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Coastal Comments

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 »

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 »