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The Annual Royal Harbor Halloween event is on. We will be using the north Dolphin entrance and streets this year. We had a number of people step up to volunteer. More later.
Water Lines.. The contractor for this project is supposed to leave your property as they found it. They should replace sprinklers, grass, drives,etc. as they found them. Those concerned should contact the cityBmiddleton@naplesgov.com.. Bob Middleton. In every case I know they have resolved all issues.
There is more going on in the area but I am as busy as a one armed paper hanger this week. So more to come next week.
Here is what is going on.
The water line install is still underway although it runs in spurts it seems. Lots of workers working then a stall of a few days then resuming work again. The line down Snook is laid out now and it crosses the road twice. It goes down the East side of the road going south from Marlin, then crosses the road at the curve to the North side. Then at the west curve where the road turns back south it again crosses the road back to the East until the end where it loops under the canal. I can only suppose it follows the old line. So far I have not seen any horizontal boring under driveways. Sandpiper Street south to Sheepshead and down appear done as far as burying the line. Not yet re-grassed or finished up.
The city is again considering new firefighters, a fire boat (or a water Boat) and these are under review by the council. The whole firefighter situation is again rearing its head as the State union reps are trying to work on maintaining the status quo from the state level. State mandates could wipe out all the gains made by local cities and counties in firefighter contracts and pension reforms. This state wide city reform has been led in large part by the city of Naples. I will be sending more on this as it becomes more clear. In summary, it does look like as we slowly recover our tax base, all city departments see an opportunity to increase their individual funding. In their defense many have taken cuts and most have not seen increases for years. Still, just because we are seeing increased revenue, should not mean to go on a spending spree. Fortunately, we have several very good bean counters on council. Some moderate growth and possible consolidations could be beneficial in many instances.
The topic of shared response through 911 is HOT now as everyone here has an opinion of sharing facilities, costs, response times for emergencies and other related factors. Right now the city of Naples is the only hold out in this program to combine all efforts. In Royal Harbor,we do not have a city fire department station on this side of the bay nor do we have an ambulance center. Our closest center for this is East Naples, however, the city is reluctant to jump in to this as a full compliant member participant. This program is for firefighters and paramedics in Collier County. Recently cited was the house fire across the street from the airport. Even though the airport director saw the fire and tried to send the firefighters from his facility to assist in this (and they would have been first on the scene) they were prohibited from leaving their post by the Naples command in the city. Many think this was a bad decision. Now the director of the airport has requested other fire departments bid for the services on their location. (the airport pays for their station in most part) There is a lot of rumbling and grumbling among many citizens on these issues.
I am including as an attachment some information from the police on Fraud prevention. In this light, many of you know we have had some residential burglaries. At least one of the burglars was caught and arrested. Events leading to this arrest were interesting. We had video surveillance from some homeowners, we had our video cameras and one resident even saw something that they deemed suspicious. They took photos of the vehicle and plate. It had not only the stolen items in it, but was driven by the, then, prime suspect. Arrests were then made. Good Jobs by everyone.Fraud-prevention-tips
Nothing new on Race Track station. There is a group complaining about mosquito control. Is anyone getting bit and should we add our name to the complaint? I have not noticed a worsening problem.
There is a lot going on for this time of year.
First is the water project. This is the laying of the new 8 inch water lines in Royal Harbor. Right now the project is past Sheepshead and moving along down Sandpiper toward Marlin. They are going right along and you can drive down the street to see how the project is going. If you recall we were told that driveways would be horizontally drilled under. I see no evidence of this and it appears they are taking up pavers, digging then replacing them. In concrete drives they just cut the concrete then dig and, I suppose, replace it. I guess we should have known from the dredging project that the plans change once the contracts are awarded and the project begins. I also see they are putting in some new water hydrants and I know some are unhappy with their placement. If you have questions, you have to contact the city for answers. The link is email@example.com. (Bob Middleton) he can field your questions or send you on to the contractor’s people. Overall, I have to say it looks like they are moving along and the outcome appears will be fine. No one likes inconvenience, but this is the price we have to pay to update our water supply.
Many times people stop me and complain about the decisions the city makes. If you would like to have a say in the city, you can always volunteer for one of the many advisory boards. Available openings can be found at http://www.naplesgov.com/index.aspx?NID=517 If you would like to volunteer, please read details and apply. Get involved and make a difference.
RaceTrac . The petition for stopping the new RaceTrac is attached if you are against this and want to add your name. Just click the link below. .
In 2 days the council will take the initial vote on the merging of the emergency responders 911 system. I have mentioned this last month but again will summarize using the Naples Daily news article below. (Brett Batten)
NAPLES, Fla. – In this corner, the city staff and fire chief, with a raft of technical questions and gloomy scenarios.
And in this corner, the county’s foremost self-made expert on matters of emergency services coordination, ably but not unequivocally supported by the Collier County Medical Society.
That’s the fight that’s shaping up Wednesday over whether the city of Naples should take part in a new emergency dispatch system that would send the closest appropriate unit to medical calls regardless of political boundaries. It would mean paramedics on a North Naples Fire Department truck, for example, might respond to a medical call in the city of Naples or a Naples firetruck might be sent to East Naples.
GPS transponders in more than 450 emergency vehicles countywide would allow a computer to find and send the closest unit in a process called Computer Assisted Dispatch, or CAD.
Sitting as ringside judges in the contest will be Naples’ mayor and City Council members who will decide whether to join the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, county ambulance service, Marco Island police and fire and seven independent fire districts already committed to participating in CAD and closest unit response.
The sheriff’s office is spearheading the initiative, installing a new dispatch system to replace the one it now operates for itself, EMS and the fire departments.
The city staff, heavyweights including City Manager Bill Moss and Fire Chief Steve McInerny, are recommending a split decision. Their advice to council is to join the CAD system, allowing the sheriff’s new computer to keep track of its police and fire vehicles while city employees dispatch them from the city’s own call center. But they recommend against participating in closest unit response, saying the logistical and technical questions are too many and worrying the net result might be a lower level of service for city residents.
That’s raised the fighting ire of Marvin Easton, a proponent of closest unit response who’s been lobbying tirelessly for its adoption by the city. Easton has recruited the Collier County Medical Society, whose president, Dr. Mitchell Zeitler, has penned a letter on behalf of the group. “If feasible for the city, we recommend implementing the ‘Closest Appropriate Available Unit Response’ by use of the new CAD system,” Zeitler wrote.
That “if feasible” could be a sticking point.
A lengthy report attached to Wednesday’s City Council agenda shows city staff is not convinced closest unit response is feasible.
Among the potential drawbacks:
Units from other jurisdictions may not be familiar with city streets and buildings, meaning any time saved en route would be negated.
And, if city units are called to emergencies just outside the city, it could slow the response to a concurrent emergency in the heart of the city.
“While some citizens may benefit by implementation of ‘closest unit response,’ there is no compelling evidence that the majority of citizens of Naples will benefit. In fact, the overall emergency response capabilities will diminish for most citizens,” the staff report states.
The staff report envisions a situation in which neighboring departments will come into the city more often than city units will go into them. That could lead to those neighboring departments seeking money from Naples to cover the costs.
“If it is later determined that compensation is to be paid for an imbalance of calls, are these funds better utilized to staff and equip the Naples Fire-Rescue Department?” the staff report asks.
That line, Easton says, is telling.
He believes the reluctance to participate in closest available unit response is rooted in a desire to add men and equipment to the Naples Fire Department instead. In his proposed budget, to be discussed Monday by the council, McInerny asks for one new firefighter.
Less than 2 percent of the calls the fire department responds to are fires and most of those are out before firefighters arrive.
The biggest chunk of the roughly 5,000 calls the department gets each year are medical calls. Why add firefighters and resist a plan to get people to medical emergencies quicker, Easton wonders.
“I don’t know how the addition of more staff will reduce the time it takes to get from a fire station to a critical medical call, but maybe we will be enlightened on this on (Wednesday),” Easton wrote in one of dozens of emails he’s written on the topic.
The staff recommendation suggests waiting until after closest unit response is working in other parts of the county and then join if everything is going well.
Easton says that’s backward. The city should move forward now, to get in on the initial planning and programming of the system, which is to go operational at the start of 2016. If things aren’t working out, it can back out before the system is turned on.
In addition to the Medical Society, Easton has asked the Chamber of Commerce and various city property owners associations to weigh in Monday.
The chamber’s public policy committee hasn’t taken a formal position but former NCH administrator Ed Morton, a member of the committee, said he intends to speak in favor of closest unit response. He understands the city may want more data, but it’s just common sense that having closer units respond will save time and in turn lives. “Why would you not want to get emergency services to those in need faster?” Morton asked.
Just a week ago Morton said, he was at a Naples restaurant when a woman died of a sudden heart attack. A police officer with an AED device was on the scene quickly but it took several minutes for Naples firefighters/medics to arrive. The restaurant was probably closer to a North Naples fire station than a Naples station, he said. “That puts a human face on it,” he said of the experience.
Easton says he doesn’t plan to speak at Wednesday’s meeting. “I’m not going to say a word. I’ve inundated them with my thoughts.” Instead, he hopes for a big turnout of heavy hitters like Morton and Zeitler to make the case. Regardless, he knows convincing a majority of council members of the efficacy of closest unit response will be a fight.
“There is only so much we can do when more staff and more equipment is the objective,” he said.
If you want your opinion heard email Council@naplesgov.com and sound off. As a note, we in Royal Harbor do not have a firestation or EMT on this side of the bay so the ones closer for us would be East Naples. What do we do if the bridge is closed from an accident or other problem and we need an emergency vehicle? It seems to me on what I have studied this would be good for Royal Harbor.
Another related Council issue—another city boat. I am told there is one now in the proposed budget. It is listed as a $135,000 expenditure. However here is another persons take on the actual cost of such a boat to the city.
If the City gets another water rescue boat, will it need a certified diver/paramedic, to man the boat Will it be manned 24/7/365 or fewer hours or days in the year?
Will the water rescue crew be housed at station #1 and driven to the harbor (how long will that take?), or will there need to be auxiliary housing built complete with sleeping area, workout area, TV and kitchen for the crew?
Will the rescue boat need a crew of the diver/paramedic plus someone to man the boat while the diver/paramedic is performing his rescue Who will decide which of and how many of the 7 rescue boat are dispatched for each rescue?
If there is a rescue need, and it is outside of Naples City waters, who will decide if the Naples rescue boat is dispatched?
Or do we find that out after City Council buys the boat, like they did with the quick response vehicle?
Is this all covered in the $135,000?
(short answer is NO , this is cost of the boat)
Lastly the cameras. Our association spent the dues money collected from residents to purchase the surveillance cameras. We also pay monthly to maintain these and each time the police need access we pay. For members we provide the service free, but to those 75 to 100 persons in Royal Harbor who choose not to be members, we will bill for this. The cost is about $150 per download. How this works is this. If you have a crime and fill out a police report, the police determine if there is any benefit in looking at the videos taken during a certain period. They then inform me and then we give permission to the cameras maintenance persons to take a download and give it to the police for review. Evidently some newer officers are uninformed of this process. I have alerted the Chief of this situation so it should be resolved now.
This week they are once again working on the entry lights into Royal Harbor at the flagpole. Seems this problem has a life of its own. Hopefully we will get this situation under control.
The water main project has now started, one month behind the proposed start date. I have driven down Sheepshead and see they are about 100 yards along. I noticed they were removing pavers in driveways and digging, then replacing, them. Many of us thought the plan was to bore under driveways, but now I am told this will only happen on asphalt or cement drives. I guess we are a work in progress. If you are concerned, drive down and take a look for yourself.
This delayed start may push back the finish dates and dates published earlier for doing the various streets. I have no data on that. Let’s hope for a good outcome. Concerns need to be directed to the city staff overseeing the project.
Bob Middleton, Utilities Director
I have been contacted by the group opposing the RACETRAC about the plans to meet. I am unclear if they are trying to stop it or scale it down but I think this is a group in progress and they are meeting in the next two weeks. I will keep you all informed as they notify me. Since this is a county project and not in the city, county commissioners will be the ones regulating this. There is a new RACETRAC up on Airport Road just about to open. It is across the street and down from Tamiami Ford. So you can get an idea of what it would look like if it passes.
Home Building has really boomed this spring and there must be a dozen or more new starts in the area. Small homes are now the minority and I know of builders seeking lots and older homes they can tear down and build on. If you have one, now is a good time to sell.
Many like to keep track of solds in the area and also would like to know dimensions, etc. on your lot. I have an email (in 3 parts) of the Royal Harbor Plat I am attaching to this . You can bring it up and print out or keep it in your computer files. I know I use this all the time.
We had record rainfall this week. I had over 7 inches in my rain gauge in about 4 hours. I know it made national news. The city was flooded with cars stalled around the mall and Golden Gate intersection and a lot on Gulf Shore Blvd all over the TV news. Here, it just ran into the canal, so no problems. Still, a record for any day in August ever.
Naples has mosquito patrol and control. They fly planes and helicopters and spray. This is on a rotation basis throughout the county but I know it is also by demand. This means if enough people call and complain about mosquitoes they send out a sprayer. So here is the number to call. (239) 436 1000 If you are getting bit call and ask your neighbors to call too. They will put you up on the list.
I have had some calls about trash in the canals. Both from clippings and just trash blown in from the bay. The city does send a boat out occasionally to pick this up if you call it in. Also if you see someone throwing yard waste in the cal get the plate number or the company and report it.
For those up North. The weather continues hot and afternoon storms come daily. Restaurants are having lots of specials and trying to keep busy. Traffic is still busy during commuter times, but not so much during the day. Expect a lot of traffic when you come back next fall though, as new businesses along 41 and around town are starting up and vacant buildings are filling up. Between the construction of new homes and the business surge, there are a lot of trucks on the road. Rental property is now becoming scarce. Lots of people also are working on homes that were bought distressed in the Real Estate crunch hoping to turn them into cash. More and more people want to retire here so it is only going to get more crowded.
Water Project (important)
First is the water project about ready to kick off. There was some delay in starting as plans were altered from the original ones. When first announced most of us thought the new water line would go in the street along the various roads. Then at the meeting we were told that the line would be put into the right of way. This means that many yards will be impacted as the trench will be dug there. It was told to us that driveways would likely be horizontally bored underground as to not break them up. The pipe would then be laid under them. Yards and landscape would be replaced after the line was installed. To see what this looks like you may go over to Old Naples and drive along the South Side of the Naples Hospital. Along this road on the South the city just did a similar project and installed a large irrigation water line. (much larger than our line. ) They used a similar technique and you can see very little shows now that the line is in.
There was some concern about the line and the possibility of it causing some Royal Palms and other large trees to be removed. I corresponded with Bill Moss (the city manager) on this. He said he personally drove the roads and discussed this with the contractor who said that it would not be a problem to work around this. So we hope for the best as this is a project that has to be done. The new larger water line will allow us to have enough pressure in the lines to pass the state fire flow regulations. MORE ON THIS WITH DETAILS CAN BE FOUND ON THE CITY WEBSITE. http://www.naplesgov.com/DocumentCenter/View/37583
Next is an important issue affecting us all. My synapses of this follows. You may well remember that the 911 system we use in the city is not compatible with the one used in the county. Also remember that emergency responders in this county are divided into areas that they serve. Each is relatively autonomous. A study on combining firefighting and emergency services in the entire county has been completed now and the results are in. It was focused, in part, on two issues.
One the ability of all stations and emergency responders to use the same computer software and allowing them to seamlessly communicate with the firefighters, sheriffs department and ambulance services.
The second issue deals with the sharing and crossover of services by the various departments. In effect this means that the closest responders to an actual emergency will be dispatched no matter which district they are in. The idea here is to get the quickest response time. I am including a summary of the report here in this email for you to look at.
All the county districts have signed off on this and agreed to move forward except the city of Naples. The vote for this by the council will be in August. Please read this, then let the council know your feelings. It seems to me that is a good idea and will save lives and save money. Please see the attachment.
More growth in Naples is coming. I suppose you all are aware of the commercial expansion that is proposed along 41, Davis and the triangle. This is only the beginning I am sure. Fiddlers Creek just announced another 1000 or more homes coming. Add this to the thousands of homes coming in Treviso Bay and Isles of Collier Preserve. There seems to be no end as Northerners try to secure their spot in Paradise. All this growth will fuel higher prices here in our area.
In Royal Harbor the smaller homes are now the minority and this trend will continue.
For you up North, the weather has been quiet. Afternoon storms are here now and it is not unusual to get an inch or two of rain every afternoon. It cools us down for the evening. Traffic is down from season and restaurants are now available for walk in and sit down and eat with few if any lines or reservations needed. The fishing is good now and lots of summer residents are out everyday. The Real Estate business is still cranking along but not at the rate of seasonal sales. Council meeting are in hiatus and most of city government is taking a breather. Politicians are gearing up though and signs are all over the intersections and commissioner and school board seats will be up.
I think the entry light was finally rewired and is on.
Since the last email a lot of new news.
Several others have come forward and reported car break- ins last Friday night. One even said their car (a Hummer) had been moved and someone had tried to steal it. Several other people had their cars entered and lost items left in them. Multiple police reports have now been given.
One person reported that a coyote was seen in the area.
A black cat was reported seen floating in a canal and was probably the missing one. As you may know, once in the canal, getting out is nearly impossible for an animal or human. This is why many have installed ladders on their docks.
First notice ..on Water main project meeting.
All Royal Harbor residents please plan to attend a Neighborhood Informational Meeting sponsored by the City of Naples Utility Department. The purpose of the meeting is to inform our residents of the pending waterline improvement project that will begin this summer and affect many of our Royal Harbor residents. The City and their contractor will be on hand to review the project in detail, explain the phased construction program, a project schedule, talk about safety and respond to any questions our residents will have.
All residents are encouraged to attend this informational meeting.
The meeting will be held June 12th at 380 Riverside Circle in the Utility Training Room at 5:30 pm.
(this is where you go to vote)
Some good news and some good police work. I wanted to share this right away to all of you. You should feel proud of our Police force. Here from Chief Weschler:
On February 24, 2014, a home invasion occurred at 960 17th Avenue South in Aqualane Shores. The incident was very similar to two home invasions that took place in Collier County. I contacted Sheriff Rambosk and we agreed to work together to combat these crimes. Detectives began meeting and comparing information that was obtained at the various crime scenes.
On March 4th, another home invasion occurred in Collier County, and the Estuary robbery took place on March 11th.
I organized a press conference and Sheriff Rambosk joined me as we advised the media and the public of the rash of home invasions. Naples Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), FBI, Collier County Sheriff’s Office and Marco Island Police Department investigators began meeting to coordinate efforts and process evidence. FDLE and the FBI were instrumental in expediting responses from crime labs and the development of social media evidence.
Local persons of interest living in Immokalee were identified and investigators focused on this group of individuals.
Naples Police Department developed an internal task force consisting of one sergeant and ten officers and the primary assignment was to provide high visibility at all entrances to the city and to covertly patrol the neighborhoods.
On April 3, 2014, a home invasion with similar methods of operation was committed in Quail West. The group of detectives that had been working together was officially revealed to the public as the Collier Home Invasion Task Force. Investigators from all agencies, including Naples Police Department detectives Pablo DeBien and Bijan Razilou, met each day at a CCSO office and worked the cases together.
Sheriff Rambosk and I, along with agency heads from the other agencies, agreed that the Collier Home Invasion Task Force would provide one unified media response instead of each agency PIO sending out reports. The task force press reports were approved by all agencies prior to release, and the CCSO Public Information Office distributed the information.
On April 30, 2014, a home invasion occurred in Windermere, Florida. The subject description and method of operation was very similar to the Collier County crimes. Collier Home Invasion Task Force investigators, including two NPD detectives, drove to Windermere and briefed their investigators of the robberies in Collier County and the City of Naples.
The Collier Home Invasion Task Force kept developing more information and it became apparent that our local persons of interest were involved in the crimes. I cannot discuss the specifics, but many forms of surveillance were initiated and it became apparent that another home invasion was being planned in Orange County.
Task force members, including our two Naples Police Department detectives, immediately travelled to Orange County and met with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office investigators. Heavy surveillance was established and the subjects were located in Orlando. On Monday, May 12th, the surveillance teams followed the home invasion subjects and placed them under arrest just prior to another robbery taking place. The subjects were armed, clad in black clothing, and they had just cut the fence with plans to proceed to the residence and terrorize another family.
Naples Police Department detectives assisted with the investigation after the arrests, and they continue to comb through the extensive evidence in an attempt to implicate the subject in the two City of Naples crimes. The investigation is still active and the statewide prosecutors requested that we limit the release of information to the public. A thorough press release will be organized as soon as we receive approval.
I am extremely proud of all of the members of the Naples Police Department and the entire Collier Home Invasion Task Force. The efforts of all agencies working together led to the arrests of the subjects and thwarted yet another home invasion in Orange County. This is a text book example of agency heads and investigators working cohesively to end one of the largest crime sprees that has taken place recently in the State of Florida.
Chief Tom Weschler
Naples Police Department
The city is nearing the start of the new potable water lines into Royal Harbor. Soon we will be getting details and information on how this will affect our neighborhood. I will keep you posted as I get the information but be prepared for the roads to be dug up and construction all summer long. It will be inconvenient, yes, but we need this very badly.
If you are a new resident, we have for you the RCC card (a discount resident club card) and your directory and a license plate for your car that says Royal Harbor. Please contact me to get yours. You likely pass my home to get to yours, so we can make arrangements for you to stop and get your stuff.
Today the city has again started on the electrical work on the flagpole/median area. They are currently digging up my yard to lay in a new electrical line. Should be up in a few days.
****I am told that there is no one running next term for city council from our area so far. Now there are 3 candidates all from North Naples all from the condo area. We need representation from our part of the city. If you have any ideas on someone who would be interested, let me know and I will pass it on.
These pages have lain fallow for just about a month now. Backup to President Forshier’s reports has been absent.
The reason is that your Webmaster suffered a heart attack while on an anniversary cruise in the Caribbean. To cut a long story short, let me report that after a Med-Evac flight from Jamaica, a triple by-pass operation (three weeks ago, today) and a couple of weeks re-hab, I’m doing well and hope to serve you for years, yet.
I wish to thank all my friends neighbors and associates for their good wishes and prayers.
One more word I regard as important. We all have our favorite Naples features of which we are rightly proud – the Beaches, the Pier, The Phil, Naples Zoo. the list goes on. As far as I’m concerned, the one real “Gem” in Naples is NCH, our Naples Community Hospital. When in Jamaica, choosing our Med-Evac destination, there was never a question – we wanted to go to one of the finest Cardiac Hospitals in the country, NCH !
I wish to pass on my thanks and kudos to the entire NCH staff. I didn’t come in contact with one individual who wasn’t dedicated, helpful, professional, cheerful and most aiding in my recovery. Thanks Again !