The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 14 - January 5, 2011


Parking agreement inches closer

Harry Stoltzfus
A sidewalk would be built between the parking blocks
and the signs, leaving enough room for a delivery truck
to parallel park behind cars pulled up to the blocks.

ANNA MARIA —Consensus is quietly growing on a parking plan for the city's mixed-use district.

After a year of stalemate, bitter debate and polarization on the parking regulations for the residential/office/retail district, agreement seems to be evolving.

Mike Coleman, managing partner for Pine Avenue Restoration, laid out an example of how a parking plan proposed by City Commissioner Gene Aubry might work. The layout is in front of the PAR buildings at 216 Pine.

Mayor Mike Selby is among those who've seen the proposal.

"This will work," Selby said. "This solves the safety issue and it's a win-win for the residents and for the businesses."

The main objection to current parking is that the sidewalks are behind the parked cars. There have been concerns about visibility and drivers not seeing pedestrians, baby strollers or bicyclists as they back out across those sidewalks.

Selby, who was formerly a strong opponent of the plan, has been bringing people who were violently and vocally against the plan to see the example.

There's plenty of room for a five-foot sidewalk, which would meet Americans With Disabilities Act requirements. That sidewalk would fit nicely between the parking blocks and the landscaping in front of the buildings.

There's room for cars to park straight in or at an angle on the street side of the parking blocks. Recently, a UPS truck was observed pulling up behind parked cars without blocking traffic. The delivery driver ran into a shop with her packages, got back in the truck and pulled smoothly back onto Pine.

More objections

Another objection raised by the dissenters was that even if the sidewalks were moved so the cars don't have to back over them, no one would follow a sidewalk that would meander according to where the property lines and buildings are.

Those and other questions were addressed at a Dec. 7 planning and zoning board meeting.

"Personally, I'd like a meandering sidewalk," said Mike Pescitelli, a member of the board. "I think that would be much more attractive than a straight line."

Carl Pearman, an opponent of the plan closest to the one currently under consideration, has had a change of heart.

"It's interesting that people who were violently opposed to this now applaud it," he said. "I personally like the idea of a meandering sidewalk, and I endorse it with the parking on private property."

City code requires sidewalks in the ROR district, but currently there are none on the north side of Pine Avenue. The code is silent on where those sidewalks should be located.

Under the plan that's illustrated in front of the PAR property at 216, the area where the public sidewalk is located would be traded to the city by the property owner for an equal strip closer to the roadway that could be used for parking.

Bond offered

PAR has agreed to put a bond in city coffers to pay for the sidewalks whenever the parking plans are finalized. It is also on the record offering to do the same thing on its properties on the south side of Pine Avenue at its own expense.

"You just don't get developers willing to do that sort of thing," Selby said after he was elected as mayor last November. "We are really lucky we have developers who live here and who care about their community."

The parking issue was shelved last fall after a year's worth of debate had created no movement.

Commissioners agreed to postpone any further discussions until after the first of the year.

That hiatus from the parking brouhaha allowed the city to adopt a number of land development regulations that had become overdue because of the parking debate.

Those additional LDRs are now being worked out to be in concert with the latest version of the city's comprehensive plan.

A meeting on the parking plan should be scheduled early this month.

Person of the Year 2010: Rex Hagen
Carol Whitmore

Rex Hagen

Rex Hagen is being honored as the Island Sun's person of the Year for 2010.

Hagen and his late wife, Helen, have donated more than $100,000 to the cities of Holmes Beach and Anna Maria and the Island Community Center over the years through their Hagen Family Foundation.

"The Hagens have been more than generous to the city, and we truly appreciate their generosity," Holmes Beach Mayor Rich Bohnenberger said. "With the limitations on public funding, it is wonderful to have a benefactor like this. It improves the quality of life for everyone."

Hagen divides his time between the Island and Ligonier, Ind., where he owned the Superior Sample Company, which he "inherited " in 1957.

According to the company's website, "A friend had talked him into buying an interest in Superior Sample, using up his entire $5,000 savings he had in his bank account. Ironically, his friend left town three days later and Hagen never saw him again."

Peggy Daniels, who started working for the company 38 years ago, bought it in partnership with Hagen's daughter, Nancy, in 2006.

"It's hard to put into words what Rex and Helen mean to me," Daniels said. "They are wonderful people and have made a huge difference in my life."

The Hagens began coming to the Island in the 50s, when Rex was stationed at McDill Air Force base in Tampa, said son Mark.

"We started vacationing there in the early 60s and stayed at the Resort 66 for years," Mark recalled. "Later when the Nautilus condos were built, they bought a unit and started spending more time on the Island."

After the kids went to college in the 70s, the Hagens began wintering on the Island, and in the mid-80s, they built a home on Key Royale. However, they missed the beach and built a home on Oak Avenue in Anna Maria in 2002.

They started the foundation in 1986 and began giving back to the two communities they loved. Ligonier, Ind., has received donations for a skate park, playground equipment, park beautification, a soccer field and a Riverwalk project, among many others.

The city of Holmes Beach has received funding for boat ramp improvements, palm trees, shuffleboard equipment, ballpark and soccer field improvements, a lightening warning system for the ball field, Christmas lights and ramps, fencing, signage, landscaping and equipment to print IDs for the skate park. The most recent donations purchased the tot lot and the new restroom by the skate park.

"I knew he always gave money to the city, but until I became mayor, I didn't realize how much." Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore, the city's former mayor, said. "Now we've become close friends. He's a really good person.

"He really supports the kids. He gave us thousands of dollars for the skate park. We couldn't have done it without him. He deserves this honor for all he's done for the Island."

Hagen also has given a great deal to the Community Center, and Assistant Executive Director Scott Dell said before he and Executive Director Pierrette Kelly joined the staff, Hagen donated money to build the tennis courts and suggested a tennis membership to help maintain and pay for utilities at the courts.

"For more than 20 years, he donated funds needed to resurface the courts, replace nets, fencing, add lights and so much more," Dell said. "He also supports vital children's programs and services through sponsorships of important fundraising events and Center activities.

"His generosity has truly made a difference in the lives of so many who utilize the services of the Community Center. It is wonderful to see Rex receive such a great honor for all that he has done for this community. I appreciate and respect him in the highest regard."

Kelly also acknowledged Hagen's 20-year support of the Community Center's tennis program and added, "Rex Hagen and his foundation support projects that enhance the health and well being of citizens in many communities. The Community Center is grateful to Rex for his support and generosity to our Island and all of us fortunate enough to call this Island home."

Although Helen passed away on Jan. 15, 2009, at the age of 79, Hagen continues his good works. Former Anna Maria Mayor Fran Barford said he paid for this year's lighted holiday banners in the city and also donated $1,000 toward more banners for next year.

"I asked him last year to recognize the employees because they haven't had raises for three years," Barford recalled. "He bought each employee a honey baked ham and then did it again this year.

"He loves to celebrate the holidays, and he loves this city and wants it to sparkle and be beautiful. He's a real treasure. I count him as a good friend and a good friend to this city."

"He loves to celebrate the holidays, and he loves this city and wants it to sparkle and be beautiful. He's a real treasure. I count him as a good friend and a good friend to this city."

Fran Barford
Former mayor, Anna Maria

"He really supports the kids. He gave us thousands of dollars for the skate park. We couldn't have done it without him. He deserves this honor for all he's done for the Island."

Carol Whitmore
Manatee County

"His generosity has truly made a difference in the lives of so many who utilize the services of the Community Center. It is wonderful to see Rex receive such a great honor for all that he has done for this community. I appreciate and respect him in the highest regard."

Scott Dell
Community Center
asst. executive director

A year in The Sun - 2010 in review

In February, 180 protesters lined up on Manatee County
Public Beach to draw a human line in the sand against
offshore oil drilling.

Anna Maria Island news in 2010 was overshadowed by one story that crossed all boundaries, affecting tourism, real estate, fishing, retail businesses, the environment and just about everything else in our world.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the northern Gulf of Mexico on April 20, killing 11. It gushed oil until it was capped on July 15.

Tourism operators struggled to let visitors know that oil did not wash up on local beaches, but cautious travelers bided their time. Several local water sports-related business owners, rental owners and one property owner unable to sell a home filed claims against BP. Galati Marine cancelled two Memorial Day weekend fishing contests planned in the Gulf.

Some fishermen from Anna Maria Island and Cortez took their boats to Louisiana to help clean up the surface oil, while others made claims against rig operator BP for losses stemming from the closure of their fishing grounds in the deep Gulf.

Wildlife Inc. Education and Rehabilitation in Bradenton Beach was placed on standby for oiled animal rescues, which never materialized locally, and local water and air monitoring efforts were stepped up to test for oil and chemical dispersant pollutants.

Some Island hair salons gathered hair to fill nylon booms to sop up oil, but the attempt ended when officials said the booms made matters worse by breaking apart.

In February, before the spill, about 180 protesters lined up on Manatee public beach in 47-degree temperatures and 17-mile-per-hour winds to draw a human line in the sand against offshore oil drilling. After the spill, in June, another protest was held, drawing about 400 people, part of the nationwide "Hands Across the Sand" protest.

The full effect of the spill on the Gulf and on the Island economy is not yet known.

Here's a look back at some of the other major stories of 2010.



Former Island mayors Carol Whitmore (Holmes Beach) and John Chappie (Bradenton Beach) were elected chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the Manatee County Commission.

Holmes Beach Mayor Rich Bohnenberger and commissioners Sandy Haas-Martens and John Monetti were re-elected to their positions, while newcomer Mike Selby was elected mayor of Anna Maria. Jan Vosburgh was elected to the Bradenton Beach city commission after having replaced Bob Bartelt on the commission after Bartelt took over from resigning Mayor Michael Pierce in June. Ed Straight was elected as a commissioner with no opposition.

Stoltzfus recalled

In the first recall election in Manatee County's history, Anna Maria residents recalled City Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus from office on Sept. 4, when Gene Aubry was elected to replace him by a vote of 362 to 331. The recall effort followed Sarasota-based legal consultant Michael Barfield's submission in March of a public records request to Anna Maria asking to inspect e-mail records of Stoltzfus and Planning and Zoning Board member Jim Conoly.

Chiefs fire back at Robinson

Fire and police chiefs defended their departments against persistent attacks by Holmes Beach Commissioner Al Robinson last fall, with West Manatee Fire Chief Andy Price calling Robinson's complaints about spending "either untrue or misinformation" and Holmes Beach Police Chief Jay Romine calling his complaints about the police budget "gross inaccuracies."

Budget woes

The Bradenton Beach City Commission approved a $2.681 million budget beginning Oct. 1 with a 5 percent raise for employees who had not gotten a raise in three years due to declining property tax revenues. The commissioners eliminated the city's department of projects and programs after the director of that department, Lisa Marie Phillips, agreed to leave her post with a buyout. The city's Scenic Waves committee, which Phillips had worked with, regrouped and operated with little budget funds.


Tourism leadership changes

In May, Elliott Falcione replaced the retiring Larry White, who served as director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for nearly 20 years, and Debbie Meihls was hired from the St. Petersburg CVB to fill Falcione's former executive manager position. Manatee County Commission Chair Carol Whitmore was elected chairman of the Tourist Development Council in December, replacing Joe McClash.

Trolleys remain free

The free Island trolleys are still free, thanks to a campaign for businesses to purchase advertising space both inside and on the outside of the trolleys to help make up for a budgetary shortfall that had Manatee County officials considering imposing a fare for riders. The first ads appeared in June, but County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said that businesses weren't getting their money's worth because the trolleys are unreliable and are replaced regularly with buses. He ordered five new heavy-duty vehicles after finding a grant, promising to return the ad money to the businesses. The trolley extension from the Island to Longboat Key also avoided budget cuts when Sarasota County gave $300,000, Manatee County gave $200,000 and the town of Longboat Key gave $61,000 for a year of 13-hour-a-day service.

Real estate

Sales up

The real estate market on the Island appeared to be on the road to recovery from the recession, according to Island Real Estate agent Alan Galletto, who reports that sales through the first 11 months of 2010 were up 36 percent over the same period in 2009.

Harbour Isle breaks ground

Harbour Isle on Anna Maria Sound broke ground in December on Perico Island. The first phase of the Minto Communities development is Mangrove Walk on Harbour Isle on the east side of the property, with 96 two- and three-story homes featuring Southern coastal resort architecture and prices starting in the low- to mid-$300,000s.

Mainsail opens sales office

The Mainsail Lodge opened its sales office in August at 5325 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach, with a model of the main lodge and 37 condo/hotel units and town houses planned for the marina. Prices will range from the mid-$300,000s to $800,000.


Cortez coyotes kill pets

Dozens of pets and feral cats in Cortez were killed by coyotes beginning in October, according to residents, who organized a community meeting to address the problem.

Officials advised residents to keep pets indoors, leash them when they're outside, avoid leaving food and water outside, keep outdoor garbage sealed and never feed coyotes. Residents started a database of coyote sightings at the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez.

Tree trimming kills chicks

Two heron chicks died when a tree contractor cut down an Australian pine tree with a nest in it at the Kingfish Boat Ramp in Holmes Beach in February. Another chick was saved and later released by Wildlife Inc. Education and Rehabilitation in Bradenton Beach.

On the waterfront

Pier plan approved

The Anna Maria City Commission approved the Anna Maria City Pier boardwalk project on March 29, and the Pier Centennial Committee began plans for a celebration on May 13 and 14.

No mooring field

The city of Bradenton Beach gave up its attempt to install a mooring field south of the Historic Bridge Street Pier after commissioners questioned whether it would ever be able to pay for itself. The state cancelled a $165,000 grant to help build the offshore facility.


PAR flourishing

Despite vocal and legal challenges, Pine Avenue Restoration made remarkable progress in 2010. A drive down Pine Avenue shows buildings on both sides of Crescent St. fully occupied by tenants and open for business as is the building at 216 Pine where three new businesses have opened their doors in the last two months.

Beach concessions change hands

Manatee County Commissioners awarded the Manatee County Public Beach concession contract to United Park Services of Tampa in May, ousting local favorites Café on the Beach, which prompted protests. The commission cited fiscal savings as its reason for the switch. It also awarded the Coquina Beach concession to the same company.

Walgreens moving, expanding

Benderson Development Company announced that it will relocate Walgreens from the north end of the Anna Maria Island Centre on East Bay Drive into the former Shell's storefront at the south end. The expansion will include a drive-through window for prescription customers.

NEMO founded

Realtor Barbara Sato organized the North End Merchants Organization (NEMO) in Anna Maria to bring residents and local businesses together while avoiding the politics of the Pine Avenue Restoration project. Its members' first project was to participate in the Keep Manatee Beautiful Coastal Cleanup.


Cortez leadership changes

Kim McVey was elected the new president of FISH (Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage) in June. Former president Richard Culbreath was the first of several board members to resign or become inactive after the alleged mishandling of proxy votes and new member votes during the annual election. In December, Roger Allen resigned as site manager of the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez, where he oversaw reconstruction.

New museum addition sought

The Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez is working to relocate the Monroe Cottage to the museum from Bradenton Beach, where city commissioners have decided to replace it with a parking lot.


Nyad trains off Island

Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, 61, trained off Anna Maria Island in August for a planned 103-mile swim from Havana to Key West that she had attempted in 1978, hiring an Anna Maria Island Sun staff member to captain one of her chase boats. Nyad made history in 1979, accomplishing the longest continuous swim in history – 102.5 miles – from Bimini to Florida, then didn't swim a stroke for 31 years. The trip was postponed until this year due to weather.

Greenwood visits Island

Country singer Lee Greenwood sang for the Anna Maria Island Community Center's Affaire to Remember, helping to make the event a sellout and a successful fundraiser.


Award-winning Sun turns 10

The Anna Maria Island Sun began its year-long celebration of its 10th anniversary in October, earning several editorial and advertising awards from the Florida Press Association throughout the year.

Business awards earned

The Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island presented former board chair Mark Davis its businessman of the year award at the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce installation dinner. The Chamber chose Beach Bums as its small business of the year, The Anna Maria Island Sun as its medium business of the year and Wagner Realty as its large business of the year.

Spring national pie champ

Andrea Spring of Sign of the Mermaid restaurant in Anna Maria won the Crisco American Pie Council National Pie Championship in April. The winning entry, her chocolate raisin walnut combination, also led to her national representation on the California Raisin Marketing Board.


Island loses old timers

Island institutions W.H. "Snooks" Adams and Pat Geyer died a week apart in April and May.

Adams, 91, was Holmes Beach's first police chief, and the founder in 1954 of one of the Island's most cherished traditions – Snooks Adams Kids Day, which the Privateers took over in 1980.

Geyer, 79, and her husband, Ed, who died the previous year, began operating Duffy's Tavern in 1971. She was elected to the Holmes Beach city council in 1978 and was elected mayor in 1990, serving four years, followed by 15 years as commissioner.

Other local luminaries lost in 2010 were "Turtle" Tom Van Ness, who wrote Turtle Tom's Timely Tips for The Sun (April 25), former Sun Outdoors reporter G.B. Knowles (April 10), Cortez pioneer Ralph Fulford (Oct. 12) and longtime fire commissioner John Van Ostenbridge (Oct. 30).

Rip current deaths

A man in his 60s, Gerardo Hernandez, and his sister, Josefina Pardo, 71, died on Aug. 12 in a rip current in the Gulf of Mexico north of the Sandbar restaurant, the apparent victims of heart attacks. The deaths followed the July 29 drowning of Terry Cox, 50, after he was caught in a rip current while fishing off the southern shoreline of the Intracoastal Waterway near the Anna Maria Island Bridge.


Musil-Buehler still missing

Nov. 4 marked two years since Haley's Motel co-owner Sabine Musil-Buehler went missing. Her boyfriend, William Cumber, was the last to report seeing her; he is in prison on charges of violating his probation when he left town after she disappeared. The Manatee County Sheriff's Office found no clues after digging up the beach in Anna Maria with front end loaders last year. Her whereabouts remain a mystery.

Pirate invasion overwhelms mayor, city hall

Bayfest band Bootleg
Two members of the Anna Maria Island Privateers hold Anna Maria
Mayor Mike Selby hostage in honor of their 40th anniversary

ANNA MARIA – They came as advertised, the whole gang of pirates with swords drawn and firing cannons, and they got what they wanted from the city officials.

The Anna Maria Island Privateers invaded Anna Maria City Hall Monday afternoon, searching for Mayor Mike Selby. They found him and tied him to the crow's nest while some of the pirates went out and collected an undetermined amount of money from the crowd that gathered there. When it was apparent they got as much money as the crowd was willing to give, they released the mayor and took him to the front door of city hall where they were given a key to the city and a proclamation that gives them permission to pillage in the name of their 40th anniversary.

After the Privateers found the mayor and took him outside, Dread Pyrate Robert went into another office and sat in the chair, claiming it was the mayor's. Two Privateer wenches joined him in a celebration of victory.

As the Privateers tried to get cash from the crowd, City Clerk Alice Baird held up a picture from city hall and offered it to the pirates. When she removed the back of the picture, there was another picture of a pirate in a rum ad, but the Privateers did not accept it in exchange for the mayor's release.

After City Commissioner John Quam read the proclamation, anniversary organizer Tim "Hammer" Thompson talked about the celebration.

"It all started on the Rod and Reel Pier with 10 men who wanted to do some good," Thompson said. "We have 43 items on our calendar and we want to raise $40,000 to give away for college scholarships."

The Privateers have helped a lot of people get college educations and they spend most of the year raising money for scholarships before giving it away after their Fourth of July parade each year.

After Thompson spoke, he told everyone to gather at their parade boat for food that was provided by Feeling Swell, Slim's, the Sandbar, Pine Avenue General Store, the City Pier, the Waterfront, Rotten Ralph's and Legacy Wholesale. The Privateers provided the rum punch and everyone wondered what those 43 items on their calendar would bring this year.

For the birds - Audubon count tallies 7,300

From left, Michigan snowbirds Nancy and Mike Barnes and
Gary and Margaret Hartzler, of Palmetto, participate in the event.

Nearly 7,300 birds were counted by 24 birders who canvassed Anna Maria Island, part of Longboat Key, Perico Island and Cortez during the annual Manatee County Audubon Society Gulf Circle Christmas Bird Count last week.

Four fewer species than last year were identified, (96 versus 100) coordinator David Williamson said, but no species was "surprisingly absent." The count information is not used to predict changes in species success or failure, he said.

More red-breasted mergansers were counted this year than any other – 350 – and ospreys are on the increase, with 64, compared to 40 or fewer in past years. Two hermit thrushes were seen, the first noted on bird count day, although they are seen at other times, and two unusual orange-crowned warblers were spotted on Leffis Key and Longboat Key Village.

The Audubon counts began in 1900, when scientist Frank Chapman led a small group on an alternative to a bird hunt. Instead of shooting birds, Chapman proposed that the "hunters" count, identify and record all the birds they saw.

PAR seeks sanctions against Nallys, Hunts, Stoltzfus, Wall
Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

The Nally suit centers on the city's approval of this commercial
project at 216 Pine, which already houses establishments
open for business.

Pine Avenue Restoration, LLC has filed for sanctions against William and Barbara Nally, Robert and Nicky Hunt, former City Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus and Robin Wall.

Attorneys for PAR filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit the Nallys lodged against the city for approving the plans for the structures at 216 Pine Avenue.

"It's logical that PAR would want to intervene in a lawsuit that directly affects them," said Michael Barfield, a legal expert working on behalf of the company.

That motion was granted at a hearing on Dec. 22.

On Dec. 12, the Hunts filed suit against the city and the commission for approving the site plan for the structures at 308 Pine Ave.

Now, PAR has filed a motion asking a judge to impose sanctions, naming the Hunts and the Nallys and citing e-mails produced from Stoltzfus' computer as a result of a public records request in the months leading up to the former commissioner's recall from office.

If a judge grants a motion for sanctions, the party filing for sanctions can collect for damages and/or legal fees and costs.

In those e-mails, several of the parties refer to themselves as "the group," and they talk of bulldozing PAR properties, among other things.

(Copies of selected e-mails are available on The Sun's website at Look on the right side of the page and under "Stoltzfus recall" click on "Stoltzfus e-mails.")


The Nallys own a house at 110 Spring Ave. They live in Lakeland and rent out the house when they're not using it.

The Nally house is in the commercial zone of the city adjacent to the Sandbar restaurant parking lot, and behind Bortell's, a bar, and its parking lot.

In 1994, the Nallys requested a variance when they wanted to enlarge their house so they'd have room when they were ready to retire there, according to minutes from a Sept. 26, 1994, planning and zoning board meeting.

In those minutes, board member Doug Copeland pointed out that one of the requirements of the zoning codes is that residential uses are not allowed in the commercial district for obvious reasons.

Bill Zimmerman, who was the city's building official at the time, said the Nallys were fully aware that their house was in the commercial zone.

"It seems to me that if they choose to live in an area which is designated commercial and they're prepared to deal with the implications of living in a commercial area, . . . that's a decision they should be able to make," Zimmerman is quoted as saying in the minutes.

In 2006, when the Sandbar had some renovation and rebuilding to comply with a complaint that their building was not in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Nallys were opposed to the way the city approved the site plan for the changes.

They sued the city and the city commission but subsequently dropped their suit.

They then sued W.E.L.D. Inc., the business entity that owns the site. That suit was dismissed.

In 2007, the Nallys sued the city again over the number of weddings at the restaurant that were being held under special events permits.

They dropped that suit when the city rewrote the special events rules and worked out requirements for wedding events held on Sandbar property.

Then in March of last year, the Nallys sued the city again, this time over the approval of the site plan at 216 Pine Avenue.

The Nally's house is several blocks from 216 Pine. Bortell's and The Studio are located between the Nallys and the property that they're complaining creates inconvenience and noise to them and to their guests.

It's that suit in which PAR's motion to intervene has been granted.

DCA Ruling

Robert and Nicky Hunt filed a challenge to the city's approval of the site plan for 308 Pine Avenue last year, claiming that the city's formula for calculating density was flawed. The challenge stated that when the city allowed two residential spaces above 308, it had erred.

The Hunts asked the Florida Department of Community Affairs to intervene and force the city to rescind its approval for that address. The Hunts claimed that if the city calculated density correctly, that structure could not be approved.

The DCA sided with Anna Maria and ruled that the method the city uses for density calculations is correct.

In one of the e-mails, Nicky Hunt wrote that if PAR could be stopped from having two residential units, the project would not be economically feasible, and PAR "would go away."

The Hunts filed their lawsuit against the city on Dec. 12, opposing the same density calculations that the DCA already ruled were correct.


The sanctions are being requested to halt what Barfield called frivolous, unfair and costly legal actions against his client.

"How many bites of the apple should someone have?" he asked. "Both of these lawsuits are going over the same ground that the DCA already ruled on."

A second look at the Stoltzfus e-mail exchanges does reveal discussions on how to stop PAR and how to cost the company so much money they won't want to do business in the city.

As a result of those e-mails and the legal actions by the Hunts and Nallys, PAR has requested the sanctions.

There is a hearing on the Nally suit scheduled for Jan. 11 in Circuit Court. Judge Edward Nicholas had been assigned to the case, but he was moved to criminal court as of Jan. 1.

Judge Peter A. Dubensky has been assigned to the Nally and Hunt cases. No hearing dates have been set thus far for the Hunt case.

Growing up in Rosedale Cottage
Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

The work on Rosedale Cottage, which was constructed in 1913,
is right on schedule. The cottage and the old Sears Cottage are
expected to be the first buildings open in the village
in the 500 block of Pine Avenue.

ANNA MARIA — Watching the beginnings of the Anna Maria Historic Green Village take shape from two elderly structures in the 500 block of Pine Avenue is interesting to pedestrians and passing motorists.

To Dick Rosedale, it's another thing all together.

"I grew up here," Rosedale said recently as new owners Mike and Lizzie Thrasher showed him the work that is being done on Rosedale's childhood home.

Rosedale Cottage is a 1913 structure which will house a restaurant or coffee house when it's completed in the spring.

"It was called Cozy Corner then, "Rosedale recalled.

"I'm glad the house is being preserved as much as it can be," he said last week while touring the inside of the structure, which is under renovation. "I like that Mike and Lizzie are saving as much of what's original as possible. I love that the power will be from the sun, and the water for the plants will be collected under the old cistern."

Rosedale lives in New Smyrna now, but he has a condo in The Bayou, almost across the street from Rosedale Cottage.

"We kept it as a family home for over 56 years," he said. "When we first moved here in 1949, we lived at 409 Pine, where Brenda Boyd's is now. Then we moved here in 1951.

Rosedale's said his dad ran his construction company out of the house, and the family added on to it as necessary to give them all room.

Rosedale was also in the first class of students to attend Anna Maria Elementary School where it stands today.

"Before that, we all went to school in the one-room school house," he recalled. "There was a dirt road, and we'd just walk down that road through the woods and come out at the school."

It was a simpler time, according to Rosedale. The water came that came out of the taps was laden with sulfer.

"That water tasted so good to me," he said. "When I'd go to friends' houses in town, the water tasted strange. I didn't like it, and when they drank the water at my house, they didn't like it either."

Rosedale remembers a time when there were a lot of kids on the North end of the Island.

"We never went inside except to eat and sleep," he said. "We'd go over to the pier, we were always in the water in the bay or in the Gulf."

He said new dunes were formed every day up by Bean Point. There were only a few cottages up in that area in those days.

"And those were just summer cottages owned by the citrus people mainly from Lakeland and Winter Haven," he said. "When there was a storm or a high wind, sand would get into the houses. You just expected that."

Island kids were busy, even without television, electronic games and texting, Rosedale recalls.

"We spent time at the Teen Club, and life centered around Roser Church where everyone was part of the youth fellowship," he said. "We did work. I remember one time a hurricane was coming and Rev. Wiggins had us sandbag the old log cabin. We saved it."

(The old log cabin was located on the Gulf at the corner of Gulf Drive and Coconut Avenue. It was recently torn down to make way for a newer, larger structure.)

"When we had to evacuate, we'd go stay at the house of a guy who worked for my dad," Rosedale said of storms.

"It was a great childhood," he said. "We grabbed stone crabs from down in the rocks. There was one policeman for the whole Island. Mr. Jordan had his regular rounds. We knew when we saw him head down towards Holmes Beach we had a window of opportunity."

Karate class is a family affair for the Millers
Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Jade and Corbin Gregg execute a move.

ANNA MARIA – For Sensei Bob Miller, teaching karate at the Community Center is like coming home.

"I took karate lessons at the Center when I was six years old," Miller recalled. "I taught my first karate school at the Center in 1989."

Miller, a deputy for the Manatee Sheriff's Office since 1988, has come a long way since then. He has trained with international masters and knows eight different styles of martial arts, has developed his own style – Dokuritsu, has been inducted into the International Sokeship Council Hall of Fame and was recently promoted to fifth dan (degree) black belt in Shotokan.

The class is a family affair because his wife, Stephanie, and her two sons, Jesse King and Nick Brown, help teach. Stephanie and the boys began learning karate before she met Bob.

"I was a single mom living in North Port," she explained. "The Boys and Girls Club had a karate program taught by the Moon Shotokan Karate Club, and I started attending with the boys.

"The first year, 2006, the boys competed and the second year, I competed and won two gold medals at the AAU National Championships."

The boys also have their share of medals, winning at the national championships every year they've competed. They also won medals at the Junior Olympics in 2008.

Both boys now attend Manatee High School, where Jesse is a senior and Nick is a freshman. Both are in JROTC and members of the MSO Explorers Program.

Stephanie met Bob two years ago on eHarmony, and the pair visited each other many times before Stephanie and the boys moved to Bradenton in August 2009. They wed in November 2009 and began teaching at the Center in September 2010.

"Let people know that with karate lessons, they can exercise, spend time with their kids, learn a sport and keep their kids out of trouble," Stephanie said.

"We did fundraising as a family to go to tournaments together and it gave us so much. We want to give that to others. I got a black belt at the age of 44; you can too."

There are two classes – one for kids from 6 to 10 years old and one for families. The kids learn the Shotokan style of karate, and class is on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 5 p.m. Students in the family class learn various styles, and class is on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

"In the family class, you will learn the whole gamut of martial arts," Miller said. "Being a deputy, I have to know how to defend myself, and that's what I teach.

The fee per month is $30 for members and $45 for non-members. To register, stop by the Center at 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria, or call 778-1908.

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