Vol. 12 No. 30 - May 9, 2012
HOLMES BEACH – The attendance may have been down but the enthusiasm was up and the wallets were out at the Fifth Annual Anna Maria Island Wedding Festival this past weekend.
Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce officials said Monday that even though the turnout was slightly smaller than last year, the roughly 350 people who did attend were much more willing to spend money.
"The vendors were really thrilled," said Chamber Vice President and event organizer Deb Wing. "There were some serious buyers out there and a lot of vendors got bookings." More...
Food and Wine on Pine was so fine
ANNA MARIA –About 3,000 people strolled along Pine Avenue Saturday enjoying the afternoon's offerings at the second annual Food and Wine on Pine event.
"We're gratified that we had a great event," said Ed Chiles, who began the festival last year to promote local food, music and art and raise money for local nonprofit groups.
"We had tremendous volunteer support, and they were workers, but it does not happen without Caryn (Caryn Hodge, the Chiles Group Marketing Director and the event coordinator)" Chiles said. "I cannot say enough about what she does for this event." More...
Beach erosion part of the cycle
BRADENTON BEACH – If you try the waterfront tables at Gulf Drive Café, you'll notice the waves are coming closer nowadays and if you walk south to the Beach House resort next to it, you'll see waves almost up to the rocks as erosion is taking its toll.
But it's nothing to worry about, according to Manatee County Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker, because the sand will be carried back in naturally by summer waves. More...
Making the Green Village greener
ANNA MARIA – Those involved with the Historic Green Village are celebrating a milestone today – achieving net zero energy within 11 months, which means the four buildings in the village generate enough energy to be self- sufficient.
One of the people who helped make this possible is Tom Stockebrand, who was educated at Cal Tech as a mechanical engineer, worked at MIT and then for the Digital Equipment Corporation in Boston for 30 years. It was there that he began educating himself about low energy systems and consulted for a solar company. More...
Donors throng to Georgia Gibbons event
ANNA MARIA – Once again the communities on the Island have rallied for one of their own.
A fund-raiser for Georgia Gibbons, 20, who was hit by a car while crossing a street in Tallahassee, was a success with estimates of between 500 and 600 coming to the Sandbar restaurant gazebo for an evening of giving.
Georgia's family has asked that the amount of money collected not be released, but organizer Dave Bouchard said the amount raised Thursday night was "substantial." He also said he was awed by the crowd. More...
Not red tide but still nasty
The brown algae that has been washing up on Anna Maria Island beaches for the past three weeks was thought to be red tide when it first appeared, but scientists at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg have determined that it is Trichodesmium erythraeum, a bacteria that converts nitrogen in the water into a form that red tide, a harmful algae, can consume.
Trichodesmium, which can turn water red, brown, blue-green or white, can be a precursor to a red tide bloom. More...
New system starts for BP claims
HOLMES BEACH – Anna Maria Island business owners and employees may be able to make claims against BP for losses suffered as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill without proving that the spill caused the losses, according to attorney Kevin Dean.
Under a proposed settlement agreement approved last week by U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier in Louisiana, the entire Island falls within "Zone A," he told about 25 Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce members at the Feast Restaurant last week.
In that zone, claimants automatically pass the legal requirement of causation and only have to prove what their damages were, said Dean, of the South Carolina law firm of Motley Rice, one of several plaintiff's firms in the settlement consortium. More...
Stone crab season 'dismal'
CORTEZ – The last official day of stone crab season is May 15, but in reality, the season is already over, say commercial stone crabbers, who have pulled their traps from the water.
"It just wasn't our year," said Karen Bell, of A.P. Bell Fish Co. in Cortez. "Last year was great. This year was dismal."
"Stone crab season was pretty bad," agreed Kim McVey, of Cortez Bait and Seafood.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI), about 70,000 pounds of stone crab claws were landed commercially in Manatee County from the start of the season on Oct. 15, 2011, through January 31, 2012, the most recent data available. More...
House Hunters comes to AMI
AANNA MARIA – This house is too small, this house is too far from the water, but this one with the big yard…. is just right.
House Hunters on HGTV is all about finding the right home for the buyer, whose real estate agent usually has to add a dose of reality to the search for a dream home.
In three months, Spence and Jessie Romine and their 11-month-old, Marleigh, will be one of the featured families on House Hunters, looking for a home in Anna Maria. More...
It's prime time to target trout
At the end of the 2005 season, after the worst red tide in recorded history, I would have bet good money that local trout populations wouldn't recover in less than five years. Just three years later in 2008, trout populations in Sarasota Bay were near an all-time high. Four years later, I realize that the population dynamics are far more complex than we'll ever know. More...
Still trying to sell your home
We're just about at the end of our traditional winter selling season, and you still don't have a buyer for your home or condo. Could one of the reasons be the everyday things that look perfectly normal to you are looking a little tired to potential buyers?
Although the real estate market in Florida, in general, and in our area, in particular, is showing very healthy signs that a recovery is underway, it's still not the time to let down your guard. And what you should be guarding against if you're trying to sell your property is anything that shows your home in a negative light. More...
Chill at Swordfish Grill
There's not too much old Florida left in old Florida, but you can still find pockets of authenticity that will remind you of the way it once was. Tucked away along the quiet waters of Sarasota Bay in the iconic fishing village of Cortez you'll find a new restaurant that will restore your faith in old Florida.
The Swordfish Grill is smack dab in the middle of a working fishing village, boat yard and fish houses, surrounded by the bay waters that are home to practically all of Florida's water birds. The location is colorful enough for the most jaded Floridian, even before you step inside. More...
David versus GoliathInvestment Corner
One of the conundrums for companies which manage mutual funds and the investors who invest in these funds is the issue of size. In the fund management business, size is all about the total dollar amount being managed by the manager or management team.
If there was ever an example of success leading to mediocrity, perhaps the mutual fund business is it, although some select managers have risen above the pack. Smaller funds with a smaller amount under management can be more nimble. They are able to move into and out of stocks, bonds or other vehicles without their trades impacting the market price as much as a very large fund. Larger funds generally have to start to hold more securities in the portfolio to help avoid this liquidity problem, which could translate into money being put into portfolio holding, which are not the managers favorite, but which they hope will do OK. More...
Sea turtles, dolphins and oil
A recent study shows that some loggerhead sea turtles that nested an hour south of Anna Maria Island swam through the part of the Gulf of Mexico where the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in April through July 2010.
Satellite tracking of 10 tagged loggerheads by the U.S. Geological Survey revealed that three turtles, Patience, Ali and Scupper – all tagged last year by Mote Marine after they nested on Casey Key – traveled to the oil spill region. Researchers attached satellite tags to female loggerheads after they nested. More...
Baseball at its basic level
The Sun Sports game of the week was a thrilling coach pitch baseball game between Miller Electric and Beach Bums. The Anna Maria Island Community Center's baseball field is the place to be on Friday nights if you are looking for exciting baseball action. Every 7:15 p.m. game this year has either ended in a tie or been decided by one run in the last inning. This game proved to be the same.
The Beach Bum team led off the top of the first inning by scoring the maximum allowed five runs. Dalton Guthrie had a two RBI single with bases loaded that scored the first two batters, Abby Achor and Ronnie Moore. The cleanup hitter, Gianna Sparks, hit an RBI single past the shortstop that scored Julius Petereit. Jackson Hayes reached base on an error, and the bases were loaded again. More...
Where do you get your protein?Feasting on Fitness
The most common question vegetarians or vegans get about eating a plant-based diet is, "Where do you get your protein?" I got it long before I wrote my book, especially as an athlete. For reasons that have more to do with marketing more than science, some athletes believe that meat and dairy are the only good sources. This is not true.
Most of us are aware that protein has an important role in our bodies, but you may not know why. Made up of amino acids (oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen), protein is the nutrient responsible for growing new cells and building and repairing tissue. However, contrary to popular belief, we don't need to consume that much of it to be healthy. More...