Vol. 15 No. 39 - July 29, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryOyster Bar awarded pier lease

BRADENTON BEACH – The Anna Maria Oyster Bar is slated to return to the Island where it first began.

Last week, city commissioners unanimously agreed to award the lease for the city-owned restaurant space on the Historic Bridge Street Pier to Oyster Bar owner and company president John Horne.

Horne will now enter into contract negotiations with Mayor Jack Clarke and City Attorney Ricinda Perry, with the negotiated lease terms subject to final commission approval. If a suitable agreement cannot be reached with the Oyster Bar, the city will turn to the commission’s second choice, the Colorado-based Apeizza pizzeria group led by Rich Foresta. Proposals submitted by Bradenton Beach Marina owner Al Bazzy and a Tampa group interested in opening a sushi restaurant failed to receive final commission consideration. More...

Officials seek county infrastructure plan

LONGBOAT KEY – Island elected officials plan to ask Manatee County officials to meet with them to discuss the impact of future development in the county.

The subject was brought up at the July meeting of the officials by Anna Maria City Commissioner Doug Copeland, who pointed out, “The county has given preliminary approval for the Lake Flores project. They continue to grant plans for more and more developments with seemingly no plans for the infrastructure.

“I’m not just talking about the Island. If you drive into Bradenton or Sarasota during the season, it’s becoming almost impossible to get around. I’d like us to consider appealing to both Bradenton and the county to stop before they have a plan to deal with this traffic.” More...

Mayor seeks new judge in rental injunction

ANNA MARIA – Mayor Dan Murphy filed a motion last week to disqualify Circuit Judge John Lakin from presiding in a case where a group of rental home owners and developers filed for an injunction against a deadline imposed by the city’s vacation rental home ordinance. During a July 15 hearing, Lakin said his wife used to work for Island Real Estate and still keeps her license active with the company. Island Real Estate is one of the plaintiffs in the case because it belongs to the Anna Maria Island Vacation Property Association, a named plaintiff in the case.

Murphy and City Attorney Becky Vose met with attorneys for the plaintiffs last week, but are not discussing the case until a shade meeting on Thursday, Aug. 13, at 5 p.m. with the City Commission More...

County takes BP spill offer

In a special meeting last week, the Manatee County Commission voted unanimously to accept an offer of $1,442,091 for the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The meeting was called while commissioners were on summer recess so Commission Chair Betsy Benac and Commissioner Robin DiSabatino participated via phone to vote because they were unavailable. Commission Larry Bustle was on medical leave and did not participate. Chief Assistant County Attorney Robert Eschenfelder announced the settlement and he said the attorneys would get 20 percent of that amount and court expenses would eat up a little more. He did not have an exact figure after expenses. He said the county would receive the money in the fall.

The amount of the settlement was reached by comparing revenues before and after the spill. They multiplied that figure by two to compensate for future damages. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story‘Global settlement’ closer to completion

BRADENTON BEACH – Commissioners have tentatively approved on first reading a small scale comp plan amendment, a rezoning request and a special exception request submitted on behalf of BeachHouse restaurant owner Ed Chiles.

The approvals were granted during last week’s commission meeting, and a second and final reading is scheduled for Wednesday, August 12.

All three actions are part of the efforts to meet the remaining conditions of the “global settlement” agreement introduced by former Mayor Bill Shearon and approved by the commission in March.


Commission wades through moratorium ordinance

ANNA MARIA – City commissioners began working on issues that need to be settled before they can drop a moratorium on building permits for homes with four or more bedrooms or rooms that could be used as bedrooms.

In a work session held after their regular meeting, commissioners worked out details of what they need to change or affirm before they could lift the moratorium.

On the issue of minimum bedroom size, they discussed the need to tie the size of bedrooms to the size of the lot, but they did not finalize it and won’t until after the shade meeting at 5 p.m., on Thursday, Aug. 13. More...

Mayor seeks reduced law enforcement cost

ANNA MARIA – Mayor Dan Murphy is standing his ground after getting a bid for law enforcement services from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

“It represents a 7 percent increase, and over the last two years, it is a 10 percent increase,” Murphy said at last Thursday’s City Commission meeting.

The city of Anna Maria paid $615,543 for fiscal year 2013—2014 and the next year it increased to $641,048. The proposal for 2015-2016 is $685,626.

Murphy talked with Holmes Beach Police Chief William Tokajer, who proposed eight officers to patrol the city for more than the city as paying for the sheriff’s deputies. He said he also looked into starting a police force and it would be between $1 million and $2 million. More...

Pier inspection begins

The structural inspection of the Anna Maria City Pier was scheduled to begin July 28 and last until July 31, weather permitting.

Divers will inspect the pier’s undercarriage and each piling to assess its overall condition. CB&I and Bridge Design Associates are conducting the inspection using divers with underwater photography. Their final report will be used as a guide toward overhauling the pier, which is a popular tourist destination in Manatee County. The county is paying for half of the study and the city of Anna Maria is paying the rest.

Divers will be around and under the pier between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the four days. The pier will remain open to pedestrians during that time and fishing will be allowed on designated sections of the pier. It will be limited to the T portion of the pier for two of the four days and for the other two days, it will be allowed only on the boardwalk. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySun takes home a dozen awards

STAFF REPORT - The Sun Newspaper and its staff were recognized for excellence in journalism Friday in the 2014 Florida Press Association Better Weekly Newspaper Contest, receiving awards for efforts in news reporting; feature writing; news, feature and portfolio photography; column writing; headline writing and political cartooning.

Judges in the competition, which drew entries from weekly and daily newspapers throughout the state, commended The Sun’s entire staff for the publication’s overall general excellence, citing “well-written and researched stories,” “great photography” and well-done cartoons that “capture the mood and concept” of important local issues. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTeaching kids to fish

Most anglers can remember learning to fish. Those first experiences on the water leave indelible memories. They should be exciting and exhilarating. They can be the difference between kindling passion or disdain for the activity. The basics of fishing are not complicated to learn, are easy to teach children and don’t require expensive equipment. If there’s a cardinal rule to getting kids interested in fishing, it’s to make sure and keep them engaged. Children are naturally curious about the water world, they love to play in and on the water and are fascinated by the creatures that inhabit our bays and Gulf.

Some of my earliest memories are of fishing with my dad along the coast of North Carolina. There was something special about observing the ocean and its creatures while waiting for a fish to bite, and catching them became a lifelong addiction. Beyond the basics of how to fish, learning to handle fish gently and return them quickly to their environment is a great lesson in conservation and compassion. More...

real estate

Forgive and forget

Forgiveness isn’t often talked about when it comes to hard business decisions, but we’re starting to see a fair amount of forgiveness going on in the mortgage market. The question is will this prove to be a benefit to the marketplace or another step on the road back to slipshod financing practices?

We’re starting to see lenders who are willing to work with borrowers who have recently gone through a foreclosure, bankruptcy or other financial crisis making them ineligible for financing with big lenders. With underwriting remaining very tight, risky buyers have no place else to turn except the private mortgage market.

The loans are frequently funded by or sold to private equity firms and hedge funds that are willing to take the risk in return for higher yields. Most of these mortgages fall outside of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s qualified mortgage definition, established last year, which set strict debt to income ratios. The bureau’s regulations also set limits on loan fees and interest rates, as well as giving borrowers the ability to sue if they default claiming the lender did not adequately qualify them for the loan. Nevertheless, both lenders and borrowers are willing to assume the risks in order to get back into the housing market and turn a quick profit. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Part III: How much is enough?

Investment Corner

In Parts I & II of this series, we reviewed the process of planning for how much retirement income will need to be generated by your investment plan to supplement Social Security and pension income. We also highlighted how longer life expectancies and personal goals of retirees can create stress on a retirement income plan. If you missed Parts I & II you can read them by visiting my blog under the “About” tab at www.breitercapital.com or at the Sun’s archives at www.amisun.com

In this final segment we will review the safe withdrawal rate concept and give an example of how to calculate an appropriate retirement nest egg for your income needs. This includes the income to support your desired retirement lifestyle and leaving a legacy to your chosen heirs.

The original work on the safe withdrawal rate was done by William Bengen, a financial planner from southern California. Using historical return data on the stock and bond market including good and bad times, he concluded that a 50-50 mix of stocks and bonds could support a 30-year retirement distribution period if the initial withdrawal rate was limited to 4.2 percent, and then adjusted by 3 percent annually for inflation. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTaking the action inside: Youth indoor soccer heats up at the center

ANNA MARIA – Just as the adult recreational soccer league wraps up on the big field, the community kids speed up the game with indoor soccer at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. The youth from the Island and around the area match up weekly for of the wall action.

On Friday, two of the middle school teams took the indoor field in the third week of play. Bark & Company Realty, coached by Chris Joseph, faced Sugar Beach Digital, coached by Ken Richards, in the second game of the night. Both teams filled with talented players made for an exciting 40 minutes of play. 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...