Vol. 8 No. 39 - June 18, 2008
A man, a kayak and a 160-pound fish
A Holmes Beach man was literally taken for the ride of his life last week when he hooked a 160-pound tarpon while fishing from his kayak off Longboat Key.
Dr. Steve LeGore was out with kayak fishing club founder D.C. Bienvenue and had only been in the water about 10 minutes when they found themselves in a sea of feeding tarpon.
Using 20-pound test line and live pass crabs for bait, LeGore got his first strike right away.
"We were within 10 feet of shore when the tarpon hit," he said. More...
Another coast, a different approach
A floating liquefied natural gas port similar to the Port Dolphin project proposed off Anna Maria Island is in the works on Florida’s East Coast, where Port Calypso is responding to community concerns with its pocketbook.
Port Calypso is a project of Houston-based Suez Energy North America, an affiliate of the Paris-based company that built the Suez Canal 140 years ago. More...
Fun times during bridge closing?
Several Island business owners are interested in joining to combat the expected slowdown when the Anna Maria Island Bridge closes for repairs this fall.
"We can make this a fun thing instead of a terrible thing for business," said Ginny Dutton, of Ginny and Jane E.’s at the Old IGA. More...
Tourist agency cuts budget
After several years of budget increases, the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is facing budget cuts.
"The times, they are a changing," Director Larry White said, quoting a Bob Dylan song. "I’m kind of holding my breath."
The Manatee County Tourist Development Council voted Monday to recommend the CVB’s proposed $2.35 million 2009 marketing budget to the Manatee County Commission for approval. The budget is $39,807 lower than last year’s budget. More...
Pine Avenue ducks missing
Two ducks that have long been members of the Pine Avenue community
have been missing for more than a week.
ANNA MARIA — City employees and Pine Avenue residents are scratching their heads wondering what could have happened to Robbie and Gertie, two Peking ducks who had a home behind a building on the north side of Pine Avenue, just to the east of Roser Church.
"Something terrible must have happened," said public works employee Gary Thorpe. "Those ducks have been here as long as I have, and that’s been eight years. I checked around, and everyone said the ducks wouldn’t have left on their own when they always have fresh food and water here." More...
Don’t count on the government to take care of you
recommend that people have enough supplies to survive for a week.
HOLMES BEACH – Be prepared to take care of yourselves if a hurricane comes our way, emergency officials said at last week’s meeting of the Island Emergency Operations Center.
"We can’t plan for every situation," West Manatee Fire Chief Andy Price emphasized. "People have to plan to take of themselves. More...
State shores up catastrophe fund
Raising insurance premiums is an alternative to issuing bonds and imposing assessments on policyholders.
To keep the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund afloat, the state has approved the sale of up to $625 million in bonds and has extended assessments on insurance policyholders for two years.
Assessments on auto, boat, home and business insurance policies to cover shortages in the fund will continue until 2014 instead of 2012, when they were scheduled to end, according to state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. More...
City’s water service may be interrupted
Businesses, especially restaurants, are advised to be prepared because unanticipated breaks in the line could occur.
ANNA MARIA — Those pipes stacked up at the edge of the Crosspointe Fellowship Church on Gulf Drive will be put to use beginning this week.
Manatee County will be laying new pipe to carry potable water to the Island’s northernmost areas.
"We’ll begin laying the pipe sometime around the 16th or 18th of this month," project manager Walter Sowa said. "The pipe in the ground is old and small. The one going in is a 12-inch pipe, and it will increase water pressure."More...
Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper Pet Evacuation Pages
The following inland hotels and motels will accept pets. Some have a limit on the number and size of pets you can bring into the hotel, and most ask for a pet deposit. Call ahead and find out if you and your pets meet the criteria. We recommend that you do this before any evacuation order is issued, so you have a list of several places you’ve already cleared where you can make a reservation in an emergency. More...
Tampa’s urban fly-fishing adventure
When Captain Bryon Chamberlin first told me about the fabulous wade fishing near downtown Tampa I was intrigued. However, as we pulled up to the flats right after sunrise, intrigue turned to doubt as I surveyed a front end loader tearing down an industrial building to the north and factory smoke stacks belching fumes to the south. In the early morning hours this looked like anything but a redfish and trout hot spot. Chamberlin read my face and assured me that we were indeed at the right place. We began the urban fly fishing adventure by anchoring our boat in about a foot of water while the early morning falling tide began to wane. More...
Something for every buyer
I had every intention this week of writing about something a little less intense. After three weeks of covering really serious stuff like hurricanes, foreclosures and property values, I felt it was time to take a break. Maybe evaluate the age old question of white verses brown grout on the kitchen floor or the more politically correct topic of low flow toilets, but alas that was not meant to be. More...
How sweet it is at Joe’s
You wouldn’t think that ice cream could be inspirational, but being a fixture in Bradenton Beach for 18 years certainly is. Joe’s Eats & Sweets has been a local landmark that has been satisfying residents and visitors for many years and Joe and JoAnne Spallino plan on doing it for many more.
The Spallinos have been making homemade ice cream in the colorful elevated building across Gulf Drive from the beach for almost all of the 22 years they have lived in Florida. More...
History-making nest at De Soto Park
For the second straight year, there’s a turtle nest on the shoreline of De Soto National Memorial Park.
"Rangers called me over the weekend to let me know that there had been signs of a turtle crawl," said Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch Director Suzi Fox. "We went over to check things out, and sure enough, there was a nest there."
Fox said there was a nest at nearly the same spot last year, and she’s thrilled that there’s another nest this year. More...