Vol. 12 No. 51 - October 3, 2012
H.B. seeks to revoke Mainsail site plan
HOLMES BEACH – When he heard that the city plans to revoke the site plan for the Mainsail development, company President Joe Collier said, “There will be fierce resistance on our part.
“They don’t have the ability to do that. We have entitlements (guaranteeing) what we’re allowed to build and those don’t sunset. That was an important part of our decision to purchase the property. We’ve spent a lot of money on that property.” More...
Viens convicted of second degree murder
David Viens, a former chef and restaurant owner on Anna Maria Island, faces a minimum of 15 years to a maximum of life in prison following his second-degree murder conviction in the death of his wife, Dawn.
After deliberating five and a half hours and at one point asking for a definition of second degree murder, the six-woman, six-man jury returned the verdict in the trial last Thursday. Sentencing is set for Nov. 27. More...
Planner says act now before character changes
HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners said they want to digest information supplied by Planner Bill Brisson on oversized dwellings in the R-2 district and whether it is changing the character of the city.
Brisson said he was asked to find out if the size of homes has been increasing and if it is affecting the character of the city. Information he used was the address of the unit, the year it was built, the area of the lot, the square footage of the living area and the number of bedrooms. More...
Attorney responds to list of building issues
HOLMES BEACH – City Attorney Patricia Petruff replied to a memo from commission candidate Judy Titsworth posing a series of questions regarding building issues.
“The responses are generic because I did not have access to specific addresses, so I did not have the ability to do independent research,” Petruff explained.
“The code designates the building official as the person that interprets the codes. If you have a question you can ask for an official written interpretation.” More...
Commission candidates must apply to city
ANNA MARIA – At their next meeting, Oct. 11, commissioners plan to adopt by resolution procedures to appoint a new commissioner to fill the seat of the commissioner who will become mayor after the Nov. 6 election.
The situation was created when no one qualified to run for mayor. According to the charter, after the November election, the commission will elect a chair, and that chair automatically becomes mayor for the next two years. More...
City and Sheriff’s Office work on enforcement issues
ANNA MARIA – A service agreement with the Sheriff’s Office was approved by commissioners with the understanding that enforcement issues that surfaced in August are a work in progress.
During a budget meeting in August, commissioners were surprised by a memo from Sgt. Dave Turner, of the Anna Maria substation of the Sheriff’s Office, stating that his deputies would not enforce the city’s codes. More...
Mayor unveils new plan for six lots
ANNA MARIA – Mayor Mike Selby presented a new plan to commissioners last week that swaps city pier parking with the six lots across the street.
“The idea is moving the park over to the east side of North Bay Boulevard were the existing pier parking is located and move the parking and trolley stop to the six lots,” Selby explained. “To me it’s a nice picture when you’re driving down Pine – the boardwalk, the beach.” More...
Real estate sales surge
The real estate market on Anna Maria Island continues its recovery from what has been a slump, though one not as bad as surrounding real estate markets.
In a listing of sales in last week’s Anna Maria Island Sun, four properties sold for their listing prices, a rarity during the height of the recession when buyers were able to negotiate lower prices because buyers were scarce.
“We’ve reverted to a seller’s market,” said Alan Galletto, Broker/Associate at Island Real Estate, who publishes a monthly newsletter. “It was a buyer’s market, but foot traffic is up, even during this slow time of the year.” More...
The Doctor is going out in style
ANNA MARIA – He’s one of the most endearing and enduring musicians in Manatee County, and when he appears at Bayfest on Oct. 20, it will be the first stop in his four-stop Farewell Tour. After that, no more house calls for Dr. Dave Ferguson.
“After five decades, I have decided to go out on top,” he said. “My health is still good, but I find I’m not enjoying it as much as I used to. More...
Sarasota Bay Watch cleans seabird rookeries
On Sept. 29, members of Sarasota Bay Watch teamed with Save Our Seabirds, the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Sarasota Audubon, Sarasota High School’s the Carefree Learner and Audubon Coastal Islands Sanctuaries to conduct a monofilament clean up of bird rookeries in Sarasota Bay. The event was organized to remove fishing line from mangroves during the season when birds are not nesting. The event was a great success with beautiful weather conditions. During the morning, event participants collected yards of line from Roberts Bay to Manatee County. More...
One big leap for housing
I just bought a pair of rose-colored glasses. They’re not doing much to block the sun’s rays, but they sure are helping my view of the real estate market, which is why I’m not taking them off any time soon.
In mid-September, the August housing statistics were published, indicating a jump to their highest levels in more than two years. The national statistics showed that new single-family housing starts in August rose by 5.5 percent from July to their highest level in 28 months. This was reported by the Commerce Department, which said that builders started construction of 535,000 homes in August, and also reported that overall housing starts were up by 2.3 percent. More...
Merchants seek city support for revitalization plan
HOLMES BEACH – Amy Welch, of the Holmes Beach Merchants’ Association, sought the support and participation of the city in revitalizing the downtown area.
“We hope to make the downtown area and all areas more livable and wallkable,” Welch told commissioners at their Sept. 11 work session. More...
Using professional trustees in estate planningInvestment Corner
I get a lot of good ideas for topics for these articles from conversations with friends and clients. Thanks to my friend Bill for initiating a conversation recently on the use of administrative trustees for supervision of money held in trust either, while the donor to the trust is still alive, or after his/her death.
Administrative trustees, also known as corporate trustees, can fulfill several key functions in the estate planning process and the transfer of wealth to heirs. For purposes of reducing estate taxes or to ensure that wealth left to children and grandchildren is not mismanaged, many seniors fortunate enough to have accumulated substantial assets place their wealth in one or more trusts of different types. These trusts can range from a simple revocable living trust, the most common type, to more complex irrevocable trusts or life insurance trusts. More...
Gopher tortoises get more protection
While loggerhead sea turtle tykes nestle in their nests during this last month of sea turtle season, their landlocked cousins, gopher tortoises, are busy burrowing in the beaches up and down Anna Maria Island.
A new plan to keep gopher tortoises safer for the next 10 years has just been approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), updating its five-year-old Gopher Tortoise Management Plan. More...
Tyler’s downs Best Buy in soccer action
The Sun Sports game of the week was an Anna Maria Island Community Center soccer match featuring Best Buy and Tyler’s Ice Cream in the 8-10 year old division.
Tyler’s Ice Cream struck first. Gianna Sparks took the ball down the left side into the corner. From there, she sent a beautiful center pass to a wide open Daniel Sentman, who finished it hard to lower right for the early 1-0 lead. More...
Spreading the word at VeganmaniaFeasting on Fitness
It’s Friday, so it must be book tour travel day. High above the Gulf of Mexico now, I am enroute to Chicago’s Veganmania. It’s my second trip to Chicago in as many months. I was there most recently for VeggieFest. Apparently the windy city can’t get enough information on how to eat healthfully, deliciously and feel great doing so.
I am struck as Calidisi and Honeymoon Island, followed by Anna Maria Island in the distance, look pristine from 10,000 feet up, their white sands shimmering in the emerald waters. I also can’t help notice the stark contrast of high rises in Longboat Key that suddenly cut into the landscape and skies like jagged knives. More...