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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: 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: http://www.offshoreblue.com/cruising/gicw-bridges.php 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!


Name: Jack Knowlton
Date: 2015-02-22 18:46:12
Subject: Multipurpose the Pier Park Land
Comments: We need additional parking in Anna Maria and tourists would gladly pay a reasonable amount to park. Parking areas can be developed into an area with quiet areas to rest and enjoy the view. Why are we being so shortsighted that we can't have additional parking and sitting areas with a view.


Name: Stevie Coppin
Date: 2015-02-19 14:12:32
Subject: Pier Park
Comments: This is a unique opportunity to save some green space for the enjoyment of residents and tourists. Do NOT sell this land. Make it into a community gathering place, a park that will extend down to the waterfront. Move the parking elsewhere - - to the back of the park for example. Plan for a future restroom, gazebo, benches, small stage, firepit, boating on the canal, carousel. This is in keeping with the "green village" concept on Pine Ave. How fortunate that the city had the foresight to purchase this land!


Name: John Roelof
Date: 2015-02-16 08:23:41
Subject: Its cold here in Ohio
Comments: Is the treehouse vacant next week?


Name: John Roelof
Date: 2015-02-16 08:23:40
Subject: Its cold here in Ohio
Comments: Is the treehouse vacant next week?


Name: John Roelof
Date: 2015-02-16 08:23:39
Subject: Its cold here in Ohio
Comments: Is the treehouse vacant next week?


Name: John Roelof
Date: 2015-02-15 14:38:06
Subject: Spencer Lanthier
Comments: What's your beef?


Name: Spencer Lanthier
Date: 2015-02-14 12:44:31
Subject: Anna Maria Vacation Rentals
Comments: I would advise any visitors to avoid Anna Maria Vacation Rentals. They have been very unprofessional in their rental practices.Shame on them


Name: Dave
Date: 2015-02-12 17:53:03
Subject: Old Hamburg changing hands
Comments: Wolfgang,Bridgitt and Donna thank you so much for the great German food and beer and fun you have provided us over the years you will be missed. Your friend from Kentucky Dave Apts


Name: Marsha Bard
Date: 2015-02-06 07:31:35
Subject: AMI parking
Comments: Once again the comment 'you guys asked for it, advertising all over the country'.. we did NOT do this advertising. The BACVB did this.. a Bradenton based organization.. in an effort to increase tourism in Manatee County. As a 28yr resident of this island, I felt totally betrayed by this group that has turned our island community into a developers paradise and just another beach resort. Please stop blaming the island residents for advertising -- most of us have been pretty horrified by it all.


Name: Craig C.
Date: 2015-02-05 07:06:02
Subject: AMI parking
Comments: Like Mr. Siemaszko of Perico Island I too live near the Island in NW Bradenton and use 48th st. for beach access. Me, my wife and family have shown tremendous repect for the island and it's residents leaving no trace of our visit behind. In fact we pick up other peoples litter when we see it. We live and work in NY but have a second home in Bradenton. We bought the house for it's proximity to the island. My family and I spend thousands of dollars a year visiting the island and it's businesses. Ban parking to me and my family and all other families "in Town" and you'll end up with only weekly renters who will treat the island like they're on spring break and we all know what that looks like. As for me and my family, no access to the beach and I will not spend a nickle on the island ( goodby Beach house,Sandbar, White egret, Gennie and Jane, Beach cafe etc.) hello weekly spring breakers who could care less about you and the Island community. The worst of it is you guys asked for it, advertising all over the country ( NY Post, NY Times, Wedding Magazine etc.) about the undiscovered island. Well it's discovered now and hordes are on their way! Signed, Residents of Manatee County including the island of which we care about.


Name: Jj
Date: 2015-02-03 06:04:46
Subject: Anna maria city proper
Comments: Oh how I long for the simple times we had in the past. The days of the blow up cop in the broken down squad parked at the corner of pine and gulf......


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?


Name: Ann Haval
Date: 2015-01-13 23:24:11
Subject: City Attorney
Comments: Wow who would believe Dan Murphy would show his hand quite so quickly. So he fires the city attorney and immediately instates Ed Chiles attorney Ricinda Perry. So now we all know exactly who's tune he is dancing to and it isn't the residents of Anna Maria! What really baffles me however is why Anna Maria City wants to associate itself with any of the characters involved in the train wreck otherwise known as Bradenton Beach?


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