Vol. 9 No. 23 - February 25, 2009


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story County beach pier closed permanently

HOLMES BEACH – For the second time in five months, county officials closed the Manatee Beach pier, but this time they said it must be removed and replaced.

In meeting with county commissioners Thursday, Charlie Hunsicker, director of the Natural Resources Department, said, "Because of continued deterioration to the pier structure since the last inspection, this report recommends removal of the existing pier followed by new construction to replace the original footprint at a higher elevation, as required by current state permit requirements." More...

City may limit size of upper floors

ANNA MARIA — People building new homes or remodeling and enlarging existing ones may find that they can’t make their third floors as large as they used to be able to.

If the city commission goes along with a planning and zoning recommendation that grew out of Feb. 17 meeting, the large, rectangular, straight-walled homes now being built would no longer be allowed. More...

Tourist tax increase on table

BRADENTON – Visitors would pay an extra penny in tourist taxes if a unanimous recommendation by the Manatee County Tourist Development Council is approved.

A 4 percent tourism tax is levied on "transient" accommodations in the county - those occupied for six months or less - including hotels, motels, condominiums and other rentals. Two cents of the four are used to operate the CVB, one is used for beach renourishment and beach-related projects and the remaining cent funds marketing efforts. More...

Occupancy up, rates down

On both Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, January hotel occupancy was up from a year ago, but room rates were down, according to the latest statistics from the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Plants protect and build beaches

Beach plants

Several plants you see on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway on Anna Maria Island are protected by federal, state and local laws that provide penalties for damaging them. Here’s why. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMote founder recalls ‘monsters’ of sea

CITY ISLAND – They sound like something out of a bad horror movie, but if Dr. Eugenie Clark says she’s seen them, it’s no fish story.

There’s the 80-foot-long gelatinous tube that glows in the dark, the giant pink hooded octopus that lives 6,000 feet under the sea, the scowling scorpion fish with its unlucky 13 poisonous spines. More...

Cortez history no mystery

CORTEZ – As Florida towns outgrow their roots, their history is often relegated to a county commission proclamation and a seldom-visited Web site.

Not so in Cortez.

The commercial fishing village is not a Disney version of an actual place. The docks and houses are not distressed wood made to look historic. They, and the people who work there, are honestly weatherworn, soaked in saltwater and dried in the sun to a leathery tan. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Jackson Kibler is the state champion

HOLMES BEACH – His confidence is soaring because he’s now a champion.

Seven-year-old Jackson Kibler came in first place in the Florida League of Martial Arts competition and received his award at a banquet Jan. 17.

Born with low muscle tone and motor skill delays, he didn’t walk until he was three and he lacked confidence and drive until his mother and father, Debbie and David, brought him to Kevin Bergquist, known as the Island Dojo. Bergquist, who works with children with challenges, felt he could provide Jackson with goals that would give him the drive he would need to overcome those challenges. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryRootball comes to the Island

BRADENTON BEACH — Rootball. It’s the name of a game that’s catching on across the country, and it came to Bradenton Beach recently in the form of Max Chain, the game’s inventor.

It’s something that had been played for a year or so at the 25th Street beach access. Chain, also known as the commissioner of Rootball came to check out the action on the Island late last month. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryRecord crowds feast at fish fest

CORTEZ – It was standing room only under sunny skies at the 27th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival last weekend, where visitors cracked crab claws, danced to down-home music, shopped for nautical art and learned what makes the historic fishing village special.

A record crowd of 24,000 enjoyed the weekend festival, taking boat tours of the working waterfront and guided tours of the Florida Maritime Museum and admiring Caribbean-colored traditional wooden boats built by hand. More...

reel time

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMiami boat show offers innovative products

This past week I attended the Miami International Boat Show in Miami Beach with my friends David Miller and Benny Parrish from Cannons Marina. I try to attend the show every year because it’s a great place to network with the writers, anglers and boat manufacturers that I have developed a relationship with over the years. I also get to preview many of the newest innovations in marine technology and sometimes get a glimpse of the future of boating and fishing. More...

real estate

Tax breaks for the homeowner

It tiptoed up on us again, the patter of little income tax brackets and deductible expenses quietly moved into our home offices even before we shredded the holiday charge receipts. The 2008/2009 tax season is upon us. This past year may not have been the time to boast about the attributes of home ownership, but in spite of lost appreciation and beaten down confidence, owning real estate is still advantageous when April 15 rolls around. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCool it with Gartman’s Air Care

Businesses that have reached their five-year anniversary have a lot to be proud of. Starting a business from scratch and surviving in a competitive world is no easy thing, something that Michael Gartman owner of Gartman’s Air Care is well aware of and thankful for every day.

For five years, Gartman’s Air Care has been providing air conditioning system servicing and installation to residents in all of Manatee and Sarasota Counties as well as Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key. Its service also includes 24-hour emergency service and maintenance of central vacuum systems. More...


A Paradise, Dips, Sand Dollar, Jessie’s take tournament titles

Two teams got their measure of revenge last week in the Community Center basketball league. Second-place finishers Jessie’s in Division III and A Paradise in the Premier Division knocked off the regular season champs Ross Built and Rotten Ralph’s to take their post season tourney titles in games that went right down to the wire. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Island nine come up short in opener

The much anticipated start of the 2009 Little League baseball season kicked off last Saturday, as the West Coast Surf Shop Islanders were defeated in an exhibition game 15-2 by USA Fence.

Despite the score, there were some bright spots in the contest, which provided hope for improvement and success over the course of the season for the Majors division squad. A few players on the team have little to no experience playing baseball, and for these players the game was an important step. Bryce Smith played solid defense at third base, with Andrew Zink and Brennan Gallagher making hard contact at the plate as well. More...


Lee, Samuels take ’shoes title

With semi-warm weather and little precipitation, the ranks of horseshoes players increased last week. On Wednesday, Feb. 18. Bob Lee teamed with Sam Samuels to easily beat Steve Grissman 21 – 6. More...


<< Go back to Index archives

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper