Jeff Croley of Holmes Beach symbolizes all the good qualities we could ask for in a volunteer - and he symbolizes for Anna Maria Island all the good folks who quietly went about doing anything and everything they could to aid those in need after Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.
Murder in Bradenton Beach, land use squabbles in Holmes Beach, parking woes going on and on and on in Anna Maria, plus beach erosion-accretion, soaring property values, rising poverty ... 2004 was quite a year, and this week's wrapup only covers the first six months.
Four hurricanes hitting Florida in six weeks more than ruled the second half of 2004's new events. Fortunately for Islanders, the storms for the most part spared homes and businesses on Anna Maria Island, but there was significant beach erosion.
FEMA failure creates Anna Maria rush By Rick Catlin. Islander Reporter
After weeks of searching through the Federal Emergency Management Agency bureaucracy to find the completed forms that give emergency approval to construct a berm along a severely eroded beach area of North Shore Drive in Anna Maria, Mayor SueLynn finally located the appropriate documents in a FEMA office in Orlando. The documents were completed in mid-October, the mayor said, but never forwarded to Anna Maria by FEMA.
Islanders stepped up to match fellow Islanders Joey and Chuck Lester's challenge of $50,000 to benefit the Anna Maria Island Community Center to the tune of $52,550 as of Monday, bringing the total benevolence to the Center to $102,550 this year.
Tidemark asks for court decision on parking spaces By Rick Catlin. Islander Reporter
While the future looks a bit rosy for the formerly bankrupt - but now reorganized and refinanced - Tidemark hotel and condominium project in Holmes Beach, former Tidemark partner Southstar SSHB of Coral Gables has refused to hand over a lease it holds with Wachovia for 20 parking spaces that are planned to be part of the development.