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MARK STRAIN

Title: Columnist - Collier Citizen
Contact: | Send MARK an email

Recent Work

  • On the Mark: An epidemic called Alzheimer’s Published 07/18/2011 at 11:28 a.m.

    According to Wikipedia, an epidemic occurs when new cases of a disease substantially exceed what is expected based on recent experience. The disease need not be communicable in order to be considered an epidemic. While growing old is in itself ...

  • On the Mark: Better use of what we currently have built Published 07/11/2011 at 11:50 a.m.

    The Florida Legislature recently approved another extension to large developments approved as DRI’s (Developments of Regional Impact). If a qualified project submits a request by December of this year to extend their completion date, they can add 4 years to ...

  • On the Mark: For Arthrex, it was actually a better vote Published 07/05/2011 at 11:46 a.m.

    To say that last Tuesday’s Collier County Commission meeting involving Arthrex was unique would be quite an understatement. What followed that meeting has been a bewildering battle of political consequence over an issue that was won not once by Arthrex, ...

  • On the Mark: New growth legislation closes the door Published 06/21/2011 at 9:27 a.m.

    It is not uncommon to hear our Collier County commissioners comment about the activities going on in Tallahassee. Sometimes the comments are not favorable and tend to express frustration that Tallahassee too often exerts unnecessary control over local municipalities.

  • On the Mark: Joining resources: The Gordon River Greenway park Published 06/13/2011 at 11:49 a.m.

    Even in the best of times, finding money to improve or create new public projects always generates lots of questions. Often new spending is simply a no win no matter how good the project may be.

  • On the Mark: Funding private business with taxes Published 06/06/2011 at 2:57 p.m.

    If looking for something positive to come from the failed attempt by Jackson Labs to locate in Collier County, it would most certainly be the heightened awareness of both taxpayers and voters to local politics.

  • On the Mark: Squeezing more out of every drop Published 05/31/2011 at 12:22 p.m.

    While the economy may be getting better for some people, the high price of gasoline is definitely having a chilling effect on a swift recovery. Gasoline is a factor in everything; especially when products have farther to travel before reaching ...

  • On the Mark: A backwards approach to new information Published 05/23/2011 at 11:58 a.m.

    Instead of electing our officials based upon the knowledge and experience they possess that will help them to do the job they are elected to, many unfortunately gain their positions as the result of winning a local popularity contest.

  • On the Mark: What is left of the ATV park? Published 05/16/2011 at 11:52 a.m.

    Every parcel of land has a value and all kinds of variables are factored into the valuations. When thinking about a purchase, if you compare land values set by professional appraisers to the asking price, hopefully what you pay will ...

  • On the Mark: Pathways are a good fuel alternative Published 05/09/2011 at 3:47 p.m.

    If you think gas prices will ever get back to below $3 a gallon, well, don’t hold your breath while you wait. We will probably be fortunate if they stay below $4 per gallon for any length of time.

  • On the Mark: Are we to be the California of the east? Published 05/02/2011 at 9:45 a.m.

    Seven steps, 700,000 jobs and 7 years. When we were weary from years of recession and unemployment, that sure sounded good; it was a great campaign slogan and no doubt influenced many voters in the election of Rick Scott as ...

  • On the Mark: The right target for fertilizer controls Published 04/25/2011 at 10:27 a.m.

    The state of Florida is requiring the adoption of a local ordinance that will regulate the use of fertilizer on urban landscapes. Local municipalities have the choice of either adopting a model ordinance with minimum standards to meet state requirements ...

  • On the Mark: Sometimes it is necessary to push back Published 04/18/2011 at 10:10 a.m.

    Before she was elected, Collier County Commissioner Georgia Hiller was the subject of criticism from members of the board she was eventually elected to. Some board members openly supported other candidates and in spite of their efforts to prevent her ...

  • On the Mark: If we could just work without party politics Published 04/11/2011 at 9:40 a.m.

    What is the American public supposed to think after the reckless federal budget battle last week? Up to the very last minute doom and gloom of every description, including a government “shut down” was forecast if a compromise could not ...

  • On the Mark: Preserving the essential services of government Published 04/04/2011 at 10:26 a.m.

    For the vast majority of people, if a decision is to be made that benefits them, their expected reaction is to be in support of that decision. Therein lies the theory that seems to be the basis for our political ...

  • On the Mark: ‘Encouragement’ to abandon your property rights Published 03/28/2011 at 3:03 p.m.

    Property rights are an issue many folks are passionate about, especially property owners whose fundamental property rights are under attack by the government. Imagine owning a piece of property with frontage on a public road and then being told you ...

  • On the Mark: Advertising means more than just getting them here Published 03/21/2011 at 11:26 a.m.

    In a rare opportunity, I managed to get out on the water last week. Two of the best attractions in Southwest Florida are our beaches and estuaries and the way I have chosen to enjoy these terrific amenities is by ...

  • On the Mark: Back to that annoying alarm clock Published 03/14/2011 at 11:09 a.m.

    I should have known something was wrong. Just when things seem too good to be true, you can count on government to make sure that it is. For weeks, if not months, I have been waking up each day blissfully ...

  • On the Mark: Bankruptcy: A possibility for cities and states Published 03/07/2011 at 2:12 p.m.

    The recent change in our economy has left many short on funds and behind on payments. We have become accustom to people who have lost vehicles and homes. Businesses closing their doors has become another common sight. But going broke ...

  • On the Mark: The benefits of a big old truck Published 02/28/2011 at 3:31 p.m.

    With the tourist season in full swing and our roads becoming more congested than we have seen for quite a few years, the signs seem to indicate we are having a rather good season. Hopefully that will translate into more ...

  • On the Mark: We have paid for much greater efficiency Published 02/21/2011 at 1:38 p.m.

    State and federal budget cuts are finally becoming actual proposals instead of just more talk. A rash of solutions are being suggested to reduce revenues throughout various levels of government. In response, politicians are finally starting to think reduced spending ...

  • On the Mark: America may learn something from Egypt Published 02/14/2011 at 4:30 p.m.

    I watched with great interest the developments in Egypt over the past couple of weeks. After being ruled by a perpetual leadership for 30 years, the citizens of Egypt finally have had enough and began the complicated process of turning ...

  • On the Mark: Perceptions should be avoided when possible Published 02/07/2011 at 1:15 p.m.

    No one can serve two masters. Somewhere along the way the perception of a conflict of interest could easily evolve into a valid concern. The ongoing questions into the intentions behind Paradise Advertising’s donations to two special Collier County projects ...

  • On the Mark: Time to take a deep breath Published 01/31/2011 at 10:34 a.m.

    There have certainly been personality clashes on the Collier County Commission since last November’s election. Some of the members have been vacillating between a generally combative attitude and obvious discontentment with the questions and comments of newly seated member Georgia ...

  • On the Mark: One county, two sets of rules Published 01/25/2011 at 10:08 a.m.

    The highly contested issue regarding the 4/5ths vote for zoning in the eastern areas of Collier County was settled last week when the Board of County Commissioners agreed with the position of the dozen or so large land owners in ...

  • On the Mark: We need to let the commercial real estate market take care of itself Published 01/24/2011 at 1:56 p.m.

    The more we progress, the more that progress seems to become weighed down by government involvement in our lives. Regulation now defines a civilized nation rather than individual freedom, creativity, and competition that at one time were the building blocks ...

  • On the Mark: Jackson Labs: Will there be a round two? Published 01/10/2011 at 12:51 p.m.

    For whatever reason, and one we may never honestly know, approval of the controversial Jackson Labs project has been pulled from the new governor’s consideration until it can be rewritten to better conform to what the applicants hope are the ...

  • On the Mark: Some parents cannot handle parenting Published 01/03/2011 at 12:27 p.m.

    Large corporations are often the target of frivolous lawsuits and companies as large as McDonald’s have over the years had their share. Instead of taking the fight through years of court battles, big businesses can sometimes save both time and ...

  • On the Mark: Political donations come with a cost Published 12/27/2010 at 12:23 p.m.

    Rick Scott wasn’t elected by a super majority of voters; not even close. His race was won by a mere 61,550 votes out of 5,359,735, just slightly above 1 percent. Obviously, it would not have taken much to change the ...

  • On the Mark: An abandoned bird’s nest is out of the question Published 12/20/2010 at 10 a.m.

    As children, finding that perfect Christmas tree was an exciting part of the holiday season. Throughout the year we played in a deep and wonderful forest filled with a canopy of mixed pines and hardwoods. Snow was always piled high ...

  • On the Mark: Seeking the best eastern I-75 interchange Published 12/13/2010 at 11:41 a.m.

    If you were to poll people living in the eastern areas of Collier County, and especially in eastern Golden Gate Estates, on whether or not they would like to see an additional Interstate 75 interchange further east than the current ...

  • On the Mark: A closer look at Ave Maria’s rezone request Published 12/06/2010 at 12:11 p.m.

    Ave Maria was originally approved as a large “walkable” town in the rural area of the county more than five years ago. That original approval provided the developer with the ability to apply more than 100 different uses within the ...

  • On the Mark: Friday was good, but was it that good? Published 11/29/2010 at 10:01 a.m.

    There is something unsettling about Black Friday. Rushing out before dawn, standing in lines waiting for stores to open their doors, and trading hard earned money for the day’s best “bargains” — all for the hope of a great price ...

  • On the Mark: An arbitrator need not replace memory Published 11/22/2010 at 11:49 a.m.

    Lawsuits began flying fast and furious last week involving Jackson Labs. One issue at stake is whether or not it takes three or four commissioners to make a decision concerning site specific zoning in the eastern part of our county.

  • On the Mark: Brock wins and so do the taxpayers Published 11/15/2010 at noon

    Finally, after a wasteful six years and combined spending in excess of $4 million, Collier County Clerk of Courts Dwight Brock has won the final court battle against the Collier County Commission. Now he can proceed with the job the ...

  • On the Mark: Implementing campaign commitments Published 11/08/2010 at 11:47 a.m.

    After months of late night phone calls, e-mails from people I don’t know and a mailbox full of colorful flyers with little substance, the election is finally over. Good riddance.

  • On the Mark: Circumventing the law and election process Published 11/01/2010 at 2:24 p.m.

    At some point a decision will be made concerning Jackson Labs. Unbeknownst to most of us, over the past couple of years many decisions have already been made in the back rooms of local government and no doubt more are ...

  • On the Mark: A bigger pile is not the best solution Published 10/25/2010 at 11:47 a.m.

    If it wasn’t so wasteful, it would be comical. At the same time that Collier County government is attempting to buy into the advanced bio-medical scientific research field, they are also seriously considering piling our garbage in a 175-foot high ...

  • On the Mark: It’s time for a coffee break Published 10/18/2010 at 10:52 a.m.

    Negative campaigning is on overload and it’s time for a break. Thanks to the Internet, we get too much news nowadays and most of the news we get is not good. Stories are created that make mountains out of molehills ...

  • On the Mark: The mistake exists, so deal with it Published 10/11/2010 at 11:16 a.m.

    After nearly 13 years of missed deadlines and failed funding, Collier County has finally begun to move forward with its long anticipated Watershed Management Plan. There have been a series of public meetings to introduce the progress and explain the ...

  • On the Mark: Too much of a good thing Published 10/04/2010 at 12:43 p.m.

    When you have created an agency around a worthy cause it is really hard to modify your purpose when things go in reverse. Back in what some have referred to as the “gilded age,” the time when homes were going ...

  • On the Mark: New meaning for ‘Made in China’ Published 09/27/2010 at 1:58 p.m.

    After decades of damage to the environment through the use of petroleum-based products, a great emphasis has developed to find more sustainable alternatives to our dependency on oil.

  • On the Mark: Finding jobs in existing projects Published 09/20/2010 at 10:50 a.m.

    It may not be the best of times to bring a new development on-line, but there are some signs of life out there for existing previously approved projects. In some ways the sour economy actually benefitted many of the older ...

  • On the Mark: The difference between a mosque and the Koran Published 09/17/2010 at 4:14 p.m.

    The closer we got to the anniversary of 9/11, the more crazy the world seemed to get. If it wasn’t bad enough that planning is underway to build a mosque near the site of the 9/11 attack, certainly a poke ...

  • On the Mark: Time for a hurricane preparedness check Published 09/07/2010 at 10:39 a.m.

    The movement of an intense hurricane along our eastern seaboard should have caught our attention, enough at least to start us thinking of how easily we could be the future target. Hurricane Earl made Category 4 level with winds at ...

  • On the Mark: Making better mobility a priority Published 08/30/2010 at 11:58 a.m.

    For five long years we have been adjusting our standards in reaction to the new long term economic realities. Besides the personal changes made by most families, governments and industries are also realizing they need to have a more frugal ...

  • On the Mark: The real importance of the tea party Published 08/23/2010 at 11:54 a.m.

    The tea party movement is attracting a lot of attention. The folks involved have been praised by some and condemned by others. There have been plenty of accusations by both supporters and detractors over what this new movement is and ...

  • On the Mark: Oil in the Gulf: The disappearing act Published 08/09/2010 at 10:23 a.m.

    Now that BP has stopped the flow of oil from its wayward well in the Gulf of Mexico, the spin doctors are beginning to assure us all is going to be just fine. The problem is that most of their ...

  • On the Mark: An internal loan is still taxpayers money Published 08/02/2010 at 11:34 a.m.

    Last week’s Collier County Commission meeting on the Jackson Labs project may be considered more noteworthy for what did not happen as compared to what did happen.

  • On the Mark: Winning an election should take more than marketing Published 07/26/2010 at 12:19 p.m.

    For many years I have been using the absentee ballot to submit my vote. The convenience of this method far surpasses trying to find my voting location before or after work hours and dealing with the extended time sometimes needed ...

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