Vol. 15 No. 50 - October 14, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTwister hits Skyway

TAMPA BAY – Sunday morning, Jeannie Bystrom, Ally Titsworth, Matt Dwyer and Ben Stasurak left Holmes Beach by boat, planning on spending the day rescuing pelicans. In a strange turn of events, they also wound up rescuing U.S. mail that had flown out of a semi-trailer that had been struck by a waterspout while on the Skyway Bridge.

The tractor-trailer was northbound on I-275 on a lower portion of bridge when the waterspout struck between 9:45 and 10 a.m. The trailer was heavily damaged, but its driver, Randall Leaver, suffered only minor bruises.

“We we’re out there rescuing pelicans. It was crazy,” Bystrom said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryWaterline to break ground Thursday

HOLMES BEACH – Dignitaries will gather on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 9:30 a.m. to break ground on Mainsail Lodging and Development’s new Waterline Marina Resort at 5325 Marina Drive, near the intersection of Marina and Gulf drives.

The ceremony, which is invitation-only, will featuring local officials and development partners speaking about the project, as well as entertainment and refreshments. The ceremony will include comments by Joe Collier, president of Mainsail Lodging and Development; Holmes Beach Mayor Bob Johnson; Chiles Group owner Ed Chiles; Dr. Michael P. Crosby, president and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium; Elliott Falcione, executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Deborah Wing, president of the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce. More...

Employees rebut campaign letters

BRADENTON BEACH – City commission candidates Bill Shearon and Janie Robertson recently unveiled campaign letters that prompted individual and collective responses from several city employees. Identified as paid political advertisements approved by the candidates, both letters are particularly critical of Mayor Jack Clarke and City Clerk Terri Sanclemente and have begun to arrive in the mailboxes of city voters.

Shearon is trying to regain the mayor’s seat he lost to Clarke in May. Robertson is trying to retain the ward 3 seat she current holds, facing a challenge from first-time candidate Ralph Cole, whom she never mentioned in her letter.

“While I am asking you to return me to commission, most importantly I am asking you to return Bill Shearon as our mayor,” Robertson’s letter says. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBayfest activities at Roser

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...

Enjoy the festival this Saturday

Pine Avenue in Anna Maria will be center stage for live music, food, arts, crafts and a classic car show at the 15th Annual BayFest on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Pine Avenue will be closed off to traffic during the free festival to make room for vendors offering one-of-a-kind gift items, jewelry, local artists’ works, collectable items, T-shirts, island crafts, gifts and more.

Music begins at 10 a.m. with emcee Mike Sales, followed by Can’t Turn Left from 11 a.m. to noon, Billy Rice from 1-2:30 p.m., Whiskey Blind from 3-5 p.m., Koko Ray from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and Shotgun Justice (The Karen and Jimmy Band) from 8-10 p.m. More...

Mayoral candidates share their views

First of two parts

BRADENTON BEACH – Mayor Jack Clarke and former Mayor Bill Shearon did not participate in the recent candidates’ forum, but they each agreed to answer the following questions submitted by The Sun. The candidates for the two-year mayor’s term that will be decided in the city elections that conclude on Tuesday, Nov. 3, were provided with the same questions and given a week to respond in writing. Their responses are being printed verbatim, other than being edited for length.

When city voters cast their votes, why should they vote for you instead of your opponent?

CLARKE: I have provided an effective and cohesive work environment for city employees. Employees who did not see the value in my approach are now former employees by resignation or termination.

I have stepped up and faced long ignored items such as the BP oil spill money and addressing the anchorage situation. Stormwater projects are back on line, we are truly lawsuit free and legal bills have plummeted.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHost of events planned for artsHOP weekend

THE ISLAND – Island arts and culture groups are finalizing plans for the 2015 artsHOP celebration, which ushers in the Island’s arts and culture season.

Two events are set to kick off the weekend on Friday, Nov. 13. Art galleries and shops in Anna Maria and Holmes Beach will host an Artwalk showcasing various artists and offering refreshments, prizes and live music from 5 to 8 p.m.

The same night, the Island Players in Anna Maria will hold a special performance of “Radio Ridiculous,” by Rich Orloff, at 8 p.m. There is general admission seating and tickets are $20 each. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNew market manager

The seasonal Bridge Street Sunday Market will have a new manager when it resumes operations next month. Cindy Thompson is taking over for Melissa Enders, who managed the market for the past four years.

“I will miss my market family, but I’m still very involved with Bridge Street,” Enders said in a recent press release distributed by the not-for-profit Bridge Street Merchants association that hosts the weekly market.

“Events are what I really love to do most,” Thompson added. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryMuseum gets a make over

ANNA MARIA – What’s old is new again at the newly-renovated Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum.

Located in the Historical Park at 402 Pine Avenue in Anna Maria, the museum reopened to visitors Tuesday morning. A grand opening will take place in November.

Last week, Historical Society President Maureen McCormick provided a tour of the renovations that took place after the museum was temporarily closed in September.

When asked what’s new, McCormick said, “Everything. What was once a thing of panel boards and cases is now a wide open space. We have a much better flow and we tell the story of the Island in a chronological manner now. We have a new color-coded timeline that tells the story of the three cities, juxtaposed against national events too.” More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTripletail a triple treat

As we were leaving the dock at Ken Thompson Park last week, the sun was just making its first impression on the eastern horizon, painting the silhouette of Sarasota’s expanding skyline in beautiful shades of pink and purple. Captain Rick Grassett and I were headed south towards Big Pass to scout the Gulf waters off Sarasota for false albacore and Spanish mackerel.

As we cleared New Pass and headed into the Gulf, the signs looked good as schools of bait were beginning to appear on the surface and a number of birds were in the air. We headed south towards Casey Key where there had been reports of false albacore and Spanish mackerel working schools of bait just off the beach. We were early but hoped to be in position when any action started. More...

real estate

First time home buyers fading fast

Once upon a time, there was the American dream of home ownership. The story went something like this: You graduated high school and college, landed a good job in a field you loved, met the person of your dreams, got married, had 2.5 children and somewhere along that timeline bought a home. But has that dream turned into a nightmare?

A National Association of Realtors’ survey conducted in July reported that first time home buyers made up the smallest share of U.S. buyers in nearly 30 years. According to the NAR report, about 33 percent of home buyers were first time purchasers during the 12-month period ending in June. That percentage is down from 38 percent from the year earlier and down from 40 percent, which has been the historical norm. Also, more than 30 percent of the first time home buyers had incomes in the $45,000 to $75,000 range, leaving those in lower income levels struggling. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHome True Value Hardware a true Island business

Home True Value Hardware has been truly an Island business, serving customers for more than 60 years in the same location in the Island Shopping Center and under the ownership of Tony Caminite for the past 40 years.

“I often thought our motto should be, 'The need to satisfy the customer,' Caminite said, “because it’s all centered around Islanders and their needs.”

Caminite said the store’s first owner was a man named Mr. Dickey, who sold the business to Ernie Bradow, who in turn sold it to him. 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 StoryBack on the field again: Fall youth soccer kicks off

Despite the new branding of the Island’s Community Center, some things do not change. With the fall breeze sweeping over the field, two youth recreational soccer teams took the field on Oct. 5 as the sun began to make its decent. The 8- to10-year-old league pitted two well-matched teams against each other: Miller Electric coached by David Johnston and The Feast coached by Chris Culhane.

The game started with Josie Alderson in the goal for The Feast and the kick off by Kiera Johnston for Miller Electric. With strong defense by both teams, Miller Electric’s goalie, Anthony Nguyen, kept the ball out of the goal for the entire first half of the game. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTurtle Watch volunteers, it was a very good year

HOLMES BEACH – With only three sea turtle nests remaining to hatch on Anna Maria Island this season, volunteers were gratefully acknowledged for their contributions in saving the threatened species at the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring awards luncheon at CrossPointe Fellowship on Saturday.

From beach walkers who record statistics on sea turtle nesting and hatching to their coordinators, Debbie Basilius, Kathy Doddridge, Pete and Emily Gross, Maureen McCormick, John Schimkaitis and Marv and Lee Zerkel, to people who paint stakes that mark the nests to photographers who donated their work to a notecard project to benefit the non-profit organization, Turtle Watchers were treated to a luncheon topped off with turtle cupcakes, a silent auction and an update on the season, which ends on Halloween. More...