Vol. 14 No. 3 - November 13, 2013


Net ban on, off, on again

CORTEZ – During a fast-paced legal ping pong match that lifted and reinstated the gill net ban four times in three weeks, Cortez fishermen had brief windows of time to go gill netting for the first time in 18 years.

Most took the news of the gill net ban being lifted with a boatload of salt and stayed home.

A few braved the waters, with even fewer admitting to it, fearing retribution from marine officers of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which twice appealed a Tallahassee judge's October ruling lifting the 1995 ban on gill nets. Each appeal stayed – or temporarily invalidated – her ruling, reinstating the net ban. More...

Slowest month gains steam

Tourism has been steadily increasing for the past five years in steamy September, historically the slowest month of the year, judging by resort taxes collected by the Manatee County Tax Collector’s office.

Each year since 2008, countywide resort tax collections have increased in September, statistics show. This year, they reached a record $457,918; in comparison, 20 years ago, September 1993 collections were $93,641.

“September is still the slowest month, but it has come up tremendously,” resort tax official Sue Sinquefield said. More...

Flood insurance meeting leaves mayors worried

Two Island mayors left a roundtable meeting on soaring flood insurance rates on Friday with a clearer picture of just how devastating the Biggert-Waters Act could be for Anna Maria Island.

Anecdotes included how people are being forced to sell their homes at low prices because they can’t afford flood insurance premiums and how sales are falling through because buyers don’t qualify for mortgages once high flood premiums are added in, Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn said. More...

Recount verifies election night results

HOLMES BEACH – When the votes were counted, and recounted, city voters ultimately favored known commodities over worthy, but unproven political newcomers.

Incumbent Commissioners Pat Morton, David Zaccagnino and Jean Peelen retained their commission seats by margins so slim a mandated automatic recount took place Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections office in Bradenton. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story County consultant counting Island’s parking spaces

BRADENTON BEACH – A county consultant is counting the number of public parking spaces on Anna Maria Island, street by street.

Erica Carr-Betts, of Coastal Planning and Engineering, Manatee County’s beach renourishment consultant, is surveying the Island to pinpoint the number of beach accesses and public parking spaces, both of which affect federal funding for beach renourishment. More...

Renourishment project starts in four weeks

Preparations are underway for beach renourishment beginning next month.

The starting date is Dec. 15 and the project is expected to go until April 1, according to Manatee County Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker, who will be appearing at city halls on the Island, starting with Anna Maria on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m., to explain the plans and answer questions. More...

TIFF campaign seeks to expand

An Island woman’s campaign to register people’s driver’s licenses so their loved ones can be notified when they have been in a serious or fatal accident needs women of action to form teams to spread the word.

Christine Olson formed “To Inform Families First” (TIFF) after her daughter, Tiffany, was killed in a car accident on Dec. 7, 2005. She was not informed for six hours after the accident because contact information was not readily available to the officers at the scene. Olson decided to change the way the system worked, More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story New funding prompts new look at pier repairs

BRADENTON BEACH – City officials were a little like kids making out their Christmas lists at last week’s pier team meeting.

With $1 million in matching funds pledged by Manatee County from resort tax coffers, the Bradenton Beach Pier Team is revising its wish list for the historic Bridge Street Pier, adding back items they had been forced to trim from the bare bones budget. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryIt’s the bee’s knees

The first time I drove in Ireland, I had my son as a co-pilot. He was 10 at the time and was already convinced that no one could drive a car better than he could. Age limits for licensing drivers were archaic.

His job in Ireland was to keep me driving on the left hand side of the road.

For two weeks, he diligently yelled me into position on the left hand side of highways, city streets and country lanes. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Coming attraction: winter wading/hot action

If you’re one of those fishermen who think of wade fishing as a summertime activity, you may be missing the boat. Winter wading can be extremely productive and will often give you an advantage over boat-bound anglers. When you get out of the boat and in the fish’s domain, you gain the same advantage of a silent approach that you do in the spring, summer or fall. When the water is cold it is often very clear, and the fish can be very wary. Getting in the water allows you to keep a low profile and make a stealthy approach. More...

real estate

Retirees choosing cities, not just beaches

I love to travel and what I’ve discovered is that there are travelers and there are tourists and they are very different species indeed. Travelers want to get into the culture and history of a country, they look forward to broken English conversations, and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty or their hair windblown. Tourists are satisfied with an overview of a country frequently given by a guide from the inside of a giant bus. Not only don’t they want to mess up their hair, the only conversations they expect to have with the locals is when they deliver their umbrella-topped cocktails.

Now before you accuse me of being judgmental, I think everyone should do what they’re comfortable with whether you’re talking about a trip or moving to a new location. And based on a new range of studies there are a lot of middle-aged baby boomers who are making unconventional choices in where they choose to live and retire. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

A Resilient Stock Market

Investment Corner

Over the last several months the stock market has weathered a decline of more than 10 percent in the value of long-term government bonds, worries about the situation in Syria including use of chemical weapons, and the dysfunction in our own government which took us to the brink of a default on some U.S. debt obligations.

Stock investors can be very fickle and for us to go through the last 6 months with only a couple very normal corrections on the order of 5% or so, is a testament to the health of the market at the present time. More...


Prehistoric menus: chicken or egg?

Feasting on Fitness

I’m always amazed at what you can hear and see in airports.

I wrote last week how I had been rerouted after the LAX shooter fiasco. I was supposed to arrive in Los Angeles after the shooter killed a TSA employee and wounded several others at the airport.

A compassionate Southwest Airlines employee took heart over the rerouting that caused me to miss a day with my daughter, who I’m lucky to see during her California college years. Hearing that I would be missing a day of the two we were supposed to spend together, the employee rebooked me on a flight a day later at no extra charge. My daughter had planned a vegan tour of LA restaurants, and then we went on a spectacular, breath-taking hike at a park near the Hollywood sign. I never realized how high up that sign was. She figured we hiked about 4 miles. No running records set there. I was so grateful to have the extra day with her, as she was with me. More...

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper