Vol. 15 No. 37 - July 15, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCommittee tries to jump start permit parking

HOLMES BEACH – While Mayor Bob Johnson urged moderation to address parking issues in certain neighborhoods, Island Congestion Committee members remained adamant that they want permit parking for residents only on those streets.

The two test areas in which members are seeking to ban parking except for residents with permits are called Phase I and include White Avenue to 78th Street and 43rd to 52nd streets east of Gulf Drive.

Chair Jayne Christensen said the committee’s four goals are to:

• Create safety on their streets and sidewalks;
• Promote residential living;
• Reduce the number of signs in their neighborhoods;
• Reduce traffic in their neighborhoods. More...

AMI businesses asked to check surveillance videos

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking Anna Maria Island businesses to check surveillance videos to assist in the investigation into the death of three black skimmer chicks and damage done to five loggerhead sea turtle nests last month.

Of eight businesses and homeowners surveyed by The Sun after the incident, only one, Wicked Taco Cantina, found a video with something looking like the suspects, although police said it was little help.

Witnesses said a white man and white woman in their late 20s were laughing and aiming at the staked turtle nests while riding a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with a single headlight and knobby tires around 10:30 p.m. on June 27 near the Bradenton Beach/Holmes Beach line. More...

Pier bids opened

BRADENTON BEACH – City officials got their first look at the pier lease proposals Friday afternoon and now have to determine which of the four restaurant proposals is most desirable and advantageous to the city.

Mayor Jack Clarke and Commissioners Janie Robertson and John Shaughnessy were on hand when the bids were opened by City Clerk Terri Sanclemente shortly after 2 p.m.

The Pier Team advisory board, led by Police Chief Sam Speciale, then began evaluating the proposals before making a preliminary recommendation to the City Commission during Tuesday’s commission workshop, at which commissioners will delve deeper into the proposals.

“The city of Bradenton Beach received completed RFP submissions from five extremely qualified candidates,” Clarke said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryOil spill funds trickle in

BRADENTON BEACH – The city will receive $210,797 from the $18.7 billion BP settlement to compensate for damages caused by the Deepwater Horizon explosion that gushed oil into the Gulf of Mexico from April through July 2010.

Mayor Jack Clarke announced the amount at last week’s commission meeting. The city originally sought $443,607; the settlement was $333,783 less attorney fees of $111,260 and expenses of $11,726. More...

Stormwater bill causes flood of calls

BRADENTON BEACH – Residents flooded city hall with phone calls last week when they opened their mail to find stormwater utility bills that were higher for some and that some had never before owed.

A letter from Mayor Jack Clarke, enclosed with the bills, explained that a new, more equitable computation method was used to calculate the rate of $4.40 per 100 square feet of site acreage.

“That means some folks will pay a little more and some folks will pay somewhat less,” he wrote.

But the new method hikes bills for some single family homeowners, and requires individual condominium owners, whose associations had previously paid stormwater bills, to pay the bills themselves for the first time. More...

Rental ordinance progresses

ANNA MARIA – The City Commission reviewed amendments to the vacation rental ordinance last Thursday and after a lengthy review, gave its approval. At City Attorney Becky Vose’s urging, the draft ordinance will go before the Planning and Zoning Board for its review – a “belt and suspenders thing,” according to Vose.

The amendments include requiring bedrooms to meet the Florida Fire Code and Florida Life Safety Code to the definition of a bedroom. That would mean an exterior window and other safety considerations.

The commission also agreed to change one provision that would have pulled a rental agent’s license for one year for three violations of any kind. That was deemed excessive and, instead, the three violations will have to be on the same property, or 10 total violations on all properties. More...

City adopts new moratorium

ANNA MARIA – By a 4-1 margin, the City Commission passed a new moratorium on permits for houses with four or more bedrooms, which differs from the one currently in effect on three or more bedrooms. The new moratorium also will spell out more clearly what the city will review, according to City Attorney Becky Vose.

Commissioner Dale Woodland voted against the moratorium because he believes it is unnecessary. He feels the commission has been dragging its feet and although the new moratorium has a six-month life, he feels the city should work quickly to end it.

The commissioners agreed to a workshop in two weeks.

The commission also passed an ordinance that approves using electronic devices such as a speaker phone, Skype, Face Time or other programs to allow a commissioner to be somewhere besides city hall and still participate in the meeting. Other governments have similar arrangements. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLibrarian heads west

Monica Songy has enjoyed the past 7 1/2 years at the Island Branch Library, but the other end of the country calls.

Songy said she and her husband are joining her friends and family, who are headed for the cloudy and rainy Seattle area.

“I’m from New England and the wind and rain won’t bother me in Washington,” she said. “My son is still small and he’ll like to play outside more than here, where it’s hot.”

Songy said it’s more like a rain forest in the Puget Sound area and the winters are moderate. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHappy birthday Snooty!

It’s official – Snooty is the The Oldest Manatee in Captivity according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

They know that because he was born in captivity on July 21, 1948, at the old Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company before moving to Bradenton in 1949.

He turns 67 this year and his birthday will be celebrated during Snooty’s 67th Birthday Bash and Wildlife Festival on July 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors will be able to see Snooty in the Spanish Courtyard’s underwater viewing area for free during the party.

It is widely believed that Snooty is the oldest Florida manatee in the world. Manatee ages can only be determined after a necropsy by examining their ear bones. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the oldest wild Florida manatee was 59 years old, with the next oldest having reached 48 years of age. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPart 2: climate change and fishing

When you consider climate change and the possible consequences to our fishery (not to mention our Island lifestyle) the issue takes on a much more personal nature. This portends a very different outlook for our children and future generations of anglers.

In 2008, the Florida Legislature, under then Gov. Charlie Christ, unanimously passed comprehensive energy and economic development legislation and created the Florida Energy and Climate Commission to serve as the primary organization for state energy and climate change programs and policies.

Under the policies of now Gov. Rick Scott, the urgency has evaporated to the point that it has been reported that the governor decreed that employees from the Department of Health, Department of Transportation and South Florida Water Management District refrain from using the terms climate change and global warming. Scott denies the allegations. During his tenure, Scott has largely dodged questions about climate change using the refrain, “I’m not a scientist.” More...

real estate

Entitled to title insurance

The definition of entitled is believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. That doesn’t exactly define the need for title insurance when purchasing a property. Title insurance is something you have to purchase, you’re not entitled to it, however, it’s something that you definitely deserve.

Title insurance has been around in the United States since 1876. Prior to this buyers bore sole responsibility for ensuring the validity of the land they were purchasing, Thankfully, that is no longer the case. Before a sale is completed, which is contingent on obtaining a mortgage, a lender will require that title insurance is purchased in order to guarantee that the title is free and clean. Essentially they want assurance that there are no delinquent taxes, unpaid liens, undisclosed heirs or property line disputes. This is achieved by the title company searching public records and verifying to the bank that their money is secure. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Part II: How much is enough?

Investment Corner

In the first part of this article two weeks ago, I reviewed the beginning of the process for determining the amount of investment capital necessary to create sufficient retirement income to support the lifestyle you desire when your working days are over.

The process is not complicated, but should be calculated as opposed to guessing. First, determine how much income would afford you the desired lifestyle in retirement. For most, according to surveys, this is about 70 to 80 percent of their pre-retirement income. Then subtract any guaranteed sources of income you will receive in the form of pensions and Social Security. The difference is what you will need to generate from your investment portfolio.

This is where the variables and unknowns have to be accounted for, with at least some educated guesses. For example, we won't know what the rate of return on our portfolio will be over the course of a 20- to 30-year retirement unless we were to put our entire portfolio in a guaranteed investment like a government bond or annuity. These guaranteed investments generally provide lower returns than may be obtained over time in other investments like stocks or real estate. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySoccer makes the Center cheer

Last week, the fast paced summer sport of indoor soccer started play at the Anna Maria Island Community Center for the area youth. Twelve teams, four age groups, and nearly 100 kids are transforming the Center gymnasium into an indoor soccer arena for seven weeks of action.

Meanwhile, the surviving four adult soccer teams played the semi-final match ups Thursday night, taking one step closer to the championship game on Thursday, July 16. In the first game of the week, #2 seed Sato Real Estate Team powwowder faced #3 seed LaPensee Team Lion. After a close first half, Sato Real Estate overtook LaPensee with a final score of 8-2 to clinch the first championship seat. 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...