Vol. 13 No. 34 - June 12, 2013


The first six months

Many of you have asked how things are going at city hall. Here is a list of what we have put in place or accomplished since November of last year.

Building and Public Works departments

We hired a new head of building and public works, Mr. Tom O’Brien. O’Brien brings to the building and public works area years of experience in the local area with positions of managing departments at Manatee County, being a magistrate, as well as a lifelong career as an architect. Our previous department head resigned and the building inspector had been fired shortly before I took office. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPetition circulating to keep tree house

HOLMES BEACH – Registered voters in the city soon will receive letters asking them to sign a petition creating a city ordinance to save the tree house at Angelino’s Sea Lodge, 103 29th St.

A provision of the city charter allows the public to petition for an initiative proceeding to create the ordinance, which proposes that the tree house be allowed to remain in place, with the provisions that it not be used for motel customers and that the city be held harmless for any liability associated with the structure. More...

FDLE listens to mother about Morris’ death

BRADENTON BEACH – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement gave the mother of Sheena Morris an opportunity on Monday to tell them the results of her own investigation into her daughter’s death.

Morris was found dead in a Bradenton Beach motel room on New Year’s Day 2009. Bradenton Beach police determined that her death was a suicide. Osborn requested FDLE’s involvement, insisting that her daughter’s death was a murder and implicating her boyfriend, Joe Genoese. More...

Residents get referendum briefing

HHOLMES BEACH – A small group of voters gathered at city hall to listen to two officials make a pitch for the two referendum items on the July 18 ballot.

Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker began the discussion telling voters why they should approve a half-cent sales tax hike, raising the tax from 6 1/2 percent to7 percent. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPier partially closed after Andrea

BRADENTON BEACH – The eastern half of the Bridge Street Pier, already scheduled for repairs this summer, will temporarily be closed after Tropical Storm Andrea did further damage last week.

Two boats crashed into the pier during the storm, striking protective pilings beside the newly-repaired floating dock on the south side of the pier, then hitting the midsection of the main pier, where one struck the railings supporting the cupola, which will now be removed ahead of schedule due to instability, Police Chief Sam Speciale said. More...

FISH raises concerns about Long Bar Pointe

CORTEZ – The Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH) board of directors welcomed back a familiar face when Chips Shore returned to the non-profit board during the June 3 meeting.

Shore, the Manatee County Clerk of the Court and Comptroller, resigned from the FISH board in January, due in part to his unhappiness with the way FISH Secretary Joe Kane “editorialized” meeting minutes pertaining to the county having to charge a fee for use of the Maritime Museum parking area during the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Tears and smiles on the last day of school

Bittersweet, especially for fifth-graders as the clock ran out on the school year.

Principal David Marshall had the fifth-graders come downstairs from their classrooms first to say goodbye, as this would be their final moments as elementary school students. More...

Supreme Court reviewing Florida Forever

The Florida Supreme Court is expected to decide by September whether the proposed constitutional amendment funding Florida Forever satisfies legal requirements to bring it to a vote in November 2014.

The Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment would set aside $5 billion to purchase and maintain conservation lands over the next 10 years, according to Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign, which reached the required number of signatures – 10 percent of 683,149 – to trigger the review in April. More...

AMICCO announces 2013-14 Season

The Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra (AMICCO), founded by Willem Bartelsman in the winter of 1992, announces its 21st season with four concerts from December through April at CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach at 2 p.m. This is a departure from past years in that the November concert is exchanged for a concert in January.

The annual holiday concert is Dec. 15 and includes Heinrich Schutz, “Historia der Geburt Jesu Christ, the story of the Nativity, and AMICCO’s time-honored tradition again brings George Frideric Handel’s Christmas portion of “Messiah,” for the holiday season. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA stand-in organist enjoys the Island

ANNA MARIA – It has been quite a vacation for Eric Spencer, living in a home in Perico, playing the organ at Roser Church, getting to know the parishioners there and watching what residents go through occasionally during hurricane season.

Spencer, born in England, splits his time now between London, where his son is studying, and South Africa, where he and his wife enjoy a different lifestyle. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Long Bar Pointe zoning changes ill-conceived

My first introduction to the flats along what is now known as Long Bar Pointe was courtesy of G.B. Knowles, the late Island resident and Sun outdoor writer. Knowles told me stories of big schools of redfish that frequented the shallow grass beds along the undeveloped shoreline on the east side of Sarasota Bay. This was in the early 80s, long before flats fishing was a concept that had taken hold north of the Florida Keys. More...

real estate

Selling your home and giving birth

I recently returned from a two week boating trip that took my husband and me to Key West on our boat. When asked about the trip by friends and neighbors, I told them what one of our boating companions said comparing cruising to giving birth – it takes a while, but eventually you forget about the pain and enjoy the memories. Selling your home is not unlike giving birth and cruising, it takes a lot of preparation, costs a lot of money and is totally unpredictable.

So now we’re at the beginning of both the hurricane season and the traditional off season selling months, and you have your home on the market. Sounds like a double whammy fraught with some of that pain we’ve been talking about. But not so fast. This summer has the makings of a totally different home selling experience that could actually lead to some really good memories. More...


Chiles to resubmit Mar Vista plans

LONGBOAT KEY – Mar Vista Dockside restaurant owner Ed Chiles has canceled plans to use the adjacent historic Rufus Jordan House as an event venue in response to residents’ concerns about parking in Longbeach Village.

At Chiles’ request, the Longboat Key Commission voted unanimously on Monday, June 3, to rescind its May 6 decision to allow the expansion. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Social Security's value

Investment Corner

During almost any conversation about Social Security, it is inevitable that some of the more disparaging comments about the system will come out. “I’m taking mine right away before the system runs out of money” and “It’s not enough to retire on anyway” are typical comments.

It’s not my job to champion the system, but there is certainly a lot of misinformation getting passed around that causes people stress, and that is never good. I hope to cover the reality and with the information we have today, dispel some of the ideas which are just plain wrong and to provide some insight as to what your Social Security benefits are worth in terms of a cash value. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Turtles rebound after Andrea

Tropical Storm Andrea took 15 loggerhead sea turtle nests back out to sea from the 43 that were laid on Anna Maria Island before the storm struck on Thursday, June 6.

But the 18 turtles that landed on the beach the next morning in a day-late D-Day invasion laid seven nests, bringing the total to 50 by week’s end. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryJune madness - Center tournament time

The Anna Maria Island Community Center’s spring youth basketball season came to a climatic conclusion last week. The outdoor sports tournaments may have been dampened by the tropical storm, but the indoor basketball action was brilliant.

In all three youth divisions the Cinderella underdog teams going into the tournament were crowned champions. More...

Exploring off the Island

Feasting on Fitness

The snowbirds are gone, and it is safe for Island residents to venture out to restaurants without waiting an hour or go off the Island without getting stuck in a long traffic jam. While I greatly support businesses on the Island, this is the time to explore off the Island. I asked some of my running friends about their fav classes. More...

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