Vol. 12 No. 41 - July 25, 2012
Board questions Sheriff’s Office budget
ANNA MARIA – Commissioners had serious questions about a proposed Sheriff’s Office budget that shows an 8.5 percent increase over the last fiscal year.
“It amounts to a $54,785.28 increase over the current contract,” explained Finance Director Diane Percycoe. “I had plugged in 3 percent because I didn’t have that information, so we need an additional $35,495.28, if this sheriff’s proposal is accepted.”
Chair Chuck Webb asked what caused the increase, and Percycoe replied, “They’ve replaced a couple deputies that left or retired and brought in some new ones that looked like they are at the top of the (salary) range.” More...
Pier temporary fix is on
BRADENTON BEACH – The Bridge Street Pier may be reopening soon, thanks to a city official who wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale talked with The Deck Docktor in Sarasota about placing a collar around a piling at the pier, just east of the restaurant, that nearly broke in half from the high waves produced by Tropical Storm Debby recently. The piling is visible from the pier, and the city closed the structure to visitors on the advice of engineer Charles Sego, who said the piling could shift and give way, possibly causing the pier to collapse.When the city closed the pier, it got a quick estimate of up to $10,000 to put a temporary fix on the piling, which is to be replaced along with the other pilings in a refurbishment project expected within a year. More...
City to work on budget deficit
BRADENTON BEACH – After two weeks of haggling over what to spend and where to spend it, the City Commission will face some tough decisions when it sets the millage rate.
City Clerk Nora Idso gave commissioners a worksheet when they started their series of meetings showing the anticipated income and estimated expenditures for the next fiscal year, starting Oct. 1.
After six meetings in which the commissioners made changes as they saw fit, Idso gave them a new worksheet showing the changes and the difference in the bottom line. More...
Holmes Beach mayoral candidates take stands
HOLMES BEACH – Political newcomer Carmel Monti is running for Holmes Beach mayor largely because of large houses, according to his recently released campaign platform.
The problems at multi-bedroom, duplex vacation rentals in the city’s R-2 zoning district have attracted crowds of residents to commission meetings for months.
Monti blames incumbent Mayor Rich Bohnenberger for allowing the problem to develop. More...
Fire chief presents $5.52 million budget
BRADENTON – West Manatee Fire Chief Andy Price presented the $5.52 million 2012-13 budget to fire commissioners last week.
“This is the sixth budget in a row that we have been limited to the five-year personal income growth factor (PIG),” Price explained. “This has allowed us to maintain the staffing and service levels in place since the 2002-03 budget.
“With assessments, we were given an assessment cap and once we reached that cap, we can only increase rates through the PIG.” More...
Hands Across the Sand in Anna Maria
ANNA MARIA – People will join Hands Across the Sand on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 11 a.m. on the beach in Anna Maria to promote clean energy.
The city is expected to approve the peaceful demonstration stretching from the Sandbar north to Bean Point, which promotes an end to dependence on fossil fuel, said event organizer Billy Malfese, chair of the Environmental Enhancement and Education Committee.
EEEC encourages participants to walk, bike or take the free trolley to the beach in Anna Maria to symbolize their commitment to using less oil. More...
Historic preservation committee moves forward
ANNA MARIA – Historic Preservation Committee members discussed how a historic designation could fit with flood regulations and developing an ordinance to meet the city’s needs.
George Barford said in order to meet the definition of historic structure under the Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations a building must conform to strict criteria.
“When they start putting rules out, be careful what rules you want to work under,” Gene Aubry cautioned. More...
Bad year for birds
ANNA MARIA – Birds are having a bad time on Anna Maria Island this year.
Only two snowy plover chicks are known to have survived a series of storms that began even before Tropical Storm Debby struck the Island June 24-26.
By the time Debby left, all the shorebird nests on the Island had blown away or were flooded, including 355 black skimmer nests, a species of special concern, and 15 least tern nests and four snowy plover nests, both threatened species, according to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring Director Suzi Fox. More...
Practice makes perfect
Lifeguards and firefighters teamed up last week to practice marine rescue operations off Bradenton Beach. In one drill, they located a “victim” in distress in shallow water, rescued him on a longboard, stabilized him on a backboard in case he had spinal cord injuries and transported him to the Longboat Key Fire Rescue Department's boat for transport to land and a hospital.
Above, Manatee County Marine Rescue Division Capt. Joe Westerman tells Longboat Key Fire Rescue Department Deputy Chief Sandi Drake how to position herself on a rescue longboard. More...
Hone your hot weather strategy
Dog Days (Latin: diés canicularés) are the hottest, most sultry days of summer. In the Northern Hemisphere, the dog days of summer are most commonly experienced in the months of July and August, which typically observe the warmest summer temperatures. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot weather.
On the west coast of Florida, dog days can run through September, with the spell being broken by the change of season, more than the easing of daytime temperatures. While the temperatures create challenging conditions, savvy anglers know to change their strategies, tailoring their efforts to maximize their comfort and opportunities. More...
Obamacare affects real estate transactions
On June 28, the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act informally referred to as Obamacare as constitutional under the federal government’s taxing powers. At this point, the law is essentially a done deal that will have far reaching effects on all Americans way beyond the scope of health care, including taxes that will have an effect on real estate transactions.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, a tax of 3.8 percent will be assessed on some investment income like interest, dividends, rental income and capital gains, which may include some real estate transactions. The purpose of the tax is to raise $210 billion to help fund the health care and Medicare over-haul representing about half of the total new expenditures. More...
BeachHouse a mini-vacation
People fly thousands of miles to exotic locations just so they can sit on the beach, sip a pina colada and watch a perfect sunset. Wouldn’t it be great if you could avoid all of the expense and inconvenience and still get to see the perfect sunset? Well, you can, and for many of us, it’s right in our backyard at the grand lady of Bradenton Beach.
The BeachHouse Restaurant has been perched at the edge of the blue green waters of the Gulf of Mexico since 1993 overlooking 650 feet of beautiful Gulf beaches. Becky Shannon, the general manager since 1996, and Will Manson, the BeachHouse’s chef for the past 11 years, have made it their mission to maintain the iconic restaurant’s beach vibe and great food. More...
Consider Master Limited Partnership investmentInvestment Corner
Thanks to the Sun reader who called to suggest this topic. I’m happy to communicate about topics that are important to our readers, so keep the suggestions coming. Master Limited Partnerships are commonly referred to as MLPs. It is a corporate structure authorized by federal legislation, and allowed for businesses in certain industries primarily it the natural resources arena. Ninety percent of the MLP's revenue must come from qualifying sources, usually the production, processing, or transportation of products like oil, gasoline natural gas or coal.
Investors can invest in MLPs by buying units of ownership in a brokerage transaction just like a stock trade. Units are commonly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ market. More...
Four stragglers saved from turtle nest
Four loggerhead sea turtles trapped in a nest that had hatched three days earlier were excavated and set free by Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch volunteers Glenn and Claudia Wiseman earlier this month at Tiffany Place in Holmes Beach. A crowd watched as they pulled the stragglers out of the nest, which is not an uncommon occurrence. After several luminaries released over the water by nearby beachgoers had disappeared and the coast was clear, they let the hatchlings scramble for the Gulf. More...
Jets soar above Saints
The Sun sports game of the week was an adult co-ed flag football game featuring the Beach to Bay Construction Saints and the Jessie’s Island Store Jets. Eight teams grace the gridiron this summer season. All are seeking the Community Center’s coveted title of Adult Co-Ed Super Bowl Champion.
The Beach to Bay Construction Saints won the toss and capitalized on their first possession. With second down and five, quarterback Larry Berkery threaded the needle to a diving Jason Mickan in the middle of the end-zone for the touchdown. The extra point was good on a Berkery to Shawn Kaleta pitch and catch, 7-0 Saints. More...
Summertime…and the living is easyFeasting on Fitness
My husband and I love the Island in the summer. We venture out to restaurants and enjoy the laid-back lifestyle as the snowbirds allegedly enjoy their northern climes. Although, if any of you have friends or relatives up North and have been tracking this for decades like I have, you know that for the past few weeks, the temperatures here are 20 degrees cooler here than in the upper 49!
To watch the news, you would think that all of Colorado was burning. I was a little concerned as my book tour continued to be speaking and doing book signings at Colorado’s VegFest in Golden, just outside Denver. The nearest fire was 100 miles away, and with the rain I brought, the remaining big fires were doused. More...