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Vol. 15 No. 48 - September 30, 2015

letters to the editor

AMI still wonderful

Anna Maria Island is a wonderful place to live. What a brief sentence to encompass so much gratitude. A recent medical scare and hospital stay has reminded me exactly how fortunate I am to live and work in paradise. Thank you to all my friends and neighbors on the Island for your kindness and help during this humbling experience. We have the best EMS and fire department, the Island children are safe and well educated and the residents have chosen this small Island to call home. We have seen tremendous change since I first found the Island in 1987 However, those attributes that stole my heart have not and will not change. The color of the water, the white sand, blooming royal poinsettia trees and the safety, kindness and pride of our small Island will endure. Thank you again for embracing me as a friend.

Suzanne Thompson
Holmes Beach

Lead by example

“I live here.” I heard it from the woman who pushed her cart into the middle of the parking lot at Publix and left, and the family who left trash on the beach. I heard it from many people complaining about the Community Center, speed limit changes and local building politics

I am over it. We need to stop using “I live here” as an excuse for bad behavior, negativity and poor choices. So many have complained about how the Island is changing and how angry they are about it. Yes, the face of the island may be changing (try as we might to stop it), but the heart, soul and character of this island should not be. How long will it take to realize that we, the residents, are responsible for the sense of community and support for one another? This is something that no developer, attorney or tourist can take away from us. Let’s all focus on what we can do to strengthen our community and our commitment to it. Let’s volunteer, provide mentorship and leadership and get involved.

Every tourist could be a potential resident. If we choose to treat them with the kindness and support that are the roots of this community, we can grow a community of like-minded residents. I would like to work alongside others to make this community better. Let’s fill the town hall at the community center and use our talents. Let’s fill the meeting space at St. Bernard's for the Anna Maria Welcome Home meeting. Let’s fill every volunteer committee in this community.

Please remember that “I live here” is not an excuse. “I live here” means that you have a responsibility and a connection to this community. Take that seriously and lead by example.

Kelly Smith
Anna Maria

Lower speed limit makes sense

As a year-round resident of Holmes Beach, I welcome the new, lower speed limit set on Marina Drive between Manatee Beach and the Island Branch Library. I would like to see the speed limit lowered to 25 all the way along Marina Drive north to the city of Anna Maria, as well.

Presently, the traffic on Marina Drive/Palm Avenue moves at 35 mph between the fire station and the south border of Anna Maria city, a distance of about 1.5 miles. The 35 mph traffic is loud enough to be heard at the dog park behind the fire station and for some distance around, disturbing residents day and night. When visitors are here in the winter months, there are pedestrians, cyclists, and skateboarders using the road, many of them children or people who are not familiar with the area. A lower speed limit, consistent along Marina Drive all through Holmes Beach, makes sense to protect them and accommodate residents.

Some people are objecting to lowering the speed limit from 35 to 25 on the grounds that it could inconvenience drivers. But the difference in time between driving 1.5 miles at 35 mph and doing the same distance at 25 mph is about 60 seconds. I for one would gladly trade a minute of my time for increased quiet, better gas mileage, and greater safety.

Gillian Kendall
Holmes Beach


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