The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 40 - July 20, 2011


Beach Café celebrates first anniversary

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

The Anna Maria Island Beach Café celebrates its one-year
anniversary this week under new management.

HOLMES BEACH – The Anna Maria Island Beach Café is quietly observing its first anniversary under new management this week.

"No celebration is planned," said Mark Enoch, one of the partners of United Park Services (UPS), with his wife, Debbie, and Alan Kahana, who lease the facility from Manatee County.

The former concession stand at Manatee Public Beach at the end of Manatee Avenue, which once had a flat roof accessible for dances, is a popular meeting place for tourists and locals alike.

UPS has made a few changes, painting the pink building yellow, remodeling the gift shop, turning the indoor dining room into an ice cream parlor and building a tiki bar around the all-you-can-eat pancake buffet.

Other improvements include a new awning at the door to the café leading to the parking lot and upgrading the rental chairs and umbrellas.

They also tweaked the menu, adding wraps, fish tacos, fresh squeezed lemonade, and upgrading the ice cream to Edy's. Candy soon will be available in the ice cream parlor.

Earlier this month, UPS demolished an old shed south of the main building, opening up visibility from Manatee Avenue to the Gulf of Mexico, Mark Enoch said.

"Everybody's been really positive about the changes," he said, adding that he's happy with the number of customers at the café, especially on Friday nights, when Mike Sales provides live music and leads a drum circle a half-hour before sunset.

Planned improvements include a mural with a beach theme on the east side of the gift shop, which will be painted by high school students who win a competition sponsored by the Manatee County Cultural Alliance this fall. The competition would continue each year with a new theme and a new mural, Enoch said.

Other plans include new landscaping to conceal a fence to the side of the building, and a new sign is expected in the next two weeks similar in size to the existing sign. The Holmes Beach City Commission did not approve a 19-foot tall sign proposed by Kahana.

Commissioners also discouraged his proposal to move some tables and chairs from the cement patio onto the sandy beach.

United Park Services also operates the concession stand at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach, but has not made changes there because Manatee County has plans to demolish and rebuild it, Enoch said, adding that UPS will operate a concession trailer there during construction.

UPS also has operated concession stands, bait shops and kayak and bike rentals at Fort DeSoto Park in Pinellas County for five years.


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Staying secure on the Web

Investment Corner

The Internet is a wonderful tool. It allows us instant access to more information than any of us can ever use. It also allows us to be very efficient by allowing us to shop and handle financial matters, like bill-paying, from our home, office or even on the plane. Remember the days of driving to the utility company to pay the monthly bill? Well those days are long gone, and thank goodness they are with today's gas and postage prices.

Efficiency and convenience are great, but the wonderful services available on the Internet come at a price. The price is the potential breach of security when our personal financial information is transmitted and maintained on the websites of companies with which we do business. These range from our checking account at the local bank to our brokerage accounts at any firm, to the company we order vitamins or books from.

The first lines of defense are the passwords we use to log-in to various websites. We have all quickly realized that the wonderful world of technology has required us to remember minute details, such as a six- or eight-character code, which only we should know. Of course, with human nature being what it is, we tend to take the easy way out. But trust me, " tom1234" or "letmein" are not great passwords despite the fact they are easy to remember. Sophisticated computer hackers with automated systems can check dozens of these obvious combinations of names and numbers quickly and may gain access to your bank account or credit card information.

There are several ways to protect yourself. First, you should use what are called "strong" passwords. A strong password will generally have at least eight characters and be a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Once the potential pool of password characters goes beyond the digits of 0 – 9, the possible combinations expand exponentially and it gets much harder to guess or crack the password.

Of course, the characters should be in a random order, or at least not your name spelled out fully. Another way to complicate the password without making it too hard to remember is to capitalize one of the letters, say the second letter in the password. Passwords are usually case sensitive, while log-in names are usually not.

Changing your password periodically, say two or three times a year is also good idea, but this puts bit of a burden on you to remember the new password. You can keep a list of your passwords, but if you do this, please don't put them on a sticky note glued to the computer! There are even inexpensive software programs which will keep track of all your passwords, and you just need to remember the password for the software so you can get in to view the list.

One of the worst risks is known as "key logging". Key logging occurs when a virus designed for this purpose is resident on your computer and keeps track of the websites you visit, and the log-in and passwords for each. These are then transmitted out to the person who sent the virus. Keeping your anti-virus software up to date will help protect against these attacks. Some financial firms take this danger so seriously they issue a security card on which you press a button to get a numeric code which is input after your password each time you log in. The code sequence is random and pre-programmed and is the highest level of security I have seen in place thus far, but not many firms are employing these devices yet.

In summary, despite the hassle, I recommend you give some thought to a system to establish, periodically change, and store strong passwords to minimize the chance of a security breach.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


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