Vol. 12 No. 47 September 5, 2012
More houses getting super-sized
HOLMES BEACH – Impressions that residences in Holmes Beach are getting bigger and have more bedrooms are true, according to City Planner Bill Brisson, who reported the statistics to the Holmes Beach Commission last week.
“It’s not your imagination,” he said.
The city’s character was consistent from the 1970s to about 2009, he said, defining character as when at least two-thirds of residences are similar in style. In 2009, larger homes with more bedrooms began to multiply, he said. More...
Budget hearing Sept. 11
ANNA MARIA – The first public hearing on the $2.28 million budget for 2012-13 is set for Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m.
Commissioners have set the 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.
The revenue side shows ad valorem taxes, $1,176,531; electric franchise fees, $150,000; licenses and permit fees, $280,750; communications service tax, $97,039; intergovernmental revenue, $114,000; fines and forfeitures, $29,810; interest revenue, $300; miscellaneous revenues, $204,000 rebates/contributions/donations, $23,280; and stormwater utility revenue, $72,000. More...
Special magistrate contracts approved
ANNA MARIA – Commissioners recently approved contracts with attorneys Michael Connolly and Stephen Thompson to be the city’s special magistrates to replace the code enforcement board.
Connolly is the primary, and Thompson is the alternate. The contracts are effective for one year with automatic renewals for one-year periods. They will bill only for time spent in city hall. More...
Kurt Lathrop retires after 26 years
ANNA MARIA –Kurt Lathrop, of West Manatee Fire District, has fulfilled his childhood dream of joining the fire service and is now ready for other challenges.
“It’s all about helping people,” he said. “It became a rewarding career. I have no regrets.”
“I’m happy for him,” Fire Chief Andy Price said. “He’s had a great career and is moving on to another chapter in his life.” More...
Use regulations approved
ANNA MARIA –Commissioners approved an ordinance refining use regulations for the residential, residential/office/retail (ROR) and commercial districts.
In a previous discussion on the ordinance, they changed lot coverage to allow 40 percent maximum impervious surface coverage if the structure is less than 27 feet in height and 35 percent if it is higher to provide an incentive for keeping a home one story. More...
Budget hearings this month in Bradenton Beach
The Bradenton Beach City Commission takes public comment on its 2012-2013 budget at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5 and 19. This is the public’s final chance to comment on the upcoming budget, which takes effect Oct. 1.
Minor flooding, beach erosion left in Isaac's wake
Tropical Storm Isaac was an exercise in hurricane preparedness, leaving Anna Maria Island with little trace of the wrath it showed to Louisiana last week as a hurricane.
“We had to do a lot of prep,” including putting up storm shutters on the front of city hall and removing trash cans from trolley stops and beach ends, Holmes Beach Public Works maintenance foreman Gary Blunden said. More...
Osborn expert investigated
BRADENTON BEACH – A former medical examiner hired by Kelly Osborn to prove that her daughter’s apparent suicide was a murder is under investigation by the State Attorney’s Office in Pensacola, according to the Pensacola News-Journal.
A storage unit rented by Dr. Michael Berkland was auctioned last month in Pensacola, and inside, the new owner discovered human remains, including brains, heart and lungs, in disposable cups and containers, according to the report. More...
Waving so long
COCOA BEACH – Hundreds of surfers paddled out in the Atlantic Ocean at the Cocoa Beach Pier on Labor Day weekend in memory of former Anna Maria Island resident Rich Salick, who passed away in July at age 62.
The tribute was the highlight of the 27th Annual NKF Rich Salick Surf Festival, held Aug. 30 to Sept. 3 at the pier.
The event, founded by Rich and his twin, Phil Salick, was renamed this year to honor Rich’s legacy to the National Kidney Foundation of Florida, where he served as community relations director. More...
Scallop count up from last year
The weather was perfect, the water clear and a record-breaking crowd of more than 100 volunteers collected 93 scallops during Sarasota Bay Watch’s Fifth Annual Scallop Search based at the Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant on Longboat Key.
The Scallop Search is the signature event of Sarasota Bay Watch and has been growing in popularity every year. Volunteers combed the grass flats from Palma Sola Bay in Manatee County to Big Pass in Sarasota from boats, kayaks, a sailboat and Sarasota High School’s floating classroom, The Carefree Learner. More...
A picture is worth a thousand words
My husband and I just returned from a European vacation including a stop in Amsterdam, where if you inhale too deeply while cruising down the canals, it’s possible to achieve a cannabis high. He took his typical 2,000 digital photos while I spent my time trying to avoid being the subject of his 2,000 photos. But when it comes to marketing your property for sale a picture is truly worth a thousand words and there is no such thing as too many quality pictures.
Things have changed a lot since I started in real estate. At that time you were lucky if you could get a decent shot of the front of your new listing. The company I worked for actually hired artists to do pen and ink sketches of the property to be used in marketing, but with the advent of the digital age, that all changed. More...
Four Island retailers honored
Four retailers on Anna Maria Island have made an impressive list for their styles and products in very different areas.
Sarasota Magazine released its Best of Sarasota Top 100 Luxury Retailers list for 2012 recently. Author Carol Tisch chose clothiers Irene’s Resort Wear and Pink & Navy, and home interior design specialists Bella by the Sea and the White Egret for the list. More...
Stocks superior for long-term incomeInvestment Corner
I get a bit nervous when an investment theme becomes too popular, and lately, there has been no shortage of advice touting dividend paying equities as a great idea. However, since this advise is not being rendered with a get rich quick tone, I think it is worth examining the concept of using equities as an income source.
The concept is not new. For the better part of the 20th century, until about 1958, stocks in general paid dividend yields that were higher than the yield on government bonds. For the next 50 years, investing in stocks became more of a growth theme and less focus was placed on dividends by both investors and the companies themselves. For much of the last four years, we have again observed the general yield on stocks, presently about 2.2 percent for the S&P 500 Index, compare favorably with the 10-year treasury bond yield of around 1.7 percent. More...
Scientists to sea turtles: ‘Can you hear me now?’
Sea turtles can hear low frequency underwater sounds like shipping traffic and coastal construction, according to a new study by Mote Marine Laboratory.
The discovery is significant because permit criteria for proposed marine activities such as building and operating oil drilling or port facilities includes assessments of the impact on marine life, including whether construction and operation noise is likely to affect reproduction and feeding.
Researchers trained a loggerhead sea turtle named Montego to answer the question, “Did you hear that?” by touching a paddle with her beak if the answer was “Yes.” More...
Soccer season starts Sept. 19
School is back in session, summer is winding down, and one of the most anticipated sports seasons of the year is back. Soccer has a long and historic tradition on the Island. For the Anna Maria Island Community Center, soccer is one of the largest sports leagues it offers.
The soccer season has a way of bringing families together in a fun wholesome social environment. Kids, siblings, parents and grandparents will all come together on the fields to cheer friends and family on after a long hot summer mostly apart. More...
Personal training from in person to onlineFeasting on Fitness
My personal training and running clients are starting to get serious about fall training. The first 5K in the Bradenton area is on Labor Day, and that seems to be the starting line for the kick-off of cooler temperatures and more races. By the time you read this, I will have run it and hopefully will have placed in my age group again. I’ve placed in 5Ks almost three dozen times since starting to race competitively in 2007.
As we begin a new running season, I am delighted with the new turn my personal training and coaching business is taking. I had been quite content with my book tour, various writing gigs I have, including the book, with a second one on the way. I was also happy working at a real gym on our Island with real personal training clients, or going to individual homes. More...