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Coastal Comments

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 »

Now Taking Facility Tour Requests

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net You probably know that I offer about 5 or 6 tours a year for those interested in seeing different county facilities such as the Water & Wastewater Treatment Plants, the Land Fill, Museums, Mosquito Control, a Parks tour, the Emergency Operations Center and the Jail. We also offer facilities that are partially sponsored with TDC dollars, such as the Botanical Gardens and the Zoo. If we are able, we try for other attractions such as the “REVS” and Ava Maria, and tours of new developments. It is so gratifying to see so many people from all across ... Read More »

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 »