Fabio Lanzoni, international model and actor, much recognized for a series of romance novel cover photos, visited Anna Maria Island over the past weekend. He attended a fundraiser party at the Gulf Drive Cafe Tiki Hut and dined with five women, top bidders in a Myositis Association at the Beach Bistro March 19. The Islander newspaper partnered with the Gulf Drive Cafe on a party at the Tiki Hut where Fabio greeted guests and posed for photographs. Beach Bistro owner Sean Murphy provided dinner — where the top bid for a seat there went for $500. Jack Elka provided photography, which included posting photos for sale on his website and donating the purchase funds. Jim Sebastiano of Island Limosine provided airport service and carried Fabio to and from an array of events, including a poker run in Sarasota. And Eric Cairns of Cedar Cove Resort provided accommodations. More at www.islander.org. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy
‘Fab’ appearance by model on the beach
‘Fab’ appearance by model on the beach
‘Fab’ appearance by model on the beach
‘Fab’ appearance by model on the beach
The Angler’s Lodge north of the humpback bridge on Bay Boulevard, built around 1915, will soon have a new home at the Anna Maria Historic Green Village on Pine Avenue. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin
Anna Maria developers Mike and Lizzie Vann Thrasher recently revised their plans at the Anna Maria Historic Green Village on Pine Avenue to include a place for the Angler’s Lodge, village manager Katie Wight said.
The lodge, now at 115 N. Bay Blvd., was built around 1914-15, according to Sissy Quinn, president of the Anna Maria Island Preservation Trust. The lodge owner, Agie Hebebrand, recently donated the building to the trust to be preserved and maintained as a historic structure.
Lizzie Vann Thrasher said moving the Angler’s Lodge to the village would be “a major task, but we think it’s worth every effort to ensure that it remains part of Anna Maria’s future history.”
The village already is host to the Rosedale cottage, built at the site in 1915, and a Sears catalog kit home, built around 1935 and relocated from another site on Pine Avenue.
The Sears home was moved to the historic village at 503 Pine Ave. last year.
Lizzie Vann Thrasher said she did not yet have a plan for the Angler’s Lodge move.
The Angler’s Lodge is a “beautiful building that we felt deserved a place in our historic green village,” she said.
Quinn thanked the Thrashers for their interest in Anna Maria history and for accepting the Angler’s Lodge at their development.
The Anna Maria Historic Green Village is scheduled to open its first building in April, Wight said.
The Anna Maria Chamber of Commerce board of directors learned March 16 that the Longboat Key Trolley operated by the Manatee County Area Transit and the Sarasota County Area Transit is in jeopardy of being dropped for lack of use. The fare-free Island Trolley funding, meanwhile, is safe this year and the next two fiscal years that begin Oct. 1.
“Everything is good for the (Island) trolley as long as grants keep coming from the state,” Manatee County administrator Ed Hunzeker told board members.
The grants, along with county funds and contributions from the Island, are enough to keep the trolley operating as a free service for the next three years, MCAT manager Ralf Heseler said in early March.
David Teitelbaum, who was recently reappointed to the board, organized the chamber’s advertising program for the Island trolleys. He said the five new trolleys coming are longer than the previous trolleys and have an improved antique-look inside.
That means there’s more space for advertising, he said.
Teitelbaum is preparing a new advertising contract for businesses. In the interim, the current ads on the trolleys remain at no charge.
He’s also developing a new marketing plan and has several new advertisers ready to roll out on the new trolleys.
Revenue from ad sales on the trolleys is used to partially fund the service, which first began operation on AMI in March 2002.
Bradenton Beach commissioners recently signed off on a five-year contract for Waste Pro to collect recyclables.
The commission unanimously approved the contract during its regular meeting March 17, allowing the Waste Pro service to begin April 7.
Later this month, the commission will discuss contracting with a company for solid waste collection.
Currently, the city’s public works department collects recyclables, yard waste and garbage. Commissioners and Mayor Bob Bartelt began exploring the dissolution of the city sanitation service last year, with the goal of cutting maintenance and equipment costs.
The recycling contract gives Waste Pro exclusive rights to haul recyclables from residences to a processing center in Sarasota. Florida law prohibits cities from extending exclusive rights for commercial collection, although Waste Pro officials said they hoped to secure a number of commercial customers in the city.
Contract terms include a city franchise fee of 12 percent of gross revenue and a 50/50 split on the sale of recyclables, minus the cost of removing and disposing of residual garbage — unrecyclable material that gets mixed in with the collection, such as plastic shopping bags and certain paper products.
Collection rates are $3.07 per month per residence and $15 per month for businesses that use a 96-gallon cart.
Waste Pro officials plan to provide the city with a monthly report on their collections, which commissioners said could help them track any increases or decreases in recycling.
The Energy, Climate Change and Economic Security Act of 2008 signed into law by former Gov. Charlie Crist created established a new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by the year 2020. So the state Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging municipalities to implement programs to promote recycling.
For now, the city clerk’s office will bill recycling customers.
In other business last week, the commission:
• Approved payment of a $5,375 invoice from M.T. Causley for building department services in February; a $6,500 invoice from LTA Engineering for work on four new trolley shelters.
• Held the first reading of an ordinance adjusting the city’s candidate qualifying period to coincide with the county period. A second and final reading was scheduled for April 7.
• Tentatively authorized the removal of a tree on the southwest corner of Avenue C and 23rd Street North, which will cost $990.
The tree, a Cuban laurel, is hollow and rotted, according to C.S. Lawn Inc. consultant Casey Shoots, who recommended removing the tree and stump and grounding out the roots.
The commission authorized the removal pending a review for any nests and wildlife inhabitants. Later in the week, Commissioner Ed Straight, who lives in the area and runs a wildlife rehab center, reported that the tree is inhabited.
• Discussed a possible dunes construction project in the 100 block of Gulf Drive North and across the street from city hall. The issue will be presented at a community redevelopment agency meeting, probably in April.
Engineer and city consultant Lynn Townsend said the city owns some of the beach property and the BeachHouse Restaurant owns a large stretch of property.
Townsend said the city’s cost would involve dunes construction and work on its parcel, which is about 50 feet wide, but the BeachHouse ownership would handle the other costs.
• Discussed a lien on an undeveloped property in the 2500 block of Gulf Drive North. The city lien is the result of an ongoing code-enforcement fine at the site, which has been tangled up in a bankruptcy proceeding and is now owned by the FDIC.
• Heard from an Island businesswoman about a plan to set a world record for the longest conga line. The hope is to hold an event in April in Bradenton Beach, Susanne Arbanas told commissioners during the public comment period.
Emergency workers tend to a 74-year-old woman who suffered cardiac arrest March 15 on the beach in the 3400 block of Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach. The woman, who was found lying in the Gulf, later died at Blake Medical Center. Manatee County public safety spokesman Larry Leinhauser said the efforts of West Manatee Fire Rescue, county marine rescue and EMS were to be commended, as well as a doctor vacationing from Canada. The doctor performed CPR until emergency personnel arrived. Islander Photo: Courtesy Kathy Caserta
A 74-year-old woman died March 15 after going into full cardiac arrest in the Gulf of Mexico just off the shore in Holmes Beach.
Before Manatee County and West Manatee Fire Rescue personnel arrived, other beachgoers tended to the woman, who had been found in the Gulf in the 3400 block of Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach.
“It is believed she was in the water and went into cardiac arrest,” said Manatee County public safety spokesman Capt. Larry Leinhauser.
One volunteer rescuer, a vacationing doctor from Canada, performed CPR until emergency medical service paramedics arrived. The public safety department could not provide the name of the doctor or the deceased woman.
“He was very active in the rescue efforts, performing CPR until we arrived along with marine rescue and the fire department,” Leinhauser said of the doctor. “The doctor did a terrific job trying to save this lady. Our crew was very appreciative of his efforts.”
Beachgoers also responded last summer in an incident on the beach in Anna Maria in which two people died after becoming caught in rip currents.
These types of incidents are the reason the Friends of the Island Library and WMFR are partnering to present life-saving classes at the Island Branch Library, 5701 Marina Drive.
The classes are free to attend, but pre-enrollment at the library is required.
One class took place March 19. Upcoming classes are scheduled for 10 a.m. March 25 and 10 a.m. March 29. Students will learn to use an automatic external defibrillator and how to respond when someone is choking, cannot breathe or has suffered cardiac arrest.
Friends president Beverly Neville said the classes are important because procedures have changed in recent years.
New guidelines recommend rescuers start CPR with hard and fast chest pumps rather than the old “ABC” method, which involved two breaths of air into the mouth followed by 30 chest pumps.
The old method took time and delayed the chest compressions that get blood circulating, according to the AHA.
Manatee County commissioners authorized the county administrator to enter negotiations that could lead to creation of another northwest Bradenton preserve — a Robinson II.
The county commission, which addressed the possible land-acquisition during a meeting March 15, also has an opportunity to acquire environmentally significant properties along the Braden River.
The potential property acquisitions were discussed first during a work meeting March 1, when natural resources director Charlie Hunsicker introduced several opportunities created by a downturn in the real estate market.
During last week’s meeting, Hunsicker proposed the commission authorize county administrator Ed Hunzeker and his staff to initiate negotiations with the Southwest Florida Water Management District to purchase 149.9 acres to the southeast of Robinson Preserve, as well as two Braden River properties in East Manatee, including the Linger Lodge and restaurant.
The board approved Hunsicker’s proposal.
The county and Swiftmud will explore the possibility of the district acquiring the properties and the county assuming management responsibilities. Swiftmud’s interest, Hunsicker said, would be in the ways that preserving the environmentally sensitive land could protect water quality and improve stormwater quality.
The west Bradenton property would come from Robinson Farms, which has proposed selling 150 acres of its 200 acres adjacent to Robinson Preserve. The developer would retain some property for home construction.
A meeting between county and Swiftmud staff to discuss the property acquisitions was set for March 21, as The Islander went to press.
Swiftmud administers two programs related to acquisition and restoration — the Florida Forever conservation land acquisition program and the Surface Water and Improvement Management program. Both programs are dependent on state funding sources that “have been significantly reduced or suspended indefinitely,” according to Eric Sutton, Swiftmud land resources director.
However, the Robinson property is listed in the Florida Forever work plan, Sutton noted. Additionally, he said the SWIM program was instrumental in the creation of Robinson, Neal and Perico preserves.
County officials said they hoped to complete negotiations by July.
Manatee County commissioners are lobbying state officials to continue Florida’s commitment for renourishment projects.
The county board drafted a letter to the legislative delegation urging support for beach renourishment at the state level.
Gov. Rick Scott, in his proposed fiscal 2011-12 budget, omitted renourishment funding.
Such an omission would not impact this spring’s renourishment of a small section of beach in Anna Maria and large sections of Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach.
And a second renourishment project, set to take place on the north end of the Island next year, would be supported by Port Dolphin Energy, which is building a deepwater port and gas pipeline in the region. An agreement between the company and the state was struck to alleviate concerns about the project’s impact on renourishment sand in Tampa Bay.
However, the county has long planned for a massive Islandwide renourishment for 2014-15 and needs state support.
So later this month, County Commission Chair Carol Whitmore plans to go to Tallahassee to meet with Scott.
Additionally, county commissioners plan to lobby legislators as they wade into the politics of the 2011 legislative session.
A draft of a letter to lawmakers on renourishment was approved at the commission’s March 15 meeting.
“Healthy beaches are one of Florida’s most valuable assets: They are a linchpin to the tourism revenues of coastal communities across Florida and, in particular, Manatee County,” stated the letter. “As such, the protection of beach renourishment funding is a top priority of the Manatee Board of County Commissioners and the Manasota League of Cities.”
Eliminating state funding jeopardizes federal funding, because the U.S. government program requires matching funds, the letter said.
The current resolution keeping the federal government operating while Congress negotiates an overdue fiscal budget includes more than $1 million for the Anna Maria Island Shore Protection Project. But to carry out the project, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has requested $909,000 in funding assistance.
“It is imperative that the project move forward and we hope that the governor will reconsider and support funding for this project and others on the state priority list, especially those with matching federal funding,” the letter stated.
The correspondence stressed the connection between sand and cents. “Florida’s beaches are clearly an economic engine that drives the state’s coastal cities and counties,” stated the letter. “Beaches remain our No. 1 tourist attraction — 80.9 million visitors traveled to Florida in 2009, adding $60.9 billion sales dollars to our economy.”
The county commissioners maintain that out-of-state tourists visiting Florida beaches in 2007 spent $20 billion, beach tourism increased state tax revenues by $1 billion that year and spending by vacationing beachgoers created 400,000 jobs in 2007.
The Florida Department of Transportation is advising motorists of an upcoming night maintenance project on State Road 64 at the Anna Maria Island Bridge.
The DOT said it would conduct a maintenance project on the AMI Bridge for three nights beginning at 9 p.m. Monday, March 28, until 5 a.m. the following day (March 29). The procedure and operating hours would be repeated Tuesday, March 29, and Wednesday, March 30.
A flagging operation will be in effect during those hours as intermittent closures of both the eastbound and westbound lanes are expected.
Motorists are advised to use caution when driving in the bridge and expect possible delays.
Following the traffic tie-up March 7 on the Island, the AMI Bridge, the Palma Sola Causeway and Cortez Road, the DOT said its future road projects in the Island area would be moved to nighttime operations until the conclusion of the winter tourism season.