Vol. 15 No. 49 - October 7, 2015


The path to candidacy

ANNA MARIA – The opening statements provided at last week’s Anna Maria Commission candidate’s forum provides a glimpse at who the candidates are, what they’ve accomplished and what drives them to seek public office.

During her opening remarks, Carol Carter, seeking a second term in office, noted previous service on the Planning and Zoning Board and first term commission results accomplished by working with a results-oriented mayor; which included passing the vacation rental ordinance. She said she chaired a committee to investigate new revenue generating initiatives, and she is a strong proponent of protecting green spaces, turtles and shorebirds.

“In 2015, $28.5 million is the estimated rental revenue from 661 parcels operating in the city, generating a 1,000 percent increase in the bed tax in just nine years. Not a dollar of this benefitted our city. I represent you for the peaceful enjoyment of your homes,” she concluded. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryForum focuses on Ward 3 race

BRADENTON BEACH – Incumbent Ward 3 commissioner Janie Robertson and challenger Ralph Cole faced off in a candidates’ forum last Tuesday night.

Moderated by League of Women Voters President Rosalie Shaffer, the forum took place at city hall. Mayor Jack Clarke and challenger Bill Shearon did not participate.

During opening statements, Cole, the owner of Coastal Watersports, said he has had a home and business in the city for 30 years.

“Over the past two years, our city has lost its way. The voters deserve a choice; I am giving you a choice. The system of government we have in place has worked well, from Mayor Connick to Mayor Clarke. My favorite, because he was my father, was Mayor Cole. He understood the chain of command and has given me a wealth of knowledge. He encouraged me to run. We need some positive thinking. I love Bradenton Beach and it has come a long way. We can’t turn back the wheels of progress, but we can manage our future,” Cole said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBoard puts brakes on speed limit discussion

HOLMES BEACH – When Commissioner Jean Peelen attempted to generate discussion on the controversial 25 mph speed limit, she was met with silence from her fellow commissioners.

The 25 mph speed limit was put in place in the area of the elementary school without public notice or input and has caused continued complaints by citizens. Peelen said she has been inundated with complaints.

“My issue is the way it was done and having said we goofed up, we can’t say, ‘We did it, so let’s go on.’ We did screw up. We don’t have a good stated reason to lower the speed limit there. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCenter café clicks

ANNA MARIA – Ever wished you could get a healthy juice drink, salad or light breakfast after that yoga or Tai Chi class at the Community Center?

Well now you can thanks to the Traveling Gourmet, aka Molly O’Connor, who took over the Center’s kitchen recently and opened the Center Café to the delight of members and guests.

“I met with Kristin (Executive Director Kristin Lessig) to see if I could lease the industrial space for my business,” O’Connor explained. “She asked if I could take over the concessions. We discussed it and decided we wanted to make it more of a café. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCenter’s new fitness equipment raises questions

ANNA MARIA – Once again, the community is buzzing about fitness equipment installed on the second floor of the Community Center.

The equipment, donated by board member Shawn Kaleta, is in the area that residents had understood was to be an open area for yoga, stretching and floor exercise.

As stated by Jim Froeschle, treasurer of the Community Center’s board of directors, in a June meeting with Holmes Beach city commissioners, “The intent is to have an open area that we can be flexible in how we use it. It’s a multi-use, open, flexible concept.” More...

Red tags raise red flags

HOLMES BEACH – At the City Commission meeting on Sept. 22, commissioners said they would like to have penalties for those who repeatedly receive stop work orders.

The issue came up during a discussion of the new permit and fee schedule when Commissioner Carol Soustek asked the building official if he is satisfied with the stop work order fees.

Building Official Jim McGuinness said he is and added, “There was no fee before and now there is one.”

According the schedule, the fee for the first issuance of a stop work order is $500, the second within 12 months of the first, not job specific, is $1,000, the third within 12 months of the first, not job specific, is $2,000. More...

Board could say ‘I don’t’ to back yard weddings

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners expressed concerns about rental homes being advertised as wedding venues after Commissioner Jean Peelen said she saw an advertisement on the Internet for a house at 5601 Flotilla Drive.

The ad states, “This 10,000 sq. ft. under roof villa has everything you could possible (sic) want or within minutes. (It’s the) Perfect location for a wedding or celebration. Seven bedrooms with three king-size beds, two queen, four twins and a double bed has more than enough to house your family and friends for the vacation of a lifetime,” and it boasts parking for 18 cars.

“I wrote to our code enforcement officer and I don’t know the status of that,” Peelen said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBrett Pollock honored with Career Service Award

West Manatee Fire Rescue District Deputy Chief Brett Pollock was presented with the Congressional Career Service Award on Oct. 5. Pollock received the award from United States Congressman Vern Buchanan during the 2015 Florida 16th Congressional District Fire and EMS Awards ceremony held in Sarasota.

Pollock began his career with Westside Fire District as a volunteer firefighter in 1980 and was hired as a career firefighter in 1983. He progressed through the ranks including engineer, lieutenant, captain, district chief, and battalion chief to his present rank of deputy chief. During this time, Pollock became involved in the National Fallen Firefighters Program, “Courage to Be Safe,” and held the position of regional coordinator. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryForum comments questioned

BRADENTON BEACH – Comments Commissioner Janie Robertson made during last week’s candidates’ forum have drawn reaction from two local business owners.

During the Sept. 29 forum and again at the Oct. 1 City Commission meeting, Robertson voiced concerns about commercial vessels using the city-owned floating day dock adjacent to the Historic Bridge Street Pier.

Her concerns were prompted by an e-mail Jimmy Hopkins sent to the city on Sept. 21. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFall is in the air

I know that fall can’t be far away. My wife just opened the windows and doors, even though to my mind it’s still a bit humid. The golden lining is the coming cooler weather and some of the season’s best fishing. As fronts start to pass through the area and water temperatures drop, schools of bait migrate inshore with pelagic species like kingfish, Spanish mackerel, false albacore, cobia and triple tail.

Now is a great time to prepare for the fall season, getting tackle in order and keeping an eye to the sky for diving birds and on the water for breaking fish. Fortunately, all of these species can be found right off our Gulf beaches and some enter the bays. All of these species will take live bait, lures or flies and can be caught on spinning, bait casting or fly tackle. With the exception of king mackerel and cobia, most are able to be landed with light tackle, which adds to the excitement. More...

real estate

Does your homeowners insurance really insure you?

Having insurance can definitely insure your peace of mind, or can it? What if you don’t have enough insurance or are you over insured. Sometimes figuring out the answer to these questions isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Basically you need enough insurance to cover the structure of your home, your personal possessions, the cost of additional living expenses if your home is damaged and you have to live elsewhere during repairs and your liability to others.

In addition to this, snce for most people their home is their biggest asset, you want to make sure you have it adequately insured in the event of a partial or complete loss. Mortgage lenders require all borrowers to get homeowners' insurance before the property closes. Some banks require you to buy homeowners' insurance to cover the amount of the mortgage, but this figure will unlikely cover the cost to rebuild. What you should do is insure for the replacement value of the home, not the value of the mortgage. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Does your policy suit your needs?

Investment Corner

Many individuals and families own life insurance or related products like variable annuities, which have accumulated a significant cash value in the investment portion of the policy. Due to a variety of factors, these individuals may find themselves in circumstances where the specific life insurance policy or annuity contract they own no longer suits their needs, or perhaps there is a newer type of insurance product that may be better for their situation. They may want to exchange products without incurring a taxable event.

That’s where Section 1035 of the Internal Revenue Code comes into play. A 1035 exchange provides a means for exchanging an annuity contract or life insurance policy without being treated as if it had been surrendered or sold. Keep in mind that a 1035 exchange can be used only when it involves the same contract or policy holder. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLittle feet on the field: Youth soccer underway at AMICC

For years the Anna Maria Island Community Center has brought kids of all ages on the soccer field for the fall sports season. Recreational sports at the Community Center has always been about learning the game, loving the game and learning to win and lose the game. For many, the next generation of Island players came out to play last week.

Tryouts at the Center Wednesday saw the youngest youths take the field with Youth Sports Manager Ray Gardner running, kicking and laughing. The 3- to 5-year-old instructional division had more than 20 kids register to play on the little pitch. Gardner walked players through listening drills using their knowledge of colors. The kids showed their fancy footwork, dribbling the ball around the field, while volunteer parent coaches watched on the sidelines. In the perfect spirit of the recreational sports atmosphere at the Center, the coaches drafted their teams, striving for parity and fun. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryGreen turtles nests on AMI

ANNA MARIA – Just when they thought that sea turtles had finished nesting for the year, a new, rare, nest was discovered by Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring volunteer Susan Anderson on Monday morning.

The green sea turtle nest, only the third since the start of turtle season on May 1, brings the Island’s total for the year up to 356, closing in on 2013’s record year of 369 nests; the others are loggerhead nests. Green turtles in Florida nest mostly on the southeast coast, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. More...