Vol. 14 No. 8 - December 18, 2013
Holiday spirit fills the Island ...
ANNA MARIA – Laughter rolled through the city as people gathered Friday to celebrate the holidays in Anna Maria.
From the parking lots on Gulf Drive to the porches of Pine Avenue, lights twinkled and people visited, shopped and enjoyed snacks and drinks. Many savored the evening as an annual prelude to the holidays, while others new to the event delighted in sampling the city’s treasures. More...
... and arrives in different packages
BRADENTON BEACH – Two weeks after the inaugural Lighting of Bridge Street celebration, the grassy lot where the weekly Bridge Street Market takes place was again transformed into a holiday-themed playground for the young and the young at heart during the sixth annual Christmas on Bridge Street.
Santa and his sleigh were parked near the Christmas tree decorated and designed by Deb Myers. More...
Island Samaritans spread two-wheeled cheer
ANNA MARIA – Few things bring joy to a youngster’s heart like the sight of a new bicycle on Christmas Day.
For the past five years, two-wheeled treasures have made their ways into the lives of those in need, courtesy of the combined efforts of Anna Maria resident Carl Augostini and Roser Community Church Facilities Administrator Charles Wade. More...
Citizens weigh in on noise ordinance
BRADENTON BEACH – Residents got their first look at the proposed amendments to the noise ordinance during Wednesday’s planning and zoning board (P&Z) meeting.
Planning Official Alan Garrett told P & Z members the purpose of the first of two public hearings was to garner input from board members and residents.
“I want to hear from the residents; I want to hear from the citizens,” Garrett said as the discussion ensued.
“I’m putting a lot of weight on public comment,” he stated, noting that public input will help craft the document eventually presented to city commissioners. More...
Venue operators discuss noise ordinance
BRADENTON BEACH – During last week’s planning and zoning board meeting, citizens were given the opportunity to share their thoughts on proposed changes to the Bradenton Beach noise ordinance.
Absent from that discussion were the voices of those who operate open air or outdoor music venues in the city.
Saturday afternoon, The Sun contacted representatives of the Gulf Drive Café and Island Time Bar & Grill to get their perspectives on the matter. More...
Surviving the challenge
Faced with strong winds and choppy seas, 10 captains and crews braved the elements and set sail Saturday night during the annual Cortez Yacht Club Holiday Lighted Boat Parade.
The parade route began at Moore’s Stone Crab restaurant in Longboat Key and ended at the Seafood Shack in Cortez. More...
City to refund park donations
ANNA MARIA – During a special commission meeting that took place Thursday, Dec. 12, Anna Maria commissioners decided to forgo $155,000 in private donations that would have assisted in the construction of a new public park on six city-owned lots at the corner of Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard.
The privately-initiated park was designed by former City Commissioner Gene Aubry. More...
City officials absorb more about flood insurance law
SARASOTA – Holmes Beach Mayor Carmel Monti was left shaking his head at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) answer to his question at a town meeting last week: Go online and read a 693-page document to find out.
Monti and Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn and commissioners from several island cities attended the event, at which Susan Wilson, chief of FEMA’s Floodplain Management and Insurance Branch in Atlanta, directed Monti to www.fema.gov to find out why his city and Bradenton Beach are rated differently in FEMA’s community rating system than the city of Anna Maria. More...
It’s all Santa, all the time
ANNA MARIA – Santa paid a visit to 237 grateful kids at the annual Lawton Chiles Kids Day at the Sandbar restaurant last week. Instead of a sleigh, he gave the reindeer the day off and came by fire truck and motor scooter, which he drove around the beach to the waiting arms of the kids.
The secret to finding fish
Finding fish is the goal of every fisherman and the best strategy I’ve encountered after years on the water is to stay aware and be flexible. While there are many “tried and true” methods to finding fish, there is no magic formula. I’ve used Captain Scott Moore’s explanation before, and while it’s simple, there’s a lot of truth to it.
When I asked him his secret to finding fish, his answer was, “Fish move around.” Moore was referring to the fact that fish move from one area to another according to a number of factors that we’ll never completely understand. Successful fishermen are flexible, keep an open mind and are always alert for clues. More...
Selling during the holidays
The holiday season is in full swing with decorating, parties and gift giving. But will selling your home or keeping it on the market at this time of the year fit into your holiday traditions and even more important the traditions of potential buyers?
Like every possible question in the universe, if you ask two different people their opinion, you are likely to get two different answers, and selling your home during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season is no different. Many real estate brokers feel that holiday buyers tend to be more serious and are willing to move more quickly because why else would they be looking at properties a week before Christmas? Many of these buyers are relocating into the area for professional or personal reasons and are anxious to get settled or could even have an end of the year tax deadline. More...
Returns not always as perceivedInvestment Corner
With just two weeks left in the year, it looks like the U.S. stock market will experience a well-above average return for 2013. Some find this surprising since there wasn't much optimism about the market's prospects at the beginning of the year. But, as I've pointed out before, the market tends to act to confuse those subscribing to the consensus opinion.
The other thing that perplexes many investors is the pattern under which the stock market delivers an opportunity for investors to generate a profit. Any basic level of investigation reveals that over significant periods of time, equities provide a total return to investors in the high single digit to low double digit range. The common mantra is 10 percent per year average annual return. (Total return is a term used to describe the combination of price appreciation and dividend income.) More...
Youths receive Junior Golf Awards
The fall session of the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s Bud Stokes Junior Golf Program has concluded. Named in memory of the late avid golfer and Holmes Beach seasonal resident Bud Stokes, the program’s purpose is to provide an opportunity to learn and enjoy the game of golf, teach boys and girls the fundamentals of the game and maintain an interest in golf by providing a fun atmosphere. More...
Why doesn’t everyone live here?Feasting on Fitness
Last week I wrote about the radar images that showed the United States with the exception of Florida, mostly covered in red, pink and white. That meant that all those states had some combination of snow, sleet, ice and just generally miserable conditions. All of that was followed by typical bitter cold. My daughter sent me a screenshot of the Weather Channel app that showed up on her smart phone. It was 6° in Kansas. But no place else was much better.
As a result, by Tuesday, someone had created a fabulous image on Facebook with a similar radar picture. Instead of weather conditions, it implied temperature conditions. All of the U.S. was pink and blue, indicating cold. The entire state of Florida was red and yellow, indicating warmth. The headline read, “Today is National Hate Florida Day!” More...