Friday, March 23, 2018

Discovering Marco History




• A U.S. 41 East Corridor Study has begun, with the first well-attended meeting held on October 3rd. The next meeting will be held on November 7th at 6 PM at Eagle Lakes Community Park, across from the RaceTrac gas station in front of Hitching Post. Please attend to talk about what we would like this corridor to look like, remembering that we were not able to get a moratorium in place in advance, so we are hoping the ideas presented by the audience members will entice business owners to consider bringing those ideas to the area. There will be one last corridor meeting held during the third week in January, and all those present at this November meeting will be notified of the final meeting. The first meeting was well attended, and we hope to see many more, now that our winter residents are coming back. I would hope that some shopping center people would attend, or developers who are looking for ideas that WE would like to see built in our community. Of course we all keep asking for new dine-in restaurants where our retirees and surrounding communities can sit and enjoy their friends over a meal. Take out restaurants do not really work well in our community of mostly retirees. We women did our cooking when we had our children at home and our husbands loved to wash dishes. Well, maybe just when our kids were home, but now we want to be served and enjoy new and different tastes. Speaking of new and different tastes: I hope many of you have already been to the quality restaurant of 21 Spices! If you think it is a restaurant in a shopping center, you need to visit and see how lovely it is inside! The service is outstanding, and the owner/chef is a wonderful fellow with a lot of experience in his background. I hope someday he’ll have one dish for those of us (although there are probably only a few) who are not into spices, so we can attend with our friends who LOVE spicy foods and new tastes. I’m rather boring, so I’m not great at new tasty experiences.

• Speaking of tasty experiences, we went to Eurasia the other night, and we almost had to beat our way in because there were so many people there! Luckily we had made reservations so they had a table waiting for us. Remember, if you plan to go to Eurasia, please made reservations, and I would guess that would hold true to 21 Spices as well, because they also look very busy every night. That’s what happens when you have great food!

• While talking about restaurants, another favorite of mine is Pelican Bend on Isles of Capri, where you cannot make a reservation, but you’ll love their hush puppies (the best I’ve ever tasted!), and their fish is always fresh and beautifully prepared. BUT… expect to wait, even this early in the year. It’s worth it though! Believe me.

• I’ve loved watching the Collier County crew working at replanting the side trees along U.S. 41E that Irma had blown down. They look like they are happy to be replanted and will survive nicely… and the gorgeous fountain is back on and beautifully lighted next to Fuller’s Funeral Home on U.S. 41E. It’s always such a soothing sight at night to look at that lovely fountain on my way home from work.

• I’ve written about this before, but I think it bears repeating. The county should really have some serious talks with FP&L about burying the power lines along the major corridors. We would have much better results after a major event if we didn’t have to reconnect all the electricity so water can be pumped, people would have light, residents would be able to get serious messages regarding their safety and wellbeing if we had communication constantly or restored easily. The power needed to operate our water and sewer systems might not even be interrupted, or at least easily repaired, rather than taking weeks in some cases. Maybe FP&L could give us much better prices than in the past.

• Austin Bell, the curator for the Marco Island Historical Society Museum, has written a book about the local history of Marco Island and the people who came before us. The books are for sale at the Marco Island Historical Museum gift shop, and you won’t want to put them down until you’ve read everything and looked at the many pictures. It’s a great book! Some of the names you see there are still present in our community, although in the form of younger generations. And speaking of Marco history, you might remember that Conservation Collier acquired the bulk of the Otter Mound Preserve in July 2004 and the remainder in June 2007. Otter Mound Preserve is a small part of the Caxambas Point archeological site, which was once a 70-80 acre complex of shell features constructed by the Calusa Indians, the first inhabitants of Marco Island. Hurricane Irma blew over large trees at the mound, exposing root balls, and soils under the root balls that appear to consist of pottery shards and shell tools, which provides a one-time opportunity to collect and preserve items that were previously buried and may be important Calusa artifacts. Gene Erjavec, our Marco Island professional archeologist, is carefully watching over this precious discovery. The collection of artifacts or the disturbance of the archaeological and historic sites within the preserve shall be prohibited unless prior authorization has been obtained from the Board of County Commissioners, and the Department of State, Division of Historical Resources. The curator of the Marco Island Historical Museum, Austin Bell, has offered to participate in the collection of the artifacts and to accept and curate any artifacts retrieved as a donation for display at the Marco Island Historical Museum.

• You will want to attend the exciting sport of Pro-Watercross World Championships at the Sugden Park on U.S. 41E, across from the Lakewood Community the week of October 27th, to experience this action packed event. It will be the Second Annual Hydroflight World Championships, and an encore performance by the real-life “Iron-Man” and Flyboard inventor Franky Zapata, along with wake board, paddleboard, and MotoFurt competitions leading up to thrilling season-ending Pro- Watercross competition.

• A little update on debris pick-up: there are now 250 debris collecting trucks or tandem trucks with claws out there working at least six days a week. They have picked up over 1,000,000 cubic yards of horticulture debris. Yes, there is still a lot out there, but then remember, this 400-mile wide Hurricane Irma hit all parts of Florida, not just us, and they are all anxious to get their debris removed as well… and then there’s Houston, who is still digging out with more trucks there. From Key West to Pensacola, and all parts in-between, there is a lot of debris. That doesn’t even speak to the islands that were devastated by Marie! So, as we look around, we can only be thankful that we are as far along as we are, and that the hurricane broke up before the storm surge could hit us. Lots of prayers of thanks should be going up by everyone.

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