Vol. 12 No. 43 - August 8, 2012


City cracking down on ground floor living areas

HOLMES BEACH – The city is cracking down on property owners who are using enclosed ground floor rooms for anything other than access, parking or storage in violation of FEMA regulations that prohibit ground floor living areas in some elevated homes.

“A great many of these places are in violation” of Federal Emergency Management Agency rules, Code Enforcement Officer David Forbes said, adding that some owners openly advertise first floor “game rooms” or “family rooms” to vacationers on the Internet.

The city has sent a notice of violation to Brian Wien, owner of 203 69th St., Unit B, Forbes said, adding that Wien is required to remove both the door and the door jamb of the illegal living area, to prevent easy reinstallation of a new door. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAnglers save barracuda victim

HOLMES BEACH – A four-foot-long, 25-pound barracuda got some revenge on a fisherman who hooked it recently, but two fellow anglers made sure it was short-lived.

Bill Allen, of Holmes Beach, ironically an associate broker of Big Fish Real Estate, awakened Saturday morning, July 28, undecided how to spend the day. The choice was simple – yard work or fishing.

“I put on an old shirt and shorts and my shoes with duct tape over the holes and loaded my boat,” he said. “Against common sense, I took the boat out to one-mile reef alone. More...

Board sets millage at 2.05

ANNA MARIA – At last week’s budget work session, commissioners set the 2012-13 millage at 2.05, which would generate $28,696 more in ad valorem revenue than the previous year. The millage is the same as 2011-12.

Commissioners continued their discussion on the proposed budget with Commissioner Dale Woodland asking that the city develop a plan for road maintenance similar to Holmes Beach, which paves 10 percent of its roads per year.

“We need to plan ahead, not behind, for these things. Right now, we’re putting out fires all the time, and every five or six years the public starts to complain,” Woodland said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBeach raking efforts expanded

Manatee County workers have expanded their seaweed removal operations from Anna Maria Island’s two public beaches to the Island’s entire Gulf coastline.

Beach rakers began cleaning up the sargassum last month at Manatee Public Beach and Coquina Beach.

On Friday, the operation expanded to the rest of the Island’s Gulf beaches when the county obtained a required permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, said Cindy Turner, director of Manatee County’s Parks and Recreation Department. More...

Chief asks for suicide review

BRADENTON BEACH – Published news reports about a woman found dead in a local resort almost four years ago drew about a dozen people to last Thursday’s city commission meeting to ask for that investigation to be opened.

Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to have a specialized multi-agency review of the investigation that has left so many questions unanswered for Kelly Osborn, the mother of Sheena Morris, who was found hanging from the shower of a Bradenton Beach hotel room on Jan. 1, 2009.

According to Speciale, a leash for one of Morris’ two yorkies was attached to the shower with the other end around her neck. He has repeatedly said it appears she slumped down and her body weight caused her to suffocate. More...

Longtime fire officers to retire

Deputy Fire Marshal Kurt Lathrop and Battalion Chief Dennis Dotson announced their August retirement from the West Manatee Fire and Rescue District.

Lathrop began his career with the West Side Fire District in 1981 as a volunteer firefighter and was hired in 1986. He was promoted to deputy fire marshal in 1998. Lathrop has received awards and recognition for 25 years of service, including meritorious service, lifesaving, hurricane deployment, exceptional duty, unit citation and officer of the year. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBowling tourney coming our way

The 22nd Annual O’Connor Bowling Challenge is coming up on Saturday, Aug. 25, at AMF Bowling Lanes, 4208 Cortez Road W., starting with signups from 5 to 6 p.m. when bowling starts.

You must pre-register at Duffy’s Tavern in Holmes Beach to get a lane guaranteed. Registration is $25 per bowler and includes three games and shoes. More...

Nallys seek concrete sidewalks on Pine

ANNA MARIA – In a new motion, William and Barbara Nally, of Lakeland, have asked the court to require Pine Avenue Restoration (PAR) to install concrete sidewalks at its properties on Pine Avenue.

Since early this year, the Nallys, through their attorney Jeremy Anderson, have objected to the experimental filter mix pathways installed on Pine Avenue by PAR last fall. Anderson claims that the mediation agreement of April 2011 requires the installation of permeable concrete sidewalks. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryArthur Rowe celebrates 100th birthday

HOLMES BEACH– The family of Arthur Rowe plans to celebrate his 100th birthday with ice cream and cake on Thursday, Aug. 9, at the home of his daughter, Sylvia Harris.

Rowe was born in Tarpon Springs in 1912 and his parents, who worked in Sarasota, would travel to Tampa on the steamers that docked at the Anna Maria City Pier and then drive to Tarpon Springs. Harris said Rowe recalls walking the pier when Belle Haven and the Lotus Cottage were still there.

“His father, who was John Ringling’s boat captain, occasionally piloted one of the steamers, The Favorite,” Harris said. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTarpon test anglers and tackle

Fly fishing for tarpon has always been a challenge as well as a passion. I’ve often questioned the time I spend in the blazing hot summer sun, standing on a six square foot piece of Fiberglas and staring for hours into the water. I do it because I might get a chance to place a fly in the path of one of Earth’s most incredible predators if I’m able to react fast enough, calculating the angle in a split second while factoring in the wind direction, the force of the tide, the sink rate of the fly and the erratic path of my totally unpredictable target. Get everything right and I’ll still have only about a 50 percent chance of getting a bite. My friends who pursue tarpon on the fly are fond of saying, “The only thing that we know for sure is that we don’t know for sure.” Tarpon are a mystery and the reason fly anglers put in the time they do. I’ve landed my share of tarpon over the years and recently opted to fish with lighter tackle and bite tippet. More...

real estate

Housing shortage a mixed blessing

How many times in your life have you said, “Be careful what you wish for?” Maybe you said it to your kids after they begged for the adorable puppy but forgot he had to be walked several times a day. Or the sports car your husband was dying for turned out not have room for his golf clubs. Or maybe you’ve been overwhelmed in recent years by the number of properties on the market and wishing there were just a few less to choose from. Well, guess what? Your wish has come true.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ report in July, the housing market that just two years ago had a glut of homes is experiencing a substantially fewer number of properties available for sale. Nationally, sales of previously owned homes fell 5.4 percent in June from May of this year. The economists for the NAR are attributing this decline in sales to a sharp drop in the number of homes on the market. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Understanding immediate annuities

Investment Corner

The era of ultra-low interest rates continues and from comments being made by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, it may be with us for several more years. The result is that investors who wish to remain risk averse and use traditional savings vehicles like certificates of deposit or money market funds continue to earn little return on their capital.

Of course, brokerage firms and insurance companies do their best to promote products which appeal to these investors’ emotions of fear and greed. One of these vehicles, which looks pretty attractive in print advertising in our current low interest rate environment is the “immediate annuity." More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Turtles nesting along bay side

ANNA MARIA – Loggerhead sea turtles are increasingly nesting on the bay side of Anna Maria Island, causing turtle watchers to add a new, ninth section to the shoreline they walk each dawn.

In the first three months of the six-month 2012 turtle season, from May 1 to July 31, sea turtles laid 19 nests and made 21 false crawls in the bayside section, according to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Eat Here grabs first seed

The Anna Maria Island Community Center’s youth indoor soccer league begins playoffs this week. Eat Here grabbed the top seed in the 11-13-year-old division and was the first team to do so. After seven matches, it had a 6-1 record. This will give it the very important first round bye in the end of the season tournament.

In the very exciting 8-10-year-old division, first place seed will be determined after this week’s games. LaPensee Plumbing is currently in second place but its seed lies in its upcoming wins and losses. It has three games this week and two of those are against the current first place team, Beach Bums. More...

Fixing that pain in the back

Feasting on Fitness

An article on back pain by Active.com reminded me that we all battle gravity, and especially the back.

A recent study said sitting in a chair all day is right up there with cigarette smoking. Other reports about body parts fusing to each other if you don’t get out of that chair, have made me set my computer to announce the time every 15 minutes. I used to have it set for every hour to remind me to move. But it doesn’t seem like that is often enough. More...

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