3 To Know: Jared Grifoni new City Council chair
1. Marco council elects new chair, vice-chair
The Marco Island City Council met Monday night and unanimously elected councilors Jared Grifoni and Charlette Roman to serve as chair and vice-chair, respectively.
Council also heard from Robert Cholka, chair of the Ad Hoc Parking Solutions Committee, and Erick Brechnitz, chair of the Planning Board.
Additionally, the councilors issued a proclamation commending the distinguished service of Hurricane Irma volunteers, approved the 2018 City Council meeting schedule and discussed ten resolutions and ordinances, including a resolution approving the conditional use request for the construction of a cut in nautical garage and an ordinance requesting approval of changes to parking requirements for restaurants located in shopping centers and other multi-use commercial buildings.
2. Physicians Regional donates $50K for Irma recovery
Physicians Regional Healthcare System has given $50,000 to two local nonprofit organizations that are instrumental in Hurricane Irma disaster relief for residents.
The hospital system donated $25,000 each to the Greater Marco Family YMCA and to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.
The Greater Marco YMCA serves families from Marco Island, Everglades City, Goodland and East Naples, and the gift from Physicians Regional will go to help families who still are recovering from the storm, said Cindy Love-Abounader, chief executive officer of the YMCA.
The Harry Chapin food bank can use its network of food donors to convert the hospital’s gift to about $200,000 worth of food, said Richard LeBer, president and chief executive officer of Harry Chapin.
3. Trump restricts American travel to Cuba
President Trump cracked down on the ability of U.S. citizens to travel and do business with Cuba on Wednesday, a major step toward rolling back another Obama-era policy.
Under new regulations that took effect yesterday, the Trump administration is banning Americans from doing business with dozens of entities with links to Cuba’s military. The move affects stores, hotels, tourist agencies and even two rum makers.
There will also be a restriction on "people-to-people" visas, which thousands of Americans have used in recent years to easily travel to Havana and other cities in Cuba. Now, those travelers will need to be accompanied by a U.S.-based tour guide who must ensure Americans are engaging in approved activities that help the Cuban people.