Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Islander Classifieds: Wednesday, April. 27, 2011


COMPUTER: DELL REFURBISHED with newly loaded Windows XP-PRO, $35. 941-756-6728.

ASSORTED toys, 30 pieces, $3, bank, Pepsi coin sorter, $4,  Coca Cola musical clock, $15. 941-795-8734.

THREE BEAUTIFUL LADIES wigs, $30 each, all three, $75, includes head forms, 941-778-6766.

COMPUTER MONITOR, KEYBOARD, mouse and cable. KDS- XFLAT, $10. 941-795-8359.

WET SUIT: “SPORTS suits of Australia” size S, ladies, $25. 941-795-8359.

DESK HUTCH, FORMICA, 40×30, $20. 941-795-8359.

COCKATIEL BIRD CAGE: Like new with floor stand, $35. 941-356-1456.

YAMAHA VINO CLASSIC: Two scooters for sale. 2007 blue, only 1,500 miles, great condition. $1,150 or best offer. 2006 silver, only 850 miles and in great condition. $1,050 or best offer. Great gas mileage, 35 mph-plus, easy to ride, and really great fun on the Island! 941-928-8735.

GIRL’S BIKE: SPECIALIZED Hotrock, light purple, like new. $85. 941-928-8735

ANTIQUE COPPER POTS and bowls, collection $300, or $50-75 each. Wine racks, antique burl-wood rocker and more. View at The Islander store, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

ORIGINAL, LOCAL ART for sale. View at The Islander store, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

AERIAL PHOTOS of Anna Maria Island. View and purchase online:


Individuals may advertise up to three items, each priced $100 or less, 15 words or less. FREE, one week, must be submitted online. E-mail, fax toll-free 1-866-362-9821. (limited time offer)


GLORIA DEI LUTHERAN Church: All are welcome to come and worship with us! Please call 941-778-1813 or visit us at: for worship times. 6608 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

HAITI $$$ DONATIONS to the Ministry of Presence Inc.,, urgently needed for local representatives to aid homeless children. Info: The Islander, 941-778-7978.

TERRY HAYES, REALTOR. Signature Sothebys International. 941-302-3100.

BRADENTON ROTARY CLUB meets at noon Mondays at Mattison’s Riverside, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton. Club members enjoy fellowship with like-minded professionals. Club projects offer opportunities to benefit the community locally and worldwide. To attend a meeting as our guest, call Trish, 941-747-1871. More information:

WANTED: YOUR OLD cell phone for recycling. Deliver to The Islander, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

FISHING GEAR WANTED: The Privateers and The Islander are collecting new or used, repairable fishing poles and reels, nets, tackle, buckets, etc. to give to children. Donate your gear at The Islander newspaper office, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

FREE GUN LOCK courtesy of Project Childsafe, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Holmes Beach Police Department. Pick up at The Islander office, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Don’t be sorry, be safe.


ROSER THRIFT SHOP open 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. 511 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. 941-779 -2733.

MOVING SALE: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, April 28-30. Five vacation rental apartments. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms. Sofas, sleepers, beds, tables, dishes, cookware, TVs, microwaves. 100 Fourth St. S., Bradenton Beach.

GARAGE SALE: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 28-29. Living room, kitchen, electrical. 1001 S. Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach.

DEMOLITION SALE: 9 a.m.-? Friday, April 29. Doors, water heaters, stuff. 7301 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.


LOST PRIVATEER DAGGER: one of matching husband-wife set. Husband passed away recently, so much sentimental value attached. Please, call 941-761-4771 if found.

LOST: TEAR DROP-shaped necklace, maybe near Manatee public beach, much sentimental value. Reward if found, 941-345-6531 or 941-778-3953.

FOUND: PRESCRIPTION GLASSES. 7200 block, on beach. Call to claim. 941-896-7196.

LOST: LADIES “Skagen” silver watch, on beach, April 6 near SandBar restaurant, Anna Maria. 941-761-8707.

FOUND: PURSE WITH initials on it. Found Sunday, April 17, on Second Street, Holmes Beach. 941-962-8031.

FOUND: MANATEE HIGH School class of 2007 ring. Contact Holmes Beach Police Department, 941-708-5804.


MOM CAT AND six kittens need a good home! Kittens are just three weeks old, (mom does all the work!). Please, call 941-779-5818.

BIEWER YORKSHIRE/SILKY Terrier. Female, born March 9. $850. 941-713-1559.

PARENTS NEEDED for loving homes to foster puppies and kittens until they are old enough for adoption. All food and medical provided. Julie, 941-720-1411.



WANTING TO RENT a 29-foot boat lift for one year on or near Anna Maria Island. I am a full-time year-round resident of Bradenton Beach. Call Russ, 775-772-7537.


WEEKEND HELP: 9 a.m.-5 pm. References, driver’s license needed, must be able to lift kayaks, some mechanical experience. Just4Fun, 941-447-1506.

SALES ACE: MOTIVATED Real Estate licensee wanted for new progressive Island office. Great splits. Call Nicole, 941-773-3966.

SALES ASSOCIATE: MOTIVATED, experienced real estate licensee for busy Island office. Please call Jesse or Robin at 941-778-7244.

GRAPHIC DESIGNER WANTED part-time for ad/editorial layout. InDesign and Photoshop expertise a must. Advertising experience required. Intro-resume to


LOCAL ISLAND STUDENT babysitter available. CPR and first aid-certified, early childhood development major. Emily, 941-567-9276.

KIDS FOR HIRE ads are FREE for up to three weeks for Island youths under 16 looking for work. Ads must be placed in person at The Islander office, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.


ROTTEN RALPH’S RESTAURANT/bar business opportunity, $299,000. One of the last with waterfront dining. Sharon Villars, 941-920-0669. Erlene Fitzpatrick, 941-224-6339. Remax Alliance Group.

HEALTH FOOD AND deli business. 3228 E. Bay Drive, Holmes Beach. 941-580-0626.


LET US DRIVE YOU! Airports, cruise ports. Flat rates. Anna Maria Sunshine Car Service. 941-778-5476.

LIGHT CARPENTRY, HOME repairs, handyman work, deck repairs, dock repairs, etc. Retired tradesman, Island resident. No job too small. Call Steve Doyle 941-778-1708.

CONTACT CAPT. GREG Burke of A Paradise Realty for all your real estate needs, selling, listing, buying. Listings needed. 941-592-8373 or e-mail:

TOASTED COMPUTER SERVICES. Your home and business specialist. On-site service, virus/spyware, cleanup, system setup, upgrades, diagnosis and repair, internet/wireless networking, custom system design. 941-224-1069.

PRESSURE WASHING SPECIAL: Driveways, swimming pool decks, docks and trailers, $45/each. All other services $18/hour plus chemicals. Cortez resident. Call Bill, 941-896-6788.

I DON’T CUT corners, I clean corners. Professional, friendly cleaning service since 1999. 941-778-7770. Leave message.

TRANSPORT SERVICE: LET me drive you to the airport or anywhere in Florida. Flat rates. Reasonable. Call Mike, 941-448-4100.

HOUSE CLEANING BY Laura. Excellent references. One house, 2BR/2BA, $50. 941-539-6891.

WILDLIFE REMOVAL and relocation: Problem solving for all animals, big and small. Call Joe, Westcoast Nuisance Wildlife Service. 941-720-4152.

CATCH-UP HANDYMAN: Yard work, house repairs. “You fish, I work!” Hugh Holmes III, 941-465-0157.

ELDERLY COMPANION CARE: Home health aide, errands, appointments, meals, light housekeeping, many references. 508-901-0684.

TUTORING SERVICES: Specializing in algebra, geometry, calculus, trigonometry and science. Special needs students welcome. Grades 3-12. Jenifer, 941-224-1760.

BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS JD’s Window Cleaning looking for storefront jobs in Holmes Beach. Free estimates, references. 941-920-3840.

ISLAND MERMAIDS CLEANING and Co.: Gift certificates! 36 years of happy customers. Organizing, pet-watch, storm-check, etc. Rentals our specialty. 941-778-3046.

BEACH SERVICE air conditioning, heat, refrigeration. Commercial and residential service, repair and/or replacement. Serving Manatee County and the Island since 1987. For dependable, honest and personalized service, call William Eller, 941-795-7411. CAC184228.

ANYONE CAN TAKE a picture. A professional creates a portrait. I want to be at your wedding! 941-778-2711.

RELAXING MASSAGE IN the convenience of your home or hotel. Massage by Nadia, more than 19 years on Anna Maria Island. Call today for an appointment, 941-518-8301. MA#0017550.MA#0017550.

GUITAR TROUBLE? KOKO RAY’S ISLAND studio. Instruction in flute, saxophone, guitar, piano and voice. 315 58th St., Holmes Beach, 941-538-2284.


CONNIE’S LANDSCAPING INC. Residential and commercial. Full-service lawn maintenance, landscaping, cleanups, hauling and more! Insured. 941-778-5294.

ISLAND LAWN SPRINKLER service and repair. Your complete irrigation repair company. Call 941-778-2581.

TREES BY BREEZE Inc.: Custom landscapes, tree trimming, property maintenance. Insured. Since 1988. Chris, 941-778-2837.

FREE SNOW REMOVAL is back hauling and installing crushed, washed shell, dirt, mulch and anything else. Please, call David at 941-504-7045.

JR’S LANDSCAPING AND MAINTENANCE Lawns, native plants, mulching, trimming, hauling, cleanups. Island resident 25 years. Call 941-807-1015.


STRAIGHT SHOT LANDSCAPE. For all your landscape needs. Shell $45/yard. Call Shark Mark. 941-301-6067.

KARAZ LANDSCAPE LAWN service. Mulch, clean ups, power washing, tree trimming and more. 941-448-3857 or 941-448-5207.

SHELL DELIVERED AND spread. Premium grade-A, $45/yard B-grade, $30-$40/yard. Hauling all kinds of gravel, mulch, top soil with free estimates. Call Larry at 941-795-7775, “shell phone” 941-720-0770.

NATURE’S DESIGN LANDSCAPING. Design and installation. Tropical landscape specialist. Residential and commercial. 30 years experience. 941-729-9381, 941-448-6336.


VAN-GO PAINTING residential/commercial, interior/exterior, pressure cleaning, wallpaper. Island references. Bill, 941-795-5100.

TILE -TILE -TILE. All variations of ceramic tile supplied and installed. Quality workmanship, prompt, reliable, many Island references. Call Neil, 941-726-3077.

CUSTOM REMODELING EXPERT. All phases of carpentry, repairs and painting. Insured. Meticulous, clean, sober and prompt. Paul Beauregard, 941-730-7479.

GRIFFIN’S HOME IMPROVEMENTS Inc. Handyman, fine woodwork, countertops, cabinets and shutters. Insured and licensed, 941-748-4711.

JERRY’S HOME REPAIR: Carpentry work, handyman, light plumbing, electrical, light hauling, pressure washing. Call 941-778-6170 or 941-447-2198.

SOUTHBAY HOME REPAIRS: If it’s broken, stuck, loose, leaks, needs paint, etc. I’ll fix it. Affordable quality work. 941-720-2906.

FOREMOST FENCE: Commercial, Residential. Chain link, vinyl, aluminum, wood, access control. Contractors you can depend on. Call 941-748-2700.

J.E. MURRAY: ESTABLISHED Island builder. New homes, remodeling. 30-year resident. Call 941-778-2316 or 941-730-3228.

SOUTHWEST HOME IMPROVEMENTS: Michigan general contractor with 30 years experience. Looking for large or small projects. Budget minded and knowledgeable tradesman willing to complete your project from start to finish on time, within budget. Quality work guaranteed at affordable prices. Call Mike, 616-204-8822.

DOOR REPAIRS, REPLACEMENTS: Residential, commercial, glass inserts, insulated-glass replacement, vinyl windows. TDWS Inc. 941-730-1399.


WEEKLY/MONTHLY/ANNUAL rentals: wide variety, changes daily. SunCoast Real Estate, 941-779-0202, or 1-800-732-6434.

WATERFRONT KEY WEST STYLE with dock. Furnished, walk to beach. $150/night, $950/week. $1,900/month off and $2,490/month in season. Use of bikes and kayaks included. 941-794-5980.

OFFICE, RETAIL, PROFESSIONAL Space: 8803/8799 Cortez Road. 1,200-sf and 1,300-sf. Call 1-800-952-1206.

HOLMES BEACH BUSINESS Center. Rental units available for office/commercial spaces from 750-2,000 sf. Humidity-controlled mini-storage units and garage units, 11 x 22 feet. 5347 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. 941-778-2924.

HOLMES BEACH COTTAGE: 2BR/1BA. Northwest Bradenton 3BR/2BA pool home, Palma Sola 3BR/3BA pool home. Vacation rentals: 941-794-1515.

ISLAND ANNUALS: 2BR/2BA ground-level, pool, 55-plus community $1,000/month. Gulf-Bay Realty, 941-778-7244.

BRADENTON BEACH WATERFRONT SMALL one bedroom cottage. $950/month, annual lease, no pets. 941-779-0289.

VACATION RENTALS ACROSS from beach. Openings now. 2BR/1BA, $550/week. Almost Beach Apartments. 941-778-2374.

ANNUAL RENTAL: 2BR/1BA duplex, ground level, $900/month includes water/trash. Anna Maria. 941-778-7003.

HOLMES BEACH ANNUAL: Clean 2BR/2BA with garage. Nice quiet area, references required, no smoking/pets. $950/month. 941-776-1789.

2BR/2BA HOLMES BEACH: Furnished, one long block to beach. Large kitchen, dishwasher, disposal, microwave, washer and dryer, central air conditioning, lanai, pool. Fans in every room. $990/month plus utilities. June 1 through Dec. 31. Cell, 847-769-6175.

SPACIOUS 2BR/2BA WITH sunroom. 406A 71st St., Holmes Beach. Mike Norman Realty, 941-778-6696.

BRADENTON BEACH: SEASONAL 2BR/1BA. Steps to beach. No pets. $750/week. 941-778-4731.

BRADENTON BEACH: SEASONAL 2BR/1BA. Steps to beach. No pets. $750/week. 941-778-4731.

ROOM FOR RENT: House privileges for one person. $400/month. 941-565-0686.

LOCAL PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS owners with exceptional rental references looking for 2BR/2BA (or possibly 1BR) home on Anna Maria. Trying to sell your house? No problem, we’ll take excellent care of it. Showings not a problem. Prefer two-year lease. Have two mature polite dogs, guarantee no problems. HYPERLINK “tel:941-713-8070″941-713-8070.

WATERFRONT 2BR/2BA TOWNHOUSE with boat slip on Palma Sola Bay. Heated pool, patio, cable, washer and dryer. Lease six months plus, $950/month unfurnished, $1,000/month furnished. Call 941-798-3842 or 941-720-7519.

ANNUAL: CATS ONLY, no dogs. Ground floor, new kitchen installed this week, cute, compact, 1BR/1BA, waterfront view, patios, on-site laundry, pool, $850/month, electric, water included. 201 S. Bay Drive, Anna Maria. HYPERLINK “tel:786-375-9633″786-375-9633.

VACATION RENTALS: 3BR/2BA home, minutes to beach, $750/week, $2,200/month. Owner. Realtor, 941-356-1456. Real Estate Mart.

SEASONAL OR WEEKLY cottage-style rentals. 1BR/1BA or 55-plus 2BR/1BA with pool. Walk to beach, shopping, restaurants. 941-778-3426. Web site


DIRECT GULFFRONT: 146 feet on the beach. 3BR/4.5BA, office recreation room, spa, pool, outdoor kitchen and theater, elevator, turnkey furnished. $3,950,000. Suncoast Real Estate, 941-779-0202 or 941-720-0288.

DIRECT GULFFRONT: 4BR/4.5BA, den, three-car garage, pool, spa, elevator, security. Immaculate 2005 Mediterranean villa-style architecture, breathtaking Gulf views, furnished, 5,146 sf under roof, north Anna Maria Island. 12106 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. $3,400,000. Contact owner, broker, 941-920-1699.

DIRECT BAYFRONT HOME: 170-feet on water, 2,600 sf of living, extensive remodeling, pool, lift, dock. Accepting offers over $750,000. Jim, 941-580-0626.

TRY A FRESH approach: Call Carmen Pedota and Lori Guerin of Duncan Real Estate for all your real estate needs. 941-284-2598 or 941-773-3415.

FOR SALE: BRADENTON Beach. Sandpiper Resort, 1BR/1BA, enclosed bonus room, steps to beach. 813-458-3875.

FOR SALE: TRAILER. Pines Park, Bridge Street. $45,000. Updated, furnished, three blocks to beach. Park manager on-site. Boat dock possibility. Owner, 603-508-2039. Cell, 941-567-6726.

ALMOST-NEW CANALFRONT luxury home. 4BR/4.5BA, den, pool, high-end appliances. 3,350-sf. under air. $1,450,000. 215 Chilson Ave, Anna Maria. 941-567-6600.

AFFORDABLE 2BR/2BA TOWNHOUSE with pool and boat slip. Great rental history. Call owner, realtor, 941-356-1456. Real Estate Mart.

ASSISTED LIVING HOME on lake. Nine-bed, two houses with living quarters. One hundred percent occupancy. Two houses with living quarters. $539,000. Owner, 941-356-1456. Real Estate Mart.

Gulf Coast moves ‘Beyond Horizon’

A series of brown pelicans rescued from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill took flight last July from Egmont Key National Refuge. At least one of those banded birds remains here, off the coast of Anna Maria Island.

Oil from the massive spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico never reached here — the local waters or the shore. But the spill caused by the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig off the coast of Louisiana had an impact on local tourism, the fishing industry, the energy industry, and, perhaps, local wildlife and marinelife.

Out-of-state tourists called throughout the summer, wondering whether the Island was polluted. Cortez fishers were given orders to avoid certain areas in the Gulf. Wildlife rescuers were placed on alert. Big firm lawyers from Miami, New York City and Chicago arrived to seek clients in suits against BP and other companies. Protesters against exploring or drilling for more oil formed a human chain on the beach. Hundreds gathered for an Island town meeting to have their fears calmed. Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch volunteers underwent training in what to do if they saw tar balls or oiled animals.

Nearly a year after the Deepwater explosion, AMITW executive director Suzi Fox was surveying local waters. Near a dive shop in Cortez, she saw the banded brown pelican rescued from the Deepwater disaster.

The bird, which had been found heavily oiled last June, was “looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed,” she said.

Such observations show the resiliency of the Gulf and its wildlife, but Fox is not ignoring that “no one is out of the woods yet. Loads of that oil is still out there, but under sand and sediment. It will surface sometime.”

Additionally, numerous environmental groups calculating the environmental costs of the spill are estimating that 6,000 sea turtles, 26,000 dolphins, 82,000 birds and countless fish and invertebrates were harmed or killed.

“The numbers of animals injured by the Gulf spill are staggering,” said Tierra Curry of the Center for Biological Diversity.

The spill, the largest in U.S. history, originated April 20, 2010, when a blowout caused a rig explosion that killed 11 people and injured 17. The fire continued for two days, sinking the rig and sending oil gushing into the Gulf.

By mid-July, when the well was capped, at least 200 million gallons of oil had leaked into the Gulf and 1,000 miles of coastal habitat in the north were oiled.

“With the loss of 11 lives, the Deepwater Horizon was a human tragedy,” said former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. “It remains an environmental tragedy, both through the environmental havoc it wreaked and through the public’s loss of confidence in the industry and in government.”

Next month, Graham will participate in Beyond Horizon, a three-day conference at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota to explore the impact of the spill and develop a more comprehensive approach to managing the Gulf and its resources.

“This conference is an important step in … allowing all stakeholders to come together and work to preserve this irreplaceable treasure,” Graham said.

The conference will take place May 11-13, with representatives from Harte Research Institute, the University of South Florida, the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation and Mote, which quickly responded to the spill by dispatching scientists and deploying robots to the Gulf.

“For Mote, and for all the scientists who study the Gulf, the spill and its effects will remain a key scientific focus for years to come,” said Mote CEO and president Kumar Mahadevan. “This disaster really helped illustrate the need for more coordinated research efforts Gulfwide.”

A month after the conference, which is open to the public, another Deepwater-related event will take place. Hands Across the Sand, a grassroots demonstration that brought thousands to shores throughout the world last summer, will take place at noon June 25.

Organizers are asking people to join hands on their local beach in a display of “world unity for clean energy and turning away from our dependence on filthy fuels.”

Renourishment runs ’round the clock

The beach was as bright as a football field under Friday night lights as the bulldozers shoved, sculpted and shaped the sand in the second stage of a major Island renourishment project.

Midway through last week, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, an international dredging contractor, shifted its work zone north, from Coquina Beach to the shore in Anna Maria near the Sandbar Restaurant.

The operation, which has involved multiple onshore crews as well as crews offshore on 10 vessels strategically placed in the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, continued to operate around the clock in Anna Maria.

“We are on schedule,” Chris Pomfret, the project manager for Great Lakes, said April 15. The Illinois-based company also has renourished shores in San Diego, Ocean City, Md., and Fire Island, N.Y., as well as overseas, including a complex project in Ghana.

Late April 14, after hauling pipes and other equipment — from potable water tanks to port-a-potties to pipes — to Anna Maria, Great Lakes began pumping sand and water to the beach south of the Sandbar.

The operation continued through the night, drawing the occasional dog-walker, insomniac or curious onlooker.

“They said they’ll be done in 48 hours,” Ray Hansen said with a note of disbelief. He and his family were staying in a nearby vacation home.

“Believe it or not, this is the second time I’ve seen this,” he added. “My vacation cycle is the same as the renourishment schedule.”

The spring 2011 renourishment, with a budget of about $6 million, was in planning and permitting for some years.

The actual renourishment activity, contracted by Manatee County and engineered by Coastal Planning and Engineering, began April 2.

During the first half of the month, sand was pumped to much of Coquina Beach, which had undergone serious erosion in recent years, especially on the north end.

By last weekend, the work at Coquina was ending, with some finer beach-sculpting taking place and the removal of the renourishment pipes, Pomfret said.

Equipment used in Anna Maria was to be hauled back to Coquina for temporary storage, but “we’ll be out of there probably by the middle of the week,” Pomfret estimated.

When the Great Lakes team leaves, it will leave behind about 25,000 cubic yards of sand on Anna Maria beach and 206,000 cubic yards of sand on Coquina Beach.

“Good, clean and white sand,” said Charlie Hunsicker, director of the Manatee County natural resources department, which has overseen the project.

Later this year, in the next stage of the project, the county plans to contract for construction of an artificial reef off Coquina Beach, as well as the installation of a geo-thermal tube around the jetty on the north side of Longboat Pass.

Dancers sought for conga line

Organizers are seeking Island dancers to shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, kick in the world’s longest conga line on sand.

“I instigate conga lines on a fairly regular basis,” said event originator and musician Mike Sales, a regular performer at several local venues.

Sales is working with several others on the conga line, which will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23, behind the Moose Lodge, 110 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach, which is just north of the Bridge Street beach access.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Moonracer No-Kill Animal Rescue founded by Islander employee Lisa Williams, and its campaign for a “no-kill” pet community in Manatee County.

Sales originally wanted to set a Guinness World Record with the 2011 event. However, the application and review process for GWR is lengthy and would require the creation of a new record category.

So, a GWR attempt will take place next spring and this year, Sales said, he’s going to be relaxed about how well the dancers know the steps.

“I’m not going to be a stickler,” he said, even if that will be the case next year with GWR, which will require the conga line to last for at least five minutes and consist of 250 or more people who know how to perform the dance.

On Saturday, volunteers will begin arriving on the beach at about 10 a.m. to set up equipment and recruit beachgoers for the dance.

Sales said he plans to ask people to form two parallel lines and then join the lines at one end and conga to “Island Talkin,’” a song on the “Howling with Mike Sales” CD.

Sales said he wrote the tune because he “really needed a song for people to dance to.”

Participation in the conga line is free.

To benefit the no-kill campaign, volunteers will sell refreshments and souvenirs. Additionally, Sales is donating proceeds from downloads of “Island Talkin’” mp3s and videos.

Swift opposition mounts to cell tower

Reaction to the two presentations on a cell tower made April 8 to a committee formed by the Anna Maria Island Community Center executive board was swift.

Anna Maria resident Hal Badger said it sounds like a cell tower at the community center is a “done deal.”

With both presenters recommending a minimum 90-foot-high cell tower, Badger claimed that’s above the maximum height of 37 feet allowed in the cell tower ordinance. He said he spent a morning reading the ordinance passed in 2003 by the city commission.

And if any cell tower is approved for the center, Badger recommends the revenue go to the city because the center is on city property.

Former planning and zoning board member Bob Barlow also expressed concern about tower revenue.

He supported the need for better cell phone coverage in the city, but noted that he also is a taxpayer.

“Does the existing lease agreement with the city allow for a sub-lease to a telecommunications company unrelated to the recreational component of the city comprehensive plan?” he asked.

Barlow also wanted to know if revenue from a cell tower at the center would belong to the city because the community center is on city property.

Mayor Mike Selby said residents Jane Powers and Jamie Walstad came to his office to discuss the center’s cell tower presentations.

The mayor said the women were adamant that the cell tower ordinance not be changed to accommodate the carriers. He said he told Powers and Walstad that he doesn’t have a vote on the commission, and it’s up to commissioners to amend an ordinance.

“We have an ordinance and if (commissioners) follow that, everything should be fine,” Walstad said.

“My fear is the ordinance would be changed with a few words to accommodate the cell tower people,” she said.

In 2002, Walstad was an opponent of a proposed cell tower at Roser Memorial Community Church and was instrumental in the city eventually adopting a cell tower ordinance and master wireless services communications plan.

Selby said he had several phone calls about the issue, and was somewhat surprised at the reaction.

He explained that the city commission several months ago directed him to contact cell tower operators to determine if any were interested in providing a cell tower in Anna Maria.

The commission directive came as a health and safety issue because several people told commissioners they were unable to reach 911 for emergency services unless they took their phones outside a structure.

Three cell tower companies expressed an interest in the city, Selby said.

After looking at possible sites for a tower, the mayor said all three indicated “the best site was the community center,” he said.

With that information, Selby said he directed the carriers to center executive director Pierrette Kelly.

“I did what my bosses instructed me, and I’m not involved in any cell tower. Until an application is presented to the city, there’s nothing more to be done.”

Selby said he gave all three companies a copy of the city’s cell tower ordinance for review.

“It’s up to them to determine if they can work with our ordinance. If they can, I guess they will apply, but for now, there’s nothing more for the city to do. We don’t have any applications.”

The mayor did note that he’s been hearing more from supporters of a cell tower in the city than from those opposed to a tower.

Cell tower representative James Eatrides of Alpha-Omega Communications was at the April 8 meeting and said it would take 12 to 18 months to get all required approvals and a tower constructed and operating. The tower construction would only take about three months.

Both representatives at the center meeting said the latest cell-tower technology allows for towers that look and function like a flagpole.

“When people on the Island hear ‘cell tower,’ they immediately think of Holmes Beach. This tower looks nothing like Holmes Beach,” Eatrides told the center committee. All the antennas on his company’s proposed tower are housed inside the pole, hidden from view, he said.

At the city commission’s April 14 meeting, Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick suggested the cell tower issue be placed on the commission’s April 28 agenda for discussion and public input.

Webb agreed. “This is an important issue,” he said, and indicated the city needs to be sure of its process if an application is presented.

Since the city adopted its wireless facilities/cell tower ordinance in 2003, a number of companies with different types of cell towers and technology have made presentations to the city commission. While many of those representatives talked about an application, none have yet been submitted.

February tourism rate, dollars climb

Anna Maria Island accommodation managers, owners and rental agents said two weeks ago that their occupancy rates in February 2011 were extremely good and better than figures from last February.

Those assessments turned out to be pretty accurate.

Revenues from resort tax collections in February 2011 were up 1.1 percent against the same month last year, and the latest tourist figures from Research Data Services Inc. of Tampa to the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau show a 2.4 percent increase in visitors for February 2011 compared with February 2010.

The RDS report said 50,300 visitors came to the Island and surrounding area in February 2011, while 49,100 were here in February 2010.

Although a 2.4 percent jump might not sound like a major increase, in terms of visitor expenditures the hike was considerable, said Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce president Mary Ann Brockman.

“The increase in visitors relates directly to economic activity, and that jumped several million dollars,” she said.

Visitors to the Island and Longboat Key spent $47.9 million in February 2011, a $2.1 million (4.7 percent increase) jump from the $45.8 million in expenditures reported in February 2010.

Direct impact spending climbed by 4.6 percent, rising from $72.3 million in February 2010 to $75.7 million for February 2011.

The area’s average daily rate for February 2011 was $149.7, up 2.6 percent from the $145.9 figure for the same month in 2010.

Visitors listed the top five attributes of vacationing in the BACVB area as: beautiful beaches, sunning on the beach, a clean environment, a family-friendly atmosphere and value for money.

The report said 82.8 percent of visitors were “very satisfied” with their Island experience. That response was up 6.6 percent from the 77.7 percent approval rate for February 2010. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they would recommend an Island vacation to their friends.

Use of the Web and social networking tools also increased among area visitors. The RDS report said 81.2 percent of all visitors used the Web to book a reservation or gather information about Anna Maria Island. That figure was up 6.1 percent from the 76.6 percent who used the Web in February 2010, the RDS said.

The figures were to be presented at the Manatee County Tourist Development Council meeting April 18 at the Holmes Beach City Hall.

A number of accommodation owners, managers and rental agents said to look for an even larger increase in visitor traffic in March 2011 when compared with the same month in 2010.

With a one-month delay in obtaining tourist arrival information and resort tax collections, visitor and spending figures for March 2011 should be available around May 10.

Commission to consider telecom regs

Bradenton Beach commissioners on April 21 are set to consider the first reading of a draft telecommunications ordinance that prohibits cell towers anyplace but government property.

The meeting at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N., will begin at 1 p.m.

The ordinance, drafted to comply with federal law but protect the local ambiance, also would require that any cell tower on government property be a stealth tower.

City commissioners and planning and zoning board members held multiple meetings to discuss the proposed ordinance with Jackie Hicks and Rusty Monroe of the Center for Municipal Solutions, the consulting firm hired to write new regulations and to review any inquiry for telecommunications facilities.

The city began work on the ordinance more than a year ago at the urging of Commissioner Janie Robertson, who said the city’s existing measures were outdated.

Mayor Bob Bartelt, at the time a commissioner, also expressed concern for the city’s position — the municipality had not updated its regulations, but was receiving applications from companies interested in building telecommunications facilities.

At least one company, Alpha-Omega Communications LLC, remains interested in building a facility in the city. Alpha-Omega Communications has proposed building a stealth tower on city-owned property adjacent to the public works and police department between Church and Highland avenues.

An application, however, will need to be resubmitted if the new ordinance is adopted, said city attorney Ricinda Perry.

DOT presentation draws out bridge war vets

The state study is not begun and no recommendations have been made, but veterans of past skirmishes over the future of the Cortez Bridge vowed last week to oppose any high-rise span at the location.

“A new bridge would wipe out the historic village” of Cortez, longtime high-rise bridge opponent Jim Kissick said April 12, during a Manatee County Commission meeting in Bradenton. The commissioners had just received a briefing from Florida Department of Transportation officials on two Cortez Bridge projects — a rehabilitation planned in fiscal 2013-14 and a project development and environment study planned in fiscal 2012-13.

No one spoke at the meeting against the planned rehabilitation of the 55-year-old steel bascule. The work would cost about $4.4 million and involve repairs to the bridge beam supports, concrete deck, seawall, support pilings, machinery, expansion joints, traffic gates and bridgetender house.

“It’s the only state-owned deficient bridge in Manatee County,” DOT maintenance engineer Jim Jacobsen told commissioners and their audience.

The photographs he displayed during the presentation showed corrosion, rust and cracked concrete on the structure.

“It’s mostly salt damage,” Jacobsen said, adding that the largest expense in the rehab project would be the replacement of steel bearings.

The planned rehabilitation would extend the life of the bridge 10-15 years, but the DOT also is preparing for a study — a project development and environment study — to determine how to get 75 years out of a structure spanning the Intracoastal Waterway between the village of Cortez and the city of Bradenton Beach.

The study would cost about $1.5 million and take two to three years to complete, according to DOT project development engineer Chris Piazza.

The DOT completed a PD&E study on the Cortez Bridge in 1989 that recommended building a twin two-lane, high-level, fixed-span bridge north of the existing drawbridge.

That study, Piazza emphasized last week, is outdated for numerous reasons. For example, with the time that’s passed, there might be more historic structures in the vicinity or new endangered species and habitat issues to consider.

Piazza promised multiple workshops and hearings on the issue as the DOT conducts the study and emphasized that the DOT will “look at all options.”

But to some at last week’s meeting, a high bridge on Cortez Road should be out of the question.

Commissioners John Chappie and Carol Whitmore, both Island residents and former Island city mayors, said they have long opposed a high bridge at the location.

“I know you are going to do your study,” Chappie said, then added, “It seems like a waste of money.”

Chappie continued, saying he doesn’t need a study to know that “a high bridge would destroy two communities.”

Kissick, a former commissioner, and former Bradenton Beach Mayor Katie Pierola also spoke against a high bridge and urged consideration of Kissick’s proposal to extend 53rd Avenue and build a bridge from Bradenton to the south end of Coquina Beach.

Pierola said she prepared a 600-page document “on why you cannot replace this bridge” and how a replacement would “change the ambiance of the whole area.”

Kissick, who has a long history on the Island, said he remembers crossing to Anna Maria Island via a wooden bridge from Cortez.

And, he said, “I’ve been in this bridge war since 1989.… Everything has been researched from the sky and the water by me, in my airplane and in my boat. A new bridge would wipe out the historic village.”

Kissick pushed the 53rd Avenue extension bridge, which he said would alleviate the congestion that comes with motorists using the Cortez Bridge to reach Longboat Key.

DOT District 1 Secretary Stan Cann said that the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization would have to take up the 53rd Avenue extension before the state considers the project.

“We couldn’t look at it all unless it was part of the long-term transportation plan for the MPO,” he said. “That hasn’t happened.”

After the meeting, MPO executive director Mike Howe said there is time for someone to ask the MPO to consider the 53rd Avenue extension bridge. The MPO is the area’s regional transportation planning agency and consists of staff, several committees and a recommending board.

Bradenton Beach Mayor Bob Bartelt, who was on his way out of the county building, said he was “fired up” and planned to take a closer look at the 53rd Avenue extension, as well as the MPO planning process.