Vol. 11 No. 20 - February 16, 2011


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryIsland hopes for tourism rebound

High season has begun, and should be a good one thanks to a harsh northern winter and a late Easter, the Manatee County Tourist Development Council learned on Monday.

Severe winter weather is encouraging more visitors to head south, but flights are still being cancelled, said Michael Walley, of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.

"People have pushed their vacations forward because they couldn't get out of the airport," said Bradenton Beach hotelier and council member David Teitelbaum, adding that he expects tourism to pick up as a result. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCortez fishing festival: Don't miss it

CORTEZ – Celebrate the sea and all it offers in the historic fishing village of Cortez at the 29th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival this weekend, Feb. 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The $2 admission charge (kids under 12 are free) benefits the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage and its 95-acre FISH Preserve, endorsed by someone who knows the sea as well as a Cortezian, Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. More...

Music under the stars

ANNA MARIA – It's Friday and time to unwind. How about shopping, music and refreshments under the stars right here in paradise?

The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce presents the first of several Island Music Festivals on Friday, Feb. 18, from 5 to 10 p.m. More...

Green Village growing on AMI

ANNA MARIA — The Anna Maria Island Historic Green Village will be the first stop on a day long tour by the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy (FARE).

The AMI Historic Green Village is being developed by Lizzie Vann Thrasher in the 500 block of Pine Avenue. More...

Artists learn about pier centennial plans

ANNA MARIA – Members of Cultural Connections learned about plans for the city pier centennial, set for May 13 and 14, and their role in it at their meeting last week.

"On Friday, we have a parade from CrossPointe Fellowship to the pier and then speeches at the pier," Caryn Hodge, of the Chiles Group, explained. "On Saturday we have the Food and Wine on Pine event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Sarasota teen wins music competition

The Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra (AMMICO) has chosen Joy Chatzistamatis, of Sarasota, as the winner of its Annual Young Artists Solo Competition for Manatee and Sarasota county area musicians. She will perform with AMICCO on a series concert and was awarded a $500 cash prize. More...

Commissioner upset about construction shut down

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioner Pat Morton said he felt the city's code enforcement department was overzealous when it shut down construction work on Martin Luther King Day.

"Construction workers cannot work on a holiday, but the city was open," Morton told the board. "One person complained about another, so code enforcement went to the house, knocked on the door and told them to stop work." More...

Parking proposal postponed

ANNA MARIA — A scheduled discussion of the parking plan for Pine Avenue that was to have taken place at the Feb. 10 city commission meeting was postponed.

Commissioners John Quam and Chuck Webb both had deaths in their families and were absent from the meeting. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story


A "sammitch" was something my grandmother gave us kids to shut us up when we were hungry.

Nana – Nova Scotian for grandma – had 10 children and about 40 grandchildren. At any given point in time there were a dozen of us living with her in her tiny house on a small, rocky cove outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTake a Matlacha getaway

Matlacha is only a two hour drive from Anna Maria, but for me it's a refreshing getaway, a vacation, a quick immersion into one of Florida's richest natural resources. One look at the map is all it takes to appreciate the setting of this Florida treasure. Located near the southern edge of Charlotte Harbor, it's adjacent to Matlacha Pass, the Burnt Store Bar and Pine Island. It's a great destination for the casual tourist, the dedicated angler or the passionate kayaker. When I travel to Matlacha it's usually to enjoy the vast flats and the excellent sport of chasing tailing redfish with a fly, but there's so much else to enjoy. More...

real estate

Knowing when to accept an offer

Is it true that the first offer on a property is generally the best offer? It frequently is, since serious buyers who are ready to act are always looking for new properties on the market. But even if the offer you're negotiating is the second, third or fourth, there are a lot of things to consider.

In a challenging real estate market, getting an offer on your property could be difficult, but getting an offer that you think is acceptable is sometimes impossible. But before you totally reject an offer that is not exactly what you were hoping for, ask yourself a few questions. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

MLPs – A different form of equity ownership

Investment Corner

Master Limited Partnerships, fondly known as MLPs, have become popular in recent years primarily for their relatively high level of dividend payments and some tax benefits. We'll review some of the pros and cons of this form of equity ownership, including the type of account you should own them in, and some other things to watch out for. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFirst place on the line in Flag Football

The Sun sports game of the week was a Division I contest with first place on the line. The 5-1 Bassett, Vita, Vining & Hermann Group Raiders were tied with the 5-1 Beach Bistro Bears for first place going into the game. The winner would take over sole possession of first in the division. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLois Biel – the Grand Duchess of Anna Maria

Feasting on Fitness

Since I began this column, I've been searching for Islanders to inspire a healthy lifestyle in paradise. Friends have been saying, "You've got to find the woman who walks the entire Island every day. She does it rain or shine, and has been doing it for years."

Her name is Lois Biel. I left a message on her phone machine. Weeks went by. She finally returned the call and said, "I've been thinking about this. I don't know if I have much of a story." I told her I had heard about her from so many different people that she had already inspired half the Island. I was hoping she could inspire the other half. More...

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