Vol. 12 No. 36 - June 20, 2012


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySending out an S.O.S.

The Skullywag sits next to a city building in Holmes Beach, exposed to the elements and showing its age. Now, the Anna Maria Island Privateers are looking to restore it.

According to Tim “Hammer” Thompson, there are some major problems for the vehicle, which was pieced together by Privateer Jim “Skully” Hungerford and a bunch of helpers.

Before the Skullywag, the Privateers had a ship that was more of a barge. They had to pull it behind a heavy-duty pickup. More...

Monthly home sales highest since 2005

The “For Sale” signs are coming down as buyers continue to make offers for Island property, according to statistics gathered from the Multiple Listing Service by Alan Galletto, of Island Real Estate.

Galletto released the figures in his latest newsletter (http://www.alangalletto.com/), and they represent sales in May, as the high tourist season closed.

According to Galletto, May’s sales of 52 properties was the first time sales on the Island had topped 50 since 2005. Those sales included 31 single-family homes, 15 condo units, three duplexes and three lots. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryResidents rally ‘round chickens

ANNA MARIA – Residents are being called to rally around the chickens and roosters that were left by a stranger in the Historical Park on Pine Avenue over Memorial Day weekend.

“We’re just getting started,” said Sandy Rich, organizer of the PC (pro chicken) Group. “We want people to support the chickens. The world knows they’re cool.

“If we get enough people, we’ll approach our elected officials, but we’re not planning any demonstrations on Pine Avenue,” she said with a laugh. More...

Attorney clarifies process for selecting mayor

ANNA MARIA – City Attorney Jim Dye outlined the process for the city to fill the office of mayor since no one filed to run for the office during the city’s qualifying period.

“In November after the election, the commission will have an organizational meeting, and a chairman of the commission will be selected” Dye explained. “That chairperson automatically steps into the role of mayor and will be mayor for the next two years.

“That creates a vacancy on the commission, and the charter says that is done by electing or appointing a person qualified to fill that seat.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Firefighters rescue gull grounded by kite string

West Manatee firefighters came to the rescue Sunday evening when a seagull was tangled up in kite string at the top of a tree on Park Avenue in Anna Maria.

According to Park Avenue resident Betty Yanger, “Just before sunset, a lot of birds were flying around a cypress tree, and we saw a seagull 30 feet away with something wrapped around it. It was trying to flap its wings and it couldn’t” More...

Fire’s start undetermined

HOLMES BEACH – Fire inspectors from the state fire marshal’s office and West Manatee Fire Rescue have ruled the cause of the fire that destroyed a boat and the boat house at 5601 Flotilla Avenue last Monday is undetermined.

Fire inspectors pored over what was left of the $100,000 Grady-White boat, which was destroyed in the fire that took out the boat house and an art studio behind the house. More...

ANNA MARIA – Commissioners agreed to ask staff to write a policy requiring a special event permit for weddings that use numerous chairs, tables and tents on the beach.

Chair Chuck Webb told the board, “About two months ago, my wife and I were walking on the beach and on a Saturday, there were100 chairs sitting out there. Someone had a wedding and had taken off and it was about 8 p.m. and the chairs had been there all afternoon.”

“People coming out and walking down to the beach and having a wedding, that’s great. It’s always happened in Anna Maria, but not moving furniture on the beach. They start the set up process way before the ceremony, and we have the beach being taken over for a long period of time.” More...

FISH working to restore programs

HOLMES BEACH – The last of the Concerts in the Park for the season will serve up Southern rock on Friday, June 29, when Highway 41 and Scott’s Garage take the field next to Holmes Beach City Hall.

The event will take a summer break until October, said organizer Cindy Thompson, of Island Festivals.

Summer heat and rains could decrease attendance, reducing the proceeds that go to a different not-for-profit partner each month, she said, explaining that not-for-profit organizations are only allowed three liquor licenses a year, which Island Festivals uses for the events. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDogs waiting for their day at the beach

BRADENTON BEACH – A movement to allow dogs on the beach on Anna Maria Island remains in planning mode while a similar movement on Longboat Key is gearing up to launch in fall.

Ruth Ueker has investigated possible sites for a “time share” dog beach - early morning and late afternoon - at Twin Piers on the Gulf side of Anna Maria Island, Coquina Bayside Park and the bayside Herb Dolan Park, all in Bradenton Beach. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryJack cravelle: Bull dogs of the sea

Jack Cravelle are not a target species of most anglers who fish with fly, spin or bait casters. The majority of these fish are caught inshore by anglers looking for trout, redfish, snook and other species. Small Jack cravelle are even considered trash fish by many anglers, but once they hook one over five pounds they usually have a new appreciation of these bull dogs of the sea.

During the summer months, it’s not uncommon to see large schools of big Jack cravelle along local beaches where they pursue schools of baitfish. While even small Jacks can put up a feisty battle, larger members of the species are incredibly challenging. A big Jack on the west coast will run about 15 to 20 pounds and can put up an awe inspiring fight. It’s not uncommon for a 10- to 15-pound fish to fight for 15 to 20 minutes on a 12-weight fly rod used for tarpon. More...

real estate

Real estate misrepresentations

Remember the 1950’s game show “Who Do You Trust?” where couples needed to decide if their answer or the answer of their spouse was the correct one. It’s actually a question we should all be asking ourselves in today’s over abundant 24/7 newsfeeds on network and cable television, not to mention radio.

On a recent quiet sunny Sunday morning, I was reduced to the edge of rage before the clock struck noon. One piece of the rage was part of a Sunday morning talk show the other was a letter to the editor in the morning paper. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryJewelry that's fun and fabulous

The oldest known jewelry dates back 100,000 years and was made from nassarius shells. Mostly jewelry is used for person adornment, but throughout history, it has also been used as currency and kept as an investment.

On Anna Maria as in most casual beach communities jewelry made from beads are popular, but in Holmes Beach there’s a shop where beaded jewelry crosses the threshold from a simple strand of beads to the look of fine jewelry. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

The 5 percent rule revisited

Investment Corner

OK. I'm taking some liberty with the rounding when I refer to the 5 percent rule. The father of the rule, California financial advisor William Bengen, began looking at the topic of safe withdrawal rates from diversified investment portfolios about 20 years ago. His early work revealed that for most retirees, the safe withdrawal rate, which references the portion of the beginning of year principal value they could withdraw and have their portfolio last for about 30 years or more, was 4.5 percent. The 4.5 percent rate also was calculated to increase each year for the prevailing inflation rate. After all, the ravages of inflation affect retirees as much or more than those still working.

I anticipate this being a two or three part article over the next few weeks here in The Sun as I attempt to share some updated thoughts from Bengen from a recent update to his study prompted by the relatively poor performance period we have been through for equities and other asset classes in the last 12 years. A primary source for this information is an article in Financial Advisor Magazine in May. More...


Sea turtles nesting earlier than normal

Sea turtles have laid nearly as many nests on Anna Maria Island in the first seven weeks of the 2012 season as they did during the entire 26-week 2011 season.

As of Monday, June 18, sea turtles had laid 143 nests on the Island, compared to 145 nests in all of last year’s turtle season, according to Suzi Fox, of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring.

Turtle season lasts from May 1 to Oct. 31. Nesting usually continues through the third week of July, she said, adding that about four weeks of nesting remains this year. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Community Center Cup Champions

The newly added spring adult co-ed soccer season at the Anna Maria Island Community Center is now officially over. The season capped off on Thursday night with the first ever adult all-star game and then the Cup Championship.

Ten weeks ago, eight teams began the journey towards the title. But in the end it was the Don Meilner & Son Construction team that was crowned champions. Doing it with authority and leaving no doubt, they shutout the powerhouse Florida Discount Signs team 8-0. More...

Readers praise graduation stance

Feasting on Fitness

The response to last week’s column on the Manatee High School valedictorian Sarah Ecker, who didn’t give a speech at graduation or even get a mention in the program, has been overwhelmingly kind. A summary of responses follows, with Sarah’s dad first:

I would like to thank you very much for the kind words about my daughter. There are not enough words that can express a father’s happiness regarding Sarah’s accomplishments. As a parent, I was blessed when Sarah was born, making me the proud father I am today as I was when I first set eyes on her. More...

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