Vol. 12 No. 48 - September 12, 2012
ANNA MARIA – With a flip of a lever or two, Ed Chiles took a chunk of old wood, wiring and insulation out of the corner of the Sandbar restaurant Monday afternoon. It was the first step toward a comprehensive makeover of the popular beachfront eatery that began life as two army barracks buildings joined together in the 1940s.
“The die is cast, there’s no turning back,” he said with a pensive smile. “This is long in coming and soon we’ll have a new, beautiful facility to serve our customers.”
While the dining area and indoor bar get a refurbishment, the Sandbar will continue to serve meals in the partially covered deck and bar. More...
Commissioner: Repeal cell tower law
BRADENTON BEACH – City Commissioner Richard Gatehouse wants to start over on the issue of cell phone towers in the city following an exchange of words between opposing sides.
In a three-page memo to fellow commissioners that was distributed at last Thursday’s City Commission meeting, Gatehouse took issue with comments from Scenic WAVES Chair Carl Parks that Gatehouse said accused the Commission in a roundabout fashion of being paid off. More...
Bridge Street Bistro owner Bill Herlihy was watching the people as a singer entertained in the background at Island Time Bar last Saturday during the second annual 9/11 remembrance. There was a breeze that made the shaded outdoor bar cooler.
“It’s a fantastic turnout,” Herlihy said. “I have always been for donating to our emergency services and we’re keeping it local by donating to the local police, fire departments and emergency services. More...
Kurt Lathrop retires after 26 years with fire district
ANNA MARIA –Kurt Lathrop, of West Manatee Fire District, has fulfilled his childhood dream of joining the fire service and is now ready for other challenges.
“It’s all about helping people,” he said. “It became a rewarding career. I have no regrets.”
“I’m happy for him,” Fire Chief Andy Price said. “He’s had a great career and is moving on to another chapter in his life.” More...
Big turnout for Becky
There was a good crowd for the Becky Kramer fundraiser last Saturday in the Drift In parking lot.
Kramer is suffering from breast cancer and the Drift In put together this event to help defer some of her medical bills and help her kick cancer. Drift In owner Joe Cuervo said the event did well.
“It was very successful,” he said. “They raised around $6,000 or $7,000.” More...
Board looks at new land use categories
ANNA MARIA – In a city that is almost built out on an Island where there is no new land, it might have been surprising to some on the Planning and Zoning Board to learn there is a small amount of property that was annexed within the last two years and may need new land use categories.
City Planner Alan Garrett told the board the land around Galati Marina, the City Pier and Rod and Reel Pier was annexed and he suggested a “historic pier” classification for the piers and a “marine use” class for the Galati land. More...
Unusual shell found on beach
BRADENTON BEACH – Look what Tropical Storm Isaac dragged in.
While beachcombing last week, Long Island, N.Y. visitor Larry Welcome found a different sort of shell – an exploded 50-caliber machine gun casing.
The shell’s markings, “SL 43,” refer to its manufacturer, the St. Louis Ordnance cq Plant in St. Louis, Mo. and the year of its manufacture, 1943, during World War II. More...
Board approves tree ordinance
ANNA MARIA – The Planning and Zoning Board approved a scaled-back tree ordinance on Wednesday, Sept. 5, that City Planner Alan Garrett will take to the city commission to see if they want to include it in the city’s Land Development Code (LDC).
The proposed ordinance would require adherence to its rules before the city issues a development approval, permit or certificate of occupancy. Failure to obtain a permit would result in doubling of the permit and other fees. Removing prohibited trees would also require a permit. Violations of the ordinance would result in doubling the requirement of replacement tree coverage. More...
Parents prepare for Fall Festival
HOLMES BEACH – With another school year here and another Fall Festival approaching, moms and dads gathered at the auditorium at Anna Maria Elementary School last week to begin the preparations.
“We see lots of new faces and that makes us happy,” said PTO Vice President Amy Talucci. There were more than 20 people at the meeting. More...
Scallop count up from last year
The weather was perfect, the water clear and a record-breaking crowd of more than 100 volunteers collected 93 scallops during Sarasota Bay Watch’s Fifth Annual Scallop Search based at the Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant on Longboat Key.
The Scallop Search is the signature event of Sarasota Bay Watch and has been growing in popularity every year. Volunteers combed the grass flats from Palma Sola Bay in Manatee County to Big Pass in Sarasota from boats, kayaks, a sailboat and Sarasota High School’s floating classroom, The Carefree Learner. More...
Rebound? Yes, no, maybe
Is it time to buy or is it time to sit on your hands and your checkbook? The final decision about the right time to buy real estate is ultimately up to you, but a little well placed advice could make the decision, making process less stressful.
Warren Buffett once said “be fearful when others are greedy, be greedy when others are fearful,” which is why Uncle Warren is betting on a continued recovery in the housing market. Of course Buffett is investing in big ticket items like real estate investment trusts, shopping malls and apartment buildings but the principal applies to small investors and individuals considering residential properties. If everyone else is afraid to commit to housing it stands to reason according to Buffet that it’s a close to a perfect investment. More...
He served it by the slice
HOLMES BEACH – The spot where Minnie’s Beach Café is located, at 5360 Gulf Drive, has housed a diner for more than 20 years. Recently, a man with a long history at the previous restaurants was eating at Minnie’s with his wife, preparing to go back north.
Jim and Marriette Petitpas now live in Philadelphia, but they purchased a duplex recently in Bradenton, where they hope to live when he finishes his current job in Phillie in a few years. More...
Stocks superior for long-term incomeInvestment Corner
I get a bit nervous when an investment theme becomes too popular, and lately, there has been no shortage of advice touting dividend paying equities as a great idea. However, since this advise is not being rendered with a get rich quick tone, I think it is worth examining the concept of using equities as an income source.
The concept is not new. For the better part of the 20th century, until about 1958, stocks in general paid dividend yields that were higher than the yield on government bonds. For the next 50 years, investing in stocks became more of a growth theme and less focus was placed on dividends by both investors and the companies themselves. For much of the last four years, we have again observed the general yield on stocks, presently about 2.2 percent for the S&P 500 Index, compare favorably with the 10-year treasury bond yield of around 1.7 percent. More...
Three disorientations as 15 turtle nests hatch
The big news last week is the number of loggerhead turtle nests that hatched on Anna Maria Island.
After the huge losses from Tropical Storm Debby and more wind and waves from Isaac, the turtle season is a lesson in how resilient Mother Nature is with these endangered creatures.
“We had around 15 nests hatch last week," said Glenn Wiseman, of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch. “We also had three disorientations – two near Manatee County Beach, in Holmes Beach, and one near the Tortuga Inn, in Bradenton Beach.” More...
A 20-year soccer tradition
School is back in session, summer is winding down, and one of the most anticipated sports seasons of the year is back. Soccer has a long and historic tradition on the Island. For the Anna Maria Island Community Center, soccer is one of the largest sports leagues it offers.
The soccer season has a way of bringing families together in a fun wholesome social environment. Kids, siblings, parents and grandparents will all come together on the fields to cheer friends and family on after a long hot summer mostly apart. More...
Running on SunshineFeasting on Fitness
Running on our beaches. Euphoria sets in at five seconds flat. Arms extended by my sides behind me as my 5K playlist on iTunes takes me soaring. Yeah, that was me running like a bird Saturday morning on Manatee Beach in Bradenton. I had this rush of wanting to gather up everyone and bring them with me. Just for a minute. I know lying on those towels makes it hard to move. But the feeling, smells and sensations of running on the beach are intoxicating as any alcoholic drink I’ve ever sipped in the Caribbean. No amount of money could ever get me to live anywhere else. Ever! Where else can you run on mostly flat, most of the time, high-quality sand, pristine beaches like ours?
I can’t imagine living anywhere else, even in hurricane season! The winds today were whipping at 15 miles an hour. Running into it, even in summer heat with a bundle of humidity, was refreshing. With the wind behind me, it really was like flying! More...