Naples Florida weekly

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Naples Florida weekly : your news and entertainment source
Place of Publication:
Naples, FL
Florida Media Group LLC
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Physical Description:
volumes : illustrations ; 41 cm


newspaper ( marcgt )
newspaper ( sobekcm )


Dates or Sequential Designation:
V. 1 no. 1 (October 2, 2008) -

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright, Florida Media Group LLC. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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900873247 ( OCLC )

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The von Liebig at 10Naples Art Association center celebrates a milestone. C1 COLUMN A2 OPINION A4 15 MINUTES A6 NAPLES' HISTORY A10 HEALTHY LIVING A18 BUSINESS B1 NETWORKING B6 & 7 REAL ESTATE B9 ARTS C1 EVENTS C6 & 7 SOCIETY C16, 19 & 21 CUISINE C23 PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID FORT MYERS, FL PERMIT NO. 715 Vol. I, No. 8 FREE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 20-26, 2008 DATED MATERIAL PLEASE RUSH POSTMASTER REQUESTED IN-HOME DELIVERY DATE: NOVEMBER 20, 2008 POSTAL CUSTOMERWho you gonna call?New business spruces up and maintains foreclosed properties so they can be sold. B1 Cocktails before golfAnd several other society to-dos around town. C16, 18, 20 & 21 With record demand for emergency food, the holidays of 2009 might be the most difficult in history for area food banks and pantries. And a new class of needy breadwinners who have never faced sustained unemployment before is compounding the challenge. Some of our agencies are giving out 60 percent more than they did a year ago, said Ernie Bretzmann, executive director of the United Way of Collier County. Its indicative of the economic situation. Even when the job is lost and the money is gone, food and shelter are still essential. Much as the United Way provides funds to programs that help the needy, the Harry Chapin Food Bank provides food to 140 Southwest Florida agencies. In the last two years, the key agencies we serve are up 82 percent in terms of clients, said Al Brislain, the food banks executive director. I've been doing this more than 30 years, and Id never seen more than a 10 or 12 percent increase in a year. Eighty-two percent is incredible. Individual agencies are seeing anywhere from 30 percent to 200 percent increases in clients served, Mr. Brislain added. Some of those increases come from the newly needy: people who have lost their jobs and are navigating assistance programs for the first time. Thats certainly the case at St. Matthews House. A lot of people who come in have never done this before, said Vann R. Ellison, president and CEO of the agency that has served more than 2 million meals in Collier County over the past 20 years. A well-dressed man came in last week and looked like hed come to volunteer, Mr. Ellison said. But he had a couple of kids with himHed been laid off from a bank and was wondering what he could do to get help for his family because everything is going to pay the mortgage. And he doesn't have food. The United Ways Mr. Bretzmann describes the new demographic: Theyre people formerly known as the middle class. These are folks who were working, making ends meet, and not in a chronic situation. Now theyre in trouble and they dont know what to do. Unfortunately, its an all too common story these days. And the lean times translate to a hungry holiday season. In 2006, St. Matthews House gave away 350 turkeys more than ever before in its history, Mr. Ellison said. Last year that number was 900, and volunteers in the dining hall served more than 500 turkey dinners to residents, theSEE FEED, A11 Lean times mean more mouths to feedheyre out there, all right, thousands of them, although just how many is impossible to determine. And at this point theres not a darn thing Skip Snow or anybody else can do about it except be thankful that not many folks in these parts wander around the Everglades or the 7,200 acres of Collier-Seminole State Park on foot after dark. Both places are prime habitat for Burmese pythons, which prefer to hunt at night. Long ropes of powerful muscle, they can weigh more than 250 pounds, stretch to 20 feet and live up to 25 years. I have a healthy respect for them, admits Mr. Snow, a federal wildlife biologist working on the invasive python problem. Ive been nipped. Describing a python bite as a nip is probably a massive understatement. They have four rows of sharp teeth in the top of their mouths and two rows in the bottom, all of them slanted inward. When the snake fastens its jaws onto something, the victim instinctively tries to pull away. The more it pulls, the deeper the teeth sink into its flesh, giving the python time to wrap around the unfortunate creature and squeeze it to death. Although pythons are not known to be hunters of humans like saltwater crocodiles are, Mr. Snow says, They are capable. They have the tools to severely harm or kill people. We see that in the news every so often. David Piper, owner of Everglades Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs, has been T P YTH O N S ON THE LOOSEAlligator Human Dog RabbitBurmese pythons have grown from $20 pets to 20-foot monstersBurmese pythons can tip a scale at 300 pounds. SEE PYTHONS, A8 Largest of Floridas pet pests invade EvergladesBY ROGER WILLIAMS ______________________ rwilliams@ oridaweekly.combitten, too, on the arm. He had to use a crowbar to pry the snakes mouth off first the top, then the bottom. How much of a threat is it? Mr. Piper asks rhetorically. That depends on how hungry it is, and how many you have in a feeding situation. If a snake finishes a rabbit or a chicken first and it smells chicken on another snake and part of that chicken is sticking out its going to eat that, too. I saw a 16-foot python eat a rabbit and then consume an entire 10-foot python. Mr. Piper was born and raised into creature care; his family has maintained the Wonder Gardens for seven decades. He has four of the big snakes, including a 16-footer. Pythons only think about two things: food and reproduction, he says. Offering a voice of reason and experience to would-be python pet owners, he adds people who are very busy shouldnt have a snake as a pet. If their needs arent met, they become real aggressive, and thats not their fault. Potential python keepers should also 20 5 15 10Python FLORIDA WEEKLY STAFF REPORT Inside: Burmese python battles a gator. Guess who wins? Photo A8 Heres to ThanksgivingWine recommendations for which to be grateful. C22