Vol. 13 No. 9 - December 12, 2012


Holiday of Treasures returns Friday night

ANNA MARIA – The snow will be glistening in the winter wonderland of the Island Sun Plaza while Santa hears the holiday wishes of children during Anna Maria’s annual Holiday of Treasures on Friday, Dec. 14, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Merchants along Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue will welcome visitors with special refreshments, sparkling holiday decorations, seasonal music and shopping bargains. The Roser Children’s Choir and Bell Ringers will delight strollers at the AMI Historical Museum at 6 p.m. More...

Chief Romine retires

HOLMES BEACH – “This is me. It’s my decision and no one else’s,” Police Chief Jay Romine said of his announcement that he would retire this month. “When it’s time, you know, and it’s time. I’ve had a good run, and I’ve been blessed.”

Romine gave his notice Friday to Mayor Carmel Monti and told his staff at their annual holiday party Friday evening because he wanted all of them to hear it from him at the same time. More...

Moratorium looms in Holmes Beach

HOLMES BEACH – It could soon become impossible to tear down an existing home in the R-2 district in Holmes Beach and replace it with a new home – at least for the next six months

Commissioners instructed City Attorney Patricia Petruff to draft an ordinance imposing a moratorium for six months in the R-2 district on construction that exceeds more than 50 percent of the value of the house. More...

New arrest in falsified documents case

A woman was arrested on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at her home in Palmetto and charged with using false documents to gain employment at Beach to Bay Construction, 5702 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach.

Alejandra Burgos-Mondoza, 31, was arrested by agents with the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud. More...

Mayor chastises commissioner

HOLMES BEACH – After Mayor Carmel Monti reported on the building official issue at last week’s work session, he reprimanded Commissioner David Zaccagnino for interfering with his responsibility as CEO.

Monti said he conferred with each commissioner before hiring architect Tom O’Brien on a contract basis and expects them to confirm him as interim building official on Dec. 11. More...

Mainsail project questioned again

HOLMES BEACH – City Attorney Patricia Petruff said she did not recommend revoking the site plan of the Mainsail Development, after Commissioner Judy Titsworth brought up issues regarding changes in character and intensity on the site.

The commission has discussed the development several times since previous Mayor Rich Bohnenberger sought to revoke the site plan for its project at the corner of Marina and Gulf drives. Mainsail President Joe Collier said the company was moving ahead on the project and recently provided a project schedule. More...

Tourism up for fiscal year

BRADENTON BEACH – Nearly 10 percent more people visited Manatee County in fiscal year 2011-12 than in the previous year, with an economic impact nearly 13 percent higher, totaling $565 million, the Manatee County Tourist Development Council (TDC) learned on Monday.

The largest increase was from the European market, where 23 percent more visitors chose the county as a vacation destination than last year, according to a report by Research Data Services (RDS), the county’s tourism consultant. More...

Former board member seeks help

BRADENON BEACH – A former member of the city’s Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) is concerned about possible litigation from somebody after he was given a public records request from a local attorney.

Rick Bisio asked the City Commission last Thursday if the city would stand behind him if the request by attorney Michael Barfield turns into legal action. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCortez youth program re-launched

CORTEZ – Young men and women from 14 to 20 who aspire to become sailors and rowers are invited to apply for the Turner Maritime Challenge at Cortez.

The newly-reorganized program will use the Sea Scouts manual for its programs. A division of the Boy Scouts of America, Sea Scouts has parallel goals with TMCC, according to the new leader on deck, Sean Wardell, a new Cortez resident and former Great Lakes freighter officer from Cleveland, Ohio. 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

Building a construction loan

The American Dream of home ownership is more alive than in recent years with the housing market improving daily. But what about the American Dream of building your own home? Are future homeowners ready to take on the financial risks associated with building from scratch in order to have that once in a lifetime experience of building their dream home?

The first hurdle to overcome, if you’ve decided to take on the thrill of new home construction, is how you pay for it. If you can’t afford to pay for the cost of the construction up front and need to obtain financing, it could be a little tricky. Basically you’re asking a bank or lender to give you money for something that doesn’t exist and to have faith in not only you as the borrower, but also in your contractor. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDonuts sizzle in Anna Maria

ANNA MARIA – Owner Shawn Wampole moved fast to fill the orders of moms and kids, senior strollers and business owners who flocked into Anna Maria Donuts last week to get their fix of the cake-like delight.

Wampole, who sent samples out to fellow business owners on Pine Avenue prior to opening, said, “Everybody has been very welcoming. This is a really nice community.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Estate planning challenges

Investment Corner

Unless Congress and the president are able to reach an agreement by the end of 2012, the federal estate and gift tax exemptions will roll back to the $1 million level from their present level of $5.12 million. In addition, estate tax rates are increasing, up to as high as 55 percent from the current level of 35 percent. With all the talk of the impending fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax increases which will also occur on Jan. 1 if no deal is struck, there hasn’t seemingly been too much attention paid to the estate planning challenges faced by families. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFlorida Discount Signs wins in overtime

The Sun Sports Game of the week was the championship game for the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s 4 v 4 adult co-ed soccer tournament. The final match of the day saw the Florida Discount Signs team battle the Dream Crushers for the first annual championship.

Both of these two teams were undefeated in regular pool play and through the tournament bracket before entering the championship game. Setting the pitch up for a fantastic tournament finish. More...

Competing in the Senior Games

Feasting on Fitness

So this is it. I’ve been training much of this year for the Florida Senior Games. I’ll be competing in several sprinting events, but my main focus is the 100-meter race. My local qualifying time is :06 slower than NCAA college girls’ personal records at USC. I have the 2012 USC Track and Field Guide, since my daughter goes there.

Just two years ago, you may recall that I did my first marathon (Palm Beaches) and was the 5th oldest to finish. So, you might wonder, “Why is she doing a track meet?” More...

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