Vol. 14 No. 31 - May 28, 2014


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMemorable Memorial Day

There were crowds, crowds and more crowds on Anna Maria Island this Memorial Day, with beaches packed from one end to the other and roads filled bumper to bumper for most of Saturday, Sunday and Monday. For law enforcement, traffic control was the name of the game, as an estimated 30,000 visitors jammed into Coquina and Cortez beaches on Sunday alone. Finding a place to park became something of a wild game for motorists, who squeezed their vehicles into spaces where nobody had ever even thought to park before. And yet, spirits didn’t seem to be dampened at all by the population explosion, at least until people tried to leave and had to wait for hours in massive traffic jams due to the sheer volume of cars and a number of fender-benders on the two bridges. More...

Hurricane season nears

If the nation’s two best-known hurricane prediction agencies are correct, we’ll have El Nino to keep us safe from storms this season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) released its prediction on May 22 calling for a 40 percent chance for near-normal to 50 percent chance of a below normal season. El Nino winds cause stronger wind shear and area residents might remember a season recently where all the storms that began in the Atlantic were destroyed by wind shear in the western Atlantic or Caribbean. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPlanners deny rezone request

HOLMES BEACH – After hearing from the applicant, the city planner and neighbors in a marathon three-hour meeting, planning commissioners found the owners’ requests not in compliance with the comprehensive plan.

The subject property is at 214 54th Street, across the street from Island Lumber, and contains two residential units and a CPA office. Property owners Ben and Keren ten Haaf propose demolishing the existing structure and building two office units on the first level and two residential units on the second level. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story New mosquito-borne virus found in Florida

If you haven’t heard of Chikungunya Fever, you will soon.

This nearly unpronounceable name is the latest mosquito borne virus coming to Florida, with the fourth case diagnosed in the past couple of weeks – in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and closer to home, Hillsborough County.

ChikV, as it is commonly called, “was first identified in East Africa and spread to Asia and then arrived in the Caribbean in December 2013,” said Mark Latham, director of Manatee County Mosquito Control District. “There are now 45,000 to 50,000 probable and confirmed cases throughout the Caribbean.” More...

Causeway checkpoint adds to gridlock

BRADENTON – What would possess the Florida Highway Patrol to initiate a checkpoint on the Palma Sola Causeway on one of the busiest holidays of the year?

Your guess is as good as ours, Island officials said, since FHP phones went unanswered on Monday.

The result of the checkpoint for seat belts and window tint was gridlock that kept people from getting to work and to the beaches and backed up traffic into Bradenton as far as 44th Street and beyond from 8 a.m. to noon. More...

Pier contractor selection protested

BRADENTON BEACH –Bradenton Beach commissioners awarded the pier reconstruction contract to Duncan Seawall, Dock & Boat Lift Inc., but another bidder, Pac Comm, is protesting the decision.

The bid protest could lead to significant delays in the pier reconstruction process originally slated to being in early June.

About halfway through Thursday’s five and a half hour meeting, the commission voted 3-2 in favor of awarding the contract to Duncan. Mayor Bill Shearon and Commissioners Jack Clarke and Ed Straight supported the decision. Vice Mayor Janie Robertson and Commissioner Jan Vosburgh opposed it. More...

Officials try to agree on paid parking

ANNA MARIA – Island officials at last week’s meeting of the Coalition of Barrier Island Elected Officials agreed to try and work together on a common approach to paid parking.

“The county is not going to tell the cities what to do,” Manatee County Commissioner John Chappie said, “but they want a united front. Come to the county with a united plan. It has to be a partnership.”

Holmes Beach Commissioner David Zaccagnino agreed and asked officials to “come up with some consensus on ideas.” More...

City to crack down on repeat code offenders

HOLMES BEACH – Code Enforcement Officer Dave Forbes told code board members recently that he plans to crack down on repeat offenders.

“My style of code enforcement has been described as folksy, and I’m proud of that to a degree, but there are too many repeat situations. They always have an excuse.

“This board hasn’t been used effectively, and I would like to change that. Until people start getting their knuckles cracked they will say Dave and the city are soft and that we can’t make them do anything.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryRenovated BeachHouse unveiled

BeachHouse owner Ed Chiles cut the ceremonial ribbon Thursday evening in celebration of the recently completed renovations made to the fine dining establishment located along the waterfront in Bradenton Beach.

During an emotional speech that proceeded the ribbon cutting, Chiles praised and thanked his staff, thanked city officials, provided a brief history of the 20 year-old restaurant and discussed the newly renovated “million-dollar kitchen.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Fishing the Toccoa River

Although Georgia isn’t known as a premier destination for freshwater trout, fly anglers can find some excellent fishing for rainbow, brown and brook trout in the state’s northern waters. I’ve fished the area near Helen on several occasions and had some excellent days on both private and public waters.

Earlier this month I fished the Toccoa River near Blue Ridge with Bob Seeger. Seeger and his wife, Judy, moved to the area from Longboat Key several years ago. On a previous trip to the area, I had treated Seeger to a day of fishing on the Chattahoochee River and on this visit Seeger was returning the favor. More...

real estate

Easing mortgage lending rules

Call me crazy, but why do I lose confidence when someone changes the rules mid-stream? Probably because it means the rules were not well thought out and little consideration was given to the consequences until the inevitable happens.

The most recent confidence killer related to the home mortgage market is the easing of the mortgage lending rules for government backed mortgages administered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If you remember back to the 2008 financial crisis, the key engine of the housing collapse was easy money and easy lending regulations. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

The ABC’s of non-traded REITs

Investment Corner

REIT is an acronym for Real Estate Investment Trust. REITs are effectively a mutual funds that own a diversified portfolio of commercial and residential properties. The owner of REIT shares receives a pro-rate share of rental income and appreciation of value over time.

Most real estate investment trusts trade like stocks on an exchange and are very easy to sell if you need your money out of the investment for some other purpose. These publically traded REITs are priced to reflect investors’ views of the value of the properties in the portfolio every business day. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Fast and furious first half

The Sun sports game of the week was an awesome 8-to-10-year-old youth basketball game between the Beach Bums team and the Island Real Estate team in the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s basketball league.

The first half action was fast and furious, but both teams had trouble finding their groove. On occasion, the shots were there, but they just were not falling in for either team. Both defenses controlled the opposition’s half-court offense and finding the open lanes for shots and passing was very difficult. More...

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper