Vol. 16 No. 9 - December 30, 2015


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryAMOB opens on pier

BRADENTON BEACH – The Anna Maria Oyster Bar is back on the Island for which it was named, and the renovated Historic Bridge Street Pier is again poised to become a commercial hotspot.

On Sunday morning, AMOB, an abbreviated version of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar, opened for business in Bradenton Beach.

Last weekend also marked the opening of A Room with a Hue and Tide & Moon 2 retail operation that offers jewelry and hand-painted home accessories in the adjacent retail space Laura Shely and AnnMarie Nicholas are subleasing from Oyster Bar owner and primary pier tenant John Horne. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryComplaints on shark fishing prompt ordinance

ANNA MARIA – Mayor Dan Murphy and City Attorney Becky Vose have created an ordinance they hope will help eliminate conflicts between commercial stone crabbers and recreational shark fishermen.

To be discussed at Jan. 14 City Commission meeting, the proposed ordinance would prohibit the launching of non-motorized vessels after dark during the annual stone crab season, which is Oct. 1 to March 1 in state waters.

The ordinance was drafted in response to complaints and concerns voiced by commercial fisherman, stone crabber and Anna Maria resident Anthony Manali during the Dec. 10 commission meeting. More...

Law enforcement urges moderation and caution

BRADENTON BEACH – The holidays can bring out the best in us, but some of us get carried away.

Law enforcement authorities are preparing for illegal fireworks on the beach and impaired drivers on the roads, especially during New Year’s Eve.

The fireworks show New Year’s Eve at the BeachHouse restaurant will be visible up and down the beach, but those are the only fireworks allowed by law.

As for the New Year’s champagne toast, and drinks leading up to it, plan on taking the trolley or a cab home. The trolley is free and a taxi is a lot cheaper than a DUI. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryA safer Tripp for cyclists

ANNA MARIA – Amy Tripp hopes to make Anna Maria safer for bicyclists in 2016.

Working individually and at times with Claudia Carlson and the Holmes Beach Bike/Walk Committee, Tripp has developed a bike map that designates secondary roads for bicyclists to use when traveling through the city. She is also working with George McKay and the Public Works Department to develop and install signs and pavement icons that would identify these safer, less-traveled routes.

At the request of Mayor Dan Murphy, Tripp devised a preliminary concept that in November resulted in the Anna Maria City Commission approving $12,000 to fund these efforts. The presentation Tripp made to commissioners included a map indicating a P-shaped route that generally avoids Gulf Drive, Pine Avenue and North Shore Drive, where traffic is heavy and the bike lanes are scarce or non-existent, and instead utilizes residential roads such as Jacaranda Road, Gladiolus Street, Crescent Drive, Spring Avenue and Willow Avenue, where the traffic is less intense. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryCommittee dedicated to bike safety

HOLMES BEACH – Claudia Carlson is spearheading an effort to make Holmes Beach and Anna Maria Island safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Carlson heads the Holmes Beach Bike/Walk Committee that includes Terry Green, Loretta Estabrooks and Ed Goff, with additional assistance provided by City Engineer Lynn Burnett and Police Chief Bill Tokajer.

Carlson and the committee are also working in conjunction with Anna Maria resident Amy Tripp, who is engaged in a similar endeavor at the north end of the Island.

“What’s most practical at this point, before we can get money for big engineering projects, is to reroute the bicycle and pedestrian traffic as much as possible. We can start by making small changes that will get people off the busy thoroughfares where they’re most vulnerable,” Carlson said last week. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Tuckers donate to City Pier Park

ANNA MARIA – Terry Tucker and his wife Sandra have donated $5,000 to the city of Anna Maria, to be used for non-specified improvements to City Pier Park.

The Tuckers are part of the family-owned Maple Leaf Farms operation in Leesburg, Indiana, which is known as the largest duck distributor in the western hemisphere.

The Tuckers have owned a beach house in Anna Maria for the past 18 years. More...

The Center director gives monthly report

ANNA MARIA – In the absence of a December board meeting, The Center’s Executive Director Kristen Lessig submitted a written report.

She said employees produced a program guide, which was mailed to members. The guide includes membership information and listings of sports programs, after school activities and classes in group fitness and wellness, education, parent and child development, art and dance and information on family support program offerings and the volunteer program.

In addition, employees are sending e-mail blasts to members detailing activities, classes, special events and programs and have created new member packets. Lessig reported that The Center has 411 memberships since the new membership structure was launched Nov. 1. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHe sells sea salt by the seashore

ANNA MARIA – If you’ve shopped some of our local stores, you might have found packets of sea salt from the waters off Anna Maria, Coquina Beach, Longboat Key, Lido Key and Siesta Key.

The man behind the product, Tim Norwood, of Bradenton, was a design engineer before getting into sea salts. His company is called Sea Salt Florida, LLC.

Once he learned how to process it, he put his engineering background to work on making the process better, although it still takes five gallons of water to make one pound of salt and 24 hours to process 100 gallons.

It’s edible, having been filtered extensively from the water before drying to a solid, and there are some salts that are flavored for meat rubs plus some combined with pinot noir or dehydrated Portobello mushrooms. His exfoliating scrubs are grainier and they draw moisture from the skin. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryEgmont cemetery mysteries put to rest

BRADENTON – Mark Green stands at a grave marker at the Fogartyville cemetery, refers to an old, hand-drawn map and walks a few paces, ducks under a moss-draped tree, passes a bench and several headstones, finally reaching a patch of grass near the roadway that meanders through the historic graveyard.

There are no flowers, no inscriptions, not even a headstone or marker, but according to the map, it must be the place.

Green, the family historian for the Cortez Green and Fulford families, thinks it’s the grave of several Fulford family members, including Capt. Carl William Bahrt, a ship captain from Key West, born in Denmark in 1835.

It’s been a long road to Fogartyville, beginning at a historic cemetery on Egmont Key, an island off the north end of Anna Maria Island that was once a military fort, but which is sparsely inhabited today by a lighthouse keeper and on-duty Tampa Bay harbor pilots. 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

Time to get serious about that peeling paint

Last week I wrote a “fluff” piece about how wonderful Anna Maria Island is, but now it’s time to get serious. If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market this season, you need to take a long hard look at your home with the most objectivity you can muster.

There are homeowners who think that because they have a great water view, they don’t have to do anything else to get their home ready for sale. They think the view will sell the house, and it definitely will, but on an island where a lot of properties have amazing water views, you still need to make your home stand out.

Every couple of years when I write a column like this, the first thing I emphasize is to keep your glass doors and windows as clean as is possible. I know from personal experience that the hardest thing to keep clean on waterfront homes is the glass. Since you’re primarily selling your view, make sure that potential buyers can actually see the water without looking through salty, dirty or streaked glass. 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...


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...