Vol. 16 No. 1 - November 4, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySpooktacular Halloween

The ghosts were out again last Friday haunting the businesses in all three cities after competing in a costume contest at the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Trail of Treats. There was no lack of imagination by the parents and/or children as they made a pretty scary entourage. The Holmes Beach Police Department and AMI Privateers were out in force to guaranty the safety of the little ones.


Carleton pleads guilty to mail fraud

TAMPA – The man accused of defrauding more than 70 potential vacation home renters has changed his plea from innocent to guilty on one count of mail fraud.

U. S. District Judge Julie Sneed ordered a pre-sentence investigation and a sentencing schedule. Carleton could get up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and a special assessment of $100.

Carleton will remain in custody until sentencing. He applied for permission to travel to a boat show in Hallandale Beach, Fla., for professional purposes from Nov. 4 to 10. He is on supervised release and limited to the middle district of Florida. More...

Tree house appeal denied by court

HOLMES BEACH – Code Enforcement Board Attorney Jim Dye has announced that the latest appeal by tree house attorney David Levin was “deemed unauthorized” by the District Court of Appeals.

Levin filed a motion in August for a rehearing before the court regarding the tree house in front of Angelino’s Sea Lodge at 103 29th St., owned by Lynn Tran and Richard Hazen.

In his response to the motion, Dye said the request for review by the court following their appeal of a city of Holmes Beach Code Enforcement Board (CEB) order finding that the tree house was illegal. More...

Vacation rental ordinance a work in progress

HOLMES BEACH – City Commissioners took their first pass at a draft vacation rental ordinance with Human Services Analyst Mary Buonagura pointing out that it is “a working document.”

At the Oct. 29 work session, Buonagura asked for commissioners’ input on changes or additions and noted that they would have a more complete discussion when City Attorney Patricia Petruff and Building Official Jim McGuinness could be present.

“Anyone taking a first reading of this would think we mean all vacation rentals,” Commissioner Jean Peelen pointed out, “We don’t. Maybe we should use ‘short term.’”

Commissioner Carol Soustek said it is explained in the definitions. More...

Rental license fee lowered

ANNA MARIA – The previously discussed $1,000 vacation rental license fee has been reduced to $750.

During their Oct. 22 meeting, City Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution that establishes the initial vacation rental licensing fees and lowers the cost of the initial rental license by $250.

The adopted resolution also establishes a $75 fee to modify or transfer a license and $225 to have a vacation rental property re-inspected if there is a change in property owners or rental license holders.

Mayor Dan Murphy told the commission the reduced licensing fee was the result of some of the more labor intensive elements of the vacation rental ordinance being removed when the ordinance was amended in September. More...

ArtsHOP: An arts and culture weekend

THE ISLAND – The 9th annual artsHOP weekend of art and cultural events is being presented Island-wide on Friday, Nov. 13, thorough Sunday, 15, by the non profit umbrella group, Cultural Connections.

The weekend begins with an Artwalk on Friday, Nov. 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. in select galleries and shops in Anna Maria and Holmes Beach. Many artists will be present to talk about their work, and there will be refreshments, music and prizes.

The Island’s non-profit galleries will host special presentations. Island Gallery West, 5368 Gulf Drive, will feature “Poetry in Color,” with watercolors by Graceiela Giles. The Art League of Anna Maria Island will display works under the theme “Sea Life and Island Shore.” The Artists’ Guild Gallery’s theme will be “Ode to Anna Maria” with a collaboration with the AMI Privateers. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFire board approves Station 4 contract

BRADENTON – West Manatee Fire Rescue commissioners approved a contract with NDC Construction Company and financing with Hancock Bank to rebuild Fire Station 4 at 6417 3rd Ave. W. in Bradenton at a special meeting on Oct. 29.

Fire Chief Tom Sousa said he has been working for six months on costs and designs with NDC, Wannemacher Jensen Architects and Allison-Gause Engineering.

Architect Daryl Krumsieg presented a site plan and interior and exterior renderings of the site and building. He said the building would withstand a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 165 mph., and all the glass is strong enough withstand a 2 by 4 shot out of a cannon at 55 mph. More...

Fire district could develop ALS program

BRADENTON – West Manatee Fire Rescue Chief Tom Sousa talked about ways the district can improve service for taxpayers, and one suggestion is to develop an ALS (advanced life support) program with paramedics on fire engines.
At the Oct. 15 fire commission meeting, Sousa told the board, “We would need 12 to 14 firefighters to attain paramedic certification. We have two currently, so we would need 12 more.

“It will take two to three years to implement. They have to volunteer to go to school on their own time, but we will pay for it. We have eight personnel that will consider going to school. It’s a rigorous program.”

He said the cost of school and books would be $6,000 per firefighter. In addition, the district would need to purchase supplies and equipment for a total start up cost of $220,000. Matching grants, primarily for equipment, are available from the Florida Bureau of EMS. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe unique sound of Ari and the Alibis

While being on Anna Maria Island, you get a feeling of having traveled into an area untouched by time. I was taking some time off from my regular routine one evening and looking for an alibi for my escape. Well, I found myself sitting at the Freckled Fin Restaurant and Public House in Bradenton Beach. To my surprise I found Ari and the Alibis. I have to say this act brought me to another place in time. Arielleh McManus is a tall visually striking singer. She has a powerhouse voice and can navigate through a variety of genres and languages. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe king of fall

There’s nothing quite as exciting as seeing a kingfish explode on a top water plug or bait and then have the line scream off your reel as it goes into hyper drive. Although there are a number of fish that pass through local waters seasonally (spring and fall), kingfish in particular provide electrifying action to area anglers. Kings generally appear when the water temperature reaches into the low 80s when they migrate into inshore water in search of baitfish. They are very aggressive and will strike a variety of live baits, plugs, spoons, feathered jigs and flies.

In the past, kings were pursued with heavy tackle, but light tackle has become much more popular. Lighter tackle yields more hook-ups and is more exciting. A 20-pound outfit is more than adequate. Many anglers pursue kings with gear as light as 8 pounds. Kings are seldom lost to structure in the open Gulf, so the most important consideration is rigging. Kingfish hit hard and make long runs. A smooth drag is a must as well as a sharp hook and protection from their razor sharp teeth. More...

real estate

Super rich super properties

From time to time, I like to write about the over $1 million dollar properties that are becoming, if not the norm on Anna Maria, then certainly increasing at a rapid pace. But what is equally shocking is the number of incredibly pricey, luxury properties around the country with price tags never before seen.

According to Trulia, over the past year, there were more than 300 homes for sale across the country priced from $35 million to $49 million. This is an increase of 24 percent from the previous year, and these numbers are becoming more of a trend than an outlier.

In the past five quarters, at least 37 homes have sold between $30 million and $49.9 million in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. This is up 16 percent from the comparable time frame during the crazy 2007 and 2008 real estate market. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBig city style at Amanda Richards Salon

The minute you walk into Amanda Richards Salon on Manatee Avenue, you forget that you’re on the west coast of Florida with a beach just a few miles away. You may actually think you’re on the west side of Manhattan or in a SoHo loft with a trendy industrial look, sky high ceilings and clean orange and white colors flooded by great lighting. There’s even a half moon color bar where you can watch your hair designer mix and match the exact color for you.

In January 201 when Richard Pizzuto designed and opened Amanda Richards with a former partner, a high end, city look is exactly what he was after, and there is no mistake that he achieved that goal. Pizzuto declined to say how many years he’s been in the salon business, other than to say he started at 13 years old. Originally from Philadelphia, where he owned salons and spas, he relocated to Florida in 2005, bringing with him many years of training in hair cutting and color. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Where to invest now?

Investment Corner

With the stock market near an all-time high and interest rates at historic lows, is there any hope to find consistent returns without incurring too much risk? Traditionally, investors have been able to reduce the risk in their portfolios by dividing their assets between stocks and bonds, since their prices generally tend to move in opposite directions. Unfortunately for investors nearing retirement, stock prices are currently high, and bond yields are near zero.

In the last year, stock prices have become increasingly volatile and relatively expensive. A common indicator of how expensive stocks are is the price-to-earnings ratio, which divides an individual stock's price by the company's annual earnings per share. On Oct. 7, the S&P 500 price-to-earnings ratio was near 20, compared with its historical average of 14 to 16. As a result of the current high prices, investors who want to reduce risk are looking for ways to avoid putting too much of their portfolio into the stock market at this time.

Meanwhile, bond yields are at an all-time low, and the Federal Reserve decided last month to keep interest rates near zero for the short-term. Bond investors fear that with yields so low, their investments aren’t keeping up with inflation and the rising costs of healthcare. They also worry that in the future, when rates do increase, the value of their bond investments will fall. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA hard fought battle on the pitch

Four youth teams in the 11-to-13-year-old league went head-to-head with each team playing eight games leading to the first round of playoff games on Tuesday, Nov. 3. On Friday night, Wash Family Construction played Tyler’s Ice Cream showing how far the team had come during the season. Without two of its key players, Sean Rodriguez and Conal Cassidy, Team Wash fought hard and challenged the squad co-coached by Rob Alderson, owner of Tyler’s Ice Cream.

Sam Waterman started in goal for Wash Family Construction, coached by owner Darrin Wash. Ava Alderson protected her team’s net for the first half of the game. After two minutes of play, Francesco Manino scored the first goal for Tyler’s Ice Cream, dribbling the ball from mid-field before striking. More...


Turtle ‘terrorist’ case closed, unsolved

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has closed the unsolved case of who ran over and killed three black skimmer chicks, a state species of special concern, and ran over five nests, each holding up to 100 eggs of loggerhead sea turtles, a federally threatened species.

The investigation was closed because of insufficient evidence to bring charges against the unidentified person of interest in the case, FWC spokesman Gary Morse said, adding that the state attorney’s office declined to prosecute the case.

Witnesses to the June 27 incident described a laughing couple in their late 20s in a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with a single headlight around 10:30 p.m. near the Holmes Beach/Bradenton Beach line, aiming at yellow-staked turtle nests and driving over them, running over three flightless baby birds in the process.

The crimes are violations of the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act, ranging from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, carrying penalties of $500 to $1,500 in fines with jail time of 60 days to five years. More...