Vol. 15 No. 23 - April 1, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Fitness fallout Residents and commissioners support business owners

HOLMES BEACH – It was standing room only at last week’s city commission meeting with residents supporting two business owners who oppose the Island Community Center board’s plan to install a fitness center in the Center.

“We want to express our concern about the proposed $500,000 state of the art fitness facility taking place at the AMI Community Center and how it will greatly affect our businesses, if not shut us down,” said Brenda Canning, of Island Fitness.

Jen Crady, of AMI Health & Fitness, said the Community Center has been “dear to my heart” and “helped shape my children to be who they are – exceptional students and athletes,” but it is a non-profit organization that pays no taxes and “holds an unfair business advantage when they decide to compete with small business. More...

Easter the time to celebrate

THE ISLAND – Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ and on Anna Maria Island, it is also a time to pray on the beach as the sun comes up.

Once again, the Kiwanis Club of Anna Maris Island will hold its 51st Sunrise Service at Manatee County Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, at the end of Manatee Avenue on Easter Sunday, April 5, starting at 6:30 a.m.

Bring a chair or blanket and a flashlight to read the program as Easter falls earlier this year, and the sun won’t be present for much of the service.

All of the Island’s churches will participate in the service, and they share the offering. There is plenty of parking, but the best bet is to leave the car at home and take the trolley. The Anna Maria Island Beach Café will sell coffee and after the service, it will sell breakfast for those who want to stay at the beach. More...

Easter fun for kids and family

The Easter Bunny will be up early on the beach leaving eggs on the sand in time for the 29th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Sandbar restaurant for ages 10 and under on Saturday, April 4, beginning at 9 a.m.

Bring a basket for each child and don’t be late, because the Easter Bunny is always very punctual. In fact, the Sandbar will have refreshments under the pavilion beginning at 8:30 a.m.

After the last Easter egg has been found, join the Easter Bunny (also known as Anna Maria’s Mayor) for a walk down Pine Avenue to the parking lot at 317 Pine where the Easter egg roll will be set up along with a coloring station and face painting. This will end at 11a.m. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCorps rejects mangrove removal

PERICO ISLAND – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) objects to developer Pat Neal’s request to destroy coastal mangroves on the eastern shore of Anna Maria Sound in order to build the Harbor Sound subdivision for use as a family compound.

On March 19, Kevin O’Kane, Chief of the Army Corps Tampa Section, sent a letter to Neal’s 97-12 land trust informing him that the ACOE does not intend to issue a permit to allow 1.05 acres of environmentally sensitive mangroves to be filled in to accommodate the construction of four single-family homes near the Harbour Isle community on Perico Island.

“Permitting the destruction of mangrove wetlands for a non-water residential development project, while less environmentally damaging alternatives are available, would set an unacceptable precedent,” O’Kane’s letter states. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Commission approves pier survey

ANNA MARIA – The city commission gave a thumbs up to a proposed survey of the pilings and stringers of the city pier.

Mayor Dan Murphy said such a survey had never been conducted. He said members of the Tourist Development Council suggested the survey and it would cost around $60,000, with the county and city each paying half.

“We have $11,000 in our pier contingency fund and we can get the other $19,000 from the cell tower rent money,” Murphy said.

Commissioners Doug Copeland and Carol Carter agreed. Commission Chair Chuck Webb said the pier is rickety, and Commissioner Nancy Yetter drew laughs when she said the pier sways with the waves so much it makes her seasick. They approved survey unanimously More...

New bridge design input sought

HOLMES BEACH – Mayor Bob Johnson got an e-mail last week from Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Project Manager Kati Sherrard asking for a volunteer to serve on a Bridge Aesthetics Committee.

According to the e-mail, “We have an opportunity to work with the local community to design a bridge that will fit in harmony with the surrounding environment and embody the character of the community both now and in the future.”

Sherrad’s e-mail said the committee would be consensus based and meet at various times throughout the design process and she invited Johnson to name someone from Holmes Beach to represent the community. He has until April 30 to do so.

The e-mail also says FDOT has found the funding for the design process and will seek money to construct the bridge when the design is complete. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Blue Fulford now a legend

CORTEZ – Like a number on a baseball jersey, the Cortez nickname “Blue” will be retired after the passing last Saturday of Thomas Rollan “Blue” Fulford Jr., 84.

The Manatee County Agricultural Hall of Famer was known for turning a phrase, as in, “Florida voters swallowed the net ban propaganda hook, line and sinker.”

He could command attention in a room full of shouting fishermen by tapping his cane on the wooden floor.

And, most essential of all, he was a commercial fisherman, a good one, they say.

Fulford’s legacy is knotted into the history of the Cortez fishing village like the mesh in one of his handmade nets. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySilver Affaire promises exciting changes

ANNA MARIA – Guests attending the Silver Affaire to Remember can expect some new touches and exciting changes at the 25th anniversary of the annual event to be held in the Center’s Grand Ballroom on Saturday, April 18.

Executive Director Cindy Thompson said special recognition would be given to those who have made the Affaire a success through the years. They include former Executive Director Pierrette Kelly and former Assistant Director Scott Dell. Trudy Moon, the Affaire’s chair for 23 years, and Center benefactors Chuck and Joey Lester will be given special awards.

The Affaire had a humble beginning as a dinner auction with food booths by local restaurants. People donated used items to be auctioned and attended in shorts and T-shirts. The highlight was a cheesecake contest. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA Royale celebration

HOLMES BEACH – On Saturday night, more than 200 members of the Key Royale Club joined together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Island’s only golf course.

The celebration featured drinks, appetizers, and casino-style gaming inside the clubhouse; and dinner, drinks, dancing, and live music by the Oceans Eleven big band inside the large tent that graced the clubhouse lawn.

Prepared in-house by Chef Bill Terrell and his staff, the dinner menu included a 60-pound steamship round beef roast, glazed pork loin, and a heavily-visited salad table abound with chilled shrimp. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAnglers welcome signs of spring

Spring is here. I can feel it, even if the fish haven’t given a clear signal yet. My tangerine tree is showing the first hint of blooms and I recently heard the first whippoorwill trilling in the pre-dawn darkness. These have proven to be sure signs of spring and welcome harbingers to local anglers.

This doesn’t mean that there won’t be another cold snap, even if the calendar says it's spring. Experience tells the savvy angler that fish have their own special calendar, one that consists more of the angle of the sun and the length of the day than the temperature and the predictions of the weatherman. Water temperatures that hover in the 70s bring fish out of their winter haunts. It doesn’t matter if it’s winter one day and spring the next. More...

real estate

It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s a drone

What’s about four feet wide, has propellers and wings, elevates like a helicopter, glides like a plane and delivers your new smart phone? Well if we were having this conversation even 10 years ago on April 1, you would probably figure it’s an April fool’s joke, but in 2015 it’s no joke.

Drones are all over the media these days from Amazon and Google wanting to use them to deliver their packages to photographers wanting to use them to film weddings, outdoor sporting and entertainment events and just plain nosy people. But how this new technology applies to marketing real estate can get into a real fuzzy right of privacy area.

Drones and real estate is a match made in heaven, especially when you are marketing high end homes that are on the water. No matter how many quality photos you take, it can never convey the special quality of a waterfront front home. Imagine flying over the roof of your home with a bird’s eye view of your free form pool, dock, terrace and landscaping being fully appreciated from above. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Best investments today?

Investment Corner

The six-year, bull run for stocks here in the U.S. has lifted valuations to levels that are best described as full. The length of an uptrend doesn’t in and of itself mean it has to end, but I don’t believe we should assume it will continue to rise at the pace of the last few years. We are likely to see increased volatility and the chance of a larger correction in the next couple years.

Likewise, with 10-year, U.S. Treasury bond yields at just above 2 percent, and European bond yields in negative territory, high quality bonds issued by governments and corporations seem more than fully valued. Any rise in rates here in the U.S. would dent the values of these bonds and other interest sensitive sectors, such as traded real estate investment trusts, master limited partnerships and utility stocks. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

18 & UP Adult Co-Ed Flag Football Super Bowl – March 18

#1 Slims Place Falcons 33
#2 Saints 20

The final two games of the Anna Maria Island Community Center adult co-dd flag football season came to an end last week with the battle between both leagues’ top two finishers. The number one and number two seed teams in the 18 and up and 30 and over adult leagues put their game faces on and fought it out on the gridiron for the last time in the winter sports season at the Center.

On Wednesday night in a close match-up, quarterback Jonathan Moss and the Saints squared off against the number one seed Slims Place Falcons. The Saints were not able to gain a first down on their first possession in part due to the pressure placed on Moss by Max Gazzo for the Falcons. More...