The Republican Executive Committee will be holding their Annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner on Friday, February 15th at 6 PM at the wonderful Naples Hilton Hotel on U. S. 41 N. The really fun part is that the featured speaker will be the past-Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie! The event is always well attended, and we have a lot of people from New Jersey right here in Collier County, so I wanted to make sure you knew he was coming. Tickets by reservation only. Order online at: colliergop.org/lincolnreagan. Dinner is $200 per person. VIP reception and dinner, including signed book and photo: $400 per person. Checks payable to CCREC: mail to P.O. Box 7367.
*I had dinner the other night with Suzie and Don Weinert. Don was a General in the Army, and she is the author of the books that kicked off the Garage Sale Mysteries on The Hallmark Channel, which now numbers 15 “plots.” She was 76 when she wrote her first book although you’d never guess she is now 83! She hasn’t even learned to grow wrinkles yet, for goodness sake! What an interesting couple they are! I met her at the Press Club years back and we have stayed friends ever since. The reason I tell you this is they were telling me about a program to help math students in school who might be bullied or called nerds or geeks, etc. In N.J., the school in their area began a new “slang” for the smart math kids. Who doesn’t like sports in school? Well, there in this N.J. area they call the math kids the Mathletes! I thought I’d pass that along in case any teachers were having a bully problem and wanted to help make the kids feel proud and know they excel! The program is called: Math Counts!
*Many have asked what is happening in the space that used to be a Honda Dealership on Davis Boulevard. They had three buildings there, including one for used car sales, which have been torn down. I have learned that they will be building a BMW Dealership in its place. Wow, with Porsche and BMW on opposite sides of Airport Road, facing Davis Boulevard, it feels like we are being surrounded by marvelous car dealerships and other exotic dealerships. We’re happy to have them on board. Welcome folks!
*We recently conducted a tour of the Water & Wastewater Treatment Plants in the East Naples area. The number of people we could take was “sold out” within hours, so it looks like another tour is essential for those facilities next year. We learned that we will NOT run out of water! Not now, probably not in our lifetime because of the aquifers beneath us. They showed us how they “clean” the water, how they make and use reverse osmosis water, how they use water again and again as effluent water for watering golf courses and medians and some communities’ grasses, which then percolates down to come back much later as clean water again. (Someone told me that we still have the water that the dinosaurs drank.) As you know, our planet can’t make new water; we just treat it and use it again. The water staff also showed us how a waste water treatment plant separates and treats the “dirty” water and/or disposes of the spoils.
*According to Realty Biz News, they did a survey that stated the Business Realty Rating Survey came back to report that the real estate market looks bright in East Naples, Collier and Sarasota, with the percentage in East Naples of 14%. Those were the only two places they mentioned, that I know of. To follow up with another new facility coming to East Naples on U.S. 41E where they will be building a 40,000 sq. ft. branch of Kaiser University. This will be the first entrance of Kaiser University in Collier County. Couple that with the expansion of Florida S.W. University (Edison College), that’s some great growth to help educate our young people as they prepare to enter the job field. One of the things we have heard repeatedly is that major businesses such as Arthrex are looking for young educated people. Here are two examples of learning facilities who will meet that need.
*A new condo hotel will be built shortly on U.S. 41E, adjoining the Culver’s property. The developer recently applied for their permit to move forward. Once it is built, and with all the sports going on in that area, I’ll bet they will fill up quickly. We already have one fine hotel/condo establishment in Green Links, which is always busy, and another one about to join that field in the Lely area called Staybridge Suites, near 951/Collier Boulevard. Sports include the World Championship Courts for the U. S. Open Pickleball Championships, plus many games played throughout the year that draws from all over Florida, and beyond. Then we have the Pro Watercross World Championship, Powerboat Nationals Formula 4, Extreme Watersports of many varieties including Watercross, MotoSurf motorized surfboard, Pro Watercross personal, watercraft competition, Hydro Flight World Championships, including visually spectacular Nightflight exhibitions, and much more, taking place at the Sugden Regional Park. Couple that with the Sports Park that is being built along Collier Boulevard, and those hotels, motels and condo hotels won’t have a problem filling up.
*The streetlights atop the Jolley Bridge will finally be getting a fix. The FDOT wrote to say they are planning to start the project in February to be completed in March. After that they will also be repairing the Collier Boulevard “washboard road” near Fiddler’s Creek. The FDOT will be presenting at my Town Hall Meeting on Marco Island, which features information for all the Islands in that area, on February 28th at Rose Hall Auditorium at 6 PM. A special thanks to the Marco Island Historical Society for the use of their auditorium and hosting this most important information distribution meeting. Please mark your calendars now so you won’t miss this meeting.
*Also, speaking of FDOT, regarding the streets located along U.S. 41E from 951/Collier Boulevard, to east to Greenway Road, a “design/build” project for street lights along this corridor is scheduled to begin sometime in May. The anticipated length of time for this project is 370 days from the actual start work date of approximately May 2019. This project has been needed since they built the road without any street lights, so it will be a huge safety benefit for those living along this corridor. It feels good to see some of these things are moving forward.
*The County’s Marco Island Beach Re-grade Project is underway, thanks to TDC (Tourist Development Council) dollars. The project extends from just south of Sand Dollar Island to the Madeira Beach Public Access Point, near the J.W. Marriott, between FDEP monuments R-136 to R-142; a distance of a little over one mile. The Commissioners awarded the $1,147,000 contract last month to reduce public health concerns resulting from the residual/unsightly algae growth due to ponding water. The positive drainage improvement from this project will also create more suitable sea turtle nesting habitat. Work hours will be Monday through Saturday from dusk to dawn for approximately the next two months. Nighttime dredging activities may occur, but work will be limited to an area along the water’s edge. Crews will work in 1,500-foot sections along the beach. Heavy equipment access will be through the Resident’s Beach North Gate. The project is expected to be completed by mid-April.
*Last, but certainly not least, is the upcoming Annual Murder Mystery Dinner presented by the East Naples Kiwanis Club on Sunday, March 3rd at 4 PM to 7 PM. This event is always lots of fun, and we have actors who do an outstanding job, and some even come to us from The Naples Players! Remember also, we have the fun “actress” Lauri Fiala, who turns into her character as soon as she walks in the front door! Happy hour is from 4 PM to 5 PM, and at that time the actors walk around the room and introduce “themselves” to you and give you some “facts” about the murder. This is a fund-raiser for the E.N. Kiwanis Club, and the tickets are priced at $85. The food is always excellent at the Player’s Club, so please join us for the event! For information call Lois Ferguson at 239-220-6701 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. One clue is “Wear Green.” Hmmm, wonder what that could mean. The oddest thing is: the actors don’t even know who the murderer is! They find out at the end of the play, at the same time as we do!