Vol. 10 No. 51 - September 22, 2010
Recall election certified
ANNA MARIA — It’s now official. Former City Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus has been removed from office, and Gene Aubry has been officially elected to fill the remainder of Stoltzfus’ term.
In a historic recall election – the first in Manatee County – the will of the people was finalized Monday morning by the city’s canvassing board.
The 2nd District Court of Appeal lifted a stay of the certification process last Thursday, and on Monday morning, City Clerk Alice Baird, George McKay and Cheri Oehler, officially certified the election at 9:16 on Monday morning. More...
Fire chief defends district
HOLMES BEACH – After months of listening to resident Al Robinson assail the fire district, West Manatee Fire Chief Andy Price defended it at Thursday’s fire commission meeting.
“I spent the past couple of weeks going through all the items in here (a package of information Robinson left with the board at its August meeting),” Price explained. “Everything in it is either untrue or misinformation.” More...
Trolley route gets new life
BRADENTON BEACH – After a week of talks with Sarasota and Manatee county transit officials, it appears the Sarasota trolley run will be safe until the end of the year.
Manatee County Commissioners will to finalize an arrangement next week in which each county would pay its share to continue the southern extension of what was originally the Anna Maria Island trolley route. More...
Real estate sales improve
Real estate sales for August continue the trend toward recovery, at least on Anna Maria Island. That’s the word from Alan Galletto, of Island Real Estate, in his latest monthly newsletter.
According to his findings, using sales figures from the Manatee County Multiple Listing Service, which tracks Manatee Board of Realtors' member sales, Galletto reported 26 properties on Anna Maria island sold in August 2010 compared to 23 in August 2009. The homes sold last month included 16 single-family homes and 10 condominium units. A year earlier, 15 single-family homes, six condos and two lots were sold. More...
Celebrate a decade of Bayfest
ANNA MARIA – Pine Avenue will take on a gala appearance on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15 and 16, as the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce and the Island Historical Society celebrate the Tenth Annual Bayfest to kick off the season of festivals and other events.
The theme this year is the 10th anniversary, which is the same theme carried by the Anna Maria Island Sun, celebrating its 10th year of publishing and serving as the event’s main sponsor. Other sponsors include LaPensee Plumbing, Miller Electric and Bright House Networks. More...
Homicide detectives investigate woman’s disappearance
The wife of a former Island restaurant owner’s disappearance is now being investigated as a homicide, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.
Dawn Marie Viens, 40, disappeared Oct. 18. 2009, from Lomita, Cal., after she got into an argument with her husband of 15 years, David. The couple owned Beach City Market, in Bradenton Beach, and a home in Holmes Beach when police raided the establishment Jan. 6, 2005, and charged David with possession of marijuana with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of opium and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. More...
Monetti gets local meetings on oil spill damages
HOLMES BEACH – Commissioner John Monetti has secured one meeting and a second tentative meeting in the area for businesses to learn about getting compensation for negative economic impacts from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf.
“So many businesses weren’t pursuing compensation because they weren’t down from 2009, but 2009 was a terrible year,” Monetti said. “We’re talking about potential, unquantifiable losses.” More...
Board nixes Mainsail lease request
HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners refused to modify a lease agreement with Mainsail Development to change from yearly to quarterly payments for a portion of the boat basin along Marina Drive.
The city owns five feet into the boat basin, including the seawall, which holds up Marina Drive and where Mainsail’s docks are attached. The lease was transferred from Reliance Realty to Mainsail when it bought the property in 2005. Mainsail pays $12,000 annually. More...
Lorimer exhibits in orchestra gallery
Holmes Beach artist Maro Lorimer has been selected by the Sarasota Orchestra to be the first artist to show work in the orchestra’s Harmony Gallery.
Lorimer’s large acrylic paintings on canvas are currently on display in a solo exhibit that runs through Oct. 25. There will be a public reception on Oct. 5 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. More...View the PDF...
Late-season tarpon action explodes in Matlacha
The sun was still under the horizon, and the dock lights cast dim shadows on the Matlacha canal as I arrived at Captain Joe Harley's house and began loading tackle, rods and cameras on his 18-foot homemade skiff. Harley, a musician and guide, grew up fishing the waters around Matlacha and Pine Island. He promised to show me some late season action on tarpon that inhabit the sound and the mangrove flats that ring Charlotte Harbor. Harley had assembled two boats with photographers, guides and top notch fly casters. We would be joined by Brad Lowman, manager of Flint Creek Outfitters in Ruskin and a frequent contributor to Fly Fishing in Saltwaters Magazine. On the second boat, Harley had enlisted his friend and fellow guide, Rich Osgood, photojournalist Sam Root and Scott Swartz, president of the Florida Fly-fishing School, located on nearby Pine Island. More...
Appraising property in today’s market
The last time I wrote about appraising residential properties, I called the job of a bank appraiser as much of an art as it was a science because so much of the appraisal process was dependent on intangibles. Since that was more than three years ago I had no idea how really difficult the job of appraisers would become in a declining market rampant with short sales and foreclosures. More...
Fine food, focus on detail at Martiniville
HOLMES BEACH – Fine food prepared with fresh ingredients and a focus on detail is what you’ll find when you visit the Island’s newest restaurant and bar, Martiniville, in the AMI Plaza.
Owners Debbie and Mike Hynds welcome you to a sneak preview on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 23 and 24, at 8 p.m., and the grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m., all with live music. Food will not be available at the sneak preview. More...
Cracks in muni marketInvestment Corner
A few months ago I wrote about the potential for trouble in the municipal bond market as some cities, counties or states struggle with shrinking revenues and trying to cut expenditures while delivering the services the citizens have grown to expect. More...
Turtle lighting grant money available
A new grant program designed to reduce sea turtle light disorientations will pay for turtle-friendly lighting, window tinting, sea grape plants to shield lights and more for residents and business owners who act before Dec. 1.
Grant funds will cover light fixtures and bulbs, installation and permit fees, plants and even some window coverings, said Karen Shudes, of the Sea Turtle Conservancy, who is on Anna Maria Island this week to help coordinate applications. More...
Record season begins for Community Center soccer
Soccer is back and kickin at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. The league has formed a record breaking 30 teams this year, more than any other year in any sport offered in the 50 years at the Center.
Center Athletic Director, Andy Jonatzke, said, “It is fantastic to see so many families excited to participate. The season is off to a great start and thanks to everyone for being a part of this record breaking year.” More...