Vol. 14 No. 13 - January 22, 2014

news

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryChalk Festival draws thousands

The Anna Maria Chalk Festival had a cold beginning but when the sun came out, so did the people.

According to Micheal Coleman, who helped bring the event to Anna Maria, organizers estimate 15,000 people came out Saturday and Sunday,

“It was a huge success,” Coleman said. “Everybody pitched in together to make this happen, and it drew a good crowd. It was a gratifying thing.” More...

List of requirements grows for Tiki Bar owners

HOLMES BEACH – While remaining open for business, Barefoot Tiki Bar and Café owners Nicole Heslop and Jon Westergard are still under fire by the city.

Heslop told commissioners at last week’s meeting that she submitted a revised, hand-drawn site plan for the business to the building department after her first one was rejected.

“The issue is beyond a site plan,” Building Official Tom O’Brien stressed to the board. “I got crude sketches without a single dimension, without any indication of the dimensions of the existing buildings, without any indication of parking, without any indicated ingress or egress or access points.” More...

200-unit project OK’d for Long Bar Pointe

BRADENTON – After withdrawing a controversial mixed-use request in late December, Long Bar Pointe developers wasted little time in submitting plan B.

Thursday morning, the Manatee County Planning Commission unanimously approved a preliminary site plan for a 200-unit residential development at the southeast corner of the Long Bar Pointe property, next to the Legends Bay community along the El Conquistador Parkway in Bradenton.

County staff recommended initial approval of the site plan that will for a retail store. More...

More changes for Mainsail agreement

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners last week made changes to the agreement regarding Mainsail Development Company’s plans to build guest units, a lodge and restaurant near the corner of Gulf and Marina drives.

City representatives and Mainsail officials have participated in two mediation sessions with a special magistrate, both followed by numerous changes to terms attached to the settlement agreement. The company requested the mediation after the city commission revoked its site plan for the development nearly a year ago. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Community rallies for Privateers

BRADENTON BEACH – The Anna Maria Island Privateers are legendary for the fundraising activities they conduct to benefit kids and community.

Saturday afternoon, the Privateers gathered with friends and community members at the Drift In in Bradenton Beach and raised more $5,000 to benefit two of their own – Debbie “Stumbles” Murphree and her husband, Roger “HooDat” Murphree. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDredging interrupted again

A series of cold fronts bringing winds and high waves has again caused the beach renourishment project to shut own. Coastal Planning and Engineering spokeswoman Michelle Pfeiffer said they shut down last Tuesday and were to resume Sunday. The renourishment is near Manatee Public Beach and the slow progress has meant pipes will remain on the beach longer than expected. Pfeiffer said the contractor, Great Lakes Dock and Dredge, will try to keep the disruption to beachgoers at a minimum.

The renourishment project is split into two portions. The first, which is financed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will cover Holmes Beach south to Coquina Beach and stop. The next day, the second project, which was financed by the state and county, will proceed through Coquina Beach. More...

Residential sites red-tagged

HOLMES BEACH – Building official Tom O’Brien has shut down two residential construction sites – one at 626 Key Royale Drive and one at 403 39th Street.

In Tuesday’s city commission meeting Mayor Carmel Mont said, “The building department did two stop work orders this week on houses that building permits claimed they were going to do about a 30 percent change, and they went to 100 percent.

“We stopped the work, and they may end up being demolished. It’s going to send a very clear signal that we did what we said we were going to do and that is to enforce the laws on the books and change those that we can’t enforce.” More...

Jazz Fest is back

The Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra (AMICCO), Gulf Drive Band, the Sandbar restaurant, and the Anna Maria Island Sun newspaper are sponsoring the 10th annual Jazz Fest on Thursday, Feb. 6, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Sandbar restaurant pavilion, 100 Spring Avenue, Anna Maria. After expenses, ticket proceeds from Jazz Fest go directly to AMICCO.

Bring your dancing shoes or just relax overlooking the beautiful Gulf beach. Jazz Fest will feature the Gulf Drive Band, with Ted Young from Pittsburgh on piano and Bil Bowdish from Boston on flutes, saxes and vocals. This year the special guest artist is Anna Maria Island favorite, Koko Ray Hansen. Hansen is an outstanding instrumentalist and vocalist who is able to fluently play two saxophones at once. Jazz selections will go as far back as the 1920s and span seven decades. More...



features

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAuthor takes audience around the bend

HOLMES BEACH – The United States is a large country with many geographic features and a variety of lifestyles, and it can be enigmatic for someone from the United Kingdom, but Judy Allen got to know her new home country first-hand in a motor home – twice.

At an appearance in front of the Gulf Coast Writers, Allen said she wrote a book about her second journey and called it “Around the Bend with Lou,” which is the name of her camper. More...



OUTDOORS

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Make it a point - get hooked on jigs

If I had only one lure in my tackle box it would be a jig. The jig is one of the oldest and most effective lures ever made, which explains why they have a prominent place in most anglers’ arsenals. Today’s jigs come in a breath taking array of shapes, sizes and colors with holographic patterns and live bait scents.

And while there have been many advancements in design, the basic jig with a lead head and buck tail body is still the go to lure for many anglers. That’s because if you have faith in the lure and vary the action, it's possible to elicit a strike from any game fish (fresh or salt) that swims local waters. More...



real estate

To stage or not to stage

It’s home selling season in Florida. Those cold Northern state homeowners get several months of reprieve before they have to get their houses in shape to put on the market, but here in Florida the curtain is going up, and you better be ready.

Real estate professionals have always promoted the idea that staging your home properly before putting it on the market can make the difference between a sale or no sale. In fact the National Association of Realtors says that properly staged homes sell 80 percent quicker and for up to 11 percent more money than non-staged properties. Since I’ve been involved in the real estate industry this was always the position the industry took. Years ago we even employed house managers to live in vacant properties that we were having a particularly difficult time selling with the hope that potential buyers could relate better to a lived in home. More...



business

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Opportunity is building abroad

Investment 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...



SPORTS

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Tyler’s Ice Cream warms the crowd

The Sun sports game of the week was an eight-to-ten-year-old NFL flag football contest between the Miller Electric Cowboys and the Tyler’s Ice Cream Vikings.

On a cold winter’s Friday night at the Community Center, football fans were warmed by an exciting come from behind victory.

The opening drive of the game saw the Miller Electric Cowboys march down the field and then stall at the Vikings four-yard line. The Cowboys were unable to score and the Vikings defense rose to the challenge. More...

Healthy food can taste great

Feasting on Fitness

As a TV reporter ages ago, I used to get paid the big bucks (ha) getting all sides to a story and doing the research it takes. So this volunteer column is the result of my week’s experiences and what I can write in two to three hours time. I always hope to inspire and prevent needless suffering of humans and animals that occurs way too often.

It is my belief that in our area, it would be a huge financial benefit if we had more vegan restaurants. Really vegan restaurants.

Like the exclusively vegan restaurant Ionie’s in Sarasota. My friend, Carl Lovejoy, is the amazing chef there. Check out restaurants’ Facebook pages or websites to see what they’re serving. More...