Vol. 14 No. 15 - February 5, 2014
Beach project to pause at Coquina
BRADENTON BEACH – Are you trying to make plans to dodge the beach renourishment project on Anna Maria Island?
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers makes no guarantees, due to possible bad weather and equipment problems, but here’s its latest estimate of when and where it will be working this month. More...
Mainsail agreement inches forward
HOLMES BEACH – Despite Chair Judy Titsworth’s declaration that they’ve “beat to death” the settlement agreement, commissioners were reluctant to approve the Mainsail Development Company’s newest conceptual site plan without input from the fire marshal.
Commissioners and company representatives at last week’s commission meeting continued to refine the company’s plans to build guest units, a lodge and restaurant near the corner of Gulf and Marina drives. However, one big issue with neighbors has been the company’s plans to use Sunrise Lane for emergency access. More...
City addresses safety issues on East Bay Drive
HOLMES BEACH – Police Chief Bill Tokajer once again reminded commissioners at last week’s meeting of safety issues along East Bay Drive, where a Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) project includes constructing a sidewalk, trolley stops and shelters.
“Andy Sheridan, a trolley driver sent me video that shows the trolley stop on East Bay and a gentleman entering into the crosswalk and going out in front of the trolley to make his trek across the road, and a car almost hit the him,” Tokajer told the board. More...
Town hall meeting addresses dog park questions
HOLMES BEACH – Mayor Carmel Monti left Friday afternoon’s dog park-themed town hall meeting with a clearer picture of what dog park users and donors want in terms of park improvements.
Spurred by Barbara Parkman’s desire last fall to see a shade structure built in the small dog area,
Rex Hagen donated $4,000, The Sun newspaper donated $4,000, and dog park users collectively raised an additional $1,300. More...
Festival celebrates Cortez history, heritage
CORTEZ – The first Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival 32 years ago attracted several hundred people, much to the surprise of organizers like John Stevely, of the Florida Sea Grant Marine Extension Program in Palmetto, who made the fish chowder.
“We ran out of food before noon,” said Stevely, who remains one of the organizers and gives talks on marine life on the docks during the event. More...
City Clerk celebrates retirement
ANNA MARIA – Friday afternoon, Alice Baird was recognized for 28 years of service as a city clerk on the Island, with a retirement reception at The Studio at Gulf and Pine in Anna Maria.
Baird spent 14 years working for the city of Bradenton Beach, where she started as a deputy clerk and later ascended to the position of city clerk. In 2000, she took her talents to the north end of the Island and began a 14-year stint as Anna Maria’s city clerk. More...
Bill would slow rising flood premiums
The U.S. Senate passed a bill last week that would delay flood insurance premium increases for policyholders with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The bill is an attempt to address flood insurance rate hikes caused by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which phased out premium subsidies in an effort to make the NFIP financially sound. The law caused some policyholders’ premiums to skyrocket, including many on Anna Maria Island, affecting the affordability of homes and businesses as well as real estate sales. More...
Net ban case plays out
CORTEZ – Plaintiffs in a lawsuit to repeal the 1995 gill net ban have filed a brief further explaining their contention that the ban is unconstitutional and violates the equal protection rights of mullet fishermen.
In a case brought by the Wakulla Commercial Fishermen’s Association, the Leon County Second Circuit Court lifted the net ban last October, ruling that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) could no longer enforce the state constitutional amendment banning gill nets. More...
Baird known as a friend to all
ANNA MARIA – Friday afternoon, former city clerk Alice Baird’s colleagues and friends shared their thoughts on the retirement of an Island icon.
Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn said, “We’ll put someone else in the position of city clerk, but we can’t replace her. We can’t replace the knowledge, who she is and how she did her job. We’re going to miss her.” More...
Manatee Chapter of CCA holds annual banquet
On Thursday, Feb. 27, The Manatee Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) will hold its 15th annual banquet presented by Conley Buick GMC at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, One Haben Boulevard, Palmetto, Fla. An open bar, silent auction and raffle kick off the event at 5:30 p.m., followed by a steak dinner and live auction at 7:30 p.m. All money raised will help to continue CCA Florida’s conservation efforts. Auction items include: Exotic trips, artwork, Yamaha engines, Hell’s Bay skiffs, fishing tackle, locally guided fishing trips, and jewelry. More...
Too little, too late
I know we live in a world where every kid gets a trophy and every toddler does a good job sometimes for just a normal bodily function. But when our legislators pat themselves on the back for changing a poorly conceived piece of legislation their bad decisions put in place, chances are we just passed through Alice’s looking glass.
By now, anyone who lives even remotely close to the water has heard about, and probably felt, the effects of the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act resulting in increases for homeowners and business owners. The act phased out some federal subsidies for flood insurance in an effort to reduce some of the National Flood Insurance Program’s $24 billion deficit. 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...
Half time in football is a big deal, and so is the halfway point in the season. Midway through the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s winter NFL Flag Football season, the divisional rivalries are starting to take shape.
The regular season games are important. Each team plays the same amount of games to determine which will be the divisional champions at the awards ceremony. These standings also determine the seeding for the end of the year playoffs on the road to the Community Center’s Super Bowl championships. 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...