Tag Archives: 02-26-2014

AMI earns No. 3 spot on top travel site

“We certainly are getting popular,” said Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce vice president Deb Wing.

She was responding to the announcement that TripAdvisor named Anna Maria Island as the third favorite island in the United States in its traveler’s choice awards. The rankings are based on travel-user reviews.

“We’ve always known that we have this 7 miles of paradise and it’s nice to be recognized,” Wing said.

This is the website’s second year of voting for a favorite U.S. island destination. Last year, Anna Maria Island ranked No. 4.

Marco Island near Naples was voted No. 1 in the 2014 awards, and Key West placed 10th on the list, a TripAdvisor press release stated.

The press release also said 72 percent of respondents plan to visit an island destination in the next year.

The news that Anna Maria Island was moving up the chart was spreading among island elected officials, although some sounded a note of caution.

Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn said she was “pleased with the ranking,” while noting that as more people find out about the island, more traffic develops, particularly during the winter months.

“We are almost saturated with traffic,” she said.

“But I’m glad that people enjoy the island when they get here and voted us so high,” SueLynn said. “We just want to make every visitor’s stay a pleasant experience and have them enjoy what we have.”

Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon said he was pleased to learn of the TripAdvisor rank for the island. Although, he too has concerns about increasing attention for the island.

“We only have so much space on our roads for all the vehicles coming every day during the season,” he said.

Shearon said he appreciates the advertising and popularity of Anna Maria Island, and the tourism that keeps the island economy robust.

“Sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet and enjoy what Anna Maria Island is all about,” he said. “It’s nice to be recognized.”

Privateers lose 2-year lawsuit over Santa’s sleigh

A battle over a Santa sleigh parade float has left no one feeling merry or jolly.

A final judgment was issued Feb. 6 in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court case between Rick Maddox and the Anna Maria Island Privateers in favor of Maddox.

The verdict was bad news for the Privateers, who are responsible for damages of $3,000 and Maddox’ legal fees, as well as their own attorney costs. The jury handed down a verdict with three counts in favor of Maddox.

Maddox’ attorney, Wade Thompson, has yet to file his fees with the court. According to the judgment, the Privateers’ are responsible for Maddox’ legal costs.

“We had a solid case,” said Rodger “Hoodat” Murphree, vice president of the Privateers. “We thought it was all lining up, it just happens the jury saw it differently.”

The verdict was civil theft for taking the sleigh from Maddox with the intent to deprive him of his property temporarily or permanently; trespass to chattel, the intentional interference of another’s movable property; and they were found not to be the rightful owners of the trailer turned sleigh.

“It’s a very sad day for the Privateers,” Maddox said. “A great many of the old Privateers are friends of mine. It’s just a darn shame.”

Maddox is a former member of the Privateers, having been inducted as a lifelong member but not an active, dues-paying member. He served as the vice president and was involved in the construction of the sleigh, along with Larry and Sandy Hand.

Maddox also served as an officer on the Bradenton Beach and Longboat Key police departments before becoming the chief of police in Holmes Beach. His position as chief was terminated in 1994 by then-Mayor Pat Geyer.

Maddox said the trouble began when the trailer was borrowed by the Privateers and never returned. He filed the complaint in July 2011.

The complaint began litigation that led to “somewhere in the ballpark of $26,000” in legal fees over the sleigh, which is valued at $4,500, according to Maddox. For him the case was about the principle and not practicality.

Murphree said, “This has colored our view of the world a little. It’s disappointing there are people out there that want to take an opportunity to hurt an organization like ours.”

“By the end of the case, win, lose or draw, we were just ecstatic it was going to be over,” Maddox said.

Maddox said he and wife Annette are donating their proceeds from the lawsuit toward a scholarship at New College of Florida in Sarasota.

The Privateers have turned over the sleigh and paid the damages. The group will take more precautions in the future, but are undaunted by the loss.

“We’re still going to be out there raising money, we’ll take on whatever bills they throw at us and continue with our mission,” Murphree said.

Bradenton Beach pier reconstruction to begin June 2

If all goes according to plan, the reconstruction of the Historic Bridge Street Pier will begin June 2.

    Not a lot has gone according to plans when it comes to the Bradenton Beach pier, but city officials and representatives of ZNS Engineering concluded a Feb. 19 pier team meeting confident a new timetable could be met.

    If the project begins as scheduled, it will be about 10 months from the original completion target date of August 2013.

    While those delays resulted in a $1 million matching-fund partnership with Manatee County, easing the financial worries of a cash-strapped Bradenton Beach, officials have been on edge to get the project started.

    About seven weeks before the Feb. 19 meeting at Bradenton Beach City Hall, Mayor Bill Shearon set a six-week deadline to have the request for proposal in front of the commission for approval, which is needed to begin the bidding process.

    The joint public meeting with ZNS Engineering was scheduled to get the final details of the RFP completed.

    ZNS presented a model RFP to the pier team and the first task was to make sure the language matches the city’s needs.

    Determining what body would be in charge of dealing with possible legalities involving a bid protest was left to the pier team for recommendation, followed by presentation to the city commission.

    Implementing a performance bond received a lot of discussion, with city officials agreeing to establish a bond of 120 percent beyond the total project bid.

    The performance bond gives the city more control of the contractor’s work during the project, which led to a discussion of change orders.

    Change orders are common during a large construction project, according to pier team facilitator Police Chief Sam Speciale, but they also can get out of control — especially if no system of quality control is in place.

    “We had a lot of issues when the restaurant was first built,” said Speciale. “There were a lot of change orders and they were getting approved without anyone knowing about it.”

    A change order takes place when a situation occurs that requires where added costs for unforeseen reasons.

    ZNS construction engineer manager Karen Wilson said they are unavoidable, but the more control and detail that is put into the RFP will stem the amount of change orders.

    Speciale suggested all change orders go through him. He would then disseminate the information to the pier team, which can then increase its meeting frequency once the project begins.

    Wilson said it’s typical to reserve 20 percent of the project’s overall budget for change orders, “but that’s more of an in-house thing.”

    Shearon said he would feel comfortable authorizing the pier team $5,000 for change orders in increments.

    For the planning phase, city officials tweaked some mandatory items in the proposal.

    An additional 4,800 square feet of decking from the outdoor dining area of the restaurant to the pier restrooms was left as a bid option beyond the 9,700 square feet planned for reconstruction.

    What will no longer be optional is the pier color. It will be constructed of a light gray composite decking. Water lines to new fishing stations, and 21 pilings in addition to the 151 that support the pier also were made mandatory in the bid.

    The 21 extra pilings will extend into Sarasota Bay from the floating dock adjacent to the pier. The pilings will form a protective barrier to prevent damage from boats breaking loose from the nearby anchorage.

    Commissioner Jack Clarke asked for a detailed process to the June 1 start date.

    ZNS Engineering president Leonard Najjar said it would be about a five-step process.

    The RFP is the first step, but has yet to be approved by the city commission. A special meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26.

    Once the RFP and the advertising language has been approved, bidders will have two weeks to respond to two weeks of advertising, then attend a pre-bid conference and then have two more weeks to submit a bid.

    Najjar said bids would be due around the middle of April, then a week to rate the bids, a recommendation from ZNS by April 25, review by the pier team April 30, leaving the city commission’s May meeting for final approval.

    “After approval, it’s about two weeks minimum for contract negotiations,” said Najjar. “So we are going to put June 2 as a start date.”

    Because work will begin on the first day of the 2014 hurricane season, Wilson said part of the bid package will have to include a hurricane action plan.

    The timetable also depends on the city’s choice for a lighting company to conclude its solar design specs and submit that to ZNS to include in the final plans.

    Najjar said he cannot complete the plans without the lighting designs, which are now well overdue.

        Shearon said if Beacon Products could not meet the city’s deadline, he would recommend hiring another company, but that could lead to a delay in the RFP, which could lead to a delay in the proposed start date.

Renourishment phase 1 end in sight

More than just visitors are pleased with the balmy weather on Anna Maria Island the past two weeks.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, the contractor for beach renourishment, appreciates the calm seas that allow them to move rapidly south, pumping and smoothing sand along the island’s shore.

The company renourished from 17th Street North in Bradenton Beach to Ninth Street North Feb. 17-21.

If the weather holds, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Sirisha Rayaprolu said GLDD should finish its renourishment project at 13th Street South late this month or in early March.

Once that work is finished, GLDD will take a few days to reposition its equipment and begin renourishment of Coquina Beach at a cost to Manatee County of $5.67 million. The state will reimburse the county for about half of the cost, Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources director Charlie Hunsicker said.

Hunsicker expects Coquina Beach renourishment to take about 30 days, depending upon the weather.

“We hope to finish in late March or early April,” he said.

Renourishment of the beach from 79th Street to 13th Street South was funded by $13 million in federal, state and county money.

Manatee County will use funds from the resort tax to pay for Coquina Beach renourishment.

The resort tax is the 5 percent paid on rentals in the county of six months or less.

Islandwide beach renourishment takes place every 8-10 years.

Traffic relief remains top priority among island officials

‘If you are in a hurry, you are on the wrong island.’ — Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon

The best way to alleviate traffic problems in tourist season may be for everyone to stay home.

Attempts to relieve congestion on Anna Maria Island roads and bridges may elude motorists trying to get from point A to point B, as the island continues to witness record-setting tourism.

Discussion at the Coalition of Barrier Island Elected Officials meeting Feb. 19 centered on traffic problems.

Each of the three island cities is taking an approach to its problems with Anna Maria and Bradenton Beach still talking out solutions, taking little to no action. Holmes Beach formed a committee that brought forth varied ideas, including a parking garage at Manatee Public Beach.

In developing an approach to the problem, some alternate parking for beachgoers at businesses, churches and the library in Holmes Beach is being sought, and city leaders also are hoping Manatee County officials will increase park-and-ride options, as well as provide water taxis.

Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn said a partnership with the county is key.

“We would love to work together as three cities to decrease congestion and the flow of traffic, we just don’t have the means to do that,” she said. “None of us have the traffic experts. We are hopeful we can do something, but we are a finite space with more and more people coming into it.”

Manatee County Commissioner John Chappie said he has been in communication with the county’s traffic operations about adjusting the timing of traffic lights at the intersection of Manatee Avenue and 75th Street in Bradenton, as well as the light at 119th Street West and Cortez Road.

Chappie said the Cortez light has been the subject of a lot of complaints and he is checking to see if the county can make some adjustments, which he said won’t solve any problems, but could ease traffic flow.

Chappie also said the camera system in Holmes Beach that monitors the Manatee Avenue and East Bay Drive intersection does not have a live feed to the county’s traffic operations, nor does the county have the ability to remote control the light to adjust to traffic flow.

“It’s a money issue,” he said. “It’s just a recorder.”

SueLynn suggested placing Holmes Beach police officers at the intersection to supervise the flow of traffic, but Chappie said that would interfere with the established grid of traffic lights designed to keep up the flow in other areas.

Bradenton Beach Commissioner Jack Clarke suggested limiting commercial traffic to hours that do not conflict with the typical “rush hours” of tourist traffic.

Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore said that would not be feasible, but she understands the effort being put forth by the cities.

“I understand why you are doing this, but it’s three months,” she said. “It’s February through April. We all know that.”

Clarke said it was just a suggestion, and pointed out traffic problems have a long history on the island.

“I researched the first edition of the island newspaper in 1962 and it talked about traffic,” he said. “I’ve only been here nine years and I do know from those nine Fourth of Julys, and now the last two in particular, that’s it’s getting worse.”

Holmes Beach Commissioner Jean Peelen agreed, saying that “season” appears to be getting much longer than the three months Whitmore noted.

Bradenton Beach Commissioner Janie Robertson said it’s only going to get worse with all of the events taking place on the mainland.

“Statistics show that 97 percent of people who visit Manatee County visit the beach at least once,” she said. “With these mega events taking place that are drawing tens of thousands of people, it’s going to need mass transit from those events to the beach.”

Whitmore said the county is working hard to encourage more development of hotels and that when a major event is planned, such as a sporting event, “The hotels are required to provide transportation for those guests to and from the island.”

While efforts continue, and proposals such as adding park-and-ride options, Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon summed up the overall tone of the meeting.

“If you are in a hurry, you are on the wrong island,” he said.

Holmes Beach commissioners mull city field options

The empty field in Holmes Beach seems a magnet for ideas to better use the “green space.”

What was once a small aviation grass landing strip  has evolved into a multitude of purposes over time.

Holmes Beach city commissioners discussed several uses for the Holmes Beach city field at a Feb. 13 work session. The suggestions ranged from expanding the dog park to promoting the sports field, and even adding a community swimming pool.

“We have a lot of things to discuss,” Judy Titsworth, commission chair, said. She first outlined some of the problems plaguing the city related to the field, including noise, event fees and parking.

Commissioners felt the current zoning for the field needs to be addressed to better benefit Holmes Beach residents.

The property is frequently rented for events but during season, Titsworth said, the field is overused for events and the grass is often trampled, making the space inadequate for recreational activities.

In addition, Titsworth said, the organizations often use the field for multiple days but only pay a $250 flat fee. According to the city ordinance, the fee can be set “from time to time by resolution of the city commission.”

In addition to the flat fee, the current ordinance requires that event organizers provide a $1 million liability insurance policy, a $500 down payment and possess a valid liquor license if they plan to sell alcohol.

The ordinance allows for overnight camping of “recreational-vehicle type units” for vendors, sponsors, owners, managers and participants. These caravans may set up two days before the event, and remain overnight following commencement, according to the ordinance.

While it is the responsibility of the event participants to clean up, the Holmes Beach public works department has complained it often picks up debris. In addition, the department blames overuse as the reason it has a hard time getting the grass to grow on the field.

Mayor Carmel Monti said that although the organizing groups must have nonprofit status, the city never really knows how much revenue from the events goes to the nonprofit cause.

Monti suggested building a pavilion in the parking lot at the Manatee Public Beach for such events. He claimed the city field should not be used for commercial activities.

“The pavilion is one way to take the pressure off. We wouldn’t have to break down and set up tents all the time and we would have a lot more parking,” he said.

“The noise level that they have been operating at is no longer acceptable, and it’s not going to be acceptable anymore,” he said. “Otherwise we will send someone over and shut them down.”

The city already is working to accommodate residents by setting noise limits.

The commissioners agreed to start with a “clean slate” regarding the use of the field, but had different ideas as to what direction they wanted to go.

Titsworth said she would like to see more sports activities.

“I would love to see that field used for sports, and I would love to see it used by kids,” she said. “Everyone loves baseball and, if we want to bring community back, that’s the way to go.”

However, other commissioners said baseball is a dying sport and they would rather see the field used for soccer or other outdoor activities.

Tom O’Brien, superintendent of public works, said it may be possible to make the field interchangeable so multiple sports could be played. However, the city would only contribute funds if they were matched by Manatee County and/or donations from other sources.

Monti said he would talk to county officials to discuss the options.

Another suggestion was to build a beach volleyball court on the field. Monti said there is a professional team that wants to train on Anna Maria Island and it requires more space than the county provides at the public beach.

That prompted some commissioners to say they wouldn’t like depriving residents of the court for the team.

In addition, holding games and practices at a city court could violate the nonprofit clause of the ordinance for the space.

“We don’t allow people to teach tennis on our courts, how can we allow this?” Commissioner Jean Peelen said. “I believe we may have a legal issue.”

“Cities our size seldom get a chance to have a world class volleyball team,” Commissioner Marvin Grossman said. “Maybe we could rework the ordinance somehow, or talk to them about the configuration. We could potentially have a team that could beat the whole country. It would be exciting.”

In the end, commissioners agreed to go ahead with one item, and that was to turn one of four shuffleboard courts into a bocce ball court. Depending on how often it gets used, the commission would consider adding another one.

Titsworth said that a resident was willing to donate toward a public swimming pool, but commissioners agreed the maintenance cost would be too expensive and there is not enough space for a pool.


Dog park input

Monti said he met with dog owners on Feb. 3 in city hall chambers to discuss their concerns and needs for the dog park at city field. After the meeting, the city announced it would:

• Extend the fence in the small dog area and replace rotted uprights with aluminum posts.

• Remove signs and posts in the small dog park to allow the dogs to run more safely.

• Place pavers around the new small dog park shelter and create a 4-foot-wide path to the gate.

• Adjust the fence along the ballpark to fit tightly to the ground to prevent small dogs from escaping.

• Create a memorial board.

• Install canine-appropriate drinking devices.

• Install netting for the fence in the ballpark outfield to prevent balls from coming over the fence into the dog park.

HBPD reports crime numbers fall, arrests increase in 2013


The Holmes Beach Police Department reported fewer crimes and an increase in arrests in 2013, according to annual crime index statistics from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The number of crimes reported went down 23.7 percent from 2012, from 152 to 116.

The number of reported crimes that were considered violent fell 44.4 percent from 20 to 11.

There were two forcible rapes that occurred in the city in 2013, which is very rare Holmes Beach, according to the reports.

HBPD Chief Bill Tokajer looked back as far as 2007 and couldn’t find any record of a sexual battery occurring in the areas.

“We do not have many sexual batteries in Holmes Beach,” Tokajer said. “This is almost unheard of. In one situation, the two people were working together and the other was a date-like setting, but the couple had just met.”

There were no arrests made in the reported sexual assaults.

In the crime statistics, HBPD reported that the number of arrests increased by 45.5 percent, from 121 to 176.

Also, the number of traffic tickets increased 115 percent, with HBPD officers issuing 378 in 2012 compared to a 816 in 2013.

Tokajer said the increase in tickets was due to the city’s participation in the Click it or Ticket campaign, which takes place across the country.

He said the decrease in crime was due to the proactive approach of his staff.

“The officers are doing a great job,” Tokajer said. “People call in everyday complimenting our presence. It’s just about keeping an eye on the community.”

The statistics showed for 2013 an increase in the number of vehicle thefts, from one in 2012 to five in 2013, an increase of 500 percent.

Tokajer said the vehicles stolen had been left unlocked with keys in the ignition and one was a golf cart. An exception was a car reported stolen by a family member.

In order to prevent vehicles from being broken into or stolen, Tokajer recommends drivers lock their cars, hide valuables and bring the keys with them when they leave the vehicle.

“Basically anything that would be enticing, like a computer, cell phone or purse, you should take with you, leave at home or discretely hide in the car somewhere,” he said. “Criminals are looking for an easy way to steal, they don’t want to have to work for what they get. They are looking in cars to see if they were left unlocked.”

He also said beachgoers should put any valuables into their trunk before they arrive at the beach because people could be watching the parking lot.

Overall, Tokajer was proud of the results.

“It’s what I like to see, I want crime going down and arrests going up and that’s what happened this year,” he said.

Tokajer took over as the chief of police for HBPD in April 2013.

HBPD: 2 rapes among 2013 crime statistics

Two cases of sexual battery were investigated in Holmes Beach in 2013 and, while no arrests have been made, the Holmes Beach Police Department is pursuing warrants for both suspects.

The incident reports were made available Feb. 20 from the HBPD, after being noted among the annual Crime in Florida report provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement based on data through Jan. 21, which was released Feb. 19 by Holmes Beach Chief of Police Bill Tokajer.

The first incident occurred July 5, 2013, at West Manatee Fire District Station No. 1, 6001 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

The second alleged rape took place Dec. 22, 2013, on the beach in the 5600 block of Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, according to HBPD reports, which were only made public Feb. 20.


Rape by co-worker

The first of two female victims in the reports told police that while on duty overnight at the fire station, her co-worker raped her.

The victim, an EMS medic, filed a report with the Manatee County Human Resources Department Aug. 14, 2013. She said the suspect entered her bunk while she was trying to sleep and raped her while choking her.

According to the report, she and the Bradenton man were running calls until around 1 a.m., when she tried to go to sleep and was sexually battered. The two had not previously worked together.

The victim told police that throughout the day they had been joking about things of a sexual nature. The victim told police she was not offended until the man began showing her nude pictures of himself on his cellphone.

In one of the pictures, she alleged, the man held a mouthwash bottle over his genitals.

She said she tried to ignore him, but he proceeded to show another more explicit photo.

The man allegedly made several other sexual advances and the woman told him sexual behavior “was not going to happen,” the report said.

The victim said she got very uncomfortable and tried to avoid the man the rest of the evening, hanging out on the opposite side of the fire station until it was time to sleep. She was in her bunk when he reportedly got up, closed the door and climbed in bed with her. That’s when he allegedly held her so she couldn’t move, started choking and sexually assaulted her.

The victim did not immediately report the incident, telling police “it was her word against his,” the report states, but after confiding in a friend, she filed a complaint.

According to Pat Labarr of the Manatee County Human Resources Department, the suspect was dismissed in September following the incident with a stipulation that he cannot be rehired for three years.

HBPD Chief Bill Tokajer said the department has submitted evidence to the state attorney’s office and is waiting for the approval of an arrest warrant for the suspect.


Beach rape

The second account of sexual battery Dec. 22, 2013, involved a tourist and a man who worked at the time as a waiter for the Gulf Drive Cafe in Bradenton Beach, the report stated.

According to the report, the victim alleged that the man raped her on the beach after a night of barhopping with friends.

The victim told police she was out with her brother and another brother and sister they met that night. The foursome had been to several bars including two on Bridge Street and to D.Coy Ducks Tavern in Holmes Beach, the report said.

While at the tavern, the victim’s brother and the suspect’s sister were kissing, the report said. The victim said she had been getting along with the suspect, and they walked to the beach.

According to the victim’s sworn statement to HBPD officers, “before she knew what was happening, (the suspect) was allegedly on top of her trying to (have sex) with her.” She told police he held her hands down at her sides and forcibly had sex with her, the report said.

The victim reported the incident immediately, but did not know the suspect’s last name or exact location where the rape occurred, but she remembered him saying he was a waiter at a local restaurant, the report said.

The victim gave police officers a picture she had taken of the suspect on her cellphone and HBPD tracked the picture to a server at Gulf Drive Cafe, the report stated. He was questioned by police in the manager’s office.

The suspect allegedly stated that he and the victim had “really hit it off” and were making out on a bench outside D.Coy Ducks before deciding go have sex on the beach. He said the sex was mutual and afterward he walked her to her vacation home, but not all the way, the report stated.

The man said the woman did not have a local phone number so he told her to come by where he works, hoping to see her again.

HBPD found probable cause to arrest the suspect after it obtained a text from the victim on the suspect’s phone stating she made it home OK, but that she was not OK with what had happened.

The time of the text was 4:23 a.m.

Tokajer said the department submitted evidence to the state attorney’s office and is awaiting an arrest warrant, saying the long process follows standard protocol when dealing with sexual battery charges.

Shoplifting charge leads to felony possession arrest

A 31-year-old Bradenton Beach woman faces a felony possession of a controlled substance charge following a shoplifting incident at a Bradenton Walmart.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Erin Wright entered the Walmart, 5315 Cortez Road W., and proceeded to the cosmetics department. Wright carried $115 worth of cosmetic items to the furniture department, where she allegedly placed them into her purse.

Police say Wright then went to pay for some items, but attempted to leave the store without paying for the cosmetics.

Loss prevention stopped Wright and detained her until a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived. Wright’s purse was searched, at which time the deputy allegedly located four alprazolam pills and one diazepam pill.

She was unable to provide the prescription bottles for the pills. She was arrested for misdemeanor petit theft and felony possession of a controlled substance.

According to the report, Wright admitted to the theft and told the deputy she did not know why she stole the items.

Wright was booked into the Manatee County jail on $2,000 bond. According to the jail website, she posted bond the same day and was released.

Calendar – 02-26-2014

Wednesday, Feb. 26

11 a.m. — Einstein Circle discussion group, Lifelong Learning Academy program, Studio at Gulf and Pine, 10101 Gulf Drive, Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-359-4296.

6:29 p.m. — Official sunset time.


Thursday, Feb. 27

2 p.m. — Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources agent Melissa Neil talks about environmental conservation, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: Information: 941-778-6341.

6:30 p.m. — Official sunset time.


Friday, Feb. 28

9 a.m.-noon — St. Bernard Catholic Church rummage sale, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-7771.

6:30 p.m. — Official sunset time.


Saturday, March 1

9 a.m.-noon — St. Bernard Catholic Church rummage sale, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-7771.

10 a.m.-4 p.m.— Anna Maria Island Historical Society Heritage Day Celebration, 402 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-779-7688.

10:30 a.m. — Artist Shirley Rush Dean leads a demonstration in polymer clay jewelry, Island Gallery West, 5368 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6648.

6:31 p.m. — Official sunset time.


Sunday, March 2

9 a.m., 11 a.m. — Roser Memorial Community Church worship service with guest cellist Nancy Donaruma, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-0414.

4 p.m. — Choir concert, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-1813.

5 p.m. — Evening Sing, CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-0719.

6:31 p.m. — Official sunset time.


Monday, March 3

6:32 p.m. — Official sunset time.

12:30 p.m. — Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island 25th anniversary luncheon, CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-6694.


Tuesday, March 4

2 p.m. — Don and Carol Thompson, authors of “Egmont Key, A History,” lecture, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-941-778-6341.

6 p.m. — Gloria Dei fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras dinner and celebration, 6608 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-1813.

6:33 p.m. — Official sunset time.


Wednesday, March 5

1:15 p.m. — Gulf Coast Writers meeting featuring author Nicole Quigley, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-3209.

6:34 p.m. — Official sunset time.



Wednesday, Feb. 26

1:28 p.m. — Aging in Paradise workshop on strengthening memory, sharpening the mind, Longboat Island Chapel, 6200 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. Information: 941-383-6493.


Saturday, March 1

9 a.m.-5 p.m. — Mixon Orange Blossom Festival, Mixon Fruit Farms, 2525 27th St. E., Bradenton. Information: 941-748-5829.

9 a.m.-2 p.m. — Veterans Appreciation Day, Bradenton Farmers’ Market, Old Main Street, downtown Bradenton. Information: 941-350-8563.

10 a.m.-4 p.m. — 38th annual Longboat Key Garden Club Home Tour, various locations on Longboat Key. Fee applies. Information: 941-345-4300.


Sunday, March 2

9 a.m.-5 p.m. — Mixon Orange Blossom Festival, Mixon Fruit Farms, 2525 27th St. E., Bradenton. Information: 941-748-5829.


Wednesday, March 5

11:30 a.m. — Manatee Concert Band, Bradenton Riverwalk Music in the Park series, waterfront, downtown Bradenton. Information: 941-840-0013.


Coming up

• March 7-8, Friends of the Island Library book sale, Holmes Beach.

• March 8-9, Anna Maria Island Art League Springfest, Holmes Beach.

• March 9 is daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m.

• March 15, Anna Maria Island Community Center Tour of Homes, islandwide.

• March 19, Anna Maria Garden Club Penny Flower Show, Anna Maria.


Save the date

• April 5, Bradenton Marauders’ first home game, Bradenton.

• April 5, Keep Manatee Beautiful Make Every Day Earth Day, countywide.

• April 12, Anna Maria Island Privateers Thieves Market, Bradenton Beach.

• April 12, An Island Affaire gala, Anna Maria Island Community Center, Anna Maria.

• April 19, Sandbar Restaurant Easter egg hunt, Anna Maria.


Calendar announcements

        Send calendar announcements to calendar@islander.org. Please include the time, date and location of the event, a brief description and a contact via email and phone. The deadline for submissions is the Wednesday a week before publication. High-resolution photographs welcome.