Vol. 16 No. 3 - November 18, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA man and his tree

BRADENTON BEACH – Drift In employee and longtime Island resident David Marshall found himself in a sticky situation Monday morning while making a point about the removal of one of his favorite Bridge Street trees.

At some point after 8 a.m., Marshall was discovered taped to the black olive tree that sits between the Drift In and the Sports Lounge. As part of his peaceful protest, Marshall told Police Chief Sam Speciale he did not want the symbolic red tape removed until he had an opportunity to address the media. The community-minded police chief then contacted The Sun via cellphone so Marshall could have his say.

At 9:09 a.m., with Speciale holding the phone for him, Marshall said, “I’m taped to a tree. I’m trying to save the tree and the birds and bees. They’re taking down trees and it makes me upset.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryRevisions concern planning board

ANNA MARIA – When reviewing the latest proposed changes to the still-evolving vacation rental ordinance, the planning and zoning board expressed concerns and did not recommend its approval.

During the Tuesday, Nov. 10 planning and zoning board meeting, City Attorney Becky Vose, City Planner Alan Garrett and the six volunteer board members spent more than an hour discussing the proposed changes city commissioners tentatively approved on Nov. 4. A second and final hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19.

“This is a greatly revised ordinance,” Vose said of an ordinance that has changed dramatically since it was last reviewed by the board in August. More...

Artist Woody Candish remembered

Woody Candish, long time resident and artist of Anna Maria Island, died Monday morning, Nov. 16.

Known for his metal sculptures, he was a multi-talented artist who could weld metal or carve wood.

Candish made the metal gate to the house that Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore and her husband, Andre Renard, own.

“It’s well known,” she said. “It is a beautiful piece of art.”

Zoe Averkamp, a former Island resident who now works in the Village of the Arts, knew Candish. She said she still has two art pieces of his and at one time had seven. She said he was very talented, although artists would have to prove their worth to him. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryArtsHOP Artwalk brings out the best

Art lovers filled the streets of Anna Maria and Holmes Beach visiting galleries and shops in the ninth annual artsHOP Artwalk. Painters gave demonstrations and artists talked about their work. Anna Maria Island Privateers delighted visitors to the Artist's Guild Gallery, and the National League of American Pen Women filled The Studio at Gulf and Pine with art, music and literary works. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryVeteran honored for his sacrifice

The third annual Community BBQ Honoring Veterans will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14 on the grounds of CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.

Veterans will be recognized at 10:50 a.m. Hear inspiring stories of battle, disability and recovery. Staff Sgt. Alex Dillmann was on a night mission when an explosion left him paralyzed. Sgt. Carl Moore was left paralyzed during a mission in Afghanistan.

Learn practical ways to honor our vets from Staff Sgt. Joe Beimfohr, who lost both legs in Iraq and Patty Durham and Linda Craig who are mothers of wounded vets. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Community gathers to support vets

ANNA MARIA ¬– A crowd of veterans and supporters filled the parking lot at CrossPointe Fellowship Saturday morning for a program to bring support for the nation’s veterans and a sense of community to the Island.

This year, the annual program took on a new mission, to support a group called Homes for our Troops, a group that provides mortgage-free homes for permanently wounded veterans.

The show was filled with music from Miceh Sendowich and Nick and Alicia Burke and from the Manatee High School Drum Line. Students from Anna Maria Elementary also performed patriotic songs.

Joe Beimfohr, who lost both legs in Iraq spoke about the need for community to help take care of veterans. He said when he moved into his house, his neighbors knew who he was and what his story was. He said neighbors helped him do things he could not do because of his injuries. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySwearing in ceremonies held

ANNA MARIA – The three recently re-elected city commissioners were sworn into office Wednesday night and Doug Copeland was selected as the new commission chair.
The swearing in ceremony began the Thursday, Nov. 12 organizational meeting.

The oath of office was administered by City Clerk Diane Percycoe, with Carol Carter going first, followed by Copeland and Dale Woodland.

Each of the three returning commissioners said, “I do solemnly swear that I will support, protect and defend the constitution and government of the United States and of the state of Florida; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the constitution of the state of Florida and the charter of the city of Anna Maria, Florida; and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of the office of city commission on which I am now about to enter, so help me God.” More...

Commission could regulate home weddings

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners discussed various ways to regulate home weddings at last week’s work session, and instructed City Attorney Patricia Petruff to draft a temporary use permit for further discussion.

The issue arose recently when commissioners expressed concerns about rental homes being advertised as wedding venues. Commissioners felt that is a commercial use in a residential area.

“In terms of regulation, I don’t want to decide what is commercial and what is not commercial,” Petruff stressed. “I would rather decide what is appropriate for any given property.” More...


Smoke is out at Bortell’s

ANNA MARIA – Bortell’s Lounge is going smokeless.

The big change will take place in conjunction with the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout this Thursday, Nov. 19.

“Wednesday night when we close up shop we’re not going to do ashtrays,” owner Steve Rose said.

Rose and his wife, Marci Wilhelm, who affectionately refer to themselves as ‘The Rosehelms,’ bought Bortell’s in March.

“We made the collective decision that we want to end smoking in the bar,” he said. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTeach-a-kid fishing clinic a big success

On Saturday, November 8, over 120 children, parents, friends and family attended Mote’s Teach-A-Kid Fishing Clinic held at the Mote Aquaculture Park. Kids from 5-16 attended and were treated to an introduction to many facets of the fishing experience including different fishing techniques, sun and water safety, and advanced fishing techniques including ethical angling which taught them proper handling and release techniques. At different stations the participants were broken up into groups where they had approximately twenty minutes of instruction. Stations also included spin casting and fly casting, fly-tying, and kayaking instruction. One of the highlights as usual was an opportunity to fish in Mote’s stocked lake. Captain Scott Moore, Captain Jonnie Walker and Captain Justin Moore assisted and reported that the fishing was a huge success.

I had the pleasure of working with the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishing Club, teaching the basics of fly casting. President Ken Babineau organized a group of members to assist and provided rods and practice flies for the participants. Many of the kids were much younger than the members had ever instructed and a few had never fished at all. More...

real estate

Another hurricane season behind us

Time sure flies when you’re having fun, and this was certainly a fun year for hurricanes or the lack thereof. But I fear that we may be letting our guard down just a little, so in an effort to bring you back to reality, let’s talk about the one thing almost everyone hates to talk about – flood insurance.

Coastal flooding isn’t necessarily tied to hurricane season. True hurricanes and tropical storms, especially accompanied by high tides, can create a serious flooding condition, but you can have flooding all year round from just several days of heavy rain, which we experienced this past summer.

Most homeowners carry flood insurance, particularly if they have a mortgage on the property, since it’s mandated by lenders. But even if your home isn’t mortgaged, flood insurance is an important thing to have in high risk zones like Anna Maria Island. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Big changes for some Social Security filers

Investment Corner

The recently enacted budget and debt ceiling deal contained significant adjustments to several rules related to filing for Social Security benefits. In an effort to decrease spending, Section 831 of the new budget slashes benefits for certain groups, especially spouses, divorced spouses, women, and families with disabled children. Some experts have estimated that the changes are equivalent to a decrease of $50,000 in lifetime benefits for many retirees. One of the most alarming changes involves suspending benefits for those already receiving payments within six months, which has never occurred before. The deal also includes an elimination of some popular claiming strategies. Here are some of the most impactful changes:

Elimination of File and Suspend Claiming

The file and suspend claiming strategy will be eliminated within six months for those who have not yet attained full retirement age. This means that benefits now being received by spouses, divorced spouses or children of the claiming party, who has suspended his/her own benefits, will be eliminated until the claiming party starts taking his/her Social Security retirement benefit. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryWest Coast edges out Miller Electric for championship

The championship game means the end of the season is near at the Center. The youth soccer season at the Center will official end with the traditional awards night on Friday, Nov. 13. Two championship games were played on the big field last Wednesday. The first game of the night saw Miller Electric, coached by David Johnston, battle against West Coast Air Conditioning and Heating, coached by Jon Coleman.

Strong defensive play by Kyle Samuels and Kiera Johnston started the game for Miller Electric. West Coast’s Jack Mattick took the ball down field before passing it to Eric McDonald for the team’s first goal just two minutes into the game.

After a handball, McDonald took the free kick, sailing the ball just past goalie Connor Allen, increasing the score for West Coast to 2-0. More...