The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 8 - December 7, 2011


Holiday of Treasures coming to town

ANNA MARIA – All week, business owners have been as busy as Santa's elves getting ready for the city's holiday open house, Holiday of Treasures, set for Friday, Dec. 9, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. along Gulf Drive, Pine Avenue and South Bay Boulevard.

More than 50 businesses, as well as city hall, will be offering holiday cheer, refreshments and raffle prizes. Santa will be in his sleigh in the Island Sun Plaza hearing Christmas wishes from children, the snow will be flying compliments of Mark Kimball's snow machine and golf cars from Lightning Bugz will shuttle shoppers from the Island Sun Plaza to Bayview Plaza.

For a chance to win a basket of items donated by the businesses, get a bingo card in any participating business and have it validated at 14 of them. You can cast your vote for the best decorated business on the back of the bingo card. Cards can be turned in at the Island Sun Plaza or the Island Historical Museum.

The evening's offerings are as follows:

• J&J Graphics, outdoor movie and hot drinks and raffle prize – AMI canvas bag raffle prize;

• Sign of the Mermaid, cookies;

• Dips Ice Cream, holiday ice cream;

• Island Sun newspaper, visit with Santa, snow machine, refreshments, entertainment by harpist and steel drum band in the Island Sun Plaza;

• The Loft 5 AJ's Island Network, refreshments and entertainment in the Island Sun Plaza;

• Fran Maxon Real Estate, refreshments and entertainment in the Island Sun Plaza;

• Silvia's Flower Corner, refreshments and entertainment in the Island Sun Plaza, raffle prize – $75 gift certificate for flowers;

• Three Island Monkeys, refreshments and entertainment in the Island Sun Plaza, raffle prize – $15 gift certificate;

• Rotten Ralph, wine in the Island Sun Plaza;

• Ginny's & Jane E's, raffle prize – gift certificate;

• Body and Sol Spa, snacks and drinks, raffle prize – $40 gift certificate toward a salon treatment;

• Feeling Swell, snacks, pet-friendly gathering of costumed dogs, raffle prize – $25 gift certificate;

• Rudy's Subs and More, refreshments, toy collection for Adopt-a-Family, raffle prize – breakfast or lunch for two;

• Coastal Cottages, courtyard Christmas carols, snacks and drinks, raffle prize – $20 gift certificate to AMI Sarong Company;

• Advanced Insurance Brokerage, courtyard Christmas carols, snacks and drinks;

• An Island Place Realty, courtyard Christmas carols, snacks and drinks, raffle prize – $20 gift certificate to AMI Sarong Company;

• Anna Maria Island Concierge Services, courtyard Christmas carols snacks and drinks, raffle prize – gift certificate to AMI Sarong Company;

• AMI Sarong Company, courtyard Christmas carols snacks and drinks, raffle prize – gift certificate;

• White Egret/Egret's Nest, refreshments and discounts throughout the night, raffle prize – $25 store gift certificate.

• Anna Maria City Hall, refreshments;

• Pink and Navy, refreshments, raffle prize – $35 gift certificate;

• Bella By the Sea, trunk show on the deck with Cordo handbags and jewelry, raffle prize – $25 gift certificate;

• Shiny Fish Emporium, hot chocolate bar and kids games, raffle prize – $25 gift certificate;

• Dogs of the Earth, organic dog treats, raffle prize – a basket of organic dog food and toiletries;

• Anna Maria General Store and Deli, holiday drink and mini brownies, raffle prize – a bottle of wine.

• Duncan Real Estate, refreshments, and Christmas beads, raffle prize – bottle of wine and logo cozy cup;

• AMI Historical Society, refreshments, Joyful Noise choir at 6 p.m., AMI Concert Chorus and Orchestra musicians at 6:45 p.m., Christmas carols, raffle prize – city jail mug, Cat's Meow collectable and T-shirt;

• Anna Maria Island Accommodations, Inc., refreshments;

• The Flip Flop and Candy Stop, candy raffle prize – flip flop sun catcher;

• Emerson's Studio Store, raffle prize – autographed pair of Emerson's designed boxer shorts;

• Lor'Ells Hair Designs, food and beverages, raffle prize – five $20 haircuts and product basket;

• Olive Oil Outpost, mulled wine and snacks, raffle prize – gourmet treats;

• Timeless Treasures, food and drinks, raffle prize – starfish themed gift bag;

• The Island Cabana, hot buttered rum, fish and bubbles mix, raffle prize – radio controlled flying shark;

• Betsy Hills Real Estate, hot dogs and hot drinks;

• Beach Bum's, cook out, raffle prize – tandem kayak rental;

• Village Café at Rosedale, hot chocolate and ornament making, raffle prize – orange tumbler;

• Relish Vintage & Artisan Boutique, treats and drinks and 10 percent off store wide, raffle prize – signed copy of "Simple, Cheap and Chic Entertaining ... When You're Tired, Busy and on a Budget;"

• Sato Real Estate, hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps;

• Two Sides of Nature, coffee, hot chocolate and treats, raffle prize – $15 gift certificate;

• Reagan Paige, raffle prize – pashmina scarf;

• Two Scoops, hot chocolate, raffle prize – $15 gift certificate;

• Two Sides of Nature Too, hot chocolate;

• Chapae, refreshments.

The city's six lots at the corner of Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard will be open for parking.

Privateers parade this Saturday
Carol Whitmore

Avast and ho, ho, ho matey! There will be holiday
spirit aplenty at the Privateers Christmas Parade
this Saturday.


Do you want to show everyone your Island Christmas spirit this year? If so, you'll want to join the Anna Maria Island Privateers in their Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 10 a.m.

The parade starts at Bayfront Park, in Anna Maria and ends at Coquina Beach, in Bradenton Beach, where Santa will present each child in attendance with a present. There will also be free hot dogs and sodas for the kids. Adults are welcome to eat for a donation.

Everyone is welcome to participate in the parade at no cost. Call Sue or Greg "Wig" Luzier at 941-752-5973 or 941-725-0184, or Kathy Griffenkrantz at 941-761-4325 or be at Bayfront Park by 9:30 a.m. Due to the length of the parade, you must have an automobile or other wheels, No walkers allowed. You'll also want to decorate your ride in the Christmas spirit. For more information, log onto

Sign up for holiday boat parade

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

A sailboat sparkles in last year's Holiday
Lighted Boat Parade.

The Eighth Annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade will twinkle its way up the Intracoastal Waterway on Saturday, Dec. 17, and you can be part of it.

All boats are welcome and no entry fee is required, just a toy donation for Toys for Tots.

Spectators can gather at dusk at the docks behind Mar Vista and Moore's restaurants on Longboat Key to see the decorated boats, or enjoy the show from the Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach during the Bridge Street Merchants' Christmas on Bridge Street.

Other good vantage points are the Longboat Pass bridge, Coquina Bayside Park, the Cortez Bridge and the Seafood Shack restaurant in Cortez, where the parade will end with $1,000 in prizes awarded to winners, including a $500 grand prize for the best decorated boat.

To register, call 780-3547.

The event is organized by the Cortez Yacht Club and sponsored by The Anna Maria Island Sun and the Bridge Street Merchants' Association.



Make someone's holiday special
Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

The Giving Tree is adorned with gold and silver balls,
bows and ribbons, red poinsettias and the wishes of children in need.

Paradise Cafe Giving Tree

Paradise Café's Giving tree is once again adorned with tags to fulfill the Christmas dreams of Island children in need. Owner Jacke Estes began the Giving Tree tradition14 years ago.

The tree is lavishly decorated with shimmering ribbons and shiny balls and tags for boys and girls. Each tag has a child's age, size and grade.

People are urged to visit the Café in the Anna Maria Island Centre on East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach and take a tag, purchase presents for the child, wrap them and place them under the tree. Estes encourages people to buy each child something to wear, such as an outfit or dress, and a toy. Presents are distributed to Anna Maria Elementary students. In addition to AME students, Estes hangs tags for students she hears about through word of mouth.

Lawton Chiles' Christmas for Kids

The 18th Annual Lawton Chiles' Christmas for Kids, sponsored by the Chiles Group of restaurants, will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 13, from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Sandbar restaurant, 100 Spring Avenue, Anna Maria. One hundred forty children from the Head Start program and Healthy Families Manatee will attend a luncheon and party with characters in costume, games and Santa Claus arriving on a fire truck.

The restaurant group is seeking donations of cash to purchase shoes, clothes and toys for each child. In addition, each child's family will receive a food basket with a complete turkey dinner and all the trimmings.

To participate or to make a donation, call Patti McKee at 778-8709 or make your check payable to the Sandbar restaurant with a notation that it is for the Kid's Christmas Party and mail it to P.O. Box 1478, Anna Maria, Fl 34216.

Marine Corps Toys for Tots

Island Vacation Properties spearheads its eighth annual drive to collect toys for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, one of the nation's oldest Christmas charitable causes.

Participants can bring new, unwrapped toys to Island Vacation Properties, 3001 Gulf Drive; the Anna Maria Chamber of Commerce, 5313 Gulf Drive; Whitney Bank, 5324 Gulf Drive; Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive; all in Holmes Beach; The Sun newspaper, 9801 Gulf Drive; and Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive; in Anna Maria; and Back Alley, 108 Bridge Street; and Joe's Eats and Sweets, 219 Gulf Drive S.; in Bradenton Beach.

The final collection will be held at the Seafood Shack, 4110 127th St. W., Cortez, during the Cortez Yacht Club's Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, Saturday, Dec. 17.

Checks also are being accepted and can be made out to Marines Toys for Tots Foundation and taken to any of the toy drop-off locations. If you have a toy donation that you would like to have it picked up, call Island Vacation Properties at 778-1000.

All toys will be given to children in Manatee County.

Bridge Street is ready for snow

There will be snow on Bridge Street on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 3 to 7 p.m., but that's not all that will be falling. The merchants on Bridge Street will feature special holiday pricing on unique merchandise for the home or under the Christmas tree.

You might leave Bridge Street after the festivities with something special. The merchants have gathered together more than $1,500 in merchandise and gift certificates in baskets that will be raffled. Tickets are $1 each or $20 for an arm's length and you don't have to be present to win.

There will be continuous holiday music by DJ Tom Barrons plus the Rowlett Elementary School chorus and drama class will present "Twas One Crazy Night Before Christmas," a play on the Clement Clarke Moore classic poem.

The shops will open around 9 a.m. with special sale prices and treats to eat and drink. Area school children will be selling homemade goodies and crafts at the Children's Gift Bazaar. The Privateers will be handing out holiday beads and stirring up some holiday fun.

Come early to check it out and then stay for the Cortez Yacht Club's Holiday Lighted Boat Parade at dusk. Parking is available at the city hall lot, behind Bridge Street Bistro in designated public parking spots, on Church Street and at the post office as well as along Bridge Street or better yet, leave the car and take the trolley.

Christmas on Bridge Street is organized by the Bridge Street Merchants and sponsored by The Anna Maria Island Sun, Bright House Network, The Bradenton Herald, Miller Electric, Whitney Bank, Mike Norman Realty and METV.

Cities to meet over border dispute

HOLMES BEACH – In an attempt to avoid litigation over a border dispute between Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach, city officials will engage in a dispute resolution proceeding on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

The dispute was prompted by someone driving a golf cart through Sandpiper Resort earlier this year.

To keep out golf carts and other wheeled vehicles, Sandpiper installed a gate this summer in a fence along 27th Street – the border between the two cities – and posted no trespassing signs at the entrances to the 5 m.p.h., 55 and over mobile home park, according to Sandpiper property manager Tracy Moon.

Shortly after the gate was installed, Holmes Beach Commissioner John Monetti said that it was keeping Holmes Beach residents from accessing 27th Street, which has a beach access at its western end, in violation of an informal agreement to keep the shortcut open.

Mayor Rich Bohnenberger has said that the lost access also devalues nearby Holmes Beach properties.

Moon and several residents said the gate was unlocked, but Holmes Beach City Attorney Patricia Petruff and new Commission Chair David Zaccagnino said that it was locked when they inspected it. Since the dispute began, the gate has been obstructed by traffic cones, and another gate in the fence has been obstructed by heavy equipment.

The issue goes deeper than the gate, according to Petruff; Bradenton Beach did not have the legal authority to quitclaim 27th Street from Gulf Drive to the bay to Sandpiper in 2008, she told Holmes Beach officials, who said they want the gate removed and the quitclaim reversed.

The Bradenton Beach Commission has voted to affirm its decision to quitclaim the property to Sandpiper.

After discussions between Bohnenberger and then-Bradenton Beach Mayor Bob Bartelt failed to resolve the problem, Holmes Beach commissioners voted in October to initiate the proceeding against Bradenton Beach. Monetti, who owns property near the gate, recused himself from the vote.

Since the dispute began, Bradenton Beach has a new mayor, John Shaughnessy, who owns property in Sandpiper Resort, and Holmes Beach has a new commissioner, Jean Peelen, who owns property at the resort. Bradenton Beach Commissioner Gay Breuler also owns property at Sandpiper.

If the dispute resolution proceeding fails to result in a solution, mediation is the next step, followed by litigation, which both city's attorneys have warned would be costly.

The meeting, open to the public, is set for 9 a.m. at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

Center board refines child protection policy

ANNA MARIA – Island Community Center board members last week refined the language regarding abuse, sexual abuse and sexual harassment included in their child protection policy.

The board authorized revisions to the policy after allegations of sexual misconduct by a staff member surfaced in the spring of this year. That staff member resigned in April.

Andy Gidus, who served in law enforcement for 30 years, pointed out that there is no definition of sexual abuse in the policy and said, "You are putting abuse and harassment in the same category, and they're very different. People can get off on technicalities because it's not clear."

He also flagged definitions of "mental abuse – shame, withhold kindness, cruelty, etc." and "neglect – withhold food, water, basic care, etc." and asked, "Can someone be fired for not being kind? I don't know what that is, and neglect, what's that mean?

"If you are going to put something in writing, you have to be prepared for the worst case scenario. People can twist things. It only takes a few words to make that clear."

In the section regarding reporting procedures, Gidus also pointed out that the Sheriff's Office would not investigate harassment.

"Understand the difference between criminal and civil," he advised. The Sheriff's Office won't investigate something unless it's criminal."

Chair Greg Ross suggested that Gidus meet with Board Attorney Scott Rudacille and formulate recommendations for revised language for the next board meeting.

Cell tower

Members agreed to attend the next Anna Maria City Commission meeting to seek direction on pursuing a cell tower at the Center.

In March the 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. In April, the committee heard proposals from two cell tower developers.

In September, the board authorized the committee to negotiate with a provider and come back to the board with an agreement. However, Anna Maria Mayor Mike Selby advised them to get approval from the city to change their lease before proceeding because it is not a permitted use in their lease.

Since then, the city commission asked their attorney to give them an opinion on whether to revise their current cell tower ordinance or write a new one.

Treasurer Randy Langley recommended submitting an application for a tower and noted, "Unless you put it in writing, the ball won't roll down the road. We select somebody and then we go to the next meeting and say we'd like to do it."

Rudacille said they want the city to give them direction and stressed that they need the city's support, but also that the city came to them first.

Enjoy fine art, music and food at Winterfest

The art work of Richard Thomas is featured on
this year's festival T-shirts and advertising.

HOLMES BEACH – Final preparations are underway for the opening of the Island's premier winter art festival, Winterfest: Fine Arts And Crafts Festival, on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10 and 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Holmes Beach City Hall field.

"We're still getting calls about availability," Festival Director Colin Bissett. "Regrettably, we've accepted our limit of jewelry artists, which is the largest category, with photography next."

Other categories of fine art, which will be for sale just in time for Christmas shopping, include paper/fiber, glass, graphics/pastels, metal, mixed media, oils/acrylics, pottery, sculpture, watercolors and wood. There will be more than 100 artists from 18 states.

Bissett said entry is much easer than in the past because artists can apply on line and submit three examples of their work and a photo of their booth.

Cash prizes will awarded on Sunday morning for best of show, first place in 2-D and 3-D and second place in each category. The festival's judge is Dr. Barbara Hubbard, the creative director of The Right Brain Workshop, specializing in institutional advancement, non-profit and educational marketing, visual communication, and creative consulting. She is an artist, arts educator and university professor.

Other offerings

The "Young at Art" youth art exhibit will be on display featuring the art of Manatee County elementary, middle and high school students. Ribbons and prizes will be awarded in all school categories.

Other booths include the hospitality booth, where you can purchase a festival T-shirt designed by Richard Thomas or raffle tickets for prize drawings of pieces of art donated by the exhibitors, and community booths, where you can learn about local civic and non-profit groups.

When you're ready to take a break from walking, sit down and enjoy a variety of entertainment offered by local musicians. The schedule is:

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Anna Maria String Band/Western swing and old tyme American; 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., State Road 64; and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Gumbo boogie Band.

Sunday: 10 to 11:30 a.m., Bontrager Sisters/Anderson Brothers/ Two Howards; 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Koko Ray; and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Gumbo Boogie Band.

While at the festival, you also can grab lunch or a snack from several vendors including the Coastal Crab Company, Mr. C's Word of Mouth, Original Kettle Korn, Tylers Ice Cream and J&J Barbecue.

For further information, contact Festival Director Colin Bissett at, or 941-778-2099.

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