That's what immune responses do. They have a first phase of ramping up, and after that fantastic expansion, eventually the immune response contracts somewhat and gets to a steady state," Sette says.

The researchers found that virus-specific antibodies do persist in the bloodstream months after infection. Importantly the body also has immune cells called memory B cells at the ready. If a person encounters SARS-CoV-2 again, these memory B cells could reactivate and produce SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to fight re-infection.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses its "spike" protein to initiate infection of human cells, so the researchers looked for memory B cells specific for the SARS-CoV-2 spike. They found that spike-specific memory B cells actually increased in the blood six months after infection.

COVID-19 survivors also had an army of T cells ready to fight reinfection. Memory CD4+ "helper" T cells lingered, ready to trigger an immune response if they saw SARS-CoV-2 again. Many memory CB8+ "killer" T cells also remained, ready to destroy infected cells and halt a reinfection.

The different parts of the adaptive immune system work together, so seeing COVID-fighting antibodies, memory B cells, memory CD4+ T cells and memory CD8+ T cells in the blood more than eight months following infection is a good sign.

"This implies that there's a good chance people would have protective immunity, at least against serious disease, for that period of time, and probably well beyond that," says Crotty.

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The team cautions that protective immunity does vary dramatically from person to person. In fact, the researchers saw a 100-fold range in the magnitude of immune memory. People with a weak immune memory may be vulnerable to a case of recurrent COVID-19 in the future, or they may be more likely to infect others.

"There are some people that are way down at the bottom of how much immune memory they have, and maybe those people are a lot more susceptible to reinfection," says Crotty.

"It looks like people who have been infected are going to have some degree of protective immunity against re-infection," adds Weiskopf. "How much protection remains to be established."

The fact that immune memory against SARS-CoV-2 is possible is also a good sign for vaccine developers. Weiskopf emphasizes that the study tracked responses to natural SARS-CoV-2 infection, not immune memory after vaccination.

"It is possible that immune memory will be similarly long lasting similar following vaccination, but we will have to wait until the data come in to be able to tell for sure," says Weiskopf. "Several months ago, our studies showed that natural infection induced a strong response, and this study now shows that the responses lasts. The vaccine studies are at the initial stages, and so far have been associated with strong protection. We are hopeful that a similar pattern of responses lasting over time will also emerge for the vaccine-induced responses."

The researchers will continue to analyze samples from COVID-19 patients in the coming months and hope to track their responses 12 to 18 months after the onset of symptoms.

"We are also doing very detailed analyses at a much, much higher granularity on what pieces of the virus are recognized," says Sette. "And we plan to evaluate the immune response not only following natural infection but following vaccination."

The team is also working to understand how immune memory differs across people of different ages and how that may influence COVID-19 case severity.

Science Daily
La Jolla Institute for Immunology

Get ready to experience the best food in Fort Myers!

Voted Best Continental Cuisine in The News-Press Reader's Choice Poll.

courtneys 3

Their menu, offering high-quality food served with a beautiful presentation is so varied you are sure to be pleased.

They also have an extensive wine list and a full bar which to accompany your dining choices.

The warm and welcoming lounge is great for Happy Hour, offered daily from 4:00-6:00.

Chef Dale, Betty and Courtney hope to welcome you soon!

courtneys 1

Their warm and welcoming bar is great for libations and lots of laughter. Relax in comfort with friends and enjoy discounted drinks and appetizers during happy hour,
4pm – 6pm ... Note: the appetizers are discounted at the bar only.

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The Dining Room at Courtney's Continental Cuisine offers an experience you won't forget!  If you're an early diner, be sure to check out their Sunset Dining Specials.

They have a catering services, perfect for your next special event.  And they'll work with you to define your needs and budget, then customize a menu just for you!

A family run business and at anytime that you stop by either Executive Chef Dale, his wife Betty, or their son Courtney will be there.  Always working to make your dining and/or special event exceptional!

courtneys Chef Dale

Not only is Chef Dale responsible for all of our special dishes from our exceptional menus, he is known for his BEAUTIFUL hand carved ice sculptures too!

He is one of the only chefs in the area that does this intricate work on a block of ice.  It is amazing to watch! 

 

courtneys Chef Dale 3courtneys ICE CARVINGS 017courtney 1ICE CARVINGS 021

Chef Dale doesn't stop there, he also creates unbelievable butter sculptures and does wood carving.  When you visit us look around, you will see his wonderful wood carvings on display in the restaurant.  

 

So come on in for a great evening of wining and dining...

Voted Best Continental Cuisine in The News-Press Reader's Choice Poll. 

And tell them you saw them on the Sun Bay Paper Website!

YES.... you read that right, $25 for 10 - 90 minutes sessions, new students only, just show up to class early and meet Jim in person! 

  • Be early, to respect all students attending, there is NO Late Admittance.
  • Classes are Monday thru Friday at 9 am and 6pm and Saturday and Sunday at 9am.
  • Located at: 15248 S Tamiami Trail #750, Fort Myers, FL 33908, Just South of Gladiolus/Six Mile Cypress

 

26 Postures, don’t Sweat The HEAT!!!

Yoga should never be done in an air conditioned room. Yoga changes the construction of the body from the inside out, from bones to skin and from fingertips to toes. So before you change it, you have to heat it up to soften it, because a warm body is a flexible body. Then you can reshape the body any way you want.

Hatha Yoga flushes away the waste products, the toxins of all the glands and organs of your body. It provides a natural irrigation of the body through the circulatory system, with the help of the respiratory system. It brings nourishments to every cell of your body so that each one can perform its function and keep your body healthy. Bikram Yoga also employs heat to further that cleaning process: When you sweat, impurities are flushed out of the body through the skin. Practicing yoga not only increases our supplies of oxygen, but it also teaches us how to use that oxygen properly – we learn to control the breath through pranayama.

What to expect from your first class.

  • Arrive at least 20 minutes early
  • Come on an empty stomach
  • Bring a bottle of water
  • Bring a bath or sheet towel
  • Bring one regular towel
  • Bring a yoga mat, or rent one here
  • Wear light workout clothes
  • Be prepared to sweat
  • Classes are 90 minutes
  • Your life will change. Guaranteed.
  • Also, good studio etiquette is appreciated.
  • We ask that you be mindful. If you are setting up in the front row, look back, make sure that you are not right in front of someone, obstructing their view.
  • Commit to your practice.
  • Stay with the teaching. Do not start postures or change before the teacher instructs you to do so.
  • Come with an open heart and mind.
  • Keep water drinking to a minimum.

 

 

BIKRAM YOGA of Fort Myers is a Yoga School devoted to teaching the Bikram Method of Hatha Yoga, the traditional way. Our School places a premium on achieving deep, abiding, long-term health measured in Energy, Vitality, and Radiance of Well being.  That which is actively sought for by so many but rarely, truly achieved. Whether you’re in fine physical condition or suffering from distressing physical, mental, and emotional issues, our commitment is to making substantive and transformational changes in your life through the practice of the Bikram Hatha Yoga Method. Our history is one of results and not just promises.  

Many students have already changed their bodies and lives profoundly by simply showing up and practicing these basic Yoga Asanas using a systematic, tried and true approach.   As the founder, Bikram Choudhury is fond of declaring, “You’re never too old, never too bad, never to tired, and never too sick to start again from scratch!” In a world of gimmicks, quick fixes, and fly-by-night, here today, gone tomorrow fads and scam approaches to fitness and health, the Bikram Beginning Yoga Class, for over forty years, has proven that IT WORKS!!!

My friend, I hope to meet you soon so that I may share that which has made such a fundamental difference to me, those I love, and so many others.  After twenty years, I can honestly say the transformational changes that I see in others never ceases to amaze me, bringing light and life to myself and this school.   

-Jim Mahon

Director

Thursday, 31 December 2020 21:56

Fresh Catch and Junkanoos Keep Rolling Along

 

 

 

With 2020 bringing its most challenging obstacles, all businesses have felt the burden of staying open, let alone maintaining a great reputation. Through it all, two, old time staple restaurants on Fort Myers Beach keep rolling along.

Covid - 19, Red Tide, Hurricanes, years of road construction, and other obstacles, too numerous to mention have burdened all business in South West Florida, through it all, Junkanoos and one of the top-rated dining restaurants ... Fresh Catch Bistro, keep rolling along. These two popular restaurants have one thing in common... Consistency... Having been here for the past 20 years myself, I believe, that consistency is Jerry Nolan.... Jerry has been managing the affairs of both restaurants for the past 17 years.

I caught up with Jerry Nolan, long time manager of the Fresh Catch, who recently survived a fifteen-day hospital stay encounter with Covid -19 that I would not wish on my worst enemy, however ... fortunately.... it was not his time.... he had a difficult struggle but he survived and is still with us. He agreed to speak with us for this article.

I asked Jerry how the two restaurants have fared through the pandemic? Jerry said " It's been a challenge, like everyone else, the state closed us mid-March until May 4th, but actually, we have done very well, considering.”

I asked Jerry how his customers were dealing with this 'Covid mess'? he said "I'm glad to say, our new customers say ... 'We'll be back' and our regulars tell us 'Everything was great as usual'..... those are the best things I can hear from our guests ... whether they are new or been coming in for years, and remember, we are also still maintaining only a 70% capacity, the safety of our customers and staff are paramount!...”

When I asked about changes to the menu, Jerry told me Junkanoos is adding new menu items every week and teased me with 2 new items on the Fresh Catch menu, a great new appetizer, Seafood Salad, with Octopus, Crab Meat, Shrimp, Avocados, Peppers, Onions, Capers, and Tomatoes...$18 And a special entree "Beramundi Vera Cruz, an 8 oz pan seared filet, green olives, avocados, peppers , onions, capers, and tomatoes.... for $34 ........ sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

I asked if Chef Pablo Felix was still the man behind the scenes...

pablo

Chef Pablo Felix

"Absolutely, without Pablo, co-chef Javier, and our great wait staff.... we might as well be a garage" he replied.... “and Pablo and his staff just have just won us the Trip Advisor prestigious 'Best of The Best' Award!

 

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Which means that Fresh Catch Bistro came in the top 10% in the whole world, based on reviews and fine foods!!" Then added ... " Pablo is also making videos that are on our Facebook page, there are over 30 of them already, all with a comic flair!"

I mentioned to him, "You've been with this company 17 years, you must be doing something right! What's the secret?

Being who he is ... Jerry gave all the credit to everyone else ... he replied "1st. It's Franco Russo, who has proved himself a worthy owner, He's the head! Then, our great general manager, Neal, he makes the two places run, from crunching the numbers to working on our washing machine, he does it all!"

Then there's our Chefs, the Staff and the Great Food.... that what keeps them coming back, then there's our Co-managers, and we have 4 who are all 20 to 30 years younger than me, Jay, Andreas, Patrick and Reyes... their energy allows them to handle any situation, and I also want to mention our superb bartenders and our incredible office staff, Christine and Lisa" and then he closes with "and then I come along"

So, I asked... "What about the great tribute shows you have become famous for, The Rat Pack, Don Rickles, Streisand, Kenny Rogers and all the others?

Jerry said, "This year, those shows will be split up between The Moose Club, on San Carlos Blvd, FM Beach and Cape Cabaret on the corner of Vincennes Blvd. and 47th Ter. in Cape Coral, the first show will be the Rat Pack on January 27th at the Moose Club...

The great food and service continues and another great show is coming soon, look for more information on this next show below.

rat pack jan

 

 

The Cape Coral Police Department and City of Cape Coral are teaming up with Waste Pro to keep our community safe and help prevent crime during the holidays. Instead of placing your empty gift boxes at the curb, Waste Pro is providing a community site where residents can dispose of cardboard boxes.

Boxes left at the roadway serve as billboard for criminals who drive through neighborhoods looking to see who received the newest televisions, video game systems, or other electronics. The goal is to reduce residential and vehicle burglaries. Don’t be an easy target for criminals.   

 The bin will be available for recyclable materials only.

Location:

1020 Cultural Park Boulevard (parking lot area across the street from City Hall)

Dates:

December 24, 2020 through December 28, 2020.

 

 In Southwest Florida all the big fireworks displays for New Year’s Eve, have been canceled, but you can still celebrate the New Year at smaller events that allow for more social distancing and other precautions. We found great events on Fort Myers Beach, (FM Beach) Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Estero and Bonita Springs.

What to do on New Year's Eve

The Salty Crab
1154 Estero Blvd, F M Beach.
Entertainment by : Meagan Rose 8-12
Dinner : a la carte
239-233-8224
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Island View: New Year’s Eve Gala

island view angela hicks

1400 Estero Blvd. FM Beach.
Entertainment: Angela Hicks, 8:30p.m.
Dinner: Four-Course Menu - 3 To 10pm (See Back Page Ad for details) $65 ea.
239-463-3111 for Reservations

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Moose lodge 964

danny albani sax1
19090 San Carlos Blvd. FM Beach.
Entertainment: Danny Albani 8 p.m.
Dinner: Filet Mignon w/ Chicken
entree with all the fixings and all you Drink Open bar, Champagne toast at midnight, Party favors, Decorations and Free Parking. $50 Doors open at 6pm.
239-463-2221 Reservation Required.

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The Cottage

The new vynals

1250 Estero Blvd, F M Beach.
Entertainment: The New Vinyls 8 pm
Dinner: a la carte
239-765-5440

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Oliver's Place This location just opened up this week! Come on out for their first New Years Eve Party With Electric Lipstick, if you want to dance into the New Year, this is the band that will keep the dance floor hoppin' all night long! With a Champagne toast at Midnight

dancers

7250 Estero Blvd. Ft Myers Beach.
Entertainment: Electric Lipstic
Dinner: a la carte
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SUNDIAL Beach Resort

steel drums1

1451 Middle Gulf Drive, Sanibel, 6:30 pm - 12:00 am
Ring in the New Year with a family-friendly evening under the stars, complete with Guitarist and Steel Drums entertainment and buffet stations. Shellebrate on Turtle's Beach and the Main Pool Deck
Price Adults: $80 Children 4-12: $30 Children 3 and under: free
Cabana with reserved table seating: $850 - up to 10 ppl,
private cabana, tableside drink service, private champagne toast (limited cabanas availability) To purchase tickets, please call 239-395-7227. Tickets must be purchased in advance. for menu and multiple evening activities:
sundialresort.com/holiday-dining/new-years-eve/
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Caloosa Sound Convention Center Ballroom

stolen fruit

2200 Edwards Dr. Ft Myers.
Entertainment: Stolen Fruit
Dinner: Extravagant Chef Action Buffet Stations
Open bar, Late night dessert buffet, Champagne toast at midnight, Party favors
Admission $150 ea, includes gratuity. Parking not
included.239-314-3723
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Coconut Falls Tiki Bar.

BEN ALLEN sm

17200 17200 S Tamiami Trl, Ft Myers 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Outdoor Event
Entertainment: Ben Allen from “The Voice”: Iconic Band opens. $25 admission
Dinner: a la carte.
Includes a Champagne toast.
239-990-9901
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Rhythm House

split decision
16440 S Tamiami Trail #11, Fort Myers, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Live Music: Split Decision
Dinner: Buffet Dinner, a Champagne toast. $35.
239-466-8326
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JC Cruises Dinner/Dance

JC CRUISES
Cruise on the Caloosahatchee River: Paddle-Wheel Boat 9 p.m. 
1300 Hendry St., Ft Myers.
Entertainment: Dance Music
Dinner: Buffet Dinner, party favors, Champagne toast. $70 plus taxes

239-334-7474 or jccruises.com
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Paddywagon Irish Pub:

Guns n Hoses Pipes and Drums2
9330 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Unit 3, Fort Myers
New Year’s Eve celebration streaming live on TV from Ireland. 

Entertainment: Guns n Hoses Pipes and Drums Band
(whether there are only an handful or the 20+ performing these folks are great)
Dinner: Pot Luck Meal and more. 5-9 p.m. FREE!
Thanks to: Women of Irish Heritage SWFL
239-689-5021 or facebook.com/paddywagonsixmile

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Zino Ristorante

Never Stop Believen
20041 S. Tamiami Trail, # 19, Estero. 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Entertainment: Journey Tribute Never Stop Believin’
Dinner: A Five-Course Dinner. Champagne toast with the band. $120 

20% gratuity included
239-948-9466 or
ZinoSWFL.com
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Cape Cabaret,

goldtones

4725 Vincennes Blvd., Cape Coral. 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Entertainment: The Goldtones: 8 p.m Oldies/Doo-Wop
Dinner: A Four-Course Dinner & party favors,
Champagne toast, balloon drop. $72, 20% gratuity
included 239-549-3000 or capecabaret.com
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Crossroads Grill & Lounge

proper villans band

 

Merchants Plaza, 211 Hancock Bridge Pkwy, Cape Coral, FL 33990

Live: Proper Villians 8 p.m.
Dinner: a la carte,
Champagne toast, FREE Admission
239-458-0648
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Big Storm Brewery

Riverside Band

4721 SE 10th ­­Place, Cape Coral. 7 P.M.

Entertainment: Soulixer and the Riverside Band
Dinner: a la carte, Party Favors, A Photo Booth and more.. Free ...at 10 p.m. inside and outside VIP table reservations for 4 are $125 and up and include dessert and a bottle of Champagne for each person. 

239-257-1401 or facebook.com/bigstormbrewingcapecoral

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The Seaside Bar

dueling pianos

24850 Old 41 Road, Unit 12, Bonita Springs 9 p.m.
Entertainment : Dueling Pianos Show
Dinner: Five-Course Dinner, Champagne Toast. $99
239-288-1470 for menu: facebook.com/TheSeasideBar

There you go! Lots of options!

If you go to an in-person event, the CDC still recommends wearing a face mask when walking around. Also be patient when approaching others, people will move and make space for you...

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