Vol. 16 No. 13 - January 27, 2016
Pier injunction request denied
BRADENTON BEACH –The city, AMOB and Paradise Boat Tours won round one of the legal battle regarding the subleased commercial spaces on the Historic Bridge Street Pier.
On Wednesday, Jan. 20, Circuit Court Judge John Lakin issued an order denying Bradenton Beach Marina owners Allan and Michael Bazzy’s request for a temporary injunction. The Bazzys sought to displace Paradise Boat Tours owner Sherman Baldwin from the space he is subleasing from Anna Maria Oyster Bar president John Horne and his We’re Back Inc.
The injunction request was preceded by the lawsuit the Bazzys initiated in November alleging that Sunshine Law violations occurred during the lease negotiation discussions that took place after the City Commission deemed Horne and AMOB as its desired pier tenant in July. More...
Board turns down alcohol for Center luau
HOLMES BEACH – City commissioners voted down a request for temporary use permit with alcohol for The Center beach luau fund-raiser previously planned for Jan. 23 at 102/104 48th Street. The vote was 4-0 with Chair Judy Titsworth absent.
City Attorney Patricia Petruff said the location is a residence in the R-1 zoning district and according to the code, some type of temporary uses would be allowed but they are not defined.
“It’s not clear whether a temporary use permit would be required to do any kind of event or fund-raising event in a residential district,” she explained. “I looked at the list of activities that are normally defined as temp uses and most are not uses appropriate in a residential district.” More...
Island officials seek immediate ways to impact congestion
LONGBOAT KEY – Island elected officials plan to make a list of ways to immediately impact traffic congestion on the barrier islands to present to Florida Department of Transportation officials.
The idea came during a discussion of the FDOT’s anticipated barrier island traffic study, which is estimated to cost $675,000. The Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Agency has asked the FDOT to fund the study.
Longboat Key Mayor Jack Duncan said, “In my opinion, this is a regional infrastructure problem. It’s a massive problem, but the there are opportunities to make adjustments that we can take to FDOT on things that can be done immediately.” More...
Street resurfacing begins
BRADENTON BEACH – Working late last Thursday night and well into Friday morning, a work crew from Paveway Systems Inc. began resurfacing Bridge Street in a manner that left the completed portion resembling a brick street.
Led by company owner and president Tiffany Albright, the crew managed to finish an area of Bridge Street that extended from the east end roundabout to the west end of the Drift In parking lot.
The installation process began with the crew laying down a proprietary stencil product that established the grid-like patterns. The stencil product was then covered a section at a time with an epoxy-like proprietary binding agent that creates a mechanical bond with the aggregate surface material the workers dispensed by hand. More...
Where have all the Cortezians gone?
CORTEZ – It’s not just Anna Maria Island that is losing residents and gaining tourists.
In the historic commercial fishing village of Cortez, just over the Cortez bridge from the Island, only 11 members of the original fishing families still live in their family homes, according to Mary Fulford Green, founder of the Cortez Village Historical Society.
“There are very few natives living in Cortez,” said Green, 90, whose family was one of the original fishing families to settle Cortez in the 1880s. “When I started making the list, I was surprised at the number. So many of the houses are now vacation rentals.” More...
Rental regulations on hold
BRADENTON BEACH – The quality of life ordinance adopted by the previous City Commission will be revisited and amended before any new vacation rental regulations are implemented.
Adopted in early November, the ordinance was never enacted or enforced because the accompanying fee structure for vacation rental registration and initial inspections was never fully determined or adopted by resolution.
During the commission workshop that took place Wednesday, Jan. 13, the commission unanimously agreed the ordinance needed more work. During last week’s commission meeting, the commission formally agreed to suspend any enforcement until the ordinance has been modified. More...
WMFR deputy fire chief retires
HOLMES BEACH – West Manatee Fire & Rescue District (WMFR) held a retirement ceremony for Deputy Chief Brett Pollock on Jan. 19 at the administration building in Bradenton with friends, family and colleagues in attendance.
Pollock’s career spanned 36 years. He began as a volunteer for West Side Fire District in 1980 and was hired as a career firefighter in 1983. He worked his way up the ranks and was promoted to deputy chief in 20000 as West Side’s merger with the Anna Maria Fire District was completed
Fire Chief Tom Sousa thanked Pollock’s family for “giving him inspiration” and his parents for “giving him values.” More...
Officials learn about fertilizer ordinance
LONGBOAT KEY – Island elected officials received an education about landscaping and Manatee County’s fertilizer ordinance at their monthly meeting last week.
“We want to educate everyone about best practices,” Holmes Beach Code Enforcement Officer James Thomas told the group. “Since I’ve been working on the Island, I noticed a lot of landscape folks coming and going, and there are a lot of violations.”
Thomas introduced Michelle Atkinson, environmental horticulture agent for the University of Florida and the county, who said, “My goal with the Manatee County fertilizer ordinance is that I educate the professional landscape folks.
“There is a requirement that all landscapers for hire have a certification,” she said. “We offer a two-hour course plus one hour for testing. It can be done on our Website for no cost or live for $10.” More...
Fresh food fast, not fast food
I read recently that one third of Americans on average eat fast food on a daily basis. As obesity is a huge issue in America, one can only hope that the ever changing food choices we are presented with daily, change more and more towards fresh food fast and away from fast food.
At least on our little slice of paradise, we are fortunate not to have an overabundance of fast food options to fill the immediate cravings we have all given into throughout our busy lives.
It still amazes me, but does not surprise me when a customer comes in to our store and asks, "What sandwiches do you have that are pre made?" More...
The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
The stand of bald cypress trees pierced the cloud studded blue sky, creaking in the stiff, cool, morning breeze. At their base, cordgrass swayed in a sea of motion on the wet prairie bordering the Corkscrew Swamp. Ahead, the sinuous boardwalk, beckoned us to the giants in the ancient cypress sanctuary. Walking into the forest of trees, we paused to contemplate a riot of various ferns that festooned the forest floor, their roots hidden by two feet of tannin stained water. In the distance, a woodpecker created a rhythmic staccato beat, while a beautiful green heron sat motionless on a nearby cypress knee, its reflection mirrored in the tannin stained water.
A closer look revealed a tapestry of foliage and fauna not apparent to the casual observer. Alligator flag thrust its giant leaves above the water’s surface as tiny finches darted among the trees and bushes, harvesting seed. Purple blue spirals of tiny pickerel weed flowers disregarded the cold winter morning, as did the shoots of the broad leaved arrowhead with delicate three petaled white flowers. Slowly, as the morning unfolded and the breezes began to warm, the air became alive with the sounds of songbirds. More...
Interest rates up-up and away?
Trying to time the mortgage interest market is like trying to time the stock market – it’s always a gamble. If you’ve been watching and waiting for just the right time to starting looking for a property and applying for a mortgage, your timing may be up or at least not as great as it was.
When the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25 percent in December after years of not moving the rate, everyone thought, “This is it; mortgage rates are going to skyrocket.” Initially rates dipped a little, but then climbed to around 4 percent, which was the first time they’ve been above 4 percent since July. However, the prognosis is that rates will continue to go up above 4 percent for the remainder of this year. More...
The Clam is jammin'
Everyone of a certain age remembers Cheers, the local hang out bar in the popular television show where “everyone knows your name.” Bradenton may not be Boston, but the welcome will be the same at the Cortez Clam Factory on Cortez Road.
Randy Ellis, Dave Sadler and John Medico, co-owners of the Cortez Clam Factory, had no idea that almost six years after they opened their bar/restaurant they would have overflow crowds almost every night. The owners like to describe their establishment as a “five star dive bar” – kind of an oxymoron, which is exactly the point.
The inside of the Clam Factory or The Clam, as locals call it, is open and rustic with natural wood walls and recently installed hard wood floors. And speaking of recently, in mid-October The Clam went to a no-smoking policy, so if you haven’t been there in a while, you’re in for a nice surprise. There is a combination of regular tables, high top tables and, of course, lots of seating at the two bars. There is no hostess, so just come on in and seat yourself. There are outside tables, a tiki hut on the side and plenty of parking. More...
Retirement planningInvestment Corner
In retirement planning today, researchers and investors typically consider the accumulation and distribution phases separately. Much of modern retirement planning depends on what is known as the distribution rate in retirement, which is the percentage of your assets withdrawn as income each year. This rate is important to compute how much wealth you need to accumulate before you retire. Once you know how much you need to save in total, it is possible to work backwards and determine the approximate savings rate you’ll need during your accumulation phase. This rate is often known as the safe savings rate. More...
Island girls rock the pitch at St. Stephen’s
With the close of another soccer season, the Saint Stephen’s Falcons middle school girl’s soccer team found themselves with another winning season. Five of those girls hit the ground running on the Island before crossing the bridge to wear Falcon green.
Lead by team captain Jaclyn Schlossberg, the Lady Falcons finished this year with six wins and one loss. Supporting players Demi Harms and Mikayla Woodard, also eighth-graders, contributed to the on-going and growing success of the team. Stepping up to clearly indicate the future positive development of the team were seventh-graders Emma Laade and Leah Schlossberg. More...