Tag Archives: 03-14-2012

Partygoers get boot from HB rental

One group of 18 college students on spring break last week in a vacation home in Holmes Beach learned that partygoers who break city codes are not welcome.

Larry Chatt, the rental property manager for Island Real Estate and a driving force behind getting Anna Maria Island’s rental agents and owners to share and enforce strict rules for tenants, said he evicted 18 people from a home in the 200 block of 73rd Street for violating the terms of their lease.

Police were called in the early morning hours March 6 to the 73rd Street property, at which time the vacationers were told that the next incident would not result in a warning.

HBPD found 12 of the 18 people present at the home were 21 or older and had reason to believe the tenants were consuming alcoholic beverages.

Police warned the group about Florida’s Open House Party Law, which provides that the adults at any party or on any premises are legally liable for any underage drinking that occurs, and for any incidents after the party caused by minors who had been drinking.

Holmes Beach Police Lt. Dale Stephenson said, “technically,” the adults and the minors could have been arrested, but officers dealt with the situation by emptying all the alcohol found on the premises and advising the group to avoid further alcoholic consumption.

No loud noise after 10 p.m., a maximum number of people at the rental, and respect for the residential character of Holmes Beach are just a few of the conditions Island Real Estate tenants must abide by, Chatt said.

The on-duty rental agent for Island Real Estate was notified by police and responded to the scene. The agent later reported the incident to Chatt.

Later on March 6, the 73rd Street tenants were evicted.

Police also were called to a rental in the 200 block of 50th Street March 6 following a complaint of loud noise at the house.

The occupants, who said they are a singing group from North Carolina, and were practicing their vocals when police were called. The group’s captain, Maggie Sparling, told police they were sorry for the incident and would not practice again after 10 p.m. during their stay.

Ironically, Sparling said the group chose Holmes Beach for its “peaceful and quiet atmosphere.”

Chatt said the 50th Street group would get only one warning. Any other incidents there also would result in eviction.

Chatt said he was pleased with the police cooperation in both incidents. He said it proves that with the proper database, law enforcement officers know which rental company is the agent for the rental property and can contact them if any disturbance is reported.

“I am proud to be involved in the collaborative effort between Island Real Estate, Holmes Beach, and the Holmes Beach Police Department to enforce the quiet enjoyment of our neighborhoods,” Chatt said.

“An eviction is an example of an extreme case, but we often learn the most from extreme cases and this situation is no exception for myself or my team,” he said.

Chatt added that he hopes this example inspires other vacation rental agents and owners to get involved with “cooperative solutions to tough problems.”

Chatt, Mike Brinson and Anna Maria Commissioner SueLynn are preparing a guidebook for vacationers that includes a list of “best practices” the rental agent will use in any lease and provide the guidebook to vacationers.

Although Chatt, Brinson and many other rental agents already have the best practices in their rental agreements, Chatt hopes to have all Island agents agree to the practices, and involve law enforcement in any rental property incidents.

The two incidents are “an example that cooperation between property managers and the police will make a difference to find more balance in our residential communities,” he said.

SueLynn agreed it was unusual for a group of college students on spring break to come to Anna Maria Island, but partygoers who want to disrupt a residential neighborhood are “exactly the type of people we don’t want here.” She suggests partiers go to Panama City, Fort Lauderdale or some other spring break beach.

She said she hopes word of the eviction spreads quickly, although she doubted if any national media would pick up the story.

“These are the people we don’t want here and I applaud Larry and the other agents and owners who use the best practices for quick action. I hope the word gets out to spring-breakers and party people everywhere that they are not welcome on the Island unless they agree to our rules.”

Under Florida’s “Open House Party Law,” each adult at the premises where underage drinking has occurred could face a fine of up to $500 and 60 days in jail, if charged and convicted. The underage drinkers also could have been fined up to $500 each and given a maximum 60-day jail sentence upon conviction.

Former AM commissioner says: Go green

Former Anna Maria Commissioner Gene Aubry lent his architectural skills to the city March 8, offering a rendering to commissioners of a park, nature trail, open space and parking at the city-owned land at the east end of Pine Avenue.

Aubry had volunteered for the task Feb. 23 after commissioners had difficulty agreeing as to what should go on the site. The city purchased the property in September 2011 for $2.8 million to ensure it would not be developed by the private sector.

Many commissioners were in favor of some type of park, but until a plan is adopted, parking is being allowed on about one-third of the property.

Commissioners also decided in February to end overflow parking May 7.

City Pier Restaurant manager Dave Sork said he was pleased the park rendering allows some parking.

The Anna Maria City Pier already is the No. 1 visitor attraction in Manatee County, he said, and the addition of the new boardwalk along the pier, a beach to the pier shoreline, and the growth of retail shops on Pine Avenue are bringing even more visitors to the waterfront.

 

Vacation rental terms

Commissioner SueLynn said she will present a “guidebook” at the March 28 commission meeting prepared with help from rental agents Larry Chatt and Mike Brinson that can be given to new visitors renting a vacation property in the city.

The guidebook will contain the list of “best practices” developed for renters and agents and a notation that the rental agent has the right to evict tenants who violate conditions of the lease agreement.

The guidebook will be given to vacationers in a “friendly manner,” with appropriate artwork, SueLynn said. For 95 percent of the renters, there will be no issues with the best practices in the guide.

“It’s only a few people who ever cause any problems,” she said.

Among the conditions that might trigger an eviction or a code violation are excessive noise past 10 p.m., trash left curbside, too many vehicles parked on lawns and at other properties, and having more people at the rental than called for in the agreement. The renters also will agree to terms that include respecting the neighborhood and maintainubg the peace and quiet of the city.

She said she hopes all rental agents and rental property owners in Anna Maria and the Island will adopt the guide for their clients.

Holmes Beach Commissioner David Zaccagnino told Anna Maria commissioners that Chatt recently evicted a large group of people at a rental in Holmes Beach for violating the conditions of the lease agreement.

Mayor Mike Selby said he plans to meet with Sgt. Dave Turner, who heads the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Anna Maria substation, and other MCSO officials to ensure MCSO’s cooperation with rental agents who may require assistance dealing tenants.

 

Special magistrate

Commissioners unanimously adopted an ordinance creating a special code enforcement magistrate to hear code violation cases

This will eliminate the neighbor vs. neighbor aspect of citizens serving on the code enforcement board.

The special master will be a licensed Florida attorney who specializes in deciding code enforcement matters.

Selby said he would immediately begin the request for proposals process.

AM moratorium faces problem: What’s the problem?

Anna Maria commissioners at the March 8 first reading of an ordinance establishing a moratorium on review and issuance of new building permits, couldn’t decide whether to proceed or drop the matter.

The moratorium resolution enacted Feb. 23 was for “zoning in progress,” said city attorney Jim Dye. It allowed the city to halt further issuance and review of building permits while it establishes a moratorium ordinance.

But the problem, according to several commissioners, is that they don’t know what constitutes the problem, or need for the moratorium.

“I don’t know what it is we’re trying to solve,” said Commissioner Dale Woodland, after spending the past two weeks studying the issues related to the Feb. 23 moratorium resolution.

At the Feb. 23 commission meeting, Commission Chair Chuck Webb expressed concern that new single-family construction or remodeling might add more bedrooms to a vacation rental, thus bringing more tourists to the city.

He suggested that might create a hotel-like atmosphere in some areas of the city.

The construction of multi-bedroom vacation properties might cause more noise violations, more garbage left curbside and overflow parking on lawns and other property owner’s driveways, he suggested.

Webb said Holmes Beach has had a number of new duplexes and single-family homes built recently with multiple bedrooms that can be rented to several families at the same time.

He noted that the house on a three-lot property at 60 N. Shore Drive was recently torn down. The lots could be used to build three single-family dwellings with multiple bedrooms that could be rented to large groups of people at the same time.

“That’s not enough of a problem for me,” Woodland said. “Anna Maria has always had rentals. What are we trying to solve here?” he asked.

Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick agreed. She wasn’t sure if the city was trying to regulate vacation rentals or have more enforcement of code violations at vacation properties.

Woodland said the city can’t regulate only vacation rental properties. It must pass ordinance to include all residential housing, not just rentals.

Commissioner John Quam sided with Woodland and Mattick.

“I just don’t see a problem. Anna Maria is already 99 percent built out,” he said, and no new duplex construction is allowed.

But Webb and Commissioner SueLynn said the city needs legislation to ensure single-family homes with large numbers of bedrooms don’t proliferate as vacation rentals in the city.

Opponents of the moratorium, including Scott Eason, co-owner of the three North Shore Drive lots, said he and his family plan to sell only to families. One lot already has been sold to a couple retiring to Anna Maria.

Eason said the couple assured him they want only to live in the “peace and quiet” of Anna Maria.

Mike Coleman of Pine Avenue Restoration LLC said the moratorium will put people out of work, as building plans can’t proceed while the moratorium resolution is in effect.

The city must either enact a moratorium ordinance with an end date, or withdraw the resolution, he said.

Coleman said he couldn’t see a problem, even with houses with multiple bedrooms. They are everywhere in the city already, he said.

Woodland agreed. He said he could go down any street in the city and find houses with five or six or more bedrooms.

“It sounds like we’re trying to pass a moratorium to create a problem,” he said.

Although it appeared the moratorium ordinance might die at the first reading, commissioners compromised.

They scheduled the second reading for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 29, while adding a work session at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 22, to discuss the reasons for the building moratorium.

Bait-and-switch vacation scam arrives on AMI

There are reasons vacationers might want to book a vacation to Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key and the Manatee County area through a chamber of commerce member, as a Canadian couple learned.

Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce president Mary Ann Brockman said John and Holly Gazy of Toronto showed up at the chamber office one morning in early February and asked to know where the owner of their rental property could be found.

Sorry, Brockman had to tell the couple. The owner was not a chamber member.

Brockman then learned the full story.

The couple, who thought they could save some money by renting online, found a picturesque three-bedroom home on Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach advertised and forwarded $6,000 — one month’s rent plus $3,850 deposit and $150 cleaning fee — to the Missouri owner, Dawn Hauser.

Upon arrival, however, Holly Gazy said she found the house not the same house pictured in the online advertisement. It “was a dump,” with insects and bugs everywhere, she said.

“The ad said it was newly painted and carpeted, but it wasn’t. It smelled dirty and musty and I was afraid to walk on the carpet. It was so dirty,” Gazy said.

“The ad also said it was a three-bedroom with king, queen and full-size beds. The third bedroom had an old futon, not a bed. I called the owner and all she would refund was the $150 cleaning fee. She said if she rented it, she would return some of the profit to us,’” Gazy said.

Gazy said she and her husband got a room at a mainland hotel, then drove to the chamber’s office the next morning.

But Brockman did not have good news for the couple.

“I told them I would try to find them a place to stay for the month, but everything was booked,” Brockman said. “I had to tell them they would have to deal with the owner by themselves.

“This is what happens when you book online and not through a chamber member or licensed rental agent. All the major vacation rental agents on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key are members of a chamber,” Brockman added.

Thankfully, the story has a happy end, except for the Gazy’s money, which is still being held by the Missouri owner.

After much searching, Brockman was able to book the couple into a Longboat Key resort for 30 days.

“We were delighted. (Brockman) really went out of her way to help us,” Holly Gazy said. “Everything’s fine now, except for our money. Next year, we will definitely book through a chamber agent.”

The moral of the story, Brockman said, is “Beware of booking online with a property owner who has a good deal on a great house.” If a rental deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, Brockman said.

“Our advice is to rent from a licensed real estate agent who is a chamber member,” Brockman said. “You will get what you pay for and you’ll have someone here on the Island to help if you have problems.”

Hauser was contacted for comment, but said she would have to call back at another time, which had not occurred by presstime for The Islander.

It was a hot time at the market

There are still parts of the world where there is a desire to attack a Kentucky Fried Chicken because it is assumed Colonel Sanders is a high-ranking U.S. military official.

While that line of thinking is flawed, the chicken hot wings presented by six local cooks and chefs were not. Approximately 100 people donated $5 to partake in the March 11 Bridge Street Market hot wing challenge.

Each month, the Bridge Street Merchants Association sponsors a food challenge, with all proceeds going to area charities. Tasters donate $5 and sample all six plates. They are given a token to place with their favorite dish, and the cook or representative from a local restaurant with the most tokens is declared the winner.

Bridge Street Market manager Melissa Enders chose Mansota Buds to be this month’s recipient, which totaled $500 in donations.

“We are always happy for not just the financial support, but for the community support,” said Manasota Buds executive director Stacy Quaid. “We will use these funds to put in with other funding used for our annual October Buddy Walk, scholarships to camps, hippo therapy (horseback therapy), and several other programs for children and young adults with Down Syndrom.”

Quaid said her organization, now in its 10th year, also works with family members of people with Down Syndrome.

“It’s not just about the person with Down Syndrome,” she said. “It’s all about including the family, as well.”

Several families attended the March 11 market, “to show our support to the market in the same way they are showing support to us,” said Quaid.

Enders said local home cooks and restaurants have brought a lot of enthusiasm to the challenges, but the real thrill is being able to help out the selected charities. However, there are bragging rights on the line.

Winning the hot wing challenge was Island Time Bar and Grill. Taking second place honors was Banana Cabana and Enders captured third. Other participants included Lorraine Jordan, Bridge Street Bistro and the BeachHouse.

The Bridge Street Market is open every Sunday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The market includes live entertainment, and vendors showcasing produce, arts and crafts, artwork and more. Food is also available on site.

Stay tuned for details on April’s food challenge and selected charity.

For more information on Manasota Buds, visit www.manasotabuds.org.

Absconded sex offender returns to county

Douglas E. Mullaney, 40, of Holmes Beach, was extradited from Oregon to Manatee County last week and is currently in the county jail on $25,000 bond, said Detective Brian Hall of the Holmes Beach Police Department.

Mullaney, a convicted sex offender, left his Key Royale address about two months ago without notifying authorities of any change of address as required by Florida law.

At that time, Holmes Beach police were investigating Mullaney and his sister, Christine Ueltschi, in connection with a Holmes Beach burglary.

Mullaney was arrested Feb. 5 in Oregon and charged with possession of methamphetamines and failure to register as a sex offender. In addition to the burglary, he was wanted by the Holmes Beach Police Department in connection with defrauding a pawnbroker and for leaving the state without advising the Florida Department of Law Enforcement of his whereabouts.

Hall said Mullaney was returned to MCSO custody March 1.

The MCSO website lists three bond amounts for Mullaney: $25,000, $2,500 and $120.

HBPD and other law enforcement officers are still looking for Mullaney’s sister, who has an outstanding warrant in connection with the same burglary as her brother.

Hall said Ueltschi was last known to be in Kentucky.

Anyone with information on Ueltschi’s whereabouts is asked to call Hall at 941-708-5804.

Resort tax collections up again

If resort tax collections are any barometer for tourism to Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key and the Bradenton area, expect the number of visitors this winter season to be well ahead of last year’s count.

Resort tax collection amounts — the 5 percent charged by Manatee County on all accommodation rentals of six months or less — jumped 10.7 percent in January compared with January 2011.

Resort taxes — officially known as the Manatee County Tourist Development Tax and often called the bed tax — are collected the month following payment to hoteliers and vacation property owners, said Sue Sinquefield of the Manatee County Tax Collector’s resort tax division. The January amounts were collected at her office in February and, as always, are due by the end of the month.

Resort tax collections in January were $799,926, compared with $704,377 collected in January 2011, up 10.7 percent, Sinquefield said.

“And January is traditionally a slow month for accommodation rentals,” she said.

With the many positive reports of tourism and spending increases for the Island and Longboat Key for February, Sinquefield said she anticipates collections to surpass February 2011.

Holmes Beach led all areas in resort tax collections in January 2012 with $212,747 or 27.6 percent of the monthly collection, while Longboat Key collections that month were $100,944.

Anna Maria resort tax collections were $60,301, and Bradenton Beach had $56,594 in collections in January.

Combined, Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key contributed $431,587 in January resort tax collections, with unincorporated Manatee County providing $304,690.

Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key resort tax collections for the month were 55.3 percent of the total collected. On an annual average, the Island and Longboat Key contribute about 60 percent to the countywide resort tax.

Sinquefield said since the resort tax division expanded its efforts to track down deadbeat vacation property owners — those who do not pay the 5 percent bed tax — collections have increased by more than 10 percent.

Collections for 2011 were $7.1 million, a record amount since the resort tax was introduced in the 1990s.

“While we don’t set a goal to break our collection amount every year, we do plan to remain pro-active in our search for those who are avoiding the resort tax,” Sinquefield said.

One method employed by the tax collector to locate unlicensed vacation rentals is a neighborhood sweep, where agents go house-to-house to check on occupancy and ownership. Those agents know which properties already are registered as vacation rentals.

The owner of a vacation rental must be licensed by the Florida Department of Professional and Business Regulation, Manatee County and, usually, in the city where the vacation property is located. Holmes Beach requires all vacation properties to register and pay a business fee.

Sinquefield said when a violator is discovered, that owner must pay all back resort taxes and sales taxes as calculated by the department. Additionally, the owner could face disciplinary action from the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office if the property is homesteaded, but used as a vacation rental.

“My advice to vacation property owners is follow all the rules and requirements,” Sinquefield said.

Academy drill stresses firefighting safety

        “Ladders 129, 141, Engine 111, Cedar Hammock 231, Bradenton 32, structure fire, multi-unit residential with entrapment at 10350 Cortez, Box 12011, 1858 hours,” the emergency communications dispatcher called out over Manatee County public safety department radios at 6:58 p.m. March 6.

        The dispatcher was calling the ladder and engine trucks and personnel — staged at the nearby Bank of America parking lot — to the West Manatee Fire Rescue Citizen Fire Academy at Station 2 in Cortez.

        “This is not a show,” said WMFR board president Randy Cooper in introducing the third class of a six-session academy where the public is learning alongside firefighters in training.

        “This is real, live training. I hope these guys are careful,” he said.

        WMFR Capt. Tom Sousa, Chief Andy Price and Battalion Chief Rich Losek led firefighters and a class of about 20 citizens through a simulated multi-unit residential fire with a trapped victim, downed firefighter and an extrication from a crashed vehicle.

        Inspector Jim Davis oversaw a group of three WMFR cadets, Jamison Urch, Quinn Campbell and Caleb Losek. They assisted in roles of victims and as firefighters. Davis said cadets are recruited for a program he offers to interested high school students.

        While no flames erupted from the simulated emergency, firefighters arrived on the scene minutes after the dispatch of engines and ladder trucks, sirens blaring and lights flashing.

        Three districts, West Manatee, Bradenton and Cedar Hammock were called to the simulation. Had it been a true emergency, depending on the severity and location, the resources of four districts — including Longboat Key — may have been called in, according to Sousa and Price.

        Each crew is given specific tasks of fire attack, ventilation and search and rescue, Sousa said.

        A battalion of 13 participants donned the same gear and used the same equipment required in real life-threatening events to battle the simulated smoke, first using a ladder to enter the training building on the second floor.

        Within a half hour, firefighters successfully rescued one victim trapped behind a wall in the structure, only to hear shortly thereafter, “Mayday, Mayday” over the radios.

        “That’s one of our guys in trouble,” interpreted Sousa for the attendees. The battalion chief then encouraged the “downed” firefighter to flash his light and make noise so rescuers could locate him. Sousa said firefighters are trained in the event they are injured to conserve their breathing, and to identify the “who, what and where” of their own emergency.

        After the building fire was successfully extinguished, the victim and firefighter both rescued, darkness fell, and firefighters turned to a crashed vehicle for a second exercise.

        “Did anyone see anyone running?” WMFR Fire Chief Andy Price quizzed the class. “Well, you shouldn’t have. Did you see what they’re carrying?”

        Running firefighters create a safety hazard, he pointed out. Firefighters carry chain saws, sharp tools, weighty oxygen tanks, packs and other gear.

        “You will see them move at a steady, firm pace,” he said.

        Another safety measure for firefighters is the rapid intervention team. According to Price, state law requires a team of two firefighters outside for each team of two inside. Under the RIT rules, the firefighters must fight the fire from the outside until a sufficient number of firefighters arrive at the scene.

        “That’s really tough on the guys,” Price said of the RIT rule when they’re the first to arrive on a scene. “There’s one exception to the rule,” he said, “if they know there’s someone inside.”

        Price also told the class about the “15-minute mark,” requiring each unit’s officer to account for his crew of firefighters. Time is kept by the dispatcher, he said.

        Sousa added that if a firefighter remains motionless for 20 seconds, an alarm will sound in the firefighter’s pack.

        A well-known example of this alarm came from 9/11, he said, when “the alarms kept going off” after the buildings collapsed. Amid the rubble, he said, “You still could hear the alarms.”

        WMFR’s training facility was recently purchased at a considerable savings as a result of Sousa’s research, Price said. A $450,000 facility had been considered, but the structure that fit the training needs was built from seven shipping containers, and cost just $15,000.

         “There’s just one word” for the academy, said Cedar Hammock commissioner and academy participant Steve Litschauer, “awesome.”

Sports – 03-14-2012

Local volleyball standout signs with SCF

 

Former Islander and Anna Maria Elementary School alumna Abi Van Ostenbridge recently signed a letter of intent to attend State College of Florida and play volleyball.

Abi, daughter of Susan and Scott Van Ostenbridge of the iconic Island family, played high school volleyball at Bradenton Christian and Bradenton Prep, where she got her start as a varsity volleyball player in seventh-grade.

Last season, the 5-foot-7-inch Van Ostenbridge showed her versatility playing middle hitter and setter for the Panthers. She led her team to an upset victory over Manatee High School in October to win the Manatee County tournament with 50 kills, 34 assists and six aces to her credit.

For the season, Van Ostenbridge led the Panthers with 222 kills and 323 assists.

Her strong performance last season and signing to play with SCF really mean a lot to Abi, who played the 2010-11 season only six months after having ACL surgery on her left knee — performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Arthur Valadie of Holmes Beach.

She now moves on to SCF, where she’s expected to play as a back-row passer and defensive specialist who also will compete for playing time as a setter, according to SCF volleyball coach Carmine Garofalo.

Garofalo was effusive in his praise for Van Ostenbridge. “Abi brings a strong competitive drive and versatility to help us in whatever capacity we need her in. The most important reason we brought her in, however, is that Abi is a true leader on and off the court. Her ability to lead and to earn the respect of her teammates and people around her is something that will be of tremendous value to us. Although her knowledge of the game and experience speak for themselves, what sets Abi apart are her character and leadership qualities. Lots of athletes across the country have the skills of the game, but not all have the ability to lead. Abi does.”

For now, Abi who sports an impressive 4.086 GPA, is enjoying her senior year and her last season of club volleyball. She plans on majoring in early childhood education at SCF.

 

Super Bowl teams set

The Super Bowl matchups are complete with two teams in each age division in the Anna Maria Island Community Center NFL Flag Football League set to face off March 24. There were no real surprises, as the top seeds did what they were supposed to do.

The 8-9 year olds saw No. 1 seed Beach Bistro Vikings dispatch Gettel Toyota Texans 33-20. Second-seed Beach Bum Steelers ended the upset hopes of sixth-seed Pink & Navy Cowboys in a 13-6 victory. The Vikings and the Steelers will meet for the 8-9 division Super Bowl title at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 24.

The 10-12 division also had no surprises as top seed Mr. Bones Colts earned a workman-like 35-19 victory over Eat Here Bears, while Ross Built Broncos edged LPAC Cardinals 26-22. The Colts and the Broncos will meet for the 10-12 title at 11 a.m. March 24.

The 13-16 division No. 1 seed Walter & Associates Bears advanced to the championship game with a 21-12 victory over Jessie’s Island Store Steelers. No. 3 seed Integrity Sound Redskins pulled off a minor upset, defeating Galati Yacht Sales Texans 32-19 to advance to the super bowl. The Bears and the Redskins square off at 10 a.m. March 24.

The adult division Super Bowl matchup also is set with Florida Discount Signs 49ers advancing with a 27-13 victory over Slims Place Dolphins March 8 to win the NFC title, while Coastal Orthopedic Raiders defeated Duffy’s Tavern Ravens 34-19 to win the AFC title.

The two teams will meet at 7 p.m. March 22 to decide the Super Bowl title. The Ravens and Dolphins will play that day for third place at 6 p.m.

 

Slim’s Place wins adult volleyball title

Slim’s Place defeated Best Buy 25-19, 10-25, 25-16 March 6 to take all in the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s inaugural adult coed volleyball league.

Slim’s Place, which earned top seed after posting an 8-4 record in regular season play, received strong performances from Kelly and Wayne Grant, Troy Shonk, Ryan Hogan, Matt Ray and Aris Thompson.

Best Buy was led by Mark Pennell, Dave Norris, Nate Talucci, Nick Smith, Lindsey Weaver and Monica Simpson. Best Buy advanced to the title game by defeating Tyler’s Ice Cream 25-18, 25-19 in the semifinals.

 

Key Royale golf news

For the fourth time in seven weeks, a Key Royale golfer has aced the 123-yard eighth hole at the Key Royale Club. Dale Hudson did the trick March 3 with a seven iron. Jim Mixon, Gino DiClemente and Vince Mercadante witnessed the shot. For Hudson, who has been playing golf for 67 years, it was his 13th hole in one.

The men’s handicap tournament continued with Larry Pippel defeating Ernie Hauser 2 and 1 in Flight 1, but then dropped his next match as Jim Helgeson earned a 1-up victory on the 19th hole March 7. Helgeson will play the winner of the Dennis Schavey vs. Gary Silk match March 12.

In Flight 2, John Cassese earned a 1-up victory over Earl Ritchie on the 19th hole. Mike Gille defeated Ken Rickett 2 and 1 and will meet Cassese in the Flight 2 final sometime during week.

In the men’s 75-plus tournament, Gino DiClemente and Carl Voyles advanced and will now play with the winner of the face-off against Gerry Dahl for the elder’s championship March 15.

In regular golf action last week, the team of Lianne Klien, Nel Bergstrom, Rose Slomba and Ed Havlik combined on a 24-under-par 104 to take first place in the March 2 coed team handicap match. Second place at 110 went to the team of Joyce Brown, Tom Warda and Eunice Warda.

The men played an 18-hole, best-ball-of-foursome match March 7. The team of Ed Havlik, Jim Helgeson, Earl Ritchie and Jim Shepard carded a 14-under-par 50 to finish in a tie for first place with Bob Gallagher, Joe LaTorre and Danny Hayes. The team of Bob Elliott, Gary Harris, Pete Weir and Tom Lewis finished third at 51.

The women managed to take the course for a low-net-in-flight match March 6. Lynn Dailey and Judy Crowe both carded 4-under-par 28 to finish in a tie for first place in Flight A.

Joyce Brown, Sue Wheeler and Liz Lang each fired 5-under-par 27s to finish in a three-way tie for first place in Flight B.

Willa Barkley’s 2-under-par 30 gave her first place in Flight C by one shot over second-place finisher Maryanne Kaemmerlen.

Flight D winner was Connie Livanos, who carded a 3-under-par 29 to finish one shot ahead of Marty Clark, Pat Rice and Shirley Cessna.

Marty Clark and Lynn Dailey won the team low-net game with Dailey also throwing in a chipin on hole four and a birdie on six. Markie Ksiazek also chipped in on hole four.

The men played a nine-hole, modified-Stableford match March 5. Rich Papini won the individual crown with a plus-7, while Dale Hudson and Quentin Talbert tied for second at plus-5. Papini’s score helped his teammates, Greg Shorten, Terry Schaefer and Barry Anderson to the team title.

The morning of March 5 saw the men play a best-ball-of-partners match. The team of Vince Mercadante, Tom Warda, Earl Huntzinger and Carl Voyles combined on a 10-under-par 22 to take first place by one shot over the team of Dave Kruger, Al Pollack, Ed Holba and Jerry Lindwall.

Horseshoe news

Three teams emerged from pool play during March 10 horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City Hall horseshoe pits. The team of Herb Puryear and Hank Huyghe drew the bye into the finals and watched as John Crawford and Tom Skoloda defeated Rod Bussey and Keith Erickson 21-11. Skoloda-Crawford edged Huyghe-Puryear 21-17 in the finals.

Three teams qualified for the knockout stage in March 7 horseshoe action. Rod Bussey and Bob Lee defeated Norm Good and Bob Zeman 24-9 to advance to the finals, where they dropped a 22-14 decision to the team of Adin Shank and Jay Disbrow.

Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection.

There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.

Threatened plover arrives on AMI shore

A threatened Cuban snowy plover set up a nest March 6 on the shore in Anna Maria. According to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring, it’s the earliest sign of a snowy plover nest here, and while they typically nest farther north, a few nesting pairs have been known to find their way to AMI each year. Story, page 4. Islander Photo: Courtesy Glenn Wiseman