Vol. 15 No. 36 - July 8, 2015


Investigation continues in ‘turtle terrorist’ case

BRADENTON BEACH – A videotape recorded at the Wicked Taco Cantina the night that two people drove over three black skimmer chicks and five sea turtle nests on the beach is indistinct, according to authorities.

“We saw something” that looked like two people on an ATV on the tape, recorded around 10:30 p.m. on June 27, the time of the incident, said Jake Baker, general manager of the restaurant, located across Gulf Drive from the beach at 101 Seventh St. N. But Bradenton Beach police Detective Sgt. Leonard Diaz said the tape was little help.

“We could barely tell if it was an ATV or a golf cart and could barely make out anybody on it,” he said. More...

Fireworks no problem on calm July 4 holiday

ANNA MARIA ISLAND - It appears residents and visitors took a laid back approach to the Fourth of July on the beaches.

Despite having only one fireworks show at the Sandbar restaurant, police agencies report very few incidents and no arrests for illegal fireworks, although Holmes Beach police confiscated some from would-be scofflaws.

In Bradenton Beach, a few beach-goers were found with fireworks, but cooperated with authorities when told the pyrotechnics were illegal. More...

Values rise on Island

Anna Maria Island property values are consistently up from this time last year in all three cities.

Real estate market values are up an average 17 percent Islandwide, totaling nearly $3.7 billion, according to figures released last week by the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA love story cut short

CORTEZ – The Swordfish Grill & Tiki Bar will host a benefit for Joe Petriella on Sunday, July 12, from 2 to 6 p.m. Joe has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and has been given less than a year to live.

Joe’s wife, Peggy Dallas, has been a waitress as the Swordfish Grill since it opened in 2011, and the fund-raiser will feature live music by TC and the Troublemakers, a silent auction, raffle prizes, a 50/50 drawing and more.

The proceeds will help offset the cost of Joe’s treatment and help ensure that he lives the best life he can for as long as possible. All ages are welcome and Joe and Peggy plan to attend. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPier bids to be opened Friday

BRADENTON BEACH – On Friday, city officials will get their first look at the bid proposals submitted by those interested in leasing the city-owned restaurant space on the Historic Bridge Street Pier.

During last week’s Pier Team meeting, Police Chief and Pier Team Chair Sam Speciale clarified how the request for proposal (RFP) process would unfold.

The deadline to submit proposals is 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, and the proposals will be opened by City Clerk Terri Sanclemente at 2 p.m. on Friday. The original plan called for the proposals to be opened on Thursday, and no explanation was given for the change. More...

Planner presents new data on bedrooms

HOLMES BEACH – City Planner Bill Brisson presented new data at the June 24 work session regarding the number of bedrooms on duplex lots in the R-2 zoning district prior to 2009.

Brisson previously reported that 28 percent of the duplex lots developed through 2008 had units with four or more bedrooms. However, new data from the property appraiser’s office shows that the number is considerably lower.

“Through 2008, there actually were only three developed duplex lots in the R-2 that contained units with more than three bedrooms,” he said. “This represents less than 1 percent of all 346 developed duplex lots. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryIsland chef remembered

CORTEZ – The Island’s culinary community lost a familiar figure recently when local chef James “Jim” French was killed in a bicycle accident on the Cortez Bridge shortly after 8 p.m. on Friday, June 26.

“The victim was heading east over the Cortez bridge on his bicycle when he lost control of the bike and flew off the bike and hit his head on the sidewalk. He sustained a head injury and was pronounced dead at the scene,” said the new release issued by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) on Tuesday, June 30.

MCSO spokesperson Dave Bristow said the investigating officers believe French’s bicycle handlebars struck a sign and that trigged his fatal fall. Bristow said no other vehicles or persons were involved in what was ruled an accidental death. More...

Budget plan presented to Community Center board

ANNA MARIA – Community Center treasurer Jim Froeschle and Director Kristin Lessig reported on the 2015-16 budget plan to the board of directors recently.

“We have completely overhauled the budget process,” Froeschle said. “This is not a top down budget. It is not just a set of numbers; there are action plans behind every bit of it.”

He said they have “empowered the program directors to develop innovative new ideas” and ‘they know they are responsible.” More...


City resumes pursuit of BP claim

BRADENTON BEACH – City Attorney Ricinda Perry has resumed her efforts regarding a $500,000 claim filed against BP in 2013 in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

On Tuesday, June 30, City Clerk Terri Sanclemente issued notice of a non-public shade meeting pertaining to the status of BP claim that will take place in the commission chambers at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8.

The shade meeting notice came two days before Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced on Thursday that an $18.7 billion settlement had been tentatively reached with BP. The settlement provides $1 billion to address approximately 400 claims filed by local governments.

According to Perry, the city’s claim is based on the premise that the oil spill negatively impacted Bradenton Beach tourism, which in turn impacted city tax revenues. daMore...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPart I: Climate change and fishing

You would have to be an ostrich to not have at least a cursory understanding of climate change. The subject is everywhere on the Internet and the air waves, but I seldom hear the subject raised by anglers on the docks or on the water. That’s surprising, considering the implications for Florida, a state that’s dead center in the bull’s eye of an uncertain future.

Burning fossil fuels – mostly oil, natural gas and coal – is the driving force behind global warming. While some still question the science, a vast majority of scientists have displayed a direct relationship between carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases being released due to human activities and the subsequent increase in average surface temperatures around the world. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the amount of carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere has increased faster than any other time in the past 650,000 years, and possibly as long as 20 million years. More...

real estate

May may be the month

There are good months of the year, and there are bad months of the year. The good weather months in Florida are from November through April. At least that’s what the tourists and seasonal residents think. But Florida realtors think the month of May is the best Florida month because that’s the month when the buyers who spent the season house hunting finally closed on the properties they fell in love with.

May of this year in Manatee County continued the upward trend in both number of sales and sale price compared to last year. The average sale price for single family homes this May was $328,724 compared to $286,545 last year, an increase of 14.7 percent. The number of closed sales was also up 10.6 percent from last May. But the number that will keep this trend moving along is the number of active listings on the market, which is down 10.4 percent from last May creating a shortage of inventory and a seller’s market. More...


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 StoryThe curse of the first strikes again: Top teams in basketball and soccer fall

Legend has it that the #1 seeded team in adult sports at the Anna Maria Island Community Center will struggle to win the season championship. Last week’s games in basketball and soccer continue to enforce the reality of the legend.

On Tuesday, July 1, #2 seed Team Mickan handedly defeated #1 seed Gator Squad. Team Mickan’s Antwaun Jackson score 15 valuable points. In an effort to lead the top team to the win, the Gator Squad’s Brandon Osmond scored three three-points and a total of 13 points. Team Captain Jason Mickan was the high scorer of the game, putting 16 points on the scoreboard, including four three-point shots to help his team capture the victory with a final score of 60-50. The final closeout of the basketball season will be on July 15 at 6:30 p.m. with a three-point and slam dunk contest. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNew decals out for turtles, manatees

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...