Monthly Archives: January 2017

AME celebrates Peace Day

Anna Maria Island Elementary School celebrates Peace Day and remembers Sept. 11, 2001, at a Sept. 21 celebration at the school. Students learned zero is a number, too, from Todd Persinger, center, as “Zero the Hero.” The character struggles to find value as a number and tries to change, but in the end realizes his value. The lesson: Students learn to accept differences in those around them, find value in themselves, and others. Islander Photo: Courtesy Sharon Burgess Click here for more pictures.

Island real estate transactions – 09-26-2012

749 N. Shore Drive, Anna Maria, a vacant 60×125 Gulffront lot was sold 08/30/12, Alexander to Walker for $875,000: list $975,000.

802 South Bay Blvd., Anna Maria, a 961 sfla/1,424 sfur 2bed/2bath bayfront home built in 1975 on a 56×97 lot was sold 09/05/12, Lawrence to Brinson for $650,000.

516 74th St., Holmes Beach, a 2,894 sfla/4,384 sfur 3bed/4bath/2car canalfront pool home built in 1968 on a 102×115 lot was sold 09/04/12, Griffin to Denning for $611,000; list $679,000.

605 Baronet Lane, Holmes Beach, a 1,885 sfla/2,363 sfur 4bed/3bath/1car canalfront pool home built in 1964 on a 100×117 lot was sold 08/29/12, Tremblay to Boyd for $475,000; list $499,000.

5608 Holmes Blvd., Unit A, Barefoot Bungalows, Holmes Beach, a 1,300 sfla 3bed/2bath half duplex built in 1974 on a 58×107 lot was sold 09/10/12, Barefoot Bungalows LLC to Florida Gulf Coast Vacation Homes LLC for $465,000; list $479,000.

213 76th St., Holmes Beach, a 1,372 sfla/1,948 sfur 2bed/2bath/1car home built in 1952 on a 96×78 lot was sold 09/06/12, Machado to Storms for $452,000; list $459,000.

9802 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, a vacant 50×110 lot was sold 08/31/12, 9802 Gulf Drive LLC to 114 Palm LLC for $450,000.

603 Emerald Lane, Holmes Beach, a 2,150 sfla/2,696 sfur 2bed/2bath/2car canalfront pool home built in 1969 on a 110×115 lot was transferred 08/30/12, Miller to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas for $385,100.  This is not believed to be an arms-length transaction.

300 N. Shore Drive, Anna Maria, a 1,680 sfla/1,697 sfur 2bed/2½bath lakefront duplex built in 1970 on a 78×86 lot was sold 08/30/12, First Horizon Home Loans to Eason for $375,000.

3009 Avenue E, Unit 2, Sunset Villas, Holmes Beach, a 751 sfla 2bed/1bath condo with shared pool built in 1971 was sold 08/31/12, Toehold Capital LLC to Kramer for $369,000; list $389,000.

100 73rd St., Unit 101A, Coconuts, Holmes Beach, a 660 sfla/780 sfur 1bed/1bath Gulffront condo with shared pool built in 1972 was sold 08/31/12, Good Properties LLC to Doctora for $355,000; list $399,900.

5200 Gulf Drive, Unit 504, Martinique Apartments South, Holmes Beach, a 1,057 sfla/1,169 sfur 2bed/2bath Gulfview condo with shared pool built in 1970 was sold 09/05/12, Wells to Fereshtehkou for $355,000; list $429,000.

211 Elm Ave., Unit B, Isles End, Anna Maria, a 749 sfla/805 sfur 2bed/1bath condo built in 1971 was sold 08/31/12, Isles End LLC to Brunault for $348,500; list $379,900.

402 73rd St., Holmes Beach, a 1,744 sfla/2,250 sfur 3bed/2bath/2car home built in 1957 on a 114×85 lot was sold 08/31/12, Mowry to Palm Pelican Inc. for $315,000; list $399,900.

Correction from Sept. 19 report: 306 72nd St., Holmes Beach, a 2,616 sfla/3,240 sfur 4bed/4bath/2car duplex built in 1977 on a 90×85 lot was sold 08/28/12, Aston to Kaleta for $386,000.

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

The Islander Classifieds: Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012


NEW ELECTRIC HOSPITAL bed with extras for sale, $400. 941-792-3980.

BURGUNDY LEATHER MATCH recliner, $50, La-Z-Boy twin sleeper sofa, $50. 941-778-4588.

SCOTTS DROP FERTILIZER spreader, $5. Fish tank with artificial sea life on sewing machine base, $50. 941-778-6766.

DEWALT SAWZ-ALL Skilsaw circular saw, almost new, $100 for both. Janet, 770-286-5644.

TWIN BEDS: FRAME, mattress, box springs, excellent condition. 941-795-6286.

FLOOR LAMP WITH reading light, $5, Cuisinart wine cooler, holds six bottles, $40. 941-761-1415.

TWIN BED, MATTRESSES and box spring, nearly new, $100. 941-778-3920.

DELL COMPUTER SYSTEM: Two years old, flat screen monitor, new speakers, head phones, camera, loads of programs, completely overhauled, new condition, $195. 941-952-7952.

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

ANTIQUE COPPER POTS and bowls, collection $350. Burl-wood Top of Form

Bottom of Form

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, fax toll-free 1-866-362-9821. (limited time offer)


WE’RE LOW, LISTINGS needed. Are you curious as to how much your home could be worth? Call us for a free professional consultation. Call Lynn at Edgewater Real Estate, 941-778-8104.

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.


ROSER THRIFT SHOP: Open 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays. Donation drop-off 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Wednesdays. 511 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. 941-779-2733.

MOVING SALE: 9-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. Furniture, kitchen and household items. 2210 Ave. A., Bradenton Beach.

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.


LOST: BORDER COLLIE, black and white, Lyllie. Lost Saturday, Sept. 15 on Fern Street, Anna Maria. 941-524-9605 or 941-778-5448.


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.

WELL-MANNERED RESCUED dogs are looking for great new homes or fosters. Larger dogs. Please, call for information, 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.


JOIN THE TEAM: Great location on Bridge Street. Experienced realtors needed to handle walk-ins and Internet leads. Call Lynn, Edgewater Real Estate, 941-778-8104.

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.

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.


SITTER FOR ELDERLY: Will sit with and provide care, four hours minimum. References, 28 years experience. Diana or Gary, 941-545-7114.

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.


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.

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.

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

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.

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.

U FLY I drive your car anywhere in the USA. Airport runs, anywhere. 941-746-5651, 941-545-6688.

THOMAS CLEANING SERVICES: For all your cleaning needs! Reasonable rates, senior discounts available. Residential and commercial. 551-795-1174.

HAPPY HOME, PET visits: Home sitting, secure your home. Loving and reliable, 732-995-4670.

KEY CLEANERS & Linen on Longboat Key is now offering residential cleaning as a new service. Call 941-383-1222 for more information.

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.


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

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.

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

2BR/2BA HOLMES BEACH waterfront condo. Fully furnished with views, pools, Jacuzzi, tennis. Boat dock available. $1,795/month, yearly, $3,400/month seasonal. Call 818-620-3543.

ANNA MARIA RENTAL: 2BR/1BA, washer and dryer, close to beach and fishing pier. Call 941-720-2418.

EARLY SEASON SPECIAL: 2BR canalfront with boat slip, turnkey furnished with utilities, $499/week. 941-720-7519.

CUTE OFFICE FOR rent: 315 58th St., Holmes Beach. 941-794-8202.

BEACHFRONT SEASONAL RENTAL: Adorable 2BR/1BA, three-day minimum, 100 feet from Gulf. Email: for details.

3BR/2BA FURNISHED ON canal. Holmes Beach. $700/week, $2,500/month. Sleeps eight, available September through June. Contact Dave, 407-927-1304.

CORTEZ/SUNNY SHORES: 1BR, washer and dryer, new carpet, no pets, central air. $615/month. Call 941-545-9025.

HOLMES BEACH, GORGEOUS 2BR/2BA, huge carport, large covered deck, walk to beaches, completely remodeled, new wood and tile floors, newly painted, new ceiling fans, new bathrooms, $1,095/month. Annual 941-713-6743.

CORTEZ/SUNNY SHORES 1BR, washer, dryer, central air conditioning, new carpet, no pets, $615/month. Call 941-545-9025.

WANTED: 2BR/2BA UNFURNISHED on Anna Maria Island. Professional non-smoking couple seeks annual rental. 941-348-7688.

LOOKING TO RENT beachfront home or side-by-side condos. Dec. 22-Jan. 5. Must have at least six bedrooms and heated pool. Some flexibility on dates. 330-231-1271.

WANT TO RENT: 1-2BR February. Gulf or bay view. 515-231-9742.

BRADENTON BEACH 2BR/2BA: Walk to the beach, clean and comfortable. First, last plus deposit. Background and security check $1,100/month. 813-672-1481 or 813-270-8956.

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.

CAPTAIN GREG BURKE: Duncan Real Estate. Need listings, all inventory sold or pending. Call 941-592-8373, email:

DIRECT GULFFRONT CONDO: Bradenton Beach. Excellent investment income. $259,000. By owner, 941-962-8220.

FOR SALE BY owner: 2BR/2BA, beautiful canal condo in Runaway Bay provides the peace, quiet and serenity desired for “Island time.” Tastefully furnished, totally updated. Pool, tennis court, fishing pier, steps to beach, $289,000. 847-308-2366.

CASH BUYER: DOCTOR and family from Germany are looking for a 3-4 BR house on Anna Maria. Call Helmer, Realtor, 941-592-8853.


Lomita chef David Viens who confessed to cooking wife’s body will not testify at trial

A Lomita chef who confessed to killing his wife and boiling her body for four days to dispose of her remains announced Wednesday that he will not take the witness stand to testify at his murder trial.

Asked by Judge Rand Rubin if he did not plan to testify, David Viens, 49, spoke quietly with his attorney before announcing, “Yes, that’s correct.”

Viens, who operated the Thyme Contemporary Cafe on Narbonne Avenue, is charged with killing his 39-year-old wife, Dawn Viens, who was last seen Oct. 18, 2009.

In a startling recording played for the Los Angeles Superior Court jury on Tuesday, Viens confessed to covering his wife’s mouth with duct tape to keep her quiet, panicking when he found her dead four hours later, and then cooking her body in a 55-gallon drum in his restaurant kitchen and discarding her remains in his grease trap.

Transcript of first confession | Transcript of second confession | Missing persons report

Some remains, he said, were placed in garbage bags and buried in debris in a trash bin behind the business.

Viens’ attorney, Fred McCurry, announced in his opening statement to jurors that he will present an expert witness who will discuss the side

effects of taking the sleeping medication Ambien. The witness will testify Thursday.

Viens told detectives he took Ambien to sleep on Oct. 18, 2009, the night he bound his wife with duct tape and went to bed.

According to the website, side effects of Ambien include memory loss and “mental/mood/behavior changes,” including depression abnormal and suicidal thought, hallucinations, confusion, agitation, aggressive behavior and anxiety.

“Rarely, after taking this drug, people have gotten out of bed and driven vehicles while not fully awake (`sleep driving’),” the website says.

Others on Ambien have prepared and eaten food, made phone calls or had sex while not fully awake, often not remembering such events, the website says.

Viens’ aunt, Barbara Dwyer, briefly took the witness stand outside the presence of the jury Wednesday and invoked the Fifth Amendment when asked if she gave Ambien to Viens that day. Providing a prescription drug to someone is a felony.

The jury will not hear her testimony.

In his opening statement, McCurry told jurors they should not expect any dramatic or theatrical revelations, and not expect him to present evidence that an intruder killed Dawn Viens.

“You should not expect some kind of bombshell,” he said.

McCurry did not specifically say how he will address the two recorded confessions played for jurors on Tuesday. In the first on March 1, 2011 – a week after Viens jumped from a Rancho Palos Verdes cliff in an attempt to kill himself – Viens said he bound his wife with duct tape, awakened to find her dead, put her body in a garbage bag and discarded her in a trash bin.

Viens summoned detectives to his hospital room two weeks later and confessed to cooking the body.

One witness, Charles Negrete, a chef who interviewed for a job with Viens on Oct. 18, 2009, testified Wednesday that he did not hear Viens state, “I’ll kill that bitch.”

A previous witness, Todd Stagnitto, testified for the prosecution that he was at the restaurant with Viens and Negrete that day and heard Viens make the threat.

Negrete said he and Viens went to T.G.I. Fridays and Texas Loosey’s that night to drink.

HB attorney to answer candidate, FEMA questions

Holmes Beach commission candidate Judy Holmes Titsworth should be getting answers soon from city attorney Patricia Petruff on her questions about past building department practices.

Commission Chair David Zaccagnino directed Petruff to respond to Titsworth following a request to do so by Commissioner Jean Peelen at the Sept. 11 commission meeting.

Titsworth submitted her questions to city officials in a Sept. 4 email that criticized building department practices resulting in half completed duplexes, setback encroachments, site plans without stormwater retention and ground-level remodeling in violation of local and state building codes. “They were all good questions,” said Peelen. “They were solution kinds of questions, not objections, but how-can-we-fix-this kind of questions and legal questions.”

Peelen posed a question about construction that may have mistakenly been approved, asking, “Could anything be done to stop the house from being rented and making money on the house?”

Anticipating a new city policy where the first of two units on a duplex lot is built will no longer be allowed, Titsworth asked whether a second structure can be added and whether it would be required to be attached to the existing unit. She also asked whether half-duplexes should be reclassified as single-family homes.

Titsworth also sought answers about properties where homes were built without drainage plans to collect stormwater, but a new department policy will require drainage plans with erosion control permits before construction.

And she asked about a new affidavit policy in light of the city’s problems enforcing Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines, such as the 50-percent rule and V-zone breakaway walls and flow-through vent requirements. Commissioner Pat Morton joined Peelen and Zaccagnino, agreeing that Petruff should respond to Titsworth’s questions. Commissioner Sandy Haas-Marten was absent. Commissioner John Monetti said he had no comment.

Titsworth is a candidate for city commission in the Nov. 6 election and owns Shoreline Builders with her husband. Marvin Grossman also is a commission candidate, along with incumbent Commissioners Monetti and Haas-Martens.

How FEMA’s 50 percent rule works in Holmes Beach For coastal cities such as Holmes Beach, FEMA issues guidelines to ensure homes are built with safeguards against flooding.

“There are some who think that FEMA’s the law. FEMA is not law,” said Holmes Beach Mayor Rich Bohnenberger. “The city adopted its guidelines to provide flood-insurance discounts for residents.”

According to building inspector Bob Shaffer, FEMA doesn’t mandate what the city regulates, but “does an end-around,” tying a city’s insurance rating to enforcement of FEMA guidelines.

The city of Holmes Beach adopted a new FEMA flood plain ordinance in 2007 after FEMA visited the city for an audit, according to public works superintendent Joe Duennes. The so-called 50 percent rule is based on FEMA guidelines in the ordinance — now part of the Holmes Beach land development code.

An exception to the rule allows replacement if a builder elevates the home above the base flood level.

In implementing the 50 percent rule, Holmes Beach permits remodel projects if the cost does not exceed 50 percent of the home’s appraised structure value based on market value. That value is determined either by an independent certified appraisal, actual cash value or adjusted tax-assessed values and the owner’s and contractor’s affidavits attesting to project costs.

City FEMA consultant John Fernandez said there’s probably no two cities that use the same procedures to implement the 50 percent rule.

Holmes Beach provides remodelers a packet with affidavit forms and instruction sheets, including:

• Federal Guidelines for FEMA Improvement/Repair Applications, specifying items to be included and excluded in calculations.
• FEMA Permit Application Cost Breakdown Example.
• FEMA Improvements/Repair Application and Instructions, specifying how to fill out required affidavits attesting to costs by property owners and licensed contractors.

Cost affidavits have been criticized as unreliable and unrealistic.

Over the past year, Bohnenberger has been telling commissioners the 50 percent rule procedures are not working, and that when he’s asked FEMA for assistance, he is told to “just enforce your ordinance.”

Bohnenberger sent two sets of renovation plans out for independent review in July. Based on the reviews, the building department recommended denials at 303 68th St. and 111 49th St. The construction projects, however, have since come into compliance and remodeling has been allowed to continue, according to Shaffer.

City attorney Patricia Petruff told the commission in June that building officials should deny permits if cost affidavits do not appear correct.

The issue of whether a building department can question a certified appraiser was the subject of recent litigation in Sarasota County.

Due to variable appraisals, Petruff and others have suggested Holmes Beach consider eliminating the private appraiser option and use the county appraiser’s value in the calculation with a modifier to adjust for market conditions. Petruff told commissioners in June, however, that such a move would be a major policy decision.

Lomita chef Viens confessed on tape to cooking his wife’s body

A Lomita chef accused of killing his wife whose body has never been found told detectives that he slowly cooked his her for four days in a 55-gallon drum, boiling her body in water and discarding her remains in his restaurant’s grease pit, according to a taped confession played in court.

David Viens, 49, said he hid his wife Dawn Viens’ skull and jawbone in his mother’s attic, but a detective said he could not find it.

Viens revealed the grisly details of how he disposed of his wife’s body when he summoned detectives to his hospital room at County-USC Medical Center on March 15, 2011, three weeks after he jumped from a Rancho Palos Verdes cliff in a suicide attempt as detectives closed in.

Jurors read a transcript as Viens’ recorded statement was played at his murder trial in Superior Court in downtown Los Angeles. Viens, sitting in his wheelchair, appeared to stare straight ahead.

“I manipulated her so the face was – the face is down, and I took some – some things – like weights that we use, and I put them on the top of her body, and I just slowly cooked it and I ended up cooking her for four days,” Viens said.

“You cooked Dawn’s body for four days?” sheriff’s homicide Sgt. Richard Garcia asked.

“I cooked her four days,” he said. “I let her cool. I strained it out as I – I was in there, OK.”

Viens is charged with killing his wife, who was last seen Oct. 18, 2009.

Viens’ confession revealed details about the final hours of Dawn Viens’ life.

Viens said he had just worked 100 hours in his first week at his new restaurant, the Thyme Contemporary Cafe

on Narbonne Avenue. He went to bed tired on Oct. 17, 2009.

His wife, he said, had been using cocaine and drinking and he did not want anything to do with it. He went to bed.

When he awakened Oct. 18, 2009, he found her watching football, eating pizza and drinking beer.

Viens said he checked the restaurant’s cash receipts and found “a lot of money” was missing. He double-checked his math at his mother’s house and returned home. That night, he and Dawn ate at California Pizza Kitchen, and he went out drinking with a friend. Dawn called him, upset.

When he got home, he took an Ambien and moved a bureau in front of a door so his wife could not enter the room. But she was able to get in anyway, and raised hell with him, he said.

“So, I’m laying there and the next thing I know, she’s all over me and she’s got the light in my face, calling me all kinds of mean names and stuff,” he said. “And I keep telling her the same thing, `Just leave me alone. I just need to sleep.

I just need to sleep. Just let me sleep.”‘

Viens told detectives he got up, grabbed his wife by both hands and forced her onto the living room floor.

“I wrap her hands up real quick,” Viens said. “I wrap her feet up real quick, and I take a piece of clear duct tape – wrapping tape – and I put that over her mouth. And that was it. I said, `Good night.”‘

Viens said he awakened four hours later. Dawn was dead.

“I’m like `Dawn,”‘

Viens said. “I just freaked. I go, `Oh my God. And I go rushing out there and she’s gone.”

Viens said he asked himself how this could have happened.

“I obviously can’t bring her back to life,” Viens told detectives. “And – but what can I do? What can I do? What can I do? And that’s when I came up with the idea of cleaning the grease traps and commingling in the excess protein in those units. If you ever really looked at that, you would see where we mix up real good.”

Viens was not asked where the boiling took place, but it was implied it was at the restaurant where the grease pit was located. Restaurants use the equipment to collect used cooking grease and oil, which is later sucked away by a disposal company.

Viens said he poured seven or eight pounds of grease from the drum into his grease trap using a trash bag.

Viens told detectives he took his wife’s skull and jaw in one piece and hid it in the attic of his mother’s Torrance home.

“The whole skull and jaw came out in perfectly one piece,” he said. “That’s the only thing I didn’t want to get rid of in case I wanted to leave it somewhere.”

The rest of the remains were placed in trash bags and buried in debris in the trash bin behind his restaurant, Viens said.

“That’s the God’s honest truth,” he said.

In the earlier confession played for jurors, a seriously injured Viens told detectives on March 1, 2011, that he killed his wife by duct taping her mouth, hands and feet, and awakened to find her dead. In that statement, he said he put her body in a trash bag and threw her in a trash container behind his restaurant.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Garcia interviewed Viens while coroner’s officials and detectives were digging his Narbonne Avenue restaurant.

In that confession, Viens said Dawn Viens wanted cocaine that day, and the experience of “doing coke together” wasn’t enjoyable.

“For some reason I just got violent,” Viens said. “Seemed like it had to deal with her stealing money.”

Garcia told Viens that investigators suspected Dawn Viens was buried in the recently renovated restaurant, but Viens told him that wasn’t true.

During cross-examination Viens’ attorney, Fred McCurry, Garcia admitted that without the confessions, investigators had recovered no evidence to find Dawn Viens or actually know how she died.

“Outside of Mr. Viens statements, you have no idea how Mrs. Viens died?” McCurry asked.

“He was the only one there,” Garcia responded.

Said Garcia: “David Viens disposed of the remains in such a way that we can’t recover anything.”

The defense is expected to begin its case on Wednesday. It’s unclear if David Viens will testify.

Former HB resident’s LA murder trial begins

The murder trial began Sept. 12 for former Holmes Beach resident David Viens, 48, in Los Angeles.

Viens is facing second degree murder after testimony in a preliminary hearing in April in which several witnesses said Viens admitted to them he killed his wife, Dawn Viens.

He attended the trial in a wheelchair.

Viens, a former Holmes Beach resident who along with wife Dawn owned Beach City Market on Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach, allegedly killed his wife in October 2009 by taping her mouth shut, according to his daughter.

Viens’ daughter from a previous marriage, Jacqueline Viens, testified Sept. 14 that after both had been drinking vodka, her father broke down and told her he had taped Dawn’s mouth shut and tied her up, and when he woke up, Dawn was dead.

Jacqueline Viens also testified her father once told her how to get rid of a body — cook it.

Her testimony set off wire stories from LA to New York City.

David and Dawn had operated the Thyme Contemporary Cafe in Lomita, Calif., at the time of her disappearance.

But Viens has not yet revealed what he did with the body.

The couple owned a home in Holmes Beach and operated the Beach City Market in Bradenton Beach from 2002-2005.

In January 2005, police raided the Viens home and arrested David Viens on suspicion of possession of more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school — Anna Maria Elementary School — possession of opium, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm.

His wife was not charged in that case, saying at the time her husband was just the “middle man” in a nationwide drug smuggling operation.

In April 2005, the Florida state’s attorney dropped all charges against Viens in exchange for evidence against others involved in the smuggling and sales operation.

The trial continues this week.

For reporter Larry Altman’s comprehensive coverage of the trial and David and Dawn Viens in the Daily Breeze, Torrance, Calif., go to:

Altman includes a timeline of events for the case and related photos and stories, including David Viens suicide attempt, a 100-foot cliff jump that followed a high-speed chase by law enforcement prior to his arrest on the charge of murder.

Anna Maria proposes tax increase, 2.05 millage

Anna Maria city commissioners agreed at their Sept. 11 budget hearing to a 2.05 ad valorem millage rate for the 2012-13 fiscal year budget, an increase of 1.41 percent from the rollback rate of 2.0214 mills.

The rollback rate is the millage rate needed to produce the same amount of income to the city as the current year’s budget.

The 2.05 millage rate amounts to a budget increase, although it is the same rate as in the 2011-12 budget. If approved, the 2012-13 budget would be $2.3 million.

City treasurer Diane Percycoe said good news came from the city’s auditors, who said that the city’s reserve account climbed from less than 30 percent of operating expenses in the 2011-12 budget to 35.9 percent in the proposed budget.

“That made me very happy because last year it was below 30 percent for the first time I can remember,” Percycoe said.

The 2012-13 budget accounts for $98,000 in payments on the city property at the end of Pine Avenue. Private funding is expected to make up the majority, if not all, of the payments, Percycoe said.

Commission Chair Chuck Webb said he didn’t want to rely totally on private donations and said the city should put some funding in the 2013-14 budget. By next year’s budget cycle, the commission should have approved a usage for the vacant land and determined if any revenue could be derived from its use.

“We’ll at least have a backup plan,” Webb said.

Private donors already have pledged $100,000 in 2012-13 toward the mortgage on the land.

In other budget business, public works superintendent George McKay is proposing the city purchase a used electric truck for $4,610. McKay bought the truck for that price after finding it for sale and realizing someone would grab the bargain before the city could take action.

The truck is a 2005 model with 7,000 miles. Similar trucks were priced in the book of used car values at $8,000, McKay said.

The funds would come from the 2011-12 budget, which has $3,000 budgeted for such purposes, leaving $1,610 to come from the 2012-13 budget.

McKay estimated that without the need for gasoline, it will take the city two years to recover the cost of the vehicle.

City attorney Jim Dye said he didn’t think anything was improper about the purchase, but would check to ensure McKay is within the bounds of proper staff action.

Percycoe also added that the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office-Anna Maria substation has asked the city to purchase a $1,600 laser gun to track speeders. The current gun needs repairs, according to Sgt. Dave Turner.

Webb asked Percycoe to have Turner bring backup information to justify the request to the final budget hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive.


Anna Maria City Pier tenant claims parking lot rights

The city of Anna Maria appears headed into a disagreement with its city pier tenant Mario Schoenfelder over parking at the pier — and a proposed parking lot fence.

In a Sept. 5 letter to Mayor Mike Selby, Schoenfelder claims that after reading the minutes of the Aug. 15 commission meeting, he feels he must exercise control of the parking at the pier.

Further, Schoenfelder wrote in his review of the meeting, he understands Commission Chair Chuck Webb to say, “therefore (the tenant) should do whatever is needed to ensure their use for their customers.”

Schoenfelder claims the lease gives him the authority to do that, adding, “Webb says he sees the gate request as a tenant issue.”

In another letter to Selby in early August, Schoenfelder said he would put up a gate at the city pier parking lot to ensure he had the required number of parking spaces allowed by the lease. He said there are too many times the lot is full and his customers can’t find a parking place.

The situation worsened, Schoenfelder wrote in August, after the city closed the Pine Avenue-Bay Boulevard lots across from the pier to parking.

In Schoenfelder’s Sept. 5 letter, he said that since he saw no further reference in the minutes to city pier parking, “I understand Commissioner Webb’s statement as the city’s official position.”

He wrote his understanding of the city’s position is that it’s the tenant’s business and it is the tenant’s discretion to install or not install a gated parking system.

“The tenant has the right to do whatever is needed to ensure parking for city pier visitors, including, for example, the installation of a gated parking system,” wrote Schoenfelder.

Further, he wrote, it is his understanding that the city has no objection if and when his corporation, TCPR Inc., installs such a system and the city “will not prohibit the installation of such a system.”

Schoenfelder requested a letter of no objection from the city before starting the parking lot project.

One new problem for Schoenfelder, however, is the island trolley, which did not exist when the lease was signed in 2000.

“Since this service started ‘our’ parking lot has been used as a bus stop, although there is no such regulation in the lease,” wrote Schoenfelder.

He said the current situation with the trolley stopping at the pier entrance is “unacceptable” and called for a new solution.

Webb said he read Schoenfelder’s letter and will respond.