Vol. 17 No. 30 - May 10, 2017


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAqua by the Bay has a new twist

BRADENTON – Carlos Beruff's Aqua by the Bay development will face additional county scrutiny because he wants to include up to two dozen 12-story condo buildings in the project previously known as Long Bar Pointe.

Beruff's high-rise intentions were disclosed during the six-hour County Commission land use meeting on Thursday, May 4, but some of the estimated 300 attendees already knew about these plans via social networking.

Commission Chair Betsy Benac brought the matter to light when she questioned a county staff report that incorrectly stated the developers were seeking permission to build one 145-foot building and one 75-foot building as part of their plans to develop 2,894 residential units and 78,000 square feet of commercial space. More...

Hunters Point development launched

CORTEZ – The developer of Mirabella in northwest Bradenton has launched the second major development in the past year and a half in Cortez, Hunters Point Resort and Marina.

Marshall Gobuty purchased the property for $10 million in 2016 with his former business partner, Eric Grimes. Neither will discuss the dissolution of the Florida Land Enterprises partnership, but Grimes is no longer involved with the project.

The largely vacant,17.8-acre property at 12444 Cortez Road W. includes canals on three sides that lead to the Intracoastal Waterway and has a working marina, which will be a focal point of the development. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryVacation rental bills fail

TALLAHASSEE – It came down to the final hours of the final day of state legislature's regularly-scheduled 60-day session, but Sen. Greg Steube's vacation rental bill, SB 188, died without a final vote Friday night.

And Rep. Mike La Rosa's House bill, HB 425, died with it.

Earlier in the week, Steube got his bill amended so it resembled the La Rosa bill that would have mandated that any vacation rental regulations adopted after 2011 would have to be applied equally to all residential properties. This would have essentially prevented the cites of Anna Maria and Holmes Beach from enforcing their existing regulations. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryWalking toward the finish line

HOLMES BEACH — One of Anna Maria Island's most recognizable personalities needs your help to keep walking toward his goals.

JD White, a Holmes Beach resident, is trying to raise funds to help pay for a device to keep him walking.

To help White in his quest to raise the $10,000 to purchase two WalkAides, D Coy Ducks Bar is hosting a May 21 fundraiser party. The party from 2 to 5 p.m. includes live music, a 50-50 raffle, food and raffles.

At press time for The Sun, $2,300 already had been raised using GoFundMe, an online fundraising site. The online fundraiser was begun by Buster Powers. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBert Harris claims mount in Holmes Beach

The number of Bert Harris claims in Holmes Beach is continuing to climb without an end in sight.

Fourteen claims arrived May 3 at city hall with most citing occupancy as an issue. Three cite problems with the city's ordinances governing construction limits for vacation rentals, including the living area ratio and maximum of four bedrooms per structure or two bedrooms per duplex unit as reason for filing.

Combined, the 14 claims represent $13,434,000 in requests for compensation in lieu of relief. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryRobinson, museum among BP spill beneficiaries

CORTEZ – Manatee County wants to hear from the public on five programs it hopes to get approved for $6.3 million in RESTORE Act funding from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

RESTORE (Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States) Act funds are part of BP's legal settlement of the spill. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Park improvements sought for Fido

HOLMES BEACH — This park may already have gone to the dogs, but that doesn't mean improvements aren't needed.

Seven pet owners appeared before members of the Holmes Beach Parks and Beautification Committee May 3 to ask for their assistance in planning an improved dog park.

Some of the issues cited with the park include lack of space in both the small and large dog areas, lack of grass in the area which results in muddy paws after rain showers and the need for at least one more pavilion to provide shade for owners to relax while their playful pups romp in the sunlight. More...

Kids' day coming up

The Island's first law enforcement officer's love for the local children will be celebrated on Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by the Anna Maria Island Privateers at Snooks Adams' Kids' Day at Bayfront Park, 316 North Bay Boulevard, in Anna Maria.

In 1954 former Holmes Beach Police Chief Willis "Snooks" Adams started the annual Kids Day celebration with only a dozen or so kids and a couple of pounds of hot dogs. They went to the beach to celebrate school summer vacation.

When he retired in 1980 he handed the tradition over to the Privateers and they will again provide the hot dogs, chips and sodas. Domino's Pizza also will help feed the youngsters. The food is free for the kids, and parents can have some for a contribution. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryOysters and beer – a unique marriage

Summertime is just around the corner, with plenty of sun, surf and seafood in its wake. While we certainly enjoy an abundance of all three here in Florida, Oyster Stouts are of rarer stock in our citrus-drenched state. While a dark, rich stout may not be the first beverage you reach to before the beach, it may be the perfect end-cap to a day spent shuffling through the sand.

Oysters purportedly snuck their slippery selves into the boiling morass of the beer world for the first time somewhere in New Zealand. With a bushel of wild caught, Texas-bred oysters in hand, we've concocted our take on a brew often met by incredulous palates. Inquiring taste buds, however, will enjoy a delicious plunge into a glass bursting with complex flavors.



Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Against the wind

When anglers encounter a perfect day on the water, they can be understandably elated. Why? Well, it just doesn't happen that often. More likely than not there will be some weather to endure. Rain, clouds and high or low temperatures can make fishing challenging, but of all the weather conditions, the wind can be the most daunting.

The wind makes for an uncomfortable ride in a boat, tests an angler's casting ability and has a way of just wearing on your constitution. On windy days you'll find most anglers huddled in an area that provides some protection. That might be the lee of an island, a canal or a pass where they can get some relief from the choppy water and poor visibility. More...

real estate

Hot buyer, cold feet

Binary is a word that is a by product of the computer age. Computers use binary to store data by using the digits 0 and 1. Now, however, it has become a word used in all phases of life and is applied to anything that can be expressed in two digits or two words like yes or no or on or off, but when it comes to buying real estate few things are that definitive.

Real estate buyers are anything but binary. They are an entire spectrum of grays, and just because they say yes, they may actually mean no or maybe. So, what happens when a hot buyer gets cold feet and wants out of the deal?

Typically, a real estate contract of sale contains contingencies for both a mortgage and an inspection. Also, in Florida if you're purchasing a condo, you will have three business days from the time you receive the condo documents to review them, as well as any other financial disclosures and rules and regulations. Anything you don't like can be used as an excuse to withdraw your offer. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFinding a good book is Paradise Found

There are few beach activities that surpass reading a good book in the shade of a striped umbrella with the aqua Gulf water tickling your toes and the soft breeze tickling you nose. It may sound corny, but you know I'm right, and whoever created the Anna Maria Island beaches had a book reader in mind. Now we're lucky enough to have a book store which also has book readers in mind with real books.

Paradise Found on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria is a book store, not an Island shop that happens to have books, but a real book store located in one of the most charming buildings in all of Anna Maria within the Historic Green Village. When's the last time you saw a new book store on the Island or anywhere else? I'm thinking never, at least not in my memory. 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 StoryHayward's dream come true: AMI Center Select Team takes it on the road

For years, I had soulful conversations with Paul "Ace" Hayward about his dream of forming a youth island soccer team on Anna Maria Island. Fondly, he would reminisce about his experiences as a boy in Canada and hoped to someday form a team that could practice, play, travel and grow together, becoming brothers in the sport that Hayward lived and breathed.

Hayward's love of soccer is forever engrained on the Island with the friendships that he formed on the pitch, the kids that he coached and the legacy he left behind. His smiledeep spirit is memorialized at the Island's community center with a iconic Hayward picture at the corner of the soccer field, thanks to dear friend Tim Tadesco.

The dream of an Island youth soccer team has become a reality with the formation of the AMI Center Select Team. Although he never knew Hayward, Coach Rick Hurst shared Hayward's vision and brought together 13 island area boys to form the traveling team, taking Center soccer to another level and creating stronger athletes at the competitive level. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Special blue film identifies turtle light issues

There's an easy way to see whether you need better turtle-friendly lights, said Suzi Fox, director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring.

It's a simple card containing blue film that shows whether lights are in compliance with turtle laws.

The Turtle Safelight cards are free for beachfront property owners and rental management companies who want to take a proactive approach to make sure their properties are in compliance with local turtle lighting laws, which are in effect from May 1 until Oct. 31. More...

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