Vol. 9 No. 44 - July 22, 2009
Swine flu hits Island worker
One of two people who died last week in Sarasota from swine flu worked in Holmes Beach.
County officials confirmed that 47-year-old Jorge Francisco Hernandez, of Sarasota, died July 15 from swine flu.
A 22-year-old Sarasota man also died of the disease. County health officials said seven cases of unconfirmed swine flu at Ringling School of Art and Design caused the school to cancel a summer program graduation. More...
Bridging the Gap coverage honored
The Island Sun staff has won first place in a statewide contest for its initiation and coverage of the Bridging the Gap campaign last year.
The award was handed out in the Florida Press Association’s Better Weekly Newspaper Contest in the Community Service category.
Sun staff writer Cindy Lane also was a winner with an honorable mention in the Environmental/Conservation category for her story and photos on birds on the Island. More...
City changes policy on ground level remodeling
HOLMES BEACH – Mayor Rich Bohnenberger told commissioners last week that the city has revised its policy regarding remodeling ground level homes.
"A couple years ago, we did away with the five-year cumulative," Bohnenberger explained. "The new rules allowed them to do one project and then go back and do another project taking into consideration the valuation of the existing project. It’s not working because we’ve had contractors trying to skirt the law." More...
Angler’s Inn – what’s ahead?
ANNA MARIA — The building that stands just to the north of the Lake LaVista Inlet has been in the same spot for just short of a century.
"It’s one of the oldest buildings on the Island," said Sissy Quinn, the director of the Anna Maria Island Heritage Society, a newly formed 501(c) 3 non-profit that will begin a capital campaign to try to raise the funds to purchase and preserve the structure that some have called the most endangered historic structure on the Island. More...
Sierra Club promotes passage of fertilizer ordinances
ANNA MARIA – Chris Costello, of the Sierra Club, urged Island officials to adopt fertilizer management ordinances to protect the region’s water resources.
"I’m here to share some of my two years of experience in being involved in processes that have created strong fertilizer ordinances along the Gulf coast," Costello told members of the Coalition of Barrier Island Elected Officials. More...
Port Dolphin hearing July 28
A public hearing on the proposed Port Dolphin natural gas port and pipeline is scheduled for Tuesday, July 28, at the Manatee Convention Center in Palmetto.
The hearing, from 5 to 7 p.m., will be preceded by an informational open house from 3 to 4:30 p.m. about the project, a submersible liquid natural gas port 28 miles off Anna Maria Island that would connect to Port Manatee with a 42-mile-long underwater pipeline. More...
Wireless network company advocates antennas
ANNA MARIA – Representatives of SBA Advanced Wireless Networks met with island officials to promote the use of their antenna system to enhance cellular service.
"Our business is developing wireless communications facilities," attorney Stacy Frank said. "Typically that means towers like the one you have in Holmes Beach, but we understand some communities don’t want towers. We’d like to talk to you about an alternative." More...
Anna Maria considers slight tax increase
ANNA MARIA – Faced with another drop in revenue, the city of Anna Maria may have to raise taxes slightly to make its books balance and an $8,000 donation to keep the trolleys free may fall victim to the numbers crunch.
That’s what came from the city commission’s first budget workshop on Thursday, July 16.
The proposed budget for 2009-10 calls for a rise in the millage, or property tax rate, from 1.7882 to 1.9450, which translates into an increase of $15.68 for every $100,000 of taxable value on a property. More...
Pet Evacuation Guide
Keep our list of pet friendly evacuation locations in your Hurricane Survival kit.
Hone your hot weather fishing strategy
Summer is officially here, and the fireworks of the Fourth of July once again signal that area waters are heating up. As tarpon season wanes, savvy anglers will know to change their strategies, tailoring their efforts to maximize comfort and opportunities.
One of the prime times to fish during the dog days is before the sun crests the horizon. The myriad dock and bridge lights that illuminate the waterways from Bradenton to Venice are prime targets. These areas hold schools of snook as well as trout and a host of other species. More...
Never-ending insurance issues
Look around your house, check the corners and the garage and even under the beds, and I guarantee you that eventually you’ll find it. Find what? The property insurance elephant that is always in the room of every Florida house. And even though there has been a rate freeze on premium increases on Citizens Insurance policies, the elephant in the room has been there waiting all along for the freeze to thaw, and that day is fast approaching. More...
Feeling Swell under new ownership
ANNA MARIA — Look for a new menu featuring quality burgers at Feeling Swell.
The restaurant on Gulf Drive has changed hands, and new owners Ken Columbia and Jeff Levey have some changes planned.
"We’re going to offer a full line of really good burgers," Columbia said. "We’ll have bison burgers, veggie burgers and, of course, burgers from high quality beef." More...
Protect yourself from fraudInvestment Corner
Investors have every right to be nervous and concerned about their investment. After the worst market decline since the Great Depression, not only did investors lose a lot of value of their holdings, but the ugly face of greed was revealed in several high profile cases of fraud. More...
Season’s first turtle nests hatch
Turtle volunteers had a busy week with mother turtles coming ashore to nest, the first hatchlings emerging, the annual mid-season AMITW banquet and the announcement of the 2009 Sadie Award recipients.
This year’s Sadie Award went to Emily and Pete Gross.
"They haven’t been volunteering with us all that long, but their contribution has been enormous," Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch Coordinator Suzi Fox said when making the announcement at the banquet at the Moose Lodge in Bradenton Beach. "They are always willing to go above and beyond, and they find ways to help out in areas where we didn’t even help out in areas where we didn’t even know we needed help. More...