wins 11 awards in statewide contest
By Mike Field
sun staff writer
ORLANDO The Island
Sun captured 11 awards for excellence Friday in the Florida
Press Associations Display Advertising Contest.
The awards ceremony took place at Disneys Coronado
The competition featured more than 1,800 entries from
daily and weekly newspapers throughout Florida and was
for any display ad published in 2004.
The Sun competed in the 7,000 to 15,000 circulation division
Taking home five firsts and 11 overall awards is
quite an accomplishment for our staff, Sun Publisher
Mike Field said. Getting this kind of recognition
from your peers is gratifying for all of us, but especially
for our graphics and ad sales departments.
They consistently have produced clever, entertaining
and eye-catching ads that do what theyre designed
to do - sell our advertisers products, he
said. I am really proud of our staff.
One of the first place awards was in the Best Use of Color
category and featured the Island Bayfest 2004 ad, designed
by graphic artist Elaine Stroili and account executive
Chantelle Lewin. The award comes just as Bayfest 2005
is gearing up to take place Oct. 15 in Anna Maria.
In the Creative Use of the Paper category, The Sun took
both first and second place. First place went to an ad
promoting the newspapers website, while second place
was awarded for a promotional ad on home delivery.
The Sun also swept first and second place in the Entertainment
and Dining category, with an ad for Bistro at Islands
End capturing top honors and an ad for Bayou Steakhouse
It was almost a three-peat in the Best Use of Small Space
category, where a Sun ad for West Coast Massage took first
and one for the Island Grill Store won second.
Another first place award was captured by Sun graphic
artists in the Professional Services/Medical category
for a Manatee Obstetrics & Gynocology ad.
The Sun also picked up a third-place award for a page
of ads under the Back to School theme, plus two honorable
mentions - one for a White Egret ad in the Retailer category
and a Bortells Lounge ad for Ads in a Series.
Other current and former staffers who contributed to the
winning ads are Erin Krauss, Giancarlo Rodriguez, Mike
Field and Felipe Vasquez.
condo prices nearly triple over past year
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
The average price of condominium
units on Anna Maria Island nearly tripled in the past
year as demand for housing, whether for residential or
investment use, continues to grow.
Over the past few years, single-family homes led the way
in appreciation, but now the multiple unit residences
are catching up, and they are breaking records while doing
According to the Anna Maria Island Property Sales Report,
compiled and edited monthly by Barry and Dantia Gould
of Island Vacation Properties, the average price of condominiums
nearly tripled in August 2005 over the same period last
The average price in August '05 of the 12 units sold was
$852,995 compared with seven condo units sold in August
'04 at and average of $310,700.
The total value of the 12 condos sold in August '05 was
$10,235,940, five times the amount of August '04 condo
sales of $2,179,000 and almost three times as high as
the total for condos sold in August '03, $3,567,000.
The top sellers in the August '05 market were 6400 Gulf
Drive, #1, Holmes Beach, $1.9 million; 7314 Gulf Drive,
#7, Holmes Beach, $1.5 million; and 7300 Gulf Drive, #4,
Holmes Beach, $1.4 million.
In addition, the number of listings last month was way
up over a year ago, from 279 to 110. The breakdown for
August '05 was 102 single-family residence, 124 condominiums,
28 duplexes, six lots and 19 commercial properties.
Sales of single-family homes also held the trend with
an average price of $880,397 compared with $696,200 a
year earlier. The number of homes sold went from 15 to
17. The increase in the number of single family residential
sales coupled with higher prices pushed the total volume
to $14.96 million in August '05, up from $9.5 million
in the year earlier August.
The average price of a duplex rose from $574,330 to $656,944
and the one commercial property went for $750,000 compared
with one sale in August 2004 at $540,000.
The report said of the 102 active listings on Sept. 15,
35 were price at $1 million or more. Of the 124 condo
listings, 31 were price at more than $1 million.
relief� sought by boat captain
By Cindy Lane
sun staff writer
LONGBOAT KEY While parts of the Gulf of Mexico
fishery have been declared failed due to hurricanes, Wayne
Genthner hopes that Gov. Jeb Bush will consider a new
designation for the central Florida Gulf coast due to
Genthner, a Longboat Key charter boat captain who discovered
and reported a dead zone in the Gulf in August, made his
second request last week to speak to Bush about designating
an "ecological/economic devastation zone" in
The federal disaster relief provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens
Fishery Conservation and Management Act also should apply
to fishermen and charter operators affected by red tide,
Genthner said, adding that unlike a hurricane strike,
the nine-month red tide bloom in area waters is ongoing.
"The issue here is about getting the National Marine
Fisheries (Service) to re-examine their criteria and factor
in the red tide impacts," he said.
The Gulf of Mexico commercial fishery from Pensacola west
to the Texas border and in the Florida Keys was declared
officially failed after Hurricane Katrina, triggering
federal relief funds for fishing communities.
Katrina virtually halted commercial fishing in those areas
due to lost boats, damaged ports, clogged waterways and
closed processing facilities, said Susan Buchanan of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
National Marine Fisheries Service.
Depending on whether and to what extent polluted runoff
from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita reaches and affects the
central Florida Gulf coast, the area might be included
in the hurricane-related designation, she said, adding,
"Its too soon to tell whether the hurricane
disaster area will be expanded."
Federal researchers from NOAA are taking water, sediment
and marine life tissue samples in the Gulf from Pensacola
to Texas and are checking for changes in water quality,
bacteria counts and red tide, among other things, Buchanan
At the state level, the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission also are researching water samples in the area
for petroleum byproducts, pesticides, herbicides, industrial
chemicals, metals and nutrients, some of which feed red
The failed fishery area includes 15 ports and 177 seafood
processing facilities in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana
and has affected 3,738 federally permitted boats in Florida,
432 in Alabama, 351 in Mississippi and 1,033 in Louisiana,
according to NOAA.
Commercial fisheries in the area include finfish, shrimp
and oysters, with an estimated annual value of nearly
$700 million, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
plan discussions continue
By Laurie Krosney
sun staff writer
ANNA MARIA Discussion
on how to fine tune the city's comprehensive plan will
continue when the planning and zoning board meets Monday,
Oct. 3, at 7 p.m.
The board is sitting as the local planning agency. It
is working on revisions to the comp plan after hearing
from an ad hoc committee that spent nearly 18 months working
with the plan.
There has been a public hearing, and now the P&Z board
is finalizing several aspects of the plan, including a
couple of hot-button issues.
One is how many habitable or usable floors will be allowed
in the city's residential/office/retail (ROR) district.
The city lost a court case earlier this year when Robert
and Nicki Hunt prevailed against the city and will be
allowed to have three usable floors at their property
at 303 Pine Avenue.
Earlier, the city attorney told commissioners that the
city must allow property owners in the ROR district to
build to the same maximum height as property owners elsewhere
in the city. That's 37 feet.
Now the P&Z board is arguing about what to put in
that 37 feet.
"I think they should have two floors, just like the
rest of the city," board member Frank Pytel said
at the last meeting. "I'm worried that the three
floors will increase the density and intensity along Pine
At that meeting, there was no decision made because there
was no clear majority. Three of the board members favored
allowing three floors; three favored limiting the number
of floors to two. Board member Randall Stover was absent.
Also under discussion will be what to do about retaining
or eliminating the R-2 district. In that district, duplexes
are currently allowed. All existing duplexes would be
grandfathered as non-conformities, but if the R-2 district
is eliminated, no new duplexes could be built.
Under the current comp plan, according to resident Tom
Turner who worked on the original plan, the state decided
where the R-2 district would be.
"They came to town one day and rode up and down the
streets," Turner said. "They said you have to
have an R-2 district. They just rode around and said,
'This will be R-2; that will be R-2.' We didn't have anything
to say about it."
Another controversial issue is whether or not to ban construction
on all landlocked parcels on Bean Point.
on landlocked development sought
By Laurie Krosney
sun staff writer
ANNA MARIA A move
to stop future development of some landlocked platted
lots seaward of North Shore Drive has met its first snag.
Two residents who own houses on the Gulf side of North
Shore Drive came to the city commission and to the planning
and zoning board to ask that development of landlocked
parcels be prohibited.
Stacey Frank, an attorney, and Jack Egan both own homes
on North Shore Drive. They told commissioners that they
fear someone will buy a house fronting on North Shore
Drive, tear it down and put in a subdivision behind the
existing homes, thereby creating havoc with their property
They are asking for a clause in the comprehensive plan
that would prohibit development on any platted lots that
don't have street access.
Mayor SueLynn arranged for Frank to meet with Allen Garrett,
the city's planner, and with City Attorney Jim Dye. Frank
offered to write the language for the comprehensive plan
that would prohibit the development of landlocked parcels.
Now, attorney Ricinda Perry has stepped forward. She represents
Harry and Karen Lockwood, who own some of the land in
"I want to make sure that their rights to use and
develop their land remain as they were when they purchased
their property," Perry said.
She told commissioners that she wanted the same access
to the planner and the city attorney that the people who
want to prohibit development have.
"I'm sure the city will be fair in this matter,"
Perry said. "They have scheduled a workshop to deal
with this, and I'm confident that the city will do what's
Perry said that her clients are determined to protect
their property rights.
needs homes for hurricane victims
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
"Home is where the
heart is," say members of HEART, the Island group
that is aiding hurricane victims, and thats exactly
what they need homes.
There is no shortage of families in need, Pierrette Kelly,
executive director of the Anna Maria Island Community
Center, said at last weeks HEART meeting. The Manatee
County Red Cross has registered 211 families that have
fled to Manatee County from Louisiana and Mississippi
since Hurricane Katrina struck.
"We really need to focus on housing," Kelly
told the group. "Before we can sponsor another family,
we have to have housing."
Jennifer Lowman offered to go on line to research housing
offers and see if she could find some on the Island.
Kelly said there can be legal issues for those who donate
houses or apartments, but a county legal aid group has
offered to advise donors and provide legal documents.
She said those who wish to donate housing could call the
Center for a name and number for the legal aid group.
Shannon Dell reported on the groups first adoptees,
Gerri Bobele and Sharon Oaf. She said Oaf has taken and
efficiency apartment offered to the group, but Bobele
is still seeking an apartment. As she was speaking, the
phone rang it was a Bradenton Beach resident, who
had read the articles on HEART in The Sun, offering an
Cindi Harrison, who had taken the call, asked the others,
"Can you believe it?"
Dell said both Oaf and Bobele are seeking employment and
have job interviews scheduled, but are open to any offers
Dell reported that the Peralta family, also adopted by
the group, only needs diapers, size Newborn through Stage
1, and baby wipes for their twin babies. These can be
brought to the Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna
Kathy Joyce, of the Community Center, said she is keeping
a database of all items that people offer to have for
future use. She is also keeping an accounting of funds
coming in and going out. All funds donated to HEART are
used for the families. No administrative fees are deducted.
Checks can be made payable to the Anna Maria Island Community
Center, with HEART designated on the memo line, and dropped
off at the Center or mailed to AMICC, P.O. Box 253, Anna
Maria, FL 34216.
For more information, call 778-1908.