Vol. 16 No. 32 - June 8, 2016
Colin leaves soggy Island in its wake
ANNA MARIA ISLAND – Island residents, visitors and city officials were plagued by flooded streets, water seeping into low-lying homes, anchored vessels breaking free, a dinghy dock underwater and at least one leaking roof that caused residents to evacuate, but there were no serious injuries or life-threating incidents reported as Tropical Storm Colin passed through Monday afternoon.
"We train to respond to these type of storms. We had our plans in place and we were in communication with the Manatee County Emergency Operations Center," said Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale, while touring the city during high tide, which arrived around 12:45 p.m. on Monday. More...
Chappie to run for city seat
BRADENTON BEACH – On Friday afternoon, former Bradenton Beach Mayor and current County Commissioner John Chappie announced he was running for the Ward 4 City Commission seat being vacated by Jan Vosburgh.
In March, Chappie announced that he would not seek a third term as the District 3 County Commissioner.
On Friday, he said running for a city commission seat was not on his radar at that time, but encouragement from others helped change his mind.
"I kept getting more and more phone calls. Here I am wanting to slow down, but this is about wanting to help and having an opportunity to do that on a different level. I loved serving the county, and I learned a lot in my seven-plus years, but I'm a lot more comfortable with the city stuff. Given the opportunity, I know I can help us grow stronger and even better as a community, and I can contribute balance to the commission," he said. More...
Traffic islands are a work in progress
HOLMES BEACH – While the traffic islands at East Bay Drive and Manatee Avenue have been transformed, beautification board members feel they could be improved.
The initial work included removing most of the plants but keeping the three palms, adding groupings of Indian Hawthorne and coontie adding brown stone, boulders trimmed with red crimson stone, small lime rock trim around plants and riprap as an edging barrier. Public Works Foreman Dave Benton said the work cost about $5,000.
At the May 11 meeting, member Midge Pippel asked about adding artwork such as a sculpture, and the board voted to authorize her to explore the possibility. Member Jerry West said any artwork must adhere to line of sight guidelines from the Florida Department of Transportation. More...
Drainage project comes to central Holmes Beach
HOLMES BEACH – Neighbors gathered at Spring Lake Park last week to hear from City Engineer Lynn Burnett regarding the latest phase in the Island-wide drainage project.
Burnett told the group that as the Island grew, people used cheap available materials to build up the land on the Island in order to build homes and businesses.
"Over time, the layers built up and compacted and sealed off the ability for the water to drain back through the sand," she said, adding that the drainage project is installing a filtration/percolation system in order to restore the ability for the water to drain. More...
Holmes Beach qualifying begins June 20
HOLMES BEACH – Candidates have from noon on June 20 to noon on June 24 to qualify for the seats now held by City Commissioners Judy Titsworth, Marvin Grossman and Mayor Bob Johnson.
All have said they plan to run again. It would be Johnson's second term, and Titsworth and Grossman are seeking their third terms.
All seats are for two-year terms. A commissioner's annual salary is $6,000 and the mayor's is $12,000. Candidates must be citizens of the United States, registered voters in Manatee County and two-year residents of the city.
Candidates must qualify through the office of City Clerk Stacey Johnston, who is the city's election official. They can qualify by paying an election assessment fee of 1 percent of the annual salary of the office ($60 for commission candidates and $120 for mayoral candidates), collecting signatures of 15 voters residing in the city and completing a candidate's residency affidavit. Or they may file an undue burden oath, which eliminates the fee, collect signatures of 15 voters residing in the city and complete a candidate's residency affidavit. More...
Armed threats draw law enforcement onto Island
HOLMES BEACH – The parking lot at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church looked like a Manatee County Sherriff's Office parking lot with more than 40 vehicles, most of them SUVs, parked there on Tuesday morning,
The reason was a domestic case in the 500 block of 68th Street in Holmes Beach that had been ongoing since about 4:30 a.m. Officers were dispatched to the house at that hour after the mother of 30-year-old Gerald Alois Harles II called to report her son was drunk and tearing up the house.
According to the Holmes Beach Police Department news release, as the officers were speaking with the mother at the front door, the son came toward the door carrying what appeared to be a rifle or shotgun and he cocked it, as if getting ready to fire. The officers took cover behind their patrol vehicles. The son refused to come out of the house, would not release his parents and threatened to kill his mother. He said he would shoot police before going to jail. More...
Dock request amended
BRADENTON BEACH – After being met with opposition from other dock owners, and continued to a later date, a variance request to build a dock in front of adjoining lots at 2107 Ave. A has been amended.
Representing the property owner, the Richard Wagener Trust, Realtor Mike Norman presented the variance request to Special Master William Robinson Jr. at the Tuesday, May 24, variance hearing.
The applicant originally sought to build a connected dock that was 40-feet long, five feet wide and provided 20 feet of dockage in front of each lot. In order to build a connected dock, the applicant wants to eliminate the 10-foot side yard setback requirement at the east edge of one lot and the west edge of the other. More...
Ordinance aimed at false rental advertising
ANNA MARIA – The Thursday, June 9, Anna Maria City Commission meeting will feature the second reading of a proposed ordinance that would penalize those who falsely advertise public lodging units located in the city.
If adopted, the ordinance would apply to all lodging units that advertise occupancy in excess of what is allowed by the city. This would include, but not be limited to, vacation rentals. The ordinance would also apply to property owners who signed restrictive covenants that prohibit them from using their properties as short-term rentals for the first five years after construction has been completed and to those who place guests in a unit other than the one advertised. More...
In the summertime, when the weather is fine...
Boy, time sure does fly. Here it is, June already, and it doesn't seem like it has slowed down a bit. On top of that, holidays are right around the corner, and we're starting to hear from friends and family about their vacations. I guess that's one of the downfalls of living in paradise!
I did have a nice surprise a couple of weeks back when I got an e-mail from an old high school cohort. Come to find out, in the 30 plus years I haven't seen him, he got married and bought a house in Colorado, the last place I saw him. He and his wife were going to visit her family on the east coast near Daytona before going on a fossil expedition while visiting the Venice Sharks Tooth Festival. More...
Fly fishing for tarpon
The tarpon that frequent our beaches during the months of May through August provide an enticing target for fly anglers. These armor clad warriors can weigh in at over 200 pounds, and the average fish will run from 80 to 100 pounds. That's why fly fishing guides describe the experience as the "Apex of Angling."
Some of the best tarpon fishing in the world can be experienced on our nearshore bars and inshore waters. Fishing for tarpon on the fly isn't a game of numbers, it's the hunt and the eye to eye action that keep anglers on the bow.
Fly tackle should match the quarry, so fly anglers intent on landing one opt for a 12-weight outfit and 70- to 80- pound bite tippet. While it might seem like a difficult task to land a tarpon on a fly rod, anglers knowing the limits of their tackle can actually land a tarpon in a surprisingly short time. The key is to apply maximum pressure from the hookup and never let up. Many beginning fly anglers baby their tarpon in a misguided attempt to land them. In actuality, the longer you fight tarpon the better the chance of losing them. More...
No April real estate showers
If there were rain showers during April, they sure didn't have an effect on the real estate market. According to the April sales statistics published by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, sale prices are considerably up.
The median sale price of single-family homes (half above and half below) was up 8.9 percent from last April to $279,300. The average sale price for single-family homes was up 13.4 percent to $353,456. Closed sales were almost exactly the same with 534 closing during April of this year, and properties are selling at 94.7 percent of the list price.
The condo market also is up with the median sale price up 14.1 percent from April of last year to $165,500 and the average sales price up 58 percent to $311,127 (this number probably includes some high end condos that sold and likely will readjust next month). Closed sales are also up 12.1 percent to 306 in April of this year, and properties are selling at 94.3 percent of list price similar to single family homes. More...
IT for everyone at Empire Computer Services
Do you need "IT" support? Do you even know what "IT" means? Well, what it means is information technology, a term than can raise the stress level in even the most laid back of us. Not to worry. There is someone out there who wants to explain and teach you all the new technology in a simple and user-friendly way.
Brian Prete started Empire Computer Services on Anna Maria Island right after graduating from college in Albany, N.Y., in 2004 with a computer science and business degree. His goal is to empower clients who encounter computer, Internet and smart phone problems by not just fixing the problem but also providing an understanding of the technology. Empire is very accommodating, providing same day mobile services in your home or business for all of Anna Maria and Bradenton, as well as Longboat Key and even areas further south. Frequently staffers can solve your problem remotely and are always ready to offer complimentary advice. More...
Three strategies to consider for long-term care coverageInvestment Corner
Last month, we reviewed the costs of long-term care here in Florida. Since almost 70 percent of today's 65-year-olds are going to need some form of long-term care , it is important to have a plan to pay for the costs. For most people, it makes the most sense to insure against it. There are three main ways to gain long-term care coverage, and it is important to understand them in order to choose the best fit for your particular situation.
1. Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance
With traditional long-term care insurance, you pay a premium in exchange for the ability to receive benefits, if they are needed. A long-term care insurance policy provides you with money to pay for qualified long-term care costs, if they are incurred. If you never need long-term care, then you receive no benefits; it is a use-it-or-lose-it policy. More...
Underdogs find victory at The Center
Each sports season at the Center, new teams are created and new coaches commit to growing their players. This mixing up of old friends with new players is the on-going tradition of the Island recreational sports program. It takes practices, games and time for a newly formed team to gel. Often times, it takes the whole season.
For the volunteer coaches, trying to figure out the best positions for each of their players, despite where they may have played in the past, requires fine-tuning and tweaking each game. This, while making sure each player gets playing time and touches the ball, can make for a long and sometimes losing season. More...
Turtle Talk Tuesdays begin in June
Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring volunteers will present a 30-minute program every Tuesday at 10 a.m. in June and July at CrossPointe Fellowship Church, 8605 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach.
Using photos, videos and funny stories, volunteers will take you on a virtual tour of Anna Maria Island's nesting beaches and answer your questions.
Everyone will get the scoop on the time and location of upcoming nest excavations, which is done three days after hatchlings leave the nests, and can pick up free activity books, handouts and temporary turtle tattoos.