Vol. 16 No. 45 - September 7, 2016
Hermine drenches Island
ANNA MARIA ISLAND – The first hurricane to hit Florida in a decade began as a tropical disturbance that passed over the Island last week, leaving flooded homes, flooded streets, downed trees and sunken boats in its wake.
The tropical disturbance entered the Gulf of Mexico as a disorganized bunch of storm clouds Wednesday. As it formed, the moisture in the air around it developed into rainstorms causing problems for the flood prone streets and yards on the Island and in Cortez.
The city of Holmes Beach put up signs at low-lying streets, with parts of Marina Drive near Holmes Beach City Hall, the Island Branch Library and Wells Fargo Bank having water so deep it forced motorists to proceed at little more than idle speed. More...
Waterline Resort NOT owned by Marriott
HOLMES BEACH – "Marriott does not own one iota of Waterline," declared Joe Collier, after published reports that the hotel chain purchased some or all of Mainsail's investment in the resort.
Collier is president of Mainsail Lodging and Development, of Tampa, which is developing Waterline, the Island's first full service hotel at the corner of Marina and Gulf drives. It includes 37 hotel suites; a lodge with a restaurant, ballroom and meeting spaces; and a 50-boat slip marina.
"It's a part of Marriott's Autograph Collection of hotels, which are boutique establishments that are fiercely independent, but have the advantage of distribution and buying power from Marriot," Collier explained. More...
Term limits maintained
BRADENTON BEACH – By retaining term limits during the Aug. 30 primary election, city voters have determined that Vice Mayor Ed Straight will not be allowed to serve a fourth consecutive elected term on the City Commission.
City voters also determined that the two-year residency requirement for those seeking elected office will remain in effect.
Bradenton Beach voters favored keeping term limits 213 (75.53 percent) to 69 (24.47 percent). The city remains the only one on the Island with term limits for elected officials. More...
Island voters weigh in
MANATEE COUNTY – Island voters helped determine the outcomes of several county, state and federal and primary races during the primary election that concluded Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Island voters joined voters countywide and statewide in supporting a constitutional amendment that will provide tax exemptions for property owners who use solar power and other renewable energy sources.
County voters on the mainland determined the winners of two Manatee County Commission primary races in which the winners will face no additional challengers in November. More...
Man found dead on beach
HOLMES BEACH – Police are investigating the death of 41-year-old Samuel Collins Jr., of Bradenton after a beach walker found his body face up on the shore Sunday morning, They believe it is tied to a drug-related incident hours earlier, when 26-year-old Nathan Swann was found running naked on the beach around 2:40 a.m.
According Bradenton Beach Police Detective Lenard Diaz, Swann's eyes were dilated and it was apparent he was high on something, but Swann could not recall what happened. He said he had come to the beach with Collins, but did not know what happened to him. Police sent Swann to the hospital under the Baker Act. More...
Island Time never forgets
BRADENTON BEACH – On Saturday, Sept. 10, Island Time Bar & Grill and Bridge Street Bistro in Bradenton Beach will host its sixth annual Never Forget 9/11 fund-raiser.
Continuing an annual tradition of honoring first responders and military personnel while also remembering the events that took place on Sept. 11, 2001, the Never Forget event will take place at Island Time, 111 Gulf Dr. in Bradenton Beach, from noon until 4 p.m.
All EMT personnel, firefighters, police officers and active and retired military personnel will receive a complimentary all you can eat all-American buffet with beer, wine and soft drinks included, if they present a valid ID. More...
Have fun and compete at the LaPensee Bowling Tournament
BRADENTON – As summer slowly moves on toward autumn, a chance to have air-conditioned fun is always a treat, especially if there's a good cause.
The LaPensee Plumbing, Pools and Air Bowling Tournament, sponsored in part by the Anna Maria Island Sun, is coming up on Saturday, Sept. 10, at AMF Bradenton Lanes, 4208 Cortez Road W., Bradenton, starting at 5 p.m., and the cause is The Center, of Anna Maria Island.
Thee cost is $30 per person and that gets you three games of bowling and shoe rental, if needed. More...
Beach turnout dips on Labor Day
While Tropical Depression 9 rushed north along the west coast of Florida last week, it disrupted many things, including the Labor Day weekend turnout on Anna Maria Island's beaches.
First came the rain last Wednesday, then Tropical Storm Hermine's feeder bands bringing wind gusts and more rain and by the time Labor Day Monday rolled around, it should have been time for many to hit the beaches. That wasn't the case. While the beaches were busy, they weren't Labor Day weekend busy, according to law enforcement and beach rescue professionals.
Bradenton Beach Police Lt. John Cosby said Labor Day at Coquina Beach was just another busy weekend day, not a beach holiday as in the past. Asked about the activity at the beach, he answered, "It's dead. It's just another day at the beach."
Mar Vista renovations begin
LONGBOAT KEY – The historic Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub will remain open while a new kitchen is installed.
The state-of-the-art kitchen is expected to be completed within four to five months, according to Chiles Group Culinary Director Erik Walker.
"Food is our top priority," Walker said. "We are really excited about the additional offerings we can provide to our guests, like chef's tasting menus showcasing many of the sustainable seafood projects we are a part of as well as the produce and herbs from our farm, Gamble Creek." More...
You ain't nothing but a houndfish
The first run caught me off guard as line disappeared from my reel in a shower of spray, rooster tailing across the flat. After going over 50 yards into my backing, the houndfish danced across the surface in a series of spectacular leaps. I gained backing until I had my fly line in sight, only to have it disappear again as the aerialist ripped off another 20 yards of backing, making numerous jumps. It took me another 10 minutes to land and release the houndfish, giving me an unexpected appreciation of this underutilized species.
I was being introduced to this spectacular action by Steve Traves, of Anna Maria Outfitters. He had spotted a platoon of them a few weeks before and had some great action while wading. He was impressed with their aggressive nature, attracting and catching them on flies. At first I dismissed his enthusiasm when he excitedly told me he had found a new target. That all changed when that spirited opponent took my fly. On his first trips, the houndfish wouldn't commit to his flies, but eventually he discovered that tide stage was key. On his last trip, a hard outgoing tide had turned them on, providing numerous hook-ups. More...
Taxes and international buyers
Florida has always attracted a lot of international buyers, and why not? The state has the weather, the beaches and great properties that are frequently bargains to international buyers. Some countries around the world encourage these buyers' others don't and some even punish them financially.
Unfortunately for us, foreign buyers appear to be pulling back from the United States housing market. According to the National Association of Realtors, purchases of U.S. residential real estate by foreigners who aren't residents fell by $10 billion in the year ending March 2016, the lowest level since 2013. The strong U.S. dollar and rising home prices as well as weakening economies in other parts of the world like Europe, South America and China are the probable reasons. In particular, this could impact the Miami luxury market but could also spill over to our coast, where we are already seeing fewer Canadian and United Kingdom buyers. 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...
Salty Printing challenges Harry's Grill
Leading to the mid-point of the youth basketball season, the first two teams to go head-to-head matched up again on Tuesday, Aug. 30. The five-to nine-year old super stars continue to pound the court with outstanding offensive runs and tough defensive play.
With only four players at the game for Harry's Grill, Team Salty Printing showed the type of sportsmanship always encouraged by The Center by also only putting four players into action. Center Grayson Mitchell was joined by his teammates Alex Cox, Kenny Neiring and Colin Bankert.
Salty Printing sent Harrison Schenerlein, Mason Moss, Jack McCarthy and Kieran Cloutier into the game for the tipoff. More...
Turtle nests swamped
Hurricane Hermine pushed the Gulf of Mexico high up onto Anna Maria Island's beaches last week, inundating the 173 sea turtle nests remaining in the sand, but at least one turtle mom was back on the beach to lay more eggs on Friday night, after the storm passed.
Eggs can survive a short time underwater, but after an inspection on Saturday, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring volunteers discovered that about 95 nests were lost, while the rest remained high and dry.
Many of the stakes that were marking the nests were lost, so Turtle Watch volunteers, who scour the beaches each morning for tracks, will be on the lookout for signs of unmarked nests that hatched the night before.
Turtle Watch Director Suzi Fox had volunteers remove Adopt-a-Turtle plaques on the stakes before the storm, so the plaques commemorating or congratulating loved ones are safe. More...