Vol. 13 No. 39 - July 24, 2013


Mayor wants a bigger budget

ANNA MARIA – With two commissioners absent and a proposed budget they got just that day, the city commission briefly discussed Mayor SueLynn’s budget plan last Thursday, and they saw enough to realize the city would be spending more money. million as proposed, but the changes in the way of life in this small city are being felt on both sides of the ledger.

Number one, the income that was estimated at $2.4 million for this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, will more likely be more than $2.5 million due to higher assessments and a trend away from owner occupied, homesteaded homes to rentals where the inflationary forces would be unabated by the Homestead Act. More...

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Boat brigade floats protest

SARASOTA BAY – Arriving by sailboat, powerboat, fishing boat, pontoon boat, Jet-Ski, kayak canoe and paddleboard, opponents of the proposed Long Bar Pointe development gathered near Channel Marker 17 in Sarasota Bay Saturday afternoon in a nautical show of solidarity.

Organized by Bay Life Preservers activists Terri Wonder and Suzanna Young, the flotilla protest served as a reminder to Manatee County Commissioners that citizen concern remains high in regard to the controversial 463-acre, mixed-use coastal development proposed by Carlos Beruff and Larry Lieberman. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAudience likes Robinson expansion plan

A crowd of up to 40 people listened to representatives of the Manatee County Natural Resources Department explain the latest addition to Robinson Preserve on Monday, July 15, and they appeared to get a big thumbs up on the plans.

Natural Resources Department Director Charlie Hunsicker, Education Director Melissa Nell, Administrative Assistant Kay Rogers and Division Manager of Environmental Resources Max Dersch represented the county. The Natural Resources Department oversees 30,000 acres of land in the form of preserves, eight boat ramps and artificial reefs in the county. More...

Fire chief presents $5.65 million budget

BRADENTON – West Manatee Fire Chief Andy Price presented his $5.65 million 2013-14 budget to fire commissioners last week.

“This year was the seventh year in which the district’s income was limited to the five-year personal income growth (PIG) factor,” Price said in his budget message to the board. “This has only allowed us to maintain the staffing and service levels in place since the 2002-03 budget.” More...

Historic preservation concerns aired

ANNA MARIA – Work continues on getting the mechanics for declaring old houses historic so their owners can rehabilitate them without elevating them.

On Thursday, July 11, City Attorney Jim Dye presented a draft of the ordinance that would allow that, and he said he still had some changes to make so it would be compatible with state law. More...

Tower plans move forward

BRADENTON BEACH – The city commission took another step toward the construction of a proposed telecommunications tower on Thursday, unanimously approving a city-initiated rezoning of its selected site, a city-owned parking lot near the public works building.

But a recently-discovered obstacle remains – the site once contained three buried gasoline tanks – one 1,000-gallon leaded gas tank, one 1,000-gallon unleaded gas tank and one 500-gallon diesel gas tank – and a hydraulic lift and concrete stained by unknown chemicals, according to Kevin Barile, of Ridan Industries and Florida Tower Partners. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDrama campers to give two free performances

ANNA MARIA – The Island Community Center Drama Campers will give two performances of their play, “Character Matters 2” at the Island Players on Thursday, July 25, at 1 and 7 p.m.

“The play is concentrated on decisions you make and shows that character matters,” Director Pamela Sikkema explained and added that character traits featured in the play include respect, consideration, gratitude, not seeking revenge, being a helpful neighbor and taking care of the environment. More...

Pier team to take the helm

BRADENTON BEACH – The city commission wants to get as much money as it can from leasing out the Bridge Street Pier restaurant, but not so much that the franchisee can’t make a go of it.

That was the attitude of three commissioners who attended a work session on Tuesday, July 9, on a request for proposals (RFP) from the city. Commissioner Rick Gatehouse was absent due to illness and Jan Vosburgh was in Utah, attending via the Internet. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySweet 17 for winning Sun staff

The Anna Maria Island Sun has won first place in its division for Best Overall Performance in the statewide 2012 Florida Press Association Better Weekly Newspaper Contest.

Judged on its total number of first-, second- and third-place finishes, The Sun received the prestigious honor last week at the Florida Press Association/Florida Society of News Editors annual convention in Orlando. More...


It’s Scallopalooza time

Sarasota Bay Watch (SBW), the organization that is spearheading scallop restoration in Sarasota Bay, will be holding its third annual fund raising event, dubbed Scallopalooza, on Aug. 3 at the Sarasota Yacht Club. Not only is this an exciting evening of food, fun, information and camaraderie, but it has been responsible for raising the funds that have allowed SBW to release more than 24 million baby scallops (spat) into the bay over the last two years. More...

real estate

Sometimes you need a little help

Remember the term paperless office, which was widely promoted during the Jurassic era of computers? Not only didn’t we achieve a paperless office, we have managed to generate even more paper sending us screaming for help.

Years ago when I was managing corporate properties and foreclosures for resale, I depended a lot on an expediter to obtain the proper permits required for both the legal and illegal renovations to the homes we inherited. Since I worked in an area that had the lethal combination of older homes and strict sometimes unintelligible building, codes her services were well worth her fee to get the property in the condition where it could be sold. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySlim's has new owners

P.J. and Chris Smargisso owners of Banana Cabana, in Bradenton Beach, have teamed with Chef Ezio Piccione to purchased Slim’s Place in Anna Maria. They expect to turn the popular bar and restaurant into something special for visitors and locals to enjoy.

“We’re looking to serve sports bar favorites in an upscale manner,” P.J. Smargisso said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Gold may have further to fall

Investment Corner

At an educational investment seminar in the spring of 2011, I told a group of salivating gold bugs that the price of the precious metal, which was approaching $1,500 per ounce at the time, might well go higher, but that dreams of $3,000 per ounce seemed far fetched. I went on to say that the dynamics of the gold market had changed dramatically, and that the price of the metal could easily drop 20 percent in one day due to these dynamics, which I’ll review below.

My statements were an opinion based on reasonable expectations, but certainly I don’t possess the power to predict the future. Sometimes, not often, opinions work out to be right. Gold continued to rise in 2011, peaking at about $1,800 per ounce in the late summer. After trending sideways to down slightly in 2012, gold has dropped precipitously in 2013, and is now down about 35 percent from it’s peak in 2011. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Sea turtles begin hatching

They’re here, and better late than never.

Two loggerhead sea turtle nests hatched last week on Anna Maria Island, the first of the season, which began on May 1 and lasts through Halloween.

Hatchings are a little late this year due to rain-cooled temperatures, according to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring Director Suzi Fox. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySweet start for Tyler’s Ice Cream

It’s been a perfect start for Tyler’s Ice Cream in the new Anna Maria Island Community Center’s summer co-ed softball season. The league plays on Friday nights and uses the newly modified baseball/softball field at the city of Holmes Beach.

The field does not have sports lighting, so this is the only time of year that daylight extends long enough into the evening to get games in. The evening summer rains have held off, and the Tyler’s Ice Cream team has jumped out to an undefeated 2-0 start. More...

Finding Island yoga

Feasting on Fitness

As I write, one more week until I compete in the National Senior Games. I will compete in every event I qualified in at state – the 100, 200, 400 and 1,500 meters. I believe there is much more risk of injury than in endurance running and racing, which I have also done extensively. I’ve placed in 54 5K races for my age group since 2006. I did my first marathon in 2010.

In my final weeks of training for nationals, I’ve really been pushing the limits at the track, one of the only tracks in our area, Manatee High. The track is not rubber, like so many high school tracks are around the country. Manatee used to have rubber, but opted for the cheaper asphalt composite when it was time to replace the previous track. My daughter, who ran NCAA track at the University of Southern California, tells me that in some states, it is against the law to have anything other than a rubber track so that injuries are avoided. That whole liability thing – it’s actually cheaper for the districts to prevent injury than pay for them. Imagine that. I’ve offered to fundraise to get the $70,000 rubber track back. No takers. More...

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