Monthly Archives: December 2016

HB commission candidates on hold

No election packets had been given out by the Holmes Beach city clerk’s office as of 4 p.m. Aug. 19, although all three incumbents have said they will seek re-election. Three commission seats are up for election on Nov. 8.

Incumbent Commissioners Al Robinson, Pat Morton and David Zaccagnino all have said previously they will seek another term. No other city residents have indicated they will become a candidate.

Qualifying in Holmes Beach for the November election is from noon, Aug. 29 to noon Friday, Sept. 2, although election packets can be picked up at any time.

Holmes Beach commissioners are elected for two-year terms. Compensation for a commissioner is $400 per month, while the mayor receives $800 each month.

Packets may be obtained between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive. For more information, call the city clerk at 941-708-5800.

Election 2011

• Noon, Aug. 26: Qualifying for three commission seats began Aug. 15 for three city commission seats in Anna Maria. The period will close at noon Aug. 26 in Anna Maria.

• Noon, Aug. 29-noon Sept. 2: Qualifying for three commission seats in Holmes Beach.

• Noon, Aug. 29-noon, Sept. 2: Qualifying takes place for two commission seats and the mayoral post in Bradenton Beach.

• Oct. 11: The last day to register to vote for the Island elections.

• Nov. 8: Election day.

For more information about the election, go to or call the appropriate city hall — 941-708-6130 for Anna Maria, 941-778-7585 for Bradenton Beach and 941-708-5800 for Holmes Beach.

Gregorich departs ‘Hell’s Kitchen,’ hails AMI

Fans of Jamie Gregorich and the Fox television show “Hell’s Kitchen” will have to resign themselves to seeing the Island native on the local scene instead of the television screen.

The 25 year-old sous chef at Euphemia Haye restaurant on Longboat Key was the ninth contestant to depart this season’s show, making it halfway through the season.

The television show splits 18 contestants into two teams to rival each other under the direction of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who ultimately decides which chef is eliminated each week. The winner receives a head chef position at BLT Steak in New York City.

Gregorich’s departure from the show was unexpected for those watching, and while she has received an abundant amount of feedback from fans unhappy with Ramsay’s decision Gregorich is upbeat about her future.

“During the casting process it clicked for me that this is a television show that revolves around personalities, not a cooking show,” admits Gregorich. “I was a little nervous when I heard the prize for ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ was winning a job in a town that is completely opposite of what I’m used to.

“I can’t even explain how excited I am to stay here in my humble abode and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beach life,” she said.

Gregorich already has signed up for the fall coed soccer league at the Anna Maria Island Community Center and arranged to spend next summer working in a kitchen in St. Augustine.

“My plans are to keep living the dream and continue my career at Euphemia Haye and teaching at MTI,” said Gregorich. “Knowing myself and my drive, I feel I can do anything I put my mind to.”

County hosts marine rescue HQ open house

Manatee County Marine Rescue Chief Jay Moyles marked the grand opening of the new beach headquarters Aug. 15 with a declaration: “I’m a proud papa. This has been a labor of love.”

Until this summer, Moyles’ marine rescue team operated out of a storage room at the back of a Coquina Bayside rest room.

Now the lifeguards, as well as the marine unit of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, have new digs — a $1.2 million, two-story headquarters with a super-sized garage for boats and vehicles on the ground level and a series of offices on the second level. A dock on the bay includes slips for public safety boats.

A crowd of more than 100 people attended the grand opening last week, which featured a ribbon-cutting, speech-making, tours of the facility and lots of “congratulations” and “cheers.”

“This is something you can be proud of,” said Manatee County Commission Chair Carol Whitmore.

“This is a long time coming,” said Commissioner John Chappie, who represents the Island and west portions of the county. “This is a major investment for public safety. …It’s a perfect location.”

Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube said that on major holidays, when the public beaches fill with thousands of people, beefed up teams of law enforcement personnel are assigned to police the area.

But until the construction of the headquarters there was no beach location for breaks or report-making outside “the hot sun.”

Steube said the headquarters was built “with great cooperation between Manatee County and the city of Bradenton Beach.”

The headquarters is 8,800 square feet and was built to withstand winds of 130 mph, as well as conserve energy. The county used low-emissivity glass to improve thermal efficiency but still offer striking views of the bay and beach. Highly reflective material covers the roof and LED lighting is on the outside of the building.

The headquarters can hold six ATVs, two personal watercraft vessels, two pickup trucks and an MCSO boat.

Aug. 15 was still a working day for those who attended the celebration, including the builder, Zirkelbach Construction of Palmetto.

In a trailer with a massive grill, the ZC team of Alan Zirkelbach and Rich Rapean served hot dogs and hamburgers to the crowd and at the same time fielded telephone calls about building projects.

Across Gulf Drive at Coquina Beach, marine rescue guards continued to watch the beach and the swim zone on a day with choppy waves and storms in the forecast.

Bradenton man arrested for alleged molestation

Bradenton Beach police last week arrested a man for allegedly molesting a boy while swimming on Anna Maria Island in July.

John Abraham Essaf, 47, of Bradenton, was arrested Aug. 16 at the Manatee County jail, where he was in custody on a charge of child pornography.

Essaf faces three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 12, a felony.

In an arrest report, police state Essaf was arrested July 28 after they seized child pornography while executing a search warrant in his apartment.

The report also states that Essaf, during a police interview, said he took a boy swimming in Holmes Beach for a birthday present.

Essaf allegedly confessed to sexual contact with the child while in the water.

The boy was examined on Aug. 5, and recalled for authorities the incident on the beach. The boy, according to the report, remembered that Essaf touched him, but he thought it was accidental.

“It should be noted that the juvenile victim does not appear to be educated about sex or sexual behavior,” the report read.

Essaf also allegedly admitted to sexual contact with the boy in the swimming pool at his apartment complex and to handling, tickling and massaging the child in another incident.


WMFR, Cedar Hammock in consolidation talks

Talks between West Manatee Fire Rescue and Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue districts are under way to determine if merging the two districts is a viable idea that would save taxpayer money.

WMFR Chief Andy Price cautioned that the talks are just preliminary.

“We’ve only had one meeting and there’s a lot more to be done,” Price said.

Speaking at the WMFR district commission meeting Aug. 18, Price said officials of both districts are collecting information on organization and funding of each district to exchange as the first step. Several more meetings would then take place to determine if consolidation is feasible.

If both commissions agree consolidation appears “favorable,” Price said an unbiased feasibility study would be needed from a professional company to determine if consolidation would work, and a report on the process to implement consolidation and how the new district would be organized.

Price was involved in the May 2000 consolidation of the Anna Maria and West Side fire districts — a nearly three-year process — and knows from experience it’s not just “a few meetings and then a vote,” he said.

He estimated it would take a minimum of two years of meetings and study, then a referendum by voters of both districts and an act of the Florida Legislature before consolidation would occur.

“It’s not going to happen overnight,” Price said.

One main issue is funding. Cedar Hammock obtains revenue through an ad valorem tax on properties within its boundaries, while WMFR uses an assessment for revenue.

“Consolidation always sounds good, but we need to make sure it is good,” he said.

Price has long advocated consolidating the county’s 12 independent fire districts into a single entity, but the obstacle has always been who would pay for the feasibility study. Price and other fire district chiefs want Manatee County to fund the study, while the county commission has declined to fund it.

In other business, WMFR commissioners passed the first reading of the $5.287.5 million 2011-12 budget.

But not before Holmes Beach City Commissioner Al Robinson spoke against the budget, noting that 85 percent of the budget revenue is for salaries and benefits. That figure is much too high, Robinson said, and any pay increase is unjustified in these difficult economic times.

Price also updated the board on remodeling and refurbishing of Station No. 1 in Holmes Beach.

“We anticipate completion in late October or early November,” the chief said.

The project includes expansion of living facilities for firefighters, more room for equipment storage, a new air-conditioning system and improved building insulation.

Commissioners also voted Jesse Davis as the secretary-treasurer to replace former Commissioner John Rigney’s function on the board. Rigney had to give up his commission seat when he moved out of the district in May.

The final public hearing for the budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at the WMFR administration building, 6477 Third Ave. W., Bradenton.

Island real estate transactions – 08-24-2011

        5622 Gulf Drive, Unit 4, Vista Grande, Holmes Beach, a 1,817 sfla / 2,550 sfur 3bed/3bath/1car Gulffront condo with shared pool built in 2007 was sold 08/01/11, Wade to Wammes for $2,075,000; list $2,100,000.

111 Sycamore Ave., Anna Maria, a 1,204 sfla / 2,580 sfur 3bed/bath/2car Gulf-view home built in 1981 on a 110×100 lot was sold 08/01/11, Dar II LLC to Gonzalez for $1,575,000; list $1,799,000.

111 81st St., Holmes Beach, a 3,000 sfla / 5,000 sfur 5bed/3½bath/4car pool home built in 2011 on a 64×80 lot was sold 08/04/11, Beach to Bay Investments Inc. to Wien for $850,000.

305 63rd St., Unit A, Paradise Villas, Holmes Beach, a 2,386 sfla / 2,928 sfur 3bed/3½bath/2car land condo with pool built in 2005 was sold 08/01/11, Lef Enterprises LLC to Townley for $490,000; list $549,000.

890 North Shore Drive, Anna Maria, a 1,214 sfla / 1,412 sfur 2bed/2bath home built in 1947 on a 50×55 lot was sold 08/04/11, Bello to Quest Acquisitions Inc. for $399,000; list $399,000.

6300 Flotilla Drive, Unit 73, Shell Point, Holmes Beach, a 1,151 sfla 2bed/2bath condo with shared pool built in 1972 was sold 07/28/11, Morris to Martsolf for $239,000; list $269,000.

Jesse Brisson, broker/associate at Gulf-Bay Realty of Anna Maria, can be reached at 941-778-7244.

Sports – 08-24-2011

Dolphins win Super Bowl, hand Saints first loss


Agnelli Pool & Spa Dolphins defeated MartiniVille Saints 25-19 in the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s coed NFL flag football summer league Super Bowl played Aug. 18.

Both teams traded offensive possessions without finding the end zone early in the game. The turning point came when Zach Schield intercepted a Ryan Moss pass deep in Saints’ territory to give the Dolphins first down at the 5-yard line. They wasted no time as quarterback Mike Shaughnessy hit Pat Calvary on a fade route in the left corner of the end zone to give Agnelli Pool & Spa a 6-0 lead with 12:30 left in the first half.

After trading offensive possessions, the Saints finally put together a scoring drive. A 20-yard completion from Ryan Moss to Nate Talucci gave MartiniVille a first down at the 8-yard line. On the next play, Ryan Moss hit Jonathan Moss for an 8-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 6-6 with 1:35 to play in the half.

The Dolphins responded right away, quickly working their way down the field. Tim Shaughnessy hit Frank Agnelli for 15 yards and followed that with a third-down  pass for 11 yards to Schield to give them a first down with under 30 seconds left to play in the first half. Tim Shaugnessy then hit paydirt on a 24-yard pass to Agnelli in the right corner of the end zone to give Agnelli Pool & Spa a 12-6 halftime lead.

The Dolphins wasted no time scoring in the second half, taking an 18-6 lead on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Tim Shaugnessy to Schield. Calvary came up with a brilliant 20-yard catch from Tim Shaugnessy for a first down that kept the drive alive.

Undaunted, the Saints replied with a length-of-the-field scoring drive, culminating with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Moss to Jonathan Moss. Ed Moss hauled in the extra-point pass to make it 18-13 with just under 13 minutes left to play. Nate Talucci had receptions of 16 yards and 11 yards on the drive for the Saints.

The Dolphins came right back with a four-play touchdown drive. Tim Shaughnessy started it off with an 8-yard completion to Agnelli, followed by another circus catch by Calvary for 23 yards. Mike Shaughnessy then hit Tim Shaughnessy on a 17-yard touchdown pass that was followed by Agnelli’s extra-point grab to give the Fins a 25-13 lead with under eight minutes left in the game.

Again the Saints showed resolve and drove the length of the field and scored when Ryan Moss hit Jonathan Moss with a 4-yard touchdown pass with 3:01 left to play. Nate Talucci’s 12-yard reception for a first down kept the drive alive, while Ryan Moss avoided a sack and hit wife Emily Moss to put the Saints into scoring position.

The Dolphins went three and out giving the Saints the ball and some hope. Ryan Moss hit Jonathan Moss for 13 yards on first down. Ryan Moss’ second-down pass fell incomplete and, on third down, Frank Agnelli broke up the pass play to give the Dolphins the ball back with 57 seconds remaining, effectively ending the game with the Dolphins on top 25-19.

The Toilet Bowl was played prior to the above-mentioned game between the Sun Panthers and Tyler’s Ice Cream Steelers. The Panthers prevailed 33-26 to avoid last place in the league. Tyler Bekkerus completed 14 of 26 passes for 155 yards and five touchdown passes. Kevin Austin caught seven passes for 52 yards and three touchdowns, while Hell’s Kitchen participant Jamie Gregorich had two receptions for 20 yards, including a touchdown and an extra point. Brother Kevin Gregorich added a 10-yard touchdown reception for the Panthers.

Jason Garden and Chuck McCracken scored two touchdowns apiece to lead the Steelers in the loss.


Horseshoe news

George McKay and Ron Pepka were the only team to record three pool-play victories and were the day’s outright champs during Aug. 20 horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City hall horseshoe pits. The team of Tom Skoloda and Sam Samuels soundly defeated Jay Disbrow and Jeff Moore in the second-place game.

Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection.

There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.


Key Royale news

The women of the Key Royale Club played a nine-hole, individual-low-net golf game Aug. 16. Sue Wheeler, Laura Purcell and Meredith Slavin all carded 4-under-par 28s to finish in a three-way tie for first place. Kris Landkammer and Fran Barford tied for second place at 1-under-par 31. Barford chipped in on hole number four, while Mary Selby did the same on hole number five.


Soccer registration under way

The deadline for registering for the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s 2011 youth soccer league is quickly approaching.

Cost for a three-day Aug. 24-26 soccer camp from is $30. Cost for playing in the recreational league is $75 for members, while non-members cost is $105. Failure to register prior to Aug. 27 results in an additional fee of $15.

Players each receive a jersey and socks, and they are responsible for their own black shorts and shin guards.

Games will be played in the evening at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday with an occasional Saturday game.

Tryouts begin Aug. 29 and teams will be picked immediately following tryout times.

The center also is offering an adult coed soccer league which will be played on Thursday evenings. Tryouts will be held Sept. 1.

For more information, contact center athletic director Troy Shonk at 941-778-1908, ext. 9205.

Island police blotter – 08-24-2011

Anna Maria

• Aug. 13, 100 block of Crescent Drive, information. A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped to check on a home that was not occupied but a garage door was open. He called for assistance in the event there had been a burglary, but nothing was reported missing or disturbed.

        Anna Maria is policed by the MCSO.

Bradenton Beach

• No new reports.

        Bradenton Beach is policed by the BBPD.


• Aug. 15, 10200 block of Cortez Road, stolen tag. The MCSO took a report that someone removed a license plate from a parked auto.

• Aug. 15, 10200 block of Cortez Road, criminal mischief. The MCSO filed a report on a complaint that someone poured sugar into a gasoline tank. About $1,000 in damages was done.

• Aug. 16, 3700 block of 116th Court West, grand theft. The MCSO responded to a complaint from a man who said his roommate made unauthorized purchases with his bank card. He alleged that more than $5,000 was spent.

        Cortez is policed by the MCSO.

Holmes Beach

• Aug. 8, 5300 block of Gulf Drive, petit theft. The Holmes Beach Police Department invested a report of a theft at Island Fitness. An envelope containing petty cash was found on the floor, along with $2 and a key. About $174 was taken.

• Aug. 10, 6600 block of Holmes Boulevard, theft. The HBPD took a report that someone stole a black beach-style bike valued at about $150.

• Aug. 10, 300 block of 64th Street, burglary to a vehicle. HBPD received a report that someone stole a wallet containing $200 in cash and credit and debit cards, and a CD box from an unlocked vehicle.

• Aug. 10, 100 block of 68th Street, burglary to a vehicle. Someone took an iPod Touch, a skimboard, a backpack containing clothing and credit cards, $25 in cash from a parked pickup truck.

• Aug. 11, 3200 block of East Bay Drive, theft. Someone stole a steel cart from the Subway.

• Aug. 11, 5600 block of Guava Street, criminal mischief. The HBPD took a report from a man who said someone vandalized his Porsche, spray-painting the hood and convertible top.

• Aug. 13, 100 block of 69th Street, burglary to a vehicle. The HBPD received a report that someone took a purse, mobile phone, ID card, car keys and about $60 in cash from a vehicle.

• Aug. 14, 8300 block of Marina Court, theft. A resident reported to HBPD that someone took power tools from his garage.

• Aug. 18, 100 block of 47th Street, theft. Someone stole a grill and propane tank from a rental property.

        Holmes Beach is policed by the HBPD.

        Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the BBPD, HBPD and MCSO.

Obituaries – 08-24-2011

Richard C. ‘Dick’ Hennessey

Richard C. “Dick” Hennessey, 80, of Bradenton, and formerly of Piqua, Ohio, died Aug. 12. He was born Oct. 7,1920, in Piqua, Ohio.

Mr. Hennessey graduated from Piqua Catholic High School and served the U.S. Army Air Corps, attaining the rank of sergeant. In World War II, he served as a medic and once flew into battle in France in a glider to attend to troops’ wounds, for which he was decorated several times, including a medal and commendation from the French government.

Mr. Hennessey was a banker in Ohio, and was a member of the Troy Community Theater and Optimist Club of Troy, Ohio, for 10 years, honorary member of Boys’ Town of Nebraska, and was affiliated with the Piqua Players Club for 26 years. On retiring to Anna Maria Island, he participated in theater with the Island Players and volunteered for the Anna Maria Island Community Center and the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce and served with the Interim Medical Services. Most recently, he volunteered at H2U Blake Medical Center.

Mr. Hennessey was an avid reader who authored three books. His work as a writer was featured in The Islander and he also was featured in the newspaper’s Greatest Generation column.

Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice Palliative Care, 3355 26th St. W., Bradenton FL 34205. A memorial service will be held in Bradenton at a later date.

Mr. Hennessey is survived by brother William “Bill” Hennessey and sister Eileen Webster, both of Bradenton, and sixteen nieces and nephews.


Isabell Marl Redding

Isabell Marl Redding, 84, died in Reno, Nev., Aug. 10. She was born May 22, 1927, in Rochester, Pa.

Mrs. Redding lived across the country in such places as Thompson Ridge, N.Y., Anna Maria Island and, since 2002, in Winnemucca, Nev.

An informal service will be announced at a later date.

Condolences may be posted at, and memorial donations may be made to the Humboldt Volunteer Hospice or a local hospice.

Mrs. Redding is survived by her children, Fred Marl and wife Deborah of Arlington, Va., Rick of Reno, Nev., Marlene and husband Tom Brissenden of Winnemucca, Nev.; and grandchild Jay Brissenden of Reno, Nev.