Vol. 13 No. 20 - February 27, 2013
County looks to monitor rental agencies
HOLMES BEACH – Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore told the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce b oard last Wednesday that the county is interested in getting rid of rental agents who are not delivering on their promises.
The Anna Maria Island Sun reported two weeks ago that the Holmes Beach Police Department is looking for Mike Carlton, owner of Coastline Accommodations, for taking a woman’s deposit money for a place to stay on her vacation and then not having a place for her stay when she got to the Island. The woman told police she could not get Carlton to respond to her calls. More...
City reopens the door
ANNA MARIA – The same city commission that slammed the door on building permits has reopened it for those who already had spent time and money on projects before the Feb. 7 moratorium was approved.
By a 3-2 vote, the commission named Building Official Bob Welch as the person who would determine what qualifies for an exemption from the permitting prohibition. Meanwhile, the panel continues to work on an ordinance for the moratorium, one that would buy the city some time as it seeks a way to control rentals in residential neighborhoods and out-of-scale large homes often used as rentals. More...
Code board to stay in Holmes Beach
HOLMES BEACH – The code board is once again safe to hear cases after commissioners rebuffed a suggestion to scrap the board in favor of a special magistrate system.
Anna Maria last year adopted the special magistrate system to replace its code enforcement board. The magistrate conducts a hearing to decide whether a property owner who has been cited is in violation of the city’s code and to determine appropriate action. More...
Beach smoking ban moves through Legislature
A Senate committee voted unanimously last week to move forward a bill that would give local governments the power to ban smoking on public beaches.
Senate Bill 258 would authorize municipalities and counties to restrict outdoor smoking on property they own or control, including beaches, playgrounds, parks, sports and recreation areas and entrances to public indoor workplaces and outdoor areas of those workplaces. More...
Merchant makes way for water shuttle
BRADENTON BEACH – The Bridgetender Inn will allow the new Anna Maria Island Water Shuttle service to dock at one of its docks, bringing visitors to Bridge Street, members of the Bridge Street Merchants learned last week.
A boat is scheduled to be moved this week to make room for the shuttle, according to Bridgetender manager Sue Shinka, who said the restaurant made the change to avoid asking customers to move their boats for the shuttle. More...
City calls for new cell tower ordinance
BRADENTON BEACH – A new cell tower ordinance is being drafted after the city severed its relationship with Monroe Telecom Associates, hired to draft the city’s cell tower ordinance.
City attorney Ricinda Perry told commissioners that the split was amicable. Commissioners had previously authorized her to terminate negotiations on the consulting contract if Monroe did not agree to drop terms including those that allowed the company to exclusively collect fees from cell tower applicants and do work without the city’s prior authorization. More...
Fleischer named Holmes Beach Officer of Year
Officer Joshua Fleischer has been named Officer of the Year for the Holmes Beach Police Department. Interim Chief Dale Stephenson made the announcement Friday.
“On Nov. 8, 2012, Fleischer responded to a medical call relating to an overdose,” Stephenson wrote in the nomination. “He was the first to arrive and found a young adult male unconscious in the bed turning blue.” More...
New sign to welcome visitors
BRADENTON BEACH – A new Bradenton Beach welcome sign is being considered at the northeast corner of the intersection of Cortez Road and Gulf Drive to welcome visitors to Anna Maria Island.
Police Lt. John Cosby presented a sign design at the Bradenton Beach Capital Improvement Program meeting last week, advising adding the city’s seal and other logos, including Waterfronts Florida, to the sign, which would cost $635. More...
Early residents talk about history
ANNA MARIA ISLAND – In addition to its many natural treasures, Anna Maria Island is blessed with a man-made gem known as the Anna Maria Island Trolley.
Traveling primarily along Gulf and Marina drives, five trolleys travel a continuous route from the Anna Maria City Pier to Coquina Beach, making multiple stops en route. More...
The bridges of Manatee County
The bridges of Manatee County provide anglers who don’t have a boat or don’t want to bother with one, some excellent fishing opportunities. Their structure provides the perfect habitat for fish. Besides the plethora of small baitfish, crabs and other crustaceans that call these places home, bridges provide gamefish a refuge and an ambush point for feeding.
The bridges that span the local passes are also natural pathways for fish like pompano, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and bluefish. These fish migrate from the Gulf to the local bays and feed around the bridge pilings and fenders. Winter and early spring are particularly good times to find action around the local bridges. If you happen to have a boat you’ll find them a great place to fish too. More...
Rose-colored glasses or reality?
I’m the eternal optimist when it comes to real estate. Even during the “dark days” of home selling nothing would put a smile on my face like a red hot conversation about what sold down the block. And I am not alone based on some new TV shows geared toward our improving market.
In case you need any additional evidence that the housing market is on the mend, just check out some of the new shows planned for the Home and Garden Television network. HGTV said it started to see a shift in the market about a year ago when the homeowners the productions crews were following started to be outbid for homes. More...
Carts and parts at Big Don's
What’s more fun than tooling around Anna Maria on a golf cart? Picking up dinner at Publix, heading for the beach or checking out a great café for lunch or dinner. Whatever you do, it’s more fun when you arrive in a golf cart.
Roy Sumner returned to Bradenton, where he grew up, from Tennessee a year ago and did what he has done for 18 years opened a shop to sell, service and repair golf carts. Sumner’s shop is closer to the Island than any other golf cart repair service, but distance isn’t a problem for Island residents since Sumner makes house calls and delivers to and from the Island. More...
Social Security going 'e'Investment Corner
It's now pretty much official. The Social Security Administration is about to be almost totally electronically based for it's payment and account administration. Of course, there will still be local offices where those needing problem resolution, personal attention or those without access to computers will be able to go to receive help. But, I suspect, over time, we will see some consolidation of these offices in a similar manner as the Postal Service is undergoing.
Two recent changes are important to know about. Already in effect is the cancellation of the annual benefit notices, which were previously mailed around our birthday each year, and which advised us of our benefit levels at various ages at which we could start to receive benefits - early, full retirement age or later. More...
Defenses dominant in Center football
The Sun flag football game of the week was an Anna Maria Island Community Center Adult Co-ed AFC Divisional matchup between the BY Construction Bears and the Duncan Real Estate Cardinals.
Defense dominated the highlights in the first half of this game. The Duncan Real Estate Cardinals started with the ball on offense. Three plays later, Andrew Babchick, of the BY Construction Bears team, intercepted a pass.
The Cardinals team defense then forced the Bears to a three and out. The ball went into the hands of the Cardinals offense, but on a third and goal from the 20-yard line, Chuck McCracken batted down the incomplete pass for the Bears defense. More...
Running in bad weatherFeasting on Fitness
When someone complains about the weather, I just laugh.
I’ve seen, lived and worked in the ugliest weather a TV reporter’s job can buy. Weather was, and still is, the best ratings that the media can buy.
Mother Nature knows no mercy when it comes to handing out big ratings. From my 18 years as a TV reporter, nothing like a Cat 5 hurricane, drought or Nor’easter to attract viewers – if they still have power. But even that, these days, is not insurmountable. Charge it up in advance, and you’re good to go for a few days. And when that runs out, recharge on your car battery. More...