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Coastal Comments

Attend Your Neighborhood Information Meetings

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala It’s interesting to read all the ads for Neighborhood Information Meetings (NIM) now that the winter residents have headed up north, and there are fewer people here to attend or to object. Hmmm – wonder if that is by design? It didn’t work recently, even though so many residents have gone back home. I went to a NIM that scheduled itself into a very small library meeting room, but people came out by the droves, filled the room to a packed standing room, then overflowed into another adjacent room, and then overflowed into the foyer of ... Read More »

U.S. Open Pickleball in Progress!

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Since the last column two weeks ago, I’ve heard from so many, many people about Tent City, and I thank you for that. It is much better to react to the wishes of the community rather than depend on our own thoughts. The outpouring of advice has been wonderful. All of the letters had the same response, but in different levels of concern. Actually, I didn’t receive one note or letter that said, “Yes, go forward with it.” A friend of mine and I went to see the gentleman, Joe Valentini at Helps Outreach, to view what ... Read More »

Good Things Coming Our Way

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala The U. S. Open Pickleball Championships are coming to town! This will be the first ever Pickleball U. S. Open and it will be held right here in town at the East Naples Community Center located on Thomasson Drive, which is an extension of Rattlesnake Hammock Road going south, next to Avalon Elementary School. The games begin on April 26th and will end on May 1st with the final championship games and grand prizes awarded at the end of the games. CBS Sports will cover the entire five-day event. Make plans to attend and enjoy. Food ... Read More »

Projects in the Works

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Sometimes I feel like I’m the queen of the median landscaping effort, so we have good news coming our way on this subject…lots of good news. First, the county applied for a Florida Highway Beautification Council Grant quite a while back to landscape another portion of Collier Boulevard/951 between Mainsail Drive and Fiddler’s Creek. It seemed like there were more hurdles to jump than ever, but our staff is persistent, and so am I. We finally got the news that the request has been approved and we can move forward with design, bid and construction. It ... Read More »

Warm Reception for New Businesses

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Now THIS is our beautiful winter weather. It took a long time to get here, and we won’t have as much time to enjoy it as we would have had it come on time, so we’ll have to just enjoy it all the more right now! *Were you at the grand opening of the new Stein Mart on 951/41 on Thursday, March 10th? What a warm and excited reception they received! I bet we surprised them with all with the people so eager for a new store to open! I only stayed a short time before getting ... Read More »

Thank You Community Heroes

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala Sometimes heroes pop into our lives and we feel so thankful that they’ve arrived. I’ve had a few lately, and I want to thank them publicly. Kent and Marya Hedrick are two of those heroes, to whom I owe a world of thanks. And while I’m thanking people, Bill and Roseann Christ are right up there at the top of my list, but then again, I think they are at the top of everyone’s list of heroes. Not only did they shine their goodness on me, but they cook at the church, they volunteer in the community, ... Read More »

Coming to Town!

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala In case you were wondering, Stein Mart, located in the new Tamiami Crossing Shopping Center at US 41E and Collier Boulevard, is working diligently toward an opening date of March 10th. They will be the first and only store opening at that time. The others are already slowly working on their inside construction, but don’t plan on opening until later – probably sometime in May after season. Stein Mart is now hiring. The inside looks great already, as they begin the interior completion such as shelves, mirrors, offices, checkout, and finally, stock. At that rapid pace, most ... Read More »

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 »