Vol. 13 No. 26 - April 10, 2013


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDoggie do’s and don’ts set for Scentral Park

HOLMES BEACH – Beautification board members agreed on a set of rules for the dog park presented by Bob Longworth at last week’s meeting.

Before presenting the rules, Longworth, the board’s liaison to the dog park, praised Barbara Parkman, the park’s de facto caretaker. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryRotten Ralph’s lease cancelled

BRADENTON BEACH – By a vote of 4-1, the city commission terminated its concession agreement with Rotten Ralph’s restaurant on the city pier for failure to pay back rent in excess of $50,000.

Owner Dave Russell said he began to fall behind last July after the pier closed due to damage from then-Tropical Storm Debby, later a hurricane. Damage to the floating dock next to the pier, also caused Ralph’s to lose customers, he told commissioners on Thursday night. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLake LaVista dredging project under way

Work has begun in the Lake LaVista dredging project and should continue for another week or two. Sand from the dredging will be placed around the entrance to the Anna Maria City Pier and along the bayside beach.

The sand is being formed into retention ponds on either side of the pier ramp, visible in the photo at right. The purpose is to let the wet sand dry out before it is distributed along the beach, according to Anna Maria Public Works Director George McKay. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNew Center director settles in

ANNA MARIA – New Island Community Center Director Dawn Stiles said her first mistake after moving to the Island last week was going Publix on Saturday afternoon, however, negotiating the large crowd of grocery shopping tourists didn’t dampen her spirit.

“It’s great here,” she said, “I love it more every day. People are so friendly everywhere you go.” More...

Center to collaborate with school system

ANNA MARIA – A $25,000 donation will enable the Community Center’s Family Foundations counseling program to collaborate with the Manatee County School system.

Assistant Director Scot Dell made the announcement a recent board meeting and said, “The need is great. We’re excited about the possibility of collaborating with the county school system to go into the schools to do group therapy and counseling sessions on a variety of topics. More...

Commission settles on lot, bulk and yard numbers

ANNA MARIA – The city commission decided last Thursday to accept a living area ratio (LAR) that would allow smaller house-to-yard ratios for larger lots.

In an attempt to keep the newer homes on the same smaller scale as existing homes, the commission settled on a LAR of 40 percent for lots up to 15,000 square feet plus 35 percent for lots between 15,001 and 21,000 square feet plus 30 percent for lots over 21,000. In addition, a second living area could not exceed 33 percent and the maximum impervious surface on a lot, including the buildings, would be 50 percent. More...

Board seeks remodeling incentives

ANNA MARIA – Some call it old Florida when they talk about the homes and towns that settlers built in our state, and the residents of this Island city are looking to keep that ambiance instead of losing it to new construction.

At a meeting last week, the planning and zoning board (P&Z) decided on three ways to make remodeling a single-story house more appealing than knocking it down and building a new structure. More...

Deadline nears for Wedding Festival

HOLMES BEACH – Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Vice President Deb Wing is hoping to get response from past and potential vendors soon as she prepares for the Sixth Annual Wedding Festival on Sunday, May 5.

The deadline for vendors is Friday, April 12, extended two days from its original date, and Wing says it is important to sign up by then to assure inclusion in the glossy attendee brochure. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBoat Shop has new steward in Stewart

CORTEZ – Do you own a boat, but need space to work on it? Are you the volunteering type who would like to spend some free time repairing and restoring boats, even if you don’t own one yourself? Are you skilled in a trade and need an outlet for your talents?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH) Boat Shop might be the place for you. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Special places: Joan M. Durante Park

A slight turn off the bike path along Gulf of Mexico Drive and we were suddenly immersed in a world of quiet shell strewn lanes that meandered through live oaks and a plethora of native Florida species. Slowly the hum of traffic subsided and the sounds of songbirds filled the air. The fragrance of roses and frangipani mixed with a tinge of salt air as we peddled into a mangrove forest bisected with tidal lagoons and teaming with wading birds. More...

real estate

Be cautious of the real estate high

We’re on a high, no not a drug induced one but a high that if maintained could produce similar results. Let’s call it the “all of a sudden it looks like my house is going to sell” high or the “I better hurry up and buy a house” high. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, the real estate high is in the air and is very intoxicating.

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales are at a three year high. Nationally, home sales increased 0.8 percent in February from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million the highest level since November 2009 More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBridge Street project conditionally approved

BRADENTON BEACH – Developer Michael Hynds is one step away from approval of his plan for a 60-seat restaurant and four-store retail project at 119 Bridge Street.

The city commission gave conditional approval to an amended plan he presented Thursday night, addressing the commission’s primary concern over lack of parking by eliminating indoor seating from his restaurant. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Reverse mortgage land mines

Investment Corner

This last weekend I saw former Sen. Fred Thompson promoting reverse mortgages in a TV commercial. About a decade ago I wrote here in The Sun about “Reverse Mortgages,” which are a vehicle that can be used by seniors to convert the equity in their primary residence to an income stream by borrowing against that very equity. My conclusion was that this vehicle should not be used unless the homeowner had no other solution to generate income to support their lifestyle, with the negatives being the very high fees to establish the reverse mortgage and the eventual end to the income source when the equity value was fully tapped. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCenter flag football champions crowned

Waterfront Restaurant Dolphins - Adult co-ed Flag Football Champions

Spring is in the air on the Island after a cold rainy March and sports stars are blossoming at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. Five sports leagues formed their teams for the start of the upcoming spring sports season.

In youth sports the Center formed sixteen teams. Youth basketball will fast-break into action with 12 teams. Three teams in the 8-to-ten-year-old age group, five teams in the 11-to-13-year-old age group and four teams in the 14-to-seventeen-year-old age group. More...

Bragging or informing?

Feasting on Fitness

I had a passionate, wonderful agent who knocked herself out, didn’t get paid a penny, and copied me on every e-mail she sent to “big boy” publishers. They all turned me down because I wasn’t already a celeb or published author, and as she put it, “All publishers care about is how many friends you have on Facebook and how many tweets a day you tweet.”

As my book, “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day” came out 2 years ago this month, I hired someone to help me get started, and then I took over posting daily. My Facebook book page has almost 21,000 followers. More...

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