Vol. 17 No. 3 - November 2, 2016


Stirring the pot: City may just say no way

HOLMES BEACH – Although commissioners disagreed on how to deal with the issue of medical marijuana if the Constitutional amendment is approved on Nov. 8, they did agree to consider an ordinance banning grow houses and dispensaries in the city.

Police Chief Bill Tokajer said Anna Maria approved an ordinance that is “very short and just says no. It says they’re not going to have any grow houses or dispensaries within their city. A lot of cities in the state have already approved ordinances against it or put provisions on it.

“I would recommend that we do not have any grow houses or dispensaries. It’s an all cash business that is ripe for robberies and burglaries. It’s just going to be a problem for us.” More...

Stone crab festival this weekend

CORTEZ – Get your stone crab claws, your stone crab dip and everything stone crab at the Fifth Annual Cortez Stone Crab Festival this weekend, Nov. 5 and 6, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the FISH Preserve, 4628 119th St. W., or Marker 49 by boat.

You can also dip into Cortezian clam chowder, Cortez hot dogs (fried mullet on a bun), Bradentucky Boil or mixed greens, hush puppies, fish spread, peel and eat Gulf shrimp, shrimp and grits, corn on the cob and bratwurst.

Drink features include Bale Runner Brown Ale by Darwin Brewing Co., with the label referencing square grouper (ask someone from Cortez for the explanation), exclusively available at the festival and Darwin’s, and pina coladas in coconut half-shells. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFlag-raising in City Pier Park

ANNA MARIA – Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy invites the public to join city officials and others in honoring military veterans and Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11, with a flag-raising ceremony that will christen the nautical-themed flagpole installed in City Pier Park last week.

The flag-raising ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. It will feature members of the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra playing patriotic music as well as a bagpiper and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard marching from Roser Community Church to the flag pole’ s location at the corner of Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard, where the flag will be raised for the first time.

During last week’s City Commission meeting, Murphy said, “It’s really a fine looking pole. The contractor who did the work, John Fara, did a beautiful job. People look at the coral and shells embedded in the flagpole-mount and say ‘That just looks like Anna Maria.’ More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryVeteran’s day beach cleanup set

The city of Holmes Beach is holding a beach clean up day on Friday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. City staff will be at the 52nd Street beach access with information on keeping the beaches litter free.

Beachgoers can visit staff members under the tent and pick up plastic garbage bags and recycle cans and plastics in carts provided by Waste Pro. There will be giveaways for kids and adults.

Code Enforcement Officers and volunteers will patrol the beaches from the south and north ends of Holmes Beach to encourage folks to carry out their trash when they leave the beach. Volunteers are needed for this community event.

Sponsored by Waste Pro the event is the second of this kind for the city. The first was on Labor Day after the city received complaints about trash on the beach following holiday weekends. More...

Fire board considers selling admin. building

BRADENTON – West Manatee Fire Rescue commissioners said last week they would consider selling their administration building at 6417 3rd Ave. W. in Bradenton and downsizing if the market is favorable.

Chair Randy Cooper made the suggestion, pointing out that the fire district has completed remodeling all three of its stations and since the district has downsized its staff, it might be prudent to consider a smaller administrative facility.

“We have a mortgage of over a million, and with the economy coming back, maybe someone can use this building,” he said. “The chief said he needs a minimum of 4,000 square feet and this is 11,000 square feet.” More...

Three Island cities support fire district

HOLMES BEACH – After hearing a presentation by West Manatee Fire Rescue Chief Tom Sousa, commissioners said the plan to put firefighters trained in advanced life support (ALS) on fire engines is a “no brainer.”

However, the county has resisted the plan, which is why Sousa asked for help from the Island cities to approve resolutions asking the county to amend its ordinance to allow the fire district to provide non-transport ALS.

Sousa explained that the county must issue a certificate of pubic convenience and necessity (COPCN) to allow providers to apply for an ALS license from the state. However when the county recently updated its ordinance on how to grant the COCPN, it did not provide a way for the county to grant one to a fire district. More...

Tree house appeal denied

HOLMES BEACH – City Attorney Patricia Petruff told commissioners last week that the tree house appeal regarding a code enforcement board fine has been dismissed.

“Judge Gilbert Smith has entered an order dismissing the tree house appeal of the order imposing fine,” she said. “I don’t think it will be able to be appealed because the appellants failed to file their initial brief within the time required and failed to request an extension and failed to show cause why such action should not be dismissed.”

A special magistrate ruled in a May hearing that Richard Hazen and Lynn Tran, owners of the tree house in front of Angelino’s Sea Lodge at 103 29th St., did not bring the property into compliance with a code enforcement board order by removing the violations or demolishing the structure. The magistrate ordered a fine of $50 per day starting from July 22, 2015. More...

Peelen presents legislative issues

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioner Jean Peelen recently presented to city commissioners a list of legislative issues that came before the Urban Administration Committee of the Florida League of Cities and also presented the list to Island elected officials last week.

She said the committee narrowed the issues to three and would further narrow them to two on which members would focus their efforts for the coming state legislative session.

Holmes Beach commissioners agree to focus on three of those issues for the coming legislative session. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySymphony on the Sand set for Nov. 12

The Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra will present its fourth annual Symphony on the Sand on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the beach at Coquina Gulfside Park, 2650 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach. Tickets are now avialable for this musical and gourmet event awww.SymphonyOnTheSand.com.

Attendees at the Symphony on the Sand concert can enjoy small plates created by favorite local restaurants. These include Beach House, seafood boil and caviar hors d' oeuvre; Blue Marlin, bananas Foster; Coquina Café, peach, tomato and feta salad with apple cider vinaigrette; Freckled Fin, coconut shrimp; Lazy Lobster, lobster mac and cheese. Republic Distributing will provide the wine and Motorworks Brewing and Gold Coast Eagle will provide the beer. Mixed drinks also will be available. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryIt's manatee awareness month

Every once in a while, a manatee, being nearsighted, will bump into someone swimming at an Anna Maria Island beach. After the panicky cries of “shark” die down, swimmers have lifetime bragging rights to the story of their encounter with the endangered sea cow.

But encounters with boats are dangerous, and often deadly, to manatees, which prompted former Florida Gov. Bob Graham to make November Manatee Awareness Month in 1979.

Florida’s official state marine mammal, manatees are related to the elephant, and like elephants, they don’t like the cold. While we’re enjoying cooler fall temperatures, water temps also are dropping, spurring manatees to head from rivers, bays and the Gulf of Mexico to the warmer winter waters of springs. More...

real estate

Broker commissions

Earning your living strictly on commissions earned is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you are compensated based on your hard work and creative abilities to bring two parties together. On the other hand, you’re subject to forces sometimes beyond your control, resulting in zero compensation.

Real estate professionals are paid a percentage of the negotiated sale price of a property at the time of the property closing. Commissions are not regulated by any federal or state governing authority, but rather are an agreement between the listing agent and the seller at the time the listing agreement is signed. Commissions are always negotiable but generally are within a point or half point of what is acceptable in the region where the property is located. An agreed upon commission can also depend on the value of the property as well as the level of marketing the listing agent promises to perform. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Reverse mortgages worth another look

Investment Corner

I have written about reverse mortgages over the years, at least twice here in the Sun. My advice was that reverse mortgages were expensive for the borrower, but in the case where a retired person or couple had run out of assets, using the equity in their home through a reverse mortgage wasn’t the worst idea in the world.

I’m bringing the topic back one more time because some changes in federal guidelines have made the reverse mortgage a more attractive option for those who are over age 62, that own their home free and clear of another mortgage and who are concerned about the possibility of running low on retirement income during their lifetime

Space limitations don’t’ allow us to go into a full primer on reverse mortgages, but let’s hit some of the highlights. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe Center teens heat up the pitch

Spirit Day, a long-standing and beloved tradition, made way for Saturday Soccer Spooktacular at The Center Saturday. What used to be the season kick-off weekend, with team colors and team spirit filling the fields, sidelines and stands in short fun filled scrimmages to ignite the excitement for the season, made way for a mid-season day of soccer fun and competition and Halloween spirit.

In the last games of the afternoon, the oldest players in The Center’s youth co-ed soccer league faced off. The difference in size, strength and skill between the 11 year olds and the 14 year olds is clear, but as a group they come together and combine their efforts to become a team for eight regular season games. After playing their fourth games Saturday, it is clear that each of these teams is capable of taking home a victory. More...


Turtles crawl to a record year

Sea turtles had a record year in more ways than one on Anna Maria Island, according to Suzi Fox, director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring.

The record of 435 nests is higher than the next closest record year of 2013 by 66 nests, and higher than the 15-year average by 246 nests.

Why, especially in a year with two hurricanes and a severe tropical storm that destroyed 145 nests?

Mostly, it’s due to 34 years of Turtle Watch volunteers caring for turtles and educating visitors, residents and business owners, Fox told volunteers on Saturday at an appreciation luncheon marking the end of the 2016 turtle season. More...

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