Vol. 11 No. 22 - March 2, 2011
Wedding Fest 2011
HOLMES BEACH – It was hard to tell whether this year's Anna Maria Island Wedding Festival attracted as many people as last year's because this one was more organized, according to organizer Deb Wing, the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce's executive assistant. More...
Center to study city cell tower request
ANNA MARIA – Center board members formed an ad hoc committee to study a request from the city to allow a cell tower to be built at the Center.
"We're not spearheading this," Assistant Director Scott Dell stressed. "The city came to us with the contractors because they said this is the perfect location." More...
No pipes to be left behind
Those Island residents and beachfront business owners who were here during the ill-fated renourishment of 2005-2006 will remember how bad weather shut down the project while scores of rusty pipes used for bringing the sand from the borrow pit lay on the beach, spoiling the view and limiting access to the water.
No so this time, according to those who know. More...
Tour of Homes and quilt tickets available
Tickets for the 18th Annual Anna Maria Island Tour of Homes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 19, are available for $20 at the following Island locations:
Anna Maria: AMI Sun, 202 Palm Ave.; Ginny's & Jane E's, 9807 Gulf Dr.; The White Egret,10006 Gulf Dr.; Beach Bums, 427 Pine Ave.; and Egret's Nest,10010 Gulf Drive. More...
Green Village making history
ANNA MARIA – Not only does the Historic Green Village on Pine Avenue being developed by Lizzie Vann and Mike Thrasher feature historic buildings, it also is making history with its green innovations.
"In Florida, it will be the first LEED platinum building and the first net zero energy complex, which will generate as much energy on site as will be consumed in a given year," explained Raymond Kaiser, director of Green Building Services for Stewart Engineering, which is providing the LEED guidance and is the engineering firm for the project. More...
Beach Bistro prepares for parade
It's almost that time again, and Beach Bistro owner Sean Murphy has already booked Judy the elephant for this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade.
As in the past, Murphy has booked the pachyderm and her trainer to walk from Eat Here, at 5315 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach, north along Marina and Palm Drives to 79th Street on Sunday, March 13, starting at 4 p.m. Parade participants are required to be there by 2 p.m. to check in. More...
Fire district selects Ross Built for remodel
BRADENTON – West Manatee Fire Chief Andy Price reported that a committee met with four bidders regarding the remodeling of Station 1 in Homes Beach and after reviewing proposals, it recommended Ross Built and Synalovski Associates for the job.
Other bidders were Totems Architecture & Magnum Builders, BMK Architects, Inc. and J. Thomas O'Brien, AIA & W/DL Porter Constructors. The board gave Price authority to begin negotiations with Ross Built. More...
Code officer reports on encounter with fisherman
HOLMES BEACH – Code Enforcement Officer Nancy Hall filed a report with city commissioners regarding her encounter with fisherman Wayne Slusser in May 2010.
Hall said Mayor Rich Bohnenberger asked her to write the report in response to Slusser's claims that some of the city ordinances regarding the beach are outdated or violation of state law. Slusser's issue began with encounters he had with Hall and the police over lighting on the beach during turtle season. More...
Healthy fish - eat American
Restaurant owners are used to getting a lot of advice about what foods they should serve.
I recently opened a restaurant next to a gym. One gym patron offered, "You should serve sports food."
As I age my mind has developed the habit of creating shortcuts to happier mental spaces. More...
Catching a spring break
Is it possible that the second abnormally cold winter in two years is over? Are we going to finally get a break? Spring break appears to have arrived early this year and not a minute too soon. Although we didn't have the catastrophic fish kill that we did last year, I still got reports of dead snook in Longboat Key canals. I'm guessing that the ones that died were stressed from last year's frigid waters. It appears that the decision to keep snook season closed was a good one and one I hope is extended. More...
Are we done with bubbles?
The housing bubble came and went and now we're left with the clean up, but can it happen again? Yale economist Robert Shiller's recent essay in the New York Times thinks probably not, but human nature is nothing if not unpredictable.
The current bubble that we're still digging ourselves out of may be new to this generation, but it's not the first real estate frenzy we've experienced. During the 1920s, the state of Florida was overrun with speculators buying up as much property as they could find. People were waiting to bid on property not yet built and willing to pay unheard of prices. Sound familiar?
Business focuses on eco-education
Karen Fraley's past 12 years have taken her around the bend many times as she leads residents and tourists into the wilderness on land and in the water, but it might never have been had she not dealt with a spate of free time on her hands as a mother.
"I was looking for something to do while my kids were going to school," he said. "I didn't want to return to school, so I started my business. It was great because I could schedule my job around my other duties as a mother." More...
Reverse mortgages now more attractiveInvestment Corner
Over the years I have written about reverse mortgages two or three times. My conclusion was that a reverse mortgage was not something we recommended, but if the retiree in question needed additional income and had significant equity in his/her home, obtaining a reverse mortgage was not a financial mistake.
The big negative of reverse mortgages in former times was the very high cost of establishing the credit line. Mortgage insurance, origination fees and processing fees could add up to very high levels. Recent changes in the structure of reverse mortgages have allowed these costs to come down, in some cases dramatically. More...
Playoff atmosphere under Friday night lights
The Sun sports Game of the Week was an important AFC division II matchup between the second place Holy Cow Colts and the third place Eat Here Jaguars. The payoffs are coming up soon, and every divisional game is important in determining positioning and first round byes.
Under the Friday night lights, you could feel the playoff atmosphere in the air. The intensity for both teams could be felt from the first snap of play. The Eat Here Jaguars defense set the tone early causing the Holy Cow Colts offense to go three and out on their first two possessions. The Jaguars defense was led by Brad Duffman, who had three big sacks and four flag pulls and Gavin Sentman who had one interception and six pulls. More...
Mary Seine – one amazing bikerFeasting on Fitness
If you've spent any time stuck in traffic here, you may have chuckled as you saw Mary Seine whizz by on her bike. How would you know? She always wears a very bright reflective vest that says, "One less car." She's been wearing it for years since her husband gave it to her. The Sun first snapped her picture in 1995 as the in-your-face words pegged her for an environmentalist.
"All are true," she conceded as I showed up after she had just returned from a Sunday 19-mile bike ride. "I had really wanted to get one more mile in," she apologized. "But I didn't want to be late meeting you. I'll get it in after I leave. I bike mainly for health." More...