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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: 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!

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.

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