Vol. 15 No. 44 - September 2, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBowlers hit sweet spot for Center

BRADENTON – Bowlers found their strike groove this weekend at the AMF Lanes on Cortez Road and turned the inaugural LaPensee Plumbing, Pools and Air Bowling Tournament into an unparalleled success to benefit the Island Community Center.

According the Center’s Wende Webb, about 170 bowlers participated in the long-running tournament formerly known as the O’Connor Bowling Challenge.

“Everybody had fun and there were a lot of new people and young people this year,” Webb said. More...

Commission discusses vacation rental certificate

HOLMES BEACH – City commissioners took their first pass at a draft list of information and supporting documentation needed for a vacation rental certificate (VRC) at last week’s meeting.

However, prior to the discussion, Human Resources Analyst Mary Buonagura asked commissioners why they are requiring a VRC.

“It gives us a solid and sound foundation of the activities within that part of our community and gives them straight guidelines,” Commissioner Carol Soustek said. “It’s an attempt to bring clarification in that industry as to what the city wants them to do.” More...

Citizens request moratorium

BRADENTON BEACH – Bradenton Beach may soon join the other Island cities in enacting a building moratorium aimed at slowing the proliferation of large vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods.

Citizen requests made during the Aug. 20 city commission meeting led to two moratorium-related items being placed on the agenda for the Thursday, Sept. 3 commission meeting.

The agenda call for discussion only on “Rental Restrictions and Building Community” and the appointment of a citizens’ panel to address vacation rentals. Thursday’s meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and will allow for public comment on this issue. More...

Chief justifies 25 mph speed limit

HOLMES BEACH – After a commissioner and several residents questioned why the city recently lowered the speed limit in the vicinity of Anna Maria Elementary School, Police Chief Bill Tokajer issued a memo to explain the action.

The speed limit was lowered from 35 mph to 25 mph to coincide with the start of school. The lower limit begins at the Manatee Beach and continues to the Island Branch Library.

Tokajer said the chart shown on this page shows that “the majority of vehicles traveling in this area already travel between 20 and 30 mph with only approximately 1 percent of vehicles travel at or above the 35 mph posted speed limit. More...

Building permit fees to increase

HOLMES BEACH – In a consensus, city commissioners at last week’s meeting agreed to increase building permit fees 50 to 60 percent.

During a budget discussion in July, Mayor Bob Johnson told commissioners that the building department costs nearly twice as much as the revenue it generates, and he planned to increase building department fees.

He said the current fee schedule was established in 1998 and generates about $500,000 a year and noted, “If we leave it, we have a hole. We need to close that gap.” More...

Development ordinances discussed

ANNA MARIA – City commissioners have directed City Planner Alan Garrett to continue working on new ordinances related to the building moratorium adopted last September.

These actions took place during Thursday’s City Commission work session, which followed the commission’s regular meeting.

The commission reached consensus that Garrett should draft an ordinance that would require a property owner to have a city-approved building permit before being issued a permit to clear a lot or demolish an existing structure. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySea grape cutting case concludes

HOLMES BEACH – City Attorney Patricia Petruff reported that Jose Vivero has signed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s consent order regarding illegal sea grape trimming in the 4300 block of Second Avenue.

In addition, he has agreed to a pre-trial agreement with Assistant State Attorney Heather Doyle, and Petruff asked the commission to allow Mayor Bob Johnson to execute the agreement with Doyle.

The DEP order

The DEP order includes the following:

• Vivero must hire a certified arborist and submit a detailed management plan of the affected area to the DEP. The area shall be under the management of the arborist for a minimum of one year. More...

Building moratorium ordinance passes first reading

HOLMES BEACH – City commissioners straightened out a glitch in the building moratorium ordinance that would have made it difficult for people that currently have four bedrooms or more to add on to their homes.

The ordinance to end the moratorium calls for a maximum of four bedrooms in single-family homes and two per side in duplexes in the R-2, R-3 and R-4 zoning districts.

The ordinance also establishes the non-conforming status of existing single-family dwelling units with more than four bedrooms and individual dwelling units with more than three bedrooms in duplex structures. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryShoreline access to be restricted

BRADENTON BEACH – Manatee County officials are enacting a no entry zone for kayakers, canoers, jet-skiers, swimmers and others south of the South Coquina Boat Ramp, between the boat ramp and the entrance to Longboat Pass.

The no entry zone that prohibits swimming, wading and other forms of entry on the Gulf side along Coquina Beach and the pass will be extended around the bayside and up to the south boat ramp.

The county hopes to have this in effect and under enforcement during the Labor Day weekend, depending on when the new signs can be manufactured and installed.

In order to discourage park-like activities in that area, the picnic pavilion, tables and grills will be removed and later relocated across the street. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAnnual scallop search a big hit with community

Sarasota Bay Watch held its annual scallop search out of the Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant on Saturday Aug. 29. This event grows in popularity each year, and registration closed a record three weeks before the event. Although there were a few less live scallops found this year, 31 versus 40 last year, there were some very encouraging signs.

The live scallops that were found were the largest to date (a later search date this year) and snorkelers found 220 recently dead scallops. The dead ones were also very large and clean, as evidenced by the fact that they had very few barnacles on them. There have also been many reports of very recent sightings of scallops that are now dead. Many of these shells were brought in for viewing and verification by local experts. There is a good chance that these scallops are dead because they recently spawned. More...

real estate

What will the federal reserve do next?

As if there isn’t enough volatility in our lives with the stock market in hysterics, the presidential race in full swing and not to mention never ending international problems, now we have to try and understand what the impact of Federal Reserve policy will have on our life. Well, as it turns out, not that much at least not yet.

Although the Federal Reserve hasn’t announced exactly when or by how much rates will rise, Chairwoman Janet Yellin has said that the jump will likely be at a slower pace than in previous economic recoveries. Considering that this has been the slowest economic recovery since the end of World War II, Yellin’s observation is a bit of an understatement. In fact, based on what’s been going on with the stock market recently the smart financial suits are betting that there won’t be an increase any time soon. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Important birthdays over 50

Investment Corner

Most children stop being “and-a-half” somewhere around age 12. Kids like to add and-a-half to make sure everyone knows they’re closer to the next age than the last. When you are older, and-a-half birthdays start making a comeback. In fact, starting at age 50, several birthdays and half-birthdays are critical to understand because they have implications regarding your retirement income.

Age 50

At age 50, workers in certain qualified retirement plans are able to begin making annual catch-up contributions in addition to their normal contributions. Those who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans can contribute an additional $6,000 per year in 2015. Those who participate in Simple IRA or Simple 401(k) plans can make a catch-up contribution of up to $3,000 in 2015. And those who participate in traditional IRAs can set aside an additional $1,000 a year. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAMICC Super Bowl champions electrify the field: Miller Electric Lions defeat Tyler’s Ice Cream Vikings

The compressed summer adult flag football league at the Anna Maria Island Community Center challenged the players mentally and physically. Playing twice a week in the summer heat through regular season play was just the warm up for the playoffs. On Wednesday night, the two semi-final games and the Super Bowl were all played in a matter of three hours. The endurance, mental fitness and physical prowess of each player on Miller Electric Lions and Tyler’s Ice Cream Vikings were tested.

In a defensive battle during the first half of the championship game, the Vikings came out with a first down on the first play of the game by CJ Moore. But the Vikings run was soon stopped when Craig Doher of the Lions intercepted the second pass of the game by quarterback Rob Manderine. More...


Comment on green turtles

Public comment is welcome by Friday, Sept. 25 on a proposal by NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reclassify the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) into 11 distinct population segments under the Endangered Species Act.

Green sea turtles occasionally nest on Anna Maria Island. The species is currently listed as threatened globally, with the exception of the Florida and Mexican Pacific coast breeding populations, which are listed as endangered.

The proposal would remove the current listings and instead list eight distinct population segments as threatened and three as endangered. More...