Vol. 11 No. 13 - December 29, 2010
Cold front chills out Island
Wild winter weather pounded land and sea early this week, fouling a rescue attempt in the Gulf and keeping refugees from northern snowstorms bundled up in their winter clothes.
With nighttime temperatures dancing around the freezing mark, days in the 50s and 20 m.p.h. winds gusting into the 30s, beachgoers wore hoodies and boots instead of bikinis and flipflops. More...
Scholarship winner wants to give back
HOLMES BEACH – Brian Stephenson attended the latest Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce meeting with a mission. He wanted to thank the Anna Maria Island Privateers for providing him with scholarships during the four years he attended college. He started out at Manatee Community College and finally earned his degree in marketing from the University of South Florida.
"I got an opportunity at a big firm in Orlando," he said. "Then I decided to get back to my roots on the Island." More...
Toys for Tots sees big boost
When the Marines land, they always achieve their goal. Whether it's a beach landing or an invasion by land, they get the job done, and the same thing happened this year after the number of toys collected through the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve sponsored organization last year dropped to a total that was not enough to satisfy the needs of the children whose parents could not afford Christmas gifts.
This year, local organizers Ed Kirn of Island Vacation Properties and Mike McClian, regional coordinator, decided to do something about it. They added collection points and convinced organizers of holiday events to put in collection barrels and the results were astounding. More...
Fireworks to bring in new year
BRADENTON BEACH – Nobody knows what kind of year 2011 will turn out to be, but everyone knows that the Chiles Group will be ringing it in with fireworks at the BeachHouse restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach.
As in the past, fireworks will climax an evening of food, drink and dancing for those who attend a $99 per head New Year's Eve party that starts at 9 p.m. Reservations are required, and you should call 779-2222 to see if there are any openings. Be prepared to enjoy dinner from a special buffet, dance to the sounds of Chuck Caudill, buy your own drinks but there will be a champagne toast with the fireworks at midnight. Seating begins at 9 p.m. More...
Real estate recovery still strong on Island
The number of sales on the Island continues to be strong with sales up 42 percent for November 2010, according to a monthly newsletter published by Island Real Estate agent Alan Galletto.
Galletto, who compiles his figures from the Multiple Listing Service through the Manatee Association of Realtors, reports units sold in November were at 27, including 16 single-family homes, seven condominiums, two duplexes and two lots. That compares favorable to sales in November 2009, which totaled 19, with nine of those single-family homes, eight condos, one duplex and one lot. More...
Cortez has a new idol
CORTEZ – They came from all around the area, trying to sing their way toward money and recognition, but only one person took home the loot. Cortez, you've got a new idol and his name is L-Levine.
Twelve contestants took to the microphone at Pelican Pete on Saturday, Dec. 11, for the finals of the Third Annual Karaoke Contest. Levine sang two love songs, including his own composition, "Show Me the Way," to win the $1,000 top prize, courtesy of Pelican Pete's and Autoway Ford. More...
Birds may lose threatened status
Some birds commonly seen on Anna Maria Island are among the species that could be downlisted from the state threatened species list to a species of special concern list, or removed from the lists entirely.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists have released preliminary findings on 61 species listed as threatened in Florida. More...
Seashells by the Cortez seashore
CORTEZ – There's a world of wonder from under the sea on display at the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez.
The Blake and Betty Banks Marine Collection is a brand new addition to the museum's ever-growing assortment of artifacts from the sea.
Betty Banks, whose husband, Blake, was a local commercial fisherman, has donated boxes of seashells, corals, sponges and preserved marine animals to the museum. More...
Jolie Bell creates Banana Buddies
HOLMES BEACH – Jolie Bell says her monkeys are more fun than a barrel of people.
Bell hand knits her Banana Buddies, each with a distinct personality, message and name and sells them to friends and in local shops. You'll find Oopsie Daisy, Hula Tahlulah, Dandy, Coco Puff, Hot Lips and Frenchy among her many offerings.
"I made some for my grandchildren, and I had so much fun making them that I just kept going," Bell explained. More...
New Year's resolutions: Baby steps
I seldom make New Year's resolutions and when I do I almost never keep them. I think the problem has been breaking resolutions down into manageable bites. When I thought about it I realized that there are a few simple things that every angler can improve on that will make a big difference when he/she is out on the water. Below are a list of things you can do on a cold and windy day when you can't go fishing. I guarantee you they will pay dividends when you're back in the game. More...
Trying out a home before you buy
If you're in the market for an easy chair, you can plop down in as many as you like before making a decision. The same with cars. As long as your driver's license is valid you can try out a Ferrari and a Honda on the same day. But when it comes to making the largest purchase most of us will ever make, you usually can't try it out before you buy. Or can you? More...
Changes still coming to Café
HOLMES BEACH – The Anna Maria Island Beach Café is taking on a new look from when it was known as Café on the Beach. The building is being painted a tan color, there's a new fenced in area east of the building to hide things such as refrigerators and air conditioners that detract from the Café's look and the old pancake cooking area now resembles a tiki hut.
"We've been doing well," said Mark Enoch on Thursday, Dec. 23, who assumed the franchise for the county-owned facility earlier this year along with his partner, Alan Kahana. "This past week's weather hurt our business, but that's the way it sometimes goes when you're on the beach." More...
Some great investment resolutions to consider for 2011Investment Corner
At the end of past years I have developed a habit of setting myself up for failure. Making predictions about the direction of prices in the financial markets is a hazardous business where guessing right 50 percent of the time is good. But yet, there is an expectation among the majority of investors that individuals who provide investment advice should be able to predict the future, somehow magically providing all the right tips to help them succeed at an above average rate. More...