Vol. 16 No. 36 - July 6, 2016


Fitness owner asks city to withdraw Center funding

HOLMES BEACH – AMI Health and Fitness owner Jen Crady asked city commissioners to withdraw funding for The Center of Anna Maria Island at last week's commission meeting.

Crady reminded commissioners that last year she asked for city and community support after learning that The Center was installing a fitness center, which would threaten her fitness center as well as Island Fitness. At the time, city commissioners withheld their funding for The Center until they got further information.

"Well for lack of better words, we got punked, and I hate to say it, but I told you so," she said. "They lied.

"The cities released their funding, and within a few short weeks, equipment was in place, memberships were sold to vacation properties at rates we could never compete with and their original plan was underway. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCity day dock reopened

BRADENTON BEACH – The efforts of N.E. Taylor Boatworks owner John Banyas and City Commissioner Jake Spooner saved the city $50,000 and resulted in the storm-damaged city day dock being reopened in time for the Fourth of July weekend.

Banyas and a two-man crew that consisted of his son, Cole, and stone crab captain Chris Masse, arrived at the Historic Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach Wednesday morning, June 29. They then proceeded to detach the section of floating dock that was damaged during Tropical Storm Colin and led to the day dock being closed in early June.

Once detached and properly positioned, Banyas used his commercial fishing boat, Lily Ann, to tow the removed section of dock across the Intracoastal Waterway and over to his boat works in Cortez. More...

Benderson representatives protest moratorium

HOLMES BEACH – Two representatives of the Benderson Development Company protested the city's moratorium on franchise, or formula, businesses, calling it an attempt to block a new tenant, however, city commissioners said that was not their intent and changed the wording in the ordinance.

The issue began when commissioners learned that Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins were planning to open in storefronts in the Anna Maria Island Centre, owned by the Benderson Development Company.

At last week's City Commission meeting, Todd Mathes, director of development for Benderson Development, said, "It's fair to say this moratorium that's being proposed is a reaction to Dunkin Donuts, our tenant. It's dated June 14, the same date we received comments on the building permit. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story BP check puts The Center in the black

ANNA MARIA – The Center will be in the black for the fiscal year, which ended in June, thanks to a check from BP.

Executive Director Kristen Lessig told board members last week that the BP settlement for lost income as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was for $174,000.

Treasurer Jim Froeschle had reported that there was a $57,000 loss in May and an anticipated loss of $90,000 for the year, which changed with the BP check.

He said Center officials had an aggressive plan for program revenue, which fell short, as did anticipated increases in city funding. More...

Chiles offers corporate memberships to The Center

The Center is partnering with the Chiles Restaurant Group to pilot a corporate membership program for its more than 300 employees. The Center is hoping that the relationship with the Chiles Group, the largest employer on Anna Maria Island, will lead to additional partnerships with other area businesses, both large and small.

Through the program, employees will be given access to the fitness center at no charge. The Chiles Group will reimburse The Center on a monthly basis at a rate of $3 per usage per employee. Employees will only be required to pay an initiation fee of $20 for the upfront investment of membership.

In addition to use of the Fitness Center and access to an array of health and fitness classes, tennis and pickleball, employees will have access to the playground, field and gymnasium during non-program scheduled times. Finally, they will receive significant discounts on participation in The Center's specialty, sport and youth program offerings, to include afterschool and seasonal camps. More...

Basketball, football leagues to start

The youth basketball league will start at the Center on Aug. 2, and players must register by July 15. Registration is available on-line at Centerami.org or at The Center at 407 Magnolia Ave, Anna Maria.

Players will be evaluated at 6:30 p.m. on July 18 for 5- to 7-year-olds, July 19 for 8- to 10-year-olds, July 20 for 11- to 13-year-olds, and July 21 for 14- to 17-year-olds.

The cost for the league is free for members with a $5 processing fee and $90 non-members. Schedules will be made after evaluations.

There will be coaches and players clinic on July 18, 19 and 20 at 6:30 p.m. by Bradenton Christian Boys Basketball Coach Scott Townsend and players. Attendance is recommended for all players. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTree house motion withdrawn

HOLMES BEACH – One day before a scheduled hearing with a special magistrate, tree house attorney David Levin withdrew a motion for a stay pending appeal.

In May, Special Magistrate Kelly Fernandez ruled that Richard Hazen and Lynn Tran, owners of the tree house on the beach in front of Angelino's Sea Lodge at 103 29th Street, did not bring it into compliance by removing the violations or demolishing the structure. She ordered a fine of $50 per day starting from July 22, 2015.

Following the ruling, Levin filed a notice of appeal of the fine to the circuit court. He also filed a motion for stay of enforcement of the order imposing the fine pending appeal. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHot time on the Island

The festivities began with the Anna Maria Island Privateers Fourth of July Parade that started at Coquina Beach and ended at the Anna Maria City Pier.

The Privateers estimated about 130 vehicles in the parade, counting bikes and other modes of transportation. It was smaller than last year's 150 vehicles.

One Privateer said there seemed to be more people lining the streets and more people using squirt guns in the parade, to the dismay of those trying to shoot pictures of them.

Golf carts were popular because they were easy to adorn with red, white and blue decorations. gfnMore...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe basics of tying knots

Your fishing tackle can be the best money can buy. You can use the perfect bait, lures and flies, but get one of the smallest details wrong and all your effort can be in vain. One of the most important components that can mean success or failure has never changed and that's tying your knots correctly. The average angler doesn't need many knots, but it's critical that they be tied properly. Learning to tie knots correctly may seem a minor part of the fishing equation, but you won't meet many anglers who haven't lost a great fish to an improperly tied knot!

The place to learn and practice knots is at home and not on the water. With some practice, you'll be able to learn a number of important knots with good instruction, a pair of pliers and some spools of line. Then when the action is hot, you'll be ready to tie that all important connection between you and your fish. Below are a few tips on tying knots that won't fail you and that will handle most every fishing situation you'll encounter in the Gulf or on the bay. More...

real estate

Freedom and owning a home

It's summer, its hot, termites have discovered your deck, the palms need to be topped and your air conditioner is blowing out hot air. By now you're wondering, "Why do I own a home?" Well, I'm here to tell you the benefits for both your lifestyle, your bank account and the freedom to enjoy the American dream, which we just celebrated.

Cultural thinkers have always told us that owning a home is associated with less crime, better health, better education and generally more of a social and neighborly population. In addition owning your home has always been the best way to accumulate wealth for the average person, since even if your home doesn't appreciate during the time you own it, which it historically does, paying down a mortgage is a forced savings.

Most everyone who has a home mortgage knows they can deduct the interest on that mortgage up to $1 million dollars for a joint filing and $500,000 for a single filing. This deduction is eligible for both first and second homes. But many homeowners don't fully understand the capital gains laws as it relates to selling your home. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryIsland 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...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Reverse mortgages worth another look

Investment 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...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAdults battle in the playoffs at The Center

The Island kids are off playing in the sun and sand, attending summer camps, enjoying time away from school, while waiting for the next youth recreational sports season to start at The Center. The adults, on the other hand, are sweating it out on the basketball court and pitch finishing the spring seasons in the playoff games leading to the championship games in each sport.

Playing each Tuesday night, seven teams battled week after week until four teams go on to the semi-finals. Finishing with a perfect record, Team Jackson, lead by Antwan Jackson finished the season on the top of the leader board. With two losses each, Teams Sapanora and Team Calvary move on to the second round of the playoffs. Team Aaron had a winning regular season and captured the final spot in the semi-final round with a record of four wins and three losses. More...


No turtle left unadopted

"Life is like an ocean. It can be calm and still, or rough and rigid, but in the end, it is always beautiful."

Sentiments like this commemorating both lost and living loved ones are popping up all over the beaches of Anna Maria Island as loggerhead sea turtles lay their nests and Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring volunteers stake them off and post them with adopt-a-nest plaques.

The program, a fundraiser for the not-for-profit organization, is so popular that Turtle Watch is accepting requests for nest adoptions on a waiting list for this summer, contingent on the cooperation of the turtles. More...

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