Vol. 11 No. 12 - December 22, 2010
All was calm. All was bright.
Seventeen boats wearing their holiday best twinkled along the glassy Intracoastal Waterway on Saturday night like a brand new string of Christmas lights during the Cortez Yacht Club's 7th Annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade.
All-day showers stopped in time for the show, leaving a pink twilight sky lingering on the horizon and a cool nip in the air, just right for the lighted penguin sailboarding on the bow of Holmes Beach resident Laura Ritter's boat. More...
Seven years and still no sand
ANNA MARIA — Joan Dickinson has been working diligently for the past seven years to bring sand to the strip of beach on Tampa Bay from Bean Point to the Rod&Reel Pier.
It looked as though the renourishment of that stretch of the Island would be included in the upcoming renourishment. Now, that's not going to happen.
Dickinson is asking city commissioners to put the matter on an agenda and invite Manatee County Natural Resources Department Director Charlie Hunsicker and County Commission Chair Carol Whitmore to speak to them about it. More...
Record set at Chiles Christmas
ANNA MARIA – Despite the cold weather, 160 children participated in fun activities and visited with Santa at the 16th Annual Lawton Chiles Christmas for Kids at the Sandbar last Tuesday.
The children from the Head Start program and Healthy Families Manatee entered the restaurant pavilion under the crossed swords of the Anna Maria Island Privateers, who also handed out stocking treats. Their first stop inside was to visit clowns Snow Bird and Sparky as they twisted colorful balloons into fun shapes. More...
Special Christmas services offered
It's good to get all your Christmas shopping done, but you shouldn't forget the reason for the season and the Island's churches will be there to help you and your family celebrate the birth of Christ.
Here's a listing of special Christmas services on the Island. More...
Village powers up solar Christmas tree
When Lizzie and Mike Thrasher commit to building and living green, they don't neglect the details.
There is a "green" Christmas tree sited at the Anna Maria Historic Green Village site that's emerging on Pine Avenue. The Christmas tree, believed to be the only one of its kind in the entire state, is powered solely by the sun. More...
Hoilday cheer on Bridge Street
BRADENTON BEACH – The weatherman almost played Grinch last Saturday, but the rain and winds came early and it turned into a perfect evening for the city's Christmas on Bridge Street. The only inclement weather came out of a snow machine that disc jockey Tom Barrons brought to give Florida kids an idea of what falls out of the sky up north every winter. More...
Homeowner fined for no permit
CORTEZ – Cortez residents are invited to learn about coyotes at a workshop on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez.
Dozens of pets have been killed by coyotes in recent weeks, residents say.
Lisa Hickey, a naturalist instructor with the Manatee County Department of Agriculture and Resource Conservation, will discuss coyote behavior, habitat, prey, attack statistics and interactions with humans. More...
Commissioners know how to throw a party
ANNA MARIA — Each year, city commissioners give a Christmas party for the city staff and for members of the volunteer boards and committees.
It's a tradition that started five years ago at the suggestion of Commissioner Dale Woodland, and it's become an annual tradition in the city.
The commissioners pay for the festivities out of their own pockets. Staff members are not allowed to help. They are ordered to just attend the party and enjoy. More...
Christmas with Uncle George
My Uncle George was the closest thing I had to a grandfather. People thought him eccentric. He didn't care what they thought.
Uncle George's favorite culinary ingredient was rum. The Christmas chapter of his cookbook was rum-based. It was also very short:
• Christmas eggnog with rum;
• Christmas fruitcake with rum;
• Christmas Eve lobster cooked with a little rum. More...
Take a kid fishing
'Take a kid fishing, because some day they might take you." I've always liked that saying, and the man that came up with it really walks his talk. Captain Jonnie Walker has been taking kids fishing, and encouraging others to, since he started guiding in Sarasota in 1974. He coined the phrase when he began a fishing spot on Channel 7 in 1994, one he still does. More...
Know your mortgage features
Knowledge is power. Whether you're negotiating for the purchase of a home or trying to outsmart your computer, it's best to be fully armed. The same with negotiating the maze of home financing and refinancing, tedious as it may be, it's essential to know the ins and outs. More...
Year-end planning may save on taxesInvestment Corner
One of the least exciting things I could choose to write about is year-end tax planning. But a penny saved is a penny earned, and when saving it by reducing taxes, it seems twice as sweet. So, let’s take a couple minutes to review some actions or record keeping tasks you can work on between now and the time you file your tax return. More...