Vol. 14 No. 12 - January 15, 2014
Bimini Cove lots sold; luxury homes to follow
The 15 vacant lots from the partially built Bimini Cove project, formerly called Villa Rosa, have been sold to FH Anna Maria LLC, a real estate development group managed by Brad Baldwin, of Sarasota, and Eric Howell, of Bradenton. The transaction was closed on Dec. 30.
The developer plans to proceed with the project, which was interrupted by the bad economy around five years ago. Only one house was constructed, and it reportedly was never given a certificate of occupancy. Fourteen of those home sites are on a canal and one fronts South Bay Boulevard. More...
Tourism funds flow to Island
BRADENTON – Manatee County commissioners answered a longstanding Anna Maria Island complaint that resort tax funds are not reinvested on the Island that produces most of them, also voting to implement criteria to limit future requests for the funds.
The commission voted unanimously last week to amend the county’s Tourist Development Plan to approve $1 million to rebuild the Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach, $65,000 for improvements at Manatee Public Beach in Holmes Beach and $100,000 a year to keep the county beaches clean. More...
State flood insurance bill moves forward ...
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee unanimously approved a bill last Wednesday that would allow insurance consumers to purchase private flood insurance instead of FEMA policies.
Senate Bill 542, proposed by St. Petersburg Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes, would encourage private insurers to offer policies in Florida to compete with the standardized rates of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies.
It would allow policyholders flexibility not only on rates but on coverage, such as insuring for the amount of a mortgage, replacement value or cash value. More...
... as agents discuss coverage changes
HOLMES BEACH – A full house greeted two private insurance agents who explained changes to federal flood insurance due to the Bigger-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act and what their companies could offer to those whose premiums are slated to skyrocket.
Jamie Meirowsky, of Dick, Johnson & Jefferson Inc. Insurance, and Jeff Nungesser, of Iron City Investments, said they are multi-line independent agents specializing in homeowners and flood insurance.
Meirowsky said those who purchase homes in the A or V zones, which includes the entire Island, after Oct. 4, 2012, must have elevation certificates in order to purchase flood insurance. More...
Cell tower dispute ends
BRADENTON BEACH – A new cell tower is coming to the city.
That was the decision of city commissioners last week, who concluded they have a legally binding contract with cell tower company Alpha-Omega Communications to build the structure.
The move was made at a department head meeting Jan. 9, when nearly everyone involved was allowed to make their final arguments for and against the proposal.
The meeting gave those new to the commission an opportunity to weigh in on a decision rendered by the previous commission. In the end, commissioners were in unanimous consensus that the city was contractually obligated to allow construction of a telecommunications tower on Highland Avenue. More...
Mayors talk about common issues
HOLMES BEACH –Discussing a wide range of topics the four Island mayors met for the first time in Holmes Beach last week to share ideas on working together.
Mayor Carmel Monti, who initiated the meeting, said its purpose is to see if the cities can share services in areas where they overlap. He said they would begin with smaller issues that could unify the islands and move on to larger issues. More...
Clerk issues another Sunshine warning
HOLMES BEACH – For the second time since last fall, City Clerk Stacey Johnston has issued a warning to city officials regarding meeting the obligations of Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law.
After receiving notes from a preliminary meeting on the dog park held on Dec. 17 at the Coffee Haas between Mayor Carmel Monti, Police Chief Bill Tokajer and resident Renee Ferguson, Johnston issued a memo on Jan. 8. More...
Charter Review Committee begins task
HOLMES BEACH – Charter Review Committee members last week agreed on how to approach their task before delving into the chapter governing charter amendments.
“We have a common purpose to review and propose amendments to the charter,” Chair Bob Johnson said. “Each of us should expect from each other full participation, but not necessarily agreement.
“The last thing we want to do is agree with each other because of unsound reasons and find ourselves on a bus trip to Abilene where nobody wants to go.” More...
Football Fever Winners - Week 16 & 17
Week 16 - Mary De Young, Bradenton (-3, Tiebreaker 37pts)
Week 17 - Mary Kojak, Anna Maria (-1, Tiebreaker 55pts)
Dolphin Dash attracts runners
HOLMES BEACH – The weather was just right for a run as some 210 entries in the Anna Maria Elementary School Dolphin Dash took to the streets last weekend.
Runners of all ages competed, many of them students at the school where they have a runners club. The Bradenton Runners Club, which sanctions the Dolphin Dash, provided some of the runners. More...
Catch winter blues
When the weather gets cold, savvy local anglers get the winter blues. Bluefish that is, one of the hardest fighting fish that swims local waters. Bluefish are a pelagic species that are found worldwide in temperate and subtropical waters. They are a migratory species in the waters of the Atlantic coast and range from Florida to Massachusetts, leaving Florida’s east coast and migrating north during the spring and summer months. However, they are found in the Gulf year-round.
Bluefish are a more predictable catch locally during the winter months, which is perfect timing as many other species get harder to find and catch. Bluefish are a hard fighting and very aggressive fish that are perfect targets for anglers fishing both conventional and fly tackle. They will attack live bait, trolled plugs and spoons and Clouser flies, but they are especially fun to catch on top water plugs and top water (popper) flies. More...
Duck Dynasty real estate
I had to do it, I had to watch an episode of Duck Dynasty after last month’s uproar over patriarch Phil Robertson’s, shall we say, insensitive comments. Well, as luck would have it, the one and only episode I choose to watch was about buying real estate. I couldn’t have been happier if Donald Trump himself called me with real estate advice.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Duck Dynasty basically it’s a reality TV show about a family from Louisiana who became wealthy by selling products for duck hunters. Well, what do wealthy families do, they move up to larger homes and in the words of Miss Kay Robertson, start to enjoy their money “after all we deserve it.” More...
Opportunity is building abroadInvestment Corner
Three years ago, the predominant recommendation from investment strategists forecasting future trends was to be heavily invested in international equities, especially emerging markets and commodities, including precious metals. Since that time, the best game in town has been U.S.-based equities by a long shot, with commodities and emerging markets delivering negative returns. The chart below compares the S&P 500 Index to the MSCI EAFE Index of international markets and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
I shared a similar chart not too long ago, but the storyline has continued and has now gone to the point where it might make sense to start to look for a new chapter. Investors love to hop on trends, and we think it's a great idea. But those who hop on too late and don't have an exit strategy may find the story turns into a sad ending. More...
Bills battle back
The Sun Sports game of the week was a back and forth thriller between the Island Gourmet Bills and the Island Real Estate Raiders.
The tone of this shootout was set early. On the very first play, Island Real Estate Raiders quarterback Chris Gillum threw a 45-yard TD pass to Jason Vancleve. The two point conversion was good, 8-0.
The Island Gourmet Bills quarterback, Charles Buky, answered right away and threw a 45-yard TD pass to Jim Ptak. The extra point failed, and the Bills trailed 8 to 6. More...
The benefits of a personal trainerFeasting on Fitness
A running coach and friend, asked, “Do you ever wonder what happens to clients who don’t come back? Do you call and ask if something was wrong, or let it go?”
Another friend, also a personal trainer, advertises that he is “a trainer to the stars.” He told me, “You know how fickle this business is. Especially with celebs – they are done with you after a few weeks.” More...