Vol. 17 No. 35 - June 14, 2017


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMargaritaville coming to this particular harbor

BRADENTON — For everyone who's ever thought of visiting Margaritaville, the dream's about to come true on Perico Island.

Minto Communities and Margaritaville Holdings are partnering on a neighborhood in the 220-acre Harbour Isle community on the western end of Perico Island overlooking Anna Maria Sound.

The neighborhood, dubbed One Particular Harbour, will feature 132 luxury residences, 30,000 square feet of commercial space for restaurants, retail and entertainment establishments and a marina with 55 wet slips and 128 dry slips.

Construction on the marina has already begun and is expected to be completed in 2018. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryRough seas put swimmers in distress

ANNA MARIA – Rough surf claimed the life of a Lakeland man and made swimming conditions tricky and sometimes perilous along the Island's coastline last week.

Joseph Teston, 25, lost his life Friday, June 9, after nearly drowning the day before.

At 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 8, Manatee County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) units were dispatched to the beach area near the Sandbar restaurant in Anna Maria.

"Upon arrival, CPR was in progress by good samaritans. Marine rescue and EMS arrived and Teston was transported to Blake Hospital," the sheriff's report states.

Teston passed away the following day. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryState investigates net camp construction

CORTEZ – A historic net camp in Sarasota Bay off the Cortez commercial fishing village could be the next offshore structure scrutinized by the state, some Cortezians fear.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is investigating the legality of a building being constructed in the bay by Cortezian Raymond "Junior" Guthrie, who maintains he is building on the remains of a previous net camp long owned by his family, according to DEP.

"A title determination indicates the land is sovereign submerged land owned by the state," DEP spokesperson Shannon Herbon said, adding that this is the first, and so far, the only such case in this part of Florida. After an inspection on May 25, "We issued a compliance assistance offer asking him to come in for a meeting to discuss the structure," she said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryIsland trolley study gets under way

ANNA MARIA — Island Cities Engineer Lynn Burnett is beginning work on a feasibility study for trolley pull-offs.

Burnett presented members of the Island Transportation Planning Organization June 5 with a proposed scope of work and timeline for a preliminary study to determine if improvements can be made for trolley travel along Marina, Palm and Gulf Drive corridors.

On Burnett's timeline in June is to identify areas along the trolley route in Holmes Beach where pull-offs could be established, then meet with Ryan Suarez with Manatee County Area Transit to identify any operational concerns. In July and August, Burnett plans to coordinate with the Manatee County Utilities Project Manager for the Island portion of the force main replacement project. She said she'd like to incorporate any approved trolley pull-offs into the design for the project. Her reasoning is that if the area already is being disturbed by the construction project, the roadways should be "put back in a way that makes the most sense." More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCity cracking down on Jet Skis at Bayfront park

ANNA MARIA – Due to public safety concerns, city officials have asked City Attorney Becky Vose to strengthen city ordinances pertaining to motorized personal watercraft launching and landing at Bayfront Park.

The mayor and city commissioners also want to prohibit swimming in the Lake La Vista canal and jumping from the humpback bridge into the water below.

"We've had several complaints and problems with Jet Skis down at Bayfront Park," Mayor Dan Murphy said at the Thursday, June 8, commission meeting."

Murphy and Sgt. Russell Schnering attribute the increased activity at Bayfront Park to county officials banning entry into the water near the South Coquina Boat Ramp in Bradenton Beach. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryUncertainty surrounds Aqua by the Bay

BRADENTON – Manatee County staff members have reviewed the Aqua by the Bay height analysis report received on May 16, and they still have several unanswered questions regarding proposed building heights and locations.

When some of these unanswered questions arose at the County Commission land use meeting on May 4, the commission remitted Carlos Beruff's general development plan and rezoning requests back to the Planning Commission for additional review. The Planning Commission review and public hearing is currently scheduled for Thursday, July 13, but that could be delayed if staff's requests are not fulfilled.

On May 30, Manatee County Building and Development Services employees Nicole Knapp and Stephanie Moreland issued a report that contains staff comments on the height analysis report received from King Engineering Associates. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Metz's land use challenge fails

BRADENTON BEACH – The city of Bradenton Beach and Wendy and George Kokolis have prevailed in a land use related legal challenge initiated by John Metz, but an appeal of the special master's ruling is expected.

The dispute involves a renovated two-story structure at 308 Gulf Dr. S. that was built in 1945 and purchased by the Kokolis' in September 2014. The Kokolis property is next to Metz's home at 306 Gulf Dr. S., a portion of which he uses as a vacation rental.

Citing the city's land development code, Metz and his attorney, Nelon Kirkland, unsuccessfully argued the property's historic allowed use as a vacation rental should be forfeited based on their belief that the structure sat vacant for more than 18 months before and during renovations. The property is in a zoning area where new vacation rentals are no longer allowed. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryIsland musician harnesses the good vibes of AMI

HOLMES BEACH — Island native and musician Rebecca Turk is capturing the essence of Island life in her new single, "Saltwater Hair."

"It's the feeling of growing up here and spending your life in the waves," Turk said June 7, taking a break from filming the song's music video at local watering hole The Anchor Inn in Holmes Beach.

Turk said she wrote the song on a weekend day that epitomized growing up on Anna Maria Island for her — hanging out on the beach and meeting up with friends at their favorite locales without having to make advance plans.

Entering The Anchor Inn, the feeling she speaks about is obvious as old friends greet Turk as set up begins for filming. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySweet and savory

Food is almost always shared. While essential to life, it is often an important part of celebrations, however large or small.

We were a busy family when I was growing up, so it was difficult for us to enjoy every meal together. However, my mother always made sure that we were all present for Sunday night dinner. The significance of sharing a meal on Sundays has stuck with me through adulthood. It's a day of rest and relaxation, perfect for spending time with those you love.

During my life in Vancouver, British Columbia, I grew a particular fondness for Sunday brunch. The city has a burgeoning food scene. Young chefs operate food trucks and small restaurants with a focus on fresh, quality ingredients. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Tarpon tactics

Tarpon season is now in full swing, although the weather has been some of the worst in recent memory. High winds, rain and cloudy water have all but made tarpon fishing impossible along the beaches. That weather pattern isn't finished yet and the forecast for this week, while better, has three days with an 80 percent chance of rain. The good news is that winds look to be light, which will at least make it possible to explore the Gulf waters. With the limited amount of opportunities, anglers need to make the best of their efforts. Let's look at some tactics that will help anglers using fly and conventional tackle to target tarpon.

Conventional Anglers

Anglers using conventional tackle will have a better chance of hooking and landing a tarpon if they pay close attention to rigging. Proper, well tied and carefully seated knots, properly set drags and sharp hooks are critical. One tactic a novice tarpon angler can use is to tie on a circle hook. Originally developed for commercial longline fishermen, the hook doesn't need to be set. All the angler has to do is let the line come tight and start reeling. This will improve the odds for newcomers as well as more experienced anglers. More...

real estate

Mortgage regulation updates

If you're in the market for a mortgage or a refinance, you need to keep your eye on the ball. Just one quick blink and something new could be affecting your search. It's true that mortgage rates are threating to tick up a little but so far, they remain around 4 percent depending on the day. But there are a few other recent changes that you should know about.

The first one that could have a real impact on retirees is a little-known change in underwriting rules that could qualify retirees to use their nest egg accounts for a mortgage or refinance. Freddie Mac, the government sponsored housing finance entity now allows lenders to consider retirement account assets to help retirees qualify when applying for a new mortgage or to refinance an existing one.

Assets that can be counted under these new rules include retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401ks. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFood and funky stuff at Ginny & Jane E's

During one of my first visits to Anna Maria well over 20 years ago, I discovered the IGA food market on Gulf Drive in the heart of Anna Maria city. Even then it was like a step back in time to the IGA of my youth in the suburbs of New York City. I knew then as I know now that Anna Maria Island is a special place still being discovered by people from all over the world.

Tammy and Paul Foster sold their lumber and building supply business in Ontario, Canada, took a year off traveling around Florida and ultimately settled in Cape Coral. Since they were young and energetic, the prospect of sitting on a beach for the rest of their lives wasn't appealing, so they started looking for an unconventional business they would both enjoy operating.

A business broker pointed them in the direction of Anna Maria and to Ginny's & Jane E's at the Old IGA, which was for sale. They were quickly intrigued by both the concept of the business and the allure of the Island lifestyle. They came to terms with the owner, sold their home in Cape Coral, bought a new one in Holmes Beach and became new business owners. That was in October 2012. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTeam Moss Builders continues to look for first win

The Island rains let up last week, just in time for adult co-ed soccer Thursday night at The Center. The early evening sun continued to heat up the field as the men and women of the league kicked off the fifth week of play.

After four games, the leader of the league, Sato Real Estate, remained undefeated, and Moss Builders is still seeking the season's first victory for the team. Little movement occurred in the middle of the pack standing. Lancaster Design fell to fifth, while Acqua Aveda moved up a slot in the rankings.

With a final score that looks more like a flag football score, team captain Josh Sato and Team Sato Real Estate made it look easy against Team Ross Built. Lead scorer in the game, Jake Parsons put four balls into the goal. Kevin Roman scored three of his own, while Sato, Chris Klotz, Chelsea Hoffner and Lyn Clark all scored for their team.

Missing three critical players, Ross Built's Chris Culhane managed to elude Sato Real Estate goalkeeper, Jordan Demers, scoring twice ending the game with the score 14-2. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Sea turtle race contestant to be chosen

A loggerhead sea turtle that nests on Anna Maria Island the night of Monday, June 19, will be fitted with a satellite transmitter and tracked by the Sea Turtle Conservancy in its Tour de Turtles migration marathon that begins Aug. 1, according to Suzi Fox, director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring.

The turtle will be named Eliza Ann and will be released to the Gulf of Mexico somewhere on the Island on June 20, she said. The turtle is sponsored by Waterline Marina Resort and Beach Club in Holmes Beach. More...

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