No Barriers Youth Learning AFAR Southwest Florida

by Kelly G Cooper

non barriers youthAccording to the U.S. department of Education there are approximately 400,000 youth in the foster care system. Each year over a quarter of a million children are removed from abusive and neglected homes and placed with foster families. As a result, it should come as no surprise that these children have heightened risk for behavioral and educational obstacles and difficulties adjusting to new relationships and environments.

It is a traumatic transition that most of us could not begin to imagine experiencing and often results in grief, aggression, depression and withdrawal. Having adult support and mentorship is crucial for any of these children to succeed in life.

National research shows that children in foster care are at high-risk of dropping out of school and are highly unlikely to attend college, let alone graduate. All of this begs the question – what can we do as individuals to help break the cycle of poverty and empower those disadvantaged youths? A few years ago, Naples resident and Guardian ad-Litem Ron McGinty was at a luncheon and asked himself the same question. In turn, he was inspired to find an option for these marginalized kids. After much thought and research, Ron spoke with Erik Weihenmayer. In addition to being the first blind man to climb Mount Everest and reach the seven summits, Erik is also a noted author, motivational speaker and co-founder of No Barriers USA. Through Erik, Ron was introduced to the No Barriers Youth program. This program is youth3specifically target students in inner cities and fosters an environment that encourages the participants to accept challenges and helps to build self-esteem all while offering them an opportunity to explore the globe. This program has been tried and proven effective in numerous large urban cities, including Chicago, NYC, Seattle and Oakland, with 100% of the students post-experience stating they intend to make a positive impact on the world. All of this positive feedback led Ron to establish a local program here in Naples specifically for children in the foster care system in all of SW Florida.

The No Barriers Youth/Learning AFAR Southwest Florida kicked off at the beginning of the 2015- 2016 school year. No Barriers provides experiential travel scholarships where participants will enter a six-month youth development program that will meet bimonthly at the David Lawrence Center.

Students will study culture, leadership, and current global challenges while preparing for a ten-day voyage rafting the San Juan River and living on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Participants will
learn to live off nature, work as a team and develop individual leadership skills and trust in others.

youth1Upon return their work does not end. The ‘graduates’ are required to write a 500-word essay, volunteer and are committed to stay active in the community. All participants receive a ‘Reaching For The Stars’ medallion as a reminder to propel forward and to continue to strive for personal success and accomplishment- reminding the kids, if you do not try and reach the stars you will never get there.

There is tremendous support for this program, notably Antwone Fisher, former foster child, director and author. However there can never be enough!

For more information please visit www.nobarriersusa.org or contact Ron McGinty at RON@MCGINTY.CC or 239.405.0555.

“If you can change one person’s life you can change the world!” – Ron McGinty

Managing Passwords

password programIt was just a few years ago that you could use the same password for everything, do you remember those days?

Since I last wrote about managing passwords in 2013, the world has changed its views of password management. Some of the password and security breaches that have been revealed in the past few years included large entities like Facebook, Target, LinkedIn, Google, Yahoo! and Twitter to name just a few.

THERE ARE TWO BASIC RULES FOR PASSWORD MANAGEMENT IN TODAY’S WORLD

1. The password must be complex and difficult to guess.

2. The password must be easily remembered.

While the first rule is necessary, the second is nearly impossible with the complex passwords that are becoming the norm. I will give you some tips on how to implement both rules without losing your mind.

Whenever there’s a big data breach and user passwords are exposed, security companies always make a list of the most common passwords people were using. The five most common passwords of recent breaches were “123456,” “123456789,” “password,” “password123,” and “12345678.”

password sign inObviously, you shouldn’t use those or anything similar, but millions of people still do! The same goes for special dates; names of spouses, children, sports teams, relatives or pets; or any password using the full name of the service you’re making the password for. (such as ‘amazon1234’)

Despite what you see in the movies and on TV, professional hackers never sit down at a computer and try to guess your password. Instead, hackers get millions of passwords at once from company data breaches or other sources. Usually these passwords are ‘hashed’ so they’re just a huge string of letters and numbers. However, if enough passwords are ‘hashed’ the same way, hackers can figure out the pattern and decrypt many of them. In fact, with modern computers, they can usually crack tens of thousands of passwords in a matter of hours.

Use a different password for each of your important accounts, like your email and online banking accounts. Reusing passwords is risky. If someone figures out your password for one account, that person could potentially gain access to your email, address, and even your money. Your email should also have it’s own unique password as if a hacker gets access to this, they can use it to “reset” your passwords from your other accounts.

Using numbers, symbols and mix of upper and lower case letters in your password makes it harder for someone to guess your password. For example, an eight-character password with numbers, symbols and mixed-case letters is harder to guess because it has 30,000 more possible combinations than an eight-character password with only lower case letters.

Now, if you’re like me and have dozens of accounts online, even using this system can be too much. That’s why a password manager like 1Password can be a great help. It keeps your passwords secure, and you only need to remember the one to open it. Plus, it’s a local program so you aren’t uploading your passwords to the Internet, and they can also be securely kept on your portable devices if you choose. 1Password also has a great random password generator that will create a complex password and remember it for you!

Don’t leave notes or books with your passwords to various sites on your computer or desk. People who walk by can easily steal this information and use it to compromise your account. If you decide to save your passwords in a file on your computer, create a unique name for the file so people don’t know what’s inside. Avoid giving the file an obvious name, such as “my passwords.” Also do not put the name ‘password’ in the text of the file, as a manual search of the computer can easily turn up those lists! It is also a bad idea to choose the option to save your password when visiting Web sites or setting up an e-mail client — it is much more secure to enter the password again each time you visit.

An alternative to using a “password” is to use a “passphrase.” A passphrase is a sequence of words strung together to create a “password.” To do this, you need to forget your traditional methods for building a password. Instead of worrying about how many characters your password needs to have, consider multiple words that can be combined to make a phrase. A passphrase is made up of four or five short words, put together in a way that makes sense to you.

While your “password” may be longer (which makes it more secure), it will be easier for you to remember. Here are some examples:
“My dog just turned eight.” = “MyDogJustTurn-D8”
“Look at all the traffic today!” = “LookatAlltheTraffic2day!”
“I love to go fast in my Tesla!” = “Ilove2goFastInMyTesla!”

Passphrase’s should meet all of the requirements of traditional passwords. You should choose a phrase that you can easily remember; and to increase security avoid common phrases, lyrics, titles, and quotations.

Paraphrasing is another easy way to form a secure password that you can easily remember, it is to think of a phrase, song, poem, or sentence and use the first letter from each word. For example: “I have owned my dog for 5 years!” = “Ihomdf5y!”

Passwords do not have to be a nuisance if you devise a good plan to manage them!

Professionals Seeking Citizenship Immigration Reform

Mike Reagen Citizen Member Editorial Board

Mike Reagen
Citizen Member Editorial Board

THE QUIET QUEST – Part 4 of 4

All agree our immigration policies need to be reviewed and reformed. Disagreement abounds on what needs to be improved and how it can be achieved.

The actual process is variable. For the professional, for the educated, it is laborious.

Clearly the situation is dynamic. While the debate rages, educated and professionals continue to seek U.S. Citizenship. International students are just one example.

“Get the best education possible before you apply for citizenship. Hone your special skills. Go to an American College. Become valuable so you can continue to stay in USA. Contributions from Refugees, from Foreign-borns bring different perspectives to local cultures. Position Logic sells products and services to foreign countries and brings the money back to Florida” says Hong Long, Laos-born and now VP of Position Logic.

For Luis Bernal though all went smoothly. “I had no problem with the naturalization process. Immigration is different for professionals than it is for poor illiterate people. I used an attorney and paid $6000 to help process our applications.” Bernal says. ““Becoming a US citizen was a beautiful experience. The best part of the six-year process for me was not just getting my papers. In 2003, it was the excitement of acquiring a new culture and enhancing the love for my family by together embracing our commitment to the USA,” Luis Bernal, born in Columbia now President Global Development Consultants said. “When I opened the letter signed by President George W. Bush, I thought WOW! I was an American. Not a member of any Party or special interest group. Becoming a US Citizen symbolized a start of a new life and brings hope, happiness, a sense of belonging, privileged and responsibility. It allowed me to stop thinking of myself as a second-class person.” Bernal said.

nicole smithNicole Symthe, NCH Wellness Center Massage Therapist, who successful gained asylum in the USA after fleeing Zambia with her family, on the other hand, is thankful all worked out. “The USA is known for its free and fair treatment of its people and also for its chance to make good of your life again without any bias towards race, color or creed,” she said recently.

“The interview for asylum status was in Miami and it was five hours long. They checked all our credentials and it took about eight months afterwards before we had our permanent residency. Now, seven years later, we are able to apply for citizenship. I believe that the USA is very fair with its allowance of aliens but I do think the interviews are necessary to make sure that all background checks are done extensively. Thinking back, the best part of the process was the fact that everything works and is professionally done and organized.

The efficiency was something we had never before experienced.” Symthe said. “People outside of America still have the American dream. They want to come here and most of them want to contribute. Have good intentions, want to better their lives. America is the truly the land of opportunity. If I were in a country and being oppressed, I would do all I could to come to America. I don’t think folks should be punished for wanting to come here. We should have a system to help folks who want to come there to work and contribute. We should emphasis contributions foreign-borns can make: most are hard workers. Give them a chance to work, to better themselves. Social media is making the world smaller. Social media allows us to look at situations from different angles. We Americans must expand our perspectives. What we think may not be 100 percent true because it is based on our perspective. At least, we need to stand back, listen to and accept other peoples’ viewpoints,” says entrepreneur and Laos-born, Hong Long.

Cathy ChristopherAnd for marketing executive Cathy Christopher, Jamaican Born and now Marketing Director of Naples Inn on Fifth, the process ended with a treat. “Crossing the border from Canada at Niagara Falls with my green card and having been processed for 45 minutes by the wonderful U.S. immigration officers, after which I had a slice of pizza and thought ‘Now, it’s up to you Baby!” Christopher said.

But for many the process is variable and it is not easy.

Jennifer Frankel, researcher, recently noted that in 2013, “Many international students come to the USA with the idea that America is the land of opportunity and that once they
obtain a US degree, they will be able to gain employment.” But she says “The reality, however, is not this simple. Under the current US visa structure, opportunities are quite limited.” Citing a study by the Brookings Institute, Frankel says that is because less than 20 percent of foreign students studying in the US will be able to secure optional practical training upon their undergraduate graduation with the hope of earning sponsorship to an H-1B temporary work permit. And the cost to US Employers [$1000+ per application] is speculative because there is a cap on sponsorships. Frankel writes that by the end of 2014 there may be 124,000 petitions for the H-1B visas.

Many of these petitions may not be granted so thousands of these international students will return to their native country.

Ray PezeshkanRey Pezeshkan, Iranian –born, Founder of PK Studios, Inc. in Naples, whose team of architects and planners have designed over 5000 units and commercial buildings in SWFL, is upset about the international student situation.

“The USA is really a strong beacon for many of the world’s most talented youngsters. We educate too many kids who must leave after they graduate from our colleges and universities. We should do all we can to make it easier for them to stay, get American jobs and help our nation grow,” Pezeshkan says.

“The USA provides opportunities that do not exist anywhere else in the world for those who are smart, talented and want to work hard,” Pezeshkan says. “We should staunch this brain-drain of international students having to leave America after they graduate,” he said. Over a ten-year period The Greater Naples Chamber, helped sponsor three foreign-born professionals through the process for US Citzenship. One was from the United Kingdom, one was from Colombia, and one was from Turkey. All were successful, important to The Chamber’s progress and today all are successfully employed and flourishing. But their journey took several years and cost each several thousand dollars, primarily in attorney fees. There were many moments of angst along the way.

Ekkehard Grampp“We should not discourage some immigrants to knock on the doors. Letting people into America with skills and money to invest should not be a disputed topic. This county has been very good to me–to my business career and to my personal life and I would choose this country again!” Says Ekkehard Grampp, former CEO of German subsidiary in the US and now one of the SCORE leaders in SWFL.

So, what should be done for the educated and professional foreign-borns seeking US citizenship?

Rowan SamuelPerhaps, realtor Rowan Samuel, a Naples resident who was born in Zimbabwe, summarized it best for those we interviewed:

“Historically, immigration is what made America so successful – the “melting pot” of people who were escaping economic distress and cultural and religious persecution – those who were willing to work hard to make a better life for themselves and their families – it’s what makes America the greatest country in the world…The American Dream. I believe it is critical to have a policy that makes common sense, while still enabling a pathway to citizenship,” Samuel said.

“Of course, illegal immigrants come to the US for a better life, have a financial impact on America and are an economic engine with positives (a cheap labor pool who spend the money they earn here, for example) and negatives (crime by some who cannot get jobs or choose this path) that need to managed,” he says.

“Conversely, terrorism is a growing concern and Americans view secure borders as critical to the nation. But economically, it is not viable to “round up and ship out” illegal immigrants. So, policy makers should study the pros and cons of Ronald Reagan’s 1986 immigration bill, that offered some amnesty,” Samuel said. ”Providing some type of limited amnesty makes moral and economic sense and is in the best interest of the country,” Samuel said.

“While limited amnesty (with a tax clause), and perhaps full citizenship over time is probably a good first step, full amnesty (immediate citizenship) I believe is a mistake right now for myriad of reasons. Policy makers should study the effects (both positive and negative) of the 1986 Reagan bill.0

“Any reform,” Samuel says, “need to be nuanced so that it gives existing illegals a chance to be citizens by being productive, law abiding people who are paying into the system (via tax) so there is a net positive effect on our economy.”

“Immigration reform is complicated, but it’s not impossible and the economic upside could be tremendous,” Samuel said.

THE BOTTOM-LINE

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, Nicholas Kristof, thinks most who seek U.S. citizenship possess but undaunted courage and ambition for a better life. “What separates their families from most of ours is simply the passage of time — and the lottery of birth,“ he wrote in a recent New York Times column.

“The United States will need to pass immigration reform to keep up with increasing trends both domestically and internationally,” writes Jennifer Frankel.

“The change immigration reform can bring will depend on the voice of those who will advocate for the policies in place. If you are interested in taking a stand, “she argues; “Let your Senator and Congressional Representative know you support immigration reform.”

Read Part I – Click Here

Read Part II – Click Here

Read Part III – Click Here

Community comes together to support Guadalupe Center

LONDON BAY HOMES SHOWS SUPPORT FOR GUADALUPE CENTER

LONDON BAY HOMES SHOWS SUPPORT FOR GUADALUPE CENTER

Individuals and businesses in Southwest Florida are changing the lives of children in Immokalee. Through continued support of the Guadalupe Center, their philanthropy prepares 1,100 children – from infants to high school seniors – for educational success and a better future.

Because of the center’s three core programs, funded mostly by contributions and money raised during its annual signature event, children of this impoverished farm community are becoming doctors, teachers, engineers and even rocket scientists. They are the future of Immokalee – students like Israel Vega who is attending the college of his dreams; his older sister Mariela now applying to medical school; and younger brother Lonnie, a junior at Immokalee High School, already mapping out his college career.

If not for the Tutor Corps program at Guadalupe Center, the Vega siblings would have never considered post-secondary education a possibility.

“People wouldn’t expect an immigrant family like us to go to college,” said Israel, a sophomore at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. “Being in Tutor Corps has changed my life.”

With a mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education, the Guadalupe Center provides early childhood education, after-school tutoring and high school Tutor Corps programs. It has prepared its youngest children for kindergarten, improved math and reading skills for elementary school children and helped more than 200 high school students realize the dream of a college education.

Guadalupe Center StudentsBarbara Oppenheim, president of Guadalupe Center, attributes student success to the dedicated staff of teachers, volunteers and the generous heart of the Southwest Florida community, which gave a recordsetting $1.3 million during the 2015 signature fundraising event.

“It’s only because of the community’s support we are able to truly change children’s lives,” she said. “Whether it’s a volunteer who is generously giving of their time to mentor a Tutor Corps student for college, a community rallying financial support from their neighbors or a local business sponsoring our events, we are fortunate to have so many people who are passionate about what we do.”

“Aqua,” the 2016 Guadalupe Center signature event, will take place Jan. 13 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples. The event features live music, a gourmet dinner, live auction, and the opportunity to make on-the-spot donations for college scholarships. It begins with a cocktail reception and a meet-and-greet with students enrolled in Tutor Corps, a comprehensive college-preparatory program that provides academically capable but financially needy students with the guidance and support to achieve a college education.

The Tutor Corps program boasts a 100 percent high school graduation rate and college acceptance for nine consecutive years, said Oppenheim. Ninety percent of its students have earned college degrees – well above the 59 percent average reported by the U.S. Department of Education.

“The program is all-encompassing,” she said. “We match students with volunteer mentors who are very involved in the children’s lives through high school and college. We also prepare students for ACT and SAT, writing and public speaking and help them find financial aid and scholarships.”

Tutor Corps students also earn college scholarships by tutoring children in the center’s after-school program. London Bay Homes President and CEO Mark Wilson was so impressed during his visit to Guadalupe Center, he shuttled his senior management team to Immokalee.

“These are children who are overcoming major disadvantages, circumstances most of us could never imagine, and through sheer willpower and determination are beating the odds,” Wilson said. “I knew we could help financially and in so many other ways.”

The company is among the business sponsors for “aqua.” “

Mark and the London Bay Cares committee have really embraced Guadalupe Center,” said Sabra Smith, human resources director and a committee member. “We’ve already outlined a plan to increase our involvement, host events to bring attention to the center and financially support the program’s growth. Several employees are interested in being Tutor Corps mentors. We’re also planning a career day to introduce students to job opportunities and educational requirements in homebuilding, architecture and construction.”

London Bay employees raised $1,100 for school supplies and several donated filled backpacks during an afternoon Christmas in July fundraiser. The company also provided paid summer internships to Tutor Corps students Alan and Israel Cuevas. Israel learned the nuances of the construction process and became an expert in permitting, earning the Hero Award for helping the team complete 17 permits in a week.

Working in accounting, Alan mastered data entry, monthly financial reports and “caught everyone up in their job duties,” Smith said. “He completed his tasks and asked for more with a smile on his face.”

“We plan to grow the intern program next summer,” she added. “Alan and Israel were wonderful and worked hard. They were professional and always willing to take the next step. We were impressed by their maturity and ability to seamlessly become part of our team.”

Southwest Florida’s leading luxury homebuilder is also partnering with Gulfshore Life to host “The Best New Restaurants” at Mediterra the following evening of “aqua,” with proceeds benefitting Guadalupe Center. Chefs featured in the magazine will serve small plates in several newly completed model homes.

“Mark Wilson and London Bay have really taken a vested interest in our students,” said Oppenheim. “They are setting an example we hope other businesses will follow.”

Ametek Foundation, Arthrex, City Mattress, David Meyer Trust, JP Morgan, Luma Capital and TD Ameritrade are additional “aqua” sponsors.

Businesses, families and individual philanthropists have the opportunity to support “aqua” through six levels of sponsorship ranging from $1,000 to $25,000, which includes tickets and acknowledgement in the official “aqua” program. Individual tickets are available for $500.

For more information about the Guadalupe Center and “aqua”, visit www.GuadalupeCenter.org or call 239.657.7158.

Chef’s Column – Chocolate Souffle

Chocolate SouffleNext time you visit Shula’s Steak House Naples remember to save a little room for their signature Chocolate Soufflé baked to perfection! This desert prepared to order has even the most serious chocolate lover coming back for more. It is large enough to feed two people and is the perfect way to end your meal. Shula’s Chocolate Soufflé is a perfect blend of texture and taste. The light, airy soufflé accompanied with homemade vanilla bean crème anglaise is sure to please those who dare to indulge themselves.

CHOCOLATE SOUFFLÉ – THE RECIPE

With a pastry brush using vertical strokes coat soufflé dish with whole butter. Place 2 oz. of sugar in soufflé dish, coat and discard excess sugar. Ladle 16 oz. of soufflé mix into soufflé dish, gently tap dish on hard surface to remove/disperse excess air pockets. Place in 375 degree convection oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until done. By placing a toothpick in the center of the soufflé and removing it without any wet soufflé mix will determine if it is ready. Accompany the soufflé with crème anglaise and vanilla ice cream and serve immediately. It is important to serve the chocolate soufflé immediately due to the egg whites in the recipe which give it the airy body and produce the elevation that you’re looking for with your soufflé.

Shula’s Chocolate Soufflé has proven itself to be a crowd pleaser, Enjoy!

Featured Artist Michele Oka Donor for the Naples Winter Wine Festival

Michele Oka Donor

Michele Oka Donor

One of the most prolific and respected artists working today will be honored as the Featured Artist at the 2016 Naples Winter Wine Festival, to be held from January 29-31, 2016 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida. Represented by the prestigious Marlborough Gallery in New York, Michele Oka Donor is best known for her public art commissions, including Radiant Site at New York’s Herald Square subway, Flight at Washington’s Reagan International Airport and A Walk on the Beach at The Miami International Airport, which features 9,000 bronze and mother-of pearl sculptures lining a 1.25 mile concourse, one of the largest public artworks in the world.

“To have an artist of Michele Oka Doner’s caliber attend the Naples Winter Wine Festival and donate a custom piece of art to our live auction is a dream come true,” said Sandi Moran, co-chair of the 2016 Naples Winter Wine Festival. “Her art is inspired by the natural surroundings of her hometown of Miami Beach, not far from our Festival’s grounds, and it’s a great honor to welcome her back to Florida. Her talents and generous contribution will make a tremendous difference in the lives of so many children in this community.”

Guests to the Naples Winter Wine Festival will have the unique opportunity to hang a piece of her artwork in their own home by bidding on a custom chandelier designed and created by the artist specifically for the Festival. Evocative of The Firefly Chandelier and cast in bronze, the chandelier will be inspired by a walk one dusk evening on a wooden ramp into the Everglades, near Naples.

“As an artist and a citizen of South Florida, born and raised, I am honored to participate in the Naples Winter Wine Festival, an organization that recognizes the challenges facing many children in Collier County,” said Michele Oka Doner. “The chandelier I’ll create for the winning bidder will be both work of art and symbolic gesture, as it is my intention to add more light to a community that ennobles itself with continuous generosity.”

THE FIREFLY CHANDELIER

THE FIREFLY CHANDELIER

Her decades of work have garnered extraordinary praise, including numerous awards and grants. Oka Doner’s artwork is featured in major museums and private collections throughout the United States and Europe, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs at the Louvre and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among many others. Her other public art projects can be found in U.S. courthouses, public libraries, hospitals, museums, universities, as well as in public parks and transportation centers. She is currently designing the costumes and sets for George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Miami City Ballet, which will debut concurrently with her solo exhibition at the Perez Museum of Art Miami in March 2016. She was awarded a 2011 Honorary Doctorate Degree in Fine Arts from The New School of Interior Design, in New York City.

In addition to bidding on Oka Doner’s spectacular chandelier, guests to the Naples Winter Wine Festival will also have the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind travel experiences, limited edition cars, and unique wine lots during an electrifying live auction, all of which are dedicated to an important cause. Since its inception, the Festival has raised more than $135 million dollars to support its founding organization, the Naples Children & Education Foundation, whose annual grants have provided more than 200,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel.

Ticket packages to this year’s Naples Winter Wine Festival, limited to 580 guests, start at $10,000 per couple. A $25,000 package that includes reserved seating for a party of four under the tent at a vintner dinner is also available. For more information about the NWWF, please visit http://www.napleswinefestival.com or call 888.837.4919.

NWWF 2016 CHEFS

COLIN BEDFORD OF THE FEARRINGTON HOUSE
RESTAURANT IN PITTSBORO, NC
BRIAN BOITANO HOST OF FOOD NETWORK’S
“WHAT WOULD BRIAN BOITANO MAKE?” IN SAN
FRANCISCO, CA
NASH COGNETTI OF TRA VIGNE IN ST. HELENA, CA
GARY DANKO OF RESTAURANT GARY DANKO IN
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
CURTIS DUFFY OF GRACE IN CHICAGO, IL
JOHN FOLSE OF RESTAURANT R’EVOLUTION IN NEW
ORLEANS, LA
KEN FRANK OF LA TOQUE IN NAPA, CA
SARAH GRUENEBERG OF MONTEVERDE IN
CHICAGO, IL
JEN JASINSKI OF RIOJA IN DENVER, CO
DANIEL JOLY OF MIRABELLE IN BEAVER CREEK, CO
GERRY KLASKALA OF ARIA IN ATLANTA, GA
EMILY LUCHETTI OF MARLOWE, PARK TAVERN, AND
THE CAVALIER IN SAN FRANCISCO, CA
TORY MILLER OF L’ETOILE IN MADISON, WI
NANCY OAKES OF BOULEVARD RESTAURANT IN SAN
FRANCISCO, CA
PATRICK O’CONNELL OF THE INN AT LITTLE
WASHINGTON IN ST. WASHINGTON, VA
RICHARD REDDINGTON OF REDD AND REDD
WOOD IN YOUNTVILLE, CA
BRYCE SHUMAN OF BETONY IN NEW YORK, NY
HOLLY SMITH OF CAFÉ JUANITA IN KIRKLAND, WA
CRAIG STOLL OF DELFINA IN SAN FRANCISCO, CA
ARI TAYMOR OF ALMA RESTAURANT IN
LOS ANGELES, CA
BILL TELEPAN OF TELEPAN IN NEW YORK, NY
RICK TRAMONTO OF RESTAURANT R’EVOLUTION IN
NEW ORLEANS, LA
DUSTIN VALETTE OF VALETTE IN HEALDSBURG, CA

Moving On…

Jim Hendersonby Jim Henderson
President of William C. Huff Companies and
national speaker for estate downsizing and lifestyle transitions

We all have had our fair share of New Year’s resolutions. Here’s a few that I believe would help us all.

First of all, most of us have too much “stuff ” and, since over 70 million of us will contemplate a major downsize in the next few years, it would be a good resolution to rid ourselves of this “stuff ”. In the past four years, we have had to walk through many last minute home downsizes because of a sudden illness in the family. I know we all think this won’t happen to us but, as we age, it does. Alzheimer’s, dementia and stroke are a few of the things which catch us by surprise as we age. If we think ahead, we might be able to avoid the last minute panic by thinning our clutter out and donating it to a worthy cause.

The other thing you may want to put on our resolution list is to get rid of negative feelings. These emotions clutter our lives and do little to help or enhance anyone else’s life. Most of us have so much and yet it’s our inability to be 100 percent thankful that keeps us from being a positive influence to those less fortunate. Having grown up as a child at-risk in the foster care system, I know from experience what it means not to have what so many others have.

A few years ago I decided to give back in those areas of my life where I had had so little. I got involved with a local charity, Friends of Foster Children Forever. In just a few short years we have seen tremendous success in making a difference in the lives of at-risk children. By choosing not to be negative about my own life has given me the ability to channel my experiences into helping others who are now where I was as a child.

It is said that the things we own will eventually own us. This is true and not just our possessions but, also of our emotional, mental and physical well-being. This year may we all concentrate on getting rid of those things in our lives which own us and weigh us down. Let’s move on so we may live a more balanced and purposeful New Year!

Simply The Best – CCSO Youth Relations Bureau Named ‘Agency Of The Year’

YOUTH RELATIONS BUREAU CPL. LUKE ARNOLD SHARES A SMILE WITH STUDENTS ON THE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES AT BARRON COLLIER HIGH SCHOOL.. CCSO YOUTH RELATIONS BUREAU WAS NAMED AGENCY OF THE YEAR FOR 2015 BY THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS. PHOTO BY CPL. EFRAIN HERNANDEZ/CCSO

YOUTH RELATIONS BUREAU CPL. LUKE ARNOLD SHARES A SMILE WITH STUDENTS ON THE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES AT BARRON COLLIER HIGH SCHOOL.. CCSO YOUTH RELATIONS BUREAU WAS NAMED AGENCY OF THE YEAR FOR 2015 BY THE
FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS. PHOTO BY CPL. EFRAIN HERNANDEZ/CCSO

When Cpl. Luke Arnold showed off his dance moves in a student video, the well liked Youth Relations Deputy saw his popularity soar at Barron Collier High School. The video has been shared hundreds of times over social media.

Though he had never danced to “Hit the Quan” before, Cpl. Arnold jumped in full uniform and performed the latest trending dance craze.

But Cpl. Arnold does more than dance. What he is really passionate about is his position as a Youth Relations Deputy with the Collier County Sheriff ’s Office. His passion is shared by the dozens of deputies in the CCSO Youth Relations Bureau committed to keeping Collier County Public Schools safe.

“All of the Youth Relations deputies who are working in the schools have a special cohesiveness in interacting with the kids and parents and school staff,” said Cpl. Arnold, who taught special education in Collier County Public Schools for 12 years before switching to a career in law enforcement and joining CCSO.

The passion brought by the deputies helped the CCSO Youth Relations Bureau to earn the title of “Agency of the Year for 2015” by the Florida Association of School Resource Officers (FASRO).

It’s the latest in a string of honors recently received by the Youth Relations Bureau. The Bureau was recognized as one of NASRO’s Model Agencies in 2014. Cpl. Ken Vila, who has spent his entire law enforcement career in the Youth Relations Bureau, was named “D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year” for Florida and the nation for 2015.

COLLIER COUNTY SHERIFF KEVIN RAMBOSK, LEFT, PRESENTS CPL. KEN VILA WITH THE 2015 FLORIDA D.A.R.E. OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN ORLANDO IN JULY. IN AUGUST, CPL. VILA TRAVELED TO NEW ORLEANS WHERE HE WAS HONORED BY D.A.R.E. AMERICA WITH THE 2015 NATIONAL D.A.R.E. OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARD. PHOTO BY CPL. DEBRA GROSS/CCSO

COLLIER COUNTY SHERIFF KEVIN RAMBOSK, LEFT, PRESENTS CPL. KEN VILA WITH THE 2015 FLORIDA D.A.R.E. OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN ORLANDO IN JULY. IN
AUGUST, CPL. VILA TRAVELED TO NEW ORLEANS WHERE HE WAS HONORED BY D.A.R.E. AMERICA WITH THE 2015 NATIONAL D.A.R.E. OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARD. PHOTO BY CPL. DEBRA GROSS/CCSO

Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk has helped grow the Youth Relations Bureau into one of the largest and most qualified school resource officer units in Florida. As the Bureau has grown, it has integrated new and innovative ideas and programs to further its effectiveness. This includes incorporating Segway patrollers for quick and efficient access to various parts of our campuses and Summerfest, CCSO’s most ambitious youth activities program ever, which offers free activities to young people while fostering relationships with law enforcement when school is not in session.

Providing school resource officers in Collier schools has been a part of the CCSO mission for nearly four decades. The Youth Relations Bureau remains solely funded by CCSO with no monetary assistance from the Collier County Public Schools District.

“For more than 38 years we have forged a successful working relationship with students, teachers, administrators and parents in Collier County,” Sheriff Rambosk said. “The Youth Relations Bureau has proven to be a vital component of school safety and violence prevention.”

Collier County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton echoed the Sheriff ’s comments.

“The relationship between the School District and the Collier County Sheriff ’s Office is like no other and it even extends beyond the walls of our schools,” Dr. Patton said.

CCSO programs that serve local students, ranging from the award winning D.A.R.E. program to Summerfest, strengthen that bond, she said.

“I know of districts that have no officers in their schools whatsoever,” said Dr. Patton. “What we do here in Collier County does indeed serve as a model for other districts and law enforcement agencies to follow. “In Collier, every public school is assigned a Youth Relations Deputy and every school has a Youth Relations deputy present on campus daily. These deputies are part of the school culture and environment. They are well known by their student body and staff; they are part of the team.

CCSO youth relations deputies are not only keeping school campuses safe, they are mentoring and educating children in a variety of ways. Through their passion and drive, this special group of deputies is investing in local youth and the community. Keeping 45,000 students, 3,200 teachers and administrators, over 800 support staff, 8,370 volunteers and mentors, and numerous parents safe and involved is quite a feat, but the Youth Relations Bureau is succeeding.

MEMBERS OF THE COLLIER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE YOUTH RELATIONS BUREAU POSE FOR A GROUP PHOTO IN THE AUDITORIUM AT BARRON COLLIER HIGH SCHOOL. CCSO WAS RECENTLY NAMED AGENCY OF THE YEAR FOR 2015 BY THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS. PHOTO BY CPL. EFRAIN HERNANDEZ/CCSO.

MEMBERS OF THE COLLIER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE YOUTH RELATIONS BUREAU POSE FOR A GROUP PHOTO IN THE AUDITORIUM AT BARRON COLLIER HIGH SCHOOL. CCSO WAS RECENTLY NAMED AGENCY OF THE YEAR FOR 2015 BY THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS. PHOTO BY CPL. EFRAIN HERNANDEZ/CCSO.

What in the WORLD is Going On

travel1by Barbara Roy

It is well known to my friends and family that I love to travel. Areas of a city or country that interest me the most are usually off the beaten path. Like a fireman that runs into a fire instead of away, I investigate and sometimes stay in areas that most travelers avoid. My trip to La Paz Bolivia was one of those times.

Bolivia is a beautiful country in South America which spans the Andes mountains, the Atacama Desert and the Amazon Basin rainforest. The people who’s heritage vary from the old Inca Empire, independent tribes and from the Spanish colonials. Beautiful country, beautiful and colorful happy people.

I had heard about the famous San Pedro Penitentiary in La Paz and wanted to learn more. As instructed I waited with a small group in a park in front of the 25 foot wall prison wall. When the metal gates opened the group was met by several prison guards who directed us to 15 x 20 ft stark room, our passports were taken and stored for the duration of visit. As we moved into the courtyard of the prison we were met by Freddie, a convict who was to be our body guard. Freddie in turn introduced us to his body guard a man called Rubin, all the men have one or more alias names.

travel4There are no guards in the prison itself so we wandered among the worst of the worst. It was stated that we would visit different neighborhoods which defined “status” among the inmates.

If you were in the “rich” section you might have a TV, stereo, a kitchen and even two bedrooms. The arrangement can easily accommodate a family, which is allowed, and many men live as a family unit. The children who live within the prison go to school daily, catching the bus in front of the park outside the gates.

The youngsters were well dressed, orderly and very friendly. In the first neighborhood visited it was called “Five Star” area. The men had literally drawn five stars on the cement wall and there was two story “apartments.” For $3,000 you could buy one of the “penthouses” but to be certain it’s not a penthouse as we think of one. Many men who owned apartments opened a business on the main floor and lived up on the second floor in a loft.

The door key to these apartments is kept by the owner and the guards do not have access unless the inmate is home. Interesting to me was the fact the prisoners locked their own doors at night to protect their possessions as well as themselves from other inmates.

travel2A tour of the “Four Star” neighborhood was interesting and informative. An apartment in this section sold for $2,000 for life and if a prisoner was released he put an ad on the bulletin board alerting others to it’s availability. The prison had about 2,000 prisoners but a population of about 3,000 if you include wives and children. A basketball court and other children’s activities can be seen through this neighborhood. Drug dealers make up the largest percentage of inmates, understandable when you consider that Bolivia is the largest producer of the coca leaves used for cocaine.
Our guide Freddie informed us that he is a cocaine dealer and a loan shark.

We next visited the poorest section which was Freddie’s neighborhood. He tells us that this is where the “vampires” live. A vampire is a drug addict who has no money, usually young and sleeps the day away. Since this neighborhood has no street lights at night, it becomes a crime scene where people are taken advantage of, yes even in prison there is a crime area.

There is an active cocaine business taking place in this prison and Freddie was comfortable talking about the various steps that it took in order to get this “product” ready for export. Freddie states that he does not use this drug while in prison since he has no friends and is afraid that he would be lulled into a stupor and taken advantage of. Freddie was set to be released from prison within a few months so I asked about his plans for the future. He mentioned that his family had encouraged him to return to his home town and work with them in their restaurant. He didn’t find this appealing or lucrative so he would continue with his cocaine business, meaning this friendly young man would lead a life of crime. It was quite a life experience visiting La Paz although this is one tour that will probably will not attract many.

Barbara Roy is the President of Naples Chapter Circumnavigators Club and invites world travelers interested in membership to contact her. Email: broy55@comcast.net.

Time to Remember

by Sandra Lee Buxton

PATTY BAKER, PHOTO COURTESY OF CHARLIE MCDONALD

PATTY BAKER, PHOTO COURTESY OF CHARLIE MCDONALD

As Chair of this year’s Florida Cancer Specialist Foundation Gala (FCSF) “ Time to Remember” Patty Baker is inviting you to attend this one of a kind party. The motivating factor in accepting this role is because “it’s fun, and it feels good to be of help to families in need.” Lets learn more about this leader and you’ll understand how this all fits together. The Baker surname comes from the ancient culture of the Anglo-Saxons and was first used as an occupational name. Baking and the provision of food for others is definitely “hospitality”, and that’s the motivation for philanthropic endeavors, kindness and improving opportunities for others. “Do the right thing and it comes back 10 fold”, is an old family saying from her childhood and doing the right thing is her motto today.

She and her husband Jay made Naples their permanent home in 2004 and have helped mold our community into what it is today. Although she lives a low key life style and considers herself shy her public persona is larger than life. Let’s mention just a few of her passions:

The Arts: No secret that Patty loves all art forms and she wants to ensure that others have access as well. The Baker Museum of Artis – Naples is an impressive collection and considered the foremost fine arts museum in SW Florida. Gulfshore Playhouse was the recipient of a gift when Patty and her husband Jay became Season Benefactors ensuring the continuation of professional theater here locally. Patty studied theater at Hunter College in NYC so this art form is in her blood. The Baker Theater on that College campus was provided to enhance the learning experience of future students. Then of course there’s Broadway, need we say more. Preferring to be off stage and behind the scenes she is a Tony Award Winning Producer and this winter will have six Broadway productions running at the same time, WOW.

Baker Park: Patty’s love for all things Naples, made her investment in “the people’s park” a natural. The yet undeveloped seven acres of land is located adjacent to city owned property and the mangrove forest along the Gordon River. The purpose of the Baker Park is to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. Bringing joy to others certainly sounds like hospitality to me.

Health and Wellness: NCH’s North Naples Hospital is home to the Jay and Patty Baker Patient Care Tower. The reason for involvement is simple; to assist others as they heal by providing space that is state of the art. Patty values good health and living a healthy lifestyle and wants that available to others as well.

Gala – Her “Time to Remember” extravaganza brings out her passion of supporting others at a vulnerable time in their lives. The FCSF began in 2010 and was established as a 501(c)(3) in 2012, thus far it has provided more than $1,000,000 in financial support to patients. The inaugural biannual fundraiser was held in 2014 and amassed more than $600,000 which was welcome relief for so many patients. Monies specifically help qualified patients pay for their everyday living expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, telephones, cars, transportation or insurance payments. Relief from some of the everyday stressors enables patients to focus on what’s really important, fighting their cancer.

Patty has had family members affected by cancer which brings the Gala mission closer to home. She has experienced firsthand the stress, struggles and the emotional toll that accompany fighting this disease. Patty used her involvement with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame located in Cleveland Ohio to obtain Martha Reeves and The Vandellas. Martha who is the First Lady of Motown and certainly a legend is guaranteed to bring the house down. Those who are connoisseurs of fine music will recognize that indeed THERE IS NO OTHER MUSIC. Patty mentioned that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame grew out of Blues, Gospel, Country then Rock and Roll/Jazz. With a Gala goal of raising more than $1,000,000 this year, “Time to Remember” will also be known as “The Event to Remember.” Live auction items are not your traditional fare but treasures that everyone will be clamoring for. Join Patty on April 16, 2016 at The Ritz on the beach and be one of those who care and want to share.

For tickets and sponsorship/underwriting opportunities call 941.677.7181 or visit Foundation.FLCancer.com/Time