Vol. 15 No. 12 - January 14, 2015
Fishermen school officials on mullet dumping
CORTEZ – Commercial fishermen educated officials about mullet dumping on Sunday afternoon, asking them to pull together with them to stop the practice before the state shuts down the fishery.
The men skipped an NFL playoff game to explain the complex problem, which affects tourism as much as the fisheries, said Mark Coarsey, of Fishing for Freedom, which called the meeting at Fishermen's Hall. The group has a case pending in the Florida Supreme Court to lift the 1995 gill net ban.
“People aren’t going to sit on the beach with stinkin’ rotten mullet” on Anna Maria Island’s Gulf beaches, he said. More...
Congestion committee tweaks parking plan
HOLMES BEACH – Responding to complaints from residents, Island Congestion Committee members refined their residential parking plan to include property owners and those who rent for 30 days or more.
The proposal would eliminate street and right of way parking in residential areas, except for residents with decals. In December, city commissioners asked City Attorney Patricia Petruff and Planner Bill Brisson to draft an ordinance.
“This isn’t about deterring people from coming to the Island, it’s about parking in the right place,” Chair Jayne Christenson said. “It’s about providing public parking, and there will be public parking signs.
“There’s 325 spaces at the public beach and many of our 47 beach accesses have spaces open to the public. People have safe parking, and they’re not walking through our neighborhoods.” More...
Anna Maria fires attorney
ANNA MARIA – After 27 years representing the city, James Dye has been dismissed because of a family-owned rental house that Mayor Dan Murphy feels keeps him from being able to serve when the city commission works on controlling vacation rentals.
At a work session Thursday night, the commissioners voted unanimously to let Dye go. After the vote, Dye packed up his briefcase and told them, “It has been an all too short 27 years.”
After the meeting, Murphy said he wanted to thank Dye for his years of service to the city.
Murphy also called Bradenton Beach City Attorney Ricinda Perry and asked her to serve as interim attorney for Anna Maria. After talking with Mayor Bill Shearon and the city commissioners, she accepted the assignment and was to be officially named as interim city attorney at a meeting set for Tuesday, Jan. 13. More...
City responds to tree house appeal
HOLMES BEACH – Code Board Attorney Jim Dye and City Attorney Patricia Petruff have responded to an appeal to a circuit judge’s ruling upholding the Code Enforcement Board’s 2013 order regarding the tree house on the beach at Angelino’s Sea Lodge at 103 29th St.
The board found tree house owners Lynn Tran and Richard Hazen in violation and ordered them to remove the violations or demolish the structure by Aug. 28, 2013. In September 2013, the board imposed a fine of $100 per day on Tran and Hazen for failure to comply.
The couple appealed both the order and the fine, and in March 2104, they were granted a stay from the order imposing the fine. However, in September, the judge upheld the board’s original order, but the couple appealed it in October 2014.
Dye and Petruff argued against the three points in the appeal. More...
Island should expect challenges from ULI study
ANNA MARIA – Anna Maria Island can expect the Urban Land Institute to recommend major changes, as it did for Longboat Key in 2013, the town’s Planning, Zoning and Building Director, Alaina Ray, told the Island’s ULI study group last week.
“The ULI doesn’t give you the answers you want to hear, they give you the answers you need to hear,” Ray said.
The Longboat Key town commission is following all of the ULI’s recommendations with one significant exception – loosening tourism regulations to allow shorter stays than 30 days, she said.
Among the changes is a plan to bury all utility lines on the key and install fiber optic cable at the town’s expense – about $40 million, she said, adding that residents resist the look of storm-resistant, higher concrete poles such as those installed in Bradenton Beach last year. More...
Pier opening announced
BRADENTON BEACH – City Commissioners were scheduled to get their first close-up look at the reconstructed Historic Bridge Street Pier on Wednesday, Jan. 14.
Accompanied by Pier Team members, the commission walk-through provides commissioners an opportunity to examine and inspect the work performed by Duncan Seawall since the fishing pier area east of the Cast-n-Cage restaurant was closed in August.
It was announced during last week’s Pier Team meeting that the pier will be reopened to the general public with a soft opening scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 23, More...
Parking lot approved, challenged
BRADENTON BEACH – City commissioners voted 3-2 last week to spend up to $14,500 on the construction of a five-space, beachfront city parking lot along Gulf Drive, adjacent to the southern end of Ed Chiles’ BeachHouse restaurant property.
Commissioners Jack Clarke, Ed Straight and Jan Vosburgh approved the new city parking lot, despite opposition expressed by Mayor Bill Shearon and Commissioner Janie Robertson, who favored a $500 expenditure that would have still provided for the state required removal of exotic and non-native plants, minus the parking lot.
City Engineer Lynn Townsend Burnett told commissioners either of the proposed plant removal options would satisfy conditions of the state-issued Coastal Shoreline Protection Permit that Chiles obtained after entering into a development agreement with the city in 2012. More...
Robinson hosts four events
Get back to nature at Robinson Preserve with four free events this week.
On Thursday, Jan. 15, from 10 to 11 a.m., try a Tai Chi and Qigong class to improve balance, loosen joints and improve flexibility as you relax and breathe. The class, suitable for beginners as well as longtime practitioners, will include an exploration of several different styles of Tai Chi and Qigong. The program, led by Sensei Brian Nell, a fourth degree black belt in kung fu and a certified Tai Chi instructor, is suitable for ages 13 and up. Reservations are required; call 941-742-5757, ext. 6.
A master gardener tour is planned for Sunday, Jan. 18, from 9 to 11 a.m. with Master Gardener Sam Starrett. As the weather turns cooler, Robinson Preserve's resident plants undergo a miraculously colorful transformation. See Robinson's salt marsh full of beautiful fall colors. The program is suitable for all ages. Reservations are required; call 941-722-4524. More...
Frigid Dolphin Dash a hit
HOLMES BEACH – The competition in this year’s Dolphin Dash was hot, even if the weather wasn’t.
Runners in this annual fund-raiser didn’t have to worry about overheating as temperatures were in the 40s for the 5-K race at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
Approximately 160 people signed up for the race, and same day entries put hopes on exceeding 200 runners for this event.
Thomas Heckler sang the National Anthem before the 5-K race, and he drew loud cheers and applause from the crowd with his skillful rendering. More...
Angling the Internet
It really wasn’t that long ago that an angler could only get information about fishing by reading about it in books and magazines, watching others fish on TV or going fishing. Now, in the Internet age, fishermen have a wealth of resources to supplement their days on the water. Whatever your interest, answers in the form of You Tube instructional videos, forums, illustrated articles, action videos and much more are as close as your computer keyboard.
Want to learn how to tie a particular knot, or a permit fly? Wondering where the fish are biting or what the tides are for your fishing trip (anywhere in the world) next week? You can even learn about the licensing requirements for an excursion to Venezuela or lodges that cater to fly fishermen in the Bahamas. The Internet has a wealth of wonderful information and tons of junk. You have to know the right questions to ask to get the right answers. More...
Protect against credit fraud
There is one little personality quirk that if you don’t already have, you should acquire in the new year and that’s becoming paranoid. I don’t mean little green men sending you a signal from outer space paranoid, but rather keeping a close watch on your financial information paranoid.
Welcome to 2015, which may prove to be the year everyone with a computer, bank account or credit card runs the risk of being hacked or experiencing a credit fraud. You don’t have to be SONY to have your e-mails and credit information exposed. All you have to be is you. More...
Good habits for 2015Investment Corner
The beginning of a new year is a great time to start good habits or at least try to improve on some of the old bad ones. Losing weight, quitting smoking and getting more exercise top the list of typical resolutions.
Of course, the beginning of a new year is also a good time to review investment results to make sure your portfolio is appropriately positioned for your personal ability to assume risk, both financially and emotionally. There are some great things to do now which can help minimize the impact on your portfolio of an unforeseen event or change in trends.
Rebalance – To rebalance a portfolio you need to have a target asset allocation in mind. Ideally, this allocation should be arrived at through some level of analysis of your tolerance to assume risk. For young investors who don’t need to access their money to produce income for a long time, a portfolio of 100 percent stocks might be OK. For most who are nearing or in retirement, diversification into assets, which may act differently than stocks during a significant market correction, can be important to tone down the volatility, which may cause an investor to make an emotional mistake. More...
AMICC winter sports a growing success
It is Jan. 1, 2007, and the fields at the Anna Maria Island Community Center (AMICC) are quiet, as they have been for so many years before. The game of football had not graced the Island since the day of the youth tackle football team, the Dolphins.
With the closets at the Community Center filled with old Dolphin jerseys and footballs that were only used for pick-up games and youth camps, the athletic director at the time had a vision. That vision was youth flag football at AMICC.
With the success of youth soccer in the fall, parents and kids were looking for an organized sport to play on the Island once they returned from winter break. The Center’s athletic director also knew that the National Football League (NFL) could create the one-two punch necessary to make winter sports at the Community Center a huge success. More...