Vol. 15 No. 8 - December 17, 2014


Recall efforts forge ahead

BRADENTON BEACH – The efforts to initiate a special election to decide the fate of Mayor Bill Shearon took another step forward Friday morning.

Former Bradenton Beach Commissioner Pete Barreda personally presented to the city clerk’s office a statement of organization of a political committee on behalf of the Committee to Recall William Shearon.

“The issues have been well documented. Instead of all the back and forth, let’s have a recall vote. Let the citizens decide and then move forward one way or the other, and get back to normalcy” Barreda said, when discussing the matter Saturday afternoon. In addition to being a former commissioner, Barreda is a longtime local restaurateur and a current member of the Gulf Drive Café management team. His family has a long history of political involvement in the city, and his mother, Dahlia, also served on the commission. More...

Residential parking plan taking shape

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners put in gear a proposal to eliminate street and right of way parking in residential areas, but at least one resident wanted to put the brakes on it.

“We’re losing our sense of hospitality. This is not a way to ease congestion. You’ll increase congestion because you will reduce the number of places people can park. More people will be driving around looking for places to park,” resident and restaurant owner Sean Murphy told the board.

Jayne Christensen, the new chair of the Island Congestion Committee, presented the plan to commissioners, giving each one a binder that included the proposal, a resident parking permit application, examples of resident parking decals and prices and examples of ordinances from other beach communities that ban residential street parking. Commissioner Carol Soustek, the former chair of the Island Congestion Committee, said, “We’d like to proceed and have worked out all the details.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Holiday spirit shines in Anna Maria

ANNA MARIA – The air was filled with holiday spirit as crowds gathered along Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue to Bayview Plaza to celebrate the Holiday of Treasures on Friday night.

Valerie Wilson, of the AMI Historical Society, which sponsored the event with The Sun, said, "The Historical Society would like to thank the participating businesses for their generous gifts which made the two prize tote bags so valuable.

“We hope all the stores had the same wonderful turn out that we had at the museum. We thank that Roser children's choir for their great performance. The children sounded terrific despite the chill in the air." More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBoat parade sets sail

BRADENTON BEACH – The 11th annual Cortez Yacht Club Holiday Lighted Boat Parade featured a brightly decorated, 12-vessel boat brigade that included power boats, sail boats, a trawler, a former Navy vessel, a well-known support boat, and a canoe piloted by Island visitors Jennifer Gosselin and Pierre Pépin.

The group departed Moore’s Stone Crab restaurant around 6:30 p.m., after parade leader Randy Stewart, captain of the Karen Jane, gave the radio command to “light ‘em up.”

Aboard the Bradenton Beach Police boat, Officers Eric Hill and Steve Masi accompanied the boaters along the Intracoastal Waterway, passing by the Historic Bridge Street Pier, underneath the Cortez Bridge lined with cheering spectators and over to the Seafood Shack in Cortez where the vessels circled offshore as judges aboard Ray Simmons’ yacht, Deep Cover, determined who had the best decorations. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Tourism up, future favorable

HOLMES BEACH – Tourism is up, and part of the reason is that visitors feel at home here, the county’s tourism consultant, Walter Klages, told the Manatee County Tourist Development Council (TDC) last week.

“You still have this quaint type of old-time Florida, not overrun by high rises,” said Klages, who included high quality restaurants and agritourism among the reasons for the increase.

In the fourth quarter of the county’s fiscal year 2013-14 – July through September – visitation was up 7.2 percent from the same period in 2012-13, and direct expenditures were up 11.7 percent, according to Klages.

Occupancy was up 3.5 percent to 64.2 percent, while average room rates were up 5.9 percent to $141.10 a night from the same period in 2012-13. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story City to allow rentals to continue

ANNA MARIA – The attorney hired to determine whether the city can control short-term rentals, faced the city commission at a work session last week, explaining his findings and making suggestions for the city to consider.

David Levin said when the city’s ordinance defining single-family detached homes was drawn up, it did not include short-term rentals. That same ordinance, which was written in 1996, was in effect on June 1, 2001, when the state enacted statute took away a city’s right to control rentals unless the city had controls already in effect. He said not defining short-term rentals as single-family detached under that ordinance made them an illegal use.

After explaining his findings, Levin said if the citizens want to effectuate what is written, they could enforce that prohibition through their elected officials. If the citizens want to move forward with rentals, he would want to see the city change the working of its ordinance. More...

Man charged with trying to lure AMI children

HOLMES BEACH – Police arrested a 22-year-old man from Ellenton and charged him with trying to entice three 10-year-old children into his vehicle in the 2800 block of Avenue at about 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13.

Enrique Machuca was arrested, booked and released on bail totaling $9,620 later. He was charged with enticing a child under 12 years old three times, possession of methamphetamines and synthetic marijuana, possession of a prescription drug without a valid prescription and driving with a suspended license.

Holmes Beach Police responded to the 2800 block of Avenue C on a report of a Hispanic man with a thin moustache driving a pearl colored sedan asking three children if they wanted a ride. An officer saw the suspect turning turn onto Gulf Drive from 3200 block of Sixth Avenue. He failed to stop on a red light before making a turn. The officer had to turn around to catch up with the suspect, who accelerated rapidly on Gulf Drive. The suspect stopped after seeing the officer’s red lights and hearing his siren. A backup officer arrived saying the man allegedly tried to lure the kids into his car. More...

City leaders react to recall plan

BRADENTON BEACH – Mayor Bill Shearon and Vice Mayor Jack Clarke rarely see eye-to-eye these days, but they both agree that the mayor’s future should be decided by city voters.

When contacted Friday afternoon, Shearon and Clarke shared their views on the recall effort being initiated by former City Commissioner Pete Barreda.

“I’m not happy that it’s happening, but this way the voters get to have their say. If you like the job I’m doing then keep me, if you don’t like it, that’s the voter’s choice,” Shearon said.

That said, the mayor feels the commission should rescind the recently adopted forfeiture resolution that was created to provide the procedural framework for removing an elected official from office. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryChristmas is a great time to adopt

Need a gift for someone who has everything?

How about adopting a threatened loggerhead sea turtle hatchling or an entire nest from Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring or adopting an endangered manatee from Save the Manatee Club?
Turtle nest parents will be able to choose the wording on a personalized, handcrafted plaque that will be posted on a turtle nest on Anna Maria Island in 2015. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryYouth leaders aid Sarasota Bay Watch

One of Sarasota Bay Watch’s (SBW) main agendas has been to build a strong base of youth volunteers who can learn and practice the leadership skills to carry on SBW’s mission of preserving and restoring Sarasota Bay's ecosystem into the future through education and citizen participation. Over the years, this work has been growing with the assistance of college and post graduate interns as well as college and high school interns.

One of SBW’s first interns, Samantha Jones, helped kick-start the fishing line volunteer cleanups and was instrumental in developing and implementing the first Scallopalooza. That event laid the foundation for many of the subsequent fundraising efforts. Jones graduated from the University of Florida with an environmental engineering degree and is now actively employed as an environmental engineer. More...

real estate

Hurricanes in December

Christmas Day is next week, so why am I talking about hurricane season? Because we need to remember that we still live in a hurricane zone with ongoing insurance challenges, and June only six months away.

Florida hit a record this year with nine consecutive seasons without a hurricane making landfall. Just thinking about the odds of this record being broken makes my calm before the storm light go off. Will 2015 be the year the record is broken, and if it is, are we ready and more importantly are Citizens Property Insurance and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund ready? More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

It’s OK – everyone is emotional and irrational

Investment Corner

I recently attended Charles Schwab’s IMPACT Conference in Denver, an invitation-only annual gathering for registered independent investment advisors. One conference session of particular interest reviewed how emotions impact investing and provided tips on preventing behavioral biases from sabotaging long-term objectives.

Investors often say one thing, but proceed to do the opposite. We want to act rationally. However, emotional biases are difficult to avoid and can easily interrupt our long-term investment goals.

The hard truth is, investors are irrational. Don’t fight this fact, but make an effort to understand how to manage emotional biases. As Warren Buffett advised, “What you need is the temperament to control the urges that get other people into trouble in investing.” 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