Vol. 11 No. 32 - May 11, 2011


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story100 years of the pier

It's been 100 years since the Anna Maria City Pier was built and in honor of that milestone we've put together a special collection of stories and photographs of the pier's history. Inside the commemorative section you will find:

* What life was like for a family of seven that lived on the pier.

* How the pier was used as a way to attract wealthy visitors

* The history of Belle Haven Cottage, once a pier fixture.

* How a wealthy banker built his own slice of paradise on the pier.

Take a stroll back through 100 years of the pier. More...

New state laws affect Island

The Florida Legislature closed its 2011 session on Saturday, passing some laws and passing over others that affect Anna Maria Island residents.

Vacation rentals

In the final hours of the session, the Legislature passed a bill that prohibits local governments from regulating or banning vacation rentals based solely on their classification, use or occupancy, unless they already have such ordinances in effect, or adopt them before June 1. More...

Segways scrutinized

Segways, those self-propelled one-person vehicles that look like scooters on steroids, are growing in popularity, especially in resort areas like Anna Maria Island, and Manatee County is considering new rules to deal with them.

Manatee County Parks and Recreation Director Cindy Turner appeared before the county commission on Tuesday, May 3, to discuss allowing Segways at Leffis Key and on the Coquina Beach Trail at the beach. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryResidents view pier boardwalk plans

ANNA MARIA – Residents met with Florida Department of Transportation and construction officials last week in an open forum at the Community Center on the city pier boardwalk grant project.

"After five long years of waiting, planning, and dreaming on the part of the Transportation Enhancement Grant Committee, the time has finally arrived when construction will begin on our new boardwalk/nature walk," Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Changes to Kingfish Boat Ramp on the way

HOLMES BEACH – New lights, new plants and a new zoning ordinance are in the works for Kingfish Park this week and next.

The Holmes Beach Planning Commission is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, May 11 at 7 p.m. at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive, to consider a zoning ordinance that would apply public recreation/open space zoning to the boat ramp and picnic area.

The park is being annexed from Manatee County to the city of Holmes Beach. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNot a lot to love about love bugs

The latest emergence of the small black flies with the little red markings is in decline, thankfully. We won't see them again until fall.

Their scientific name is plecia nearctica, but you won't hear anyone outside a university actually call them that.

They're members of the family of March flies. You may have heard them called honeymoon fly, double-headed bug, kissing bug or any of a list of other names that wouldn't be appropriate for a family newspaper. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryVolunteers sow seeds of Hope

ANNA MARIA – Somewhere in the world a child dies from hunger every six seconds, and one in six people suffer from a lack of proper food.

Members of Hope Seeds, a Christian charitable organization, in cooperation with local churches, are helping address those issues by living up to their motto – Teaching the Hungry to Feed Themselves. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Acadian eggs

The spring of my fifth year, Uncle George covered his suburban front lawn with horse poop and turned it into a "farm" to drive the neighbors crazy. Weekends I stayed at Uncle George's and helped him with the farm.

On Sunday mom made Uncle George take me to church.

I spent a half-hour getting ready. Ten minutes donning the required church uniform for five-year-old Nova Scotian males: short-sleeved white shirt, Nova Scotia tartan short pants, tartan bow tie, tartan knee socks. Cute. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryJoin Sarasota Bay Watch's Sister Key's cleanup

On Saturday May 7, Sarasota Bay Watch, in cooperation with the town of Longboat Key and the Chiles Group, will be holding the Third Annual Sister Keys Cleanup from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Cleanup participants will gather next to the public dock at the corner of Linley Street and Lois Avenue adjacent to the Mar Vista Dockside restaurant beginning at 8:30 a.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their own boats, kayaks or canoes, but boats will be available to transport non-boaters to the Keys courtesy of Cannons Marina. More...

real estate

Florida homebuyers: Be here now

It's May, and we can all look forward to warm lazy days, plenty of elbow room at the beach, no traffic and best of all, getting a table at our favorite restaurant. But are we really happy the winter visitors are gone, and more important, have they made a mistake leaving?

In view of the March home sales reports both nationally and locally, anyone interested in purchasing Florida real estate should be here now. The National Association of Realtors reported that sales rose during the month of March by 3.7 percent over March of last year. This was more than expected, as economists polled by Reuters predicted sales to rise 2.5 percent. During six of the last eight months, sales have risen on a national level giving the industry a good dose of cautious optimism. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryEnjoy the view and the food at Bridge Tender Inn

Why is it that food always tastes better when eaten near the water? Is it the food, is it the view or is it the relaxed tranquility we seem to get lulled into. Whatever the reason, The Bridge Tender Inn on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach has been making sure their customers are relaxed and tranquil for more than 24 years.

In 1917, Bradenton Beach was nothing more than a small settlement of hearty folks living near the water. One of these first settlers started the area's first commercial enterprise by building the Bayside Inn, which eventually became today's Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Some say, 'Sell in May and go away'

Investment Corner

Investment lore has a lot of sayings meant to pass long wisdom from one generation to the next, usually after some calendar or valuation pattern becomes obvious, but may not prove to be everlasting when viewed with the benefit of hindsight a few years later.

One popular calendar based prognostication is upon us now. Some call this the "Sell in May and go away indicator." Others call it the "Halloween indicator." The theory behind this market pattern is that over time, the bulk of the stock market's return is delivered from the end of October through the end of April, the most favorable six months of the year to invest. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThank you sports moms

In light of Mother's Day, take a few minutes to thank and appreciate the sports mom in your life. The nickname soccer mom has taken on an entirely new meaning over the years, especially on the Island. Children athletes are enjoying a variety of sports year round and staying healthier because of it. Behind the scenes though is mom running around all over town keeping everything together. Kids are so busy nowdays a mom could be juggling taking her child to sports games and practices, school, Boy or Girl Scouts, piano lessons, karate, a haircut, doctor or dentist appointments and dinner all in a week. Just being on a sports team can be a three- to four-day a week commitment but they gladly do it all for their kids. So here's to you, super sports moms, for all you've done for the sports fanatics in your house. They couldn't do it without you. You're the best. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA Runner's Body

Feasting on Fitness

I was on an airplane sitting by the window eyeing oncoming passengers making eye contact with someone to sit next to for the next 2 to 3 hours. The tall guy who grabbed the aisle seat was looking for stretching room.

After takeoff, he asked, "Are you a runner?" I nodded. "You can always tell," he said. "And I'm guessing a long time."

"30 years, give or take. How did you know?" I asked. More...

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