Wednesday, December 8, 2021

I’m Still Standing!

Coastal Comments

This year is flying by too fast! It seems I just took down my Christmas tree and decorations, and I’m already putting up Halloween decorations! The weather started cooling off last week, but that was only a few days before things heated up again, but the nights are beautiful. I’ve seen the first few car carriers arriving, which is good for the merchants. We’ve heard that people don’t want to come back this year, yet others cannot wait to get here. We really don’t know what to expect, do we?  

United Church of Marco had a healthy crowd recently. That’s a good sign. Although we hear the reports that they group the last 6 months together. I’ve asked them just to report last week’s numbers, but that doesn’t seem to happen. We know the numbers are going down, but it would be nice to know how MUCH they are going down. I know they feel the need to keep people frightened so they’ll not get excessive about things, but we can’t just keep on living in fear either. We know, being that the governor has pulled up all stops, that we need to use common sense when going out, or when going to a store or facility. That’s really what we need to do. USE COMMON SENSE!  

If something doesn’t look right, don’t do it. If you see a lot of people, drop back and give them passage. If you’re going to a party, stay in small circles of friends, don’t get in large crowds. We can all think and really know what is right for us and for our families and friends. Let’s use this freedom wisely folks. When going into a crowded store, put on a mask. We don’t want to get sick, and we don’t want others to get sick either. I know many people have problems wearing a mask, especially asthmatics. I can’t put on a mask without starting to sneeze within a minute, and then my nose runs. I can’t help it, it just happens. Anyone with COPD cannot wear a mask safely; it could harm them. Let’s be understanding of our fellow man instead of spying on them and reporting them. Keep YOUR mask on and don’t be a tattletale. You don’t know what problems they are dealing with. I heard of one woman who had her kids spread out in a grocery store and she paid them a nickel for each person they reported! Pretty sad to teach them to spy on their neighbors at such a young age! 

*Someone said I should act like a reporter and tell you about the lovely Retirement Party that was held for my 20 years in office which was held at the Ritz Tiberon. Thanks so much to Dick Klaas and Joe Granda for making this happen! I’m not sure how many were there, but many of the most well-known County people were there, including the County Manager Leo Ochs, the Deputy County Manager Nick Casalanguida, the County Attorney Jeff Klatzkow, the County Public Utilities Director George Yilmaz, (water, wastewater, landfill, stormwater, etc), three other county commissioners, my family, lots of friends, lots of Marco people, lots of East Naples people, and more. My “escorts” were Mike and Marian Harris, and Marian also picked my clothes out. A few close girlfriends were there, Shirlee, Jeanie, and Angie, but they also worked a “job” while there, plus lots more interesting people! Some were unable to attend because of the virus, which I truly respect, but they were there in their heart anyway. It was only two hours from start to finish, but we had a wonderful time! Many wore masks the entire evening, some only part of the evening, and some not at all, and we all got along just fine. Some very kind words were said. Lots of friends reuniting. Lovely Flowers. I can just tell you there was a lot of love in that room Friday night. I felt totally blessed! 

*Just a little secret: I’ve been asked and have accepted a position on the Friends of Rookery Bay Board, along with Rebecca Maddox from 360 Market on Bayshore. I had NO idea Rookery Bay oversees the 10,000 islands and the Estuaries, but they have a huge amount of water and mangroves they must watch and monitor regularly, plus the sealife and wildlife. Our committee will try to help them raise more funds to oversee these vital aspects of nature. Each year, Rookery Bay has presented a BashattheBay type of thing to raise money, but we had to cancel it this year, so we are trying to make arrangements for some type of virtual Bash this coming year on March 20th, not knowing what shape we’ll be in. Do you hold an actual event or do it by Zoom or by phone or what? We’re all working on that now.  

I asked a few people to serve on my committee, mainly Al Schettino from Marco, who is a GREAT environmentalistwhich I didn’t know beforeand will be a huge addition to our team, and Shannon Benedetti from Fiddler’s Creek, and Monica Hibbs from Treviso Bay. Each came with a recommendation from people in the know in the community. We got together for the first time, and within an hour, we seemed like a perfect team! These people came with ideas that gave us lots of excitement! I’m just thrilled to be working with each and every one of them. One of the many things we discussed was the special partnership between Rookery Bay’s exclusive Ecotour partner Rising Tide Explorers and their Kayak Rentals and Boat Tours dedicated to helping visitors and locals alike learn and enjoy the unique natural areas of our Rookery Bay.  

*I retire on November 13th, but the Coastal Breeze has asked if I would continue to write for themI want to do it as a volunteerand I talked with the county to know if I had access to the growth management division and Sports Park, and Parks in general, and they gave me a thumbs up! I’m excited to continue this fun job. I love the people at the Coastal Breeze and will do all I can to continue to add some interesting things to their newspaper. The County Manager said I could have access to our growth management division, so I will know what is happening in our area and can keep you apprised. I am thankful that the request went out and that the answers back were positive! So, I’ll continue to see you, and anytime you need me, I’ll be easy to find.


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