Vol. 9 No. 47 - August 12, 2009
Beach pier fate remains uncertain
HOLMES BEACH – Due to budget constraints, Manatee County may not be able to replace the Manatee Beach pier once it is demolished.
"There’s been no decision on what type of pier that will replace it, if any at all, because the county is facing some very severe budget and funding issues," said Charlie Hunsicker, the county’s Natural Resources Department Director. More...
Cortez appeals for commercial fishing lifeline
CORTEZ – About 500 commercial fishing supporters have signed a petition in an effort to sway regulators who could permanently ban bottom longline fishing gear this week.
The petition, circulated at a Saturday petition drive in Cortez and by e-mail, asks U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke – in charge of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – to lift the ban, implemented in shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico on May 18 and in deep water on June 27. More...
Corona pleads no contest
HOLMES BEACH – Robert Corona pled no contest on Monday to grand theft of a blood-stained Pontiac Sunfire convertible belonging to missing Haley’s Motel co-owner Sabine Musil-Buehler.
Besides the third-degree felony charge, Corona, 38, also pled no contest to misdemeanor charges of resisting, obstructing or opposing an officer without violence and no valid driver license.
The maximum sentence for the offenses is six years and 60 days; a sentencing hearing had not yet been scheduled as of press time. More...
Island property values drop
Taxable real estate values are down this year from 2008 in all three Anna Maria Island cities, prompting city governments to propose budget cuts and, in some cases, to spend reserves to keep tax rates low for property owners.
The 2009 figures for taxable real estate values are preliminary, and may change before TRIM (Truth in Millage) tax notices are sent to property owners on Aug. 20, according to Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office Finance Director Greg Pennington, who supplied the statistics. More...
FDOT sends bridge preference to Coast Guard
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has submitted documentation to the U.S. Coast Guard supporting its choice of a replacement for the Anna Maria Island Bridge, according to a news release. More...
Get ready for O’Connor Bowling Challenge
Rent a copy of "The Big Lebowski," grab a cold beer and get ready for the 19th annual O’Connor Bowling Challenge, sponsored by The Sun, at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29, at AMF Bowling Lanes, 4208 Cortez Road, Bradenton.
Pre-registration is highly recommended for this sell-out event. Bowlers must sign up by Thursday, Aug. 27, at Duffy’s Tavern, 5808 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, to be guaranteed a lane with their friends. More...
Suspicious activity leads to arrest
HOLMES BEACH – A man who allegedly drove past a house on Key Royale several times, looking at children playing in a yard, was stopped and arrested after police found a loaded, semi-automatic pistol in his SUV.
Larry Paul Graham, 59, was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, failure to report a change of address on his driver’s license within 20 days of moving and possession of two driver’s licenses. He is being held in the Manatee County Jail on $5,240 bond. More...
City reunites dog on the lam with owners
ANNA MARIA — If you’re a dog on the lam, the best place to be roaming is in Anna Maria.
That’s what happened to Bowden "Scooby" Lyons, who escaped from his owners who were vacationing in Holmes Beach at 57th Street and Carissa last Thursday.
Before Scooby was reunited with his family, he had quite a swim in the Gulf of Mexico, then he had the run of city hall and shared the mayor’s lunch, which was homemade vegetable soup. Not a bad day for the 14-year old Jack Russell terrier. More...
Scallop searchers find fewer in bay
True to predictions, Sarasota Bay scallop numbers are down this year compared to 2008, according to the results of the Second Annual Sarasota Bay Great Scallop Search.
During the Sarasota Bay Watch event on Saturday, 170 people on 50 boats found 131 scallops in the bay, down from about 900 scallops last year, the group’s first annual search. The event is patterned after the Tampa Bay Watch Great Bay Scallop Search, which has been conducted since 1993. More...View PDF of Feature Story
The Second Annual Sarasota Bay Great Scallop Search
The mid-day sun was high overhead as 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 world. We had been in the water less than 10 minutes when Leverone called my attention to a scallop he had just found on the seagrass bed. Soon after I found another scallop and within 20 minutes we had located several other specimens. More...
Are we in recovery or waiting for the next wave?
The patient has been quite ill. So ill, in fact, that flowers were ordered and last rites given. But the real estate market, that grand old dame of the United States economy is not dead yet, and looks like she’s starting to breathe on her own again. More...
Redefining your retirement goalsInvestment Corner
The 2008-2009 financial crisis and the impact on values of real estate and securities portfolios has caused huge ripple effects in the world of retirement planning, both from the standpoint of those who own the plan and those giving advice. More...
Baby sea turtles emerging from nests
Turtle eggs deposited in Island sand early in the nesting season are hatching almost nightly now.
Sunday evening, volunteers from Anna Maria Turtle Watch excavated four nests one after the other.
"We started at about 5:30 and finished up by 9:30," Fox said near a nest that her group was excavating just north of the beach access at Park Avenue in Anna Maria.
Volunteers wait three days after hatching and then excavate the nest to get a count of how many babies emerged from the nest, how many eggs were left unhatched and how many dead turtles are in the nest. More...