Vol. 11 No. 29 - April 20, 2011
Lighthouse treasure to be restored
EGMONT KEY – On a clear night on Anna Maria Island, you can see the beacon from the lighthouse on Egmont Key, just as anyone in three counties could have done in 1858.
The light has burned for 153 years as an aid to navigation, still doing the original job it was built for, according to Jim Spangler, past president of the Egmont Key Alliance, which intends to see that the lighthouse keeps right on burning. More...
Drilling resolution stalled
One year after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, a call by state lawmakers for a Constitutional amendment prohibiting oil drilling in Florida waters has stalled.
A joint resolution in the Florida House and Senate proposes an amendment to the state Constitution to "prohibit exploration, drilling, extraction and production of oil beneath Florida waters between the mean high-water line and the seaward limit of Florida's boundaries." More...
AMICC inquiry continues
ANNA MARIA — Allegations of misconduct by a 30-year-old Anna Maria Island Community Center employee remain under investigation this week in the wake of reports that the male employee had sex with a 17-year-old and sent inappropriate text messages to a 14-year-old.
The employee, who has not been formally charged, has resigned. More...
One shark mystery persists, one solved
Dead sharks that have been washing up on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key in recent weeks probably are not victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to scientists at Mote Marine Laboratory.
Mote researchers recovered more than a dozen sharks, mostly adult bonnetheads, one blacknose and one sharpnose from both islands earlier this month, according to Communications Coordinator Hayley Rutger. More...
City celebrates Founders Day
HOLMES BEACH – It was a day for stories beginning with "Back in the day…" as Holmes Beach celebrated its 61st anniversary on Founders Day last Friday.
More than 20 years ago, Holmes Beach was ahead of its time with a 24-hour convenience store and gas station, Mayor Rich Bohnenberger told the crowd. When you pumped your gas and went inside to pay, the clerk would pick up a pair of binoculars to look at the pump and see how much gas you used, he laughed. More...
Tourism, arts groups exchange ideas
ANNA MARIA – Arts and tourism leaders exchanged ideas last week at a Cultural Connections meeting at The Studio, raising hopes that the arts will enjoy a higher profile in future tourism promotions.
An arts page is included on the county's tourism website (www.annamariaisland-longboatkey.com/things-to-do/arts-and-culture), Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Elliott Falcione told the group, and links to more art organizations and events can be added, he said. More...
Local churches celebrate Easter
The Easter season is one of the most important times of the year for Christians to celebrate and worship.
On Anna Maria Island, churches will come together to celebrate a Sunrise Easter Service at Manatee County Beach on Sunday, April 24, just before dawn. Representatives from all six churches will conduct the service with help from the Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island, which has sponsored all of the past Sunrise Services. Everyone is welcome. There is no charge, although Kiwanis takes collections of money that will be split among the churches. People attending are asked to bring beach chairs or blankets. More...
Setting fire to dessert
Uncle George put rum in everything. His beans were particularly lethal.
He got the beans and pork and brown sugar going in a huge iron crock on the stove and loaded in the rum. Then he built a hard wood fire in a hole in the yard. When the fire turned to coals he took the cast iron pot from the stove and put it in the hole and covered it with gravel and sand. The pot would bake all day and then cool through the night and be ready the next morning. More...
Knots: Strength is the weakest link
We spend a lot of time working for the opportunity get a day on the water. Add to that the amount of effort and money we spend for a fishing trip and learning to tie good knots seems a no-brainer. I speak from experience when I say learning to tie knots properly is a small part of the fishing equation that will reap large benefits. Who among us hasn't hooked a great fish, only to lose them to an improperly tied knot! It's true that you don't need a book of knots to tie on a lure and catch a fish, but it's an art that can improve the likelihood of landing the fish of a lifetime. And even if that lunker doesn't appear for awhile, you can impress your friends and colleagues in the meantime. More...
Like politics, all real estate is local
The late Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill, is famous for saying all politics is local, meaning it doesn't matter what happens in Seattle if you live in Florida. The real estate culture has since adopted this philosophy and applied it to real estate, which, in our world, means it doesn't matter what happens in Cape Coral if you live on Anna Maria.
During a recent trip to Key West a relative of mine from New York who works in finance e-mailed me a CNN Money report titled "Nearly 20 Percent of Florida Homes are Vacant." The news piece was accompanied by his editorial comments indicating he knew it was bad but he didn't think it was that bad. Before I had a chance to carefully read the article, I answered him back not to believe everything he reads and that all real estate is local, asked him how deep the snow was in New York and then went straight back to my glass of Pinot Grigio. More...
Presentism – how we feel influences our vision of futureInvestment Corner
In my last column we reviewed how the stock market seemed to generally do well when there were things to worry about, but conversely, embark on declines when most investors are optimistic. It has always perplexed me that investors seem to get the most optimistic or pessimistic at the wrong times, but I recently read a book which has shed some light on the thought process that helps create this cycle.
Stumbling on Happiness by Harvard psychology professor Dr. Dan Gilbert is a great book if you would like to learn more about many aspects of the human thought process and how we interact with others. It does not focus on the realm of investments, but the topics covered have direct application to how we manage our financial affairs, particularly our investments. More...
Put me in coach - Center baseball season opens
Baseball is back and in full swing at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. This week marked the opening games for both the Tee Ball and Pitching Machine leagues. It was great to see these little superstars back in uniform and baseball ready.
The Community Center has a long tradition of baseball being played at its Scanio Field, dating all the way back to the days when Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn helped build the field in the 1960s. The legendary lefty would be proud to see the field he built still being used by young Island ball players 50 years later. More...
Coming soon to an I-phone app near youFeasting on Fitness
Always dress like you're gonna be in a movie. Cuz ya just never know. Recently, I arrived at my community farm to pick up my weekly share of lush and organic vegetables, and I thought there'd been a plane crash or a breaking news story. There was a large RV set up with cars, trucks and movie crew types crawling all over the place with cameras and equipment I had only dreamed about in my 18 years as a TV investigative reporter.
Turns out, the General Motors Corporation was making a gynormous movie about Geraldson Community Farm. This project highlights amazing things going on in local communities around the country. This traveling crew shoots and produces the raw and final product. More...