Vol. 13 No. 7 - November 28, 2012


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryWeapons cache seized

ANNA MARIA – Acting on a Crimestoppers tip, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies have found several weapons at a home at 107 Pine Ave., #4, belonging to Roberta Lee Conley, 54.

With limited information, the deputies identified Conley, who had been convicted of felony DUI, as being in control of an assault rifle owned by her son, Robert Conley, 18. Knowing Conley was on felony probation, they notified her probation officer, Aaron Lages, and he responded to the home immediately. More...

New officials making changes

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners last week discussed and implemented a number of changes to commission processes and operations that were suggested by Chair Jean Peelen.

The first was to hold weekly work sessions every Thursday until the backlog of issues has been resolved. In the first work session on Nov. 29, commissioners will discuss applicants for the position of public works superintendent/building official. At the second work session on Dec. 6, commissioners will discuss imposing a building moratorium. Both are at 7 p.m. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCelebrate at the park

HOLMES BEACH – Come on out to the Holmes Beach City Hall park this Friday, Nov. 30, from 5 to 10 p.m. for another Concert in the Park.

A portion of the proceeds this month goes to Island native Georgia Gibbons, who was hit by a car in Tallahassee this spring and sustained a brain injury. Her family is trying to get her into a facility that could give her the attention she needs, but it’s expensive. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHunsicker updates elected officials

BRADENTON BEACH – Manatee County could see some big money for environmental projects if it gets a fair share of a settlement with BP Oil following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

That was the message from Manatee County Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker who addressed the Coalition of Barrier Island Elected Officials meeting Nov. 21. More...

Board to discuss replacing building official

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners set a work session at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, to discuss applications received by Mayor Carmel Monti for the position of building official.

Joe Duennes, the city’s building official and superintendent of public works, retired under fire on Nov. 16. Monti said he has received applications from three candidates and expects more before the work session.

Prior to setting the work session, Monti asked recently hired Building Inspector David Greene about the backlog of building permits. More...

Site plan ordinance approved on first reading

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners last week approved on first reading an ordinance requiring a building permit to be issued subsequent to site plan approval and establishing a sunset for site plans.

The ordinance came about recently when previous Mayor Rich Bohnenberger sought to revoke the site plan for the Mainsail Development Company project at the corner of Marina and Gulf drives. Mainsail President Joe Collier said the company was moving ahead on the project. More...

Park management to go to dogs’ owners

HOLMES BEACH – The city’s dog park will continue to be managed by volunteers, commissioners agreed last week.

“There has been a flap about the best use of donors’ money, and it led to some not-so-good personal interactions,” Chair Jean Peelen told the board. “My thought is that this is city land that the dog park is on and that decisions about expenditures for the dog park, whether there are benches or trees or fountains or fences, should be moved from an ad hoc committee to the parks and beautification board.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Cortez loses an icon

Walter Thomas Bell was born Aug. 25, 1923, in Cortez Village to Aaron Parx Bell and Jessie Blanche Fulford Bell. He died on Nov. 20, 2012, at the age of 89.

Bell served in the Merchant Marines in WWII. He often said that he saw enough of the world during those years to know that he was happy to be back in Cortez. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryExplore nature this winter

The mercury drops, things get interesting at Manatee County’s preserves. The Manatee County Natural Resources Department has a list of events scheduled at the preserves. Here’s a look at what’s happening near the Island. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLocal businessmen support scallop restoration

On Wednesday Nov. 28, Sarasota Bay Watch (SBW) released another million scallops (spat) into Sarasota Bay. The latest release brings the total stocked in its first year of a multi-year effort to almost 10 million. Wednesday’s release was unusual in that it was accomplished under the auspices of a group of Island businessmen and businesses that understand SBW’s mission that “A Healthy Bay is Everybody’s Business.”

Anna Maria Island’s Ed Chiles, of the Chiles Group, teamed up with Ted LaRoche, of the LaRoche Family Foundation, and Michael Coleman, of the Pine Avenue Restoration (PAR), to provide the funding for the release. More...

real estate

Jumbo mortgages for luxury property

Jumbo is back in style, and I don’t mean Jumbo the elephant or jumbo jets. What I do mean are jumbo mortgages that are making a comeback in spite of our tepid housing recovery.

A jumbo mortgage, for those of us who never had to inquire about such things, is a mortgage in an amount above conventional conforming loan limits. The conforming loan limits are set by the two government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which set the limit on the maximum value of any individual mortgage they will purchase from a lender. The current Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac limit is $417,000, which means that in most of the country, private market financing is needed for loans in excess of this. There is a higher government cutoff point in certain high cost areas. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Energy independence a boon for economy

Investment Corner

As a young teen growing up in the early 1970s, I remember my parents’ complaints when gasoline went from 20 or 30 cents per gallon up to 40 to 50 cents – the horror! Sometimes there were long lines to get fuel because everyone wanted to keep their tank full because we might run out and supplies had to be rationed.

In 1978 gasoline prices went over $1, and none of the pumps were built to accommodate any price higher than 99.9 cents. So, they set the meter at half price, and doubled it when you went in to pay. Yes, this was before you could pay at the pump with a credit card. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDodgeball tourney helps raise money

The Anna Maria Island Community Center hosted the third annual Dodgeball Tournament on Friday, Nov. 23. More than 50 players, ages 14 and up, took out their Black Friday frustrations by throwing a black dodgeball at their opponents. Instead of spending money, they helped raise money for Island teens.

Teams from all over Manatee County participated in this fun, one-day tournament. The tournament was created by Center’s Teen Director Ryan Hogan three years ago. Hogan and the teens try and raise money to help pay for their field trips. Whether the teens are feeding the hungry, cleaning an adopted beach, taking an educational field trip, learning life skills or just having fun, this active group is always doing something positive. The group’s program name is R.E.A.C.H, which stands for Responsible Educate Adolescents Can Help, and that’s just what they do. More...

My top four reasons to go vegan

Feasting on Fitness

My friends and I got a little sad this week to read that Starbucks bought Teavana, the popular online tea store and that alsois found in many upscale malls. The best thing about Teavana is it lets you sample an amazing number of teas for free. But the more depressing thing about the story, other than another case of a big corporation gobbling up a smaller one, is that one of the reasons cited is that the coffee bean is in deep distress over global warming. And tea leaves may eventually follow suit.

With corn prices soaring ever higher from drought conditions earlier this year, meat and dairy are feeling the impact too. One of my Google alerts is “vegan.” An increasing number of studies say what I’ve been saying for years, especially globally, we may all be eating veg eventually, like it or not. More...

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