Vol. 10 No. 47 - August 25, 2010
Initiative signatures certified
ANNA MARIA — Questions about the sufficiency of a parking petition initiative were raised almost immediately after Supervisor of Elections Bob Sweat certified the petition's signatures.
Sweat’s office certified 236 of the 250 signatures collected by the committee as being those of valid registered voters. That was more than the 205 – or 15 percent – the committee was required to obtain. More...
Scallops few and far between
LONGBOAT KEY – About 100 searchers found only 15 scallops during the Third Annual Sarasota Bay Great Scallop Search on Saturday.
With no oil from the Deepwater Horizon in local waters, no red tide for more than two years and good water clarity on Saturday morning, expectations had been much higher.
In the event’s first year – 2008 – a whopping 947 scallops were found by 62 searchers. Last year’s event drew 170 people who counted 131 scallops. More...
City awaits recall ruling
ANNA MARIA — Candidates to fill City Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus’ seat if he is recalled from office are keeping a low profile while they wait for the courts to decide whether there will even be a recall election.
Arguments from Stoltzfus attorney Richard Harrison and the Recall Stoltzfus Committee Attorney Fred Moore were heard in Cirtuit Judge Edward Nicholas’ courtroom on Aug. 12. More...
Bowling sign up ends Thursday
If you haven’t signed up for the 20th Annual O’Connor Bowling Challenge to reserve a lane, you’d better get to Duffy’s Tavern by Thursday, Aug. 26.
This is the last year the tournament will be hosted by twins Billy and George O’Connor and Billy noted, “We’re really look forward to it, but it’s time for the younger generation to take over. George’s son, Michael will be in charge next year.” More...
Parking plans might eliminate parks
BRADENTON BEACH – The city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) continues to ponder its options for adding parking in and around the commercial district of Bridge Street, and one option might be to do away with one or both parks within the city.
During its meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 18, the CRA approved Lynn Townsend and Associates’ proposal for professional consulting services for a plan to increase off-street parking by converting city vehicle parking next to the public works building on Highland Street into public parking. More...
Ethics commission to decide attorney fee payment
ANNA MARIA — John Cagnina may be off the hook for Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus’ legal bills incurred as a result of a complaint to the Florida Commission on Ethics.
Cagnina filed an ethics complaint against Stoltzfus in which he accused the commissioner of attempting to fund a lawsuit against the city if his participation could be kept secret. More...
Merchants want parking crackdown – sort of
BRADENTON BEACH – Police chief Sam Speciale has a dilemma – Bridge Street merchants want the police to enforce parking limits, but they don’t want their customers to get tickets.
That’s the word from the Bridge Street Merchants Association through their liaison, City Commissioner Jan Vosburgh, who said at a city commission meeting on Thursday, Aug. 20, that they told her they would support a four-hour limit on Bridge Street parking. As for the request to not ticket offenders, Vosburgh explained. More...
Robinson assails fire commission
HOLMES BEACH –Following approval of the $5.28 million budget for 2010-11, Al Robinson took West Manatee fire commissioners to task for their wage and benefits package.
“I’m here because of the out of control spending and waste of taxpayer dollars,” Robinson said. “I request that you suspend this arbitrary one minute rule (for public comment) that was made specifically to stifle my comments and shut me up.” More...
Counselors in training huge help at Center camp
ANNA MARIA – As this summer’s camp sessions came to a close last week at the Island Community Center, Education Director April Jonatzke had special praise for her counselors in training.
“They have been a huge help to me,” she stressed. “They do a fabulous job. The kids and the parents love them.” More...
Causeway committee receives updates on preserves
BRADENTON – Manatee County Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker gave Palma Sola Causeway Scenic Highway Committee members an update recently on the Neal, Perico and Robinson preserves.
In the Neal Preserve, located on the southeast side of the Anna Maria Bridge, there are eight acres of uplands and nine acres of wetlands. The entrance will be located across from the high-rise condos being developed on Perico by Minto Communities. More...
Locals headed for Cocoa surf contest
A surfing tradition started by Anna Maria Island native twins Rich and Phil Salick will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Labor Day weekend when the air horn blows at the National Kidney Foundation Pro-Am Surf Festival in Cocoa Beach.
Two other Island native siblings, Giorgio and Izzi Gomez, grandchildren of Jim and Ronee Brady of the West Coast Surf Shop in Holmes Beach, will compete in the contest, which has drawn 100,000 spectators in the past. More...
Snook need continued protection
Ask an angler from Alaska, or one who's going there, what the first fish that comes to mind is, and most will say salmon. Ask an angler the same question about Massachusetts and you'll hear stripers. In the Bahamas, the bonefish is the poster fish, as are permit in Belize. In Florida, a state blessed with a plethora of species to choose from, the snook is the undisputed leader, despite the fact that their range isn't statewide.
No angler or scientist disputes the fact that this past year's freeze decimated snook in historical proportions. The question is should the closed season, which was extended through the summer, be kept closed or reopened this fall? Chairman Rodney Barreto and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission decided on Aug. 5 that the emergency closure will remain in effect until at least Sept. 16. The commissioners will meet again Sept. 1 to 3 to decide if there should be a fall snook season this year, or if the closure should continue through fall, into next spring or indefinitely. More...
How low will they go?
Have you had a look at the mortgage interest rates recently? You may need a bump up in the power of your reading glasses to be able to see the tiny, tiny numbers – so tiny, in fact, that most of us were tiny ourselves the last time rates like this were around. More...
Don't sit, get fit
It seems like everyone you talk to these days is either trying to lose that extra 20 or more pounds they’ve been carrying around for decades or is making a better effort at getting fit.
Whether you have a medical reason you’re worried about or you just want to get back into those skinny jeans, Anna Maria Island Health and Fitness Center can help you get your health and body back on track. More...
Estate tax edging closer to resolutionInvestment Corner
The recent high profile passing of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner brought attention back to a topic which has seemingly been brushed under the rug for quite a while. Tax legislation known as the Bush tax cuts, which became law in 2001, gradually reduced the impact of the estate tax on the passing of large inheritances by raising the amount of the estate which was exempt from the tax year by year. For the estates of those passing away in 2010, the estate tax was eliminated – saving the Steinbrenner family an estimated $1 billion in taxes. More...
Turtle nesting still on, bird nesting ending
Three loggerhead sea turtle nests were laid last week on Anna Maria Island, surprisingly late in the six-month season that ends on Oct. 31.
“I’m going to be carving pumpkins and excavating nests at the same time,” joked Suzi Fox of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shore Bird Monitoring, which tracks turtle and bird nests on the Island. “The party isn’t over yet.” More...
Playing with sea turtles
Sitting on the beach or waiting in line with your handheld computer?
A new online game designed for kids is fun for anyone interested in sea turtle conservation and would be a great addition to a teacher’s lesson plans with its built-in field guide and quizzes.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched "Sea Turtles and the Quest to Nest," its second online educational game in the WaterLife series. More...