Have you heard of the Fish Line Hunters? Well, maybe they’re not titled that, but volunteers at Rookery Bay have a team of people who go out in a boat to search for fish lines with lures entangled in the mangroves that have not been retrieved by the fishermen. These lines pose a serious threat to waterbirds who become ensnarled in the line, and unless they are removed in time, the birds will die a slow death by starvation. They call themselves Team OCEAN, under the leadership of Jayson Horadam who serves as their coordinator and has several captains and crew that often go out searching for these culprits. They have been very successful in finding and removing the lures and line from the mangroves, as the picture reveals. I don’t think most of us even know that this venture is taking place! I understand Team OCEAN has more involvement in other avenues also, which I hope to write about in future articles.
- Each month, Collier County hosts a special awards breakfast for their employees who are celebrating anniversaries of their employment with the county. This last time they again celebrated many wonderful employees, but one in particular, Osmin Conde, a park maintenance employee at Eagle Lakes Community Park who was not only celebrating his 25 years with the county, he was also celebrating becoming a citizen of the USA! We are all so proud of him. It’s a lot of work and time to become a citizen, but he stuck to his guns and there he is! And it is he and his terrific team who keep the park grounds and playing fields in tip-top shape! Just wanted you to know that!
- Every time I see construction trucks and/or some type of new building about to take place, I always wish the company, the owner, the contractor, or someone would post a sign to tell us what they are building! Lots of them say they don’t want to give the secret away, but I should think they would WANT us to know what is about to take place so we can get excited about new things coming our way. If it were something to object to, I can understand their reluctance, but usually it’s something we can use. Yes, even storage units, but in our case, it means less traffic and fewer cars on the road. Because it’s not a place to shop or eat, and the renter of the unit doesn’t go there every day, or maybe not even every week or month, so that’s less traffic on the road, and the newly constructed building usually looks nice. No, it’s nothing most of us can use, but at least it’s nice-looking. Now, if it were a restaurant, we would want to know! We are so in need of more good restaurants. The ones we have, thankfully, are so busy it’s hard to get into, but we need more! Our rooftops are growing, but our retail is languishing. Once in a while, we have a new fine restaurant come in, and they are startled with all the business awaiting them! They had no idea we draw from not only East Naples, but also Isles of Capri, Marco Island, Fiddler’s Creek, Port of the Islands, Goodland, Golden Gate, and even the City of Naples! We should start writing to places like Fleming’s Steak and Seafood at: 2202 N. West Shore Blvd. Tampa, FL 33607, or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 949-222-2223, and let them know we need them down here! I’ve heard they’ve been thinking about it, and Stock just built a beautiful retail “shell” just waiting for someone to occupy it in the shopping center in front of Hobby Lobby. You say there’s already an Outback there? Yes, same company, so they know how successful the area is (and can also refer to their other sister organization Carrabba’s, who is always overwhelmed with business) but let’s face it, each has their own signature, and a Fleming’s is totally different than the others. Now you have the address, e-mail address, and phone number. Why not request they come to the already built stunning building awaiting them? No, I don’t own the building nor get a kickback, just making suggestions. Heck, it even LOOKS like their architecture style! Ok, nuff of that.
- The Hitching Post has requested and received permission to add an area for four Food Trucks, seating area, and updated landscaping. We should also see the Wendy’s beginning construction soon, as they have already been approved to construct in front of the Steinmart store. By the way, that Steinmart store is always busy! We need more retail stores!
- Now, when it comes to residential, we have more residential building taking place than any other place in Collier County. Now I’m not saying I’m for more residential because we have a lot already, but nonetheless, it’s coming, and mostly in Apartments and Condos but also villas and attached homes and some single-family. One development is pretty far out on U.S. 41 E. (today it’s far out… but in the twinkling of an eye, it will be close in, as we all know). It’s at the far end of Fiddler’s Creek and Marco Shores on U. S. 41 E called Currents of Naples, an Esplanade Community and will consist of single-family homes, 44 attached and 147 detached, off of Santa Barbara Blvd., Onyx Townhome Villas are going through the process right now, which will consist of two-story multifamily villas with garages per each unit and masonry construction. On Manatee Road, Journey’s End, a twin villa subdivision with 325 units, and how they’ll ever be able to drive in there I’ll never know. There are plenty more coming, but no room to explain, except I’ll mention Arboretum on Bayshore Dr., Briarwood Apartments on Livingston Rd, Meridian Landings on Bayshore, Hamilton Place, Compass Place, Haldeman’s Landing. I’m afraid our streets that have less traffic than other places won’t be that way much longer. I know the environmentalists don’t want the county to start building to the east, but we can’t keep building on top of each other out here! And the people will be coming, no matter what! Let’s face it. We all came here because of the beauty of the place, the outstanding weather, the feeling of Paradise, and many because of low taxes. It will be challenging at best!
- The Marco City Manager, Mike McNees, was the speaker at a recent Marco Kiwanis meeting, and he had everyone enjoying his talk. He was rather new here at the time, but you could tell immediately he was not new to the government and knew what he was doing! Manager McNees worked for the county many years ago and was always an outstanding member of the team. He will be just GREAT as your new City Manager! I’m so happy for you!