Vol. 9 No. 15 - December 31, 2008


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPrivateers bring Christmas to military family

HOLMES BEACH – It was Christmas Eve.

Shoppers were running in and out of Publix getting last minute items for their holiday feasts. They couldn’t help rubbernecking a little as they saw a beautiful sleigh stacked high with gifts and people in pirate garb milling around in the parking lot.

It was the Anna Maria Island Privateers getting ready to bring a memorable Christmas to Sgt. Tami Kemper-Pena, her three children and her two grandchildren. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story 2008: The good the bad and the ugly

As the year 2008 draws to a close, we look back on the events that made it another memorable year on the Island. We’ve had it all from bridge closings to Bridging the Gap, pipelines and Pine Avenue and fires and flooding. Here are a few month-by-month highlights: More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySun’s Person of the Year: Cindi Harrison

HOLMES BEACH – When she was introduced to an audience of parents a few years ago, Anna Maria Elementary School Guidance Counselor Cindi Harrison explained why she considers herself so lucky.

"The others at this school teach your children’s brains; I teach their hearts."

That’s why Cindi Harrison is The Sun’s Person of the Year for 2008. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story School gets first natural gas hookup

HOLMES BEACH – Christmas came a little early for the Island’s only public school last week. It wasn’t a visit from Santa that brought the good news. It came in the form of three pickup trucks with toolboxes on back and workers on a mission.

They arrived around 9 a.m. to replace the propane gas service that ran the kitchen appliances, water heaters and boiler with natural gas. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLocal woman dies in skydiving accident

Former Anna Maria Island waitress Debbie Laws, 48, was killed instantly last Friday when she struck another skydiver as their parachutes opened.

"She was crazy about jumping," said her former employer, Paul Hoffman, owner of Hurricane Hank’s. "She moved out east so she could be near jumping." More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story SeaSide gets turtle-friendly features

BRADENTON BEACH — SeaSide, a small beachfront motel on the "S" curve of Gulf Drive has always been one of the places on the Island that has worked hard to do what it could to help preserve the sea turtles that nest here.

When it was purchased by David Teitelbaum and added to his Anna Maria Island Resorts, which include Tortuga Inn, Trade Winds and Old Bridge Village, the trend continued. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story How to invest like a shark

ANNA MARIA – Why don’t sharks attack lawyers?

Professional courtesy.

Anna Maria resident Jim DePorre is good-natured about shark jokes. Sharks have been very, very good to him, so good that the self-described "recovering" lawyer-turned-investment guru adopted the nickname "RevShark" and based his new investment book on the principals of sharkdom. More...

City objects to mail center move

ANNA MARIA - Keeping the Manasota mail-processing center is something that Anna Maria city commissioners have resolved they want to do.

The United States Postal Service has begun a process that will likely end in closing that facility, which will mean that all mail going off the Island or coming onto the Island will have to be routed through Tampa. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDining and dancing at Trader Jack’s

BRADENTON BEACH – Built in the 1940s on the Gulf, the Mira Mar restaurant was where locals went for a good meal and good company. Forty years ago, a restaurateur named Jack Pearsall bought it and turned it into one of the area’s premier night spots.

Bob and June Sheldon purchased the restaurant, then known as T.J.’s Steakhouse, in the 1960s. The couple, who had traveled the country with their comedy and dance act, renamed the restaurant Bob Sheldon’s Mira Mar, added a stage and dance floor and offered shows every weekend. More...

reel time

Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySea trout return in record numbers

At the end of the 2005 season, I would have bet you good money that local trout populations wouldn’t recover in less than five years. Now, just three years later, trout populations in Sarasota Bay are nearing what (in my 28-year memory) may be an all-time high. In the last few months, I’ve heard encouraging stories from local guides like Randall Fowler, Justin Moore and Scott Moore. Last Saturday, I experienced the return first hand with Bradenton attorney Adam Fernandez. More...

real estate

Lower interest rates helpful to some

Once upon a time, interest rates were the holy grail of the real estate market. If the rates went up, fewer people could qualify for financing and sales would go down. If the rates went down, potential buyers were given more buying power and sales would go up. Well that was in the good old days, today even the Federal Reserve lowering the prime rate to a target range of zero to 0.25 percent doesn’t bring a smile to the face of most people, except maybe mortgage brokers. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Milena’s salon changing hands

Milena Jones emigrated from an area in Yugoslavia on the Adriatic Sea 32 years ago after researching regions in the United States with great weather where she could also use her hairdressing skills. She ultimately found her way to Bradenton Beach where Milena’s Beauty Salon has been a fixture for 24 years.

On Jan. 1, Milena’s Beauty Salon will enter a new chapter with a younger generation stepping up and Milena Jones gradually phasing out. Kim Skardoutos, Christine Morin and Lindsay Smith are the future of Milena’s Beauty Salon, and they have plans to rocket their business into the new millennium. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Here’s to better times in 2009

Investment Corner

As 2008 was dawning, the stock market had begun to struggle and the bursting of the housing bubble was not only evident, but was picking up speed. Few, certainly not me, had any inkling of the magnitude of events which would continue to unfold during the rest of the year. More...


Teams play holiday horseshoes

‘Twas the day before Christmas and three teams had won three games. The by was won by Deb Rhodes and Bruce Munroe. In the first round of playoffs, Karl Thomas and Herb Peryear easily defeated Steve Doyle and Jerry Disbrow. They went on to defeat Rhodes and Munroe in a squeaker by the score of 22 to 19. More...


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