Vol. 16 No. 43 - August 24, 2016


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTree house petition denied

HOLMES BEACH – Judge Don Hall issued his final order in the tree house case and found that the proposed ordinance regarding an initiative petition was prohibited under Florida law and could not be submitted to voters.

The issue began in 2013 when Richard Hazen and Lynn Tran, owners of the tree house on the beach in front of Angelino's Sea Lodge at 103 29th St., filed an initiative petition to allow voters to decide if the tree house is legal.

The city alleged that the petition would be invalid under state law because the process is prohibited with regard to development orders. The city attorney requested a declaratory judgment, which was heard by Hall on July 15. More...

Planning board OKs franchise moratorium

HOLMES BEACH – Planning commissioners approved an ordinance establishing a moratorium on franchise businesses in the city as consistent with the comprehensive plan.

City Attorney Jim Dye said the ordinance was drafted June 14 by the city commission and is to be in effect for up to eight months. He said any business that started the process before that date can continue the process.

"The moratorium gives the city an opportunity to study the issue and determine whether changes to its code are necessary," he explained.

He outlined goals and objectives in the comprehensive plan that he and City Planner Bill Brisson felt supported the ordinance. He said under Goal 1, the city will ensure the residential character of the city is maintained and protected and minimize the threats of incompatible land uses. More...

Fire station to be named for Andy Price

BRADENTON – West Manatee Fire Commissioners voted to name Station 3 (the former Station 1) in Holmes Beach after former Fire Chief Kenneth "Andy" Price.

The vote came after a motion by Commissioner Al Robinson to name the administration building in Bradenton after Price and former Commissioner Larry Tyler.

"We need to honor them because they created this thing," Robinson said in making the motion. "This building took $35,000 from the tax rolls, and they fought tooth and nail for it." More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Fire safety booklets for fifth-graders

West Manatee Fire Rescue has partnered with Community Safety Net (CSN) in a new educational initiative to produce booklets that include an interactive DVD to be distributed to the district's fifth-graders.

'We have partnered with businesses in our district to produce educational packets on fire safety, water safety, skateboarding safety," Fire Inspector Rodney Kwiatkowski explained to fire commissioners last week.

"Our goal is to see students take them home to their parents," Brian Rutherford of CSN said. "They can watch their interactive DVD as well. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Candidates share views with Cortezians

CORTEZ – A forum for Manatee County Commission District 3 candidates gave about 30 people in Cortez some insight into the views of candidates Matt Bower, Stephen Jonsson and David Zaccagnino.

Commercial fishing

Mark Coarsey, president of Fishing for Freedom, asked the candidates how they would support commercial fishing, the economic lifeblood of the historic fishing village.

Bower said he has become involved in the controversial proposed Long Bar Pointe waterfront development, just across Sarasota Bay from Cortez, "to make sure fishing is protected." More...

Pier expenditures approved

BRADENTON BEACH – Acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Committee, City Commissioners made several decisions last week regarding CRA expenditures and revisions to the current CRA plan.

Which plan?

On July 6, city staff emphasized the need to update the outdated CRA plan adopted in 1992 in order to maintain the CRA taxing district designation that expires in 2018 or 2019.

On Aug. 3, City Attorney Ricinda Perry and City Planner Alan Garrett recommended the committee refrain from making any CRA expenditures until the city had a revised plan in place and Mayor Bill Shearon was authorized to bring the committee a recommended CRA consultant to assist with these efforts. More...

Pier lawsuit drags on

BRADENTON BEACH – The summary judgement hearing requested by the city of Bradenton Beach in defense of a lawsuit filed last year by Bradenton Beach Marina owners Al and Mike Bazzy has been continued until Wednesday, Sept. 7.

The continuation was agreed to during the summary judgement hearing on Aug. 11. Representing the city, attorney Fred Moore questioned the timing of the amended complaint filed by Bazzys' attorney, Nelon Kirkland, one day earlier, but he did not object to the hearing being continued to a later date.

If Circuit Court Judge Gilbert Smith Jr. grants the city a summary judgement in September, the case would essentially be over, although the Bazzys could appeal his ruling. A trial has tentatively been scheduled for mid-October in the event that Smith the does grant the city a summary judgement next month. More...

Commission approves Center support

BRADENTON BEACH – Inspired by recent remarks made by Center board member Ed Chiles, the Bradenton Beach Commission voted 3-2 in favor of donating $5,000 to The Center in the new fiscal year that begins in October.

Commissioners Ralph Cole, Jake Spooner and Jan Vosburgh supported the donation. Mayor Bill Shearon and Vice Mayor Ed Straight opposed it.

"Ed Chiles' public comment is what compels me to move this forward," Cole said in reference to public comment Chiles gave at the Aug. 4 meeting.

Cole said his kids used the Center and now his grandkids are getting to an age where they too use it. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryWhat's in a name?

Icing or frosting? Sprinkles or jimmies? This is a topic of constant debate at the bakery. I remember the puzzled look on a young boy's face as I described the variety of icings that we offer. He asked his mom, "What is icing?" She quietly and politely explained that icing is another word for frosting.

Florida is such a melting pot of people. I'm constantly reminded, as I talk with customers from other countries and regions, that often we're describing the same dessert, but using different terminology. Many dessert names are interchangeable and vary by region. Three desserts that come to mind are the cobbler, crumble and crisp.

There are similarities and, depending on where you grew up, subtle differences. All three dishes are made with sweet summer fruit. Peaches, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries work well because of the juice that they produce when baked. I love anything made with blackberries - not the large ones with seeds, but the smaller variety that grew in the woods behind the house where I grew up. Whatever your choice of fruit, summer is always the perfect time for simple desserts. So here's a little clarification on three simple, delicious treats. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBig turn out at annual scallop search

Sarasota Bay Watch held its Ninth Annual Scallop Search at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron on Saturday Aug. 13. The event, which continues to grow in popularity, included over 120 volunteers and 60 boats that combed the waters of Sarasota from Big Pass to Longboat Pass.

Before they headed out, searchers were addressed by Sarasota Bay Watch President Larry Stults on how to identify scallops and the method used to locate them. Stults also made the participants aware of the many projects that Sarasota Bay Watch is involved in including the upcoming Scallopalooza Fund Raiser at the Sarasota Yacht Club.

Unfortunately, the water was cloudy over most of the search area, the result of heavy rains in the past two weeks. There also was a red tide event this past summer that might have negatively affected the scallops. Although there were few live scallops found this year, there were many other forms of sea life recorded including clams, welks and starfish. More...

real estate

Where's the inventory?

What would you think if you walked into Bealls one day and instead of the usual five dozen bathing suits to choose from, there were one or two, and they were overpriced. Well that's similar to what home buyers are experiencing around the nation.

Earlier this month the National Association of Realtors reported figures indicating home prices rose in 83 percent of the nation's 178 major real estate markets, bringing that average up to just 2 percent below the peak in July of 2006. Unfortunately, per national economists most of the price gains really stem from a lack of inventory rather than a surge of buyers.

During the second quarter of this year, the home ownership rate hit a 51-year low of 62.9 percent, a drop from 63.4 percent for the same quarter last year. Considering that the homeownership rate was 69.2 percent in 2004, a lot of politicians and real estate professionals are getting themselves into a frenzy. However, the housing bubble that created that level of homeownership was in many economists' opinions unrealistically fueled by government mortgage guarantees, resulting in borrowers without the financial ability to repay the loans. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFresh fish, right off the boat

There's something fishy on Cortez Road and believe me you can't miss it. Smack dab in the middle of the colorful strip of stores containing the Cortez Post Office is the new Cortez Fish Market, which isn't really new at all.

John Banyas has owned Cortez Bait & Seafood, a fixture in the Cortez Fishing Village, since 1996, in addition to the Swordfish Grill, Taylor Boatworks and other local businesses. Last year he purchased the small strip of stores along Cortez Road West near 121st Street and added yet another business to his portfolio. The Cortez Fish Market officially opened the week of July 18 on Cortez Road West next to the Post Office.

The large bright space is managed by James "Wyre" Lee who knows more about fish then the old man and the sea and has five more people to help him pull in the nets. The expansion is obvious with a very substantial display of fresh seafood including; royal red shrimp, snapper, cobia, swordfish, mahi mahi, tuna, hog fish, grouper and whatever else is caught fresh from the Gulf waters surrounding us. Most of the seafood at the Cortez Fish Market comes right off the boats from the Cortez Fishing Fleet. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Reverse mortgages worth another look

Investment Corner

I have written about reverse mortgages over the years, at least twice here in the Sun. My advice was that reverse mortgages were expensive for the borrower, but in the case where a retired person or couple had run out of assets, using the equity in their home through a reverse mortgage wasn't the worst idea in the world.

I'm bringing the topic back one more time because some changes in federal guidelines have made the reverse mortgage a more attractive option for those who are over age 62, that own their home free and clear of another mortgage and who are concerned about the possibility of running low on retirement income during their lifetime

Space limitations don't' allow us to go into a full primer on reverse mortgages, but let's hit some of the highlights. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryThe adults take the field: Flag football lights up the nights at The Center

After giving the field at The Center another week of rest, the adult co-ed flag football league played its first games of the season Thursday night. Many veterans of the island's league continued to show their love of the game, while newcomers to the field showed why they will be a force to be reckoned with.

The first game of the night, in the pouring rain, saw a new look for Team Tyler's Ice Cream. For the first time ever, the team rostered five Satos: team captain Lexi Sato, oldest brother and quarterback Jason Sato, long time Center powerhouse Jason Sato and playmaker Ben Sato. Also returning to the field for Tyler's Ice Cream after a long time away is Laura Alderson, who finally decided to join her husband and veteran player Rob Alderson.

The family crew faced the new team from Blake Medical Center, captained by Chase Bennion. This team of co-workers made it a close game, losing only by one touchdown. Blake Medical Center may be the team to watch this season with three standout receivers. Bennion hit his receivers for 150 passing yards in the game. Van Kinder led his team in receiving yards, closely followed by Mark Baker and Chris McCorkle. More...


Turtle Talk Tuesdays extended

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring is extending its 30-minute Turtle Talks program through the end of August on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. at CrossPointe Fellowship Church, 8605 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach.

Using photos, videos and stories, volunteers will take you on a virtual tour of Anna Maria Island's nesting beaches and answer your questions.

Participants will learn the times and locations of upcoming nest excavations, done three days after hatchlings leave the nests. More...

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