Vol. 17 No. 38 - July 5, 2017


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySecond pier firm dismissed

ANNA MARIA – During an emergency meeting called by Mayor Dan Murphy, the City Commission decided Monday morning not to enter into negotiations with Taylor Engineering to design and permit the rehabilitation of the Anna Maria City Pier.

The sudden turn of events came as somewhat of a surprise because Murphy and City Planner Robin Meyer had been complimentary of the Sarasota-based engineering firm when recently updating the commission on the preliminary discussions with Taylor representatives.

In the end, it came down to cost. On Monday morning, Murphy told the commission that Taylor's estimated price came in at a maximum of $526,348, not including construction administration or design and permitting of a water taxi berth, which he felt was too expensive for this initial phase of the project.

Murphy said while the Taylor quote offered more details concerning deliverables of the project, the cost of services was consistently high in all areas. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryPlanning board review questioned

BRADENTON BEACH – City Attorney Ricinda Perry issued a 1,900-word memo last week addressing concerns raised about the Planning and Zoning Board's review of the Bridge Tender Inn's efforts to bring its Dockside Bar into compliance with city code.

After attending the board's July 21 meeting, Vice Mayor John Chappie requested a memo that clarified the general meeting policies and procedures.

Perry's June 29 memo noted she was also contacted after the hearing by certified land planner Darenda Marvin and attorneys from the Grimes Goebel law firm that represent Bridge Tender Inn owner Fred. Bartizal. They questioned whether some elements of the review should have been conducted in a quasi-judicial manner that would have been more formal and restrictive than the far-reaching legislative review that was chaired by John Burns and overseen by City Planner Alan Garrett. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryEnvironmental planning manager resigns

BRADENTON – A county staff member who played a key role in the initial review of the Aqua by the Bay development plans has resigned, and this contributed to the Manatee County Planning Commission's second review of the project being delayed until August.

On Monday, June 12, Joel Christian, manager for the environmental planning section of the Building and Development Services Department resigned via e-mail sent to his supervisor, John Barnott.

"I appreciate your leadership as director in the time that I have had the pleasure to serve in your department. This resignation is effective at your discretion. Please contact me if there is anything I can do to help with transitioning. Thank you for all you have done for my career and me personally," Christian wrote. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHolmes Beach post office changes hands

HOLMES BEACH — The Holmes Beach Contract Postal Unit is open regular hours and the new proprietor is seeking new ways to help meet the needs of the community.

The search for a new operator went almost to the 11th hour with the community anxiously awaiting the fate of the contract post office location. Holmes Beach resident Laura Ritter, with the help of friends Diana Rowe and Linda Bell, along with long-time postal employee Sue Phillips, stepped up to the challenge.

"I wanted to help save the post office to maintain the services for the community," Ritter said. "There's a real sense of community here."

Though Ritter, who manages advertising at the Longboat Observer, said she has no experience in the postal service, she's excited to learn from Phillips, who's been with the Holmes Beach post office for nine years. More...

Commissioners voice center worries

HOLMES BEACH — Commissioners are concerned about the future of The Center of Anna Maria Island, particularly with the organization's financial plan and transparency.

Commissioner Carol Soustek, the Holmes Beach liaison to the Center, related her experience from the nonprofit's June 21 board meeting.

"I walked away feeling very disappointed," she said during a June 27 commission meeting. Soustek added that she's concerned with the lack of cost-cutting and clear financial direction for the future.

"I think they try very hard but it's too much for them," she said. "The cuts nowhere near make up the deficit."

The Center's fiscal year ended June 30 with board Treasurer Jim Froeschle projecting a more than $230,000 loss for the year. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryDistemper in wildlife a threat

ANNA MARIA ¬– Longtime Island resident Pat Copeland had a scare from a raccoon recently.

"I went outside to check my Little Free Library, and when I turned to come back to the house, I saw a raccoon on the front porch," she said. "It didn't look healthy and I was concerned about it being sick."

Then it ran to the back yard, and the Copelands found it by the swimming pool trying to drink. Pat Copeland's husband, Anna Maria City Commissioner Doug Copeland, chased it out of the yard, but it returned shortly and they found it lying by the pool panting.

Pat Copeland, a former reporter for The Anna Maria Island Sun, was worried that the animal might have rabies. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHistoric preservation ordinance reviewed

ANNA MARIA – The Planning and Zoning Board and City Commission have reviewed the proposed amendments to the city's historic preservation ordinance, and the commission now wants input from the Anna Maria Island Historical Society.

It was suggested the Historical Society representatives provide this input during a City Commission workshop on Thursday, July 13.

Ordinance 17-830 looks to better protect and preserve historic structures, architectural styles and artifacts located within the city. Adoption of the amended ordinance would assist the city in becoming a Florida Certified Local Government in terms of its historic preservation policies that would qualify property owners to apply for historic restoration grants.

The ordinance would create historic preservation board that would assist in designating individual properties as historically significant. A property or structure deemed historic would then require certificates of appropriateness and certificates to excavate before it could be altered, moved or disturbed. More...

More death in the water

BRADENTON BEACH – ,The Manatee County Medical Examiner is investigating an incident that left a Georgia woman dead Saturday afternoon at the south boat ramp of Coquina Park Bayside.

According to a Bradenton Beach police report, Marsha Mincey, 51, of Lithonia, Ga., attempted to board a personal watercraft from the wood ramp and missed, falling into the water. A witness said she panicked. The witness assisted in trying to pull her out of the water, and it took several tries.

Mincey was taken to Blame Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. Bradenton Beach Police Detective, Sgt. Lenard Diaz, said Monday the coroner was investigating whether she drowned or died from a medical emergency.

This is the latest incident that cost a life in the waters around Anna Maria Island. Joe Teston drowned off Anna Maria on June 8 and Michael Angelo Rosario Alverez died when he went swimming off Bradenton Beach. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFeeding Manatee and other good deeds

ANNA MARIA – The Anna Maria Island Women's Giving Circle recently provided a $5,000 grant to the Food Bank of Manatee for the purchase of shelf-stable food. It's estimated the $5,000 enabled the Food Bank to purchase 5,000 pounds of nutritional food for distribution to the various agencies that feed the hungry in Manatee County.

Food Bank CEO Maribeth Phillips says summer is a critical time for the Food Bank. Food donations typically decrease during the summer months, at a time when demand remains high because kids are out of school and not receiving the free and reduced cost lunches served at Manatee County schools.

"We are able to purchase exactly the foods needed and at bulk rates," Phillips said of the impact cash donations make. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Florida's finest fishing

The waters that surround Pine Island and Matlacha have always been a favorite haunt. This past week I had the pleasure of fishing there with two good friends, Captain Rick Grassett and Captain Joe Harley.

Grassett and I had been invited to Matlacha by Harley to fish for tarpon. The ambiance and the diverse fishing opportunities there are superb, but the last four trips we had planned had been rained out. As it turned out, this time would be charmed.

The Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Aquatic Preserves are a fertile habitat for every species that swim local waters, but the fishing for tarpon, babies and adults, is unrivaled. Harley has been fishing these waters for nearly four decades and has plumbed the resource, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the tarpon's behaviors. More...

real estate

Owning a beach house

What's your dream? Mine has always been to own a beach house where I can walk out on to the beautiful sand of Anna Maria Island and watch the sunset over the gleaming Gulf water. But on Anna Maria there are beach houses and there are beach houses, and not all of them are on the beach, and many of them are investment properties.

Owning a beach house for your personal use and to generate income is a popular dream that can work, but like most dreams, when you wake up there's always reality. The pros, well just look around, the beach, the glorious water, sound of the surf and views. There is nothing like a beach house providing a laid-back atmosphere as a refuge from your other life.

You can also take advantage of some hefty tax benefits when you own a second home. Mortgage interest is deductible on a second home as long as it's within the government's guidelines, as is maintenance costs, taxes and association fees. However, you do have to declare the rent as income, and your personal use must be less than 14 days annually if you're planning to take advantage of these tax benefits.More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryKeyes Marina – your key to good fishing

How would you feel if you were an established boutique boat marina with 19 slips suddenly in the shadow of a brand-new marina with 50 slips? Well the Keyes family couldn't be happier and look forward to their next-door neighbor, Waterline Marina Resort, opening its doors, and becoming part of the Island community.

The Keyes family have been owners of Island Discount Tackle since 2009 and Keyes Marina since 2011. The location of the Keyes' property in the heart of Holmes Beach, which also includes a marine mechanic, watersports facility and gasoline fuel dock, has been used for boating related businesses since the early 1960s.

Paul and Sally Keyes relocated to Longboat Key, Fla. As part of their retirement plan, their love of fishing eventually brought them to Anna Maria Island and the purchase of Island Discount Tackle. When the marina became available two years later, they and their sons saw what a great match this would be for both businesses and seized the opportunity. Although Paul and Sally Keyes are still helping in the business, their sons, Jim, Jonny and Joe, are the primary face of the shop and marina. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryTeam Moss Builders seeks championship: The field of eight is down to two after a week of playoffs

After finishing the regular season in seventh place, Team Moss Builders took on the sixth-seed Team Mulock Flynn Law Thursday night. With the solid pick-up of Diego Felipe to replace the injured David Greene, Moss Builders found a strong leader and rhythm at the end of the season, leading them to the championship game on July 6.

The game looked to be a close one until the last minutes of the game. Mulock Flynn Law struggled all season to have a full roster at a game. Thursday night's game was no different.

Missing Tony Shard, playing with only seven players in the heat of the evening, Sean Flynn's team gassed out but fought to the end.

Felipe started the scoring in the game after six minutes of play with the first goal in the quarterfinal game. Rapid fire shooting by Lexi Sato and Rico Beissert hit both the left and right posts with no goal. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Sea turtle race contestant to be chosen

A loggerhead sea turtle that nests on Anna Maria Island the night of Monday, June 19, will be fitted with a satellite transmitter and tracked by the Sea Turtle Conservancy in its Tour de Turtles migration marathon that begins Aug. 1, according to Suzi Fox, director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring.

The turtle will be named Eliza Ann and will be released to the Gulf of Mexico somewhere on the Island on June 20, she said. The turtle is sponsored by Waterline Marina Resort and Beach Club in Holmes Beach. More...

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