Vol. 11 No. 11 - December 15, 2010


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Open House revelers enjoy Anna Maria shopping

ANNA MARIA – As the sun was setting into the Gulf, Santa was in his sleigh and the first of many celebrants gathered in the parking lot at the Sun Plaza to enjoy food, music, refreshments and snow.

Snow? In Florida? Thanks to Mark Kimball, a lot of kids got their first experience with the fluffy white stuff. Some even made snow angels on the ground. As the mercury dropped, the stand-alone fireplace became a popular spot to catch some warmth from the crackling fire. More...

Tempers flare at coyote workshop

CORTEZ – Coyote activists, cat lovers, bird advocates and residents grieving over pets killed by coyotes occasionally bared their teeth at each other last week at an educational workshop on how to live with wild coyotes.

The diverse group questioned state wildlife officers, Manatee County sheriff’s deputies, county animal services and natural resources officers, county commissioners and wildlife advocates about coyotes in Cortez. More...

Boaters get ready for parade

CORTEZ – It’s lights on for the Cortez Yacht Club’s 7th Annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 18.

The parade will begin at dusk at the basin near the Moore’s Stone Crab and Mar Vista restaurants at the north end of Longboat Key, and end at the Seafood Shack in Cortez, where prizes will be awarded and Toys for Tots will be presented to the U.S. Marine Corps Manatee County coordinator. More...

Two former Island mayors win county leadership roles

Two former Anna Maria Island mayors have been elected to key positions in Manatee County government.

The Manatee County Commission has elected county commissioner and former Holmes Beach Mayor Carol Whitmore as its 2011 chair, and as chair of the Tourist Development Council and second vice chair of the Manatee Port Authority.

Former Bradenton Beach mayor and Manatee County Commissioner John Chappie was elected as first vice chair of both the commission and the Manatee Port Authority. Chappie has served on the commission since 2008. More...

Pine Avenue parking plan progress

ANNA MARIA — With barely a nod to the stalemate and polarization that gripped the city for almost year, members of the planning and zoning board voted to recommend that the commission adopt a parking plan that is quite like the so-called corridor plan.

The plan, which would apply to parking in the city’s residential/office/retail district, would apply automatically to all new projects. All parking for retail and office properties will be on the subject property, and a sidewalk will be close to the buildings so that no traffic will enter or exit across the sidewalk — a practice that has long been a flash point in safety considerations. More...

Tourism up, report shows

There are still rooms in the inns, but tourism is up in Manatee County in the last quarter of the year so far, according to a consultant’s report presented to the county’s Tourist Development Council on Monday.

In October, occupancy was up 1.4 percent over October 2009, with 51 percent of the rooms full countywide, while average daily rates were up 1.2 percent to $117, according to Research Data Services. In November, occupancy was 2.3 percent higher than last year, with 49 percent of rooms full, and rates up 2.4 percent to $120 a night. More...

City waiting for Walgreens buffer plan

HOLMES BEACH – Public Works Supervisor Joe Duennes said the Benderson Development Company has applied for its building permit for the new Walgreens at the south end of the Anna Maria Island Center.

In October, city commissioners approved a site plan with stipulations regarding the number of parking spaces and the installation of a sidewalk on the Gulf Drive side and a buffer in the rear. The city recently revised its parking requirements, and the plan now meets them. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story 2010 manatee deaths shatter record

As of Dec. 5, 699 manatees are documented to have died in Florida waters this year, shattering last year’s record of 429 deaths and approaching twice the five-year average, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists.

Cold stress last winter was the cause of 244 of the deaths (35 percent of the total), while another 271 deaths in the undetermined and unrecovered categories (39 percent), also are likely to be cold-related, according to the FWC. More...

Snow forecast for Bridge Street holiday

When you get to the Christmas on Bridge Street celebration on Saturday, Dec. 18, from 3 to 7 p.m., you might see snow, but you won’t need a shovel.

The Bridge Street Merchants, a not-for-profit organization that is hosting the celebration, has secured the services of a snowmaker to turn Bridge Street into a winter wonderland. Between the snowflakes, the shopping opportunities and Mrs. and Mrs. Santa Claus, who will be visiting, it’s bound to bring a smile to the faces of children of all ages. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA marathon runner's diary

I arrive in West Palm Beach the day before the marathon full of excitement and fear. I had read reports of people dying after a marathon, including one recent study that said your heart can suffer a temporary injury, like any other stressed muscle. The report said the heart usually recovers in even better shape. Comforting.

We drive to City Place, a touristy part of West Palm that is next to the Intracoastal Waterway and near the race start and finish line. I get my bib number and then proceed to the expo hall where I am overwhelmed with everything running – shoes, shirts, orthotics and gizmos and gadgets that promise to make the running experience healthier and happier. I’m already feeling both, so I proceed to the packet pick-up area where they give out the official race T-shirt and a bunch of freebies to every runner. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTake a kid fishing

When I first heard from Andy Mill that he was writing a book on tarpon, I had no idea that his vision would unfold in the form of an encyclopedic tome of such great depth and breath. Later as a signed copy arrived, I was amazed at the weight and feel of the book before I ever removed it from its careful packing. What I found truly inspired me. I knew first hand of his aplomb and passion for the silver king. What impressed me was how completely it told the story of tarpon, the legends, the tackle, the flies, the life history of the great creature and the wealth of information that Mill would share, gleaned from a 15-year love affair with a fish. More...

real estate

Does it pay to refinance?

Just when we thought the days of easy money and using your home’s equity like a piggy bank were over, they keep pulling you back in. With mortgage rates as low as they’ve been during the past several months, reworking your home’s mortgage has become a necessity for some homeowners, or at the very least, an impossibly attractive situation for others. More...


Cannons Marina honored by Grady-White Boats

Cannons Marina, Florida’s oldest Grady-White dealer, has earned two prestigious honors from Grady-White Boats – the Grady-White Boats’ Admiral's Circle and Service Excellence Awards – for the 2010 model year.

This is the 12th consecutive year the Longboat Key-based dealer has been honored by Grady-White for its distinguished achievements in the areas of sales and customer satisfaction. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

It’s not as bad as you think

Investment Corner

Almost every conversation with friends or clients in recent months involves them telling me how bad things are and how worried they are about the economic recovery. I admit that things aren’t exactly wonderful with unemployment over 9 percent and the economy growing slowly compared to the past days of glory we still remember. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCenter’s NFL Flag Football breaks record

The Community Center’s first ever Adult Co-Ed soccer season fittingly ends in a dramatic shootout. The Center’s recreational athletics programs strive for parity in its leagues through a structured drafting system. Apparently this system works when three out of the five competitive league championship games went into overtime shootouts. More...

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