Vol. 15 No. 1 - October 29, 2014
Dogs rule! Dogs rule!
A perfect sunny afternoon greeted those who turned out for The Sun’s 12th Annual Dog Halloween Costume Contest Saturday at Island Sun Plaza. There were cowboys and girls, some Bob Marley wailers, lady pirates, tiny bikers and even a Betsy Ross – and the dogs had good costumes too! Tin hats off, however, to the Wizard of Paws entry, which took first place in the Most Original category and stole the hearts of everyone. Congratulations to all and Happy Halloween.
New city clerk fired
BRADENTON BEACH – Gia Lancaster’s two-month tenure as Bradenton Beach’s city clerk came to an abrupt end Thursday afternoon, when the commission unanimously agreed to fire her.
The commission appointed Assistant Clerk Terri Sanclemente to serve as clerk pro tempore and acting city clerk and authorized the temporary hiring of a full time contracted employee to assist her.
Mayor Bill Shearon recommended Lancaster’s termination during an emergency commission meeting on Thursday afternoon. The commission supported the recommendation, based on the grounds that Lancaster’s job performance was unsatisfactory. Unexcused absences and failure to distribute time-sensitive city documents and meeting materials were cited as primary reasons for the dismissal. More...
Center director Stiles resigns
ANNA MARIA – Once again the community was surprised by events at the Island Community Center when Executive Director Dawn Stiles submitted her letter of resignation Tuesday, Oct 21.
“I am leaving to return North to the ones I love: family and friends,” said in her letter. “After all, at the end of the day, relationships are what truly make life worthwhile.
“Over the past few very difficult months, it has become increasingly clear that living apart from those I love is not the life I want or anticipated.” More...
Barfords are named Citizens of the Year
ANNA MARIA – Former Mayor Fran Barford and her husband, George, were named Citizens of the Year by the Citizen Recognition Committee last week.
Committee member Lynn Brenan said the couple has lived in the city for 14 years and has been involved in city government as well as Roser Church.
In addition to being mayor for two terms, Fran served as chair of the Planning and Zoning Board and the Citizen of the Year Committee and chaired Roser Church’s long range planning committee.
George was vice chair of the city’s Capital Improvement Committee and served on the Historic Preservation Committee. He is a captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve and a member of several military organizations. More...
Holmes Beach charter questions on ballot
HOLMES BEACH – Voters will be asked to vote on 18 proposed amendments to the city charter in the Nov. 4 election.
There are six non-substantive changes (Articles 3, 5, 12, 14, 16 and 18) to the charter, which include fixing errors in grammar, making provisions consistent with state law and adding provisions to allow for modern technology.
There are 12 substantive changes including:
• Amendment 1: limiting building height to 36 feet;
• Amendment 2: limiting density to 5.8 units per acre in the R1AA and R1 zoning districts and 10 units per care in all the other zoning districts. More...
Full house at Holmes Beach candidates’ forum
HOLMES BEACH – A full house listened as the city’s two mayoral and three commission candidates responded to questions posed by voters in the Sun’s candidates’ forum Thursday.
Candidates Bob Johnson and Commissioner David Zaccagnino are running for the mayor’s seat, and incumbent Commissioners Marvin Grossman and Judy Titsworth are being challenged by Andy Sheridan for their seats. Each candidate began with an opening statement.
Grossman: We are on the road to balancing the needs of our residents with the rights of our visitors and commercial interests to respectfully enjoy our part of paradise. More...
Candidates talk vacation rentals, Australian pines
ANNA MARIA – A capacity crowd packed into city hall on Tuesday, Oct 21, for the Anna Maria Island Sun Candidate Forum. There were agreements and there were disagreements, but it lacked the contentiousness of a Rick Scott-Charlie Crist debate.
At stake are the mayor’s position, between incumbent SueLynn and Dan Murphy, and two commission seats between challenger Dave Bouchard and incumbents Nancy Yetter and Chuck Webb. The two top vote-getters will be seated.
The debate began with each candidate talking about his or her background and qualifications. SueLynn talked about this being her second time serving as mayor and said she was appointed two years ago when Mike Selby resigned because he declined to run for a second term and no one filed to run for the position. More...
Congestion committee to proceed with ordinance
HOLMES BEACH – Congestion committee members plan to ask city commissioners to proceed with an ordinance to eliminate street and right of way parking in residential areas.
They are reviewing sample ordinances from other cities, and Chair Carol Soustek said, “We’re trying to take the best from different cities. I like St. Pete Beach’s because it is exactly what we’re trying to do for the residents.”
Member Pam Leckie they should just eliminate parking on the west side of Gulf Drive because “the others really aren’t affected.” More...
25 years and counting for Bridge Tender Inn
BRADENTON BEACH – The Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar will celebrate its 25-year anniversary with the Bridgestock street festival on Saturday, Nov. 8, from noon until 6 p.m.
Taking place Veterans Day weekend, and “celebrating 25 years of great food and fun,” the family-friendly celebration will feature free admission, food and drink specials, raffles, contests, prizes and live music by Paul Duffy, 12:15 p.m.; Brigid’s Cross, 2:15 p.m.; and BearLee Sober, 4:15 p.m. More...
Chasing false albacore
The first sign of impending action was the vague outline of what appeared to be birds barely visible on the distant horizon. As we got closer, a flock of wheeling and diving laughing gulls and terns came into view along with other groups up and down the beach and offshore. Closing in, we saw false albacore and Spanish mackerel slashing the surface of the Gulf into a froth as they drove schools of baitfish to the surface in an attempt to avoid the ravenous predators.
I was in the boat with Captain Rob Gilbert, and not far behind, Captain Harrison Ford and Steve Traves were readying their fly rods to do battle with the speedy gamefish. Both boats headed for the largest school of feeding fish only to have them disappear below the surface as engines were shut down and casts were ready to fire. Moments later the fish popped back to the surface about a hundred yards away and started feeding on the hapless baitfish. More...
The ghosts of real estate
If you’re in the market to either buy or sell a home, expect a visit from the ghosts of real estate past and real estate future. The ghost of real estate past is pretty friendly, sort of Casper like. He’s polite and straightforward and generally says what he means. But the ghost of real estate future has a little bit of demon in him, cleverly pricing and negotiation properties.
Putting a price on real estate has become a strategic game steeped in psychology. Sellers almost always overestimate the worth of their home and fail to understand that an asking price is just that and should be viewed as a negotiating tool. Buyers don’t care what you paid and how much you spent to improve the home. Furthermore, high end buyers frequently are looking to make their own renovations and will totally discount what changes you made and what it cost. More...
Be safe on the WebInvestment Corner
The Internet is now ubiquitous in our lives. We bank online, trade stocks, check the news and shop, all whenever and from wherever we desire to do it with the aid of wireless devices. Of course, pursuing much of this activity involves placing private information on certain Websites, including account numbers or credit card numbers.
In an ideal world the process would be wonderfully convenient and safe. Unfortunately, the convenience comes at a cost as the bad guys are out there attempting to gain access to our private information to use for their personal gain. Being safe when using the Internet has become vitally important from a financial standpoint, as well as from a personal safety standpoint for our children and grandchildren. More...
Spirit Day at AMICC: sun, fun and soccer
This year’s Spirit Day closed out the regular season for youth soccer at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. As the tradition goes, friends and family come out and support their favorite teams by sporting face paint, ribbons, balloons and bringing spirit and cheers. This year was no exception, and the weather was beautiful for the day’s events.
Area soccer players from 3 to 17 years of age gathered on the pitch to face their worthy opponents and friends. More...