Vol. 15 No. 7 - December 10, 2014


Attorney: City can deny short-term rentals

ANNA MARIA – Attorney David Levin has sent the city an opinion saying he feels the city already has the authority to regulate and even prohibit short-term vacation rentals of single-family, detached dwellings.

According to Levin, the city already had ordinances in place governing such rentals before the state passed a law on June 1, 2011, “preempting local government prohibition and regulation of vacation rentals.” He said the state prohibition does not apply to any local law, ordinance or regulation adopted on or before June 1, 2011.

The city hired Levin to give an opinion on whether the city can regulate rental houses and whether the city’s zoning code prohibited short-term rentals of homes within the residential neighborhoods. More...

Mayoral recall effort being considered

BRADENTON BEACH – The commission-driven forfeiture of office proceedings against Mayor Bill Shearon may prove to be a moot point, if city voters are given the opportunity to determine whether the embattled mayor completes his inaugural two-year term.

According to acting City Clerk Terri Sanclemente, the city has been contacted by the Venice-based accounting firm of Robinson, Hanks, Young and Roberts. A representative of the firm informed Sanclemente that it is handling the financial duties for a yet to be named political action committee (PAC), the intent of which is to initiate a recall referendum against Shearon.

Sarasota legal assistant Michael Barfield was involved in the successful recall of former Anna Maria Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus in 2010. When contacted last week, Barfield said he is not directly involved in a Shearon recall, but he is aware of the PAC involved, and he said a formal announcement is expected soon. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Skullywag takes 'cannon ball' to the side

HOLMES BEACH – The parking spot for the Anna Maria Island Privateers’ parade ship, The Skullywag, will be vacant for a while as the Privateers scramble to get a ride in their own Christmas parade Saturday, Dec. 13.

The Skullywag got hit in the side by a Ford F-150 pickup truck Saturday, Dec. 6, around 9:41 p.m. as it was pulling out of the Asia restaurant parking lot at 6844 14th St. W., where members retrieved their cars after appearing in the Sarasota Christmas Parade.

“If this had happened while the men were on the ship, they would have ended up in the street,” said Privateers President Bob “Stitch” Dominas, who was driving the ship alone. “If it had happened three seconds earlier, he would have hit the cab where I was.” More...

Holiday of Treasures coming Friday

ANNA MARIA – The merchants are prepared to celebrate the holidays with everyone on Friday, Dec. 12, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Holiday of Treasures

They will be offering specials on merchandise, refreshments and good old-fashioned fellowship to those who travel from one end of the city’s commercial district to the other. Visitors are urged to get a bingo card that participating businesses can sign and those who get them all filled can turn them in for a drawing for one of two gift baskets full of merchandise from the business owners.

In addition, there will be snow and Santa Claus in a sleigh in the parking lot of the Island Sun Plaza and at 6 p.m. the Roser Children’s Choir will sing carols at the Historical Park at 401 Pine Ave. The front porches of the shops along Pine Avenue will be alive with merchandise, music, food and drink. There will be chairs for those who need to rest or if they just want to sit and visit with the others. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Thompson takes off with ideas for Center

ANNA MARIA – Her mind goes a mile a minute and the ideas tumble out so fast that you can barely follow them.

This is Cindy Thompson, the AMI Community Center’s new executive director in charge of overall operations with a particular focus on the external aspects of the organization.

“It’s amazing how the community has come out to support me in this position,” she said. “And it’s critical to me to do it in a transparent way because I’m a steward of this Community Center for the community.”

Her first priority is the children’s programs for which she is eminently qualified. Thompson owns and operates Thompson Academy in Bradenton, which provides high quality childcare and early education for children 18 months to 5 years old. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Managing director position created at Center

ANNA MARIA – The other half of the Community Center’s director equation is Kristin Lessig – in the newly created position of managing director in charge of internal operations such as staffing, programming and finances.

“Kristin brings a breadth and depth of proven, hands on leadership and management experience that made her the clear choice for this position,” Executive Director Cindy Thompson said.

“I’m thrilled to have her in support of our commitment to bring more and better services to our members and the community at large.” More...

Center meets rental membership goal

Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria, has exceeded its goal of 100 vacation property memberships.

Property owners who use property management companies may acquire center memberships for their clients through that company, while memberships for independently owned rentals may be purchased directly through the Community Center. Perks for property management companies include a business spotlight at the Center and linking partnerships with social media.

An investment of $350 per property annually allows all renters to enjoy tennis, pickleball, gymnasium and fitness center use, discounts on classes and programs such as yoga, Pilates, dance, art, lectures and more. More...

Christmas on Bridge Street returns

BRADENTON BEACH – Hosted by the Bridge Street Merchants Association, Christmas on Bridge Street will transform Bradenton Beach’s historic business district into a holiday-themed winter wonderland Saturday afternoon and evening.

The once a year holiday extravaganza will coincide with the 11th annual Cortez Yacht Club Holiday Lighted Boat Parade that sets sail at dusk.

Promising family fun from 4 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 13, Christmas on Bridge Street will feature a visit from Santa, snow, the Island’s largest live Christmas tree, holiday street lighting, a brand new hot chocolate bar, and holiday music performed by Russ and Brandi and Savannah Brady and Friends More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNo regrets about seeing this play

ANNA MARIA – The Island Players gave an outstanding performance of “Regrets Only,” by Paul Rudnick, last Sunday afternoon to a full house. The story is rather modern, set in the George W. Bush presidency and located in uptown New York. The subject matter also was modern as it dealt with the acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage.

Heiko Knipfelberg directed the play and gave an inspired performance as Hank Hadley, a gay fashion designer who recently lost his partner after living together for many years. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryEnjoy the services of a fishing guide

In Florida, we’re lucky to be able to pursue fish in relative comfort most of the year. Add to this the fact that there is usually one or more species willing to bite, and you have the good news. The bad, well not so bad, news is that fishing patterns change constantly with the arrival of cold fronts and rapidly varying weather patterns. I’ve always been a great fan of fishing guides, and this time of the year is an especially good time to employ their services.

Besides being a great initiation to the local waters in general, a guide’s considerable knowledge of where to find fish as they constantly move with the changing weather patterns is indispensable. As an added bonus, guides can take you to some of the area’s most beautiful natural areas. More...

real estate

Statistics flat lining

I recently discovered the village of Gulfport, which sits on Boca Ciega Bay directly west of the city of St. Petersburg. This is a great little gem with quaint shops and charming restaurants, which reminded me of all the other great little waterfront gems in the state of Florida including Anna Maria. But just because we love these places doesn’t mean they’re inoculated from the effects of the real estate market.

According to last week’s report from the Commerce Department, sales of new single family homes rose only slightly in October after the three previous months of low growth. New home construction represents only about 10 percent of all home sales, but construction adds more jobs and investment into the economy than sales of existing homes.

Although the sale of previously owned homes has improved this year, this sector did not give the economy the boost that was expected. This is primarily because of minimal income growth, reduced sales and continued difficulty getting mortgages in spite of rates near 4 percent, handicapping the market for new and re-sales. 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 Eason Builders take cup

Eason Builders 4
DoJo Martial Arts2

After semi-final play Wednesday night, domination by the Eason Builders team took them to victory Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Anna Maria Island Community Center against DoJo Martial Arts. Eason Builders finished the adult co-ed soccer league regular season in second place with strong passing and by utilizing the scoring depth of the team. Its effort to capture the Paul “Ace” Hayward Championship Cup was not without its challenges by the fourth seed team. More...

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper