Vol. 8 No. 38 - June 11, 2008
Island Bridge countdown begins
HOLMES BEACH – When Quinn Construction closes the Anna Maria Island Bridge on Sept. 29, life on the Island will change as people cope with the loss of a link to the mainland for up to 45 days.
Agencies on and off the Island have been planning for that closure, as the contractor rehabilitates the bridge’s moveable bascule, and they told a crowd of about 40 people at a pre-closure meeting last Thursday at St. Bernard Catholic Church that they’re ready. More...
Congress members oppose pipeline route
With the support of 14 members of Congress, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan has written the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to oppose Port Dolphin’s planned natural gas pipeline route off Anna Maria Island.
The agency is reviewing the proposed floating port, where tankers would convert liquefied natural gas to vapor 28 miles off the Island, then send it by pipeline to Port Manatee. More...
Library faces cuts in services
HOLMES BEACH – Get your nose out of that book and get down to the county’s public hearing on the budget to make your views known about library budget cuts.
That’s the word from Jolie Bell, president of the Friends of the Island Library.
"Quite a few cuts will affect the Island Branch Library and the services we can give to our patrons," Bell explained. "It will drastically affect what our patrons can do at the library." More...
City: Be prepared for water service interruptions
ANNA MARIA — City officials passed out notices Monday warning residents and businesses to keep water on hand in case a water main replacement and repair project leads to unannounced interruptions in water service.
"The county is keeping crews nearby in case of shutoff," the city flyer said. "Bottled water should be kept on hand for backup use."
Public Works Director George McKay said that unannounced interruptions are not anticipated, but he wanted everyone to be aware that they could happen. More...
Local scientists critique Port Dolphin project
Two local scientists have written to the U.S. Coast Guard with concerns about Port Dolphin after reviewing its lead environmental study.
The study on the potential environmental impact of the proposed liquefied natural gas port and pipeline is "fundamentally flawed," according to Steve LeGore, an independent consultant with LeGore Environmental Associates Inc. in Holmes Beach. More...
Town hires law firm to fight pipe route
Longboat Key has hired a Washington D.C. law firm to research legal inadequacies of the Port Dolphin liquefied natural gas pipeline plan.
Patton Boggs LLP filed a 26-page document with the U.S. Coast Guard last week criticizing the agency’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) as "legally inadequate under the standards of the National Environmental Policy Act, the rules of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Department of Transportation’s regulations on siting and environmental review of facilities for which a license is sought under the Deepwater Port Act." More...
Voters give high bridge the nod
The Florida Department of Transportation has compiled votes from Island residents and interested parties regarding the future of the Anna Maria Island Bridge and if they follow the vote, there will be a new high, fixed-span structure within the next 25 years.
According to the FDOT, 82 percent of the voters favor replacement of the bridge and 14 percent did not. Twenty three percent favored a total rehabilitation while 55 percent did not. The drawbridge is currently undergoing a $9.14 million rehabilitation that is expected to add at least 10 more years to its life while FDOT prepares plans and gets funding for either a total replacement or extensive rehabilitation. More...
Pipeline proposal ignites commissioners
BRADENTON BEACH – A last-minute proposal to speed forward with a natural gas pipeline on Anna Maria Island has again surprised a city’s elected officials, who wonder why they didn’t hear about it earlier.
Two representatives of Teco People’s Gas of Tampa came to the meeting to explain the plan, but it appeared they may have to wait for the city to approve it and it may be too late for them to meet some deadlines. More...
Fifth-graders exit with awards, hopes
It was a bittersweet ceremony last week when the fifth-graders got their achievement awards before moving on to the sixth grade and a new situation next school year – middle school.
Anna Maria Elementary School Principal Tom Levengood started things on a happy note by telling the students, "I want to welcome you to the event you’ve been waiting on for six years." More...
Seagrass: Rainforests of the sea
The seagrass meadows that surround our barrier islands are mostly hidden from view. As magical and as mysterious as any tropical rainforest, they harbor a tremendous array of living creatures. And while few directly experience this web of life, it is responsible for much of the beauty and diversity of coastal Florida. Seagrasses are flowering plants that serve a number of important functions to the environment. Because they flower, they require sunlight and are limited to clear, shallow waters. They produce oxygen, bind sediments and baffle wave action, while cleansing coastal waters. Seagrass roots, their leaves, and the epiphytes and micro algae that cling to them, clean water by converting dissolved nutrients into plant matter. More...
Planet Earth – a good investment
In 1957, real estate investor Louis Glickman made this statement which appeared in the New York Post, "The best investment on Earth is Earth," and regardless of what has been going on during the past year, it still is.
Early in May, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, spoke at the Manatee Association of Realtors’ new Lakewood Ranch headquarters. More...
Baubles, bangles and beads at Creations By L
Anyone who strolls Anna Maria’s beaches on a weekend afternoon, is bound to run into a bride or two. On one of these afternoons a bride strolled into Creations By L on Marina Drive at 2:30 p.m. madly looking for barefoot sandals for her 5 p.m. beach wedding. It didn’t take Lois Manza long to design and create pearl and crystal barefoot sandals for the anxious bride saving her special day and reminding Manza why she loves her business so much. More...
Island Majors finish season as a solid team
The County Cup Little League tournament continued this past week, minus an outstanding Islanders team that represented Anna Maria Island. This Majors Division outfit, coached by Chris Moneuse and Mike Brusso, had an excellent showing in the competition, beating Manatee East champs Gatorade and finding itself in the top 12 and through to the knockout stages.
The opposition at this stage couldn’t be better than Gatorade, but the Beef O Brady’s team it faced had the edge over the season and a much higher win percentage than its opponents. More...
Two teams unbeaten going into flag football playoffs
The championships for the Community Center Flag Football league Divisions One and Two were played on Wednesday, with one ending in a rout and the other a nail-biter.
In Division One, the undefeated AMI Video Buccaneers defeated the Pine Avenue Bills 49-14, while in Division Two, the Americo Title Cowboys took the title by beating Mr. Bones Steelers 20-14. More...
Island bucks loggerhead nesting trend
Historically, it’s loggerhead turtles that come ashore, dig their nests and lay their eggs on Anna Maria Island beaches. Now, the number of loggerhead nests has declined nearly 50 percent since 1998, according to Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission statistics.
Nobody knows exactly why this trend is occurring.
"Our overall numbers are down as well," said Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch Director Suzi Fox. "Last year, we were up a little, but we didn’t have a renourishment project going on, and we are always up when that happens." More...