Vol. 16 No. 11 - January 13, 2016
County: Renourishment money at risk
HOLMES BEACH – City officials received a stern warning from Manatee County regarding implementing any parking restrictions that could jeopardize beach renourishment funding.
At press time, the City Commission is slated to vote on an ordinance that would establish a parking program in a test area where parking on the rights of way would be banned, except for residents with permits. At the last discussion on the ordinance in December, Mayor Bob Johnson vowed to veto it if it is approved.
In a unanimous vote, Manatee County Commissioners asked County Administrator Ed Hunzeker to write a letter to city officials. In the Jan. 7 letter to Johnson, Hunzeker said, “While such actions are clearly authorized by your local ordinances, please be aware that any such actions which have the effect of reducing public access to federal and state funded renourished Gulffront beaches within the city limits may have direct and immediate consequences upon state and federal cost shares provided to Manatee County for the 2014 renourishment project and any future renourishment projects.” More...
Manatees headed off endangered list
Manatees are one step closer to being reclassified from endangered to threatened status, an indication the species is no longer in danger of extinction, according to federal wildlife officials.
Protected as endangered since 1967 under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the West Indian manatee, including its subspecies, the Florida manatee, “no longer meets the Act's definition of endangered and should be reclassified as threatened,” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
The ESA defines an endangered species as being “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,” while a threatened species is “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” More...
Parking tickets getting automated
ANNA MARIA – The issuance of parking citations and the collection of fines associated with those citations will soon become a much more automated process.
Last month, the City Commission authorized Mayor Dan Murphy to enter into a contract with the New York-based Complus Data Innovations to use the company’s FastTrack ticket processing, collection and data processing services.
Complus will provide the city with two Casio IT 9000 ticket writers, two software licenses, one receipt printer and a cash register drawer. The company also will process online payments by those who receive parking tickets in Anna Maria. More...
FWC to attend shark fishing discussion
ANNA MARIA – While Mayor Dan Murphy is on vacation, Commission Chair Doug Copeland is taking the lead on resolving tensions between a commercial stone crabber and the recreational shark fishing community.
The Thursday, Jan. 14, City Commission meeting will feature commission discussion and public input on shark fishing and proposed ordinance language that could lead to seasonal restrictions on launching kayaks and other non-motorized watercraft between sunset and sunrise.
The proposed ordinance language requested by Murphy and drafted by City Attorney Becky Vose was designed to prevent shark fishers from using kayaks to bring baited hooks into deeper water where commercial crab traps are located. More...
Fire district presents annual awards
BRADENTON – Fire Chief Tom Sosa welcomed everyone to the West Manatee Fire &Rescue District annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 6 “to recognize those who serve our organization.
“Our job is about helping others. Whenever the public calls, we’re there to help people in need of help. Our job is risky and dangerous, and we have to be prepared.
“We are committed and dedicated, and we get the job done. These awards are very important to the men and their families.” More...
Emergency injunction requested
BRADENTON BEACH – Bradenton Beach Marina owners Allan and Michael Bazzy have requested an emergency injunction as part of their legal challenge to the Historic Bridge Street Pier sublease agreements.
The sublease agreements the father and son tandem object to were entered into late last year when AMOB restaurant owner and primary pier tenant John Horne agreed to sublease the two small commercial spaces located next to the city-owned restaurant space to Sherman Baldwin, Laura Shely and AnnMarie Nicholas. More...
County prevails in Long Bar suit
BRADENTON – Circuit Court Judge John Lakin issued a ruling last week that continues to deny Long Bar Pointe developer Carlos Beruff the ability to build a marina or dredge a navigation channel through coastal mangroves and into Sarasota Bay.
Lakin heard the case in early December and provided his final summary judgement ruling on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
“Needless to say, we are immensely pleased with the court’s decision,” said Manatee County Attorney Mitchell Palmer.
Lakin’s ruling supported the county’s argument that the four-year window to challenge the comp plan adopted in 1989 expired in 1993. More...
Runners take to streets
HOLMES BEACH ¬– Running shoes will be hitting the pavement on Saturday, Jan. 16, starting at the south parking lot of Anna Elementary School (AME) as the Dolphin Dash gets underway. The 5K race starts art 8 a.m., and there will be a one-mile fun run starting at 9 a.m.
Runners check in at 7 a.m. They can register online at runnergirl.com. T-shirts and goodie bags are guaranteed to those who pre-registered by Jan. 5. The cost for those who did not pre-register is $30 for adults, $15 for children under 18.
Students at AME have been training before school hours on Wednesdays. This event is popular with families, especially with AME students’ families. More...
We have all been here before
One of the advantages of covering a beat like the environment for several decades is that it enables you to recognize deja vu when you hear it, all over again.
The recent U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to downlist manatees from an endangered to a threatened species on the federal level mirrors what happened in not-so-ancient Florida history.
Let’s play a little history game of then and now.
The Coastal Conservation Association, a recreational boating group, petitions the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to reduce the imperiled status of manatees from endangered to threatened. More...
Eco tours offer unique experiences
If you appreciate the outdoors and happen to be here because you value the beauty and diversity of the area, then there is an experience available to you that you need to know about. It’s all made possible by the Science and Environmental Council of Southwest Florida, a consortium of local environmental groups whose mission is to increase science-based environmental understanding, conservation and restoration in the region.
The Council has developed a program featuring tours to highlight the areas natural assets. Realizing that these assets are the foundation of the area’s economy and define its quality of life, the Council strives to inspire outdoor sports and recreation as well as art and culture. More...
Mortgage rules vs. home sales
The never ending battle between government regulation and business efficiency is alive and well within the real estate mortgage industry. The result of the latest skirmish between mortgage lenders and government bureaucrats is a slide in November’s home sales numbers.
In October, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010 took effect. The object of the act was to provide greater protection for consumers in residential loan transactions in order to protect them against ambiguous mortgage terms, much of which contributed to the housing crisis.
Among other changes, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau replaced the previous forms borrowers received at the time of application and before closing on a mortgage. In addition, the rules require lenders to give borrowers the final terms of a loan at least three business days before the closing to ensure they have time to understand the terms and fees assessed in the mortgage agreement. More...
Wealth vs. incomeInvestment Corner
Recently I read an article on CNN’s Money site regarding what level of income it took to be in the top 1 percent of wealthiest families in the U.S. It was an interesting read, but I think the article missed the mark for many readers. Wealth and income are different, although not totally unrelated things.
Wealth is most appropriately defined as “the value of what you have in cash, investments, real estate, and perhaps the value of a business you own.” Income is the rate at which money flows into your household.
For those employed at a job or running a business it is possible to have a very high level of income – it took $429,000 to be a top one percenter in 2015 – but to have very little wealth. Wealth is the result of making more money than you spend and pay in taxes and then accumulating the difference in the form of savings or investment capital to be used to eventually generate income when you no longer wish to work. 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...