Vol. 13 No. 49 - October 2, 2013
FIRE HITS ROD AND REEL
ANNA MARIA – The Rod and Reel Pier restaurant caught fire Monday morning with smoke pouring out of the landmark wood building atop the pier with the same name. It took 22 firefighters more than an hour to extinguish the source of the smoke because it had spread into the wall, according to West Manatee Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Rich Losek.
“It was a quick knockdown but the fire spread to the walls,” he said.
The first fire alarm was called in around 8:30 a.m. and two pumpers and a ladder truck responded from West Manatee. A ladder truck from Longboat Key and a pumper from Cedar Hammock fire departments also responded. More...
ArtsHOP calls to artists to make birdhouses
Members of Cultural Connections invite artists and members of the public to participate in this year’s public art project as part of artsHOP, the three-day celebration of Island arts and culture, on Nov. 8-10.
This year’s public art is birdhouses, and people are invited to make, paint or using recycled materials, build a birdhouse that can be displayed at selected Island locations. There is no limit as to materials, size or color – just let your Island imagination guide you. More...
Holmes Beach candidates file initial campaign finance reports
HOLMES BEACH – Five candidates are competing for the three Holmes Beach Commission seats to be decided during the Tuesday, Nov. 5 city elections and the first round of campaign finance reports provides a glimpse into the fundraising efforts and expenditures of each contender.
Covering the period of Monday, July 1 through Friday, Sept. 13, the first of four mandatory campaign finance reports required by the Florida Department of State Elections Division were due Friday, Sept. 20. More...
Public to have more timely input at city meetings
HOLMES BEACH – In an effort to comply with Senate Bill 50, which grants citizens additional assurances to have their voices heard at governmental meetings, Holmes Beach commissioners clarified the city’s public input policies during last week’s city commission work session.
Passed recently by the state Legislature, SB 50 takes effect Oct. 1.
According to a memo sent by attorneys James Linn and Glenn Thomas to their firm’s “municipal and special district clients,” the intent of the bill is to “provide the general public with reasonable opportunity to be heard in meetings subject to the Sunshine Law." More...
Kids Zone to entertain youngsters
ANNA MARIA – One of the keys to the success of Bayfest is its diverse offerings of fun for everyone and the same holds true on Friday, Oct. 18, from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
This year’s Bayfest will again offer a Kids Zone in the parking lot across the street from Roser Memorial Community Church on Saturday.
Kid LaLosh, owner of AMI Fitness at 5364 Gulf Drive, in Holmes Beach, has put together the Kids Zone for the last three years and he said there will be plenty for the kids to do. Admission is free, but there will be charges for some of the ride, he said. More...
Mayor lists parking options
ANNA MARIA – Commissioners agreed on Tuesday, Sept. 24, to work on a plan to help control parking while helping raise money to pay for accelerated wear and tear on the city’s infrastructure caused by the large influx of visitors.
Mayor SueLynn laid out her goals and criteria before the five commissioners and more than a dozen residents in the audience. They are charged with finding a solution that is in the best interests of the residents, creates a revenue stream, controls the volume of visitors, is simple to understand and implement, is fair and equal to all (or as many as possible) and is comprehensive. More...
Budget hearing brings benefits discussion
ANNA MARIA – One city commissioner wants to take a look at how much employee benefits are costing the city.
At the second, and final public hearing for the 2013-14 budget, Commissioner Dale Woodland again expressed concern that the city would replace three part-time public works employees with three full-time people with the benefits the city offers. Although Mayor SueLynn explained at earlier meetings that she felt the city could no longer find quality employees on a part-time basis due to the economic recovery, Woodland brought up the new full-timers, suggesting they give them all the benefits except for one – inclusion in the state’s retirement system, which can get costly for the city. More...
Turtle ordinance nears completion
HOLMES BEACH – City commissioners are moving forward with an ordinance that would provide nesting sea turtles greater protections from artificial lighting and intrusive objects, while granting the Holmes Beach Police Department increased enforcement powers in regard to the removal of discarded tents, canopies, beach chairs and other items left behind by beach visitors.
Working in conjunction with Suzi Fox, director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring, and Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer, City Attorney Patricia Petruff presented city commissioners with a draft ordinance that updates the city’s existing turtle ordinance. It also creates a new Sea Turtle Friendly District that “shall include all properties within the City of Holmes Beach that may directly, indirectly or cumulatively illuminate the beach with artificial light at any time, and regardless of whether those properties are beachfront properties.” More...
Sneak a peek at Perico Preserve
PERICO PRESERVE – It’s not even finished yet, but already, ospreys and ducks and roseate spoonbills are flocking to their new home sites at Perico Preserve in fashionable northwest Bradenton.
It’s not by chance - the Manatee County Natural Resources Department has been working since 2006, when the county acquired the property, to develop the preserve into prime real estate for birds. More...
How to land a seabird
On Saturday, Oct. 5, Sarasota Bay Watch (SBW) will collaborate with Audubon Florida, Save Our Seabirds and the Sarasota Sailing Squadron to sponsor a fishing line cleanup of local bird rookeries (nesting islands). The cleanup is conducted this time of the year because most birds do not nest in the fall. SBW will target discarded fishing line from shorelines and bridges as well as bird rookeries. Last year’s cleanup attracted over 80 volunteers and recovered three football field lengths of fishing line from the bay’s coastline. Collected materials will be weighed and measured and the data shared with scientists working on entanglement issues. This is a great opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of seabirds and other marine wildlife. More...
East money not so simple for homeowners
When it comes to money nothing is easy. It’s not easy to save it, it’s not easy to borrow it and sometimes it’s not even easy to spend it, unless you’re the Federal Reserve whose middle name is “easy-money.”
On Sept. 19, the long awaited report by the Federal Reserve came as a shock to the financial community driving the stock market up. Federal Reserve officials decided to keep their bond-buying program in place in an effort to continue to stimulate the country’s economy. The quantitative easing program is designed to promote hiring by holding down interest rates while encouraging individuals and businesses to spend money. More...
Emerging markets worth consideringInvestment Corner
For the last three-and-a-half years, U.S. equities have far out-performed international equities, and in particular, those international equities classified as emerging markets. These are the countries around the world that have less established banking, currency and political systems, but this is what makes their opportunity for growth larger, like investing in the United States in the early to mid 1900s, or Japan after World War II.
Despite the higher rates of growth most of these countries have experienced in recent years, investors’ fears of continued fallout from the financial crisis have led them to invest more in the U.S. and reduce holdings in recession plagued Europe and the aforementioned emerging markets. The chart below shows the results of the S&P 500 Index vs. the broad based international MSCI EAFE Index and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. More...
Sky lanterns – lovely or litter?
Sky lanterns have lit a fire under Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring Director Suzi Fox, who is working with area science students beginning this week to study how long it takes them to disappear from the environment.
The lanterns, released at beach weddings and other celebrations, are made of wire or wood frames, paper, string and candles that heat the air inside the paper, making them airborne like hot air balloons. More...
Pest Control Persistence Pays Off
The Sun Sports game of the week was an Anna Maria Island Community Center adult co-ed soccer match between the Island Gourmet team and the Island Pest Control team. Both lost their opening game last week and were looking to get into the win column.
For the majority of the first half, it was a defensive game where no one could score. For Island Gourmet, it was strong defense by Diego Felipe and goal tending by Nate Talucci, who finished the game with 10 saves. For the Island Pest Control team, strong defense by Tony Frudakis and Oliver Petereit plus the goaltending of Dave Green, who finished with 19 saves, kept the score zero to zero. More...
To win the race, just be niceFeasting on Fitness
As a runner or not, I always try to stay kind-hearted and focused on the positive. I hate to complain about anything. Life is way too short.
Especially as a runner, I appreciate the ability to get out and run any distance on any day. When I got my running coaching certification, the line I remember most was the instructor saying, “Running is a gift that can be taken away at any moment.”
In a crazy world, running is a relief and time to get away from it all. Doctors often prescribe running as a way to ease depression. More...