Tag Archives: 04-24-2013

5-year-old boy found dead

The weekend search for a young boy that went missing April 20 after wandering away from a family gathering and taking a jump into the dangerous waters of Longboat Pass at Coquina Beach has ended.

Lomontea Taylor, 5, was found dead April 22.

Taylor is believed to have been caught in a rip current after jumping from a wood jetty into the water, according to Sgt. James Gill of the Bradenton Beach Police Department, the lead agency on the case.

Taylor went missing at 6:30 p.m.

Two U.S. Coast Guard vessels from Station Cortez and a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater took part in the April 20 search until shortly after 9 p.m. Also involved in the search, were the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, West Manatee Fire Rescue, Longboat Key Police, Manatee County EMS and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The search in the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway resumed April 21 in an area from Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach to Whitney Beach on north Longboat Key.

At daybreak April 21, according to Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer Michael De Nyse, the Coast Guard was “working closely with the sheriff’s office, which was performing shore patrols.”

De Nyse said in a statement, “We are doing everything in our power to reunite this child with his family.”

The search lasted until after dark April 21 with one witness estimating as many as 80 boats and personal watercraft and many people walking the coastline were on the lookout for Taylor.

The search-and-rescue operation turned into a recovery effort by late Sunday, as authorities presumed the 5-year-old was dead.

As of The Islander press time April 22, Bradenton Beach Police reported the boy’s body had been found, but no further information was available.

Swimming in the waters of Longboat Pass is discouraged due to strong rip currents and warning signs are posted in the area.

$15m beach renourishment may begin in August

The planned $15 million beach renourishment of Anna Maria Island between 78th Street in Holmes Beach and Fifth Avenue South in Bradenton Beach should begin by late August, said Manatee County Natural Resources director Charlie Hunsicker.

Hunsicker said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which supervises all beach renourishment, recently received funds for beach repairs caused by Tropical Storm Debby in 2012. Anna Maria Island is included among the affected beaches. The corps said it would commit $9 million to the project.

Manatee County and the state of Florida have combined to allocate $6 million to the project.

After the 78th Street-Fifth Avenue South beaches are renourished, work crews will relocate the dredge pipes farther south to pump sand to the Coquina Beach shoreline. This project also calls for rebuilding three groins at Cortez Beach.

That is a separate project, Hunsicker said, but after the first project is finished and while the equipment is in place, the corps agreed to fund renourishment at Coquina Beach and to replace the three groins at Cortez Beach.

Combining efforts on the two projects will save about $1.1 million in setup costs, he said.

Hunsicker expects the corps to announce the bid winner for the projects in July.

Renourishment of sand to the beaches in the Bean Point area of Anna Maria is not scheduled to take place until 2014-15.

For more on the beach renourishment project, see related story, page 4.

BIEO hears beach plans, strategy to repeal state rental law

Manatee County Natural Resources Department director Charlie Hunsicker updated officials at an April 17 Barrier Island Elected Officials meeting that this year’s beach renourishment project has received additional funds.

Hunsicker said the county was notified April 15 that the $6 million project will include another $9 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

He predicted a possible start date for some time in August or September.

“When I know more I will come to each city’s commission meeting to update you and have public discussion,” he said.

In other matters, the Rev. Ed Moss from CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, addressed the BIEO to invite them to participate in a community Thanksgiving holiday event. He said it is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 16.

“We asked one another what can we do for the community,” said Moss. “The dominant request is if you can create community spirit then go for it. This event is what we came up with.”

Moss said CrossPointe is a community church, “so it belongs to the community. We send our members out to a lot of community functions, but we thought it would be cool if we hosted an event.”

Moss said the event is planned between Veterans Day and Thanksgiving for a reason.

“The reason for the date is to incorporate the Veterans Day spirit into the Thanksgiving spirit,” he said.

Moss invited mayors to be guest speakers at the event and asked that each city have a commissioner on the planning committee.

The event is expected to include veteran speakers, a color guard, food, a chili cook-off, a pie-baking contest, games for all ages and more, all free to the community.

Moss received immediate support for his idea and Bradenton Beach Commissioners Gay Breuler and Jan Vosburgh volunteered for the planning committee.

In other matters, Holmes Beach Commission Chair Jean Peelen updated the BIEO on HB833, which effectively halted cities from enacting new rental requirements when the Florida Legislature passed it in 2011.

Anna Maria Island cities and Manatee County in particular are leading a charge to have the bill repealed in the 2014 legislative session.

Peelen has drafted a plan of attack that includes having commissioners from each city schedule a monthly meeting with their state representatives when they are in their home offices.

She is asking island officials to support an invitation to those same legislators for a meeting to discuss HB833. Peelen said she and Anna Maria Mayor Suelynn are hoping to become members of the Florida League of Cities “specifically to address this issue.

“We are the resort cities, so we are affected first,” said Peelen. “But what other cities in Florida are just now realizing is that this bill affects them, too, and we can reach out to those cities through the Florida League of Cities.”

Suelynn said she and Peelen will be traveling to other cities to attend meetings so elected officials have an opportunity to hear what they have to say and to answer questions.

Peelen reminded Bradenton Beach officials they have not yet drafted a letter to the Manatee County Commission saying the commission and the city supports the repeal of HB833.

She said the county needs to address legislators with an “Our cities support this repeal. We together have more of a voice than any one individual.”

Mayor John Shaughnessy said Bradenton Beach does support the bill’s repeal.

“My problem is it blankets every city,” he said. “Every city is unique and has its own problems. I don’t go for the blanket thing or go for the state telling us what we can and can’t do anyway.”

Peelen also updated the BIEO on how the cities can become more active in seeking Manatee County Tourist Development Council assistance and to find ways to alleviate traffic on the island.

The subject of water taxi services to the island originating from multiple areas around Manatee and Sarasota counties was discussed.

Peelen said the island needs the TDC to make ideas like that a reality.

The goal is for tourists to visit the island using alternative means of transportation other than their own vehicles, according to many of the barrier island officials.

“We need their support,” she said. “We need their money and their brains to address this issue.”

Manatee County Commissioner and TDC Chair Carol Whitmore attended the BIEO meeting and said the TDC is focusing more on sports activities within the county.

She said the effort is to attract tourists to other parts of the county first, “and they are always going to come to the island, too.”

Rotten Ralph’s pier restaurant remains open on 30-day reprieve

Rotten Ralph’s restaurant will have until the Bradenton Beach May 18 city commission meeting to pay its debt in a final attempt to remain the leaseholder on the Historic Bridge Street Pier.

On April 9, commissioners voted to terminate the restaurant’s lease and concessionaire Dave Russell was served with default papers the following day.

A lot has changed since that April 9 meeting, in particular the amount of money city attorney Ricinda Perry said Russell owes the city.

At its April 18 meeting, Perry said the previous $50,000 Russell owed the city was actually $266,000 according to her calculations.

Russell appeared at the meeting with attorney Bill Kaklizesq.

Mayor John Shaughnessy said he didn’t think the scheduled discussion should take place since Russell retained an attorney, but Perry said no litigation has been enacted, so the commission should feel free to hear what they had to say.

Kaklizesq said he was there to request a 30-day delay on the eviction process from the city.

“Within that time period, we will negotiate in good faith,” said Kaklizesq.

Kaklizesq said the negotiations would either lead to an amicable termination that would allow his client time to remove his equipment from the restaurant or negotiate the amount of money owed, pay and renew the lease.

Kaklizesq said there is no question his client owes the city money, but he disputed the claim by Perry of more than $266,000.

“There are some problems with the enforceability of those claims,” he said. “Having said that, my client agrees there are back fees due, but not that amount.”

Kaklizesq said it would be in the city’s interest to avoid expensive litigation and collect the actual amount of money due to them through negotiations.

“I believe some of the fees are legitimate and absolutely due,” he said. “I don’t want to state our case here, however, and I don’t want to aggravate people. But there are obvious problems with your claims against my client. We’re not saying we don’t owe you, but no way is it $266,000.”

Commissioner Ric Gatehouse said he, too, did not understand how the debt rose from $50,000 to Perry’s calculation of $266,000.

“In all the discussions before this April 18 meeting, the amount the city said he owed was $50,000 plus fees totaling what has been a moving target from $72,000 to $79,000,” he said. “How did we end up with $266,000?”

Perry said she took it upon herself to calculate the debt when it became clear that an eviction would be necessary.

“It became my responsibility of doing due diligence,” she said. “So I asked for every piece of the budget for the property, everything that has been paid and then did the calculations.”

Gatehouse said it didn’t make sense.

“I’m sorry, but if this is the way we do our accounting, we are probably losing a lot of money elsewhere,” he said.

Commissioner Gay Breuler opposed working with Russell further and reiterated her position.

“I have a problem with the whole thing,” she said. “We’ve given him time. He hasn’t shown how this would be paid. I’m not in favor of giving him more time. It’s just an exercise in futility. It’s time to end this as quickly and decently as possible.”

Gatehouse said he disagreed, adding the city offered Russell a deal and he did all he was asked.

The deal had to do with Russell signing his restaurant equipment over to the city to cover his debt with an option to purchase the equipment back.

Russell said he found himself in financial trouble following the June 2012 tropical storm that closed the pier a few days, but also ensured long-term closure of the adjacent floating dock that brought boaters to the pier.

Russell said he can afford the monthly rent, but that the city prevented him from making partial payments, and so the debt continued to escalate.

The city also began charging him $100 per day in late penalty fees.

“So we said we aren’t going to take your payment, but we are going to charge you $100 a day for not paying it,” said Gatehouse. “I don’t think that’s fair.”

Gatehouse said three weeks ago the commission asked Russell to clear the liens on his equipment, and “he did that. Then we told him ‘too bad, you have to go.’”

Gatehouse said that’s not good business.

“That’s not the kind of business this city should be doing,” he said. “If we tell a man we are going to do X, Y and Z, then we should do X, Y and Z. Apparently he has financing to pay his debt, so we should negotiate.”

Perry said there was never an equipment deal.

“There were discussions that the idea was proposed to the city.” He was told to make a presentation to the commission and the commission would need to vote on it, she said.

Shaughnessy said the city has provided several extensions to the lease already.

“I haven’t seen any paperwork,” said Shaughnessy. “All I’ve seen is talk. And No. 1, a contract is a contract. If you don’t read it before you sign it, whose fault is it?”

Shaughnessy reminded the public that it’s not the commission’s money at stake, “it’s your money.”

Vice Mayor Ed Straight said he would agree to giving Russell an additional 30 days.

“If we act today, we aren’t going to get anything,” he said.

Commissioner Jan Vosburgh said Russell should have been more responsible.

“You tried to make a go of it and it didn’t work,” she said. “You haven’t made an effort to pay.”

Russell disagreed. “That’s not true,” he said. “I was not allowed to pay the rent once I was behind. I was under the impression that the equipment proposal — which was a deal brought to me by the city, not brought by me to the city — would resolve this.”

Russell said he did everything the city asked him to do and “I walked in here at the last meeting assuming we were good to go. I did what I was asked, and that didn’t happen. It was voted to terminate the lease.”

Russell also said he has financing in place, but has asked the city “several times” for a financial breakdown of his debt and he never received it until he hired an attorney. He said only then was it finally given to him.

“I think this has gotten out of hand,” he said. “No matter what I did, it’s going to turn against me. No matter what hoops I jump through, I’m going to be told that’s not going to work.”

Russell said he believes the debt to be around $54,000 and he can pay it, but he said he will not pay the fees and penalties calculated by Perry.

“I think $266,000 is outrageous,” he said.

Perry gave commissioners three options: Either allow her to continue the eviction process, delay the eviction and settle an amicable termination agreement or delay the eviction and negotiate a payment with an option to negotiate a new rental contract.

After much discussion, commissioners agreed to delay the eviction process for 30 days and allow Russell to pay a negotiated fee to cover his debt.

For now, the restaurant remains open, depending on the negotiations between the city commission and Russell.

Russell said after the meeting that he believes it will all work out and he’s hopeful that Rotten Ralph’s will remain a part of the Bradenton Beach community.

The restaurant employs 15-20 people.

Center behind in funding, Affaire short on sales

The Anna Maria Island Community Center board of directors got some bad news at their April 19 meeting about the upcoming May 18 black-tie gala.

An Island Affaire, the center’s biggest fundraiser each year and less than four weeks away, is behind at least $42,000 in ticket sales, according to staff member Sharen Pittman.

Of the 43 tables available, only 10 have been sold. Each table is $1,400 for eight people, while a VIP table, which also seats eight, is $2,000.

Individual tickets are $175, including a Champagne reception, or $250 for a ticket that includes a VIP pre-party with special entertainment, select seating and an auction preview.

Pittman said there are some who have pledged to buy a table, but have not yet paid.

That could be because the headline entertainment for the event has not been announced, suggested board member David Teitelbaum.

But assistant center director Scott Dell, until April 1 interim executive director, said he is keeping the name quiet to build interest in the event. Dell promised it would be a big-name entertainer.

Other board members, however, said the name should be brought to the public’s attention to spark ticket sales.

Teitelbaum said the event is “just around the corner” and the center needs to get the entertainment details out before it’s too late.

Dell insisted the entertainment “is still a surprise. It will come out in time, and we’ll let the newspapers know.”

Treasurer Stewart Moon Jr. also noted the event was just one month away.

Dell said the event has sold about 350 seats in the past, although last year sold 314. That was still a good number, as many were VIP tables.

He said this year’s event needs to bring in $196,000 or the center faces a shortfall in its budget.

Pittman also noted the change in date, from a late March date to a mid-May date, which means many winter residents who regularly attend and buy a table will be back at their Northern homes by May 18.

“I called a lot of people who said they’d be gone by May 18,” she said.

“So moving the date to May might not have been such a good idea,” Rudacille suggested.

Dell said raffle sales also are slow. He said he needed a commitment from each board member to contact “people with money” to buy a table or purchase raffle tickets.

In other news, Moon reported income for the year is down $23,000 from activities and $28,000 from donations.

“But we are slowly catching up,” he said.

Dell said the revenue will be ahead of projections, but only if An Island Affaire is a success.

In the search for revenue, Pittman said she’s applied for a United Way grant for $25,000, and should soon learn the result of the application. She’s also applied to Manatee County for a grant.

Dell added that summer sports revenue should increase with 34 teams participating in five sports this summer.

He said there are adult teams for soccer, kickball and basketball, and youth teams for kickball and basketball.

“The projections are good for income,” he said.

“But I’ll be blunt,” Dell said. “I need you guys to fill the seats at An Island Affaire. So go get those people.”

The event includes a silent auction with unique items and vacations, he said, and the items should get a good price. Getting people to buy tickets is of primary importance the next four weeks.

“This has got to be the last push,” Dell said.

Executive director Dawn Stiles attended her first board meeting since she began work April 1, reporting she’s impressed with the staff.

She has scheduled monthly staff meetings and has seen the staff work well as a team, she said.

While still in the learning phase, she’s already begun looking at next year’s budget.

After the gala, she’ll work with staff to have the 2013-14 budget ready for presentation at the board’s June 21 meeting.

The board voted to have meetings at 8 a.m. on the third Friday of every month. The next meeting is 8 a.m. Friday, May 17, at the center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.

DOT seeks input on Cortez Bridge

The Florida Department of Transportation is seeking public input on the future of the Cortez Bridge that links Bradenton Beach to the mainland.

As part of the project development and environment study required before any major bridge project can begin, the DOT will hold a series of public meetings in the coming months to solicit suggestions and comments on the future of the bridge.

The first of the public hearings will be held 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, at Kirkwood Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 6101 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.

The DOT study is concerned with the .9 mile stretch of State Road 684/Cortez Road that extends from the traffic light at Gulf Drive and Cortez Road in Bradenton Beach east to 124th Street West in Cortez.

According to the DOT, bridge inspection reports conducted between 2008 and 2012 show the bridge status is functionally obsolete and structurally deficient due to a lack of shoulders, 10-inch concrete curbs separating the travel lanes from the sidewalk and old-style bridge railings.

DOT staffed a booth at the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival Feb. 16-17, and distributed surveys to launch the Cortez Bridge PD&E study.

The survey includes several questions about the bridge and offers people a chance to share their ideas regarding proposed improvements. There were 168 surveys collected at the festival and in a 10-day period following the event. Survey results indicate 56 percent of those people completing the survey favor rehabilitation of the Cortez Bridge, which would extend the service life of the bridge. Thirty-six percent of those surveyed thus far favor replacement of the bridge.

The bridge was built in 1956 and has received numerous rehabs, including a $2 million-plus makeover in 1995, following public outcry over replacement plans calling for a high-rise bridge.

The meeting will be similar to those held on the future of the Anna Maria Island Bridge on Manatee Avenue. That survey concluded with 70 percent of people responding in favor of a new, high-level fixed bridge with emergency lanes on Manatee Avenue/State Road 64.

The DOT’s final PD&E report for the Cortez Bridge will include comments on what the majority of people most affected by the bridge want for its future.

A survey questionnaire will be provided to people attending the hearing and can also be found and submitted online at www.cortezbridge.com.

For more information, call 863-519-2304.

Mainsail attorney files petition for relief from Holmes Beach

Attorney Robert Lincoln, representing the Mainsail development group, filed a petition of relief April 18 with the city of Holmes Beach.

The petition outlines the history of the Mainsail development plans at 5325 Marina Drive, which originally included a restaurant, banquet room, meeting rooms, 40 lodging units and 75 boat slips.

The petition recalls prior resolutions and ordinances that were passed to accommodate the development plan prior to Mainsail’s purchase of the property. The original development, Tidemark Lodge, went into bankruptcy.

Such petitions are typically filed with the court, however, in this event, the action was sent directly to the city and city commissioners.

Mayor Carmel Monti said April 22, “I am aware of it, but have not had time to review it yet.”

Prior to Mainsail purchasing the property, Lincoln writes that city attorney Patricia Petruff was consulted to confirm that the existing site plan Mainsail was inheriting with the purchase was in compliance with city ordinances.

“Petitioner purchased the property in reasonable reliance on these legal and proper determinations by the authorized city staff,” Lincoln wrote. “Since purchasing the property, petitioner has extended funds on dredging the marina basin, installing boat lifts and constructing or repairing sea walls, and also on developing revised building plans that contemplate constructing buildings on the existing foundations/piers as approved in the site plan.”

On March 26, Holmes Beach commissioners voted 3-2 to revoke the site plan based on significant changes made to the original plan approved for Tidemark.

The city previously asked Mainsail to work with city staff to update the plan and review the changes made, while retaining the Tidemark site plan in order for the that previously approved site plan to remain valid.

Mainsail presented its plan to the city, which was then questioned and denied.

Among other issues, Commissioner Marvin Grossman singled out what he determined was a lack of required parking.

Mainsail developer Joe Collier returned in April to ask the commission to rescind its revocation, but no such action took place despite legal implications outlined by Collier in a letter to the city following the commission’s March 26 vote to revoke.

Lincoln writes that the effect of that vote has left Mainsail unable to obtain building permits to proceed with work already authorized by the city.

The attorney claims more than $1 million has been spent on foundations, design drawings and engineering and the commission’s vote “deprived petitioner of its vested right to construct and then operate the onshore lodging units, lodge and restaurant consistent with the amended site plan and special exception.”

Lincoln claims the city’s action was taken without authority from its own LDC.

“Enforcement of the LDC lies with the mayor and building official, not the city commission,” Lincoln writes. “The enforcement mechanism for violations of site plan conditions is reference to code enforcement, not revocation.”

Lincoln accuses the commissioners of not following procedures required by the LDC to amend the special exception, saying special exceptions are approved by resolution and can only be denied through a resolution.

“Any major modification to a special exception must be through the same procedures that apply to the initial approval of that special exception,” he wrote. “Those procedures require an application, complete staff review and the adoption of another resolution.”

Lincoln states that no such resolution was prepared or approved by vote of the commission.

He concludes, “For these reasons, the action of the city commission to revoke the site plan was unreasonable and unfairly burdens” the Mainsail development group.

There was no response to phone calls from The Islander to the attorney representing Mainsail.

Data specialist cautions local tourism officials

In the midst of a glowing report that said tourism to the area is up 7.2 percent for the first two months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, Walter Klages, of Research Data Services, warned the tourism industry that tough times could be coming.

“I don’t see a lot of economic growth coming. I would advise you in the industry to be cautious about the coming year,” he said at the Manatee County Tourist Development Council’s April 15 meeting in Holmes Beach.

“The economy has stalled. Confidence at the national level is dropping,” he said.

Klages said the main feeder markets for the area are the Northeast and Midwest regions of the country and there are few signs of any economic growth in those areas. There is a lack of confidence that could transcend to the tourism industry, he said.

“Still, we had a very good start to the year,” and the diversification effort by the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau should pay off when the northern markets begin to slowdown.

RDS is the company retained by the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to gather monthly and quarterly tourism data.

Klages said the area has become well known in the tourism industry, but he cautioned tourism officials to be careful about expecting continued high gains.

Tourism in Manatee County has increased 23 of the past 24 months when compared to the same month in the previous year.

He expected tourism and spending figures for March and April to be even better than the first two months of 2013.

“Remember, you are only seeing two months of tourism,” he  said. Klages advised the industry not to get caught up in looking overseas for major tourism increases to offset any drop in North American visitors to the area. The European market is doing well, but it’s not the major focus for visitors to the area, he said.

“Always remember that Florida is our bread and butter market,” Klages said. The summer tourist season, which traditionally is led by the Florida market and runs July-August, could begin earlier this year, Klages suggested.

BACVB  executive director Elliott Falcione said recent efforts to garner European tourism are paying off.

Visitors from Great Britain are increasing, he said, and those visitors come in the fall season, when rates are lower.

“They also spend a lot of money and are buying a lot of property and businesses,” he added.

The same is true of the German market, Falcione said. “It’s a domino effect. The Germans are hearing what a great island this is, coming here and buying homes and businesses.”

TDC board member David Teitelbaum said reservations for the summer and fall are doing well at the five properties he owns. He attributed much of this to the increase in social networking he’s done, including advertising and reaching people on Facebook. Klages said that was great news, but “I am just saying to use caution at this juncture.”

Because of economic concerns, Falcione said Klages has advised the BACVB to target those people with incomes of $105,000 or more. These are the people who will come to the island regardless of the national economy, he said.

Falcione also said the BACVB has spent $50,000 to help advertise Jet Blue Airlines’ direct service from Chicago to Sarasota. He expects this to be an excellent market if advertising reaches the people with the right income level in the Chicago area.

Falcione also is looking at United flying from Chicago to Sarasota, with a possible link to American Airlines flying into Chicago, then to Sarasota.

All this is good news, said Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn, but she asked the TDC if some funds from the resort tax – the 5 percent paid on accommodations of six months or less in the county – might find a good use on the island.

She cited the Anna Maria City Pier as an example.

The pier has consistently been a No. 1 attraction for visitors to Manatee County, yet the city, which owns the pier, gets nothing from the resort tax.

She said she read the statute that authorized collection of the resort tax and found that money collected could be used to refurbish and repair “fishing piers.” She asked the TDC to consider some funding of the more than $100,000 needed to repair the pier, and that estimate keeps going up.

Board member Ed Chiles agreed, and SueLynn said she would have a list of needed repairs and cost estimates presented at the next TDC meeting.

In other business, BACVB marketing director Deb Meihls said a delegation from the International Rowing Federation, based in Switzerland, is visiting the two-county area as part of its consideration for a site for the 2017 world rowing championships.

Meihls said she believes the IRF is considering only two locations — the Manatee/Sarasota, Benderson Development Inc. site for rowing competitions, and a location in Bulgaria.

Lake Benderson is located near the I-75/University Boulevard intersection and the effort to get the championships awarded has been a joint campaign with the Sarasota tourism bureau and the BACVB. The announcement of the world championships location is expected to be made by the IRF around Sept. 17 during this year’s world championships in

South Korea.

Meihls noted that a lot of people probably don’t realize how much the championships would impact the area.

An estimated 1,100 rowers plus coaches, officials and trainers would arrive, along with about 40,000 overseas fans, in addition to what North America would generate in fan interest.

That’s also why the IRF gives the host country four years to prepare. Meihls said needs to be enough hotel rooms and other facilities for athletes and fans.

The next TDC meeting is 9 a.m. Monday, June 17, at the Manatee County Commission Chambers, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Grrrreat cleanup

Second graders in Karen Newhall’s class at Anna Maria Elementary School take part in the Great American Cleanup on the AME campus April 19, including Gianna Norton, Samara Dunn, Laila Singer and Izzy Witcom clean up the AME campus with help from parent Deb Singer. Students and parents collected litter from the waterfront on Anna Maria Sound to the entrance of the school on Gulf Drive. The program is sponsored at AME by Keep Manatee Beautiful. Islander Photo: Courtesy Karen Newhall


Island police blotter – 04-24-2013

Anna Maria

        • April 6, 800 block of North Shore Drive, missing person. While assisting Florida Power & Light with a downed line, a man drove up to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy and said he was lost. The man appeared confused. The deputy conducted a driver’s license check and discovered the man had been reported missing from Pasco County. The family was contacted.

Anna Maria is policed by the MCSO.

Bradenton Beach

        • April 14, 2200 block of Avenue C, theft. A complainant reported she left her bike valued at $800 unsecured in her carport while she went inside her residence. When she returned to secure her bike, it was gone.

• April 15, 2412 Gulf Drive N., Bamboo Club South, theft. A manager came to work to find the linen storage shed’s lock pried open. She reported 20 large towels valued at $60 were stolen.

• April 15, 2300 block of Gulf Drive, suspicious person. Police responded to a report of a suspicious person and made contact with a 50-year-old Bradenton man sitting on the sidewalk. Police noticed an aroma of alcohol when speaking to the man and asked for his identification. The man initially said he did not have it with him, but then reached into a bag he was carrying to retrieve it. Police observed an open bottle of vodka in the bag. Upon running his identification, police discovered the man was wanted on a misdemeanor contempt of court warrant. He was arrested and booked into the Manatee County jail.

        Bradenton Beach is policed by the BBPD.


• April 10, 4400 block of 124th Street West, trespass warning. An MCSO deputy made contact with a woman who said a woman who rents an attached room from her and another woman arrived home intoxicated. She wanted them to leave, but could not trespass her renter. She did trespass the friend and told law enforcement she would begin the eviction process on the other woman.

        Cortez is policed by the MCSO

Holmes Beach

        March 30, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach City Hall, criminal mischief. A Holmes Beach police officer reported his personal vehicle’s windshield was cracked while he was on duty. The damage appeared to be caused by a rock. The officer said the windshield was not damaged when he arrived for his shift, nor had it been damaged when he used his vehicle at lunch.

• March 31, 750 Manatee Ave. W., drugs. A 20-year-old Bradenton man was arrested on drug charges after being stopped by police on his bicycle. According to the report, the suspect was riding down the road with one hand while holding a guitar in the other. Police found 46 prescription pills in his parents’ name, a marijuana pipe, syringes, a small amount of marijuana and an unknown powdery substance. He was booked into the Manatee County jail for drug possession and held on $500 bond. According to jail records, he was released the following day.

• March 31, 4000 Gulf Drive, Manatee Public Beach, disturbance. A witness called police to report a man and woman arguing. Police arrived and the couple admitted they were arguing but that no physical contact occurred. They admitted they had been drinking, but they took a bus to the island. The couple was advised to take the next bus off the island. The couple left the beach.

• April 1, 4000 Gulf Drive, beach cafe, criminal mischief. An alarm company called the cafe manager to report the alarm was sounding. The manager advised that it was likely his employees arriving for work, but employees arrived later and called the police to report a broken sliding glass door. According to the report, someone pushed a metal cart through the door causing $1,000 in damage.

• April 1, 401 Manatee Ave., Lapensee Plumbing, petit theft. Unknown persons stole plastic letters from the business sign. The letters can only be replaced as a set, so they were valued at $500.

• April 2, 400 block of 62nd Street, trespass warning. A neighbor called police regarding a man next door banging on the door and yelling to be let into the residence. Police arrived and made contact with a man, who said he had just arrived onto the island and was attempting to wake his girlfriend. Police made contact with the woman, who said she did not want him there and had him trespassed.

• April 3, 3800 block of East Bay Drive, theft. A complainant reported a bike valued at $100 had been stolen from his carport.

• April 3, 4000 Gulf Drive, Manatee Public Beach, theft. A man reported he befriended another man at the beach. The two hung out that day and arrived to the beach in the suspect’s vehicle. While walking toward the beach, the suspect said he had to use the restroom. After some time, the complainant realized the suspect had left the area with his wallet and other belongings inside the vehicle. The items were valued at $161.

• April 4, 4700 block of Gulf Drive, criminal mischief. A complainant called to report someone broke his sprinkler system piping. He told police it was the eighth time in the last year and that it costs him about $100 each time he has to fix the damage.

• April 3, 6800 block of Marina Drive, identity theft. A man reported that a Verizon bill and credit card arrived at his mother’s house in his name. He said he contacted Verizon and discovered someone in Georgia opened an account in his name and purchased three phones.

Holmes Beach is policed by the HBPD.

        Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach police departments and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.