Vol. 17 No. 12 - January 4, 2017


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryShamrock Shiver attracts crowd

BRADENTON BEACH – For the ninth year in a row, a group of hearty people emulated the Polar Bear Clubs up north and ran into a body of water on New Year's Day. Instead of freezing waters, these people ran into the relatively warm Gulf of Mexico, and they also were participants in a costume party, with the winner wearing a bright red wig and a seashell bra, dressed like a mermaid.

Tide Tables bartender Louie Mura barely edged out the Bowman Real Estate/Keller Williams Real Estate of Holmes Beach team of spotted Dalmatians hollering, "Woof, woof." More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story2016: An eventful year

The word of the year for 2016 seems to be Bert as in Harris, not Bert and Ernie, although a little comic relief from that pair could be welcome.

Bert Harris is author of the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act. This act basically states that when the action of a local government limits the use of a property, the government must pay the property owner for the loss of value. After the city receives a Bert Harris claim, it has 150 days to make a settlement offer to the property owner.

When the cities of Anna Maria and Holmes Beach approved regulations that included limiting the occupancy of vacation rentals, the race was on with property owners filing suit as fast as rabbits beget bunnies. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe Sun's Person of the year: Ed Moss

The Anna Maria Island Sun's Person of the Year is Ed Rev. Ed Moss, pastor at CrossPointe Fellowship.

Son of Island pioneers Elizabeth and Gene Moss, Ed Moss was born in Bradenton and grew up with his twin brother, Jim, on Willow Avenue at the beach.

After attending college with no goal in mind, he joined a rock and roll band. That's when he God spoke through his heart, according to a 2010 interview with The Sun. He went back to college and through seminary and moved to Miami at an inner city church.

He moved back to the Island in 2010 to preach at CrossPoint Fellowship, formerly Island Baptist Church. More...

Pier rehabilitation RFP issued

ANNA MARIA – At the request of commissioners Dale Woodland, Nancy Yetter and Carol Carter, the city of Anna Maria has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for firms interested in providing consulting and professional engineering services for the restoration of the Anna Maria City Pier.

The three commissioners would like to have additional firms to consider in addition to the Royal Palm Beach-based Bridge Design Associates, the firm that provided the city with the initial structural assessment of the pier last February.

Manatee County administrators have tentatively offered to contribute up to $1 million in matching funds for the anticipated $2 million rehabilitation of the wooden pier, but the county's offer is thus far contingent on the city using Bridge Design Associates as the engineering firm. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Board recommends smaller homes

BRADENTON BEACH – The Planning and Zoning Board is recommending the city commission adopt land development code amendments that would significantly reduce the size of residential structures.

Aimed primarily reducing vacation rental occupancy, the proposed amendments, if adopted by the commission, would apply to all future development in Bradenton Beach's R-1 and R-2 residential zone districts, including homes built for full-time residents.

"We're recommending the city commission adopt a floor area ratio with a maximum habitable floor area that is 40 percent of your lot size, and your second living level can only be 60 percent of your first living level, with a maximum of 2,000 square feet of floor area," City Planner Alan Garrett said when reading the motion Patty Shay made at the Dec. 28 meeting. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPlanning board ready for 2017

ANNA MARIA – During its last meeting of 2016, the Planning and Zoning Board members elected Jon Crane to serve another term as chair, with David Youngs to serve as vice chair of the volunteer board.

In a separate organizational meeting that took place immediately before the Dec. 20 planning board meeting, Youngs was elected to serve as the presiding officer of the Local Construction Regulation Board.

If needed, the regulation board would provide binding rulings regarding alleged offenses committed by contractors and developers. Created in 2015, the regulation board also consists of fellow-planning board member Carl Pearman. To date, the regulation board has not been asked to conduct a disciplinary hearing. More...

Local police to cover inauguration

WASHINGTON DC – As plans are made for the inauguration of Donald Trump in the nation's capitol, six Island law enforcement officers are preparing to attend.

Two Bradenton Beach and four Holmes Beach officers were chosen to represent Manatee County at the Jan 20 event.

Detective Sgt. Lenard Diaz and police officer John Tsakiris will be going from Bradenton Beach.

Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale said the Bradenton Police Department was in charge of finding men and women to go. He said officers from Bradenton and Palmetto and deputies from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office would fill out the ranks. He said no deputies representing he city Anna Maria contingency were chosen. He said the law enforcement officers volunteered to go. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Romantic comedy at Island Players

ANNA MARIA – The Island Players start the year with their second performance of their 68th season with a funny play about romance, "Moon Over the Brewery," by Bruce Graham, directed by Kelly Wynn Woodland.

The play is about a full-time waitress and part-time painter named Miriam. According to the news release, Miriam would love to find male companionship, but her precocious daughter, Amanda, and her imaginary friend, Randolph, have managed to drive away all suitors. Warren the new mailman will try to succeed where others have failed. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryChristmas fruitcakes

My uncle George was the closest thing I had to a grandfather.

He was the oldest son in my mother's family of 10 children.

He thought of my dad as a little brother.

My dad had a printing company. As a side venture he sold advertising specialties – stuff that businesses gave away as marketing pieces – key chains, calendars, those plastic things to scrape snow off your windshield. Our Jewish friends called them "tchotchkes."

At Christmas time a lot of businesses gave away Christmas fruitcakes under the misapprehension that people liked to eat them, and they would think fondly of their business or product. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAn angler's New Year's resolutions

I'm always conflicted about making New Year's resolutions related to fishing because I remember how many I've made and broken in the past. Thinking back over the years, I've come up with a list of things that if I practice consistently might render resolutions obsolete. Here's my short list of things to do regularly:

• I'll keep tackle in order, so I can find what I want when I need it. It's amazing how many times I've come across something I've been looking for when I have no use for it. I'll have a place for everything when I'm out fishing. My fishing bag will have a place for hooks, flies, leader, glasses, sun protection, as well as a knife and pliers. More...

real estate

A year for the record books

2017 will not be a good year for the mortgage procrastinators. If you're one of those homeowners or potential homeowners who just kept waiting for the bottom of the mortgage interest rate market before you made a move, guess what you missed it.

The Federal Reserve raised the federal funds target rate by a quarter of a percent in mid-December, making it more expensive to borrow money. And that's not all. It also signaled that there will be more increases this year. The Fed's feeling is that since the economy is strengthening and investors are assuming that tax cuts are in their future, there will be further growth and higher wages to offset higher mortgage rates.

This essentially ends a seven-year run of historically low mortgage rates which has encouraged home buying and refinancing. In September, the home price index hit a record, primarily because of a shortage of inventory combined with low interest rates pushing selling prices up. At one point in mid-December, the rate was 4.38 percent, the highest since 2014, and as stated it is not expected to drop in the new year. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryIsland Therapeutics offers relaxation and therapy

One of life's pleasures is getting a massage. But what if a massage is more than just a relaxing, tension-free hour? what if it's really therapy designed to make you feel renewed, energized and free from pain?

Karen Abel and Jennifer Washington, partners in Island Therapeutics in Holmes Beach, are massage therapists dedicated to blending both therapy and relaxation in their massage programs. A year ago, they opened their mini space providing a place where clients can take advantage of their customized treatment services designed to their specific needs.

Able, a native of Winnipeg, Canada, has lived in Florida for 16 years six years as a massage therapist on Anna Maria. She has been a personal trainer and holistic lifestyle coach and has a total of 18 years in the wellness industry. 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 StoryTeam Acqua Aveda cleans up against Jiffy Lube

Heading into the seventh week of adult co-ed recreational soccer play at The Center, the top of the charts stays tight with Team Mason Martin and Team Ross Built Construction with the same record, but Mason Martin ranked in first place currently with their win over Ross Built last week.

Also with the same record, Team Acqua Aveda and Jiffy Lube went head-to-head under the lights Wednesday night. Acqua Aveda’s win landed them in the sixth place rank over Jiffy Lube and Team Slim’s Place with one win in the season.

Wednesday night saw the two teams, which on paper have the talent to capture the league championship, work the field with strong passes and teamwork. The break away scoring by team captain Eric Pullen gave Team Acqua Aveda the spark they needed to capture the win. 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...

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper