Friday , March 27 2015
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Coastal Comments

951/41, Tamiami Crossings & Friends of the Marco Island Flotilla

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net The best good news item for our transportation system is that the huge intersection project (a footprint for a future overpass, with 951 flying over 41) according to the County is 6 months ahead of schedule and under budget. If our weather holds up and we have a mild summer, the intersection should be finished by the end of August, unless we have some severe weather problems. However, because of utility work, the FDOT’s U.S. 41 E expansion from the 951 intersection 6 lanes to Joseph Lane, and then 4 lanes to Greenway Rd., is running ... Read More »

951/41 Road Construction Ahead of Schedule

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net Although there are three road construction projects all taking place at the same time in the vicinity of 951/41 intersection, the traffic is running smoothly again. There have been huge lines of cars coming off Marco Island from around 3pm to about 6pm during the week, plus some night lighting problems, but those issues have both been resolved to a great degree. The County’s DOT project – the actual intersection being completely transformed into a footprint for a future overpass, has been a major construction project. They are actually about 6 months ahead of schedule and ... Read More »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net Don’t you think this is the busiest year we’ve ever had? I’m not only talking about traffic, but events that are heavily attended, volunteers who are working extra hours, more events than I can remember, and all seem to pile up on the same days because there are only so many days to spread around. And of course, with the price of fuel down, we feel free to drive more places, and others feel more relaxed about driving to Florida………..and who can blame them with the bitter winter they are having up north. I’m glad they are ... Read More »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net Our Annual Town Hall Gathering with Commissioner Donna Fiala and a host of others will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 5:30 PM, at the Marco Island Historical Society’s Rose Hall Auditorium. The museum has been kind enough to host these events ever since they opened, and we are so grateful. It’s a great place to hold a community “get together.” Along with Donna, you will meet County Manager Leo Ochs, who will give an overview of the county. Nick Casalanguida, the administrator for the County’s Growth Management Division, will update you on the construction taking place ... Read More »

Construction, Charity Abounds in Collier County

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net The HUGE Reef Project has begun! Surely you have all read about the kick-off event and the project, but many of you did not know that attending these initial events were Florida Representative Kathleen Passidomo, Nancy (everybody loves) Richie, Marco Island City Council Vice Chairman Bob Brown, City Council Chairman Larry Sacher, City Manager Roger Hernstadt, Bernadette (need I say more than Bernadette?), many members of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, and of course, yours truly. Have you been watching the huge piles of construction material that comes and goes every day of the week ... Read More »

Big Events Kick-off the New Year

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net Happy New Year to all and my wishes for a great year filled with joy, happiness, good health and lots of fun! And speaking of fun, the Smallwood Music Festival will be held Saturday, Jan. 31, at the old Rod & Gun Club in Everglades City from 11 AM until dark. General admission is $10 (bring your own chair) or $40 for special seating. All proceeds will benefit the Ted Smallwood Store, a 501(c)3 charity. Among the spectacular array of South Florida musicians who are donating their time and talents for this fundraiser are Wholetones, Raiford ... Read More »

A Sense of Community

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COASTALCOMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net What a wonderful time of year! People seem to be sparkling as much as the festive lights all over the Island. There have been so many parties and events over the past few weeks which continue to keep us all together. As I was thinking about writing this column and accentuating the holiday season, I again feel that the island is so blessed to have the City Council who voted to buy the Glon Property, now the Veteran’s Park, and the focal point of many of the Island festivities. I truly believe it is because you ... Read More »

Congratulations to Jack, Deb and Kathleen

Dianna Dohm (in blue) was volunteer of the year for 2013.

COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net It’s 9:00 on a Sunday evening and the SR 951/Collier Blvd. road is ALIVE with road construction activity at this time! There are huge trucks and machinery everywhere, lights blazing, and resurfacing taking place while the least amount of traffic is on the road. It’s impressive indeed. When we all get on that road in the morning, we’ll be amazed at how good it looks, and all while we were home taking it easy or sleeping. This evening they were resurfacing from Manatee Rd. south past Fiddler’s Creek. The road construction company has been outstanding ... Read More »

MIHM Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Style

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net The Marco Island Historical Society celebrated their 20th anniversary in a number of big ways! First, on Veteran’s Day, the MIHS unveiled and presented the “Veteran’s Memorial Wall,” the masterpiece of Malenda Trick. That wall depicted all phases of World War II, as well as other wars suggested by verbal contributors who were enthusiastic about her work. Malenda was shy about all of her talents, but the rest of us weren’t. There were cheers and congratulations throughout the packed museum! If you have not been by the Marco Island Museum yet, you’ll want to get ... Read More »

Community Tour Schedule Announced

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net First things first, as of Dec. 1, Collier County will add an additional EMS vehicle to Marco Island. * Last week, my friends Shirlee and Brian Barcic and I decided to have dinner at the Bistro Soleil, located at the Olde Marco Inn. Now, I’ve been to many events at the Bistro and always enjoyed them, but have never just had dinner there with friends. What an outstanding experience THAT was! It felt very special to enjoy a dining experience in this historic place. The service was just wonderful, the food was so good it ... Read More »

Honor Flight From a Marco Island View

Collier County District 1 Commissioner Donna Fiala with members of American Legion Post 404 who participated in the Oct. 25 Honor Flight. SUBMITTED PHOTO

COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net On Saturday, Oct. 25, there was the most amazing event I’ve ever had the privilege of witnessing. It was called “The Honor Flight,” and by now most of you have read about it in the local newspapers. Today, though, I’d like to give you an up close and personal look from the Marco Island point of view. The Collier County Honor Flight was one of six Honor Flights from around the country. Marco Island had five veterans on board, all five from the new American Legion Post 404. Ray Rosenberg was the escort for his ... Read More »

Gas Prices, Angels and Parking

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net We’ve heard a lot about price of fuel recently. Last week I had to make an emergency trip to Ohio and the price of gas up there averaged $3.05 per gallon and a few places dipped down to $2.99. Don’t you wonder what happened down here? You don’t happen to think that the owners of the gas stations are trying to gouge the visitors to our community (and of course us as well) because they know they can get it? They know they have us over a barrel (a little pun there) if we want ... Read More »

Tales of a South Beach Parking Garage

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net Many have already heard or read rumors and innuendos about a supposed “parking garage” at South Beach. Being that I’ve been involved from the start, let me tell you how it began and where it is now. Will it happen? We have no idea. As your county commissioner, I was approached by some property owners on Marco Island who explained all the problems they were having with parking spaces for the South Beach area. They asked how the county would feel about building a parking deck over the parking spaces on our side of the ... Read More »

COASTAL COMMENTS

Welcome

Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »

Coastal Comments

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 donnafiala@colliergov.net and ask to ... Read More »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »

Coastal Comments

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »