Vol. 14 No. 6 - December 4, 2013
A Night of Lights
BRADENTON BEACH – Bridge Street was awash with color, colorful characters and holiday spirit during Saturday night’s inaugural Lighting of Bridge Street tree lighting ceremony and community celebration. Presented by the Bridge Street Merchants and taking place in the vacant lot next to The Fish Hole miniature golf facility, the grassy area used for the weekly Bridge Street Market was transformed into a tropical winter wonderland.
The event featured live music by Kyle Shell and Ted Stevens and the Doo-Shots, and a wide variety of local vendors offering food, drink, folk art, photography, clothing, jewelry, Christmas gifts, massages and more.
Gayden Shell, owner of the nearby clothing store, The Lot, said business was good and noted that she was running out of her homemade Christmas ornaments. “I wish I could run home and make more,” she said, while standing in front of the small Airstream trailer she calls Buttercup. More...
Woman convicted of injuring Island officer
A North Carolina woman has been convicted of grand theft auto, fleeing to elude an officer, driving with a suspended license and reckless driving causing serious injuries to an officer.
Jennifer Varner, 25, who faces up to three years in prison, was arrested March 4, two days after police from Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies had boxed her in at the Island Shopping Center. She slipped past, and when she saw Bradenton Beach Officer Eric Hill coming toward her, she intentionally aimed the stolen car she was driving into Hill’s Ford Explorer patrol car. More...
An old-fashioned celebration
ANNA MARIA – The annual Anna Maria Holiday of Treasures is reminiscent of olden days when people could walk the streets at night without worry.
One might compare it to Bedford Falls, the town in the 1946 movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” without the snow, where people gathered together to celebrate the season and the holiday was about friends, family and community. More...
AMICCO set for new season
The Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra (AMICCO) is preparing for its 21st season with four concerts from December through April. Each concert starts at 2 p.m. and is held at CrossPointe Fellowship Church, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. This year, it will play a January concert instead of a November one.
The first concert is Dec. 15, and it has a holiday theme, as always. The music features Heinrich Schutz, “Historia der Geburt Jesu Christ,” (the story of the Nativity) and AMICCO’s time-honored tradition again brings George Frideric Handel’s Christmas portion of “Messiah,” for the holiday season. More...
Fundraising underway for dog park improvements
HOLMES BEACH – Dog enthusiast Barbara Parkman is spearheading the efforts to raise the money needed to build a shade structure in the small dog area of the city-owned Holmes Beach dog park.
According to Parkman, local philanthropist Rex Hagen has pledged to match up to $4,000 any money raised for the construction of a new shade building. More...
Commission to hear noise ordinance
BBRADENTON BEACH – The long-awaited proposed revision to the city’s noise ordinance is expected to be heard by the city commission on Thursday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. at city hall.
The ordinance is written so that police or code enforcement officers can use a sound level meter to objectively rate whether noises violate the ordinance, using decibel standards ranging from 55 to 95 dbA depending on activity, location and time of day.
Fines would be $150 for the first offense and $300 for repeat offenses. More...
Congestion proposal headed to commission
HOLMES BEACH – Having spent the past four months brainstorming potential solutions to parking and congestion issues, the volunteer Island Congestion Committee concluded its Monday, Nov. 25, meeting with a proposal in place to submit to city commissioners for consideration and potential implementation in early 2014.
The committee is chaired by Carol Soustek, with primary input coming from committee members Bob Johnson and Pam Leckie, Mayor Carmel Monti and Police Chief Bill Tokajer. Additional input was provided by committee member Terry Davison, former committee member Peggi Davenport, trolley driver Andy Sheridan, QRhop.com representatives and AMI Radio ownership. More...
City Center Committee adjourns for holidays
HOLMES BEACH –The November City Center Committee meeting gave committee members a chance to update City Commissioners Judy Titsworth and Marvin Grossman on the envisioning process that began when the advisory board first met in September.
The goal is to create a town center that features a pedestrian-friendly boardwalk along Marina Drive, near Keyes Marina, providing the heart of the city with a decorative facelift utilizing gas lamps, potted plants and other decorative features. More...
Florida natives strong, friendly, conquered
HOLMES BEACH – When Christopher Columbus arrived in America, his first meetings with native tribes were usually cautious, but friendly, according to amateur archeologist Scott Chandler, who spoke at the Island Branch Library recently, as part of the Lifelong Learning Academy’s lecture series. Speaking to more than 20 attendees in the Walker-Swift meeting room, Chandler read excerpts from writings of explorers about the encounters with the natives who were here. More...
Get into fishing: Back to basics
Sport fishing writers usually like to recount the exploits of seasoned anglers or delve into some specific type of fishing like fly rodding for tarpon. However periodically it’s important to get back to the basics, the foundations that all good fishing is built on. This is a way to reach out to people who want to learn to fish, those who are new to fishing and also as a way to remind every angler that fishing doesn’t have to be complicated.
Winter and white pelicans are back
One of my favorite days of the year happened a week ago. I looked out in the morning at a sea of white floating at the mouth of Palma Sola Bay. The white pelicans were back – always a promise of cooler weather, holiday lights and an active real estate sales season. This year, however, increased real estate activity didn’t wait for the white pelicans to appear, at least not in Florida.
On Nov. 20, the National Association of Realtors reported existing home sales declined 3.2 percent in October. This is the second straight month that previously owned home sales slipped possibly a sign that higher interest rates are cooling the housing market. More...
The curious title of this is an acronym originating from four words which greatly affect the outcome investors may receive on their investment plan. Predictions, outlooks, opinions and forecasts are all around us and generally lead to poor performance when followed by the masses.
Turn on CNBC or any investment oriented channel and the day is filled with talking heads that make predictions, render opinions and forecast where prices are headed. Sometimes they’re right, for a while, but for investors following the herd of the most popular investment predictions, history has not been kind. More...
Island winter sports season begins
The Anna Maria Island Community Center’s winter sports season is about to begin. Children and adults will have many opportunities to stay active and keep up their fitness levels in the New Year.
The Community Center runs the only NFL Flag Football program in the area. Last year’s winter season saw the largest amount of teams ever. Thirty-seven teams were formed last year making the Flag Football sports season the largest on the Island. More...
A tale of two citiesFeasting on Fitness
The media love to have fun with Florida and all of it’s crazy characters. But that’s what happens when you get to be large and popular. There will be the share of nut cases and all kinds of folks the media loves to squander headlines on.
Last week, I had no column because I was busy at the Miami Book Fair. I was very lucky to be the only author my publisher invited to attend. It was the second year in a row, and it was every bit as fun as last year. This year, the weather was definitely more cantankerous. The first two days were almost a wash-out with wind and downpours rivaling any tropical storm. More...