Vol. 16 No. 23 - April 6, 2016
Island mayors send transportation project list to officials
The four Island mayors have sent a letter to officials in the cities of Bradenton and Sarasota, Manatee and Sarasota counties, the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Agency and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) regarding ways to immediately impact traffic congestion on the barrier islands.
According to the letter, "We are asking each agency to review the list and work with other appropriate agencies to determine when such an improvement can be implemented. Some of the recommendations are within the Manatee County area of responsibility and some are in FDOT's areas and some recommendations involve local, county and state agencies. More...
Carleton gets 21 months
TAMPA – US District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced former Holmes Beach real estate agent Michael Carleton to 21 months in a federal prison for taking deposits on rental units that were not available. Carleton, 53, was convicted of mail fraud Nov. 25 last year.
In addition, Carleton is required to pay $200,000 in a judgment against him in two cases where he took deposits and failed to deliver on rental units or their down payments. He is also required to pay $136,048.96 to his victims. His company, Coast Line Accommodations, book more than 70 renters, according to court documents.
After receiving complaints, the Holmes Beach Police Department investigated Carleton until U.S. Postal investigators took over. More...
Occupancy ruling anticipated
FANNA MARIA – As of Monday, city officials and potentially-impacted vacation rental owners were still awaiting a judge's ruling on whether an eight-person occupancy limit is legal.
Circuit Court Judge Gilbert Smith Jr. conducted a hearing in downtown Bradenton on Friday, April 1, the same day the city of Anna Maria's vacation rental ordinance took effect.
Smith said he hoped to issue a ruling this week.
Assisted by attorney Aaron Thomas, attorney Randolph Smith represented Florida Gulf Coast Vacation Homes LLC. State records list Joe and Kelley Varner as the authorized personnel of the LLC that shares an address with Anna Maria Vacations and Anna Maria Island Beaches Real Estate; the latter of which lists Joe Varner, Shawn Kaleta and James Bayer as authorized members. None of the plaintiffs attended the hearing. More...
FDEP weighs in on day dock
BRADENTON BEACH – City officials have received the letter they requested from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) regarding the use of the city day dock and the commercial spaces located at the foot of the pier.
Dated Thursday, March 31, the letter from FDEP Southwest District Director Mary Yeargan was addressed to Building Official Steve Gilbert.
"The Department has conducted a review of the uses of the city of Bradenton Beach pier and day dock. It has come to the department's attention that commercial vessels use the day dock to conduct unauthorized revenue generating activities … the lease limits the use of the day dock to the mooring of recreational vessels and a water taxi," the letter said. More...
Petitioners protest rental restriction change
HOLMES BEACH – A group of property owners in the R-1 zoning district have petitioned the city regarding a change in rental restrictions that is set to take effect in 2017.
In 2007, the City Commission changed rental restrictions in the R-1 zoning district from weekly to 30 days. Rental owners who could prove they were renting at the time were allowed to continue to rent for anther 10 years. However, at the end of 10 years, they would have to comply with the 30-day minimum.
The group of property owners has asked to meet with city commissioners because they feel the change would cause them to suffer substantial financial hardship as well as a loss in the value of their property. They said after 2017 they will be "in the difficult position of trying to find tenants who can afford to stay at the beach 30 days or more consecutively." More...
Food, music and auction at the Grand Affaire
ANNA MARIA – The Grand Affaire, The Center's 26th annual gala, will be held on April 16, from 6 to 11 p.m. in The Center's Grand Ballroom, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.
The Chiles Restaurant Group will present a culinary experience that features culinary parings with wine. Hors d'oeuvres include caviar with blini, oysters, charcuterie and cheese with accouterments. The first course will be a farm inspired, seasonal salad, and the main course will be dry aged rib eye with port and lobster with beurre blanc with seasonal vegetable gratin. For dessert, choose from torched meringue, hand shaved blueberry granite and Key lime profiterole. More...
Moratorium petition requested
BRADENTON BEACH – The citizen-led efforts to enact a building moratorium remain ongoing.
Longtime city resident Pricilla VonAhnen recently requested from City Clerk Terri Sanclemente an Ordinance Initiative Petition form that could ultimately result in a voter referendum on a potential moratorium ordinance.
The petition form VonAhnen received includes language from Article IV of the city charter that addresses ordinance enactment by way of citizens' initiative.
The petition form says, "The electors of the city may propose ordinances to the commission provided a minimum of 50 electors or 10 percent of the electors voting in the last city election, whichever is greater, have signed a petition on a form provided by the city clerk." More...
Ribbon cut on Holmes Beach postal unit
U.S. Post Office (USPS) officials joined former contract postal unit (CPU) holders Jack Jackson and Peggy Meyers and new CPU holders Julie Quinlivan and Sally Woodward last week to cut the ribbon on the unit in Holmes Beach.
Carol Shirley, retail manager of the Suncoast District, said, "We're happy to see Jack and Peggy pass the torch to Julie and Sally."
Holmes Beach Mayor Bob Johnson said the postal unit "serves an essential purpose for our residents. Thanks to Peggy and Jack, you are a personification of this community. To the Lucky Shoppe, thanks for continuing a great lineage. More...
Good start, wet ending
Mother Nature rained on two festivals on Anna Maria Island Saturday, forcing them to shut down early.
The inaugural Beach'N Food Truck and Music Festival at Coquina Beach parking area was going strong Saturday morning with visitors coming in. There was a huge stage where the musicians played with Mike Sales acting as emcee. The aroma from the colorful food trucks was drawing hungry people.
Then, the storm came. More...
Seeing is believing
Polarized sunglasses are an essential tool for any angler. They serve multiple purposes including protecting the eyes and cutting the surface glare by reducing the amount of visible light that passes through the glasses. This enhances visibility below the water's surface, an indispensable advantage when sight fishing and looking for signs of fish. Many anglers choose their glasses according to style, not realizing that the color of the lenses and other factors determine their real effectiveness. Color is important, but it's just one of the choices that you will need to make to get the most from your sunglasses. More...
Boosting your home's value: part I
Real estate values are ruled in a large part by what generation is buying the real estate. Currently the millennial generation, born from approximately the early 1980s to around 2000, is the target buyer. Since they are 75 million strong and purchased 32 percent of the homes in 2014, everyone is interested in marketing real estate is paying close attention. Along those lines, Consumers Reports did a recent survey of millennials and what they are looking for in a home, resulting in a report of the eight ways to boost a home's value based on the standards of today's primary buyers.
Rule number 1: Every generation always wants a nice kitchen, and the millennials are no different with one third of them surveyed indicating it was their top most important item in a home. The two items that came in as the most important in a kitchen are stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops. Stainless has been around for decades, but it is still the first choice in appliances. Some of the newer stainless finishes like black stainless and less reflective finishes are just as popular.
Shop the AM General Store
On Anna Maria Island, there's a village within a village and not just any village, but a green village. And what every village needs is a general store, and not just any general store, but a general store that sells wine, gourmet and specialty foods and has an awesome deck.
Anna Maria General Store and Deli on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria has been owned by Brian Seymour since July 2012 after managing it for the prior 2 ½ years. Originally located a little further down Pine Avenue, in August last year, Seymour relocated his business into Anna Maria's Historic Green Village. Not only was he eager to be in this location in order to expand his services and inventory, but he was also enticed by the green concept the village had embraced.
MyRA: A Roth IRA for beginnersInvestment Corner
Many of my clients have built up a healthy investment portfolio and have confidence in their financial future. They've been saving and investing so long that it has become second nature. But what about the young people in your life? Do you have children or grandchildren who are just entering the workforce or struggling to pay down student loans? They may ask, "Where do I even begin?"
The starting line for the race to a comfortable retirement may be clearer than ever. In light of the fact that 31 percent of American workers have nothing saved for retirement, the government has recently begun to offer a new retirement savings account that is perfect for beginners: MyRA. More...
Beach House Real Estate seals the deal
When The Center, historically known as the Anna Maria Island Community Center, started a recreational co-ed adult flag football league six years ago, the field was filled with Island area husbands and wives, friends and family all playing side-by-side on the gridiron for friendly but competitive games each Thursday night. Most teams had at least two female players; some had as many as four. The stands used to be filled for all of the games with spectators and fellow players watching every snap of the ball, with children running around while their parents played and the community watched after the kids.
Over the years, the games have gotten more competitive. The players have gotten younger, and the play has increasingly become faster and more intense. The result is fewer females are playing, the dynamics of the game have changed, and fans in the bleachers are rare. The league gradually transformed and is not quite as family oriented as it once was and as the creators envisioned it.
Turtles, trees benefit from app
A project that uses an android app instead of pencil, paper and a clipboard is designed to save both turtles and trees, according to Suzi Fox, director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring.
The not-for-profit organization's volunteers walk Anna Maria Island's beaches each morning from May 1 to Oct. 31 searching for flipper tracks that indicate that sea turtles have nested the night before.
Instead of recording data on clipboards showing the date, the location of nests, whether eggs are in the nests or whether they were false crawls and many other statistics, Turtle Watch is the first organization of its kind to use an app to enter the data electronically. More...