turtle nests to date
By Laurie Krosney
sun staff writer
There are now four turtle
nests on the Island. The latest was laid in front of LaPlaya
condominiums in Holmes Beach. All four nests had to be
relocated to safe ground because of the beach renourishment
project scheduled for sometime this summer.
"The nests were all in the area where there will
be new sand, so we had to move them to areas where there
won't be any sand pumped on top of them," said Anna
Maria Island Turtle Watch Chief Suzi Fox.
"We're starting to get busy, and everyone's waiting
for nests in their sections," she said.
There were also two dead turtles found this week. One
was found at the end of Pine Avenue in Anna Maria. It
was badly decomposed, according to Fox.
"We'll never know what happened to that one,"
Fox said. "The skull was taken. It'll be cleaned
up and used for educational displays."
The other turtle was spotted in the water somewhere off
the tip of the Island.
"We got a call from Mote saying that someone called
them and said there was a turtle in the water that was
in trouble," Fox said. "We never could locate
the turtle because the people that called Mote weren't
able to say where exactly they were."
Fox said that the turtle was described as "lethargic."
"We're hoping that we aren't seeing that blood disease
that we saw in Sherlock and some of the other strandings
last year," she said.
Sherlock was found on the shores of Holmes Beach last
year. He and several other turtles were later discovered
to be suffering from what scientists subsequently determined
was a kind of anemia. Sherlock and most of the other turtles
recovered and were eventually returned to the Gulf.
Adopt a nest/Adopt a hatchling
There's still plenty of time for people or businesses
to adopt a nest or a hatchling.
Nest adoption costs $100, and a special stake naming the
person or individual will be placed by the adopted nest.
The cost to adopt a hatchling is $15.
"It's a chance to help save an endangered species,"
Fox said. "It would be a great Father's Day gift
with an Island and beach theme."
If you're interested, call AMI Turtle Watch at 778-1435
and leave your name and number. Someone will call you
back to give you the details of what you need to do.
Proceeds from the adoptions will be used for beach nesting
"We use the money for volunteer training, supplies
and travel to and from workshops," Fox said. "Also
we go through at least one digital camera a year, so that
money helps purchase cameras."
Fox said the daily exposure to wind, sand, salt spray
and sometimes rain causes the cameras to wear out relatively
quickly. Cameras are used to document the location of
nests, record the state of turtles stranded or dead on
the beach and for keeping a log of volunteer activities.
Longboat Key turtle activity
There have been 55 nests and 55 false crawls so far
this year on Longboat Key, according to Paula Clark of
Mote Marine Laboratory.
With renourishment on Longboat expected to begin this
week, nests are being relocated on that Island as well,
according to Clark.
poised to take off
By Cindy Lane
sun staff writer
Local tourism officials
have scrub jays in their sights, and have earmarked $30,000
to encourage tourists to do the same.
The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has
requested and received an extra $5,000 from this fiscal
years tourist funds and has allocated $25,000 of
its $2.1 million budget next year to promote ecotourism.
The environmental heritage tourism market is a growing
trend, CVB Director Larry White said.
"Its time for us not to just piddle with it
but to bring somebody in on an advisory basis that would
be able to give us a total focus with it," he said,
adding that the funds will ultimately result in a birding
festival specifically targeting endangered scrub jays,
a kayak festival at Coquina Beach and other activities.
Whites choice for advisor is Karen Fraley, of Around
the Bend Nature Tours, who will inventory local natural
and cultural sites and develop partnerships with other
companies to promote environmental tourism. Fraley gives
tours of Leffis Key in Bradenton Beach and the Cortez
fishing village in addition to other venues.
"We have an excellent environment to show off and
its time we had an organized plan," TDC member
Joe McClash said, adding that diving, snorkeling, turtle
watching, horseback riding and other activities also should
be included in an ecotourism marketing plan.
The $5,000 expenditure was part of nearly $50,000 in additional
expenses approved last week by the Tourist Development
Council, including about $41,000 to upgrade the CVBs
website, http://www.flagulfislands.com and $3,300 for
a vacation giveaway in a British magazine and expenses
for a travel show in France.
pile an eyesore for North Bay Blvd. neighborhood
By Laurie Krosney
sun staff writer
ANNA MARIA It's
been months since Richard Bergquist has been able to sit
in his favorite chair and enjoy watching people coming
and going on the city pier.
"I used to like to sit in my chair and look out the
window at all the people walking on the pier," Bergquist
said. "When I get out my binoculars, I can almost
tell what kind of fish the fishermen are catching."
But lately, instead of the pier, Bergquist sees a large
pile of sand. He and others in his neighborhood, including
his son, Stephen, who lives upstairs in the 203 North
Bay Boulevard home that has been in his family since 1946,
live, just north of the hump back bridge.
They also live just across the street from a large pile
of sand that the city has stockpiled at Bayfront Park
just north of the Lake LaVista Inlet.
This isn't the first time the Bergquists and their neighbors
have had a pile of sand in the middle of their view of
"The sand pile at Bayfront Park seems to be a permanent
fixture," Stephen said in a letter he wrote to the
mayor and city commissioners. "Every time the canal
is dredged and the spoil is stockpiled at the park, there
is never any urgency to remove it."
Bergquist said that more than three months ago he asked
Public Works Director George McKay to remove the pile.
He said McKay told him he needed a loader and a truck.
"He had a loader and a truck remove the smaller pile,"
Bergquist wrote. "Why not the larger pile?"
There was no response from the mayor or any of the commissioners,
according to Bergquist. However, McKay did respond.
"A few days later," Bergquist said, "George
stopped by. He didn't call or anything. He just stopped
by. I had him sit in my chair and see what I have to look
McKay confirmed Bergquists account.
"I sat in the gentleman's chair," he said. "And
I can sympathize, but there's nothing I can do. We have
to have that sand for sandbags. We're almost in hurricane
season, and I can't store it on Pine Avenue because they
complain over there, too. There isn't any place else to
McKay said he tried to move a corner of the pile around
to try to give Bergquist a little relief.
"It is a little better, but it's still not good,"
"There's also a liability issue," Stephen Bergquist
said. "Kids get on that pile and play. What if someone
Bayfront Park is owned by the city of Anna Maria. It's
leased to Manatee County, and the county maintains the
park. The younger Bergquist said he plans to contact the
county and take the issue up with it.
"I'm sure they don't want the liability," he
"And it's an area where people using the park used
to put up a net and play volley ball or the kids played
baseball," his dad noted. "Now they can't."
No one at the county's parks and recreation department
could be reached for comment because of the long Memorial
Mayor SueLynn did not respond to a message asking her
to call to discuss the sand pile issue.
makes boat basin offer
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH Robert
Greene, attorney for Reliance TideMark, has made an offer
to the city for leasing the citys portion of the
boat basin along Marina Drive.
The city owns five feet into the boat basin, including
the seawall, which holds up Marina Drive. In June 2004,
the city declared the lease in default due to TideMarks
bankruptcy action. In April the city terminated the lease
and asked the developer to make a new offer.
"As requested by the city, Reliance would propose
an increase in the annual rental from the existing $100
to $5,600," Greene said in a letter to the city.
Greene said there are 11 boat slips, which will be rented
for $14 per foot. The average boat length is 30 feet.
"Under the above assumptions, boat slip rent per
month would be $420," Greene said. "Reliance
has then allocated 20 percent of slip rent to the city
based on approximate percentage of dock within the leased
area and discounted rent by 50 percent due to the fact
that Reliance will bear all construction, maintenance
and insurance costs for the docks."
Based on the above calculations, the total rent would
be $5,544, which Greene rounded up to $5,600.
City commissioners were scheduled to take up the TideMark
issue at their meeting Tuesday, May 24. At press time,
they had not made a decision on the offer.
Commissioners had also asked Greene to provide proof that
Reliance TideMark owns the boat basin after receiving
an offer to lease the basin from another attorney. Greene
was expected to respond to that request at Tuesdays
call for 30-day rentals
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH Planning
commissioners are tackling some weighty issues, such as
whether to increase the minimum length of residential
rentals and whether to allow non-conforming duplex and
multi-family units and businesses to be rebuilt if they
Unfortunately, they are playing to an empty house while
debating revisions to the citys land development
"The entire town, except R1AA, can be rented for
a week," planner Bill Brisson told planning commissioners
during their discussion on residential rentals.
R1AA is Key Royale and there is a 30-day minimum on rentals
there. All other residential districts have a seven-day
Brisson said when people are on vacation, they behave
differently than when they are in their normal residential
life. They come and go more frequently, have more parties
and persons visiting and stay up later, eroding the tranquility
of the neighborhood.
Board member Gary Hickerson pointed out that "speculators
are buying homes to rent and they dont care who
they rent to."
"The bulk of the community is in R-1 and R-2,"
board member John Monetti noted. "The 30-day minimum
maintains the character of our community, but be ready
for the backlash because theres going to be a lot
The board agreed to recommend 30 days in R-1AA, R-1 and
Brisson said the R-4 overlay district has "all sorts
of regulations that the other districts dont have
to meet." He suggested that all the residential districts
have the same regulations.
Normand told him to check with the city attorney regarding
the R-4 overlay district, which was established as part
of a lawsuit settlement.
Brisson said other issues the board should address are
time sharing single family homes and businesses that purchase
homes for employee vacations.
Rebuilding non conformities
"If something is non-conforming as to density,
do you want then to be allowed to build it back if it
is more than 50 percent destroyed?" Brisson asked
Brisson was referring to duplex and multi-family units
that are built on lots that are too small according to
the current code. Building Department Clerk Susan Lonzo
said presently, the city allows owners of such units to
rebuild if they comply with current setbacks and other
"If we say you cant rebuild duplex there, that
empty lot is worth $600,000," Monetti said. "If
youre only going to allow a single family home,
the person that can afford that lot will put one heck
of a home. I like the idea of a duplex owner being able
to rebuild a duplex."
The consensus was to allow owners to rebuild.
The panel also agreed on preserving some restaurants and
commercial establishments that are in residential zones.
The consensus was to designate certain buildings as historic,
and establish criteria so that particular use could be
Brisson said criteria would be established if the city
commisison approves the proposal.
bid Jules goodbye
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
ANNA MARIA No gold
watch for Jules Dengler. What he got when he retired was
only a fraction of what he gave, and it could not be measured
After 15 years of service with the Manatee County Sheriff's
Office, Deputy Dengler, or Jules, as he's known to everyone,
retired and around 200 the city's residents honored him
at the Sandbar restaurant last Friday evening. There was
food from the Sandbar and jumbo shrimp and cheesecake
from the Anna Maria City Pier and Rod and Reel restaurants.
The floral sports shirt and slacks that replaced his neatly
pressed uniform Friday night were a portend of what lies
ahead for Dengler, but at the party under the tent next
to the beach, residents and co-workers reflected on his
past contributions to their well-being.
Sheriff's office dispatcher Kim Zink talked about some
of Dengler's unusual lingo on the radio and fellow deputy
Mike Zambelle talked about how Dengler handled some of
the problems on the street. The longest and funniest speaker
at the impromptu "roast" was Gary Trudelle,
who provoked lots of belly laughs when he went into a
monologue entitled, "You Know You're a Cop When
There were gifts and plaques for Dengler, whose New York
accent was known to all. In the late 1990s, he quit his
job and he and his wife packed up and moved to New England.
They returned after one winter up there and he got back
on the force. It took him a while to re-qualify for duty,
but he was reassigned to Anna Maria patrol immediately
when he did. He returned to duties that included traffic
control. investigating petty crimes, calming upset neighbors
and getting help for injured wildlife.
The party was organized by residents Karen Di Costanzo,
Leni Hagen, Beverly Calhoun and David McGough.<<