Vol. 15 No. 20 - March 11, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story History shines at Heritage Day

ANNA MARIA – After a chilly start, the day dawned bright and beautiful for the second Settler’s Market at Island Heritage Day Saturday at the AMI Historical Museum park.

At the entrance, rangers from DeSoto National Monument displayed ancient tools and artifacts, while visitors filled their bags with organic produce from Geraldson’s Farm as well as farm fresh eggs and baked delights sold by Historical Society members.

In the parking lot, the smell of KCB barbecue tugged at the taste buds as bluegrass music by The Howies filled the air. Kids colored pictures at the Community Center booth, participated in a scavenger hunt to win prizes and watched as clowns Sparky and Snowbird made colorful balloon toys.


Cast-n-Cage facing eviction from pier

BRADENTON BEACH –The proprietors of the Cast-n-Cage restaurant have been ordered to vacate the city-owned Historic Bridge Street Pier, but business owner Roland Pena is not ready to leave.

“This is ridiculous, and I will fight to the end,” he said, Thursday afternoon.

When Pena and his wife Tami failed to make their $7,004 rent payment and $180 property tax payment on Sunday, March 1, Mayor Bill Shearon initiated the eviction process.

On Tuesday, March 3, Pena was served with notice of habitual default for non-payment and termination of the lease, which triggered a 10-day period for the tenants to vacate the city-owned restaurant space, concession stand and bait shop. More...

Global settlement moves forward

BRADENTON BEACH – The city commission unanimously agreed to continue discussing the global settlement concepts proposed by Mayor Bill Shearon and attorney Charles Johnson during last week’s meeting.

“The global settlement concept presented to attorney Johnson was basically the concept that everyone would have some skin in the game, and there were no real true winners,” Shearon said when initiating the commission discussion.

If the finite details can be successfully negotiated, the multi-faceted settlement would end four pending lawsuits involving Shearon, the city, Tjet Martin, Jo Ann Meilner, BeachHouse restaurant owner Ed Chiles and City Attorney Ricinda Perry. It would also end the forfeiture of office proceedings the commission majority initiated against Shearon, and prevent a beachfront city-owned property from being developed for parking. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Find treasure at the Tropical Treasures Boutique

MARIA – One of the crowd favorites at the Annual Anna Maria Island Community Center’s Tour of Homes on Saturday, March 21, is the Tropical Treasures Boutique.

The boutique committee spends months crafting fun, beach themed gifts for visitors to purchase. This year’s boutique will be located at the Cole house at 218 Archer Way in Anna Maria.

Boutique offerings include shell mirrors, jewelry made from recycled materials, beach brushes to remove the sand from your feet, colorful decorated flip flops, hand stenciled dinner napkins, hand painted potholders, Florida print aprons and flavorful tropical jams and jellies, all sponsored by Duncan Real Estate. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryVandalism at Grassy Point

HOLMES BEACH – A vandal or vandals last week struck Grassy Point, the city’s nature preserve along East Bay Drive, and cut limbs and branches, leaving them on the ground.

“I have contacted DEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) and am still waiting on information regarding the jurisdiction in the preserve, its designation, who can trim the trees and what the charges could be,” Police Chief Bill Tokajer said Friday.

Tokajer said police will be monitoring the preserve. A sign in the preserve states, “No trimming or removal of plants or wildlife.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Kokolis' two-unit hotel approved

BRADENTON BEACH – It took a year and a half, but Gulf Drive Café owners Wendy and George Kokolis finally got permission to build a two-unit hotel on Ninth Street North.

Last week, the city commission unanimously approved the Kokolis’ special exception request that allows for a hotel use in a commercial zoned district that does not grant automatic approval for hotels.

The approval includes the Kokolis-volunteered stipulation that the units would essentially be limited to weekly rentals; and if used by guests for less than a week, would remain vacant for the rest of the weekly rental period.

After the decision was handed down at the March 5 meeting, Wendy Kokolis was asked when she hoped to start developing her property at 113 Ninth St. N. More...

Property manager group threatens suit over rentals

ANNA MARIA – The group representing rental property owners and managers on the Island has sent a pre-suit notice to Mayor Dan Murphy that they will take action if the city pursues a declaratory judgment regarding whether the city could ban short-term rentals in the residential district.

Attorney Kevin Hennessy, of Lewis Longman and Walker sent the letter Monday, March 9.

In the letter, he said the Anna Maria Island Vacation Property Association had held out hope that “reasonable minds could come to a reasonable solution that would satisfy the residents of the Island and the vacation industry upon which the city was built.” More...

Mayoral recall effort continues

BRADENTON BEACH – If a proposed global settlement is reached, the commission-initiated forfeiture of office proceedings against Mayor Bill Shearon will come to an end, but the mayor could still be facing a potential recall election.

A second and final round of recall petition gathering is currently underway. The recall committee led by former City Commissioner Pete Barreda has until early April to produce the verified signatures of at least 115 verified registered city voters.

If successful, this would result in a special recall election that would provide city voters the opportunity to decide if Shearon finishes the second year of his two-year term as mayor. If the petition drive falls short, the citizen-initiated recall efforts would come to an end. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe heroes among us

All of us know a hero, or think we know a hero. The policeman shot in the line of duty trying to save a life, the firefighters of Sept. 11, 2001 or the firefighters of the West Manatee Fire District.

They are heroes to us when they make news, but they are always ready to do heroic deeds when duty calls.

But there are many living on Anna Maria Island, in Cortez and Perico, who go through their lives as unrecognized heroes, and that’s how they want it. They are the men and women who served their country in the armed forces, ready at any moment to do their duty and put themselves in harm’s way if called. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySave the day

I met Captain Rob Gilbert at the 59th Street boat ramp on a foggy and cool morning last week. Gilbert was headed to Port Manatee to scout for the upcoming Salty Fly Tournament, and invited me along. He will be fishing Lee Janik, owner of Clutch Fly Rod Company, and was starting to develop a plan of action. Although the day didn’t look like a good day for fishing or scouting, the weather guessers had promised that the fog would lift and that the winds would be light. Fortunately, Gilbert brought his 25-foot Shearwater LTZ powered with a 250 HP Mercury. It was a chilly, but smooth and fast ride, one I particularly appreciated on the ride back when the wind switched to the northwest and blew 15 to 20 knots. More...

real estate

Sun Coast vs. Emerald Coast

The state of Florida is one big coastline, and every inch of it is designated with a name describing the special features or geography of the area.

On the east coast of the state there’s the First Coast in the northeast, the Space Coast in the central region, the Treasure Coast just below the Space Coast and the Gold Coast starting in Palm Beach. On the west coast there’s the Forgotten Coast near Apalachicola at the beginning of the panhandle, the Nature Coast in the northwest, the Sun Coast where we live and the Cultural Coast assigned to Sarasota. There are a few lesser known regions I haven’t mentioned and, of course, the Florida Keys, but the one I want to talk about today is the Emerald Coast.

I recently took a trip to the Florida Panhandle exploring the area from Rosemary Beach in the east to Fort Walton Beach further west, approximately 50 miles. This 100 miles of coastline has been designated the Emerald Coast because of the emerald green color of the northern Gulf of Mexico along the coastal beaches. In a less politically correct time, the Emerald Cost was called the Redneck Riviera, but trust me there is absolutely nothing redneck about it today. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Non-traded funds

Investment Corner

It’s no secret that the stock and bond markets have done very well over the last six years. As bull markets go, this one is getting a bit on the old side, I believe the fourth longest running uptrend for stocks. Old age doesn’t kill rising markets, but eventually some external event does, and I believe it is time to become more risk conscious because the current trend won’t last forever.

Of course, most investments carry some form of risk, so I’m not referring to eliminating it all, just reducing it. A large part of risk comes from the fluctuation in asset prices and how we are tempted to react to those changes. When assets are traded on an exchange each day they are subject to the emotional decisions made by investors who may be feeling extreme fear such as in the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

Most companies did not see their sales and profits decline by 50 percent during the crisis, but for many their share prices sure did. It was irrational to assume that large, well capitalized companies were worth half of their previous value, but that’s how the emotional pricing works in the heat of battle. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story


With the Super Bowl in sight, the Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks, taking their place on the finals bracket for the 8-to 10-year old flag football league at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. Despite brilliant drives in the last few minutes of the game, the Seahawks just could not come from behind with the score, finishing 32-18 for the Bucs.

Coached by Joe Christianson, the Seahawks were led by Assistant Coach Allen Johnson. The Seahawks took first possession of the game with a quick run play that gained short yardage. On second down, quarterback Evan Christianson found receiver Jack Proctor getting the team closer to the first down. From a hand off, German Rivera over threw Proctor, turning the ball over to the Buccaneers.