Vol. 13 No. 17 - February 6, 2013
Commission wants to take some off the top
ANNA MARIA – The city commission wants to limit the size of new buildings, and it placed an administrative moratorium into effect until it can decide on whether to limit home dimensions in relation to the size of their lots or lower the allowed building height 10 feet to 27 feet.
The Thursday work session agenda had four suggested solutions to the plethora of large, multi-bedroom houses being built to service renters more than families. The first was the first reading of an ordinance that would spell out the amount of coverage allowed by a house as prescribed by the size of the home’s lot. More...
Commission reverses rental decision
ANNA MARIA – Faced with a strong showing of fear and outrage by rental property owners, the city commission voted Tuesday, Jan. 29, to rescind its decision to enforce provisions of the zoning code and comprehensive plan that say short-term rentals of 30 days or less are illegal.
The vote was 4-1 with Commissioner Chuck Webb voting against, and when he was asked why he voted that way, he said because the provision is in the books. More...
Duplex connection to be severed
HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners instructed the city planner and attorney to draft an ordinance to eliminate the underground connections for duplexes, which after a date to be determined must share a common roof and be joined by a party wall.
In addition, the change will include a grandfather clause for those who have built one half of a duplex when the connecting footer was allowed or where a building permit has already been issued. More...
County focuses on historical, cultural tourism
BRADENTON – When it’s cold and windy, as it was last week, or you’re just beached out, there are other things to do in Manatee County, according to Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Debbie Meihls.
Among them are historical and cultural attractions that were featured at a Manatee County Historical Gathering on Jan. 28 at Jiggs Landing in east Manatee County, including Jiggs Landing, the Island Historical Museum and the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez. More...
Fowl proposal in Holmes Beach
HOLMES BEACH – Residents could soon be gathering their own fresh eggs if commissioners act on a request from Ryan Duncan to allow residents to raise laying hens in their yards.
“I’ve been asked by my children and wife to come here and plead our case for having some laying hens. Every magazine my wife is looking at right now has decorative coops in it, so she has it in her mind that it’s an absolute necessity for survival,” Duncan told the board with tongue in cheek. More...
Commission defines market value
HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners agreed at last week’s work session to use the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s figures to determine market value.
The question of how to determine market value arose from a December discussion that commissioners had on the definition of substantial improvement for purposes of the building moratorium. Market value is used to determine the amount of substantial improvement allowed. More...
Collins featured at Artists’ Guild
Anna Maria Island photographer and framer Chris Collins will showcase his photographs as February's featured artist at the Artists' Guild Gallery, 5414 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.
A free, public reception will be held Friday, Feb. 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. More...
Countdown to Cortez fishing festival
CORTEZ – Eat all the seafood you want, but whatever you do, don’t call it a seafood festival.
The 31st Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16 and17, is all about fishing.
Yes, there’s fresh seafood galore – with two working commercial fish houses in the historic fishing village, there’s no shortage. More...
Sneak peek at Neal Preserve
Neal Preserve, just east of Anna Maria Island on Manatee Avenue, isn’t scheduled to open until later this year after boardwalks are installed, but an intrepid group turned up on Saturday morning to hike over damp, uneven ground in chilly weather just to be among the first to see it. More...
The 10-minute practice session
Visualize the drama – a school of big bonefish moving along a mangrove edge, heading right towards your boat or an advancing school of permit tails across a jumble of coral, slowly coming into casting range. You ready your fly rod, keenly watching the approaching prey. More...
Changing rental rules mid-stream
Remember when you were a kid and someone wanted to change the rules of the game mid-stream? Anna Maria homeowners dodged a major bullet in January that would have changed the rental rules in the city; the question is what’s next.
In case you’ve been spending too much time on the beach and haven’t heard, Anna Maria commissioners voted 4-1 to enforce a code that has been on the books restricting short term rentals in the city only to rescind it less than a week later. According to the city’s comprehensive plan and zoning code, rentals of 30 days or less of residential properties are prohibited. This ruling has never been enforced and, therefore, short term rentals have become common-place especially since the proliferation of super-size homes designed specifically for this purpose. More...
Making hard times easier
The judges at the Golden Spoon are in love with Sean Murphy’s Beach Bistro and now they’re saying “Eat here,” when talking about his newest restaurants. The Eat Here Restaurants at 5315 Gulf Drive, in Holmes Beach, and 1888 Main St., in Sarasota, have won the Golden Spoon “Best New Restaurants in Florida” Award
Murphy was profoundly moved by the award. More...
Investors coming back to equitiesInvestment Corner
Measuring investor psychology is never an exact science. Monitoring the decision process of humans is as much art as science, and it cannot be exactly quantified like the physical forces of nature (gravity, friction, temperature, etc.). However, some useful generalizations can be made by monitoring the reaction or behavior of us humans over time in particular situations.
In the world of investing, we call the study of these reactions investor sentiment, meaning the attempt to measure the degree of optimism or pessimism of the average individual investor. This measurement is usually best accomplished by monitoring the actions of investors, how they are making decisions for their money, rather than listening to what they say they are doing or intend to do. More...
Halfway to the Center’s Super Bowl
The NFL capped off its season finale on the largest sports stage in the United States with the Super Bowl. Millions of football fans watched as the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49 ‘ers. But for football fans on the Island, NFL flag football still has a long way to go.
Halfway through the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s Flag Football season it is still anyone’s game on the road to the Super Bowl. There are four competitive co-ed divisions: Adult, 14-17-year-old, 11-13-year-old and 8-10-year-old. More...
Reader’s Digest goes veganFeasting on Fitness
In case you think it is too difficult to go vegan, it really isn’t. Just this week, I woke up to a ton of posts on my social media pages telling me about an article I was featured in called "11 Convincing Reasons That Eating Vegan Isn’t Crazy."
The article appeared in the online version of Reader’s Digest, which says it has four million online viewers. Not to mention that it is the second largest paid subscription magazine in the U.S. Reason four in the article, on Page 4 is "Eating Vegan is Cheap," and it had a huge picture of my book. More...