Vol. 16 No. 19 - March 9, 2016



Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe Center is debt free

ANNA MARIA – Hallelujahs are in order – The Center’s mortgage has been paid off!

“I’m over the moon!” Executive Director Kristen Lessig declared. “This is the first win in the 15 months that I’ve been here. It’s a freeing, exciting feeling. Now we can move forward.”

Lessig said negotiations with mortgage holder BB&T Bank have been ongoing, and the deal was sealed on Monday morning, Feb. 29. Funding came through the Manatee Community Foundation allowing Center officials to pay $300,000 on the $1.1 million they owed on the building. The deal will save the Center $100,000 per year.

“BB&T worked with us to make this happen as a way to support the community,” Lessig explained. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryWaterline ready to set sail with new permit

HOLMES BEACH – In a project where patience is a virtue, Waterline has finally received a building permit.

Waterline, located near the intersection of Marina and Gulf drives, will be the Island’s first full service hotel. Mainsail Lodging and Development, of Tampa, is developing the project.

“It’s very exciting,” Mainsail President Joe Collier declared. “Everybody will be pleased when they see it rise from the ashes. It’s been a long time coming. I think people will be impressed by the product.

“I can’t wait to have it open. It will be a good center of commerce. People will see the marina become a much more robust operation. We’ll make it all come together and look great.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story City responds to rental lawsuit

ANNA MARIA – City Attorney Becky Vose has filed a response to the vacation rental ordinance lawsuit filed last month on behalf of Florida Gulf Coast Vacation Homes LLC.

In defense of the vacation rental ordinance adopted last fall, Vose filed her motion for final summary judgement and memorandum of law with the 12th Judicial Circuit Court on March 1.

Her motion focuses primarily on the plaintiffs’ claim that the occupancy limits contained in the city’s vacation rental ordinance (VRO) act as a de facto prohibition of vacation rentals.

In her motion, Vose wrote, “Plaintiff does not allege that the VRO regulates the duration or frequency of rentals, and in fact, the VRO does not do so. Instead, the plaintiff alleges that the occupancy limits on vacation rentals constitute a prohibition of vacation rentals. Plaintiff states that it is self-evident that the ordinance forbids vacation rentals with more than eight persons, and therefore prevents, precludes and severely hinders vacation rentals. More...

Attorney files Bert Harris claim

HOLMES BEACH – Aaron Thomas, representing 306 Clark LLC has filed a Bert Harris claim against the city.

According to the letter from Thomas, construction on the home there began in 2015, the same time the city imposed a moratorium on remodeling or construction of homes with four or more bedroom/sleeping rooms.

“In an attempt to mitigate their damages, as a Bert Harris claim was not immediately available, the owner began construction on a three- bedroom, per unit duplex structure,” Thomas wrote.

In September, commissioners approved an ordinance establishing a maximum of four bedrooms in single-family homes and two per side in duplexes in the R-2, R-3 and R-4 zoning districts. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAMOB makes dog-friendly move ...

BRADENTON BEACH – Earlier this year, Anna Maria Oyster Bar President John Horne inquired whether dogs could be allowed on the restaurant patio that abuts the city’s Historic Bridge Street Pier.

After last week’s Pier Team meeting, Horne asked Police Chief and Pier Team Chair Sam Speciale for an update on the matter.

At the request of Speciale and City Clerk Terri Sanclemente, Treasurer Shayne Thompson conducted some research into any liability concerns that might pertain to dogs on the restaurant patio.

On Thursday, March 3, Thompson shared his findings in an e-mail he sent to Horne, Speciale, Sanclemente, Mayor Bill Shearon and the four city commissioners. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story... and makes good on first lease payment

Bradenton Beach City Treasurer Shayne Thompson sent the mayor and city commissioners an e-mail regarding shared revenues received from the AMOB restaurant ownership group On Wednesday, March 2.

“I would like to take this time to give you an update on our relationship with We’re Back/AMOB, as there are some on the commission that were not here when the lease was signed. In addition to the timely rent we receive, the terms of our lease also provides for 2 percent of the gross sales. I am happy to report that the city and its citizens received our first check yesterday afternoon in the amount of $3,519.40, which is based on sales figures of $175,970,” Thompson wrote. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Tropical Treasures Boutique offers unique gifts

ANNA MARIA – Find the perfect gifts for yourself or friends at the Tropical Treasures Boutique at The Center of Anna Maria Island’s Tour of Homes on Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The boutique committee spends months crafting colorful, whimsical, beach-themed gifts for visitors to purchase. This year’s boutique will be located at the home of Dave and Kerri Welch at 513 83rd Street, Holmes Beach.

Boutique offerings include shell mirrors, jewelry made from recycled materials and Mah Jong tiles, decorative oars, throw pillows, wall art, cork jewelry and utensils, flip flop fly swatters, hand stenciled dinner napkins, hand painted potholders and a selection of baked goods and tropical jams and jellies, all sponsored by Duncan Real Estate. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPolicy clarification continues

BRADENTON BEACH – Clarification of the policies that determine the mayor and city commissioner’s roles and the supervision of city department heads continues to be the subject of discussion and debate.

These matters were discussed at the Thursday, March 3, City Commission meeting and are scheduled for continued discussion at the Tuesday, March 8 commission work meeting. These topics were previously discussed at a commission work meeting that took place Tuesday, Feb. 23. During that work meeting, the four attending commissioners reached consensus that they would like a resolution prepared clarifying the terms “executive head” and “administrative oversight,” as referred to in a city charter description of the mayor’s responsibilities.

The agenda for the March 3 commission meeting called for a motion to formally direct City Attorney Ricinda Perry to draft the clarification resolution the four city commissioners requested during the Feb. 23 work meeting. Mayor Bill Shearon did not attend that meeting due to a death in his extended family. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTourism slogans, logos evolving

How many ways can you say “Come visit” over 35 years?

Turns out, quite a few.

Manatee County tourism officials have long promoted the county and the communities of Bradenton, Palmetto, Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key and Lakewood Ranch with slogans like “Florida Like It Used to Be” and “The Closer Caribbean.”


“Our little secret” made itself obsolete, working so well that the county now routinely ranks high on national lists of vacation destinations, according to Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore, who chairs the county’s Tourist Development Council. The tourism logo used at the time was “Manatee County and the gulf beaches around Bradenton on the West Coast of Florida,” irritating copy editors and linguaphiles. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe world’s best lure

On the shelf of any tackle shop today you’ll find an array of lures that will dazzle you and make it hard to make a successful choice. There are holographic patterns, photo realistic shapes and designs, rattles, spinners, swimmers, divers and everything in between abound. There is no doubt that there are some very effective new patterns and designs on the market today, but if I had only one lure in my tackle box it would be a jig.

The jig is one of the oldest and most effective lures ever made, which explains why they have a prominent place in most anglers’ collections. Today’s jigs also come in a breathtaking array of shapes, sizes and colors with realistic patterns and live bait scents. And while there have been many advancements in design, the basic jig with a lead head and buck tail body is still effective and the go to lure for many anglers. That’s because if you have faith in the jig and vary the action, it's possible to elicit a strike from any game fish (fresh or salt) that swims local waters. More...

real estate

Everybody wants to be a Florida resident

With the population of Florida growing everyday by a thousand people, you would think that becoming a Florida resident is as easy as crossing over the Georgia-Florida border. But there is a long list of criteria that has to be met and if you plan on living out of state part of the year, be careful.

There are many benefits to being a resident of Florida, especially if you own property. Tax benefits to legal residency are – no state income tax, no state gift tax, no state inheritance tax and no separate estate tax. And if you own real property you also have the benefit of the first $50,000 in value being exempt from city and county taxes under the Homestead Exemption.

In addition, Florida places strict limits on the amount by which any reassessments of the taxable value of homestead property can increase. The annual increase of the assessed value of homestead property is capped at 3 percent, a very advantageous benefit as our property values keep climbing. Also a Florida homestead residence is generally exempt from the claims of the owners’ creditors within certain federal limitations. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryGrayhawk offers windows, doors and more

It’s March, one of the best, if not the best, month in Florida. The temperatures are comfortable, the humidity is low, the rain is sporadic, and hurricanes are but a dark memory left over from last fall. However, June 1 is just three months away, and you know what that means – stocking up on batteries, candles, canned food and get away kits. But mostly it means worrying about your vintage windows and doors and the protection they will provide to you and your family if the big one hits.

If you’ve been thinking about securing the envelope of your home in the event of a hurricane with new windows and doors, it may be the right time to contact Grayhawk Windows, Doors and Remodeling on Cortez Road, just west of 59th Street. Four years ago, Grayhawk moved into a new location convenient to both Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, as well as properties on the west side of Bradenton and further in town. It has created a very attractive and informative showroom with samples of windows and doors as well as layouts, flooring, tile and countertop choices for their remodeling division. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Medicare Part B premiums have increased

Investment Corner

Medical costs are rising, which means that Medicare Part B premiums have increased for the first time in over three years. However, thanks to the hold-harmless provision, a law which prohibits a decrease in Social Security benefits based on Medicare premium increases, you may not be paying more, depending on your benefits and income.

Because there was no cost of living increase for Social Security benefits in 2016, a Medicare premium increase is prevented for most Social Security benefit recipients, with the exception of high earners. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, about 30 percent of the 52 million Americans enrolled for 2016 will be affected by the premium increase.

Who Is Affected?

Higher earners are more likely to be affected by the change. In 2015, most people paid $104.90 a month, unless their adjusted gross income on their 2013 tax return was above $85,000 for singles and married people filing separately or $170,000 for those filing a joint return. In 2016, most people will continue to pay the same amount. However, premiums will change for the following people: More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBeach To Bay built a solid offense on the field

With a 2-2 record, Team Truly Nolan went into Thursday’s game looking for the win with a new quarterback at the helm. Jon Bell was picked up by the team and proved to be a strong offensive threat as QB. Facing a Kaletaless Beach to Bay Construction, Truly Nolan’s 220 passing yards and 45 rushing yards just was not enough for the victory.

The difference was the pass completions by Beach to Bay. The Shaughnessy family comprises just under half of the team roster. Lead by Mike Shaughnessy, who played for the Kent State Golden Flashes in the late 1970s, played quarterback Thursday night with a perfect passing record of seven passes and seven receptions for 80 yards. His youngest son, Tim Shaughnessy, hit nine of 13 passing attempts for 110 yard in the game.

The Shaughnessys completed passes and yards gained after the catch earned their team the 33-19 win in the adult co-ed recreational league at the Center. More...

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