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DaRuMa Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Lounge says sayonara to Naples: What to know
After 33 years, DaRuMa Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Lounge in North Naples will serve its last supper Aug. 28, affording readers two more weeks to dine and say sayonara to a long-time local favorite.
The restaurant’s Bell Tower location in Fort Myers remains open as do two Sarasota outposts.
🔒 In rural America, maternal health care is vanishing. These moms are most at risk.
As more rural hospitals and obstetric units close, the federal government is just beginning to define the scope and impact of maternity care 'deserts.'
Where to eat in Bonita Springs, Estero: A taste of two new Mexican restaurants — JLB review
Two new and very different Mexican-inspired restaurants, Malinche in Bonita Springs and El Nido in Estero, have opened in south Lee, offering interestingly fresh takes on the cuisine of this vast country.
Here's a taste.
Naples' Youth Haven, Paul Arsenault make a masterpiece with beauty on many levels
Even kids with sparkling white T-shirts were emerging relatively unscathed from their turns with semi-loaded paint trays, brushes and an emerging mural. They persevered with precision, daubing morning-sun yellows, heliotrope and wheat tones onto the side of Youth Haven's emergency receiving cottage.
Paul Arsenault, on the other hand, looked as if he is the mural. His limited-edition Earth Day T-shirt picked up echoes of those tones, and every time he came over to talk to you there was a fresh spatter of a different color on him: face, gloves, arms.
Arsenault, one of Naples' most familiar art names, had good reason to look like a palette. He was spending last week working with 25 residents at the residential shelter for children at risk or between full-time guardianship.
🔒 New restaurants, 4 fun foodie events, two deals spanning Collier, Lee
This week’s adventures take us across Southwest Florida’s flourishing food scene.
New restaurants? We have two.
Terrific deals? Of course.
Mark your culinary calendar for foodie events: one is free, one’s a fundraiser, one is vegan, another for Francophiles.
We also have an update on Taste of Immokalee’s innovative program preparing budding local food entrepreneurs.
Timber the giraffe dies unexpectedly at Naples Zoo
The Naples Zoo has lost one of its family members.
Zoo officials announced Friday that Timber the giraffe has died unexpectedly. The reticulated giraffe was found deceased Friday morning and veterinary staff will perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death.
At age 13, Timber was the oldest giraffe in the zoo’s herd.
🔒 Supermoon's final show gets a party at Corkscrew in Naples, with nocturnal creatures chiming in
We are just coming off a veritable supermoon binge — two of them in June and July and another set for Thursday, Aug. 11. This is, however, last call for a full drink of supermoon until July 2023.
There's festivities planned for it: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is throwing open its gates for a Moonlight on the Boardwalk stroll that evening. Close to the beginning of the trail is a clearing where visitors can see the moon rise to become a projected 7% larger than its normal appearance.
🔒Restaurants: 4 new foodie finds in Naples, diner deal Guy Fieri made famous, bacon binge
Consider kissing keto goodbye this week when Philadelphia’s most-awarded pizza parlor debuts its second location in Naples.
We also stop by a charming new waterfront cafe featuring Italian delicacies for pairing with wine, a comfy lounge with craft pours and a vegan-gluten-free bakery.
This week's deal: a legacy diner dish Guy Fieri put on the national map.
But if keeping keto is your jam, Cape Coral’s bacon celebration is a must-visit destination.
Collier Commission District 2 election: Four Republicans running for open seat; winner will face lone Democrat
Five candidates are running to replace Collier County Commissioner Andy Solis in District 2.
The district in North Naples spans from Pine Ridge Road to Bonita Beach Road at the Collier-Lee county line.
Solis was first elected for a partial term to fill the vacancy created when Georgia Hiller resigned to run for county clerk in 2016. Solis was then elected to a full four-year term in 2018.
Solis announced in January he was not running for reelection, citing his marriage the month before and that he wants to focus more on his company, Reinfried & Associates, which manages two trade associations in the conveyor manufacturing industry.
🔒 Naples restaurants: Two Fillets, the new fish-cow mashup in North Naples — JLB review
This new North Naples spot, which opened in March along Tamiami Trail, is a cow-fish mashup from Jimmy P’s and the Phelan family, the latter of which replaced their Deep Lagoon Seafood restaurant with this new-to-Naples concept. Before Deep Lagoon, the location was home to Randy’s Fish Market, which closed in 2016.
🔒 ‘She won't die alone’: Saying a peaceful goodbye to my bright, loving dog Pearl
"But she was so very bright and loving. With every right to be timid or at least bitter, Pearl was friendly – jocular even – and unfailingly faithful. We’d take her with us on horseback rides, hikes and creek swims. Unlike the others, who’d sometimes wander, Pearl always stuck close," writes reporter Amy Bennett Williams.
She found her deaf dog Pearl one fall Sunday in 2011. Now, it's time to say goodbye to the light they welcomed home more than 10 years ago.
Penny Taylor faces 4 challengers for District 4 seat on Collier County Commission
Four candidates are vying to unseat two-term incumbent Collier Commissioner Penny Taylor in District 4.
The district encompasses the area west of Interstate 75 from Pine Ridge Road to south of the city of Naples.
Taylor, who is a Republican, is running against three Republican challengers in the Aug. 23 primary, but the primary will be closed to only Republican registered voters after Bill Oppenheimer qualified as a write-in candidate for the Nov. 8 general election. Oppenheimer has spent no money on his campaign nor has he received any donations.
At least two of her challengers, Daija Hinojosa and Dan Kowal, decided to run against her after her 2020 swing vote that mandated masks in Collier County businesses. They are both running on an anti-government overreach platform.
🔒 Bonita Springs restaurants: Lapa's Costa Rican Bistro is rare, it's also wonderful — JLB
Generous heaps of arroz con pollo, with tostadas, hand-folded empanadas and sandwiches pressed thick with eggs, beans, shredded meats.
Lapa's is simple, fresh, purely Costa Rican and wonderfully good.
🔒Florida furniture flippers rescue abandoned furniture, fueled by COVID-19 pandemic
Woven into the sun-washed bamboo wicker of an unwanted furniture piece is a hidden history. Florida-based furniture flippers have found a way to uncover the unseen potential in these abandoned furniture pieces.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people found themselves with extra time on their hands. The pandemic also created delays in consumers receiving furniture they ordered in stores, because of factors including fewer workers and raw materials, along with crowded ports.
For furniture flippers, the pandemic was an opportunity to dive into the world of refurbishing unwanted furniture.
Florida Department of Health warns of fecal bacteria at SWFL beaches, but many swim anyway
The bad news: Sometimes there are unsafe levels of poop at the region's beaches.
The good news: It's no secret. That means would-be recreators can arm themselves with knowledge before they grab their towels and head out — though not everyone does.
🔒 Stylish dining at any budget: Best SWFL restaurants for eating outdoors, new ramen, gelato, deals
This week’s theme: high style at every budget.
We visit Southwest Florida’s best al fresco restaurants according to America’s most popular reservations app. Both are gorgeous, yet the vibes and design couldn’t be more different. The pricing, comparable.
🔒 Naples restaurants: Bamz, The Bevy and the battle for Naples' best lobster — JLB
This week, we review two Naples staples with much in common.
New owners and chef changes since Jean Le Boeuf’s last visits: check.
The volume can get LOUD: check.
But what really counts: the food. Both kitchens turn out very good, and sometimes excellent, offerings.
🔒 Great Wolf Lodge groundbreaking in Naples: 'Nothing like it in the state of Florida'
Collier County's growth management and community development head described the enormity of Great Wolf Lodge beginning construction Thursday in Naples.
"There's only 19 in the country. There's none in Florida," said Jamie French, the administrator who recently updated the County Commission. "It's 535,000 square feet under air with six swimming pools. There's nothing been built like that in the state of Florida."
🔒 ‘I’m going to do it every single time’: A Florida sheriff took a 10-year-old’s perp walk global
In the week after the massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, police agencies across the country arrested students for allegedly making threats to commit mass killings at their schools.
Among them: a 16-year-old in Long Island, accused of threatening a school shooting in an Instagram post. A middle schooler in Wisconsin, whose alleged threat prompted three schools to lock down. Ten arrests across seven school systems in the Rio Grande Valley.
Their names and faces were not released. But Daniel Marquez, a Cape Coral 10-year-old accused of making a hoax threat over Memorial Day weekend, was publicly exposed.
The difference? Florida’s looser privacy laws for juvenile defendants. And a whirlwind media tour by Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.
Click here to read the full story.
🔒Healthy and delicious grab-and-go options in Naples save time, money on single-serve meals
Imagine hiring a private chef you don’t need to put on your payroll.
A luxury no doubt, but we found two new businesses in Naples preparing affordable, healthy and delicious single-serve options that conveniently elevate meals at home.
Unlike mass-market meal-prep plans where you put it together or wonder how long ago your food was picked, prepared or sitting in transit in Southwest Florida's heat, meet the new chef-entrepreneurs crafting fare exclusively for carryout.
Trail camera victory shows a close up view of a wild Florida panther
"The miles on foot and by car were racking up. While always fruitful, the outcome often was not the one I desired," writes photojournalist Andrew West.
"On recent hikes to my remote sensor camera set up at Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed. I would mutter: Is it set up correctly? Are the batteries dead? Did a bear knock it over? Did rain destroy the cables? Did the flashes go off correctly? Did a Florida panther or a bear stroll by?"
Caught! Record-breaking 18-foot Burmese python pulled from Collier County wilderness
Conservancy biologists caught the biggest Burmese python ever found in Florida’s Everglades: an almost 18-foot-long, 215-pound female loaded with 122 eggs.
Popular Blind Pass Beach Park in Sanibel deemed dangerously eroded and closed indefinitely
Blind Pass Beach Park on Sanibel is closed, after sudden erosion over the past month made it unsafe, Sanibel officials decided.
If or when the shoreline park, which is popular with anglers and beachgoers, will reopen is unclear, said the city’s director of natural resources, Holly Milbrandt. Barrier islands are ever-changing, she says, and Blind Pass between Sanibel and Captiva is a case in point.
🔒 New Fort Myers restaurants: At Hot Pot & BBQ, a sea of joy will eat you up — JLB review
All throughout the new Hot Pot & BBQ in Fort Myers, laminated signs warn of the two-hour dining limit. They're posted in the entryway and by the host's station and along the buffet lines where you stock up on raw meats, seafood and spicy sauces — lest, at any point, you forget.
Walking in early on a recent Saturday night, two hours felt manageable. It was my first time at this new concept, which sits amid the dozens of other eateries in the restaurant-dense plazas along Dani Drive in Fort Myers.
🔒 Proud history up in smoke as Southwest Florida citrus growers cut their losses
Catastrophe didn’t take Alva citrus grower Frank Green by surprise.
The end of the story, which started in the 1890s, was foreshadowed years ago.
But a slow-motion disaster is still a disaster. Maybe it’s even worse, because it unfolds without the protective mechanism of shock. Instead born-to-the-land farmers like Green watch, year after year, as fruit fouls, prices drop and the end looms.
🔒 Workers getting priced out as rents soar in hot real estate market
An affordable housing crisis continues to clobber low- and middle-income residents and families across the region, as they face inflation at every turn — from the grocery aisle to the gas pump.
Rents have skyrocketed. In some cases, they've more than doubled in a year.
In April, the Sunshine State accounted for eight of the nation's Top 10 markets with the biggest rent increases over the year, based on a monthly index by Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University and the University of Alabama.
How early is too early to start preparing for hurricane season in Florida?
Hurricane season begins, officially, on June 1.
Unofficially, we know that storms don't always wait for the date. Ana, which formed May 22 last year, marked the seventh year in a row that the Atlantic hurricane season started before the official start of the season.
The 2021 hurricane season was the third most active on record and top hurricane forecasters said we can expect another above-normal season again in 2022. The National Hurricane Center begins issuing regular tropical weather outlooks on May 15.
So even if the calendar has time to spare, you might want to start your hurricane prep a little early. Or at least prepare to prepare.
Rainy season reminder: Florida motorists can use hazard lights in severe weather
The rain, the rain — it just won't go away.
After weeks and months without a significant amount of rainfall, many areas in Southwest Florida have been drenched from a series of severe afternoon rainstorms that returned late last week.
More than two inches of rain have been recorded at Page Field in Fort Myers and the Naples Airport since May 1.
It appears the 2022 rainy season is officially underway, and that could lead to an important question motorists might be asking: "Can I use my hazard lights while driving during a rainstorm?"
The answer is yes, but only in certain conditions.
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: See the latest stories from the Naples Daily News Instagram page