Vol. 15 No. 16 - February 11, 2015


Mayor rebuts recall

BRADENTON BEACH – Mayor Bill Shearon has provided a written rebuttal to efforts to recall him from office, saying the charges do not actually question his performance as mayor and that alleged Sunshine Law violations are invalid.

However, one longtime commissioner counters that the mayor in his rebuttal is taking credit for accomplishments of the previous commission.

Shearon submitted his 200-word written rebuttal last week. Accompanied by the two alleged Sunshine Law violation charges listed on the original recall petition form, Shearon’s rebuttal now appears on the new Recall Petition and Defense of Mayor William Shearon form being circulated by the recall committee headed by Pete Barreda. More...

Get your grouper fix this weekend in Cortez

If you like fresh grouper, shrimp and crab all served a dozen different ways and you want to hear some of the hottest music this side of Nashville, be sure to catch the 33rd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival this Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 14 and 15. The festival celebrates the commercial fishing industry, along with its local nautical heritage, and is held in one of the last true fishing villages left in Florida. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCommission hires forfeiture attorney

BRADENTON BEACH – Attorney Alan Prather has been hired to provide legal counsel to the city commission during a special forfeiture of office meeting that will take place at Bradenton Beach City Hall on Friday, Feb. 13, at 9 a.m.

Friday’s meeting will allow the commission to discuss and clarify the procedural legalities of the commission-adopted forfeiture of office resolution before they decide if the commission majority wishes to formally initialize forfeiture of office proceedings against Mayor Bill Shearon, who is also facing a separate citizen-led recall effort.

During last week’s meeting, commissioners voted 3-1 in favor of retaining the short-term legal services of Prather, at a cost not to exceed $1,375. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryWin this Harley with the lucky raffle ticket

ANNA MARIA – Imagine yourself roaring down the road in this 2003 Anniversary Edition Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster.

You could be the lucky winner by purchasing a $125 raffle ticket at the Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. The raffle is part of the Center’s Silver Affaire to Remember celebrating 25 years.

The Center’s Executive Director Cindy Thompson donated the motorcycle, and the Center will sell 125 tickets for $125 each for a chance to win it in a drawing the night of the Silver Affaire on April 18.

This year’s Affaire is being presented by the Chiles Restaurant Group – the Sandbar, BeachHouse and Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub. The evening will include food and wine, silent and live auctions, raffle prize drawings and entertainment by MPIRE, a seven-piece band from Daytona Beach. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryJazz Festival Thursday

The Ninth Annual Jazz Fest fundraiser for the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra will be held on Thursday, Feb. 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Sandbar restaurant wedding pavilion, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria.

Jazz Fest features the Gulf Drive Band – Ted Young on piano; Bil Bowdish on flute, sax and vocals; and Judy Lynn on vocals. Selections include music from the 1920s and span seven decades. Special guest star will be Island and area favorite Koko Ray, who plays two saxophones at the same time – harmony on one and melody on the other. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Quilt naming winner selected

“Seas the Day on AMI” is the winning name of this year’s Tour of Homes Quilt sponsored by Green Real Estate. Winner Kendall Anderson received 50 quilt raffle tickets.

Handmade by the Eyeland Needlers, this beautiful quilt is now on display at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave. in Anna Maria. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5 and will be available at the Center by Feb. 23. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Mayor asks for amended dredging

ANNA MARIA – Concerns from landowners around Lake LaVista have prompted Mayor Dan Murphy to reconsider his decision halting a planned dredging project in the lake.

Murphy had stopped the dredging two weeks ago after project workers began unloading equipment at City Pier Park. This caught local officials by surprise because the West Coast Inland Navigation District (WCIND), which is managing the project, failed to inform the city that the dredging was about to start. Likewise, city officials weren’t told that the foul-smelling dirt and sand dredged up would be stored at City Pier Park for several months. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryOld Hamburg changing hands

HOLMES BEACH – All good things must eventually come to an end, including Brigitte and Wolfgang Jahn’s 15-year run as owners of the Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus, the Island’s only authentic German restaurant.

The transfer of ownership is expected in mid-May, contingent on the new owners obtaining their work visas, and the Jahn’s plan to spend two weeks working with the new owners to ensure a seamless and uninterrupted transition.

The new owners, also German, plan to build upon the successful business model the Jahns have utilized since 2000. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe Cortez dream

It’s been a long time coming.

Back in 2000, the Cortez village community-based organization, the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH), took a huge gamble – purchasing 95 acres of environmentally-sensitive land east of the village along the Sarasota Bay shoreline.

The dream was to pay off the $250,000 loan, preserve the existing mangrove wetlands and restore degraded habitats that had seen decades of neglect and abuse. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMote bequest honors Captain Scott Moore

Sarasota philanthropists Carol and Barney Barnett have long championed ocean and fisheries conservation. As long time supporters of Mote Marine Laboratory, they stepped up with a $3 million donation towards Mote’s overall, $50 million campaign celebrating its 60th anniversary in January. The Barnetts have challenged the community to raise $3 million more, matching their gift for Mote’s campaign.

Named “Oceans of Opportunity,” the fund-raiser began in January. The money will help Mote implement its Fisheries Conservation and Enhancement Initiative to protect and restore fisheries in Sarasota Bay. With their generous support, the Barnetts also honored Holmes Beach Captain Scott Moore for his long standing interest and involvement in fisheries conservation and science. Mote announced the naming of a new position, Captain Scott Moore Senior Fisheries Scientist. More...

real estate

Spinning from all the spin

The National Association of Realtors has published ita December report of home sale statistics and its opinions about the year going forward. The only problem is the more you read, the less you know.

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, has looked into his crystal ball and claims that existing home sales are forecasted to rise about 7 percent in 2015. He is comfortable with this statement based on the strengthening economy, solid job gains and a healthy increase in home prices.

According to Yun, home prices have risen for the past three years cumulatively about 25 percent with the national median existing home price being $208,500, the highest since 2007’s $219,000 and a 5.8 percent increase from 2013 of $197,100. However, with one month remaining in the 2014 data, he expects total existing home sales to finish the year down by 3 percent from 2013. So home prices are going up and number of sales are going down, I think. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Beware of average expectations

Investment Corner

In the world of investments, there are expectations of a reasonable return the investor should realize for the risk taken on the investment. These expectations are generally formed with an eye on history used as a guide to the future. It may not be perfect, but it’s pretty much all we have to go on. For example, the expectation that most investors have about the return potential for stocks is an 8 to 10 percent per year average over long periods of time with price appreciation and dividend income included. However, history shows that there are many more years where returns are above or below average than in the average range.

In other words, our long-term expectations are developed through a wide disparity of short-term returns, both positive and negative, that more often than not, fall outside of our definition of normal. To analyze this the chart below takes expected return of about 10 percent per year and defined a band of +5 percent and -5 percent around that expectation. So, a return between 5 percent and 15 percent for a particular year would be considered normal. Returns further away from normal are grouped into 10 percent bands, both in the positive and negative direction. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryInstructional league flag football: The youngest ballers take the field

The small field of the Anna Maria Island Community Center is where most Island area kids get their start on the gridiron. The instructional league of the Center’s youth flag football league is the organization that each year teaches so many little players the basic rules and skills of the game. Monday and Friday nights at 6:00 p.m. are the setting for friendly competition among the four-to seven-year old players.

As an instructional league, the emphasis is on fun and fundamentals. The volunteer coaches work with the kids on skills such as flag pulling, running with the ball toward the correct end zone, throwing the football and catching. Even though players score touchdowns, scores are not kept in the instructional league and there are no losers, only winners. The young players are able to meet new friends and learn more about the sport.