Vol. 12 No. 46 August 29, 2012


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Island spared direct hit - again

Tropical Storm Isaac passed by Anna Maria Island on Sunday and Monday with only a few squalls, leaving surfers stoked and just about everyone else all prepared with no hurricane in sight.

The storm, at one time forecast to pass within 100 miles of the Island, veered west out into the Gulf before it reached the Island’s latitude, and served as a good dry run for people to work out the kinks in their hurricane plans. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySandbar to replace dining room

ANNA MARIA – The Sandbar restaurant plans to close its dining room and bar after the Labor Day holiday to begin construction on a new dining room and remodel the kitchen.

“I have declared the dining room unsafe, and it needs to be repaired, but I wouldn’t be afraid to eat there,” Building Official Bob Welch said. “When you declare something unsafe, you need to give them time to remedy the situation based upon the degree of safety.

“We’re here as part of a team to work through these issues, rather than put people out of work. We need to be compassionate in the way we do things.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryO’Connor bowling challenge met

ANNA MARIA – At last week’s budget meeting, commissioners were surprised by a memo from Sgt. Dave Turner of the Sheriff’s Office stating that his deputies would not enforce the city’s codes, and they said it could affect the budget.

“Once again, I am referring you for the fifth time to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office legal division regarding deputies going outside the normal parameters of their required duties under the MCSO contract and the agencies and general orders,” Turner wrote. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Osborn makes appeal to governor, FDLE

BRADENTON BEACH – Kelly Osborn has written Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to plead for a reinvestigation of her daughter’s 2009 death.

Hanging victim Sheena Morris was found dead at age 22 at the BridgeWalk resort on Bridge Street on Jan. 1, 2009, by Bradenton Beach police, who determined her death was a suicide.

After hiring her own investigators and exhuming her daughter’s body for tests, Osborn concluded that the crime scene was staged and that Morris was murdered. More...

Neighbors join to address rental issues

ANNA MARIA – A group of property owners on Bayview Place, off South Bay Boulevard, has banded together to tackle the issues of problem rentals in their neighborhood.

“We started an organization called BING – Bayview Place Invested Neighbors Group,” Gerry Slavin explained. “We have come up with a letter to rental agents, a Good Neighbor Policy and a mission statement. We are asking rental agents to give our Good Neighbor Policy to their renters. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryRobinson Preserve expansion approved

The Manatee County Commission has voted to work with the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast to acquire 150 acres to expand Robinson Preserve,

The not-for-profit agency will raise funds to acquire the property, then donate the land to the county under the agreement. More...

Art classes offered at Artspace

Artspace Studio and Gallery announces fall art classes. Instructors Alexi Lillis and Deborah Webster will be offering both day and evening classes.

Sunrise/Sunset class will take place on Tuesday mornings and Friday evenings focusing on techniques to capture the beauty and character of Anna Maria Island. More...

Another moratorium tumbles in Anna Maria

ANNA MARIA – An ordinance to establish a moratorium on demolishing ground-level homes was leveled by commissioners last week.

In introducing the ordinance, City Attorney Jim Dye said commissioners must decide on the dates it begins and ends.

Commissioner Dale Woodland said the date to end it is tied to the historical preservation committee’s task of writing a historic preservation ordinance to provide incentives for people to keep ground level homes. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySpring is cookin’ with another first place

ANNA MARIA – Andrea Spring, chef and co-owner of the Sign of the Mermaid restaurant, took first place in a duck recipe contest for professional chefs sponsored by Maple Leaf Farms, of Leesburg, Indiana.

“I’m thrilled,” Spring declared. “I try hard to win, but you never know what will happen. You have to take the time to enter and have perseverance.”

Terry Tucker, CEO of Maple Leaf Farms, said the company has been sponsoring the recipe contest for many years, and this year 150 chefs entered. 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

Reverse mortgages under scrutny

Like good wine, humans improve with age or at least we like to think so. Whether age actually improves us can be debated, but the thing that can’t be is that the senior population is steadily growing. In 2009, when the most recent numbers on the aging population were published, 12.9 percent of the population was 65 or older. By 2030, that number is expected to be 19 percent, and of course, since we live in a state seniors migrate to, we can expect Florida’s senior population to be even higher.

One of the questions I get asked a lot is what is a reverse mortgage and how does it work. I have covered this topic several times, but the industry is dynamic and appears to be changing as the population is aging. Last month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a report on reverse mortgages and said it was seeking information about consumers’ experiences with the loans with an eye toward increased regulations. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFour Island retailers honored

Four retailers on Anna Maria Island have made an impressive list for their styles and products in very different areas.

Sarasota Magazine released its Best of Sarasota Top 100 Luxury Retailers list for 2012 recently. Author Carol Tisch chose clothiers Irene’s Resort Wear and Pink & Navy, and home interior design specialists Bella by the Sea and the White Egret for the list. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Absolute return, but no guarantee

Investment Corner

In the last decade, and in particular, the last few years since the end of the 2008-09 financial crisis, a lot of investment product has been created with some variation of the moniker "absolute return." The idea of absolute return is a bit ambiguous and might catch the unsuspecting investor, eager for some sort of guaranteed and safe return in today’s uncertain climate, a bit unaware.

The word absolute almost implies a guarantee, and the idea of return implies profit, creating the idea of a guaranteed profit from these vehicles, which are usually structured as mutual funds. However, as most investors are aware, true guarantees can only be made by someone who owns a printing press and the authority to print money. In other words, governments are the only true guarantors, and many of these may presently be viewed with skepticism as to the quality of the guarantee. More...


The storm also appears not to have damaged any sea turtle nests despite high surf.

Sometimes, no matter how good the surrogate is, it takes a mother’s touch.

While Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring volunteers were making plans as Tropical Storm Isaac approached on Sunday, Mother Nature put her own plan into action.

Low pressure weather systems cause sea turtle eggs to hatch, giving the hatchlings a fighting chance to get to the Gulf before a storm inundates the nests on the beach, according to Turtle Watch Director Suzi Fox. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDuffy’s Tavern Raiders win Super Bowl

The 8-1 Agnelli Pools & Spa Dolphins battled hard against the 8-1 Duffy’s Tavern Raiders in the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s adult co-ed flag football Super Bowl championship on Thursday night. Fans were not disappointed as they watched the biggest game of the summer, go down to the wire.

The Raiders stormed out of the gate early and set the tone for the game. On their first possession, Tyler Redmond capped off the drive with a 10-yard rushing touchdown. Redmond took the ball right back from the Dolphins after getting a big interception on defense. The Raider’s took advantage of this turnover, and quarterback Chris Gillum found his favorite target, Mike Gillum, in the end zone and the touchdown. More...

Group to sponsor meal packaging event

Feasting on Fitness

Let me be clear. Even though I was a TV investigative reporter for 18 years in Miami and St. Louis, I am no longer a reporter, just a columnist. When I first began this column, I tried playing reporter, interviewing others, and saw how many hours it took. As my book was about to come out, found I just didn’t have the time to play reporter, no matter how fun it was/is.

But sometimes, you just find yourself in the middle of a story too big to pass by. And as you look around the room, realize that you’re the only reporter-like person in the room as the story unfolds. As you start taking pictures, that old familiar chill returns as a great story happens in front of you. More...

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