Vol. 11 No. 21 - February 23, 2011


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNew spot, same great seafood at fest

CORTEZ – The new location of the 29th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival on the east end of the historic fishing village was a hit.

Lots of shady spots and bayfront breezes cooled down visitors to the festival, which was held under sunny skies in the 70s winter temperatures that draw visitors from near and far. More...

State likely to renourish beaches

BRADENTON BEACH – Manatee County Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker addressed the city commission last Thursday about the renourishment projects planned for this year on beaches in the city of Anna Maria and at Coquina and Cortez Beaches. He also dispelled some doubt about whether his three-pronged attack on eroded beaches would fall by the wayside because of state and federal budget cuts. More...

Wedding fest takes center stage

HOLMES BEACH – The parking lot at the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce will become very crowded this weekend as hundreds of people will begin their strolling tour of businesses that are ready to help make their wedding on the Island the best. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFirst Friday Fest fantastic

ANNA MARIA – Maybe it was because the weather was so great or it might have been because it was the end of a long week. Whatever the reason, the first Friday Music Festival of the season was a huge success with a large crowd ready to party.

As the sun headed west and the temperature started to drop out of that shorts and T-shirt zone, the Island Rockers took the stage playing the oldies that their folks taught them. This local group of preteens has what it takes to get the crowd's feet tapping. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryGreen Village making history

ANNA MARIA – Not only does the Historic Green Village on Pine Avenue being developed by Lizzie Vann and Mike Thrasher feature historic buildings, it also is making history with its green innovations.

"In Florida, it will be the first LEED platinum building and the first net zero energy complex, which will generate as much energy on site as will be consumed in a given year," explained Raymond Kaiser, director of Green Building Services for Stewart Engineering, which is providing the LEED guidance and is the engineering firm for the project. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Grassy Point getting attention

HOLMES BEACH – The 35 acres of environmentally sensitive wetland along Sarasota Bay called Grassy Point is getting new life thanks to the city's beautification board.

Grassy Point is located along the east side of Gulf Drive across from Publix and the Anna Maria Island Center. It is the last significant undeveloped waterfront parcel in the city and includes red and black mangroves, tidal flats, oyster bars, a tidal estuarine creek and seagrass beds. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNearby Fluke property for sale

HOLMES BEACH – At the southern end of the Grassy Point area is the property owned by Robert Fluke and Lori Hostetter, which is now for sale.

This property at 2902 Avenue A was in the news in 2002, when its owners wanted to build a home there. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said that in order to build, they would have to mitigate for the loss of 3,100 square feet of wetlands. More...

Pier centennial celebration countdown is on

ANNA MARIA — The official celebration of the 100th anniversary of the city pier is only three months away, and a committee charged with planning the event has kicked into high gear.

At a Feb. 14 meeting, there were reports on some of the aspects of the plan. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

In search of the perfect wedding

This weekend is Wedding Fest weekend on the Island. Loving couples will be wandering the neighborhood in search of the ingredients for the perfect wedding.

That perfect wedding is often the most difficult type of project for the food professional. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCatching a spring break

Is it possible that the second abnormally cold winter in two years is over? Are we going to finally get a break? Spring break appears to have arrived early this year and not a minute too soon. Although we didn't have the catastrophic fish kill that we did last year, I still got reports of dead snook in Longboat Key canals. I'm guessing that the ones that died were stressed from last year's frigid waters. It appears that the decision to keep snook season closed was a good one and one I hope is extended. More...

real estate

The little island that could

Despite being in the middle of an historic economic downturn, most Anna Maria Island residents wake up every day and are thankful that they have sand in their shoes and salt in their hair. Now Island residents have even more reason to be hopeful, and that reason is spelled R-E-A-L E-S-T-A-T-E.

Based on national newspaper reports, the housing market in the vast majority of the country is still on its knees or worse. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported in its latest quarterly survey that in 28 major metropolitan areas in the country prices were still in decline, with the size of the year to year price declines greater than the previous quarter in most markets. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA passion for hair care

You frequently hear people say they love their work, however, most of us don't describe work as being a passion. If you view work as a passion, you're one of the lucky ones, and if you can turn that passion into helping people, you've come full circle.

Eleven years ago Lorie Hagele was looking for a Florida location to relocate to after too many cold snowy years in Chicago. Instead of going back to her native Ft. Meyers, she found Anna Maria Island through an Internet search. The first time she crossed the bridge from the mainland, she could feel herself exhale, knew she was home and never left. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Reverse mortgages now more attractive

Investment Corner

Over the years I have written about reverse mortgages two or three times. My conclusion was that a reverse mortgage was not something we recommended, but if the retiree in question needed additional income and had significant equity in his/her home, obtaining a reverse mortgage was not a financial mistake.

The big negative of reverse mortgages in former times was the very high cost of establishing the credit line. Mortgage insurance, origination fees and processing fees could add up to very high levels. Recent changes in the structure of reverse mortgages have allowed these costs to come down, in some cases dramatically. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMartiniVille knocks off unbeaten Duffy's

The Sun sports Game of the Week was an adult flag football league matchup between the undefeated Duffy's Tavern Buccaneers team and the MartiniVille Bears. The push for the top seeds in the playoffs is on, and all teams are vying for those much sought after spots. The best four teams get a much desired first round bye to begin the playoffs.

The Duffy's Buccaneers team came out red hot scoring on its first two offensive possessions. Its first drive was capped by a 45-yard touchdown bomb to Dustin Swain from quarterback Mark Anderson. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryWisdom in the veggie aisle

Feasting on Fitness

Breaking news: gorgeous, thin woman at the grocery store. Skinny jeans and a tight-fitting black jacket. People who look like they work out frequently pique my curiosity. She loaded up her basket with vegetables. Over the lettuce we made eye contact. I couldn't help but in my best trying-to-be-subtle nonchalant voice ask, "So…what's your secret?" She did the predictable double-take, "What?" "As a personal trainer, I see so few women who look like you do. I'm really sorry. I just had to ask." More...

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