Vol. 12 No. 44 - August 15, 2012


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Commission slams door on city pier gate

ANNA MARIA – Chair Chuck Webb dismissed a request from city pier tenant Mario Schoenfelder to put up a gate at the north parking lot and charge those who don’t use the pier facilities.

“It’s not really practical,” Webb stressed. “The tenant doesn’t have the right to all that property, just the right to use a number of parking spaces. We’re not in a partnership; we’re a landlord and a tenant. More...

City seeks resumés for commission seat

ANNA MARIA – If you’ve been itching to serve on the city commission, now’s your chance.

Commissioners agreed to accept applications from residents hoping to fill the commission position that will become vacant in November. The situation was created when no one qualified to run for mayor.

According to the charter, after the November election, the commission will elect a chair, and that chair automatically becomes mayor for the next two years. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story P&Z debates tree protection ordinance

ANNA MARIA – Debating whether it’s overregulation or protection, planning and zoning board members decided that they need further discussion on a tree ordinance.

“At our last meeting, we had discussed issues relative to the right of way and tree removal, and it sparked some discussion as to whether we needed to look at a tree ordinance,” City Planner Alan Garrett explained.

He said the city has a landscape code that mandates that native trees be planted when someone builds a house, but there is no ordinance regarding tree removal or protection. More...

Peelen to report on neighborhoods

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioner Jean Peelen has announced that she plans to make a report at the Tuesday, Aug. 14 commission meeting on the status of the city’s neighborhoods and recommendations for improvement.

Among the problems she plans to discuss are violations of city regulations in new construction, and the proliferation of multiple-bedroom vacation rentals that she calls “commercial establishments created in the middle of residential neighborhoods in violation of the comprehensive code,” both of which she said disrupt residents’ quiet enjoyment of their homes. More...

NOAA ups hurricane prediction

This hurricane season’s busy first half has prompted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to increase the number of storms expected over the second half.

NOAA released its amended outlook last Thursday and it calls for a total of 12 to 17 named storms. According to lead hurricane forecaster Gerry Bell, the chance for an above average season rose to 35 percent. More...

Morris death re-investigation begins

BRADENTON BEACH – Representatives from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) team who will re-investigate the death of Sheena Morris on Jan. 1, 2009 have met with Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale and original investigator, Det. Sgt. Lenard Diaz.

According to Speciale, one of the members of the panel of law enforcement professionals will be in town this week to help Diaz reconstruct how the young woman’s death was investigated.

A hearing before the panel will likely not begin until mid-September, after the Republican National Convention in Tampa ends, Speciale said, adding that the panel would consist of between 12 and 15 members. Diaz said the hearing itself might run from eight to 12 days. More...

Student armbands to be color-coded for safety

HOLMES BEACH – When the doors open for school this year, kids won’t be allowed in without an armband. It’s for their safety.

When school lets out, students will wear the armbands so teachers and school personnel know how they are getting home – by school bus, Community Center after-school bus, a parent, walking or bike riding. That way, they can direct a child to the proper waiting area.

This year, parents who pick up their kids will do so by the south playground entrance instead of the area just west of the cafeteria. More...

PTO changes Spring Fling from April to February

By the time the students return to class, the Anna Maria Elementary PTO will have had activities planned and changes made for the new school year.

Sue Carroll takes the reigns of the PTO this year and the first change they have made is the date of the Spring Fling, their most lucrative fund-raiser, to Feb. 23. The last Spring Fling was held on April 28.

“We hope to get more participation,” Carroll said. “Last year, they held the DeSoto Festival Parade in Bradenton the same night as the Spring Fling and I’m sure some of the families opted to the parade. We checked around after choosing Feb. 23 and the closest event is the Cortez Fishing Festival (Feb. 16 and 17).” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCenter readies for back to school

The Island Community Center is gearing up for back to school with TLC before school and after school care. The DCF licensed program has a dedicated and well-trained staff that welcomes children enrolled in grades K through 5.

Before School Care, located at the Anna Maria Elementary School cafeteria, provides homework time, games and activities in a safe and supervised program. The program allows parents to drop their children off between 6:45 and 8 a.m. daily. The cost is $10 per week. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryScallop count up from last year

The weather was perfect, the water clear and a record-breaking crowd of more than 100 volunteers collected 93 scallops during Sarasota Bay Watch’s Fifth Annual Scallop Search based at the Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant on Longboat Key.

The Scallop Search is the signature event of Sarasota Bay Watch and has been growing in popularity every year. Volunteers combed the grass flats from Palma Sola Bay in Manatee County to Big Pass in Sarasota from boats, kayaks, a sailboat and Sarasota High School’s floating classroom, The Carefree Learner. More...

real estate

Mortgage process not made to order

Bespoke is a word that generally means to personalize or customize. Although it was a new word to me, it is actually an old English term narrowly used for made to order suits from London tailors.

Apparently the archaic word has had resurgence both here in the United States and in the U.K. with shops, book stores, medical supply houses and even storage boxes suddenly branding themselves bespoke. However, the one area of our lives where you can be guaranteed bespoke will never be spoken is in the mortgage industry where everyone lives by the same rules. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMarshalls opens near Island

BRADENTON – The sign is up and the store is stocked, and at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, the doors will open to the newest Marshalls department store at 75th and Cortez Road.

This is the third Marshalls in Bradenton, and it offers 23,844 square feet of the latest fashions for leisure lifestyles and formal occasions at affordable prices. Expect top-quality and trendy fashions and designer brand names for ladies, gentlemen and children at low prices. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Understanding immediate annuities

Investment Corner

The era of ultra-low interest rates continues and from comments being made by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, it may be with us for several more years. The result is that investors who wish to remain risk averse and use traditional savings vehicles like certificates of deposit or money market funds continue to earn little return on their capital.

Of course, brokerage firms and insurance companies do their best to promote products which appeal to these investors’ emotions of fear and greed. One of these vehicles, which looks pretty attractive in print advertising in our current low interest rate environment is the “immediate annuity." More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story BeachHouse popular with turtles

BRADENTON BEACH – A surprise turtle nest hatched recently at the BeachHouse restaurant, according to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring Director Suzi Fox.

Surprise nests are nests that are undiscovered, often because it rained after they were laid, obscuring tracks from Turtle Watch volunteers who look for tracks each morning on the beach. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLobstahs undefeated going into playoffs

The Sun sports game of the week was the final regular season game in the Community Center’s adult co-ed volleyball season. Lobstahs took on The Feast restaurant to try and remain unbeaten going into the playoffs.

In the first game, in the best two out of three, Lobstahs and The Feast went back and forth and were tied 7 to 7. Then the Lobstahs team ran away with the set, scoring 10 points to the Feast’s two points, scoring on the service of Andrea Leone and Troy Shonk. Then they went on another run scoring eight points to the Feast’s two and winning the first set 25 to 11. More...

Fixing that pain in the back

Feasting on Fitness

An article on back pain by Active.com reminded me that we all battle gravity, and especially the back.

A recent study said sitting in a chair all day is right up there with cigarette smoking. Other reports about body parts fusing to each other if you don’t get out of that chair, have made me set my computer to announce the time every 15 minutes. I used to have it set for every hour to remind me to move. But it doesn’t seem like that is often enough. More...

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper