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The purpose of this site is to encourage comments by Sun readers on topics of the day, especially those affecting Anna Maria Island. We welcome any and all viewpoints and hope to stimulate intelligent discussions. Personal attacks and abusive or vulgar language, however, will not be tolerated. Such comments will be determined by Sun management, then pulled from the site and the posters may be blocked from further use.

Name: George
Date: 2015-01-27 14:45:29
Subject: Dredging - Ill-informed decision
Comments: Regarding Anna Maria Mayor Don Murphy’s reported decision to terminate the dredging of Lake LaVista.

This totally ill-advised decision should be readdressed immediately. Dredging maintains the flow of water and therefore the health of the canal system. Right now, there are several areas where the water depth is measured in inches, not feet. Clogging of the interior canal system will prevent access by manatees and other sea life, have an unfavorable impact on seabirds, and lead to deterioration into a swamp. Think smells, mosquitoes trash. Not good for residents or tourists.

A large number of island residents (including my wife and I) live on or near Lake LaVista. But many others use it, including boaters, kayakers (an island business), and fishermen. It is a precious resource that many islanders and tourists value and appreciate. Its presence is one of the reasons we have not joined the exodus of taxpayers in the face of the rental property onslaught.

The tourism encouraged by the county and state creates dollars that flow away from the City and are not returned. Why does it make sense to prevent the flow of funds to a worthwhile conservation project?

Lake LaVista is a large part of the area of the City. How will letting it deteriorate not unfavorably impact the City?

Finally, if the dredging company has the requisite permits, then presumably the project has been vetted by the appropriate environmental authorities, who are admired for a rigorous permitting process. I infer they recognize the value of Lake LaVista. We do, and it seems you might do so as well.

The Mayor and Commissioners should review this decision with all the facts at hand.


Name: Ben
Date: 2015-01-27 12:57:42
Subject: Mayor Avoids Dredging
Comments: The canals in northern Anna Maria are the most neglected on the island. I can't remember when, if ever they have been dredged. Any improvement of this canal system is sure to benefit everyone in Anna Maria. Moving this project to Bimini Bay would seem to benefit Holmes Beach more than Anna Maria. I also disagree that the canal is acceptable for boating. The storms have washed sand into the canals for years and we can only get our boat out under certain tide conditions. Many times we are left stranded and cannot return home through our canal because the tides are too high to get under the bridge with the silt which is too deep! We also paddle board through the canals but find some areas so silted and stagnant. Please get more input and reconsider.


Name: Alan Silverman
Date: 2015-01-25 07:44:38
Subject: Mr Matlack's Lament
Comments: My good friend Bruce Matlack"s lament for the "good old days" in last weeks Letters hit a cord but misses the mark. Remembering what was but can no longer be is nostalgic but of little value. However, examining the present and planning for a better future is more productive. One concern Bruce expressed might be the key to AMI's future: the waste created by 3 separate municipalities. Yes, I understand that the vested interests will never allow the merger of the 3 cities. That doesn't mean that they cannot cooperate for their common good. Public services such as police, fire, water, utilities,etc should all be under one AMI umbrella. Similarly, planning and building departments, all which face common problems, should be united. All 3 cities overspend on legal services. (As a retired lawyer I know something about what is needed.) Most legal issues that face one city face another. There is little reason for the 3 cities not to hire the same law firm. They will get better rates and avoid the extraordinary duplication of services which occurs now. When there is the occasional conflict, they can have preselected firms ready to handle those matters. A moratorium on building permits is a band-aid. We need a complete physical, perhaps some surgery and certainly a great deal of physical therapy.


Name: Toby Edwards
Date: 2015-01-23 07:45:06
Subject: Re: The Unwinnable Battle tetter to the editor Jan. 21 issue
Comments: Mr. Matlack nailed it. My wife and I have been coming to AMI for many years and have watched the quality of life deteriorate over the last 5 or so years. It's no longer enjoyable due to the noise, traffic and crowds. Many of our friends have expressed the same sentiment as have most of the full time residents (witness the exodus). We're looking for other places to go for our 6 week vacation.
Keep on promoting tourism, keep on building and soon you'll have Myrtle Beach on the Gulf. Only greed and self-serving motives can be blamed.
Quiet, relaxing vacations on AMI are a thing of the past.


Name: jack bergbom
Date: 2015-01-22 13:22:56
Subject: wish list
Comments: My wish list for Anna Maria, my city.
1.Put the sidewalks back in on Pine Avenue. Nothing spells community like S-I-D-E-W-A-L-K-S.
2.Prohibit parallel parking on Pine Avenue so bike lanes can be built. Imagine, Le Tour De Anna Maria. Plus more room for chalk. Exempt Roser worshippers on Sunday morning.
3.Take down the 'Another Day In Paradise' banners before someone writes'Lost' across the bottom of them to reflect the current reality.
4. Tax the bejesus out of landlords and renters to discourage the practice. Having new neighbors every week does not make for a sense of security.
5.Team with Roser Church to provide parking for 'day trippers'. A minimal charge with the City's take going to the Community Center.
6.Do not hire any more 'consultants'. There are enough bright people here to deal with any issues that arise.
7. Limit commercial noise [construction, lawn maintenance, truck deliveries] to 8a to 5p Monday through Friday. One thing Longboat got right.
8. Erect a band shell large enough to accommodate the Island Orchestra on the Pine/North Shore property. We need culture, not t-shirts.
9.Take the cones off the newly driven pilings marking the entrance to Lake Lavista. Pelicans need a place to rest too.
I'm done.
Jack Bergbom
Anna Maria, my city.
P.S. Where is Harry when you need him?


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