On this week’s "Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle" program, airing on Sunday morning at 10 on ABC7:
What is in the public and private future for Gary Price, who is leaving Naples City Council due to term limits after eight-plus years?
For Dr. Elsa Zayas, chief of the year-old Veterans Affairs clinic in Cape Coral: How is the facility fighting post-traumatic stress disorder?
For Michael Ramsey, Golden Gate Estates civic leader: What comes next for emergency services and roads in the Estates?
Video highlights will be posted at naplesnews.com/newsmakers.
Here are excerpts:
NewsMakers - Gary Price
Gary Price on NewsMakers
Lytle: The race for U.S. House District 19 vacated by Trey Radel ... officially are you in or out?
Price: I have decided to go with the Price family plan. The Price family plan is putting my family first for the next couple of years. They’re at fragile ages where they still actually still like me being around and so does my wife after 23 years. So, I have decided to put them first as they’ve always been.
Lytle: I was going to say that you have always put family first.
Price: It’s not new to me. It’s not a political line. It’s my heart and my passion and I don’t believe that I can do both well and so I’m going to continue to do my family service and I have a lot of exciting things that I’m working on.
NewsMakers Dr. Elsa Zayas
Dr. Elsa Zayas on NewsMakers with Jeff ...
Lytle: Sounds to me like so far this clinic is just rocking and rolling.
Zayas: It is. It’s a wonderful clinic. It’s been a great expansion to our services in Southwest Florida to our veterans. We went from a 50,000-square-foot facility in Fort Myers to over 220,000 square feet in Cape Coral, with expansion of a lot of our services that we were having already in Fort Myers in addition to other services that are needed.
Lytle: We should point out that the Naples clinic is still open, still very important part of the matrix here, but what your clinic does is it offers better and additional services and it saves a lot of folks a long van ride to Bay Pines in St. Petersburg.
Lytle: That’s a big deal.
Zayas: Certainly. One of the nice features that we added in our clinic is that we now have CT and MRI capability. So that is one of the features that our veterans would have to drive all the way to Bay Pines. So that saves them about half a trip. And we will also be adding mammography this year for our female veterans. So we are very excited about these opportunities.
NewsMakers Michael Ramsey
Michael Ramsey on NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle
Lytle: Let’s go first to fire and EMS services. You have some concerns about the future of those services and which way they should go, they should be in conjunction with another fire department, if so which one?
Ramsey: Well that’s a complicated issue, but to make it very clear, consolidation and EMS tie in together. EMS is the premier emergency medical service.
In Golden Gate Estates, we’ve always had a rough time getting them out there within the 12-minute time limit. We were very impressed with the Board of Collier County Commissioners on Jan. 14 to vote that Collier EMS should try to make some major operational changes to improve response times to 8 minutes ... .
I am very impressed with the ongoing efforts of the East Naples/Golden Gate merger. But I am not impressed at all and somewhat disappointed with the operations of Big Corkscrew Island fire district and North Naples fire district because instead of coming up with options to improve the system ... they’ve decided to ignore that and try to expand North Naples coverage area or the ability to do ALS coverage into Big Corkscrew Island fire district before evaluating the impacts of the changes in EMS operation to improve service.