Vol. 16 No. 17 - February 24, 2016



Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMooring field proposed

BRADENTON BEACH – The owners of the Bradenton Beach Marina want to partner with the city to operate a managed mooring field in the occupied navigable waters south of the Historic Bridge Street Pier.

Al Bazzy and his son Mike presented their ideas to the City Commission during the Thursday, Feb. 18, meeting. No decisions were made, but the commission agreed to schedule a workshop to further discuss the idea and other matters pertaining to the use of the city-owned pier, day dock and upland structures.

The proposal stems in part from the lawsuit the Bazzys filed against the city, Anna Maria Oyster Bar (AMOB) President John Horne, Paradise Boat Tours owner Sherman Baldwin and two additional tenants who sublease pier space from Horne’s We’re Back Inc. The lawsuit is based on the claim that the non-restaurant pier uses are not in the public’s best interest and that alleged Sunshine violations occurred during the commission-approved lease negotiations that granted Horne the rights to three city-owned spaces on the public fishing pier. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFuture of pier is topic of Thursday meeting

ANNA MARIA – The mayor and city commissioners have met individually with the engineering firm that conducted the recent survey of the Anna Maria City Pier, and they are now ready for their first public discussion on whether to repair the existing pier or build a new one.

The 50-page pier survey report Bridge Design Associates presented to the city earlier this month revealed structural deficiencies and other safety concerns.

The engineering firm estimated it would cost $1.4 to $1.7 million to rehabilitate the existing pier or $2.3 to $2.8 million to tear it down and build a new one to modern design standards. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Day dock uses questioned

BRADENTON BEACH – The use of the public day dock and the upland structures associated with the Historic Bridge Street Pier are the subjects of an increasing number of lease-related disputes and debates.

Questions have surfaced as to whether commercial activities taking place on the day dock conflict with the city’s submerged land lease with the state. Questions also continue to be raised regarding the use of the upland buildings addressed in a separate lease and concessionaire agreement between the city and John Horne’s We’re Back Inc., the ownership group that runs the pier-based AMOB restaurant and subleases two additional spaces to other tenants.

During the Feb. 18 City Commission meeting, Police Chief Sam Speciale sought a commission decision on whether John Maguire would be allowed to continue selling bait from two floating vessels tied to the day dock. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHistorical luncheon features tour brochure

ANNA MARIA – University of Florida intern Kathryn Rohlwing fascinated members of the AMI Historical Society at their annual luncheon when she told how she developed the walking and biking tour for the city of Anna Maria.

Nancy Deal, of the Society’s board of directors, introduced Rohlwing, who is working on her master of arts in museum studies with a specialization in historical preservation. Rohlwing developed the brochure while she interned at the Island Historical Museum last summer.

“Kathryn shares our hopes and vision,” Deal said, “She studies and honors the past with an eye for the future. Without her patience, creativity and persistence we would not have this gorgeous brochure. She is the future.”

Rohlwing said she applied to the Island museum for an internship because her mother grew up in Bradenton and the family has reunions on the Island. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryEnjoy history, crafts and music at Heritage Day

ANNA MARIA – Visitors can find it all – history, music, arts and crafts, a settler’s market and collectibles from the museum at the annual Heritage Day on Saturday, March 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Island Historical Museum complex, 402 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.

A special event this year involves the AMI Privateers, who will stage a daring a jailbreak from the Old City Jail. Privateers will be incarcerated in the jail, and their fellow pirates will arrive at noon to free them.

Throughout the grounds of the museum and Historical Park, artisans will be demonstrating arts and crafts as practiced by early Island settlers including beekeeping, native gardening, wool spinning, pine needle basket weaving, bead making, bonnet making, quilting, weaving and salt making. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Avenue C woes continue

HOLMES BEACH – Residents on Avenue C still face flooding, muck and a torn up road, but reported that paving began this week with equipment arriving on the street Monday.

In the past several months, the street has been plagued by a sewer project, major remodeling projects with swimming pools and a roofing job at the same time. The sewer project is done, and all that remains is the repaving, but a pool installation recently flooded the street until police stopped work.

According to the police report, an officer responded to a complaint that the pool company was pumping water, which was flowing into the street on President’s Day. Work was stopped because construction work is not permitted on city holidays. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Center to focus on quality

ANNA MARIA – As they move into the new year, officials at The Center are reevaluating their plans for programs and services.

“We are looking at what programs are most popular and putting our energy there,” Executive Director Kristen Lessig explained. “We want to focus on quality instead of quantity.

“We wanted to respond to the community feedback that we heard during town hall meetings, so we added classes that people asked for, and nobody came. We had to cancel a lot of classes.”

One new idea is to encourage individual artists to take advantage of studio time in the art room. Artist Janet Kingan, who offers art projects for children in the after school program, as well as art projects for adults, uses the room. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAnglers and crabbers reach an accord

ANNA MARIA – Commercial stone crabbers and recreational shark anglers agree on one thing – they don’t want new regulations that further govern their activities.

This was the conclusion reached less than 10 minutes into the second of two informal meetings hosted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) and moderated by Southwest Region Regional Director Tom Graef.

“Tell me if I’m hearing this right. We don’t need to take any action on this? You’re asking for more law enforcement and leave everything like it is?” Graef said, during the Wednesday, Feb. 17, discussion at city hall. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySo many wines…

It's a new year and season is upon us already. Our snowbird friends are back and the tourists have joined them once again.

One good thing that happens when it gets busy like this is that the volume of business is so great we in the restaurant trade have to order more specials to offer our guests so you all can visit your favorite establishments without having to have the same old thing each time.

Wine drinkers have the good fortune of seeing new offerings everywhere they look, whether on television commercials, in magazine and newspaper ads or up and down the rows of products at the grocery or liquor stores, but how do you make your selection? More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story'Looking Through Water'

Bob Rich of Islamorada, Fla., is a man of many talents, spanning business interests to fishing, writing and philanthropy. In addition to his many other abilities, he’s the long-time chairman of the board of the renowned Cleveland Clinic, and for more than a decade has been the host of fishing tournaments that have raised millions of dollars in a search for a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. The five-time author is receiving five-star reader ratings for his newest novel, “Looking Through Water.”

Rich is also the author of four other popular non-fiction books, but has always wanted to do a novel.

“When I started, I found the best way to begin was to set it against backdrops I've always loved – fishing, Adirondacks lakes, Manhattan and the Florida Keys.” More...

real estate

Love in the time of inventory shortages

I’m a couple of weeks late for Valentine’s Day, but since love is a year ‘round emotion, I figured it’s never too late. And when it comes to buying real estate, love can be a dangerous emotion especially when there isn’t a lot to choose from.

The most recent inventory statistics show that Manatee County’s available single-family homes is under 4 months, well below the six-month figure that is considered healthy. Because of this, the amount of homes available to look at in a given price range are fewer. This makes falling in love with a home even more dangerous since your instinct is to go with your emotional gut, which is telling you this may be your only opportunity.

Even if inventory is down you still need not to get caught in the love trap. You still need to do your research on comparable properties, and you still need to keep your emotions in check when being shown the home, especially if the homeowner is there. Don’t gush when the dolphins jump out of the water, and don’t tell the homeowner that you just love what they did with the kitchen. It’s OK to ask about the taxes or association fees, the water bill or the schools, but wondering about the beautiful the sunset is a dead giveaway. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDan's Fan City will blow you away

Ceiling fans have come a long way from the days before air conditioning, when they were the only way to beat the heat. They first appeared in the 1860s, powered by running water, and flourished in popularity with the availability of electricity. They fell out of fashion for decades when air conditioning was more widespread until the early 1970s leading up to today, when ceiling fans are a staple of practically every home in the southern region of the United States.

Based on their popularity, it’s almost guaranteed that you will be shopping for a ceiling fan at some point. And when that day happens, Dan’s Fan City on Cortez Road near 18th Street will provide you with 78 models to choose, from as well as the ability to customize the fan that works best for your home. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Health savings accounts – Part II

Investment Corner

Before continuing the health savings account (HSA) topic from two weeks ago, I’d like to correct a typographical error that appeared in Part I. The reference to the $1,000 catch-up provision for those over age 55 was misstated as existing for those over age 65.

HSAs offer a way to get special tax treatment towards saving money for medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. It’s important to optimize your HSA to make the most of your tax savings.

Eligible expenses

What constitutes an eligible expense is determined by the IRS. There is a wide range of IRS-qualified expenses, many of which aren’t usually covered by health insurance plans. Some of these are deductibles, co-insurance, prescriptions and dental and vision care. Most things that would typically qualify for the medical expense deduction on your tax return qualify for an HSA. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNail biter: The Feast triumphs over Truly Nolan

Quarterback Dalton Guthrie lea his team, The Feast, to victory against Truly Nolan Pest Control in a tight game on Tuesday, Feb. 16, in the Center’s 11-to 13-year-old youth flag football league.

Guthrie started the game with a short pass to Nathan Hyman, who had eight flag pulls and one interception in the game. On the second down play, Truly Nolan’s Javier Rivera put incredible rushing pressure on Guthrie causing him to throw an incomplete pass taking the possession to third down. The Feast’s third down play was a complete pass to just short of the first down.

Truly Nolan gained short yardage with a running play to Bryson Higgins. Michael Wood carried the ball on second down for a three-yard gain. Once again, strong defense caused Truly Nolan to lose possession of the ball on downs with a short pass from quarterback Blake Balais to German Rivera. 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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