Monthly Archives: January 2017

Fishing – 03-21-2012

Anna Maria anglers spring into action


As seen in recent days, springtime is settling in around Anna Maria Island. Blue bird skies and temperatures in the mid-80s, combined with light winds and clear water, amount to excellent conditions on the water. Whether fishing from the beaches, piers, passes or in the boat, now is the time to be out enjoying this weather.

Anglers can expect the usual species to arrive for the springtime bite. Rumors of Spanish mackerel and kingfish are in the air and with good reason. On one of my charters, we caught as many Spanish mackerel as we could boat before we got tired of catching them. As for the kings, I didn’t see them this week, although a couple of reliable sources, with photos as proof, said they had some good action early in the week.

Spotted seatrout are making a great showing this spring. There are numerous small fish, ranging from 12-14 inches, inhabiting most of the grass flats around the Island. This past week, after fishing for two hours, my clients caught around 30 trout with about one-third being keeper-size. Some were as small as 10 inches, while the biggest came in at 22 inches.

Redfish are staging up on shallow flats from Sarasota Bay to Terra Ceia Bay. On some days, you can find them schooled up, while other days they’re scattered throughout the flat. Capt. Warren Girle specializes in targeting these shallow water reds, and his favorite method is to wade to them.  It’s quieter, up close and personal, and you don’t spook the fish.

I recommend working a top-water plug early in the morning or a Berkley Gulp shrimp later in the day. And, of course, a live shiner is a good bet, too.

Lastly, catch-and-release snook action is heating up the shallow grass flats and around the mangrove edges. Numerous small fish are being spotted, although some bigger fish are worked in. You need a 30-pound fluorocarbon leader and a live bait hook combined with a lively shiner to get the bite.

Remember to go gentle on the snook, since they are all we have. We need them to get them to breeding size so our fishery will return to what it was before the freeze killed off the population in January 2010.

Take advantage of the spring weather, and get fishing while the gettin’s good.

Capt. Sam Kimball of Legend Charters is fishing offshore with good results on a number of species. Using a variety of baits, ranging from shrimp and squid to shiners and pinfish, Kimball’s clients are catching quantities worthy of a fish fry.

To start, Kimball is using shrimp and squid for bait in water depths of 40 to 60 feet. Key West grunts, porgies and hogfish are readily taking these baits the moment they reach the bottom. Once filleted, all these species are good to eat, just bread and fry in hot oil.

In these same water depths, Kimball’s charters are testing their stamina by working out on catch-and-release gag grouper. Using shiners and pinfish, Kimball’s clients are having knuckle-busting action on gags in the 10- to 12-pound range.

Moving out a little deeper, catch-and-release red grouper action is on fire. “We’re hooking reds on every drop,” says Kimball. “They are prolific out there right now.” Again, these bottom dwellers provide a true test of strength due to their size and power.

Kimball also is catching king mackerel by free-lining shiners behind the boat. Fish in the 20-pound range are the norm, although a few bigger fish are being caught.

Looks as if it’s time to get the smoker ready and find your favorite recipe for kingfish dip.

Richard Leitz at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge South Fishing Pier is seeing good numbers of migratory species crashing bait schools. Spanish mackerel are being caught on silver spoons or Gotcha plugs, most in the 15- to 20-inch range. The same applies for bonito. The bonito are ranging 7-10 pounds and can be caught on either live threadfin herring or artificials. As for the kingfish, only a few have hooked up. To target this large mackerel, try baiting either the biggest threadfin herring you can find or a blue runner.

Sheepshead are being caught around the pier, although the bite seems to be thinning out. Fiddler crabs, tubeworms and shrimp are still getting a bite.

Finally, pier fishers targeting flounder are having good results on slower moving tides. Fish up to 18 inches are being reported. Leitz suggests using a small threadfin herring on a jig head to find the fish. Simply hook the threadfin through the nose and let it sink to the bottom. Then slowly reel and drag the bait, especially around the pilings under the pier and small artificial reefs.

Capt. Mark Howard of SumoTime Fishing Charters reports exceptional springtime fishing. He’s seeing redfish, spotted seatrout, snook and mackerel have been chewing with reckless abandon.

Howard says the redfish bite is one of the best in recent years, with big schools of bruisers coming onto the flats at incoming tides, feeding heavily on shiners and pinfish. He likes to use circle hooks when fishing for reds for an easy release.

Howard said last week a 31-inch redfish bit his client’s line and that of another guide’s client, too. “We were able to land the copper-colored beauty and take a couple of pictures and release it to fight another day,” Howard said.  “That was definitely a first.”

The snook bite has finally exploded, Howard says providing a change of pace from the redfish. Look for snook in the potholes on low tides and in the bushes during high tide. Howard believes the no-take rules for these fish have helped bring about a nice recovery after some harsh winters.

“Looking forward, the new moon is next week and the tides will be strong. Bait is in all of the regular spots and it’s not hard to black out your wells. Some of the best fishing Manatee County has to offer is happening now,” Howard says.

Capt. Rick Gross of Fishy Business charters had a good week fishing the grass flats of southern Tampa Bay, north Sarasota Bay and all the waters between.

Using live shiners for bait, Gross is catching limits of spotted seatrout in water depths of 3 to 7 feet. Gross likes to use about 3 to 4 feet of 20-pound fluorocarbon tied to a 1/0 Eagle claw live bait hook to get the bite. When the water is as clear as it is now,” says Gross, “you need to use light leader and small hooks.”

Most trout are in the 15- to 20-inch range, although the biggest topped out at 27 inches, “and that’s a big trout,” he said.

Redfish are making their way onto Gross’ fillet table. Slot-size fish are being caught on shallower grass flats. Gross likes to use the same setup as he uses for trout. Once he locates the redfish, he draws them to the boat by chumming with live shiners. This both gets them in the feeding mood and keeps them in the area. Gross’ charters are catching good numbers of slot-sized fish as well as some over-slot reds — the biggest coming in at 32 inches.

To finish out the day, Gross is exposing his clients to some catch-and-release snook action. “It’s good to see there’s a few snook starting to show up again,” says Gross.

Most snook are in the 20- to 26-inch range, with the biggest coming in at a whopping 36 inches. And that’s a good fish in anybody’s book.

Capt. Warren Girle is putting out shiners at nearshore structure with good results. On a recent charter, his clients managed to reel up a 36-inch cobia as well as numerous king mackerel up to 35 inches. Also on the reefs, Girle’s charters are catching Spanish mackerel, sheepshead and Key West grunts.

Moving to the backcountry, Girle is targeting redfish in the shallow grass flats of Sarasota Bay, using live shiners with good results. Numerous slot-sized fish are being caught as well as fish up to 33-inches.

In these same areas with the reds, Girle is hooking up spotted seatrout. Girle’s biggest trout came in at 24 inches. These can be caught a number of ways, he says, with top-water plugs, soft plastics or live shiners.

On the deeper grass flats, Girle is catching a variety of inshore species. Ladyfish, blue runners and Spanish mackerel are available by jig fishing the deeper flats.

Jonny Keyes at Island Discount Tackle is hearing of excellent pompano action on the beaches of Anna Maria Island. Fishers are getting good results on both pompano jigs and sand fleas. Keyes suggests fishing at sunrise for a good score. Fly fishers are finding success using glass minnow patterns and small crab imitations on pompano.

Ladyfish are schooling along the shorelines, providing non-stop action for anglers using artificial lures, such as silver spoons, buck-tail jigs and Gotcha plugs. Look for fish breaking schools of bait just off the beach. Remember, ladyfish will fray your leader, so always check it after each catch and re-tie as needed.

Finally, beach fishers using cut bait on the bottom are hooking up small bonnethead sharks and an occasional flounder. Try using frozen squid or shrimp to target either of these beach inhabitants.

On the grass flats, fishers using live shiners are catching good numbers of spotted seatrout, redfish and catch-and-release snook, and using live shiners free-lined over shallow grass and adjacent to mangrove shorelines are getting the bite. Try using some top-water plugs at sunrise for exploding action on the backwater trio.

Moving offshore, mangrove snapper are dominating the bite, while king mackerel are showing up in the same areas. Starting around 20 miles out, snapper are being caught on live and frozen baits. Most fishers are using shiners or threadfin herring, but frozen sardines also can be the way to go.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier says fishing remains consistent. A variety of species are being caught on both live and artificial baits.

Sheepshead are still at the top of the list. Pier fishers using live oyster and fiddler crabs and shrimp are catching good numbers of these buck-toothed barnacle eaters. Fish up to 3 pounds are the norm. Remember to carry some extra-small, stout hooks and, if you plan on keeping your limit, bring a stringer so you can hang your catch from the pier until you’re ready to fillet them. Also, with it being spring break, Kilb suggests getting to the pier early to find a spot to fish.

Black drum are hanging around the R&R in decent numbers. Pier fishers using select shrimp are getting the bigger-size drum. Fish in the 18-inch range are the norm, although catches up to 24 inches are not uncommon. And don’t be surprised to hook up a drum while targeting sheepies. They’ll hit a crab just as quick as a sheepshead.

Last but not least, you can catch a few pompano from the pier, but the bite is sporadic. Fishers using small pink jigs are catching these sought-after golden nuggets. While targeting pompano with jigs, also expect to catch some ladyfish. “There’s a bunch of ladyfish around the pier,” says Kilb. “It’s hard to cast a jig and not catch one.”

If you’re looking for rod-bending action on artificials, this might be a good option for you. Ladyfish aren’t good eating, but they’re acrobatic when hooked, which provides an enjoyable fight for the angler.

        Send fishing reports to

Obituaries – 03-21-2012


Richard ‘Rich’ Charles Eisert

Richard “Rich” Charles Eisert, 82, of Tampa and formerly of Bradenton Beach, died March 13. He was born and raised in Erie, Pa. He moved in 1989 to Anna Maria Island to manage his family’s guest house, “The Island Breeze.”

Mr. Eisert is survived by companion Ann Heath; daughters Caroline and husband Ted Salchak of Erie, Pa., and Manatee County, and Diane and husband Roland Vildostegui of Tampa; daughter Debbie Salchak of Clearwater; sons Rick and wife Paulette of Erie, Pa., and Douglas of Tampa; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Walter J. Meesenburg

Walter J. Meesenburg, 82, of Holmes Beach, died March 12.

Mr. Meesenburg retired 20 years ago and commuted between his Holmes Beach and Wisconsin homes.

He loved playing tennis.

His friends and family held a celebration of life March 16.

He is survived by wife Giesela, sister Lisa Beesbensee of Mountain Home, Ark., sons Stuart of Nebraska, and Pete and Sven, both of the Chicago area.


Henry James Vaccari

Henry James Vaccari, 77, died March 16.

Mr. Vaccari was employed at Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority in Boston. He was a U.S. Army Korean War veteran. He was a member of the Bradenton Beach Moose Lodge and the American Legion of Somerville, Mass.

Service was to be held at 6 p.m. with rosary at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, in the chapel at Covell Funeral Home, 4232 26th St. W., Bradenton. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice, 5955 Rand Boulevard, Sarasota FL 34238.

Mr. Vaccari is survived by wife Jeanette “Jan”; son Richard; daughter Darlene Dwyer; six grandchildren; sisters Barbara Macaluso and Betty O’ Leary; and brother John.


Florence Marguerite Woodland

Florence Marguerite Woodland, 89, of Queensland, Australia, and formerly of Anna Maria, died Feb. 22. She was born Nov. 23, 1922, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

She attended the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and served in the Canadian Air Force during World War II.

She married an Australian serviceman in 1943, Max Woodland, who was training in Canada during the war. They reunited in Australia and, later moved to Canada and started their family. They moved to Bermuda and lived there for about two years, before coming to the United States in 1953, and then to Anna Maria Island in

the mid-1950s

In the 1960s and ’70s, Mrs. Woodland owned the “Ports of Paradise” and “Spindrift” gift shops in Anna Maria and on Longboat Key. She was active in the Island Players as a makeup artist and a member of Roser Memorial Community Church in Anna Maria.

Mrs. Woodland moved to Queensland, Australia, in 1990. She embraced the Australian lifestyle and traveled extensively throughout Queensland. She also traveled New South Wales and Vanuatu. She was active in the Mooloolah Valley Social Club. She had a lifelong love of animals, always having a variety of cats, dogs and birds, and loved gardening.

Private memorials are planned at a later date in Australia and Florida.

Mrs. Woodland is survived by son Dale, city commissioner of Anna Maria; daughter Melanie Woodland Johnson of Bradenton; grandchildren Scott and Jason and Hunter, Travis and Cole Johnson; great-grandchildren Jordan and Savannah and Kara and Tanna Johnson; brother Francis Atkinson of Fredericton; half-sister Joyce Mowatt of Ontario; cousin Stephen Harper, presently Prime Minister of Canada; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins in Canada, Australia and England.

Islander Calendar – 03-21-2012

Islander Calendar

Wednesday, March 21

6 p.m. — All-Island Denominations, Lenten program, Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-1638.


Wednesday, March 21

    10 a.m.-5 p.m — Coquina Beach Arts & Crafts Festival to benefit Anna Maria Island Butterfly Park at Coquina Beach, Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach. For more information: 352-344-0657.

• 1-3 p.m. — Anna Maria Garden Club Penny Flower Show, Roser Memorial Community Church Fellowship Hall, 512 Pine Ave. Information: 941-778-2809.


Thursday, March 22

10 a.m.-4 p.m. — Coquina Beach Arts & Crafts Festival to benefit Anna Maria Island Butterfly Park at Coquina Beach, Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach. For more information: 352-344-0657.


Friday, March 23

• 5-7 p.m. — Artspace grand opening and reception for artists at gallery, 101 South Bay Blvd.,B #2, Anna Maria. Information: 941-243-3835.

• 5-8:30 p.m. — Appreciating Abstraction, contemporary artist Bob Brown, photographer Alyssia Lazin, abstract painter Paul Kapic and watercolorist Jim Ladd; 5 p.m. art demonstration;  6 p.m. Gene Aubry art collecting presentation; and 6:30 p.m. reception at the Studio at Gulf and Pine, 10101 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Fee applies. Information: 941-243-3835.


Saturday, March 24

8 -11 a.m. — Pancake breakfast by Roser Men’s Club, and Roser Women’s Guild yard sale, Roser Memorial Community Church Fellowship Hall, 512 Pine Ave. Information: 941-778-0414.

8:30 a.m. — St. Bernard Council of Catholic Women, Half-day of Reflection after Mass, 248 S. Harbor, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-4769.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. — Anna Maria Island Arts and Crafts Show to benefit wildlife at the Holmes Beach city field, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-379-0951.

10 a.m.-noon — “Watercolor Painting Techniques,” a Roger Rockefeller demonstration, at the Island Gallery West, 5368 Gulf Drive, S&S Shopping Plaza, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6648.

10 a.m.-3 p.m. — Book signing, “Nathan and Stone Crabs,” by author J.B. Crawford at the Florida Maritime Museum, 415 119th Street W., Cortez. Information: 941-708-6121.

• 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. — Easter party, ages 2-10 and parents, at the Moose Lodge, 110 Gulf Drive, S., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-778-4110.


1-4 p.m. — Monthly Cortez concert series Music on the Porch, live music, open-air market at the historic Burton Store at the Florida Maritime Museum, 415 119th Street W., Cortez. Free. Information: 941-708-6121.

2-4 p.m. — Sunbow Bay condo association open house showcasing its eco-friendly landscape project, 3805 E. Bay Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-955-8085.

    • 7-11 p.m. — Wakeskate movie premiere, “Ride Among Us,” Seafood Shack Top Deck Restaurant-Dolphin Lounge, 4110 127th St., Cortez. Free. Information: 941-778-0436.


Sunday, March 25

10 a.m.-5 p.m. — Anna Maria Island Arts and Crafts Show to benefit wildlife at the Holmes Beach city field, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-379-0951.

    4 p.m. — Katherine Alexandra classical piano and vocal concert to benefit Longboat Island Chapel, Longboat Key. Fee Applies. Information: 941-383-6491.


Monday, March 26


Tuesday, March 27

    • 3-5 p.m. — Anna Maria Island Concert & Chorus Orchestra oldies dance on the beach at the Sandbar Pavilion, 100 Spring Avenue, Anna Maria. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-8585.



    8 p.m. weekdays, 2 p.m. Sunday performances through April 1 — Island Players perform “The Solid Gold Cadillac,” 10009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-5755.

• Third Mondays, noon, September through May, Anna Maria Island Democratic Club, BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach. Fee applies. Information: 779-0564 for further information.

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

• Tuesdays, 12:30 p.m., duplicate bridge games at Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-3390.

• Tuesdays, 1-2 p.m., coffee and conversations for seniors at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1908.

• First Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m., Pier Regulars meet at the Rod & Reel Pier, 875 N. Shore Drive, Anna Maria.

• Second Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m., VFW Post No. 8199 meets at the volunteer fire station, 201 Second St. N., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-778-4400.

• Wednesdays, 6-8 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.

• Wednesdays, March 14-May 2, 2:30-4 p.m., Meditation classes, Lifelong Learning Academy on Anna Maria Island, Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria, Information: 941-359-4296 or Sanchia: 941-779-1392.

• Thursdays, 5-7 p.m., Thirsty Thursday hosted by Bridge Street Merchants on Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach, Information: 215-906-0668.

• Thursdays through March, Bingo at Annie Silver Community Center, 103 23 St., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-778-1915.

• 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.

• Sundays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Bridge Street Market hosted by Bridge Street Merchants, Bradenton Beach. Information: 215-906-0668.



March 23

    1-5 p.m. — Manatee County Department of Historical Resources and Island Pearl Excursions tour Shaw’s Point, Emerson Point Preserve and Portavant Temple Mound to benefit Manatee Village Historical Park. Tour begins at Pier 22, 1200 1st Ave., W., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-780-8010.


March 24

    • 9 a.m.-2 p.m. — Artful Purpose Art Show and the Bradenton Farmers’ Market sponsor Paws in Motion Walkathon, a 1.1 mile pledge walk beginning at Manatee River riverfront. Proceeds benefit Manatee County Animal Services, Humane Society of Manatee County and Manatee County No-Kill movement. Information: 941-681-0708.


Coming Up:

• March 31, Longboat Key Fire Rescue Open House, Longboat Key Fire Station, 5490 Gulf of Mexico Drive.

• March 31, Affaire to Remember, a fundraiser for the Anna Maria Island Community Center.

• April 7, Second Annual Conga Line on Sand, Bridge Street and Gulf Drive, on the beach at the Moose Lodge, 110 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach. Benefits MoonRacer No-Kill Pet Rescue.


Save the Date:

• April 13 and April 14, Island Cityfest — a Holmes Beach Founders Day Celebration, Holmes Beach city hall field, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

• April 21, Hibiscus Festival, Family Life Center, First Baptist Church, Manatee Avenue and 13th Street West, Bradenton.

• April 28, Anna Maria Elementary School-Parent Teacher Organization Spring Fling, Anna Maria Island Community Center.

        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.

Island police blotter – 03-21-2012

Anna Maria

• March 6, 100 Spring Ave., information. Three employees of the Sandbar Restaurant were working in the kitchen when the kitchen manager ordered another employee to get more plates. The employee left the kitchen without saying anything, at which time the manager is alleged to have thrown a plate at the door where the employee had exited. The plate shattered, but did not strike anyone. A witness reported the incident happened “so fast,” he or she could not verify if it was intentional. The restaurant owner reported the matter was resolved internally. No further action was taken.

• March 13, 100 block of South Bay Boulevard, vehicle burglary. The complainant reported that sometime between March 12 and March 13, someone entered his vehicle through an unlocked door, stealing several items valued at $900.

• March 13, 98 Sycamore Ave., found property. A deputy responded to a call of three kayaks resting unsecured in a bed of sea oats. The responding deputy towed the kayaks to the west end of Pine Avenue, and contacted the Anna Maria public works department. City staff secured the kayaks in storage. The deputy ran the identification numbers of the kayaks, which were neither reported stolen nor registered.

Anna Maria is policed by the MCSO.


Bradenton Beach

• No new reports.

Bradenton Beach is policed by the BBPD.



• Feb. 27, 12000 block of Yacht Club Place, information. A 15-year-old female was relaxing on her second-floor balcony when she heard one of her dogs begin to bark. Upon looking down, she saw a male suspect fleeing from her garage. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and, according to the report, the juvenile provided the deputy with a possible suspect. The report states the probable suspect was a male, who had verbally threatened the family a week earlier. It did not appear any items were stolen.

• March 8, 12000 block of Cortez Road. A male driver reported he had been driven off the road by another vehicle. He pursued the vehicle to the next stoplight, at which time the suspect put his car in reverse and quickly backed up to the complainant’s vehicle, “as if to hit” him. The suspect then turned off the road and entered the parking lot of the laundromat. The man contacted MSCO to report the incident after taking the suspect’s tag information but, according to the report, the tag number provided did not match the vehicle description. The suspect was not located.

        Cortez is policed by the MCSO


Holmes Beach

• March 10, 4900 Fourth Avenue, drugs. While on patrol, a MSCO deputy observed a red Toyota truck, driven by Phong Dinh of Bradenton, driving aggressively behind other vehicles. Upon attempting a traffic stop, Phong did not immediately stop, according to the report. After several attempts to get Phong to pull over, he finally did, at which time the deputy saw him hunching over the steering wheel, “as if trying to reach under the driver’s seat,” the report said. Backup was called to the scene. The deputy reported on approaching the car that he smelled the odor of burning marijuana. Phong admitted that his license was suspended, and when he reached for his registration in the glove box, the deputy observed a “very large amount of money.” The deputy then observed a knife in the driver’s side door. Phong was asked to exit the vehicle and further investigation revealed that Phong is a habitual traffic offender. The deputy then checked under Phong’s seat and discovered three bags of marijuana and a machete, and a second knife was located in the passenger side door. The deputy also found rolling papers and discovered the license plate on Phong’s vehicle had been reported stolen. The amount of marijuana was determined to be 15.3 grams. Thus far, Phong has been charged with misdemeanor drug and traffic violations.

• March 9, 3600 block of East Bay Drive, petit theft. Police responded to a report of retail theft. A female employee reported a customer had told her he overheard in the parking lot a young man daring his passenger, “take it.” The young man entered the store and ran out with a beer bong in his hand. The store’s video surveillance system captured the theft. A young man wearing a dark tank top, dark shorts and flip-flops was shown entering the store, grabbing the beer bong and running out.

• March 11, 5500 block of Marina Drive, theft. Police responded to a call where the victim reported 70 gallons of fuel had been siphoned from his boat. The estimated value of the fuel was $280. The victim reported he had filled the vessel March 9, left the boat docked, and returned March 11 to discover his fuel gauge was on empty. Fingerprints were secured at the scene.

• March 12, 752 Manatee Ave. W., vehicle burglary. Police responded to a vehicle burglary call at the Kingfish Boat Ramp. The complainant reported that although he had left his vehicle unlocked while out fishing, a rear window had been broken. Several items were reported stolen. Fingerprints were secured at the scene.

Holmes Beach is policed by the HBPD.

        Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach police departments and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The St. Pat parade marches in …

Judy the Elephant and her trainer draw applause in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The Shriners and their little cars entertain the parade crowd.

Holmes Beach Mayor Rich Bohnenberger tosses beads to paradegoers.

The Anna Maria Island Privateers join the St. Patrick’s Day parade with a little green and a little cannon fire.

Islander Photos: Toni Lyon

Jodie Alderson gets an Irish view of the March 18 St. Patrick’s Day parade and collects beads in her hat. Islander Photo: Karen Riley Love

The city of Dunedin Pipe Band performs on Marina Drive in the March 18 Beach Bistro St. Patrick’s Day parade. Islander Photos: Toni Lyon

The Islander Classifieds: Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2012


CIRCULAR IRON STAIRCASE: Heavy duty. Call for specifics. 941-725-2155.

TV CABINET: LIGHT pine, 78x46x20-inches, $75. 941-795-8359.

WHITE KENMORE TOP freezer/refrigerator, icemaker, energy star rated, $275. West Bradenton. 719-459-6442.

HAYWORD RS75OCA POOL pump, new, never used, with owner’s manual, $250 or best offer. 941-812-6324.

COMPUTER: 2.8GHz Dell Dimension 2400 with newly loaded Windows XP, $100. 941-756-6728.

MARY KAY COSMETICS: Full line at discounted prices. Jenifer, 941-224-1760, 941-739-0792.

ANTIQUE COPPER POTS and bowls, collection $350. Burl-wood rocker, oak office chairs, collectibles.  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 place one free ad with 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)


HELP FOR HAITI: The Ministry of Presence is preparing a large shipment destined in about two weeks for Port-au-Prince and needs to be filled include:  peanut butter, canned foods and meat, pasta, rice and beans, and cleaning supplies such as Pine, and bleach. Drop off to The Islander, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

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.

MICHAEL NORTHFIELD: BROKER, Anna Maria Island Realty, 941-713-0284. E-mail: Your personal broker.

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.


MOVING SALE: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 24. 11308 Perico Isle Circle, Perico Isles. Two king-bed sets, twin wicker bed set, Florida-style dining set, wicker patio set, sofa, easy chair, lingerie chest, TV, two bikes, rattan dinette, etagere and server, silk plants, bar chairs, power washer, Lauren linens. A really nice sale. Sale By Julie McClure. Pictures:


NEW LOCATION: STEFF’S Stuff Antiques has moved to The Centre Shops on Longboat Key. 5380 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Unit 101. 941-383-1901.

YARD SALE AT Roser Thrift Shop. 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 24. 511 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.

MOVING SALE: 9 a.m.-? Sunday, March 25. 111 77th St., Holmes Beach.

ESTATE SALE: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 30 and 31. Woodworking shop tools, handcrafted tables, marble-top table, assorted woods and miscellaneous computer hardware. Items too numerous to list here. 224 Oak Ave., Anna Maria.

YARD SALE: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 24. Furniture, fishing tackle, household items and more. 529 67th St., Holmes Beach.

ANNA MARIA ISLAND Art League sale: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 24. Art supplies, artwork, office supplies. 5312 Holmes Blvd., Holmes Beach.

HUGE GARAGE SALE: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. each day Friday through Sunday, March 23-25. Lots of tropical theme-related theme items and much more miscellaneous, many items new in box or unused. 202 35th St., Holmes Beach.

SALE: 9 a.m.-? Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 23-25. 513 59th St. and 423 62nd St., Holmes Beach.


LOST: LOCK AND two keys for bike carrier on Gulf Drive about Feb. 10. Reward. 217-415-6771.

LOST: COOLPIX SILVER camera, 300-500 block of Spring Avenue, Anna Maria. Jake, 585-752-7386 or Katie, 585-208-5104.

LOST: COACH WALLET, brown. Vicinity of Ginny’s and Jane E’s, Anna Maria. 603-986-2765.


PET SITTER WANTED: In-house, last two weeks in April. 941-778-4389.

NEW HOME NEEDED! Beautiful cat for adoption! Long-hair, microchip, two years, friendly. Nice carry-crate included. 941-778-0330 or 812-219-2184.

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.

ISLAND DOGS GROOMING Salon: Julie Keyes, certified groomer. Hydro bath, hand dry, (no cage drying). Personal service for you and your loved ones. Call anytime for appointments, 941-778-1202. 5360 Holmes Blvd., Holmes Beach.

DOG ADOPTIONS! 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, March 23. Find your new best friend! We will be at The Islander newspaper office, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Moonracer No-Kill Animal Rescue Inc. 941-896-6701.

FANTASTIC DOG! Champ is 2 years old, laid back, sweet as can be. He’s up-to-date on shots, fixed, and chipped. Rescued, he needs a happy, loving home. Please call Moonracer Rescue, 941-896-6701.


BIMINI BAY SAILING: Small sailboat rentals and instruction. Day. Week. Month. Sunfish, Laser, Windrider 17 and Precision 15. Call Brian at 941-685-1400.

DOCKSIDE SERVICE: PONTOON boat rental. Professional boat-sitting. ‘Always be water-ready.’ Call Dan, over 40 years in the boat business. 941-518-3868.

POWER NOLES CUSTOM 11.5-foot fiberglass tunnel hull with bass seats. Very stable! Great for fishing-stand on the side without tipping, go in really shallow waters. Very fun boat for anyone who wants to get on the water!
 2001 25-hp Mercury 2-stroke, plus a trolling motor with battery. Must see! $2,150 obo. Call Toni, 941-928-8735.


NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION: A Fortune 300 transportation company, has opportunities available for engineer management trainees in our midtown Atlanta offices. Building and grounds assistant, the successful candidate is responsible for maintaining safe and orderly buildings and grounds at our Holmes Beach, Fla., location. In particular, the incumbent provides cleaning and housekeeping services for guest quarters and restocking of consumable supplies in the living areas. The assistant may also provide grounds-keeping services for outside areas. As an industry leader, Norfolk Southern is able to offer a competitive starting salary, including bonus potential, and an excellent benefits package. For immediate consideration, please visit: www.nscorp/careers and complete an online application for the building and grounds assistant position. Norfolk Southern EOE.

NAIL TECH NEEDED at new Island spa and boutique on Bridge Street. Turning appointments down daily. Call Amanda, 941-779-6836.

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


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.


LPNS NEEDED FOR active quadriplegic using Hoyer lift. Full or part-time. Morning shifts are 4-5 hours starting at 7 a.m. Overnight shifts are 9:30 p.m.-7 a.m. Travel opportunity. 941-383-9637.


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

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.

I DON’T CUT corners, I clean corners. Professional, friendly cleaning  service since 1999. 941-779-6638. Leave message.

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

TRANSPORT SERVICE: LET me drive you to the airport or anywhere in Florida. Flat rates. Reasonable. Call Mike, 941-567-6634.

ISLAND COMPUTER GUY, 37 years experience. On-site PC repairs, upgrades, buying assistance and training. Call Bill, 941-778-2535.

ISLANDER HANDYMAN SERVICE: 23-year Island resident, references. The Flying Dutchman LLC. We do all repair, interior and exterior, carpentry and more. Peter, 941-447-6747.

AMI COMPUTER SOLUTIONS for computer problems solved at your home or office. Wireless networking, virus/spyware prevention and removal, repairs, software upgrades, advice and training. Travis, 941-301-4726.

INCOME TAX SERVICE:  We do individuals, small businesses and all states. We have been in business over thirty years. Call Pat at Kenney Tax Service, 941-761-8156.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES: 30 years experience. Handyman home repairs. Services, kitchen and bathroom design, 24-hour emergency call-outs. Ronnie, 941-807-6664.

WALY PRECISION PAINTING: Interior, exterior, stucco, drywall repairs, pressure wash. Match price, plus 10 percent off. Free estimates. 941-448-1928.

“YOUR EYES HERE –          While You’re Away” Protection Property Watch. Jon Kent, 941-920-0832.

NANCY’S PET SITTING: Responsible, dependable adult to walk, feed or visit with your dogs and cats. $15 per half hour, references available. Anna Maria 267-247-6589.

CLEANING BY LAURA offers everything on your list from kitchen and bath cleaning to dusting and emptying wastebaskets. 941-539-6891.

TUTORING SERVICES: Specializing in algebra, geometry, calculus, trigonometry and science. Special needs students welcome. Grades 3-12. Rick, 941-224-4977.

BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS JD’s Window Cleaning looking for storefront jobs in Holmes Beach. I make dirty windows sparkling clean. 941-920-3840.

ISLAND MERMAIDS CLEANING and Co.: 36 years of happy customers. Organizing, laundry, ironing, 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, 941-538-8724.


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.

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


STRAIGHT SHOT LANDSCAPE. Shell installed $45/yard at true specifications. Free appliance pick up. Call Shark Mark. 941-301-6067.

SHELL DELIVERED AND spread. 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.

TOP NOTCH LAWN Care: Residential and commercial. For all your landscaping needs. 941-932-6600.


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, handyman, light hauling, pressure washing. Jack of all trades. 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.

SOUTHWEST HOME IMPROVEMENT: Michigan builder, 30 years experience. Affordable, timely, within budget. Call Mike, 1-616-204-8822.

THE FLYING DUTCHMAN LLC: Professional tile roof restoration. Call Peter for free estimate. 23-year Island resident, references, insured. 941-447-6747.

CUSTOM KITCHENS AND baths, additions, windows and door replacement. Call Matt at Pinnacle Group, 941-685-6132. Lic#CGC1506518.


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

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.

HOLIDAY/VACATION RENTALS: 3BR/2BA private pool home in northwest Bradenton, 3BR/3BA private pool home in Palma Sola, west Bradenton. No annuals. Call 941-794-1515.

VACATION RENTALS ONLY: Private pool homes, 3BR/2BA and 3BR/3BA. Condo, 1BR/1BA overlooking golf course. Call 941-794-1515 or

WANTED: RETAIL STOREFRONT in Bradenton Beach, 500 sf and up. Bridge street area. 941-447-1506.

BRADENTON BEACH: SEASONAL 2BR/1BA. Steps to beach. No pets. $700/week. 941-778-4731.

ANNUAL RENTAL. 1BR/1BA, nicely furnished, 900 sf elevated duplex, wraparound deck. 1.3 miles to Anna Marie Island via Cortez Bridge. $1,100/month. 941-761-2725.

SEASONAL WATERFRONT GROUND-floor home: 2BR/2BA, dock. 941-779-9094 or 703-587-4675. 109 13th St. S., Bradenton Beach. E-mail:

PANORAMIC GULFFRONT 3BR/2BA house. Huge deck, every room overlooks Gulf. Available January and/or  February 2013. 813-920-5595.

WANT TO GET the home office out of the house? Office suite available, approximately 250 sf, electric and water included, only $500/month, no deposit. 5386 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. 941-746-8666.

VACATION RENTALS NOW: Townhouse, 2BR/2BA, pool, boat dock, $695/week. 3BR/2BA home, $750/week. Realtor, 941-356-1456.

ANNUAL RENTAL HOME: 3BR/2BA, two-car garage, updated, furnished, $1,400/month. Village Green. Available now. Realtor, 941-756-1090.

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. $3,750,000. Suncoast Real Estate, 941-779-0202 or 941-720-0288.

FOR SALE BY owner: 1BR/1BA mobile completely remodeled with share, beach and bay access. Call 941-224-1652 for more information.

ANNA MARIA CANAL home. Walk to beach and have your boat in the back. 2BR/2BA renovated home with boat lift and dock. For sale by owner. Call 813-245-0428.

GREAT NORTHWEST LOCATION: Mint condition, close to beach, 2BR/2BA end unit, screened lanai, elevator, heated pool, lighted tennis, clubhouse. Move in now! $109,500. Call 941-792-0645.

FOR SALE BY owner: Mobile home, 1BR/1BA, extra bonus room. Across the street from Bradenton Beach private fishing pier. Beach and bay access, adjacent parking. Call 813-458-3875.

VILLAGE GREEN VILLA: 2BR/2BA two-car garage with gated entry. Large “D” model. Updated kitchen, bathroom, appliances and floors. Close to beaches, Robinson Preserve. $120,000. Call John Rehmann, Realtor, 941-720-7519.

HOLMES BEACH HOME, quality built and priced for quick sell. Centrally located, three short blocks to sandy beaches. Price reduced to $499,000! Questions, 309-642-7370. View virtual tour

EXCEPTIONAL CONDO LOT: Two houses to beach. 114 48th St., Holmes Beach. $495,000. 618-334-1619.

DISTRESS SALES/BANK foreclosures and fixer-uppers. Go to: for a free list of properties available now. 941-315-1501.

HIGHLY MOTIVATED SELLER of the lowest-priced 3BR/2BA property on Anna Maria Island with private heated pool, garage and new construction said, “Barry, I want to sell this now … drop the price $30,000.” Not a condo. 300 block in Holmes Beach. Zoned R2. Now only $449,000. Call Barry Gould, 941-448-5500. Island Vacation Properties.

EXQUISITE 1BR/1BA TRAILER near Bridge Street. Large deck overlooking Intracoastal Waterway, Bradenton Beach. By appointment, 941-778-2720.

REMODELED 4BR/2BA HOME with marina facilities and community pool. $99,500. Realtor, 941-356-1456. Real Estate Mart.

FREE BRAND NEW kayak with your purchase of Perico Bay Club 2BR/2BA furnished villa. Kayak storage and launch in your backyard. Many other amenities. Call Realtor, 941-356-1456. Real Estate Mart.

VILLAGE GREEN HOME: Adorable 2BR/2BA, two-car garage, renovated, beachy beadboad, subway tile, granite. You will love it! 10 minutes to beach. $164,900. 941-725-4425.

IRONWOOD CONDO: $62,000. 1BR/1.5BA. Many upgrades. 55-plus community. Overlooks golf course. Clubhouse, exercise room, heated pool. Six miles to Anna Maria Island. 941-524-8969.


Partygoers get boot from HB rental

One group of 18 college students on spring break last week in a vacation home in Holmes Beach learned that partygoers who break city codes are not welcome.

Larry Chatt, the rental property manager for Island Real Estate and a driving force behind getting Anna Maria Island’s rental agents and owners to share and enforce strict rules for tenants, said he evicted 18 people from a home in the 200 block of 73rd Street for violating the terms of their lease.

Police were called in the early morning hours March 6 to the 73rd Street property, at which time the vacationers were told that the next incident would not result in a warning.

HBPD found 12 of the 18 people present at the home were 21 or older and had reason to believe the tenants were consuming alcoholic beverages.

Police warned the group about Florida’s Open House Party Law, which provides that the adults at any party or on any premises are legally liable for any underage drinking that occurs, and for any incidents after the party caused by minors who had been drinking.

Holmes Beach Police Lt. Dale Stephenson said, “technically,” the adults and the minors could have been arrested, but officers dealt with the situation by emptying all the alcohol found on the premises and advising the group to avoid further alcoholic consumption.

No loud noise after 10 p.m., a maximum number of people at the rental, and respect for the residential character of Holmes Beach are just a few of the conditions Island Real Estate tenants must abide by, Chatt said.

The on-duty rental agent for Island Real Estate was notified by police and responded to the scene. The agent later reported the incident to Chatt.

Later on March 6, the 73rd Street tenants were evicted.

Police also were called to a rental in the 200 block of 50th Street March 6 following a complaint of loud noise at the house.

The occupants, who said they are a singing group from North Carolina, and were practicing their vocals when police were called. The group’s captain, Maggie Sparling, told police they were sorry for the incident and would not practice again after 10 p.m. during their stay.

Ironically, Sparling said the group chose Holmes Beach for its “peaceful and quiet atmosphere.”

Chatt said the 50th Street group would get only one warning. Any other incidents there also would result in eviction.

Chatt said he was pleased with the police cooperation in both incidents. He said it proves that with the proper database, law enforcement officers know which rental company is the agent for the rental property and can contact them if any disturbance is reported.

“I am proud to be involved in the collaborative effort between Island Real Estate, Holmes Beach, and the Holmes Beach Police Department to enforce the quiet enjoyment of our neighborhoods,” Chatt said.

“An eviction is an example of an extreme case, but we often learn the most from extreme cases and this situation is no exception for myself or my team,” he said.

Chatt added that he hopes this example inspires other vacation rental agents and owners to get involved with “cooperative solutions to tough problems.”

Chatt, Mike Brinson and Anna Maria Commissioner SueLynn are preparing a guidebook for vacationers that includes a list of “best practices” the rental agent will use in any lease and provide the guidebook to vacationers.

Although Chatt, Brinson and many other rental agents already have the best practices in their rental agreements, Chatt hopes to have all Island agents agree to the practices, and involve law enforcement in any rental property incidents.

The two incidents are “an example that cooperation between property managers and the police will make a difference to find more balance in our residential communities,” he said.

SueLynn agreed it was unusual for a group of college students on spring break to come to Anna Maria Island, but partygoers who want to disrupt a residential neighborhood are “exactly the type of people we don’t want here.” She suggests partiers go to Panama City, Fort Lauderdale or some other spring break beach.

She said she hopes word of the eviction spreads quickly, although she doubted if any national media would pick up the story.

“These are the people we don’t want here and I applaud Larry and the other agents and owners who use the best practices for quick action. I hope the word gets out to spring-breakers and party people everywhere that they are not welcome on the Island unless they agree to our rules.”

Under Florida’s “Open House Party Law,” each adult at the premises where underage drinking has occurred could face a fine of up to $500 and 60 days in jail, if charged and convicted. The underage drinkers also could have been fined up to $500 each and given a maximum 60-day jail sentence upon conviction.

Former AM commissioner says: Go green

Former Anna Maria Commissioner Gene Aubry lent his architectural skills to the city March 8, offering a rendering to commissioners of a park, nature trail, open space and parking at the city-owned land at the east end of Pine Avenue.

Aubry had volunteered for the task Feb. 23 after commissioners had difficulty agreeing as to what should go on the site. The city purchased the property in September 2011 for $2.8 million to ensure it would not be developed by the private sector.

Many commissioners were in favor of some type of park, but until a plan is adopted, parking is being allowed on about one-third of the property.

Commissioners also decided in February to end overflow parking May 7.

City Pier Restaurant manager Dave Sork said he was pleased the park rendering allows some parking.

The Anna Maria City Pier already is the No. 1 visitor attraction in Manatee County, he said, and the addition of the new boardwalk along the pier, a beach to the pier shoreline, and the growth of retail shops on Pine Avenue are bringing even more visitors to the waterfront.


Vacation rental terms

Commissioner SueLynn said she will present a “guidebook” at the March 28 commission meeting prepared with help from rental agents Larry Chatt and Mike Brinson that can be given to new visitors renting a vacation property in the city.

The guidebook will contain the list of “best practices” developed for renters and agents and a notation that the rental agent has the right to evict tenants who violate conditions of the lease agreement.

The guidebook will be given to vacationers in a “friendly manner,” with appropriate artwork, SueLynn said. For 95 percent of the renters, there will be no issues with the best practices in the guide.

“It’s only a few people who ever cause any problems,” she said.

Among the conditions that might trigger an eviction or a code violation are excessive noise past 10 p.m., trash left curbside, too many vehicles parked on lawns and at other properties, and having more people at the rental than called for in the agreement. The renters also will agree to terms that include respecting the neighborhood and maintainubg the peace and quiet of the city.

She said she hopes all rental agents and rental property owners in Anna Maria and the Island will adopt the guide for their clients.

Holmes Beach Commissioner David Zaccagnino told Anna Maria commissioners that Chatt recently evicted a large group of people at a rental in Holmes Beach for violating the conditions of the lease agreement.

Mayor Mike Selby said he plans to meet with Sgt. Dave Turner, who heads the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Anna Maria substation, and other MCSO officials to ensure MCSO’s cooperation with rental agents who may require assistance dealing tenants.


Special magistrate

Commissioners unanimously adopted an ordinance creating a special code enforcement magistrate to hear code violation cases

This will eliminate the neighbor vs. neighbor aspect of citizens serving on the code enforcement board.

The special master will be a licensed Florida attorney who specializes in deciding code enforcement matters.

Selby said he would immediately begin the request for proposals process.

AM moratorium faces problem: What’s the problem?

Anna Maria commissioners at the March 8 first reading of an ordinance establishing a moratorium on review and issuance of new building permits, couldn’t decide whether to proceed or drop the matter.

The moratorium resolution enacted Feb. 23 was for “zoning in progress,” said city attorney Jim Dye. It allowed the city to halt further issuance and review of building permits while it establishes a moratorium ordinance.

But the problem, according to several commissioners, is that they don’t know what constitutes the problem, or need for the moratorium.

“I don’t know what it is we’re trying to solve,” said Commissioner Dale Woodland, after spending the past two weeks studying the issues related to the Feb. 23 moratorium resolution.

At the Feb. 23 commission meeting, Commission Chair Chuck Webb expressed concern that new single-family construction or remodeling might add more bedrooms to a vacation rental, thus bringing more tourists to the city.

He suggested that might create a hotel-like atmosphere in some areas of the city.

The construction of multi-bedroom vacation properties might cause more noise violations, more garbage left curbside and overflow parking on lawns and other property owner’s driveways, he suggested.

Webb said Holmes Beach has had a number of new duplexes and single-family homes built recently with multiple bedrooms that can be rented to several families at the same time.

He noted that the house on a three-lot property at 60 N. Shore Drive was recently torn down. The lots could be used to build three single-family dwellings with multiple bedrooms that could be rented to large groups of people at the same time.

“That’s not enough of a problem for me,” Woodland said. “Anna Maria has always had rentals. What are we trying to solve here?” he asked.

Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick agreed. She wasn’t sure if the city was trying to regulate vacation rentals or have more enforcement of code violations at vacation properties.

Woodland said the city can’t regulate only vacation rental properties. It must pass ordinance to include all residential housing, not just rentals.

Commissioner John Quam sided with Woodland and Mattick.

“I just don’t see a problem. Anna Maria is already 99 percent built out,” he said, and no new duplex construction is allowed.

But Webb and Commissioner SueLynn said the city needs legislation to ensure single-family homes with large numbers of bedrooms don’t proliferate as vacation rentals in the city.

Opponents of the moratorium, including Scott Eason, co-owner of the three North Shore Drive lots, said he and his family plan to sell only to families. One lot already has been sold to a couple retiring to Anna Maria.

Eason said the couple assured him they want only to live in the “peace and quiet” of Anna Maria.

Mike Coleman of Pine Avenue Restoration LLC said the moratorium will put people out of work, as building plans can’t proceed while the moratorium resolution is in effect.

The city must either enact a moratorium ordinance with an end date, or withdraw the resolution, he said.

Coleman said he couldn’t see a problem, even with houses with multiple bedrooms. They are everywhere in the city already, he said.

Woodland agreed. He said he could go down any street in the city and find houses with five or six or more bedrooms.

“It sounds like we’re trying to pass a moratorium to create a problem,” he said.

Although it appeared the moratorium ordinance might die at the first reading, commissioners compromised.

They scheduled the second reading for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 29, while adding a work session at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 22, to discuss the reasons for the building moratorium.

Bait-and-switch vacation scam arrives on AMI

There are reasons vacationers might want to book a vacation to Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key and the Manatee County area through a chamber of commerce member, as a Canadian couple learned.

Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce president Mary Ann Brockman said John and Holly Gazy of Toronto showed up at the chamber office one morning in early February and asked to know where the owner of their rental property could be found.

Sorry, Brockman had to tell the couple. The owner was not a chamber member.

Brockman then learned the full story.

The couple, who thought they could save some money by renting online, found a picturesque three-bedroom home on Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach advertised and forwarded $6,000 — one month’s rent plus $3,850 deposit and $150 cleaning fee — to the Missouri owner, Dawn Hauser.

Upon arrival, however, Holly Gazy said she found the house not the same house pictured in the online advertisement. It “was a dump,” with insects and bugs everywhere, she said.

“The ad said it was newly painted and carpeted, but it wasn’t. It smelled dirty and musty and I was afraid to walk on the carpet. It was so dirty,” Gazy said.

“The ad also said it was a three-bedroom with king, queen and full-size beds. The third bedroom had an old futon, not a bed. I called the owner and all she would refund was the $150 cleaning fee. She said if she rented it, she would return some of the profit to us,’” Gazy said.

Gazy said she and her husband got a room at a mainland hotel, then drove to the chamber’s office the next morning.

But Brockman did not have good news for the couple.

“I told them I would try to find them a place to stay for the month, but everything was booked,” Brockman said. “I had to tell them they would have to deal with the owner by themselves.

“This is what happens when you book online and not through a chamber member or licensed rental agent. All the major vacation rental agents on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key are members of a chamber,” Brockman added.

Thankfully, the story has a happy end, except for the Gazy’s money, which is still being held by the Missouri owner.

After much searching, Brockman was able to book the couple into a Longboat Key resort for 30 days.

“We were delighted. (Brockman) really went out of her way to help us,” Holly Gazy said. “Everything’s fine now, except for our money. Next year, we will definitely book through a chamber agent.”

The moral of the story, Brockman said, is “Beware of booking online with a property owner who has a good deal on a great house.” If a rental deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, Brockman said.

“Our advice is to rent from a licensed real estate agent who is a chamber member,” Brockman said. “You will get what you pay for and you’ll have someone here on the Island to help if you have problems.”

Hauser was contacted for comment, but said she would have to call back at another time, which had not occurred by presstime for The Islander.