Vol. 15 No. 24 - April 8, 2015


Recall election will happen

BRADENTON BEACH – It is official. There will be a special recall election, and city voters will determine whether Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon remains in office.

City Attorney Ricinda Perry expects Circuit Court Judge Lee Haworth to issue an order this week calling for a special election in May

Vice Mayor Jack Clarke has confirmed that he will run against Shearon in the special election. Additional candidates are allowed to join the fray, but none have presented themselves in the early stages of what is now a campaign process.

Police Chief Sam Speciale served Shearon the notice of petition certification mere minutes before the start of the Thursday, April 2, commission meeting. Shearon had little time to digest this development before he conducted the meeting, and the recall was not discussed by the commission. More...

Season’s sizzle stays

It’s not over ‘til it’s over.

The sun has risen and set on Easter, but beaches, roads, restaurants and stores remain busy as visitors merely trickle off Anna Maria Island at the traditional end of the year’s high tourist season.

“It’s not over yet,” Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce President Mary Ann Brockman said, adding that Chamber members are reporting only sporadic one- or two-night vacancies.

With bad weather up north, “It’s definitely been the best season we’ve ever had,” she said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBig turnout for Easter celebration

ANNA MARIA – The Easter eggs were gone in no time, and the kids were ready to move on last Saturday.

So they followed the lead of the Easter Bunny down Pine Avenue, where they enjoyed activities for young and old, and some of them walked home with prizes.

Officials of the Sandbar restaurant estimated the 29th Annual Easter Egg Hunt on the beach drew about 500 people. The kids were separated into four age groups and at the signal of restaurant manager Joe Rogers, they all tore into the beach area littered with colorful Easter eggs. Within a few minutes the beach was clean.More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBid on fabulous auction packages at Affaire

ANNA MARIA – Guests should have their paddles ready to bid on fabulous live auction packages at the Silver Affaire, the 25th anniversary of the annual event to be held in the AMI Community Center’s Grand Ballroom on Saturday, April 18.

Packages at the dinner fund-raiser feature everything from a private jet to a tropical island to exclusive dinners to the ultimate fly-fishing experience. A sampling of them include:

Four guests will depart from the Clearwater Airport by private jet to spend five days and four nights at the lavish Mainsail Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina in the British Virgin Islands. Enjoy fantastic views from a two-bedroom ocean villa. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Planner says rezone not possible

HOLMES BEACH – In a report to the mayor, City Planner Bill Brisson has recommended against a request to allow a home at 5601 Flotilla Drive to become a bed and breakfast.

“Over the years, there have been inquiries about changing the use of the property,” Mayor Bob Johnson explained. “The owners asked if a bed and breakfast could be a possible option, and I asked the planner to take a quick look at it.”

In his report, Brisson said the property is zoned R-1, allowing a single family home, and the future land use designation in the comprehensive plan is low density residential. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Cyclist injured in bridge accident

LONGBOAT KEY – A scooter rider was injured Sunday, around 2 p.m., when he apparently was distracted and ran into the car ahead of him on the Longboat Pass Bridge.

Skip St. John was anchored off the bridge when the accident occurred.

“I heard the accident, the bridge was up and traffic was stopped,” he wrote in an email. “The green motorcycle didn't stop and ran in to the back of the car. My best guess is he was looking down at the boaters on Beer Can.

“A guy riding a bicycle in a red shirt administrated some first aid to him with the help of a towel and some ice from the boaters below,” St. John added. “The response time was pretty good considering the traffic. The ambulance workers looked like they were working on the victim but drove away with no lights or sirens.” More...

New forfeiture policy in the works

BRADENTON BEACH – Charter review committee members sought and received city commission direction regarding their role in amending the city charter as it pertains to forfeiture of office procedures.

Last week’s commission discussion also revealed a committee member discovery that may significantly alter what a new forfeiture policy looks like.

The commission unanimously agreed the committee should continue reviewing the six forfeiture provisions currently contained in the charter last reviewed in 2010. The committee has also been asked to produce a thumbnail sketch that provides the basic framework for a new policy.

This framework would serve as the basis for a new ordinance or resolution that would provide specific policies and procedures if the need for future forfeiture efforts should arise. More...

Engineer offers expertise on pools and drainage

HOLMES BEACH – City Engineer Lynn Townsend Burnett enlightened city commissioners on swimming pool issues and drainage at a recent work session.

“Things can be done to reverse the damage,” said Burnett, who has spent 20 years of experience working on barrier islands, with a specialty in drainage. “But for every new permit that is issued, we’re only exacerbating those problems until we can get them fixed.”

At a previous meeting, commissioners approved a moratorium on swimming pools with less than 10-foot side and rear yard setbacks. The current setback is 5 feet. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryOf salmon and quantum mechanics

I’m not a chef. I guess because I’m a scientist – a chemist to be exact – I can follow a recipe and measure out portions with far more accuracy than the average chef, but I am no chef.

The problem is that I vacation with chefs. John Horne and his lovely wife, Amanda, of Anna Maria Oyster Bar fame, are both very good chefs and very good friends of mine, and we take winter vacations together to Telluride, Colo., most every year.

I am usually in charge of planning the trip, and I can tell you that there’s no greater stress than looking for a rental home with a kitchen that meets John and Amanda’s standards! But the stress doesn’t stop when we enter the home and John and Amanda declare it worthy. Nooo.



Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryScallop count could herald good news

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

Florida growing like a teen

Florida is starting to resemble a 13-year-old boy; it just keeps growing and growing and growing. But just like a 13-year- old boy, it could start getting a little wild, and we may not be able to rein it in.

Statistics compiled from census data still being released place seven metro areas in Florida in the nation’s top 50 areas of population growth. Although there were more deaths than births in Florida between July 2013 and June 2014, the amount of migration to the state was heavy enough to overcome the loss of population.

Within Florida, the seven top growth metro areas ranked as follows: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach; Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford; Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater; Jacksonville; Cape Coral-Fort Myers; North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton; and Lakeland-Winter Haven. If you think as I do that the growth for our region is a good thing bad thing, at least be optimistic that our growth was only 16,000 compared to the Miami region of 66,000 or Orlando’s 50,000. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Pay now or pay later

Investment Corner

With one week left in the 2014 tax season, many are trying to think of ways to reduce the tax bill for next year. One way to plan for taxes, both now and later, relates to our choice of tax deferred retirement planning vehicles. Making the correct choice can yield a larger after tax income in retirement. However, making the choice can be complicated by our inability to know what future tax rates may be or what level of income we’ll have in retirement.

The choice resides between two philosophies. The traditional plans, like IRAs and 401Ks allow the participant to make contributions to the plan and receive a tax deduction for the portion of their earned income they contribute each year. There may be limitations on deductibility of traditional IRA contributions, depending on level of income and simultaneous participation in an employer sponsored retirement plan.

These traditional plans are of the pay later variety, meaning that you enjoy the up-front tax deduction for contributing, tax deferred growth of the assets in the plan during your accumulation phase, but distributions from the plan during your retirement phase are taxed as ordinary income. 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...