Tuesday , September 23 2014
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Coastal Comments

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala [email protected] The place is beginning to come alive again! We’re seeing people beginning to trickle in. Businesses are beginning to stock up. Restaurants are advertising for help. It’s like a sleepy little town waking up in the morning to a fresh new day. Welcome back to those who have arrived. We’ve missed you! Now, we can begin having fun again. * Guess what? Not only is our new Outback Restaurant on U. S. 41 East open and doing great business, they are open at lunch time, and now Carrabba’s has followed suit. Now, BOTH are open for lunch. ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] Hopefully you had a fun summer with lots of family and friends to enjoy it with. Soon, our season will begin to blossom again, and we’ll be so busy we can’t think straight, so take this time to have fun and relax. * Alexandra and I are in the planning stages for this coming year’s tours. Just as soon as I get the tours organized and dates arranged, we’ll e-mail our tour list and publish them in this column. The tours fill up rather quickly once we advise everyone, so write Alex at [email protected] and ask to ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] What a gorgeous Marco night for the 4th of July fireworks! The breeze was beautiful; the sky was clear; the air was cool; and not a drop of rain interrupted the event. Friends from Physician’s Regional Marco Clinic Dr. Carlos and Jenny Portu and their two daughters; Dr. James Klein and family; along with Marco Island residents Bonnie and John Geraghty, Joe and Kathy Swaja, Bill and Kathy Walsh, Joyce Pastore, Kira Walthour, and some of the out of state Barcic Clan, and Rob, Opal and Jordan Vann, all got together at Shirlee and Brian Barcic’s to ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] Last week, during a meeting with people from the fuel industry, I questioned whether all this oil that everyone seems to be drilling for is sent out of the country for other counties to use. They said something about sending the Florida oil to refineries. “That wasn’t the question,” I stated. “Does it stay here, or is it sent to foreign countries?” They said it all stays here. I felt a little uneasy about their answer because I’ve heard just the opposite, but took them at their word. My question now is: We continue to hear about ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] On Friday, June 6, at 10 AM, a D-Day 70th Anniversary Observance was held at Hodges University. The Collier County Sheriff’s Color Guard posted the Colors, and Megan Cook sang the National Anthem beautifully. Dr. Peter Thomas — 2004 Humanitarian of the Year — gave a stirring remembrance of what happened on that terrible day in Normandy when our soldiers landed at Omaha Beach. He mentioned Bedford Biles as one of the people he so greatly admired and remembered. Hopefully, Fay reads this column, and finds her wonderful husband was remembered this morning by the great Peter ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] A Public Hearing will be held on July 10 at the Capri Community Center (time is not certain at this time) to ask any questions regarding the future of the Isle of Capri Fire-Rescue Department. The final fire district vote will take place on August 26, and you will want to get all the information you need to prepare for the vote. Ask any questions and receive answers so that you will be comfortable with your decision when you vote. If you will be out of town and haven’t registered for an absentee ballot yet, please do ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] It was wonderful to get the message from Barry Gerenstein of VeronaWalk that their community had won the prestigious “Communities of Excellence” award in multiple categories. Three-thousand communities entered the competition this year. Property Manager Lynn Ross was named “Property Manager of the Year.” What an honor to be chosen over 3,000 other property managers — although I’m guessing that each entry also contained a property manager nomination in that 3,000 figure. VeronaWalk was awarded the “Energy Efficiency” award, the “Safety and Security Initiatives” award and the “Community of the Year” award! Gerenstein, a resident and member ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] Recently, a group of 16 people joined me to take a tram trip through parts of the Fakahatchee Strand State Park. Most of these interested people were from Marco Island I’m proud to say. We were amazed to learn so much about an area we really knew nothing about. Fakahatchee is the largest state park in Florida. It stretches about 100 square miles starting along Alligator Alley, approximately one mile east of Collier Blvd. to SR-29, crossing over US-41E and all the way to the Marco Island Airport! I never realized we were looking at a state ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] There are always good things to mention in this column. Recently, I went to Tallahassee to represent Collier County at the Florida Association of Counties Legislation Week. I am on the board of directors for the FAC. While there, I called on a number of our local legislators to tell them of our county’s concerns and priorities. One of the items especially important to Marco Island is the beach and continued renourishment dollars. The county’s Coastal Management Director, Gary McAlpin, had requested state dollars to help with funding needed for renourishment. While in Tallahassee I happened to ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] Another veteran has passed on to a better place. He was our own Walter Tucker — whom I considered one of my very special friends. Sadly, I didn’t know of his funeral until after it had taken place, as I was in Tallahassee when the obit was in the paper, or at least I assume it was in the paper. Walter was one of the few survivors left from Pearl Harbor. Even in his 90s, he never forgot a thing. He was always willing to offer a helping hand to his friends, and was as feisty as ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] We have some “stars” amongst us! We’ve known for a number of years that Mr. and Mrs. Jon Ladig were “angels amongst us” as they stepped forward to make our Marco Island museum a reality, and they continued to support and encourage the museum every step of the way, attending most of the functions and befriending everyone they met. Now, they also have been recognized as “Stars in the Arts” by the United Arts Council of Collier County. They received accolades and praise at the Stars in the Arts Annual Awards Luncheon. Many Marco Islanders attended the ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] A special thank you to Tony Voight. His business is always the first company to sponsor the Gulf Coast Little League each year! The coaches were kind enough to invite me to throw the first ball for this season. It was a wonderful ceremony with kids of all ages from 4 to 14! Families were everywhere, supporting and encouraging their players. Marco Island is also a part of this group, and who was right there, up front? It was Bill Morris, a prominent attorney on Marco Island, with his little one. When the coaches contacted me last ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] The Mackle Park issue is buzzing around the Island, but I usually do not give my opinions on anything the city is dealing with. But with Parks, I have such a strong opinion and such a great love for our children and families that I would like to contribute my comments. As you know, I live in East Naples and have for 40 years. We were usually on the losing end of receiving things that others had in their section of town (but that is now changing). The playground the county built in East Naples in 1987 ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] It’s February — the month of love. Wouldn’t it be lovely if all through the month we treated each other with loving kindness and respect, and loved our neighbor as we love our friends? And make sure your family knows how much you love THEM! Happy Valentine’s Day! Don’t forget to treat your special Valentine with love and a little token of your devotion. • You’ll love the Erich Kunzel Concert Series presented by the Bayshore Cultural and Performing Arts Center, which continues with their next program on Friday, Feb. 7, at 7 PM at Edison State ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] Kudos to the third grade class at Tommie Barfield! These young people sang their hearts out at the Arbor Day presentation at Veterans Park. It was so cold I had to wear gloves, and these little ones didn’t seem the least bit bothered by the weather. They were so beautiful! Then, we were entertained by the band from Marco Island Charter Middle School. I couldn’t even imagine how they could move their fingers on their instruments, much less perform so beautifully! Three city councilors were there, and the new city manager, interim city manager, fire chief, chief ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] The holiday season is now behind us, and most of the lights have come down. It just doesn’t look as warm and friendly and happy as it did just a week ago…..and now it feels like we’re living up north it’s so cold and dismal. Luckily, we DO live here, and we can expect it to bounce back and be our beautiful paradise soon. Until then, I even have my heat on at home. Brrrr *Some good things are taking place right over our bridge! Yup – the Outback is growing quickly. Hopefully, they’ll be finished before ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] A new Senior Housing Development has just started construction on Rattlesnake Hammock Rd. and C.R. 951/Collier Blvd. It is being built by the same developer that built Aston Gardens in North Naples and another in Lee County. This community — Discovery Village — will be a rental community offering 120 units with an indoor pool, fitness center and movie theater. They will provide independent living, assisted living and memory care. That whole corridor is building up quickly! There is Hacienda Lakes coming out of the ground with 1731 dwelling units, 395,000 square feet of retail and 140,000 ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] Today, while attending the craft show on the Isles of Capri, I had many people come over to talk to me about the new additions at Tigertail Beach. Ann and Eddie Hall said they thought it was “astronomical” and “beautiful.” They took their grandchildren there and were pleasantly delighted with the divided playground depending on the age group. They also took a look at the bathroom now being constructed at the far end of the large parking lot in the back. Donald and Joanna Sunshine find it much more convenient than traveling all the way to South ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] In case you weren’t aware, I give tours every year to anyone who would like to attend (if we aren’t already full) to experience some of the county facilities first-hand that your tax dollars help to fund. For example, the landfill, the jail, the Tax Collector, the Supervisor of Elections, the Government Complex, Mosquito Control, etc. Some on Marco Island and Isles of Capri have participated, to my delight. Some of those upcoming tours are: Mosquito Control – Dec. 5 from 10 AM to noon (every one provides their own transportation so there is no cost to ... Read More »

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Donna Fiala [email protected] A delightful contest will be offered by the Marco Island Historical Society and the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce. It is the Inaugural Annual Wreath Decorating Contest and Auction to be held at the Rose History Auditorium on Sunday, December 1 from 4 to 6 PM, and will include a Holiday Party. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served while guests view and bid on the decorated wreaths, enjoy carolers and a special performance by the Island Theater Company Kids. If you have an artistic talent and would like to participate, submit your wreath on November 30 ... Read More »