The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 25 - March 23, 2011



Harry Stoltzfus
Joan Pettigrew with the Tour of Homes' Tropical Treasures
Boutique's youngest shopper, granddaughter, Evelyn,
8 months. Evelyn is the daughter of Brett and
Meaghan Pettigrew, of St. Petersburg.

What appeared to be a record crowd attended the 17th annual Community Center Tour of Homes Saturday, keeping two shuttle buses running at capacity all day and raising an estimated $33,000 for Center programs.

"I think it's a lot of fun," Alicia Dettling, of Bradenton and Minnesota, said. "I really appreciate the variety of homes. They're not all million dollar homes."

Three ladies from Longboat Key, Connie Cameron, Ingrid Crites and Connie Hilwig, said they take the tour every year, and they like the creativity they find in the homes.

At home #1 at 304 62nd Street in Holmes Beach, tour goers liked the rustic table in the kitchen, the distinctive colors throughout the house and the pool area with a tiki hut, hot tub and waterfall and an outdoor kitchen.

"It's gorgeous; it's like a designer house," exclaimed Irene Mederos, of Holmes Beach and New Jersey.

"I'd be in the pool area forever," claimed Linda King, of Ontario.

Home #2 at 612 Baronet Lane in Key Royale proved to be the most popular home on the tour with its colorful artwork and mosaics by the owner, mermaids in all forms from needlepoint to napkin rings and Florida memorabilia from placemats to postcards.

"I love her collections – the old beach pails, the needlework, the antique towels as curtains, the china from hotels and ships, her paintings, the mermaids," exclaimed Fran Miller, of Holmes Beach and Maine.

Visitors liked the colors, the wet bar and walk in closet in the master bedroom and the pool area with a tiki hut, waterfall and bar in House #3 at 6802 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach.

"It's a nice, happy house," said one visitor.

At House #4 at 210 77th Street, visitors liked the shell-crusted fireplace, the airy kitchen and dining area and the remotely controlled pool.

"It's a nice sized home," Dettling said, and Cheri Griffin, of Bradenton, added, "I love the master; everything is separated."

The entry of House #5 at 110 77th Street in Holmes Beach was a favorite with its acid stained "Margaritaville" floor featuring palm trees, a beach, a tiki hut, a sunset, a margarita glass, a salt shaker and a lime. People also liked the light airy living/dining area, the "sherbet" colors throughout and the unique touches like the raffia and starfish tie backs on the bed curtain.

"Everything is charming," said Stephanie Ammon, of Illinois. "It's fun for us to see Florida decorating. It's so fresh."

Visitors ended the tour at House #6 at 710 Gladiolus, which was the only one in Anna Maria and not accessible by shuttle. They liked its soothing colors, beautiful landscaping and compactness.

"It's an adorable beach bungalow," one visitor said.

Get ready for beach pipes this week


BRADENTON BEACH – Crews from Great Lakes Dock and Dredge have brought in all of the pipes they need for this year's $12.98 million renourishment project and they will start laying pipes on the beach in anticipation of the first phase of the job on Cortez and Coquina Beaches.

That's the latest from Coastal Planning and Engineering coastal engineer Michelle Rees, who said they are still on track for an April 1 start.

Rees said the seven miles of pipe from the borrow pit north of Anna Maria Island to the southern beaches would be mostly buried in the water, but the final mile or so would be on the beach for two to three weeks.

Manatee County Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker, who is the county's point man for the project, said the first leg of the renourishment would only take about a week, and the pipes on the beach would then be broken down and moved out of the area. The second part of the project is a small patch of sand to be placed on the beach in Anna Maria from just north of the Sandbar restaurant. Hunsicker said that would take only a couple of days, after they set up the equipment.

Manatee County officials and Coastal Planning and Engineering engineers are leery of pipes on the beach following a project in 2005 where the contractor, Goodloe Marine, Inc., had trouble with high waves and their large, rusty pipes to carry the sand from the same borrow pit that is being used this year stayed on the beach for nearly a year. The pipes were dangerous and although Goodloe built sand ramps for people to get to and from the water, a lot of tourists cancelled or said they would never return.

Coastal Planning and Engineer Vice President Rick Spadoni, who has engineered all of the county's four renourishments since the first one in 1992, said they had Great Lakes put as many pipes offshore this time to make sure that situation does not repeat itself.

Goodloe, incidentally, went out of business after the county pulled them off the 2005 job before completion in order to get the pipes off the beach.

Bridge work at night

A maintenance project on the Anna Maria Island Bridge on State Road 64, will cause lane closures Monday through Wednesday, March 28 through 30, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., according to the Florida Department of Transportation. Flaggers will control traffic during the lane closures. Motorists are advised to use caution while in the area and expect possible delays.

Win a TV or diamond jewelry at the Affaire


ANNA MARIA – Lucky ticket holders have two great prizes to look forward to at the Affaire to Remember, "A Magic Moment with Lee Greenwood," on Saturday, April 2, at the Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.

Couch potatoes can line up for a Vizio 55-inch LED Internet television sponsored by Lutz, Bobo and Telfair, PA. Tickets are one for $5, three for $10 or seven for $20.

The ladies will be vying for jewelry, which features a diamond necklace and earrings. The necklace contains 18 oval white gold open links, each one containing 15 round brilliant diamonds, flat bead set. There are 19 rose diamond shape connectors, each containing six round brilliant diamonds. Total weight of all diamonds 2.00 carat, color H, clarity SI-2.

Also included is a pair of 18-K two-toned pierced earrings with rose and white diamond circular hoops by designer Simon G. The color is G, clarity VS-1, total diamond weight is .68 carat.

The total value of the jewelry is $7,500. Tickets are one for $50 or three for $100. Only 300 tickets will be sold, and they are available at the Center.

The Affaire begins with a champagne reception with hors d'oeuvres and silent auction at 6 p.m., followed by dinner catered by Harry's Continental Kitchens. After dinner, country artist Lee Greenwood and his band will perform.

A VIP cocktail party hosted by Greenwood will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. It includes VIP seating and a private viewing of silent auction items. Tickets for this event are $250 per person.

Sponsors and donations for the live and silent auctions are still needed. Sponsorships include Bronze, $1,000; Silver, $2,500; Gold, $5,000; and Diamond, $10,000. A VIP Magic Moment Table Sponsorship is $2,000 and includes an eight top table and tickets to the VIP cocktail party.

Reserve early because this event always attracts a sell out crowd. Tickets are $175 per person, and tables of eight are available.

For tickets or to donate or be a sponsor, call Sharen at 778-1908, ext. 9203, or e-mail or for more information, go to

Water taxi plan floated

As traffic snarls reach their annual peak on Anna Maria Island, a local sailboat excursion operator is pursuing a plan to provide an alternative to cars.

A regularly scheduled water shuttle service based on the Island could ferry passengers to and from the Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach, Catcher's Marina in Holmes Beach, the city pier in Anna Maria, Coquina Beach Bayside Park, Cortez, and Fort DeSoto Park and the Bay Pier in Pinellas County, said Tracey Dell, of Idylwild Enterprises of Delaware.

Dell currently operates Kathleen D sailing catamaran charters out of Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Sarasota, Naples, and Sandy Hook, N.J.

"My interest is that there's an island with limited parking, endless traffic and no boat service," he said, explaining that other local boat operators, including his current charter business, work on a call basis, while the water shuttle would run on a schedule, like the Island trolley. Unlike the trolley, however, rides would not be free, but no charge has been set.

The Anna Maria Island Shuttle Service would add another fun activity to the Island's list of things to do on vacation, said Dell, whose goal is to open the business this summer.

"We're doing due diligence to get permission to get in and out of locations," he said, adding that while his idea is to minimize the use of cars, customers would have to park before they ride, causing some parking impacts.

"I have written all the Island mayors with the proposal," he said, and is awaiting answers before purchasing a boat that would hold about 50 passengers and provide a restroom, sun cover and be sturdy enough to handle unpredictable Tampa Bay.

In keeping with the idea to minimize pollution from cars, the boat also would be green, he said, using an efficient diesel engine for propulsion and solar panels for onboard energy needs.

Dell said he would need the support of the local business community in the form of sponsorships to start up the business, with its high fuel, maintenance and insurance costs.

For more information, email Dell at

Privateers move picnic to pier


ANNA MARIA – The Anna Maria Island Privateers will celebrate their 40th anniversary picnic during the Anna Maria City Pier's Centennial Celebration in the pier's north parking lot, the centennial committee learned last week.

The picnic, originally scheduled at 4 p.m. at Bayfront Park, will be moved to the parking lot due to safety concerns about people walking over the steep humpback bridge that separates the pier from the park, Anna Maria Mayor Mike Selby said. In addition, activities at the park fall under county regulations that prohibit alcohol, which will be sold at the picnic.

Selby is working to accommodate the pirates to avoid being kidnapped for ransom again, he joked, referring to a recent fundraiser.

The picnic, a fundraiser for the Privateers' scholarship program, will be held during the same time frame as the Chiles Group's Food and Wine on Pine event, which begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 14 and will stretch from the pier to Gulf Drive.

The centennial celebration begins on Friday, May 13 at 5 p.m. with a parade from CrossPointe Fellowship Church to the pier.

Sales of T-shirts, pendants and mugs will benefit the city, Selby said, while anticipated sales of 1,000 commemorative pier planks will help pay for a fireworks display on Saturday night at 8 p.m.

The city will contribute funds for extra police and street barricades during the festival, he said; Pine Avenue will be closed at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday until after the fireworks display that night.

In other business:

• The committee learned that family members of residents of the Lotus Cottage, which was located at the end of the pier, will attend the festival.

• The Chiles Group is seeking volunteers to work the Food and Wine on Pine event; call Caryn Hodge at 778-8709.

For more information about the centennial, visit

Easter bonnet contest on Pine Avenue

Whether you're an experienced Easter bonnet maker or taking your first shot at it, here's a chance to show off your skills and creativity by entering in the first ever Anna Maria Easter Bonnet Contest.

The Sandbar restaurant and the Pine Avenue Restoration Company (PAR) are sponsoring this event during the Easter Egg Roll on Pine Avenue on Saturday, April 23. They will host an Easter Bonnet contest at 11 a.m. in front of Anna Maria Island Accommodations at 315 Pine Ave. Two contests will take place, one for adults and one for children. This is seriously fun business, and judges will be looking for the most original bonnet.

Considering the prizes, you may want to go all out on the decorations to make your best bonnet. The grand prize for adults is a weekend stay at one of the brand new PAR properties overlooking Anna Maria's main street, Pine Avenue. The grand prize in the children's category is a large chocolate bunny and a lunch party including ice cream sundaes for the winner and three of his/her friends at the Sandbar restaurant. So get out the glue gun and start collecting those unique Easter decorations that will make your bonnet the tops.

The bonnet contest will take place during the Easter Egg Roll Saturday, April 23, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. For the whole experience start at the Sandbar for the 25th Annual Sandbar Easter Egg hunt at 9 am, sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Sun, after which, the Easter Bunny will lead a parade down Pine Avenue to the site of the Easter Egg Roll. See you there! For more information, contact Tina Fusaro @ 941-518-8491 or

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