Vol. 15 No. 17 - February 18, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPlenty of sun, fun at Cortez fest

CORTEZ – Grouper groupies schooled in Cortez last weekend for the 33rd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival, enjoying blue skies, sunshine and seafood prepared every which way.

There was good music by local bands, nautical art, a playground, pony rides and a good dose of education about how the seafood that made the festival famous is caught.

Mark Coarsey, of Fishing for Freedom, used frozen mullet to demonstrate how a white roe male mullet can fit through a four-inch stretch mesh gill net to live another day, while a fat, female red roe mullet is caught by the gills. The nets reduce unwanted bycatch and preserve the resource, he said. More...

County won’t charge for beach parking

ANNA MARIA – The rumor mill stretched all the way from the beach to the office of Manatee County Administer Ed Hunzeker last week.

Hunzeker arrived at Anna Maria City Hall last Thursday to dispel a rumor started in Holmes Beach that Manatee County was considering charging for parking at the public beaches.

“There was a lack of communication when we talked about paid parking at Manatee Beach,” Hunzeker said. “The County Commission has never had a discussion about paid parking at the beach.”

Hunzeker brought along Manatee County Conservation Lands Management and Parks Director Charlie Hunsicker and Tourist Development Commission (TDC) Executive Director Elliott Falcione. He took questions from the City Commission. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCommission initiates forfeiture

BRADENTON BEACH – Forfeiture of office proceedings against Mayor Bill Shearon were formally initialized by a 3-2 vote during Friday morning’s special city commission meeting.

Vice Mayor Jack Clarke and Commissioners Jan Vosburgh and Ed Straight voted in favor of initiating forfeiture proceedings against the mayor, while Shearon and Commissioner Janie Robertson opposed it.

“I’m not comfortable going forward with absolutely no budget or capped costs. To proceed forward without having any idea how much money we’re going to be spending, I am going to be against the forfeiture,” Robertson said, before the vote was taken. More...

ULI arrives Sunday

The long-awaited Urban Land Institute study commences on Sunday with the arrival of the not-for-profit development consultant group on Anna Maria Island.

During its $125,000 study of the Island, the nine-member panel, assisted by three ULI staff members, is expected to survey more than 100 people about Island problems next week, then formulate potential solutions.

They will use a briefing book – a snapshot of everything you ever wanted to know about AMI – as their starting point, enhanced by the interviews, their own research and a bus tour of the Island. More...

2014 resort taxes climb

Manatee County resort tax collections were consistently up in Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and countywide for the first eight months of 2014 compared to 2013, according to statistics from the Manatee County Tax Collector.

While Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and countywide collections continued to increase in the last four months of 2014, collections in Anna Maria dropped an average of 44 percent per month from October through December compared to the previous year.

Increases in Anna Maria collections were highest in April, August and July, in that order, and lowest in October, with a 53 percent drop from October 2013. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story New stormwater billing method proposed

BRADENTON BEACH – Last week, City Engineer Lynn Townsend Burnett updated the Bradenton Beach Commission on her efforts to help develop and implement an Island-wide stormwater assessment methodology that would simplify billing calculations and provide fee assessments that are more fair and equitable.

During the Tuesday, Feb. 10, work session, Burnett also discussed the transferring stormwater billing to Manatee County.

For Bradenton Beach, Burnett proposed a formula based on property owners being assessed $4 for every 100 square feet of property, regardless of whether the property is residential or commercial. Fractional calculations amounting to four cents per square foot would apply to figures not evenly divisible by 100. More...

Sunshine Law violations alleged

BRADENTON BEACH – Commissioner Janie Robertson has accused Vice Mayor Jack Clarke and Commissioner Jan Vosburgh of committing Sunshine violations during last week’s forfeiture meeting.

On Saturday afternoon, Robertson e-mailed Clerk Pro Tem Terrie Sanclemente a statement addressing her concerns.

“I feel it is my responsibility to report an occurrence between two commissioners during the Feb. 13 commission meeting. There appeared to be a non-verbal signal and communication between Commissioner Vosburgh and Vice Mayor Clarke. Vosburgh was preparing to read a statement, and she looked at Clarke. He gave a perceptible shake of his head indicating ‘no,’ and she immediately changed her mind and put the statement down. This indicates that he had previous knowledge of the content of her statement, and that they had discussed it in some way prior to the meeting. Both of these actions are Sunshine violations that I wish to be entered into public record,” Robertson’s e-mail said. More...

City seeks ways to limit bedrooms

HOLMES BEACH – City Planner Bill Brisson introduced a new idea in the city’s effort to find a way to limit the number of bedrooms in resort housing.

“Let’s treat these mini motels as motels and calculate them at the bedroom density of motels,” he said and showed a chart that gave the maximum number of bedrooms that could be built on a duplex lot, a legal single family lot, a non-conforming single family lot and a large single family lot.

“When people are vacationing, sleeping is not their primary concern,” he added. “If we limit the number of bedrooms, we would limit the number of people.”

However, Commissioner Jean Peelen said, “From me it’s not a matter of trying to limit the number of people; it’s building houses meant only for rental in residential areas.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDr. Carl Voyles – still practicing medicine at 92

ANNA MARIA – Dr. Carl Voyles graduated from medical school the year the first baby boomers were born, but unlike many boomers who are contemplating retirement, Voyles is still practicing medicine at the age of 92.

Manatee County commissioners will honor Voyles at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24, by proclaiming Dr. Carl Voyles Day.

“I do things I enjoy, and I enjoy helping other people,” said Voyles, who works at the Manatee County Health Department two half days a week and one full day a month. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPush Poles: flat out essential

Push poles are as essential as rods and reels to anglers who stalk the flats. They have evolved from wooden poling oars hewn from solid timber to technological wonders of carbon fiber, kevlar and graphite. In the early years of flats fishing, short poles were all that were needed as anglers hunted fish in shallow waters, poling from the decks of their boats. As flats boats evolved, elevated platforms allowed anglers to peer into deeper water, requiring longer poles to reach the bottom. Long wooden poles were too heavy and cumbersome, and anglers searched for lighter poles to propel them across the flats. Tubular aluminum and fiberglass poles were developed, with fiberglass becoming the material of choice. Technological advances in rod design shifted from fiberglass to graphite, and it wasn’t long before graphite push poles began replacing fiberglass. Graphite is light, causes the angler to expend less energy and allows a skiff to be poled faster. This material is able to store more energy under a load, giving it a much faster recovery rate that puts energy into propelling the boat. Fiberglass poles have a lot of flex and recover more slowly. Graphite poles can be made stiff with much less material, creating a lighter, more dynamic product.

Initially these new poles were crafted of pure graphite, but due to the cost and problems with breakage, products were developed that blended graphite with fiberglass. The new push poles incorporated the strength of fiberglass with the lightness and dynamics of graphite. It also lowered the price point of the pole. Guides and anglers now have the option of purchasing push poles manufactured from graphite, graphite/fiberglass composite, pure fiberglass or a mixture of the sections. The newest lines are being manufactured with cutting edge materials, including Kevlar and carbon fiber, incorporating techniques that allow them to be made strong without fiberglass. More...

real estate

Interesting facts abut buyers and sellers

Most of us have been on both sides of the real estate fence. We have been both buyers and sellers during our adult lives. In spite of or maybe because of our real estate experiences, we may not understand the person on the opposite side when it comes time to do business. The National Association of Realtors published some highlights from its 2014 profile of home buyers and sellers, which may help to explain both sides.

Purchasing a home is still the American dream and one of, if not the largest, financial transaction that most people will make. However, purchasing a home is not only an investment, it also is where your family will live, grow and make memories. When it’s time to sell your home and move on to another one because of job changes, family structure or retirement, it is stressful and sometimes traumatic. The National Association of Realtors has analyzed some of the insight and information about buyer and seller experiences in its 2014 report. 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 StorySignarama displays its skills against Duncan Real Estate

Finding its first win of the season, team Signarama defeated team Duncan Real Estate on Tuesday, Feb. 10, in a two game match. Its win was a met by a well-matched foursome led by Laura Alderson and team captain Michelle Laade for Duncan Real Estate. The duo of Alderson and Laade has played together in the Anna Maria Island Community Center adult co-ed volleyball league for several seasons, and it showed on the court.

In the first game of the night, Alderson showed her serving strength, and Laade assisted her team with accurate and effective setting. With the quick pace of rally scoring utilized in the league, Signarama answered back. Signarama brought to the Community Center gym lightning fast serves from Marina Felipe, diving digs by team captain Ray Gardner and powerful spikes by Jordan Demers and Gage Lubore. More...