Happy New Year’s Eve Naples

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone !  A Naples tradition this evening kicks off with a BANG ! The New Year’s Eve fireworks display begins at 7:30pm originating at The Pier. The show should last approximately 45 minutes concluding just in time for a quick stroll to Third Street South to catch the snowfall.  Continue with your family friendly celebration while on Third Street South with live music, hats, party favors and fun. What a great way to celebrate a new year and your Life In Naples !

New Year, New You!

It’s the New Year, and often times a smile makeover is the missing piece of a more confident New You! This was the case for Eve Ottis who spent years feeling self-conscious and hiding her crooked, discolored teeth. Eve is not only a glowing example of what a smile makeover can do to enhance your overall beauty and confidence, she is also the hygienist at Dental Excellence, where she has worked with Dr. Cheryl Malick for the past eight years and has educated and guided countless guests through their own smile makeovers.

new year new youEve is a former U.S. Marine, and a proud veteran of the Desert Storm Gulf War. Eve is the mother of two beautiful children, Allyson, age 17, a senior in high school, and Michael, age 22, a sophomore at Rutgers University. Eve tragically lost Larry, her husband of 18 years, to brain cancer, only five months after his initial diagnosis. Following his sudden death, Eve has become involved in raising awareness for brain cancer and brain cancer research through “Miles for Hope” and will be participating in her third “Miles for Hope” walk in February in Orlando.

Guests like Eve are often astonished by the results achieved with a smile makeover. Yes, a smile makeover can significantly alter the appearance of your face, and often makes you look a decade younger! But most people are surprised to hear that a smile makeover can sometimes mean changing only a few teeth. Everyone has their own smile makeover number and we want to help you discover “What’s Your Number?”

When Eve finally decided to do something about her teeth, she conferred with her boss about having a smile makeover. Why? “I’ve experienced Dr. Malick’s passion for dentistry first hand, which makes the patient’s experience comfortable, easy, and the end results life changing.”

As she does with all of her cosmetic dentistry patients, Dr. Malick started Eve’s procedure by taking photos of Eve’s teeth to evaluate New You! new year, every aspect of her smile. Then Dr. Malick asked her employeeturned- patient detailed questions about what she didn’t like about her teeth and smile, and her goals, to be certain of Eve’s expectations. The end result: 14 artistically-crafted porcelain veneers and crowns on Eve’s upper teeth, which instantly straightened her teeth, enhanced the color, corrected her bite and eliminated old silver fillings.

For anyone considering this type of dental procedure, Dr. Malick suggests that patients should ask their dentist about his or her postgraduate training in aesthetic dentistry, and request to see high-quality before and after photos of cases the dentist has personally performed, or better yet, see cases completed in person. new year new you 2

With her dental work complete, Eve says she now loves her smile. “It’s amazing the difference my smile makeover has made.” Proof positive that the world looks brighter from behind a smile.

January Events

Jan. 4 (8 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

Wing It! A Beginning Birder Workshop

Learn basics of birding, including how to use field guides, plumage, flight patterns, behavior and field marks in bird identification. This class also provides an overview of binocular styles and functions, including adjusting the diopter and other “tricks of the trade.” The classroom session will be followed by a field trip to a nearby park to practice new skills. Cost is $30 for non-members and $25 for members. The class is limited to 20 people.

 

Jan. 6-10 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Art Class: Acrylic Landscape & Seascape

Learn how to paint favorite scenes and landscapes and to create fantastic skies, gorgeous ocean scenes, trees, mountains and more during this five-day class. Using her book “Landscapes in Acrylic” as a guide, Lee Hammond will demonstrate easy methods for students at all ability levels; no experience required. During Hammond’s class last year, students went home with four paintings ready for framing. Hammond has been a professional artist and art instructor for more than 30 years. She has published more than 35 art instruction books. Supplies are not included. Cost is $375. Maximum class size is 9 people.

 

Jan. 7 (noon to 1 p.m.)

Lunch & Learn Lecture

“Restoring the Flow to the Rookery Bay Estuary – Connecting Science and People for Long-term Community Benefit” given by Tabitha Whalen Stadler, Research Specialist and Project Coordinator for the Restoring the Rookery Bay Estuary Science Collaborative Project at Rookery Bay Reserve. Learn about the plants and animals affected by altered freshwater flows, and what you and the community can do to boost the health of the Rookery Bay Estuary. Lunch and dessert provided by Carrabba’s and Costco. Lectures are free for members and $10 for non-members.

 

Jan. 24 (5:30 to 7 p.m.)

Amazing Adventures Lecture

“Everything I Ever Needed to Know, I Learned from Elephants: Trails Guiding in the Kruger National Park, South Africa” given by Brian Kelly, Trails Guide in and around Kruger National Park in South Africa. The Amazing Adventures monthly lecture series runs from January through March and brings many corners of the world to our auditorium screen. Narrated by a local naturalist, researcher or explorer, these audio/visual presentations provide destination ideas, natural histories, and travel tips and insights to ignite the travel bug in us all. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for refreshments, the speaker’s presentation is 6 to 7 p.m. followed by questions and mingling. Admission is free for members and $10 for non-members and includes refreshments.

Rookery Bay Reserve Serves As Important Stopover Habitat For Migrating Shorebirds

Research staff with Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve confirmed that a bird documented during a shorebird survey near Marco Island was banded in Argentina. The red knot (Calidris canutus rufa), seen through a spotting scope by Rookery Bay researcher Beverly Anderson, had an orange leg flag bearing the letter-number combination “U7L.” The bird, an imperiled species, was traced back to avian researcher Patricia Gonzalez, head of the Argentina wetlands program Fundación Inalafquen, and Allan J. Baker from the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, Canada).

Anderson made contact with Gonzalez to confirm the bird’s record. “I think this is one of the few (if not the only) sightings on the southwest coast of Florida of our orange-flagged red knots,” said Gonzalez, who banded the bird in April of 2012 with a group of high school students near San Antonio Oeste, Rio Negro, in southern Argentina. “The students will be so happy to hear about this resighting,” she added.

Anderson states she has seen more than 80 flagged red knots in the Reserve over the years, and all butrookery reserve this one were wearing lime green flags that designated they were banded in the United States.

“Because it was orange, U7L immediately jumped out as someone very special,” she said.

Reporting a resighting is important because it helps scientists learn more about shorebird migration routes and patterns and locate important stopover and wintering sites. According to Anderson, The red knot has one of the longest migrations of any living creature. In the fall, eighty percent of red knots migrate over 9,300 miles from their breeding grounds Photo courtesy of Martin Arnaldo Fenández on Arctic tundra to Brazil and then on to the southern tip of South America. In the spring, they repeat the journey travelling from South America to Delaware Bay and to the Arctic. Some red knots, about twenty percent, migrate a shorter distance to spend their winters along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the southeastern United States and these are the ones typically seen along Florida beaches. Long distance migrant red knots rarely show up in Florida.

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve encompasses 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters on Florida’s Gulf Coast managed by Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Coastal Office, in cooperation with NOAA. For more information about the sighting, visit www.rookerybay.org.

Q And A With Suzanna Bradbeer

Gulfshore Playhouse will jumpstart the second half of their 10th Anniversary season with their first Q and AWorld Premiere. The God Game, playing January 17 through February 9, focuses on Tom, a Virginia Senator and a rising star in the Republican Party. He’s asked to join the ticket as the Vice-Presidential candidate. The only catch: he needs to sound “more Christian” on the campaign trail. Will he sacrifice his firmly held belief that faith and religion are private matters or give up an opportunity to govern the most influential country in the world? Privacy, politics, and public personas take center stage in this world premiere drama by a hot new American playwright.

The God Game will be presented by Gulfshore Playhouse in association with Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, New York. Playwright Suzanne Bradbeer will be in residence in Naples for the entire rehearsal process and the first weekend of performances, working with the Gulfshore Playhouse creative team. Following each performance the weekend of January 17th, Suzanne will participate in audience talkbacks where she will ask the audience for feedback based on what they have seen on the stage. Then, she will travel to Albany in April to repeat this process at Capital Repertory Theatre. Life in Naples had the opportunity to talk with Suzanne about her theatre experience and how she is looking forward to working on The God Game in Naples this month.

 

Life in Naples: Where are you from originally?

Suzanne Bradbeer: I was born in London (English Dad) and grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia.

 

LIN: When did you first get bitten by the theatre bug?

Suzanne: My parents were taking a sabbatical year in New Zealand. I was approaching my senior year at Augustana College, but I decided to postpone it and take the year in New Zealand with my family and study at the local college – the University of Otago in Dunedin. I had no expectation or even desire to transfer credits, I just wanted to take whatever struck my fancy, to learn for learning’s sake. So I enrolled in a Latin class, a philosophy class, and a drama class – a lot – enough so that when I returned to Augustana I auditioned for the fall play: When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder? And it was that experience in Red Ryder, playing the unhappy and uptight violinist Clarisse, that really hooked me.

 

LIN: When did you first break into the business professionally?

Suzanne: I would say it was when I was invited to the wonderful New Harmony Project in 1999, to workshop my play Full Bloom. From that conference, one of the other writers recommended the play to the artistic director of Barrington Stage, Julie Boyd, and she premiered the first production of the play in 2000.

 

LIN: What is your favorite theatre experience?

Suzanne: That’s a tough one to choose! For today I’ll say this: I was part of a small theater company for a number of years – it was all blood, sweat, passion, and zero money. We were united by our love of storytelling and we had found a simpatico group in each other. I was still a new writer, but the artistic director, Linda Ames Key, commissioned me to write a play for the resident company, with the understanding that the play would get produced by them-us. So I wrote a play (Rita Fay Pruitte, now called The Sleeping Girl), and tailored each of the six roles to six members of the company. It was a magical and funny and sad play about forgiveness and grace and letting go. Also, it had mermaids. The rehearsal process of that play and working with those people was one of the most joyous projects I’ve ever been a part of.

 

LIN: What are you most excited about premiering The God Game here in Naples?

Suzanne: It seems pretty darn glorious to be spending January on Florida’s Gulf Coast. I’m also wildly excited about our cast and working with Kristen Coury. Kristen and I have had many conversations about the play and I love her questions and observations, her instincts and her collaborative spirit.q and a 2

Politics And Potpurri

Today is Thanksgiving and when you read this it will be “Happy New Year to all.” This was as unusual a Thanksgiving as I can ever remember. Our kids were going in different directions, some to New York, some to other family and some were just too far away to either come here or for Chris and I to visit. So we made a decision to just stay home by ourselves and enjoy the day. Everyone asked us what we were doing for turkey day, and when either of us said we were staying home by ourselves the invitations were plentiful, but we graciously declined. Some asked if we were okay, “Yes, we are fine.” I answered. “Well how can you be alone on Thanksgiving?” No matter what our explanation was we could sense that nobody would consciously choose to do that unless they absolutely had to, which we didn’t.

Candidly it’s been a great day. I participated in the Inaugural Turkey Trot whichPolitics was a 5K run and was held on Fifth Avenue South at 7:30 in the morning. It was 45 degrees and was a great start for the day. Then home and did some pre-prepping for our Thanksgiving feast. It was amazingly easy prepping for two instead of twenty-two, and we didn’t have to have anything ready at any set time.

We took our Bulldog Zsa-Zsa to the dog park, I washed and waxed my car and after watching the Macy’s day parade we settled in for an afternoon of NFL football which we both enjoy but can never watch uninterrupted on Thanksgiving. The rest of the day was great. Of course we spoke to family and friends exchanging greetings and well wishes and most likely we won’t have the opportunity to do this again, but that’s okay too; we do love our family. It just made this Thanksgiving a little more special to be thankful for.

As we begin 2014 a special thanks is in order to recognize some of the special people that help make Naples that special place we all live in. Our City and assistant City Manager along with their directors and all of our City employees that go that extra mile on a daily basis. As I reflect on some feel good stories that happened over the years regarding City employees I recall one vividly. My daughter Lisa who is a City resident went out for a Sunday run with her dog on a hot summer morning. She realized with still a mile left to get home that both she and the dog were thirsty and she hadn’t thought about bringing a beverage or any money with her to buy one. They were at the Mobil station on Central Avenue, and as they were standing there in the shade a City utility truck pulled in to one of the parking spaces near where they were. The employee got out to go in the store, stopped, went to the back of his truck and got two cold bottles of water and gave them to Lisa for her and the dog. He assumed she was a tourist, and gave her a short lecture on how sometimes visitors don’t realize how hot it gets in Naples especially in the summer and for the future she should always carry a beverage with her, and to have a great day and enjoy her vacation here. She thanked him profusely, assured him she would, and went home and called me to tell me the story. She never told him who she was and that her dad was the Mayor then, and she gave me his name. I called our City Manager and relayed the story and he made sure the employee was recognized for his good deed. That wasn’t an isolated good deed, our employees do good deeds like that on a daily basis, so if you happen to be in a place where you happen to encounter one of our City workers give them a smile and a thanks, because the old saying is so true, “You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with,” and they personify that saying.

Have a great New Year and hopefully 2014 turns out to be a super year for you!

After Heart Surgery Simmons Is ‘Bionic’

As she was getting ready for work a year-and-a-half ago, Lillie Simmons felt lightheaded, as if she was about to pass out. It wasn’t the first time it had happened to her. Growing up she had experienced similar episodes, usually provoked by certain triggers. But on this particular morning no triggers were present and Simmons decided to call her general practitioner for a check-up.

These episodes are now thought to be emphasized by her heart condition. The results of an echocardiogram revealed that Simmons had an undiagnosed atrial septal defect. A hole in her heart the size of a nickel was allowing the oxygenated and unoxygenated blood to mix, and the left side of her heart was becoming enlarged by laboring overtime to compensate for the defect.

Simmons was stunned.

“You hear, ‘you have a hole in your heart,’” she recalled. “It’s kind of a shock. Am I Okay?”

A Naples native, the 24-year-old Simmons had always been active. In high school, she had been a Simmonsswimmer and lacrosse player. She also enjoyed running. But she often felt tired, and sometimes struggled to push herself through the day.

Her doctors explained that the hole had existed since birth, and in most cases, would have closed around that time. They were quick to reassure Simmons that the defect could be corrected with surgery, and also noted that it could lead to other problems later in life if not fixed.

“If you think about it, your heart’s usually the size of your fist,” said Simmons, who works for Arthrex. “If you make a quarter on that, that’s pretty big.”

The American Heart Association estimates that 43 million women in the United States are affected by cardiovascular disease, making it their No. 1 health threat and affecting more women than all forms of cancer combined. While one in 30 women die from breast cancer each year, one in three women die from cardiovascular disease.

Simmons chose an Orlando pediatric cardiologist to perform the surgery that would close the hole in her heart by placing a small, umbrella-like device over the hole. Once the device was in place, tissue would grow over the device within six months.

Almost immediately after the surgery, Simmons noticed a change.

“I have so much more stamina. I have more sustained energy,” she said. “I didn’t realize how fatigued I was getting before.”

Just 10 days after the surgery, she decided to run a 5K race in Naples. Four months after the surgery, she competed in her first half marathon. Deciding to participate in these events was as much of a mental comeback as it was a physical one, Simmons explained.

“I didn’t want that defect to hold me back mentally,” Simmons said. “I didn’t want it to be a crutch for me. I needed to get out there and do it.”

Sometimes, Simmons even likes to joke that she has a special advantage over her competitors.

“I’m bionic now,” she said with a laugh. “I can do that.”

Key Building Consultants Your Key To Peace Of Mind

Key buildingAt Key Building Consultants you are purchasing a service like no other. Our 50 years of combined construction knowledge and experience assists our clients and helps protect their investment. We guide our clients in all aspects of the building process so that they are well informed and have a clear understanding of the Southwest Florida building procedures. Key Building Consultants is the watch dog on your new home or renovation project.

Why You Need Key Building Consultants:

Key Building Consultants is your advocate, working with your builder and design team on your behalf to make sure everything is going smoothly. Building a luxury home or completing a custom renovation can be very stressful at times. We help minimize that stress. Let’s face it; all contractors are not the same. Maybe you have had a home built in the past and discovered a major flaw after the home warranty has expired, or you know someone that this has happened to. Our 50 years of combined experience and knowledge help to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

How We Do This:

We are your eyes and ears on the job site, promoting the highest quality of workmanship for our clients. We document all phases of the construction process for you. Time and distance prohibit many homeowners from viewing important phases of the building process. Our savvy clients get weekly updates and reports, explaining in detail, what is going on with the construction of their home. We have developed a very extensive quality control checklist system. These checklists were developed with over 50 years of custom home building experience, to maintain the highest quality and workmanship. In essence Key Building Consultants is the watch dog on your new custom home, making sure your contractor is building your home correctly per the plans and specifications that you agreed to in your contract.

Knowledge

Ever heard “Knowledge is power?” Knowing your trade as an expert is powerful and ensures successfulknowledge results. We are strong believers of this; so strong that we ask our clients about our knowledge on our surveys. In other words did they feel confident with us; that they were in good hands with the proper guidance? In everything that we do we want our clients to be comfortable and secure with our processes, decisions and expertise. We are fully aware that our clients are constantly in a decision making mode. The options and choices are endless. We are prepared to partner with them and offer our professional knowledge so they can rest assured that we are the contractor they want to work with and the decisions made are based on experience.

But how do you recognize that “knowledgeable” contractor? What are the right questions to ask? How will your expectations be met? Our advice is to be as up front as possible with your expectations and spend time to get to know your contractor. Be prepared to have a two sided conversation at the level that covers the project from start to finish. Have you been through the remodel process before or is it all new? First time with new construction? Let the contractor know how knowledgeable you are. This will help them in their communication. Ask them about their time in the industry. Especially with remodels no one has a crystal ball (what’s behind those walls?) but a knowledgeable contractor will have the experience to have a very good understanding.

So ask yourself as you are shopping around if the person you are talking to is educating you. Throughout the conversations is their knowledge level made clear? Are they willing to outline their company policies as to the how and when they accomplish their work before you sign a contract? There is so much more to a cabinet contract then the cabinets; the knowledge of design and implementation is how to have a successful outcome!

We at Kitchens by Clay wish you a happy and prosperous 2014 and express our gratitude to the Naples community for another fabulous year!

Chinese Medicine

chinese medicineHealing is shaped not only by the clean lines of theory, but also by the messy contingencies of practice; not only in the exclusive domain of licensed doctors, but also in the competition of diverse types of healers,” say the authors of Chinese Medicine and Healing (Harvard University Press, 2013).

Over the centuries, different cultures developed a multitude of ways of understanding and treating illnesses. One notable example, increasingly popular worldwide, is Chinese medicine. This is a healing system which first appeared in written form about 100 B.C., and from which Western healthcare professionals—and patients—might learn.

What is Chinese medicine?

It is a system of medicine partly based on the idea that an energy called “Qi” (or “Chi”) lives in a dynamic state within and outside the body. The balance of this energy describes the physiology and psychology of specific mental and physical processes and emotional states.

Qi flows along pathways in the body called meridians. If the flow of Qi along these meridians is blocked or unbalanced, proponents believe, illness can occur.

Potential imbalances along the meridians can be caused by external forces such as wind, cold, or heat. Internal forces—including emotions of joy, anger or fear—compound the external forces and when combined with lifestyle factors such as poor diet, too little sleep, or excess alcohol, cause aberrations in the flow and subsequently disease.

Another important concept in Chinese medicine is the concept of yin and yang. In this approach, all things, including the body, are composed of opposing forces called yin and yang. Health is said to depend on the balance of these forces.

In other words, Chinese medicine looks at the balance of body, mind, and spirit to determine how to restore Qi, the yinyang balance, and good health.

People use Chinese medicine to treat many illnesses, from asthma and allergies, to cancer and infertility. Chinese doctors may use several types of treatment to restore Qi balance. Their therapies include acupuncture; acupressure; Chinese herbs, roots and animal substances; changes in diet; massage; and meditation.

One of the best-known concepts of Chinese medicine is acupuncture, which involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. Acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain.

By inserting needles into specific points along the body’s meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance. In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. This stimulation appears to boost the activity of your body’s natural painkillers and increase blood flow.

According to a National Institute of Health survey, about four million U.S. adults and children used acupuncture in the previous year.

Acupuncture has been the most studied of Chinese medicine treatments and is accepted as a therapy for certain conditions in the United States. Acupuncture is generally safe when done by a certified acupuncturist. The treatments can be expensive and time-consuming. Promising results have been found for the use of acupuncture in treating nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy, post-surgery pain, and pregnancy. Acupuncture also may be useful for other conditions such as headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma.

Like conventional medicines, Chinese herbal medicines may also cause side effects, trigger allergic reactions, or interact with other prescription and nonprescription medicines or herbs. Before you use any Chinese therapies, be sure to tell your health professional about any prescription, nonprescription, or other natural supplements you are taking. And always tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment.

These various methodologies of treating illness are based on widely different points of view about sickness and health.

Practices in the Far East view health as the harmonious interaction of entities which regulate digestion, breathing, aging, locomotion, circulation, and thinking with the environment around us. There is little emphasis on anatomy, physiology, or traditional western medical science, which developed from the Renaissance age. When looked at through a modern lens, we know a population’s health is more dependent on an environment of many socio-economic factors than variations in the physiology of any single individual. (Chinese medicine may have developed before its time!)

But how can we be sure what works and what doesn’t—or what improvement is based solely on a placebo effect? Just giving someone an inert substance and telling them this is going to alleviate some suffering makes a difference in outcome.

Evidence-based medicine and clinical trails are still lacking, for the most part, to compare Chinese medicine to Western medicine. Then again, even in Western medicine, all evidencebased practices are not fully embraced or implemented.

Is Chinese medicine safe? According to the website WebMD, research in China and worldwide has shown Chinese medicine to be helpful and safe for many types of illness. But because Chinese medicine differs from Western medical practice in diagnosis and treatment methods, it is difficult to apply Western scientific standards to it.

For example, in Western medical practice, any two people with a similar infection (such as sinusitis) may be treated with a standard course of antibiotics. In Chinese medicine, each person might receive a different treatment for the same illness depending on the estimation of that person’s Qi and yin-yang balance.

I can understand why there is still a fair amount of confusion about the claims and approaches of differing healthcare treatments.

However, Chinese medicine has withstood the test of time. If its therapies were worthless, most likely they would have disappeared. The fact that they remain and are growing should make all of us more interested.

Therefore, the two essential questions are:

• If these practices are indeed efficacious, how do they work?

• Can we combine the best of eastern and western medicine to obtain better results with fewer side effects?

Stay tuned as complementary and alternative medicine mature, and we start to embrace many other traditions. I do believe that in the end, evidence-based medicine—that which is based on science—will be best for all concerned. We just need to keep our minds open about understanding those “clean lines of theory” and “messy contingencies of practice” as we evolve.

Clearly, we still have much to learn.