For many people, the dawn of the new year is marked not only with celebration, but also the opportunity for personal reflection and growth.
But as the year progresses, our initial drive for self-betterment can falter but our tendency to give up can be circumvented. There are various ways we can strengthen our commitment to our new year’s goal.
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, over half of the people who set a goal for the new year will fail, finding only 46% of people who made New Year’s resolutions were successful. But me, being a glass half full kinda guy sees that as
almost half succeeded! So look to your left and then to your right when with family, friends and co-workers, almost every other one of you ...will succeed!
The study also found 74% of participants listed their most important resolution as the same, or nearly the same, as in the previous year.
And, more than half of the resolutions focused on either “Weight Loss” (29%) or “Exercise” (24%) followed by “Quit Smoking”. (less people are smoking these days so this percentage has dropped) This suggests health-related goals tend to get rebooted each year — perhaps because New Year’s Day follows plenty of end-of-year festivities and feasting.
Furthermore, despite the participants reporting a strong commitment to their listed resolution, many gave up within one month…. One Month!!! Other studies have shown similarly high rates for not sticking with new year’s resolutions. So how do we increase our odds?
How To Succeed This Year!
As we said many resolutions are recycled from last year… many resolutions involve losing weight. Here are a few suggestions to help with that one…. For example, the resolution to “lose ten pounds” will more likely endure in the face of obstacles and difficulties if it’s linked to higher personal values, such as beliefs about one’s health or appearance such as “I will be healthier and feel better when I lose ten pounds and drop 2 dress sizes/pants sizes”.
In general weight loss is related to intake of food and the burning of calories… “If you eat 2,000 calories a day and burn off 2,000 calories a day, at the end of the week and end of the year you do not gain or lose any weight”, my naturopath nutritionist told me a few years ago… she continued to say “If you added just one bowl of soup in the course of every week… at the end of a year, you would gain 5 or more pounds”….
Now my mind works differently than other minds (I’ve been told many times) so I immediately asked her “so you’re telling me that if I remove one bowl of soup’s calories from my weekly balance of intake/burn ratio I would lose 5 or more pounds a year?” she said “exactly”.
So………. I suggest that you eat a little less and burn a little more and you will find success this year with your weight loss resolution….. Add smaller, easier to accomplish resolutions which will work towards a weight loss resolution’s fulfillment such as “I will stop eating when I’m full, if I’m eating out, I will take the remainder of my meal home to enjoy later” or “I will eat only half of my fries or onion rings” these are easily implemented into your new year routine, are actually doable and help sustain your motivation because as you leave the restaurant with your “doggie bag” you have accomplished a resolution… Yea!
So being adaptable in the process of meeting your goals will not only improve your general well-being, it will also help you pursue/ succeed with your new year’s resolutions.
Tips For Setting Your 2022 New Year’s Resolutions
When it comes to sticking to resolutions, insight gleaned from psychology research can be applied into several practical and easy-to-use tips.
Set Resolutions That Match Your Deeper Values
Your personal beliefs and hopes have a key role in sustaining your motivational impetus and keeping you focused. This form of motivation is associated with increased personal well-being.
Set “New” Resolutions
This is preferable to recycling old ones. If you still want to pursue a resolution from last year, (weight loss being the most popular resolution) we recommend that you be more specific in your approach... see above suggestions.
Set Resolutions As Specific Plans
These should account for factors such as time, place and people. Specific plans provide the mental cues needed to stick to our goals but it is important to make small attainable goals.
This is because they’re also less mentally taxing than more vague or generic plans that require further thinking. For instance, consider this resolution: I will walk for at least 30 minutes around the nearby lake with my friend Toni on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.
It already sets a framework that provides plenty of mental cues and strategies on which to follow up. Also, including another person in the plan also sets a greater sense of responsibility, accountability and social enjoyment — compared with a more vague resolution such as: I’ll go on more walks this year.
Identify and imagine your desired positive outcome Visualizing your goals will help keep you focused on identifying the specific resources your resolution requires. It will also help mobilize a sustained pursuit of the goal. Imagine and/or See yourself in a new outfit/suit, as a leaner and healthier you!
Reward small gains along the way Enjoying small progress gains is not only pleasurable, it will also help to motivate you.
Review Your Resolution Regularly
Let’s face it, if you are not thinking about your resolution regularly, you are not going to follow through. Thus, a crucial part of realizing your goal is a regular review.
At a minimum, this review should be monthly, but the more frequent the better.
Also….. If You Fall Off Track, Get Back On and Quick!
For example: If you go 3 weeks without a cigarette and find yourself over a friends house holding one and puffing on it before you even know how it happened… give yourself a break!
Put it out and start again! After all, you went 3 weeks already so pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again…!!! This is not an excuse to start smoking 2 packs a day again!
And Finally … Be Realistic
The more realistic your resolution is, the more achievable it will be and the less likely you are to set yourself up for failure.
After the federal government began dolling out trillions of dollars in coronavirus stimulus money, criminals saw the windfall as an opportunity ripe for theft. Since early last year, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office began issuing consumer alerts to warn Floridians about a range of scams.
The latest consumer alert issued Monday warns Floridians about fraudulent robotexts being used to trick consumers into sharing their personal or financial information. Robotexts are sent to users’ phones from unknown numbers that often contain malware or lead to malicious websites.
With Americans on track to receive 86 billion automated texts this year, according to Robokiller.com, robotexts have become more prevalent than robocalls, and Floridians are expected to receive nearly 5 billion this year, making Florida one of the most spam-texted states in the nation.
“These automated text messages are now more prevalent, and potentially more dangerous, than robocalls since malicious links can be clicked on directly in a text,” Moody said. “These links often contain malware that can be instantly downloaded to a phone. Any interaction with this type of text will show the scammer that the phone number is active, making the targeted user vulnerable to further messages. Consumers should be wary of opening or clicking links in unrecognized texts.”
In April 2020, the AG’s office issued an alert warning Floridians of COVID-19 robocall scams.
Over the past two years, Florida has seen its fair share of bad actors committing a range of COVID-19-related fraud. From March 2020 to January 2021, the AG’s office issued more than 30 consumer alerts related to COVID-19 emergency scams as well as tips to avoid them.
“As we have seen throughout the pandemic, bad actors are looking for ways to exploit the crisis to steal money, government benefits and people’s identities,” Moody warned.
COVID-19-related scams have included robocalls, robotexts, phishing emails, and websites that claim to offer fraudulent services. Fraudsters have impersonated government officials, health care workers or others, attempting to steal funds or commit identity theft.
One example involved scammers posing as county health department officials attempting to take payments for booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments, or asking for personal information, attempting to commit identity theft. Anyone asking for money or personal information in exchange for an appointment is a scam, Moody warned.
Another scam involved fraudsters claiming to be Medicare officials offering seniors in-home vaccination appointments and requesting a copy of their Medicare card in an attempt to steal their information and commit fraud.
The AG’s office also warned Floridians about posting their vaccine cards online and called on Twitter, Shopify and eBay to prevent scammers from fraudulently posting COVID-19 vaccination cards on their platforms.
“Those who buy fake cards can fraudulently add personal information to the cards to falsely claim proof of vaccination,” Moody warned. “These deceptive cards threaten the health of our communities, slow progress in getting people protected from the virus and violate many state laws."
The AG’s office also issued an alert this summer about a COVID-19 vaccine survey scam that involved contacting people by email or phone offering them compensation in exchange for completing the survey designed to capture their personal information.
“Once a victim’s information is stolen via the fake survey, scammers may use it to access bank accounts, set up credit cards and/or steal identities,” Moody said.
Another scam this summer involved fraudsters impersonating FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan in phishing emails, claiming recipients were eligible to receive non-existent COVID-19 relief funds after they provided personal and financial information.
“These brazen scammers are impersonating a federal agency charged with investigating and shutting down scams,” Moody said. The FTC has never sent out any COVID-19 stimulus money, and encourages consumers to report such scams.
Another COVID-related scam recently thwarted involved Floridians fraudulently filing unemployment claims in multiple states in order to receive pandemic relief payments and unemployment benefits, as well as recruiting others to do the same on social media. A multi-agency investigation found that none of the alleged perpetrators were unemployed in Florida because of COVID-19 or had been employed in the states where they also filed claims. They allegedly fraudulently obtained more than $550,000 in pandemic-related, unemployment-assistance funds from multiple states as a result of the scheme and were charged with multiple counts of fraud.
“The COVID-19 pandemic may have prompted more people to use mobile payments rather than transfer cash, or even credit cards, between individuals to prevent the spread of germs,” Moody warned. The AG’s office published guidelines on how to safely use mobile payment apps.
the AG’s office also created a scam hotline and website to file complaints: 1(866) 9NO-SCAM and MyFloridaLegal.com.
The Center Square
When the legislature convenes next year, one of the budget priorities it is expected to address is record funding for environmental conservation projects, which have received a wide range of support from conservation and environmental groups.
Florida continues to lead the U.S. as a tourist and recreational destination known for its Atlantic and Gulf Coast beaches, estuaries, the Everglades, fishing and other sporting destinations. In order to preserve the state’s natural resources, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ "Freedom First" budget directs $4.4 billion to a variety of environmental and water conservation projects.
“Florida’s natural resources are the foundation of our state’s communities,” the governor said when announcing his budget priorities earlier this month. “The environment drives tourism, affects property values, anchors many local economies and is central to our quality of life.”
The governor’s budget proposes more than $980 million to restore the Everglades and protect Florida’s water resources. It builds on an executive order DeSantis previously issued calling for $2.5 billion to be invested over four years for the protection of water resources. The proposed funding surpasses that, bringing Florida’s four-year investment to $3 billion, and doubles the investment of the previous four years.
The funding includes more than $660 million for Everglades restoration, $195 million for targeted water quality improvements, $35 million to improve water quality and combat the negative impacts of harmful algal blooms, including blue-green algae, and $5 million in additional funding dedicated to address red tide cleanup.
“When I took office, I outlined a bold vision to protect Florida’s environment, and we have not only kept the promises we made, we’ve exceeded them,” DeSantis said. “We have seen great results so far, but we are not yet at the finish line. It’s nice to see so many coming together to support these initiatives.”
Eric Eikenberg, chief executive officer of the Everglades Foundation, said $660 million for Everglades restoration is “the largest investment in the history of the program.” In addition to restoration efforts, the funding will “create and save jobs, boost our state’s tourism-based economy, and yield tangible benefits for Floridians,” he added.
The budget also invests more than $550 million to increase the resiliency of Florida’s coastal and inland communities, and more than $151.7 million to protect prized properties and waters in Florida. This includes $100 million for the Florida Forever program and $51.7 million for infrastructure improvements and natural resource management at Florida’s award-winning state parks.
The budget also allocates $50 million to restore Florida’s world-renowned springs, $100 million for continued stabilization, water treatment, and closure at Piney Point, and $40 million for the alternative water supply grant program to help communities plan for and implement vital conservation, reuse and other alternative water supply projects.
Last year, the governor championed the passage of the Resilient Florida Grant Program, which enhanced efforts to protect Florida’s inland waterways, coastlines, shores and coral reefs. The proposed budget builds on this by investing another $550 million.
“Florida has serious flooding challenges to tackle but has a Governor who is serious about delivering solutions that can lead the nation on resilience funding and policy,” Noah Valenstein, former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, said. “By working with communities, the Resilient Florida Program will capitalize on environmental investments to reduce flooding and protect Florida’s water resources.”
“Coming off yet another active hurricane season, Floridians across the state face the challenges of more frequent flooding and higher seas every day,” Kate Wesner, Florida director of the American Flood Coalition, added. “With another historic investment dedicated to resilience, the funds, coupled with the historic Always Ready legislation signed into law earlier this year, will help build a stronger, better prepared Florida.”
Temperince Morgan, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Florida, lauded the $550 million allocation, adding “a strong commitment to addressing climate change from the public, private, and non-profit sectors is the only way we will protect Floridians from sea-level rise and other impacts affecting our 1,400 miles of coastline and the communities that live along them.”
Dr. Jennifer Jurado, chief resilience officer for Broward County, said the funding comes at a critical time “as local governments across our state are increasingly pressed to address the impacts of rising seas and increased flooding.”
The budget also prioritizes Florida’s 1,300 miles of coastline, which it says “is critical to our growing economy and quality of life, as millions travel from around the world to visit our world-renowned beaches.”
It allocates $50 million in beach nourishment funding to restore eroded shorelines, $137 million to clean contaminated sites related to petroleum tanks, dry cleaning solvent, hazardous waste, and other contaminants, and $53 million to implement the State Mitigation Plan for the $166 million Volkswagen Clean Air Act settlement. The settlement addresses diesel emission reductions, including funds for electric vehicle infrastructure and electric buses.
The budget also allocates $3.8 million to protect the state’s manatee population, and up to $3 million for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to remove pythons from the Everglades, an increase of $2 million over current year funding.
The biggest chunk of the environmental budget, more than $1.7 billion, is allocated to help the state’s agricultural industry.
And while Florida hasn’t experienced the damage of wildfires like other states have, the budget also allocates $6.7 million for wildfire suppression equipment and $4 million for road and bridge maintenance.
The Center Square
Small, unique antibody-like proteins known as VNARs -- derived from the immune systems of sharks -- can prevent the virus that causes COVID-19, its variants, and related coronaviruses from infecting human cells, according to a new study published last week.
The new VNARs will not be immediately available as a treatment in people, but they can help prepare for future coronavirus outbreaks. The shark VNARs were able to neutralize WIV1-CoV, a coronavirus that is capable of infecting human cells but currently circulates only in bats, where SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, likely originated.
Developing treatments for such animal-borne viruses ahead of time can prove useful if those viruses make the jump to people.
"The big issue is there are a number of coronaviruses that are poised for emergence in humans," says Aaron LeBeau, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of pathology who helped lead the study. "What we're doing is preparing an arsenal of shark VNAR therapeutics that could be used down the road for future SARS outbreaks. It's a kind of insurance against the future."
LeBeau and his lab in the School of Medicine and Public Health collaborated with researchers at the University of Minnesota and Elasmogen, a biomedical company in Scotland that is developing therapeutic VNARs. The team published its findings in Nature Communications.
The anti-SARS-CoV-2 VNARs were isolated from Elasmogen's large synthetic VNAR libraries. One-tenth the size of human antibodies, the shark VNARs can bind to infectious proteins in unique ways that bolster their ability to halt infection.
"These small antibody-like proteins can get into nooks and crannies that human antibodies cannot access," says LeBeau. "They can form these very unique geometries. This allows them to recognize structures in proteins that our human antibodies cannot."
The researchers tested the shark VNARs against both infectious SARS-CoV-2 and a "pseudotype," a version of the virus that can't replicate in cells. They identified three candidate VNARs from a pool of billions that effectively stopped the virus from infecting human cells. The three shark VNARs were also effective against SARS-CoV-1, which caused the first SARS outbreak in 2003.
One VNAR, named 3B4, attached strongly to a groove on the viral spike protein near where the virus binds to human cells and appears to block this attachment process. This groove is very similar among genetically diverse coronaviruses, which even allows 3B4 to effectively neutralize the MERS virus, a distant cousin of the SARS viruses.
The ability to bind such conserved regions across diverse coronaviruses makes 3B4 an attractive candidate to fight viruses that have yet to infect people.
The 3B4 binding site is also not changed in prominent variations of SARS-CoV-2, such as the delta variant. This research was conducted before the omicron variant was discovered, but initial models suggest the VNAR would remain effective against this new version, LeBeau says.
The second-most-powerful shark VNAR, 2C02, seems to lock the spike protein into an inactive form. However, this VNAR's binding site is altered in some SARS-CoV-2 variants, which likely decreases its potency.
"What is exciting is that these new potential drug molecules against SARS-CoV-2 differ in their mechanism of action compared to other biologics and antibodies targeting this virus," says Caroline Barelle, CEO of Elasmogen. "It is another great example of how Elasmogen can effectively deliver potent therapeutic molecules."
Future therapies would likely include a cocktail of multiple shark VNARs to maximize their effectiveness against diverse and mutating viruses. This new class of drug is cheaper and easier to manufacture than human antibodies, and can be delivered into the body through various routes, but has yet to be tested in humans. LeBeau is also studying the ability of shark VNARs to help in the treatment and diagnosis of cancers.
Vaccines form the bedrock of protection against SARS-CoV-2 and future coronaviruses. But some people, such as those with compromised immune systems, do not respond as well to vaccination and may benefit from other treatments like antibodies -- which makes developing these treatments an ongoing priority.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Town of Fort Myers Beach will celebrate its 26th year of incorporation on December 31, 2021, with the return of the annual cupcake giveaway in Times Square and a fireworks display and ball drop.
The cupcake giveaway is from noon to 1 p.m. or until supplies last. It is a tradition begun by several families after the Town was incorporated in 1995.
The annual fireworks display will start at midnight from the pier at Lynn Hall Memorial Park near Times Square with the ball drop to happen in Times Square (the pier will be closed.) Town merchants provide financial support for this display.
Traffic is expected to be heavy in the Downtown District for these events. Visitors should consider using the convenient public transportation options offered by LeeTran, particularly the park and ride lot located a few miles off Estero Island at Pine Ridge Road. LeeTran will be extending hours for its beach services until 1 a.m. Call 239-533-8726 with questions.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Matanzas Pass Bridge will be closed to oncoming traffic from midnight to 1:30 a.m. Big Carlos Pass Bridge on the sound end of the Island will be open.
For information about Town parking, text the word PARKING to 239-FMBeach (239-362-3224) or visit the parking section at www.fmbgov.com > Things to Do > Parking.
The Town’s Beach and Street Enforcement (BASE) team monitors town spaces and posts the percentage of their availability at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. daily.
The Town operates several hundred pay-for-parking spaces in and near the Downtown District and beach accesses and there are also several commercial lots.
Town’s 26th Birthday on New Year’s Eve Please help keep everyone safe and the festivities enjoyable by observing the Town’s ordinances that prohibit personal fireworks displays in any part of the Town, including the beach, and open containers of alcohol outside the boundaries of Times Square. Also, please dispose of trash in the proper receptacles.
Watch the Town’s website and social media outlets for updates. For information about New Year’s Eve activities and entertainment that will be going on in retail and restaurant establishments, visit the FMB Chamber of Commerce website at www.fortmyersbeach.org
From what we were told by Andy’s boss, James Comey, Andy’s admitted leaking of FBI information to the MSM was NOT authorized by Comey… Comey said under oath that he NEVER told anybody to leak information! That includes Andy McCabe!
J. Gary DiLaura
retired FBI RED
The Republican Ascendancy of the 1920s is associated with a return to conservative politics with the presidential administrations of Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.
Harding, who was elected president in the election of 1920, initiated an era of conservative government based upon policies that were rooted in constitutional limited government.
Harding was a constitutional conservative who revered the American Founding. He described the Constitution as “the very base of all Americanism, the ‘Ark of the Covenant’ of American liberty, the very temple of equal rights.” Harding was a conservative nationalist who placed the interests of America first.On Nov. 2, 1865, Warren Gamaliel Harding was born in Blooming Grove, Ohio. A conservative in a Republican Party that also had a progressive wing, Harding served in the United States Senate before winning the presidency. He supported President William Howard Taft in the Republican civil war of 1912 that split the GOP when progressives bolted to join former President Theodore Roosevelt in the Bull Moose Party.
In the 1920 presidential election, Harding campaigned on a “return to normalcy,” which translated into an abandonment of the progressive domestic and foreign policies associated with President Woodrow Wilson and a return toward constitutional limited government. He also campaigned on the slogan of “America First.”
Harding, just as with President William McKinley, ran a “front porch” campaign and thousands of people visited his home. At his home, Harding would give speeches and greet visitors. Al Jolson even wrote and performed a song, “Harding You’re the Man for Us,” at the Harding home. Harding won the election in a landslide.
Once in office, Harding rejected the imperial presidency of Wilson and selected several notable leaders including Andrew Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury, Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce, and Charles Evans Hughes, as Secretary of State.
President Harding’s first major challenge was to pull the nation’s economy out of depression at the end of World War I. In the “forgotten depression” of 1920-1921, the nation faced 11.7% unemployment and much economic uncertainty. In the process, the national debt had escalated because of the war, tax rates were extremely high, and government spending was out of control.
The solution that Harding utilized was to restore the economy by stimulating the private sector by reducing regulations and slashing tax rates. The historian Paul Johnson in Modern Times wrote that the short-lived depression was the “last time a major industrial power treated a recession by classic laissez-faire methods…”
As president, Harding believed and advocated for economy in government. Harding called for reduced spending, tax reduction, and paying down the national debt. Reform was brought to the federal budget process with the Budget and Accounting Act. Although the federal government has increased dramatically in size in comparison to Harding’s time in office, he still had to say no to demands to increase spending.
Harding, along with Treasury Secretary Mellon, advocated for a conservative fiscal policy. This included reducing both spending and tax rates. As a result, “federal spending was cut from $6.3 billion in 1920 to $5 billion in 1921 and $3.2 billion in 1922. Federal taxes fell from $6.6 billion in 1920 to $5.5 billion in 1921 and $4 billion in 1922,” noted Jim Powell, senior fellow with the Cato Institute. Harding also started to chisel away at the national debt.
Harding also appointed pro-business individuals to regulatory agencies and he nominated conservatives to the Supreme Court. Some of President Harding’s Court appointments included Chief Justice William Howard Taft and Justice George Sutherland, both of whom are considered judicial conservatives. Harding also advocated a policy of civil rights and civil liberties for African Americans.He also pushed for and achieved limiting immigration through reform, and he addressed the importance of Americanization and citizenship. In terms of foreign policy, Harding took a more nationalist approach. It is often assumed that Harding was an isolationist, but this is untrue. Harding and Secretary of State Hughes led the Washington Naval Conference, which led to disarmament in the aftermath of WWI.
Harding also placed the interests of America first in terms of trade by supporting the protective tariff. Harding believed that a tariff would benefit and protect American industry, agriculture and labor. “I believe in the protective tariff policy and know we will be calling for its saving Americanism again,” stated President Harding. The Fordney-McCumber tariff was passed as a result.
The Harding economic program, which was continued by President Calvin Coolidge after his death, was responsible for creating the roaring economy of the 1920s. Coolidge would continue to reduce spending, tax rates and pay down the national debt.
President Harding deserves reconsideration just as historians have given President Ulysses S. Grant, whose administration was also marked by scandal. Scandals did occur in Harding’s administration, but he was not personally connected.
Many of the policy challenges that the nation is being confronted with today could be solved by following the principles and polices of President Harding. Harding’s conservative nationalism is an example for today’s policymakers.
President Harding, just as with President Donald Trump, believed in America First and American exceptionalism. As Harding said, we are forever devoted “to safeguard America first, to stabilize America first, to prosper America first, to think of America first, to exalt America first, and to live for and revere America first.”
The Center Square
You can see Fall colors all over Fort Myers Beach – the different-colored license plates from across the nation on cars driven by seasonals and tourists! With visitation rapidly increasing, the iconic Mound House is boosting its hours of operation from three to five days a week, now being open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., though it does close on November 25 & 26 to observe Thanksgiving.
One of Southwest Florida’s most-beloved historic attractions, the Mound House traces its roots to the ancient Calusa of over 2,000 years ago. The Town of Fort Myers Beach operates the Mound House as a museum complex and cultural and environmental learning center that offers numerous educational programs each month, including for kids. The oldest standing structure on Estero Island is at 451 Connecticut Street with overflow parking at 216 Connecticut. Admission is $10 for ages 13 & up, $8 for students with IDs, $5 ages 6 to 12, and 5 & under free, with Town residents receiving a 50% discount. The Mound House enforces Social Distancing guidelines at all programs and recommends that all unvaccinated visitors wear masks. For information, reservations, and a monthly programs schedule, call 239-765-0865 or see www.moundhouse.org.
FREE “Newton Beach Park Guided Beach Walk”
For all ages every Tuesday and Thursday weather permitting at 9 a.m.; no program on Thursday, November 25, for Thanksgiving.
This twice-weekly free outdoor nature program is different every single time, as the “Guided Beach Walks” have a simple premise – the groups walk roughly a half-mile down the beach and back, discussing whatever you find that particular morning. Meet at the thatched hut closest to the beach, with Social Distancing in place. Bring sunscreen, shoes to get wet, sunglasses, and hat. No reservations necessary; while free, parking is $3-per-hour, with one hour generally enough. Newton Beach Park is mid-island at 4650 Estero Boulevard.
For all ages each November Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday at 10 a.m.; no program on November 25 for Thanksgiving.
Stroll through the Mound House gardens to discover how its unique plants conserve water and protect wildlife, while learning how the Calusa and other Native Americans used them in their daily lives. $5-per-person that does not include Mound House admission; Mound House members free, with Social Distancing guidelines in place.
“Shell Mound Tour”
For all ages every Tuesday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; no programs on Thursday & Friday, November 25 & 26, due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.
If you dig archaeology, the Mound House’s signature program is for you! Tour the 2,000-year-old Calusa Indian Shell Mound led by the interpretive staff as you explore the site’s archaeology to unearth clues about this ancient society. $5-per-person that does not include Mound House admission; Mound House members free, with Social Distancing guidelines in place.
“Untold Stories Tour”
For adults on Thursdays, November 4, 11 & 18, all at 2 p.m.
The Mound House is the oldest standing structure on Fort Myers Beach, with an intriguing cast of characters who called it home, from farmers to casino owners; scientists to developers! Learn about their individual stories along with a good dose of island history on this guided tour through the Mound House Museum, native gardens, and majestic grounds. Adults $15; Mound House members free.
“Full Moon Kayak Tour”
For ages 12 & up on Friday, November 19, at 4 p.m.
This unique tour offers kayakers the rare opportunity to experience the backwaters of the Estero Bay in the quiet of twilight by the light of the full moon! Participants explore the estuary’s tidal creeks, winding mangroves, and abundant wildlife illuminated by the full moon. Weather permitting and reservations required at www.moundhouse.org; $45-per-person with Mound House members $15. The Mound House provides all paddling equipment with a maximum of 12 people per tour and Social Distancing in place.
“Archaeology: Can You Dig It?”
For all ages on Tuesday, November 23; Wednesday, November 24; and Saturday, November 27, all at 10 a.m.
Learn what it takes to be an archaeologist! Handle real artifacts and discover how archaeologist study past cultures in a program that is perfect for families. $5-per-person that does not include Mound House admission, with Mound House members free.
For dates and times for the “Cool Calusa Tools,” “Family Fun Kayak Tour,” “Latino History Tour,” & “Mangroves by Kayak Tour” programs, telephone the Mound House at 239-765-0865 or see
Minor League Baseball and Marvel Entertainment announced a promotional three-year partnership at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, home of the “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes” exhibit.
Starting next season, the program will feature 96 different Minor League clubs across all four levels hosting one or more super hero theme nights involving popular Marvel characters -- complete with specialized jerseys, of course -- along with other Marvel-themed activities and promotions taking place throughout the games. The deal was facilitated by AthLife, Inc, Marvel’s longtime sports representative
The event series is officially called "Marvel's Defenders of the Diamond" and will also come with its own run of comic books, which will be distributed at participating ballparks. "Co-branded merchandise and other surprises will be unveiled in 2022."
"This partnership is more than about driving attendance -- it's about fans of the Minor Leagues and Marvel getting to experience baseball in a whole other way with Marvel character appearances, Marvel-themed uniforms, social media engagement, storytelling, in-stadium graphics to name just a few," said AthLife, CEO Jon Harris, "Of course, it would not be Marvel if we were not holding some things back, so expect some surprises along the way."
MLB vice president of Minor League business operations Kurt Hunzeker. added “MiLB’s new partnership with Marvel Entertainment brings together two storied brands who create memories that are passed down from generation to generation. The possibilities with this partnership are endless and we look forward to some incredibly creative content, merchandise and promotions."
Marvel has a long history of superhero team-ups, dating back to its first comic book in 1939 that introduced the Human Torch and Namor the Sub-Mariner. That began in the comics with the Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Guardians of the Galaxy, among many others, and has extended through the Marvel Cinematic Universe that began in 2008 with Tony Stark and Iron Man.
Like any good origin story, this is just the start of fans getting to know Marvel's Defenders of the Diamond. Twists and turns and endless possibilities await both Marvel true believers and Minor League Baseball fans in 2022 and beyond.
"We have only just started exploring the new Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond universe of content," Hunzeker added, "and we cannot wait to explore the endless possibilities and potential integrating Marvel’s award-winning creativity with Minor League Baseball’s award-winning creativity to tell new stories about our players, teams, communities, and most of all our fans, starting with the 2022 season."
“Over the past few years, we have seen the fans of Minor League Baseball truly embrace Marvel-themed games, so having a nearly league-wide partnership will allow us to take creativity and storytelling to the next level,” said Mike Pasciullo, Marvel Entertainment’s Vice President, Product Development and Marketing – Brand, Franchise & Sports. “And it wouldn't be Marvel if we did not have a few major surprises to unveil along the way!”
As part of the wide array of custom content it will create for the new initiative, Marvel will create a “Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond” comic book for MiLB fans that will be distributed in participating MiLB ballparks throughout the partnership. Co-branded merchandise and other surprises will be unveiled in 2022.
Our local Minor League Team ... Fort Myers Mighty Mussels will be participating in the Marvel partnership.
Fans may visit milb.com/marvel for the latest information/updates on the “Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond” series.
Some Constitutional Amendments end up merely clarifying or adjusting elements of governance. Others were transformational. The 17th Amendment joined the latter group.
Article 1, Section 3 of the unamended U.S. Constitution established the method for selecting senators as follows: “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof…” The 17th Amendment in 1913 revised the process: “…two Senators from each State, elected by the People thereof…” i.e. directly elected by the people.
Does the Amendment deserve continued support, or should we consider going back to the original process? Am I beating a dead horse by bringing this subject up? Perhaps, but more than any time in our history, today’s politics and governance seems nuanced, conflicted, and subject to examination.
These responsibilities are unique to the Senate: ratifying international treaties and agreements; approving Supreme Court justices and other presidential nominations; and conducting impeachment trials. Considering these unique responsibilities, along with their more familiar bicameral lawmaking duties, begs the question, “Who should be the Senate’s constituents?”
Senators are ultimately accountable to those who select them. The U.S. is a republic, with checks and balances. The Constitution sets up centers of power and influence both among the three Federal branches of government, as well as between the U.S. government and states. This is clarified in the 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United
States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The Founders set up our government as a republic, which allows for representative governance, rather than a pure democracy. It also features an element of “federalism” in which dual sovereignty is established between the federal government and states. And both are accountable to “we the people.” Superimposed on the three government branches is separation of powers and its inherent “checks and balances.”
The constitution clearly established dual sovereignty federalism. True to that form of governance, the Founders took the opportunity to build on the concept when setting up the selection process for representatives and senators. Members of the house were to be elected directly by the people of their state. Senators were to be selected by the state legislatures. Both represent an obvious bow to the Founders’ concept of dual sovereignty federalism.
Arguments favoring the original process for selecting senators make theoretical sense:
• Promotes federalism, state authority, guarding against federal overreach, and controls size of the federal government.
• Enhances state sovereignty and influence relative to the federal government.
• Gives states a chair at the table of federal policy making. This is important because individual citizen’s issues may be different than collective state issues.
• Amplifies the voice of the minority, thereby discouraging a tyranny of the majority.
• Encourages more deliberation (vetting) of potential senators.
• Promotes better legislative decisions because different power bases have to agree.
• Ensures more legislative deliberation than if senators were elected directly, thereby easily swayed by momentary whims of the electorate.
• Enhances bicameralism, by differentiating senate characteristics from those of the House of Representatives, hopefully becoming more deliberative than the House.
Many arguments in favor of the 17th Amendment are heavily influenced by practicality:
• Prior to the Amendment, there were high levels of hostilities and wrangling surrounding the selection of senators by state legislatures.
• Prior to the Amendment, subtle adjustments of procedures were made to avoid conflicts, and soon the senator selection process resembled a quasi-direct citizen election.
• Direct election reduces the influence of party machines and special interests that some perceive in state legislatures.
• Direct election is intended to reduce the potential for corruption that was perceived prior to the Amendment.
• A directly elected Senator is considered more responsive – i.e. less deliberative.
My respect for the Founders’ objectives would cause my vote to be cast in favor of the unamended original Constitution. But the impracticalities and conflicts that led to the 17th Amendment are real, and the popularity of direct elections, along with the difficulty in getting approval of two-thirds of both houses and three-fourths of state legislatures, argue against the practical reality of any repeal. Attempts to change would be futile.
The 17th Amendment is under no threat of repeal.