Vol. 15 No. 13 - January 21, 2015
Cell Tower sale delayed
BRADENTON BEACH – City commissioners unanimously denied a request from Florida Tower Partners’ Kevin Barile to sell the recently constructed cell tower and transfer the lease for the city owned land on which it stands to the Boston-based American Tower Corporation.
The commission denied Barile’s request after he provided estimated time frames as to when Verizon and AT&T would install the carrier-specific equipment that will make the tower operational.
Barile said Verizon is expected to have its equipment installed and operational in March.
He was unable to provide an accurate estimate for AT&T due to the company’s $43 billion acquisition of Direct TV, which has led to delays with capital expenditures. Barile guessed that AT&T’s equipment would be in place by summer, and noted that the carrier’s lease with Florida Tower Partners is already generating shared revenues for the city. More...
Holmes Beach imposes building moratorium
HOLMES BEACH – After pleas from Commissioner Marvin Grossman and residents, city commissioners agreed to impose a moratorium on remodeling or construction of homes with four or more bedrooms/sleeping rooms.
“I’d like to call for an administrative moratorium to prevent an influx of another round of permits from coming in before we have an opportunity to fix anything,” Grossman said.
Resident Dick Motzer joined Grossman’s call and stressed, “We are losing the residents to big time investors of multi-family rental units. We need the city commission to step up to the plate once again and grab the bull by the horns.” More...
Recall petition signatures presented
BRADENTON BEACH – On Wednesday morning, Jan. 14, Pete Barreda submitted to acting City Clerk Terri Sanclemente 118 recall petition signatures gathered as part of the efforts to initiate a special election that would determine whether Mayor Bill Shearon remains in office.
Within an hour of receiving the signed petitions, Sanclemente drove to Bradenton and delivered them to the office of Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Michael Bennett.
Bennett’s staff was asked to verify the signatures and determine if at least 100 were submitted by Bradenton Beach residents who are registered city voters. If at least 100 signatures are verified, the recall process continues, and Shearon will be given five days to submit a 200-word written rebuttal to the original petition charges that allege he violated state Sunshine Law when he used e-mail to communicate with commissioners outside of a public meeting. More...
Pier walkthrough precedes opening
BRADENTON BEACH – The weather was cool and cloudy last Wednesday morning, but the mood was cheerful and celebratory as Mayor Bill Shearon and Pier Team Chair and Police Chief Sam Speciale led folks on a preliminary walkthrough of the reconstructed pier that will open to the public on Friday, Jan. 23.
“This is the day we’ve been waiting for,” Shearon said.
“I want to thank everyone for coming today. Let’s go see our new pier,” Speciale proclaimed.
“We had some hiccups in the beginning, but the way the pier looks now is far beyond what we thought it would be. It’s an icon, a focal point of the city, and a fishing pier, so I can’t wait to see people using it again, especially the kids,” Speciale said. More...
Injunction hearing scheduled
BRADENTON BEACH – On Thursday, Jan. 22, 12th Judicial Circuit Court Judge John Lakin will conduct a hearing to address the emergency motion for temporary injunction filed on behalf of Tjet Martin and Jo Ann Meilner.
The injunction is an attempt to prevent the city from constructing a small public parking lot on the west side of Gulf Drive, adjacent to the south end of the BeachHouse restaurant property.
The hearing will take place at 3 p.m. in courtroom 6E, at the Manatee County Judicial Center in downtown Bradenton. More...
Center treasurer reports positive cash flow
ANNA MARIA – Island Community Center Treasurer Jim Froeschile reported to the board of directors on Friday that halfway through the fiscal year, the Center has a positive cash flow and positive net income.
“December was the second month in a row of good results,” Froeschile said. “We are seeing significant improvement in membership that shows the interest is there from the community. We are seeing costs beginning to come under control with the things the two directors are doing.”
He said cash reserves are $100,000, and with the upcoming events, memberships and donations, the positive cash flow should continue. That also includes continued support from grants and the Island cities. More...
City moves fast to settle Bert Harris claims
ANNA MARIA – Bradenton Beach City Attorney Ricinda Perry made her first appearance as interim Anna Maria city attorney since the firing of James Dye, and she showed great skill in reacting to criticism and moving fast when time runs short.
After Mayor Dan Murphy introduced Perry to the commission and audience, resident Dave McCormick spoke, saying he felt getting rid of the former city attorney was a step in the right direction, hiring Perry was not because she had represented builders in the past and he was afraid she would have a conflict of interest. That’s when Chuck Webb, an attorney, stepped in.
“I have know Ms. Perry for 10 to 15 years, and I suggested her to the mayor” he said. “I am confident of her ability; I am confident of her ethics.” More...
Southern humor at Island Players
The Island Players will perform “Dearly Departed,” by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones, from Jan. 22 through Feb. 8 at the theater, 10009 Gulf Drive, at the corner of Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue. Performances are at 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 2 p.m., on Sundays.
Set in the backwoods of the Bible Belt, “Dearly Departed” is a comedy about the Turpin family who prove that living and dying in the South is seldom tidy and always hilarious. Problems plague the family as they try to pull themselves together for their father’s funeral.
Directed by Kelly Lynn Woodland, there are 12 people in the cast – five newcomers and seven veterans. More...
Boat builder commences historic endeavor
CORTEZ – Florida Institute for Saltwater Herita the board’s permission to move the ship to the Boatworks property on 116th St. W.
“I want to take the Boatworks to the national level, and this will give us national credibility,” he told the board. He said he plans to invite students from Northern boat building schools to spend their winters restoring a ship that is 10 years older than Cortez. More...
Digital catch and release
Digital cameras, including those in our smart phones, allow us to capture images of our catches, making catch and release all that much more rewarding. Photography has never been easier, and anglers can enjoy this amazing technology no matter what their level of expertise. Most digital cameras and most smart phones also come with software (or apps) that let you enhance the image, crop the size and share the final product in a number of ways. You can send the images via e-mail straight from a phone, or download them, edit, and print them out to frame and display.
Even though taking a picture may be easy, there are a few basic rules that will help you capture a better digital image.
• Before ever leaving the dock, be sure you have fresh batteries, memory cards with enough space to record your images, a clean lens and a cleaning cloth. More...
Into the spin zone
It’s all about the spin, whether you’re talking about politics, negotiating with your 14-year-old about appropriate school clothes or analyzing real estate sales numbers. If the facts don’t support your argument, just give it a little nudge into the spin zone.
According to recent statists, the U.S. housing market has not delivered the lift to the economy during the past year that economists predicted. According to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price report released the last week in December prices nationwide increased only 4.6 percent for the year that ended October 2014. This was down from 4.8 percent in September and far below the 10 percent plus gains that we were seeing in the first quarter of the year. Also, the National Association of Realtors estimates that 2014 sales will ultimately end up below the 2013 level, the obvious wrong direction.
However, many economists, including Stan Humphries, the chief economists of the real estate data firm Zillow, indicated that slower price growth should be helpful down the road for the economy. When prices of homes rise at levels closer to wages, more people are usually able to buy homes. 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...
Saint Stephen's soccer benefits from Island talent
For so many young boys, the Anna Maria Island Community Center is the backdrop for their first experiences on the soccer field. The Center’s recreational league was exactly this for 10 special young men who are now proudly wearing green and gold for the Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School Falcons middle school boy’s soccer team.
Under the coaching expertise of Anna Maria Island resident Paul Hayward, these players, who have their roots in the Island sand, had a spectacular season this winter. Leading this year’s team were Dylan Joseph, Josh Class and Alex Rodriguez. These three eighth-graders were team captains for Saint Stephen’s and were seen as the players to emulate by the sixth graders new to the team. Jack Groves and Jim Cass proudly represented the seventh grade to help the team to its success. The strength of the sixth-graders who joined the team this year came from Jack Barnes, Sean Rodriguez, David Daigle, Tony Rappold and Grayson Chatt. All of these boys have or still play soccer at the Community Center. More...