Vol. 12 No. 18 - February 15, 2012
The village that mullet built
Second of three parts
CORTEZ – The wind is screaming, the Gulf of Mexico is frosted with whitecaps, and it's so cold the pelicans aren't even bothering to trail the bouncing mullet boat just offshore.
But there they are, a couple of guys in yellow oilers and white boots, with leathery skin and hands tough as nails, making a living the old, hard way. More...
Committee backs off controversial street plan
ANNA MARIA – After receiving a complaint from a city commissioner, Mayor Mike Selby told members of the city's environmental committee not to become involved in Pine Avenue traffic issues.
In January, members of the Environmental Education and Enhancement Committee called for slowing down traffic on Pine Avenue by removing the yellow lines and narrowing the street."Welcome to the world of politics," Selby said. "A commissioner came to me and said you should have you read your mission statement. You're in an area that you shouldn't be involved in." More...
Cut pines provoke passion
ANNA MARIA – Once again Australian pines have sparked protests from city residents – this time at the end of Park Avenue.
"We had a meeting of about 15 people from Park and Beach who were upset because Banyan Tree Estates removed a lot of Australian pines," Mayor Mike Selby told members of the city's environmental committee Wednesday.
"There were four in the city right of way, and they offered to remove them at no cost and I approved it. We don't have any money in our budget to take them down." More...
Tourism promoters facing criticism
BRADENTON – Manatee County tourism officials on Monday faced Anna Maria Island officials concerned that excessive tourism marketing may be ruining the very character that draws people to the Island.
"Neighborhoods are being destroyed. People are moving out," Holmes Beach Commissioner Jean Peelen told the council, adding that the Island lost 20 percent of its population from 2000 to 2010 according to the U.S. Census, as reported in The Sun on March 30, 2011. More...
Roser seeks cell tower
ANNA MARIA – Members of Roser Memorial Community Church sent a letter to Mayor Mike Selby last week asking that the church be considered as the site of a cell tower.
According to Building Official Bob Welch, a cell tower must be located in a public/semi-public district. The church is in a public/semi-public district. More...
Dredged sand renourishing pier beach
ANNA MARIA – Sand dredged from Key Royale Pass is being used to renourish both sides of the beach at the Anna Maria City Pier.
The dredging got underway Friday after pipes were installed and turbidity screens were put in place on pilings offshore. More...
City's annual report favorable
BRADENTON – Manatee County has made a bid on a piece of property to complete the parking lot on the Palma Sola Causeway that will serve the back entrance to Robinson Preserve.
Manatee County Commissioner John Chappie told members of the Palma Sola Scenic Highway Committee that the county offered $20,300 for a small piece of property needed for the turning lane. The owner has 30 days to respond. More...
Board discusses fees, use and parking on six lots
ANNA MARIA – During a lengthy discussion on the six lots the city purchased last year at the corner of Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard, commissioners made one decision last week – to eliminate parking there.
Commissioner Dale Woodland made the suggestion stating, "I think we should shut it tomorrow. People are getting used to using it." More...
Local author inspired by Cortez
CORTEZ – The mythical fishing village of DeSoto in author J.B. Crawford's new young adult book, "Nathan and the Stone Crabs," is not Cortez, he insists.
Never mind that Cortez probably should have been named DeSoto, since Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto landed nearby and Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez did not. More...
Cortez festival this weekend
CORTEZ – Thirty years ago, John Stevely stirred up the first pot of fish chowder for the first Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival.
It was gone by 11 a.m.
"We had no idea whether anybody would show up," said Stevely, a board member of the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage. "We were completely amazed by the fact we had hundreds of people there in the morning." More...
A healthy bay is everybody's businessSarasota Bay Watch was formed four years ago at the start of one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression. Despite the timing, the organization has thrived and in 2012 is moving forward with an aggressive agenda. Looking back at some of the accomplishments of the past year gives a picture of an organization whose mission has resonated in the community. More...
Understanding escrow accounts
If you have owned a home with a mortgage, chances are you or your lender collects funds to be placed in an escrow account. But have you ever taken the time to really understand your escrow account and what your consumer rights are?
The definition of escrow generally refers to money held by a third party on behalf of transacting parties. Specifically as it relates to mortgages, the mortgage company establishes an escrow account to pay property tax and possibly insurance during the term of the mortgage in order to protect its interest in the property. More...
Europe meets the tropics at The German Inn
Florida may be a state within the United States, but it feels almost like its own country because of the diversity of its people and geography. This is becoming even more evident along the west coast of Florida with the influx of residents and visitors from other countries advancing the international flavor.
The German Inn in historic downtown Bradenton near the river and charm of Old Main Street is a perfect example of Europe meets the tropics. Joerg and Frank Int-Veen bought the former Londoner Bed and Breakfast in November and have been gradually putting their own personal touch on the 1920s B & B. More...
A valentine's giftInvestment Corner
The traditional day for spouses and loved ones to celebrate their relationship arrives next Tuesday. A lot of cards, candy, roses and dinners will be shared, but there is one gift that may have more enduring value than the others.
I have observed, in my almost 25 years as an investment professional, that couples tend to divide life's responsibilities through the years and while this works great when both are healthy and vibrant, it can cause problems when one spouse experiences a loss of capacity to fulfill his/her responsibilities, or worse, passes away. More...
Undefeated Colts corral Broncos
The Sun Sports game of the week was between the football slinging East Division 6-0 Mr. Bones Colts and the wild West Division 5-1 Ross Built Construction Broncos. This 10-12 year old flag football game was as exciting as an old Wild West movie.
The Mr. Bones Colts won the toss and stormed out with their offense a blazin'. On their first drive quarterback Rory Houston threw a nine yard TD pass to Ben Connors. The extra-point was good on a Houston to Zachariah Goode pass, 7-0. More...
Running with kids is rewardingFeasting on Fitness
Because I've been so busy writing and doing speaking gigs on book tours arranged by my very cool publisher, my running has taken a back seat this year. In fact, it's beyond being in the tank. It's in the trunk. I've lost a minute or two off my fastest times of 27 minutes.
Knowing that was about to happen, I tried to make 2010 my best running year. I defined that by the number of races I did, whether I placed and how fast I ran. By those standards, it was my best year. I got a personal record (the fastest ever for me) in almost every race I did. I squeezed in my first marathon (26.2 miles), knowing that life was about to get crazy busy as my book got published. More importantly, I made sure to keep my volunteer job helping as an assistant coach for the girls cross country team at Manatee High. More...