Vol. 16 No. 10 - January 6, 2016
No shivering at New Year’s event
BRADENTON BEACH – It was a party on the beach New Year’s Day as nearly 100 people came out to watch, or participate in, Clancy’s Irish Pub’s Eighth Annual Shamrock Shiver at Cortez Beach. The purpose of the event is to raise money as people enlist friends and loved ones to donate a certain amount to see them run into the chilly waters of the Gulf of Mexico during winter.
If those generous friends and loved ones had donated by the number of goose bumps raised, they wouldn’t have raised any money. The temperature was in the 70s, and so was the Gulf.
On a day where the only people in the water would be those daring participants, they had to ask some kids in the water to move out of the way before they made their dash into the water. More...
Sun Person of the Year: Kenneth A. Price, Jr.
HOLMES BEACH – Since growing up on the Island, Kenneth A. Price, Jr. or Andy, as everyone knows him, has been an integral part of Island life.
Price rose from a boy attending programs at the Island Community Center to coach to chairman of the board and from child of a chief to volunteer to chief of the West Manatee Fire & Rescue District, from which he retired in April. Both friends and colleagues praise Price for his dedication to the community and contributions to the safety of its citizens.
“Andy Price has always been like the modern day Andy Taylor from the old Andy Griffith show,” friend Suki Janisch said. “A man who is looked up to and respected by his friends, family and especially the community. You always know he's going to be truthful, honest and thoughtful. More...
Top 10 stories of 2015
For such a small place, Anna Maria Island had more than its share of newsworthy stories in 2015. Everything from the incredible increase in tourism, which prompted many to joke that the Island would sink, to the solving of an eight-year-old murder mystery, could be found in the 52 editions of The Sun.
We’ve put together our own list, in no particular order, of the top 10 stories of the year for you to review, but there certainly were dozens more that could have been included.
Vacation rental boom
To address an increase in vacation rental construction, a proposed building moratorium in Bradenton Beach was proposed but rejected by commissioners in September. It continues to be debated, along with a quality of life ordinance that would address concerns about vacation rentals. More...
Peggy Meyers and Jack Jackson say farewell to PO
HOLMES BEACH – Saying goodbye is hard for many, but especially so for Peggy Meyers and Jack Jackson, who have served most of the people of Holmes Beach at one time or another over the past 21 years.
The couple spent their last day serving the public at the Holmes Beach Post Office on Dec. 31 before retiring and handing the stamps over to the capable hands of Julie Quinlivan and Sally Woodward.
“We’re thrilled, we’re happy,” but we’ll miss the people like crazy,” Meyers said. “We’ve had tons of wonderful customers.”
Meyers said they came to the post office in 1994 after replying to and ad in the newspaper stating that the contract was available. More...
Mary Stephens retires from WMFR
BRADENTON – Although she is retiring as administrative assistant for the West Manatee Fire & Rescue District after 30 years, Mary Stephens said she and her husband, Danny, would always remain a part of the extended family of emergency personal.
“Everything we’ve ever done has involved fire, police and EMS friends,” she said. “I don’t know what our life would have been without that.”
Stephens credits the Holmes family for getting them involved in the fire service after they followed their parents to the Island from Xenia, Ohio, in 1981. Both worked for Holmes Construction and through the company, Danny joined the Anna Maria Volunteer Fire Department (AMVFD) in 1983. More...
Potential bike route unveiled
HOLMES BEACH – Working with Claudia Carlson and the Holmes Beach Bike/Walk Committee, Terry Green has created a proposed bike route map to present to the City Commission at a later date.
Green made the map using the Google My Maps application he recently familiarized himself with.
When asked why he volunteered his time to these efforts, Green said, “I’m not able to do much biking, but I’m very interested in not hitting a biker with my car. That’s a great motivation for many who are interested in this project and who are afraid there’s going to be a bike fatality. The idea is to get folks off the main roads where there are so many cars, and as we continue to develop the map, we want to highlight where some of the more dangerous areas are.” More...
Look back and looking ahead
ANNA MARIA ISLAND – As the holiday season came to a close, some additional elected officials joined their peers in responding to a recent inquiry seeking insight on what was accomplished in 2015 and what remains to be done in 2016.
Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy said, “If I was to list the top four or five accomplishments of 2015 I would say:
• The construction and activation of the cell tower, so we can have good and clear communications within our city and with the rest of the world;
• Finally starting the construction and development of the City Pier Park;
• The establishment of the Building Construction Review Board to help us enforce our codes and ferret out unscrupulous contractors;
• Creating a parking and code enforcement presence seven days a week in order to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe and orderly;
• Hammering out a vacation rental ordinance that will retain our neighborhood charm, while at the same time allowing visitors to enjoy our little slice of paradise.” More...
New Year’s Eve rocks on Bridge Street
BRADENTON BEACH – From one end to the other, Bridge Street was rocking Thursday night as revelers said farewell to 2015 and hello to 2016.
At one end of the street, the new year was ushered in with midnight fireworks on the beach courtesy of Ed Chiles and the BeachHouse restaurant. In the Drift In parking lot at the other end of street, Father Time (David Marshall) and bar owner Joe Cuervo dropped the lighted ball that signaled the arrival of 2016. More...
Area woman named Caregiver of the Year
BRADENTON – Linda Thomas is a remarkable lady.
An attorney who worked out of her house with her husband, Larry, she finally retired to take care of him full time.
Larry Thomas, 97 years old, suffers from dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. He lives at home too, and Linda is his caregiver.
Recently, Linda Thomas entered a contest, sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and she wrote about her experience caring for her husband. A few weeks later, she was awarded the “Caregiver of the Year” award for Florida. More...
When Steve Traves, of AMI Outfitters, decided to buy a boat he did what he always does, check locally. “I kept hearing the name Beavertail come up and found more and friends of the store who owned them or knew someone who did. I decided I had to take a closer look for myself, so I made an appointment to stop by the shop in Palmetto and see the operation.
I was pleasantly surprised at how they custom built them from scratch in a few short weeks with a crew of local men. I discovered that these guys were specialists at all aspects of the build. Each one understood every integral part. These were not employees on an assembly line. These were career minded people who wanted to be part of something great. These were family men with kids to feed. I made my decision right there in the factory.” More...
We’ve still got it
Remember when Florida was where our parents and their parents went to retire? Back then we all called the Sunshine State “God’s waiting room,” and indeed there were streets in Miami Beach and St. Petersburg where it looked exactly like that. Well, thankfully, those days are gone now that everyone is fighting to get in.
According to this year’s Harris Poll taken in November of 2015, Florida placed number one when participants were asked where, excluding your current state, you would most like to live. Florida had previously placed number one in 1997 through 2001, so it’s been a while, but we’re now back on top as Americans’ most desired habitation destination.
With the top three states, California number two and Hawaii number three all being oceanfront states, it’s pretty clear that beach, water and warm temperatures are most people’s choice. However, Colorado coming in at number four and New York at number five remind us that not everyone appreciates the benefits of year round sun. More...
High-income earners can still use a Roth IRAInvestment Corner
Have you ever known something was right for you and been told you couldn’t have it? It can be pretty frustrating. Many high-income earners, who would like to contribute directly to Roth accounts, cannot do so because of IRS income limits. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for high-earners to reap the benefits associated with Roth accounts, such as tax-free growth, tax-free distributions and no required minimum distributions. They may be able to participate in Roth accounts by:
1. Converting an existing Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Anyone can move the assets accumulated in a traditional IRA account to a Roth IRA account, regardless of income. The catch is you’ll owe current income tax on the amount converted. This may be a sound choice if: More...
Sato Real Estate takes the cup
The final game of the co-ed recreational soccer league at the island center was a battle royal between Progressive Cabinetry, the third seed team, and Sato Real Estate, the top finishers in the regular season. With the championship title at stake, both teams came out ready to win at the game opener whistle.
The game started out with Progressive Cabinetry’s Anthony Barberio attempting to take a shot on goal from mid-field. Barberio slipped on the damp field, resulting in a turnover of the ball to Sato Real Estate. This ignited Team Sato through their next four possessions. Sean Flynn, for Sato Real Estate, quickly took advantage of the lost possession, pounding a hard shot and finding the net with less than a minute on the play clock. More...
Turtle ‘terrorist’ case closed, unsolved
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has closed the unsolved case of who ran over and killed three black skimmer chicks, a state species of special concern, and ran over five nests, each holding up to 100 eggs of loggerhead sea turtles, a federally threatened species.
The investigation was closed because of insufficient evidence to bring charges against the unidentified person of interest in the case, FWC spokesman Gary Morse said, adding that the state attorney’s office declined to prosecute the case.
Witnesses to the June 27 incident described a laughing couple in their late 20s in a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with a single headlight around 10:30 p.m. near the Holmes Beach/Bradenton Beach line, aiming at yellow-staked turtle nests and driving over them, running over three flightless baby birds in the process.
The crimes are violations of the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act, ranging from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, carrying penalties of $500 to $1,500 in fines with jail time of 60 days to five years. More...