Vol. 8 No. 46 - August 6, 2008
Trolleys to stay free if cities ante up
Faced with budget restraints fueled by lower property tax collections, the Manatee County Board of Commissioners has given approval of a plan to retain one of the county’s most popular amenities, the free trolleys that run up and down Anna Maria Island.
The plan would take advantage of the new rolling message advertisement inside the vehicles, but the cities would be asked to ante up some money until the county can pay them back from the ad revenues. More...
County candidates square off at Sun forum
Voters from the Island and west Bradenton turned out to hear four candidates for two seats on the Manatee County Commission give their views on everything from trolleys to trees at the Sun’s candidates’ forum in Holmes Beach City Hall last week.
Candidates for the District 3 seat are incumbent Jane von Hahmann and challenger John Chappie. Candidates for the District 7 at large seat are incumbent Joe McClash and challenger Greg Witham. More...
Watch your speed on the bridge
The speed limit over the Anna Maria Island Bridge is 25 during the rehabilitation project and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is strictly enforcing it, according to several drivers who received tickets last week.
If you forget, increase your speed and get stopped while construction workers are on the bridge, the penalty will double. One driver reported getting a ticket that will cost him $300. More...
Island jazz promotion silenced
Budget cuts have silenced the month-long Jazzy Little Islands promotion that debuted last August to attract visitors to Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key.
This year’s Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau budget did not include the promotion, aimed specifically at drawing German visitors to Manatee County beaches during a traditionally slow time of year for tourism businesses. More...
Island Fireworks Task Force sums up July 4 efforts
ANNA MARIA – Despite animosity and outright hostility from some in the public, members of the Island Fireworks Task Force said they met their goals over the July 4 weekend in cutting down on the widespread use of illegal fireworks on the Island.
They added, however, that they are unsure if they will do it the same way next year. More...
Bikers plan run during Bridging the Gap
When the Anna Maria Island Bridge closes to vehicle traffic, motorcyclists will be on a mission as part of Bridging the Gap, a grassroots effort to attract visitors here on weekends during the bridge closure.
Laura McAdams, co-owner of The UPS Store at 7322 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, is still looking for ideas and volunteers to help make the Motorcycle Run a reality. Call her at 792-6366. More...
O’Connor Bowling Challenge coming
Dust off those bowling shoes and polish those bowling balls, the 18th annual O’Connor Bowling Challenge, sponsored by The Sun, is set for Saturday, Aug. 23, at AMF Bowling Lanes, 4208 Cortez Road, Bradenton.
Pre-registration is highly recommended for this sell-out event. Bowlers must sign up by noon Thursday, Aug. 21, to be guaranteed a lane. Registration is at Duffy’s Tavern, 5808 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. More...
Rescued dog rescues injured owner
HOLMES BEACH — When Dr. Saul and Rosalee Ladd adopted a sweet, seven-year-old gray dog from UnderDog Rescue of Florida, they had no idea that the pup, named Izzy, would be such a hero.
One night this past spring, she proved herself when Rosalee had a bad fall.
Dr. Ladd had already gone to bed and he doesn’t hear as well as he used to. And on this night, he had removed his hearing aids prior to retiring. More...
County to add another gem: Neal Preserve
Manatee County commissioners last week received a check from Florida Communities Trust for $2.2 million to purchase the Neal Preserve. The county provided $6.7 million in funding for the purchase.
The 119-acre preserve is located on the south east side of the Anna Maria Island Bridge across from the Perico Harbor Marina.
"The FCT provides matching funds to purchase environmentally sensitive or recreational lands," Maggie Marr, the county’s grants coordinator, explained. More...
Join ‘The Sarasota Bay Great Scallop Search’
The mid-day sun was high overhead as Mote staff scientist Jay Leverone and I slipped into the waters of a local flat. After adjusting our snorkels and masks, we began to survey the sandy bottom with its mix of turtle and manatee grass. The water was rising and uncharacteristically clear for August, giving us a great view of the flora and fauna that inhabited this underwater garden. We had been in the water less than 10 minutes when Leverone called my attention to a scallop he had just found on the sea grass bed. Soon after I found another scallop and within 20 minutes we had located several other specimens. More...
Taxpayers to foot housing rescue bill
As we all know by now, between 2003 and 2006 mortgage lenders extended trillions of dollars in loans encouraging buyers with easy money and fueling the inflated housing market. After the sub-prime adjustable-rate loans began to reset, marginal buyers found they could no longer afford the payments creating unprecedented foreclosures, an estimated 3 million this year alone. Now it appears the good old American taxpayers are footing the bill for both lender and buyer excesses. More...
BBQ the best at Mr. Bones
There are plenty of reasons to make your way to Mr. Bones BBQ and not only for its first-rate smoked and barbequed ribs. This cheerful quirky place has been serving locals since 1992.
Its ribs are smothered in one of the restaurant’s namesake homemade sauces. Either the Mr. Bones sauce, an unusually clear-flavored blending of tamarind with a classic barbeque sauce base or turbo charged and spiked with cayenne or the Chinese orange ginger sauce with a slight tropical tang. More...
Residential real estate
not ready to rebound
Back at the end of 2005 and early 2006 ,I sounded the alarm over the speculative behavior being exhibited in residential real estate, warning that it would not go on much longer. I was right, as it turned out, but I did not foresee the peripheral issues related to real estate speculation that are now causing much bigger problems. More...
Golfers stay dry in Key Royale
Despite the frequent rainstorms that have come through the area the past couple of weeks, the golfers at Key Royale Club know when to play to stay dry and they never play when they see lightning or hear thunder. Here’s a rundown on recent tournament action. More...
Free running camp scheduled for kids
Manatee High Senior Jessica Pate will lead a free running camp for kids age 7 and older who are interested in getting in shape and learning about running on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday through Aug. 14 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. in the field north of Holmes Beach City Hall. More...
Teachers spread the word about turtles
Every year, sea turtles migrate to the Island to lay their eggs on our shores. And every year, Michigan teachers Glenn and Claudia Wiseman and Dan and Jackie Skarritt migrate to the Island to help Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch in its efforts to save the threatened and endangered species that nest on our shores.
"They are such an asset that it’s just unbelievable," said AMITW Director Suzi Fox. "They’re always teaching, and they’re always helping." More...
Tampa man wins at ’shoes
On Saturday, July 26, the luck of the draw paired the only Anna Marians who were among the eight in attendance. George McKay and Jerry Bennett shot three ringer-packed games, en route to being the day’s only undefeated team. Second place honors came in similar fashion as Hank Huyghe and Tampa’s Gary Howcroft posted the only 2-1 record during the pool play games. A Tampa firefighter, Howcroft capped another great Island vacation by closing his final game with a six-pack double ringer that secured a come-from-behind win for his team. More...