Friday, January 28, 2022




Donna Fiala

We have some “stars” amongst us! We’ve known for a number of years that Mr. and Mrs. Jon Ladig were “angels amongst us” as they stepped forward to make our Marco Island museum a reality, and they continued to support and encourage the museum every step of the way, attending most of the functions and befriending everyone they met. Now, they also have been recognized as “Stars in the Arts” by the United Arts Council of Collier County. They received accolades and praise at the Stars in the Arts Annual Awards Luncheon. Many Marco Islanders attended the luncheon to support and congratulate Jon and Sonia Ladig as they received this prestigious award. We are so proud of this wonderful couple!

• The St. Paddy’s Day Parade on Marco Island was graced by perfect weather on Sunday, March 9 – although the pine pollen was there plaguing a few of us like me. I sat on the top of a red convertible sneezing, blowing my nose and wiping my eyes the entire way. Quite a sight to behold, for sure. For those of us who suffer with allergies, we have to stay indoors as much as we can, keep the windows closed and the A/C on rather than throw open the windows and doors and let this gorgeous weather gently flow through our house.

The pine pollen is the worst I’ve seen in many, many years. In fact, the last time I remember it this bad was in 1975! But, really, how can I complain? It is better than snow, ice, stalled cars, shoveling snow, furnace heat and expense, etc. Give me allergies any day of the week rather than winter weather. As I peer out at our winter residents and visitors, I welcome them, knowing it is much better for them to enjoy our weather rather than trying to make it through another frigid winter. Let’s face it. Most of us moved here from some place that had winter weather, and we want to stay and enjoy our wonderful paradise as much and for as long as we can. Some go back in the summer to be with family and summer weather; some prefer to just stay here permanently. Yes, the roads, stores and restaurants get a little crowded, but that judgement is by our county’s standards. Compare it to New York, Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh or Miami, and it’s not crowded at all! Remember to look on the bright side. It makes life so much happier, and by the way — Mike Ward, our Parade Grand Marshall — looked like a movie star with a winning smile! What a great guy! The parade went off beautifully, as only Kathleen Reynolds can do, and we all enjoyed the festivities afterward.

• Goodland had their second Pancake Breakfast of the year recently. As usual, the pancakes were delicious, and the sausages were out of this world good! It’s always delightful to socialize with the salt-of-the-earth Goodland residents. Did you realize there are three marinas and a boat park all located on this tiny island? And for such a tiny island, they have quite a few restaurants as well! You feel like you just stepped back in time to another year, another way of life. Stan’s is busier than they have ever been. It’s been a great year for business — a year of recovery for sure.

• Good news! The U.S. House and Senate have both passed the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.” Once signed by the President, this bill will reinstate grandfathering, meaning all post-FIRM properties built to code will have protection from rate spikes due to new mapping. The grandfathering will stay with the property, not the policy. The bill will prevent FEMA from increasing premiums within a single property class by 15 percent and an individual cap of 18 percent a year. Other changes include a permanent removal of the sales trigger, allows for payments to be made in monthly installments, applies an annual surcharge of $25 for primary residencies until subsidized policies reach full risk rates and much more.

That’s all for now, folks!

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