Vol. 8 No. 40 - June 25, 2008
New pipeline route proposed
PORT MANATEE – Manatee County commissioners are delighted with Port Dolphin’s unexpected offer to relocate its proposed natural gas pipeline to avoid an underwater beach renourishment sand reserve.
But the commissioners, who also serve as members of the Port Authority for Port Manatee, where the pipeline would come ashore, told the natural gas shipping company that they expect even more.
"We’ve heard the community loud and clear," Port Dolphin spokesman Harry Costello said, apologizing for what he called "miscommunication" over where the pipeline would be built. More...
Food Network to film at Mermaid
ANNA MARIA – The hottest ticket in town this week is a seat at the Sign of the Mermaid during the filming of a special for the Food Network Friday.
"I’m thrilled to death," chef/owner Andrea Spring said. "This was really a surprise."
"It’s incredible," her husband, chef/owner Ed Spring, added. "I’m very excited and overwhelmed." More...
Plan progresses on park and ride
BRADENTON BEACH – Plans to shuttle customers and employees of the city’s commercial district to and from their vehicles a half-mile south continue to progress, according to Police Chief Sam Speciale.
He addressed the parking subcommittee of the Bradenton Beach Scenic Waves Partnership on talks he had with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) officials about what kind of shuttle they could use and where it would run. More...
Driver charged with assault
HOLMES BEACH – A 37-year-old male from Palmetto was arrested on Saturday, June 14, after he intentionally ran his Dodge pickup into the side of another car, according to police.
Andrew B. Lavers was charged with hit and run and aggravated assault for ramming into a 1996 Volvo driven by Jason C. Benn, of Anna Maria, police said. Also in the Volvo were Benn’s companion, Lorissa Hughes, and 18-month-old daughter, Lillian Benn, of Anna Maria. Nobody was injured. More...
Thieves targeting boats on Island canals
HOLMES BEACH – If you are among those fortunate enough to live on a canal and own a boat, don’t set yourself up to become a victim.
That’s the word from Holmes Beach Police Lt. Dale Stephenson, who said there has been a rash of thefts from boats docked in canals within his city. He has some tips for boat owners. More...
Drop in revenue could hit 10 percent
ANNA MARIA — City departments are sharpening their pencils and tightening their belts as they begin preparations for the 2008-09 budget.
"Each department is coming up with numbers for the leanest budget they can work with," said Finance Director Diane Percycoe. "We don’t have a lot of waste in this year’s budget, so it’s difficult to trim for next year." More...
Fireworks, parade mark another Fourth celebration
The Fourth of July holiday usually means fireworks on the beach, but this year authorities want you to leave your private pyrotechnics at home. Following several meetings between police and representatives of the cities and county, the plan is to confiscate illegal fireworks.
Because of the crackdown on illegal fireworks, there will only be one professional display on Thursday, July 3, at the BeachHouse restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach, starting at 7 p.m. More...
Commission balks at CAC
BRADENTON BEACH – The future of the incremental tax funds from the city’s commercial district will remain in the hands of the City Commission, even through the business leaders who paid those taxes wanted a stronger voice.
The commission agreed not to set up a Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) to the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) as proposed by the business leaders who served on other advisory boards regarding the parking problem in the city. More...
Fuel costs putting bite on charter captains
While motorists are dealing with gasoline prices over $4 per gallon, boaters who fuel at piers are watching the average price per gallon close in on $5. Part of that extra expense is due to a marina tax, according to Jim Gallagher, assistant manager of Cannons Marina on Longboat Key.
Gallagher, who works in the rental end of the business, said so far, they have remained busy renting power boats, but the people who rent them may not be driving them as far as they have in the past. 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...
Swapping your home for another paradise
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...
Bridging the gap: surviving the bridge closing
ANNA MARIA – More than 50 business leaders gathered at Ginny’s and Jane E’s at the Old IGA last Thursday to discuss filling the gap when the Anna Maria Island Bridge closes for 45 days on Sept. 29.
Ginny Dutton, owner of the store, initiated the idea of holding events that would draw crowds of people to the Island on weekends when the limited access due to the bridge closing. She talked to the crowd about how she and Sun Advertising Director Chantelle Lewin got the idea. More...
Project Sea Turtle underway on Island beaches
It’s 8 a.m. when the campers from Project Sea Turtle pile out of their bus and onto the beach at 34th Street in Holmes Beach. They’re ready to help record and verify the turtle nest deposited on the beach during the overnight hours.
"It’s a loggerhead," said Kelley Ainsworth who is 10 years old.
You can tell by the tracks," Morgan Larkin added.
"Look at how smooth the carapace makes the sand in between the tracks of the flippers," McKenna Subbarao chimed in.
The kids are fluent in turtle. That’s clear. More...
The only team to post an unbeaten pool plays record Saturday, June 14 was the duo of John Johnson and Ron Pepka, making them outright winners for the morning. In the ensuing match for second place, George McKay, in the position of the walking team of one, bested Debbie Rhodes and Norm Good by a score of 21-11. More...