Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Big Picture

By Melanie Pagan

It may be a late New Year’s resolution, but I’m seriously considering carrying a camera with me whenever I go out. Southwest Florida is blessed with so much natural beauty that it can be difficult to breathe in every gorgeous moment. Every morning driving over the Sanibel Causeway is like a guessing game of anticipation. Will I see a pelican diving in the water today? Or perhaps an osprey will be perched on the railing, eyeing its next prey.

But wildlife sightings don’t just happen on the islands. Brightly colored butterflies and honey bees can often be found dancing around blooming flowers in Bonita, and powerful birds like hawks, or even eagles, are at times visible in the sky.

When photographers come to Southwest Florida, they know they have some major shooting opportunities, and we thought our January/February Outdoors & Sports issues would be a great place to showcase some of their works. In Times of the Islands, we’ve dedicated an entire spread to breathtaking snapshots of Blind Pass and Roseate Spoonbills, all taken by Sanibel-based photographer Jonathan Tongyai.

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Reflections by Jonathan Tongyai

Even more Southwest Florida photographs are celebrated in the pages of Bonita & Estero Magazine, where we profiled five artists—Garth Francis, Mark Renz, Peggy Farren, David Meardon, and Gordon Campbell—and their shots of lush landscapes and exotic animals.

bird
Great Egret Display by David Meardon

I know I can only hope to mimic the talent of these individuals through pictures of my own (although I can certainly admire them in our magazines!), but we are constantly surrounded by precious moments here in Southwest Florida, and they are just begging to be captured in time.

Melanie Pagan is the Assignment Editor and Social Media Coordinator for TOTI Media, Inc.

Save the Dates

By Melanie Pagan

Boy, has it been a busy week at the office! As we try to include all of the great news and local happenings that surround us into our publications, Southwest Florida continues to bustle with so much excitement that we simply cannot fit everything into one issue! Here are a few January/February events that we’d still like to acknowledge:

Pedaling for Safe Pathways
Sunday, January 26, 6:30am
More than 700 people will attend the Naples Pathways Coalition (NPC) Bike Brunch, which will start in Lowdermilk Park at 6:30am. NPC is a non-profit advocacy group working for a fully integrated transportation network of sidewalks, bike lanes, and multi-use pathways to be used by cyclists, pedestrians, and other non-motorized users throughout Naples and Collier County. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Cancer Alliance of Naples.
naplespathways.org
239-777-7718

Gale Bennett w the Art Student Painting
Gale Bennett 75: Retrospective Art Exhibit
Friday, February. 7-Saturday, March 1
Alliance for the Arts
Gale Bennett can justifiably be called Southwest Florida’s most renowned native artist and art teacher. During the years from 1996 to 2007, he welcomed nearly 1,000 artists to his workshops in Monet’s famous village of Giverny, where they enjoyed the rare privilege of painting in Monet’s Gardens seven days a week.
ArtInLee.org
239-939-2787

Mrs. Edison at the piano
Mrs. Edison’s Hymn Sing

Tuesday, February 11, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm
The First Presbyterian Church
Celebrate the Edison Festival of Light and help feed the hungry by attending the 25th Anniversary Mrs. Edison’s Hymn Sing at The First Presbyterian Church in downtown Fort Myers at the corner of Second Street and Lee Street. Food and cash donations to benefit The Soup Kitchen of CCMI are encouraged.
fpcfortmyers.org.
239-334-2261

music
A Musical Evening with Cello & Friends

Wednesday, February 19, 7:30pm
Foulds Theatre, Alliance of the Arts
Enjoy a casual concert exclusive enough to feel like it’s performed just for you. Cello Bennett plays in the company of musicians such as Jenny Hayden Densen, Irwin “Sandy” Densen, Judy Richey, Carlene Thissen, and Rachel Cox.
theatreconspiracy.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=620053
239-936-3239

screaming_orphans
The Screaming Orphans Concert

Saturday, February 22, 8pm
Sidney & Berne Davis Arts Center
Four hilarious, musically obsessed, Irish sisters who call themselves the Screaming Orphans return to Fort Myers for their fifth annual concert at the SBDAC. Enter the theater early to listen to the band Kilt the Messenger, who will be performing out front starting at 6pm. All proceeds benefit the Adonis Autism Assistance Foundation and the Rotary Trust Fund.
sbdac.com
239-333-1933

Be sure to check out events highlighted in our January/February issues, including the Women’s Pro Classic at South Seas, Taste of the Islands, Noah’s Concert for the Kids, the HITS Triathlon Naples, the Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial and more. For additional ideas on how to spend your upcoming days, visit our online calendar at TOTIMedia.com.

Melanie Pagan is the Assignment Editor/Social Media Coordinator for TOTI Media, Inc.

Hello, Twenty Fourteen

By Melanie Pagan

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At the start of any new year, thoughts of how to make the next 365 days better than the last flood through countless minds.

But while everyone is stuck trying to master changing threes to fours when writing out dates, we at TOTI are continuing to plan stories as far out in advance as November/December. Producing bimonthly magazines requires us to work so far ahead that we can easily forget about the now.

So, this is us reflecting on 2013, and looking forward to the future.

In the last year, we have worked with a number of innovators, expanded our team, grown our loyal fan-base, created a stronger internet presence, attended marvelous events and have done our best to capture special sides of the area we call home.

Like anyone else, we have experienced some bumps in the road, but it’s the mountains and valleys of life that keep the journey exciting. Through trial and error, we’ve managed to keep a consistent mindset: work diligently to give readers a high-quality magazine to indulge in.

Even in an increasingly digital world, nothing beats the feeling of curling up with a magazine in hand, and flipping through glossy pages with dazzling photographs and stories highlighting Southwest Florida’s most fascinating people and places.

We are continuing to implement changes in our 2014 issues to keep this sentiment alive within our readers. With all of the new technology out there, we are easily exposed to hundreds of news outlets, and the shift from just timely articles to in-depth features can be a refreshing break.

So for 2014, our New Year’s resolution is to continue being your source of enlightenment for our beautiful coast. Join us by picking up our January/February issue, kicking back in this gorgeous weather, and reading in the company of Mother Nature. Because everyone needs to unplug now and then, and we promise dozens of great stories for you to get lost in.

Melanie Pagan is the editorial assistant and social media representative for TOTI Media, Inc.