Vol. 12 No. 35 - June 13, 2012
Up in smoke
HOLMES BEACH – A fire broke out in the boathouse of a large home at 5600 Flotilla, across the street from the Island Branch Library Monday. Nobody was injured, but the boathouse, a boat and an art studio were destroyed.
West Manatee Fire Rescue answered the call, which came in at 10:42 a.m., and firefighters had the fire under control shortly after. The home belongs to Bob and Liz Lang, who have lived there for about four years, she said.
The boathouse and boat are totals losses, according to West Manatee Fire Chief Andy Price. More...
No candidates, no election
ANNA MARIA – In a first for the city that has seen welcome calm in the past two years under the term of Mayor Mike Selby, no one filed to run for the office of mayor.
In addition, no one filed to run against incumbent Commissioner Chuck Webb and newcomer Nancy Yetter, who takes office in November.
“I’m disappointed,” Selby said. “The city is headed in the right direction, and I wish somebody would have stepped up.” More...
Five seek Holmes Beach seats
HOLMES BEACH - Four candidates will vie for two City Commission seats in the November election, and two will run for the mayor’s seat.
Incumbent commissioners Sandra Haas-Martens and John Monetti and newcomers Marvin Grossman and Judy Titsworth filed as candidates for two open commission seats by the noon deadline on Friday, June 8. Incumbent Mayor Rich Bohnenberger will run against newcomer Carmel Monti. More...
Center board says operations most important
ANNA MARIA – The Island Community Center board of directors last week discussed what qualities they want in a replacement for Executive Director Pierrette Kelly, who is stepping down from her position in July.
“Andy (Transition Committee Chairman Andy Price) and his committee are looking at resumes, and we haven’t given them any direction as to what type of candidate we’re looking for,” board chair Greg Ross pointed out. “I think they need to know.
“I think the Center really needs someone that’s strong operationally because we’re losing Pierrette and 22 years of experience and all her knowledge.” More...
Sign of the Mermaid building, lots up for sale
ANNA MARIA – An Island institution is about to change, but diners will still be able to get the gourmet food they love from the Sign of the Mermaid and not have to leave the city.
“The building and property are on the market, but not the business,” owner Ed Spring confirmed. “I have something else in the works, and it will be happening very soon. I can’t really say anything until I sign the contract but I hope to finalize it in the next few weeks.” More...
Essay contest for sailing scholarships
The Cortez Yacht Club has 10 youth sailing summer scholarships to award to local students ages seven to 15 who would like to learn to sail.
An essay contest will determine the winners of $1,250 in scholarships for a beginner’s two-week, half-day summer camp with the Manatee River Pram Fleet.
The non-profit educational organization, established in the early 1950s, is dedicated to supporting and promoting the sport of sailing for fun and competition for the youth of Manatee County. More...
Former commissioner gets answers
BRADENTON BEACH –¬ Before the City Commission met on Thursday night, the clerk read a letter from one of the three citizens who filed a complaint to overturn the parking and dune project south of the BeachHouse restaurant.
Bill Shearon, who could not be present, asked Nora Idso to read a letter he sent as part of public comment at budget meetings, Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) meetings and city commission meetings. The questions are not verbatim as there were some grammatical errors that are corrected in this story. More...
FISH working to restore programs
CORTEZ – The not-for-profit Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH) is working to preserve the commercial fishing heritage of Cortez by retooling flagship programs focused on youth seamanship and boatbuilding.
The FISH board voted unanimously on Monday, June 4 to begin a search for a new director for the stalled Turner Maritime Challenge at Cortez, using the www.Monster.com website.
Board member and Bradenton attorney Turner Matthews, who secured the funding for the youth program with a bequest from his client, sailor and folk musician Jay Turner, suggested a salary of up to $36,000 a year, which was approved. More...
Dogs waiting for their day at the beach
BRADENTON BEACH – A movement to allow dogs on the beach on Anna Maria Island remains in planning mode while a similar movement on Longboat Key is gearing up to launch in fall.
Ruth Ueker has investigated possible sites for a “time share” dog beach - early morning and late afternoon - at Twin Piers on the Gulf side of Anna Maria Island, Coquina Bayside Park and the bayside Herb Dolan Park, all in Bradenton Beach. More...
Tarpon fishing: show a little respect
Tarpon season is in full bloom and should be heading to a peak on the full moon in a couple of weeks. If you've never tried tarpon fishing, don't miss out on what one legendary guide has called "the apex of angling."
The best way to experience this amazing fishery is to engage the services of one of the many excellent guides that call local Gulf waters their office. You don't have to hire a professional to catch a tarpon, but a guided trip will be the best investment you've ever made, guaranteed. More...
Real estate’s mixed messages
My brain is on fire and yours should be too. With all the mixed messages we’ve been getting about the health of the country’s housing market, it’s enough to melt what’s left of your brain cells.
If you follow the real estate statistics and the analysts who interpret the statistics, it’s hard to find any consistency. For example during the month of May, I found five different reports in a variety of publications related to the housing market, all with a slightly different take.
One headline said “Housing ends slide but faces a long bottom.” This piece stated that after almost six years of falling home prices, the market appears to be near the bottom. It continues that being at the bottom is certainly not the same as a real recovery, rather just a prolonged bottom. Sounds not too bad until the end where they take away the glimmer of hope you allowed yourself to have and say there is still plenty that can go wrong, so don’t get too excited. More...
Jewelry that's fun and fabulous
The oldest known jewelry dates back 100,000 years and was made from nassarius shells. Mostly jewelry is used for person adornment, but throughout history, it has also been used as currency and kept as an investment.
On Anna Maria as in most casual beach communities jewelry made from beads are popular, but in Holmes Beach there’s a shop where beaded jewelry crosses the threshold from a simple strand of beads to the look of fine jewelry. More...
The 5 percent rule revisitedInvestment Corner
OK. I'm taking some liberty with the rounding when I refer to the 5 percent rule. The father of the rule, California financial advisor William Bengen, began looking at the topic of safe withdrawal rates from diversified investment portfolios about 20 years ago. His early work revealed that for most retirees, the safe withdrawal rate, which references the portion of the beginning of year principal value they could withdraw and have their portfolio last for about 30 years or more, was 4.5 percent. The 4.5 percent rate also was calculated to increase each year for the prevailing inflation rate. After all, the ravages of inflation affect retirees as much or more than those still working.
I anticipate this being a two or three part article over the next few weeks here in The Sun as I attempt to share some updated thoughts from Bengen from a recent update to his study prompted by the relatively poor performance period we have been through for equities and other asset classes in the last 12 years. A primary source for this information is an article in Financial Advisor Magazine in May. More...
Turtle nests near beach parking lot
Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring is hosting Turtle Tours on the beach for anyone interested in seeing sea turtle nests up close.
You may be able to see the tracks made by the mother turtle, known as the crawl, leading from the Gulf to the beach and back, and may watch as volunteers verify a nest by digging carefully down into the spot where the tracks end until they find the eggs. More...
Basketball champions crowned
Youth Basketball Results
Walter & Associates 8
Beach Bistro 10
Franklin Valdez had 6 points and 14 rebounds. Jack Groves had 4 points and 3 rebounds, and Ava Zink chipped in with 4 rebounds for the Beach Bistro win. For the Walter & Associates team, Katie Krokroskia had 2 points and 9 rebounds, Tori Walter had 2 points and 8 rebounds, Callen Achor had 2 points and 5 rebounds, and Joey Theil had 2 points and 3 rebounds. More...
Steaming at graduationFeasting on Fitness
I was lucky enough to be invited to Manatee High School graduation by one of the girls I’ve helped coach in cross country since she was a freshman. You may recall that I wrote about Riley Paige Dunn. In addition to running on the team, she organized a running club at the high school. For many reasons, I felt she was so deserving of any running organization’s measley $200 scholarship, if there even were any.
I personally wished that I could have organized a scholarship fundraising drive for Riley. As it turns out, she got a full-ride merit scholarship all on her own to Furman University in South Carolina. It was an honor to be invited to her graduation. More...