Vol. 15 No. 26 - April 22, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story A Dazzling Affaire

ANNA MARIA – From the dazzling decorations to the delightful gourmet food, this year’s Silver Affaire to Remember was one to remember.

Fun was the order of the evening as Islanders came out in their finery to socialize with friends and dance the night away to the tunes of MPiRE. People got in the spirit of bidding on the silent auction items by cell phone until the Wi-Fi went down, but no one seemed to mind doing it the old fashioned way with pencil and paper. More...

Tourist tax $$ proposed for beaches

The Manatee County Tourist Development Council voted Monday to recommend that county commissioners approve $750,000 annually for beach renourishment and maintenance, and $60,000 for a structural study of the Anna Maria city pier from county resort tax funds.

To increase funding for future beach renourishment projects, Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) Director Elliott Falcione and Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker proposed shifting $575,000 in resort tax funds currently allocated for beach maintenance in the “beach penny” to another part of the resort tax budget.

The resort tax is collected from owners of accommodations rented for six months or less who charge the tax to their renters, primarily tourists. More...

Building dept. inquiry sought

HOLMES BEACH – City Commissioner Pat Morton called for a formal investigation of the building department after hearing complaints from resident Dick Motzer at Tuesday’s meeting.

Motzer said the building department is in violation of the state building code and national electric code due to allowing swimming pools to be built too close to electric lines.

“Who has been approving the installation of these illegal pools?” asked Motzer. “Why weren’t these pools denied by the building department? Were these pools ever inspected during the installation process? Someone should be held accountable for these faulty installations.”

“I’m asking for a thorough investigation of the building department,” Morton said. “I want to find out what’s going on because a lot of allegations have been put out. More...

Board approves Phase I of parking plan

HOLMES BEACH – Proponents of banning parking in the city’s rights of way, claimed success last week when city commissioners agreed to two test areas for the plan.

“We don’t want to exclude people from going to the beach, we just want to direct them to the right spots where there’s public parking,” Congestion Committee Chair Jayne Christenson said. “On those streets that don’t have parking signs yet, let’s put them up so people know where they can park.”

Island Congestion Committee member Richard Brown said the committee is recommending a phased approach for the plan. Phase I would be White Avenue to 79th Street from Gulf Drive west and 52nd to Manatee Avenue from Gulf Drive west. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCommissioner asks to eliminate Center contribution

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioner Jean Peelen last week asked commissioners to vote to no longer contribute to the Island Community Center.

“My take on what is happening there is that we don’t get answers when we ask,” she said. “We don’t get discussion; we get lectured. There’s no dialogue, and they’re arrogant and don’t seem to care that we withhold our $22,500.”

The city donated $22,500 this year, while the city of Anna Maria donated $16,000 and the city of Bradenton Beach donated $250. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Center names Volunteer of the Year

Island Community Center officials have named Neville Clarke as the Volunteer of the Year, and said that Clarke is “not only generous with his time,” but “his outstanding attitude and embodies the spirit of volunteerism.”

“I like to go the extra mile because it’s never crowded,” Clarke said when told of the honor.

“The Center is especially grateful to Clarke, an outstanding individual who has worked for more than 15 years, promoting and encouraging people of all ages through our various tennis programs. More...

Recall election questioned

BRADENTON BEACH – When Mayor Bill Shearon was informed he would be subject to a special recall election, he said he would not challenge the process.

This has not stopped others from questioning the legal technicalities of the May 19 special election and the abbreviated qualifying period that took place last week.

These last-minute inquiries required additional review by the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office, City Attorney Ricinda Perry and acting City Clerk Terri Sanclemente, which also resulted in a contentious city commission discussion on Thursday that led to the repeal of an outdated city election ordinance from 1952. More...

Fire department passes audit

BRADENTON – The West Manatee Fire Rescue Board of Directors got good news last week from its auditor, Randy Dellingham. After performing the annual audit of the fire department’s finances and procedures, he gave them a clean bill of health and commended their financial stability.

“It is the district’s responsibility to set procedure,” he said. “Despite new procedures for the retirement fund, there were no surprises, no problems.”

He said the department has $4.2 million in total assets; the amount of money was reduced by $691,000, which went for a new fire truck and a fire station remodeling. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story City employees sound off about mayor

BRADENTON BEACH – The outcome of the May 19 recall election is of great interest to city employees who feel their livelihoods are at stake. Several city staffers have indicated they may seek employment elsewhere if Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon remains in office.

On Friday, acting City Clerk Terri Sanclemente addressed an incident that occurred during Thursday’s emotionally-charged city commission discussion about the repeal of an outdated election ordinance and her role in researching the matter and amending the meeting agenda.

“The mayor disrespected me during a public meeting. He has also belittled other employees,” she said. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe joy in cooking

I have enjoyed cooking for as long as I can remember. My mother, Florence Barbetta, was a fabulous cook who had a knack for turning everyday ingredients into creative, bountiful and much anticipated meals.

For instance, the aroma of her famous clam cakes would reach throughout the neighborhood. My friends and I, and later my own children, would line up on the stoop and stairwells waiting for our own individual brown paper bag of freshly fried clam cakes. Spots of oil peeking through let us know that the clams harvested early that morning on the shores of New England had been transformed into something truly special. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySpring’s in full swing

When kingfish and cobia enter local waters in numbers, it heralds the arrival of spring with the portent that summer isn’t far behind. These fish and almost every species that swims local waters can be targeted this time of the year. Kingfish in particular, provide electrifying action to area anglers. While kings may appear earlier, generally when the water temperature reaches 70 degrees, they migrate into inshore water in search of baitfish. This year that magic number was reached early.

Kingfish are very aggressive, and will hit a wide variety of live baits, plugs, spoons, feathered jigs and flies. In the past kings were pursued with heavy tackle, but light tackle has become much more popular. Lighter tackle will provide more hook ups and is a lot more challenging and fun. A 20-pound outfit is more than adequate, and many anglers pursue kings with gear as light as 8 pounds. In the open Gulf, with the exception of crab trap markers, kings are seldom lost to structure, so the most important consideration is rigging. Kingfish hit hard and make long runs. Aside from the need for a smooth drag, the major consideration is a sharp hook and protection from their razor sharp teeth. More...

real estate

Vacation home hazards

So you’ve fallen in love – not with the cute little blond with the polka dot bikini, but with the cute little vacation cottage with the aqua shutters directly on the beach. But before you write that deposit check you may want to have a serious conversation with yourself.

Let’s continue last week’s conversation about how great the market for vacation homes has been after the market was practically frozen as a result of the financial crisis. Sales for vacation homes were up 57 percent from last year according to the National Association of Realtors, and owning a vacation property has tons of lifestyle benefits as well as financial benefits. However, owning a second home that’s used part time and may be placed in a rental pool needs to be considered carefully. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

International equities start to shine

Investment Corner

Since the end of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, the U.S. stock market has provided better performance than the average international market. Of course, there always is an isolated country here or there that ends up beating the U.S., but if we look at major market indexes, the outperformance is easy to see. The chart below compares the S&P 500 Index, which represents the 500 largest domestic companies to the MSCI EAFE Index, which represents the other well-developed economies of the world.

With the last six years behind us, it is obvious why this has occurred. The U.S. has had a reasonably good recovery from the crisis with positive growth in GDP, jobs, and tax receipts. Europe, Japan and some other countries have struggled to get their recoveries going, and the lower level of stock market performance is the result. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Island Falcons help strengthen Saint Stephen’s LAX team

With sticks in hand, four Anna Maria Island teens aided in the success of the Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School’s varsity lacrosse team this spring.

Playing a stick and ball sport indigenous to Native Americans, Tommy Pierce, Andrew and Jake Ross, and Luke Valadie proudly wore Falcon green and gold as the team went up against some of the area's independent schools.

The Rosses and Valadie are alumni of Anna Maria Elementary School and attended King Middle School before starting their high school academics at Saint Stephen’s. More...

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