Vol. 16 No. 33 - June 15, 2016
Day dock closed, pier damaged
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...
County proposes half-cent sales tax
BRADENTON – Manatee County commissioners last week got their first look at an ordinance that would seek voter approval of a half-cent sales tax.
County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said a citizens' board that met from December 2015 to April 2016, recommended the tax as the best way to generate funds for infrastructure improvements.
"You have before you a proposal to put on the ballot in November of this year for a half cent sales tax that would cover the roadways, parks and public safety needs of this community that we have insufficient funds to deal with in the future, " Hunzeker explained. More...
Mosquito director gives Zika update
BRADENTON – The most important thing people can do to prevent mosquitoes from breeding is to clean up their yards, Mark Latham, director of Manatee County Mosquito Control, told Manatee County commissioners last week.
"Aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus mosquitoes are the two types that transmit the Zika virus and are only found in association with man – in man made containers and a few natural containers in urban and suburban areas," Latham explained.
"They rarely travel more than a few hundred feet and are active during the daylight hours. They bite in the early morning after sunrise and late afternoon and evening before sunset." More...
Seymour joins four-way commission race
ANNA MARIA – Anna Maria General Store and Deli owner Brian Seymour has pulled papers and plans to qualify to run for a seat on the City Commission.
The qualifying period for Anna Maria candidates opened Monday, June 13 and closes at noon on Friday, June 24.
This will be Seymour's first bid for an elected office.
When asked about his forthcoming campaign, he said, "My intentions are to run for city commissioner, but before I go into much detail I'd like to get through the qualifying first. More...
Plans continue for AMI Bridge replacement
BRADENTON – Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Project Engineer Kati Sherrard addressed the Manatee County Board of Commissioners last week about the replacement of the Anna Maria Island Bridge. She said everything is on track since the Federal Highway Administration approved the plan for a fixed-span bridge with a 65-foot vertical clearance to replace the current drawbridge with a 17-foot clearance.
Sherrard said FDOT received a request from Manatee County to consider a transit lane, which will be considered. The big news is the formation of an aesthetics committee of representatives of the Island cities, Bradenton, Save Anna Maria and the Palma Sola Scenic Highway Committee. It will meet on the third Wednesday of each month.
The group will consider colors and designs including scenic overlooks. She said FDOT expects to have the final design by 2019. The estimated cost for the project is $76 million. More...
Boardwalk coming to Grassy Point
HOLMES BEACH – In the next few weeks, the city plans to send out an RFP (request for proposals) to complete the master plan for Grassy Point Preserve.
Amenities such as a boardwalk, observation platform and fishing pier are required by the original grant award agreement from the state.
Opened in October 2012, the 32-acre environmental preserve located along Anna Maria Sound includes a 1,000-foot nature trail around the upland portion, three picnic tables, an informational kiosk, a bicycle rack and four parking spaces. More...
Beaches recovering from TS Colin
ANNA MARIA ISLAND – While the winds whistled through the Australian pines, floodwaters did more damage during Tropical Storm Colin's visit last week.
The heavy rains left many homeowners with the unenviable task of drying out their floors and cleaning their walls and furniture, as some beach walkers wondered what the waves were doing to our recently renourished beaches.
Water on the south end of the Island overflowed the seawall where the Island ends under the Longboat Pass Bridge, according to Manatee County Marine Rescue officials. More...
Moratorium vote on Thursday
BRADENTON BEACH – Will the third time be the charm for a citizen-requested building moratorium?
On Thursday, June 16, Bradenton Beach City Commissioners will decide the immediate fate of a citizen-initiated building moratorium ordinance. Led by longtime resident Priscilla VonAhnen and supported by 69 registered city voters who signed her petition initiative, the moratorium request is the third attempt to slow the construction of large homes to be used as short-term vacation rentals.
If three or more commission members support the proposed ordinance, the two commission meetings in July would include public hearings on the formal adoption of a six-month building moratorium. If the commission majority rejects the moratorium ordinance, the decision would passed onto city voters in November, as provided for in the city charter via the petition initiative process. The meeting begins at noon. More...
Consultant prefers high Cortez Bridge
CORTEZ – Everybody in the village knows there will be a replacement for the Cortez Bridge someday, they just don't know whether a new one would do them more harm than good.
At the Manatee County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, June 4, the senior project manager for the Cortez Bridge replacement, Tony Sherrard, spoke about the bridge.
Talk turned to ways to alleviate the traffic situation by adding a committed mass transit lane. More...
Jack cravelle: catching is believing
Jack cravelle are one of the toughest targets an angler will encounter. These tenacious juggernauts are not sought after by most anglers. The majority of jacks are caught by anglers fishing for trout, redfish, snook and other species. Small jack cravelle are even considered trash fish by many anglers. Once they hook one over five pounds, they usually have a new appreciation of these bull dogs of the sea.
During the summer months it's not uncommon to see large schools of big jack cravelle along local beaches when tarpon fishing. They cruise the beaches in packs, pursuing schools of baitfish. While even small jacks can put up a feisty battle, larger members of the species are incredibly challenging.
A big jack on the west coast will run about 15 to 20 pounds and can put up an awe inspiring fight. It's not uncommon for a 10- to 15-pound fish to wage a long battle on a 12-weight fly rod used for tarpon. More...
Could this be the year?
The 2016 hurricane season officially kicked off about two weeks ago, but does anyone even care? Well, this could be the year where you really need to pay attention, stock up on the usual stuff and prepare your home because this year is predicted to be the most active since 2012.
Let's start with the predictions – according to The Weather Channel there will be 14 named storms, eight hurricanes and three of those will be Category 3 or higher. Then according to the Colorado State University forecasters there will be 13 named storms, six hurricanes and two Category 3 or higher. The 30-year average is 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three Category 3 or higher. Although someone needs to tell me why there are hurricane experts in Colorado, I do like their forecast a little better.
Just to make us take the weather gods seriously there has already been an unusual hurricane in January – Alex centered in the Azores. Tropical Storm Bonnie disrupted everyone's Memorial Day cookouts in the Carolinas, and as I write this Tropical Storm Colin is beating on my roof. So maybe it is time to take the predictions a little more seriously this year. Not that we shouldn't every year, since even in years when there were only four named storms, like 1992 Mother Nature gave us Hurricane Andrew. 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...
Wash Family Construction nails down win
The Center's adult co-ed recreational soccer league, with nearly 100 players this season, match up Thursday nights for head-to-head battle. This season boasts nine teams, and each week eight of those teams fight for the win and standing leading to the playoffs. For the first time in the league's history, not every team will make the post-regular season play, making every victory critical.
This week, the most senior team captain faced the youngest captain in the feature game of the week. Lyn Clark, local author, holds down the helm for Team Wash Family Construction (WFC) while Manatee High School graduate Kevin Roman leads Team Island Pest Control. Roman, former Braden River Soccer Club player, is in his second season in the Island league and stepped up to captain last year in his inaugural year. More...
Wildlife adapts after Colin
The high winds and surf from Tropical Storm Colin took its toll on sea turtle nests, but the shorebirds, whose nests were reportedly wiped out by predators earlier, appear to be back again to try and hatch their eggs. Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring Director Suzi Fox had something positive to say about the beaches on Anna Maria Island.
"Thank God for renourishment," she said. "If we hadn't added sand to the shores. We would have lost houses."
Fox said there is one thing about renourished beaches that make them stronger. More...