Vol. 15 No. 5 - November 26, 2014


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLights of the season

Saturday night the Bridge Street Merchants honored Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale and asked the chief to throw the switch on the ceremonial lighting of the merchant sponsored Christmas tree that stands in the Bridge Street Market lot.

“I appreciate them thinking of me like that. It was an honor, and the clock and pen set they gave me was really nice,” Speciale said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story$1.6 million facelift planned for Coquina

BRADENTON BEACH – On a rainy Monday night not fit for outdoor recreational activities, Manatee County officials unveiled preliminary plans for an estimated $1.6 million worth of improvements to North Coquina Boat Ramp.

The meeting took place at the nearby Manatee County Marine Rescue headquarters, where county representatives Angela Houts, Alan Lai Hipp and Debra-Lynn Leavenworth, and Josh Bryant, from the CPH engineering firm, addressed a sparse gathering that included Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon, Vice Mayor Jack Clarke, Scenic Waves advisory board co-chair Tjet Martin, County Commissioner John Chappie and Marine Rescue Capt. Joe Westerman. More...

City ponders rental permits

ANNA MARIA – At a workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 19, the city commission debated terms of a draft ordinance that would install a permit system for rental homes requiring the owner of a newly built owner-occupied home to sign a covenant preventing them from converting it to a rental except when the owner’s situation changes.

If the ordinance is passed, the city’s moratorium on permits for new homes with more than three bedrooms or rooms that could serve as bedrooms will end.

Commission Chair Chuck Webb said he did not like the language of the proposed ordinance that defines bedrooms, saying the commission needs to define a room that could serve as a bedroom. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLast chance for Cast-n-Cage

BRADENTON BEACH – The city commission is giving Cast-n-Cage restaurant proprietors Roland Pena and Tammy Kemper-Pena one more chance to catch up, and stay caught up, on their rent payments.

During the Thursday, Nov. 20, meeting, commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of giving the couple until Dec. 20 to pay their November and December rent in full. They also must pay accrued interest, a returned check fee and renew their expired occupational licenses in order to continue doing business on the Historic Bridge Street Pier. The amount due will be approximately $12,000. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBeach soccer tournament approved

BRADENTON BEACH – Major Beach Soccer (MBS) is coming to Coquina Beach next summer, and the Manatee County Tourist Development Council (TDC) affiliated Bradenton Area Sports Commission had a hand in making it happen.

The two-day MBS qualifying beach soccer tournament will take place on Coquina Beach Saturday, July 25, and Sunday, July 26. Participating team members will range in age from eight years old and up, and compete in 12 different divisions and age brackets, one of which is an over 30 co-ed division.

MBS events take place under the administrative umbrella of the United Soccer League (USL) which falls under the umbrella of the Major Soccer League (MSL). More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAttorney provides litigation update

BRADENTON BEACH – During last week’s city commission meeting, City Attorney Ricinda Perry provided commissioners with an update on five lawsuits currently pending against the city of Bradenton Beach and/or Mayor Bill Shearon.

“The city has been the recipient of a good number of lawsuits the past couple months and a number of these suits are without legal representation at this point,” Perry said.

Perry said she considers the lawsuit Shearon recently filed against the city regarding the forfeiture of office proceedings to be premature, thus requiring no legal work at this time. She said that could change if forfeiture proceedings are formally initiated and non-criminal charges are brought against Shearon at the special commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday Dec. 2, at 10 a.m. More...

City legal fees climbing

BRADENTON BEACH – During last week’s commission meeting, Mayor Bill Shearon expressed concern that the city has already amassed more than $50,000 in legal fees during the first six weeks of the 2015 fiscal year that began on Oct. 1.

The city budgeted $89,000 for legal fees for the entire 2015 fiscal year, and to date has already spent more than 60 percent of that budgeted amount.

On Friday, City Treasurer Sheila Dalton confirmed the figures cited by Shearon.

“We have spent $38,794 out of the $89,000 budget. However, this does not include any attorney bills that were approved yesterday,” she said, via e-mail. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryComp plan amendment discussed

BRADENTON BEACH – City commissioners remain divided on the adoption of a proposed ordinance that would address land use issues associated with parking on properties that carry the Preservation land use designation, but they agree that a workshop is needed to further discuss the matter.

Last week, City Planner Alan Garrett presented a proposed ordinance that would serve as the basis for a comprehensive plan amendment that would address inconsistencies that exist between the Future Land Use map and the map language that jointly dictate allowed property uses.

Parking is not allowed in areas designated Preservation, but is allowed in Park/Recreation Open Space. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySustainable tourism

Anna Maria and Pine Avenue specifically have recently been recognized as “a model for sustainable tourism by those responsible for developing a manifesto on sustainable tourism as part of the United Nations programs around the globe.”  That’s a big statement with large implications, but what does it mean ?

Very simply put,  sustainable tourism is a worldwide movement to balance the real economic benefits of tourism with the potential for negative impacts on existing communities. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMote hosts Fisheries Forum

On Thursday evening Nov. 20, I attended a Fisheries Forum hosted by Mote Marine Laboratory at the Keating Education Center. The meeting was geared toward anglers, but was open to anyone interested in the future of local fisheries. The forum is a partnership between the University of Florida and Mote and is funded by Florida Sea Grant. The goals of the forum are to brainstorm how such a forum might foster an independent, community-based discussion while informing fisheries management and science in a way that would help sustain Sarasota’s fisheries. Participants shared their ideas, knowledge, questions and comments.

The ultimate goal is to identify the health of the fishery and to ascertain factors that will enhance and sustain its vitality. This will be accomplished by taking advantage of local knowledge that can provide feedback to government agencies and researchers. More...

real estate

Happy real estate Thanksgiving?

It’s the old be careful what you wish for scenario. We’re devastated when things go wrong, especially if it involves a loss of finances, and when things start to turn around, we’re worried that our lifestyle is changing.

To say that Anna Maria Island has changed especially during the last three to four years could very well be the understatement of the decade. Some people are happy with the changes and others not so much. Recently yet another “best” places report came out. Last month Conde Nast Traveler magazine picked Anna Maria Island as the 26th best island in the world out of 30, yep you read that right – the world. It’s important to note that Anna Maria was the only island in the Conde Nast survey in the state of Florida. 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...


The road to the championship

Gator Squad59

Sugar Beach Digital55

This week’s feature semi-final adult co-ed basketball league game at the Anna Maria Island Community Center proved to be a great head-to-head match up. Top seed Gator Squad squeaked by Sugar Beach Digital.

Team Captain Matt Ray led the Sugar Beach team with double digit scoring and showing strong rebounding. Ray was supported with scoring by Eric Gledhill and Richard Fosmore. More...

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