Vol. 8 No. 43 - July 23, 2008


Bridge closing dates won’t be changed

BRADENTON BEACH – Less than a week after it was made, the Florida Department of Transportation has rejected a request to move the 45-day closure of the Anna Maria Island Bridge up by a month.

That was the word from Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization Director Mike Howe at the Island Transportation Planning Organization meeting Monday afternoon. More...

Center’s fishing tourney starts Friday

Be prepared to fish or just have fun at the Island Community Center fishing tournament Friday through Sunday, July 25 through 27.

The tournament will kick off with a captains’ meeting and Taste of the Island dinner at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach. Fishing begins immediately after the meeting and continues through Saturday, followed by awards banquet on Sunday. More...

Sun forum to highlight county race

The Sun will sponsor a forum for candidates for the District 3 Manatee County Commission seat on Wednesday, July 30, in Holmes Beach City Commission Chambers, 5801 Marina Drive.

Candidates are incumbent Jane von Hahmann and challenger John Chappie. Since both candidates are Republicans, the election will be decided in the Aug. 26 primary. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryProperty owner wins case on variance objection

ANNA MARIA — Laura Gee has won her court case against the city.

She appealed a city ruling granting a variance to neighbors Terry and Patricia Olesen, who own the property at 504 South Bay Blvd. Gee owns the property just to the north of the Olesens.

A variance is defined by city code as "the relief granted from the literal enforcement of a zoning ordinance permitting the use of property in a manner otherwise forbidden upon a finding that enforcement of the ordinance as written would inflict practical difficulty or unnecessary hardships on the property owner." More...

Scavenger hunt highlights October

When the bridge goes up, the Island will be alive with activity on the weekends as Bridging the Gap, a grassroots effort to attract visitors onto the Island, steps up to the plate.

One of the more interesting events will be the first ever Trolley Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Traffic woes could end soon

ANNA MARIA — The end is in sight as a project installing a new, larger water line for the Island’s northern-most city nears completion.

"The project is going very well," said Walter Sowa, the project director for the installation of the 12-inch water line, which is replacing an 8-inch pipe. "We’re right on, if not a little ahead of schedule, and I expect that we’ll be done on or before Aug. 12."

Sowa said the only problem with the project has been with the tide fluctuations. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Fire board OKs sprinkler discount

HOLMES BEACH – West Manatee fire commissioners approved a resolution that offers a 25 percent discount on their fire assessment to property owners who install non-required sprinkler systems.

The resolution includes installing sprinkler systems in new construction or retrofitting them in existing construction and both commercial and residential buildings. The systems must be properly installed and maintained. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story‘No swimming’ advisory posted at Island beach

BRADENTON BEACH — The Manatee County Health Department last week issued a no swimming advisory because of high bacteria levels in the water just south of the roundabout on the Gulf end of Bridge Street.

Testing is done on a weekly basis at 10 sites around the county. The results of the past few weeks necessitated the advisory. The test detected high levels of enterococcus bacteria, which usually comes from fecal bacteria. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPreserve becomes playground after grand opening

They came by car, by bicycle, by foot and by boat and after the ribbon was cut, they filled the wilderness with wide-eyed awe.

Several dozen people gathered at the Robinson Preserve in northwest Bradenton Saturday for the official grand opening of the 480 acres of restored land that will serve as a classroom and playground for Manatee County residents and visitors

Manatee County Commission Chair Jane von Hahmann, of Cortez, made the opening remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, saying, "We are all blessed to be here." More...

reel time

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPompano on the fly in Cayo Costa

I was having trouble concentrating on fish as I walked in the surf along the edges of Cayo Costa State Park. It was a spectacular morning with bright blue skies and a slight southeast breeze and every gnarled and weather-beaten piece of driftwood made a perfect frame for photographing the classic shell strewn stretch of beach. I was approaching my friend and fellow angler Reid Zoller when I saw him take a low crouch and become extremely focused. As I watched from a distance he made several quick strips no more than two yards from the beach. Suddenly his line came tight and he raised his rod, concentrating on clearing the line that was tumbling in the surf at his feet. When he let out a whoop and I saw his rod bending over double I broke into a run to close the distance for a shot. More...

real estate

Mitigation can save money on insurance

Once upon a time there were three little houses on a beautiful wind swept island in the Gulf of Mexico. One was made of straw and was built a long time ago, another was made of sticks and was built before Hurricane Andrew and another was made of brick and was built last year. Guess which one has the lowest insurance rates.

Premium rates to insure our Island homes have become so high in recent years that many homeowners are opting to self-insure, basically not purchasing home replacement insurance. There are, however, other ways to reduce the cost of insuring your home without going cold turkey. More...


Group calls for earlier bridge closure

HOLMES BEACH – A group of business owners, elected officials and Chamber of Commerce representatives met last week to discuss moving the beginning of the 45-day bridge closure up four weeks, but they were warned that the request most likely came too late.

The Anna Maria Island Bridge closure comes during a $9.1 million rehabilitation project by Quinn Construction, Inc. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) originally wanted to close the bridge for 75 days during April, May and June, but changed it in December 2007 because of massive resistance from the business community on the Island. A majority of them said the closure would cut access to the Island during a traditionally busy period. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story
Investment Corner

Stock market volatility surprising many

We are hearing a common theme from investors recently and there is no doubt that recent stock market volatility has many surprised and troubled. But is the current condition abnormal, or was what we experienced in the 2003 to 2006 time period just abnormally "quiet" making the recent market ups and downs seem extreme? More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Island gets first turtle hatching of season

The first turtle nest hatched on the Island Saturday night, but how many hatchlings made it to the sea won’t be known for a couple of days.

"We can’t tell you how many hatchlings there were until we excavate and count the eggs," Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch Director Suzi Fox said. "We always wait several days to give slower ones a chance to emerge and then we make a count from what remains in the nest." More...


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