Anna Maria City Commission will have one new face
ANNA MARIA – It took a couple extra days for final results to be known, but when the dust settled on last week's city elections incumbent City Commissioner Nancy Yetter was reelected to a third term and Brian Seymour was elected to his first.
The odd man out was multi-term Commissioner Chuck Webb, who finished third in a three-way race made more memorable by his last-minute filing of a challenge to the eligibility of more than 80 city voters. More...
Webb challenges voters' eligibility
ANNA MARIA – More than two dozen city voters arrived at the Roser Memorial Community Church on Election Day and were surprised to learn their voter eligibility was being challenged by city commissioner and commission candidate Chuck Webb.
They were then asked to fill out provisional ballots that would be subjected to canvassing board review before being counted.
After filling out her provisional ballot, Su-Ellyn Stern said, "How dare he question my right to vote? I have never been so happy to cast a vote for Brian Seymour." More...
Chamber honors businesses, businessman
HOLMES BEACH – Three businesses and one businessman were honored at the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce installation banquet at Key Royale Club Monday, Nov. 7.
Island Real Estate Directory Larry Chatt was named the Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island's Businessperson of the Year for 2016.
Chatt thanked the Rotary Club, the audience and his family who backs him because, "I'm an overwhelmed workaholic who would live in a cave if it wasn't for them." More...
Cortez honors veterans with fish fry
The Cortez Cultural Center honored the 66 Cortezians who fought for their country at the Tribute to Veterans, a free fish fry on Saturday afternoon.
Historic military uniforms that belonged to Cortez veterans were on display, along with the biographies and photographs of several Cortez veterans.
Relatives of the three surviving Cortez veterans who fought in World War II, Albert Few Jr., Cleve Adams and C.D. Adams, attended, although the veterans themselves, in their 90s, were unable to participate. More...
Causeway committee protests poles and palms
BRADENTON – Members of the Palma Sola Scenic Highway Committee expressed their displeasure with two plans for the Causeway area.
One was a plan by FPL to move its power poles on the north side of the Causeway between Perico Preserve and the Anna Maria Island Bridge and remove large trees that are in the way.
"All the utility poles that are in the mangroves, DEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) said they cannot be there any more," Ingrid McClellan, of Keep Manatee Beautiful, explained. "They're going to put the new cement poles outside of the mangroves, but as close to the mangroves as they can. More...
Art lovers flock to HB
According to co-chair Joyce Karp, the Holmes Beach Art Walk Friday was "a huge success. We were thrilled with the turnout. We didn't know what to expect because we changed things up and made it two weekends." Co-chair Joan Voyles added, "People were staying and enjoying themselves and were happy they didn't have to rush (to get to Anna Maria, which is having its art walk this weekend). Karp thanked all the businesses that donated gifts for the raffle baskets, and Voyles thanked the musicians who "made it so much more special and unique." Barb Jaeger, of The Egret's Lading, said it was her first time participating, and "it was great. I hope the Anna Maria one is as good." More...
Chappie happy to be 'coming home'
BRADENTON BEACH – Former Mayor and City Commissioner John Chappie will return to the commission this month after spending the past eight years as a county commissioner.
During last week's election, Chappie received 378 votes and 61.76 percent of the votes cast by Bradenton Beach voters. First-time candidate Bill Vincent ran an impressive campaign and received 234 votes and 38.24 percent of the votes.
Chappie will replace third-term Commissioner Jan Vosburgh and be sworn in at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21.
"It's exciting," Chappie said of this return to city government.
"One of my number one goals as a county commissioner was to not tell the cities what to do. Now I get to come back home and help find solutions to the major challenges we have with the party houses. I'm looking forward to discussing the recommendations coming from the Planning and Zoning Board," he said. More...
County elections recap
ANNA MARIA ISLAND – Island voters helped determine the outcome of two county commission races and two county referendums during last week's elections.
Bradenton resident Stephen Jonsson won the District 3 County Commission race, defeating Holmes Beach resident David Zaccagnino and San Remo Shores resident Matt Bower.
County-wide, Jonsson received 16,396 votes and 46.3 percent of the votes cast. Bower received 11,290 votes, or 31.89 percent, and Zaccagnino received 7,718 votes, or 21.8 percent. Voter turnout in Manatee County for the general election was 78.8 percent. More...
ArtsHop comes to Bridge Street
There were artists of all types on Bridge Street to celebrate artsHOP last Sunday.
Crowds explored the art, sampled food and liquid refreshments and enjoyed the music as part of the Island-wide ArtsHop celebration.
As part of the art, merchants on Bridge Street are hosting a program where people can purchase cutout designs of mermaids for $40, to decorate. If they enter a judged contest later, they will get their $30 back and half of what their work sells for at a silent auction in January.
Explore the Regina
BRADENTON BEACH - While visiting Anna Maria Island, divers and snorkelers may want to visit the wreck of the Regina, a state underwater archaeological preserve, marked by buoys off the 800 block of Bradenton Beach.
According to records at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, the Regina's story goes like this:
On March 8, 1940, decades before the American embargo against Cuba began, the Cuban tugboat Minian was towing the 300-foot barge Regina from Havana to New Orleans with a boiler on board that was used to turn Cuban sugar cane into molasses at sea on the way to market. More...
White pelicans, jumping dolphins
On the morning of Nov. 2, as I was sipping my coffee on the lanai, I was wondering when the white pelicans would be back. As if on cue, three of the majestic birds flew by, and I knew winter was upon us in our unique little paradise.
Hard to believe that almost three months have passed since I last did an update on one million dollar and over properties in the three cities on Anna Maria and Cortez, but never-the-less it has. The current months we're analyzing are July, August and September compared to April, May and June the previous time. July through September are generally the slowest during the year for sales, and that has held true this year as well. 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...
Pullen's Acqua Aveda pulls out win
Under the dark sky at the Island's community center field with the end of Daylight Saving Time, adult co-ed soccer started the second week of play. The first game of the night went down to the last seconds with Team Acqua Aveda, led by captain Eric Pullen, winning the game.
Wash Family Construction remains winless, but with a full and healthy roster on the field, Kris Yavalar's team will surely put Ws in the statistics book. Playing last week without first round pick Matt Kretzmann and third rounder Aaron Parkin, Team Wash Family stayed in the game, fighting to the end of the game.
Just seconds into the first half of play, Nathan Kragt scored his first goal of the night, giving Acqua Aveda the quick lead. More...
Turtles crawl to a record year
Sea turtles had a record year in more ways than one on Anna Maria Island, according to Suzi Fox, director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring.
The record of 435 nests is higher than the next closest record year of 2013 by 66 nests, and higher than the 15-year average by 246 nests.
Why, especially in a year with two hurricanes and a severe tropical storm that destroyed 145 nests?
Mostly, it's due to 34 years of Turtle Watch volunteers caring for turtles and educating visitors, residents and business owners, Fox told volunteers on Saturday at an appreciation luncheon marking the end of the 2016 turtle season. More...