Vol. 10 No. 42 - July 21, 2010
Palm Drive was shut down Thursday, July 22, between 66th and 72nd Streets in Holmes Beach through Sunday or Monday while crews replace a water pipe under the roadbed, according to Holmes Beach police. Traffic is being detoured around the scene. Drivers are asked to use caution through the residential areas of the detour.
Recall election date set
ANNA MARIA — The recall election of City Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus has been set for Sept. 7.
Chief Judge Lee Haworth established the date on Friday.
Before the election can be held, however, it will have to get the go-ahead from Circuit Judge Edward Nicholas, who has yet to rule on whether the recall petition is legal. More...
Woodland backs parking petition
ANNA MARIA — City Commissioner Dale Woodland has signed a petition asking that all parking for new development and redevelopment be on-site and not on the right of way in the city’s ROR (residential/office/retail) district that runs the length of Pine Avenue and takes in some of Gulf Drive and some of South Bay Boulevard. More...
Locals react to oil cap
Three months after the Deepwater Horizon oil well began to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, the well is capped and the Florida Legislature is convening to discuss a constitutional amendment to ban oil drilling in state waters.
“It’s about time,” said Manatee County Commissioner John Chappie, a Bradenton Beach resident. “BP should have anticipated the worst before they drilled. It’s all about money, and we’re all going to pay.” More...
UPS takes over at beaches
United Park Services took over operations at Manatee and Coquina public beaches this week.
Manatee County commissioners approved the company for the contracts in May following a recommendation from a three-member committee that had interviewed several applicants. More...
Manatees headed for oiled areas
Like Floridians who head to the North Carolina mountains each summer to escape the heat, up to 100 manatees make a seasonal migration too, from west central Florida to the northern Gulf coast.
That’s where oil from the Deepwater Horizon well gushed for nearly three months until it was capped last week, and it’s worrisome to manatee researchers because oil coats seagrasses that manatees eat and floats on the surface where they breathe air. More...
Car burglary suspect arrested
ANNA MARIA – A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrested a 22-year-old Seffner man on June 29 after a resident caught him burglarizing her car.
Thomas F. Oliver is free on $15,000 bond following his arrest. Items found at the scene allegedly link him to another burglary in Anna Maria, although he has only been charged for the original case. More...
Board reluctantly agrees to salary request
HOLMES BEACH – The mayor and commissioners tried to stall a request by Commissioner Al Robinson for a list of the staff’s salaries, but eventually agreed to supply one.
“I asked the fire department what people were paid, and it was an eye opener,” Robinson said. “I would like to see the same for us – to know what every person makes and what their benefits are because 70 percent of what we spend is for employees.” More...
Tighter budget would allow raises
BRADENTON BEACH – The property tax rate would stay the same, at 2.1539 and city employees would get a 5 percent, across-the-board raise under the budget proposed by Mayor Bob Bartelt last week.
The city commission began listening to portions of the proposed $2,847,301 budget last Wednesday. The news of the 5 percent raise irked Commissioner Gay Breuler because the first she heard about it was at the meeting. Mayor Bob Bartelt explained the reason for the increase. More...
Score one for Barfield
The attorney for Michael Barfield has won a round in the legal case against Anna Maria City Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus.
On Tuesday, July 13, Judge Edward Nicholas ruled against Richard Harrison, who represents Stoltzfus.
Harrison wanted Nicholas to quash a request by Barfield that would allow him to depose Stoltzfus and require that the commissioner’s computer hard drive and other electronic communication media be turned over to the courts for forensic examination. More...
Stoltzfus pursues Cagnina for legal bills
The attorney for Anna Maria City Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus wants John Cagnina, who filed an ethics complaint against his client, to pay the legal bills incurred as a result of the complaint.
Richard Harrison asked the Florida Commission on Ethics to advise him if Cagnina can be charged for the cost of defending his client. More...
Historic house goes solar
BRADENTON – Manatee County has taken its first step to answer the demand for solar power in the wake of the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Solar energy now powers the Valentine House, the new guest center that opened May 1 at the county’s Robinson Preserve. More...
True Salt Charters offers offshore action
I've had the pleasure of fishing with Captain Hal Christensen for the past thirty years. When we first started fishing Christensen was 7 years old and learning the ropes from his father, Longboat restaurateur, Harry Christensen.
Hal is a Florida native who grew up fishing the waters of Florida’s west coast. Hal was raised on the north end of Longboat Key and was fishing with his dad by the time he was 5 years old. More...
More hopeful news in housing market
OK call me nuts but I still can’t get this hope thing out of my head. I thought I was done with it after last week’s column, but then I went to work on compiling the May sales from the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Web site and that warm fuzzy hopefulness started all over again. More...
Beach Bums offers beach fun
There are no shortages of beach bums on Anna Maria Island, and even if you’re not one when you first arrive on the Island chances are you’ll be converted by the time you leave. But before you can be a true beach bum you first have to have the proper beach bum equipment, and Beach Bums rental store in Anna Maria is the place to go right after you kick off your shoes.
Like many great partnerships, neither Lauren Sato nor Diane Havelka were looking for each other, but after working together for a while they discovered their backgrounds and natural abilities fit together perfectly. Lauren Sato was a special education teacher at Manatee High School when she decided to expand her life experiences, and started working as the manager of Beach Bums two years ago with the former owner. More...
Investors buffeted by bad news and volatile marketsInvestment Corner
Judging from the tones in people’s voices and their investment related decision making, I would dare say we are experiencing a general wave of pessimism close to what we experienced in the spring of 2009. This is interesting because although the economic news certainly isn’t good yet, it is nowhere as bad as what we faced about 15 months ago. More...
Sea turtles ready to hatch
This year’s crop of sea turtles has not yet begun to hatch on Anna Maria Island, but to the north and south, preemies are hatching early.
While the first turtle nest laid on the Island this year is late – it was supposed to hatch last Saturday – a nest on Longboat Key hatched only 45 days into incubation, and one in Clearwater hatched at 48 days, according to Suzi Fox, of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shore Bird Monitoring. The norm is 60 days. More...