Vol. 8 No. 29 - April 9, 2008


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Fuel spill averted as barge runs aground

The hard numbers aren’t in yet, but a look at any beach, store or parking lot is proof positive that Anna Maria Island is having a stellar spring. From rental agents to retailers to restaurateurs, local businesspeople agree that beautiful local weather, severe Northern weather and even emotional factors are bringing crowds to the Island. "I believe people have had to deal with fears for so long they’ve finally said, ‘Wait a minute, I want to live. I may have to have a shorter holiday or may have to give up something else, but I need a vacation,’ " said Barbara Rodocker of Bridgewalk and Silver Surf in Bradenton Beach, both at 100 percent capacity. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHomeowner seeks renourishment help

ANNA MARIA – A homeowner on North Shore Drive has formally asked Florida Rep. Bill Galvano for help in getting property beyond a federal marker declared eligible for state renourishment funding.

Joan Dickinson said she is still trying to get Manatee County to consider including land from Bean Point to the Rod and Reel Pier in an upcoming renourishment because the beach behind their properties has been eroded and is close to their back doors. More...

Cuts sink underwater archeology funding

CORTEZ – Budget cuts have affected operations at the Florida Maritime Museum, Cortez Heritage Park coordinator Roger Allen said.

A $30,000 grant request to inventory underwater artifacts around Manatee County was turned down by the state last week, and county funding to permanently replace the museum’s curator also is in question, he told the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH). More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFacts, rumors at bridge meeting

HOLMES BEACH – Several hundred people trickled through the St. Bernard Catholic Church Activity Center last Thursday to give their opinions and get information on their options for the future of the Anna Maria Island Bridge.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is currently spending $9.1 million to refurbish the mechanical draw system, the electronics, the sidewalks and the pilings, which they expect will add 10 to 15 years to the life of the 51-year-old structure. More...

City deluged with Swiftmud requests

ANNA MARIA – The Southwest Florida Water Management District has advised the city that it requires more information before approving the city’s permit application for drainage improvements.

In late March, Project Manager Tom Wilcox answered Swfwmd’s 10-page, March 13 request for additional information, including how the proposed project would improve water quality and flood protection within the city; several specific questions on Gulf Drive; North Shore Drive and Crescent Drive drainage improvement plans and several issues regarding drainage on city hall property. More...

No vote for super majority vote

ANNA MARIA – After a lengthy discussion, the city’s charter review commission remains undecided on whether to recommend that a super majority vote of the city commission be required to change its comprehensive plan.

Requiring four of the five city commissioners to change the future land use element of the comprehensive plan would limit growth in Anna Maria to the density and intensity of use currently allowed, city Commissioner Dale Woodland told the charter review commission on Thursday night. More...

Money squeeze strangles outdoor fest

BRADENTON BEACH – The only summer festival held on the Island in recent years won’t be back.

The Florida Gulf Coast Sports Commission, which brings sporting events to the area, decided not to fund the annual event, according to Commission Chairman Joe Pickett, who organized the first two events.

The Outdoor Festival, which was held at Coquina Beach Bayside, promoted local outdoors activities such as kayaking, canoeing, fishing, eco tourism and other activities that are popular during the summer months. Pickett said he was sorry to see it go. More...

Neurologist speaks on aging and the brain

ANNA MARIA – Aging is a natural process that involves changes in the brain and if you live a long life, you can expect these things to happen, Dr. Alan Grindal told his rapt audience recently.

Grindal was the final speaker in the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s Academy for Lifelong Learning’s speaker series, which kicked off in February. He spoke on age-related changes in the brain, including dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, at the Island Community Center. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA look back at a city’s heritage

HOLMES BEACH – Old timers and newcomers came together to celebrate the city’s heritage at the first Founder’s Day event Friday.

Mayor Rich Bohnenberger welcomed guests and drew attention to the display of historical photos donated by the Anna Maria Island Historical Society. The photos will be on display at city hall for the next week, then framed and hung in the commission chamber. More...

reel time

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Return to the Blue Horizon

Two years ago, I made a trip to a small island in Belize that would prove to be one of the best trips of my life. There I met Lincoln Westby, the lodge owner, and his friend and investor Will Bauer. Bauer, who hails from California, is one of the most knowledgeable permit anglers on the planet. He is a student of this challenging game fish and has been pursuing them for 30 plus years. Bauer and Westby proved the perfect match in their knowledge and passion for the permit. More...

real estate

Creative ways to sell homes

The human spirit excels in creativity, and when it comes to selling property in a tight unpredictable market, real estate professionals have, shall we say, cornered the market. A good portion of the real estate agents and mortgage brokers working in the business today have never seen the type of market we’re experiencing. At the very least, it has gotten their creative juices running in an attempt to pull a few rabbits out of their real estate hats resulting in some benefits to buyers. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Find friends at A Hair Day Salon

When Faith Baglieri, owner and stylist at A Hair Day Salon on Cortez Road, opened her boutique hair salon in January of 1999, it quickly became a place where everyone felt comfortable. Just like a group of friends and neighbors gathering at an old time country store to get all the local news, the salon became a meeting place for faithful customers. More...


Dream team wins at horseshoes

Prior to the start of play, on Saturday, March 29, horseshoe regulars John Johnson and Ron Slagh had a most curious conversation. "Last night, I dreamed we were partners today and that we went on to win," confided Johnson. Well, the luck of the draw linked the twosome, from the 29-player pool, and the duo joined two other teams to battle for bragging rights in the morning’s playoff round. In the semifinal match, Slagh and Johnson bested Debbie Rhodes and Bob Lee 21-11 and then went on to hand a 23-13 defeat to Dean Rowe and Marvin Gangemi. More...


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