By Donna Fiala
On January 29th there was dedication ceremony to rename the Goodland Bridge to the Stan Gober Memorial Bridge. I don’t remember a more moving dedication in the years I have been doing this, nor one that had more people in attendance. There must have been at least 100 people under that tent while Stan’s favorite rendition of the National Anthem opened the ceremony. There were many tears and goose-pimples among the attendees. One of Stan’s band members played for us before and after.
Stan’s portraits were looking out at the audience as though he were with us. Steve Gober’s speech gave a great tribute to his Dad, and then he introduced his brothers and sons. Even “Queen Mary” was in the audience to pay special homage to her friend. Walter Kane, the originator of the idea, spoke of getting 1,500 signatures to rename the bridge. And yes, yours truly was the emcee and spoke of my long-standing friendship with Stan. Go with God, Dear Friend.
Another good thing recently happened for Goodland! The Goodland Water District has become a part of the County Water District! Goodlanders have been paying one of the highest water rates in Florida and have been pressing to get that changed. Together, through a lot of negotiation, the Goodlanders, the Public Utilities Department (water) and I have managed to change that. I’m hearing that water rates in Goodland have been cut almost in half. For a community of working people, this has been welcome news! We, at the county, are so happy we could help these wonderful people.
Did you know the County won the award for the best tasting water in the state of Florida and the 4th best tasting water in North America? The contest included Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Speaking of Goodland, once again they had a terrific Pancake Breakfast! During Mullet Festival weekend, I attended the Goodland Civic Association hosted event for delicious pancakes and sausage. It was the largest attendance they have ever had! Lots of fun, laughter and fellowship was had by all. There will be another one soon. Watch for the signs.
And still another Goodland event is coming soon! Yup, the Goodland Boat Parade will be held on Saturday, February 16th at 2:00 PM. If you take a ride out there you’ll find many boats decorated and playing music while going past the boat docks at the Goodland Boat Park. They sell hot dogs, t-shirts, beads and lots more. The charity benefactor is Avow Hospice. Bring a chair, bring a hat and enjoy a really fun day in Goodland. While you’re there, drop by Stan’s and the Little Bar for a little refreshment and food. Then drop by the Marco Lodge to finish off the day. You’ll be so glad you did. There is free parking available at the Boat Park.
By the way, while you’re there, stop by Margood Harbor Park for a little bit of history. You’ll find you can spend an entire day on Goodland and find plenty of things to do………….and you won’t starve either. You might even see some of the Goodland Arts Alliance’s artwork while in Goodland!
The Caxambas, Goodland and Port of the Islands Marina stores will welcome a new vendor starting February 1st. This vendor is the same efficient, caring group that now is the vendor at Resident’s Beach, and you couldn’t ask for better than that! It will probably take them a few days to stock the stores and get their feet wet, but expect the service to increase, the hours to extend, and the stock to improve. Please welcome them, and give any feedback you think they might need. They aim to please.
Please mark your calendars: Commissioner Donna Fiala’s Annual Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, February 21st at 6:30PM at Historical Society’s Rose Hall. As a special treat, Congressman Trey Radel will arrive at 6PM to meet and greet guests who arrive early, and will also begin the evening with a short speech. Following the Congressman’s 5 minute presentation, Donna Fiala will give an update on the State of the County and items that particularly affect and/or interest the residents of Marco Island. Donna will bring with her the County Manager, the administrator of the Growth Management Division who will address the 951/US41 pending construction, new developments along U.S. 41 and also Collier Blvd. The meeting is scheduled to last one hour, with questions and answers included. No reservations are necessary.