Vol. 16 No. 20 - March 16, 2016



Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDay dock blocked

BRADENTON BEACH – The day dock at the Historic Bridge Street Pier was the site of a peaceful protest on Tuesday, March 8.

In the middle of the three-vessel blockade was Bradenton Beach Marina owner Al Bazzy, who stood aboard a floating rental center that formerly served as a floating and navigable wedding chapel.

To the west of Bazzy was embattled bait salesman John Maguire and his two-vessel commercial operation.

The eastern edge of the city-owned public docking facility was blocked by the Pride & Joy commercial fishing boat owned by Ryan Davis.

The blockade limited access to the day dock throughout the day and was staged in protest to tour boats and other commercial vessels being allowed to use the dock in addition to recreational vessels. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThree front yards but still a lawn way from home

HOLMES BEACH – A couple’s attempt to build a house on their lot with three front yards in the Palm Harbor subdivision has brought to light problems with two ordinances approved last year.

One was Ordinance 15-19, which required a front yard along each street upon which a lot or parcel fronts and the other was Ordinance 15-20, which banned front yard pools.

Peggy Jude, of One Palm Harbor Drive, gave a power point presentation on the challenges she and her husband, Ron, have encountered trying to design a house to fit on the lot bounded by 43rd Street, Palm Harbor Drive and Palm Harbor Boulevard She said the 20-foot front yard setbacks have decreased their buildable lot space considerably and would significantly impact the pool and dining room.More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story ROR occupancy limits proposed

ANNA MARIA – City commissioners and City Attorney Becky Vose are working on a new ordinance that would limit future vacation rental occupancy in the Residential/Office/Retail District (ROR).

If adopted, the proposed ordinance would limit occupancy to no more than eight overnight guests in vacation rentals that are the result of redevelopment or new construction. The ROR ordinance would not apply to existing structures in the zoning district.

The proposed ordinance deals primarily with occupancy, and other than the commercial use limitations already in place, does not create additional vacation rentals regulations similar to those included in the vacation rental ordinance that applies to residential structures elsewhere in the city. More...

Work meeting discussions continue...

BRADENTON BEACH –The City Commission work meeting discussions regarding the supervision of city staff continued last week, but no final decisions were made.

Further clarification and formal commission action is expected when the work meeting discussion continues on Tuesday, March 22.

The Tuesday, March 8, work meeting featured nearly three hours of additional conversation on topics first discussed at the Feb. 23 work meeting and further discussed at the March 3 commission meeting.

The commission’s goal is to provide definitive interpretations of city charter language that addresses the roles and responsibilities of the mayor and commissioners, and the supervision of department heads and appointed charter officials. More...

... post-meeting perspectives differ

BRADENTON BEACH – Mayor Bill Shearon and his fellow City Commission members do not see eye-to-eye on the issues discussed at last week’s work meeting.

One of the primary topics of discussion was the supervision of city department heads.

After Wednesday’s Land Development Code hearing, Shearon was asked what he took from the previous day’s work meeting.

“I was very happy with the end result. We went through my sheet and came to an agreement,” he said.

Shearon was asked if he thought Tuesday’s meeting suggested changes were forthcoming in regard to his authority to supervise department heads. More...

Term limits in limbo

BRADENTON BEACH – City officials will have to determine if commission term limits have been eliminated and if so, should they be reinstated?

Before the November elections, the city charter said commissioners could serve no more than three consecutive two-year terms, but that charter review process may have changed that.

A call to the Manatee County Supervisor of Election’s Office on Friday, March 11, provided no clarity in regard to term limit elimination, but Deputy Supervisor Sharon Stief had an opinion on who would make that determination.

“As to whether or not term limits are gone, that is up to the city,” she said.

Stief referred to the charter amendment ordinance, ballot language and additional exhibits the city submitted to the elections office in order to have the charter amendment ballot questions placed on the ballot. More...

Public hearing set for property vacation

HOLMES BEACH – City Attorney Patricia Petruff advised city commissioners not to discuss a proposed property vacation ordinance at last week’s meeting.

When Chair Judy Titsworth called for a staff report, Petruff explained, “This is not a public hearing,” she said. “We’ll get a staff report and information at the public hearing.

“Pass it on first reading as a ministerial duty and in anticipation of having a public hearing where all evidence is presented.”

She said the City Commission could take public comment, but no one exercised that right.


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryGiving Back to close

Susan Thomas has announced she will be closing her store, Giving Back at 5312 Holmes Blvd., on Saturday, April 9

Thomas started Giving Back six years ago to raise money for charities on the Island by taking donations of used items, selling them and donating the proceeds.

“I’ll have a clearance sale starting Tuesday, March 22,” She said. “What I have left after that I will donate to Roser Church and St. Vincent DePaul.”

Thomas explained why she opened the store. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryIsland living featured in Tour of Homes

ANNA MARIA – Learn about Island living in the 23rd annual Tour of Homes sponsored by The Center of Anna Maria Island on Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The tour includes the homes of Jenifer and Shawn Kaleta, 104 48th Street; Lisa and Mike Brakefield, 615 Ivanhoe Lane; Diane and Kurt Snouffer, 534 70th Street; and Dave and Kerri Welch, 513 83rd Street, all in Holmes Beach, and Erik Abrahamson, 810 South Bay Blvd., Anna Maria.

Tickets for the tour are available for $20 at various Island locations, and a free shuttle to the homes will be stationed at CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, at the border of Holmes Beach and Anna Maria. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMote shindig honors Scott Moore

The William R. Mote Memorial Snook Shindig honoring Holmes Beach based Captain Scott Moore, which was scheduled for last November is now slated for April 8 and 9. Moore has been a fierce advocate for the protection of snook for decades and was a personal friend and guide to Bill Mote. The tournament was canceled last year due to high levels of red tide in bay waters.

Mote staff scientist Carole Neidig stated, “After postponing the event, we worked hard on finding a new date that would be best for the snook, as well as for anglers. Based on feedback from knowledgeable local guides, we’re hopeful that by April 8, the winter cold spell will be over, there will be good tides that day, and it is before the closure of the fishery, which is May 1.” More...

real estate

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Today’s my birthday, and since it’s a rather significant one, it got me thinking about all of the things I used to worry about and how a lot of it isn’t important to me anymore. For instance, does it really matter if the dinner I prepared for friends didn’t come out just perfect? After all, isn’t it more important to enjoy the company rather than the pot roast? And how about those winter guests you always felt obligated to invite? Well, guess what, after a certain age you no longer feel obligated. But one of the really important issues that you just have to let go of are problems with neighbors, specifically condominium neighbors and condominium regulations.

After having lived in a condo for almost 18 years, the best advice I can give anyone thinking about buying one is don’t sweat the small stuff. Condominium life on paper is a wonderful carefree lifestyle, and it can be, but you have to have what I like to call a condo personality.

A condo personality is one that is happy to see the grass being cut and doesn’t really care if the landscapers missed a six-inch patch. A condo personality is one that is happy to see a new coat of paint on the building and overlook the inconvenience of having the painters wash their equipment where you have to walk to your car. A condo personality loves the heated pool and forgets the controversy about the legal and environmental use of noodles in the pool, and a condo personality is one that will tolerate your neighbors’ loud TV from time to time since they’re 90 and hard of hearing, but lovely in all other respects. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMister Roberts celebrates 50 years

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 StoryChampions and contenders triumph at the Center

As another youth flag football season comes to a close at The Center, kids from eight to 17 years old took the grid iron this past week hoping to be crowned league champions or more in their division playoffs. The Island area’s youth played hard all season and Tuesday night’s semi-final game between LaPensee Plumbing & Pools and Heidi Johnston ReMax was no different for the eight-to 10-year-olds. The defensive battle resulted in a low scoring game with exciting action from the elementary school kids.

Starting on offense, Kiera Johnston led her team, Heidi Johnston ReMax, as the quarterback with a short pass to Cameron Murphy. Johnston continued to move the ball down the field toward the first down mark with a completed pass to Zack Stewart. The play was stopped short of the first down by Julian Lazzara, for LaPensee Plumbing & Pools, with a quick flag pull. Gaining the first down, Quinton O’Conner caught Johnston’s pass, giving ReMax three more plays to score. 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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