Brent Batten: Plan to promote tourism goes down the toilet
Published 09/28/2011 at 3:52 p.m.
“There are people who are likely to come to Collier County just to see a toilet in a toll booth. That could be a tourist attraction.” _ Commission Chairman Fred Coyle
Brent Batten: Florida raising Cain in GOP presidential field
Published 09/26/2011 at 3:41 p.m.
In a place called the Spin Room, where spokespeople and high-profile supporters told reporters how well their candidate did in the preceding two hours, Herman Cain strode forth to face the press himself.
Brent Batten: State sours on Collier's milk man
Published 09/23/2011 at 4:04 p.m.
In 30-plus years of service with Collier County Parks and Recreation, Jim Thomas navigated through multiple changes in leadership, deflected unsatisfied customers and handled growing responsibilities with a booming laugh and a friendly demeanor. He was ultimately done in by ...
Brent Batten: CREW names Rep. David Rivera one of '2011 Most Corrupt' lawmakers
Updated 09/21/2011 at 3:40 p.m.
CREW named Rivera, who represents part of Collier County, as one of its “2011 Most Corrupt.”
Brent Batten: Oil and water don't mix in politics, either
Published 09/19/2011 at 3:50 p.m.
On the big issues of the day, the parties tend not to work together very well, even though they talk about the need to do so. That is neither surprising nor necessarily distressing.
Brent Batten: New path for economic development starts with old idea
Published 09/16/2011 at 4:57 p.m.
When it comes to economic development, Collier County has hit the Reset button. A vote Thursday by the board of directors of the Collier County Economic Development Council to close its doors means the county will look for a new ...
Brent Batten: State cries foul over spilled milk
Published 09/14/2011 at 4:29 p.m. 2 Comments
You know better than to cry over spilled milk. But when you read this, you may want to.
The 'Spin Room,' the place where all problems can be solved
Updated 09/12/2011 at 10:56 p.m.
If the marriage between CNN and the Tea Party Express seems odd to you, you’re not alone. Even the tea party activists populating preliminary events in advance of Monday’s CNN/Tea Party Express debate among Republican presidential hopefuls in Tampa questioned ...
Brent Batten: The lost feeling of 9-11
Published 09/09/2011 at 3:29 p.m.
What do you remember about Sept. 11, 2001?
Brent Batten: Contrasting projects stimulate debate
Published 09/07/2011 at 3:32 p.m.
Two examples from here in Collier County stand as, if not polar opposites, at least starkly different examples, of how that money was used and how it benefitted, or didn’t, the overall economy.
Brent Batten: Why do they call it Labor Day?
Published 09/02/2011 at 10:24 a.m.
To our dismay, this wasn’t a bikini contest at all. The event had more to do with the physical attributes of the individuals wearing the swimsuits than the swimsuits themselves.
Brent Batten: Group puts hunger on the map
Published 08/26/2011 at 2:54 p.m.
If the map is accurate, in Collier and Lee counties the number of children facing hunger is disturbing.
Brent Batten: Collier's conscience clear on redistricting process
Published 08/24/2011 at 4:35 p.m.
Contrary to critics, Mohlke sees nothing untoward or reckless about the process that at this stage has produced five alternatives for where district lines might be drawn to equalize population and fairly represent Collier’s residents.
Brent Batten: Zoo welcomes videographer, honey badger don't care
Published 08/22/2011 at 3:50 p.m.
Randall is a one-name wonder, narrating animal videos in an irreverent and often profane manner.
Brent Batten: So they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly...
Published 08/19/2011 at 2:34 p.m.
If pastor Terry Jones brings his Christian Dove World Outreach Center to Lee County, there can be little doubt a film crew will be close behind to begin work on “The Beverly Hills of the East Billies.”
Brent Batten: Criticism of Gov. Rick Scott is ensured
Published 08/17/2011 at 2:41 p.m. 1 Comment
If the plan Scott proposed earlier this year to bring the cost of insurance for state employees more in line with what the rest of us pay would have passed, he would have been lambasted for “balancing the budget on ...
Brent Batten: Collier County as a three-ring cirque
Published 08/15/2011 at 3:23 p.m.
What I was really seeing was a morality play about birds and jealousy and evolution from monarchy to democracy and such.
Brent Batten: Extra lights won't give Viagra users the blues
Published 08/12/2011 at 2:34 p.m.
The potential of Viagra and similar drugs to cause changes in color perception has at least one local resident worried that the presence of new blue lights on traffic signal standards will have erectile dysfunction patients slamming into each other ...
Brent Batten: Krumbine has time on her side
Published 08/10/2011 at 4:49 p.m.
Suddenly reassigned Collier County housing director Marcy Krumbine has accumulated enough unused vacation and sick time to form a golden parachute that would carry her to the end of tenure with local government _ had she been hired two years ...
Brent Batten: Petition website a sign of the times
Published 08/08/2011 at 2:14 p.m.
So what Richard Daly of Naples is trying to do isn’t really new, it’s just done in a new way. Daly and his son, Blair, started a web site, PetitionTheGovernment.com where people can weigh in on topics ranging from national ...
Brent Batten: Filming skunk ape proving problematic
Published 08/05/2011 at 3:23 p.m. 4 Comments
Shealy is the world’s foremost purveyor of skunk ape lore, the legends of a Yeti-like creature roaming the wilds of the Everglades and Big Cypress.
Brent Batten: Red Cross volunteers sheltered from flooding
Published 08/03/2011 at 3:46 p.m.
Updated flood zone maps produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency put all of western Collier County in a flood zone, meaning the Red Cross won’t place volunteers in schools converted to shelters as it has in the past.
Brent Batten: Brock is county's trustee sidekick
Updated 08/01/2011 at 4:26 p.m.
It has all the markings of one of those spitting matches between the Collier County commissioners and Clerk of Courts Dwight Brock in which millions of dollars are at stake, attorneys are paid to haggle over fine points of law ...
Brent Batten: Pop quiz: Name that extremist
Published 07/29/2011 at 3:12 p.m.
One faction is labeled as extremist. Can you guess which one?
Brent Batten: Hiller strikes out at Tuesday's Commission meeting
Published 07/27/2011 at 5:05 p.m.
Three times Hiller, the only attorney on the commission, put on her legal hat and three times had that hat handed to her, ending up on the short end of 4 to 1 votes and generating a fair amount of ...
Brent Batten: Marco (not the island) garnering national attention
Published 07/25/2011 at 3:15 p.m.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, less than a year into his freshman term, is emerging as the Republicans’ most telegenic and relatable spokesman as the debt crisis puts a spotlight on the differences between their party and the Democrats.
Brent Batten: Learn to expect the unexpected
Published 07/22/2011 at 4:02 p.m.
You can add to the list the abject inability to guess what’s going on with unemployment. But we’re a plucky species, and by golly we keep on trying.
Brent Batten: Mack stands firm on debt ceiling
Published 07/20/2011 at 4:05 p.m.
Being in the majority is no guarantee you won’t sometimes be a minority.
Brent Batten: U.S. 41 carries history on its shoulders
Published 07/18/2011 at 5:16 p.m.
The state is poised to spend almost $7 million to add two feet of pavement to the shoulders on U.S. 41 east of State Road 29 all the way to the Dade County line.
Brent Batten: Insurer seeks private Citizens
Published 07/15/2011 at 4:23 p.m.
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the state’s “insurer of last resort,” has grown to be the third largest writer of property insurance in the country.
Brent Batten: Candidates let you have it your way
Published 07/13/2011 at 4 p.m.
It is often said government needs to run more like a business. Let’s be more specific: Government needs to run more like a restaurant.
Brent Batten: D.C.'s big deal is no big deal
Published 07/11/2011 at 4:51 p.m.
The big cuts in the big debt cutting deal will never happen.
Brent Batten: Commissioners thrust into teeth of dilemma
Published 07/08/2011 at 3:28 p.m.
The water fluoridation debate is coming to Southwest Florida.
Brent Batten: Always look on the bright side of death
Published 07/06/2011 at 2:18 p.m.
We’re always told to look on the bright side of things and in a society that values a good yarn loosely based on reality, at a time when baseless celebrity is exulted and life is cheap, the death of little ...
Brent Batten: On freedom, the founders and beans
Published 07/01/2011 at 2:45 p.m. 2 Comments
The wealth of history and lore surrounding July 4 demands that every once in a while we review the lives of the Founding Fathers, the origins of our seminal documents and the volume of beans coming from North Dakota.
Brent Batten: Georgia Hiller's vote means more to Arthrex
Published 06/29/2011 at 3:30 p.m.
It’s one thing not to have the support of a particular county commissioner. It’s quite another not to have the support of the particular commissioner who represents your district.
Brent Batten: Public sector union rhetoric bad for business
Published 06/27/2011 at 3:40 p.m. 1 Comment
As counterintuitive as it may sound, tax breaks are a means of maximizing tax revenue.
Brent Batten: Naples radio host gets credit for raising Cain
Published 06/24/2011 at 3:08 p.m.
How did Cain, a successful businessman with a knack for turning around struggling companies, come to be a radio host?
Brent Batten: Bigger not necessarily better for Big Brothers
Published 06/22/2011 at 2:53 p.m.
Our job ostensibly was to offer advice on matters pertaining to Collier County. I say ostensibly because our real job was raising money.
Brent Batten: Reunion of former drug smugglers heads uptown
Published 06/20/2011 at 2:20 p.m.
McBride, a self-described former marijuana smuggler, has moved the site of a reunion with his fellow reformed outlaws to Naples after hearing criticism from folks in Everglades City, where it was originally set.
Brent Batten: Hiller wants city to build more parking garages for beachgoers
Published 06/16/2011 at 8:57 a.m.
Georgia Hiller has introduced and vows to research an idea that is sure to go over with City Council like an Anthony Weiner photo spread — beach parking garages in the city.
Brent Batten: Reality TV goes in search of the skunk ape
Updated 06/13/2011 at 5:36 p.m.
David Shealy’s been trekking through the Everglades for 35 years looking for the skunk ape. This week, he’ll have company.
Brent Batten: Beach group won't concede on concessions
Published 06/10/2011 at 4:39 p.m.
Sort of like the tide and the sea turtles, the issue of improved restrooms and concessions keeps coming back to Vanderbilt Beach.
Brent Batten: The Honorable Representative? Not for Weiner
Published 06/08/2011 at 3:34 p.m.
Remember when the title “Honorable” bestowed upon members of Congress meant something? Neither do I.
Brent Batten: Naples doctor among WHO's Who on cell phone risk
Updated 06/06/2011 at 5:28 p.m.
Dr. David Perlmutter doesn’t want to say, “I told you so.” But somehow, he’s almost compelled to in the wake of the World Health Organization announcement last week that cell phone use possibly causes cancer in humans.
Brent Batten: When a cut is not a cut
Published 06/03/2011 at 9:01 a.m.
A 9 percent increase is deemed a “cut” because it is $2 billion less than what the president requested.
Brent Batten: Decency of Ohio State's Tressel shows at the end
Published 05/31/2011 at 3:56 p.m. 1 Comment
It came as sad news to hear Jim Tressel, the most successful Ohio State football coach in a generation, had resigned Monday.
Brent Batten: Whirlwind look at storm preparedness
Published 05/27/2011 at 4:27 p.m.
Good emergency planning is universal, be it for a tornado, a hurricane or a zombie invasion.
Brent Batten: Former smuggler launches Operation Reunion
Published 05/27/2011 at 3:01 p.m.
McBride says he isn’t proud of what he and his crew did in the 1980s, but he’s not apologetic either.
Brent Batten: New York candidate gets Rolyed
Published 05/25/2011 at 2:34 p.m.
His participation was noteworthy in that it represented one of the first times a Tea Party candidate’s insertion in the race was used to draw votes away from a more conservative contender.