Vol. 14 No. 14 - January 29, 2014
Fifty Years of Waves
HOLMES BEACH – There’s plenty to do at the West Coast Surf Shop a few days before its 50th anniversary, but founder Jim Brady is watching the Mavericks Invitational 2014 off the San Francisco coast online while his wife, Ronee Brady, mans the counter.
“Big waves,” the characteristically concise local boy says. More...
Anna Maria approves cell tower lease
ANNA MARIA – The city commission worked out the details and passed an ordinance making the lease of city owned land for a cell phone tower a reality.
The ordinance sets the stage for Florida Tower Partners, LLC to build a tower in the parking lot of Anna Maria City Hall that includes an elevated tier of equipment for the cell phone providers with room for parking beneath.
After learning at a previous meeting that the tower could be as high as 162 feet, depending on the number of providers that sign up, they put 162 feet as the maximum height of the structure. There is also language that requires the cell tower owner to tear down the tower if it becomes unnecessary. More...
Progress made on pier renovations
BRADENTON BEACH – January was a productive month in regard to pending renovations to the city pier.
During the Thursday, Jan. 16, city commission meeting, commissioners approved an interlocal agreement with Manatee County pertaining to the board of county commissioner’s pledge to match dollar for dollar up to $1 million of the city’s expenditures on the pier project.
At the same meeting, commissioners approved the expenditure, not to exceed $10,000, for ZNS Engineering to prepare a request for proposals that establishes the project scope and criteria for the construction firms that will bid on the project. More...
Get hooked on Cortez fishing festival
CORTEZ – Marinate in some authentic old Florida at the 32nd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival the weekend of Feb.15-16 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
But no matter how many steaming hot dishes of delectable seafood you see, don’t call it a seafood festival. It’s all about the fishermen who have been bringing home the catch for more than 120 years to Cortez, one of the last working fishing villages in the state. More...
Super Bowl XLVIII happenings
For casual and diehard football fans alike, Super Bowl Sunday is a day to party with friends, family, and in some cases, enthusiastic strangers. When the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks square off Sunday evening, some local establishments will close for the sports holiday (Hurricane Hank’s and Blue Marlin); some will conduct business as usual (D Coy Ducks, Duffy’s Tavern and Skinny’s); and some will go all out, including those listed below.
Barefoot Tiki Bar - 5704 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, 941-778-4402
Drink specials: $2 drafts.
Food: Barefoot style buffet, bring a dish; Nicole supplies the pizza.
Entertainment: James Blaine 1 to 2 p.m.; Mumbo Jumbo 2 to 6 p.m. More...
Flood concerns lead to height allowance request
BRADENTON BEACH – If approved, a variance request for an increased building height allowance in the Sandpiper Resort could alter the landscape of the manufactured and mobile home community.
Sandpiper resident Doug LeFevre is seeking the city’s permission to replace an existing mobile home with a single-story manufactured home measuring 14 feet in height, to be placed on 11-foot pilings, resulting in a 25-foot structure with parking underneath.
LeFevre stated his case to William Robinson Jr., the Bradenton real estate attorney who serves as the city’s special master, during a hearing that took place at city hall on Wednesday, Jan. 22. More...
Island realty sales reach benchmark
Alan Galletto’s prediction came true. The agent for Island Real Estate, who publishes a newsletter that keeps track of sales, reports sales of properties reached 427, just under last year’s total of 431 and more than 400 units for only the fourth year;
“Sales in 2013 were strong among all property types and showed average and median sales prices significantly up from 2012,” Galletto wrote in his newsletter.
The sales figures for December 2013 were 34 units total, down slightly from 38 for December 2012. Sales by type in 2013 were 13 single-family homes, 10 condominiums, six duplexes and five lots. For December 2012, they were 27 single-family, nine condos, one duplex and one lot. More...
November visits up
November 2013 tourism was up 4.1 percent over November 2012, with 43,300 visitors to Manatee County, according to Research Data Services, the county’s Tampa-based tourism consultant.
Direct expenditures were up by 8.3 percent over the previous November, totaling $23,798,100 for the month.
Occupancy was 59.2 percent in November 2013, up 1.2 percent from 58.5 the previous year, and room rates averaged $126 a night, up 3.1 percent from $122 a night the previous year. More...
Pitt earns Florida Folk Heritage Award
CORTEZ – Whenever you see Bob Pitt, you can bet there’s a boat nearby.
Pitt has been awarded a Florida Folk Heritage Award for his traditional boatbuilding skills, and plans to travel to Tallahassee in May to receive the honor from the Florida Secretary of State.
The award is conferred on “outstanding folk artists and folk culture advocates who have made longstanding contributions to the folk cultural resources of the state,” according to the Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources, which sponsors the program. More...
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...
Florida on a roll
Once upon a time, states like Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas were states that appealed to retirees and young people wanting a warmer climate and lower taxes, making everyone think that Florida’s day had passed. Well guess what, not only has Florida’s day not passed, according to Gov. Rick Scott, “Florida is on a roll.”
In December, Florida almost surpassed New York state in population making Florida the almost third most-populous state. According to the University of Florida, it wouldn’t be a surprise and indeed it’s expected that Florida will surpass New York in the near future something that probably would have happened already if not for the financial crisis. More...
Perception vs. realityInvestment Corner
The human psyche is an interesting thing to study, especially in the area of perceptions of the past and future. The differences in how we feel about our prospects are often vastly different than the reality of the situation as measured by hard facts. Of course, each of us is different, so the observations expressed here are meant to describe the general, or majority, opinions of the population, not each individual’s view.
In meeting with clients and in having general conversations with others in the course of various meetings or social events, there is still a preponderance of those who feel the U.S. economy is doing poorly, and many think we are still in a recession. The facts just don’t bear this out. More...
AMIS awards a hit
On Saturday night, the Anna Maria Island Community Center hosted the second annual Anna Maria Island Sports Awards (AMIS), a night to celebrate the accomplishments of co-ed adult athletes during the 2013 sports seasons.
The popularity of adult co-ed sports on the Island has exploded recently, and it only seemed fitting to have a night to honor the athletes. The Center now runs sports leagues for adults with the youngest age of 18 and the oldest of 72 in a variety of sports including basketball, flag football, kickball, softball, soccer and volleyball. More...
Healthy food can taste greatFeasting 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...