Vol. 15 No. 35 - July 1, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBirds killed, turtle nests damaged

Two black skimmer chicks were killed, one was injured and five loggerhead sea turtle nests were run over by what witnesses described as a laughing couple in a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with a single headlight and knobby tires around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night near the Holmes Beach/Bradenton Beach city line.

Loggerheads, a federally threatened species, and black skimmers, a state species of special concern, are protected by local, state and federal laws. The crimes are violations of the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act ranging from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, carrying penalties of $500 to $1,500 in fines with jail time of 60 days to five years, FWC Public Information Officer Baryl Martin said. More...

AMICC drops plans for fitness center

HOLMES BEACH – The simple statement came during a presentation by Community Center officials when Commissioner Jean Peelen asked about the status of the fitness center, ending months of controversy.

“There is no major fitness center concept,” declared Jim Froeschle, treasurer of the Community Center’s board of directors, at last week’s city commission meeting. “We are not becoming a fitness center; we are a Community Center.”

He and Executive Director Kristin Lessig appeared before the commission to present an update on the status of the Community Center. Commissioners made the request after they voted in May not to release the city’s $22,500 contribution for the Center until they got further information. More...

City to crack down on duplex lot splits

HOLMES BEACH – Splitting duplex lots and selling each half to a different owner is illegal, and commissioners agreed to crack down on the practice.

The issue came to the board’s attention at last week’s work session when Commissioner Carol Soustek asked about them during a discussion of whether to allow one or two pools on duplex lots.

City Attorney Patricia Petruff said the city approved an ordinance in 1990 stating that any duplex lot split prior to a certain date that year would be considered a legal non-conformity, providing the owners entered into a party wall agreement with certain stipulations. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTree house attorney files motion for rehearing

HOLMES BEACH – David Levin, attorney for tree house owners Lynn Tran and Richard Hazen, has filed for a written opinion regarding a recent court decision denying an appeal of a judge’s ruling.

The judge’s ruling upheld the Code Enforcement Board’s 2013 order regarding the structure on the beach in front of Angelino’s Sea Lodge. The code board’s order was to remove the violations or demolish the tree house.

In the motion, Levin said, “The undersigned express the belief, based on a reasoned and studied professional judgment, that a written opinion will provide legitimate basis for Supreme Court review for the reasons set forth herein.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHappy 90th, Dr. Green

CORTEZ – She is one of only four people in the historic Cortez fishing village still living in their family home.

With equal skill, she can recite Bible verses, fine details of the relationships among Cortez families at least two generations back, who fished with whom on what boats, and the postmasters and postmistresses of Cortez, in order.

She has protested marinas, condos and other proposed encroachments into the village with her razor-sharp comments, contributed to books about Cortez and founded HOPE Family Services in 1979 to assist victims of domestic violence.

A 90th birthday party for Dr. Mary Fulford Green will be held on Saturday, July 4, at 5:30 p.m. at Fisherman’s Hall. The venue, across from the old Cortez fire station, was chosen “since you never know what will happen when you light that many candles!” according to the invitation. More...

Fireworks to light up the skies

ANNA MARIA – The Sandbar restaurant will host the Island’s lone Fourth of July fireworks show after owner Ed Chiles announced he was cancelling the July 3 BeachHouse fireworks show to protect nearby shore bird nests. The result will be a huge crowd of people on the Island to watch the show. Some will bring their own fireworks, and police agencies on the Island are urging them to forget it.

Sgt. Paul Davis, who heads the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office station in Anna Maria, said additional personnel will be on duty on the Fourth of July, including members of their Special Response Team, to handle the crowds on the beach. He said they would confiscate fireworks and write citations for those they catch with them. The fine is $500. He had a further warning for beach-goers.

“Leave your alcohol at home, too,” he said. “Alcohol is not permitted on the beach.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryReport says trees in trouble

ANNA MARIA – The 17 trees planted in City Pier Park are doomed, Florida certified arborist Lori Ballard concludes in a report filed with the city.

According to her report, the city did not do enough to get the transplanted trees a start. They were hand watered for the first two weeks and then a drip irrigation system was installed and recently replaced with a rotary irrigation system.

“The most crucial time of the establishment period for newly installed trees is the first three months,” the report says. “Trees should be watered … three gallons of water per diameter inch per day the first month, the same amount every other day for the second month and the same amount once or twice a week for the third month. More...

Contractor gets jail time

HOLMES BEACH – Former contractor Chris Arnold has been sentenced to 364 days in jail and will have to make restitution to the city in a case involving grand theft, when he charged the city for curb repair he did not do.

Circuit Judge Deno Economou also sentenced Arnold to 14 years probation when he gets out of jail and 100 hours of community service.

A former employee of Arnold tipped police off in 2013 to his observation that only half of the work was actually done. The city found that Arnold had just painted over some of the curbing instead of repairing or replacing it. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story20 years later, fishermen fear net ban reprise

CORTEZ – Twenty years ago today, commercial fishermen in the Cortez fishing village and all over Florida became outlaws if they used their gill nets to catch mullet, as their families had done for generations.

Florida voters passed the gill net ban amendment to Florida’s Constitution in 1994, and it became effective July 1, 1995, a date which lives in infamy in Cortez.

“Our wounds are deep,” said Mark Taylor, former president of the Organized Fishermen of Florida, who, like many others, had difficulty getting back on his feet economically and emotionally after the net ban. He lost his wholesale seafood trucking business and his parents lost Hawker’s Seafood Market in Bradenton. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe 'Shark Whisperer,' a book to inspire youths

I met Dr. Ellen Prager, the author of “Shark Whisperer,” during an Ocean’s Day celebration at Tampa Bay Watch earlier this month. In her presentation her passion for the ocean and the welfare of the creatures that inhabit it was instantly apparent.

In what can only be described as an illustrious career, Prager has served as the chief scientist for the world’s only undersea research station in Key Largo, Fla., and as the assistant dean at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Prager also has participated in research expeditions to the Galapagos Islands, Papua New Guinea, the Caribbean, the Bahamas and the deep waters of the Florida Reef tract. More...

real estate

Baby boomer freedom

Independence Day is in a few days representing freedom for our country and its citizens, but many of our citizens are getting older – in fact, 76.4 million of them. One of the big challenges for these millions of citizens is achieving a different type of freedom, freedom to remain living in their homes, not an easy thing for a generation that’s used to getting their way.

The leading edge of baby boomers were born in 1946 and are turning 70 on next year’s birthday, but that’s just the beginning, with millions more retiring and aging every year. Ideally, boomers would like to remain in their homes, but recognize the need to make some practical changes.



Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Part I: How much is enough?

Investment Corner

The primary goal of saving and investing during our working years is to accumulate a sum of dollars which can be bridged into an income stream in our retirement years. Of course, there are other goals that vary by family, such as leaving a legacy gift to our children or favorite charity in the form of an inheritance. But at its core, our investment nest egg has to take care of us during our non-working years.

So how much is enough? This is a wide open question for which the correct answer is very personal. Many focus on a goal, such as accumulating $1 million because they see that as being wealthy. The problem is that what is wealthy for one person is not wealthy for another. It all comes down to their standard of living and how much they need in retirement to live life in the way they desire. Statistics show that the majority of retirees have way less than $1 million in assets when they retire, but let’s use that figure for purposes of an example in this discussion. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThen there were two: Team Mickan goes to the championship

The seven-week adult basketball season saw tough head-to-head battles each week, and the semi-final match ups were no different. The gymnasium at the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s first playoff game on June 23 pitted #3 Team Ray against #2 Team Mickan. These two teams went strong to the end, fighting for a place in the championship game.

The game started with the tipoff between Team Ray’s Jordan Demers and Team Mickan’s Antwaun Jackson. Cameron Kawcack started the scoring for Team Mickan, but Demers quickly answered back. Demers proved to have the hot hand during the first half of play, putting 10 more points on the board for Team Ray taking the score to 8-14. Jackson added four points in the scoring run. Alban Gega contributed a basket for Team Mickan. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryKeep wildlife safe over the holiday weekend

If you go to the beach or go boating over the Fourth of July weekend, watch out for wildlife.

Dolphins are birthing calves this time of year, can’t always get out of the way of boats and are often in shallow water where they can’t dive below a boat. Newborn dolphins lack the skill and experience to avoid boats and have to surface more frequently to breathe than older dolphins. Fatal collisions have been documented in Sarasota Bay; most dolphin injuries from boat strikes have occurred in the weeks surrounding July 4, according to Mote Marine Laboratory. More...