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Vol. 14 No. 26 - April 23, 2014


Preseason preview

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

scott dell | submitted

Youth basketball leagues are gearing up
for the start of the 2014 spring season.

Spring will be busy for the Athletic Department at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. Currently the Center is offering five different sports. This is exactly the same amount of athletic programs itoffered during the same time last year.

Here is a preview to how the seasons will begin this year.

Adult Basketball Schedule

May 6, Tuesday, 7 p.m. – The Feast restaurant vs. The Island Sun

May 6, Tuesday, 8 p.m. – Gator Man Pools vs. Island Gourmet

May 6, Tuesday, 9 p.m. – Duncan Real Estate vs. Bug Guys

Adult Soccer Schedule

May 8, Thursday, 6 p.m. – Agnelli Pool & Spas vs. Jessie’s Island Store

May 8, Thursday, 7 p.m. – Ross Built Construction vs. LaPensee Plumbing & Pools

May 8, Thursday, 8 p.m. – Slim’s Place vs. Island Pest Control

May 8, Thursday, 9 p.m. – Sato Real Estate vs. Beach to Bay Construction

Adult Co-Ed Kickball Schedule

May 7, Wednesday, 7 p.m. – Tyler’s Ice Cream vs. Southern Greens

May 7, Wednesday, 8 p.m. – Beach To Bay Construction vs. Tyler’s Ice Cream

May 7, Wednesday, 9 p.m. – Florida Discount Signs & Wraps vs. Beach To Bay Construction

Youth Baseball Schedule

May 5, Monday, 6 p.m. – Miller Electric vs. Signarama

May 5, Monday, 7:15 p.m. – Air & Energy vs. AMI Hammerheads

May 7, Wednesday, 5:15 p.m. – Signarama vs. Miller Electric

May 9, Friday, 6:15 p.m. – AMI Hammerheads vs. Air & Energy

Youth Basketball Schedule


May 5, Monday, 6 p.m. – DoJo Martial Arts vs. Palmetto Lodge #110 F & A.M


May 7, Wednesday, 6 p.m. – Beach Bums vs. Island Real Estate


May 5, Monday, 7 p.m. – Sandbar restaurant vs. Bridge Tender Inn

May 9, Friday, 6 p.m. – Bridge Tender Inn vs. Eat Here


May 5, Monday, 8 p.m. – Heritage Paper Company vs. Beach Bistro

May 6, Tuesday, 6 p.m. – Walter & Associates vs. Dips Ice Cream

May 9, Friday, 7 p.m. – Beach Bistro vs. Walter & Associates

May 9, Friday, 8 p.m. – Dips Ice Cream vs. West Coast Air & Heating

Healthy food can taste great

As a TV reporter ages ago, I used to get paid the big bucks (ha) getting all sides to a story and doing the research it takes. So this volunteer column is the result of my week’s experiences and what I can write in two to three hours time. I always hope to inspire and prevent needless suffering of humans and animals that occurs way too often.

It is my belief that in our area, it would be a huge financial benefit if we had more vegan restaurants. Really vegan restaurants.

Like the exclusively vegan restaurant Ionie’s in Sarasota. My friend, Carl Lovejoy, is the amazing chef there. Check out restaurants’ Facebook pages or websites to see what they’re serving.

What I love are restaurants that aren’t afraid to say they are vegan in their name. Leafy Greens in St. Petersburg is an example. The first yelp review says, “Very fresh ingredients and the largest dehydrator I've ever seen combine for a menu that is very palatable even to non-vegans. 

Highly recommend the chilled curry soup, spinach salad with berry dressing, Mediterranean pizza and The Real Deal.

Also, the vegan chocolate lava cake is the perfect balance of dates and cacao. This is the way things should be. Healthy food can taste great!”

My problem is that I’ve traveled the country on book tour, and my publisher and others have taken me to the best and outrageously, financially successful vegan restaurants. Karyn’s on Greens in Chicago, The Chicago Diner, Café Gratitude all over California, New York’s Candle 79, San Francisco’s Millenium, Philly’s Vedge are just a sampling of restaurants that are exclusively vegan and even boast it in their titles.

Guess what? All those cities have lots of people, I bet, who travel here and would love an exclusively vegan restaurant option. I for one, would be a regular. Even an exclusively vegetarian restaurant on the Island would be awesome.

Speaking of food, the deadline is approaching to register for my noon Taste of Vegan cooking classes at the Anna Maria Island Community Center on all Thursdays in February. Fresh Market has donated the food. To whet your appetite, here’s what I’ll be demonstrating, and what you get to eat:

Feb. 6: Eating/Staying Fit on $4/Day – Thai no-fry spring rolls, braised collards, stone-broke soup;

Feb. 13: Getting Enough Protein on Just Plants – garbanzo bean salad, tempeh broccoli saute, breakfast scramble;

Feb. 20: Sumptious Salads – easy bean salad, community garden salad, tropical salad;

Feb. 27: Delectable Desserts – chocolate mousse, coconut ice cream, heavenly Island smoothies.

We had a small, but mighty, turnout to brave the cool temps at my free Manatee Public Beach hour-long, mini-workout last week. I start with warm-ups that have kept me injury free, then a walk and or run, depending on group interests, and cool down stretches. Feel free to join us every Monday at 9 a.m. at the Manatee Public Beach playground.

All abilities are welcome. I separate the group if needed. We’re always there as long as the temperature is 50 degrees or warmer. If it’s windy, bring a windbreaker and a towel and water. And I promise never to mention the “v” (vegan) word unless you ask.

I placed first in my age group at the Bradenton YMCA 5K this weekend – the 63rd time placing in a race since 2006. I thought it would be a gentle cross-country course on the county fairgrounds. Instead, it wound through the actual fair itself – heavy lighter fluid, BBQ smoke, people smoking and a fuel truck that blocked the narrow path at one point. But I got to hold my trophy by the Beef-It’s What’s For Dinner sign.

I’ll be attempting the marathon in Celebration next weekend. I’ve been spending way too much time in the chair writing. Sitting is the new smoking you know.

You can follow Island resident Ellen Jaffe Jones on her Facebook page and keep up with her just released book:,"Eat Vegan on $4 a Day," or her website: She is also a nationally certified personal trainer and running coach. For training in a gym or private hire, contact Ellen at or 941-704-1025.

Let us know what you think, post a comment.

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper