Vol. 14 No. 28 - May 7, 2014
Wedding day at the beach
HOLMES BEACH – After organizers called off the Food and Wine on Pine celebration for last Saturday due to impending bad weather, the question was whether the Seventh Annual Wedding Festival scheduled for Sunday would be held.
There were likely some who decided not to come, but the forecast held true and Sunday was bright and sunny with cool breezes. More...
Mayor’s race: Monti won’t run; Zaccagnino will
Monti announced that he is not running for office again, Commissioner David Zaccagnino said he plans to give up his seat to run for mayor.
“I will not run for mayor again,” Monti said Friday. “It’s not worth the effort I’ve expended for what comes back in return.”
Monti said he has lost money on his business while attending to the duties of mayor and that he plans to spend time pursuing and expanding his business as well as pursuing other opportunities. More...
Food and Wine canceled due to weather
ANNA MARIA – The much anticipated Food and Wine on Pine event set for Saturday was canceled Friday due to a mass of heavy thunderstorms that moved through the area on Friday and Saturday.
“I am very sorry to say that due to the weather forecast and to ensure the safety of our vendors, guests and volunteers, we have decided to cancel this year's Food and Wine on Pine,” said event coordinator Caryn Hodge. “We regret having to make this decision, but it is unavoidable. More...
Committee to present traffic plan
HOLMES BEACH – Congestion committee members agreed to support a plan offered by City Commissioner Marvin Grossman to split traffic at the intersection of Gulf and Palm drives.
“Part of the problem is that all the cars going to Anna Maria have to go and come back through Holmes Beach,” Grossman pointed out. “Rather than making it one way, we split the traffic.” More...
Use of city field to be limited
HOLMES BEACH – After hearing a staff report on use of the city field at a recent work session, city commissioners agreed to put limits on its use.
Human Resources Analyst Mary Buonagura gave a summary of the field’s use from 2011 to 2015. Days of use were: 2011, 16; 2012, 26; 2013, 22; and 2014, 16; and so far signed up for 2015, 12. More...
E-mail issues divide city commission
BRADENTON BEACH – Emotionally-charged comments made by Mayor Bill Shearon at Thursday’s commission meeting left some wondering if the mayor had resigned after he gaveled the meeting to an abrupt end.
“My hands are tied. If this commission wants to make a decision on everything, so be it. I’m sorry, but I can’t do it anymore without your support,” he said. More...
Legislative session ends, impacting Island
The Florida Legislative session ended Friday night, producing several bills of interest to Anna Maria Island that are awaiting the signature of Gov. Rick Scott.
The vacation rental bill, SB 356, officially known as “Regulation of Public Lodging Establishments and Public Food Service Establishments,” passed on May 1, and becomes effective July 1 with the governor’s signature.
Under the bill, local governments cannot limit the frequency or duraton of rentals unless they had such regulations on the books on or before June 1, 2011. More...
Upbeat speech a winner
HOLMES BEACH – Once again, the fourth and fifth graders at Anna Maria Elementary School held their Manatee County 4H/Tropicana Public Speaking Contest and once again, there were a variety of subjects relevant to kids their age.
Not only were the subjects graded; the kids were also judged on their public speaking ability. Volunteer Charlene Doll and former AME principals James Kronus and Tom Levengood were judges.
The winning speech was an upbeat approach to a not-so-upbeat subject. Kolby Keenan, who made his speech from memory, won with “Lessons Learned from Losing.” More...
If it’s Monday, that must be a mako
If you think Florida Gulf coast beaches are shark free, take a parasail ride and think again.
There they are, those scary shadows that we vainly hope are dolphins holding their breath for a really, really, long time.
But the small sharks that swim within sight of the beach, like the 9-foot hammerhead caught from the shoreline of Bradenton Beach a few years back, are nothing compared to several April reports of seriously big sharks in the Gulf of Mexico. More...
Tarpon – one of fishing's greatest challenges
Tarpon season is poised to get off to an early start this year as anglers start pursuing one of fishing’s greatest challenges. At this time of the year the action can be almost non-existent one day and extremely productive the next. I spent a day on the water with my longtime friend Captain Rick Grassett last week looking for some early season tarpon, and although we spent five hours on the water and had only one cast at a school of about 20 fish, it was a beautiful day on the water. It was time spent with a friend, recollecting other trips of memorable fights and bites. We knew when we went that it was possible we wouldn’t see any fish. Then again it would have been possible to have shots and bites from scores of fish. That’s tarpon fishing! More...
Florida real estate continues comeback
The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again. So why do we torture ourselves every month and look at the real estate performance statistics? I guess we really are insane. This month, though, the news continues to be good, at least for Florida.
Nationally, economists have been disappointed by a string of weaker than expected home sales reports. Sales of existing homes dropped in March all over the country, but especially in areas that were hit by the extremely cold winter weather. Sales of previously owned homes were down 7.5 percent from a year earlier, the fifth straight month in which sales have fallen below the year-earlier level. More...
Old tech is better bet than new techInvestment Corner
In the last two months there has been a big change in how investors are viewing investing in technology companies. For most of 2013 and the first month or so of 2014 investors couldn’t get enough of what I like to call “new” technology companies. These are companies like Amazon, Twitter, Netflix, Facebook and others. In a way they aren’t really even technology companies other than the fact they use the internet to facilitate consumer commerce and communications.
Investor excitement about these fast growing firms drove them to very high prices and extreme valuations. It was a bit reminiscent of the 1999 to 2000 period where technology and dot.com companies were bid up to stratospheric valuations, which ultimately culminated with the NASDAQ market declining 80% in value when the bubble burst. More...
Soccer season opens
The Sun sports game of the week was the opening game of the 2014 AMICC adult co-ed spring soccer season. The opening contest featured the Agnelli Pool & Spas team versus the Jessie’s Island Store team.
The league this year seems to have a lot of new faces, and being the first game of the year, prior scouting of teams showed signs of unexpected play. This game started that way with both teams getting a good feel for each other before things opened up. More...