Vol. 15 No. 48 - September 30, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCity expands compliance efforts

ANNA MARIA – The city is taking its disputes with contractor and developer Shawn Kaleta to Tallahassee and the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) that licenses contractors.

City officials have said at recent commission meetings that the documented accumulation of verified DBPR complaints could eventually result in Kaleta’s Beach to Bay contracting firm losing the ability to serve as a certified contractor in Florida. More...

Design committee forming for new bridge

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is forming a committee to gather public input on amenities and decorative features for the new Manatee Avenue bridge.

The design phase of the bridge is set to begin late this year, FDOT Project Manager Kati Sherrard said, adding that features to be considered by the new Aesthetics Advisory Committee include sidewalks, trails, bus stops, bike lanes and landscaping.

The FDOT has contacted officials in Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Manatee County and the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization to select members for the committee, she said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNew moratorium proposed

BRADENTON BEACH – On Friday, Mayor Jack Clarke received an order dismissing an ethics complaint filed against him by city resident and planning and zoning board member John Metz.

On Sept. 11, the State of Florida Commission on Ethics dismissed the complaint Metz filed on July 21 as part of his continued objection to the city’s payment of legal fees generated by his own failed efforts to have Clarke removed from the recall election ballot that in May resulted in Mayor Bill Shearon being voted out of office.

Dated Sept. 16, the Commission on Ethics order of dismissal states, “The complaint alleges that the respondent (Clarke), as a member of the city commission, voted on April 23 in favor of the city’s employment of a private attorney to defend him against a potential lawsuit concerning whether his name would be included on a city ballot, and that on June 4 the respondent voted in favor of the city’s payment of the private attorney’s bill for $11,049 for his defense.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFishermen meet to avert mullet dumping

CORTEZ – Commercial fishermen met Saturday with state wildlife officials that they invited to Cortez to discuss ways to keep dead mullet from washing ashore during the annual fall roe roundup.

Around December each year in the waters surrounding Anna Maria Island, commercial and recreational fishermen from all over the Southeast race to net female mullet that produce valuable red roe, or eggs, worth $1 to $1.50 a pound (as food, the fish sells for about 50 cents a pound).

Males, which produce less valuable white roe, wind up in the nets too and are often tossed overboard dead or dying in favor of the pricey females. They wash up in canals on the bay side of the Island and on beaches on the Gulf side, creating eyesores and bad odors for residents and tourists and a mess for Manatee County workers to clean up. More...

Center personnel moves questioned

ANNA MARIA –The termination of two of the Community Center’s most popular employees prompted criticism from parents and others, raising questions in its wake and leaving a community seeking answers.

Matt Ray, adult sports manager, and Ray Gardner, youth sports manager, both terminated on Tuesday, Sept. 22, told the same story. They arrived at the Center, one at noon and one at 1 p.m., for a meeting with Executive Director Kristin Lessig and were ushered into the board room and told they were being fired by Lessig and Board Chair Bill Shuman.

“I was blindsided,” Ray said. “I was never warned or written up. Kristin said they were going in another direction.” More...

Meeting raises Sunshine concerns

BRADENTON BEACH – It appears as though a Sunshine violation may have occurred at last week’s neighborhood meeting discussion on building moratoriums and vacation rentals.

Planning and Zoning Board members John Metz and Jim Lynch were among the 20 or so Bradenton Beach residents who participated in the informal, 90-minute meeting that took place Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Annie Silver Community Center. The meeting was not organized by the city.

According to the Florida Office of the Attorney General Website, “The Sunshine Law applies to all discussions or deliberations as well as the formal action taken by a board or commission. The law, in essence, is applicable to any gathering, whether formal or casual, of two or more members of the same board or commission to discuss some matter on which foreseeable action will be taken by the public board or commission.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDrainage work – it’s not pretty but it’s needed

HOLMES BEACH – Drainage – it’s not the sexiest subject, but it’s one dear to the hearts of most Island residents – especially after a drenching thunderstorm that leaves streets and yards flooded.

The three Island cities are taking a unified approach to the problem, led by tri-city engineer Lynn Burnett of LTA Engineers, which is overseeing the installation of stormwater filtration/percolation trenches along city rights of way.

The cooperative effort is rare for the three Island cities, and Mayor Bob Johnson said it affords an opportunity to take advantage of efficiencies. Burnett added that all three cities approved a time and materials contract with Woodruff and Sons, which is doing the construction work, at a reduced rate. More...

Celebrate grand re-opening at Center

ANNA MARIA – The community is invited to a grand re-opening at the AMI Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria, on Monday, Oct. 5.

At 6 p.m., there will be a ribbon cutting by the AMI Chamber of Commerce followed by tours of the building to see the remodeled kids’ and soiree rooms, the Center Café, the art room and the fitness space and room. At 7 p.m., there will be a presentation.

“We will unveil our new logo and brand, new membership structure and fees, share our new mission values and introduce our six new team members,” Executive Director Kristin Lessing said.

“It will be a time for everybody to have input and share their thoughts since the July town hall meeting.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMoose about to cut loose

BRADENTON BEACH – Barring any unforeseen delays, the Moose Lodge on Gulf Drive will unveil its new open-air, second story dining area and new 40-seat, horseshoe-shaped interior bar on Saturday, Oct. 3.

The extensive renovations also produced a new main entry, new restrooms and a new office for Administrator Ernie Casali and the lodge officers.

While providing a tour of the bright blue structure that resulted from the major reconstruction that took place at the south end of the lodge, Casali said, “It’s quite the building, it really is.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySarasota Bay Watch awarded Disney grant

Sarasota Bay Watch (SBW) has continued to grow and provide the community with an understanding of the importance of a healthy bay to the community through many projects from scallop restoration, island clean ups, monofilament clean ups and much more.

Recently SBW was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF). The conservation grant recognizes Sarasota Bay Watch’s ongoing efforts to restore bay scallops to Sarasota Bay. More...

real estate

No more secrets in real estate

So you’re just starting to think it may be time to sell your house. What do you do first? In the not too distant past, you would probably call a real estate agent and ask him/her to come over and give you an idea of what your property is worth. However, today you will more than likely pickup your smart phone, laptop or pad to get an idea of what’s selling in the area, either through Facebook or one of the many real estate search engines available.

You may think, OK I just got a lot of information really fast and move on to the novel you’re reading on your e-book reader. But what you may have actually done by searching on the Internet is providing information to companies who buy data subscriptions targeting prospective clients.

No surprisingly algorithms have been created to identify sellers based on age, children’s age, net worth, value of home, social circles and possibly even more personal details. This information is then marketed to the real estate community in order for it to solicit you via direct mail, telephone or Internet contact. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Business development companies for income

Investment Corner

Business development companies (BDCs) were authorized by an act of Congress in 1980 to promote funding for small and mid-size businesses. Similar to mutual funds, BDCs pool investors’ capital and then invest through loans to private companies.

The loans made by BDCs are generally floating rate loans, which are usually secured by assets of the borrowing corporation. This is important for the security of the investment. By having a contractual agreement which is at the top of the capital structure of a corporation, a return of a good portion of the loaned funds is likely, even in the event of a bankruptcy. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLittle feet on the field: Youth soccer underway at AMICC

For years the Anna Maria Island Community Center has brought kids of all ages on the soccer field for the fall sports season. Recreational sports at the Community Center has always been about learning the game, loving the game and learning to win and lose the game. For many, the next generation of Island players came out to play last week.

Tryouts at the Center Wednesday saw the youngest youths take the field with Youth Sports Manager Ray Gardner running, kicking and laughing. The 3- to 5-year-old instructional division had more than 20 kids register to play on the little pitch. Gardner walked players through listening drills using their knowledge of colors. The kids showed their fancy footwork, dribbling the ball around the field, while volunteer parent coaches watched on the sidelines. In the perfect spirit of the recreational sports atmosphere at the Center, the coaches drafted their teams, striving for parity and fun. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryGreen turtles nests on AMI

ANNA MARIA – Just when they thought that sea turtles had finished nesting for the year, a new, rare, nest was discovered by Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring volunteer Susan Anderson on Monday morning.

The green sea turtle nest, only the third since the start of turtle season on May 1, brings the Island’s total for the year up to 356, closing in on 2013’s record year of 369 nests; the others are loggerhead nests. Green turtles in Florida nest mostly on the southeast coast, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. More...

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