Vol. 16 No. 12 - January 20, 2016


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryWinter storm brings light damage

The cold front that blew in Sunday affected two of the Island’s piers and forced two open-air events to close down, but the storm spared the Island from the heavy damage and injuries.

The bad weather blew in around 3:30 a.m. and there were reports of tornadoes in Siesta Key, Sarasota and Duette, where a man and his wife were killed.

Anna Maria Public Works Director George McKay said the high winds from Sunday’s storm took down some trees, flooded streets and eroded some renourished beaches in the city. He also said water was coming over the walkways at the Anna Maria City Pier and the Rod and Reel Pier. City Pier Manager Dave Sork saw the water, and McKay ordered people off the pier. More...

Crab trappers and shark fishers converge

ANNA MARIA – Last week’s City Commission provided an opportunity for public discourse on how commercial stone crabbers and recreational shark fishermen might better co-exist.

Public input was passionate and plentiful and represented the views of crabbers, shark fishermen and citizens concerned about public safety. Most who spoke, regardless of their personal positions, expressed hope that an agreeable solution could be reached.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Regional Director Thomas Graef, Regional Commander Roger Young and FWC Law Enforcement Lt. Grant Burton attended the meeting, and Graef offered to return this week for a less formal follow-up discussion that will take place at city hall Thursday, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m.

Commission Chair Doug Copeland said, “I encourage each and every one of you to come back next Thursday. Let’s see if we can solve this problem. We would like to find a solution without legislation.” More...

Selling the lifestyle

ANNA MARIA – Jason Sato, co-owner of Sato Real Estate in the historic Roser Cottage on Pine Avenue, feels blessed to be working where he grew up and being successful at it. Last year he closed on 58 properties worth $49.77 million to lead all other real estate salespeople..

He credits his background for a lot of his success.

“I grew up here,” he said. “I am resident, I am local and I love it.”

When he says Anna Maria, he means it. He said the majority of the properties he sold are located in the city of Anna Maria. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryInjunction ruling forthcoming

BRADENTON – Judge John Lakin is expected to rule this week on the temporary injunction request sought against one of the Historic Bridge Street Pier subtenants.

On Friday, Jan. 15, a 30-minute hearing took place at the Manatee County Judicial Center in Bradenton to address the temporary injunction motion attorney Nelon Kirkland filed on behalf of Bradenton Beach Marina owners and operators Allan and Michael Bazzy.

As the hearing concluded, Lakin asked the participating attorneys to file their three-page motions by Tuesday, Jan. 18. He said he would provide a written ruling on the temporary injunction request by Thursday, Jan. 20. More...

Opposition to downlisting manatees grows

One week after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it is moving ahead with its plan to downlist the manatee from endangered to threatened status, 26 people from as far as the United Kingdom, New York and California filed comments on a government Website, all in opposition to the plan.

The West Indian manatee, and its subspecies, the Florida manatee, no longer meet the legal definition of endangered and should be reclassified as threatened due to increased population numbers and successful conservation efforts, such as slow speed zones, which would not be reduced, according to the agency.

Recreational boating group Save Crystal River Inc. petitioned the agency in court in 2012 to downlist the manatee. More...

Commission approves first reading of parking ordinance

HOLMES BEACH – Despite receiving a warning from the Manatee County Commission about jeopardizing beach renourishment funding, city commissioners approved the first reading of a parking permit ordinance with a vote of 3-2.

The ordinance would establish a program in a test area where parking on the rights of way would be banned except for residents with permits. It must have a second reading to be in effect, however, Mayor Bob Johnson has vowed to veto it.

Prior to board discussion, Jayne Christenson, chair of the city’s congestion committee, offered suggestions for changes to the ordinance. The first was that several streets were left out of the description of the test area. More...

Parking around the school will be enforced

HOLMES BEACH – Police Chief Bill Tokajer responded to a question that arose during the city commission discussion on the parking permit ordinance concerning whether police would enforce parking around Anna Maria Elementary School.

The issue was brought up by Chair Judy Titsworth, who noted that parents who bring their children to school or attend school events park in the neighborhood because there’s not enough parking at the school. If those parents do not live in the city, they will not have parking permits.

The others felt it would not be a problem because police could use their discretion. More...

City officials react to county letter

HOLMES BEACH – City and congestion committee officials were quick to react to the warning letter from Manatee County officials regarding implementing any parking restrictions that could jeopardize beach renourishment funding.

At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, commissioners approved the first reading of a parking ordinance to establish a test area where parking on the rights of way would be banned except for residents with permits

“The letter did not arrive in the city until today, which is outrageous,” Commissioner Jean Peelen pointed out at Thursday’s work session. “It’s also outrageous that no city commissioner or anyone on the parking committee was talked to about it to get the facts. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryShark fishing rules differs from city to city

HOLMES BEACH – By enforcing pre-existing city ordinances, the city of Holmes Beach has managed to address shark fishing concerns without specifically prohibiting the activity.

In 2013, representatives from three Gulf-front resorts raised concerns about chumming and sharks being brought ashore in a manner that presented risks for guests. Concerns were also raised about shark carcasses being discarded on the beach.

This prompted Police Chief Bill Tokajer to research city ordinances for potential solutions. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryInshore winter strategy

This year winter fishing came in late, but with an unmistakable presence. When the cold winds blow in and water temperatures drop, it’s time to change your angling strategies. While winter fishing can be challenging, there are opportunities for some excellent action if you use your senses and think like a fish. While there are no magic bullets, awareness and persistence really pay dividends when the thermometer begins to plunge

The most popular species (snook, redfish and trout) will often concentrate in areas where the surrounding waters are more moderate. Snook are most sensitive to the changing water temperature and will migrate to rivers, canals and protected channels. Explore areas where dark bottom absorbs the heat of the sun and warms the surrounding water. Shallow bays and bayous that heat up quickly on sunny days and flush warm water on late afternoon outgoing tides can be particularly productive. Even the seawalls that line residential areas can warm up the water and attract fish on cold days. It doesn’t take much of a temperature difference to attract fish. You’ll know these areas because they’ll feel warm to you as well as telegraphing to fish in the water. More...

real estate

Big short, little short; how about no short?

Movies are supposed to be cultural entertainment not cultural history. Unfortunately, too many people get their history from movies and fictional shows on television, especially when it comes to complicated topics like finance.

The latest installment of entertainment/history is a movie called “The Big Short” which presumably tells the story of the housing crisis and the financial collapse. Like all good fiction, the story hinges on just a small percentage of facts that led to the crisis and runs with it. The movie pretty much places the blame for the crisis on investment bankers, even disclosing the names of major financial institutions at the end of the movie. However, the substantial responsibility for the crisis lies elsewhere and is a lot more complicated than the film would have you believe.

As I’ve report many times in this column, the majority of residential home mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The loans these quasi government agencies provide are guaranteed by the United States government, i.e. you and I, and therefore take their orders from Congress. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHometown Desserts will feed your sweet tooth

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t met a person who doesn’t have a sweet tooth, even a tiny one. Well if your sweet tooth is screaming to be fed, you need to take a nice little walk along Pine Avenue to a sweet little shop called Hometown Desserts.

Cindy Tutterow doesn’t remember when she didn’t love being in the kitchen. Growing up on a farm in North Carolina, she learned to cook with what the farm produced and bake from scratch with family recipes.

She became a Manatee County school teacher, then a stay at home mom, and kept baking for friends and family. One day a restaurant owner had some of the cake she baked for a friend and asked her to make some for her restaurant. That simple request grew into a seven-year, home-based business and then three years ago, into one of Anna Maria’s Historic Green Village’s favorite businesses. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Wealth vs. income

Investment Corner

Recently I read an article on CNN’s Money site regarding what level of income it took to be in the top 1 percent of wealthiest families in the U.S. It was an interesting read, but I think the article missed the mark for many readers. Wealth and income are different, although not totally unrelated things.

Wealth is most appropriately defined as “the value of what you have in cash, investments, real estate, and perhaps the value of a business you own.” Income is the rate at which money flows into your household.

For those employed at a job or running a business it is possible to have a very high level of income – it took $429,000 to be a top one percenter in 2015 – but to have very little wealth. Wealth is the result of making more money than you spend and pay in taxes and then accumulating the difference in the form of savings or investment capital to be used to eventually generate income when you no longer wish to work. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryIsland girls rock the pitch at St. Stephen’s

With the close of another soccer season, the Saint Stephen’s Falcons middle school girl’s soccer team found themselves with another winning season. Five of those girls hit the ground running on the Island before crossing the bridge to wear Falcon green.

Lead by team captain Jaclyn Schlossberg, the Lady Falcons finished this year with six wins and one loss. Supporting players Demi Harms and Mikayla Woodard, also eighth-graders, contributed to the on-going and growing success of the team. Stepping up to clearly indicate the future positive development of the team were seventh-graders Emma Laade and Leah Schlossberg. More...

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