Vol. 16 No. 50 - October 12, 2016


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMatthew stays away, evacuees flood Island

Very little damage but a flood of evacuees.

That pretty much sums up the extent of Hurricane Matthew's impact on Anna Maria Island and Manatee County last week.

While the gigantic, Category 4 hurricane wreaked death and destruction on Haiti before pounding northeast Florida, AMI and the state's west coast escaped virtually untouched.

Except for the resort industry, which saw an influx of evacuees leave their vacation lodgings in the east, while others redirected their initial travel plans and booked rooms here on AMI. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTide turns but it's still red

Northeast winds forecasted to continue through Friday should blow the red tide bloom that began last month away from the beach and out into the Gulf of Mexico, but could push more dead fish into the canals on the bayside of Anna Maria Island.

The NOAA weather forecast is good news for beachside residents and visitors who have been coughing from the red tide and smelling dead fish, but not so good for residents and visitors on the bayside.

On Monday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reported red tide in medium concentrations in Anna Maria, medium in Holmes Beach, very low in Bradenton Beach, medium at the Longboat Pass boat ramp and high in Longboat Key. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryRoyal flush: Moose Queen revealed

BRADENTON BEACH – The Moose Lodge's Queen of Hearts is hiding no more.

Anna Maria Island Moose Lodge #2188 member Matt Miller has won the $82,594 jackpot that netted him nearly $62,000 after 25 percent of his winnings are withheld for taxes.

Miller was not on hand at for the Wednesday, Oct. 5, drawing that saw lodge administrator Ernie Casali open envelope #54, one of the less than 10 envelopes that remained from the 54 filled with a full deck of playing cards, plus two jokers, before the drawing began in January. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBayfest is calling

ANNA MARIA – It's time to shake off those hurricane season blues, open up the windows, air out the house and get ready to party.

Bayfest is coming up this Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. along Pine Avenue in Anna Maria. There is something for everybody at the 16th annual Bayfest including a wide array of arts and crafts venders, live music with Mike Sales as emcee, fun and games for the kids, food from local restaurants and outlets, liquid refreshments and more than 100 antique, classic and muscle cars, sponsored by LaPensee Plumbing.

Mike Sales kicks off the music at 10 a.m. on the big stage. At 11 a.m., KoKo Ray and the Keepers play until 12:30 p.m. Whiskey Blind takes the stage from 1 to 3 p.m., followed by the Billie Rice Band from 3:30 to 5 p.m., soulRcoaster from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the Karen and Jimmy Band from 8 to 10 p.m. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHalf-cent sales tax examined

BRADENTON – The fate of the proposed half-cent infrastructure sales tax will be decided by county voters in the general election that will conclude on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

The ballot language being presented to county voters, some of whom are already voting by mail, says, "To provide for safer neighborhoods, reduce traffic congestion and improve roadways and public facilities, shall Manatee County levy a half cent sales tax surtax for a period of 15 years to fund roadways, sidewalks, intersections, street lights, infrastructure for law enforcement, emergency response, libraries, parks, waterways, public buildings and stormwater, all projects located exclusively in Manatee County, with citizen oversight?"

Voters are then asked to vote for or against the proposed half-cent tax. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCrowd celebrates new fire station

BRADENTON – Almost 100 people attended the dedication of West Manatee Fire Rescue Station 1, 407 67th St., Bradenton, Saturday morning. There were firefighters from around the area and dignitaries including Florida State Representative Jim Boyd, County Commissioners Betsy Benac and Carol Whitmore and relatives of the man for whom the station was dedicated, Robert "Bob" Kline.

West Manatee Fire Chief Tom Sousa welcomed the crowd. He noted the planning for the new facility began while Andy Price was the chief. He noted the building was designed to withstand hurricane winds, a feature that will make it the headquarters for emergency personnel when a storm hits the area. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFlooded La. town gets help from Roser team

BRADENTON – West Manatee Fire Rescue personal invite the public to attend an open house for Fire Station 1, 407 67th St. W., Bradenton, on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At 10:15, there will be a dedication ceremony to name the station for Robert "Bob" Kline, the first full-time firefighter hired at Westside Fire and Rescue District in 1962 (Westside and Anna Maria merged in 200 to become West Manatee).

Kline's career spanned 30 years, and he served as a firefighter, lieutenant, captain, assistant chief and fire marshal, in various positions of leadership in the county and as president of Manatee County Fireman's Mutual Aid Association. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Vacation rental counteroffer submitted

ANNA MARIA – The attorney for 117 Willow LLC's Shawn Kaleta and Joe Varner has presented the city with a marked up copy of the sales contract that serves as counteroffer to the city's recent offer to purchase the LLC-owned vacation rental property at 117 Willow Ave.

The returned contract will be reviewed and discussed by the Anna Maria city commissioners at their meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13.

The first proposed change would eliminate the clause that states that all interior furnishings are included in the proposed purchase price. This portion of the returned contact is stricken through, noted as being not available and referred to later in the document. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCreation of a craft bar

As we told you in our last two articles, Jason and the management team at The Waterfront restaurant spent a good deal of time working towards our goal of acquiring a full liquor license. All during that time, we looked into the options offered to us that would make us a little different, and, hopefully, a little more interesting than your run of the mill bar. Turning those options into a reality still required a lot of work. We still had to shut down to let us rebuild the bar, so we could install the new equipment and storage necessary to become this new entity. Building the new bar wasn't what was going to make us unique though, it was the drinks themselves, the ingredients and the people who make them.

We were fortunate to have a bar staff with cocktail backgrounds in addition to all their beer and wine knowledge. They were all excited about the addition of mixed drinks, and each had suggestions galore. As we met with the vendors to select which liquors to use, we would set aside the ones that we felt were our choices. We had a plethora of classic cocktails from all over the place that we were excited to try. Each of us also had several drinks that we had enjoyed previously in our travels or had read about somewhere and sounded so good we had to try it. At the end of each days work rebuild-ing the bar, we would select a type of liquor and proceed to assemble as many of our potential new specialty drinks as we could to share among us. Slowly but surely we whittled down what started as a big list of possibilities to one from which we could choose our finalists. We were getting closer. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryRed tide

Red tide has once again invaded local waters. While this episode hasn't been nearly as severe as the last persistent red tide of 2005-2006, it's still killed a number of fish and required anglers to be creative when searching out action. Hopefully, this red tide won't be lost on residents and businesses up and down Florida's west coast that haven't experienced this natural malady in nearly 10 years. Those who have been around long enough appreciate both the natural occurrence of the bloom and the human inputs that exacerbate it. In the recent past, red tide outbreaks have been minimal and were more of a temporary annoyance with minimal affect on locals and unlucky tourists.

For those who were lucky enough to miss it, the 2005-2006 episode made it clear that the bloom has the potential to negatively affect everyone – tourists, business owners, restaurateurs, real estate agents, developers and anglers. Having said that, savvy anglers have shown that red tides may even in a way help anglers find fish that have been concentrated in areas not affected by the tide. More...

real estate

Vacation home partnerships

Up until last summer, my husband and I owned a large boat with another couple. We didn't know each other very well, but after weeks of conversations, many bottles of wine and warnings from friends and family, we four decided to take the leap. It turned out to be one of the best experiences of our lives, providing us with the capability of owning a vessel previously out of our reach and making lifelong friends to boot. Owning a vacation home with partners is not so different – just on a larger scale and without the water.

It's no secret that homeownership on Anna Maria Island has changed dramatically during the past decade from full time and second home seasonal owners to vacation second home owners. There's no reason to believe that this is going to change anytime soon, so if you're interested in purchasing a home with a partner or partners, you need to ask a lot of questions. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMerchants have new president

BRADENTON BEACH – Island Time and Bridge Street Bistro co-owner and managing partner Bill Herlihy has agreed to serve as the new president of the Bridge Street Merchants Association.

In a statement provided by Jack Clarke, the association's new executive director, Herlihy said, "I am honored to accept the position as president of the Bridge Street Merchants Association. My predecessor Angela Rodocker did an outstanding job and I aspire to continue to accomplish all of the goals set forth by our board of directors. Bridge Street and Bradenton Beach have seen so many positive things happen recently to our community and businesses and I am confident that we will be able to keep moving in a favorable direction that will promote Bridge Street and our mission statement." 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 StoryProgressive Cabinetry shuts the door on Moss Builders

The rain could not stop the adult footballers at The Center Thursday night. However, the lightning most certainly did, but not until half time of the second game of the night. Fans, family and friends were able to witness the first game of the night, the Mosses versus the Shaughnessys, two of the Island families in the league.

It was a matchup of speed and quick execution in the battle between Moss Builders and Progressive Cabinetry. The passing stats of both skilled quarterbacks and team captains Ryan Moss and Tim Shaughnessy were toe-to-toe with 175 and 180 passing yards, respectively.

The game ultimately came down to flag pulls and the head-to-head match up between Moss Builders' Chad Woods and Pat Calvary for Progressive Cabinetry. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTurtle laws still apply

It ain't over 'til it's over, Suzi Fox reminds Anna Maria Island beachfront residents and visitors.

Sea turtle nesting season does not end until Oct. 31, and in the meantime, turtle laws apply, including those prohibiting beachfront lighting and leaving furniture and other objects on the beach after dark, the director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring said.

People are saying they don't see any nests on the beach and are turning on their beachfront lights in violation of the law, she said. More...

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