Vol. 15 No. 28 - May 6, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Food and Wine highlights Pine

ANNA MARIA – Thousands of people got a taste of the Island’s food, wine, art and music at Food and Wine on Pine last Saturday.

The event, coordinated by the Chiles Group, filled Pine Avenue with tents offering food and drinks plus items for sale and musical acts. Chiles Group Special Events Coordinator Caryn Hodge said they estimated between 8,000 and 10,000 people attended.

“It was our best ever,” Hodge said. “We had people coming from as far as Orlando and a group of daycationers, retirees who came from Tampa. More...

Recall challenge denied

BRADENTON BEACH – City voters will get to decide after all whether Mayor Bill Shearon remains in office or is replaced by Vice Mayor Jack Clarke.

Tuesday afternoon, Judge Gilbert Smith denied a request for a temporary injunction by Shearon campaign worker John Metz, ensuring that the May 19 recall election will take place and that Clarke will remain on the ballot.

“I’m gratified by the court’s decision and I can now focus 100 percent on what I anticipate will be a successful campaign,” Clarke said after the hearing.

On Wednesday morning, Metz filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice. If that request is accepted by the other parties involved - Clarke and Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Mike Bennett - the suit will be dismissed. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBoard votes to withhold Center funding

HOLMES BEACH – After hearing pleas from both sides, city commissioners voted 4-0 not to release the city’s $22,500 contribution in its 2014-15 budget for the AMI Community Center until they get further information.

At issue is a plan by the Center’s board of directors to build a fitness center on the second floor of the Center. Residents, some city officials and two Island fitness center owners oppose the plan.

Melinda Bradway spoke for the Center’s Dragon Boat team and said the Center has given them a sense of community. More...

March tourism sets record

Local impressions that tourism boomed in March, historically the busiest month of the year, were right, according to the most recent Manatee County Tax Collector’s resort tax statistics.

Countywide, resort tax collections were up 4 percent from March 2014, bringing in a record $1.76 million in resort tax collections.

Anna Maria collections were up 8 percent while Bradenton Beach was up 12 percent. Holmes Beach was the only one of the three cities with a decrease in collections, down 6 percent from March 2014.

In March, the three cities on Anna Maria Island accounted for 46 percent of the county’s total, which was down one percentage point from March 2014, when the Island produced 47 percent of the county’s total collections. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFire district changes command as chief retires

HOLMES BEACH – Island and Manatee County elected and fire officials, family and friends of outgoing West Manatee Fire Chief Andy Price and incoming Fire Chief Tom Sousa attended the Change of Command and Retirement ceremonies last week at Station 1 in Holmes Beach.

Deputy Chief Brett Pollock led the ceremony, which began with the presentation of colors and the pike pole, which has been used by firefighters since the 1600s to pull down ceilings and walls and ventilate structures.

The invocation was given by Cori Rigney, wife of Captain/Training Officer Ben Rigney. Flowers were presented to the wives of the two chiefs, and chief’s coins were presented to Price’s three children and sister. Price then personally greeted each firefighter. More...

County responds to proposed stormwater fees

BRADENTON BEACH – Last week, County Administrator Ed Hunzeker responded to the Bradenton Beach Commission’s recent decision to levy stormwater fees on county property located within the city limits.

“As discussed, Manatee County government has been a close partner with the city of Bradenton Beach for decades. Given our past cooperation it was very disappointing to hear reports, through the public news media, that the city of Bradenton Beach intends to charge its closest partner, Manatee County, in excess of $132,000 for stormwater management,” Hunzeker wrote in a letter sent to Mayor Bill Shearon Thursday.

Two days prior to sending his letter, Hunzeker met with Shearon, City Engineer Lynn Burnett, city Public Works Director Tom Woodard and Manatee Deputy Director of Public Works Sia Mollanazar to discuss the matter. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Bridge timing discussed

HOLMES BEACH –The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the Island Transportation Planning Organization (ITPO) plan to submit a request to the U.S. Coast Guard asking for the timing of the Island drawbridges to be reduced to 30 minute intervals year round.

If approved, the amended bridge timing schedule would eliminate the 20 minute bridge opening intervals that occur from January 15 through April 15.

Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy bridged the topic during at the April 20 ITPO meeting in Holmes Beach. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Score a big win for Team TIFF

ANNA MARIA – Island Community Center board member Mike Coleman last week reported to the board a change in the previous plans for a fitness center.

In February board members gave board member Shawn Kaleta the go ahead to proceed to permit for a state of the art fitness center to be built on the second floor of the Center. In March they agreed to proceed as soon as possible with the project.

“In every meeting we talked about the concept of the enhanced facilities,” Coleman said. “Some things got ahead of where they should have. All along the way, it was a concept.

“All along the way, we were waiting to get input from Cindy and Kristin (Directors Cindy Thompson and Kristin Lessig) about everything that is required to meet the objectives, and now we have that.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySometimes, dreams do come true

ANNA MARIA – Four times Carol Whitmore has won the prized jewelry raffle at the annual Community Center’s Affaire to Remember, and three of those times, she has given the jewelry away.

This year, Whitmore won the gold, amethyst and diamond ring valued at $5,000 and donated by Bridge Street Jewelers. She then gave it to Angela Romanski, who manned the raffle table throughout the event.

“I felt guilty when I won it,” Whitmore said. “Angela really wanted it, and she stood at the table all night, so I gave it to her.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTarpon season is here

It’s been called the apex of angling, and if you've experienced the thrill of tarpon fishing, you’ll know why. Tarpon season is off to a fairly early start this year with area anglers seeing schools of tarpon, a phenomena that usually happens from late May to June. If you’re new to tarpon fishing, the best way to experience this angling adventure is to engage the services of a local guide. You don't have to hire a captain to catch a tarpon, but a guided trip will be the best investment you've ever made if you’re new to the sport.

Hooking a tarpon isn’t necessarily difficult, but landing one is another story. You need to be aware that you’ll be tossing bait, lures or flies to one of the most powerful gamefish that swims coastal waters. Not being prepared or aware of what you're doing can even be dangerous to you and the tarpon. More...

real estate

Turning a new credit page

I was cleaning out the closet in my guest room recently – you know the one that becomes the repository for all the stuff you don’t really need, but don’t really want to throw away. Interestingly I came across a newspaper from 2003 and naturally started reading the real estate ads. Incredibly, the listing prices on the Island properties were not much different than comparable properties today. Some were 1 or 2 percent lower and some were right on, but the exercise got me thinking about what happened to all the homeowners who lost their homes prior to 2008.

As overextended homeowners started losing their homes to foreclosure, the effect on their credit rating impacted not just their ability to get a mortgage, but also car loans and credit cards. Many people had to learn to live without debt, paying for everything with cash. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

What is the sequence of returns risk?

Investment Corner

Knowledgeable investors are aware that investing in the capital markets presents any number of risks – interest-rate, company and market risks. Risk is an inseparable companion to the potential for long-term growth. Some of the investment risks we face can be mitigated through diversification. Not having all your eggs in one basket is good advice when it comes to building your portfolio.

As an investor, you face another, less-known risk for which the market does not compensate you, nor can it be easily reduced through diversification. Yet, it is a risk that may be the biggest challenge to the sustainability of your retirement income.

This risk is called the sequence of returns risk. Or put another way, the luck of timing your retirement. Sequence of returns risk refers to the uncertainty of the order of returns an investor will receive over an extended period of time. As economist Milton Friedman once observed, “Never try to walk across a river just because it has an average depth of four feet.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryIsland 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...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTuesday Turtle Talks begin

Tuesday Turtle Talks begin this month for kids at the Anna Maria Island Community Center in Anna Maria and will continue through the summer at the Annie Silver Community Center in Bradenton Beach.

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring volunteers will take kids in the Center’s after school program to the beach on May 12 and May 19 at 4 p.m. to search for sea turtle and shorebird nests, with a final activity at the Center on May 26.

From June through August, Tuesday Turtle Talks will move to the Annie Silver Community Center on 23rd Street one block off Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach from 10 to 11 a.m. More...

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