Vol. 14 No. 44 - August 27, 2014
Summer season sizzles
HOLMES BEACH – Tourism numbers are climbing to record highs along with the summer temperatures, according to Manatee County’s tourism officials.
About 150,000 people visited Manatee County during the second quarter of this year, from April through June, boosting visitation 5.9 percent compared to the same period in 2013, according to Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) consultant Walter Klages, who congratulated the county’s Tourist Development Council (TDC) for its hard work. More...
Pier rent abatement sought
BRADENTON BEACH – The proprietors of the pier-based Cast-n-Cage restaurant, Rusty Anchor bait shop and Pelican Perch concession stand claim reconstruction of the Historic Bridge Street Pier is impacting business, and are now seeking relief from the city.
During the Thursday, August 21 commission meeting, business owner Roland Pena requested rent abatements and rent refunds that amount to more than $30,000. More...
Residents weigh in on parking plan
HOLMES BEACH – Residents last week gave their input and on the Island Congestion Committee’s proposal to eliminate street and right of way parking in residential areas.
“We’re limiting ourselves and our ability to park as we move from one street to another to visit friends or have parties,” Peg Cummings pointed out, “How will that work?”
Chair Carol Soustek said vehicles would be OK if they have resident parking permits. More...
Fire district presents $5.9 million budget
BRADENTON – West Manatee fire commissioners held the first reading of the $5.9 million 2014-15 budget last week.
“This year was the eighth year in which the district’s income was limited to the five-year personal income growth (PIG) factor,” Price said in his budget message to the board. “This has only allowed us to maintain the staffing and service levels in place since the 2002-03 budget.”
The fire district charges an assessment rate based on the type of parcel and the number of square feet. It can only raise the rate as much as the PIG rate, which is an average of 2.13 percent over the past five years.
Bowlers strike early, often for Center
BRADENTON – AMF Lanes on Cortez Road was invaded by Island residents last Saturday night for an evening of action, fun and charity.
It was the annual O’Connor Bowling Challenge with proceeds going to the Anna Maria Island Community Center. According to Sandee Pruitt of the Community Center, they raised $4,000 for children’s programs at the Center.
The number of bowlers was smaller than in years past, but they appeared to have a great time and there was some great bowling. Bryan Fritz won men’s high series with a 619. Tom Bowles won men’s high game with a 231. More...
City applies for baseball field grants
HOLMES BEACH – Human Resources Analyst Mary Buonagura said the city has applied for $5,000 grants from the Tampa Bay Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates to fund improvements to the city’s baseball field.
Buonagura said other private donations also are on the table. Holmes Beach resident Andy Procter has told city commissioners that after improvements are completed, he hopes to bring traveling Little League baseball tournaments to the city. More...
Business owner ordered to pay penalties, costs
HOLMES BEACH – Code enforcement board members agreed to forgo a fine, but did order Jeff Hostetler, of Coastline Consulting, 6915 Holmes Blvd., to pay penalties and costs at last week’s board meeting.
In June, the board found Hostetler in violation for failure to obtain a business tax receipt (BTR) and ordered him to submit a BTR application and pay $758.81 by June 26. Hostetler wrote the city contesting the need for a BTR because the business is only on paper. More...
Code enforcement process questioned
HOLMES BEACH – Commissioner Marvin Grossman questioned the code enforcement process at a recent city commission meeting after observing the July code enforcement board meeting.
“There were two attorneys, three staff members and seven code board members,” he said. “We need to look at this professionally, at what’s happening and the cost of it.”
Two of the cases at the code board meeting involved persons who did not obtain BTRs for rental units and were issued notices of violation. They did come into compliance two days late. More...
An array of dining options on the Island
In light of all the negative changes that have taken place on our Island paradise the past decade, overcrowding, over construction, tax hikes and so on, I would like to shed some light on the change I feel has benefited all of us, especially the foodies: the evolution of our local food culture.
Few small towns in America boast as many great restaurants and the great variety we have at our fingertips. Currently, there are more than 60 restaurants for AMI alone. More...
Seventh Annual Scallop Search a Successful "Sell Out"
The Seventh Annual Sarasota Bay Great Scallop Search was conducted on Saturday August 23, 2014 with the largest crowd of volunteers to date. The event was a sellout of well over one hundred participants who surveyed areas of Sarasota Bay from New Pass to Ann Maria Sound. During the morning count, forty live scallops were found, a big increase over eleven that were located last year.
Teams of searchers deployed transect lines in various parts of the bay and then snorkeled along the lines to look for the blue eyed mollusks. Based out of the Mar Vista Restaurant in the Longbeach Village, the event helps scientists to get an idea of the population dynamics of scallops which were once prolific in Sarasota Bay. Through a number of factors including pollution and habitat loss scallops all but disappeared from bay waters after the late 1960's. More...
Making it easier to get loans
We’re back in the "be careful what you wish for realm" and it’s something that’s been coming along for a while now. If you’ve been turned down for credit cards, car loans or home financing because of the tight lending standards put in place after the financial crisis, a door to the credit kingdom may have opened a little.
For a while now lending of all types, including mortgages, has become a little easier, especially for individuals who may have had judgments against them or just delinquent accounts. Recently, Fair Isaac Corp., which provides credit scoring analysis for banks, credit card companies and all lenders, announced that it will stop including in its FICO credit score calculations any record of a consumer failing to pay a bill if that bill has been paid or settled with a collection agency. In addition, less weight will be calculated to unpaid medical bills that are with a collection agency. More...
Equities reliable as long-term income sourceInvestment Corner
Investors often migrate to vehicles perceived to be more reliable income sources as they approach or enter retirement. Money market funds, high quality bonds and certificates of deposit are a few of these default income vehicles.
Equities are feared a bit by the income oriented investor due to their periodic bouts with volatility.. Statistics can be deceiving when used to the advantage of the story teller, but when referenced properly are very useful for decision making. The statistics related to using dividend paying common stocks as part of a long-term income plan are quite compelling. More...
The adult co-ed spring soccer season comes to a climatic conclusion this week at the Anna Maria Island Community Center.
The soccer buzz is all over the world right now due to the FIFA World Cup in soccer. The most popular sport on planet earth has fans reeling and soccer fans on the Island are no different. What a perfect time for the conclusion of the Center’s adult soccer season.
Upsets were prevalent in last week’s first round of the playoffs. Three out of the four tournament playoff games were won by the underdog seeded team. Again this shows the parity of the Center’s drafting system in the sports leagues and how any team can win on any given night. More...