Vol. 15 No. 4 - November 19, 2014


Mayor sues his own city

BRADENTON BEACH – Mayor Bill Shearon filed a lawsuit against the city of Bradenton Beach last week, in an attempt to ensure that city commissioners do not suspend him from office as the forfeiture of office proceedings against him continue to play out.

On behalf of Shearon, former city attorney Ralf Brookes filed a writ of petition with the 12th Judicial Circuit Court of Manatee County on Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Brookes and Shearon both said the filing is not an attempt to prevent the forfeiture of office proceedings from moving forward. More...

Sun staffers honored with writing, photography awards

Five Anna Maria Island Sun staff members were honored with 15 different awards over the weekend in the Florida Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Competition. The awards ceremony took place Saturday at the Pirate’s Cove Resort in Stuart, Fla., and featured entries from daily and weekly newspapers from throughout the state.

Writer-photographer Cindy Lane and editorial cartoonist Steve Borggren each took home first-place honors. Lane won in the general news category for her photo documenting beach renourishment in Bradenton Beach, while Borggren won top honors with a cartoon carrying a poignant reminder of the sacrifices our veterans routinely make to keep our country free. Borggren actually took first and third place in this category and was competing against every other newspaper in the state, including the metropolitan dailies like the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald. Lane also won five other awards - two for photography, one for light feature writing, one for headline writing and one for commentary writing. More...

Resident arrested for violence, drugs

HOLMES BEACH – Police arrested a 29-year-old man and charged him with domestic violence on Thursday, Nov. 13. At the jail police say they found drugs after searching his wallet.

Richard Scott Eason, of Holmes Beach, was charged with domestic violence, possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) and introducing a controlled substance into a detention facility. Total bond is $3,000.

The incident occurred around 4:21 a.m., when his girlfriend, Erin Elizabeth Kokolis, called police on her cell phone during an argument that turned violent in Eason’s pickup truck, according to the police report.

Kokolis told the officer Eason tried to strangle her. She said Eason hit her windshield as she tried to drive away from the residence they shared. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCommunity BBQ honors veterans

HOLMES BEACH – An enthusiastic crowd gathered at CrossPointe Fellowship Saturday to thank and celebrate the area’s military veterans.

Rev. Ed Moss, of CrossPointe, welcomed the crowd and explained that the event began last year as a way to honor the area’s veterans. Next came the drum line and JROTC members from Manatee High School and a color guard bearing flags of the different branches of the service.

Dick Alvarez spoke on “What is a Veteran?”

“It is a soldier, not a reporter, who has given us freedom of the press,” he pointed out. “It is a soldier, not a poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBoatyard Bash sails on

CORTEZ – Boats, butterflies, bands, beautiful weather and a bounty of attendees, vendors and volunteers contributed to the success of the second annual Boatyard Bash that took place Saturday on the grounds of the Florida Maritime Museum.

“We do this to expand awareness that the museum exists and to give people the opportunity to see home-built boats that illustrate the point than anyone can build a boat if they want to. This also provides an excellent opportunity for families to come out and enjoy some good music and a movie in a nice venue,” said museum supervisor and event organizer Amara Nash.

Museum visitors were treated to the new Maritime Mythologies: Creatures of the Deep exhibit, in addition to the permanent collections and historical artifacts that illustrate Cortez’s history as an active commercial fishing village with a boatbuilding heritage. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryWhitmore addresses mailbox critics

HOLMES BEACH – No good deed goes unpunished.

That is how recently reelected Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore feels about those who criticized her for allowing the non-profit Animal Network shared use of her Holmes Beach post office box.

Before the Nov. 4 election, Whitmore’s critics, some of them supporters of her opponent, Terri Wonder, publically suggested the commissioner acted illegally or unethically in providing a non-profit organization the use of the same P.O. box she used to receive campaign contributions.

“They have their own key, and I have mine. There’s no co-mingling of mail. I’ve never opened one of their envelopes, and they’ve never opened one of mine. I use the P.O. box for my campaign mail so it doesn’t come to my house. I used it last time too. I didn’t do anything illegal,” Whitmore said. More...

Give thanks at Island churches

HOLMES BEACH – Thanksgiving is more than just a meal. On Anna Maria Island, it’s an opportunity to give thanks for living in or visiting paradise and several churches will be open for worship on Thanksgiving Day.

If you can’t make it because your house will be full of guests and the oven full of turkey, All Island Denominations will be holding a Thanksgiving Ecumenical Service on Sunday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. at CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive. Roser Memorial Church Pastor Dr. Robert O’Keef will preside. Afterward, join your friends and neighbors for refreshments and fellowship. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to bring canned food for the All Island Denominations Food Pantry. More...

Congestion group refines parking permit process

HOLMES BEACH – In two recent meetings the Island Congestion Committee refined the resident parking permit application and process and the wording of an ordinance to eliminate street and right of way parking in residential areas.

They felt that the police department should manage the applications, and Police Chief Bill Tokajer agreed because it will be the police department that will enforce the ordinance and officers are on duty 24/7.

“This committee will volunteer to do the initial offering of taking applications and issuing permits,” Chair Carol Soustek said.

“We can post the application on the city’s website, and people can download it or come it and get it,” member Jayne Christenson added. “They would have to provide proof of residency. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMurder mystery brings on the laughter

ANNA MARIA – A zany cast of characters kept everyone laughing at Saturday’s Murder Mystery Dinner at the Island Community Center.

The story revolved around a poorly performing sales team, whose members harbor secrets that lead to a crazy romp through corporate dysfunction. The backdrop is a masquerade party, which is their booby prize for being the company’s worst sales team.

The team’s bitchy boss, Elizabeth Kabitchka, played by Monica Simpson, constantly berates her employees, including her custodian husband, while carrying on an illicit affair with her security chief, Peter Butte, played by Mike Shaughnessy. It is no surprise that Kabitchka is murdered and the finger pointing begins. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFishing with Captain Chris Hargiss

When a plan comes together it’s a surprise, a pleasure and all too often a rare occurrence. I can’t remember all the times I’ve heard stories of how fish are massed on a flat and eager to eat a fly.

When I hear this I actually cringe because, more often than not, the fish are nowhere to be found. When Captain Chris Hargiss announced to Steve Traves and me that we would be fishing a certain flat where the redfish had been holding for over a week, he did preface the remark with the fact that they had also often had a bad case of lockjaw. His answer to unlocking that puzzle was to go into stealth mode and get in the water to pursue the fish. More...

real estate

The big mortgage chill

I know it’s almost winter by the chill in the mornings and the arrival of the white pelicans. But I’m feeling a chill for more than just the overnight temperatures; I’m really chilly thinking about mortgage lending standards being loosened.

In October, federal regulators in conjunction with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have made lending institutions very happy. The reason they’re happy is because these government backed institutions have announced plans to expand credit to borrowers with weak credit and low down payment funds.

Mel Watt, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates both Fannie and Freddie, said they are planning to guarantee some loans with down payments as little as 3 percent. At the same time, they are working with mortgage lenders to remove some of their responsibilities and remove potential penalties when mortgages default. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Lucky number 5

Investment Corner

The debate about whether the stock market faces a big decline or has the potential to move higher continues on a daily basis in the media. With the current bull market over 5 ½ years old, the fourth longest on record without being interrupted by a 20 percent or greater decline, I think that adopting a cautious attitude is the proper thing to do. However, there are some compelling historical trends which support the idea of higher stock prices in 2015.

First, there is the widely followed presidential election cycle theory, which averages the performance of the four years of the election cycle to see which tend to provide good or poor performance. Averaging long-term history in this way shows that years one and two of the four-year cycle tend to be the weakest, and years three and four the strongest for stock returns. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Champions of the pitch emerge

Another season of youth soccer was completed on November 10 and in the end, three teams were named division champions. Two of the three winners were at the top of the bracket all season long, but in Division I play, the underdog took the victory.

Division III (8-to-10-year-olds)

In the Division III battle, the number three seed Miller Electric fought a valiant battle against the first place finishers of the regular season, AMI Donuts. This age group’s male MVP, Anthony Monetti, scored two goals in the first half. With the second goal scored at the 20th minute of play, goalie Thomas Heckler was able to help AMI Donuts bring the half to an end with a score of 2-0. Despite the score, Nicholas Yatros, keeper for Miller Electric, and his defensive crew kept the game close to start the second half. More...

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