Vol. 9 No. 2 - October 1, 2008
Bridge rush hour turns to hush hour
BRADENTON BEACH – The sun rose over the Anna Maria Island Bridge Monday, the first morning of the 45-day bridge closure, to reveal cloudy skies. To the south, traffic scurried across the Cortez Bridge, turning left and right onto Gulf Drive where Cortez Road ended. It was another day in paradise.
It wasn’t supposed to be. The loss of one of the Island’s two direct links to the mainland was supposed to have created a nightmare at the other. More...
Bridging the Gap events kick off this week
After nearly four months of hectic, intense planning, the Island’s Bridging the Gap campaign gets under way this week with a host of fun events that should take some of the sting out of the closure of the Anna Maria Island Bridge.
Concert in the Park
Concert in the Park on Saturday, Oct. 4, will kick off the Bridging the Gap events on the Island from noon to 7 p.m. in the park north of Holmes Beach City Hall.
The musical lineup includes some of the top local bands this area has ever produced. Starting off will be the ever-popular Koko Ray from noon to 1 p.m., followed by the country star-in-the-making Eric von Hahmann from 1:20 to 2:30 p.m.. Another wildly popular local act, Yesterdayze, plays from 2:50 to 4 p.m., then the Billy Rice local act, Yesterdayze, plays from 2:50 to 4 p.m., then the Billy Rice Band takes over from 4:20 to 5:30 p.m. The fabulous Dr. Dave Band will top off the evening playing from 5:50 to 7 p.m. Comedian Brian Hamilton will emcee and entertain between acts. More...
Escaped killer has ties to Island
Authorities request that Anna Maria Island residents be on the lookout for Sarah Jo Pender, 29, who escaped from Rockville Correctional Facility in Indiana on Aug. 4 and may attempt to reach relatives who are Anna Maria Island residents.
Pender was incarcerated for a double murder conviction. More...
Rough road prompts inspection
ANNA MARIA – A motorist’s complaints about the ongoing waterline project that’s made driving on Gulf Drive an off-road experience prompted an unannounced inspection by county officials Monday afternoon.
An Anna Maria resident who was fed up with bumping through the project called County Commissioner Carol Whitmore to make his complaints known. More...
Financial meltdown hits city budget
ANNA MARIA — The city was to begin the final paperwork in a $1 million line of credit with the Florida Local Government Finance division on October 1, with the funds anticipated to arrive in city coffers by Oct. 9.
"That’s not going to happen," Finance Director Diane Percycoe told city commissioners at their final budget hearing last week and again at the Sept. 24 city commission meeting. More...
More problems plague humpback bridge
ANNA MARIA — More problems have developed with the North Bay Boulevard Bridge over the Lake LaVista Inlet. Soil is eroding from the concrete barriers that are supposed to stop that soil from eroding on the two sides of the Inlet.
"We don’t know if this is a safety issue, or not, but we’re trying to find out what’s happening," Public Works Director George McKay at the city commission’s final budget hearing on Sept. 25. "There are some kind of holes behind the concrete apron. We haven’t actually seen them and we don’t know how big the problem is." More...
Get ready to rock and roll at Bayfest
ANNA MARIA – Get out your blue suede shoes and get ready to rock at Bayfest, Saturday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria.
The musical lineup on the main stage at Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard includes Jimi Gee, Hwy, 41, Koko Ray and the Soul Providers, the Alternators Blues Band, Kettle of Fish and the Dr. Dave Band. More...
Bridge closure changes drawbridge openings
Boaters as well as motorists are affected by the Manatee Avenue bridge closure.
The drawbridge schedules for the Anna Maira Island Bridge and the Cortez Bridge have changed for the duration of the project, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. More...
Seafood stars at Waterfront
Hey, seafood lovers, do I have a restaurant for you – the Waterfront Restaurant. Owned by Jason and Leah Suzor, it was built in 1922 and is one of the original Anna Maria homes. It has one of the prettiest water views on the Island, and uses its location well. Big French doors open onto a relaxed porch, affording diners a wide-angle view of the historic Anna Maria City Pier and Tampa Bay. Mother Nature boosts the view with spectacular sunsets that cast tangerine and rosy rays until almost 9 p.m. It is a dining bonus. More...
Punta Gorda: Old Florida charm, modern convenience
Punta Gorda has been just off my radar. I pass it regularly on I-75 on my way to the Keys and Pine Island Sound. Its modest skyline lies to the west, at the foot of the Route 41 Bridge, where the Peace River meets Charlotte Harbor. As an outdoor writer and avid saltwater angler I’ve spent many days on Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Islands, chasing the tarpon, snook, redfish and trout that make it a premier destination for anglers worldwide. A decade ago Captain Jonnie Walker introduced me to the wonderfully wild river, one of Florida’s most scenic and prolific water courses. More...
Do you have to sell your house now?
It’s finally October, and even though the mercury in the thermometer may not show any signs of being on the decline, it is the beginning of the end of the slow, slow, slow real estate season.
Pretty soon we’ll start seeing license plates from Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and New Jersey. This year they will all be more than welcomed. But what if you must sell your home now, as in before traffic starts to build on I-75? What if for job or life circumstances you have no alternative other than to sell now, how do you manage that in what is being said is the worst home-selling market since Herbert Hoover was president? More...
A caring approach at Dermatology Associates
One of the first things almost everyone does when moving to Florida is make an appointment with a dermatologist. Even those of us who have worshipped the sun since childhood recognize that the Florida sun needs to be respected, habits formed long ago changed and medical advice sought.
Dr. Anne McBride with Dermatology Associates in Bradenton is a board certified dermatologist specializing in both general adult and child dermatology, as well as offering cosmetic dermatology treatments. Since she opened her Bradenton office in January she has been caring for patients with skin cancers, performing dermatologic surgeries and working closely with an oncology group located in the same facility. More...
Chicken Little and the facts of life
In the original story of Chicken Little, an acorn to the noggin convinces the heroine that the sky is falling. On her way to see the king to let him know the bad news, she convinces several other characters that the peril of the sky falling is real, leading them to get waylaid by a fox and almost eaten. The moral is that the sky doesn’t fall and Chicken Little decides that an umbrella to shield her from falling acorns while walking in the forest will help reduce her worry. More...
Soccer season gets under way at Center
Kids love to play soccer and hopeful coaches, parents and friends were on hand to provide encouragement and cheer as the season got underway with the first round of games at the Community Center this past week. With three points for a win and one for a tie, it doesn't pay to be mediocre and coaches were assessing both strengths and weaknesses from the first whistle. In Division II ,Panoramic, coached by Wayne Sewall got off to winning ways beating Sparks Steel 3-0 in the opening game, following up with another win against Coastal Orthopedics. Tyler Yavalar found the net twice in both encounters with strike partners Leo Rose and Joey Altichoff both hitting the target. Not to be outdone, Mr. Bones got off to a great start with a win against Sparks in which Michael Latimer scored a staggering six goals. Latimer scored again in the win against Coastal Orthopedics and Ben Conners also bagged one. More...