Wednesday, January 26, 2022

A Great Weekend in Goodland

Coastal Comments

Photo by Donna Fiala | First and second place (left) winners for the Stan Gober Look-alike Contest.

Well, I’ve heard about some changes being made to the Skeleton Building on Davis Boulevard and 951, so I wanted to see for myself. Yes, there were a few construction vehicles there, and they put a back on the steel structure, so we’ll have to wait and see how long it takes them to add sides and a front.  I’m sorry to sound so negative but the County ordered the developer, Benderson, (the largest shopping center developer in the country, per staff) to put a facade on the building and the county started to fine them per day until the job was finished. That was a few years ago, and you’ve seen how they responded… a big 0. I’ve had SO many people complain at each of my presentations to HOA annual meetings in this area and town hall meetings, that I talked with staff and asked when they would get done, but no one knows.  With fines: they also know that once they finish completing the orders given to them, they can ask for a fine-waiver. I don’t believe they deserve a waiver, but I’m only one commissioner, and there are four others who also must vote as well. I’m hoping we see some progress, because this monstrosity has been the greeting card to welcome people coming off the interstate and into our community. People in our community complain all the time, and I don’t blame them!

*Coming out of Goodland this weekend I was waiting to get onto San Marco Road and all three cars in front of me were from Wisconsin, and they all went in different directions, so I’m guessing they weren’t together, just all from the same state.  I don’t blame them for visiting us. I’ve read about their weather! Glad they’re here!

*Speaking of Goodland: This past weekend had the biggest crowds I’ve ever seen in Goodland!  I could hardly believe my eyes! I was surprised they could all fit on this tiny Island, but that’s what makes it so much fun!  The Goodland Arts people had an art show, and it was their biggest one I’ve witnessed in all the years I’ve been going there! It was huge and loads of people found them and attended.  It was wonderful. It also happened to be the 50th Anniversary for Stan’s Idle Hour on Goodland. March 16 and 17th will be their famous Pancake Breakfast, by the way, so make sure you drop by for the best pancakes and sausage!  Anyway, when I first came on the island on Sunday at about 11:30 AM, the road and parking were completely clogged! Yes – 11:30 AM! I carefully wound my way through Goodland and on to Margood for the art show. While looking at the art and jewelry tents, I ran into Jarred and Sandy from Goodland, so we had lots of fun and ate together.  They told me about a place call ZaZa Mexican Restaurant on Marco Island that they said was wonderful and to look for Taco Tuesdays and Fajita Fridays. They also talked about Billy Bear. Anyone know Bill Bear?

*By 1 PM there was hardly a way to get off Goodland, but it had to be done, and I did it. I needed to get to Marco for a lovely memorial for Herb Savage at Rose Hall Auditorium at the Marco Museum.  There were many people who loved Herb that were there to say their last goodbyes. Many restaurants and hotels offered delectable food for those in attendance.

*Then back to Goodland… for the Stan Gober Look-alike Contest! I felt honored to be one of the judges, as Stan was my friend.  By that time (3:30 PM) there was no way to find any parking or room to move, but wonderful Steve (Stan’s son) and his terrific Trish saved a parking space for me and had a sheriff’s escort waiting for me to guide me through the throngs of people.  “Officer John, you were amazing! Thank you so much.” Actually I don’t know how I would have made it without him. The contest was so much fun, and the prize? Five-hundred dollars for first place, and $250 for second place! Wow, now those are prizes!  And to make the day complete… who did they have entertaining? Wow – The Ben Allen Band! My favorite, and a local band who is making it big (in my opinion) and they started right here in East Naples and became a favorite of all of Collier County! He’s a guy with a terrific band of great guys making us all proud!  

*You know what we need in local areas?  A Dairy Queen! There is just one, and it is in the City of Naples, but out here beyond the 18,000 people living in the city, the rest of our 368,000 people in Collier County would love a Dairy Queen that we can drive up to, order a cone, never get out of the car, and move on. I hope someone is reading this and can deliver!

*You know that gas station, car wash, Dunkin’ Donuts, and convenience store in that area right across US 41E from Treviso Bay?  I’ve been watching their gas prices, and they are cutting their prices lower than any other — even lower than Murphy Oil which is owned by the Walmart Company!  They are usually the lowest priced fuel, but this little place has really come into being, with lower prices, and new equipment, etc. It’s getting pretty busy in there!  I always felt so sorry for them because they never really caught on, but it seems they found the answer. I wish them lots of luck. I bet they’ll do well now.

*Did you know Lely High School offers classes on flying airplanes, and then they even can get a pilot’s license? I had no idea! I’ll have to find out more about that.

*So, I was going to dinner with a friend, and she said we should try Saki, a new restaurant on 951/Collier Boulevard, in the same shopping center as Skillets.  When we arrived at the place, all 48 seats we counted, were already full. I didn’t realize anyone had even seen this restaurant, so I was surprised. For some reason, we had problems getting seated even when places cleared, as they then gave them to other people, I guess because we were seated in those high seats at the sushi bar, but we really wanted to sit at a table, but they kept overlooking us. That was our only problem, and everyone else got seats, so it must have just been us. Once we were actually seated at a table, the food was great! Very fresh and tasty.  I had no idea what to expect. Joann Callahan from Forest Glen, with her husband and friends from England, came in and exclaimed over the food and said they eat at this restaurant frequently. You might want to try it. It was also very clean! I like that.

*I hope you are planning on coming to the Bash for the Bay at Rookery Bay on Friday, March 15th.  I went last year and it was so nice I decided to go again this year. These are mainly people interested in preserving our water, animals, plants and Florida in general.  I bet if you call Rookery Bay they would still sell you a ticket!

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