The Anna Maria Island Community
Centers Fishing Tournament will get under
way on Friday, June 16, with a captains
meeting at the Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna
Maria, and a taste of the Island menu. Two dozen
local restaurants will provide food.
The fishing is slated to begin at 6:30 a.m.
on Saturday, June 17, and great prizes are planned
for the inshore and offshore categories. The
entry fee $325 per boat after June 12 and the
fee includes a captains package (two tourney
T-shirts, hat and coolies), the Taste of the
Island menu and a fish fry at the awards banquet
on Sunday, June 18, at the Center.
Registration forms are available in Holmes Beach
at Bark and Company Realty, Inc., 5348 Gulf
Drive; Island Discount Tackle, 5503 Marina Drive;
Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, 5313
Gulf Drive; and in Anna Maria at the Center.
Tourney chair Steve Bark has announced that
there will be a new Childrens Pier Division
for children 12 years old and under at the Anna
Maria City Pier. Registration begins at 8:30
a.m. on June 17.
The fee is $20 and includes tackle, sun tan
lotion, a tourney T-shirt, lunch donated by
the City Pier Restaurant and a ticket to the
awards banquet. The event will be supervised,
and the Anna Maria Island Privateers will aid
Children's trophies will be awarded for biggest,
most and smallest fish. The first 20 children
to sign up are eligible for a special raffle
prize at the awards banquet.
Sunday's awards banquet begins at noon and is
open to the public. Entertainment is by Dr.
Dave. There will be raffle and door prizes.
The menu includes fried fish, cold slaw, hush
puppies, peas with rice and Key Lime pie. Tickets
are $12 or $6 for children 6 through 12. There
is no charge for children under 6. Catering
is by the Chiles Restaurant Group
For more information, call 778-1908 or 778-5900.
sun staff writer
Manatees in Florida are being reclassified
from "endangered" to "threatened,"
one of four species being reclassified, including
bald eagles, gopher tortoises and Panama City
Last weeks unanimous decision by the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
indicates that manatees are no longer in imminent
danger of extinction, but still have a very
high risk of extinction, according to commission
spokesman Henry Cabbage.
The reclassification does not reduce protection
measures, he said, adding that manatees will
continue to be federally protected under both
the Endangered Species Act and the Marine
Mammal Protection Act, and on a state level
under the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act.
New manatee speed zones, currently being posted
in area waterways, will remain in effect despite
the reclassification, he said.
Issuing the ruling at the same time that new
speed zones are being posted will confuse
boaters, said Glenn Compton, chairman of local
environmental group ManaSota-88.
"Were very disappointed with the
ruling," he said. "Its hard
enough to enforce existing regulations without
sending a mixed message by putting up the
signs at the same time as youre downlisting."
The listing change will take effect after
a manatee protection plan is completed by
the commission. Public participation is encouraged
throughout the plans formation, which
could take a year to complete, Cabbage said.
The reclassification was prompted by a 2001
petition from a recreational boating group,
the Coastal Conservation Association, to evaluate
the endangered status of the West Indian manatee.
The commission completed two biological reviews
of the species, finding that the population
has increased over the past few decades but
could decline more than 50 percent in the
next 50 years. Manatees also met the requirements
of "threatened" because the number
of mature adults was estimated to be less
than 2,500 and the population could decline
by more than 20 percent in the next two generations,
according to the commission.
Three thousand one hundred and sixteen manatees
were counted in Floridas annual manatee
synoptic, or simultaneous, survey in February,
down from 2005s count of 3,143 manatees.
The highest number of manatees counted in
a synoptic survey was in 2001, with 3,300
In January, the commission reported that 2005
was the second-worst year for manatee mortality
in 31 years, with 396 deaths. Red tide and
boaters each killed about 80 manatees last
The Save the Manatee Club points to last years
high mortality statistics as proof that manatees
still need the full protection of the endangered
status, according to Director of Science and
Conservation Patti Thompson.
The commissions classification system
is inappropriately based on the World Conservation
criteria, designed to identify species in
danger of extinction on a global scale, she
said, adding that the commission also arbitrarily
redefined the WCUs "endangered"
status to mean "threatened."
Last week, 17 conservation, animal welfare,
and public interest groups filed a petition
with the commission asking the state to revise
its imperiled species classification system
and requesting that the agency delay any downlistings.
ManaSota-88 was not among them, but plans
to work with the Save the Manatee Club on
the issue, Compton said.
"The manatee clearly is in need of the
highest level of protection that the state
can afford," he said. "What needs
to be addressed is the loss of manatee habitat
as we develop throughout the state."
Also last week, commissioners removed bald
eagles from the imperiled species list, as
they are no longer are in danger of extinction
in the foreseeable future, with 1,133 nesting
areas in the state, compared to 400 in the
country 40 years ago, according to the commission.
"What were doing for eagles is
working," commission Executive Director
Ken Haddad said. "Our goal is for all
imperiled species to recover to the point
where we can remove them from the list."
Two other species are declining: Gopher tortoises,
which are found on Anna Maria Island and Egmont
Key, and Panama City crayfish are being uplisted
from "species of special concern"
survivors advise Island business owners
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
BRADENTON BEACH "Have a plan,"
is the mantra that survivors of Hurricane
Katrina and Hurricane Charley repeated over
and over at this years hurricane preparedness
seminar for business owners.
"Have a very detailed plan and share
it with your employees," Biff Motley,
of Whitney Bank, advised. "Make sure
every employee knows where they are going
to go and you know where they are going to
go. Make sure that they know to contact you
a bottom up communication plan."
Motley said no one could have foreseen the
devastation that a combination of a hurricane
and broken levees would have on New Orleans,
which is 80 percent gone, and storm surge
would have on Waveland, Mississippi, which
is completely gone.
Have a long-term plan
"While our evacuation plan worked,
it was not of a large enough scope to take
into account the devastation of Katrina,"
he pointed out. "Think about a long-term
plan what you would need to operate
your business remotely for an extended period
He said the bank had a very thorough employee
plan and provided employees with personal
needs and helped them find housing.
"Youve got to put them in the frame
of mind that they can start doing their job,"
Motley also said business owners should digitize,
back up documents, back up their back-ups,
communicate with their clients and take a
client list with them when they evacuate.
He said things they did not envision in New
Orleans were the complete collapse of the
communication system and the huge demand for
cash and noted, "Cash in king; youll
need more than you thought."
Inform your guests
West Manatee Fire Chief Andy Price advised
hotel/motel owners to educate their staff
members to be able to respond to questions
from guests regarding hurricanes and evacuation.
"Visitors have to evacuate somewhere
also. Hoteliers should get together and make
up a handout sheet for guests with maps and
"They dont have a friend that lives
in Bradenton, The only place they can go is
a shelter, and they have to need to know and
understand what the have to have to be there."
He said new models of storm surges have shown
that many areas that were previously thought
safe would be under water during a large storm.
He advised business owners to ask employees
to fill out pre-storm forms detailing their
planned evacuation location and a back up
location with a phone numbers.
People come first
Charlie Brown, a banker who weathered
Hurricane Charley in Charlotte County, emphasized,
"People come first. Put together a head
count list and search and report list. Get
a needs list for your employees.
"Feeding people becomes paramount; thats
one of the reasons theyll be coming
in to work. We set up a free general store
in the bank for staff members. It was another
reason that our staff was coming in to work."
He said that owners should back up all their
data three times, distribute multiple keys
to employees and contract with a security
firm in advance.
"Cover your computers with plastic bags
and tape it down," he said. "If
the windows are breached, it will protect
the computers. If your business is breached,
get your computers out.
"Cash is king, but have it in small bills
because there wont be any cash registers,"
he advised. "Power is also king, so put
together a generator plan."
He said security precautions include putting
protective film on the windows and measuring
the windows in advance in case the business
owner needs to board windows to protect them
renourishment extended again
sun staff writer
LONGBOAT KEY The Longboat Key beach
renourishment project has been extended again,
this time until mid-July.
The Longboat Key Town Commission has authorized
additional sand to be placed behind the Islander
Club, which is in a high erosion area and
has lost about 60,000 cubic yards of sand,
public works department spokesman James Linkogle
The project at the Islander Club, 2295 Gulf
of Mexico Drive, should begin immediately
after the current project is concluded, by
June 25, and be completed by July 1, he said,
adding that demobilization will take another
11 to 15 days.
Originally scheduled for completion last December,
the project has hit several snags.
Last September, town officials allowed the
beach renourishment contractor, Seattle-based
Manson Construction, to leave the job for
three weeks to help dredge the Port of Pensacola,
which Hurricane Katrina had made too shallow
for Navy ships to access.
In December, the project was expanded to the
north end of Longboat Key because of critical
erosion next to a condominium building, followed
by a sea turtle death, which stalled the project
In March, Manson left the project to assist
the Army Corps of Engineers in Mayport, Florida,
using the beach renourishment hopper dredge
Bayport to deepen a channel for Navy vessels.
The Bayport was too large to access the white
sand in the shallow borrow area off Anna Maria
Island, and two smaller dredges were unavailable
until mid-April to transport the white sand
from shallow areas to the Bayport in deeper
In April, seabirds, including snowy plovers
and black skimmers, arrived on Longboat Key
for nesting season, causing contractors to
detour around the nesting areas. Two nests
were relocated from a beach scheduled for
renourishment to a section that was completed,
When the project is finished, the renourishment
should last eight years, unless a major hurricane
strikes the area, town engineers estimate.
Maria advocates combining city services
sun staff writer
The city that opted out of a referendum
polling voters on consolidation is the city
keeping a version of that concept alive.
City commissioners at their June 8 work session
discussed the idea again.
"I feel we should take up the idea of
consolidation of services on the Island for
two reasons," said Commissioner Duke
Miller. "One, there is the potential
to save taxpayer money, and two, there is
the opportunity to ensure long-term professional
management of municipal services."
Commissioners Chris Tollette and Linda Cramer
both said they also wanted to consider the
consolidation of governments.
Miller took exception, "Are you saying
you want to do away with the 25 mph speed
limit?" he asked. "Because thats
what wed have if we consolidated governments.
Ive done some research on this, and
you cant have three different sets of
rules if you consolidate the governments.
All you can do is to make Anna Maria residents
into a homeowners association with its
own set of rules."
Deputy Mayor John Quam said that based on
a survey he conducted, hed be opposed
to a consolidation of governments.
"I speak for all the people who participated
in the survey," he said. "The overwhelming
majority was opposed to consolidating governments
but favored looking into consolidating services."
Commissioner Dale Woodland said hes
in agreement with Millers idea of looking
into consolidating services.
Miller said that a homeowners association
would have no authority to enforce its rules
except through the courts.
"You couldnt have a code enforcement
officer," he said. "Every time someone
broke the rules, youd have to take them
to court to get them to comply with the rules."
Anna Maria opted out of a referendum that
was placed on the ballot last November asking
voters if they would support a study of the
consolidation of the governments of the three
Island cities. Holmes Beach and Bradenton
Beach commissioners opted into the referendum,
and the voters in those two cities voted overwhelmingly
in favor of the cities.
Anna Maria commissioners took a more cautious
approach, declining to place the question
on the ballot after overwhelming public opposition.
Commissioners also objected to the wording
of the referendum question, which Mayor SueLynn
told them they would have to use if they wanted
to be in accord with the other two cities.
Commissioners at that time said they thought
the language was too vague, and they thought
the results would lock the three cities into
pursuit of consolidation of government. Some
commissioners said they would support asking
their voters if they supported a study of
consolidation of services, but they were told
they had to buy into the proposed consolidation
of government language or opt out of the referendum
At the June 8 meeting, Mayor SueLynn declined
to discuss the matter with the mayors of the
other two cities, saying shed leave
that to the commission.
Miller agreed to approach the other two mayors
about the idea of a study of that would look
at consolidating services.
Miller is proposing what he calls an Island
Municipal Services Organization.
In a memo, Miller outlined what he thinks
the goal of a study should be.
"The goal of the study should be to furnish
all three cities a debatable, realistic scenario
for providing municipal services Island-wide,
with appropriate costs attached; something
we can sink our teeth into and make informed
decisions regarding this matter."
to upgrade old water lines
sun staff writer
BEACH Residents in the south end of
the city will be getting new larger water
lines, and as a bonus, Manatee County will
repave their streets after the work is done.
"The street has existing 2-inch galvanized
water mains and were replacing them
with 4-inch PVC," Project Engineer Tod
Phinney explained. "Streets are 10th,
11th, 12th and 13th streets south and all
except for 10th Street, the water mains are
on the south side of the road."
The new mains will be installed parallel to
the existing ones, and once they are in place
and pressured tested and tested for bacteria,
they will be connected to the existing meter
"Because the right of way is fairly narrow,
we cant put a machine in to drill a
line up underneath the road," Phinney
continued. "Were going to saw cut
the roads and put the service lines in the
road and put a temporary asphalt patch over
the saw cuts. When the job is completely done,
were going to resurface the roads entirely."
He said that residents may move landscaping
that has a risk of being damaged, but the
county plans to restore the landscaping to
as good a condition as it is in now.
Paul Hasbrook, county utilities maintenance
supervisor, said he would notify a resident
if a driveway is to be blocked temporarily,
so he can move his vehicle.
Phinney said the project will include at least
one water shutdown and boil water notice for
residents there, but it will be during the
night, most likely 1 to 2 a.m.
The replacement project is to begin this week
on 10th Street and is expected to take 90
to 120 days to complete.
All the work will be done on the side streets
and Gulf Drive will remain unaffected.
concerned about traffic congestion
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
Mayor Carol Whitmore sounded the alarm
and now the Islands mayors plan to discuss
the issue of increasing weekend traffic at
the next Island Transportation Planning Organization
meeting on June 26.
In a recent letter to the mayors and Manatee
County Commission Chairman Joe McClash, Whitmore
said, "Over the past few months, there
has been a tremendous amount of vehicular
traffic on the barrier islands on weekends."
She said there are traffic jams, long lines
of traffic and overflowing beach parking lots,
and people are parking along the right of
way and anywhere else they can find. She asked
for a discussion on the issue.
"We cant not let them on the beach,"
Whitmore said. "Im not ever going
to do that because everybodys paid for
these beaches to be renourished. We have to
find a way to accommodate everyone safely."
She said one way to ease the problem is when
the beach parking lots are full to close them
and post it on electronic, roadside message
Another way is to encourage people to use
the park and ride lots on 75th Street at Manatee
Avenue and Cortez Road and take the trolley
to the Island.
Bradenton Beach Mayor John Chappie agreed
with Whitmore and pointed out, "We always
try to encourage the public to ride the trolley
to keep cars off the roads. We encourage a
bicycling community by investing in new sidewalks
and a multi-use trail to make it as easy as
possible for people to use alternative transportation."
Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn noted that while
traffic has increased dramatically on weekends
in recent weeks, "we must determine if
its a blip on the screen or a trend
and then address it."
She said one of the problems for Anna Maria
is the lack of parking space.
"We have really limited space,"
she pointed out. "The city ought to buy
the lot at the corner of South Bay Boulevard
and Pine Avenue for parking, but I dont
expect the commission to entertain that idea
based on its past performance on acquiring
SueLynn said another issue is that day visitors
tend to be "less respectful of the environment,"
and if the trend continues, it will create
a strain on public works and police services.
She also noted that all three cities must
cooperate on a solution so that the traffic
is not pushed from one to the others.
classes continue at Center during summer
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
ANNA MARIA Whether you want to nurture
your body or your talent, the Anna Maria Island
Community Center is offering three adult classes
throughout the summer.
Laura Bennett teaches a Pilates/yoga mix three
times a week; Sherry Fideler teaches a fitness
class, Muscles and More, twice a week; and
Sue Lynn Cotton teaches watercolor once a
Pilates/yoga offers total fitness
"This class will make you better
at everything you do!" Bennett exclaims,
and her students enthusiastically agree. "It
improves strength, flexibility, muscle endurance,
posture and balance.
"The main benefit of Pilates is that
it gives you a long, lean look and tightens
the abdominal area. It improves your core
strength. The core includes all the muscles
connected to the spine. Yoga improves flexibility
Bennett has been teaching the class at the
Center for five years and has been a personal
trainer for 20 years. She is certified through
Peak Pilates and Yoga Fit and is certified
by the American College of Sports Medicine.
"I love teaching this class," she
said. "Its like a total body workout
because you get so many exercise components.
It doesnt get any better than this.
This is the perfect job."
Classes for beginners are on Tuesdays and
Thursdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and for
intermediates are on Saturdays from 9:30 to
10:30 a.m. Bennett said a student will feel
the effects of the exercises after 10 sessions.
The fee is $5 for Center members and $8 for
Class bonds friendships
"I thought it would be a way of making
a living and giving people the information
I have learned, but it ended up being something
that united people in a common interest,"
teacher Sue Lynn Cotton said of her water
"We have become a tight circle of friends,
and anyone who comes into the class immediately
has a group of close friends."
Cotton said students work with a limited palette
of six basic colors and complete a painting
during every class.
"We work from a photos and start with
basic line drawing that everybody copies to
get the painting underway quickly. I demonstrate
and then they paint.
"We mix everything on the watercolor
paper. It gives a much more interesting look
and you can come out with a much more unified
painting. We emphasize the light source and
She said she takes her finished painting home,
photographs it and puts it on her Web site,
suelynncotton.com. If a student hasnt
finished her painting, she can refer to the
After every class, the students go to lunch
together at the Rod and Reel Pier. Last fall,
students and their spouses took a five-day
Caribbean cruse with painting classes held
during the cruise.
Cotton grew up in Texas and attended classes
at Stephen F. Foster State University and
other colleges in the Dallas area. She began
working in commercial art in 1978, then worked
for a book publisher doing cover designs and
illustrations before moving to Florida and
deciding to support herself with art.
In addition to the Center, Cotton teaches
at the Longboat Center for the Arts, Michaels
and for special interest groups. She exhibits
in galleries in Texas and Florida and does
commissions. She is a member of National League
of American Pen Women.
Her four-week class is held on Tuesdays from
10:30 to 1 p.m. A Thursday class is held during
the season. The fee is $65 for members and
$70 for non-members.
Build muscles and more
"It strengthens your muscles,"
Fideler said of her exercise class, Muscles
and More. "As you are stressing your
muscles, it tugs on the bones and strengthens
"It improves balance, heart strength
and lung capacity and relieves stress. It
helps you look and feel better. It helps with
weight management because the more muscle
you have the faster you burn calories."
Fideler said each student works at her own
pace and with different weights. The class
also uses rubber tubing and other strength-building
Class begins with a five-minute warm up, and
then students spend 40 minutes on their feet,
10 minutes doing abdominal work on the floor
and 10 minutes stretching. The class also
includes balance work.
During season, Fideler teaches a class at
the Center called Tai Chi for Arthritis, a
program developed by an Australian physician.
"When you are in pain, you tighten up.
In the class, you learn to relax the muscles,
ligaments and tendons that surround the joints,"
she explained. "They relax and blood
can flow more freely. It brings oxygen and
nutrients and gets rid of the by-products."
Fideler said her family has always exercised,
and her 86-year-old mother still visits the
gym three times a week. She said while taking
an aerobics class, the instructor asked if
she would like to teach and shes been
teaching for the past 17 years.
In 2000, she made the break and quit her day
job to become a personal trainer and teach
classes. In addition to the Center, she teaches
at Bayfront Park Recreation Center on Longboat
Key and the Manatee Family YMCA.
Her class at the Center is held on Tuesdays
and Thursdays from 9 to 10 a.m. The fee is
$5 for members and $8 for non-members.