Vol. 15 No. 22 - March 25, 2015
Tour offers unique variety of homes
HOLMES BEACH – The day dawned bright, but not too hot, a perfect combination for the 22nd annual Island Community Center Tour of Homes Saturday.
The enthusiastic crowd loved the variety of homes on the tour from spacious elevated structures to a sprawling historical house to a quaint ground level beach cottage.
The first thing visitors said about Home #1 at 105 49th Street in Holmes Beach was “a view to die for.” Every angle was taken advantage of to capture Gulf views from nearly every room.
A family from the UK was especially taken by the Bahia blue granite kitchen counter tops and Gulf view from that room and said, “It’s amazing; it’s simply wonderful. It’s our favorite so far.” More...
Developers, rental agencies threaten city over rental action
As the city commission continues to try to get a handle on the runaway growth of big vacation rentals in the residential district, rental agents and developers are threatening to sue over the lack of progress or the intent of the city’s actions.
The latest to join the action is Pine Avenue Restoration (PAR), the group behind redevelopment of the city’s commercial district.
Attorney Andrea Flynn Mogensen, PA, sent a letter to Mayor Dan Murphy and the city commission March 12 threatening “expensive litigation” over the ordinance the city is working on to regulate vacation rentals. She said the ordinance violates the state statute making it illegal for a governmental entity to “prohibit vacation rentals or regulate the duration or frequency of rental of vacation rentals.” She said it also “jettisons efforts by the mayor and all stakeholders to arrive at an agreement that best serves the city, and instead advances misguided legal positions contrary to law and equity.”
Mogensen said extending the ordinance to cover the ROR district along Pine Avenue represents an arbitrary revocation of PAR’s vested rights in equity, fairness and the law previously established through an extended public process.” More...
Pier eviction dispute continues
BRADENTON BEACH – The Cast-n-Cage restaurant is still open despite the city’s ongoing efforts to evict its Historic Bridge Street Pier tenants.
The fate of pier tenants Roland Pena and Tami Kemper-Pena remains uncertain, but city officials are already making preparations to conduct a search for a new tenant if the eviction efforts prove successful.
The proprietors of the city-owned restaurant space, bait shop and concession stand are contesting the city’s request to vacate the premises for repeated failures to pay their monthly rent in a timely fashion, including the March 1 payment.
As of Monday morning, both parties were still awaiting a hearing and a circuit court judge’s ruling on the writ of eviction filed by City Attorney Ricinda Perry. More...
Mayor looks at water taxi service
ANNA MARIA – Water taxis played a big part in bringing tourists to Anna Maria in the early years and the mayor is looking to bring back the service from Pinellas County to the Island.
Mayor Dan Murphy says he is investigating the possibility of a charter boat operation coming to the Island, but not to the Anna Maria City Pier.
“The West Coast Inland Navigation District is studying a jetty for Lake LaVista to cut down on the need for dredging,” he said. “If we could extend the jetty out by the mouth of the lake, passengers could use that.”
Murphy said using the pier would place more demand on parking and get in the way of anglers. More...
Global settlement inches forward
BRADENTON BEACH – City Engineer Lynn Townsend Burnett has developed a plan that allows the city to comply with a state-issued environmental permit, while still protecting the city’s interests regarding a proposed global settlement.
During last week’s meeting, Burnett updated city commissioners on her efforts to close out a Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) permit that mandates non-native vegetation be removed from a city-owned property. The permit was necessitated by a 2012 development agreement the city entered into with BeachHouse restaurant owner Ed Chiles. More...
Holmes Beach may lose post office boxes
HOLMES BEACH – Mayor Bob Johnson has appealed to state and federal elected officials to help convince U.S. Postal Service (USPS) officials to keep the post office boxes in Holmes Beach.
‘Without explanation, the USPS has unilaterally decided that more than 230 active post office boxes must be relocated to one of the two government operated post office facilities in Anna Maria at the northern end of our Island or in Bradenton Beach at the south end of our Island,” Johnson said in his letter. More...
Historical luncheon honors founders, others
ANNA MARIA– Members and friends of the Anna Maria Island Historical Society gathered Thursday to celebrate 25 years and honor their founders, Carolyne Norwood and Pat Copeland.
At the luncheon held at The Studio at Gulf and Pine, President Maureen McCormick presented the two with bouquets of flowers and said the group planned to install a Founders’ plaque inscribed with their names on the grounds of the museum park.
“I was taken completely by surprise,” Copeland said. “It was such an honor to be recognized.”
“I was overwhelmed,” Norwood said. More...
Key Royale Golf Club: 50 years
Note: This history is adapted from one written for the club’s 25th anniversary by the same reporter for the Anna Maria Islander Press in 1989.
HOLMES BEACH – The Key Royale Golf Club sparkles like a bright green gem near the north end of Key Royale.
The course and clubhouse are the focal point for many of the Island’s golfers. The club, which began as an exciting and innovative idea more than 50 years ago, was born in an announcement in 1964 by Key Royale, Inc., the key’s developers. More...
The world of wine
The world of wine is changing at a rapid pace. When I first became interested in wines, which was back in the ‘70s, the selection was relatively limited. I remember the sales person in the local liquor store asking if I had ever tried a spatlese, probably because he didn't want to sell me my third bottle of Blue Nun in as many days. I'm glad he asked though, because it was he that piqued my curiosity about wine. At that time, the choices available in a wine shop consisted of a large number of French, German and Italian wines. Then there were the couple of shelves of California wines – jugs of Martini, Christian Brothers and Inglenook come to mind – and don't forget that top or bottom shelf of Cold Duck, Mateus, MD 20/20, Ripple and, yes, Boone's Farm. In fact, in 1975 there was a total of only 330 wineries in California, most of which were not even distributed nationally, no less world-wide.
Today, just 40 years later, there are 4,100 wineries in California. Considering that wine has been around since 3000 B.C., it seems funny to think that most of the wines that were available in that ‘70s wine shop in .750-ml bottles are now mostly referred to as Old World wines. More...
Fly fishing club sponsors casting clinic
On Saturday March 21, the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishing Club, a member of the Federation of Fly Fishers, sponsored a fly casting clinic. The event, held once a year, attracted close to 40 participants both from the club and the public at large.
I participated as an instructor and was joined by FFF instructors Captain Pete Greenan, master casting instructor; Captain Rex Gudgel, master casting instructor; Captain Rick Grassett, certified casting instructor; and Captain Dayle Mazzerelli, master casting instructor. The event was held at Twin Lakes Park on Clark Road.
The morning started with an introduction by Greenan, who went through the fundamentals of a proper cast. While fly casting can be said to be an art, there are physics at play that must be observed. They are referred to as the five essentials and are as follows: More...
Super priority liens
There are a lot of things in life that are boring and tedious, but which we really need to have at least a broad understanding. A discussion of liens against real property is one of those things that could make you go running for the TV remote but even a little information is better than none.
Most homeowners understand that a mortgage is actually a lien against the property; the mortgage must be satisfied before the property can be sold. There can also be other types of liens – tax liens, mechanic’s liens, judgment liens, child support liens. But there is something called a super priority lien that homeowner’s associations can place on a property for non- payment of association fees.
Generally a first mortgage on a property is recorded first and becomes the first lien. If a second mortgage is taken out, it becomes the second lien. Priority is usually established by the recording date and determines the order in which lien holders are paid with the proceeds of a foreclosure sale. More...
Best investments today?Investment Corner
The six-year, bull run for stocks here in the U.S. has lifted valuations to levels that are best described as full. The length of an uptrend doesn’t in and of itself mean it has to end, but I don’t believe we should assume it will continue to rise at the pace of the last few years. We are likely to see increased volatility and the chance of a larger correction in the next couple years.
Likewise, with 10-year, U.S. Treasury bond yields at just above 2 percent, and European bond yields in negative territory, high quality bonds issued by governments and corporations seem more than fully valued. Any rise in rates here in the U.S. would dent the values of these bonds and other interest sensitive sectors, such as traded real estate investment trusts, master limited partnerships and utility stocks. More...
18 & UP Adult Co-Ed Flag Football Super Bowl – March 18
#1 Slims Place Falcons 33
#2 Saints 20
The final two games of the Anna Maria Island Community Center adult co-dd flag football season came to an end last week with the battle between both leagues’ top two finishers. The number one and number two seed teams in the 18 and up and 30 and over adult leagues put their game faces on and fought it out on the gridiron for the last time in the winter sports season at the Center.
On Wednesday night in a close match-up, quarterback Jonathan Moss and the Saints squared off against the number one seed Slims Place Falcons. The Saints were not able to gain a first down on their first possession in part due to the pressure placed on Moss by Max Gazzo for the Falcons. More...