Vol. 15 No. 29 - May 13, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Peggy Meyers: ‘We won’

HOLMES BEACH – Her voice said it all. “We won,” declared Peggy Meyers on Tuesday.

That’s the day she got the e-mail from USPS (United States Post Office) officials stating, “Based on traffic issues, lack of parking at the USPS branches and the additional information that was presented at the community meeting, your request to add PO boxes to the Holmes Beach CPU (contract postal unit) is granted.”

“We proved our case easily, and they did the right thing,” Meyers said.

“I am pleased that the USPS will maintain full service in Holmes Beach and continue to provide residents in our area with convenient, efficient postal service,” U.S. Congressman Vern Buchanan said. More...

Recall election heads for finish line

BRADENTON BEACH – The outcome of the recall election now lies in the hands of the city voters who will determine whether Mayor Bill Shearon remains in office or is replaced by Vice Mayor Jack Clarke.

Shearon’s supporters have now exhausted the legal and administrative challenges they presented in their unsuccessful efforts to have Clarke removed from the ballot. On Tuesday, May 5, Judge Gilbert Smith denied John Metz’s request for a temporary injunction that would have halted the election.

When issuing his verbal order, Smith said Metz failed to meet the burden of proof. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryRecall forum held

BRADENTON BEACH – Recall election candidates Mayor Bill Shearon and Vice Mayor Jack Clarke squared off Wednesday night in a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Manatee County.

The political rivals spent an hour answering questions posed by moderator Ashley Brown, with Rosalie Shaffer providing orientation and Paula Roberts serving as timer. Approximately 30 people attended the event at city hall and sat in geographical proximity to their candidate of choice.

Opening salvos

During opening statements, Clarke said, “It is not true that the events of the past month are part of a personal grand plan to seize the power and prestige of the mayor’s office. It would have been easier for me to wait and wage a traditional campaign if being the mayor was my goal, but I see our city sinking by the day, slowly spiraling downward into disaster. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCounty approves funds for new lifeguards

The Manatee County Commission has approved a budget change designed to fund three new lifeguard positions at Manatee Beach Park (formerly Manatee Public Beach) and Coquina Beach Park without running afoul of a state prohibition on using resort tax funds to pay for lifeguards.

The positions will be funded by county general tax funds that were allocated for beach maintenance, County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said, explaining to commissioners that beach maintenance will now be funded by $575,000 in resort tax funds taken from the part of the resort tax budget allocated to beach renourishment and maintenance.

As a result, the beach portion of the resort tax budget will now be devoted 100 percent to renourishment, he said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCVB honors tourism boosters

PALMETTO – A Bradenton Beach hotelier was among those who received a Champions of Tourism Award at the annual Tourism Week luncheon last week at the convention center.

Barbara Rodocker, owner of Silver Surf Gulf Beach Resort and Bridge Walk, who is leaving the Manatee County Tourist Development Council (TDC) after 23 years, received a Tourism Ambassador Award from TDC Chair Vanessa Baugh.

“Barbara has been a true leader, mentor and ambassador for not only our industry, but for me personally,” Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) Director Elliott Falcione said.

Also honored as a Tourism Ambassador was John Horne, owner of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar in Bradenton. Tourism Partner of the Year was Trevor Gooby, senior director of Florida operations for the Pittsburgh Pirates. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCortez cleans up mangrove shores

CORTEZ – About 28 volunteers cleaned up the mangroves around Sarasota Bay on Saturday during Fishing for Freedom’s First Annual Fishermen’s Cleanup at Cortez Bait and Seafood.

They filled a dumpster with an estimated 6,000 pounds of trash, judging by the weight on the boats, organizer Mark Coarsey said, adding that he’s going to keep some of the old glass bottles he found.

Bags and bags of fishing line were retrieved around Bird Key with Audubon Society volunteers, he said. Bird Key is the island preserve in Sarasota Bay just south of the Cortez fishing village where pelicans and other shorebirds nest. Discarded fishing line ensnares birds, which then often die, entangled in the mangroves where they nest.


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCounty stormwater fees recinded

BRADENTON BEACH – City commissioners did an about-face last week in regard to levying stormwater fees on county property located within the city limits.

With County Administrator Ed Hunzeker in attendance, the commission unanimously voted in favor of amending the new stormwater ordinance that reverted back to the language originally proposed by City Engineer Lynn Burnett, which exempted city, county and state properties from stormwater fees.

When addressing the commission Thursday evening during the second reading of the new stormwater ordinance passed on first reading last month, Burnett restated her previous recommendation that government properties be exempt. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Police investigate sea grape cutting

Holmes Beach Det. Sgt. Brian Hall is currently conducting a criminal investigation of unauthorized sea grape trimming in the 4300 block of Second Avenue.

According to Hall’s report, “On or about April 27, Jose Vivero hired Sunset Tree Service to trim the sea grape trees located on city property along the beach access and the neighboring property without permission from the city of Holmes Beach or the property owner at 4300 Second Ave.

“Vivero had called the city to ask permission or have the city trim the trees on several occasions over the past two years. The request has been denied by the city each time.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCelebrate imperiled wildlife

Friday, May 15, is Endangered Species Day, celebrating the preservation of imperiled species.

Many such species live on Anna Maria Island and in its waters, including manatees, snowy plovers, loggerhead sea turtles and gopher tortoises, which are benefiting from the 40-year-old federal Endangered Species Act and state protections.

Next month, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is expected to release a draft of its Imperiled Species Management Plan. The FWC has previously recommended that 16 species be removed from the imperiled list – three threatened species and 13 species of special concern – including the brown pelican, the snowy egret and the white ibis, all found on the Island. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySarasota Bay Watch enters Gulf Coast Challenge

Sarasota Bay Watch (SBW) is entering a unique competition sponsored by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, known as The Gulf Coast Innovation Challenge. At stake is a $500,000 grant that was created to stimulate and fund innovative solutions to issues and opportunities affecting the Gulf Coast region. The Challenge highlights marine science in an attempt to advance causes that impact what the challenge refers to as the region’s “Blue Economy.”

The Challenge has four distinct phases with deadlines that include submissions, Feb. 24 to April 30; feedback, May 1 to June 30; refinement, July 31 to Oct. 30; and presentations, evaluation and selection, which begins on Nov. 2. Submissions are made through an online form located on the Gulf Coast Innovation Challenge Website. During the submission phase, each entity chose a team leader who was required to create an account, register the names of all team members, identify the challenge and give a brief description of the team’s hypothetical solution. All submissions were reviewed by a panel of experts before entrants were allowed to join the grant challenge. More...

real estate

Do you know your well-being score?

You can call it a high level of well-being, you can call it a quality of life choice or you can simply call it a great place to live. But whatever you call it, Bradenton and Anna Maria keep popping up on a variety of national surveys and studies as being one of those places that sounds too good to be true.

Knowing that Bradenton’s motto is “The Friendly City” once won me free admission to The Ringling Museum, but apparently I’m not the only one who knows how friendly our region is. In a recent Gallup Survey the Bradenton-Sarasota-North Port metropolitan area scored number 1 in the Well-Being Index Score. The other top four areas were Honolulu, Hawaii; Raleigh, N.C; Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif., and El Paso, Texas. No other area in Florida even made it to the top 10.

According to the Gallup-Healthway Well-Being Index, there are five essential elements of well-being evaluated in this index including liking what you do; having supportive relationships and love; managing economic needs, therefore, reducing stress; liking where you live; feeling safe; and having good health and energy. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

What is the sequence of returns risk?

Investment Corner

Knowledgeable investors are aware that investing in the capital markets presents any number of risks – interest-rate, company and market risks. Risk is an inseparable companion to the potential for long-term growth. Some of the investment risks we face can be mitigated through diversification. Not having all your eggs in one basket is good advice when it comes to building your portfolio.

As an investor, you face another, less-known risk for which the market does not compensate you, nor can it be easily reduced through diversification. Yet, it is a risk that may be the biggest challenge to the sustainability of your retirement income.

This risk is called the sequence of returns risk. Or put another way, the luck of timing your retirement. Sequence of returns risk refers to the uncertainty of the order of returns an investor will receive over an extended period of time. As economist Milton Friedman once observed, “Never try to walk across a river just because it has an average depth of four feet.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAMICC springs into another season of sports

With the first crack of the bat at home plate, the first jump ball on the court and the first kickoff on the pitch, the spring sports season at the Anna Maria Island Community Center was underway last week.

Youth basketball started off the season with youth games on Monday, May 4. As 12 teams, ranging in age from five to 17 years old, battle it out in the eight-game season, one champion will be named at the June 1 award ceremony.

The adult basketball players started their action on Tuesday, May 5. Five teams shoot, dribble and juke on the court each week. Only one league champion will be named on June 30 after the Second Annual Skills Challenge and the All-Start Game is played. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTuesday Turtle Talks begin

Tuesday Turtle Talks begin this month for kids at the Anna Maria Island Community Center in Anna Maria and will continue through the summer at the Annie Silver Community Center in Bradenton Beach.

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring volunteers will take kids in the Center’s after school program to the beach on May 12 and May 19 at 4 p.m. to search for sea turtle and shorebird nests, with a final activity at the Center on May 26.

From June through August, Tuesday Turtle Talks will move to the Annie Silver Community Center on 23rd Street one block off Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach from 10 to 11 a.m. More...