Vol. 14 No. 21 - March 19, 2014


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySt. Paddy's rocks and rolls the Island

HOLMES BEACH – Anna Maria Island was the place to be for good food, great music and a most colorful parade to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Sham Rockin’ the Island was well attended Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, according to organizer Cindy Thompson. The festival raised money for the Anna Maria Island Community Center and Center Director Dawn Stiles was kept busy selling tickets for a raffle in the upcoming Affaire to Remember next month. More...

AMICCO performs seasonal music

The Anna Maria Island Community Chorus and Orchestra (AMICCO) will perform selections from Mozart and Haydn on Sunday, March 23, at 2 p.m. at CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. The concert will include Mozart’s Symphony #6 and Haydn excerpts from “The Creation.” More...

Commissioners disagree on budget

HOLMES BEACH – During an acceptance of the 2013 audit, Commissioner David Zaccagino claimed that the city budget was overinflated and expenses underinflated.

“When we budget something very, very high and then spend less, it looks like we did great and didn’t spend as much as we budgeted, but our taxes were up 6.89 percent,” he said.

However, Mayor Carmel Mont pointed out, “The only area we were over budgeted and didn’t spend was the building department and public works because all the projects didn’t get put through in time. We’re only over in a couple line items. One major one is legal fees. More...

City mulls sign options

ANNA MARIA – Business owners packed city hall on Thursday, March 13, as commissioners discussed its ban of sandwich A-frame signs that have proliferated along Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue recently.

Mayor SueLynn started the conversation at the work session, talking about her meetings with some of the business owners following the emergency meeting a week earlier where they extended the deadline for businesses to remove their A-frame signs. She said she gave some thought about why the signage problem had arisen. More...

Man arrested for attempted murder

HOLMES BEACH – A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday after police say he attacked his two roommates at their home at 306B Clark Drive with a knife.

Andrew Helderman was arrested on charges of attempted second degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His bond was set at $7,500.

The incident began around 9:30 p.m., when Helderman, Nicole Sobr and Michael Fitzpatrick got into a discussion about her “hooking up” with Fitzpatrick, although she had been involved with Helderman. More...

March madness, spring both sprung

ANNA MARIA ISLAND – This week marks the height of tourist season and spring break on Anna Maria Island, but March madness is a little different this year.

The beach is bigger – much bigger – than in past years. There’s sand where the Gulf of Mexico used to be, and the walk to the water’s edge with chairs and umbrellas and coolers is a real workout instead of, well, a day at the beach.

Where the beach renourishment pipe remains in place, in part of Holmes Beach and all of Bradenton Beach, there’s an additional workout – climbing up and over the pipe on the sand walkovers. More...

Charter group to discuss terms and term limits

HOLMES BEACH – The public is invited to comment at the 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, Charter Review Commission meeting, where members plan to discuss term limits, terms of office and whether to add height and density limits to the charter.

At their meeting last week, members reviewed the changes they have proposed to the charter and finalized some language they had not yet completed. More...

Eight outdoor seats to be allowed without parking

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners agreed to allow up to eight seats without requiring additional parking and amplified music for outdoor dining.

At a previous meeting, commissioners said they planned to require the same number of parking spaces, which is based on the number of seats, for outdoor dining as for indoor dining. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTour of Homes breaks records

A glorious day, an enthusiastic crowd and gorgeous homes made this year’s annual Tour of Homes a delight, and there was something for everyone from spacious and elegant homes to cozy cottages to a modern, energy-efficient retreat.

The tour began for many on the free shuttle provided by its sponsor, the Island Community Center. As the bus left the parking lot at CrossPointe Fellowship, Cathy Davis, Ann Evans and Odette Kavanagh, all of Canada, said this was their first tour and they saw it in The Sun and thought it would be fun. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story The water and land conservation amendment

Florida’s Water and Land Legacy (FWLL) is a collection of Florida’s leading conservation organizations including The Trust for Public Land, Sierra Club, Audubon Florida and the Florida Wildlife Federation, to name a few. In conjunction with concerned citizens, they have united to launch a major constitutional initiative Amendment 1, on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The FWLL is working to make sure our prized beaches, rivers, springs, lakes and forests are protected for future generations. These natural areas supply us with clean water as well as improve our quality of life. Irreplaceable habitats like the Everglades and the world-class beaches that line Florida’s coastlines draw millions of tourists and Floridians every year and are the backbone of our tourism economy. More...

real estate

Everything old is new again

I’ve always enjoyed the song “Everything Old is New Again,” written by the great Australian entertainer Peter Allen. I think what I like best about it is the basic message of the song that if you wait long enough, everything comes back in style, and housing is certainly no exception.

According to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal one of the biggest trends for housing in 2014 is the “new old house.” The new old house movement is a sudden desire for homeowners to live in authentic traditional homes, new houses that replicate homes from the 19th and early 20th centuries. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Stages of widowhood

Investment Corner

The very sad idea of a woman being suddenly alone due to the death of a spouse is not my most favored topic to write about. But, statistics tell us that 70 percent of women will outlive their husbands. Throw in the fact that, for a majority of baby boomer couples, the male has taken the lead on handling financial decisions, and we have the recipe for disaster.

Widowhood can be divided into three basic stages, with the duration of each of these different for every individual. The whole process may take years and should not be viewed as being on a set schedule. More...


Elated Eagles electrify

The Sun sports game of the week was an 18-year-old and up division playoff game between the number four seeded Duffy’s Tavern Eagles and the number five seeded Beach Bistro Raiders in the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s co-ed recreational NFL Flag Football League.

It took both teams most of the first half to settle in and come up with a game plan. Both defenses were playing tough, and no first downs were given to the opponent in the first half until remarkably under four minutes. But this game would soon prove to be one of the most thrilling this reporter has seen in a long time. More...

Healthy food can taste great

Feasting on Fitness

As a TV reporter ages ago, I used to get paid the big bucks (ha) getting all sides to a story and doing the research it takes. So this volunteer column is the result of my week’s experiences and what I can write in two to three hours time. I always hope to inspire and prevent needless suffering of humans and animals that occurs way too often.

It is my belief that in our area, it would be a huge financial benefit if we had more vegan restaurants. Really vegan restaurants.

Like the exclusively vegan restaurant Ionie’s in Sarasota. My friend, Carl Lovejoy, is the amazing chef there. Check out restaurants’ Facebook pages or websites to see what they’re serving. More...

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