Columnists from the Life In Naples Magazine

ZOOM ETIQUETTE … Evelyn Cannata

Evelyn Cannata

New terminology has entered into our  vocabulary called “Social Distancing.”  Definition, no hugging, no kisses, no handshakes. Enter the new FaceTime, ZOOM.  According to Business Daily, Zoom was a video conference system founded in 2011 by a Chinese-American, Eric Yuan, who came up with the idea while a VP of Engineering at Cisco Systems. His company had no interest in this idea, so he quit. End of story? He is now a billionaire worth $7.5B and still going strong.

Enter Etiquette By Evelyn. Yes, there is business etiquette for Zoom Business Meetings. During this pandemic, many people are entering the world of online meetings for the first time faced with the chaos of audiovisuals, mute, unmute, backdrops, and lighting. If you have never used Zoom before, click the link to download Zoom before the day of the meeting (do a trial run) and familiarize yourself with any features you may need to use on the day – video on, mute/unmute the microphone, stop/start the video, screen share, double-checking your default settings. Test your audio and video before you join a meeting. Do not wait until you enter the meeting. Position your camera correctly, making sure you are not a shadow or a bright sun. Join the meeting in a quiet area. Join 5 minutes early before the meeting starts.

Provide your name. Please do not eat or drink while on the call. Remember, you are not going to the gym, so please no gym clothes or heaven forbid, pajamas, unkempt background, a barking dog, or children yelling. There is a mute button when not talking, however, what happens frequently is that you forget to unmute when you want to speak, so your lips are moving but no sound.

TIP: Keep your audio muted automatically by going to Settings >    Audio > Mute microphone. To quickly unmute when needed, just press and hold the space bar down. Stay focused and look at the camera. Ladies, please no low cut or sheer tops. Gentlemen, no graphic tee shirts, remember, this is a business meeting. There is a “raise your hand” button, so you can “wait your turn” and not talk over people. The host should be the last to leave. One last piece of business meeting etiquette; everyone can see you staring at your phone  instead of paying attention to the video meeting. Keep your phone to the side, on mute, turned over, or even better, turn it off until after the meeting. Please do your homework, learn about other items on Zoom. Just think of a Zoom Meeting as a face-to-face meeting and conduct yourself as you would if you were all there around the conference table.

                             “Welcome to our new normals for now.”

Telling the Stories of Upstanders

     Education is the core of our work at the Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center.                                                                 

So what are we teaching, you may ask? History? Yes, certainly. We teach students and adults about the important facts about the Holocaust. One of our founders, Lorie Mayer, a Holocaust Survivor, always emphasized that there is no need to embellish a story about the Holocaust to make it seem more dramatic or horrific – it was horrific.

We explain when and how it happened, who suffered and died, who were the perpetrators, the bystanders, and the upstanders. “Why did it happen?” is a question students often ask. “Why, how could humans do this to other human beings?”  Part of the answer is that too many bystanders let it happen. Not enough people stood up against this evil. But importantly, some did. Some people stood up against tremendous evil, often at great risk to themselves and their families, in order to save lives, do the right thing, and not be a bystander.

Who were these people who stood up against this evil? Were these heroes special, or ordinary people like you and me? These heroes, or Upstanders, came from all walks of life. Farmers, social workers, college students, journalists, and diplomats.  We tell the stories of these helpers, heroes and heroines, Survivors and Liberators so that people can understand the power and importance of their own actions today. Our local Survivors tell the stories of the Upstanders who helped them and their families survive or escape the Holocaust.  Diplomats like Col. Castellanos who issued citizenship papers to Rob’s family,  families in the south of France who took in Renee and Rosette as their own children, and strangers who offered food and shelter to young Abe who escaped from several concentration camps.

Education about the Holocaust is education about the best and the worst of human behavior.

When you walk through the Holocaust Museum or watch a movie about the Holocaust or other genocide, you may think it yourself, “what would I have done?” But the more important question to ask yourself is“what am I doing today to be an Upstander and not a Bystander?”

During this pandemic there are many opportunities to help others and be Upstanders.  Fear can often result in people striking out and looking for a scapegoat. Being calm and responsible rather than blaming others is one way to be an Upstander. Volunteer, help a neighbor, and be a helper wherever and whenever possible.

We look forward to seeing you at the Museum or on one of our virtual programs. Please visit or call 239-263-9200 for more information.

Susan L. Suarez, MBA, CFRE  President and CEO                                                                                                                                                 


CIVILITY HAS LEFT THE ROOM Etiquette By Evelyn Cannata

Evelyn Cannata

Civility definition: “Polite, intelligent, and respectful behavior.” Other definitions; Caring for one’s beliefs without degrading someone else in the process. In other words, “not my way or the highway,” or “giving you your rights at my expense.”

So, unfortunately, there is an increase in civility leaving the room. Social media is a prime example. Suppose you disagree with the subject matter; instead of an intellectual conversation and agreeing to disagree, there seems to be more rude, demeaning, insulting, aggressive language, and behavior.

More often than not, it seems that when uncivil behavior occurs and is not corrected or has consequences, others will most likely repeat it, and it turns ugly. When what used to be our role models in life, our teachers, celebrities, politicians, and sports stars, who behave uncivil (and get away with it) is often modeled and repeated by others and become “cool.”

A very close friend of mine and I sometimes disagree on a subject. Neither of us is possibly wrong, just different. In the end, we agree to disagree. We could yell, get angry, hold grudges as happens today, even in families, but we don’t. Different views should be able to be debated openly, honestly, and without maliciousness.

America has achieved the highest technology, education, human rights, and a high standard of living, but we are also becoming desensitized to bad behavior.

Many studies have compared students in the 1960s and ’70s and found that today’s students do not care about society’s approval of their behavior as they did a few generations ago, and in America today, our isolationism exists because of our technology, communications, and way of life; they cut out the interaction of personalization, so people become detached and self-interested.

That my friends is not good news for our society, and today, most people cannot hear an opposing view without resorting to blame hateful rhetoric, such as hate speech toward police officers, and even violence.

Unfortunately, this is not the America I knew. “If we cannot be civil, our quality of life deteriorates, society itself begins to fray, and democracy weakened. We get to the point where incivility escalates and crosses into violence.” (AARP Bulletin)…as we are witnessing.

Always remember, one person, one voice, one action, can make a difference. The neighborhood concept, the thank you note, the ethics, the manners, and the respect need to return to become the generous people, good neighbors, and, most importantly, the “America,” I knew before it is too late.

Heart to Heart – After “Safer at Home,” What’s Next?

Karen Coney Coplin

by Karen Coney Coplin

Many a truth is said in jest and many a life’s lesson is expressed in a timeless quote.

There are quotes for every season, and, if you dig deep enough (thanks, Google!) for every reason, or problem, or opportunity that might cross your path.

Some of my favorites include:

  1. “Health is the real wealth.” – Gandhi (true then, true now, true always).
  2. “It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.” – Naomi Williams (alas, that moment may be fleeting).
  3. Calm always follows the storm (paraphrasing Shannon L. Alder, “After every storm, there is a rainbow.”) And yes – we might have to wait it out and wait for it.
  4. “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.” – John Wooden. A reminder that mindset is a large part of everything we experience and do.

The last several months have been hard on everyone’s psyche, whether at home or in the workforce; and, especially as to the latter -so many businesses had to close earlier this year, during the height of season, or scale back dramatically, as in the case of our favorite local restaurants. And some have not re-opened. A slice of someone’s life in Naples, altered forever.

One newsworthy moment that really packed a wallop during the COVID-19 crisis was the news that the area’s Nordstrom store was closing – for good.

My thoughts first went to the hundreds of employees. Prior to this news, some had posted hopeful messages on social media, because Nordstrom continued to pay salaries, insurance, and the like for the first two, then three weeks of the shut-down. Then the news came that this store would not re-open.

Then, I remembered the dazzling efforts of the creative team which opened this store to great fanfare over a decade ago. Their grand opening welcome party was on everyone’s list! Its closure, an end to an era, is unfortunate news on many levels. We all wait to see what phoenix might arise in its place at Waterside Shops. Hopefully sooner than later for the good of life in Naples.

If we rise by lifting others, there are many ways to make a difference with local businesses. It is too late for this national retailer, but we can take many different, and often easy action steps to support our favorite Naples businesses.

  • Do you receive their newsletter or email alerts? Sign up, share, and shop when you can. Be a cheerleader. Tell your friends and family.
  • Are you following them on social media? Share a post, tag a friend, make a comment, like or love what they have to say.
  • Positive experiences can lead, naturally, to positive reviews. Take a moment to post a thank you for great service or assistance. Or, take the old fashioned (and still very much appreciated route) and send a handwritten note of thanks or a commendation to the owner/manager. A little appreciation goes a long way. Or, if you’re so inclined, a small gift, or gift card, is always welcome.

Another favorite quote of mine: “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel” (paraphrasing Maya Angelou).

Here’s to all the feels – as well as a shout out for a locally founded “KindCarded” movement, busy blazing trails of joy, kindness and positivity. No need for any of these to be in short supply in life in Naples. Be inspired. Take note!

If there ever was a time, the time is NOW! Do you want to encourage acts of kindness, large and small? Be a part of the KindCarded movement?

Local photographer and mom Heather Donlan has created beautiful cardstock messages, which offer words of affirmation, encouragement and inspiration. These cards can be passed out as a simple, small act of kindness to brighten someone’s spirits or even make someone’s day. As she declares on the movement’s website, “Pretty much every human can use kind words and a little encouragement from time to time.”

Be kindhearted. Be KindCarded! “You make me laugh” is one such card out of the set of 48 offering caring and expressive sayings. Share these with loved ones; or an acquaintance or a passing stranger. Let the ripple effect begin with you!

A shout-out to #shopsmall #shoplocal:The KindCarded gift box sets are available locally at Haven- The Collective, located at 950 3rd Ave. N., Suite B, Naples, FL 34102, or online:

See the article postscript for a chance to win a KindCarded set.

Email Karen with article ideas concerning Life in Naples (especially as to local charitable organizations and their activities in the age of Covid-19): Follow her on Instagram for more vignettes about Life in Naples: @naplesbythenumbers. Readers, send along your favorite, if lesser known, quote or inspiration concerning kindness or gratitude. One will be selected to receive the KindCarded gift set and announced here in the November issue.

What Has the Pandemic Taught Naples?

by Jeff Lytle

W hat has our community learned from the pandemic? I put that question to a cross-section of community leaders who made time in their busy schedules to respond.

Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk

Although we have not dealt with a pandemic in our lifetimes, we have learned that being prepared, as well as having a great plan and emergency response trained professionals, has been as successful as it is in other emergencies such as hurricanes and wildfires. Since January we have been working to prepare for, prevent and address COVID-19.

Our many community partnerships and the dedication of our deputies have been key to that effort.

Kamela Patton, Collier County Public Schools Superintendent

CCPS learned our students, staff and parents are resilient and adept at adjusting to a new education model in an extremely short time. Collier was one of four Florida counties, out of 67, to lead the way in virtual learning following campus closures. More than 45,000 CCPS students engaged in a flexible, online learning format for the last nine weeks of the school year.

The pandemic reinforced our firm belief in the value of community partnerships. Whether working with food banks to complement our massive meal distribution or hearing valuable guidance from the Department of Health-Collier, our families benefited from CCPS nurturing deep community roots long before the pandemic.

Paul Hiltz, CEO of NCH Healthcare System

This pandemic has been a shining example of the human spirit. The way the compassionate Naples community has come together to support each other has been nothing short of amazing. I was proud to witness first-hand how this community rallied behind our frontline workers and our staff by donating meals, masks and other resources, and even generous monetary contributions.

Prior to joining this incredible healthcare organization, I had heard about the powerful Naples community, but this has inspired me. Now more than ever, NCH Healthcare System is honored to serve our community with quality patient care.

Dr. Paul Jones, Immediate Past President of NCH Medical Staff

I think the medical community has learned how under-prepared we were for a pandemic. Initially, the guidance from the CDC and the federal government was lacking and, at times, misleading. Much of the responsibility fell to county health departments and these were terribly underfunded and didn ot have the capacity to offer significant advice, testing, contact tracing or suggestions for treatment.

On the bright side, I was very impressed with the rapidity of the response from our community health systems and the willingness of our providers to help.

We need to be better prepared at all levels for the next time, as there will be a next time.

Eileen Connolly-Keesler, CEO, Community Foundation of Collier County

When COVID-19 started, as our area’s philanthropic first responder we immediately opened a fund. But this pandemic is different from a hurricane that affects one area. We worried our donors might not be able to respond, as the crisis is worldwide. They responded to the tune of $1.5 million, proving their commitment to our community — no matter what.

As always, our nonprofits jumped into action providing boots-on-the-ground services to those in need despite health concerns of operating.

We also learned that not only can we operate remotely, but our team is persevering enough todo it well!

Michael Dalby, President/CEO, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce

While we have shown we are resilient and can carry forward, we’ve also observed, once again, how important it is to strive to diversify our economy. We need jobs beyond tourism and hospitality. We need more high-wage, high-skill jobs in emerging technologies supporting financial, legal, aerospace, health care and transportation industries. We need to offer a welcoming home to remote workers and remoted headquarters. We need to continue to support our legacy industries, and we need to take steps
to welcome sectors of our evolving 21st century economy.


Tony Ridgway, Longtime Restaurateur

If your community accepts the pandemic as real, you’ve learned to live with masks, self-quarantining, social distancing and standards of sanitization never before witnessed. If your community is one that has been ravaged by Covid-19, your fear levels have increased and hopefully the response to the pandemic has equally increased to help mitigate the issues. In each of those communities you’ve found new friends and caregivers who truly do have your backs.

Hopefully the entire community has learned to more fully appreciate the commitment to excellence and care of our healthcare workers and we have attained new levels of appreciation for our health and welfare.

Mike Reagen, retired CEO, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, and wife, Susan

While masked and walking around our neighborhood, we saw children and other people, and landscaping, that we had not previously noticed; We learned the pleasure of doing crossword puzzles from newspapers … and almost finishing them (and only cheating a little);

We used online genealogy searches of our ancestors for ideas for digital books we hope to publish for family; And we learned the whereabouts of dozens of high school classmates — after 57 years!

Brent Batten, Naples Daily News Columnist

What have we learned? Not much, I sometimes think, as I see people in stores not wearing masks.

It’s not a political statement. It’s just a preventative step. What I think we’ve learned that should pay off for our region in the long-term is the degree to which the components of our healthcare system can collaborate and cooperate. Surely, once this has passed, those new networks and relationships simply won’t go away.

Etiquette Expert Peggy Post Teaches Students to Put Their Best Foot Forward

Michele Brown, The Immokalee Foundation’s Randall Kenneth Jones, and Peggy Post on a February 2020 tour of the foundation.

How should you greet someone now that handshakes aren’t a wise move? What’s okay to say when texting – and what’s not? What are some strategies for making a good first impression?

These are a few of the many questions etiquette expert Peggy Post answered during an interactive online seminar held exclusively in June for The Immokalee Foundation’s high school students.

“Putting Your Best Foot Forward” explained the basics of etiquette, while providing tips and advice to help students make positive impressions on others and treat everyone they encounter with respect.

The great-granddaughter-in-law of etiquette authority Emily Post and the director emeritus of the Emily Post Institute, Post has been discussing etiquette for decades, penning popular magazine columns, appearing on a number of television programs, and conducting lectures and seminars around the country.

She is the author or co-author of more than a dozen etiquette books, including the 18th edition of “Emily Post’s Etiquette, Manners for a New World.”

Post also conducted lectures and seminars on business and wedding etiquette throughout the United States and has been interviewed by hundreds of media outlets.

Guests tour The Immokalee Foundation, including Peggy Post (back row, third from left)

During The Immokalee Foundation’s online seminar, Post instilled in students why etiquette matters.

“I hope that each student gained an appreciation of – and a passion for – the importance of etiquette,” Post said. “My wish was for each attendee to understand that being kind goes a long way toward self-respect and respect for others. Learning basic considerate behaviors and tried and-true manners for every occasion can boost your confidence. I hope, too, that everyone had fun along the way as we discussed many everyday issues.”

Post, now retired and living in Southwest Florida, was inspired to share her expertise with The Immokalee Foundation after a tour she attended in February. Her seminar was just one of the virtual experiences available for students during the summer, when the Covid-19 pandemic required changes in operations.

Using a variety of online tools and virtual experiences, these high school students continued their summer work in the foundation’s groundbreaking program, “Career Pathways: Empowering Students to Succeed.”

An Immokalee Foundation student attends a summer professional development seminar.

Career Pathways helps prepare students for career opportunities in Southwest Florida in four primary employment sectors: Health Care, Education & Human Services, Engineering & Construction Management, and Business Management & Entrepreneurship.

These pathways include in demand jobs with average annual salaries ranging from $40,000 to $99,000, the majority of which can be attained with professional certifications and credentials.

“Peggy Post’s thought-provoking workshop provided training for our students that will give them an edge in the workplace and beyond,” said Amber Barr, program services director for The Immokalee Foundation. “Her expertise and passion are a huge asset to the foundation and we are thankful that our students will continue to benefit.”

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional careers through support, mentoring and tutoring, and life skills development leading to economic independence.

To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, becoming a mentor, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit

Chicago Influence Deeply Rooted in Naples

Many great institutions make up Naples.

Artis-Naples, The Conservancy, Naples Botanical Garden and even the Naples Pier come to mind.

Now add the Naples Winter Wine Festival, Children’s Museum, Cambier Park’s Norris Center, Port Royal and Park Shore.

The impact covers our economy, arts, environment, recreation, children’s health and well-being, and education at all levels. Hard to believe all those institutions, all that good work, can be traced to visionaries from a single place.


Let’s start our story with Raymond Lutgert. He bought the 740 acres for the gulf-front Park Shore subdivision for $3.5 million in the mid-1960s; the taxable value now is $5 billion. He and son Scott would go on to develop shopping centers, Mercato, The Estuary at Grey Oaks, The Northern Trust Building and more, and add corporate subsidiaries, with a third generation joining in.

The legacy of philanthropy includes NCH Healthcare System, Boys & Girls Club, Florida South Western College, Children’s Museum, Shelter for Abused Women & Children, Florida Gulf Coast University (Lutgert School of Business) and the wine festival, which has raised $212 million for youth hunger, dental, mental and eye health in 20 years.

Fellow Chicagoans have served on the wine fest board: Pauland Barbie Hills, Joe and Nancy Masterson, Peter and Shirley Welsh, Bob and Joan Clifford, Rick and Katrina Kash and David and Jerri Hoffman.

David Hoffman himself has earned headlines as a dominant investor in downtown Naples real estate, a variety of businesses and Hertz Arena/Florida Everblades in Estero.

The Hoffmans’ civic causes include the Naples Botanical Garden, Naples Zoo, Boys & Girls Club, Children’s Museum, Neighborhood Health Clinic and Naples Players.

Myra Daniels

Myra Daniels, a pioneering Chicago advertising executive, introduced world-class visual and performing arts as the founding CEO of the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts. She taught us the arts must b erun like a business. She added an emphasis on children, bringing them in by the school busload for memorable encounters with all the center has to offer.

Children are the pulse of Daniels’ followup project, the Fran Cohen Youth Center in East Naples, where hundreds of mostly underprivileged youngsters go after school and summers for tutelage in music, painting, science, technology, math and more.

John Glen Sample, another Chicago ad executive, would come to Naples in the 1940s and start buying up two square miles of mangrove swamp and dredge-and-fill it into today’s magnificent Port Royal.

In the early 1950s, when sales began, he said it would become the greatest place in America to live. Today’s residents, including a United States House and United States Senate member, would agree.

Jack Nortman, from Chicago, single-handedly engineered the search for and restoration of a Holocaust era boxcar that has served as a fixed and traveling education icon since 2008. He also serves on the board of the Gulfshore Playhouse, where he is a financial supporter alongside fellow Chicagoans John and Carol Walter, Susan Regenstein and Barry Frank, Rick and Katrina Kash, George and Barbara Franks and Mary and Stephen Byron Smith.

Community investing is a family affair for the Smiths. In a single year, 2013, David and Vicky Smith, Jeannie and Christopher Smith, and Mary and Stephen Smith, were named Philanthropists of the Year by an organization of fundraising professionals.

A Florida Weekly story said the Smiths’ contributions included the purchase of an historic house on Broad Avenue South for the Naples Historical Society; building the Christopher B. Smith Preserve at the Conservancy; and sponsoring named features at the Naples Botanical Garden including the Children’s Garden, River of Grass and a labyrinth.

Chicagoans Linda White and the late Harvey Kapnick listen to a garden planning presentation.

The garden gifts followed the lead of another Chicagoan, Harvey Kapnick, whose bold $5 million infusion in 2000 secured today’s site in East Naples. Other early supportive Chicagoans included Nicholas and Eleanor Chabraja, Jim LaGrippe, Bates Lea, Linda White and Pat Buehler. Kapnick’s botanic vision carries on with his son and daughter in law, Scott and Kathleen Kapnick –both Chicago natives — who remain involved and generous.

Lavern Gaynor

Our story concludes with another example of multi-generational impact. Lester and Dellora Norris, Chicagoans with leadership stakes in Texaco, started coming to Naples in the 1940s and helped build NCH, The Conservancy, Norris Center, Lowdermilk Park pavilion and Delnor-Wiggins State Park.

They rebuilt the Naples Pier after two storms. A daughter, also a Chicago native, Lavern Gaynor, carries on the legacy with support for the YMCA, libraries, Artis-Naples, Alliance for Children, Champions for Learning, Naples Historical Society, Youth Haven and Naples Backyard History.

Her gifts, as well as the gifts from all the others from Chicago, keep on giving.

Editor’s note: Who or what have we missed?

Email the writer with information for follow-up coverage.

Training Virtually or in Person? What is the right situation for you?

by Paula Allia PT, DHSc, MTC, OCS

by Paula Allia – PT, DHSc, MTC, OC

A year ago many people could not imagine virtual training or training using precautions for Covid-19. Yet today, this virus continues to affect our world as we once knew it.

Yes, getting back to work so that people can have jobs and companies can continue to exist is an important part of life. Being safe and trying to take responsibility in not spreading the virus further is key for life to go back to a more normal. But, what does the current normal look like?

How can we all exist and act as normal as possible in today’s world? Well, Fitness Together (FT), in downtown Naples has been set up to do all of the right things. WE ALL NEED TODO OUR PART.

There are two options of training currently. The options are physically coming in to an exercise setting or virtually training online.

First, the most common method of training is in person. This allows a more personable relationship with your trainer and others.

At FT, we have been a unique personal training studio that has always catered to those who do not want to train in big boxed gyms. This atmosphere is much more functional for the current day worries of this pandemic as well.

There are private training suites equipped with all the equipment necessary to provide instruction in a fantastic training session. There is only one client and one trainer in a room at any given time. This works while also limiting your exposure. Also, we added even more cleaning to our already clean environment.

We work hard at keeping you safe while at the same time trying to make you escape from the outside environment and focus on you the entire training session. If so, the sky’s the limit to your training session.

Second, the more popular than ever is the newer virtual training model. This means that you will train online with a trainer that is watching your every move. There are several ways to do this.

At FT we use Facetime or Zoom. All you need is an electronic device such as your iPhone, iPad, or laptop. Virtual training has been part of the downtown FT Naples’ structure for over 12 years. It was initially set up for clients that travel out of state either on business or for an extended stay in another area.

This allows clients to continue to train to keep their strength, endurance, and cardiovascular system stimulated.

Consistency is pertinent to one’s health. Pumping blood works more efficiently with a good functioning heart. Hearts function differently depending upon if someone is heart healthy.

Strong lungs are key to be able to take in oxygen and transfer it to the blood so that it can be transported throughout the body where it is needed.

Muscle tone helps to enhance the tone around arteries and veins. Body parts work together while coordinating and trying to function as normal as possible.

The body is an amazing machine if you give it the right stimulus to thrive. Everybody is at a different level of function and will have a starting point that is unique to them. There is an art to sculpting the new you.

Life seemed to be put on hold in many instances yet keeping the body as healthy as it can be will promote a better chance of functioning better both physically and mentally in today’s world.

Normalcy in most instances can bring back peace to your heart and soul.

Participating in regular exercise is an option that everyone needs to consider.

Take back your freedom by having this little escape to make you feel that you are taking care of yourself.

To Your Health!

If you would like to find out more about this topic, please call Paula @ Fitness Together at (239) 263-9348.

Collier Mosquito Control District…don’t grow your own

Patrick Linn, MS, MSHAPI Executive Director, Collier Mosquito Control District

Here’s a true story that occurred this summer in Naples, as told by one of our professional Field Technicians who answered a “request to visit” on behalf of a resident.

Resident: “I’m being eaten alive by mosquitoes when I get the paper each morning, but my neighbors aren’t getting a single bite!”

Field Technician: “Is it ok if I walk your property to check for mosquito habitat?”

Resident: “Sure, go right ahead, but I don’t have any bodies of water here!”

Field Technician (a short time later): “I think I found the problem, and you are correct, you don’t have a body of standing water.  Instead, you have a large pile of yard debris over in the corner of your yard which is providing a paradise for mosquitoes to hide  during the day. After they bite you in the morning, they’re hunkering down in that debris while the sun is out.”

Our Field Technicians encounter similar situations on nearly a daily basis during the summer months in Collier County, when
mosquitoes are most prolific. Residents relay reports of horrible mosquito infestations, and after a brief property inspection, our
Technicians typically identify a small, localized habitat where mosquitoes are breeding.

They then provide recommendations promoting a mosquito farm in their own yard. The most common suggestion is to remove or reduce the habitat by draining water from an item or removing piles of yard waste. The notion that one must live near a swamp or a body of water is misleading because mosquitoes can deposit their eggs in as little as a few tablespoons of standing water.

Then, thanks to the heat in our subtropical environment, those eggs hatch into buzzing blood-feeders in about seven days. Yes, even a discarded bottle cap full of rainwater can produce about 100 mosquitoes.

Property inspections are just one facet of the the Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) program used by the Collier Mosquito  Control District. Our professionally trained employees utilize a science-based and multi-faceted approach which combines public education, source reduction, surveillance, and the biological, organic, or chemical control of larval or adult mosquitoes. All of these tools are required for an effective mosquito control program.

Need to schedule a Field Technician visit for your property? Please use the form on our website ( or call our office at (239) 436-1000.

life in the facet lane – Spice Things Up!


Diamond lovers are an enthusiastic bunch. Now more than any other time in history, diamond collectors can indulge in an ever-expanding smorgasbord of varieties. There are fancy color diamonds in a rainbow of exciting hues. Don’t forget those treated diamonds, and even lab diamonds. Then there are diamonds in the rough–stones in their original crystal form. The more the merrier, we think. Buy what you like.

But at this moment, let’s put the loupe on a trending variety that’s gathering fans across the globe. We’re talking about salt and pepper diamonds. If you haven’t heard of them before, you’ll want to. For one thing they offer unlimited individuality and personality in spades.

Simply explained, salt and pepper diamonds are genuine earth mined stones with distinctive looks characterized by naturally occurring white and black inclusions. Because they are natural, no two are alike. And isn’t that what everyone wants in their diamond? While they have abundant or minimal beauty marks which define their category, they are still—like all earth mined stones, both rare and valuable.

1.18ctw salt and pepper  diamond  engagement ring; 14K yellow gold;  Courtesy Aurora Designer

Salt and pepper diamonds are finding favor with brides who want a blend of tradition with a modern vibe. But these stones are found in more than just bridal jewelry. They make stunning earrings and other jewelry items. Because these diamonds are so distinctive, they become a charming muse when paired with a classic setting. But these rebels-in-stone are also the perfect complement in an original designer mounting. They are pure win-win in the character department.

Nokomis, Florida based designer-owner of Aurora Designer, Jo Deng finds salt and pepper diamonds to be a very on-trend addition to her imagination collection of original jewelry. The fact that each stone has its own appeal adds an extra layer of spice to the pieces she creates.  Today’s collector wants jewelry conveying the personal expression of its wearer. We think you might consider spicing things up with a salt and pepper diamond that reflects your unique vibe.

Old as the saying is, we know that variety still is the spice of life!

Contact Diana Jarrett at and read