2018 marks our third anniversary of becoming a new city (village). We finally say “goodbye” to a year that was not only significant, but also left many feeling a little tired and tattered. (Thanks Irma!). We are now on the mend and looking forward to the many opportunities and challenges which lie ahead.

As we ring in this New Year, our community is stronger than ever — as is our sense of significance, urgency and accomplishment. As the months roll by, our village structure continues to evolve and we continue to transition from County influence to local input and responsibility. We continue to applaud the efforts of our village manager, staff and members of Village Council for their leadership and accomplishments. To that end, I would like to make special mention of the collaborative efforts between the Village and Estero Life Magazine to produce a monthly editorial piece called the Village Connection. This month, the Connection is a two-page review of the significant accomplishments the Village has achieved over the past year. We invite you all to take special notice of these monthly pages throughout the year.

One of the prevailing themes of our January issues is presenting the economic outlook for our area. Despite weather-related challenges, you will find our regional “forecast” continues to be quite favorable. As our village takes on more and more responsibility and implements the many projects identified in the Comprehensive Plan process, we encourage every resident to take great pride and to follow with interest. To ensure that you always have current and timely information, we encourage you to furnish your contact information with the Village.

Our dining feature this month takes you just up the road to the Bell Tower Shops plaza to an exciting, new, 14,000-square-foot dining destination called Society. This is something totally unique to the Southwest Florida area!

And speaking of dining, can you imagine what it was like opening the first restaurant in Estero 20 years ago? That is what Michael Fattah, from Bergin County, N.J., did when he convinced his wife they should open a restaurant called Ristorante Farfalla near the corner of U.S. 41 and Corkscrew Road. Diners? Hardly! Just cows, cows and more cows. As Estero’s oldest restaurant, you must try it to discover the secret of Farfalla’s longevity!

As you may have noticed, the United Methodist Church is expanding their capacity to serve the spiritual needs of the community. To help with that objective, they are offering a special concert series to help raise the funds needed for expansion (as well as hurricane recovery). We have provided all of the details.

And of course, all of your usual favorites such as our Best Bets for entertainment, local “Happenings” for all to enjoy and the Scene Pages, showcasing recent fundraising events and community gatherings in our area.

We always welcome your thoughts and suggestions with respect to potential stories, interesting people and unique businesses which are making a significant impact on our community.

Finally, on behalf of Associate Publisher Ann Marie Israel, Editor-in- Chief Laura Cummings and our entire production staff at Presstige Printing, I wish you all a very safe, happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! Wishing everyone the best of times.

Remember, Life is GOOD!

Gary

Gary Israel, President & Publisher

Estero Life Magazine

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