Vol. 43 No. 9
Serving Immokalee, Ave Maria and Eastern Collier County
Thursday, March 4, 2010
At a Glance
Panthers ...Page 6
Parents and Businesses
Immokalee High School 2010
Project Graduation and our chil-
dren need help. If you are able to
help or have any questions please
contact the Ms. Ayer at 239-377-
1818 or Floreida at 239-503-6598.
It's sign up time for
Little League baseball
At this time Immokalee Little
League is accepting applica-
tions for boys ages 11 and 12 for
this year's baseball season. Par-
ticipants will play in the major
league, which will travel this year
for games. We are also recruiting
children (boys and girls) age 4 for
our new t-ball teams. For more
information please call any of the
board members below: President:
Juan Garcia Jr. 239-643-2407; Vice
President: Hector Ramos 239-564-
9645; Secretary: Terrie Aviles 239-
503-5568; Treasurer: Lori Garcia
239-935-9182; Equipment Manag-
er: William Trevino 239-357-3823;
Information Officer: Lisa Garcia
239-503-09221 Player Agent: Ze-
naida Soto 239-867-1573; Auxiliary
Manager: Corina Garcia 239-462-
See Page 2 for information about
how to contact the newspaper.
Free Speech FreeAds
8 16510 00023 8
By Rick Heers
Special to the Immokalee
group of pas-
tors from .
met at Bethel
on West Main
Street this Rick Heers
week and be-
gan plans to have a community
Sunrise Service at the Immoka-
lee Parks and Rec Center field
on Easter Sunday, April 4. There
will be special music, worship
and praise, and short messages
in Spanish, Creole and English. A
free-will offering will be received
See SUNRISE Page 2
Jack Paul retires a
man of the good earth
By Patty Brant
INI Florida .
After 40 years on the Hendry
County Board of Supervisors for
Soil and Water, formerly the Soil
Conservation District, Jack Paul is
retiring. The board recently pre-
sented him with a plaque for out-
standing and dedicated service to
the Hendry County Soil and Water
The old Soil Conservation
Board is now the Natural Resource
Conservation Service (NRCS), but
the work continues. Bottom line,
the organization still provides local
input into large conservation plan-
ning and projects.
From January 1970 through
January 2010, Mr. Paul has been
See JACK Page 2
Special to the Immokalee Bulletin/I HOPE
Men waiting in line to receive donations of food jump in to
help with the task of unloading meals for distribution to local
farmworkers. See story Page 2
Jack Paul is retiring from the
County Board of Supervisors
for Soil and water.
to be offered
The Empowerment Alliance of
Southwest Florida is conducting a
series of evening workshops that
are designed to give prospective
home buyers a comprehensive un-
Assessing Readiness to Buy, Fi-
nancing a Home, Responsibilities
of Home Ownership, Budgeting,
Understanding Credit, Selecting a
Home, Protecting your Investment.
A Part I & II English/Creole Work-
shop will be offered on: Monday,
March 8 and Monday March 15,
from 6-9 p.m. at: Career and Ser-
vice Center of Southwest Florida,
750 South 5th Street, Immokalee.
We will provide foreclosure as-
sistance and work with lenders to
help modify loans so clients can
avoid foreclosure. We will also
have guest from the lending indus-
try and real estate to help answer
any questions they may have. Reg-
istration is limited so register early!
To register; or for more informa-
tion please call: Ana Salazar at:
Live Fire training took out a house on Wells Street on Fri-
day, Feb. 26. Live Fire Instructors, Chief Scott Birge and
Lt. Curtis Summeralls. They were assisted by others in
maintaining safety of the blaze. See FIRE story Page 2
Immokalee Bulletin March 4, 2010
Continued From Page 1
one of the organization's guiding hands at
a time when water conservation became of
Back in the '70s, Mr. Paul said their main
concern was drawing plans for flood control
and irrigation, helping farmers meet their
goals for permitting, as well as teaching and
The group has grown, becoming more
organized, he said. They work with state and
federal organizations. Most importantly, he
believes, years ago they set up agriculture's
first Best Management Practices (BMPs) and
proved that they would work.
A letter from former County Agent Dallas
Townsend points to Mr. Paul's work in the
1970's with the Federal 208 Water Quality
Study, which showed that citrus and other
agricultural land uses were not polluting
the Caloosahatchee River as was alleged by
Over the years, Mr. Paul has served in
many capacities including president of the
Soil Conservation District for Florida. In 2004
he was the Florida Association of County
Agriculture Agents outstanding agent nomi-
Along with others on the South Florida
Agricultural Council, Mr. Paul helped make
the University of Florida's Southwest Florida
Research and Education Center at Immoka-
lee a reality.
In his early years, Mr. Paul spent two
years in the Peace Corps working with farm-
ers in India. In 1965 he came to LaBelle to
help manage his father's citrus business,
Bob Paul, Inc.
His research demonstrations led to more
efficient water systems and he became
known in Florida for his expertise in grow-
ing citrus in flatwood soils.
At the Feb. 21 meeting, colleagues told
Mr. Paul, "Your legacy will affect our chil-
dren's children for generations to come."
These days, no one farmers included can
afford to waste precious resources.
After 40 years conserving nature's gifts,
Mr. Paul said he still has the same core belief.
It's our duty to conserve nature and "leave a
Serving Immokalee Since 1969
To Reach Us
Mailing Address: PO. Box 518* LaBelle, FL 33975
Physical Address: 22 Ft. Thompson Ave.
Phone: (239) 657-6000 Fax: (863) 675-1449
To Submit News
The Immokalee Bulletin welcomes submissions from
its readers. Opinions, calendar items, story ideas and
photographs are welcome. Call (239) 657-6000 to
reach our newsroom. The deadline for all news items
is 11 a.m. on Monday prior to the following
Fire district conducts
live fire training session
Immokalee Fire Control District con-
ducted a Live Fire Training exercise at the
address of 305 Wells St. on Friday, Feb. 26.
The Live Fire Training was led by our two
live fire instructors Chief Scott Birge and Lt.
Curtis Summeralls. Also on hand for safety
and assistance were Lt. Robert Kline and Lt.
Shawn Morris from Big Corkscrew Island
Fire Rescue; also live fire instructors.
Within 45 minutes the 800sq. ft. home
was brought to ashes. Engines 30, 31, and
32 along with Water Tender 30 were on hand
to assist with protecting the nearby homes
from the up to 30 foot flames that projected
into the sky.
Live Fire Training is a true lesson in Fire
Fire knows no boundaries once ignited
it will travel along the path of available fuel
that will burn. Fuel is anything that can burn
and leave an ash; clothing, paper, plastic
etc. Prevention and Preparedness are the
keys to surviving a fire within your home. It
is important to take a few moments to look
around your homes for fire safety hazards.
Brochures on fire safety and fire drills within
the home can be picked up anytime at the
fire station located at 502 E. New Market Rd.
between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday
Thank you to the communities of
Immokalee and Ave Maria for your contin-
ued support to your local fire district. Our
Mission: to protect the people and property
within our community.
Farm workers receive
much needed assistance
By Rick Heers
Special to the Immokalee Bulletin
Thanks to a growing partnership, un-
employed farm workers in Immokalee are
receiving special help at this difficult time.
The TradePort office/warehouse of the Sal-
vation Army was very quickly distributing
over 15,000 boxes of prepared food for farm
worker families, when I HOPE was able
to obtain 6,900 prepared meals ready to
eat (MREs) this past week. Men who were
waiting in line to receive donations of food
quickly jumped in without being asked and
helped unload the load of meals.
Thanks to the generosity of Walt Burdick
and Robert Juster, owners and operators of
the TradePort Industrial/Business complex
across from the airport, the Salvation Army
was donated some much-needed space to
receive, sort and distribute food to over 850
families who are desperate for assistance.
The Community Foundation of Collier Coun-
ty-Immokalee Initiative contributed $500 to
pay the trucking costs for the food to be de-
To Place a Display Ad
Phone: (239) 657-6000
The deadline for all advertising is 4 p.m. on Friday
for the following Thursday's publication
To Place a Classified Ad
Call 1 -877 353-2424 or to place it from home go to
Visit newszap.com or email
livered from Orlando.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank has been
instrumental in providing much of the food,
while the Salvation Army has gotten special
authorization to purchase additional sup-
plies to augment their order. The local Lions
Club has been instrumental in volunteering
to assist with the distribution of food.
Additional rice and beans, as well as
other food staples are expected within the
next couple of weeks. Additional donations
are needed to purchase food and also to
provide rent and utility subsidies as farm la-
borers struggle to keep their families fed and
housed until the April season brings back
more work for those in the packinghouses
and fields around Immokalee.
Donations can be sent directly to the
Emergency Services Collaborative of
Immokalee at the Community Foundation,
at 2400 Tamiami Trail N., Suite 300, Naples,
FL. 34013 or can be sent to I HOPE at P. 0.
Box 777, Immokalee, FL 34143-0777.
News Editor: Patty Brant
Community News Editor: Dee Hamilton
Advertising Director: Judy Kasten
Advertising Manager: Shawn Strawser
Advertising Services Coordinator: Dale Conyers
Advertising Services: Barbara Calfee
Publisher: Tom Byrd
Executive Editor: Katrina Elsken
The Immokalee Bulletin is published by Independent
Newspapers of Florida. Independent is owned by a unique
trust that enables this newspaper to pursue a mission of
journalistic service to the citizens of the community.
Since no dividends are paid, the company is able to thrive
on profit margins below industry standards. All after-tax
surpluses are reinvested in Independent's mission of jour-
nalistic service, commitment to the ideals of the First
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and support of the
community's deliberation of public issues.
News in Brief
donations for Haiti
The Seminole Tribe and Seminole Indian
Casinos, in association with Food for the
Poor, are collecting donations for victims of
the Haitian earthquake tragedy. Non-perish-
ables, water, personal items and other items
are needed. Items may be dropped off at the
Library presents Story Time
Immokalee Branch Library, 417 N. First St.
will present Story Time on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m.
"ABC Combined Story Time" is open to children
age 10 months-5 years. Bring your child and en-
joy a good story! For information please call 239-
Sports Desk network
Youth, adult recreation leagues, and sports
teams in the Immokalee, Ave Maria and Eastern
Collier County are invited to participate online in
the Eastern Collier County Sports Network. To vis-
it Eastern Collier County Sports Network online,
go to newszap.com, click the Immokalee, Ave
Maria or Collier County homepages, then click
on the Sports tab in the upper right part of the
page. The web address is: http://fl.newszap.
Interested teams and leagues can contact
Renee Hawley by e-mail at: rhawley@com-
munitysportsdesk.com. Or call her toll free at
888-853-7904 for a demonstration or to get
started right away.
Continued From Page 1
to benefit the Immokalee Pregnancy Center
operating at Amigos Center on Second Street
South. Following the service there will be a
pancake and sausage breakfast at First Bap-
tist Church-1411 Lake Trafford Road-dona-
tions will be accepted. All in the community
are encouraged to join with us for this very
special event. (Those attending should bring
towels as stadium seating may be wet... or
you can bring your own lawn chairs.)
* To operate this newspaper as a public trust
* To help our community become a better place to
live and work, through our dedication to consci-
* To provide the information citizens need to make
their own intelligent decisions about public
* To report the news with honesty, accuracy, pur-
poseful neutrality, fairness, objectivity, fearless-
ness and compassion.
* To use our opinion pages to facilitate community
debate, not to dominate it with our own opinions.
* To disclose our own conflicts of interest or poten-
tial conflicts to our readers.
* To correct our errors and to give each correction
the prominence it deserves.
* To provide a right to reply to those we write
* To treat people with courtesy, respect and
March 4, 2010
March 4, 2010
'Click it or Ticket' stops unsafe motorists
Local law enforcement agencies across
Florida are out in force renewing a pledge
to save lives by cracking down on motorists
who drive without wearing seat belts and
properly restraining children.
Law enforcement officers will not only
be targeting major roadways but also school
zones ticketing drivers and passengers,
including children under 18, who are not
buckled up. The statewide campaign runs
According to 2008 data from the Florida
Department of Highway Safety and Motor
Vehicles, 2,938 individuals were either driv-
ers or passengers in safety belt equipped ve-
hicles. Sixty percent (1,085) of these people
killed were not wearing safety belt. In addi-
tion to that, 54 of the 79 children ages 0-17
years old, killed in traffic crashes were either
not using safety belts or restrained in child
"With 30 percent of traffic fatalities due
to Floridians failing to buckle up regularly,
it's clear that far too many people still don't
take the safety belt law seriously," Hendry
County Sheriff Steve Whidden said. "The un-
buckled rate is especially high and the fatal
crash rate increases significantly at night. So
look for us to be out on streets both day and
night in March making sure that everyone is
A seat belt usage survey conducted at
three major intersections in Hendry County
indicated a seat belt usage of 45 percent;
less than 50 percent percent of drivers and
their passenger's utilized safety belts.
Clerk's Office promotes
upcoming Sunshine Week
As the keeper of public records and as
accountant, auditor and "watchdog" of the
public funds, Dwight Brock, Clerk of the Cir-
cuit Court, is committed to practicing open
government in Collier County by providing
easy access to public records and financial
In an effort to educate the community
about 'open government,' Mr. Brock is pro-
moting various activities during Sunshine
Week, March 14-20, in Collier County. For
more information about Sunshine Week or
to get direct access to public records and
financial information related to the Clerk's
Office visit www.CollierClerk.com and click
on the Sunshine Week logo. http://www.col-
The origins of Sunshine Week:
In 2002, the Florida Society of Newspaper
Editors (FSNE) launched Sunshine Sunday
in response to efforts by some Florida leg-
islators to create scores of new exemptions
to the state's public records law. FSNE es-
timates that some 300 exemptions to open
government laws were defeated in the leg-
islative sessions that followed its three Sun-
shine Sundays, because of the increased
public and legislative awareness that result-
ed from their efforts.
Several states followed Florida's lead,
and in June 2003, ASNE hosted a Freedom
of Information (FOI) Summit in Washington
where the seeds for Sunshine Week were
With an inaugural grant from Knight
Foundation, the ASNE FOI Committee took
up the challenge and launched Sunshine
Week in March 2005. It continues to be cel-
ebrated each year in mid-March, coinciding
with National FOI Day and James Madison's
Sunshine Week is now a national initiative
to open a dialogue about the importance of
open government and freedom of informa-
tion. Participants include print, broadcast
and online news media, civic groups, librar-
ies, nonprofits, schools and others interested
in the public's right to know.
Sunshine Week is about the public's right
to know what its government is doing, and
why. Sunshine Week seeks to enlighten and
empower people to play an active role in
their government at all levels, and to give
them access to information that makes their
lives better and their communities stronger.
Sunshine Week is a nonpartisan initiative
whose supporters are conservative, liberal
and everything in between. The only require-
ment is that you do something to engage in
a discussion about the importance of open
government. It could be a large public fo-
rum or a classroom discussion, an article or
series of articles about access to important
information, or an editorial. The extent to
which you participate is up to you.
For more information contact:
Robert D. St. Cyr, Director, Community
Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court,
239-252-6879 or by email: Robert.StCyr@
Adult Computer Education Classes
Free On-Line Tutoring
Free online tutoring service by Tutor.com
connects students to expert tutors for as-
sistance with math, science, social studies,
English, chemistry, book reports and more
using the Internet. The Immokalee Branch
Library is here to help! Available to students
K to adult Monday-Friday from 2 p.m until
close at Immokalee Community Park, 417
N. First Street. Call for more information at
Computer class helps
Bilingual staff from Naples Free-Net an-
swers your computer and Internet related
questions. Class size is limited to 7 partici-
pants. The classes will take place on Thurs-
days, March 11, April 15, May 13, at 6 p.m.
at Immokalee Community Park at 417 N.
First St. in Immokalee. Call 239-657-2882 for
Weather forecast for Collier County from the National Weather Service
Immokalee and surrounding area
Thursday: Sunny with a high near 68. Winds will be from the north between 6 and 9
Thursday night: Mostly clear with a low around 37. Winds will be from the northwest
around 6 mph becoming calm.
Friday: Sunny with a high near 68. Winds will be from the north between 5 and 9
Friday night: Mostly clear with a low around 45. Winds will be from the north around
6 mph becoming calm.
Saturday: Sunny with a high near 77. Winds will be from the northeast between 5 and
Saturday night: Mostly clear with a low around 45.
Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 76. Light north wind.
Sunday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 47. Monday: Sunny, with a high near
Monday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 50.
Letter to the Editor
. special thanks!
The Roberts family would like to give c
speciall thanks to two Immokalee Water anc
iewer workers and their supervisor. Theii
)rompt and decisive actions to an emer
agency call placed on Sunday, Feb. 21, kepi
)ur home from receiving what could have
)een an enormous amount of damage fronr
i backup in the sewer line. They are our he-
E. Roberts and family
Phone Discounts Available to CenturyLink Customers
With Link-Up America and Lifeline Assistance Programs, qualified low-income telephone custom-
ers can save money on installation charges and the monthly rate for basic local residential service.
This includes access to long distance carriers, Emergency Services, Operator Services, Directory
Assistance and Toll Blocking.
Link-Up America is a federally-sponsored program that provides discounted service installation
charges to qualifying low-income customers. It provides a 50 percent discount, up to a maximum
of $30 for new residential installation charges for telephone service. The balance of the installation
charges can be paid, interest free, over a 12 month period. In addition, the monthly service charge
for toll restriction will be waived for customers requesting or required to have the service.
Lifeline Assistance is another federally-sponsored program for low-income customers. It provides a
discount to the monthly charge for basic residential telephone service. Lifeline Assistance Program
rates have been reduced and guidelines have been changed to allow for more low-income custom-
To qualify for both programs, customers may enroll in the CenturyLink Lifeline program by pro-
viding verification that they meet state low-income eligibility requirements. In addition, Tribal Tele-
phone Assistance is available for those living on federally-recognized American Indian Tribal lands.
If you live in a CenturyLink service area, please call 1-800-366-8201 or visit www.centurylink.
com/lifeline with questions or to request an application for the Lifeline/Link-Up programs.
CenturyLin k T
lifeline SAU www.centurylink.com
Immokalee Bulletin March 4, 2010
Breakfast What a way to
start the day!
By Joe Landon
Collier County District Schools
They say that breakfast is the most
important meal of the day. Not sure who
"they" are but I'm guessing they are right. I
know I do better once I've had my bowl of
cereal. Same, of course, holds true for our
students your kids. Research tells us that
hunger actually limits a student's ability to
learn. The other side of the research says
that students who eat breakfast have an in-
creased attention span and they get better
grades in reading and math. That's why the
school district offers a free breakfast (yes, I
said no charge) to all Collier County Public
School students. Sad truth is that, if it wasn't
for the free school breakfast, some stu-
dents might begin the school day hungry.
Given our current daily participation, our
nutrition services folks serve about 11,000
free breakfasts districtwide each school
day. Over the course of the current school
year, we'll be serving nearly 2,000,000 free
breakfasts to students. That's a whole lot
of those English muffin egg sandwiches,
French toast, breakfast pizzas, pancakes,
and cereal. Director Dawn Houser and
her Nutrition Services staff do a great job!
And we're celebrating that during Na-
.4rict Schoo, tional School Break-
g fast Week, March 8th
through the 12th.
S Here's another one
of those "without this
program kids might
go without" kind
\Collier C(o. of stories. A group
known as First Book -
Collier County makes sure students get that
first book. During the five years their pro-
gram has been around, they've donated
more than 195,000 free books to students
attending schools with a high percentage
of low income families (what the feds call
Title 1 schools). The target group of stu-
dents: those in Pre-Kindergarten through
grade 3, and those in the federal Head Start
program. Now this school year alone, First
Book is handing out about 6,000 books
each month to students districtwide. Here's
the "without this program" piece that I
mentioned. The books given to students
by First Book Collier County are often
the only books to be found in the home.
A Highlands Elementary School Kindergar-
ten teacher says, "I just love the First Book
program and so do my students." She tells
us that some of her students have been
heard to ask "You mean I can keep this
book forever?" The good news is, yes they
can, thanks to the very generous support of
First Book Collier County.
E-book reading week begins
Latest live TV panel show
scheduled for this Monday
The March edition of the School District by calling in at any time during the live tele-
of Collier County's monthly live TV talk show cast, between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Mon-
is scheduled to air at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, day, March 8. The number to call: 239-377-
March 8, on The Education Channel, cable 9999. First names only are used on air.
99. Open Mic Open Dialogue features an Open Mic Open Dialogue is moderated
in-studio panel discussing the issues and by Naples Daily News Editorial Page Editor
challenges facing our schools and the dis- Jeff Lytle. He is not paid by the district and
trict, and it features community members the questions he asks as moderator are his
joining the conversation on the phone. For own.
the March edition ot the live show, parents
Colleen Vasey and Dan Sullivan will sit at the
table with Superintendent Dennis L. Thomp-
son and School Board Chair Kathy Curatolo.
Colleen Vasey serves on the School Advisory
Council at Veterans Memorial Elementary
School and on the school district's stan-
dards-based report card committee. Dan
Sullivan is School Advisory Council Chair at
Oakridge Middle School. Both parents will
share their opinions and viewpoints regard-
ing the issues discussed. And, viewers are
encouraged to join the conversation simply
for new board member
Collier County's newest School Board
member, Roy Terry, will guest with Super-
intendent Dennis L. Thompson on the next
edition of the eConnection TV show. If you
have a question you'd like to ask Mr. Terry or
Dr. Thompson please e-mail it now to eCon-
Community members interested in par-
ticipating as panelists on future editions
of the show should send an e-mail to TV-
email@example.com or call the district's
Communications Services Department at
Open Mic Open Dialogue will be on
TV live at 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 8, with
replays at 5:30 p.m. March 9-14, 16-17, and
19-22, on The Education Channel, cable 99,
available to all Comcast basic tier cable TV
subscribers in Collier County.
firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer, you
may send your question directly to show
host Jan Goldsmith at janeducationtv@aol.
com. The current eConnection TV program
features the Superintendent and School
Board Member Steve Donovan as guests. It
can be seen at 9 p.m. Monday through Sat-
urday this week.
If you love to read, Collier County Pub-
lic Library (CCPL) has books to fit your on-
the-go lifestyle. During the week of March 8,
libraries across the nation will take part in
Read an E-Book Week promoting the new
trend in reading virtual books.
What are E-Books? E-books are essen-
tially books in a digital format with viewable
pages and text. You can read the books on-
line or some of the books can be checked
out and downloaded to use on your own
portable device. Some portable devices are
Collier County's Virtual Library offers
two online E-Book resources OverDrive and
NetLibrary. OverDrive offers popular titles
that may be downloaded to your computer
at home or you may transfer the checked
out E-Book to a Sony Reader or Nook de-
vice. NetLibrary also allows you to read
books online and some NetLibrary titles are
allowed to be checked out and transferred
to a compatible device as listed online such
as COOL-ER, BeBook and Libre devices.
Overdrive and NetLibrary require a valid
Collier County Public Library card to obtain
Don't have a library card? No worries.
You may gain online access in a matter of
minutes by visiting your local library branch
and applying for a card today. For more in-
formation or to find the library nearest you,
visit www.colliergov.net/library and click the
Locations and Hours link, where you will
find library addresses, phone numbers and
hours of business. Customers may also call
Education News in Brief
The School on Wheels Program at Gua-
dalupe Social Services of Catholic Charities
in Immokalee is in need of female volun-
teers. The program matches volunteers with
non-English speaking women for one-on-
one tutoring sessions. Volunteers travel to
the home of the student once a week to pro-
vide a 90-minute teaching session in basic,
survival English. Training is provided. To vol-
unteer or for more information, please call
Helen Heffington at Guadalupe Social Ser-
vices of Catholic Charities at 239-657-6242.
The Immokalee Bulletin welcomes news
and photos for and about the Immokalee
community. Submit news of your upcoming
event by e-mail to: IBnews@newszap.com.
School has openings
Immokalee Community School has
openings for students in grades four, five
and six. If you are interested in registering
your child, please call Herminia Mendoza at
Engaged? Just married? Golden anniversary?
Birthday? Holiday? New baby?
Share your news in print and online
1 ,. For a modest charge,
.'." each package includes:
S*'A print announcement in the
newspaper of your choice.
*An online listing at
S*Online guestbook for friends
Lto sign and view.
..Online photo gallery for up to
.- : :' ." .. 10 photos.
Gift registry page
-mo" *Profile page
Submit your good news today at
March 4, 2010
The Immokalee Foundation volunteering for the community
Johnnie Gonzales, 18, plans on being a
That dream was born out of his experi-
ence with The Immokalee Foundation's Fu-
ture Builders of America program.
Gonzales is a senior at Immokalee High
School and president of Future Builders of
America Club, which has 35 members. He's
been in the program since the summer of
his sophomore year.
"I've helped build homes for Habitat for
Humanity, Adirondack chairs, bookshelves,"
he said. "It helps you take the next step for
In 2006, The Immokalee Foundation -
working in partnership with Collier County
Public Schools, Collier Building Industry
Association and Florida Home Builders As-
sociation brought the Future Builders of
America program to Immokalee. These stu-
dents participate in vocational and on-the-
job training, as well as summer internships
with area businesses.
The programs emphasize leadership,
skills development and community service,
preparing students for post-secondary train-
ing and vocational success.
It also allowed Gonzales a chance to give
back to the community. Since last April, the
group has racked up more than 1,600 volun-
"This club teaches them about helping
the community," said Elda Hernandez, voca-
tional program manager for The Immokalee
available for low
The fall application period for low-
income K-12 scholarships in Florida will
begin Monday, March 8.
The program, known as Step Up For
Students and authorized under a state law
called Florida Tax Credit Scholarships,
provides annual scholarships worth up to
$3,950 that can be used at more than 1,160
K-12 private schools statewide. To qualify,
new applicants must meet the household
income guidelines for the federal school
lunch program. For a family of four, that
income limit for the 2010-11 school year
is $40,793. Students must also be entering
either kindergarten or first grade or have
attended a public school this year.
Beginning Monday, applications will
be available online at http://www.step-
upforstudents.org and a toll-free hotline,
877-735-SUFS, will be available for assis-
The programwas created in 2001 by the
Florida Legislature to provide education
options for economically disadvantaged
children. The scholarships are financed by
corporations that receive a dollar for dol-
lar tax credit for contributions up to a total
statewide of $118-million. Currently, the
program serves about 27,600 students.
e the immokalee
education. empowerment. hope,
The students spend 10 weeks every sum-
mer working for Habitat for Humanity build-
ing houses in the community. They also work
closely with the Collier Building Association
Industry to learn the appropriate skills.
All of The Immokalee Foundation pro-
grams require that students perform com-
Community service opportunities range
from building Habitat homes to helping el-
derly neighbors build disability ramps that
lead to their front doors.
"Recently they built bookshelves for First
Book of Collier County," Hernandez said.
"This nonprofit in Naples reads to the kids
and donates books. We donate the book-
Hernandez is proud of their community
service. "March is volunteer month and I'm
expecting the students to put in at least 200
hours," she said. Their service is recognized
seven Future Builders of America students
recently won the Presidential Volunteer Ser-
vice Award for logging more than 100 com-
munity service hours each.
These students have many opportunities
Vocational Success students have held
internship positions at local businesses, in-
cluding Tri-City Electric, Made in Rio, D. Gar-
rett Construction, Salazar Machine & Steel,
Kraft Construction, Southwest Florida Work-
force Development Board and Immokalee
Future Builders of America is just one
of many successful programs. Since 1991,
The Immokalee Foundation has been cre-
ating pathways to success for Immokalee's
children through a variety of programs that
focus on mentorship, after-school activities,
college scholarships, the development of vo-
cational skills and incentives for educational
growth. In 2009, The Immokalee Founda-
tion served 2,700 children through its core
The Immokalee Foundation offers a
road map toward a brighter future. It helps
manage six core programs including: Col-
lege Success: Take Stock in Children, Direct
Scholarships, Vocational Success: Future
Builders of America, Out of School Program:
The First Tee of Naples/Collier, Immokalee
Readers and Community Grants.
For more information call 239-430-9122,
e-mail email@example.com or
Special to the Immokalee Bulletin/IF
Young Johnnie Gonzalez, a senior at
Immokalee High School, has a bright
future ahead of him. He has high hopes
in becoming a civil engineer after col-
lege. He is the current president of the
Builders Club at IHS.
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Special to the Immokalee Bulletin/CHS
Chief Financial Officer at CHS
Healthcare, Sandra E. Steele, has
announced the promotion of Betty
Guerra in her new role as Billing
Supervisor. She will manage the
billing office and work closely with
office managers at CHS's 12 loca-
tions with the billing and collections
process. Betty has been with CHS
since 2006 and successfully man-
aged both Golden Gate Pediatrics
and Immokalee Family Care Center.
March 4, 2010
Conservation banking can help save panthers
By Nick Wiley, executive director,
Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission and
Paul Souza, field supervisor,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) are pooling resources
and expertise to protect Florida panthers
and other wildlife. Conservation banking is
among the innovative and promising strate-
Conservation banks for endangered spe-
cies have been successful in other places
across the country. Banks set up a system
where the private sector provides funds to
preserve and manage important habitat ...
forever. Landowners can sell credits to de-
velopers planning to impact what are usual-
ly marginal habitats elsewhere, ensuring the
most valuable habitats continue to flourish.
This system offers landowners an eco-
nomic incentive to maintain and use the
land in ways compatible with conservation.
Prescribed Fire Awareness Week begins
March 8 and this week is dedicated to re-
minding residents about the vital role Pre-
scribed Fire or controlled burning plays.
Prescribed Fire is a safe way to apply a
natural process, ensure ecosystem health,
and reduce wildfire risk. "Prescribed Fire is
an important tool to clean the forest floor
of dead or decaying vegetation", stated Me-
lissa Yunas, Wildfire Mitigation Specialists,
Florida Division of Forestry.
"Out of the ash, new vegetation sprouts
thus creating a lush buffet for wildlife and
Wildfire occurs regularly across Flori-
da. Historically, low-intensity fires burned
every few years, fueled by grass, leaves,
pine straw, and other forest debris. They
kept the forest open, allowing sunlight to
penetrate to its floor and reducing buildup
of dangerous fuel loads. Changes in land
Fittingly, ranchers, who have been stewards
of Florida's landscape for generations, can
pass that legacy to their children and grand-
The panther Primary Zone in Southwest
Florida is where most panthers live, but not
all land there is of equal value for panthers.
Through the federal and state development-
review processes and working proactively
with landowners, we identify important
wildlife resources and applicable conserva-
tion strategies to guide land-use decisions.
The Primary Zone includes 2.27 million
acres; about 75 percent is permanently pro-
tected. Conserving the remaining high-value
areas within the Primary Zone is extremely
important, and banks serve a vital role. The
Service finalized a conservation bank in the
Primary Zone, another is nearly complete,
and seven others are under consideration.
The panther Dispersal Zone represents
the only natural passageway from the Pri-
mary Zone to the Caloosahatchee River and
panther habitat farther north. The Dispersal
Zone is 28,000 acres about 1 percent of
the size of the Primary Zone. Most of the
Dispersal Zone is privately owned and not
held for conservation. Recent completion of
a panther bank in the Dispersal Zone is an
important step in preserving a portion of this
valuable area. Three additional banks in the
Dispersal Zone are proposed.
The strategic importance of the Disper-
sal Zone is well known and became even
clearer during the past few years. Male pan-
thers transit this area en route to habitat in
South-Central Florida. Last year the FWC
documented a female panther in the Disper-
sal Zone, just south of the Caloosahatchee
River, within a mile of the recently finalized
conservation bank. This was farther north
than any female panther has been verified
in decades and indicates a growing panther
population about 100 individuals today -
as compared with the 62 panthers tallied
a decade ago and 20-30 estimated two de-
The Florida Panther Recovery Plan, pub-
Awareness Week starts Monday
management practices and populations al-
tered the landscape, allowing fuels to accu-
mulate thus increasing the threat for wild-
fire and putting people and communities
in jeopardy. There are many fire-dependent
ecosystems across the state. Without fire,
many native plants and animals will disap-
pear due to changes in the habitat needed
for them to exist
The passing cold fronts and rain have
provided land mangers a good opportunity
to conduct prescribed burning. FL Division
of Forestry provides burn authorizations to
land managers, ranchers and farmers to
burn for the following reasons:
Ranchers use prescribed burning to
increase the diversity and structure of veg-
etation to benefit wildlife and maintain live-
stock production. Rancher's burn predomi-
nantly during the winter months in order to
prepare the land for the spring and summer
Farmers burn sugarcane before har-
vesting for increased efficiency of the har-
vest and it also serves to improve sugar
quality and recovery in the factory.
Foresters and land managers who
manage large parcels of land for private
land owners, state, and local government
agencies use prescribe fire to manage their
land. The fire reduces the risk of wildfire
and cleans the forest floor of leaf litter al-
lowing new growth to sprout.
Several Prescribed Fires conducted by
the Florida Division of Forestry are planned
for the month of March. Please contact
your local FL Division of Forestry for more
information about a media tour.
A 'Touch of the Irish' celebration set at Ave Maria
'Wearing of the Green'
planned for Saturday at
Ave Maria's Town Center
The Ave Maria celebration of the "Wear-
ing of the Green" has been scheduled for
Saturday, March 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in
Ave Maria's Town Center.
"We're planning for some real St. Pat-
rick's fun," comments Tiffany Matteau, who
is coordinating the event for Ave Maria De-
"We hope lots of people from all across
the area will join us," she said.
In addition to traditional Irish food and
drink, the program will offer the West of Gal-
way Irish Band performing live from noon
to 2 p.m.
A golf cart parade also will be part of the
Kids, too, will find lots to do, with a Craft
Tent, Bounce House, Gladiator Joust, Face
Painting, and lots more.
Admission is free as is the ample parking
available behind the Town Center buildings.
The Town of Ave Maria has been de-
signed as a hometown for the 21st century,
a place where residents of different genera-
tions and backgrounds can find all they need
to live life to the fullest schools, shopping,
employment opportunities, recreational fa-
cilities, and more. n addition, the presence
of Ave Maria University offers educational
and cultural experiences unlike any other in
the area. At its buildout, it will include 11,000
residences in its 4,000 acres.
Ave Maria is located at the intersection of
Oil Well and Camp Keais Roads in Eastern
Collier County. wwThe main entrance, on
Oil Well just west of Camp Keais, leads to
the community's sales center.
Additional information is available
at: www.avemaria.com, or by calling
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lished in December 2008, noted that protect-
ing panther habitat in Southwest Florida and
finding ways to expand the population are
important for the long-term recovery of the
species. The proximity of the Dispersal Zone
to the river makes the land desirable and
expensive. A few years ago, property costs
in this location made it appear unlikely that
conservation alternatives such as banking
were possible. For example, according to
the landowners, the recently finalized Dis-
persal Zone conservation bank was nearly
lost to development for that reason.
We will continue to work with counties,
landowners and environmental groups to
avoid and minimize impacts to wildlife and
their habitats. Conservation banks are one
more tool along with land acquisition,
habitat restoration, wildlife crossings and
advances in science that will serve a stra-
tegic role in our partnership to conserve and
recover the majestic Florida panther and
many other treasured parts of Florida's rich
News in Brief
The Immokalee Bulletin welcomes news
and photos for and about the Immokalee
community. Submit news of your upcoming
event by email to: IBnews@newszap.com.
time when newspapers
everywhere are struggling to survive,
you can show your support for your
Immokalee Bulletin newspaper by
purchasing an e-subscription.
It's only s'21 I annually (50 cents a
week). Each week you'll receive an
email with a live link to the latest
issue. This will allow you to read
the entire newspaper online -- even
when you're traveling.
Please call 1-800-282-8586
or subscribe online at
March 4, 2010
March 4, 2010
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Special to the Immokalee Bulletin/DAS
Pets of the Week
Here kitty, kitty! There's lots to choose from with Lil Cheeks, (top left) a male
5 month old black and white domestic short haired cat. Charley (top right) is
a 6 month old male orange and white cat. Charley loves to hang around with
other cats and really enjoys his afternoon naps! Mason and Charley love to
cuddle. Mason (lower left) is a 1 year old male Blue Point Siamese. Both
are good with other cats and truly enjoy napping together. Gus is a loveable
fellow(lower right). He is a 1 year old neutered male grey and black tabby cat.
He really enjoys having company around and enjoys a good back scratch
and brushing. They are all full of love and are looking for a new best friend.
Adopt from Collier County Domestic Animal Services located in Naples at
7610 Davis Blvd. Call 239-252-PETS (7387) or visit DAS online to find a lost
or adoptable pet at: www.collierpets.com. Adoption is a $400 value including
spay/neuter, starter bag of pet food, pet micro chip ID and pet's license. Cats
are $60 to adopt and dogs are $85.
Football comes to Ave Maria
The clatter of cleats against concrete
and sharp whistle blows of late afternoon
practices will soon be heard at Ave Ma-
ria University (AMU). The school has an-
nounced that Barry Fagan has been hired
to create AMU's intercollegiate football
program and will serve as the school's first
head football coach.
"In many respects, football helps to
build character," said Ave Maria University
Chancellor, Thomas S. Monaghan. "As a
team sport, the players must learn to work
together and trust each other both on and
off the field in order to succeed. Football
also teaches discipline and the importance
of hard work in the pursuit of a common
"Coach Fagan's demonstrated ability to
lead a team and teach them these values is
what attracted us to him. His strong Catho-
lic convictions convinced us that he would
not only develop an excellent football pro-
gram, but he would also be an educator
and moral example to his players," Mon-
AMU Athletic Director, Brian Scanlan,
echoed Monaghan's respect for Fagan and
discussed the realized impact the football
team will have on the university.
"Football is much more than games and
practices," Scanlan said. "Football builds
school spirit and unites the campus. It of-
ten acts as a conduit to the surrounding
community and therefore is an excellent
student recruiting tool. For the players, foot-
ball builds camaraderie and coping skills.
It is our hope that AMU's football program
will be able to do all of these things. We
could not be more excited about what the
future holds, and how Coach Fagan will
help shape that future."
Fagan comes to AMU from Hillsdale Col-
lege in Hillsdale, Mich., where he served
for eight seasons as the school's offensive
coordinator. Prior to his tenure at Hillsdale,
Fagan served in various coaching capacities
at Ferris State University and Wayne State
University, both in Michigan; the Univer-
sity of Wisconsin; Louisiana State Univer-
sity; Clarion University and Shippensburg,
both in Pennsylvania; and Miami University
in Ohio. He also has coached at the high
school level in West Bloomfield, Mich.
Nicholas J. Healy, AMU president, ex-
pressed his confidence in Fagan to hold
the student athletes to the same rigorous
standards in the classroom as he will on
the practice field.
AMU is also looking toward other ath-
letic endeavors. Ground breaking at the site
of its new Tom Golisano Field House was
this past Tuesday. The $4 million donation
from Mr. B. Thomas Golisano will fund the
construction of AMU's first indoor athletic
facility. The field house will be located just
north of the Bob Thomas Student Union
and its current design includes spectator
seating for approximately 1,000 people; a
court area for basketball or volleyball; lock-
er rooms with shower facilities for home
and visiting teams; coaches' offices; and a
training and weight room.
Coaches- Players-Sports ns
From Baseball to Basketball, Football to Hockey, Soccer to Swimming,
Cheerleading to Taekwondo if you offer or participate in a youth or recreational
sport/activity contact us today to join the Eastern Collier County SportsNetwork
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Catch your Community at play
special to me immoKaiee iUlletin/ii-u
Immokalee Fire District Firefighters who participated in last Friday's Live Fire
Training session included (from left to right standing) FF Strickland, Lt. Mor-
ris, Lt. Summeralls, FF/EMT Eidel, FF/EMT Velasco, FF/EMT Cunningham,
FF/EMT Heath, Vol. FF Crews, Chief Birge, Lt. Kline, Lt. Dimas.
Kneeling left to right: FF/EMT Negrin and Lt. Mendoza.