Monthly Archives: January 2017

Islander Calendar – 07-20-2011

Wednesday, July 20

        5:30 p.m. — “Your Dolphin Neighbors” teen presentation by Mote Marine Laboratory at the Island Branch Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6341.


Thursday, July 21

        10:15 a.m. — Friends of the Island Branch Library book club meets at the Island Branch Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6341.

        10:30 a.m. — Japanese Taiko Drums children’s program at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1908.

        5 p.m. — Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce joint ribbon cutting for Village Cafe at Rosedale and Relish at 503 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1541.


Saturday, July 23

        2 p.m. — “Anime Basics” for teens with artist Hihoshi at the Island Branch Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6341.

        3:30 p.m. — Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring banquet at the old Bradenton Beach Fire Hall, Second Street North and Highland Avenue, Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-778-5638.


Wednesday, July 27

        5 to 7 p.m. — Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce business card exchange at Sunrise Garden Resort, 512 Spring Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1541. Fee applies.



• Tuesdays, noon, Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island meetings at the BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-794-8044.

• Wednesdays, 7 a.m., Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring lead a turtle tour for those who gather at the Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, through July. Information: 941-778-5638.

• Wednesdays, two hours before sunset, the city of Bradenton Beach hosts a sunset picnic with entertainer Mike Sales at Katie Pierola Sunset Park, 2200 block of Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-448-5798.

• Wednesdays, 6 to 8 p.m., teens meet at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1908.

• Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m., players pitch horseshoes in the pits at Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-708-6130.

• Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., view landscape painter David Dunlop’s video series “Landscapes Through Time,” at the Studio at Gulf and Pine, 10101 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1906.

• Fridays, Senior Adventures Group meets for outings to various locations. Information: 941-962-8835.

• Fridays, 7 to 10 p.m., drum circle with Mike Sales and Scott Blum at Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-526-6789.

• Saturdays through Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., fishing excursions for kids departing from the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1908. Fee applies.

• Saturdays, 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island meets at the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.



Friday, July 22

5 p.m. — Splash Film Series: “Flow: For Love of Water,” at the South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4131. Fee applies.

        6 p.m. — Family-friendly program about owls presented by the Anna Maria Island Wildlife Inc. at Robinson Preserve, 1704 99th St. N.W., Bradenton. Information: 941-748-4501.


Saturday, July 23

         2 to 5 p.m. — Fish Fry to benefit Save Our Seabirds at 1708 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota. Information: 941-388-3010. Fee applies.


Coming Up:

• July 29, Splash Film Series: “Morning Light,” South Florida Museum.

• Aug. 1-5, Young at Art camp, Anna Maria Island Art League.


Save the Date:

• Aug. 4, Anna Maria Island Privateers “Walk the Plank” party, Cortez Clam Factory.

• Aug. 27, O’Connor Bowling Challenge, AMF Lanes, Bradenton.

Send calendar announcements to Please include the time, date and location of the event, a brief description and a contact via e-mail and phone.

Search for Musil-Buehler revived on Anna Maria beach

The Manatee County Sheriff’ s office is searching today on the beachfront at Willow Avenue, where July 9, some personal belongings of Sabine Musil-Buehler, missing since November 2008, were found.

An MCSO deputy at the scene told the media that cadaver dogs searched yesterday and found nothing. The search lasted until about 9 p.m. Monday.

Today there were three or more workers searching in the brush in front of the Bacich home. The discovery was apparently made at the Moss property, where the Rev. Ed Moss of Crosspointe Fellowship in Anna Maria resides.

Moss was clearing some pine trees and brush from the wooded area between his home and the beach when he made the discovery and reported it to the MCSO. It is not known what evidence was found, however, since the time of Musil-Buehler’ s disappearance, her purse and cell phone have not been reported found.

Sheriff Brad Steube arrived at the scene today during the morning search, and public information officer Dave Bristow also was at the scene observing, along with a force of deputies and detectives watching the search crew at the Willow Avenue beach walkover.

Anyone with information on the Musil-Buehler case is asked to call the MCSO at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

Beachgoers: A boy and a bug

Heidi Pratt of Bradenton is this week’s winner in the newspaper’s Top Notch contest, winning front-page placement of the photo and an Islander newspaper “More-Than-A-Mullet wrapper” T-shirt. Pratt’s entry — an emotional, tightly framed candid of grandson Jack McMillian, 4, and a ladybug — was shot in April in Virginia Beach, Va. Pratt’s photograph will go into a pool of weekly winners eligible for the grand prize of $100 from the newspaper and a bevy of gift certificates and other prizes from Islander advertisers.

Anna Maria gets down to budget basics

Anna Maria city treasurer Diane Percycoe told city commissioners at their July 7 preliminary budget work session that retaining the current millage rate of 1.7882 mils would generate $59,000 less ad valorem revenue for the 2011-12 budget than last year.

The rollback rate — the millage rate needed to bring in the same amount of ad valorem revenue in the coming fiscal year as in 2010-11 — would be 1.881, while a 2.0 millage rate would generate $63,892 in additional revenue, or $1.161 million.

The city has maintained a 1.7882 millage rate since 2006, she said.

Mayor Mike Selby said preliminary indications from the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office are that ad valorem revenues at the same millage rate as last year will decline about 5 percent due to the drop in property values in recent years.

Commissioner Dale Woodland said municipalities and governments across the country are “taking a hit,” and some governments are experiencing bankruptcy.

He said he wanted to keep the 1.7882 rate, but Percycoe reminded commissioners that the city drew $139,000 from reserves last year in order to maintain the prior budget year’s millage rate.

To maintain the current millage rate in the 2011-12 budget, about $190,000 would have to be allocated from reserves, Percycoe said.

“We do this every year, and work as hard as we can to maintain the millage,” she said.

The good news is that property values have been “slowly creeping up” in Anna Maria, and any increase will be reflected in next year’s ad valorem revenue.

Woodland also brought up staff pensions and benefits.

A new state law will require civil servants to contribute at least 3 percent of their salary to the state-run pension plan.

Percycoe said city staff are at the lowest possible pension plan offered by the state, and noted that elected officials also are in the pension plan.

What hurts many cities in the country is the high contribution level those governments make to an employee pension plan, she said.

Woodland said city employees have earned their pensions, but the state is now “taking them away.”

Commission Chair Chuck Webb said that’s not the issue before the commission.

Percycoe said she would have the draft 2011-12 budget ready for the work session at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 21, at city hall, 10003 Gulf Drive.

The commission must set a tentative millage rate by July 30. Once established by the commission, a tentative millage rate can be lowered, but can’t be increased.

Resort tax up 10 percent in June

Resort tax collections for June 2011 climbed by nearly 10 percent from the collections recorded in June 2010, according to the latest figures from the Manatee County Tax Collector’s Office.

That’s generally good news for local tourism, said Mary Ann Brockman, Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce president.

While not an official measure of tourism to Manatee County, Brockman said bed tax collections for one month are a good indicator of the occupancy level of tourist accommodations.

If the bed tax collections are up from last year, then it’s likely a good month for tourism, Brockman said. If collections drop in a month, one can usually figure that visitor arrivals also fell, she observed.

The bed tax, also known as the resort tax, is the 5 percent tax added to the cost of each accommodation unit rented in Manatee County for less than six months. From the resort tax collected, 1 cent of every 5 cents is set aside for beach renourishment projects.

While Brockman wasn’t predicting a 10 percent climb in accommodation occupancy for June 2011, many members reported good occupancy levels for the month.

Total collections for June 2011 were $487,927, a $43,297 increase — 9.76 percent — compared with the $443,630 collected in June 2010.

Collectively, Anna Maria Island’s municipalities and Longboat Key — the core of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s marketing strategy — delivered $302,610 or 62.1 percent of the bed tax collected in Manatee County for the month.

The June bed tax collection report was “good news,” to Brockman, because May tourism on the Island “was excellent and some thought we might get a decline in June. I don’t think we’ll have one when the figures are released,” Brockman predicted.

And the May tourism report from the BACVB should be impressive if bed tax collections that month are a guideline.

Resort tax collections in Manatee County for May 2011 were up $443,406, a 74.6 percent increase from the $330,910 collected in May 2010. The $774,316 total in bed tax collections recorded in May 2011 was so big an increase that tax office officials double-checked the amounts to ensure accuracy.

Research Data Services Inc. of Tampa prepares the monthly and quarterly tourism reports for the BACVB. The monthly research data and tourist arrival figures are delayed 4-6 weeks after the end of a month.

Brockman predicted that when May tourism figures are announced by the BACVB, they should show Island tourism up significantly when compared to May 2010.

AMIP awards $25,150 in scholarships

The Anna Maria Island Privateers July 4 awarded $25,150 to local students attending college.

The awards included: Dominic Cox, 1,250; Chelsea Sloan, $1,250; Kyle Messina, $1,250; Sarah Beth Scott, $1,250; Sarah Norris, $1,250; Kayla Kerns, $1,250; Chelsea Hodges, $2,000; Samantha Glodde, $1,250; Christopher Chawi, $3,000; Sajani Patel, $1,100; Hilary Hathaway, $1,100; Kelsy Braun, $1,100; Sydney Clark, $1,100; Brandi Ricker, $1,000; Leanne Browning, $1,000; Alexander Chawi, $1,000; James Campbell, $1,000; Jennifer Luong, $1,000; and Ourania Lardas, $1,000.

Commission votes for WastePro contract

Bradenton Beach commissioners — hoping to waste not on truck repairs — unanimously approved an agreement hiring WastePro of Florida as the city’s trash-hauler.

WastePro already has a contract with the city to remove recyclables.

The commission voted unanimously for the first reading of an ordinance on a franchise agreement with WastePro to take over trash and yard-waste collection, a service currently handled by the Bradenton Beach public works department.

The ordinance awards WastePro the franchise for solid-waste collection in exchange for fees to the city — 12 percent of the company’s gross revenue under the franchise, less adjustments for uncollectible accounts.

WastePro’s rates are $112.08 a year for residential garbage collection and $43.56 a year for yard waste collection.

The franchise agreement ends in 2016, with a five-year renewal provision.

WastePro will collect trash at least twice a week and yard waste at least once a week from residences. Hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. On holidays, service is pushed back by a day throughout the week.

Trash-generators can expect WastePro to begin collecting solid waste in September.

The start date was the one issue that remained unresolved going into last week’s meeting.

Prior to the meeting, commissioners had asked city attorney Ricinda Perry and the city clerk’s office to calculate how much it would cost the sanitation department to complete collection in 2011 and how much it would cost for the city to hire WastePro for September through December.

The balance sheet indicated it would cost the city about $59,000 to finish the year with the sanitation department collecting solid waste. Hiring WastePro for the job will cost about $95,000.

While city collection appeared less costly, a concern for the mayor and commissioners was whether the city’s garbage trucks would hold out until the end of the year. They were eager to have WastePro start work in the fall.

A second and final reading of the ordinance was scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 4.

The commission also voted to sell WastePro the city’s recycling truck for $12,000.

In other business, the commission:

• Approved payment of a $7,178 invoice from Perry for legal services in May.

• Approved 4-1 payment of a $5,562 invoice from M.T. Causley for building official services. Commissioner Gay Breuler voted no based on her objections to overtime for the building official.

• Approved the first reading of a revised sign ordinance and set a second and final reading for 7 p.m. Aug. 4.

• Continued the first reading of an ordinance regulating newsracks until 7 p.m. Aug. 4, after the planning and zoning board reviews and makes recommendations on the proposal.

• Did not act on a citizen proposal for the semi-annual treatment of a ficus tree near the Annie Silver Community Center at 23rd Street and Avenue C.

Horticulturist Vernie Pickhardt, in a memo, informed commissioners that the tree is infested with white fly, which can be lethal. Pickhardt recommended treating the tree and soil with insecticide twice a year at a cost of about $900.

But Bartelt said ficus trees no longer can be planted in the city, because they are exotics that pose threats to sewer and water systems. He objected to the city spending money “ad infinitum” to treat the ficus.

Commissioners agreed not to act on the matter last week, but acknowledged the city eventually may have to take some action.

• Approved payment of a $2,400 invoice from ZNS Engineering for planning services.

Defense seeks trial delay

The defense attorney for a Bradenton Beach man facing a series of pornography charges and one count of witness tampering wants the trial delayed.

Joseph Edmund Chiquet of Bradenton Beach was scheduled to go to trial later this month. He is accused of possessing and promoting child pornography in a case that involved a teenage girl he met in early 2009 at a Bradenton skateboard shop.

A police report said the teenager and Chiquet had a sexual relationship, and that he took sexual photographs of her in his Bradenton Beach apartment that were downloaded to his computer.

In 2010, authorities accused Chiquet of offering ex-girlfriend Else Torres $10,000 if she told police she was depicted in the photographs and not, as prosecutors allege, the 15-year-old girl. That allegation added a witness tampering charge to the list of alleged offenses.

Chiquet has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

His defense attorney, Mark Lipinski, in a recent motion filed at the Manatee County Judicial Center in Bradenton, made several arguments for delaying the trial.

First, Lipinski said he must prepare to defend Chiquet in three separate cases.

Second, Lipinski said he needs time to respond to a ruling from the Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal, which reversed a circuit court decision suppressing the contents of a Dell computer seized to make the case against Chiquet. The appeal court ruling was issued in late June.

Also, the defense still plans to take depositions, including that of a former assistant state attorney, in connection with the witness tampering allegation.

As of Islander press time, a judge had not ruled on the motion.

Candidate qualifying in August

Elections for Island offices take place in November, with qualifying as a candidate about a month away.

In Anna Maria, three commission offices — seats currently held by John Quam, Gene Aubry and Dale Woodland — are up in November.

In Bradenton Beach, the mayoral post held by Bob Bartelt and commission seats held by Gay Breuler and Janie Robertson are up for election.

Robertson, because of a term limit, cannot seek re-election, and she has raised concerns over the past year about whether any candidates will step forward for her seat.

Robertson represents Ward 3, which is bounded by the Gulf of Mexico on the west, Sarasota Bay on the east and Seventh Street North on the north. The southern boundary generally is First Street North, but the ward dips down to include the east end of Bridge Street.

In Holmes Beach, three commission offices — seats held by Al Robinson, David Zaccagnino and Pat Morton — are up.

Election Day is Nov. 8.

Qualifying dates are Aug. 15 to Aug. 26 in Anna Maria, and Aug. 29 to Sept. 2 in both Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach.

For more information about becoming a candidate, visit the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office at or visit the appropriate city hall.