Vol. 14 No. 25 - April 16, 2014


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAffaire Rocks with Bertie Higgins' Band of Pirates

ANNA MARIA – The “stars” came out for the Island Community Center’s annual Island Affaire gala, "Just Another Day in Paradise,” on Saturday enjoying dinner, silent and live auctions and dancing to international recording artist Bertie Higgins and his Band of Pirates.

“The greater Anna Maria Island community once again showed its love and support for the Community Center and its mission,” Executive Director Dawn Stiles said. “Attendance at the annual event was high, and the energy level even higher, as we raised much needed funds to support the crucial services provided by the Center. More...

Trudy Horigan was devoted to her community

Trudy Horigan, who passed away on Sunday, April 6, at Blake Medial Center, was a friend to all and devoted to her husband, John, and their family, as well as her community.

She was the consummate volunteer, offering her time to Cultural Connections, Island art groups, the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra (AMICCO), Roser Thrift Shop, Roser Food Pantry and many more. Her friends paid tribute to her with these reminisces: More...

Easter is for kids

For the 28th year, the Easter Bunny will visit the Sandbar restaurant in Anna Maria on Saturday, April 19, starting at 9 a.m. for the Easter Egg Hunt, co-sponsored by The Anna Maria Island Sun and the Sandbar restaurant. Refreshments will be served in the outdoor pavilion starting at 8:30 a.m., before the egg hunt at 9 a.m. Kids should bring baskets or bags for their eggs. They will line up on the sidelines and when the signal sounds, they’ll be off to hunt for eggs on the beach.

After that, the Easter Bunny will lead a parade down Pine Avenue for the Fifth Annual Easter Egg Roll and the Fourth Annual Easter Bonnet Contest along with face painting, egg painting and dyeing. Dara Caudill, of islandphotography.org, will take complimentary pictures of kids with the Easter Bunny. The Sandbar will provide food and refreshments including fresh squeezed orange juice, mimosas, quiche and ham biscuits. AMI Donuts will offer freshly made donut bites. DJ Chuck Caudill will provide the music and everyone will receive an entry for drawings for prizes in participating shops along Pine Avenue. The egg roll and bonnet contest event is also sponsored by Pine Avenue Resoration and the Anna Maria Island Sun. The Easter egg roll will take place from 9:30 a.m. to noon. There will be valuable prizes for the winners. More...

Easter services scheduled

Easter on Anna Maria Island will offer special services at the churches and the 50th Annual Easter Sunrise Service at Manatee County Beach at 6:30 a.m., sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island. Bring a chair or blanket. The bucket will be passed during the offertory, and the proceeds go to all six Island churches. Trolleys start running at 6 a.m.; ride one to the service and avoid the traffic jam.

• CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, 778-0719. There will be an Easter Sunday service at 9 a.m. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Island singer seeks Senior Idol title

HOLMES BEACH – Tuesday night, 74-year-old Holmes Beach resident Bob O’Brien will channel his inner-Elvis while standing on the Ruth Eckerd Hall stage as one of 12 entertainers trying to win the 2014 Bright Stars Senior Idol competition.

Sponsored by Bright House Networks, and modeled after the American Idol television show, the annual competition features entertainers aged 55 and up competing for bragging rights and prize money, while raising funds for senior charities in the Tampa Bay area. More...

Visit Kentucky Derby at Food and Wine on Pine

ANNA MARIA – You don’t have to miss the Kentucky Derby to enjoy Food and Wine on Pine on Saturday, May 3, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria.

Just make your way to Pine Avenue Downs at the corner of Pine Avenue and North Shore Drive for the Derby experience with televised races, games, raffle prizes and derby drinks, including the famous mint julep. Bright House Networks will supply the big screen TVs and the Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island will oversee the games. More...

Mayor presents plans for parking garage, gondola

HOLMES BEACH – After seeing Mayor Carmel Monti’s plans for Manatee Public Beach and a gondola system, city commissioners nixed a parking garage, but had mixed feelings about paid parking and the gondola.

Monti last week presented drawings depicting a three-story parking garage, an events pavilion and changing cabanas at the beach and a gondola to transport people between the beach and the mainland. He said the parking garage could hold 1,000 vehicles and have bicycle, golf cart and Segway rentals and other shops and offices around the perimeter. More...

Organist retires from Harvey Church

BRADENTON BEACH – When the worshippers gather at Harvey Memorial Community Church at 10 a.m. on Easter Sunday, Betty Simches will put the wraps on her career as organist.

She has been a regular performer at the church, and now in her 89th year, she decided to quit. Her keyboard career came as the result of arthritis.

“I played piano all my life until arthritis took it toll on my hands,” she said. “I decided to try the organ because the motions are slower.”

“What an incredible woman,” said parishioner Diane Miller. She has been our choir master and our organist.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNeal Preserve opens

BRADENTON – After eight years of archeological investigation, environmental restoration and construction, Neal Preserve opened last week.

Former state representative and local developer Pat Neal, for whom the preserve is named, and several of his family members joined Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston, several Manatee County commissioners and a few dozen nature lovers for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, April 9. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Kings of spring

Kingfish are harbingers of spring and provide electrifying action to anglers off Florida’s west coast. While they may appear earlier, generally when the water temperature reaches 70 degrees, they migrate into inshore water in search of baitfish. Kingfish are very aggressive and will hit a wide variety of live baits, plugs, spoons, feathered jigs and flies.

In the past, kings were pursued with heavy tackle, but light tackle has become much more popular. Lighter tackle will yield more action and is a lot more challenging and fun. A 20-pound outfit is more than adequate, and many anglers pursue kings with gear as light as 8-pound. More...

real estate

More million dollar news

Last week we talked about selling high end properties and the popularity of auctions as an alternative way to sell these luxury properties. This week we’re going to take another look at the increase in million dollar listings, not only in Florida as we have previously reported, but also around the country.

Call me crazy, but one afternoon as I was waiting for yet another set of houseguests, I started thinking again about the startling increase in $1 million and over home listings. So I decided to look at all of Manatee County, not just Anna Maria and the west side of the county. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Was tax season too taxing?

Investment Corner

With about one week left in the official 2013 tax filing season, most readers will have filed their returns by now, but some will have procrastinated until the last minute or perhaps even intend on filing an extension. Sometimes procrastination is driven by fear of the unknown – in this case, the potential to have to send Uncle Sam some additional tax dollars if you under-paid last year.

Unfortunately, other than a last minute deductible contribution to your IRA or other retirement plan, there isn’t a lot you can do to affect the outcome at this point. But, it’s a great time to consider strategies that can help position you over the remainder of 2014 that may help with next year’s tax bill. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Swing into spring sports

Spring has sprung and that means a change in the sports seasons and a transition from winter sports to spring sports at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. The Center’s Athletic Department drafted and formed 34 co-ed recreational sports teams last week.

Benji Scanio Memorial Stadium and Fred Hutchinson Field will be swinging again this year at the Center. The stadium was dedicated to Scanio in 1959 and the field was dedicated in 2008 to Hutchinson, who was a long time Major League Baseball manager. 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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