Sunday, January 16, 2022




Donna Fiala

Our Annual Town Hall Gathering with Commissioner Donna Fiala and a host of others will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 5:30 PM, at the Marco Island Historical Society’s Rose Hall Auditorium. The museum has been kind enough to host these events ever since they opened, and we are so grateful. It’s a great place to hold a community “get together.”

Along with Donna, you will meet County Manager Leo Ochs, who will give an overview of the county. Nick Casalanguida, the administrator for the County’s Growth Management Division, will update you on the construction taking place on US 41 E and Collier Blvd./951, as well as the Collier Blvd. S project being handled by the FDOT, and the US 41 E, east of Collier Blvd. heading toward Miami, also being constructed by FDOT.

Other members of this department also will bring you up to speed about businesses and developments soon to take place or being planned along that entire corridor. A representative from the county’s Parks and Recreation Department will speak about Caxambus Park, South Beach Park, and Tigertail Park, Goodland Park, 951 Boat Launch and the Kayak/Canoe Park at the entrance to Isles of Capri.

You also will hear updates available regarding the county-run museum and library. There will be time at the end of the program for questions and answers. If you have any other subjects you would like to see addressed, please let me know and I’ll make sure the departments will be available to talk about that subject and answer questions. We usually have a nice crowd and exchange a lot of information. We hope to see you there.

* As we all know, Marco Island is the “home” of the volunteers. No matter what is happening, people come out from everywhere to help. That is again the case as veterans from all over Collier County come out to help with the arrival of the wall — “The Wall That Heals”, the Vietnam Wall replica. It will arrive at Veteran’s Park on Feb. 11, and stay open 24 hours a day until Feb.16. There will be a Feb. 13 Education Day for all, and our middle and high schoolers are especially encouraged to attend that day.

The last time the Wall came to Marco, it was overwhelmingly received. There aren’t many cities around the USA that are actually visited by the “Wall That Heals,” and we are one of those few. More volunteers are still needed, so if you feel you can spare a few hours, please e-mail Ray Rosenberg at or call Lee Rubenstein at 239-394-1975 to offer your services.

The Opening Ceremony will be held on February 12 at 3 PM at Veteran’s Park. You won’t want to miss it! This is the ONLY National Memorial that travels the USA!

* Don’t forget to bring your best car, your antique car or your favorite sports car, and display it at the Marco Island Kiwanis Club’s annual Car Show, Sunday, Feb. 15, 10 AM-3 PM at the NCH Healthcare Center. And, if you just want to look at everyone else’s car — which is what this Car Show is all about — just come on in. There is a small entry fee, lots of food, popcorn, beverages, a few added booths and so much fun!

This Car Show is always a great success, and you make it that way. This fundraiser helps raise money for the Kiwanis Club to help children in our community and beyond our borders to enjoy some special pleasures they wouldn’t otherwise be able to have. The Kiwanis Club spends all of the money received to help children and none of it to run the club. That’s a pretty good bang for your buck!

* Although you’ve read about Restaurant Row before in my column, they will begin construction within the next few months. They venture a guess that will be by the end of March, and they hope to have a few of the seven restaurants open by late fall of this year. These will all be national chain restaurants. There are more restaurants wanting to move into that same intersection and corridor.

Once this construction draws to an end, I believe we’ll see many more being announced, although Culver’s will be starting to build this month, and be located in the new shopping center about to be built across from Hibiscus Golf Course on US 41 E, near Rattlesnake Hammock Rd. It will be an extension of the already existing Hammock Cove Shopping Center.

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