Vol. 14 No. 10 - January 1, 2014
Long Bar developers nix mixed-use
BRADENTON – On Thursday, Dec. 19, attorney Ed Vogler, submitted a letter on behalf of Long Bar Pointe developers Carlos Beruff and Larry Lieberman to Manatee County officials regarding the future use of 463 acres of environmentally sensitive land located along El Conquistador Parkway in southwest Bradenton.
The property is comprised of large tracts of bay front property and mangrove forests that serve as a vital natural habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife. More...
Year in review 2013
THE ISLAND – Tourism and related issues dominated the Island news in 2013.
As county officials aggressively marketed the Island, the three cities struggled with the influx of visitors straining their infrastructure and affecting residential neighborhoods.
Nightmare on my street
Some developers took advantage of the opportunity to buy up existing cottages and aging duplexes and build multi-bedroom vacation rentals capable of housing multiple families. Island officials, alarmed at the proliferation of multi-bedroom rentals that created problems with noise, parking and overcrowding, passed ordinances aimed at addressing the problems. More...
Charlie Hunsicker, Rick Spadoni: The Sun’s 2013 Persons of the Year
For more than 20 years, Manatee County has counted on renourishment projects to keep the beaches pristine. Since then, there have been four projects, not including the current one and it was a learning process as Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker and Coastal Planning and Engineering Senior Vice President Rick Spadoni will attest.
“I’ve been involved in projects throughout Florida, and Anna Maria Island’s beaches are one of the worst for erosion that I’ve ever seen,” Spadoni said. “This is a wonderful project for the Island.” More...
Home sales expected to pass 400
As the clock wound down, it looked like home sales on Anna Maria Island for 2013 would be above 400 units for the second year in a row, according to Island Real Estate agent Alan Galletto.
Galletto’s monthly sales report, taken from the records of the Manatee County Multi Listing Service and county figures, showed 375 units sold as of Nov. 30, 2013.
Galletto, who publishes the figures in a monthly Internet report (www.alangalletto.com/), said sales for November 2013 were up nine percent over a year earlier, 34 to 31. Year-to-date (Oct. 31) figures were 375 for 2013 compared with 393 in 2012. More...
Renourishment stops after it starts
HOLMES BEACH – The beach between 67th and 69th Streets was fenced off Saturday morning and the equipment inside was quiet as the beach renourishment shut down for maintenance, according to Coastal Planning and Engineering spokesperson Michelle Pfeiffer.
The pipe came ashore near the equipment two weeks ago from the dredge California, some 4,000 feet from the northwest shore of the Island, and sand was flowing two Fridays ago, but some much needed maintenance on the dredge and other equipment meant a delay for now. Manatee County Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker said Saturday that they hoped to be back up either Sunday or Monday. He said they would likely work on the New Year’s holiday. More...
Air & Energy expanding to mainland
HOLMES BEACH – 2014 will be a year of growth for the Holmes Beach-based Air & Energy firm owned by Stewart, Trudy and Stewart Moon Jr.
The family business that provides air conditioning, plumbing, electrical and connected home monitoring services is in the process of expanding its company operations by adding a mainland location in Bradenton’s warehouse district.
Trudy serves as company president while her husband, Stewart Sr., enjoys his share of the ownership role from the perspective of a retiree. More...
Rollin,’ rollin,’ rollin’ at Robinson
BRADENTON – Rolling through Robinson Preserve in a covered wagon is like riding in the passenger side of the car – you’re surprised at the things you see when you don’t have to pay attention to where you’re going.
During the popular one-hour tour on Friday, passengers saw an endangered wood stork, a tri-colored heron (a state species of special concern), turkey vultures circling carrion, or perhaps just riding thermals, mockingbirds, white pelicans in the water (winter snowbirds from the north) white ibis and snowy egrets resting in the mangroves, a reddish egret using the shadows from its wings to herd fish and a very territorial kestrel that claims a palm tree as its exclusive home. More...
Classes begin at Artists’ Guild
The Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island will offer classes and workshops beginning the week of Jan. 6.
Most classes and workshops are designed for artists of all levels and do not require previous experience. Classes are offered Mondays through Thursdays, and workshops are on Wednesdays and Fridays from January through April. More...
‘Flippers and Feathers’ activity book debuts
BRADENTON BEACH – A new activity book published by Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring is a fun way to teach kids about protecting turtles and birds, their BFFs.
“Flippers and Feathers: Our Beach Friends Forever,” written by Mary Lechleidner and Susan Anderson, with graphic design by Elsa Kauffman, features the illustrations of Holmes Beach Deputy City Clerk Lori Kee and a special piece of artwork by Sasha Madrid, 11, who designed the Beach Friends Forever Badge. More...
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...
Another year for flood insurance
Today is the first day of a brand new year a time to make resolutions, plans for the year ahead and reflect on the year past. Unfortunately not everyone is as introspective as you and I may be, especially the people who are making the laws.
Last month Congress adjourned for the year without agreeing on any of the proposed legislation that would address the outrageous flood insurance premium hikes many homeowners are just beginning to experience. Even though coastal homeowner’s awareness of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act was signed into law by the President in July 2012 it was only this past October when the real impact was felt by homeowners along the coast. At that time, premiums were increased for second homeowners, commercial properties and properties with multiple flood related insurance claims. However, starting in October 2014, many of the remaining millions of homeowners who live in flood plains especially, if their home was built before 1974 or built below base flood line elevation, will also be facing higher premiums. The plan is for premiums to accelerate for the next five years until the rates represent an accurate actuarial risk. More...
Resolution timeInvestment Corner
2014 is here, and for the most part, we don’t need to be wishing the one just ending ‘good riddance’. 2013 dawned without much optimism shortly after a very contentious election period in late 2012, and it’s fair to say there was a fair amount of skepticism about the economy.
But, as usual, the financial markets did what it took to surprise us. U.S. stock prices lead the way with large gains of about 30 percent for the year. Government bond prices fell as interest rates on 10-year U.S. treasury bonds rose from about 1.9 percent to 2.9 percent, resulting in the first year of negative returns for this asset class since the year 2000. Commodities, particularly gold and silver, took it on the chin along with emerging markets stocks. More...
Flag football, food and fun for fans
The Anna Maria Island Community Center’s athletic department announced this week that it was kicking of the 2014 youth flag football season with a brand new Tailgate Spirit Fun Day.
On Saturday Jan. 11, 24 youth teams, ages 5 to 17, will officially begin the season with a spirited day of fun and jamboree style games. More...
Register for vegan cooking classesFeasting on Fitness
OK, so big deal, we have a couple of rainy days. Doesn’t the change-up make you grateful for the normally spectacular days we almost always have?
The next-door-neighbor snowbirds just returned. Their license plates say Michigan. Like so many, I’m sure they’re maxed out. News stories say thousands who lost power before Christmas may not get it back until after the new year.
Please, I’ll take a hurricane that causes a power outage for a few days any day. And that has only happened twice during the first summer we were here, almost 10 years ago. Piece o’ carrot cake! More...