Vol. 14 No. 9 - December 25, 2013
THE BEACH MAKER
HOLMES BEACH – The renourishment of 2013-14 is underway.
The pipes are set, the bulldozers are on the sand shaping the new beach and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock has its renourishment dredge, the California, in the water next to the borrow area, sucking water and sand through a pipe headed for shore. More...
Shark bite heroes honored
MIAMI – An Island man who dove in and got his friend out of the water after he was bitten by a shark has received a medal from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Connor Bystrom, who saved the life of C.J. Wickersham on Sep. 24, 2011, was given the Gold Lifesaving Medal in a ceremony last week at the Brickell Plaza Federal Building, in Miami. Rear Adm. Jake Korn, Coast Guard 7th District commander, presented the medal to Bystrom in front of others who were in the boat that day – Katie Matta, Kiera Dunn, and Max Garza. The others got letters of commendation for stabilizing Wickersham and getting him to the pier, where he was evacuated. More...
Trolleys to run holiday schedules
Almost all businesses shut down for Christmas and New Year’s Day but not the trolleys or the beach expresses, so if it’s a nice day, the Island might get some visitors via mass transit instead of taking up parking spaces.
Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) reports fixed route and para transit buses will stop running at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key trolleys will stop at 7 p.m. More...
AMICCO Youth contest starts
The Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra (AMICCO) and the Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island are sponsoring the Eighth Annual Young Artists Solo Competition for Manatee and Sarasota County area musicians on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 1:30 p.m. at the Palma Sola Presbyterian Church, 6510 Third Avenue W., Bradenton (67th Street West and Second Avenue). Eligibility for the competition is open to Manatee and Sarasota County 12-to 18-year-old musicians.
Wind and string players, pianists and vocalists are encouraged to audition. Competition guidelines and application forms are on the AMICCO website, www.amicco.org. Youth Programs tab. Application deadline is Jan. 15. For more information or questions, please contact James Stoltie at Stoltie@verizon.net or 941-727-9886. More...
Endangered Species Act turns 40
The Endangered Species Act (ESA)turns 40 on Dec. 28, and in its four decades it has helped more than 30 species recover, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1973, the federal law classifies imperiled animal species into two categories based on their risk of going extinct. More...
Barry Grooms to reopen automotive service
HOLMES BEACH – Barry Grooms plans to combine old-fashioned customer service with cutting edge green technology to reopen Grooms Motors and Automotive Service at 5608 Marina Drive.
The building was most recently occupied by Island Auto Repair, owned and operated by Rick and Judi Rickerson, who were asked to vacate the building by Dec. 1. The Rickersons relocated their business to Bradenton. More...
Mayor alerts officials to ‘sober house’ issue
LONGBOAT KEY – Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn asked Island elected officials to support the Florida League of Cities’ (FLOC) efforts to establish standards and regulations for sober houses or halfway houses.
“You need to be aware of it,” she said at the monthly meeting of the Coalition of Barrier Island Elected Officials on Longboat Key last week. “People are buying homes and renting them out to people in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.” More...
Tiki bar owner to submit site plan
HOLMES BEACH – City Attorney Patricia Petruff advised Nicole Heslop, owner of the Barefoot Tiki Bar, to file a site plan for her mobile kitchen.
Police Chief Bill Tokajer had asked Planner Bill Brisson for an opinion on on whether the kitchen, which was likened to a hot dog or hamburger stand, was an allowable use. Brisson said in the code, such stands are excluded from the definition of a restaurant. More...
The legend of the Christmas sand dollar
The sand dollar is more than just a cute Christmas ornament for Anna Maria Island trees; it’s actually rich with Christian symbolism.
Round and white, like the communion wafer in many Christian churches, the sand dollar contains mysteries.
Scallop restoration takes a giant step
Scallops are one of the most endangered of Florida’s shellfish, and that’s one of the reasons that Sarasota Bay Watch adopted them as a virtual mascot. Credit for the focus on scallops goes to John Ryan one of the founders of Sarasota Bay Watch (SBW) and a longtime advocate of restoration efforts.
Ryan knew that scallops perfectly symbolized the need to protect water quality and habitat in Sarasota Bay. Scallops are amazing creatures possessing a row of beautiful blue eyes that actually register light. Once plentiful in bay waters they fell victim to habitat loss, overharvesting, dredge-and-fill projects, pollution and harmful algae blooms known as red tides. More...
A room with a view
When I was a kid, we had a concrete patio off the kitchen with a roof over it constructed with two by fours covered with a little paint. The barbeque was yards off the patio to keep the smoke out of the house, and all of this was built by my father my brother and a few neighbors. That plus a picnic table and a few lawn chairs pretty much passed as my parents’ outside entertaining area.
Today’s outdoor entertaining has changed a good deal since the 1950s, with backyards being turned into elaborate rooms and some homeowners wanting to duplicate the interior of their homes. With many new innovate products on the market and many more companies designing and installing outside kitchens and living space, this has become easier, if not more costly, in recent years. 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...
Athletic director and assistant selected
The Anna Maria Island Community Center has selected a director and assistant in the athletic department.
The athletic department is an important component of the Center’s services to the Island community. The department is quickly increasing in size and responding to the responsibilities of a very active population. Last year, for the first time ever, the athletic department formed more than 100 sports teams and also held numerous tournaments and camps. More...
Making resolutions for the new yearFeasting on Fitness
It’s never too early to start seeing articles about New Year’s resolutions. They are already popping up all over the web. Some of the more interesting articles have been about the resolutions most likely to fail. Which are of course, the ones that you most likely make. As you might also expect, the most frequently made resolutions are about weight loss, financial control and general happiness.
I would be the last person to suggest that you not to make any New Year's resolutions, even though one article said that 30 percent of all resolutions are broken by February. But that's kind of like my experience as a financial consultant at a Wall Street firm. It really doesn't matter what the Dow Jones or any other index does.