Vol. 17 No. 26 - April 12, 2017
Officials question bridge height
CORTEZ – According to County Commissioner Carol Whitmore, representatives of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will be meeting individually with some county commissioners this week to discuss design options for a fixed span bridge that would replace the existing Cortez Bridge.
On Sunday, Whitmore said she was under the impression that FDOT officials and their consultants were leaning in favor of the largest of three possible options: a fixed span bridge that would allow 65-feet of clearance underneath. Another option would be a new drawbridge that would provide a 35-foot clearance that would allow more vessels to pass through without the need to raise the bridge. The existing bridge provides approximately 21 feet of clearance when not raised. More...
Noise violation leads to arrest
BRADENTON BEACH – The Bradenton Beach Police Department has adopted a zero-tolerance policy that resulted in Freckled Fin owner Scott Lubore getting arrested last week for a noise ordinance violation.
Two weeks ago, Lubore was warned that any more violations would result in an arrest, and the repercussions of that arrest are now being felt elsewhere on Bridge Street.
The police report says Officer Steve Masi was in his patrol car at Fourth Street South at 8:23 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, and heard live music that seemed too loud. After determining the Freckled Fin was the source, Masi used a calibrated decibel meter to take a sound measurement while standing across the street in front of the Sandcastle Resort. The meter produced a reading of 81-86 decibels. More...
Easter fun for kids and adults
Kids will again hunt for Easter eggs on the beach at the Sandbar restaurant on Saturday, April 15.
The restaurant will serve refreshments, including coffee, starting at 8:30 a.m. and then the kids will migrate to beach, where the Easter Bunny has left a bunch of colorful eggs. This event is sponsored by the Chiles Group and The Sun newspaper. This is the 15th year the Sun newspaper has been a sponsor.
Kids need to bring an Easter basket or bag to hold their eggs. Parking will be available in parking lots at the Sandbar, at adjacent lots on Gulf Drive and at Anna Maria City Hall or at CrossPointe Fellowship at 8605 Gulf Drive. Taking the free trolley is a good way to leave parking hassles at home. More...
Enjoy Easter worship: Island style
HOLMES BEACH – The beauty of the Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island's Easter Sunrise Service draws thousands of worshippers from Manatee and Sarasota Counties to Manatee County Public Beach every year. This year's outdoor celebration starts after 6 a.m., when the Manatee Beach Café opens for coffee and the free Island trolleys start their day. Attendees are urged to bring a blanket or beach chair and dress for the weather.
Kiwanis Club members will set up the stage, cross and sound system, and members of all six churches will deliver a Christian service. Bring money for the offertory because the money collected is distributed equally among the churches.
Later in the day, those who slept in will have Easter services to attend at their church of choice. Here's a lineup of services for the week before and Easter. More...
Privateer injured in cannon mishap
BRADENTON BEACH – Anna Maria Island Privateer John Swager was injured Saturday evening in an accident involving the ceremonial firing of the Privateers' miniature cannon.
Privateer Tim "Hammer" Thompson was on hand when the accident occurred, and Sunday morning he explained what happened.
"We were going out to the beach to do a sunset pirate memorial for longtime member Grant Beer, who passed away. He was cremated, and we we're going to put some ashes in the cannon and fire it off in farewell.
"As John was positioning the cannon to fire it, it went off by accident and got his left hand. It was a pure accident. Big John has fired that cannon hundreds of times," Thompson said. More...
Authorities warn of rental fraud instances
ANN MARIA – Recently, three families arrived on the Island to find out the vacation homes in the city of Anna Maria they rented via Craigslist were not for rent.
Manatee County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Russ Schnering said they were informed about those instances, but it's difficult to trace where the rent money went because they were directed to wire it straight to a private account.
"If they had used Pay Pal or another venue, we might be able to find out who received the money," he said. "One family turned around and went back to New York after finding out the rental was not legitimate while another went to the Chamber for help."
Schnering had some suggestions for people looking to rent a vacation home online. More...
Center board works to close financial gap
ANNA MARIA — There's good news and bad news for The Center of Anna Maria Island.
The good news is the Center nearly broke even in February, ending the month with a $700 shortfall including administration and overhead expenses, according to financial reports presented by Treasurer Jim Froeschle at the April 3 board meeting.
The nonprofit also received its first financial support from one of the three Island cities by way of a $5,000 donation from the city of Bradenton Beach.
While both Anna Maria and Holmes Beach have funds allocated to donate to the Center or other community nonprofits, neither city commission has promised or released any funds to the organization. Anna Maria also helps support the Center by allowing the nonprofit to lease the city-owned parcel of land its building occupies for $1 annually. More...
Cortezians enjoy dockside picnic, art
CORTEZ – On a pleasant, sunny, spring day on Saturday, longtime Cortez residents welcomed newcomers on the Miller dock at the annual Cortez community picnic.
As the mullet, shrimp, hush puppies and guava bars disappeared, students at the Manatee School for the Arts explained how they made the nautical-themed artwork on display, including intaglio – etching fish designs on plexiglass plates, rubbing ink into the crevices and printing them on old navigational charts. More...
As the year speeds along, another holiday is upon us. Easter has always been a time for family, church and food.
When I was young, a new Easter outfit, complete with a hat and gloves, was always a necessity for church on Easter Sunday. My grandmother made many dresses for my sister and me. The dresses were usually identical, which made us look like twins, even though we were a year apart in age. I look back now and realize how lucky we were to have those outfits handcrafted for us.
After church on Easter Sunday, my family spent the day hiding Easter eggs with cousins and consuming mounds of food. Aunt Helen always made the best ham. My mother is the youngest of 13 children, so there was lots of food and lots of cousins. This was life in rural North Carolina. In many ways it's similar to life anywhere – family, church and food. More...
You don't know until you go
Spring is a wonderful time on Gulf coast inshore waters and can be filled with pleasant surprises. You never know what you might encounter, so it's a good idea to carry a number of rods, reels, lures, plugs and flies. You'll still want to go out with a plan of action, but be flexible and able to change plans when the opportunity arises. Kingfish, cobia, Spanish mackerel, little tunny, and triple tail are just a few of the species that inhabit the Gulf in spring. Most of these require a different approach, and you don't want to miss an opportunity because you are not prepared.
One day recently that very scenario presented itself. AMI Outfitters owner Steve Traves and I had been on a mission to target cobia that were purported to be swimming the local passes and the beaches over local nearshore reefs. The plan was to check Longboat Pass and then head to New Pass checking crab trap markers and an artificial reef along the way. We had 10-weight fly rods rigged for cobia, but had eight-weight outfits on standby. We checked the markers in Longboat Pass, but despite a favorable tide, didn't locate any cobia or see signs of any other action. The next stop on our plan was an artificial reef about five miles south of the pass. We decided to run a line of crab trap markers looking for cobia and tripletail on the way. More...
Assignment of benefits
When is a benefit not a benefit? When it's actually a benefit to a third party and not to the intended benefit recipient. If this sounds like double talk that's because it kind of is, especially if you aren't careful about signing away control of your benefit.
Assignment of benefits commonly known as AOB, is a legal tool that allows a third party to be paid for services performed for an insured homeowner who would normally be reimbursed by the insurance company directly after making a claim. Most assignment of benefits agreements presented to the homeowner allow the contractor to stand in the shoes of the homeowner for insurance collection purposes. More...
Air & Energy grows
Watching your business grow is a wonderful thing, but watching your children grow is really what touches your heart. When you're lucky enough to see your children become successful in your business, well that's a heart exploding event.
Air & Energy Air, Plumbing & Electrical based on Anna Maria Island has been a family run business for 34 years. Several years ago, Stewart Moon, Sr. retired and made way for his son Stewart Moon, Jr. to become one of the principals of the business along with his mother Trudy Moon, who remains active in the business. More...
Reverse mortgages worth another lookInvestment Corner
I have written about reverse mortgages over the years, at least twice here in the Sun. My advice was that reverse mortgages were expensive for the borrower, but in the case where a retired person or couple had run out of assets, using the equity in their home through a reverse mortgage wasn’t the worst idea in the world.
I’m bringing the topic back one more time because some changes in federal guidelines have made the reverse mortgage a more attractive option for those who are over age 62, that own their home free and clear of another mortgage and who are concerned about the possibility of running low on retirement income during their lifetime
Space limitations don’t’ allow us to go into a full primer on reverse mortgages, but let’s hit some of the highlights. More...
Slim's Place takes the first win
The community center pitch came alive again on Saturday for three competitive recreational youth soccer games. With new teams created and the merging of two age divisions to create the 11- to 14-year-old league, coaches and teammates worked to try to find the chemistry on the field that would take them to victory in the season spring season.
Coach Jesse Brisson, for Slim's Place, was fortunate enough to have two seasoned powerhouses on his team with Gregory Jordan and Aiden Templeton. Both players have honed their soccer skills at the center, bringing up their game with each season.
For Brisson, Connor Samblis will be the player to watch along with Gabe Hoover. Hoover and Jordan work their skills together off Island as well as teammates in another soccer club. More...
Longboat Key goes darker for turtles
LONGBOAT KEY – Turtles will not see as much light on Longboat Key when the town begins enforcing its new turtle lighting ordinance beginning May 1.
Like the three Anna Maria Island cities that have turtle lighting ordinances, Longboat Key's code enforcement officer is checking the beaches at night prior to the start of the six-month season. The town is working with people to retrofit their outdoor lighting to turtle-friendly fixtures.
When artificial lights are brighter than the Gulf of Mexico, nesting and hatching turtles can become confused, abandoning nests and crawling into streets and storm drains instead of the Gulf of Mexico, said biologist Rick Herren, of The Sea Turtle Conservancy, which co-sponsored a lighting workshop April 5 with the town of Longboat Key. More...