Vol. 16 No. 35 - June 29, 2016
County approves half-cent sales tax for Nov. ballot
BRADENTON – In a historical show of unity, the four island mayors made their case before the Manatee County Commission regarding the distribution of a proposed half-cent sales tax.
According to an ordinance approved by Manatee County commissioners, the tax, if approved by voters in November, would be distributed based on population as provided in Florida Statute. The island mayors' proposal would have allocated 90 percent based on a population formula and 10 percent based on collections of the tourist bed tax to recognize the impact of tourism on their infrastructure.
While they were unsuccessful in that attempt, county commissioners did agree to meet with the island mayors regarding funding specific island projects. More...
Grossman fails to qualify for election
HOLMES BEACH – Commissioner Marvin Grossman did not qualify for re-election last week because he failed to open a campaign bank account, City Clerk Stacey Johnston said Friday.
Grossman along with Mayor Bob Johnson and City Commissioner Judy Titsworth were up for re-election in November. Johnson qualified for his second term and Titsworth qualified for her third term, but no one else qualified, leaving Grossman's seat open. It would have been Grossman's third term. More...
Fourth features food, fun and fireworks
Once again, the Anna Maria Island Privateers will be honoring our nation's birthday with their annual Fourth of July Parade, but the Island's pirates will be passing out scholarships at a new location this year.
That doesn't mean the parade has changed. It will still start at Coquina Beach at 10 a.m. and travel the length of the Island to Anna Maria City Pier.
The public is welcome to participate as long as they don't try to walk the whole route and as long as they sign up at www.amiprivateers.org. Participants are welcome to toss beads and candy, but forewarned: the Privateers love to fire their cannons, so you can expect to experience the sounds and smell of the artillery at any time. More...
Three qualify in Bradenton Beach
BRADENTON BEACH – Three candidates qualified to run for two seats on the Bradenton Beach Commission, but one of the candidate's ability to run in the November will be determined in the August primary election.
Former Bradenton Beach mayor and soon to be former County Commissioner John Chappie will face first-time candidate Bill Vincent in the race to fill the Ward 4 seat being vacated by third-term commissioner Jan Vosburgh.
Vice Mayor Ed Straight was the only candidate to qualify in Ward 2, which encompasses the area north of 17th Street and south of 23rd Street.
Prior to the qualifying period, Vincent distributed an e-mail seeking additional Ward 2 candidates but those efforts proved unsuccessful. Thus far, Vincent is the only candidate to report campaign contributions ($1014) and expenditures ($85.95), but that is expected to change during the next reporting period when Chappie initiates his own campaign fundraising efforts. More...
Five qualify in Anna Maria
ANNA MARIA – Four candidates qualified to run for two Anna Maria City Commission seats and Mayor Dan Murphy was the only candidate to qualify for the mayor's race.
Seeking his second term in office, Murphy will run unopposed.
When asked how he felt about not being challenged, the incumbent mayor said, "I'm very surprised that this is the way things turned out. I expected someone to run. I knew that running a campaign would between now and November would take a lot of my time away from the job. Now I have time to concentrate on accomplishing our goals." More...
Five qualify in District 3 and District 7 county races
MANTEEE COUNTY – In the Manatee County Commission races that Island voters will get to vote in, three candidates qualified for the District 3 race and two candidates qualified for the District 7 at-large race.
The winners of these two races will be determined in the November elections.
Former Holmes Beach Commissioner David Zaccagnino, current Manatee County Planning Commission member Matthew Bower and Bradenton real estate consultant Stephen Jonsson are the three candidates seeking to succeed resigning District 3 Commissioner John Chappie. To date, Jonsson, a Republican, has raised $59.954. Running with no party affiliations, Bower has raised $17,345 and Zaccagnino has raised $12,140. More...
Mayors seek meeting with FDOT secretary
ANNA MARIA – Island elected officials once again decried the fact that they have received no responses regarding their list of suggestions to immediately impact traffic congestion on the islands.
In March, the four island mayors submitted the list to Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), neighboring cities, Manatee and Sarasota counties and the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization hoping they could implement some changes without great expense.
At the June 15 meeting of the Coalition of Barrier Island Elected Officials, Longboat Key Mayor Jack Duncan said officials were told improvements would be developed from the list as part of the planned Sarasota/Manatee Barrier Island traffic study. More...
Special events moratorium enacted
ANNA MARIA – City Commissioners have enacted a three-month moratorium on the issuance of special event permits that will remain in effect until an amended special events ordinance is adopted.
The moratorium and the commission's unanimous desire to strengthen the existing special events ordinance is directed primarily at commercial weddings taking place on the city's public beach areas and street ends.
The moratorium was enacted during the Thursday, June 23, commission meeting, which also featured continued discussion on amending the special events ordinance and permitting process. These issues were previously discussed at the June 9 commission work session, at which time multiple special event permits applications submitted by a professional wedding planner from St. Petersburg were denied. Another of his applications was denied last week. More...
Bradenton Beach student excels
BRADENTON BEACH – Ella Bisio slept in Monday morning, but her parents didn't mind. The King Middle School graduate spent most of Sunday trying to get home from winning a national award for a project to promote oral hygiene among Anna Maria Elementary School students last school year.
Ella, Tamara Clemann and Alyssa Ely finally arrived late from their trip to Nashville after stopping to refuel in Orlando and avoiding thunderstorms in the area.
Ella, who will attend Manatee High School next year with her two companions, said winning the Health Occupation Students Association Leadership Council award was very exciting. More...
Fishing with Captain Joe Harley
I was ready, but frankly surprised, when a tarpon rolled in the slue 50 feet ahead of the boat. Captain Joe Harley instantly cautioned me to hold my cast, but then gave me the nod to make a presentation just seconds later. I made the cast and stripped two times before the line came tight. At the same instant I set the hook, a baby tarpon made a classic head shaking jump high into the air, scales rattling as water shower from its body.
Moments later, the tarpon made a second and then third jump, each one as spectacular as the first. As the fish made a short but strong run, I realized that I had all the tarpon my eight-weight fly outfit could handle and hoped my bite tippet would hold until I got the fish to the boat. I had rigged with a 40-pound fluorocarbon bite tippet expecting a much smaller fish. This tarpon, at close to 25 pounds, was having nothing to do with my attempts to get it quickly to the boat. On three or four occasions, just as Harley reached for the fish, it again leaped from the water showering both of us. More...
Home financing not getting easier
Will the interest rates ever go up? Maybe yes, maybe no. Only the Federal Reserve knows for sure, and they're not talking. Then again, maybe they don't even know.
The Federal Reserve seems to have us on a string. One month they're suggesting that the prime interest rate could go up affecting short term loans, credit card debt, home equity loans and car loans; and then the next month they're saying well maybe not this month. We all know that mortgage rates are tied into treasuries and are not always directly affected by an increase in the prime rate, but since the system is really codependent, at some point mortgage rates will reflect the increase. More...
Island Time celebrates five years
Everyone knows that island time is the best kind of time. And where's the best kind of place to enjoy the best kind of time? Island Time Bar & Grill in Bradenton Beach.
For five years, Island Time Bar & Grill has contributed to the lively activity at the Bradenton Beach roundabout on Gulf Drive. Offering indoor and covered outdoor seating, the sidewalk seating features eye-catching red umbrellas that make this trendy, casual eatery an inviting local hot spot.
President and General Manager Bill Herlihy, originally from the state of New York, grew up in the restaurant business. His father was a chef, and he started working in restaurants as a teenager, learning the business from the ground up. More...
Reverse mortgages worth another lookInvestment Corner
I have written about reverse mortgages over the years, at least twice here in the Sun. My advice was that reverse mortgages were expensive for the borrower, but in the case where a retired person or couple had run out of assets, using the equity in their home through a reverse mortgage wasn't the worst idea in the world.
I'm bringing the topic back one more time because some changes in federal guidelines have made the reverse mortgage a more attractive option for those who are over age 62, that own their home free and clear of another mortgage and who are concerned about the possibility of running low on retirement income during their lifetime
Space limitations don't' allow us to go into a full primer on reverse mortgages, but let's hit some of the highlights. More...
The Feast captures youth soccer championship
With summer break in full swing, the oldest elementary school age futbol players played one last game in the spring season at The Center on Mon., June 13. In the 8- to 10-year-old league championship game, which was delayed by Tropical Storm Colin, The Feast matched up against Team Blue Lagoon Landscape.
Blue Lagoon, coached by Tom Baugher, played with heart and passion for their team and substitute Coach Jessica Baugher. Competing with only six players in the entire game, Coach Baugher encouraged and praised her team through 40 minutes of play.
With Sam Leister in the goal to start for Blue Lagoon, the team could not stop the natural athletic talents of The Feast's Anthony Nguyen, who scored three minutes into the game after receiving a perfect through ball. More...
Turtles walk that extra mile
As if they were taking a cue from Tropical Storm Colin, sea turtles are making a longer trek from the water to a nesting place to ensure nests aren't deluged with water like earlier nests, according to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Director Suzi Fox. Because of that, they are having a problem with furniture, tents and beach toys left on the beach overnight. Fox asks beachgoers to bring in their equipment for the night so mother turtles can get to a nesting place without the threat of getting tangled in something. Remember, these turtles are far more graceful in the water than on the land, especially since the only time they come on land is to lay eggs. More...