Naples Winter Wine Festival Ranks #1 Again on Wine Spectator’s List of Top Charity Wine Auctions

Naples, FL – March 21, 2017 – The Naples Winter Wine Festival has once again topped Wine Spectator Magazine’s list of the highest-earning charity wine auctions in the country, marking the 11th time the Festival has earned this illustrious title since its inception in 2001. This honor goes to the 2016 Festival, which raised nearly $10.5 million under the live auction tent (excluding Fund a Need, which garnered $625,000 in live donations for the Naples Children & Education Foundation’s Early Learning Initiative).

“It is particularly rewarding to earn the top spot because it signifies another year of great impact for kids in Collier County,” said 2016 Festival co-chair Sandi Moran. “The continued success of the Naples Winter Wine Festival has really been a team effort—our wonderful group of Trustees, vintners, chefs, sommeliers, staff and volunteers all work together to make the event as unique and exciting as possible, and to drive home how important the auction is to our community.”

Top lots at the 2016 Naples Winter Wine Festival included the first Rolls-Royce Dawn to be delivered in the United States, which sold for $750,000. Three separate bidders won VIP access to Napa Valley’s BottleRock music festival, two bespoke guitars and three double magnums of coveted Gargiulo wines, totaling $720,000. One hundred percent of the funds raised under the tent goes directly to providing underserved and at-risk children in Collier County with critical health and education services.

Since 2001, the Festival has raised more than $161 million for its founding organization, the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), which has awarded grants to more than 45 non-profit organizations that have impacted the lives of over 200,000 children.


About the Naples Winter Wine Festival

The Naples Winter Wine Festival is the most successful international charity wine auction in the world, bringing together renowned vintners and chefs with wine enthusiasts and philanthropists for a three-day Festival that raises millions of dollars for underprivileged and at-risk children. Every dollar raised under the tent funds the Festival’s founding organization, the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), whose annual grants and strategic initiatives have provided more than 200,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel.  For more information, please visit


Driving the ROUNDABOUT the Whys and Hows

Beth Brainard
Ex Director of NPC

Single lane roundabouts have come to Naples, and actually to all of Florida at the behest of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). These roundabouts differ considerably from the high-speed traffic circles that so many Neapolitans have encountered in the Northeast. Do you hate the idea? Statistics show that after one year, most of you who were against the installation of a single lane roundabout in your neighborhood will have reversed your opinion and the level of public support will have reached 70 percent. This happens for a number of reasons, all of which are
identified by FDOT, AARP, and significantly the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which has money riding on motorists not crashing.

These organizations along with traffic planners across the world endorse single lane roundabouts as the preferred option for moving traffic on roadways with volumes up to 25,000 vehicles per day including trucks, buses, and emergency vehicles. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety enumerates the other benefits:
Roundabouts increase safety by eliminating the most common crashes: right-angle, left-turn, and head-on. Because traffic in a roundabout is continuously moving rear end collisions are rare, and with the speed limit in roundabouts at approximately 20 mph the severity of crashes is diminished.

Roundabouts improve the efficiency of traffic flow by 40 percent because the traffic constantly flows. (Yes, like anywhere else, there will be an exceptional day when there is so much traffic even a roundabout is clogged up. Nothing is perfect.) Roundabouts are 75 percent safer for pedestrians because crossing distances are relatively short and traffic speeds are lower than at traditional intersections. The lower traffic speed makes single lane roundabouts safer for bicyclists as well. Driving in a single lane roundabout is quite simple, and should not be a problem in Naples where the average IQ and ability level of its residents is so far above average. Here are tips from the Center for Transportation:

Approach: Slow down to the posted speed. Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists in the crosswalk (they have the right-of-way).
Enter: Yield to vehicles in the roundabout. Wait for a gap in traffic, and merge into traffic in the roundabout in a counterclockwise direction.
Proceed: Continue through the roundabout until you reach your street, never stopping.
Exit: Signal, then exit the roundabout to your right. Again, yield to pedestrian and bicyclists in the crosswalk.
Please let me know if these directions work for you or if you have other tips that might help your neighbors navigate.

Beth Brainard is the Executive Director of Naples Pathways Coalition (NPC), a non-profit organization that works to create safe, bikeable, walkable communities in Collier County. For more information or to join, visit the NPC web site at or contact Beth
directly at


by Michael Wiener, E.A.

Recently the Federal Trade Commission reported that government documents/benefits is the most common form of reported identity theft. As a tax practitioner, identity theft continues to be an ever increasing problem for my clients.

First of all the question is asked: What is identity theft? Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number (SSN) or other identifying information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. These crimes are serious!

If you become a victim of identity theft you can spend months or possibly years (and your hard earned money) repairing the mess these thieves have made of your good name, your credit record, your tax information, and your refund.

Usually an identity thief uses a legitimate taxpayer’s identity to fraudulently file (E-File) a tax return and claim a refund early in the filing season. You may be unaware that this has happened until you file your tax return later in the filing season and you will get a notice that two returns have been filed using the same SSN. Thus innocent taxpayers are victimized because their refunds are delayed. If you or your tax professional receives notice from the IRS that your tax records may have been compromised, respond immediately to the name and/or number printed on the notice or letter. You will have to fill out IRS Identity Theft Affidavit Form 14039. In addition the IRS will issue a six- digit identity protection (IP) PIN number that must be used when filing your tax return. IP PIN’s are valid for only one year. A new number is issued every year for three years after the identity theft incident.

Here are some tips to help you protect yourself from becoming avictim of identity theft:

  • Don’t carry your Social Security card or any documents with your SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on it.
  • Don’t give a business your SSN or ITIN just because they ask. Give it only when required and you know who is asking for information
  • Protect your financial information
  • Check your credit report every 12 months•
  • Secure personal information in your home
  • Protect your personal computers by using firewalls, anti- spam/virus software, update security patches and change passwords for internet accounts.
  • Remember the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication such as text messages or social media.

If your tax records are not currently affected by identity theft, but you believe you may be at risk due to a lost or stolen purse, or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, you may consider contacting the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit. In my practice I have seen where identity theft cases are extremely complex to resolve, frequently touching on multiple issues and multiple tax years. It seems that we must remain vigilant to guard our personal information.

If you should have a topic that you would like me to discuss or if you should have a question, please feel free to call 239.403.4410 or e-mail me at

We have a new office address
4280 East Tamiami Trail
Executive Suite 302-M | Naples, FL 34112
An enrolled agent, licensed by the US Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits, collections and appeals. To attain the enrolled agent designation, candidates must demonstrate expertise in taxation, fulfill continuing education credits and adhere to
a stringent code of ethics.

Ambulatory Surgery Center opens at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at Naples

The much-awaited Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at Naples opened its doors in late January. The ASC is located on the 2nd floor of the present free standing Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. The state of the art facility has two operating rooms and six admission and recovery bays to allow the physicians and staff the ability to provide our patients with the care that has ranked Bascom Palmer number one for the past 16 years in a row. Each operating room is equipped with identical equipment to provide for flexibility in doing cases. The admission and recovery bays are equipped the same for flexibility in caring for patients and meeting their needs.

When a patients is seen in the clinic and surgery is determined to be necessary the patients sit with a Registered Nurse and they are given the surgical instructions and their questions are answered. The patient then meets with the surgical scheduler. Their surgery date is scheduled and additional instructions are given. The patients are called 1-2 business days prior to their surgery and given the time of their surgery and final instructions.

After the initial cases, the ASC has opened to a full surgery schedule. In these following weeks surgeries in most specialties have been done, including Corneal, Retinal and Oculoplastics. The facility is fully computerized. This includes all patient care areas and the family waiting room. The family is given a specific identifier to track their family member on the TV screen in the waiting room. They can follow their loved one from the pre-operative area into the operating room and then to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). This helps to ease their minds and gives them the feeling of involvement in the patients care.

When the surgery is complete,the surgeon speaks to the family member in the private consult room. The family is then brought back to PACU shortly thereafter to get the discharge instructions and have any questions answered that they may have.

The facility is staffed with an Anesthesiologist, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, an all RN staff, Certified Surgical Technologists and a Certified Instrument Technician. Prior to opening the staff was afforded the ability to have hands on training at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in both Miami and Palm Beach Gardens for several weeks to assure the competency on the new equipment that is required to provide care to our patients.The Bascom Palmer Naples Surgery Center is ready to treat all your surgical eye needs. Let us help you with your vision to see the future more clearly.

No Help Wanted

by Sandra Lee Buxton

Offering assistance to anyone has its challenges, however when that person is a family member, it can feel like a roller coaster ride. This emotional experience is more difficult when a memory deficit or processing problem is part of the mix.

Parents continue to see their offspring as a child, a meddling child at that, and a spouse, well that takes on a life of its own. There are no cookie cutter solutions or one fail safe plan, but here are some barriers to be aware of. Monitor voice tones and facial expressions during conversation since that will be “heard” louder than words.

Also be mindful that in dealing with memory deficits, your world and the other persons reality are totally different, both are deemed to be “right.”

  • Accept that the situation is difficult and that you arenot happy. Try to understand where the frustration is coming from. It can be an anger issue from offenses actual or perceived recent or from years gone by. It is not unusual that resentment be felt that involvement is necessary at all. A undercurrent of stress is magnified if you are caring for a person who is not a “nice” person and maybe never has been.
  • Use empathy by putting yourself in their place. As an adult it is difficult to be told what to do much less how to manage your life. Friction is to be expected especially if it come from an adult child to a parent or many times a wife to her husband. Loss of control is terrifying, and to be told to give up your home or to stop driving is a devastating message.
  • Avoid the power play and threats. The person to whom you are speaking will bristle and stop listening. Angry people can’t hear, so use periods of silence if there is an emotional flare up. It also closes communication “to tell it like it is” the individual will become defensive and “push back” further.
  • Engage the services of an outside professional. An authority figure can provide the same information as the adult child or spouse but it will be received differently. It is perceived that the outsider really wants to help and family members just want to interfere. Physicians, attorneys, RNs, financial counselors, are just a few professionals that may be able to help navigate this difficult time. RNs who are accustomed to managing various aspects of care and service can help with a strategic plan. RN Care Managers work with other professionals, the client and family members to accomplish specific goals.
  • Be knowledgeable about State Laws and legal options. Just because a Power of Attorney is in place does not mean that you can take over another’s life choices. We should all have an advocate but also the right to make our own decisions while competent.
  • Important decisions take time. Some things cannot be rushed and revamping a lifestyle is one of those. Begin the “what if ”conversations so that a seed is planted and ideas are discussed before a crisis and without strong emotions. Consider these: What if you were too sick to care for yourself, what if you had to move, what if you couldn’t drive, then what?
  • Make small changes, as an example bring in assistance for just a few hours a day, one day a week. After becoming accustomed to outside help, the value is usually seen and it is easier to increase the hours when indicated. A respite is needed for all caregivers to enable some “me” time.
  • If possible encourage the loved one to announce the “time is right” to make lifestyle changes. In cases of denial, impaired judgment or a health crisis, it may be necessary to make decisions quickly and just move forward but expect negative fallout. It will take patience and encouragement for the changes to be accepted or even tolerated.
  • Set boundaries for when you are or are not available and stick to it.
  • Don’t jump every time the parent or spouse perceives an“emergency.” Let them know that appointments or transportation need to be mutually agreed upon and enlist an outside source to step in on occasion.
  • Look at options together. Do research on what type of in home care is available and choose an agency with a trusted reputation. If a move is anticipated then visit facilities with and without appointments. Visit after 5 p.m.when all of the Administration staff has left; see what meal time looks like and look in on leisure activities. Obtain advise from a professional who understands the Naples community and has had assisted living and long term care experience.
  • It’s normal to think “I’m doing all of this and I am not appreciated for it.” You’re right, it’s frequently not appreciated related to their processing problems. Know that what you’re doing is right even if their perception of reality is wrong. Take care of yourself with breaks from the caregiver role.

Making lifestyle changes for yourself is difficult but when making them for others it can be overwhelming. Remember that you don’t need to do it alone, nor should you. Rely on trusted professionals to make the transition smoother, falling into the “I can do it all” mindset will not produce a winner, just two tired and frustrated people.

Publisher Reg Buxton – St Patrick’s Day in Naples

EXCELLENT! That’s the only word necessary to describe our recent St Patrick’s Day. No one loves and does parades quite as well as Naples. Why? Well the most obvious reason is that it’s fun, the second reason is the feeling of connectivity. As you looked out at the sea of faces it appeared that every nationality was represented in the cheering crowds. BUT on that day everyone was Irish, exhibiting pure joy by wearing green in some form including shirts, wigs, face paint and even a couple of folks swigging an early morning beer. 

Enthusiasm and tradition was apparent by those real troopers who were on 5th Avenue by 5 a.m. sitting up chairs, coolers, umbrellas and the works. The turnout was estimated between 20,000 and 30,000 people and no one was disappointed. If you want to see the spirit of Naples in action, there are many ways to find it. Our parks, beaches, outdoor art and music festivals to name a few. If you want to be a full blown participant then come to a parade. Let’s ensure that we keep that sense of community going all year long.

Art after Dark

Many of the artists in Crayton Cove have continued to feature their artwork in numerous art events and fundraisers for charitable groups in our growing community. Artists are a very caring segment of professionals and find themselves feeling moved to help a good cause whenever feasible. Because of the high concentration of artists here, there are numerous fundraising events in Naples that focus on art or have art as a strong element to help these efforts. One such annual event was held in February 2017, to help raise funds for PAWS Assistance Dogs and Friends of Foster Children Forever.

“Third On Canvas” focused on the artists that live in or visit Naples and featured two days of them painting where the public can watch and get an idea of the artist’s experience. Each artist produces one painting that is auctioned three days later in a festive event that offers a live and silent auction to give attendees a chance to purchase a beautiful work of art to take home while helping these charitable groups. It’s a “win win” for all involved.

Two of the artists involved in this, as well as other events in town, are Phil Fisher and Natalie Guess, who have their galleries/studios located in Crayton Cove. This historically charming area has become an art destination over the past nine years, featuring works by over 30 area artists, represented by seven galleries all within a one-block walk. They have a monthly event called “Art After Dark”, where the businesses are all open and welcoming the public in a festive and relaxed atmosphere, to enjoy art and live music. Saturday, April 8, from 6 – 9 p.m, come and experience an “Olde Naples Evening” on the Bay where 8th Street South and 12th Avenue South meet at the Flagpole.

Side note: Natalie Guess will have her fine art batiks featured on the walls of the
Collier County Commission Room during the month of April 2017.

Mayor Bill’s Corner of Wisdom

It is hard for me to realize that another great season in Naples is winding down. Yes, all of us grumble about the heavy traffic that we all have to endure and the crowded beaches, restaurants, grocery stores,etc, etc. But, I don’t hear many, if any complaints about the spectacular weather that we have had and continue to have so far in 2017. As you read this article we will have had our first joint City of Naples and Collier County Commission meeting that has not occurred in quite a few years.

The last time both governmental bodies met was nothing short of a disaster with nothing much accomplished other than a lot of hot air being bandied about. I have great expectations for this one as there are almost all new player sat the table and a list of items to discuss that will benefit the residents of both city and county. One of those items is traffic that I campaigned very hard for and although it might not have been noticeable this past season we are making progress in the city.

New technological equipment has been and will continue to be installed to make the flow of traffic smoother. We absolutely need the county to be on the same page with us when it comes to this issue and I know they are. We also need the State of Florida’s Department of Transportation help. I think all of us agree that whether it’s in the City of Naples or Collier County each of us can name at least one area that that we would choose to be on our list of the worst intersections or roads. Actually, more than just one!Our city has received and continues to receive National kudos about our many accomplishments that we have achieved. They include everything from one of the best small town food scenes to one of the top ten places to retire and many in between. The latest was Naples topped’s list of least polluted Cities in America,which is a huge positive for us. Perhaps the most nonpolitical of all of them in my opinion is something that I have briefly touched on in my prior articles and has had a great impact on myself, and our city. It is the Blue Zones Project and if you have never heard of it I would suggest it’s worth looking up! In August of 2016 our city became a Blue Zones Approved Worksite. It was a natural fit with our current employee wellness programs.

Two hundred employees attended Blue Zones Project presentations and Purpose Workshops. A health and well-being committee was established to enhance employee engagement. This committee helped launch various initiatives such as employee gardens, hydration stations and a newsletter dedicated to employee wellness. Plant based cooking demonstrations and healthy potlucks were organized and rotated to different locations to share recipes and ideas and the list goes on. Our Blue Zones Project journey continues in 2017 and currently has over one hundred employee are participating in walking groups that were launched in January. Our Central Avenue improvement project became Naples signature Blue Zones project as it provides continuous bicycle lanes, sidewalks, roundabouts, on street parking options and streetscape improvements to make biking and walking more desirable and also reduces the risk of flooding along the corridor. This project provides continuous connectivity between the Naples Beach, Baker Park, and the Gordon River Greenway and encourages walking and biking due to its safe and complete streets. The roundabout intersections are shown to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, while reducing delay and emissions from idling cars. Many local restaurants and grocery stores have signed on and continue to do so. Our Collier County Schools are involved as are many businesses. There is no downside to this Project, it is not political in any shape or form. I will emphatically tell you that the Blue Zones Project is NOT a diet, but it IS all about healthy choices so we can live healthier and longer lives. I couldn’t help but smile yesterday as I was walking past Mel’s Diner and glanced up at their sign. It read T-Bone .99 with meat 15.99. Clever! Have a great April and I do respond to e-mail at


by Clay Cox
Owner/President • Kitchens by Clay


We have found that a majority of our clients come to Kitchens by Clay not knowing what to expect or where to start in the renovation process. Initially their goal is to be provided with guidance. For us this is where the communication begins, but what should we do next? Should we tour the showroom opening and closing doors and drawers while telling you all about the features available? Or should we invite you, the client, to sit and talk about who you are and what you are looking for? To us the latter is more important. There will be plenty of time for the design aspect but having knowledge about the client and knowing the history of their past projects alone with their needs and desires sets a great foundation to work from.

Equally important is listening. This works wonders.

Listening more than talking can create an outcome where some very important items will not be overlooked or misinterpreted. Fully listening will remove assumptions and judgments of how the project should be. Listening also shows respect and understanding. After all there are multiple participants in this event and everyone’s thoughts, ideas and opinions are important.

A kitchen remodel is a definitive process. Because of years of experience and an established schedule program we have concluded that a kitchen renovation can be a great experience with a happy outcome every time. However, a client may have a different view due to it being a first time process or (hopefully not) a previous experience that didn’t go the way they planned. It is our job to communicate to the client how this will work in a manner they can understand and putting ourselves in their shoes helps.

At times there may be gaps in the process while waiting for products to be received. Consistent contact during this time is extremely important and also an opportunity to connect and reassure that all is going well and the ever important schedule is being followed. Conversation and listening is the key to a successful project.

So if you are ready to talk about your project we are here to listen. Please stop in!

Please E-mail Clay with your questions or comments at

Enjoy your remodel,

Clay Cox

Does your hair need more protein or more moisture?

by Erick Carter

by Erick Carter

Hair is made up of protein and requires moisture. The question is how do we know whether we need more of either? Here are two easy tests you can use at home to try and assess your own hair.

The wet test: wet your hair and stretch it. If it returns to the starting position without breaking, then you have healthy hair.

If it stretches even more than it should and then breaks, it is likely you need additional protein. If it does not seem to stretch much, you are probably lacking moisture.

If the wet test does not work for you, go by feel. If your hair seems limp, stringy, and/or sticky, add more protein. If your hair becomes easily tangled, seems dry and weak, more moisture is necessary. On the contrary, if your hair appears hard and rough, chances are you have too much protein. If it is weak and will not style, you may have too much moisture.

Confused or unsure? Ask your stylist or call us. We are always happy to be of help.

I would like to invite all readers to write in your questions. You can do so by email at or call me at 239.777.2380.