In our reporting on the effort to have a huge American Flag installed at the Jolley Bridge, we’re hearing varying ideas on how to pay for it. Should it be a government job or community donations or what?
Lee Rubenstein has some pithy ideas on that. Lee is former commander of Marco’s VFW post and the key player in bringing the traveling Vietnam Wall to Marco in early December. Here’s Lee’s take on the Big Flag Campaign: “Put the flag on the city side. Then the city could put it in the capital improvement budget, public works. A pole that big, a 50-60 foot pole, probably will cost 10 to 15 thousand dollars. The flag poles we bought for the Veteran’s memorial are 30 feet stainless poles. They cost $5000. So double that.
“Then you have to have the lights that come on at dark with a photo cell, like a landscape light, plus maintenance of light bulbs, electric bills, labor costs for installation and so on. So what would it cost altogether? Probably around $25,000, which is cheap for having that great flag up.
“The City of Marco Island spends more money on studies than we do on actual physical things. Let the city cost it out. I’d let the city pay for it. This doesn’t require that much. Once they know how much it costs they can put it in the budget. Divide that by 15,000 people, and it would cost about two dollars each. I’ll pay it and I think everyone who lives on this island who pays taxes would be happy to pay two or three bucks on their tax bill to put a flag up in the right place to welcome people to Marco island and appreciate being Americans and we’re proud of it.
“I’ve seen other towns that have beautiful American flags flying, with a ‘Welcome to Such and Such.’ It’s great. What a way to come across the bridge to Marco and there’s Old Glory flapping in the wind.”
The biggest booster so far for the Big Flag Campaign is Collier County Commissioner Diana Fiala. Her emphasis is on getting the city, county and state together to hammer out a way to get the flag up and flying.
Leaning toward the concept of creating the project with donations is radio talk show host Dave Elliott. He has jumped into the effort with both feet and his considerable ability to reach a lot of people with his daily 3-6 p.m. radio show on 98.9 FM, WGUF.
We welcome your views on the Big Flag Campaign and on how it might best be done. You can email us with ideas and suggestions at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Alaska next summer? Book soon Marco travel expert says
Ewout Rijk deVries of America Travel on Marco says planning ahead is the best way to maximize your enjoyment of an Alaskan cruise next year.
We learned that when we asked Ewout for some advice on Alaska cruises; some good friends are planning one for 2012.
“Cruise lines offer major discounts for those making reservations during the first half of November and some through the end of December,” he told us. Here are more tips from Ewout’s team, Jill, Michelle and Linda, who Ewout says are the true Alaska travel experts.
“Most cruises sold are seven days with Seattle as the most popular starting point, due to lower airfares into Seattle.
“The premium cruise lines, Princess and Holland America, have their own lodges and offer the most cruises with land packages; normally seven day glacier cruising with two to seven day land packages added at the beginning or end.
“We normally suggest taking the land package first followed by the more relaxing cruise.”
Ewout adds why he suggests Alaska cruisers use a travel agent to plan the trip.
“There is a wide and sometimes confusing choice of itineraries combining land packages with north, or southbound cruises.”
America Travel is at 1116 North Collier Boulevard. Phone: 642-6616.
Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV, in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: email@example.com.