Friday , February 5 2016
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Town Hall Meetings Coming Up

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Mark your calendars now for the great St. Paddy’s Day Parade, Sunday March 6th on Marco Island! Parade participants will meet at the NCH Healthcare Center across from the City of Marco Island Government Center at 11 AM. For questions, please email Steve Stefanides at sstefanides@comcast.net. It’s always loads of fun and lots of people line the streets from all over. It’s a great way to prepare for the Irish holiday, and no one has more fun than the Irish! *The Coastal Breeze News started out a few years ago and they chose to serve both sides ... Read More »

What’s New in January

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala What a new way to start a new year – with wind forces like we’ve never seen in January! AND with gasoline prices we haven’t seen in years…on Saturday we had $1.75 along the Collier Boulevard/951 corridor. One of the same gas stations about two miles away had prices at $1.85 on U.S. 41 E, and further on down the prices continued to climb. This is a good place to be when buying gasoline, that’s for sure. It will be interesting to see how the prices will run when the WaWa gas station is built at Price ... Read More »

Happy New Year!

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Here we are already in year 2016 and it’s hard to believe it took so little time to get here! My wish is that each and every person reading this column had a wonderful holiday season filled with joy, happiness and love. It’s been a bumpy year at times, but we all made it through to … a very warm December! I cannot remember when the full month of December was ever this warm, yet many of us are really suffering from sinus problems because of the weather, and my many Christmas cactus plants have struggled to ... Read More »

A Community Holiday Spirit

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala *The Christmas Island Style Parade was a huge success! Each and every float was outstanding! It would have been difficult to choose one over the other. The marching bands were just as good as those in the Macy’s Day Parade – no kidding! The parade watchers started setting up their food tables and folding chairs early in the day. Neighbors joined neighbors to watch from their driveway chairs and snack on the tempting foods. Children were squealing with delight as the parade slowly rolled down their street with wonderful entertainment. The parade watchers were as much fun ... Read More »

Marco’s Award Winning Museum and more

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Gasoline prices – oh how they vary! The other day I decided to check all the prices along the route I was taking. On Marco the price was a very nice $1.99 – so much better than a year ago. Traveling down SR 951 I came upon a price of $1.98, and then right beyond that was $1.97. Turning onto US 41E by Hitching Post the price was still in the same range – $1.99, but then in front of Naples Manor the price went up to $2.09, then by Rattlesnake Hammock Road it went back to ... Read More »

Time Flies, Give Thanks

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Where has this year gone, and why did it travel by so quickly? When I was 12 years old it took a whole year for a year to go by. Now it seems like it’s gone in a few short months. I’m sure I just took my Christmas tree down, yet now I’m preparing to put it back up again. Each year my children and grandchildren come to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. After everyone has had lots of food, fun and conversation, they clean up the kitchen and then head for the garage where they take ... Read More »

Honor Flight Welcomed Home

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala The Marco Island VFW was again at the Honor Flight in full dress, and they looked marvelous! The event was held on Saturday, November 7, leaving the Naples Airport at 9 PM, and returning about 2 AM after a heartwarming experience welcoming our honored veterans back home. There were well over 1,000 people there from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, to high schoolers, to veteran’s organizations, to the DAR, family and relatives, Nurse Corps, and many well-wishers just there to honor these veterans who have continued to serve amongst us in their civilian lives. Thanks especially go ... Read More »

Modern Marco Exhibit Opens

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala The Modern Marco Exhibit has opened at the Marco Island Museum. It is so much fun to look at everything, recall the past and enjoy the many things we recognize because we were already here. They did a great job, and the staff is so excited to see people coming to enjoy the progress. The next display is a year away, and is called “Pioneer Days on Marco Island.” Visiting the museum is one of those great things to do when you have company, or it rains, or it is too hot (or too cold in the ... Read More »

The Arlington Welcomes Its First Residents

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala The Arlington upscale retirement community has officially welcomed its first residents. Wonderful people they are! Mr. and Mrs. Chaulk were delightful, well read and traveled, and we all enjoyed their sense of humor immensely. They bought one of the gorgeous villas that look more like a mini-mansion than anything else. It even comes with its own golf cart for riding around the community. The following day, and each day afterward, more residents are moving into the villas. Another couple that will be moving into their villa, upon arriving back in Collier County, is Tony and Connee Zeman, ... Read More »

Community Helps to Build Copeland Bus Shelter

Youth from the Interact Club pitched in to build the shelter for Copeland kids who take the school bus.

COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Possibly most people reading the following story have never heard of Copeland, right here in Collier County. If you have…have you ever been there? There are only 82 homes in Copeland and approximately 325 people. Some are 3rd and 4th generation Copelanders. The figure I heard two years ago was that they had an unemployment rate of 72%. Many have no cars, and they don’t even have a mail delivery. There is a tiny Baptist church there that is always clean and cool. Copeland has two separate and distinct “villages.” When the re-districting lines for commissioners changed, ... Read More »

Donna Fiala is back!

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Well here we are after a long, very hot rainy summer, and ready for the breezes that come with October, which is only a couple weeks away. It seems a lot more of our residents stayed in town longer this year and are coming back earlier as well. I can’t blame them. Even in summer it is beautiful here! The Culver’s on the East Trail is open now! Hooray! It was so much fun having lunch with Dave & Doris Thompson and Sandy Santos! What a great trio they are! I’d never heard of a pot roast ... Read More »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala An application for a TIGER VII Discretionary Planning grant application has been submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Collier Boulevard Corridor Improvement Project. This project, if awarded, will complete a 15 year, $200 million reconstruction effort to upgrade 15 miles of Collier Boulevard. The project will include construction of transportation infrastructure improvements along the Collier Boulevard corridor from Green Boulevard to I–75. The past growth, plus forecasted population growth, necessitates this expansion, and is planned to connect growing neighborhoods to the established commercial and employment areas. The project will not only expand Collier Boulevard, but ... Read More »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala The County Parks & Recreation Department is about to build a Wildlife Observation Tower at Tigertail Beach which will provide the public with an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of this unique habitat, and will include handicap accessibility. Nature-based tourism is a rapidly growing pastime and provides a great economic benefit to the region. In 2006 this area of Tigertail/Sand Dollar Island was selected by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to become a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, and was chosen for its excellent bird watching opportunities. The area is nationally and internationally recognized ... Read More »

Summertime Fun

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala The Marco Island Fireworks were the best I’ve ever seen on Marco! They were truly amazing! Brian & Shirlee Barcic and the whole Barcic clan from Pennsylvania through Georgia were there, plus their great friends Larry & Annette Garafoli and Jose & Andrea Lima. We all agreed these fireworks were the best ones ever! Thank you to all who made this possible for all of us to see and celebrate our Freedom because of those who gave us that freedom. Along with the planned Fireworks, Mother Nature also demonstrated her ability to join in with the “dance ... Read More »

Brand Names Sam’s Club, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and More, Coming Soon!

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Soon the County Commission will be in recess for six weeks, and possibly some of you have wondered why we have a summer recess while others already asked. It started back in the 90’s when unhappy residents felt the Commissioners were approving land use issues and new developments while the residents were away on vacation or back up north to their summer home. After much complaining, the then-Commissioners decided to take a recess the last week of July and the month of August, which pleased the community. That effort was extended a little further two years ago ... Read More »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala It’s amazing to me how people with a special talent seem to be attracted to one another, such as a talent in music. It seems musical people are attracted to other people with the same talent, or creative people are attracted to creative counterparts, like Sandy and Jim Johnson, Tara and George O’Neill, Phil Fisher and Natalie Guess, Paul and Eileen Arsenault, and Janice and Dave Wohl. I met Janice at a craft show where she was displaying her creative sewing work: designs on towels, blouses and shirts, names on clothing, special occasion aprons and assorted other sewing ... Read More »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala Recently, the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts (MIFA) had an Artists’ Awards Luncheon at Wesley United Methodist Church. The MIFA President, Carolyn Burger, called the meeting to order. The room was abounding with talent (and then there was me, who can’t even tell which side of the brush to use) as they called attention to four students who received scholarships toward their college education. A solo was sung by one of those students, Joseph Byrne. These students each have an exciting future ahead of them. Besides Joseph Byrne, the other winners were Livia Lenhoff, Tyler MacDonald and ... Read More »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala The Tamiami Crossings Shopping Center is now in the beginning stages of construction on 951/Collier Blvd, immediately north of the Walmart Shopping Center. You may have noticed the area being cleared, with lots of heavy machinery on site. For those of you who might not recognize the name, it’s the Kite Realty Company’s newest addition to that intersection (they already own the Shoppes at Eagle Creek, where the Fresh Market, Burger Fi, Panera Bread and Hoots are located). On this new site will be retail shops including Steinmart, Marshall’s, Ross, a pet store and more, plus a couple ... Read More »

Coastal Comments

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net Just in time, the Goodland Fire Protection services, handled by the Marco Island Fire and Rescue Team, was rescued, thanks to a visit to my office by City Manager Roger Hernstadt and Counsel chairman Larry Sacher, and also Mike Barbush and Barry Gwinn who phoned from Goodland to alert me to a topic coming up for a vote by the County Commission shortly. We were able to rescue that service and keep Goodland fire protection where it belongs: with the Marco Island Fire Department. Team work at its finest! *Have you ever heard of a WaWa? When ... Read More »

Coastal Comments

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net Have you been wondering what those piles of dirt are just south of the Dunkin’ Donuts on 951/41? We have too, so I called the County Growth Management Division, who had to do a little research. Staff advised that the lot was cleared under an approved Site Development Plan when the lot was part of the Shoppes of Eagle Creek. Since then the vegetation had re-grown on the lot and the parcel had been removed from the Shoppes of Eagle Creek. The Property Owner had the lot cleared again, both of which constitute a violation. The ... Read More »