Vol. 17 No. 32 - May 24, 2017


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCommunity comes out to help one of its own

HOLMES BEACH — A call to action for Holmes Beach resident JD White brought out the best in the Island community.

More than 100 community members came out to D Coy Ducks Bar May 21 to help support White in his quest to purchase two WalkAide devices.

The equipment will help White walk without the aid of the leg braces he's used for most of his life. The WalkAides help him to move easier, correcting dropfoot, a condition which prevents the toes from raising correctly while walking. White suffers from cerebral palsy, which causes the dropfoot. Each WalkAide device costs $5,000. More...

Charter county concerns city officials

BRADENTON BEACH – Vice Mayor John Chappie is concerned about the push to make Manatee County a charter county, and he wants City Attorney Ricinda Perry to monitor these efforts.

During the May 18, City Commission meeting, Chappie, a former county commissioner, requested that Perry attend the County Commission's charter government workshop on Wednesday, June 14. The workshop will take place in the Longboat Key Room at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto, at 6 p.m.

After further discussion, the other commission members supported Chappie's request.

Charter counties are guided by charter documents that serve the same role as a city charter, but on a larger scale. A charter sets forth in writing a city or county's powers, rights and duties. More...

FISH Boatworks in flux

CORTEZ – Historian and Cortez matriarch Mary Fulford Green does not want to see the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH) Boatworks program discontinued.

The recent departure of longtime, part-time Boatworks manager Rick Stewart has left the FISH board with no one to run the volunteer program the original mission of which was to focus primarily on the restoration, repair and construction of wooden boats similar to those historically used by Cortez fishermen.

"It seems that there's some people that think Rick Stewart is the only person that can operate that boat works, and he is not," Green said of the non-salaried, volunteer position.

Green is concerned because there has been talk of using the Boatworks building as a display area for FISH's small fleet of historic vessels. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Parking fines to increase

BRADENTON BEACH – Drivers who park illegally in Bradenton Beach will soon see their fines jump from $35 to $50.

On May 18, the City Commission expressed support for Police Chief Sam Speciale's request to increase parking fines in conjunction with the pending arrival of new automated ticket writers.

Speciale said Complus would be providing the city with a proof copy of the ordinances and fines that will be programmed into the four automated devices. Speciale said including the $50 fine in the initial programming would save the city the expense of reprogramming the machines later. The proposed fine increase still needs to be formally adopted at a future commission meeting. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA mother's life, through a daughter's eyes

BRADENTON BEACH – On May 10, the city of Bradenton Beach lost a business pioneer who helped transform Bridge Street, while never straying from her Christian and family values.

Barbara Rodocker was part of the mother-daughter tandem that owned and operated the BridgeWalk resort on Bridge Street and the Silver Surf resort on Gulf Drive. Before that, Barbara owned the Silver Sands resort on Longboat Key.

Last week, Barbara's daughter, Angela, discussed her late mother's life.

"This is how she defined herself: First she was a child of God, second she was mother and third she was business woman," Angela said.

"When we were kids, she would close the business, and people would say you can't do that. She'd say, 'Yes I can. I'm going to my son's baseball game.' We always came first in her life." More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA life well lived earned great respect

BRADENTON BEACH – Barbara Rodocker's recent passing prompted offerings of praise and respect from the Bradenton Beach community.

"Barbara Rodocker made big changes in this city. She helped the whole Island and her whole community. She will be deeply missed," Mayor Bill Shearon said when asking for a moment of silence at last week's commission meeting.

"Barbara was a great woman, entrepreneur and community leader; and she was my friend. I will miss her and Bradenton Beach will miss her. Barbara took a chance on the vision of what Bradenton Beach could become and it was a huge risk. She was a person of great integrity. Her honesty and strong moral principles guided her throughout her life. She would listen to what you had to say and she would not hesitate to tell you what she thought," Vice Mayor John Chappie said later in the week. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Support lagging for late night music?

BRADENTON BEACH – Informal discussion among city commissioners suggests a potential lack of support for allowing open-air establishments to continue live music until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

During the commission's May 9 noise ordinance workshop, Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale asked the commission to consider a live music extension on a trial basis. The noise ordinance adopted in 2014 stipulates outdoor and open-air music must stop at 10 p.m.

The recent workshop was prompted by Freckled Fin owner Scott Lubore getting arrested in April as the result of repeat noise violations. The commission agreed to consider Speciale's request, and Mayor Bill Shearon was asked to work with the city clerk in scheduling a follow-up work meeting that would allow for some preliminary decision making. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryManatee County enforcing water restrictions

Due to an ongoing water shortage, Manatee County officials are enforcing the county's water restrictions.

County Water Conservation Specialist Ingrida Barkauskaite spoke to the public May 18 at the Holmes Beach Public Works Community Forum, discussing water management, including the water restrictions currently being enforced.

The water restrictions apply only to irrigation. How the restrictions are determined is based on the property address.

All properties are allowed to irrigate twice per week. Even numbered addresses are allowed to irrigate only Thursday and/or Sunday. Odd numbered addresses irrigate on Wednesday and/or Saturday. For properties with no address, irrigation is allowed Tuesday and/or Friday. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLow Country Boil

The Low Country Boil originated in Charleston, S.C., probably because of the abundance of seafood. There are many variations of this seafood stew. The simplicity of this version makes it as easy to prepare for two as is does for 80 people.

Only the freshest seafood makes this dish successful because of the small ingredient list. You start by making a stock. Use as discarded shells or bones from cleaning the seafood, such as lobster and shrimp shells and fish bones.

At Blue Marlin Seafood we make a fish fume from snapper bones and equal parts celery, carrot and onion. Sweat the vegetables with salt and pepper, add snapper bones, then cover with water and simmer for at least an hour. This step can be done up to a few days ahead. Strain the liquid, reserve and refrigerate. This is the base of the boil which would be more appropriately called a Low County steam. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story On the Soque

The undulating pastures of North Georgia's Sautee Valley were verdant green, veils of mist floating over the rolling foothills. The early morning air was fragrant with the smell of honeysuckle, privet and wild roses, an auspicious start for a day of fishing the Soque (pronounced so-qwee) River. My good friend and fellow angler Bob Seeger and I were fishing at Black Hawk Fly Fishing near Clarksville, Ga.

Black Hawk owns two miles of land bordering both sides of the river, one of the South's best trout fishing destinations. It is open year round when conditions permit, and the river consistently yields rainbow and a few brown trout from three to 12 pounds.

We arrived at the Lodge at 8 a.m. and were greeted by owners John and Abby Jackson. The Jacksons opened Black Hawk Fly Fishing in 1996. Abby J, as she's known, welcomed us and showed us around the property. Besides managing Black Hawk, Abby has a line of award winning sauces, Abby J's Gourmet (www.abbyjsgourmet.com)and is a co-founder and marketing director of Southern Farm and Garden, an agricultural journal that features a diverse selection of articles on gardening, farming and cooking. More...

real estate

Its all about the mortgage rate

American home buyers are spoiled, at least when it comes to mortgage rates. The mortgage rates have been so low that most people can't remember when rates were double digits, but those of us who are older or were in the real estate business during those years do remember.

I was perusing a Freddie Mac chart comparing the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates from 1971, not exactly beach reading, but it is my thing. Based on Freddie Mac's statistics, 1981 was the all-time high since Freddie started compiling its rates. In 1981, the average, annual, 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 16.63 percent, approximately four times today's average rate, a shocking number.

At the end of April, Freddie reported that the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 4.05; April of 2016 was 3.61, April 2015 was 3.67; April 2014 was 4.34 and 2013 was 3.45 by comparison. The lowest average rate on Freddie's chart since 1971 was 3.65 in 2016. In addition, the last time rates went above 4 percent was in April of 2010, which was 5.10 percent. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBins Be Clean offers unique service

My calendar is telling me that June 21 is the first day of summer, but here in Florida summer starts long before June and can last long after Halloween. And those of us who live here during the endless summer know that one of the necessary evils we encounter are cleaning our trash bins during the hot muggy days of a Florida summer.

Last year was a big year for Nate Welch and Rather Hosch. They moved to Anna Maria from Crested Butte, Colo., the Anna Maria Island of Colorado, had a baby and started a new business.

Nate Welch's parents retired to Anna Maria from Illinois, purchased a few investment properties and quickly realized that providing clean trash bins to their renters became a big problem. When Nate Welch and Rather Hosch decided to join his parents in Florida, this problem looked like a unique and necessary business opportunity. 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 big kids are back on the field: Summer adult soccer begins

With seven games on the schedule leading to the playoffs, The Center's adult co-ed soccer league launched another season on the big field. The eight teams played four games Thursday night to start the compressed summer season leading to the championship game in July.

Nate Talucci came out of retirement as a team captain this season to coach his nephew Jacob Talucci, returning to the Island after a successful semester at college in Montana. Talucci packed his team with talent and friends, looking forward to a competitive and fun season.

Talucci's team, sponsored by Moss Builders, includes soccer powerhouses Lexi Sato, Matt Kretzmann and Rico Beissert. Players in their own right, David Greene and Jesse Brisson, longtime friends of Talucci, bring their speed and tenacity to the team along with goalie Shawn McCarthy and Mike Brusso who displayed his athletic talent on the baseball diamond before hitting the soccer field in the adult league. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

It's turtle time again!

ANNA MARIA ISLAND – The mother sea turtles have begun to arrive, and they are laying their precious eggs along the Island's coastline.

"We had eight nests, 11 false crawls on the Island and nothing hatched," Suzi Fox said Monday morning when discussing the first activity of the 2017 sea turtle nesting season.

Fox is the longtime director of the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring Program.

"These are nests coming in right now. We've only had them for the last five days, so nothing's hatched,"

Fox said, noting that the gestation period for turtle eggs is 45 to 75 days. More...

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