Vol. 15 No. 52 - October 28, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA Howling Good Time

Final Results

Celebrity category

First - Digby, as the Pope

Second - Barney & Gracie as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Third - Chi Chi as Supergirl

Cutest category

First - Rousseau as a Pinata

Second - Abby as a bummblebee

Third - Falcon as a werewolf puppy


Campaigns in stretch run

ANNA MARIA – The race for three Anna Maria City Commission seats has entered its final week.

The race features incumbent Commissioners Carol Carter, Doug Copeland and Dale Woodland and first-time challengers John Damato and Penny Naylor.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the three winners will be known shortly after the polls close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Once sworn in, the winners will serve two-year terms.

Election numbers

Those who vote in person on Tuesday will do so in the Fellowship Hall at Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave. The city’s only polling location opens at 7 a.m.

According to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections’ Website, there are 1,189 registered and active voters in the city. Deputy Chief Sharon Stief said Friday afternoon that the elections office mailed out 327 vote by mail ballots to Anna Maria voters. As of Friday, 137 had been returned as ballots cast. More...

Two commission seats in play

BRADENTON BEACH – The Bradenton Beach City Commission races have entered the home stretch.

During the municipal elections that conclude at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, city voters will determine the winners of the mayor’s race and the Ward 3 commissioner’s race.

The mayor’s race pits Mayor Jack Clarke versus former Mayor Bill Shearon in a rematch of the May recall election race that resulted in Shearon being removed from office and replaced by Clarke.

The Ward 3 race sees incumbent Commissioner Janie Robertson seeking a fifth term in office, facing a challenge from Coastal Watersports owner Ralph Cole, whose father, Gail Cole, served as a mayor and commissioner in the 1990s. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Vacation rental case continues

ANNA MARIA – Circuit Court Judge Gilbert Smith Jr. has ordered the city of Anna Maria and the plaintiffs in a vacation rental ordinance lawsuit to mediation in an attempt to resolve their differences.

Both parties agreed to the mediation during a three-hour hearing that took place at the Manatee County Judicial Center on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The hearing resulted in Mayor Dan Murphy agreeing to delay the vacation rental license application process that included a Friday, Nov. 6, application deadline for vacation rentals located on 12 city streets, with additional street-specific deadlines scheduled through Dec. 11. More...

Board ponders pair of parking plans

HOLMES BEACH – With two new parking plans in front of them, City Commissioners agreed that the presenters should meet with Island Congestion Committee members to discuss how they could fit with the committee’s parking plan.

Human Services Analyst Mary Buonagura presented the staff report, which included:

• Elements to create a residents’ registry for parking;
• Requirements for residents to register for parking permits;
• Requirements for temporary day parking permits;
• Enforcement;
• Costs. More...

Ecotourism, art tourism projects announced

Anna Maria Island and Cortez sites will be included in a new ecotourism initiative called ((ecko)), a project of the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida, organizers told the Manatee County Tourist Development Council (TDC) last week.

Tour guides will take visitors down the Manatee River of Time ecotour, boating them to Pine Avenue in Anna Maria, with a stop at the Historic Green Village and a beachside cocktail at the Sandbar restaurant. Optional activities include touring the Anna Maria Historical Museum and biking or stand up paddleboarding. Visitors also will tour the Florida Maritime Museum in Cortez.

The tour is part of a series of tours highlighting natural diversity designed by the council, a coalition of 28 science-based environmental nonprofit and governmental organizations in Manatee and Sarasota counties. More...

Fire commissioners review Station 4 rebuild

BRADENTON – West Manatee Fire Rescue Chief Tom Sousa updated fire commissioners on plans for rebuilding Station 4 at 407 67th St. W., Bradenton, and set a special meeting Oct. 29 to accept the contract and review the architect's drawings..

Sousa said battalion Chief Chris Kiernan, who has worked all phases of the construction business with his father, a contractor, would be the project manager. Kiernan reviewed the $2.76 million estimate from NDC Construction with the board.

“The cost is higher than expected,” Commissioner Randy Cooper said. “There’s some sticker shock, but we’ll get a lot of value to the public. This will be a hell a lot stronger than what we have now.”

Commissioner George Harris asked if they are applying any green concepts to the building. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySandblast seeks teams

BSand sculpting teams must register by Nov. 7 to participate in this year’s Sand Sculpting Contest, a fun-raiser for Keep Manatee Beautiful, a nonprofit organization dedicated to litter prevention, beautification and environmental improvement throughout Manatee County.

The entry fee is $300 with 15 team members allowed. Teams can contact local businesses or organizations and ask them to sponsor the team. For help with finding a sponsor, call Keep Manatee Beautiful at 795-8272

The event begins with free sand sculpting clinics, where teams can learn the tips, tricks and techniques of sand sculpture taught by master sculptors Team Sandtastic. Clinics are on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 12 and 13, from 5 to 6 p.m. at Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryOktoberfest is in the air

It is a wonderful time of year for beer enthusiasts! As the weather finally teases us with the thought of cooling down here on the sunny west coast of Florida, we are overwhelmed with so many great seasonal beer options. The most well known is the Oktoberfest Beer, brewed in Bavaria to honor (Crown Prince) Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, as he was married to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on Oct. 12, 1810.

To this day, brewers all over the nation and the world brew this special style of beer and enjoy the celebration of their anniversary, now known as Oktoberfest. There are festivals almost every weekend where you can enjoy all the brews and be merry. Where there is great beer, there is usually great fun and great food not far behind. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMote to sponsor two important events

Mote Marine will be holding two popular events in November beginning on Saturday Nov. 7, with its Teach-A-Kid Fishing Clinic which will be held at the Mote Aquaculture Park. The park is located 7 miles east of interstate 75 on Fruitville Road. The clinic will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for children ages 5 through 16. There is a limit of 120 children.

There will be six hands-on stations teaching beginning and advanced fishing techniques, ethical angling, and sun and water safety. Stations also will include spin casting, fly casting, fly-tying, Gyotaku fish printing, and kayaking instruction. Kids will also have fishing opportunities in Mote’s stocked lake.

Participants also can get a behind the scenes tour of Marine culture and Aquaponics at the Research Park. The cost is $10/child, and will receive a rod and reel, tackle kit and a T-shirt sponsored by Bark and Company Realty. Guardians and children will be treated to a barbeque lunch provided by the Sarasota Sportsmen’s Association. In addition, each child will get an original snook print by artist Steve Whitlock. To register go to (www.mote.org/fishingclinic). More...

real estate

Time to sweep out the spider webs

Halloween is in a few days, so you may have a few extra spider webs hanging around your house in addition to the ghosts and goblins. All of that’s fine as long as it’s just for the holiday, but if you’re planning on putting your house up for sale during the winter season, you better make sure it’s not haunted with the ghosts of Halloweens past.

Getting your house ready so it can be placed on the market during the busy winter season involves a lot more than making sure your bed is made and dirty dishes aren’t in the sink. You have to look at your home through the eyes of a buyer, who may not be as forgiving about the peeling paint on the trim or the overgrown garden that you haven’t gotten to yet.

The age old adage that neat, clean, uncluttered and neutral is the best look in a house that is on the market is as true today as it was when men were living in caves. No one wants to try and imagine how much kitchen counter space there really is; they want to actually see it. Pack away collections of knick-kacks, books, family photos and other decorative items that you may love, but someone else may hate.Think dried flowers that have collected months of dust. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

A new tool for parents of children with special needs

Investment Corner

Twenty-five years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, guaranteeing disabled Americans – people with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities – equal opportunity in employment, transportation, government service and public accommodations. The most recent statistics show about one-in-four Americans has a disability. Many are children with special needs.

The vehicle is not available yet, but the new 529 Able Accounts are anticipated to make their debut in 2016. The federal government has authorized states to create 529 Able Accounts – tax-advantaged accounts for disabled individuals. So far, 40 states and the District of Columbia have either passed laws making the accounts possible or have legislation pending. These accounts are similar in structure to the 529 college savings accounts which have been in existence for more than 10 years. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe big boys and girls take the pitch

Four games into the regular season of the adult co-ed soccer league, only one team remains undefeated – Sato Real Estate. But the majority of the Sato boys are playing for Island Pest Control thanks to a strange twist in the draft room. Under the leadership of Captain Lexi Braxton, Island Pest Control took early control of the game on Thursday night against Slim’s Place. Captain PJ Smargisso could not make the game, but his team held its own during the 50 minutes of regulation play.

With Nick Sato in the goal for Island Pest Control, Braxton’s defense played strong and kept Slim’s Place off of the scoreboard for nearly the entire first half of the game. Sean Sanders started the game in the goal for Slim’s Place. Despite strong offensive passing by both teams, the soccer ball did not go into the goal until the 14th minute when Braxton found the ball at her feet for a strong strike, taking the score to 1-0. More...


Turtle ‘terrorist’ case closed, unsolved

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has closed the unsolved case of who ran over and killed three black skimmer chicks, a state species of special concern, and ran over five nests, each holding up to 100 eggs of loggerhead sea turtles, a federally threatened species.

The investigation was closed because of insufficient evidence to bring charges against the unidentified person of interest in the case, FWC spokesman Gary Morse said, adding that the state attorney’s office declined to prosecute the case.

Witnesses to the June 27 incident described a laughing couple in their late 20s in a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with a single headlight around 10:30 p.m. near the Holmes Beach/Bradenton Beach line, aiming at yellow-staked turtle nests and driving over them, running over three flightless baby birds in the process.

The crimes are violations of the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act, ranging from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, carrying penalties of $500 to $1,500 in fines with jail time of 60 days to five years. More...

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