Vol. 17 No. 33 - May 31, 2017


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAttorney addresses charter county concerns

ANNA MARIA – The charter county debate made its way to the City Commission last week after being discussed at a Bradenton Beach Commission meeting the week before.

The Manatee County Commission will conduct a charter county workshop Wednesday, June 14, at the Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto, and city officials are trying to figure out how a conversion to a charter county would impact the Island cities.

"Is that good for us? Is that bad for us? I've had a lot people tell me you don't want charter government for the county and I've had some people say you really do want it," Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy said during the May 25 commission meeting. More...

Building department issues alarm city commissioners

HOLMES BEACH — Concerns are mounting over the Building Department's performance.

During the May 23 meeting, Commissioner Pat Morton shared his concerns that Building Official Jim McGuinness is not always working to achieve the commission's directives.

One issue cited occurred after commissioners directed Police Chief Bill Tokajer and city code enforcement officers to begin citing The Ugly Grouper, 5704 Marina Drive, for not meeting construction deadlines as it undergoes remodeling. According to Morton, McGuinness instructed code enforcement to stand down and allow him to handle the situation.

Despite passing several construction deadlines, Tokajer said after code enforcement officers visited the site, The Ugly Grouper has been brought into compliance. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLubore liberated on noise charge

BRADENTON BEACH – The State Attorney's Office has dismissed the criminal charge stemming from the April 5 arrest of Freckled Fin owner Scott Lubore for a noise ordinance violation.

On May 19, Assistant State Attorney Casey Cahall sent a memo to Det. Sgt. Lenard Diaz at the Bradenton Beach Police Department that stated there was insufficient evidence to prove the crime Lubore was charged with.

"The responding officer used his decibel meter and obtained two readings where the defendant's music was above allowed levels. The officer informed the undersigned that the sound was measured for approximately 10-15 seconds total. Bradenton Beach City Ordinance 26-107 (d) requires that the stated maximum level be exceeded for 30 seconds during a five-consecutive-minute measurement period. Based on the above facts and circumstances, the state has insufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt at trial that the defendant exceeded the allowed noise level for longer than 30 seconds. As such, this charge is declined," the memo says. More...

Nancy Ambrose arrested

HOLMES BEACH – Bradenton resident Nancy Ambrose turned herself in Wednesday, May 24, in response to an arrest warrant that alleges crimes were committed during her oversight of a butterfly garden at Holmes Beach City Hall.

Police Chief Bill Tokajer distributed a press release and a copy of the 21-page arrest warrant that listed three charges stemming from actions taken between late 2014 and early 2017.

The warrant, prepared by Det. Sgt. Brian Hall, listed three charges: scheme to defraud, less than $20,000; operating an unlicensed charity; and solicitation as a charity without authorization. Scheme to defraud is a third-degree felony.

Ambrose was released from the Manatee County Jail the following morning after posting bond.

"It was a 12-hour ordeal with the jail. I do not understand it, so I will look forward to my day in court," Ambrose said via e-mail. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCommission split over city manager

HOLMES BEACH — Commissioners are on both sides of the fence over the potential of hiring a city manager.

During a May 23 work session, members of a residents' committee presented the pros and cons of hiring a manager.

For the residents, transitioning to a city manager form of government has primarily positive outcome scenarios, according to members of the committee.

"I wish I could say I found some negativity, but I didn't," resident and committee member Renae Ferguson said. "I think the results we got were enlightening to say the least." More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNo resolution yet for disgruntled property owners

No solution is forthcoming in the dispute between Holmes Beach and residents at Westbay Point and Moorings condominiums.

City Attorney Patricia Petruff said the city hasn't received the riparian rights survey requested in January. The survey was ordered to help settle a disagreement between city leaders and residents at the neighboring property over whose property the boat lifts are located on.

The dispute began when city leaders authorized the installation of boat lifts and canopies to protect two rescue boats, one for West Manatee Fire Rescue and another for the Holmes Beach Police Department, at the 63rd Street public boat ramp. The boat ramp property is owned by the city, but residents argue they have riparian rights to the area and the canopies are blocking their views, potentially causing property value loss. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Short voyage for Schooner San Francesco

CORTEZ – On Friday, May 26, the schooner San Francesco was towed from its longtime docking spot in front of the Seafood Shack to its new spot along the seawall between the Seafood Shack and Annie's Bait and Tackle.

Mark Ibasfalean and Michael "Fin" Wood piloted the two boats that towed the schooner to its new location. They were assisted by Joe Seeley, Dana Nyhan, Edward Shorter and Albert Luper. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHolmes Beach commissioners refuse overlay option

HOLMES BEACH — Commissioners wasted no time issuing a verdict on a resident proposition to create an overlay district.

After hearing several people speaking for and against establishing an overlay district in a beachside section of a R-1 zone to allow short term rentals, commissioners denied the request with little discussion.

"The location is a prime area for resort housing," Commissioner Judy Titsworth said. "It's also a prime area for residential families to have a slice of paradise."

The area, located west of Gulf Drive and stretching from 43rd Street to 52nd Street, fell victim to a zoning change in 2007 which stipulated a minimum of 30 day rentals in R-1 zones. To help ease the burden on residents, the commission at the time granted a sunset clause of 10 years for any affected properties operated as a short term rental of 7 days or more. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPreparing your boat for the big one

Boats can become a nuisance and hazardous during a hurricane, so the time to make plans is now, according to a pamphlet online by marine insurance company Boat US.

The best way to deal with a boat is to get it out of the water when a storm is imminent. A study by MIT after hurricane Gloria found that boats stored ashore were far less likely to be lost than those stored in the water. Many marinas and yacht clubs have evacuation plans that call for pulling as many boats out of the water as possible whenever a storm is approaching.

That means get a boat away from the water also. A boat stored on davits is vulnerable to storm surge, so it should be stored on shore, well above the anticipated storm surge. If possible, take it inland or, in the case of boats on the Island, to the mainland. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Tarpon Time

Tarpon are one of the premier gamefish that swim local waters and are a noble adversary on any tackle. The fish that frequent our beaches during the months of May through August can weigh over 200 pounds and average from 80 to 100 pounds.

We are blessed with some of the best tarpon fishing in the world, and the local bars and inshore waters host some of the finest fly and spin fishing to be found anywhere. This isn't a game of numbers, and to the anglers who pursue tarpon, it's the hunt and the action that keep them on the bow for hours in the hot summer sun.

Tackle should match the size of the quarry, and most anglers opt for a 20- to 30-pound spin outfit and 11- to 12- weight fly rod, line and reel. A heavy bite tippet is required because of the size of tarpon and its rasp like mouth. Fly anglers generally use 70- to 80-pound tippet while spin anglers opt for 80- to 100-pound test. More...

real estate

Hurricanes in the millions

Memorial Day, the traditional day to kick off the summer season, just passed. Tomorrow is June 1, which also has tradition attached to it – the beginning of hurricane season.

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season gurus are predicting an above average season with 11 to 17 tropical storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes. Manatee County and Anna Maria Island has been spared the devastation of a major hurricane for decades, but as we are continually warned during this time of year, it only takes one to change history.

Along with the traditional heat of Florida's summer and the tension of potential hurricanes is another tradition, the slow-down of the real estate market. It's been a busy season on Anna Maria as both asking and selling prices keep pushing upward, so now it's time for my three-month, million-dollar and over report covering the three cities on Anna Maria and Cortez. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryD Coy Ducks: AMI's own 'Cheers'

Every town has one. It's the go to place for adults – a community meeting spot where you can have an adult drink, trash politicians and meet your friends. On Anna Maria Island that place is D Coy Ducks, our own little "Cheers."

Duck's is an old Island favorite for locals and visitors alike. Even if you've never been inside, it won't take long to feel right at home. Brad Lisk, one of the bartenders, grew up on Anna Maria, has been there for seven years and was twice voted bartender of the year in the Sun's Readers' Choice awards. Lisa O'Connell has been at Duck's 11 years tending bar and providing complimentary food and specialty cakes for patrons' milestone events. Richie Brown, the manager, is new to Anna Maria relocating from New Jersey over a year ago, but has gotten right into the grove of Island life. Finally, the owner is Mondher Kobrosly, a local island businessman, who lets Ducks be Ducks. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTeam Sato Real Estate leads the pack

The rain last week took the game of the week from the youth soccer championships to the adult co-ed league on a cool Thursday night. After two weeks of play, three teams remain on top and undefeated: Sato Real Estate, Anna Maria CrossFit and Lancaster Design.

Sato Real Estate saw the return of Kevin Roman, who showed that despite an ankle injury that kept him off the field in the first game of the season, he could still take control of the game for his team. Team captain Josh Sato and his team had an easy time of it against Eric Pullen's Team Acqua Aveda.

With only six players on the field, Acqua Aveda kept itself in the game for the entire first half, but with no substitute players and playing a man down was finally too much during the last 23 minutes of play.

Missing its goalie, Scott Rudacille, Pullen's team put veteran player Ed Moss in a penny to protect the net. Moss was credited with four saves in the game, but he was able to make incredible stops during the game. 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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