Vol. 15 No. 10 - December 31, 2014

news

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryNew year, new sand, new life

EGMONT KEY – New sand is being brought to this small island to build up the beaches where the ruins of historic Fort Dade stand eroding into Tampa Bay and the Gulf.

The sand, which comes from a maintenance dredging in the bay, will be used to extend the beach of this vanishing key and the Army Corps of Engineers plans to put geotextile tubes out into the water from the beaches to slow down the erosion. The Corps awarded a $13.4 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company of Oak Brook, Ill., to perform maintenance dredging of Tampa Harbor along the Egmont and Mullet key channel cuts. The sand dredged from there will go to Egmont Key’s renourishment. The maintenance dredge will remove up to 875,000 cubic yards of sand along 17 miles of channel to improve navigation safety. The Corps predicts the project will be done by early spring, weather permitting. More...

Mainsail names hotel project Waterline

HOLMES BEACH – With a name that evokes water lapping against the side of a boat or along the shore, the Waterline hotel, lodge and marina complex will soon change the face of the city’s center.

“I think everybody will like it,” Joe Collier, president of Mainsail Development, said. “It will bring that area to life. I think people will be pleasantly surprised.”

The project, located near the intersection of Marina and Gulf drives, includes a lodge with two wings that feature two-bedroom lodging units, an 80-seat restaurant and meeting rooms; a 50-boat slip marina and a separate building with two-bedroom lodging units. More...

‘Sticker shock’ hits fire board

BRADENTON – West Manatee Fire commissioners questioned the cost and design of a boat that the district plans to purchase with a matching grant from the West Coast Inland Navigational District.

In September, Capt. Ryan Moore presented to the board a detailed report on replacing the district’s boat. Board members approved negotiations with a sole source provider as the only manufacturer that could produce a boat to meet the district’s needs.

However, at the December meeting, Commissioner Randy Cooper said he “has sticker shock” over the nearly $400,000 cost of the boat. More...

Mar Vista approved for second story

LONGBOAT KEY – Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub has the green light from Longboat Key officials to build a second story deck with outdoor dining.

Over objections by surrounding residents concerned that outdoor dining will increase noise and parking problems, the Planning and Zoning Board gave final approval this month to the Chiles Restaurant Group for a site plan amendment and a special exception to the town’s code to allow the expansion. Other changes at the historic restaurant at 760 Broadway St. will include re-grading the parking area and additional landscaping, according to the site plan.

The second story deck will have 52 seats, to be relocated from the first floor indoor dining room, which will become retail space, Longboat Key Town Planner Steve Schield said, adding that the first floor indoor bar with 12 seats will remain. More...

Looking back & looking ahead…

What will you remember about 2014, and what do you look forward to in 2015?

Nancy Ambrose, Holmes Beach:

My favorite memory is celebrating my dad’s 95th birthday. We also adopted a poodle and got involved with Florida Poodle Rescue. Many of us will never forget a magical evening with Symphony on the Sand in the rain, and receiving the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s National ACT Lead Award is something I will never forget.

I look forward to moving into our new home, spending more time with my dad, making strides on cancer issues, working on palliative care bills and continuing the weekly Beach Market at Coquina Beach.

Debra Aplin, Holmes Beach:

“I’ll remember my daughter’s engagement, and I look forward to good health and the birth of my nephew’s first child. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Fish wash ashore; red tide apparently not the cause

A mullet roundup in the Gulf of Mexico off Bradenton Beach netted roe, or eggs, for dozens of fishermen just in time for Christmas. But since then, mullet have been washing up on Anna Maria Island’s beaches apparently as a result of some fishermen keeping the high-dollar roe from the females and dumping the low-dollar female carcasses and the males overboard.

In previous Sun reports, local food banks have said that it would be too expensive to transport, ice and process the fish even if the fishermen were willing to save room in their boats bring them to the dock and donate them. Meanwhile, Manatee County workers continue to clean dead fish from the beaches. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports no red tide off Florida’s Gulf coast, and county officials say they believe the dead fish, which numbered in the thousands of tons, were dumped. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryGet ready for Dolphin Dash

HOLMES BEACH – The streets near Anna Maria Elementary School will be full of runners on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, as the school presents its Tenth Annual Dolphin Dash, sponsored by the school’s PTO and organized by Jesse Brisson.

The only changes this year are minor, said Brisson.

“This year we’ll have a bigger spread of food, more selection,” he said. “Also, we’ll have black T-shirts to pass out to the runners.” More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryFireworks ready for New Year’s celebration

BRADENTON BEACH – When the ball drops at Times Square, the sky above the Gulf will come alive to herald a new year.

Once again, a free fireworks show is being offered on New Year’s Eve starting at midnight, and the beaches will be open for those who want to enjoy it.

And as in previous years, the three law enforcement organizations will have extra personnel to make sure the fireworks are in the hands of the professionals since fireworks are illegal to the general public.

“If it flies or goes boom, it’s illegal,” said Bradenton Beach Police Lt. John Cosby. “We’ll have extra men for law enforcement and traffic control, plus we’ll have help from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and Holmes Beach, if we need it.” More...



features

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryOctogenarian chronicles social issues

CORTEZ – JB Crawford’s new book, “Goodbye Baloney,” provides a literary snapshot of events and issues relevant to 2014.

“Goodbye Baloney” features 77 case studies that range in subject matter from the judicial system, to electoral politics and looking for new places for humans to live.

“It’s the kind of book you can sit down and read 10 minutes at a time. It’s very thought provoking and an interesting book, I think,” the 80-year-old Cortez resident said.

According to the book jacket, Crawford spends the early part of his days “enjoying the smell of ink, the crinkle of paper and the drama of everyday living,” and his case studies were inspired by his immersion in print media. More...



OUTDOORS

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryResolutions for anglers

I think New Year’s resolutions were invented to remind us of all the things on our perpetual (as in they never quite get done) to do list. We start to become aware of them as the holidays approach and they begin to coalesce into lists as the New Year approaches. These are reminders of the way we would like things to be and although they might actually never get done, just keeping them in mind can be helpful.

Anglers are no different, listing resolutions such as keeping our tackle in order (being able to find what we want when we need it). It’s amazing how many times I’ve come across something I’ve been looking for, right when I don’t need it. And while it might not be needed at the moment, I sure can remember when it would have come in handy one day on the water. More...



real estate

2015 – a million dollar year

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m sure you’re busy with your list of resolutions. Well I’ve been busy too, but instead of New Year’s resolutions I’ve been making a list of New Year’s predictions, and I predict 2015 will redefine what a million dollar home is.

It’s been coming for a while – a small ocean swell crashing on the shore before we know it. There have been numerous articles written about the increase in sales of more than $1 million, including in this space, and long time residents just shaking their heads in disbelief.

True we’ve been down this road before the financial crisis gave everyone a reality check, but this time it’s different. First of all the growth is more widespread, not just concentrated on the islands and waterfront property. Now there are numerous areas in both Manatee and Sarasota Counties that are boasting abundant properties selling for more than $1 million. It also feels more restrained than the overheated market before the crash which you just knew even while living through it could never last, this time we seem to be on more of a solid footing. More...



business

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

An unusual average year

Investment Corner

We often like to use the chart below to illustrate how the average return investors expect for stocks, generally anticipated at 8 to 10 percent a year over longer periods of time doesn’t often translate into that same level of performance in most years.

In other words, the long term averages are developed through a wide disparity of returns, both positive and negative, that more often than not fall outside of the normal range. Our approach to this is to take the expected return of about 10 percent per year and to then define 10 percent bands of +5 percent and -5 percent around that expectation. So, a return between 5 percent and 15 percent for a particular year would be considered normal. Returns further away from normal are grouped into 10 percent bands, both in the positive and negative directions.

The result is a little surprising to most. Since 1950, there are far more years with results outside of the normal expectation than in the middle band surrounding the norm. In fact, only 23 percent of these years were close to the long-term expected rate of return. More...



SPORTS

Let the playoffs begin

Quarter final playoff action took place for the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s adult co-ed soccer league Thursday night as eight teams battled it out for a spot in the semi-finals. In single elimination play, only four teams move forward to play another game.

Sato Real Estate 0 Wash Family Construction 1

The first game of the night found sixth seed Sato Real Estate lose to Wash Family Construction the playoff’s third seed. Despite strong striking attempts by Sato Real Estate, it could not score against goalie Ray Gardner who had 14 saves. The lone goal by Wash Family Construction was made after regulation play during a best out of five penalty kick shoot out against keeper Jason Sato.

More...