Vol. 9 No. 32 - April 29, 2009


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story House OKs oil, gas drilling

TALLAHASSEE – A last-minute proposal to allow oil and gas exploration as close as three miles from Florida’s coast passed the state House of Representatives on Monday 70 to 43.

The Senate has until Friday, the last day of the session, to take up the proposal, which local Republican Sen. Mike Bennett doubts will happen. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHeads up! Nesting season begins May 1

It’s time to turn off the lights, bring in the beach furniture and start watching for those telltale turtle tracks in the sand each morning.

Beginning Friday, May 1, sea turtles are expected to begin nesting on Anna Maria Island, and they may start even earlier, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch Director Suzi Fox said.

"They’ve already started just to the south on Casey Key and Manasota Key," said Fox, who is planning to assign turtle patrols to their stretches of beach before Friday. More...

Hotel, motel issue ‘dead’

ANNA MARIA — Any discussion of allowing new motels or hotels in the city has been shelved by city officials.

An item opening such a dialogue was pulled last week from the April 23 city commission agenda, apparently putting an end to the matter, at least for now. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCafé expansion approved

BRADENTON BEACH – After more than 10 years, the way has finally been paved to expand the facilities at the Gulf Drive Café, located on the beach at 900 Gulf Drive North.

The project will add a gift shop just south of the popular beachfront eatery that will be connected to it by a doorway. South of the gift shop will be a tiki hut that promises to change the face of the Island’s entertainment scene. South of that will come a chickee hut, a Seminole designed building that will provide a site for special occasions such as private parties and wedding receptions. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBootleg finishes festival with a roar

ANNA MARIA – As promised, it was the biggest and best Friday Music Festival yet last Friday. Thousands came to shop, mingle, eat and listen in the field at the end of Pine Avenue.

Organizer Cindy Thompson outdid herself in bringing varied food outlets, eclectic arts and crafts vendors and music for all generations to the festival. She estimated between 2,000 and 3,000 attended the event, many of them for the finale featuring Bootleg, the hot new local band. More...

Landscape and tree ordinance passes

ANNA MARIA — A landscape ordinance, which was the culmination of months of work and compromise, has now been adopted into law.

Under the new ordinance, which applies to all districts in the city, the city sets forth a plan that is designed to preserve and protect plant and wildlife species. More...

Spring Fling preparations in full gear

The Anna Maria Elementary School PTO Spring Fling organizers are working hard to make this year’s event, called Mardi Gras Mambo, a successful fund-raiser. The action begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, at St. Bernard Catholic Church. Tickets are $45 and include the buffet dinner, dance music and a chance to bid on many auction items. Tickets are available at the school.

Each classroom has made up an artsy auction item and a themed basket; there are lots of contributions from the business community and other sources, and there will be plenty of food. More...

Tourist tax increases June 1

The Manatee County tourist tax will increase from four to five percent on June 1 to pay for increased marketing efforts, and opinions among Island hoteliers range from doubt to confidence.

"I’m in big disagreement. I think they should have lowered it," said Ken Gerry, whose family has operated the White Sands Beach Resort in Holmes Beach since 1974. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCortez Natives throw annual picnic

Fried mullet, cornbread, sweet tea and more strawberry shortcakes than people greeted Cortez Natives at their annual picnic on Saturday in the shade of the new chickee hut behind the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez.

Neighbors and distantly related family members got reacquainted and reminisced about fishing and cooking seafood, like fresh steamed clams, baked oysters, and, of course, mullet, the Cortez staple. More...

reel time

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTarpon tutor: Fishing with Captain Rick Murphy

Tarpon fishing has been a passion of mine for years. I’ve been fortunate to photograph and observe some of the best fly anglers in the business, and while I’m capturing the action digitally, I’m also asking questions to learn how the best got that way. Last week I had the pleasure of fishing for tarpon with my friend Reid Zoller, of Bradenton, and Captain Rick Murphy, of Homestead. Zoller, the director of U.S. Operations for Loop Tackle, a Swedish fly tackle manufacturer, has been expanding the North American base of the internationally renowned company and had been invited to fish for a day with Murphy, a representative of the company. More...

real estate

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Remember sitting in the backseat of your father’s Ford wood paneled station wagon, or if you’re a little younger, your mom’s BMW SUV and asking, "Are we there yet, are we there yet?" These days you may be asking the exact same question about the bottom of the real estate market, only this time it’s going to take a lot more than your parent’s little white lies to convince you. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCatch some fun at The Fish Hole

I’ve heard it said a lot during the years I’ve lived in Florida those who fish don’t golf and vice versa. Well there’s a place in Bradenton Beach where you can take that theory and literally putt it out of the water. The Fish Hole on Bridge Street goes way beyond traditional miniature golf calling itself adventure golf with a little local history and fishing education mixed in. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Stock market declines of the past

Investment Corner

A client of mine dropped by the other day with a copy of the USA Today business section from Oct. 20, 1987. For those who may not remember that time, the stock market dropped over 22 percent in one day on Oct. 19, 1987, with that day becoming branded "Black Monday." It was the worst single day decline ever, and almost as bad as the 23 percent total two day drop on Oct. 28 and 29 of 1929. More...


Three remain unbeaten in NFL Flag Football

It was a full week of intense gridiron action with games every night and all day on Saturday due to picture day. The Panoramic Cardinals of the 8-9 division continued their hot streak, winning two games this week and remaining undefeated at 5-0. It was the same story this week for the Galati Yacht Sales Texans, who won a pair of games to improve to 6-0 atop the 10- to 12-year-old division. After revamping the team’s rosters in the 13- to 16- year -old age group, the Beach Bistro Cardinals are leading the division at 3-0. It has provided much fairer and exciting competition the past couple of games among the three teams. More...


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