Vol. 14 No. 1 - October 30, 2013


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHalloween goes to the dogs

ANNA MARIA – With everybody wearing costumes this time of the year, many of The Sun’s readers came out last Saturday to show off their pooches’ outfits in The Sun’s 11th Annual Canine Halloween Costume Contest.

The event, as usual, brought out all sorts of characters – owners included. The contest was staged in the parking lot of Island Sun Plaza and the crowd of onlookers sat and stood in front of the shops, applauding new entries as they walked around the lot. There were pumpkin bowls of water for the dogs to stay hydrated. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryState updates Cortez Bridge plan

CORTEZ – In its present state, the Cortez Bridge might fail before it is replaced, if it is replaced. That’s why the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is planning a refurbishment of the 57-year-old drawbridge starting in late April 2014.

FDOT engineer Jim Jacobson gave a presentation to the Manatee County Commission on Tuesday, Oct. 22, where he got a positive reaction. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Net ban back in play

CORTEZ – Commercial mullet fishermen won a court victory in Tallahassee last week allowing them to use gill nets for the first time since 1995, but before they even learned about it, an appeal filed by the state Attorney General pulled the nets back out of their hands the same day.

Leon County Second Circuit Court Judge Jackie Fulford prohibited the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) from enforcing the 1995 state constitutional gill net ban amendment on Tuesday, Oct. 22, saying that it creates a “legal absurdity.” More...

Developers, city close to Mainsail agreement

HOLMES BEACH – The Thursday, Oct. 24 commission work session was dedicated to a single topic: reviewing the Mainsail settlement agreement.

The two-and-a-half hour session produced only one point of unresolved contention: the requirement for a six-foot high opaque (non-transparent) wall built along the east property line, between the pool and the waterfront. More...

City contractor gets court date

There will be a case management meeting on Thursday, Nov. 14 in the courtroom of Judge John Lakin for a man arrested Thursday, Sept. 19 and accused of not performing work for which the city of Holmes Beach paid him.

The defendant, Chris Arnold, likely will face a trial late this year or early next year on charges of scheming to defraud. He has pled not guilty and has hired attorney Jason Reid to defend him against the charges, which the city of Holmes Beach brought after a crew member working for Services by Chris Arnold told authorities he felt Arnold only performed half the work to repair and replace curbing in Key Royale and on Flotilla Drive. The informant said Arnold allegedly told the crew to paint over some of the curbing to make it look new. The city paid Arnold $215,551 to do the work. He is charged with defrauding the city of $92,830. More...

Campaign contributions on the rise as election nears

HOLMES BEACH – The third quarter of the campaign finance reporting cycle reveals an increase in fundraising activity in Holmes Beach from Sept. 28 through Oct. 11.

Incumbent Commissioner Pat Morton brought in $1,150 in additional contributions, bringing his total contributions to $1,975.

Holmes Beach residents Nancy Deal, Hugh Holmes, John Hutcherson, Margaret Burch, Barbara Marcheck, Catherine Van Velzen and Barbara Kitchell contributed to Morton’s campaign, as did Bradenton resident Ronald Travis and Holmes Beach-based Shoreline Builders. More...

Bradenton police probe tree house Sunshine Law allegation

HOLMES BEACH – According to Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer, the alleged Florida Sunshine Law violation reported by David Levin, attorney for tree house owners Lynn Tran and Richard Hazen, will be investigated by the Bradenton Police Department’s Professional Standards (Internal Affairs) division.

Tokajer said he contacted Chief Michael Radzilowski and asked him to handle the Sunshine Law investigation into allegations that city commissioners violated the Sunshine Law when they met on Aug. 29 to discuss litigation strategy pertaining to the tree house dispute. More...

Pirate Invasion runs the length of the Island

A nasty band of pirates will be on the Island Saturday, Nov. 2, for some fighting, looting, drinking and other sorts of unacceptable behavior and whether you want to watch it or avoid it, you’ll need a schedule.

The celebration begins Friday night, Nov. 1 with the Grande Pirate Masquerade Ball from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Seafood Shack, 4110 127th St. W., in Cortez. Formal attire is appropriate and in fact, anything less might earn you a walk down the gangplank. The cost is $40 per person and it’s open to the public 21 years of age and older. Tickets must be purchased in advance as they will not be sold at the door. For tickets or information, contact Lisa "Lash" Ritchey at 941-238-8974 or lmritchey@yahoo.com. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCouncil’s… the downtown Duffy’s

There are certain things a father has to teach a son.

Keep your eye on the ball.

Keep your head on a swivel when you are playing defense.

Use the top of your head before you use the bottom.

I was reminded the other day that I had missed one. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Enjoy the Sarasota Bay Water Festival

Geographically Sarasota Bay is the defining landmark of Sarasota and Manatee counties. A sparkling, natural treasure, it is not only a unique ecological habitat but an economic engine that contributes to the financial health of the region. The non-profit organization Sarasota Bay Watch has a slogan, “A Healthy Bay is Everybody’s Business,” recognizing the importance of Sarasota Bay to everyone who resides close to the bay. On Saturday, Nov. 2 at Ken Thompson Park, residents and tourists alike can take part in a celebration of the bay at the Sarasota Bay Water Festival. The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is the presenting sponsor and HDR, Inc. the host sponsor for this year’s event. The Water Festival is being supported by more than 80 exhibitors, 44 sponsors and volunteers from throughout Sarasota and Manatee County. Triple 3 Marketing (T3M) is managing the event. More...

real estate

Beware the ghost of real estate past

Tomorrow is Halloween, a celebration thought to have pagan roots connected to the end of harvest season. European countries have traditions going back centuries related to Halloween, sometimes honoring the dead on this day and conjuring up spirits. In this country we pretty much have fun dressing up the kids and sending them out to trick or treat, but in some cultures and indeed to some people the idea of spirits haunting their homes are more than a little off-putting. The good news, however, is that when you sell your property, ghosts are a non-issue.

Since the authenticity of a haunted house is subjective, the law fortunately recognizes this. Florida law states that if the property was a site of a homicide, suicide or death it is not a material fact which must be disclosed. The same can be said for houses considered “haunted” where a disclosure is not required. On a little bit of a separate issue, Florida law also stipulates that HIV and AIDS status are not material facts that must be disclosed in a real estate transaction. However, disclosing some facts about a property that may be considered “stigmatized” even if the law does not mandate is probably good business and will make for one less hurdle to overcome during the negotiation process. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

How to make a charitable gift from an IRA

Investment Corner

For certain individuals there may be an advantage to making donations to qualifying non-profit organizations using funds distributed from their Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA). These distributions, which are passed through to the non-profit organization, are known as Qualifying Charitable Distributions (QCD).

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended the qualified charitable distribution provisions through 2013. A QCD is an otherwise taxable distribution from an IRA owned by an individual who is age 70 1/2 or over that is received by the IRA owner, but then paid to a qualified charity. The IRA owner can exclude from gross income up to $100,000 of a QCD made for a year, and the QCD can be used to satisfy any Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for the year. More...


Turtle ordinance targets light, junk

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners unanimously approved on first reading an ordinance updating city regulations pertaining to sea turtle friendly lighting. The new ordinance also strengthens regulations pertaining to the removal of items left behind on local beaches.

Passed on first reading at the Tuesday, Oct. 8 commission meeting, the lighting regulations are designed to minimize the detrimental impact on nesting sea turtle populations and other light-sensitive wildlife by reducing the amount of artificial light cast onto beaches. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFour and five futball fun

The Sun Sports game of the week was a four and five year old instructional league soccer game at the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s. This age group is just simply-put, fun to watch!

The most popular sport on the planet is called Futbol, pronounced football in English. Futbol is king of the global sports but the United States and Canada call the game soccer. The United States is starting to catch up with the rest of the world and grooming their players at a very young age. More...

Eating vegan a piece of cake

Feasting on Fitness

I was lucky enough to be asked back again this year to speak and do a cooking demonstration for Vegetarians of Central Florida’s eighth VegFest. It was at the Orlando Festival Park and is billed as one of the largest VegFests in the country. The one-day event, as many of these are around the country where I have spoken the past two years, was free and had 150 vegan vendors serving vegan food and offering free samples of everything vegan you could imagine…from cosmetics to clothing and shoes. More...

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