A Room With A View Bask(et) In the Sun Plus Win a 3-Night Captiva Island Vacation! Another Man ’ s Treasure: Artist in Residence Our Very Own Doc Beach


Spring Training March Madness

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It’s more than a lifestyle. It’s a soul style. Welcome to the April-May edition of COASTE. We hope you’re just as excited to receive it as we are to bring it to you. A lot of people certainly were excited about our premier issue this February-March. The overwhelming response we received from both readers and advertisers — including a business leader who called it “the most beautiful and well done magazine he’s seen in 30 years living here” — were enough to almost make us blush. We thank you for the enthusiasm, and we look forward to rocking your world each issue with Southwest Florida’s newest and most compelling multimedia magazine. This issue, we’re touching on a variety of Southwest Florida’s top love affairs: beaches, baseball and art. So, travel with us behind the scenes as we explore spring training, Lee County style. Stick your toes in the sand and learn what our very own “Doc Beach” is doing to raise awareness of and passion toward water quality. And before you haul that trash to the junk yard, take another look at it — you might just see a work of art, as our current artist in residence often does. Plus a lot more. And don’t forget, you can enjoy your COASTE any way you like it. At your desktop computer. On your iPad or tablet. On your smart phone. Or in your hands via newsstands all over. And don’t forget: COASTE is ALWAYS FREE.

COASTE. Living here, or visiting. It’s more than a lifestyle. It’s a soul style.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe free at, and tell your friends too. Another $1,000 Captiva Island vacation will go to a lucky winner May 31st!

John Sprecher, Editor

Visit and be sure to subscribe FREE to COASTE today — and you could win a 3-Night Captiva Island Vacation as our way of saying thanks!


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More than a lifestyle. It’s a soul style.

Founder | Publisher Marcus VandenBrink Founder | Executive Editor John Sprecher Creative Director Director of Photography Milissa Sprecher Associate Editor | Senior Writer Bill Schiller Account Executive Brian Andersen Account Executive Anna Beach Administrative Director Aimy VandenBrink Contributors Editorial, Emily Przybylo Editorial, Lyle Fitzsimmons Photography, Felicity Rafalski

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ON OUR COVER: the Bacher family at South Seas Island Resort, Captiva Island, FL. Image: Milissa Sprecher


Images: Milissa Sprecher ANOTHER MAN ’ S TREASURE By Bill Schiller and John Sprecher ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

Southwest Florida sculptor Jonas Stirner proves that one man’s trash can indeed become highly treasured works of art.

Most of us might visit a junkyard and see, well, junk. Not so for Jonas Stirner. A visionary steel sculptor who has an affinity for well-worn or rusted metals, Stirner sees endless creative opportunities and artistic expression among the detritus of long-

“I’m not recycling industrial waste. I’m transforming it.”

In fact, Stirner’s unbridled creativity and command of metallic craftsmanship has led to the creation of wondrous works of art, all

the more remarkable considering that each piece has risen and taken shape from his recycling and

forgotten heavy e q u i p m e n t , m a c h i n e r y , a u t o m o b i l e s , a p p l i a n c e s ,

“I’m not recycling industrial waste. I’m transforming it.”

repurposing of materials that might otherwise be destined to a local dump or a distant landfill.

drums, ladders — pretty much anything and everything that clearly shows its age and abuse.

Stirner exploring scrap piles and plying his artistic traits during an abbreviated college career that wasn’t necessarily

“I take something you might find in a scrap yard and place it on a pedestal,” he explains.





included architecture, psychology, accounting and engineering. However, his emergence as an

eat and unsure where he wanted to take his life, he got gigs at a local bike shop and restaurant. When

accomplished artist was in many ways predestined — given that he’s the sonof the acclaimed German-born sculptor and university educator Karl Stirner, an internationally exhibited artist who’s been awarded special recognition in his longtime home of Easton, Pennsylvania. As a child, Jonas grew up watching his father’s artistic labors and learned the tools of craftsmanship along the way.

one of the restaurant’s clients needed new bar stools for his eatery, Stirner volunteered to help — and put his skills as a welder to work. Before long, his talents in furniture making and metal fabrication attracted other clients, and one in particular who would prove to make a profound impact on his career. That client was one of America’s most influential artists — the legendary

Fresh. Spiritual. Physical. These words aptly define Jonas Stirner’s sculptures that take discarded metals and rust-caked materials, and elevate them to works of art.

His first break came when in his 20s, he moved to Captiva (where his stepbrother lived). Needing to

Robert Rauschenberg, whose multimedia “combines” helped push the boundaries of


COASTE | ARTS traditional art in the 1950s, and who remained a vital, relevant and valuable contributor to art for the rest of his life. Stirner spent some 15 years working as a studio assistant and then digital archivist at Rauschenberg’s estate on Captiva. In fact, Rauschenberg was among the first people to purchase art created by Stirner and became a major collector of his work, but the master provided something far more valuable — public praise and critical affirmation, calling Stirner’s art “fresh and spiritual, yet physical.” Fresh. Spiritual. Physical. These words aptly define JonasStirner’s sculptures that takediscarded metals and rust-caked materials, and elevate them to works of art. These include “Peace on Earth,” a towering piece that features metal pilings, a large rusty drum and a wickedly twisted ladder reaching for the heavens. “The Helmet,” a top-heavy piece that suggests a makeshift battlefield grave marker for a fallen soldier. Then there’s “Confession,” a frayed metal screen adjoined to a segment of metal shelving from which chain links are suspended; for those familiar with that interaction behind a

screen in a church confessional, the imagery and symbolism are striking.

Every artist — writer or painter or sculptor— begins a new project with one thing in common: the anxiety of the blank sheet, canvas or concept. Jonas Stirner is no different; he doesn’t always adhere to a preconceived idea, but is open to whatever may come. “I work intuitively, and that often leads tomore interesting results. Ultimately, I’m striving for truth, the feeling that the sculptor is composed with balance and symmetry of the dissimilar.” Today, Jonas Stirner’s art can be found among galleries on Sanibel Island and Naples, and was also selected to inspire poetry readings at this year’s ArtPoems event staged at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. And while at first, one may not readily grasp the truth for which Stirner strives, each piece is wonderfully inviting to individual interpretation — or, in other words and in other hands, another man’s treasures.



} { For more information about Jonas Stirner and his artwork, visit



Room With A View What’s your favorite type of vacation destination? Each issue, COASTE opens the door and takes you on a tour of one of Southwest Florida’s premier places to rest, relax, reconnect and recharge your body and soul. Architecturally and aesthetically, Casa Ybel Resort is a true classic seaside vacation destination that is at once graceful, charming and still contemporary. One of a few Sanibel resorts located directly on the beach, Casa Ybel offers guests one- or two-bedroom suites — all beachfront with stunning Gulf of Mexico views. These suites include spacious living quarters, fully equipped kitchens, screened porches (with drop-dead-gorgeous views), high definition video and DVD electronics, wifi internet, plus a variety of other love-it creature comforts. Should you opt to eventually exit your room, guests can choose to enjoy in-room spa treatments, a heated pool, an award-winning restaurant, tennis, fitness, plus beach and bike rentals. Casa Ybel Resort has been voted one of Travel & Leisure’s “Top 500 Places to Stay in the World. Click


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By Bill Schiller, Lyle Fitzsimmons and John Sprecher Images: Milissa Sprecher

It is Rich Paquette’s rite of spring. Every year, for the past 8 years, this retired gym teacher from Watertown, Connecticut returns to his Southwest Florida second home and eagerly awaits the day he can go back to work — as an usher at Hammond Stadium, spring training home of the Minnesota

Twins Major League Baseball team. Yes, it’s that time of year again. March madness, Lee County style.

Last year, both teams combined to attract almost 300,000 fans — an average of more than 8,700 fans per game.

“I need to be near baseball,” he says. “It’s as simple as that. I love it that much.”

Paquette is not alone. If beautiful weather and pristine beaches are Lee County’s economic bread and butter, then




It's March Madness Lee County Style



spring training — by way of the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins — are our (yes) hot dogs and apple pie. Last year, both teams combined to attract almost 300,000 fans — an average of more than 8,700 fans per game — accounting for nearly 20% of the total attendance of all 15 major league franchises that train in Florida, and an estimated trickle-down of more than $70 million to our local economy.

While these fans gather in Southwest Florida by the thousands to watch their favorite teams, there’s another team hard at work to ensure that the experience is exceptional for everyone. Lee County Parks & Recreation is responsible for the upkeep of the facilities and continuity of operations — parking attendants, food vendors, security staff, cleaners, groundskeepers and more — and their work begins long before the umpire calls “play ball.” Their efforts may go uncelebrated, but don’t think they’re not appreciated. As Minnesota Twins President Dave St. Peter explains, it isn’t simply the nice weather that keeps his team training here. “We’ve found that Lee County has a higher quality of leadership when it comes to baseball, and we enjoy an absolutely wonderful partnershipwith the community.”Noting that the quality of ballparks and playing fields is “wonderful,” he concludes: “There’s nowhere else we would rather be.”




his induction in both the Baseball and Football Halls of Fame. “Turf grows by inches, but it dies by feet,” jokes Toma.

spring training games aren’t serious competition. “From the players’ perspective, these games are

critical,” Twins president St. Peter observes. “This is when rookies try to prove they have what it takes, while the veterans try to demonstrate that they can hang on for another season.”

“Not one dollar of local taxpayer money has been spent on either Jet Blue Park or Hammond Stadium.”

As Toma sees it, Lee County’s dedication to its major league teams “is what distinguishes the great from the mediocre. When you have million

dollar players, you better give them a good field to play on.” And don’t make the mistake of thinking

According to LeeCounty SportsAuthority Executive Director Jeff Mielke — whose job as a member of



the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau is to attract sporting events year-round — the impact of spring training helps accomplish great things on the home front after the teams and their fans return north. “Not one dollar of local taxpayer money has been spent on either Jet Blue Park or Hammond Stadium,” he notes. “All of these projects have been funded through Lee County’s bed tax. These tourists have literally built our fantastic venues that we can use to generate tax dollars and jobs throughout the year.” In fact, according to Mielke, Lee County’s four baseball venues (including City of Palms Park and Terry Park) attracted 105 events last year — from the minor league Fort Myers Miracle to numerous college and high school tournaments, Senior Games and more — that pulled in 136,000-plus additional visitors, at an estimated $900,000-plus revenue per event. Clearly, both major league franchises are invested in Lee County, too. In her office at JetBlue Park, Boston Red Sox VP of Florida baseball operations Katie Haas is busy answering phone inquiries by local media while simultaneously scanning photos from a recent event where Red Sox players visited a local elementary school. This is only one of numerous local requests supported by the team, whose generosity has resulted in more than $8 million in aid to causes including Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, and the Boys and Girls Club. But the bottom line of (February and) March Madness, Lee County style is best summarized by Neil Bonneson of Minneapolis, who with his 14-year- old son Jake made their first journey to Fort Myers to enjoy watching their beloved Twins up close.



While Jake attends 10 to 15 games each year at Target Field, the 6-day father-son bonding vacation “is a dream trip and the kind of thing I’ve always wanted to do with him,” Neil says.

“Everybody back home wants to come down here. They’re very aware of Fort Myers and it’s a great little ballpark. We’ve had a great time here and we can’t wait to do it again.”

} {

Red Sox Twins


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COASTE | FOODIES Bask(et) In The Sun A Weekend To There’s nothing quite as enjoyable and quintessential as a beach picnic — and with Memorial Day, the unofficial kickoff to summer, we hereby declare that no beach picnic cuts the mustard, so to speak, without the perfect combo of food, location, company and fun. To wit, COASTE offers up our own coveted recipe for beach picnic success. So sit back, recline in that beach chair and relax. WHAT TO BRING A beach picnic might sound like the picture perfect idea, but keep in mind where you’re planting that blanket — tides rise as well as fall, and parking yourself too close to a rising surf could mean you’re serving water with your meal. Musts on your shopping list? We recommend packing a few beach chairs to keep the sand between your toes and out of your meal. Other musts on your shopping list? A cooler (brimming with ice and icy beverages), beach umbrella and (of course) sunblock — all easily found at local faves Bailey’s or Jerry’s. By Emily Przybylo Images: Milissa Sprecher

WHAT TO EAT If you hanker for a low-maintenance meal with local flair, get your eats from Sanibel Deli on your way to the beach. You can opt for a slice of the “Island’s Best Pizza” (per “Taste of the Islands”), or grab your favorite from any number of their specialty sandwich selections for carnivores or vegetarians. Then swing by Timbers fish market for a pile of fresh shrimp or crab legs, complete with cocktail sauce. And for dessert, you’ll find key lime pie just about everywhere. Enjoy!



WHERE TO GO Named one of U.S. News Travel’s top 10 beaches in the world, Bowman’s Beach is a superb choice for groups looking for amenities plus the classic Sanibel atmosphere. Along with its stretch of beautiful Gulf-coast sugar sand, the beach features plenty of parking, barbecue grills, picnic tables, outdoor showers and restroom facilities. Plus, if you’re feeling active, you can launch your kayak or paddleboard anywhere — or just take a walk, hunt for shells and admire the gorgeous view.

WHO TO BRING Memorial Day is not only time to share with family and friends, but to honor the meaning of the day — to remember those who have served and sacrificed for our freedom. If you’re beaching with a group this holiday, save on hourly parking fees by carpooling. And if you can’t celebrate without your furry friend, here’s a local insider tip: pets are allowed on the beach — just keep ‘em on a leash and pack your pick-up bags.

No matter who or what you bring, what you eat or where you go, the perfect Memorial Day picnic awaits you on Sanibel or Captiva Islands. So grab your sunblock and let’s go!



Doc Bruce Neill has never copyrighted his name. He’s never coined a slogan that proclaims him “America’s Foremost Beach Expert.” And he’s never turned the national media spotlight on himself by daring to rank America’s beaches. Still,

of, but also greater appreciation for the vast diversity and vital necessity of healthy marine ecosystems — for sea life and for all of us. Additionally, Neill routinely monitors Gulf water quality, and was an active participant in water studies during the Deepwater Horizon crisis.

Dr. Bruce Neill can rightly be considered Southwest Florida’s very own Doc Beach — and our coastal lifestyle is all the better for him, as well as the work he and many others do, at Sanibel Sea School.

Dr. Bruce Neill can rightly be considered Southwest Florida’s very own Doc Beach

“We try to encourage people to better see themselves as an ocean inhabitant,” Neill explains. “After all, we’re living on a planet that is more ocean than earth. We try to help people recognize how to behave in the ways necessary for

Founded 8 years ago by Bruce and wife Evelyn Neill, Sanibel Sea School is a not-for-profit education and research entity, uniquely dedicated to providing children and adults with not only greater awareness

us to coexist with our planet’s single-largest life support system. Our focus isn’t about saving the ocean per se , because the ocean will outlive all of us. Our program is about saving people.”


MEDIA HOOPLA AS DR. BEACH FLORIDA IS LUCKY VERY OWN BEACH By Bill Schiller and John Sprecher Images: Milissa Sprecher



Sanibel Sea School offers the enriching opportunity to learn how we can protect ourselves by doing all we can to foster healthier oceanic ecosystems — and although the teaching is undertaken by a school with facilities, the curriculum is far different from what occurs “in” a conventional classroom setting. Don’t expect Sanibel Sea School is much more an experiential school with hands-on learning. to find participants sitting at a desk, listening to a lecture — or even in a classroom. Sanibel Sea School is much more an experiential school with hands-on learning, as students tour area beaches and take to the water — both on and in it.

“Since the opening of Sanibel Sea School eight years ago, more than 19,000 children and adults


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have participated,” Neill notes. “While they come away with a greater understanding of how their actions — along with our regional issues — impact area waters, teaching conservation ultimately involves changing behaviors. We conserve what we love, and our programs are designed to create, foster and rekindle love for the ocean.” It appears Sanibel Sea School is successful on that front. According to Neill, a healthy number of students have also gone on to pursue education that will lead to careers in marine sciences. “We didn’t set out to create future marine biologists, but rather ocean-loving people from all walks of life, young and older. Of course, the more ocean- lovers, the better.” The importance of stepping out of the classroom and into nature isn’t lost on Bruce Neill, as was his experience in coping with the transition from high school to college. Raised in South Miami, Neill had grown up exploring beaches of Florida and the Bahamas. As he recalls, it was common to find him diving along coral reefs and beds of sea grass or routinely fishing Gulf Stream waters. But when he entered the University of Georgia to study television and radio production, he found sitting for hours in a classroom wasn’t much to his liking. “That lasted for about a year. I didn’t have real passion for the whole indoor thing. I got more enjoyment out of studying nature during walks from one class to the next.” Fascinated with birds, Neill earned his undergraduate degree in zoology, then attended the University of Guam Marine Laboratory where his research of coral reefs led to a Master’s Degree, followed by a Ph.D. (yes, you can call him Doc Bruce). While Neill’s studies have “We conserve what we love, and our programs are designed to create, foster and rekindle love for the ocean.”

30 3


taken him around the world, the most important stop was South Caicos where he met his wife

The idea to create a sea school was forged 10 years ago, with Hawaii initially identified as the

Evelyn, who was vacationing. Once introduced, they soon learned they shared an affinity and respect for nature (in her own college days, Evelyn had worked for Seacamp in the Florida Keys).

site. Eventually, Evelyn told Bruce that they had spent a decade discussing their plan, and if they didn’t make that dream come true, it would be the biggest regret of

Evelyn told Bruce that they had spent a decade discussing their plan, and if they didn’t make that dream come true, it would be the biggest regret of their lives.

their lives. Over the same period, they occasionally vacationed on Sanibel — and both were encouraged



and excited to find support for the idea within the community of Sanibel.

Today, eight years later, the not-for-profit Sanibel Sea School depends primarily on philanthropic support — and much of that is generated from an annual event called “Octifest” that this year takes place (April 12, 6.30 PM) along the sandy shores of the Gulf of Mexico. An evening of food, silent auctions and fun along the Sanibel Causeway, the “I didn’t have real passion for the whole indoor (college class) thing. I got more enjoyment out of studying nature during walks from one class to the next.” fundraiser is the school’s single largest source of revenue — helping to fund everything from life preservers and fly rods to scales, microscopes and more. An annual highlight of the event is when participants purchase a coconut — identified by a special number, as well as message that prompts any lucky finders to contact the school — and collectively set those coconuts adrift. The act not only helps with the study of Gulf currents, but



also rewards the owner of the first coconut found with a valuable prize.

Octifest is also an occasion to share and celebrate the goals Sanibel Sea School has achieved. This past year, the school opened a new commercial space that includes locally-inspired books, shirts and caps, and an increasingly popular blend of organic coffee for sale — and it’s anticipated the space will become a place where people can congregate to learn more about conservation and issues that impact area waters and ecosystems. “It’s another small step in the right direction,” Dr. Bruce Neill says. “It’s part of our mission, and is at the heart of conservation — finding ways to live as better stewards of our environment.”

To learn more about Sanibel Sea School or Octifest, visit

} { Sanibel Sea School 414 Lagoon Drive Sanibel, FL 33957 239-472-8585 Doc Bruce Neill


TAKE FIVE “Be prepared and ready to give your best, whatever By John Sprecher

Mayor of Sanibel. From a distance, mayoring this tropical paradise of 6,000 island lovers might seem like a pretty cushy gig. Smiling faces everywhere. Comfortable, casual pace. Seldom a bad deed or harsh word. And the skies? Yup, they’re sunny all day. The fact is, as Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane will quickly tell you, the job of leading the City of Sanibel is an incredible opportunity. After all, the pay is great — what’s that, it’s a non-salaried volunteer position? Well then, at least the hours can’t be bad — wait, did you say 60 hours a week? Despite the hours and compensation, Kevin Ruane has led the City of Sanibel since 2010 — the longest tenure of any mayor. In that time, governing Sanibel has been hardly a walk on the beach — from the Deepwater Horizon crisis, to the economic downtown and its impact on tourism, to most recently, the hit-home issues of water quality and potentially catastrophic flood insurance rate increases. These challenges have seen themayor travel fromhismodest City Hall office to Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. — where he has advocated for Southwest Florida before both State and Federal legislators. And, as the outcomes have shown, Mayor Ruane has shined with the spotlight on him. Each month, COASTE’s “Take Five” asks five questions of a community leader that have not been shared in advance with the subject. Here, Kevin Ruane talks about his love of Sanibel and the responsibility he gladly embraces as Mayor



the assignment.”

When you’re not governing Sanibel 60 hours a week, what do you do? I’m the owner of three financial companies. In 1990, we formed a firm to help provide equipment financing, representing 13 banks. In 2003 a subsidiary of US Bank purchased us and at the time, we were the fifth largest company of our kind in the country. In 2004 my wife Doreen and I moved to Sanibel to retire, but I really failed at retirement miserably. So I had an opportunity to get back into direct financing in 2006. Four years later we bought our company back, and have since added a third company to provide both operational as well as capital services. Who’s doing the work? I have three partners, and Doreen is vice president of operations for all our companies. The other partners probably still struggle a little bit with the time I invest in this job. ( He laughs .) 2 1 Are you and others working on a vision for Sanibel’s future? Sanibel is 40 years old this year as a city, and we realize we have a lot of issues regarding redevelopment. A lot of our non-profits have come together and said: we need more space, we need better facilities. Everyone loves the beach, but there are so many other attributes of the islands that are just as culturally outstanding. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a vision to create a civic and cultural center that would allow a public-private partnership to achieve a couple of very important goals. First and foremost, to give the citizens what they’ve asked for: a better quality of life. Secondly, to have less dependence on vehicular movement. We’re hoping to create an environment where you can park your car and literally walk to a variety of attractions, events and facilities. You’ve been mayor during some challenging times in Sanibel’s history. That’s true. When I was elected mayor in 2010, there was algae on the beach. Then a month later, we had the Deepwater Horizon crisis. The economy at that time was still very weak and of course, those events didn’t help matters. More recently, we’ve been focused on working to find solutions to Lake Okeechobee releases — it’s vital we protect our water quality — and the potential flood insurance disaster that would’ve hit many homeowners here with rate hikes so high, they would’ve been driven out of their homes. I didn’t imagine I’d be testifying in front of the State Legislature and Congress, but you do what needs to get done. I’m glad to say we’re on the plus side with those issues. Sort of the right person for the right time; do you feel almost chosen for this position? I’m a big believer in fate, and I came to Sanibel two weeks before Hurricane Charlie and when Charlie hit, I raised my hand and got involved. I really look at this as being prepared. I think that’s the opportunity each of us have: to be prepared and ready to give your best, whatever the assignment. I’ve been blessed to work for this community and to actually be able to give back and help this community evolve and progress. In the end, I came here 10 years ago and my son was in fourth grade — so that’s what I’m about, to help the next generation live here and have it be everything they want it to be. How many more years are you willing to do it? I have three years left on my term. Every year we go through a process where City Council gets to elect a mayor and a vice mayor. I’m proud to have served this community for the last four years. April 1 will be that anniversary which will be my fifth year. We’ll see if I’m re-elected. I hope I am. As I said, it’s been an honor and a blessing to lead my community today, and help lead my community into tomorrow. ( Editor’s note: Mayor Ruane was re-elected unanimously. ) 3 4 5


Welcome Home

Each issue, COASTE opens the door and welcomes you to tour of one of Southwest Florida’s premier homes. After all, living here is more than a lifestyle. It’s a soul style.

Living in Southwest Florida can make you feel like you’re on top of the world — and this 2,250-square- foot penthouse atop Sanibel Harbour Resort & Yacht Club delivers the same spectacular views, with a convenient location at the threshold to Sanibel Island. The 4-bedroom, 4-bath home features a spacious, multi-level, 2-story floor plan with floor-to-ceiling windows, plus luxury amenities and stylish furnishings throughout. Both sunrises and sunsets can be enjoyed via private sundeck, or the private porch that overlooks San Carlos Bay. Bonuses include the option to dock your boat at Sanibel Harbour Yacht Club (where you can lease or purchase boat slip), plus full-service spa, marina, tennis and six restaurants on-property. Price: $2,300,000. Listing Agent: Susan McCallion, Pfeiffer Realty Group.




Not So Buried T REASURES of The Islands The swashbuckling legends and lore of Sanibel and Captiva are replete with nasty pirate captains and beautiful maiden captives. And while there’s no telling really where fiction meets fact, it’s fairly given that skull-and- crossbones types walked our beaches and, perchance, buried a treasure. At COASTE, we appreciate the many treasures the islands offer us. Some breathtaking. Some historic. Some that make you go: huh? Here’s our “map” to 9 wonderful, wonky island treasures. See if you can identify them. 1. 2. 3.









Periwinkle Park

Toucans, macaws and lemurs — oh my! That’s right, it’s the one and only Periwinkle Park, Sanibel’s “unofficial zoo” and official island treasure that’s brought joy to thousands of visitors over the years. You’ll find a delightful menagerie of exotic birds and other animals that comfortably make the park home. Interested? Visitors are welcome, so just visit Periwinkle Park!


Sanibel Deli

You’ll relish finding this “what’s this?” treasure — the hot dog father and son team that greets you at the door of Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory. According to owner Jeff Weigel, he’s hard at work trying to find a female version to complete this unusual “family.” Be sure to take a selfie with the giant dog!


Come and find out why Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar of Captiva was voted 1st Place in Gulfshore Life Magazine as Best Kept Secret & Zagat rated. This casual and lovely café specializes in fine dining witha very respectable wine list. You have your choice of dining inside or outdoors Reservations are suggested and children are welcome. Open Daily, 11:30am - 9:00pm

Award winning RC Otter’s Island Eats is a place for the whole family! Serving the finest seafood dishes, voodoo steak and chops, creative pasta, and the largest vegetarian and kid’s menu anywhere. Over 100 menu items. Happy hour daily. Take-out available. Call-ahead seating available. Play the ring game and listen to the island sounds of our talented local musicians.

You ought to eat at Otter’s! MONDAY - SUNDAY, 8am - 10pm

14900 Captiva Drive, Captiva Island 239.472.6200 or Visit our Sister Restaurant Sunshine Grille Wood Fired Steaks & Seafood 8700 Gladiolus Drive at Winkler, Fort Myers 239.489.2233

Located in the Heart of Old Captiva Village 11508 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva Island, FL 33924 (239) 395-1142

Featuring Queenies Homemade Ice Cream, Milk Shakes, Smoothies, Candy Store, Gifts and More! 11508 Andy Rosse Lane Captiva, FL 33924 239-472-0234

The only place for fresh gourmet pizza


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An Island paradise atmosphere for every special occasion.

Captiva’s most exciting restaurant Lunch and Dinner

Aside from offering an eclectic, innovative and contemporary menu, the Keylime Bistro boasts a less formal ambience with an uncompromising level of cuisine. Voted Best Island Dining by the News Press Readers Poll, Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, First Place at the Junior League’s Taste of the Town, First Place People’s Choice at the Chef’s Auction, the Bistro continues to be a popular destination. We feature live music daily during lunch and dinner with a Sunday Jazz Brunch. Monday - Sunday 8:00am - 10pm Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Sunday Jazz Brunch Late night bar 239.395.4000 • 11509 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva Island

Seven Days a Week 11:30am - 10:00pm

Enjoy unique and spicy atmosphere while savoring the fine Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. To complement the evening choose from an array of imported and domestic beers and wines, not to mention refreshing margaritas. Dine inside or out. Take out available for those on the run.

14970 Captiva Drive, Captiva Island • 239-472-0248


3. Among the many treasures of Sanibel and Captiva are the remarkable people who’ve lived here and helped build our communities — as well as Southwest Florida — into a remarkable place to live and play. Take a walk into Cip’s Place and turn right — there, on the wall, is our third treasure, a unique mural. The Bailey brothers are there, as is our famous weather personality, Willard Scott. See how many you can identify! 4. It’s one of the most famous treasures of Sanibel Island — the Sanibel Lighthouse, shining brightly now for more than a century. While you can’t climb it, the lighthouse area is open to the public and you can always grab a picture of it up close and personal, as COASTE has here directly underneath the structure. 5. Alligators tend to come with the territory of Southwest Florida. As a barrier island, Sanibel’s policy toward alligator safety is to relocate whenever possible — making them a relatively “treasured” species here. So admire our great outdoors, but be sure to keep a safe distance if you happen to spot one of these guys around our many lakes, bayous and waterways. Cip’s Place Sanibel Lighthouse Gators

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ow to be on vacation for the rest of your life.

1. Start every day on the beach. Rise to splendid mornings with the rushing tide, the salty air, opulent shells, and the call of native birds. 2. End each day with a sunset. Delight in brilliant fusions of color that make every evening

a spectacle for the senses. Relax and breathe in a hypnotic sense of the islands. 3. Find your island paradise to call home. Discover the ease of island condo life or the sprawling adventure of a beachfront home. Live the life you’ve always wanted, here on Sanibel-Captiva.

We can help extend your vacation to a lifetime.

Call 239.472.3334



Robert Coscia, Broker / Owner


1177 Causeway Road, Sanibel Island, FL 33957 


Sanibel Cemetery

Did you know that Sanibel has a cemetery? Not many folks do. This hidden treasure is accessible only by bike or on foot, and can be found by following a pathway on the curve before Middle Gulf Drive meets Casa Ybel Road. And if cemeteries are your thing, be sure to visit Captiva, too, where you’ll find another at Chapel by the Sea.

7. The fish shacks in Pine Island Sound are treasures indeed of a bygone era when commercial fishing was a way of life for many in Southwest Florida. The shacks are obviously best viewed by water — but if you’re more adventurous, pull your boat up and explore firsthand a little history, or maybe even drop a line! Fish Shacks



Whether you rent a boat, charter a guide, try your luck off a pier or simply cast a line off the beach, fishing is one of our greatest treasures and most popular pasttimes for residents and visitors alike. You’ll need a fishing license, and some good advice on where they’re biting — which can easily be found at the many bait and fishing shops ready to share their knowledge (and probably a story of one that got away).



9. Hands down (pun intended), the most sought-after treasure on Sanibel is the almighty seashell —yours, free, just waiting to be discovered up and down the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and Southwest Florida. By the way, Sanibel is in the Guinness Book of World Records for treasure hunting, thanks to the “Sanibel Stoop” (the stance one takes when bent over looking for shells) and the never-ending quest for the perfect shell. Good luck! Seashells



Our bonus treasure is our most spectacular — the sunsets of Southwest Florida. Best of all, no two are ever alike. So grab someone you love and be sure to seek out this nightly treasure. You’ll be glad you did, and if you’re really lucky, you may even catch the elusive (yet real) green flash.


What’s Happening on Your

April + May — Community Events

Apr 4-5

FORT MYERS ART WALK April 4-5 and May 2-3 Art Walk features local and national artwork in the downtown art galleries and several art

May 2-3 +

stops of the spectacular Fort Myers river district. Friday evening culminates with an after party at 10 PM. Trolley service is available for stops outside the downtown. Information:

Apr 6

SANIBEL-CAPTIVA CARES April 6 14th annual island celebration to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida held at the Sanctuary Golf Club, Sanibel. Advance tickets required. For thirteen years, Sanibel-Captiva Cares has been raising money for the Golisano Children’s Hospital at HealthPark in Fort Myers. The hospital has received nearly $5 million to date from this annual fundraiser. The proceeds from the 2014 event will go towards the capital campaign to build a freestanding facility for the Golisano Children’s Hospital adjacent to HealthPark. For more information about the capital campaign: an opening ceremony at 9 AM at Riverside Park in Bonita Beach and runs through 6:30 PM. Kids’ activities will be held. Also featured are local artists, live music, organic and other food and kayaking. Information: Apr 12 EARTH DAY FESTIVAL April 12 The 13th annual event begins with

THE SEAHORSE FESTIVAL April 12 The Sanibel School’s biggest fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 12th, from 4 PM to 8 PM at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club. Music, games, bounce houses, food and family-friendly activities. Silent auction with large variety of items up for bid. This event is open to the public of all ages. Children must be supervised. Children $10 wristband. Adults: FREE.

Apr 12



OCTIFEST ON THE BEACH April 12 Our annual Octifest fundraiser is the single

Apr 12

largest influx of funds to Sanibel Sea School each year. Sanibel Sea School is a unique nonprofit dedicated to promoting marine conservation by deepening the engagement of those who value, understand, and care for the ocean. “Our goal is to reach the broadest range of people possible — all age groups, all backgrounds, all developmental needs. We want to create a legacy of environmental literacy through positive ocean learning experiences for everyone touched by Sanibel Sea School.” This year’s fundraiser is on the causeway islands leading to Sanibel. For more information and advance tickets:

Apr 14

MONDAY AFTER THE MASTERS April 14 The 3rd Annual “Monday After the Masters” golf tournament benefits the Captiva Community panel, the recognized governing agency of Captiva, whose mission is to preserve Captiva’s unique island lifestyle. Open to the public at South Seas Island Resort and played on one of the finest golf courses in Florida, according to Conde Nast . For information: UPCYCLE! ART FEST April 16 Sanibel’s first fine arts and crafts festival with artistic inspirations that use only repurposed and re-envisioned materials. The free event take place at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center from 9 AM to 4 PM, featuring all manner of works for display, judging, sales and of course, fun. Information: Apr 16

Apr 19

CHILDREN’S SPRING FESTIVAL April 19 Calling all kids to the Sanibel City Park for Easter egg hunts at 10 AM (ages 4 and

younger) and 10:10 AM (ages 5 to 8). Activities include a bounce house, giant slide, face painting and pony rides. Arts and crafts run from 10 AM to 1 PM. An activity armband is $10. Easter Bunny photos are $5. Information:

Apr 19

HOLIDAY EGG HUNT April 19 If you’re in Boca Grande, meet up at Boca Grande Community Center by 9:50 AM to scramble for eggs in a hunt that begins at 10 AM for the 4-and-younger age group, followed by ages 5 to 7 and 8 to 11. Information:



April + May — Community Events Continued

Apr 19

EARTH DAY AT THE REFUGE April 19 J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and Tarpon Bay Explorers co-host a free day of environmental activities, including earth crafts, free bicycle use and other environmental activities from 9 AM to 4 PM. Wildlife Drive is open and free to bicyclists and hikers from 7 AM to 4 PM. Information:

Apr 20

EASTER EGG HUNT & DOLPHIN CRUISE April 20 Join the Easter Bunny and cruise San Carlos Bay, and along the way (if you’re lucky) catch a glimpse or two of playful dolphins. Then, you’ll arrive at Picnic Island to find a thousand eggs with treats and experience Easter egg-hunting like never before. You’ll find Adventures in Paradise at Port Sanibel Marina. Information: May 4 FORT MYERS BEACH TASTE OF THE BEACH May 4 The 19th annual Taste of the Beach — on Old San Carlos Boulevard in Fort Myers Beach — dishes up seafood and other delicacies from more than 20 restaurants, along with live music and children’s activities all day from 11 AM to 6 PM. Admission is $5. Information:

April + May — In Concert

PAUL ANKA April 7 Paul Anka was only 13 years old when he had already formed his first vocal group, “The Bobbysoxers.” Today, with a litany of personal hits, as well as familiar chart-toppers written for other artists, this multi-talented singer, songwriter and actor brings his memorable style to Fort Myers at 7 PM. For information and tickets:

Apr 7



April + May — In Concert Continued

Apr 6- 27

THE MAGIC OF MANILOW April 7 The music of one of the best-selling artists of our time takes the stage in an entertaining salute to Barry Manilow. Featuring classic hits like “Mandy,” “I Write the Songs” and “Copacabana” (and many more), you can choose dinner theatre and show, or simply the show. At Broadway Palm Theatre. For tickets and information: or 239-278-4422. ISLAND JAZZ Sundays in April Island Jazz features some of the best jazz musicians in SW Florida who play styles of music from jazz standards and Dixieland to bop, pop and more at BIG ARTS Boler Garden. Beach chairs recommended. Concerts held rain or shine, on the following Sundays: April 6, 13, 20, 27. BIG ARTS Boler Garden 3 PM to 4:30 PM.

Apr 7

Apr 8

THE TEN TENORS April 8 International singing sensations The Ten Tenors are back in the United States and on tour now, with an all-new show celebrating Broadway’s greatest hits. Their unique approach to opera, rock and pop has powered their popularity, which now numbers more than 3.5 million tickets sold worldwide. Show starts at 7 PM, don’t be late! For information and tickets:

Apr 30

BOZ SCAGGS April 30 William Royce “Boz” Scaggs began his long and successful career in 1965 quickly developing into an iconic singer- songwriter. He achieved multi-platinum success in 1976 and continues his lauded and multi-genre musical journey in Southwest Florida. At Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. Information and tickets:


The Burns Family

Three Generations. One Passion. ...Our Islands. The Burns Family has lived and sold real estate on Sanibel and Captiva for over 25 years. During that time, they have consistently been top-producing agents and have earned numerous achievement awards, including Best Realtors on Sanibel and Captiva an impressive five times . “Partnered with Royal Shell Real Estate, we’re excited to continue this family tradition of excellence for our clients. Call us. We’re ready to put our family to work for yours.”

e treatment you expect. X X R e a l E s t a t e We make it easy. You make it home. 239.851.2696 or email at e treatment you deserve. X



April + May — Theatre

Apr 1-6

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET April 1-6 This Tony award-winning Broadway musical is inspired by the true story of the famed recording session that brought together rock and roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins — for the one and only time. You too can “sit inside” that famous recording studio and hear some of music’s greatest hits, by some of its greatest artists. For tickets and information:

Apr 1-5 ROMANCE/ROMANCE April 1-5

Two one-act musicals give a glimpse into the stories of romance-seekers. The first act is set in turn-of-the-century Vienna. The second is in a house shared by two couples in the Hamptons. Performances at the BIG Arts Herb Strauss Theater in Sanibel. For more information: or 239-472-6862.

Apr 1-9

CLYBOURNE PARK April 1-9 A white community in 1950s Chicago splinters over a black family moving in. Then

the same community in 2009, mostly black, splinters over a white family's renovation plans for the home. A laugh fest that at the same time challenges us to consider (or reconsider) our concept of race. Performances at Florida Repertory Theatre in Fort Myers. For more information: or 239-332-4488.

Apr 1-12

LES MISERABLES April 1-12 Set in 19th-century France, this musical phenomenon is a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. The 2012 film won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture. Performances at the Broadway Palm Theatre in Fort Myers. Information: 239-278-4422 or

Apr 1- May 11

THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB April 1-May 11 Five women from a college swim team meet annually at a beach cottage to rekindle their friendship. The comedy focuses on four of those weekends and loyalty that will last forever. Performances at the Off Broadway Palm Theatre in Fort Myers. Information: 239-278-4422 or


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