Friday , December 19 2014
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Coastal Comments

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 »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »

COASTAL COMMENTS

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »

Coastal Comments

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Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net 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 »