Vol. 12 No. 26 - April 11, 2012
An Island Easter
Great weather brought out the crowds to enjoy a weekend of Easter events on the Island. On Saturday, a record number of kids and parents flocked to the Sandbar in Anna Maria for the Easter egg hunt and then paraded down Pine Avenue for Easter activities including an egg roll, face painting, photos with the Easter bunny and a Easter bonnet contest. Chuck Caudill provided DJ services, and stores offered special treats. In Holmes Beach, people enjoyed an art and craft show to benefit the butterfly garden. On Sunday, the Easter Sunrise Service, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island, drew a record crowd according to Kiwanis members. Each church will receive more than $950 from the offering. More...
City seeking cell tower contractor
BRADENTON BEACH – After years of discussing whether to allow cell phone towers in the city and where, the city commission is asking for proposals.
The commission approved a request for proposals (RFP) at its regular meeting on Thursday, April 5, after making a change suggested by a former commissioner who sat in the audience. More...
Tamer hurricane season forecast
Scientists at the Colorado State University are welcoming back an old friend – El Nino.
The weather anomaly associated with cooler ocean temperatures has returned, according to Philip J. Klotzbach, research scientist, and William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus of Atmosphere Science at CSU. More...
Fox wins Blue Dolphin award
BRADENTON BEACH – Suzi Fox, director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring, is one of the award recipients in the inaugural Sarasota Bay Awards, presented April 4 by the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP).
The awards program honors individuals and groups that are champions of Sarasota Bay in Manatee and Sarasota counties. More than 140 guests attended the ceremony at the Powel Crosley Estate, including community and environmental organization leaders. More...
Pier team readies for project
BRADENTON BEACH – The Pier Team, consisting of most of the city's department heads and chaired by Police Chief Sam Speciale, was formed to keep current on happenings at the Bridge Street Pier shortly after the city completed a rebuild of the restaurant with the addition of a bait shop and a possible harbor master's office plus new bathrooms and a public shower.
Now that the city is planning on reconstructing the rest of the pier, the team is concentrating on that project. More...
DEP says pier beach has too much sand
ANNA MARIA – It might be difficult to find someone who thinks a beach has too much sand, but that has happened to the city.
The city placed sand dredged from Key Royale Pass on both sides of the city pier in February, making a large beach where there hasn't been one for many, many years. However, officials from Florida's Department of Environmental Protection said it exceeds the footprint allowed in the city's permit.
"Someone complained that there was too much sand. DEP officials came here and measured it, and it exceeded our permit," Mayor Mike Selby confirmed. More...
Bridge rehab continues
Bridge and road work might slow you down some if you are planning on driving to or from Longboat Key during the nighttime.
The Florida Department of Transportation reports the contractor for the Longboat Pass Bridge refurbishment will be working on the bridge and its sidewalks during the day and night and the nighttime work between 10 p.m. and 6 p.m. might require some lane closures for no more than 15 minutes at a time. Flaggers will be used to control traffic at those times. More...
Peelen suggests rental housing changes
HOLMES BEACH – To solve rental housing problems, the city should limit square footage, separate duplexes by at least 10 feet and make four other code changes, according to Commissioner Jean Peelen's building code committee.
The committee issued its recommendations in advance of the Tuesday, April 10, commission meeting at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5800 Marina Drive, at 7 p.m., when all commissioners are expected to make their final committee reports on the rental issue. More...
EEEC says grow your own
ANNA MARIA – The city's environmental committee is planning to develop community gardens along Pine Avenue to teach people how to grow vegetables and herbs in their yards.
"When you're in our walking district there will be community garden patches all along the street," member Jane Coleman explained. "We can show people how to turn their back yard into native and edible back yards and be a resource for them. More...
Captain Justin Moore sails to a first
Chris Estep of central Florida, is a frequent visitor to Anna Maria Island. Estep fishes regularly with Captain Justin Moore, one of Florida's top guides and son of Island icon Captain Scott Moore. Last Tuesday, April 3, after a productive half day of fishing the back waters of Anna Maria Sound, Estep asked Moore about the possibility of heading offshore in search of kingfish and cobia.
Moore obliged, and after working the three mile reef with no success, they headed farther offshore to explore some hard bottom. Limestone outcroppings and ledges in the Gulf are a magnet for baitfish, which, in turn, attract large predators. When they arrived at the location some seven miles off Longboat Pass, Moore spotted a big pod of bait and began fishing the perimeter of the school. More...
Inventory decreases, buyer activity increases
If you're reading this in a reclined position on the soft Anna Maria sand with just the hint of a Gulf breeze tickling your face, it may be time to get out the cell phone and call your favorite island real estate broker.
A lot of buyers around the country have taken the wait and see attitude about buying real estate. Most of them felt that when the real estate train starts to leave the station there will still be plenty of time to hop on board before prices are affected. Frankly I thought the same thing, but there are signs out there that the train is moving faster than anyone thought. More...
Anna Maria to ease up on variance requirements
ANNA MARIA – The Planning Commission accepted recommendations for changes to the variance procedure presented by City Planner Alan Garrett last week.
"This is the result of the committee meetings we had dealing with the land development regulations," Garrett explained. "We wanted to find a way to incentivize people to ask for a variance for an existing house rather than tear the house down and elevate."More...
Tax efficiency may be at odds with risk controlInvestment Corner
Humans can be fickle in many ways. When it comes to investing, we always want what we perceive to be of most benefit at the moment, but with the direction of fortunes changing quickly and unpredictably in the realm of stocks and bonds, what we perceive as important today may be on the back burner a few weeks from now. More...
First soccer season win goes to Slim's
The Sun Sports game of the week was an adult co-ed soccer game between the Agnelli Pools & Spa team and the Slim's Place team. The Agnelli team was looking to roll to its second win and Slim's was hungry for its first.
Both teams started off playing good controlled soccer by using precision passing and great defense to manage play. It wasn't until the 12-minute mark before Slim's Place struck first. Sean Sanders sent a center lead pass up to Emily Ageros, who passed it to Aaron Parkin on the right wing. Parkin ripped it into the upper right corner for the first goal. More...
Sleepless in SeattleFeasting on Fitness
My only free time these days is in the air enroute to the next speaking gig. I am not complaining. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am grateful to share they journey with you, interspersed with tips for a healthy lifestyle. If mama isn't feeling good and happy in paradise, mama doesn't enjoy paradise.
If you've ever dreamed of writing the great or pretty great American novel or cookbook and accidentally do it, this is a half-baked reality show as I broadcast the play-by-play highlights. My book continues to do well enough that my publisher has me booked at all the largest vegetarian food festivals throughout the end of the year. They've let me know that my work and resulting book sales have more than paid my way to every speaking appearance, including several cross-country trips and Seattle, where I'm flying to now. More...