The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 39 - July 11, 2012


Star spangled pirates
Carol Whitmore

The Island saw one of its best parades on July 4 this year. There were a lot of participants riding bikes, skates, and, of course, cars. Of course the Anna Maria Island Privateers brought their parade ship and there were three other ships from other crewes. The parade went along without a hitch. Some of the participants deployed squirt guns to keep the people watching the event cool in the hot summer sun.




It was a great day for a parade and several good nights
for fireworks as Anna Maria Island celebrated the Fourth of July in
typical Island style; pirates, grog and plenty of stuff that explodes.

Part of pier could stay closed for months
Carol Whitmore

This piling is the reason the city of Bradenton Beach
shut down the Bridge Street Pier to the public.
The restaurant is still open for business.

BRADENTON BEACH – The dozen or so boats that were pulled from their moorings by Tropical Storm Debby left their mark on the bay area near the Bridge Street Pier. Some of them pulled loose from their moorings and sank; some were driven into the center of the Intracoastal Waterway and about a half dozen hit the pier itself.The boats damaged the pier to the point that the city had to close it to anglers and walkers, and it doesn’t look like it will be reopened for a while.

The city had already started planning a refurbishment project that would include replacing all of the concrete pilings east of Rotten Ralph’s restaurant, most likely with wood ones. The old pilings are worn out and many of them are in danger of failing, according to city officials.

The question at the latest meeting of the Pier Team on Thursday, July 5, was whether to have a dock and seawall builder do a quick fix so they could reopen the pier to the public or wait to replace it with the others in a few months.

According to seawall and pier specialist Charles Sego, with whom the city is contracting for the pier rehab, the piling is in two pieces and the only thing holding it in place is the weight of the pier. Pier Team Head Sam Speciale, who is also the police chief, asked Sego if they would have to keep the pier closed and he said yes, unless they replace that piling.

The city contacted a couple of seawall and dock contractors for an estimate to replace the piling, and while they received no estimates yet, they got the impression it could be as high as $10,000.

Police Lt. John Cosby, who also acts as the city’s safety officer, said they told the pier specialists they would not need the piling replaced for the Fourth of July because it was too soon to make such a decision.

The question now is whether to pay for the new piling so the pier could be reopened afterward or wait until they replace all the pilings planned, which could mean well into next season.

“I can’t see spending $10,000 for one piling when we’ll have to take it out in six months,” Mayor John Shaughnessy said.

“I don’t think we should spend $5-grand,” City Commissioner Gay Breuler added.

“If you don’t replace that piling, it won’t survive another storm,” Sego warned.

Loose boats

In addition, the city is trying to cope with a number of boats that got loose and are still tied up close to the pier or sunk in the bay.

The city had some funds from the West Coast Inland Navigational District (WCIND) to pay for getting rid of the boats, according to Cosby. The police department handles the derelict boat disposal and that money would not get far. Cosby said Manatee County offered some of their WCIND money, but going that route takes a lot of time.

“It would be 40 days before they could even start to get rid of them,” Speciale said.

“All the boats out there were legal,” Cosby said. That means they had adequate sewage disposal and they ran, but they were not insured. Cosby suggested using the police boat to haul them ashore where public works could cut them up and dispose of them.

“We would need to have the boat owners sign off on them so we could take possession of them,” Cosby said. “If we go this route, we could start tomorrow.”

Cosby said some people have said they would buy some of the parts from the sunken boats, especially aluminum masts.

“That’s one way we could recoup some of our expenses,” he added.

Commissioner Rick Gatehouse asked about putting liens on the boats, but Cosby and Speciale said it would cost more money than it would generate for the city.

The group approved the idea of trying to take possession of the derelicts and get rid of them through public works. They also expressed support for keeping the pier closed until the refurbishment.

$7.3m OK’d for Debby damage
Anna Maria Island Sun News Story


BRADENTON BEACH – The federal government has approved up to $7.3 million in emergency funds for Manatee County to repair damage caused by Tropical Storm Debby. Most of it will go for renourishing Coquina Beach, although some of it will go for other projects such as infrastructure that suffered wind or flood damage, including the Bridge Street Pier.

“FEMA personnel will be returning to go over damage estimates,” said Steve Simpson, from Manatee County Emergency Management.

Manatee County Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker is in Washington, D.C., this week seeking additional support for renourishing the beaches that took a hit from Debby’s wind and waves.

At the airport in Tampa, Hunsicker said he will seek a “Section 206 permission to design, permit and construct the beach project following Army Corps of Engineers regulations.”

Hunsicker said he will talk with the county’s congressional delegation in an attempt to get support for letting Manatee County oversee the renourishment, instead of FEMA. He said he could show them it would be more economical that way.

“The project savings would be significant,” he said.

In a letter to county commissioners last week, Hunsicker recommended proceeding with a FEMA financed renourishment for Coquina Beach, which suffered the most loss. The north end of the Island actually picked up more sand, which was washed north by the storm. It will be part of the 2014-15 renourishment, Hunsicker said.

Hunsicker said in the coming months, his department and the county’s engineering firm, Coastal Planning and Engineering, Inc., will be conducting physical surveys of beach losses at Coquina Beach and working with several other departments to prepare the necessary paperwork for the FEMA grant.

Hunsicker estimated the county lost $2.3 million in sand at Coquina Beach. FEMA set construction costs at more than $5.3 million.

Hunsicker said FEMA would pay 90 percent of the price with the state and county sharing the other 10 percent. He said the county would get its funds from the tourist development fund. He said the FEMA project should be combined with the 2014-15 project.

“The timing of this Island-wide effort works well with any project that could be initiated independently using only FEMA resources and, thus, it will be our intent to combine the FEMA storm mitigation restoration at Coquina Beach with the island-wide improvements taking place between 13th Avenue South in Bradenton Beach north to 78th Street North in the City of Holmes Beach,” Hunsicker’s letter said.

He said combining the projects would save $2 million in mobilization costs.

Hunsicker said he wanted to make sure the beach gets good quality sand.In the Island’s first renourishment in 1992, the sand was heavy with rocks and shells and was gray, not pristine white. The Army Corps of Engineers was not as concerned about the quality of the sand as it was intent on having sand that can withstand extremes.

During the second renourishment, the county got permission to seek better quality sand, which was whiter and lighter.

Sun captures 14 awards in statewide competition
Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Sun photographer and co-publisher Maggie Field
won a second place award in the Florida Press
Association 2011 Better Weekly Newspaper Contest
for this photo taken last December at the Anna Maria
Holiday of Treasures.

MIRAMAR BEACH - The Anna Maria Island Sun earned 14 awards in the Florida Press Association 2011 Better Weekly Newspaper Contest. Seven staff members and contributors combined to win the honors, which included two first place awards by Staff Writer Cindy Lane and one by cartoonist Steve Borggren. In addition to the three firsts, the staff took four second place and seven third place awards. The following is a complete listing of all the honors.

• Steve Borggren: first place, Original Local Editorial Cartoon, for “The power of eminent domain;” third place, Original Local Editorial Cartoon, for “Segway rules and regulations coming soon.”

• Pat Copeland: second place, Arts, Entertainment and Review Reporting, for “Gene Aubry: Focusing on art,” which judges called a “nice tale of an ordinary gentleman with an extraordinary gift.”

• Maggie Field: second place, Feature Photo, for “Anna Maria rolls out holiday carpet.” Judges praised the expression of the subject.

• Mike Field: third place, Editorial Award, for “An insensitive response,” a commentary on an ad campaign targeting a shark bite victim; third place, Best Headline, for “Canines raise the woof at pooch parade.”

• Cindy Lane: first place, Photo Series in One Issue, for a local version of the “12 Days of Christmas.” Judges cited “tons of creativity” and “superb layout;” first place, Arts, Entertainment and Review Reporting, for “GWTW fans will love ‘Moonlight,’ ” an Island Players review; second place, Serious Column, for “No bones about it, jellyfish bad news;” second place, Outdoor and Recreational, for “Dogs just want to have fun;” third place, Local Government Reporting, for tourism story, “Too much of a good thing;” third place, Portfolio Photography, for “Coast Lines.”

• Troy Morgan: third place, Feature Photo, for “100 years of the pier.” Judges gave “kudos to design team” for placement of a “well done” helicopter shot.

• Sean Murphy: third place, Humorous Column, for “Back to school.” Judges praised the “nostalgic account of winemaking in summers past.”

The awards were presented at the Southeastern Press Convention on Saturday, July 7, at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, Florida. The Sun was the only newspaper from Ånna Maria Island to receive honors in the statewide contest.

Waves of emotion
Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Submitted | Joan Mills
From left, brothers Phil Salick, Wilson Shymanski, who
passed away in May, and Rich Salick, who died last week.

COCOA BEACH – 500 surfers paddled into a circle in the Atlantic Ocean off Cocoa Beach on Sunday to honor former Anna Maria Island resident Rich Salick, who passed away last week at age 62 after emergency surgery at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Twice that many had filled Club Zion Community Church in Cocoa Beach the day before to celebrate the life of the pro surfer, who was the face – and heart – of the National Kidney Foundation of Florida.

Salick was a surfer with a mission – to help people with kidney disease.

At 23, he had just qualified for the world championships as a member of the World Surfing Team in 1973 when he was stricken with kidney disease. His twin brother, Phil, donated one of his kidneys, enabling Rich to return to surfing with the permission of one of his doctors, Dr. Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorade.

Salick’s comeback as a pro surfer garnered him a first place trophy and recognition as the first athlete ever to return to his sport at the professional level after a kidney transplant.

Salick, who also battled cancer and heart disease, had two subsequent kidney transplants, from his older brother, Channing Salick, and his younger brother, Wilson Shymanski, formerly of Holmes Beach. Both are deceased.

The twins founded the National Kidney Foundation Pro-Am Surfing Festival 25 years ago to raise funds for dialysis patients in Cocoa Beach. The contest began as a fun competition between Salick Surfboards, where Rich built surfing legend Kelly Slater’s first surfboard for the 8-year-old grom, and the competing Ocean Avenue Shop.

The first Florida Team Invitational tournament raised $125. After the University of Florida’s Dean of Medicine, Dr. Craig Tisher, urged them to take on national sponsors, the event exploded, drawing 50,000 to the Cocoa Beach Pier to watch pros, amateurs and tandem surfing. Since then, the Labor Day weekend event has raised more than $5 million for the National Kidney Foundation, with Salick serving as director of community relations for the National Kidney Foundation of Florida.

A member with his brother, Phil, of the Surfing Hall of Fame, Salick also was a member of the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

He is survived by brothers Philip Salick and Rosser Shymanski; sister Joanie Mills; nephews Phil Salick, David Morgan and Brandon Mills, and extended family.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, please contribute to the National Kidney Foundation of Florida, 1040 Woodcock Road, Suite 119, Orlando, FL 32803.

Bird killer suspect’s mental capacity questioned

The man arrested June 16 and charged with killing an egret that was eating one of his Koi fish may not face trial, if a request to have him declared incapacitated is successful.

Officials from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) went to Laurie Pardee’s house in Key Royale on Thursday, June 28, to have Pardee Baker Acted. That gave authorities permission to take custody of him for 72 hours while they gave him medical and mental examinations.

According to a memo written by Mary Sczyrek, an agent for the DCF, “Pardee appears to have diminished capacity with short term memory loss. He could not remember his daughter’s last name.”

The memo said he could not remember his late wife’s name and had made almost daily visits to the Holmes Beach Police Department to demand they return the gun he used on the egret, not remembering he had been there the day before or that he had been incarcerated after the incident.

Pardee filed a theft report against an agent for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission saying the agent stole a watch and a ring, alleging the incident occurred when the agent was at his home. He gave the wrong date for the agent being there.

Pardee told Sczyrek he had not seen a doctor for years. He said he saw a social friend who was a retired physician. When contacted, that doctor said he had given Pardee a limited examination and had found Pardee suffered from high blood pressure and high sugar levels in his blood. The doctor also said he was a friend of Pardee’s who did not want any further involvement with the case.

“Mr. Pardee is in need of immediate medical attention,” the memo said.

After a June 29 hearing on the matter, the court appointed D. Robert Hoyle as attorney for Pardee and Jonene Eisch as temporary guardian of Pardee and his property. The court also appointed a three-person committee to examine Pardee and give a report within 15 days of the hearing, which is due Friday, July 13.

Students honored after parade

tom vaught | sun
Emergency workers wheel Laurie Miles Pardee to
an ambulence. He was taken to an unknown
location after police Baker Acted him.

HOLMES BEACH – It was the end of another successful Fourth of July Parade and the Anna Maria Island Privateers gathered at the Island Beach Café to celebrate the 19 students who won scholarships totaling $22,000.

Only five winners were present to collect their scholarship checks because most of them were working. As Privateer Tim “Hammer” Thompson put it, “They’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

The winners present were: James Campbell, Ourania Lardas, Brandi Ricker, Jacob Kargauer and Molly McDonough. The other winners were Leanne Browning, Alexander Chawi, Sydney Clark, Dominic Cox, Samantha Glodde, Hillary Hathaway, Chelsea Hodges, Kyle Messina, Sarah Norris, Sajani Patel, SaraBeth Scott, Chelsea Sloan, Katie Hawks and Rachael Luciano.

The parents of Chelsea Hodges attended the ceremony while their daughter worked. Chelsea is in her fifth year at Florida State University, majoring in speech and communications disorders.

“The Privateers have been so good to us,” said Chelsea’s mother, Sheila. Chelsea won the Whitey Horton scholarship, named after a popular Island resident who coached sports. “Chelsea was so disappointed she could not be here.”

Sheila said the Privateers made it much easier for her to get her college education. The Privateers also require applicants to put in public service, a requirement that the schools used to have but recently dropped.

Georgia showing some improvement

Georgia Rose Gibbons is walking with a walker and trying to communicate, good news for a woman who narrowly escaped death when she was hit by a car while walking along the road in Tallahassee, where she was attending college.

Her father, Bob Gibbons, wrote this update.

“I write this letter in response to many inquiries regarding Georgia-Rose's status. To any who may be new to this situation, Georgia-Rose Gibbons, a 20-year-old FSU student, was struck by a car on April 6 and critically injured.

Georgia-Rose has advanced in her recovery efforts. She is now rated a Rancho 4 on the Rancho Los Amigos scale of cognitive functioning. This is the predominant measure for brain injury patients. The biggest breakthrough has been speech. Though random and often inappropriate, it is a positive advance. The language is in keeping with this phase of recovery, generally described as confused and agitated.

I am going to abstain from great detail, out of respect for her privacy. Suffice it to say, she is trying to regroup mentally and relearn many basic skills. Where these efforts finally plateau is wide open; and thus this time is both exhilaratingly hopeful and cautiously worrisome.

Physically, Georgia has somewhat miraculously survived and overcome multiple fractures, collapsed lungs, and full body road rash. She looks more and more like the same lovely young woman from before the accident.

Currently, she is walking with a walker and therapist assistance. Simple everyday tasks such as hygiene, eating and dressing are slowly re-emerging. The brain is an amazing organ and controls major activities we take for granted.

The previously cited concert for her is scheduled for late September and will be detailed soon. As a family, we again express our thanks for everyone's support and caring. God bless you all.”

Bob Gibbons
Anna Maria

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