Island Currents

Island Currents

Eagle Scout constructs Memorial Garden
This past week, Alex Cherniavsky earned the highest honor in scouting when he was awarded his Eagle Scout badge. His most recent achievement was to construct a Memorial Garden at Stanley Switlik Elementary in Marathon.

“I have known Alex for many years and this family has been involved in the community for a long time,” said former Boy Scout Committee Chairman Mike Puto. “This is part of a neat tradition and a great representation of how Boy Scouts really do help the community.”

To complete the project with a minimum amount of expense Cherniasky rallied his fellow scouts to dig the holes and then enlisted the help of Gonzalez Landscaping for the trees and landscaping advice. A memorial bench courtesy of D’Asign Source and a memorial plaque from Collectors Corner was placed near the entrance of the garden in memory of former Switlik students Yailen Carrillo and A.J. Smith.

Safety Vehicles
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office added some new hardware – electric scooters called Go-Peds. Marathon Police Chief and MSCO Captain Chad Scibilia said one scooter will be in full-time service at the Key West Airport and the other two will remain in the Middle Keys for patrolling the bridges for marine violations and some residential patrol.

“They will make their debut in the Fourth of July Parade,” said Scibilia. “And then I’ll give them to officers who are working the beach so they don’t have to walk the beach the whole time. The scooters will make them a little bit more mobile and save them some energy.”

Pictured, from left: MSCO Lt. Mitch Snider, Sheriff Bob Peryam, Chuck Meier (Salt), and Capt. Chad Scibilia. Pictured, from left: MSCO Lt. Mitch Snider, Sheriff Bob Peryam, Chuck Meier (Salt), and Capt. Chad Scibilia.

New baby coming to city hall
Cake, pink wrapping paper and miniature clothes are popping up at Marathon City Hall. Planner Ellen Fairleigh is expecting her second child a daughter, who is due – any day now! Her fellow city staffer recently through her a baby shower and according to Patti Childress, Marathon’s Land Steward/Biologist, “everyone at City Hall is very excited about a new addition!” Planner Ellen Fairleigh is expecting her second child a daughter, who is due – any day now!

Blood bank?
TIB Bank of the Keys will sponsor a blood Drive in partnership with Community Blood Centers of South Florida on Thursday, June 18 at the Marathon Old Town branch located at 2348 Overseas Highway from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Photo (L-R):  Carl Sly, CBC of SF technician and Carol Betancourt, personal banker at TIB Bank in Old Town Marathon. Photo

Garden Club plants $1k on Gratton’s education
Joshua Gratton, 2009 graduate of Marathon High School received $1000 scholarship from the Marathon Garden Club as he prepares to further his education in the field of horticulture. In the fall he will enroll in the Lake City Community College in the Golf Course Operations Program to study plant growth, agricultural chemistry, turf grass, soils & fertilizer science, landscape engineering, weeds & insect management and horticulture laboratories. Pictured with newly elected Garden Club President Linnea Cunningham. Pictured with newly elected Garden Club President Linnea Cunningham

Operchal earns his bars
by Jason Koler

David Operchal traveled approximately 2,159 miles to earn his college degree – including more than a mile above sea level. The former MHS alumni were recently commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force (USAF) as he graduated from the USAF Academy armed with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

“With an emphasis in propulsion,” said Lt. Operchal as he quickly reflected on the math-laden course work which will put him behind the stick of a Beechcraft T-6 Texan II turbo prop sometime in January.

“Finally! It was a kick in the pants everyday,” he said earlier this week, before heading south for a Bahamas vacation with friends and family. “It was kind of like…’You know what, I just made it through breakfast, not I got to get through lunch.’ It was not day to day, but meal to meal.”

“[The coursework] was a far cry from underwater basket weaving,” he added.

Propulsion, Computation Fluid Dynamics.”

Editor: Huh?

“Basically using computers to predict airflow over an aircraft.”

The young aviator will enjoy two months of paid leave, “the Academy’s way of saying we took the last four years of your life, so have some fun,” before reporting to his next assignment. Summer includes a drive up the east coast and Fourth of July in our nation’s capital.

“The fireworks here are cool, but we don’t have the 1812 Overture with Howitzers going off in the background,” he said. Operchal will begin flight school at the Columbus Airforce Base in January of 2010 with plans to pilot helicopters, “because it will be fun.” David Operchal traveled approximately 2,159 miles to earn his college degree

Peter Chapman breaks out
Launches Chapman Asset Management

Wall Street is easy to find, but can be hard to navigate alone. In today’s current economy, sound financial advice can be the difference between a new boat in retirement, or a new nametag.

Less than two weeks ago, Peter Chapman launched his own firm, Chapman Asset Management, to help those who would rather spend their retirement fishing as opposed to welcoming shoppers.

“Strange as it may seem, this is a good time for my type of business,” Chapman said from his office adjacent to the Marathon Publix. “During the 2002-2003 bear market, many financial advisors got out of the business which left investors looking for good advice.”

A former Edward Jones advisor and tireless researcher, Chapman can offer a vast variety of investments including full bond market access, mutual bonds, hedge funds, and options. “More importantly, I have access to world-class research from Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse, S&P, ValuEngine, and Alliance Bernstein. There is more to investing than just stocks. In fact, tax free bonds have done quite well over the last couple of years.” Chapman said, adding he specializes in tailoring investment strategies around current conditions and for specific retirement plans.

“The American Dream is still alive,” he admitted. In about month, Chapman will be managing another asset when his wife, Kate, gives birth to their first child, a boy.

“The Islands of Marathon are perfect for my business. People here are very cosmopolitan yet it’s still a small town. I get to work on Wall Street and live in Paradise.” Peter Chapman breaks out

A “Daffy” Dance Through Old Town
Dollar store signals return of old Marathon

By Jason Koler

Old Town Marathon is back! Despite crazy news reports and the outlandish doom-n-gloom tendency to fret over current economic trends, 2009 saw a growth in Marathon’s Old Town business community not seen since… the construction of the Overseas Highway! Earlier this year Rum Bums Bar & Grill, and Chappy’s joined other eateries like the 7 Mile Grill, Lenchos, Porkys, Burdine’s, Frostys and Castaways to make the westside of Marathon the new mealtime mecca of the Middle Keys.

The retail sector also saw expansion including the Grand Opening of Marathon’s newest (and wackiest) store – Daffy Doug’s Discount Dollar Store.

“What was I thinking,” said ”Daffy Doug” Austin, an outgoing Ohio native who shatters salesman stereotypes by giving his customers what they need – everything from cleaning products and party favors to woks, GI Joe action figures, meat slicers, hot sauces and pre-paid cell phones – all at rock bottom prices. “All I do is shop, buy stuff really cheap, and pass along the savings to my customers,” he said. Most of the items in his 5800 sq ft. store are priced at $1.

“I should be driving around the country in my motor home,” he added. Speaking about his custom built Winnebago as if it were a dream, when in fact is just collects coral dust at the Sombrero Beach home he shares with his longtime girlfriend/business partner, LeeAnn.

After losing everything in the wake of Hurricane Ike, they opened their first dollar store in Big Pine in February 2008 and business has been so good that the store (located next to Winn-Dixie) is about to triple in size. In Marathon, Austin has already planned for the expansion of Daffy Doug’s Discount Duds – a clothing store with thrifty, yet trendy new threads expected to open in 3 weeks. The Big Pine expansion will be complete in 30 days. Coming soon…Macy’s sundresses priced at $6-$7.

“It is going to be insane, crazy and fun!”

Daffy Dougs Discount Dollar Store opened on May 23 to much fanfare and is already exceeding expectations. Pictured, from left: happy patron CM Bishop, Leanne & Doug Austin, City Councilman Dick Ramsay, wealthy gadabout Dennis Bishop, and Man-of-Many-Titles Mike Puto. Daffy Dougs Discount Dollar Store opened on May 23 to much fanfare and is already exceeding expectations. Pictured, from left: happy patron CM Bishop, Leanne & Doug Austin, City Councilman Dick Ramsay, wealthy gadabout Dennis Bishop, and Man-of-Many-Titles Mike Puto

Marathon socialites May and Cora Baggs enjoy the neat order and vast selection of Daffy Doug’s inventory. Marathon socialites May and Cora Baggs enjoy the neat order and vast selection of Daffy Doug’s inventory

He’s at it again! MHS graduate and legendary muralist Yoslan O’Farrill is now rubbing his brushes on the Daffy Doug shopping plaza. Pictured with his little brother and right hand man, Carlos. He’s at it again! MHS graduate and legendary muralist Yoslan O’Farrill is now rubbing his brushes on the Daffy Doug shopping plaza. Pictured with his little brother and right hand man, Carlos

 

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