Top Stories this week on Anna Maria Island: Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Giving new meaning to “lunch rush,” a 1999 Mercury plowed into the CostaVille restaurant, 101 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach, at about 11 a.m. May 15. Restaurant manager Francesca Rossi said, “I got to the restaurant and had a car in my dining room.” The Bradenton Beach Police Department issued the driver, Marjorie Cristinziano, 68, of Clifton Heights, Pa., a traffic citation for careless driving. BBPD Chief Sam Speciale said the driver was northbound on Gulf Drive, turned at the roundabout on Bridge Street and tried to enter the restaurant parking lot. The driver told Rossi she stepped on the wrong pedal. No one was physically injured. Islander Photos: Courtesy CostaVille
Manatee County’s shoreline remains clear of evidence of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but the U.S. Coast Guard responded late Monday to a report of 20 tar balls found on the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West.
The tar balls ranged in size from about 3 to 8 inches in diameter.
Daily, worldwide, the report reaching potential Gulf coast vacationers is that an oil spill is growing at a rate of 210,000 gallons of crude per day.
There are other numbers in the news:
The spill has exceeded 3.5 million gallons.
The cost of the response for British Petroleum America — the company that was leasing the well that began leaking April 22 after an explosion sunk a Deepwater Horizon rig and killed 11 men — has exceeded $450 million.
An attorney representing Cafe on the Beach claims in a letter May 14 to the Manatee County Board of Commissioners that the board relied on inaccurate information in voting to award the Manatee Public Beach concession contract to United Parks Services.
The attorney for Cafe on the Beach, the current MPB restaurant, said the vote should be reconsidered. The county could do so at its meeting at 9 a.m. May 25 at the County Administration Center in downtown Bradenton.
The Manatee County Commissioners voted 4-3 to award a contract for United Parks Service of St. Petersburg to operate the concession at Manatee Public Beach.
Hundreds of people, mostly Cafe on the Beach supporters, filled the first-floor chamber at the County Administration Center in Bradenton and dozens spoke in favor of the current operators, Cafe on the Beach and P.S. Beach Associates.
Workers at the humpback bridge on North Bay Boulevard in Anna Maria are busy with repairs and maintenance of the bridge while vehicular traffic is detoured to other routes. Pedestrians and cyclists can still use the North Bay Boulevard pedestrian bridge during the ongoing work. Completion of the Florida Department of Transportation project, funded with federal stimulus dollars, is expected by early June. Islander Photo: Lisa Neff>
An Anna Maria city commission-planning and zoning board joint work session on a proposed parking plan for Pine Avenue was postponed to May 20 by Commission Chair John Quam.
Building official Bob Welch informed Quam early last week he did not have all the information needed for a May 13 meeting. In the absence of prepared agenda items for discussion, Quam rescheduled the meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 20.
The recall of Anna Maria Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus from office is moving forward.
Bob Carter, chairman of the Recall Commissioner Stoltzfus committee, presented city clerk Alice Baird with the recall petition May 14, as part of the process to have the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections hold a special recall election. It would be the first-ever recall election in Manatee County, according to Supervisor of Elections Bob Sweat.
If hard work is good for the soul, I had my share in Haiti. I’m back now almost two weeks and just starting to feel rested.
I visited Father Ron Joseph, formerly of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Holmes Beach, April 29-May 5 on behalf of the newspaper, at the House of Presence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The guest house is owned by the Bradenton nonprofit, Ministry of Presence, for which Father Ron volunteers in Haiti.
Chris Pate of Holmes Beach won the grand prize in The Islander's annual Top Notch contest with his photograph of a wave-skater at White Avenue beach. Pate won $100 from the newspaper, plus gifts from Islander advertisers, including a $50 gift certificate from the Chiles Restaurants Group, a $50 certificate for Hair's to You Salon, a $25 certificate from Mister Roberts Resortwear, a $10 certificate for Minnie's Beach Cafe and the framing of the winning photo by Karly Carlson Custom Framing. The weekly winners received Islander "more-than-a-mullet wrapper" T-shirts and front-page placement of their photos. Next week, The Islander's honorable mentions in the popular contest.
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