Vol. 8 No. 43 - July 16, 2008
Illegal dumping suspected
BRADENTON BEACH – Divers who say they saw toilet paper draped on coral growing on an underwater ledge off Leffis Key suspect that boats are dumping sewage there.
"We’re calling it ‘TP reef,’ " said one of the divers, who spotted the trash while diving recently with his son in a training class with Aqua Pros Divers of Cortez.
The divers, who asked to remain anonymous, said the water quality was poor on their last two dives. Water quality around the man-made preserve has been so good in recent years that bay scallops have been seen there; scallops are one of the first species to die in contaminated water. More...
Scallop count to launch Sarasota Bay Watch
ANNA MARIA — The Pine Avenue Restoration project has secured a second site plan approval from the city’s Planning and Zoning Board.
The design for the building and grounds, which will be located at the corner of Pine Avenue and Crescent Street, will be a mirror image of the project just across Crescent that was approved several weeks ago. More...
Second site plan approved for Pine Avenue Restoration
When the Anna Maria Island Bridge closes Monday, Sept. 29, for six weeks of rehabilitation and repair, we’ll be on our own. Left with one direct link (the Cortez Bridge) to the mainland, access will be limited.
That’s when Bridging the Gap kicks in, offering festivities every weekend to draw people from the mainland who would normally avoid the beach due to the bridge closure. It also offers something for our Island residents and visitors. More...
Island arts and cultural groups unite
Finding strength in numbers, nine groups have formed an umbrella organization to pool their resources and promote the Island as a destination for art and culture.
The organization is named Cultural Connections of Anna Maria Island and includes the AMI Art League, Artists’ Guild of AMI, Island Gallery West, The Studio at Gulf and Pine, AMI Historical Society, AMI Community Chorus and Orchestra (AMICCO), Island Players, Offstage Ladies and Gulf Coast Writers. It was the creation of Joyce Karp, director of the AMI Art League, and Joan Voyles, president of the Artists Guild of AMI. More...
Youngster bags shark and more
An 11-year-old boy from Shreveport, La., caught a blacktip shark in Terra Ceia Bay last month that had a surprise inside.
Will Flowers caught the shark while visiting his grandparents, David and Sissy Stone, of Pine Bay Forest. He went with his grandfather, his brother, Nick, and a friend for a day of fishing with Captain Gary Huffman. They caught 15 sharks, including two black tips that they boated. One was a five-foot-long shark that had a transmitter inside its body when they cut into it. More...
Way cleared for lane extension
BRADENTON BEACH – Motorists waiting to turn left onto Cortez Road from Gulf Drive would have easily spotted the orange-vested road specialists near the intersection shortly before noon last Friday.
They were making plans to lengthen the left turn lane for the southbound traffic there in anticipation of the long lines of motorists trying to get off the Island when the Anna Maria Island Bridge is shut down for six weeks starting Sept. 29 for rehabilitation. More...
Garbage schedule could change
HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners plan to allow Waste Management to collect garbage earlier and later when the Anna Maria Island Bridge is closed in the fall if necessary.
"The bridge closing will have somewhat of an impact and rather than be reactive, we want to be proactive and make sure we can get all the garbage off the Island," Frank Brunner, of Waste Management, told commissioners last week. "Right now the service times are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and we’re thinking of an hour to an hour and a half only while the bridge is closed." More...
Commissioner meets with constituents
ANNA MARIA – How do you change a city’s comprehensive plan?
Come November, the city’s registered voters will be asked to answer that question. Residents will decide in a referendum whether or not they want a super majority vote of the commission to determine whether changes can be made to the land use element of the comp plan. More...
Rescued dogs flourishing in AMI homes
More than 2,000 unwanted dogs, most headed for or rescued from kill shelters, are living the good life, thanks to Shona Otto and UnderDog Rescue of Florida.
"There are so many good dogs out there," said Otto, a former Island resident who now lives in Bradenton. "I just can’t stand to think of all of them being euthanized when they would make such good pets."
With that in mind, Otto and a strong central core of volunteers work tirelessly to rescue, foster and place the dogs with families. More...
Tampa’s urban fly-fishing adventure
Flip Pallot’s new book "All the Best," is both a tribute to and biography of the life of Lefty Kreh. The coffee table-sized book tells the story of Kreh’s extraordinary life through pictures and the words of Pallot, Kreh and people that played an important role in his life. Arguably the most important angling figure in the 20th century, Kreh’s life is a compelling chronicle of a man who lifted himself and his family from crushing poverty with a combination of will and humor. Pallot is the perfect person to tell this story because of his long and close association with Kreh. More...
Told ya so: Rental bicycles finally catching on
I just love it when I’m ahead of the curve even if it only happens once in a while, so excuse me for tooting my own horn. In October of 2005 after returning from a trip to Copenhagen, I wrote the below column about their system of city bikes and how I believed Anna Maria Island was the perfect place in Florida to launch this idea.
Well it seems that it took $4 a gallon gasoline to get this in motion here in the U.S. This month Washington D.C., is initiating its own city bike system and calling it Smartbikes. Instead of the coins used in Copenhagen it has streamlined the method using credit cards for the annual fee and a key card locking system. More...
Eco-tourism operators meet, strategize
CORTEZ – Hoteliers, fishing captains, restaurant owners and heritage attractions operators are working together to develop travel marketing packages designed to attract eco-tourists to Manatee County.
"The idea is to identify potential partners to provide packages for meals, lodging and nature and heritage-related activities," said Karen Fraley, Eco-Tourism representative for the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, who organized last week’s workshop at the Bayside Banquet Hall in Cortez. More...
Stock market volatility surprising many
We are hearing a common theme from investors recently and there is no doubt that recent stock market volatility has many surprised and troubled. But is the current condition abnormal, or was what we experienced in the 2003 to 2006 time period just abnormally "quiet" making the recent market ups and downs seem extreme? More...
Networking a key to saving sea turtles
There are state, regional and international organizations that meet with some regularity to share information about the evolving body of knowledge being amassed on sea turtle conservation. Those events are detailed, technical and an opportunity to network.
But on a smaller scale, scientists, volunteers and just plain friends of sea turtles seem to find each other wherever they go. Such was the case last week on Anna Maria Island when David Anderson, a sea turtle specialist with Gumbo Limbo, Boca Raton’s 30-year old sea turtle program. More...