Vol. 8 No. 48 - August 20, 2008
Island residents calmly wait and watch as Tropical Storm Fay moves slowly into the Florida peninsula.
Island cities and Cortez prepared for the possible arrival of Tropical Storm Fay Monday by handing out sandbags, processing re-entry tag applications, removing future debris from streets and beaches and battening down the hatches.
The Manatee County Emergency Operations Center monitored the progress of the storm as it wound its way across Cuba and through the straits toward the Florida Keys. Shortly before noon, officials announced that the county government would close Tuesday so that employees could deal with the storm. More...
Boats boarded in dumping probe
BRADENTON BEACH – When the bright red U.S. Coast Guard boat approached, flanked by Bradenton Beach Police Department and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office vessels, some people who live on their anchored boats hopped into their dinghies and made for shore.
Others who stayed on board their boats told officers that some of their neighbors are dumping raw sewage into the Intracoastal Waterway and Sarasota Bay, and they’re glad to know that something is being done about it. More...
Inaugural scallop search is on
Bay scallops, stand up and be counted.
The new Sarasota Bay Watch organization will kick off its First Annual Sarasota Bay Great Scallop Search on Saturday to count the blue-eyed bivalves.
The scallop search will focus attention on Sarasota Bay's resources, promote community involvement and educate residents and visitors about the estuary, according to Sarasota Bay Watch President and Sun Outdoors Editor Rusty Chinnis. More...
Grouper plan may catch on
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has decided to submit a proposed individual fishing quota (IFQ) program to fishermen in a referendum.
"We have overwhelming support from the fishing communities, including the (recreational) Fishing Rights Alliance and environmental defense groups," said Gulf Fishermen’s Association President Glen Brooks, calling the decision "spectacular." More...
School opens on an uncertain note
HOLMES BEACH – The first day of school at Anna Maria Elementary went smoothly, although nobody knew what the second day would bring, or when it would occur.
There were questions about whether the first day would happen, thanks to Tropical Storm Fay churning south of Florida, but the Manatee County School District decided to start the school year on schedule. More...
Bridging the Gap event chairs meeting moved
The Bridging the Gap events chair meeting scheduled for Monday, Aug. 18, has been rescheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21, at Ginny’s and Jane E’s at the old IGA. Event chairs are urged to come so that the committee can put together a calendar of events during the six week closure of the bridge. More...
City refuses TECO entry without agreement
HOLMES BEACH – Representatives of TECO/People’s Gas came away from a city meeting with indigestion when commissioners, once again, refused to allow them into the city without a signed franchise agreement.
"Bradenton Beach gave us the OK to continue our work while we negotiate the franchise agreement," Leroy Sullivan, TECO external affairs manager, told commissioners. "This will help us expedite getting our construction completed by that September (bridge closing) deadline. We request that the commission reconsider." More...
Board to reconsider 30-day rental period in R-1
HOLMES BEACH – At the request of Commissioner David Zaccagnino and several rentals agents, the board agreed to reconsider its decision to limit rentals in the R-1 district to 30 days.
"I had a lot of inquiries about rental licenses not being renewed in R-1," Zaccagnino said. "I thought we were going to keep it at seven days. People are applying for rental licenses and finding out that it’s 30 days." More...
Wedding Day Guide
Find the help you need planning your wedding or engagement party in our Wedding Day Guide.
Dog day doldrums require special strategies
Dog day doldrums? They don’t have to get you down. Savvy anglers know to change their strategies, tailoring their efforts to maximize comfort and opportunities.
One of the prime times to fish during the dog days is at night or in the early morning hours before the sun crests the horizon. The myriad dock and bridge lights that illuminate the waterways from St. Petersburg to Venice are prime targets. These areas hold schools of snook as well as trout, redfish and a host of other species. More...
Tax-swap amendment swamped
There’s never a dull moment when it comes to government officials. Just when they begin to do some creative thinking, someone pulls them back into the stagnation that is rampant at every level of government.
Last week, that someone was Judge John C. Cooper, a Leon County circuit judge. He ruled that Amendment 5, which was scheduled to be on the Nov. 4 presidential election ballot, was to be removed. He stated that "the ballot title and summary of Amendment 5 fails to fairly inform the voter in clear and unambiguous language of the chief purposes of the amendment." More...
Outdoor dining menu expands
HOLMES BEACH – Over the objections of Commissioner David Zaccagnino, the board approved an ordinance allowing restaurants to have more outdoor seats.
Zaccagnino said the requirements of the ordinance are burdensome and Skinny’s Place, the one restaurant that requested more outdoor seating, is being left out of the process. Skinny’s Place is in a residential zoning district making it a nonconforming use, which can’t be expanded without a variance. 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...
History made with DeSoto turtle nest
For the first time ever in Florida, a turtle nest laid on a river has hatched and resulted in live young.
The nest was discovered June 10 along the Manatee River at DeSoto National Memorial by some hikers.
Last week, the nest hatched, and 18 babies made it into the water. More...