Vol. 8 No. 31 - April 23, 2008
‘You just run for your life’
HOLMES BEACH – "I’m shocked; I don’t believe it happened," Pa Davis said sadly after an early morning fire destroyed the home of her and her husband, Kent, at 519 58th St. on Thursday.
Pa said she and Kent were awakened by smoke alarms sometime after 2 a.m. and smoke was coming into the house from the garage.
"I don’t know how long it was burning," she said. "I could hardly see anything. You just run for your life. We got out the front door. It was pitch black from the smoke and wind. More...
Andrea gets second slice of success
ANNA MARIA – She was the defending champion, the one to defeat, according to the Food Network. Andrea Spring, overall winner of last year’s National Pie Council Championship, returned to competition last weekend and again, tasted success.
"What a roller coaster ride," she said on Monday, after sleeping late. "I feel like I’ve gotten about 10 hours sleep over the last three days."
However, she didn’t have anything but positive vibes about the contest and for a good reason. More...
Former city official beaten in home
ANNA MARIA – Manatee County Sheriff’s Office detectives and deputies are investigating an apparent home invasion in which former Anna Maria City Commissioner Linda Cramer was beaten and robbed in the house in which she is staying.
Cramer refused to go to the hospital and said Friday that she had gotten a CAT Scan and it showed no broken bones. She said she still had black eyes and swelling in her face. More...
Coquina shooter gets 10 years
One of two men charged with attempted murder in a gang-related shooting in Coquina Beach parking lot on Easter 2007 has been sentenced to 10 years and four months in prison.
Officials said that Rene Vasquez Mendoza, 23, faced a much longer prison term if he had been convicted on charges of attempted murder with a firearm, but the victims are illegal aliens and migrants who left the area and have evaded authorities. An assistant state attorney said that the victims’ testimony would have been essential in getting a conviction on the stronger charges, which would have carried a mandatory 20-year sentence. More...
Chuck White: ‘Gentle man, brilliant mind’
Longtime Anna Maria resident Chuck White died at Blake Hospital on Tuesday, April 17.
White was the partner of former Mayor SueLynn.
"He was a gentle man with a brilliant mind," Anna Maria Mayor Fran Barford said. "He never hesitated to serve our community." More...
Bollards, boat ramps concern beachgoers
BRADENTON – Weekend visitors to the Palma Sola Causeway proved that beauty is in the eye of the beholder with widely varying reactions to the wood bollards recently installed along both sides of the popular beach.
The bollards are intended to facilitate parking and keep beachgoers separate from vehicles, according to the Palma Sola Causeway Scenic Highway Committee, which spearheaded the changes, including the removal of Australian pine trees that were replaced with palms and other native species. More...
AMITW volunteers ready for May 1 opening of turtle nesting season
HOLMES BEACH — More than a hundred volunteers showed up at city hall for Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch’s annual training session last week.
"I was happy with the turnout," said AMITW Director Suzi Fox. "It looks like we have a good group this year."
About a third of the volunteers who showed up the annual training session, which was held on April 22, were rookies, or newbies, as seasoned volunteers call them. More...
Night beach safety concerns code officers
BRADENTON BEACH — City officials have questions and concerns about sending their code enforcement officers out on the beach to enforce sea turtle lighting ordinances.
All three cities have ordinances in place that mandate that beachfront lighting be turned out or shielded. Unshielded lighting can cause the endangered and threatened sea turtles that nest on our beaches to become disoriented and die.
"I have some concerns about the safety of or code officers or anybody going out on the beach at night" said Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale. "It’s very dark out there. Concern for safety is my job." More...
Handmade and proud of it
Fair winds and following seas favored festival goers at the Third Annual Great Florida Gulf Coast Small Craft Festival last weekend.
Traditionally-built and designed wooden boats, restorations and contemporary craft including kayaks, skiffs, racing shells, fishing boats and classic Chris Crafts lured boatlovers to Cortez for three days of sailing, paddling and racing around The Kitchen in Sarasota Bay. More...
Return to the Blue Horizon
Two years ago, I made a trip to a small island in Belize that would prove to be one of the best trips of my life. There I met Lincoln Westby, the lodge owner, and his friend and investor Will Bauer. Bauer, who hails from California, is one of the most knowledgeable permit anglers on the planet. He is a student of this challenging game fish and has been pursuing them for 30 plus years. Bauer and Westby proved the perfect match in their knowledge and passion for the permit. More...
Rolling on the river – in a condo
How about a change of pace? By now everyone has to be sick to death of real estate values, beach renourishment, fixed-span bridges and insurance rates. With hurricane season being the next hot topic on the Island, let’s escape to a river. No, not the Manatee River, one just a little longer – the Mississippi.
David Nelson and his wife have lived on their boat on the Mississippi River for 19 years, and now he wants to provide the means for others to enjoy living on the water. With his background and 29 years of contractor and developer experience in commercial and residential marine construction, Nelson came up with a way for others to enjoy the river lifestyle. More...
Stop by for fresh produce and more
The Historic Bridge Street Merchants Association hosts the third Farmer’s Market on Historic Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach on Saturday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Up to 35 vendors will showcase their goods and services. Displays will include local and regional arts and craft items, locally grown plants and flowers, fruits and vegetable produce from area farmers and suppliers and naturally made home products. There will also be several booths dedicated to the ever-popular "Going Green" and "Being Organic" concepts. More...
Island Majors hitting their stride
The Islanders Majors squad is beginning to come together and look resilient under the leadership of coach Chris Moneuse. The opening pitcher this evening was Max Moneuse, no slouch on the mound and a player who always has his head in the game. His opposite number for B-town had a little trouble settling in and this was advantageous to the Islanders, who scored three quick runs in the first inning.
B-Town got to grips at the top of the first and tied the game with some well placed hits with The Islanders looking solid in the field. B-Town’s Adam Reid was an early pitching change and as he set himself, he walked two and struck out three, swinging to end the second. More...
Pepka rolls at shoes
Twenty-six hopefuls took turns drawing colored chips from an old coffee can to determine partner pairings at the April 12 horseshoe contests behind Anna Maria City Hall. After the three game pool play qualifying round, five teams advanced to face off in the morning’s playoffs.
Drawing the "bye" for the quarter-finals, Jennifer Rhodes and John Crawford watched as Norm Good and Art Kingstad defeated John Johnson and Karl Thomas 25-10, while on the adjacent pits, Ron Pepka and Hank Huyghe were delivering a 23-14 loss to Tom Skoloda and Herb Puryear. More...