Around Town: Sending wishes for a great new year to all

DONNA FIALA

Happy New Year everyone! Let us hope that this year is a year that brings happiness, good health and joy to each family.

• One of our East Naples unsung heroes is always busy working at improving his community, and that is Bob Slebodnik, the chairman of the Lely Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) and the chairman of the Lely Golf Estates beautification committee. His new goal is to improve the sidewalk/crosswalk at the entrance to Lely Golf Estates along U.S. 41 East and my goal is to bring the sidewalks leading to that intersection up to par with the rest of the county. The Florida Department of Transportation has agreed that this intersection is a safety hazard, and they will bring it up to safety standards.

• Wasn’t St. George and the Dragon restaurant beautiful this Christmas season? It looked like a twinkling, sparkling little paradise ... and the food was outstanding, as are the terrific, and I do mean terrific, wait staff! Thanks for making the season extra special, St. George.

• Happily, the new Lowe’s is open and doing exceptionally well! My family attended the grand opening along with hundreds of other people to see the sparkling new store filled with helpful, friendly employees directing us to all the newest merchandise to make your home remodeling and repairs easier.

If Carrabba’s on U.S. 41 East is any indication (being the busiest restaurant in their system, according to employees), this Lowe’s and the new Dunkin’ Donuts, which is about to open, will make this retail intersection a very busy place for sure! Hopefully a steak house and a Dairy Queen will follow — at least that is my wish for this coming year.

• We’ve all been awaiting the opening of Texas Tony’s Bar BBQ Shack in the old Fitzgerald’s location, and a soft opening has now taken place. It’s something like a barbecue, cafeteria style, from what I could see, but you’ll have to see for yourself. They are now open Monday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., offering catering services as well as eat-in service.

Catering seems to be very strong for them, with lots of choices, plus all of the services needed for a private party. In house, they offer beef brisket, beef tenderloin, chopped pork and Texas sausage, St. Louis ribs, chicken, and baby back ribs. They offer sandwiches, dinners and “by the pound.” Bottled beer is available as well as soft drinks and desserts.

• Mark your calendars! The East Naples Kiwanis Club is once again presenting their mystery dinner fundraiser on Sunday, March 6, at Naples Lakes Country Club, starting with a cocktail hour and the play “Murder is Par for the Course,” followed by raffles and a silent auction. This event is always so much fun. For further information or to make reservations, please call Laurel at 826-8397.

• The next Erich Kunzel Community Concert Series will be held on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Edison State College auditorium, and will feature the Naples Ballet, and the Opera Naples Young Artists and ONcore. This will be a spectacular evening and the cost remains at $10 per person at the door! Refreshments will also be served.

• Just a reminder: My first community tour will take place on Jan. 5 from 10 a.m. to noon, and we will tour the South County Water Treatment Plant on County Road 951 (Collier Boulevard)/City Gate Drive. We will meet at the plant, but in order for you to enter you must have a reservation, so please call Sue at 252-8601.

We are limited to 20 people, so you’ll want to call quickly. You will find this trip very informative as you learn how our drinking water is processed and delivered to your faucet.

My other tours are: North County Wastewater Treatment Plant — Feb. 3; Solid Waste/Landfill — Feb. 10; and Emergency Operations Center — March 1. There will also be a tour of the jail. A date will follow. These tours are a good way for you, our residents, to see your county government in action and learn more about the processes that serve our community.

• Thanks so much to Anthony Klein for donating the PBA T-shirt to add to the memorabilia at the Depot History Museum, focusing on transportation in one section. Our “stuff” will be going to the museum staff this week to be added to the other exhibits.

• The new restaurant Blue Agave Tequila Bar and Grill has opened in Naples Towne Centre on U.S. 41 East. The owners have actually owned the building for a few years now, and have decided to open their own restaurant rather than lease it to someone else again. These Marco Island residents know how to run a restaurant, as they have owned Arturo’s Italian Restaurant on Marco for about 15 years, and the atmosphere is always fun and the food is great.

My wish for you is to enjoy a happy and healthy New Year with only the best of everything for you and your family.

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