Vol. 13 No. 23 - March 20, 2013


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAMI goes green

HOLMES BEACH – The whole Island was Irish last Sunday as thousands of green-clad revelers took to the nightclubs and restaurants for some corned beef and green beer, enjoyed the moderate weather at the Sham Rockin’ the Island Fest at city hall field and watched the elephant, camels and humans march and drive through the streets for a parade.

Event organizer Cindy Thompson put together the inaugural festival with proceeds going to the Anna Maria Island Community Center. It raised $7,622 before expenses, according to Interim Executive Director Scott Dell. More...

Island Catholics enthused by new Pope

HOLMES BEACH – Island Catholics offered prayers at morning Mass on Thursday at St. Bernard Catholic Church for the new Pope, Francis I, the day after his election in Vatican City.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, the 266th leader of the Roman Catholic Church, took the name of St. Francis of Assisi, known for renouncing his wealthy inheritance for extreme poverty. The saint also is the patron saint of animals and the environment. More...

Complaints mount about rental agency

HOLMES BEACH – The curious case of Michael Carleton, owner of Coastline Vacation Rentals, continues. At least five more reports were filed of people renting vacation properties through Carleton and not getting the unit they rented.

In addition, one of the complainants reported that Carleton told him he had declared bankruptcy. More...

Yard, bulk regulations in flux

ANNA MARIA – If there is one certain about the city commission’s attempts to control the size and scale of new buildings, it’s the uncertainty of the results.

For the third time, city commissioners delayed a final decision on what percentage of the lot size to which a structure may be built. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTwentieth Tour of Homes a treat

The homes on the 20th Annual Anna Maria Island Tour of Homes on Saturday highlighted Key Royale and spotlighted a few of the varied styles of Island living, from bungalow to modern, leaving visitors with decorating ideas for their own homes.

Multi-hued Acacia wood floors are the main design feature in the home of Bill and Sue Bokos, 682 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach, accented by furniture painted the same color as the walls, but distressed to reveal raw wood underneath. The effect of the similar tones is calming. More...

Duplex ordinance connects with commission

HOLMES BEACH – An ordinance to eliminate the underground connections for duplexes was approved on first reading after planning commissioners said it complied with the comprehensive plan.

Duplexes will be required to share a common roof and be joined by a party wall. However, the ordinance includes 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 or if one half is destroyed in a fire. More...

Injured officer recovering

Bradenton Beach Police officer Eric Hill wants everyone to know he’s recovering well from the injury he suffered March 2 when his patrol car collided with a stolen car being chased by officers and deputies in Holmes Beach.

Hill, whose injuries were first diagnosed as severe, is home recovering from a shattered right femur, knee and kneecap when his Ford Explorer hit a stolen Toyota Camry from North Carolina, driven by Jennifer Varner, who was treated for her injuries and jailed on a number of charges. His patrol car was towed to the police station where an insurance agent will likely total it. The two cars met head-on. More...

Board wants community input on vision plan

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners began their review of the city’s community vision plan and want public input on possible revisions.

The vision plan, developed in 2002 after a series of community meetings, contains a vision statement, 11 community value statements and objectives and strategies to implement the value statements. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBeach birds considered for threatened status

As bird nesting season arrives on Anna Maria Island, four imperiled species often seen on local beaches are among those being targeted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for special protection.

The commission is recommending that the American oystercatcher and black skimmer, both state species of special concern (one step under threatened), join the snowy plover and least tern as state threatened species (one step under endangered). More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story A healthy bay is everybody’s business

In 2012 Sarasota Bay Watch (SBW) expanded its presence in the bay area with a continuation of its popular events, crafted to get people involved in the bay and to help improve the local coastal environment.

The signature annual Great Scallop Search celebrated its fifth season with over 140 volunteers combing the waters from Manatee to Sarasota County. In addition the group conducted the Fourth Annual Sister Keys cleanup with 120 volunteers. Sponsored by the Mar Vista Restaurant participants were treated to a shore lunch at the popular north Longboat Key restaurant. More...

real estate

There' s nobody to blame but ourselves

Want to know why the traffic on Gulf Drive is bumper to bumper in the middle of the afternoon or why everyone is saying there are more people here than ever before? Chances are it’s your fault, even though you may not know it.

I was having a chat with my publisher recently lamenting about how busy I am this time of year, with more and more friends and family coming down during the very compressed winter season. I started ticking off everyone that originally came to visit and now keeps returning year after year. In fact, I said I can’t think of anyone that I introduced to Anna Maria Island that has never come back. Like all good publishers, she said that could be your next column, so I started making a list. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLobstahs: fine dining, funky fun

People are complicated. Sometimes we want to kick back in our T-shirts and flip flops and grab a beer and burger, and sometimes we want to put on the Tommy Bahama silk shirt and order a martini. Either way, there’s a restaurant in Holmes Beach where you can be as complicated as you like.

Lobstahs in Holmes Beach has been opened for a year and during that year, owner Jeff Levey has spent a lot of time listening to his customers. What Levey’s patrons were telling him is that they wanted another fine dining choice on the Island as well as a very casual fun place. It didn’t take Levey long to bring Lobstahs to a whole new level of dining by revamping the restaurant’s menu, creating two distinctly different eating establishments. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

The facts are the facts

Investment Corner

Recent interactions I've had with acquaintances, prospective clients and friends continue to show me that many are living in the past and may be stuck there until it ends up being too late, setting them up to make mistakes in their investment plan. It can be tough to separate the times when the financial markets are doing well from how our emotions tell us they should be doing.

I commonly hear arguments about how the economy won't be able to grow while President Obama is in office or questions about how the stock market can be going up when we are still in recession. The boom times aren't exactly back, but the facts are the facts. The recession caused by the financial crisis of 2008-2009 ended in the summer of 2009, and has been over for more than for 3 1/2 years. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTeam Harrison Cornhole Champions

Cornhole is labeled as one of the fastest growing sports in the United States and has gained popularity on the Island. Six teams played this year in the first Anna Maria Island Community Center’s Cornhole league.

The league featured teams of two people who played a 10-game season on Wednesday nights in the Center’s gym. The league concluded with an end of the season tournament to determine the champions. The inaugural season champions were Team Harrison, comprised of Jim and Dee Harrison. More...

Standing at the table

Feasting on Fitness

If you read nothing more, find me this Wednesday at 2 p.m. the Island Branch Library where I’ll be speaking about how to incorporate cheap vegan eating and fitness ideas into your lifestyle. It is the same talk I give all over the U.S. and Canada since my book, “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day” came. I’m starting on time. My daughter is getting married the next day to an active military man. Long story, but I’ll have a plane to catch.

I’m still high from having been one of the main speakers at the New York City Vegetarian Food Festival in Manhattan last weekend. The vegan food – OMG. There’s a chance I may take it off running a half marathon next weekend. My talk was standing room only, as my talks often are. This was the second year in a row I spoke at New York’s VegFest. More...

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