Vol. 16 No. 8 - December 23, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA controversial work in progress

BRADENTON BEACH – The new planters, landscaping, infiltration trenches, street resurfacing and tree removal on Bridge Street has met with early criticism, but patience is being preached.

Fourteen charcoal-colored concrete planter boxes, most of which have adjoining concrete benches, have been installed along Bridge Street.

New trees, plants and other foliage have been planted in and around the boxes, including in the roundabout at the east end of the street.

Stone-surfaced stormwater infiltration trenches have been installed along the street edges and an above-ground stormwater cistern has been installed near the foot of the Historic Bridge Street Pier. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCounty responds to Spring Lake complaints

HOLMES BEACH – In response to complaints from residents, Police Chief Bill Tokajer asked county officials to respond to questions regarding Spring Lake.

In October, the spring fed lake at 68th Street and Palm and Clark drives, was polluted by spills of sewage and pool chemicals turning the water brown and killing the fish.

The sewage spill occurred on Oct. 27, when a wastewater force main broke releasing 22,000 gallons of wastewater into the lake. Manatee County Public Utilities department responded, posted warning signs around the lake and repaired the break. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA Yuletide celebration on land and sea

BRADENTON BEACH – The empty lot on Bridge Street was the center of attention Saturday night as the city’s commercial district celebrated the holidays. There was live entertainment including an impressive performance by kids from the Rowlett Kid’s Choir and the Joyful Noise Island Kid’s Choir from Roser Memorial Community Church. Kids were present in the form of a craft and cookie bazaar, where cookies and homemade decorations were sold. The hot chocolate bar proved to be a popular stop, thanks to the temperatures that made wearing a coat bearable for the first time since last winter. There were also auctions and raffles.

One of the most intriguing performances was from the Powel Crosley Dickens Carolers, who gave an old-fashioned touch on the holiday. Russ Adams and Brandi emceed the music and added their own between the acts. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDeveloper discusses Peninsula Bay proposal

CORTEZ – Whiting Preston and two members of his development team sat down last week to discuss their recently unveiled Peninsula Bay development proposal.

Joined by Ed Hill and Linda Gross at his Palmetto office, Preston spent more than an hour sharing additional details of the proposed residential and commercial development has been initially reviewed by county staff.

Preston and Hill also addressed concerns about mangrove destruction and increased traffic.

Owned by the Preston family and currently used as a flower farm, the 358-acre property is located off of Cortez Road and 115th Street West. The property surrounds the Sunny Shores and Sagamore Estates communities. More...

Bedroom size ordinance forthcoming

ANNA MARIA – City commissioners have asked City Attorney Becky Vose to draft a new ordinance requiring a minimum bedroom size of 150 square feet for new residential structures.

During last week’s meeting, the City Commission voted 4-1 in favor of moving forward with the previously discussed regulations, with Commissioner Dale Woodland casting the lone opposition vote.

The new ordinance will be subjected to two public hearings before it is adopted and enacted; and the next commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 14, at 6 p.m.

Once adopted, the new minimum size requirements would apply to new residential construction or the permitted addition of a new bedroom to an existing structure. Existing structures would be grandfathered and remain compliant. More...

Board ponders overlay district

HOLMES BEACH – City commissioners are considering establishing an overlay district as a way to give some relief to homeowners in the R-2 district who want more than four bedrooms and don’t plan to rent their homes.

City Planner Bill Brisson said there are numerous regulations to address resort housing that also apply to residential housing due to action by the state legislature that they cannot be treated differently. The overlay would provide relief by relaxing some of those regulations, making it similar to the R-1 district.

Brisson said in order to determine which regulations to relax, he provided a discussion paper that presented the similarities and differences between the two districts. It included a list of regulations that are the same, a table showing the differences, a list of regulations for duplexes and a list of regulations pertaining to all resort housing units. More...

BeachHouse to feature New Year’s Eve fireworks

CORTEZ – Whiting Preston’s proposed Peninsula Bay general development plan has been reviewed by county staff and will be presented to Manatee County Commissioners at some point in the future.

If approved, the master-planned community would be located on 358-acres of agricultural property that surrounds the Sunny Shores community, between Cortez Road and Palma Sola Bay. The property is owned by Preston’s Pen Bay 1 LLC and is currently used as a flower farm.

The proposed development calls for the construction of 1,800 single-family homes and 150 multi-family residential units, including a bed and breakfast. The plans also call for a marina basin and dry boat storage, a boat ramp, a kayak launch, a navigation canal connecting to Palma Sola Bay, the construction of a 67-acre lake, walking trails and waterfront shopping and dining. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryLDC review continues

BRADENTON BEACH – The City Commission is work shopping the revised land development code (LDC) previously reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Board.

During commission workshops that took place on Wednesday, Dec. 16, and Wednesday. Dec. 9, City Planner Alan Garrett and Building Official Steve Gilbert guided commissioners through the first 95 pages of the 218-page document.

Garrett said the purpose of the revisions was to ensure that the city’s building ordinances are consistent with the development objectives set forth in the city’s comprehensive plan. He said the comp plan is the city’s bible in terms of development. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHoliday bread

I remember cracking these red eggs with my brother and sister at the dinner table during the holidays when I was just a little guy. It’s a fun tradition, giving good luck for the year to the person whose egg lasts the longest without both ends getting cracked.

Fast-forward a few years and we still crack eggs every Easter. I’ve stayed pretty busy since high school, working in different kitchens while going to school. I obtained a formal education with a degree in business from Florida State and an associate degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America. It was out West that I apprenticed under some great bakers and began the path leading me to where I am today. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe importance of catch and release

Catch and release isn’t a new concept. Even in the early part of the 20th Century, far sighted anglers could see the potential for depleted fisheries. Over the last decade it should have become apparent to all but the comatose angler that there isn’t an inexhaustible well of fish in our waters. We’ve fought battles to limit netting and made a commitment to be better stewards by agreeing to reasonable restrictions on size and bag limits. We’re better educated in the press and at the docks about limiting our catch and being less concerned about catching our limit.

Even with the new ethic, an influx of anglers, loss of habitat, climate change and water quality issues will continue to pressure Florida’s fisheries. This makes it even more important to educate anglers about the marine environment, the importance of catch and release and proper release tools and techniques. More...

real estate

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Flying over paradise

The next time someone asks you what’s so special about Anna Maria Island, I want you to show them this picture. I shot it shortly after taking off from Sarasota-Bradenton Airport in early October on my way to the first leg of an international trip. I looked down as we flew over gorgeous Anna Maria Island, Cortez where I live and the Skyway Bridge and wondered what the heck I was doing on that plane.

When I was first introduced to Anna Maria Island by a friend sometime in the mid 1990s I thought what a unique place and wonder what it would be like to live and work in this little mini paradise. No high rise buildings, no fast food drive-ins, no crowds on the beach, warm Gulf water, traffic a non issue and affordable homes. A lot of that has changed during the past 20 plus years, but much has stayed the, same and that’s what we need to concentrate on this holiday season. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryIt's wicked good at Wicked Cantina

The raised patio with bright red umbrellas facing the sparkling Gulf of Mexico may not look like a traditional Spanish cantina, but that’s just the outside wait till you get in.

The Wicked Cantina in Bradenton Beach was conceived by Michael and Janice Dolan who, after moving to Anna Maria from Austin, Texas, couldn’t find authentic Tex Mex food. They opened a year ago after totally renovating the space, including removal of an old building that was taking up vital parking space. Indestructible concrete floors, brick walls, barstools made of reclaimed wood from Haiti and half metal walls turns the restaurant into an urban cantina. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

High-income earners can still use a Roth IRA

Investment Corner

Have you ever known something was right for you and been told you couldn’t have it? It can be pretty frustrating. Many high-income earners, who would like to contribute directly to Roth accounts, cannot do so because of IRS income limits. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for high-earners to reap the benefits associated with Roth accounts, such as tax-free growth, tax-free distributions and no required minimum distributions. They may be able to participate in Roth accounts by:

1. Converting an existing Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Anyone can move the assets accumulated in a traditional IRA account to a Roth IRA account, regardless of income. The catch is you’ll owe current income tax on the amount converted. This may be a sound choice if: More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySato Real Estate takes the cup

The final game of the co-ed recreational soccer league at the island center was a battle royal between Progressive Cabinetry, the third seed team, and Sato Real Estate, the top finishers in the regular season. With the championship title at stake, both teams came out ready to win at the game opener whistle.

The game started out with Progressive Cabinetry’s Anthony Barberio attempting to take a shot on goal from mid-field. Barberio slipped on the damp field, resulting in a turnover of the ball to Sato Real Estate. This ignited Team Sato through their next four possessions. Sean Flynn, for Sato Real Estate, quickly took advantage of the lost possession, pounding a hard shot and finding the net with less than a minute on the play clock. More...