A huge hug to Jordan Vann for her accomplishments and graduation with a 5.5 GPA from Lely High School, receiving a scholarship from Ohio State Alumni of Naples to attend Ohio State University, the highest ranked public university in Ohio, a scholarship from Ohio State University for $12,500 per year to become an Exotic Animal Veterinarian. She will major in Zoology. There are less than 30 veterinarian universities in the USA, by the way. She also received an award for environmental science, the Laureate Award, which also came with scholarship dollars, and scholarships from the Sunrise Rotary Club of Marco Island, the Marco Island Woman’s Club, the Naples Woman’s Club, and the Pelican Bay Founders Board. Jordan was raised from birth on Marco Island, so this will be her first time away from home, and…going into the cold! Of course, the parents of Jordan are Rob and Opal Vann, and the grandparents are Brian and Shirlee Barcic, who are all very proud of this fine scholar! At a party to celebrate her graduation I met John and Coleen and I just have to mention what fun they are! Trish from Stan’s was there. So good seeing her again!
◼ Physician’s Regional has opened a Walk-In Clinic at Shops at Hammock Cove, at 4525 Thomasson Drive in East Naples. Their phone number is 239-354-6500. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. No appointment is needed. This medical group will treat cuts, burns, sore throats, and other minor illnesses and injuries. I’m sure they will be a big help when the pickleball games and tournaments are played. Someone is always spraining an ankle, twisting a knee or getting injured in this fast game.
◼ This is a good time to say thanks to the developers who have seen a need for affordable housing and stepped up to the plate and are building many, many developments with rental as well as owner-occupied units to benefit the many wage earners in our community. I think most of the people who complain the loudest though, are the ones who live in North Naples and the City of Naples where they have the most businesses, the major hotels, a myriad of restaurants, high rise condos that need cleaning and yard maintenance, tall office buildings for all categories of wage earners, and many tourism related jobs, yet their areas have very little affordable housing. If you noticed, East Naples has no hotels and very few restaurants, but most of the housing that is built there are for these workers. The folks who yell the loudest also block any of this housing to be built in their communities, but then you probably noticed that as well. There is so much more to the story, and many issues that arise because of it, but this is not the time to get into it now. I’ve also noticed a lot of “For Rent” signs all over the place, and no one is complaining about rentals now. I often wonder why NCH sold their rental units downtown, and now they complain that they need housing for the winter nurses and staff that come to town for season.
◼ I went to dinner the other night with two teachers, Sarah and Erika from Manatee Middle School, who told me about a program called Girl Up, and about the 7th and 8th grade girls who qualify and excel in their grades and volunteerism. These 7th and 8th grade girls run and organize their own book club, raised money throughout the year to buy bikes for girls in other countries so they may be able to get to school. These middle school girls are college and career oriented. A few of the girls received state recognition for high score on the ACT. They are working hard to spread awareness to promote education and equalities in developing nations. You never hear about these Manatee kids, but they are the high achievers that seem to be forgotten outside of Manatee School.
◼ The pool is coming to Eagle Lakes Community Park! This will be a wonderful treat for the children as well as adults of the community. NCH will be holding swimming lessons for those who cannot swim, and it’s free of charge. The Grand Opening will be Saturday, June 30th, but no time is mentioned yet. There are three pools and two slides. One pool is for toddlers in diapers, who will not be allowed in the larger, deeper pools. Then there will be a pool with lots of water toys to enjoy. There will be a large lap pool for those excellent swimmers on the Lely High School Swim Team, and during the day when the kids are in school there will be exercise classes for adults when the swim team isn’t practicing. Finally there will be a double slide for kids to slide down with a soft landing but not in a pool. It will be fun to watch the kids play. I can hardly wait to see the finished product.
◼ I’ve been wanting to see another really nice restaurant come to the East Naples area because they are really needed. I thought Fleming’s Steakhouse would be a good place to start, being that the Bloomin’ Brands restaurants are doing a fantastic business already here in E.N., including Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s, and Bonefish, so they already have their own records to check out for success. I wrote them an email and received a reply that they are always looking for a good place to investigate, and I assured them that we are that place! Remember when a bunch of use started writing Culver’s when we heard they were looking around, and so they opened their second restaurant right here. So, let’s try it again. The white tablecloth restaurants that have opened in this area: Eurasia, 21 Spices, Bistro Bagatelle, even Olive Garden, have all done extremely well. I’m sure there are more, but I just picked those names out for now. I don’t think many businesses know that our area is a retirement area where people want to eat out, join other friends and neighbors, and we attract (with a GOOD restaurant) Marco Islanders, East Naples’ newest top notch communities, Golden Gate (who have very few restaurants), and some will surely come from the City of Naples rather than take the 45 minute drive to the other end of town. So, if you’d like to join in on the letter writing campaign, just write to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s see what we can do!
◼ I hope many of you have begun assembling your hurricane preparedness equipment. I know I have. I’ve already bought 15 gallons of water, plus two 24-bottle flats of water, and filled my one, two and a half and five gallon gasoline cans to be ready. I’ve had my son start up my generator again to make sure it works, bought new batteries for my battery operated radio, and assembled the radio, flashlights, etc. in one place, and finally gotten my outdoor grill and supplies ready. All I have to do now is buy canned and dried food in case they are needed. When we have no storm I pack the food up and take it to St. Matt’s. I use the water to make coffee and crystal light tea, the batteries never go to waste, I pour the fuel in my tank, and I’m back to normal life again. Please make sure you are ready as well.