Vol. 16 No. 15 - February 10, 2016



Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCity Pier in bad shape

ANNA MARIA – Mayor Dan Murphy and the city commissioners have received the Anna Maria Pier Structural Assessment and must now figure how to act upon the information they’ve been given.

Last week, the city obtained the 50-page pier survey report and an abbreviated 16-page summary prepared by Bridge Design Associates, from Royal Palm Beach. The survey was jointly initiated by the city and Manatee County in July in order to obtain more detailed information on the structural condition of the city pier.

“The most significant areas of concern for the pier structure are the unconventional framing and the resulting random weight load paths. The building structures also have numerous areas of concern. There is no evidence the building columns are supported by the pier substructure, and therefore it is simply sitting on top of the deck rather than securely attached to the substructure. It would be prudent to close access to the structure during inclement weather capable of producing high surge and wave action or high winds,” the report states. More...

Avenue C projects create headaches for residents

HOLMES BEACH – A perfect storm of events has created a two-month ordeal for residents living on Avenue C between 29th and 30th streets.

It began with a Nov. 18 letter to residents from Larry Chatt, owner of Island Real Estate, regarding his building to house support services for his rental units that is planned for the corner of Avenue C and 30th Street.

“Prior to constructing the three-level building, I am afraid you likely will be inconvenienced by the new sewer line we will be running down Avenue C,” Chatt said, and added that the work would require cutting away one side of the road.

Chatt said the work would occur between Nov. 30 and Dec 19 and encouraged residents to e-mail or call him with concerns. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Judge recused and accused

BRADENTON BEACH – Circuit Court Judge John Lakin has recused himself from further participation in the legal proceedings involving a challenge to the Historic Bridge Street Pier sublease agreements.

Lakin also has been accused of misconduct for actions unrelated to the pier-related lawsuit Al and Mike Bazzy filed in November against the city of Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Oyster Bar President John Horne and three pier subtenants.

Dated Jan. 26, the order of disqualification pertaining to the Bradenton Beach case says, “The undersigned judge disqualifies himself from taking any action in this case. The Chief Judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit is requested to re-assign this case to another judge.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryEnjoy fishing festival for good cause

CORTEZ – A mullet splashes once, twice, three times in newly-created wetlands at the FISH Preserve, just a stone’s throw, yet a world away from the site of the 34th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival this weekend.

Before you leave the parking lot east of the historic Cortez fishing village to enjoy the live music, seafood and fun of the festival, take a walk to the east to see what your $3 admission fee is really buying.

You’ll see saltwater and freshwater wetlands, young mangrove plantings, birds, wildflowers and more at the restoration project that the festival has been funding for 34 years. Festival proceeds purchased the 95 acres east of Cortez as a buffer between the historic fishing village and development and between busy Cortez Road to the north and Sarasota Bay, where the fishing magic takes place. More...

Reported crimes decrease

ANNA MARIA – According to Sgt. Paul Davis, from the Sheriff’s Office, serious crime has dropped significantly in the city of Anna Maria since 2012.

Davis recently presented the mayor and city commissioners with Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Part 1 and preventable crime statistics for 2015, and also shared with them an overview of the decrease in crime that has occurred since 2012.

Based on data provided by law enforcement agencies nationwide, and headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Uniform Crime Reporting Program provides crime statistics to law enforcement officials, the criminal justice community, researchers, the media and the general public. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Tree house owners make plea to Congressman

HOLMES BEACH – Tree house owners Lynn Tran and Richard Hazen made a plea to Congressman Vern Buchanan to intercede in their case, but Buchanan said it is a local issue and referred it back to the city.

“In 2011,we built a modest Robinson Crusoe-style tree house at our beachfront property for personal use and enjoyment. Since 2013, the city of Homes Beach has ordered us to either move it to another location or demolish it or get fined,” the couple said in the letter to Buchanan.

“The city verbally citied safety concerns to the press and wrote numerous other allegations, but did not provide any evidence or applicable code reference. The tree house is not designed as a habitable place. It functions as a tiki hut, a gazebo or an observation deck.” More...

Fire commission gets annual reports

BRADENTON – At the January fire commission meeting, West Manatee Fire & Rescue personnel gave annual reports for 2015, a new feature that will be offered at the beginning of the year.

Battalion Chief Chris Kiernan reported that the district responded to 2,070 incidents – 2,419 vehicle responses, 51 fire-related responses, 1,417 rescue and medical responses and 221 fire alarms – a 2 percent increase over the previous year.

“The reason we have more vehicle responses is because when we go to a structure, a lot of times four or five units respond,” he explained.

He said the firefighters’ association raised almost $9,000 for MDA and the American Lung Association by holding two boot drives. Members also cooked lunch for families with children who are patients at All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story‘Bicycle Jim’ joins bike/walk team

BRADENTON BEACH –City resident Jim Hassett has volunteered to serve as the city’s representative for the Bike/Walk Anna Maria efforts unfolding Island-wide.

During the Jan. 19, Island Transportation Planning Organization (ITPO) meeting, Bike/Walk Anna Maria chair Claudia Carlson announced that Hassett would be working with Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon as part of the efforts to foster better bicycle safety and connectivity between the three Island cities. Until last month, Bradenton Beach was the only Island city not represented on the ad hoc bike/walk committee that began ramping up its efforts last fall.

When introducing Hassett to the ITPO members, Carlson said, “He is remarkable. He volunteers to repair bicycles for the homeless in Bradenton every week, and he’s very active in the local community.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCortez Cultural Center grand opening at festival

CORTEZ – Five years after the historic Monroe cottage was moved from Bradenton Beach to the fishing village of Cortez, it will open on Saturday with a new purpose and a new name, the Cortez Cultural Center.

A project of the 30-member, not-for-profit Cortez Village Historical Society (CVHS), the Center’s mission is completely different from the nearby Florida Maritime Museum, operated by Manatee County, CVHS President Kaye Bell said.

The Center collects, displays and preserves photographs, sound recordings, furniture, clothing, ledgers and other artifacts that document the daily lives of the people who have lived in Cortez since it was settled in 1886, she said. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story2016 CCA Manatee County banquet and auction

The 2016 Manatee Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) banquet and auction is coming to the Bradenton Area Convention Center, Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 5 to 10 p.m. The Convention Center is located at One Haben Boulevard in Palmetto. This event raises critical funds that help the CCA protect and safeguard fisheries resources. Major sponsors includes Conley Buick and AVID.

The CCA is constantly addressing a host of issues including illegal netting, fair and consistent laws covering size and bag limits and the allocation of resources between recreational and commercial fishermen. The state groups also fund marine-science scholarships, monitor freshwater inflows into estuaries, help build artificial reefs, create finfish hatcheries and much more. On the federal level, the CCA defends net bans, supports pro-fisheries legislation and works to implement bycatch reduction regulations. More...

real estate

The downside of transparency

Fraud is a deliberate deception used to secure an illegal gain. For some time now, we have been indoctrinated about the negative consequences of credit card fraud and how easy it is for people to assume your identity and fraudulently obtain credit in your name. Now there may be more to worry about, and it has even worse consequences.

You may or may not know that practically every financial document related to the sale and ownership of your property is recorded on Manatee County’s Website which is open to the public. This includes the deed to your property, every page of your mortgage agreement, any liens filed against your property including mechanic's liens, IRS liens, non-payment of condo association fees and anything else that might be applicable to your real estate. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Health savings accounts – Part I

Investment Corner

In 2003, the government established Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) as a way for people covered under high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) to get special tax treatment towards saving money for medical expenses not paid for by their insurance. With an HSA, payers were able to receive a tax benefit for saving money to cover their deductible. As HDHPs gained popularity, the government wanted to incentivize saving to cover the higher deductibles, so that medical events would not be financially devastating for those with insurance in place.

Two Unique Benefits

An HSA has two unique benefits that make it especially appealing. First of all, you can contribute money to your HSA pre-tax. Because tax hasn’t been taken out, you end up with more to contribute. Many people have their HSA money withheld directly from their paycheck, so that they never even see it or have to pay taxes on it. Even if you fund your HSA with after-tax dollars and don’t have it automatically withheld, you can still receive the same tax benefit in the form of a deduction when you file your taxes. Either way – save now or save later – you still save on taxes by contributing to an HSA. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe adults hit the gridiron: The battle of the QBs

In the first week of adult flag football play at the Center, Team Coldwell Banker led by quarterback Charles Buky and Team Beach House Real Estate with Don Purvis as the man behind the center, took the field. In the first game of the night for Beach House, the team battled for a win, but came just short in the final minutes of the game.

To start the battle of the strong-armed QBs, Buky threw a short pass to Scott Eliseo. On second down, Lexi Braxton was the go to player who caught the ball just short of midfield. Team Coldwell Banker gained a first down with Eliseo’s second catch of the night. Despite a strong offensive effort, the rushing pressures of Beach House’s Jesse Brisson caused two incomplete passes and Buky’s team losing possession of the football.

Taking over on offense, Purvis lined up over the center, wife Leah Purvis. More...


Turtles, trees benefit from app

A project that uses an android app instead of pencil, paper and a clipboard is designed to save both turtles and trees, according to Suzi Fox, director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring.

The not-for-profit organization’s volunteers walk Anna Maria Island’s beaches each morning from May 1 to Oct. 31 searching for flipper tracks that indicate that sea turtles have nested the night before.

Instead of recording data on clipboards showing the date, the location of nests, whether eggs are in the nests or whether they were false crawls and many other statistics, Turtle Watch is the first organization of its kind to use an app to enter the data electronically. More...

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