Vol. 15 No. 15 - February 4, 2015


Residents hammer parking plan

HOLMES BEACH – Although city commissioners took the item off the agenda last week, they allowed people who had come to oppose the Island Congestion Committee’s parking proposal to speak at both the Tuesday’s work session and Thursday’s meeting.

The committee’s proposal is to eliminate street and right of way parking in residential zones R-1 through R-4, except for residents, property owners and renters that obtain decals from the city.

Chair Judy Titsworth said it was taken off the agenda because the city is working with Manatee County to make sure there is enough parking to qualify for beach renourishment and she added, “I consider this a huge change, and we want to make sure it will solve our problems.” More...

Mayor suggests non-voting mayor

BRADENTON BEACH – Mayor Bill Shearon suggested the Charter Review Committee (CRC) amend the city charter in a manner that would alter the structure of the city government and redefine the roles of elected officials, but his method of communicating these ideas raised questions about adherence to previously discussed commission policy and Sunshine Law compliance.

Non-voting mayor?

Shearon suggested the city switch to a non-voting strong mayor, who serves as administrator and part-time city manager, taking direction from five at-large commissioners, one of whom would serve as commission chair.

The current structure consists of one commissioner from each of the four wards, and a voting mayor who serves as chair and administrator. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMayor receives recall petition forms

BRADENTON BEACH – On Thursday morning, Police Chief Sam Speciale presented Mayor Bill Shearon with an envelope containing copies of the 109 verified recall petitions that signify a successful first step in the efforts to force a special election that would determine whether the mayor is removed from office before his term expires in November.

The exchange took place at the rear of the city clerk’s office, out of sight from the public.

Headed by former Commissioner Pete Barreda, the Committee to Recall William Shearon needed at least 100 verified signatures from registered Bradenton Beach voters in order for the recall process to continue. More...

Moratorium approved on first reading

HOLMES BEACH – City commissioners approved a moratorium ordinance on first reading at their meeting Thursday’s. The second reading will be Feb. 10

The moratorium is in effect in the R-2, R-3 and R-4 zoning districts; includes remodeling or new construction of residences with four or more bedrooms or sleeping rooms, with four per side for duplexes; and will be in place for a maximum of nine months. The effective date is Jan. 15.

City Attorney Patricia Petruff said there are seven pending permit applications that were submitted before Jan. 15, and they will not be affected. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMayor explains why he pulled the plug

BRADENTON BEACH – When Mayor Dan Murphy cancelled a dredging job that would have allowed the contractor to leave the spoil from the dredging on City Pier Park all summer, he got some complaints.

The unexpected news that C&M Dredging, of Ellenton, was going to dredge out Lake LaVista and leave the dredged material, called spoil, on City Pier Park in bladders while it dried until August was unacceptable to Murphy, according to a letter to Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore.

The project, which was financed by the West Coast Inland Navigational District (WCIND), was not a collaboration with the county government, as Murphy earlier thought. More...

Board discusses pool and fire regs for rentals

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners heard from swimming pool and fire personnel to help them determine whether to establish pool and fire safety regulations for rental properties and at what level.

When asked by Chair Judy Titsworth at Tuesday’s work session what opportunities they have regarding swimming pools, Tom Sanger, pool contractor for LaPensee Plumbing and Pools, said pools on rental properties “are not governed like commercial pools, so you don’t have the same safety features.”

“They get a lot of high use, and they’re very difficult to maintain at times. It takes a well rounded service technician to make sure they are taking care of the pool the proper way.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNew city Website unveiled

The city of Bradenton Beach activated its new Website Thursday morning.

“We are now in the process of updating all the documents, calendars and other information,” said Police Chief Sam Speciale.

In addition to his police duties, Speciale now serves as the city’s webmaster, working with England-based development technician Keiron Skillet.

When asked about the Website’s features, Speciale said, “You’ll find news, notices and the city calendar; you’ll be you’ll be able to get agendas for future and past meetings and search documents and minutes. We can put whatever we want on it, and we hope to eventually include the ability for citizens to pay fees and fines online.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFishing festival on radar

CORTEZ – Grouper groupies, get ready for the 33rd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 14 and 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the historic Cortez fishing village.

Enjoy music, dancing, nautical art and crafts, a marine life touch-tank and more, topped with plenty of fresh seafood and culinary options for land-lubbers.

If you love grouper all year around, not just on Valentine’s Day weekend, the festival is tailor-made for you with its theme, “I’m a Grouper groupie!” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryUnder Egmont: Unearthing Egmont’s mysteries

EGMONT KEY - Underneath Egmont Key, there’s even more history than its century-and-a-half-old lighthouse, the ruins of its Spanish-American War fort and its 1905 red brick road, now used mostly by gopher tortoises.

Underneath Egmont are real people who really made history in the 1800s.

From Anna Maria Island’s north end, you can see the key’s landmark lighthouse, which stood watch as Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders left for the Spanish-American War in 1898. More...


Fishing books save valuable time

A lot of the things we learn over the years are the result of our time on the water. There’s no experience like firsthand experience. Having said that, there is a lot to learn from others who have come before us or who have extensive knowledge on a particular subject. In other words, there’s no reason for us to reinvent the wheel. Books on fishing and boating can inform us in ways that would take valuable time on the water to learn. There are a couple of books that will soon be released that I would recommend to anglers and boaters.

One of the books that I want to make you aware of is a Florida Sportsman Magazine re-release of a perennial favorite, "Baits, Rigs & Tackle," by Vic Dunaway and Rick Ryals.

The late Dunaway authored "Baits, Rigs and Tackle" in 1973, and it became the most widely used reference book in most angler’s library. Dunaway covered rigging for every kind of fishing from fresh water bream to the mighty blue marlin, as well as covering bait from grubs to live bonito. In this extremely popular tome, he discusses all these subjects with an eye to make them effective at catching every fish that swims. More...

real estate

The joy of lower interest rates

and fill up. But have you also noticed the drop in the price of getting a home mortgage? If not, you need to pay close attention.

Whether you’re in the market for a new home or are considering refinancing an existing mortgage, what goes on in the mortgage interest rate market is something that has an effect on all aspects of the economy. Overall the real estate market has been performing well below what was anticipated on a national level.

Slow moving home sales have the effect of also slowing down other indicators in the economy like the sale of furniture, appliances, hiring of workers in the building trades, as well as any service that is required to maintain a home. It’s one big interrelated system that trickles down from one level to another starting with the sale of a home. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Energy price drop a boon to average American

Investment Corner

The recent drop in energy prices has caused angst among workers and investors in the energy sector where pink slips are coming to some and where corporate failures may occur among the higher cost energy producers, namely the American and Canadian shale oil companies.

But, aside from the potential problems in those areas, falling energy prices are a boon to the average American family. Less than 10 percent of workers are employed in the energy industry and only a small percentage of those have jobs at risk. After all, we’re not going to stop using oil, so those energy industry workers who keep their jobs will also enjoy lower prices when they fill up their gas tank, pay their utility bills or perhaps buy a lower price airline ticket in the coming months.

The five and a half year old economic recovery we are in has, so far, benefitted investors and the higher income earners more than the average family. The drop in oil prices from over $100 a barrel six months ago to under $50 today doesn’t mean that much to the high income earner who is going to fill-up his/her SUV regardless of the price of gas. But to the family making $30,000 to $50,000 a year, the savings on filling up the gas tank is a bigger deal – effectively the same as a tax reduction. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Giants fall short to the Packers


Under the quarterbacking leadership of Charles Buky, the Packers brought their season record to 2-2 with an exciting win over the Giants Thursday in the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s 30 and over co-ed flag football league. Despite great diversity and teamwork, the Giants could not capture their first win, but kept it close until the last 10 minutes of the game.

With seven touchdowns, Scott Flisio was the target of Buky throughout night. The second play of the game, at their own five-yard line, Buky found Flisio deep down field for the first score of the evening. With the missed extra point, the Packers quickly went up 0-6. The one-two punch of Flisio-Buky soon connected again taking the game to 0-13.