Vol. 17 No. 4 - November 9, 2016


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryStone Crab fest a sweet success

CORTEZ – The Fifth Annual Stone Crab Festival was bigger and better, thanks to a cool breeze and mostly blue skies and plenty of those colorful claws from the Gulf and bay.

Festival organizer and Swordfish Grill General Manager Bob Slicker said they sold more than than 2,400 pounds of stone crab during the two-day event that had an estimated total attendance of 9,000 people.

"This was the best festival ever. Everybody seemed to be in very high spirits, Mother Nature cooperated all weekend, and there's nothing like seeing a village get together and pull off a festival like this. A big thanks to all the sponsors, vendors, musicians, artists and all the people who showed up. We were very proud to show off our community to the rest of the area," Slicker said Monday morning. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCommissioner praises noise citation

ANNA MARIA –City Commissioner Dale Woodland recently praised Deputy Patrick Manning and his supervisor, Sgt. Russell Schnering, for a citation being issued to a vacation rental guest who received noise complaints on consecutive nights.

During the Oct. 27 commission meeting, Woodland referenced the monthly Code Enforcement and Parking Report included in the commissioners' packets and he noted that the Sheriff's Office received seven noise complaints between Sept. 16 and Oct. 18.

Woodland specifically referenced the noise ordinance citation issued after noise complaints were received on Saturday, Sept. 17, and Sunday, Sept. 18, regarding a five-bedroom vacation rental at 9405 Gulf Drive.

The property appraiser's website lists Shawn Kaleta as the property owner and the property known as Tortuga Bay is included among the vacation rentals offered at the Anna Maria Vacations website. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCommissioner's wife arrested

HOLMES BEACH – Flora Webb, the wife of Anna Maria Commissioner and commission candidate Chuck Webb, was arrested on burglary charges Thursday morning.

She is accused of burglary of an unoccupied structure and stealing a ream of copy paper worth $5 from the office of Dr. Scott Kosfeld and Island Family Physicians, which is located in the same two-story building at 3909 East Bay Drive where Flora Webb works at the Webb, Wells and Williams law firm.

Authorities say the alleged crime was captured on video surveillance on Friday, Oct. 21, and reported to the Holmes Beach Police Department on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

On Thursday, Nov. 3, Mrs. Webb was arrested at the law office, transported to the county jail and later released on bond.

The police report filed by Officer Steve Ogline states that between 7 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on Oct. 21, Flora Webb entered Kosfeld's office, rummaged through several areas inside the office and left a few minutes later with the copy paper in hand. The report says she was able to unlock the door by unknown means. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAnd then there were three

CORTEZ – The 66 Cortezians who fought for their country will be honored at the Cortez Cultural Center's Tribute to Veterans on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 1-4 p.m. at the center, 11655 Cortez Road W.

Cortezians will be modeling historic military uniforms that belonged to Cortez veterans, and visitors will enjoy a free fish fry and children's games. They are also asked to bring a side dish if they can.

One or more of the three surviving Cortez veterans who fought in World War II also may be on hand for the celebration – Albert Few Jr., and Cleve Adams and C.D. Adams, two of six brothers who served. More...

Remembering Cortez in 1945

The big war, World War II, had just ended, and a lot of us kids in Cortez were waiting for our dads to come home from that awful war. Now, I was a war baby, born Sept. 19,1941, just a couple months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I remember well where I was at when my dad, Raymond Stargel Pringle, came home. He looked so cool in his starched khaki uniform with the sergeant stripes on his sleeve.

My mom and so many others of the moms worked and slaved to keep our families together and fed. I recall going out to the "Kitchen" with mom to harvest scallops along with a lot of other Cortez kids and their moms. The Kitchen is the flats just off to the left of Cortez in Sarasota Bay looking toward the southeast at what is now known as Coral Shores. The flats is a term the Cortez fishermen use to describe the shallow water seagrass beds; the scallops somehow thrive in the seagrasses. During that time scallops were so plentiful, it was hard to walk in the water without stepping on them. It seemed they flourished in these crystal clear waters.

All the moms would take the mullet skiffs out with us kids in tow to pick up scallops. Now, to explain, the mullet skiff is a non-motorized shallow-drafted wooden boat the commercial fishermen use to put their nets in. They would pole their nets out with a poling oar, a long, 16-18-foot piece of wood that was fashioned into a long oar My granddad, Nash Pringle, made poling oars for many years. The fishermen towed their mullet skiff behind the launch or scooter. Well now I'll explain, the launch or scooter. It is the vessel that has an in-board motor in it; most were open, but some had cabins or a tarp covering it from stem to stern to protect from the hot sun. They were used to tow the mullet skiffs. The fishermen would work together in crews to be able to catch fish better. I will explain this way of fishing in a later article. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryVincent sets funding record

BRADENTON BEACH – It was not known at publication time whether Bill Vincent won or lost the Nov. 8 election for the Ward 4 Bradenton Beach City Commission seat, but win or lose he is believed to have set a city record for campaign fund raising.

As of Nov. 3, Vincent, a Pines Trailer Park resident and first-time candidate, had reported $7,626 in campaign contributions and $7,354 on campaign expenditures.

At the conclusion of that same reporting period, his opponent, former Mayor John Chappie, had received $4,615 in contributions and had spent $4,436 on his bid to rejoin the City Commission after spending the last eight years as a county commissioner. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMore Bert Harris claims filed in Anna Maria ...

ANNA MARIA – On Monday, Oct. 31, the city of Anna Maria received two more Bert Harris claims, the first claims received since Sept. 29.

The claims are for adjacent vacant lots at 146 Crescent Dr., owned by Crescent Cottages I LLC, and 142 Crescent Dr., owned by Crescent Cottages II LLC.

A letters contained in the claim package list Keith Carter as the manager for the property at 142 Crescent Dr. and Mike Stringer as the manager for the property at 146 Crescent Dr.

Carter's claim lists $245,744 in assessed lost value associated with the proposed construction of a six-bedroom vacation rental that has not yet been built. Stringer's claim lists $249,400 in assessed lost value for a six-bedroom vacation rental that has not yet been built. More...

... as well as in Holmes Beach

HOLMES BEACH – The city received two more Bert Harris claims on Nov. 2, both from the Najmy Thompson law firm.

One was for 211 54th St. It states that the before condition of the property is an eight-bedroom, two-story residence that can accommodate 19 guests and that ordinance 15-12 restricts it to a lower occupancy. It claims a loss of $395,000.

The second one was at 4804 Gulf Drive. It states the before condition is a six-bedroom, two-story residence that can accommodate 16 guests and that ordinance 15-12 restricts it to a lower occupancy. It claims a loss of $270,000.

Ordinance 15-12 calls for 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 StorySome thoughts for Thanksgiving

Well fellow foodies and winos, another year has passed, and it's time once again to gorge ourselves at one of my favorite meals of the year, Thanksgiving. I have never understood why most of us save this holiday for one of my favorite meals, a juicy turkey dinner. I guess the reason I enjoy it so much are the multitudes of options available for preparing it.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of enjoying my turkey oven roasted, grilled (whether it be gas, charcoal or a wood fire), deep fried, smoked and even cooked in the ground under a roaring fire. Some came out a little better than others, but all were interesting and different for lots of reasons.

The best part of the meal for me however, was the variety of sides available to pair with the, hopefully, juicy turkey. Most everyone has their favorite mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauces or relishes and vegetable choices. The one thing I've found that varies more from house to house than anything else though is the stuffing, or dressing, depending on where you're from. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFall forecast

Fall showed up early this year, at least the weather did. While the fishing hasn't responded to the cooling water, some of the season's best fishing is surely right around the corner. As cooler fronts start to pass through the area and water temperatures drop significantly, schools of bait will migrate to nearshore waters. Pelagic species like king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, false albacore, cobia and triple tail won't be far behind.

Savvy anglers will be ready for the season. If you haven't gotten tackle in order, don't delay and keep an eye to the sky for diving birds and feeding fish. All of these species can be found right off our Gulf beaches and some like cobia, Spanish mackerel and tripletail will enter the bays as well.

These predators will take live bait, lures or flies and can be caught on spinning, bait casting or fly tackle. With the exception of king mackerel and cobia, most are able to be landed with very light tackle, which adds to the excitement.

real estate

Does a second home pay for itself?

You know the old expression, "If it's too good to be true, it usually is." It's kind of like that with a second home. It can be a really good investment with a variety of tax benefits or it can be a bottomless pit of stress.

Last month I talked about the good and bad aspects of owning a vacation home with other people. This week let's take a look at the financial benefits of second homes and if it is a good fit for you.

Everyone who owns more than one home has, at some point, considered the possibility of renting one of them to generate income in addition to providing a place for family vacations. Anna Maria Island is of course right in the mix of this with properties being built exclusively for rental purposes, creating discord among residents and all three island governments. 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 StoryBlalock Walters lays down the law

After graduating from the small instructional soccer field at The Center with base skills and experience under their shin guards, the youth of the Island move their game to the bigger field with each goal tallied and scores listed in The Sun scoreboard. Last Monday night, Team Blalock Walters went head-to-head with Team Air & Energy. With volunteer coaches Steve Perry and David Greene on the field guiding and cheering his players, the six and seven year old soccer players showed their love of the game and time on the field.

Early in the game, it was clear that the two teams were evenly matched. Ethan Guerrero, strong leg for Blalock Walters, and Jack McCarthy, key talent for Air & Energy, brought the games score to 1-1. As the game progressed and each player found his/her footing on the field, Guerrero took the soccer ball past mid-field to once again find the net pushing Blalock Walters ahead 2-1.

The defense of Team Air & Energy challenged the offensive attacks of its opponents. After strong defensive play by Caroline Wettstein and ViVi Duprey, Guerrero made his way to the goal once again widening the scoring gap for his team. 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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