Vol 7 No. 4 - October 18, 2006


Good year anticipated for Island tourism

Bayfest to feature crab cake contest

Sun political forums Oct. 24, 25

Island rallies behind �Officer Pete�

Community Center awarded $1.5 million EDGE loan

Island Chiropractic introduces cranial release technique

One fest cancelled, another delayed on Bridge Street

Break a leg � it�s stone crab season




Good year anticipated for Island tourism

By Cindy Lane
sun staff writer

Cool breezes, a decrease in red tide, falling gas prices and good exchange rates are promising to fill Island beaches, according to area tourist businesses.

"As soon as the cool weather got here, business picked up," said Tom Buehler, owner of Haley’s Motel, 8102 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach. "People are so tired of the summer. Once the red tide’s gone and the weather turns nice, they’re here."

September brought fewer visitors than last year because of the red tide, he said.

"If you have four choices of what to do on a weekend, you’re not going to choose red tide."
Business picked up the first weekend of October at the Sandbar and Mar Vista restaurants after a month of red tide and 24 days of rain, said Rebecca Shannon, general manager of the BeachHouse.

Cedar Cove Resort, 2710 Gulf Drive, also had more business in September and October so far this year than last year, manager Eric Carnes said, crediting open-window weather, return guests and European visitors.

Exchange rates are favorable for both the Euro and the Canadian dollar, said Andrew Vac, chairman of the Longboat Key-Lido Key-St. Armands Key Chamber of Commerce and owner of RE/MAX Excellence Realty on Longboat Key

Lodging reservations for the holidays also look promising, Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce President Mary Ann Brockman said, thanks to lower gas prices and lessening red tide.

"Thanksgiving is up 10 percent and Christmas is up 15 percent," she said.

"If we can get through October with no red tide and no hurricanes, we’ll be OK."

"The longer we go, the easier it’s going to be to overcome those things that people are frightened of," agreed Barbara Rodocker, owner of the 28-unit Bridge Walk and the 50-unit Silver Surf in Bradenton Beach.

While it’s the slow season, her restaurant, the Sun House, is staying busy with meetings and weddings, she said. And with no indication of a hurricane on the horizon and an early cold spell up north, she’s optimistic that the holidays will be bright.

"I think we’ll have a much better winter," Rodocker said. But after last year’s marathon red tide, "People are a little skeptical no matter what we do to promote."

Some regular visitors were reluctant to book rooms at the 11-unit Wicker Inn, 5581 Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key because it was for sale, said Becky Bishop, controller of new owner, U.S. Assets.

But after the $5.5 million sale was completed last month, business increased because the previous owners typically closed in September while the new owners kept the doors open. The business will operate through this tourist season, then will be demolished for condominiums, she said.

Bayfest to feature crab cake contest

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

ANNA MARIA – Bayfest 2006, set for this Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Pine Avenue, is more than just sights and sounds. The main food court will contribute its share of smells and tastes and there is a crab cake contest where local restaurants will compete for the thrill of victory. Some of the contestants will be selling their crab cakes at their booths.

The judges are Melissa Robinson, of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune; David and Terri Grimes, of the Manatee Herald-Tribune; Vanessa Shaw-Finelli and Neal Finelli, of Taste Magazine; and Bee Hill, author of "Our Love Affair with Food and Travel."

The contest will run between 3 and 5 p.m., and judges will score on taste, texture, presentation and originality

Contestants are Paradise Café, Waterfront, Banana Cabana, Shells Seafood Restaurant, Stonewood Grille & Tavern, Sun House, Rotten Ralph’s, Melinda’s Café, D Coy Ducks and Sandbar.

The highest score wins. In the event of a tie, there will be a cook-off until one winner is determined. There will be a judges table set up across from the food court for people to view the tasting. The winner will receive a plate trophy engraved with: Island ’s Best Crab Cake, Bayfest 2006. Their names will be engraved at a later date. The winner will be announced and presented with the trophy between 5 and 6 p.m.

Here’s a look at the food available at the Bayfest Food Court.

• Bagels and cream cheese, turkey legs, hot dogs, chili and coffee from Paradise Café and Catering;
• Fish tacos from The Waterfront;
• Pizza from A Moveable Feast;
• Smoothies and cotton candy from T&S Sweets;
• Homemade ice cream and roasted nuts from Big Cow Creamery;
• European bakery items, breads and caramel apples from Baker di Europa;
• Coconut shrimp, crab cakes, jerk grouper and conch fritters from Banana Cabana;
• Shrimp skewers, crab cake and shrimp pasta from Shells restaurant;
• Jambalaya and smoked salmon from Stonewood Grille and Tavern;
• Crab cakes from the Sun House;
• Crab cakes, lobster, conch and chicken and rice from Rotten Ralph’s;
• Pizza, gumbo and Italian sausage and peppers hoagies from Solo’s Pizza;
• Chicken Caesar wraps and chips and salsa from Melinda’s Café;
• Burgers from Skinny’s;
• Bali chicken sandwiches and crab sakes from the Sandbar;
• Fish and chips from Anna Maria Oyster Bar;
• Southern Comfort barbecue sandwiches from D Coy Ducks.

In addition, shaved ice and kettle corn will be on sale in the children’s area.

It’s a day of shopping at the vendors’ booths, education at the not-for-profit booths, music and refreshments at the adult and children’s stages, fine wine and music at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society’s Wine Garden, reminiscing at the classic auto show and enjoying autumn on the Island.

Free parking is available at Island Baptist Church, 8605 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, with dedicated trolley service to Bayfest.

Admission is free.

Sun political forums Oct. 24, 25

The Anna Maria Island Sun is sponsoring political forums at Anna Maria City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 24, and Holmes Beach City Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 25, where voters can submit question for candidates for offices in those cities.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at both forums and attendees can mingle with the candidates before the debates, which begin at 7 p.m.

In Anna Maria, Fran Barford and Tom Turner are running for mayor while Linda Cramer, Jo Ann Mattick, and Duke Miller are running for two commission seats.

During the Holmes Beach forum, Manatee County Commission at-large candidates Carol Whitmore and Sarah Meaker will face off. In addition, there are five candidates running for two city commission seats. They are Pat Geyer, Sandy Haas-Martens, Sheila Hurst, Don Maloney and John Monetti.

Island rallies behind �Officer Pete�

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

HOLMES BEACH – Tickets are now on sale at St. Bernard Church, the Holmes Beach Police Department, Time Saver and Anna Maria Elementary for the pasta dinner for Pete Lannon’s family at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive in Holmes Beach, 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19. The dinner is sponsored by the Chiles Group, Island Gourmet, Beach Bistro, Publix, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, St. Bernard Catholic Church, J & J Graphics, Pyrates of the Gulf Coast and friends of Pete.

The menu has expanded as area restaurants and food outlets have chipped in. It includes a choice of penne or bow tie pasta with Alfredo or marinara sauce and meatballs from the Chiles Group chefs. Beach Bistro is donating Caesar salad or you can opt for Island Gourmet’s garden salad. Island Gourmet is also donating fresh mozzarella balls and there will be garlic bread from an undetermined donor. Publix is providing the sodas and bottled water.

The Anna Maria Elementary School parents will supply desserts that will be included in the $10 per adult and $5 per child fee. The parents will also sell whole pies and cakes for an additional cost. The local Girl Scout troop will host the bake sale, and the local Boy Scout troop will serve the refreshments. Take outs will also be available.

T-shirts with a logo containing a caricature by local artist Paul Arnold will be for sale at the dinner. The shirts are $10 each and the proceeds go toward the Lannon family.

Jimi Gee and his kids will be providing the music for the evening. You can volunteer anytime after noon on Thursday. Auction items are being collected for that evening. Lannon, who has served as the elementary school’s resource officer for five years has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has been on sick leave for more than two months. His ailment was originally diagnosed as a bad back, but the news that it was cancer put the community into motion to raise money for the affable officer so he can handle home expenses while he fights the cancer.

Lannon paid a surprise visit to the school last Thursday. From his home east of Bradenton, he said that he had to come west to update a prescription and decided to push himself out to the Island school.

"It was so good to see the people and their faces," he said. "Some of them didn’t recognize the thin, gray haired person they saw, but it was me."

Lannon said the visit threw him off his medication schedule and it caused him some pain, but it was worth it.

The community has more fund raisers planned. Proceeds from the Bayfest celebration’s kids area on Saturday, Oct. 21, will go toward the Pete Lannon Fund, which has been set up through the PTO at the Wachovia Bank on the Island. Bayfest runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

On Sunday, Oct. 22, Danielle’s Day Spa at 103 Seventh St. N. in Bradenton Beach will be raising money for Lannon. Dina Stewart and Danielle Seawall will host a day of massage, manicures, pedicures and facials at discounted prices from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the proceeds going to the Lannon Fund. Call 650-5441 now for appointments. Ed Chiles and the Chiles Group and Bob Carter, of Ketchum Inc., will match the proceeds raised.

Also that day, a group called Pete’s Teens, former students of the officer’s DARE drug resistance class who have moved on to middle and high school, will sponsor a car wash at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

Lannon starts radiation treatment this week and he said he welcomes it as a way to help his body and his mind beat the cancerous tumor.



Community Center awarded $1.5 million EDGE loan

By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer

The Anna Maria Island Community Center construction project was one of 10 projects in the Southeastern U.S. to receive an EDGE (Economic Development and Growth Enhancement) loan.

The awards, announced Thursday, are from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta in partnership with local banks. The Center’s EDGE loan is in conjunction with Northern Trust Bank of Florida for $1.5 million at 5 percent for 240 months.

"We are honored to be selected because very few projects are selected each year," Community Center Executive Director Pierrette Kelly said. "Every penny we save is money in the bank.

"Northern Trust believes in the Center and because of their support, we have received this EDGE loan. We are so grateful to Northern Trust that the EDGE loan was approved because it will reduce the amount of interest the Center must pay back by at least $10,000."

Kelly said the EDGE loan does not go into effect until the building is built.

"Northern Trust is the bridge financing, which means that it is the bridge to get us from now to the time when all our pledges are fully paid, which is about five years," Kelly explained. "We will use the $2 million we borrowed from Northern Trust and the money donated by our generous donors to finish the project.

"Then the EDGE loan comes in and gives $1.5 million to Northern Trust to cover that portion of the loan. The Northern Trust loan is at 8 percent and the EDGE loan is at 5 percent, so it will reduce our interest payments by 3 percent."

Center officials still must raise $349,000 in cash and $600,000 in pledges by Jan. 7 to meet the terms of the loan contract with Northern Trust. Center officials have raised $2.7 million so far and hope to raise another $2.5 million for the project and any contingencies.

According to the Center’s plans, the first floor of the new building will include a semi-circular drop-off area, a control center, a boutique, an aerobics/fitness room with lockers, an activity room that can be divided into two learning centers, the gym with a stage, a café and culinary arts kitchen and offices.

The second floor will include a control center, administrative offices, a teen game room and lounge, a performing arts center, a computer learning center, a technology learning center, a conference room and two counseling rooms with a private entrance.

Outside, the sports fields and tennis courts won’t change, but there will be a new stadium with a concession stand and dugouts and a central courtyard and playground.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new building is tentatively set for Nov. 16.

Island Chiropractic introduces cranial release technique

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

HOLMES BEACH– It is the latest technique in easing pain and making the body do what it is supposed to do, and it’s coming to the Island.

Dr. Kathleen Goerg, owner of Island Chiropractic Center at 3612 East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach, is holding an open house luncheon on Monday, Oct. 30, from noon to 2 p.m. to introduce Barbara Rambow, a licensed massage specialist who has been trained in cranial release technique.

"This will be the only location in Manatee County offering this," said Rambow. "There are some places in Sarasota and in the Tampa Bay area, but this will be the only one in this county."

Rambow said she would be available Thursdays to practice this technique starting Nov. 2.

"It’s a hands-on massage and relief is available within two minutes," she said. "We’ll do muscle testing before and after the session to measure the success.
anial release technique is taught by chiropractors, she said, because it is an approved method of relieving pain and other symptoms.
ou start by massaging the top of the spinal column and then you move into the cranial bones at the base of the skull and up."
ambow said the procedure is meant to undo what happens to many of us at birth.
When you’re born, the cranial bones are compressed and they are supposed to decompress," she said. "That’s the way it was when women just dropped a baby out, but now you have doctors pulling the baby out of the womb by the head. That little amount of pressure has an affect."

She said cranial release is meant to enlarge the space between the brain and the skull where there is fluid.

"You stretch the cranial bones to allow them to expand and the body produces more of that fluid," she said. "The fluid is there to pad the brain, and it also carries nourishment with it, which goes down the spinal column."

Rambow said it is good for adults and also for small children.

"If you can stretch the cranial bones at an early age, it would raise the quality of life in the child and as it grows into an adult," she said. "Without it, the patient’s quality of life would not be all that it could be."

Rambow said another benefit is vision.

"That fluid is also used to form the whites of your eyes," she said. "The more of it you have, the better your body’s ability to avoid astigmatism."

Rambow said other benefits include relieving Parkinson’s disease, lowering high blood pressure, controlling diabetes and losing weight.

Rambow started training in the technique in May of this year and she said in all the people she has treated, there were only two who did not show some improvement from it.

To learn more about the technique, you can log on to www.cranialrelease.com. To learn more about what Barbara Rambow has to offer, call 778-0722 to attend the open house luncheon at noon on Monday, Oct. 30.


One fest cancelled, another delayed on Bridge Street

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

BRADENTON BEACH – The Bridge Street Merchants Association has announced a Holiday Open House on Saturday, Dec. 9, but is running into time constraints on two other annual events, which may be delayed or canceled this season.

The Holiday Open House coincides with the Cortez Yacht Club Lighted Boat Parade that evening. This will be the only lighted boat parade around the Island this season. Boat owners will compete in several categories on holiday lighting and originality of display.

During the Holiday Open House, shops will offer food and refreshments and some will have special pricing in order to spread the holiday spirit and offer people an opportunity to save while they shop for friends and family.

Meanwhile, Barbara Rodocker, who owners Bridge Walk resort, told city commissioners on Thursday, Oct. 5, that the Bridge Street Festival, initially scheduled for Nov. 11, won’t be held this year due to a lack of time. The festival, which brings people out to the city’s commercial district for arts and crafts, food, refreshments and live music, has its roots in the days before the city rebuilt the district and attracted new businesses to bridge Street.

Rodocker said there is a chance they might be able to hold it next spring.

Rodocker also said that the merchants don’t have the time to finish the paperwork for the Christmas Prelude, which began seven years ago as a Thanksgiving evening celebration of the impending holiday season. It was set for Dec. 9. Rodocker was referring to the paperwork that the city requires, but Mayor John Chappie, who was one of the event’s founders, said that he would be more than willing to help the merchants get it done.

Chappie, architectural designer Emily Anne Smith and former city clerk Lea Ann Bessonette started the Prelude as a way to give residents an old-sfashioned celebration and get their first taste of holiday music for the season. Held on the Bridge Street Pier, it also gave merchants an opportunity to invite apeople into their shops after the program.

The three founders finally turned the reigns over to the merchants, which formed an association several years ago to market Bridge Street and the city’s commercial district to residents and tourists.



Break a leg � it�s stone crab season

By Cindy Lane
sun staff writer

The arms race is on.

This week marks the start of stone crab season, and here are the rules of the game for recreational harvest of stone crabs between now and May 15, courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Claws measuring at least 2 _ inches are fair game, and both claws can be taken from a single crab as long as they are at least the minimum size. The measurement is taken from the base of the joint between the elbow and the propodus - the immovable component of the pinching part of the claw - to the tip of the propodus.

Usually only one claw is taken from an individual stone crab because most crabs don’t have two legal-size claws, as one is typically dominant and larger, according to Lee Schlesinger of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Marine Fisheries Management.

If both claws are removed correctly, it doesn’t kill the crab, Schlesinger said.

"It leaves the crab somewhat defenseless, but not totally unable to fend for itself," he said, adding that while the claws are useful defense mechanisms, crabs also have hard shells that protect them from predators, and they can feed themselves with their other arms.

"But you might want to only take one to help that particular critter," he said.

The commission’s website states that: "The practice of removing both claws of a stone crab threatens the ability of the resource to renew itself."

Carelessly removing a claw puts the animal in more danger, he said. Removed correctly, the claw area will heal and the crab will grow a new claw of the same size in one to three years.

Claws cannot be taken from females with eggs, which are carried on the underside and are usually orange but occasionally red, red-brown or brown-gray.

The bag limit is one gallon of claws per person or two gallons per vessel, whichever is less.

It is illegal to use any device that can puncture, crush or injure the crab’s body, such as spears, grains, grabs, hooks or similar devices.

Each person can have a maximum of five traps, which must have the harvester’s name and address permanently affixed to them in legible letters. Traps must be pulled manually, and only in daylight hours. They may not be placed in navigational channels. Trap construction specifications are listed in Florida Administrative Code Rule 68B-45.004.

Buoys must have a legible "R" at least two inches high permanently affixed to them.

A Florida recreational fishing license is required to harvest stone crabs.


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