The 2021-2022 United Way campaign chairs are Noelle Branning and Corey Vertich
SURVEY RESULTS: 77% OF RESPONDENTS FEEL SAFER ABOUT TRAVELING NOW
Nearly 77% of surveyed Gulfshore Business Daily readers said they are more apt to make travel plans now, according to responses from a survey included in last week’s newsletters. Some respondents said they feel safer with road trips and wearing masks on planes, while others noted plans to travel outside of the country. Some respondents also said they feel safer to travel now that they are fully vaccinated, while others said they had been traveling throughout the pandemic. Nearly 24% of survey respondents said they are not making travel plans now, and some noted rising COVID cases.
CLEVELAND-BASED ZEPPE’S TAVERN COMING THIS YEAR TO NORTH NAPLES
Zeppe’s Tavern, promoted with the tagline “Eat, Drink and Rock & Roll,” is targeted to open in December in the Gateway Shoppes at North Bay at 895 Wiggins Pass Road in North Naples. Zeppe’s is extensively renovating the 3,300-square-foot unit that used to be home to The Brass Tap, Naples Brewhouse and South Cypress Brewery at Wiggins Pass Road and U.S. 41 North. Zeppe’s is named for legendary rock band Led Zeppelin, the first concert that owner Joe Ciresi saw when he was in seventh grade in the Cleveland area in 1977. This is Zeppe’s first Florida location for Ciresi, a North Naples resident who operates 30 locations of the taverns and pizzerias in Northeast Ohio. The menu for the restaurant and a rock ‘n roll club features pizza, burgers, pasta, salads, seafood dishes, sandwiches, wraps, tacos and other entrees.
CALOOSAHATCHEE REGIONAL PARK SHORELINE STABILIZATION PROJECT TO BEGIN
Visitors to Caloosahatchee Regional Park in Alva may begin seeing areas of the park closed in preparation for an upcoming shoreline stabilization project. However, the park at 19130 North River Road will remain open for the duration of the project. Areas of the park to be closed to the public include the east-end access road from North River Road to the shoreline, including the E-1 and E-2 equestrian campsites. Beginning this week, some areas will be fenced off and signage posted to protect the public as crews stage the construction project in the popular Lee County park. Because the shoreline at the park has eroded from wave action caused by boats and tidal influences at a rate of about 1 foot per year, Lee County commissioners voted in June to award a contract with TSI Disaster Recovery LLC to provide improvements to restore the shoreline and prevent erosion. The $877,390 project, expected to be completed by next summer, is entirely funded by tourist development taxes.
Video courtesy of WINK News
CAPE CORAL POLICE TO PURCHASE AND INSTALL NEW LICENSE PLATE READERS
The Cape Coral Police Department is set to install six new license plate readers at strategic points from the entertainment district to intersections near major bridges and at most entry and exit points to the city to help catch criminals and deter crime. The city plans to purchase six additional license plate readers to be placed along Pine Island Road, a major thoroughfare in the growing city. CCPD is using a $100,000 grant to purchase these new readers, WINK News reports.
AAA: FLORIDA GAS PRICES DECLINE 4 CENTS IN TWO WEEKS
Florida gas prices have gradually declined, falling a total of 4 cents during the past two weeks. After reaching a 2021 high of $3.01 earlier this month, drivers are now paying an average price of $2.97 per gallon. Sunday’s state average is 2 cents less than a week ago, yet 3 cents more than last month, and 91 cents more than this time last year, according to AAA. Although crude futures finished the week stronger than the week before, the price for US oil remains $3 less than this year’s high of $75.25. Punta Gorda is among the least expensive regional metro markets at $2.85 per gallon as of Monday.
TELESPECIALISTS LAUNCHES LEARNING CENTER
Fort Myers-based TeleSpecialists LLC has launched TeleSpecialists Learning Center, a new learning management system (LMS) platform for their educational activities, including free continuing medical education (CME) accredited programs. The educational activities are open to all medical professionals at no charge. TeleSpecialists selected EthosCE LMS to maintain the educational environment. Users will be able to register for live webinars, view on-demand programs and store their CME certificates. TeleSpecialists Learning Center educational activities are developed and led by TeleSpecialists’ physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to medical education.
STUDIO+ COMPLETES DESIGN OF BABCOCK RANCH HIGH SCHOOL
Studio+ and DAG Architects has completed the design for Babcock Ranch’s first high school and 40,000-square-foot multi-purpose field house, serving both as an emergency shelter and recreation center. Both facilities are being designed and built concurrently and should be ready for the 2022-23 school year. Consisting of approximately 43,000 square feet, Babcock High School (BHS) is designed to reflect the project-based learning and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education offered to the community. BHS will include 26 classrooms, science labs with gas and electric connections, multiple assembly areas, woodworking areas, media rooms and administrative offices. The shelter and high school are part of a much larger development including the addition of multi-purpose fields, a baseball diamond and a softball field to Jack Peeples Park.
EKBLAD APPOINTED TO LEE COUNTY ROADWAY LANDSCAPE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Morris-Depew Associates Director of Landscape Architecture Michael Ekblad has been appointed to Lee County’s Roadway Landscape Advisory Committee. Ekblad will harness his nearly two decades of experience to provide insight on matters related to roadway landscaping activities in Lee County. Ekblad graduated from Louisiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture and is a former board member for Keep Lee County Beautiful. He has contributed to community impact projects such as Gulf Coast Medical Center Campus, Gasparilla Inn, Margaritaville and Timber Creek. In addition to his experience with commercial, industrial and residential projects, Ekblad has experience with environmental design and graphic design, including creating community marketing graphics and illustrative site plans. His projects have also been recognized by the Lee Building Industry Association.
BRACE JOINS LSI COMPANIES AS MARKETING MANAGER
LSI Companies Inc. has welcomed Erica Brace as its marketing manager. Brace will be responsible for the planning, development and implementation of all internal and external marketing strategies, communications and public relations activities. She will also oversee the planning and execution of Market Trends, one of the largest annual real estate conferences in Southwest Florida, LSI Companies states. Erica has more than 10 years of experience in marketing and communications and has a degree in business administration from Franklin University.
NAPLES-BASED JMDG ARCHITECTURE ADDS SIX TO TEAM
JMDG Architecture in Naples has hired Scott Irwin, Jason Charalambides, Dayyan Surty, Monica Pedretti, Steve Turner and Antonio Kaparis within the last two months to expand both its residential and commercial design studios. Irwin has 25 years of experience and will serve as a project manager in the residential studio. Charalambides has 30 years of experience and will serve as a senior project architect and structural engineer. Surty has a Master of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech and will serve as a design assistant to the principal and director of design, Thomas Jones, in the commercial studio. Pedretti, a licensed architect from Italy with 30 years of professional experience, will serve as a senior project manager for residential and commercial studios. Turner has 30 years of local experience and will serve as a design assistant to the principal and director of design, Robert Mongillo, in the residential studio. Kaparis has an engineering degree and Master of Architecture degree with 10 years of professional experience and will serve as a project manager in the commercial studio.
United Way names 2021-2022 campaign chairs
The 2021-2022 United Way campaign chairs are Noelle Branning and Corey Vertich, United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee announced. The goal for this year’s campaign has been set at $11.3 million. Last year’s campaign raised $10.8 million for the local communities of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee. The theme of this year’s campaign has been determined to be “Back to the Future.” Branning was a co-chair for last year’s United Way Pacesetter campaign and Vertich has been on the United Way Funds Distribution team for nearly 20 years. Branning is the newest Lee County tax collector, elected after United Way Board Member Larry Hart’s retirement in 2020. Vertich, of Uhler and Vertich Financial Planners, has 30 years of experience in financial services.
Clark Family Foundation grant expands DLC’s children’s services
David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) has received a $75,000 grant from the Clark Family Foundation Inc. The Clark Family Foundation is a family foundation based in Naples that supports organizations dedicated to promoting the health and wellbeing of children. The children’s mental health-focused grant will fund community-based mental health treatment in settings where managing their emotions and behaviors is difficult, such as in the home or at school, DLC states. A portion of the grant will help provide at-risk families served in the community services programs with basic living essentials. Funds will also invest in DLC’s youth mental health prevention and education services.
Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County receives $20,000 ALICE grant
The United Way of Collier and the Keys has awarded a $20,000 grant to The Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County (CAC). The funds will be used to serve abused children whose families have been identified as asset-limited, income-constrained, and employed (ALICE), at no charge to the families. According to the United Way, more than 37,000 Collier County households currently fit this category, and many children in crisis live in ALICE households. CAC is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that serves an estimated 1,216 physically and sexually abused children and supports their families in the ALICE population. The grant will help fund its programs proven to build resilience in abused children, provide long-term solutions to help improve their lives now and reduce the number of ALICE households in the future, CAC states.
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