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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: Gary McMullen
Date: 2015-04-01 07:49:13
Subject: Four-way stop
Comments: The four-way stop is not working; that is unless your wish is to create more congestion in Anna Maria! In the first place, because of the crosswalk and its frequent use, vehicles from Magnolioa have ample opportunity to get on to Gulf Drive. Secondly, there is not enough traffic on Magnolia to justify a four-way stop. Finally, whenever I travel thru the intersection there is a back-up of one to two blocks heading toward Pine. The existing traffic and crosswalk slow vehicles so much that the safety argument has no merit either. Good idea, bad result.

Name: Steve Traves
Date: 2015-04-01 04:30:53
Subject: Bortells' sale
Comments: Congratulations to Steve Rose and Marci Wilhelm for purchasing Bortells. They have been big supporters of small businesses on the Island and they're a welcome addition to the Anna Maria business community. (The caption to Steve's photo identified them as Steve and Marci Rosehelm).

Name: Michael Moss
Date: 2015-03-26 13:48:46
Subject: Water Taxi
Comments: So our roads are already gridlocked, now the Mayor is suggesting we ferry even more tourists in to a pier in Lake La Vista. (I hope this won't encroach on the residential district as you unload the masses to go shopping on Pine Avenue). Why not go all in Mayor and turn the six lots at the end of Pine into a landing strip and you can fly them in that way too!

Date: 2015-03-25 04:55:54
Comments: This issue was already addressed by the Magistrate's Court system, the police department running resorts to see if they are registered and pay resort taxes and the police issuing code tickets. They also do inspections under 509.When Chief Kinney, Lt Damato, and Sgt Dangler were there they wrote tickets. Get over it and move on.

Name: Dale Schmitdz
Date: 2015-03-23 15:07:28
Subject: Community Center
Comments: GT Bray is in Bradenton and competes with the YMCA, LA Fitness, One Hour Fitness, CITY FITNESS, Planet Fitness, two Pilates Studios and four other facilities. If you have good programs the center will float. The center was orginally given to the city by the county. Under other "managers" it was handled by a TEA Party privatization darling from Maine and under anther administration there were improprieties to say the least by coaches. It has been a gathering for AMI back patters, pickle ballers and smoozers for the past 25 years. They should have taken the free pool when it was available. If they can not run it maybe the county can. Bravo for the center using the market. Its not run by government.Get over it.

Name: Virginia Freeman
Date: 2015-03-20 13:31:05
Subject: Community Center Spa
Comments: I find it interesting that a nonprofit organization that has a history of poor financial and personel management is considering a 0,000. investment. Who has done a complete financial study regarding income and expenses for such an undertaking? What has happened to the "family" and "youth" focus? I'm sure you won't want young chldren or teens in your fitness center.

Name: Richard March
Date: 2015-03-20 12:38:59
Subject: Community Center Fitness Faclity
Comments: It is entirely inappropriate for a public entity supported by tax funds to go into competition with established businesses. This is just another example of big government clobbering the little guy. If they need to make the community center more self-sustaining then they should find sources of income that are not in competition with private businesses.

Name: Kathy Baskett
Date: 2015-03-20 11:56:02
Subject: Waste Services in Holmes Beach
Comments: As a resident of Holmes Beach, I’ve always appreciated my Waste Management drivers’ safe, professional, & courteous service they’ve provided the entire time I have lived in the City.

The Waste Management drivers are very courteous and attentive to my Grandson. They take their time to wave and honk and our Grandson loves it. It would be a loss to the City not to have these type individuals driving our streets anymore. They do it because they care.

It is my understanding that an uncontrollable circumstance (flat tire) resulted in Waste Management’s Request for Proposal documents being delivered 15 minutes late to City Hall on February 20th, and therefore not given the opportunity to have their bid reviewed.

However, given the company’s outstanding service and community involvement over so many years, and the dedication of their drivers and other employees, I am requesting that the City allow Waste Management an opportunity to have their bid reviewed, with the other haulers before any decision is made. They have earned that much of an opportunity. 30 years of service should overcome the fatal sin of being 15 minutes late. In addition, as a resident I believe it would be unfair to jump into a long term contract without some type of comparison. It just seems unfair to Waste Management, but more importantly unfair to all the residents. I don’t think a difficult transition to a new company would benefit the City, without knowing if there was a better deal from Waste Management.


Mr. and Mrs. Baskett
613 Emerald Lane
Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Name: Dan Hazewski
Date: 2015-03-20 08:58:56
Subject: Community Center Fitness Center
Comments: Like the Island itself, the Community Center has clearly lost its way. If the Board members would bother to read their mission, nowhere does it say anything about providing spa and fitness services to tourists. It does say to provide learning opportunities and to strengthen families, particularly our youth. There is no reason for the Center to abandon its mission and cater to the big house, rental culture that is destroying the Island Culture.

Name: Kit Torchia
Date: 2015-03-20 07:30:41
Subject: Expansion of Community Center
Comments: The planning committee should research carefully the gaps in excerise opportunities on Anna Maria. The 2 private gyms offer excellent facilities for fitness. A needed addition to the Island would be a pool at the Community Center and programs that would offer swimming lessons and other aquatic classes for all ages, plus lap swimming. In this way, the private businesses which support the community would be able to continue to serve the residents and contribute to the tax base.

Name: Birgit M Quam
Date: 2015-03-19 13:06:21
Subject: Community Center - proposed fitness center
Comments: In order to collect revenues for the (non-profit) Community Center, it is OK to run two small established businesses out of Holmes Beach? Claiming that an 8,000 sq. ft. fitness center will not impact these two gyms is ridiculous! These 2 ladies have put their savings into getting their gym off the ground. They have worked around the clock for many years, improving their place of business, bringing in new members, supporting the community with fund raisers, etc. Is this how small businesses are treated on the AMI? Shame on you! Come out to support these two great ladies, who unfortunately don't have the deep pockets of Mr. Kaleta and his 'crew'.

Name: Claudia Wiseman
Date: 2015-03-16 17:20:25
Subject: Protecting turtles not humans.....
Comments: Just when I think I've seen the silliest "complaint" regarding sea turtle conservation someone comes up with yet another! Thanks "Don't forget to help the humans" for a good chuckle. Having beach sand that is "too fluffy" is definitely a new one.
Oh, where to begin in response? I'll be brief but could go on...and on.
While I'm sorry you have difficulty walking on beaches, most (nice) beaches tend to have fluffy sand. Not to mention the consistency the graders are replicating is Mother Nature's doing.
Turtles HAD been doing fine for centuries like you stated. It wasn't until humans came around and encroached on their habitat, interfering with the natural erosion of beaches and natural lighting that they became endangered. So to correct you, most every species of sea turtle is threatened or endangered not "doing fine".
I agree, it is too bad sea turtles need all this "pampering". BUT I'm afraid anything you find annoying or inconvenient will always ultimately be because of human interference.
Buck up and suffer through that awful fluffy sand.
Claudia Wiseman
Holmes Beach

Name: Dale Schmitdz
Date: 2015-03-16 07:03:33
Subject: Hotels
Comments: Of course they will sue.You have billions of dollars, real estate investment trusts, hedge funds, insurance companies, and 401 K funds invested in these hotels. When Chief Kenney, LT Damato, and Sgt Danger were on the police force they enforced 509 did evictions, did inspections, wrote tickets and towed cars. In addition they knew who buttered both sides of their bread and knew how to enforce these codes,

Name: Wm Smith
Date: 2015-03-12 15:13:05
Subject: Cast n Cage
Comments: The original lease seemed extreme. I don't know how a small business could pay that amount of rent, especially since the pier was closed. Now the city wants to loose another business season going through the lease process again. Buyer beware!

Name: Wm Smith
Date: 2015-03-12 15:13:04
Subject: Cast n Cage
Comments: The original lease seemed extreme. I don't know how a small business could pay that amount of rent, especially since the pier was closed. Now the city wants to loose another business season going through the lease process again. Buyer beware!

Name: Bill
Date: 2015-03-12 10:50:34
Subject: Bicycles
Comments: Bicyclists should be treated like pedestrians and given the right-of-way. Anna Maria Island is a vacation spot, not s racetrack.slowdown. It's much easier for you to put your foot on the brake than it is for a bicyclist us to stop and start again.

Name: Jerry Cappello
Date: 2015-03-12 10:33:57
Subject: Bicycle route from Haleys Motel to Publix
Comments: The speed limits, bike paths and the way people on the island respect bicyclists make riding a bike here as safe as can be. BUT...
I would make one suggestion regarding bicyclists on Anna Maria. Every realtor and bike renter should provide a map that shows the 3 possible routes (Gulf Drive, Palm/Marina Drive & Holmes Blvd) from Haleys Motel at the intersection of Gulf Drive and Palm Drive to Publix on the Island. The map should emphasize that bicyclists AVOID Gulf Drive has much as possible. It is that stretch where bikes frustrate drivers the most. I can ride my bike from Haleys Motel to Publix and never create a problem for motor vehicles.
I have to add that is a interesting survey this week on bicycles. Did some quick research. My findings: bicycles are considered vehicles therefore subject to the same laws. That surprised me, and made wonder about someone on a skateboard, or rollerblading. Anyway,for me if I'm the person in a vehicle (aka car) and a come upon a bicyclist, they will get the right of way. It is such a miss match between person on a bike and a car that I don;t think anyone ever wants to be the motor vehicle operator explaining that "its not my fault I hit the bicyclist, he didn't stop at the stop sign."

Name: tom matheson
Date: 2015-03-09 19:06:42
Subject: Traffic and Bridges
Comments: Too many cars are stopped too often for too long because the bridges to the island open on demand for any big boat that shows up, any time. See the bridge schedules: This blocks traffic way too much and all those angry people are becoming dangerous. Elsewhere on the ICW, bridges are only opened once per hour, and the boats have to wait instead of all those cars with angry drivers. Our bridges should open just once per hour as well. This is an easy fix. Just do it.

Writing for us on bicycles, thanks very much for the great bike lanes!

Name: David J. Skjonsby
Date: 2015-03-06 12:25:51
Subject: Flora and Fauna
Comments: More articles from Cindy Lane on Pelicans and Manatees. Nice work.

Name: Cynthia Grizzle
Date: 2015-03-05 15:25:34
Subject: Suncoast CISMA Article
Comments: Rusty, as chair of the Suncoast CISMA I would like to thank you for attending our workday and for writing this lovely and informative article about us. We have all kinds of free educational opportunities throughout the year. would like to add that if anyone is interested in joining our mailing list, they can get in touch with me via the website you provided. It's the easiest way to be informed about our events. Thanks again!

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