Vol. 14 No. 26 - April 23, 2014


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryParking, gondola plans take heat

HOLMES BEACH – While speakers were divided on parking fees, they said they were not in favor of a parking garage or a gondola system at a public presentation by Mayor Carmel Monti last week.

“These are ideas,” Monti told the group. “I’m looking for public comment to address congestion, parking and revenue.” More...

AMI visioning plan sought; tourism tops 2.8 million

Jean Peelen, a member of the Manatee County Tourist Development Council (TDC) and a Holmes Beach commissioner, suggested Monday that the TDC consider funding a visioning plan for Anna Maria Island using resort tax funds.

A plan like the one recently conducted by Longboat Key could address overcrowding and traffic concerns about increasing tourism, she said, reminding commissioners that the Island does not receive a proportionate share of the resort tax funds it produces. More...

Attorney clarifies tree house litigation

HOLMES BEACH – City Attorney Patricia Petruff issued a memo to Mayor Carmel Monti last week regarding the current status of litigation on the tree house.

Last year, the city’s building department ruled that the tree house at 103 29th Street was constructed without a permit and encroaches into the erosion control line. In July 2012, the code board found the owners in violation and ordered them to remove the violations or demolish the structure. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCafé shuts its doors

Relish Café, the eatery on Pine Avenue with the large outdoor dining area, has closed its doors.

Lizzie Vann and Mike Thrasher, owners of the Historic Green Village (HGV), announced the closure of the Relish Café. More...

Commission seeks marina parking plan

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners at a recent meeting asked why Mainsail has not submitted a parking plan for the marina.

On April 1, Chair Judy Titsworth asked for an update on the parking plan. Superintendent of Public Works Tom O’Brien responded in a memo that Mainsail submitted a parking plan in June 2013, but was advised that a site plan review and approval was required.

“For several months, no movement occurred due to the mediation process and staff waiting for direction pending the settlement,” O’Brien wrote in the memo. More...

Enjoy actors, art and music at Food and Wine on Pine

ANNA MARIA – Would you like to talk baseball with Warren Spahn or Fred Hutchison or let Will Bean and Charles Roser tell you about their dream of building the finest resort on the west coast of Florida?

Come to Food and Wine on Pine on Saturday, May 3, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria, and you will meet these and other historical figures and characters from the Island’s past. More...

Noise ordinance clarified

BRADENTON BEACH – Last week’s commission work session resulted in no proposed changes to the new noise ordinance, but provided much needed clarification on how it will be enforced.

The one surprise was the determination that outdoor and open-air venues cannot play their jukeboxes after 10 o’ clock because the ordinance states that only fully enclosed indoor venues can provide entertainment between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. More...

Document sharing investigation concludes

BRADENTON BEACH – A police investigation regarding the unauthorized sharing of pay raise documents resulted in no criminal charges and produced mixed reactions inside city hall as to the seriousness of the offense and the severity of the punishment.

The investigation conducted by Detective Sgt. Lenard Diaz revealed that public works employee Christine Watson took cell phone photos of two documents pertaining to dollar an hour pay raises given to Deputy Clerks Audra Lanzaro and Tammy Johnson. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryEaster egg hunters brave the weather

ANNA MARIA – Despite cold overnight breezes, threatening clouds in the sky and whitecaps in the Gulf, an estimated 800 or so Easter egg hunters braved the elements to hunt down those plastic containers of toys and tattoos on the beach.

The sandy expanse behind the Sandbar restaurant was dotted with eggs and the police tape around the hunting area held back the young, intrepid egg hunters until Sandbar manager Joe Rogers signaled them to go, and then it was a mad rush of wide-eyed kids with bags and baskets, trying to claim as many as they could. They sometimes had to dodge parents, who were photographing the action with cameras and smart phones. 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

Vacation home sales surge

Discretionary is mostly defined as optional or flexible, as in I have the option to purchase a Mercedes Benz or I have the option to purchase a Kia. Truth is you may not actually have the option if your discretionary funds only allow for a Kia. Fortunately for Florida, a recent survey conducted by the National Associations of Realtors confirms what a lot of us on Anna Maria already knew, a lot of people have a lot more Mercedes Benz money than we’ve seen in recent years.

The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) annual Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey was published on April 2.The survey, which covered 2,008 households, covers existing and new home transactions in 2013 and concluded that vacation home sales jumped 29.7 percent to an estimated 717,000 last year from 553,000 in 2012. Although this rapid jump proves that the value of residential real estate has certainly changed in just a few years, the 2013 numbers were still well short of the high point of nearly 1.1 million vacation homes purchased in 2006, the high water mark of the real estate market. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCuts, color & community service

When is the last time someone actually said to you they want to enhance your vacation experience? If the answer is never, you only need to go to Gulf Drive in Anna Maria where the owner says her products are designed with that exact goal in mind.

Last year Sarah Michel found herself relocated to Florida from California as a result of her husband’s job transfer. Using her native Hawaiian heritage, her experience designing sarongs and working in the fashion industry for 15 years, Michel thought Anna Maria Island was the perfect location for her new business. In November she opened Lava Lava Tropical Beachwear adding another burst of color to the north end of the Island. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Dividend growth stocks cheap compared to high yield stocks

Investment Corner

The argument of whether U.S. equity prices are cheap, fairly valued or expensive relative to historic valuation measures is being waged in the media on a daily basis. One theory that cannot be easily refuted is the idea that companies which raise their dividend frequently and aggressively are much more reasonably valued than the companies which sport higher, but more stagnant dividend yields.

The stock market can be divided for purposes of analysis many ways. Large companies vs. small, dividend paying stocks vs. non-dividend paying stocks, and as indicated above, rising dividend companies vs. stagnant dividend payers. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Preseason preview

Spring will be busy for the Athletic Department at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. Currently the Center is offering five different sports. This is exactly the same amount of athletic programs itoffered during the same time last year.

Here is a preview to how the seasons will begin this year. 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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