AME readers bond with therapy dogs

Carol Cary of Anna Maria watches AME second-grader Evan Christenson read to her poodle, Lucy, in the school’s media center. The school partners with Therapy Dogs Inc., to help children read with ease.

“Dogs make everyone feel good,” said Anna Maria Island Elementary School media specialist Lynne McDonough.         And for the past four years on Monday mornings in AME’s media center, the school’s partnership with Therapy Dogs Inc. — including poodles, golden …

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AM halts homebuilding, lower height limit planned

Former Anna Maria Mayor Gary Deffenbaugh implores commissioners at the Jan. 31 city meeting to reduce height limits on new construction to 27 feet. Deffenbaugh was mayor 1999-2001. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

The past week was a roller coaster ride for Anna Maria commissioners and residents. Some longtime residents said it’s just the city getting back to its wild and crazy past. On Jan. 24, commissioners approved a motion to enforce a …

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City hall overflows as AM commission reverses rental limits

More than 150 people fill the Anna Maria commission chamber, hall and stand outdoors to hear the Jan. 29 meeting at city hall. Islander Photos: Bonner Joy

Anna Maria commissioners were quick to put their gears in reverse Jan. 29, rescinding their Jan. 24 action to enforce 30-day minimum residential rentals. The 3-1 vote at the emergency meeting called by Commission Chair John Quam allows vacation rental …

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AM commissioner pleased with shakeup

Anna Maria Commissioner Chuck Webb, who shook things up with a Jan. 24 motion that was approved to enforce 30-day minimum vacation rentals in the city’s residential zone, said he’s pleased the city is working toward solutions, even though commissioners …

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Corps takes blames for Bradenton Beach dock delay

A fisher disregards a sign from the city of Bradenton Beach announcing the closure of the Eighth Street South dock. The dock has been scheduled to be replaced for almost two years and frustration from nearby residents is growing. Islander Photo: Mark Young

Aaron Burr was a Revolutionary War hero and served as vice president under Thomas Jefferson, but perhaps one of his most famous quotes set an early tone for how the government would operate well into the future. “Never do today …

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BB floating dock clears final hurdle — maybe

The Bradenton Beach floating dock adjacent to the Historic Bridge Street Pier has been closed since early summer 2012. Plans to repair the dock have been hindered by nature and government bureaucracy, but most of the obstacles to begin repairs may have been overcome.

Email communications between the city of Bradenton Beach and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicate one of the final hurdles that have delayed the city’s floating dock repairs may have been cleared. The dock adjacent to the Historic Bridge …

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Center mortgage down, challenge met, donations decline

Newly appointed Anna Maria Island Community Center board of directors member Stewart Moon Jr., left, talks with board president Greg Ross Jan. 28 at the center. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

Acting Anna Maria Island Community Center executive director Scott Dell told the board of directors that after 2012 revenues and expenses, the center’s $4.5 million mortgage was down to $1.5 million. On the negative side, Dell said donations and revenue …

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Holmes Beach puts halt on private appraisals for remodels

A rehab project last year at 531 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach, is one project in which the city applied the private appraisal/cost affidavit method to determine whether construction would fall within the allowance established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s 50 percent rule. Islander File Photo: Kathy Prucnell

Looking to eliminate private appraisals that regulate rehabs from the city’s land development code, Holmes Beach commissioners directed their city attorney to begin drafting a new ordinance based on Manatee County property appraiser’s values.     Private appraisals are part of …

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Chicken roost coming soon to Holmes Beach

A loud “cluck, cluck, cluck” echoed in the chambers Jan. 31 after Holmes Beach commissioners heard resident Ryan Duncan’s proposal to allow egg-laying hens.         He asked that the city consider an ordinance — such as one already enacted by …

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Shoplifting arrest leads to drug charges against HB man

A 42-year-old Holmes Beach man faces multiple felony drug charges after being arrested for shoplifting at Kmart, 7350 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. According to the probable cause affidavit, Michael Fitzpatrick, 4500 block of Gulf Drive, was observed by a loss …

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