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, …

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Faux cell tower birds fly into controversy

Richard Cary of Anna Maria took this telephoto image of the faux bird on the cell tower. He came to The Islander office to ask what is being done about the bird hanging since last Wednesday. He said he had researched and could find no such bird with “red head,” and learned the bird was fake from the newspaper staff.

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 …

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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, …

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Aubry interested in AM commission appointment

Gene Aubry campaigns for a commission seat in 2010. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

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 …

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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 …

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Sea turtles nests begin hatching cycle

Baby Turtle

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 …

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BB seeks to overcome budget shortfall

Most Bradenton Beach department heads have submitted proposed budgets that exceed this year’s budgets, and commissioners already face a $104,000 shortfall in 2012-13. The shortfall was originally calculated to be $117,000, but an updated report from the Manatee County Property …

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BBPD kicks off budget talks

The Bradenton Beach Police Department’s proposed 2012-13 budget represents the lion’s share of the city’s estimated $2.3 million budget. With a proposed budget of $959,732, it is the largest spending amount for the biggest department. Police Chief Sam Speciale addressed …

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BB settles on 3 percent raise for employees

The first rounds of Bradenton Beach budget talks ended July 11 with commissioners settling on a salary raise of 3 percent for city employees. Department heads presented preliminary budgets July 9-11, with the raise of 3 percent included in the …

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BB commissioners eye infrastructure

Water pools along Second Street in Bradenton Beach near city hall and the Tingley Memorial Library, causing asphalt to crack and crumble. The city is focusing the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget on infrastructure, which department heads agree has been neglected. Islander Photo: Mark Young

With budget talks resuming July 9 at Bradenton Beach City Hall, commissioners turned their focus to infrastructure issues. Implications continue that a tax hike might be required to address neglected city needs. Commissioners have not said taxes will rise, but …

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