Vol. 8 No. 37 - June 4, 2008


Anna Maria opposes Port Dolphin pipeline

ANNA MARIA – Responding to concerns about eroding beaches and tourism revenue, Anna Maria commissioners are notifying other elected officials that the city opposes Port Dolphin’s pipeline plans.

Port Dolphin is a proposed floating port 28 miles from the north end of Anna Maria Island where liquefied natural gas would be converted to vapor, then shipped through a 42-mile-long pipeline to Port Manatee. More...

TECO plans gas line to Island

HOLMES BEACH – Surprised by a TECO plan to install a natural gas line in the city, commissioners asked the company to present more information at their June 10 work session.

"Our purpose for being here tonight is to make you aware of a construction project of TECO People’s Gas that will come through your city limits," Leroy Sullivan, Jr., TECO manager of external affairs for the Tampa Bay area, explained to commissioners last week. More...

New law key to Pine Avenue development

ANNA MARIA — By a vote of 3-2, the city commission adopted an ordinance that would allow a property owner with adjoining lots to build one structure in the middle of the two lots.

In essence, the ordinance allows for one building under one roof to be placed on the property line in the residential/office/retail (ROR) district. Under the city’s comprehensive plan, duplexes are not allowed. Much of the dissension centered on the definition of a duplex. More...

Island takes hit on taxable values

The preliminary figures on taxable values of property in the county are out, giving the governmental entities an idea of how to set their budgets, and that outlook is bleak. Here on Anna Maria Island, the picture is even bleaker.

The report, released by the Manatee County Tax Assessor’s Office, shows that the city of Bradenton Beach lost 14.75 percent of its taxable value followed by Holmes Beach, which lost 11.92 percent and Anna Maria losing 11.79 percent of its base. By comparison, Bradenton’s values dropped only 8.01 percent and Palmetto’s went up 7.64 percent. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNow’s the time to give blood

The Island Blood Drive to benefit five non-profit agencies will be held at St. Bernard Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach, on Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but the real beneficiaries will be those who need blood.

This time of the year, when a lot of people are away, there is a shortage of blood for emergencies. More...

Fireworks video has explosive message

The Island Fireworks Task Force debuted its new Web site this week and its video will make a believer out of anyone who still holds the notion that fireworks aren’t dangerous.

In the video, Tchaikovsky’s "1812 Overture" plays in the background as hapless dummies handle ordinary fireworks. When the cannons fire, the fireworks explode, blowing off the dummies hands and heads and leaving the viewer with an indelible image of the power of these dangerous devices. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHope reigns at Relay

BRADENTON BEACH – Tom Van Ness was down to 120 pounds when he went to the doctor to find out what was wrong with him.

Mesothelioma, or asbestos cancer, as he calls it, is considered incurable.

But three years later, the former automotive machinist is still walking around telling people about it.

Saturday night, he told his story to a group of cancer patients and survivors at the Relay for Life at Coquina Beach. More...

Comments pour in on pipeline

A trickle of comments has turned into a stream of environmental and economic concerns about the proposed Port Dolphin natural gas port and pipeline.

Increasing awareness of the project prompted public agencies and private citizens to file comments with the U.S. Coast Guard a few days before its June 2 public comment deadline. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryStart your day at Gulf Drive Café

Gulf Drive Café is a sunny, beachfront spot. With well-worn charm, a low-slung ceiling, tile flooring, ceiling fans, cafe tables, bentwood chairs and a long wooden covered deck facing the Gulf, the unassuming setting belies some interesting history.

You could say that Gulf Drive Cafe was destined for drama from the start.

Back in the 1980s, George and Wendy Kokolis bought the business, at the time named Trader Jack’s, at an auction from the state of Vermont after the owner was sentenced to prison for income tax evasion. The building was set on fire by an arsonist while under contract for purchase. More...

reel time

Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySeagrass: Rainforests of the sea

The seagrass meadows that surround our barrier islands are mostly hidden from view. As magical and as mysterious as any tropical rainforest, they harbor a tremendous array of living creatures. And while few directly experience this web of life, it is responsible for much of the beauty and diversity of coastal Florida. Seagrasses are flowering plants that serve a number of important functions to the environment. Because they flower, they require sunlight and are limited to clear, shallow waters. They produce oxygen, bind sediments and baffle wave action, while cleansing coastal waters. Seagrass roots, their leaves, and the epiphytes and micro algae that cling to them, clean water by converting dissolved nutrients into plant matter. More...

real estate

The sky is not falling on Anna Maria

Have you been following the Bradenton Herald’s feature on foreclosures in Manatee County? If you have, you’re probably hiding under a rock about now thinking the sky is falling and that before long every house in the county will have overgrown lawns and pink slips on the doors. Well, I’m here to tell you the sky isn’t falling, at least not on Anna Maria Island. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHurry to The Garden Hut

If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the buzz about the best place on the Island to find outdoor wall décor and wind chimes. The buzz is whispering, The Garden Hut, The Garden Hut, The Garden Hut as it’s carried with the wind. A little dramatic, well maybe, but The Garden Hut in Holmes Beach has been supplying Island homes with unique and interesting gifts and accessories for home and garden and just plain fun stuff for quite a while. More...


Island Majors advance with County Cup win

The Anna Maria Island Little League Majors team reached the knock out stage of the County Cup this past Friday after a controversial incident halted the game against Munivez Lawn Care from Palmetto.

The Islanders had already over-performed to beat Manatee East champs Gatorade and needed only one more win in the league stages to advance. More...

Click here for a virtual tour of Island baseball

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTwo teams unbeaten going into flag football playoffs

Flag Football continues on the soccer field in Holmes Beach and at this time of the season we are starting to see the difference that come from experienced coaches as well as players that have been here before. It is a fast paced, high-energy affair and one that has gained popularity over the years. Here’s a rundown of last week’s games. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySea turtle camp kicks off its fifth season

BRADENTON BEACH — Bradenton Beach is cracking down on violators of its sea turtle protection ordinance.

City officials invited Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission Imperiled Species Management Lighting Specialist Jean Higgins to come and assist the city in making after-dark inspections along the beach. More...

Fees set for confiscated beach equipment

ANNA MARIA — Don’t leave your beach chairs or tents on the beaches overnight in Anna Maria, or you’ll likely have to bail them out of beach equipment jail.

The city commission unanimously adopted a resolution at its May 29 meeting establishing fines for items left out on the beaches overnight. More...


McKay stays hot at horseshoes

Nine teams took to the four red-clay horseshoe pits in the center of the tiny park behind Anna Maria City Hall, and four of them took their unbeaten pool play records to the playoff round on Saturday, May 24. The semi-final game saw Sam Samuels and Hank Huyghe post an easy victory over Tom Rhodes and Chuck Bell, while George McKay and Debbie Rhodes were cruising to a similarly quick win over the walking team-of-one, Ron Pepka. More...


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