Vol. 14 No. 33 - June 11, 2014
Sending out an S.O.S.
ANNA MARIA – About 200 people gathered in the Anna Maria Island Community Center gymnasium Wednesday evening to discuss potential solutions that might help the Center escape the dire financial straits it has sailed into.
During the June 4 town hall meeting, Executive Director Dawn Stiles and board Chairman Scott Rudacille stood before the assembled citizenry and presented a blunt assessment of the Center’s operations. More...
Pier bids tossed; city calls ‘do-over’
BRADENTON BEACH – It is back to the drawing board for the Bradenton Beach City Pier reconstruction project.
Based on recommendations made by City Attorney Ricinda Perry during Thursday’s special commission meeting, commissioners unanimously agreed to rescind the pier reconstruction contract previously awarded to Duncan Seawall, and to discard all bids previously received.
On May 22, the commission selected Duncan Seawall by a 3-2 margin as the firm that would rebuild the city’s historic fishing pier. The decision was based in part on the Pier Team advisory board recommendation that the contract be awarded to Duncan or Tampa Bay Marine, with no preference given between those two. More...
Friends remember a beloved city clerk
BRADENTON BEACH – The city lost a dear friend when former City Clerk Nora Idso passed away early Monday morning after a tough battle with brain and breast cancer.
Idso served the city as deputy clerk, clerk and treasurer for nearly 15 years. Last week, prior to her passing, she was honored by those who knew and loved her.
During Thursday’s commission meeting, Commissioner Jan Vosburgh proposed that a commemorative plaque bearing Idso’s name be placed on a pier bench when the pier renovations are complete. The commission unanimously supported her request. More...
Resort tax to fund beach improvements
Soon, 25 new changing stations and 13 new bike racks may be installed at Manatee Public Beach, Coquina Beach and Bayfront Park with $75,000 from tourism resort tax funds.
The Manatee County Tourist Development Council (TDC) voted unanimously on Friday to recommend that the Manatee County Commission spend $50,000 on the changing stations and $25,000 on the bike racks, which will be shaped like sea turtles, fish and other marine life. More...
Commission calls for software purchase
BRADENTON BEACH – The debate over the use of the Microsoft Office 365 software suite has been resolved at an additional cost of $4,000.
This will be in addition to the $25,000 in computer upgrades approved by the city commission in February and overseen by Friendly IT Management.
During a June 2 emergency meeting called by Mayor Bill Shearon, commissioners voted 4-1 to spend $4,000 on the outright purchase of the software needed to make staff’s new computers and existing e-mail system operational. Attorney’s fees and a request to purchase additional monitors will result in a total expenditure not to exceed $6,000. More...
Island leads property value recovery
The numbers are in from the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s office for the upcoming fiscal year, and they confirm what many have noticed – real estate is becoming a profitable investment again.
The taxable property value for all the property in Manatee County rose 6.76 percent from $24,130,431,399 to $25,762,257,122, but the rise in property values was higher in Anna Maria, which went from $646,400,029 to $717,081,702, a jump of 10.9 percent. Holmes Beach values rose 8.07 percent from $1,320,420,947 to $1,427,001,947. Bradenton Beach values went from $407,289,387 to $426,490,360, a 4.71 percent increase. More...
Proposed Manatee County budget released
The $527 million 2014-2015 fiscal year spending plan Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker delivered to county commissioners last week contains no proposed property tax increases, but homeowner’s tax bills may still increase due to property values rising by more than 6 percent.
The county budget will increase by almost $8 million next year, and the higher property values will help the county fund employee compensation increases, a new public safety radio system, a computer-aided dispatch infrastructure and other technology upgrades. More...
Fertilizer ban in effect for summer
The partners of the Be Floridian fertilizer education campaign remind residents of Manatee County that they can’t apply nitrogen or phosphorous to lawn and landscape plants from June 1-Sept. 30.
But that doesn’t mean your grass will turn brown, shrivel up and die – garden centers offer a variety of summer-safe yard products that will help keep landscapes green and growing throughout the long, hot summer. Look for fertilizers with 0 as the first two numbers on the label, as in 0-0-6. These do not contain either nitrogen or phosphorous. More...
Hotel variance approved
BRADENTON BEACH – Special Master William Robinson Jr. has ruled in favor of a variance request for a reduced front yard setback that could lead to the construction of a small hotel on Ninth Street North.
As part of their efforts to build a two-room hotel on their vacant lot at 113 Ninth St. N., Gulf Drive Café owners Wendy and George Kokolis sought the city’s permission to reduce the front yard setback required by city code from 25 feet to 10 feet, as measured from the edge of the city right of way. More...
Knots: strengthen the weakest link
Fishing tackle and techniques have never been more technical, but the most important component of the angling experience has never changed. You can have the latest tackle, the most refined technique and great luck and still come up short if you haven’t been careful when tying knots. Learning to tie knots properly may seem a small part of the fishing equation, but it is one of the most critical and overlooked.
You won’t meet many anglers who haven’t lost a great fish to an improperly tied knot. You don’t need to master a lot of knots, but learn the basic ones, tie them correctly and you’ll improve the likelihood of landing that fish you’ve been working so hard entice. More...
First impressions count
Will Rogers famously said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” We all know he was talking about personal relationships, but making a first impression when you’re selling your home is just as important and can translate into real dollars.
If you think back about what your first impression was of the homes you’ve fallen in love with, something about the property always stands out – an emotional connection that triggered the reason you bought the house. It could have been the sweeping stairway in the entry or the sunset going down at just the right time or the gourmet kitchen you always wanted. But sometimes the trigger is more quiet, a trigger that you’re not really aware of. More...
Warren Buffett likes indexingInvestment Corner
The most often quoted investor of our time, Warren Buffett, recently made a statement that if he pre-deceased his wife he would recommend that she put 90 percent of her inheritance in an S&P 500 index fund and 10 percent in a short term government bond index fund.
This remark caught the attention of many since Mr. Buffett has become famous for his active and concentrated investment approach which has soundly beaten the S&P 500 over the last 30 years. The idea of passively indexing an investment portfolio is not a bad one, but brings challenges for the average investor. More...
Youth basketball champions
The Anna Maria Island Community Center youth spring sports season has now been concluded. On Friday night, all three youth division basketball championship games were played. On Saturday morning, the youth baseball champions were crowned World Series victors.
In the 8-10-year-old youth basketball league, the Beach Bums team defeated the Island Real Estate team by a score of 17 to 4. Sean Rodriguez led the scoring with 10 points. Male MVP award winner, David Daigle added three points. Jack Proctor and Nick Yatros each added two points for the Beach Bums team championship victory. For the Island Real Estate team, sportsmanship award winner Shawn Balvin scored all four points for his team. More...