Monthly Archives: January 2017

Obituaries – 07-25-2012

Evangline Koch

Evangline “Vange” Koch, 97, died July 17. She was born March 21, 1915, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Mrs. Koch taught arts and crafts, sewing and millinery in the Chicago Park District for 23 years.

She moved with her husband, Ralph Byron, in 1972 to Bradenton and enjoyed an active retirement for more than 40 years.

Mrs. Koch was a longtime member of CrossPointe Fellowship on Anna Maria Island. As an artist, she excelled in every medium she pursued, including watercolors, ceramics, glasswork, enameling, dollmaking, woodcarving and millinery.

A celebration of life was held July 27 at CrossPointe Fellowship Church, Holmes Beach.

She is survived by daughters Judith and husband Marion Duncan of Anna Maria and Dr. Sallie Lau and husband Russell Bacon of Bradenton; grandchildren Darcie Duncan of Holmes Beach, Melissa Rack of Knoxville, Tenn.,Troy and wife Kris Collins Frystak of Oregon City, Ore., and Tanya Frystak of Kaneohe, Hawaii; and great-grandchildren Jade, Caleb and Danae Rack, Kaipo Kiaaina, Taimane Hallums and Sawyer Frystak.

Fishing – 07-25-2012

Anglers avoiding sun, heat, get the bite

With temperatures reaching the mid 90s during the day, Anna Maria Island fishers need to change techniques to beat the heat.

By fishing early in the morning or late in the evening, you still can find the bite without dealing with the grueling midday sun. You may even find fish will bite better at these times than during the afternoon hours.

It may take a little extra planning to catch an early morning bite, but the payoff also can be worthwhile. Typically, during the summer, inshore species such as snook, redfish and trout will feed during low light conditions. Slightly cooler water temperatures and the cover of twilight seem to result in more activity by predatory fish.

As the sun rises higher in the sky and the water heats up, these predatory fish seek refuge from the heat — just like you — by migrating to cooler areas, such as in the shade of mangroves, under a dock or deeper water. As these fish move to these areas, they become lethargic and harder to find.

Later in the day, when the sun is setting and possibly throughout the night, these fish will move out of their midday haunts and begin their search for food. Again, with the cooling of the water and low light, anglers can find fish on the feed.

So, on your next fishing trip, beat the heat by fishing early morning or late evening. You’ll find it’s more comfortable for you and the results will be better, too.

Dave Sork at the Anna Maria City Pier is seeing good numbers of migratory species caught in the early morning. Spanish mackerel, juvenile king mackerel, ladyfish, jack crevalle and blue runners are being caught on small white jigs or small Clark spoons. These fish are feeding on small shiners, which is why pier fishers are having success with small lures.

Pier fishers using live bait are catching gag grouper up to 19 inches as well as a few keeper mangrove snapper. This bite is occurring under the pier, around the pilings. Small shiners, mojarras or shrimp are producing the bite.

Last but not least, pier fishers using chunk or fresh-cut mullet are catching small blacktip and bonnethead sharks. For these small sharks, a 2/0 long shank hook on 50-pound leader will suffice, and use some lead to keep your bait on the bottom.

Jim Malfese at the Rod & Reel Pier says mangrove snapper and flounder are being caught by pier fishers using live shiners and shrimp for bait. Using a small split shot, pier fishers are casting baits under the pier where these snapper and flounder have taken up residence. Try using a No. 2 hook with 20-pound fluorocarbon leader to trick these fish into biting.

Macks also are being caught around the north pier, most on white or pink speck rigs, although Gotcha plugs are working, too. If you choose to use a Gotcha plug, the smallest size is your best bet.

Jeff Medley at the south bait shop on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Fishing Piers says mangrove snapper are still dominating the bite. Pier fishers using live shrimp or small greenbacks are reeling up limits of snapper with some fish exceeding 15 inches.

Gag grouper are being caught around the pier in the same areas as the mangrove snapper. Try fishing either around the pilings under the pier or around the small rock piles that are just away from the pier. For the gags, a large greenback or pinfish will get the job done. Remember, you’ll need heavy tackle to stand a chance at landing this tasty reef species.

“I’ve seen several gags over 30 inches caught this week,” says Medley. “The biggest was 37 inches.”

Finally, pier fishers in search of a shark encounter are finding variety around the south pier. Pier fishers using fresh stingray wings or chunks of fresh bonito are catching nurse, bull and lemon sharks. The largest was a lemon shark that measured 9 feet.

Capt. Warren Girle, in between dodging thunderstorms, is fishing offshore for gag and red grouper. Girle is using live shiners or pinfish to get a bite, starting in 40 feet of water and moving out until he finds the fish. Average size of the gag grouper this past week was 26 inches. For the red grouper, 22 inches was the norm. Girle also is catching plenty of porgies and Key West grunts in these same areas.

Moving inshore, Girle is stalking redfish in the shallow flats of Sarasota Bay. He is following a school of reds, which have temporarily taken up residence in the bay. These fish are averaging 20-27 inches and are quite spooky. For Girle, this isn’t a problem. He turns on his trolling motor and sneaks within casting range of the school.

Using 3-inch Gulp shrimp, Girle is catching redfish on just about every cast to this school, and mixed in are rogue bluefish. As the reds cruise along the flats, the bluefish ride along with them and feed on small baitfish and shrimp that are spooked by the school. These blues are averaging 3-5 pounds and put up a worthy fight when hooked. They may not taste as good as redfish, but their stamina on the end of your line makes up for it.

Spotted seatrout also are in Girle’s sights. Fish up to 19 inches are being caught on deeper flats around the Intracoastal Waterway. Don’t be surprised to catch some jack crevalle and ladyfish in these same areas. Live shiners under a popping cork or a 3-inch Gulp shrimp on a jig head will get the bite.

Capt. Mark Howard of SumoTime fishing charters says fishing has been good in spite of the heat and fresh water flowing in from the Manatee River.

Howard also suggests adjusting fishing patterns to avoid the heat and yield some excellent catches of inshore species.

Redfish have been active on the moving tides, eating shiners and small pinfish. At low tide, look for the redfish in the outside potholes of flats and, as the tide flows in, move closer to the mangroves as the fish seek shade under the foliage.

Looking forward, Howard predicts this week will provide some excellent fishing opportunities as the tides will produce big water movement.

He says, “The key to a successful fishing trip is to be at your spot when the tide is moving and have a live well full of shiners to chum the fish into a feeding frenzy.”

Send fishing reports to

Islander Calendar – 07-25-2012

Saturday, July 28

3-7 p.m., “Help Rescue Santa’s Sleigh,” Anna Maria Island Privateers, Santa on location, Christmas in July, Fish Hole Miniature Golf, 115 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-238-8974.

5-9 p.m., Bridge Street Night Market, Bradenton Beach, including BSM-sponsored booth for MoonRacer No Kill Animal Rescue. Information: 215-906-0668.

6-9 p.m., “Help Rescue Santa’s Sleigh,” Anna Maria Island Privateers, Christmas in July party and potluck dinner, Drift In, 120 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-238-8974.

7 p.m., Santa arrives at “Help Rescue Santa’s Sleigh,” Anna Maria Island Privateers, Drift In Christmas in July party, 120 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-238-8974.

Tuesday, July 31

2-5 p.m., Haircuts to benefit Anna Maria Island Art League, Head Quarters Salon, 5376 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-2586.


Through Aug. 11, Marty Tupin’s abstract art exhibit, Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th St. W., Cortez. Information: 941-708-6121.

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

Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7 a.m., weather permitting, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 248-982-5600.

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

Fridays, Senior Adventures, low-cost field trips from Annie Silver Community Center, 103 23rd St., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-962-8835.

Third Fridays, 5-8 p.m., Pine Avenue Porch Party to benefit Roser Food Pantry at Anna Maria Pine Avenue stores and boutiques. Information: 941-896-3132.

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. Information: 941-761-8834.

Save the Date

Aug. 11, Operation American Pride Inc., Honor A Vet Bowling Bash, AMF Lanes, 4208 Cortez Road W., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-803-8097.

Aug. 19, Island Players Open House, 10009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-704-2153.

Aug. 25, Manatee County Gator Club Scholarship Fund Kick-Off Social/Casino Night. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-3319.

Sept. 2, Allegro Music Academy, free instrumental concert and lecture, 241 Whitfield Ave., Sarasota. Information: 941-358-8511.

Sept. 24, 13th annual Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Lucky 13 Golf Outing for Scholarships, Bradenton Country Club, 4646 Ninth Ave. W., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-224-1337 or 941-284-2523.

Nov. 17, Enjoy the Bay, Sarasota Bay Water Festival, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Ken Thompson Park, 1700 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota. Information: 941-955-8085.

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..

The Islander Classifieds: Wednesday, July 25, 2012


NIKON BINOCULARS: 9×25. Excellent condition, $65 with Nikon case. 941-778-3228.

SHOP TOOLS: BAND saw, $100, three workbenches, $35 and paint sprayer, Shop Smith. 941-778-1716.

QUEEN-SIZE BEDDING set, palm tree pattern. Excellent condition, $30. 941-778-4036.

TAN BOOT FOR Chrysler Sebring 2000 convertible, $50. 941-778-1716.

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. Email HYPERLINK “”, fax toll-free 1-866-362-9821. (limited time offer)


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

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

TERRY HAYES, REALTOR. Premier Sothebys. 941-302-3100.

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

MANATEE SAFETY SIGNS exclusively for boaters. Available at the Islander, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. 941-778-7978.

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.


ESTATE SALE: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 27-28. Vintage linens, kitchenware, mid-century modern furniture, tools, collectibles, artist supplies for painting, casting, beading, quilting, garden supplies, much more. 502 75th St., Holmes Beach.


ROSER THRIFT SHOP: Open 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Saturday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Donation drop-off, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Wednesday only. All clothing half-price in July. Closed in August. 511 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. 941-779-2733.

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.

GARAGE SALE: 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, July 28. Woodworking shop tools. 308 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. 941-778-1716.

HUGE GARAGE SALE: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. each day, Friday-Sunday, July 27-29. Lots of tropical theme-related items and much more miscellaneous, many items new in box or unused. 1604 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach.


FOUND: PRESCRIPTION SUNGLASSES on beach between 64th and 65th St., Holmes Beach. Please claim at The Islander office, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.


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

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.

LULU! RESCUED AND available for adoption. Senior Pekinese mix, adorable, cuddly, needs a good home. She is blind, does well! 941-896-6701.

CUTE, EASY-GOING dog: 1.5 years, rescued boy needs happy home. Mixed breed, 50 lbs. Call to meet! 941-896-6701.


2008 EZ GO golf cart, new batteries only one-year-old. $2,150. Call Toni, 941-928-8735.


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

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.


MUSICIAN NEEDED TO play 9:30 a.m. services for Harvey Memorial Church for six weeks starting Aug. 5. Pat Whitacre, 941-761-8156.

TWO SCOOPS: ANNA Maria’s favorite ice cream shoppe and coffee cafe is now hiring part-time associates. Varied shifts available, must be able to work nights and weekends. A great place to work and have a little fun. Looking for a few friendly people. Food prep experience a plus. Apply today, Two Scoops, 101 S. Bay Blvd., unit A-2, Anna Maria.

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.

DOG WALKING SERVICE: $10. Call Jewel, 941-524-1423.

NICOLE AND JENNA’S kid and pet services. Babysitting, dog sitting and walking. Call Jenna, 863-529-2304, Nicole, 941-320-7981.

RED CROSS-CERTIFIED babysitter and dog sitter. Reasonable rates for both. Call 941-527-5051.

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.


CAREGIVER FOR THE ELDERLY: Bathe, cook, shop, appointments, light cleaning. Four hours or more. Top references, 28 years experience. Have family that can also help. Call Diana, 941-545-7114.


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.

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

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

TRUEBLUE33 COMPUTER REPAIR service provides quality computer repair services to all its customers. Contact Anthony Mitchell, cell, 941-592-7714 or home, 941-727-6780.

BUSY BEE CLEANING and senior service: Reasonable rates and great customer service. Bonded, 22903238. Contact Carin at home 941-727-6780, or cell 941-807-4232.

BUSY BEE CLEANING and senior service: Reasonable rates and great customer service. Bonded, 22903238. Contact Carin at home 941-727-6780, or cell 941-807-4232.

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

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.

AFFORDABLE HURRICANE PROTECTION: Doors and windows, Impact rated screen installs easily on inside, see through, leave up.  Free estimate. Registered and Insured. Island discount. 941-730-1399.


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

TIM’S TOTAL LAWN Care and handyman. Light hauling, most lawns, $25. Also pressure washing. Call 941-807-2537.

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. $45/yard. Hauling all kinds of gravel, mulch, top soil with free estimates. Call Larry at 941-795-7775, “shell phone” 941-720-0770.

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

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.

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


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.

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

WATERFRONT TWO BEDROOM townhouse with boat slip on Palma Sola Bay. Heated pool, patio, cable, washer and dryer. Lease six months plus. $925/month plus utilities. No pets. Call 941-538-8622.

BEAUTIFUL, TROPICAL, KEY Royale unfurnished annual rental. 2BR/2BA with den, pool, boat lift, two-car garage. Don’t miss this gem! $2,300/month. Credit check required. Available Sept. 1. HYPERLINK “tel:941.730.1086″941-730-1086.

RENTAL: RESORT 66. Gulffront timeshare, sleeps four. Holmes Beach. One week only, July 14-21. 30 percent off. 309-642-7370.

1BR/1BA ANNUAL RENTAL: No pets, available now. Call Jessica, 941-778-7500. Dolores M. Baker Real Estate.

SEASONAL: ADORABLE STUDIO apartment in Holmes Beach. Available January-April.  $1,200/month. Will email photos. 908-850-6086.

ANNUAL: WATERFRONT, POOL, dock, short walk to beach. 2BR/2BA, 1BR/1BA. Call 941-779-9074 or 703-587-4675. Email:

ANNUAL RENTAL: One bedroom in Holmes Beach. $675/month plus utilities and deposit. 941-778-6541, weekdays and 941-504-344, evenings.

PERICO BAY VILLA: Vacation rental. Tennis, heated pool, 2BR/2BA, one-car garage, kayak-friendly location, $1,200/month, July-November, $1800, December, $2,800/month, June-April. Discount for multiple months. Realtor, 941-356-1456.

SEASONAL OR WEEKLY cottage-style rentals. 1BR/1BA or 1BR/1BA with loft with pool. Walk to beach, shops or dining! 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.

UPSCALE ANNA MARIA! 215 Chilson Ave. Virtual tour, pop-up floor plan and facts at www.HYPERLINK “”

REDUCED TO $499,000! ($239/sf) Holmes Beach home, quality built and priced for quick sell. Centrally located, three short blocks to sandy beaches. No reasonable offer refused! Questions, 309-642-7370. View virtual tour:

CAPTAIN GREG BURKE: Duncan Real Estate. Need listings, all inventory sold or pending. Call 941-592-8373, email: HYPERLINK “”
LOT: Commercial and/or residential. Zoned ROR. In the heart of Anna Maria short walk to Gulf or bay. Dock included. $ 399,000, without dock, $349,000. 407 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Owner/agent. 813-340-4420.

DIRECT GULFFRONT CONDO: Bradenton Beach. Excellent investment income. $269,000. By owner, 941-962-8220.

BAYSHORE GARDENS HOUSE: Updated 4BR/2BA, community pool and marina. $89,900. Realtor, 941-356-1456. Real Estate Mart.

WANT TO BUY property on land contract. Duplex, condo, house. Anna Maria Island. 765-414-2815.

REDUCED IRONWOOD CONDO! $49,999. 1BR/1.5BA. Many upgrades. 55-plus community. Overlooks golf course. HOA fee, $233/month. Pet-friendly building, six miles to Anna Maria Island. 941-524-8969.

Former Privateer claims ownership of Santa’s sleigh

It seems ownership of Santa’s sleigh, the one used by the Anna Maria Island Privateers in the Christmas parade and other holiday events, is in dispute.

Rumors that circulated among Privateer members for some time suggested former Privateer Rick Maddox, a longtime resident of Cortez and former Holmes Beach chief of police, was seeking possession of the trailer.

Maddox filed suit July 11, claiming he purchased a boat trailer that was modified for use as a “float or ride at parades, festivals and community functions.” He claims he performed the modifications.

The complaint says Maddox lent the trailer to events, individuals and organizations on a temporary basis.

He further claims he lent the trailer to the Privateers for “use at a particular function or event,” and allowed the group to store the trailer “for a short time,” but the group failed to return his property.

Privateers president Dennis Poteet told The Islander he had no comment on the lawsuit due to the pending litigation.

Maddox was a longtime member of the Privateers, but has not been part of the crew for about six years. And while wife Annette Maddox is a member, she is allegedly under suspension while the litigation is pending, according to a crew member.

The Privateers made renovations to the sleigh before Christmas last year, improving and updating the holiday decorations and lighting.

The matter — and the necessity to hire an attorney — come at a time when the nonprofit is fundraising to perform needed mechanical repairs and renovations to its boat/float, and a short time after announcing the July 4 scholarship awards to area youths amounting to $20,000.

The membership is scheduled to meet July 18 to elect its new slate of officers for the 2012-13 year and, apparently, to discuss what action it may take to defend the lawsuit.

The suit alleges the trailer — Santa’s sleigh — is valued at $4,500, and the Privateers either failed or refused to return it.

Maddox is seeking the return of the trailer and its title, as well as damages, fees, costs and “equitable relief.” The complaint asks for three times the value of the trailer, the cost of the action, attorneys fees and whatever other relief “to which the court deems he is entitled.”

The civil matter was assigned to the 12th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Marc Singer.

Rick Maddox was the subject of controversy when he was dismissed in 1993 from his job as chief of police by then Mayor Pat Geyer.

He was a Privateer member at the time, and Geyer was an honorary member.

Faux cell tower birds fly into controversy

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the installation of a faux bird on the Holmes Beach cell tower July 11.

Workers for Crown Castle Inc., the owner/operator of the cell tower, install faux birds — fake birds — on tower beams to scare off other birds.

Atop the Holmes Beach tower is an osprey nest, reportedly containing several fledgling birds.

One fake bird hangs with feathers flapping upside down by its foot from a dangling wire attached to an extension pole at the top tier of the cell tower opposite the nest.

The problem with that, said Gary Morris of the FWC, is that it’s illegal to interfere with nesting birds, and a permit is required if a company is working on a cell tower where birds are nesting.

Morris said he and FWC Capt. Dave Adams will fly over the cell tower in the FWC’s helicopter and observe any nesting activity through binoculars and a video recording. Morris said the helicopter would be high above any nest and would not interfere with any chicks, birds or mating.

Morris did not know when the flyover would take place, or if Crown Castle had a permit for the work.

He said a permit would be needed to erect fake birds designed to scare off other birds, and the permit would have to ensure no nesting birds or chicks were disturbed.

A series of phone calls to Crown Castle Inc. went from Sarasota to Illinois to Pennsylvania, where efforts to reach a spokesperson were unsuccessful.

A neighbor to the cell tower said she’s heard workers on the structure overnight on several occasions, but not recently.

“The chicks would become so excited they would wake me, and I could hear the men talking on the tower,” she said of work sometimes performed overnight. The morning after the fake bird was hung on the tower, she was awakened again. “This time was at 3 a.m.,” said Tondra Lopossa of 59th Street in Holmes Beach.

She notified Holmes Beach police of the disturbance.

John van Zandt of Holmes Beach said he observed the men on the tower July 11. At first, he thought they were trying to rescue a bird caught on the tower. He later realized they had installed an imitation dead bird hanging by a wire from a tower beam.

“I thought it was strange they were even up there. A storm was coming in quickly and they could have been easily electrocuted,” he said.

Holmes Beach Police Lt. Dale Stephenson said a maintenance representative from Crown Castle visited the department July 13, saying his company will cooperate with HBPD and FWC.

Morris said he would report on what he and Adams observe soon after the tower flyover.

Commission opts for park plan for Bay-Pine lots

Anna Maria commissioners settled on a preliminary park design for the city-owned lots at the east end of Pine Avenue that former Commissioner Gene Aubry presented several months ago.

The issue, as it always seems to be in Anna Maria, is parking.

Commissioners July 12 agreed native trees and plants should surround the lots, with open space in the middle. There also should be walking space and benches.

But they were divided on whether to allow parking along North Bay Boulevard.

They agreed there should be no parking on the Pine Avenue side of the lots, but Commissioner John Quam said the city needs the existing 11 parking spaces on Bay Boulevard.

While Commissioner SueLynn wanted no parking on Bay Boulevard, Commission Chair Chuck Webb said the existing spaces are in the right of way, not on the vacant lots.

“I see the problem, but I’m not ready to cut (the parking spaces) off. If the rest of the commission says remove Bay Boulevard parking, I’m OK with that,” said Webb.

Commissioners agreed to close the parking lot, although it was allowed throughout the winter-spring season.

Commissioners were against rest rooms on the lots, but may consider a gazebo or open-air pavilion.

City attorney Jim Dye said he would write a resolution for the commission in consultation with Aubry.

Commissioners agreed, but left out any decision on Pine Avenue parking.

“The next step is to come up with cost estimates,” said Webb, who is plans to ask the Manatee County Tourism Development Council for funding for improvements on the six lots from resort tax money.

Efforts to use resort tax funds for such purposes have consistently been denied by the county legal staff because the funds are for dedicated purposes, not general tourism.

Dye reminded commissioners the lots are zoned retail-office-residential. The city will need a comp-plan amendment to change the zoning to public, semi-public and to create a park.

Aubry interested in AM commission appointment

Former Anna Maria Commissioner Gene Aubry has expressed interest in being appointed to a commission vacancy that will exist following the city election in November.

The vacancy will be created when the new commission elects a chair.

According to the city charter, the commission chair becomes mayor if no candidates qualified to run for mayor, which is the case in this year’s election.

When the chair is elected by the members of the commission at the first meeting after the Nov. 6 election, the remaining four commissioners will then be required to appoint a resident to fill the vacant commission seat.

Aubry, who chose not to seek re-election last November following 14 months as a commissioner, said he made his decision with much thought and after conferring with Mayor Mike Selby.

“Mike has done a great job, and I told him I did not want to be in competition with him if he was interested in the appointment,” Aubry said. “Mike said he has no interest in the position and wished me well.”

Selby has chosen not to seek re-election as mayor at the completion of his term in November.

Aubry, who was commissioner from September 2010 to November 2011, said he was stating his interest now “because I love Anna Maria and have a concern where the city is going. The next few years are going to be extremely important for the city.”

Anna Maria city clerk Alice Baird said city attorney Jim Dye would give the commission instructions on how citizens can express interest in the appointment. Dye also will discuss some charter issues.

One issue the new commission must grapple with is the length of term for the appointed commissioner, which is not specified in the charter.

Selby said a charter review by a committee is required every five years and he has begun the process to appoint and establish the committee. Former Commissioner Tom Aposporos has chaired the past two such committees.

Aubry was elected to the commission in September 2010 in a special court-ordered election that also was the recall vote for then-Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus.

Stoltzfus was recalled from office 362-333, while Aubry defeated Stoltzfus 363-333 for the commission seat on the same ballot.

Anna Maria puts hold on older home teardowns

Developers thinking of turning a quick buck by tearing down one of Anna Maria’s older, ground-level homes to build a lucrative vacation rental might want to reconsider.

Anna Maria commissioners at their July 12 meeting agreed to have building official Bob Welch halt administrative approval of permits to tear down homes built before 1968 while city attorney Jim Dye prepares a moratorium ordinance.

Commission Chair Chuck Webb said he raised the issue of the administrative moratorium to avoid problems for the city until a moratorium is approved. The first reading of the moratorium is planned for the commission’s July 26 meeting.

Webb said that when developers learn of the planned moratorium, they will “hit the city running with applications” for teardowns.

It will be up to Welch to either approve or deny the applications until a moratorium is in place.

The city is in the process of establishing criteria for homes to be designated as historically significant. Such a designation would allow a property owner some leeway in complying with Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations for ground-floor homes.

Sissy Quinn is head of a committee preparing recommended requirements for historical designation.

“We’ll work on getting something to you as quickly as possible,” Quinn told the commission.

“You guys need to hurry,” Webb said. “We don’t want outside investors flooding the city. Those are the very people we are worried about.”

Commissioners voted 3-0 to declare the late Warren Spahn’s house at 203 Spruce St. to be of historic significance, with Webb abstaining because he represents the Spahn family.

But he urged Quinn to get the committee moving on definitions of what is of historic value in the city.

In other matters:

• A request by Waterfront Restaurant owner Jason Suzor for the commission to discuss amending the alcoholic beverage ordinance to allow service of all alcoholic beverages at establishments where now only beer and wine are sold ended in a 2-2 vote, with Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick absent, and was deemed rejected by Webb.

The proposed change would affect six restaurants in the city, Suzor said, including the Waterfront.

• Commissioners agreed to join a class-action lawsuit against BP Oil for the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Dye said he reviewed the agreement with the Bradenton law firm of Heintz & Becker, P.A., and found no irregularities. He said he had language clarified to note that the maximum recovery fee of attorneys and experts is 20 percent, while the plaintiffs would split the 80 percent settlement on a pro-rated basis.

BP already agreed to liability and the attorneys in the Florida case against BP, which is headed by a Pensacola firm, agreed that if they lose no city would be charged any fee.

• Commissioners passed the final reading of the dock and residential parking ordinance after making various changes the past several months at public hearings.

The ordinance does not state a requirement for sidewalks to be of concrete or any other substance, but they must be of permeable material.

The riparian line for canals and docks is defined as the shortest line from the shoreline to the center of the navigable channel.

Additionally, a dock owner can rent space to only one other boat owner, and docks are permitted just one boatlift.

Other modifications include that sidewalks will be 4 feet wide on Gulf Drive and 5 feet wide on Pine Avenue.

• Commissioners passed the first reading of a new cell tower ordinance to replace the one approved in 2003.

The new ordinance allows either the planning and zoning board or commission to attach conditions, including locations where towers are allowed.

Dye recommended the first choice for a tower location be on public property or existing publicly used facilities that do not need a height increase, but an antenna can be added for extra length.

Adding antennas to already existing poles is less objectionable to people than building a new tower, Dye said.

The most unlikely location for a tower is in a residential neighborhood, according to the ordinance.

Additionally, the ordinance would provide for four carriers and economics for the tower location cannot be part of the commission’s decision on location.

Also, any cell phone carrier must demonstrate it cannot use the Holmes Beach cell tower to provide service in Anna Maria.

Sea turtles nests begin hatching cycle

According to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring executive director Suzi Fox, sea turtle nests have begun to hatch amidst a busy — continuing — nesting season.

One nest in the section between Pine Avenue, Anna Maria, and 66th Street, Holmes Beach, and another nest in the section between 52nd Street and Manatee Public Beach in Holmes Beach produced 55 hatchlings to the sea.

As of July 13, AMITW is reporting a total of 285 nests, shattering the previous record of 248, with anticipation running high that nesting is not over.

AMITW volunteer Pete Gross, who compiles the nesting data, said there have been 106 new nests in the three weeks since Tropical Storm Debby.

“You can see the rate of new nests is not yet tapering off, as would be expected near the end of nesting season,” said Gross. “So there are almost assuredly more to come this year.”

Last year there were 145 documented nests, which produced 7,800 hatchlings to the sea. The average nesting season since 1997 produced 155 nests, making this an incredible nesting season on Anna Maria Island shores.

Thirteen nests were documented June 27 as TS Debby left the area. Between six to 10 nests have been recorded daily, with a dozen nests documented July 3 and July 10.


By the numbers:

As of July 13

Nests: 285

False Crawls: 275

Hatched nests: 2

Hatchlings to the sea: 55