Tag Archives: 12-04-2013

Anna Maria park hopefuls await Dec. 5 commission meeting

Filling seats at a city meeting in Anna Maria is seldom a problem. With hot-button topics such as parking and rental solutions, the gallery is often SRO.

Such will be the case for the Dec. 5 Anna Maria City Commission meeting.

That’s when residents should learn the fate of what city planner Alan Garrett calls the “Anna Maria City Pier Park” on the vacant lots at the east end of Pine Avenue.

Commissioners on June 27 approved by a 3-1 vote a plan for the park drawn by then-Commissioner Gene Aubry.

That approval came with a $50,000 donation from Holmes Beach resident Rex Hagen, and a pledge of $100,000 from Pine Avenue Restoration LLC principals Ed Chiles and Mike Coleman. Aubry’s plan included public restrooms and a 15-space public parking lot at the south end of the park. The park perimeter already is lined with newly planted 15-20 foot oak trees, while the remainder of the park will be landscaped open space with benches.

Mayor SueLynn figured the park would be smooth sailing after commission approval and proceeded to purchase trees and shrubbery, dig a well and build an irrigation system, all attributed to Hagen’s donation.

At the same time, Garrett prepared a site plan for commission approval. Even though the park is on city property and the plan is prepared by the city, the city administration must follow code and hold a review for the site plan by the planning and zoning board and, if it meets code requirements, eventual approval by the city commission.

Enter Commission Chair Chuck Webb, who was not at the June 27 meeting where the 3-1 vote was held.

At the site plan hearing Nov. 21, Webb said he wanted to know about any conditions attached to the donations, saying he is opposed to the city’s acceptance of private funds with contingencies.

Webb said at the Nov. 21 meeting he was learning for the first time about the conditions attached to the donations, and he thought his colleagues would never approve a plan that included conditions from a private donor.

Since the June 27 approval, stories about the park and the donations, including a photo of tree installations, have appeared in The Islander.

Commissioners voted Nov. 21 to continue the public hearing on the park site plan to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive.

Since the Nov. 21 meeting, however, several people, including Coleman, have claimed Webb deviated from established site-plan review procedures by calling for a continuation.

Coleman said the code is specific, that if the site plan meets all requirements established by the code, the commission must approve the plan. The park site plan does meet those requirements, Garrett said Nov. 21.

At the June 27 meeting, city attorney Jim Dye had reviewed the conditions without objection.

On Nov. 21, however, Dye said he would again review the conditions and bring them to the Dec. 5 continuation of the public hearing.

After learning of Webb’s objections, Hagen said it was a “tempest in a teapot.” He also said he expected all would be resolved at the Dec. 5 continuation.

Mayor SueLynn said she was stunned when Webb voiced his objections. She said she had asked commissioners at the June 27 meeting to be “sure this is what you want,” and she was assured when the commission majority favored the plan.

Since the Nov. 21 continuation, the mayor has halted work at the park until the commission approves the site plan.

Hagen said the city needs a park, parking and public restrooms near the pier, which is considered by Manatee County’s tourism officials to be the No. 1 non-retail tourist attraction.

If the commission votes down the park, Hagen said he wants his money back. Coleman said PAR has not made a decision pending the outcome of the public hearing.

SueLynn said no city funds have been spent at the park. All trees and shrubs and the irrigation system were installed using money from Hagen’s donation.

Since the June 27 vote, the commission has a new member, Carol Carter, who replaced the seat previously occupied by Aubry, who chose not to seek re-election.

Carter said Nov. 21 that she voted against the park plan as a member of the P&Z. Commissioner Nancy Yetter voted against the plan at the June 27 meeting.


Park plan askew

While former Anna Maria Commissioner Gene Aubry and others await the city’s site plan decision amid delays on the park being developed at Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard, Aubry says there are new problems that need to addressed at the park.

Among the 15 15- to 20-foot tall, semi-mature oak trees, several appear to be dead or dying, showing signs of damage from salt spray and possibly underwatering.

Aubry said he had a qualified irrigation company lined up to install a watering system for trees, which need attention while getting established in the new location. He said the plans changed and the irrigation system became the work of Mike Miller, a city resident who specializes in native plants.

“It’s all wrong,” said Aubry. The line is too small and at the far end the water only trickles, and the trees are showing the result, he said.

Aubry also said the trees were not planted “as designed,” meaning the oak trees have not been planted in the locations shown on the drawings.

He indicated Miller told him the trees had to be relocated because they “didn’t want to go where they were planned.”

Beach renourishment to start up soon

Rumors on Anna Maria Island that beach renourishment would begin immediately after Thanksgiving were premature. But it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources director Charlie Hunsicker said he and Great Lakes Dock and Dredge, the contractor for the renourishment project, have not agreed to a date for mobilization or pumping sand on the island shore.

Hunsicker said he won’t know a start date “for another week or two,” but he expects mobilization to begin mid-December to early January.

Great Lakes, which did the 1992 and 2002 renourishment of the island beaches, has other projects to complete before its equipment can be brought to the island.

Mobilization of the dredge, graders and pipes might take several weeks before sand begins flowing from the chosen borrow site, about 2,000 feet off the northwest tip of Anna Maria.

Renourishment will start at the 79th Street beach access in Holmes Beach and proceed south through Cortez Beach. No Anna Maria beaches are included in this project.

With no weather delays or equipment failure, the renourishment of beach areas down to Cortez Beach should be finished by early February, Hunsicker said.

That will cause the least interference for resorts that advertise the beach as an amenity for guests.

After Cortez Beach is renourished with funds from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the state of Florida and Manatee County, Coquina Beach will be renourished with state and county funds.

The county’s portion of beach renourishment cost is paid with revenue from the tourist development tax collected on rentals of six months or less in Manatee County.

Hunsicker said the county saved about $2 million in mobilization costs by getting a permit from the Corps to renourish Coquina Beach after Cortez Beach.

That would have cost the state and county another mobilization fee from the selected contractor.

The Cortez Beach project includes installing state-of-the-art expandable groins to replace the dilapidated concrete groins located along the beach now.

Total cost of the entire renourishment project is estimated at $16 million.

While Anna Maria beaches are not included in this project, Hunsicker has said the Bean Point area of Anna Maria would need renourishment in the future. At this time, he said, those beaches are “in good condition.”

Woman convicted of injuring Bradenton Beach police officer

A 25-year-old North Carolina woman faces up to three years in a Florida prison after being convicted Nov. 27 of grand theft auto and causing serious injury to a law enforcement officer.

Amanda Varner will be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

In early March, Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach police departments were called to assist a Florida Highway Patrol helicopter and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies, who were tracking a stolen car and Varner for a North Carolina arrest warrant.

Police closed in on Varner at the Island Shopping Center in the 5400 block of Marina Drive in Holmes Beach. Bradenton Beach Police Officer Eric Hall was still on his way to the scene.

As police moved in on Varner, drawing weapons and ordering her from her vehicle, she sped out of the parking lot onto Holmes Boulevard.

Hall, coming from the other direction, was hit head on by Varner, causing serious injuries, including a broken leg that required a 15-inch metal rod to repair.

Hall was told his law enforcement career was over but, after months of rehabilitation, was medically cleared for road patrol in September and is back on the job.

Varner’s saga began in 2003 when she was the sole survivor of a North Carolina drug-related shooting in which three others with her were killed.

She was shot twice and stabbed 22 times in the encounter, and was able to crawl out of the trailer after the suspects set it on fire, assuming she was dead.

The suspects had not yet left the scene, however. They put Varner in their truck, but pushed her out when emergency vehicles began arriving. They then fled the scene and Varner’s life was spared.

Her defense attorney tried to use Varner’s near-death experience as a defense. She pleaded not guilty due to reason of insanity — post-traumatic stress disorder.

The attorney argued that when police arrived with weapons drawn in Holmes Beach, it sparked Varner’s PTSD and she acted without reason.

Hall was unable to be reached for comment before Islander press time. He previously said he doesn’t hold a grudge against Varner. He did suggest she should be taken off the streets for putting public safety at risk.

Hall said his injuries are all part of the risk every officer faces in the performance of his or her duties.

Varner remains in custody at the Manatee County jail and still faces charges in North Carolina.


Manatee County charges included: aggravated battery on an officer, motor vehicle theft, aggravated assault on a law enforcement office, resisting arrest with violence, fleeing with disregard to safety and causing injury, and serious injury while driving a motor vehicle without a driver’s license.

HB center committee looks for downtown improvements

There’s a good reason former Bradenton planner and development director Jerry West called the Holmes Beach city center committee an “exciting” group.

Of the many committees focusing on traffic, congestion and parking problems, the city center committee isn’t just looking at resolving existing problems, but also has a focus on enhancing the city for future needs.

The city center committee comprises volunteers with more than a century of engineering and architectural experience.

The ideas for what the city center — the surrounding area at Gulf and Marina drives — should look like have been forthcoming, but nothing can come to fruition until the storm drains start flowing.

West said no surface projects could be implemented until the city addresses drainage issues.

Building official Tom O’Brien said the city is seeking an engineering study and, based on his inspections, there is much to do in terms of locating stormwater pipes that aren’t identified correctly on city maps and cleaning out the known pipes.

O’Brien said one of the main drains responsible for carrying rainwater into the Mainsail marina basin is about 90 percent blocked. He also said some drain pipes are too low in the ground.

“At high tide, the tide will overflow where it’s plugged and seawater will go all the way to the city hall swale,” said O’Brien. “That’s why you have stinking water, because the seawater is just sitting in the plugged pipe.”

O’Brien said seawater is getting trapped in swales and it’s killing vegetation, adding to the odor issue.

Once the drainage situation is addressed, plans include shortening the merge/turn lane on Marina Drive from the intersection to the Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive.

On an island with little opportunity for expansion, committee members say the idea will accomplish two goals: improve safety and provide landscaping.

Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer said motorists use the lane to speed past other vehicles and jump back into the primary lane. The elimination of the lane would decrease the potential for accidents. It also would give the city added space for landscaping and a boardwalk along the marina where businesses on barges also are being proposed.

The atmosphere would be enhanced with old-fashioned gas street lights.

The ideas from the committee are to make the city center a walkable shopping destination for residents and visitors.

The plans include enhancing pedestrian and bicycle traffic flow in the area.

The committee suggested the use of portable planters to experiment with landscaping if and when the Marina Drive merge lane is eliminated.

O’Brien also suggested eliminating the driveway entrance on Gulf Drive into S&S Plaza at Hurricane Hank’s.

O’Brien said an intersection is meant for public streets and it’s not meant to be a four-way intersection with one path being a private driveway.

“It doesn’t meet Florida Department of Transportation standards,” said O’Brien. “We’ll have to work with the property owners to come up with another plan.”

While city center ideas are being vetted in the public, committee members stress that they are simply brainstorming.

There was, however, a plan submitted by a group of merchants to create a roundabout at the intersection of Gulf and Marina drives, although the committee has not addressed it.

“There are no plans being submitted,” said O’Brien.

West said the city center committee is supposed to be bringing up the rear of what other committees are doing.

“We need them to be on board before we know where we are going, so I think we are moving faster than everyone else,” said West.

O’Brien said the city could move early with shutting down the Marina Drive merge lane, however, and will turn the idea of portable planters over to the city’s beautification committee for discussion.

Much of what the committee wants to do hinges on the successful completion of the Mainsail Lodge development site. The Mainsail site and the proposed city center projects are expected to work in conjunction with one another to enhance both projects.

In other matters, since the city center committee is ahead of other committees, and December is a busy holiday month, West proposed cancelling the Dec. 17 meeting.

The members agreed and scheduled the next meeting at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

West said he would like to see more people join the committee to expand its creative potential. Anyone wishing to join the committee can contact West at 941-778-2268.

Along the lines of more participation, O’Brien said he would like the committee to consider the creation of a design competition for city center amenities.

Members agreed that would be a good idea moving forward and would discuss it at a later date.

HB parking ‘template’ ready for commission review

It’s no secret on Anna Maria Island that an increasing number of visitors seeking beach time can translate to crowded, sometimes illegal parking.

The city of Holmes Beach has taken action to discourage errant parking by raising fines and creating tow-away zones, but it has become the goal of the city’s congestion committee to make off-site beach parking available.

The congestion committee, city center committee, city staff and, most recently, the parks and beautification committee each are reviewing a piece of the parking problem pie. The congestion committee, perhaps, has the largest share.

Committee members are working with city staff and Mayor Carmel Monti, who is working with Manatee County to reconfigure the Manatee Public Beach parking lot to add spaces and a passenger drop and pickup area.

The committee’s primary focus has been the development of a parking agreement with churches and businesses that will allow use of their parking lots for beach overflow parking.

That includes use of the city hall parking lot, which could provide 30 additional spaces on the weekends and the Island Library on Sundays and Mondays, when its closed, with its 40 spaces, although both are five blocks from the beach and the trolley route only travels northbound along Marina Drive.

“The goal is to begin working on overflow parking lots as close to the beach as possible and work out from the beach,” said committee member Bob Johnson.

Committee chair Carol Soustek said the secondary goal for discussions with organizations with property farther from the beach would be to ensure a trolley stop is nearby.

In all, the committee plans initial discussion with six churches and banks that could provide some 235 additional parking spaces on weekends and holidays.

That doesn’t include the addition of several dozen parking spaces at the public beach and dozens more spots at CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, on the border of Holmes Beach and Anna Maria.

CrossPointe — only a block from the beach — already provides beach parking on weekdays, Saturdays and after church on Sundays, but it is underused. However, some nearby residents have complained about the lack of services — restrooms — for beachgoers passing though their neighborhood.

The committee has been progressing through a document to begin presenting to various organizations for consideration, but needs city commission approval.

At a Nov. 26 congestion committee meeting, members finalized the generalized wording of the document with the understanding that each agreement would need to be negotiated and brought back to the committee for a recommendation to the city commission.

“This thing is going to vary from user to user,” said Johnson. “This is just a guideline document, and then we’ll need to look at the parameters of each negotiation. It’s a template, not a final document.”

The committee wants the city commission to take the draft agreement up for discussion and possible vote at the commission’s Dec. 10 meeting. Soustek said she would like committee representatives to begin negotiating with organizations by January.

The committee already has set a a February launch date as its goal for opening beach overflow parking lots.

The next phase for the committee is to launch a public awareness campaign. There has been discussion on how to do that, but committee members were tasked by Soustek to come up with more ideas and bring them to their Dec. 9 meeting.

The public awareness campaign is a key factor in the committee’s success.

“Just because we created it, doesn’t mean they’ll come,” said Johnson. “Now it’s how do we get the word out and how do we keep people engaged.”

The committee will meet only once in December, at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9, at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

Sports – 12-04-2013

Highlands Hammock great for camping, hiking, learning


This writer, along with six other fathers, packed up our vehicles with 19 kids, tents and provisions for a Nov. 24-26 stay at Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring. It’s about a two-hour trek straight east from Bradenton, and worth the drive.

Highlands Hammock is one of Florida’s oldest parks, opening to the public in 1931. It is one of three local state parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal to put people to work and dig the United States out of the Great Depression.

Myakka State Park to the south and Hillsborough River State Park to the north also were built in the 1930s by the CCC.

Highlands Hammock offers a variety of activities, including a scenic 3-mile bicycle loop and hiking along the park’s nine trails. There’s also an elevated boardwalk that gives hikers an up-close look at an old-growth cypress swamp.

The park offers guided, narrated pram tours through areas of the park that are otherwise restricted to public access. Our group discovered at least 30 alligators. including babies, two deer, a red shouldered hawk and countless other animals on the tour along Charlie Bowlegs Creek, with breathtaking views of the swamp and hammock.

The park also houses the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, which brings to life the 1930-40s era when the park was constructed and jobs were scarce in the United States. The museum photos showcase the young men and their hard labor. The camps provided workers with food, clothing and shelter and paid them $30 a month, $25 of which had to be sent home.

Though our group had to endure some heavy rain, we still managed to have a great time. Best of all — despite having 19 kids ranging in ages from 7 to 15, there were few noses buried in cellphones, a rarity these days.

Next adventure, Fort De Soto Park in December.

Horseshoe news

Three teams emerged from pool play during Nov. 30 horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City Hall pits and were left to battle for the day’s bragging rights. The team of Dom Livedoti and Larry Delarber drew the bye and watched as Tim Sofran and Herb Puryear defeated Hank Huyghe 22-13 to advance to the finals. The finals were all Livedoti-Delarber as they rolled to a 21-4 victory in the championship game.

Nov. 27 action also saw three teams advance to the knockout round. Norm Good and Gene Bobeldyk were too good for Bob Heiger and Huyghe, earning a 21-11 victory to advance to the championship match against Livedoti and Tom Skoloda. Good and Bobeldyke stayed hot, defeating Livedoti-Skoloda 22-11 to earn the day’s bragging rights.

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.

Registration ongoing for indoor soccer tourney

The Anna Maria Island Community Center is accepting registrations for its 14th annual indoor soccer tournament Dec. 12-19 with weekday games played 5-10 p.m. at the center and weekend games played 9 a.m.-9 p.m..

The cost to play is $100 per team and each participant receives a tournament T-shirt. Teams need 6-12 players, and adult teams — all coed — are required to have a female on the court at all times.

For more information, contact tournament director and sports director Matt Ray at 941-778-1908, ext. 9205, or email matt@myamicc.com


More sports offerings

The center is accepting players in its winter lineup of adult coed sport leagues — flag football, volleyball and tennis.

Games begin in January and players who sign up for two sports get a $25 discount.

Flag football tryouts are Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. and teams will be chosen on the field. Games will be played on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The cost is $75 for center members and $110 and non-members.

The cost for tennis is $50 for singles and $85 for doubles. Games will be played on Tuesday evenings starting at 6 p.m.

Register online at www.islandcommunitycenter.com.

LOOK for more sports, including Key Royale Club golf news and more photos from Kevin Cassidy’s group adventure to Highlands Hammock State Park online at www.islander.org.

Fishing – 12-04-2013

In cooler weather, changing tactics improves odds


Have you noticed all the mullet fishers in the area? They’re out there, and they are a sure sign that winter is around the corner.

Our first real cold front has sent the local mullet schools to flush out the passes en route to the Gulf of Mexico to “do their thing.” Spawn.

As fishers, we need to focus on cooler weather. With the days shortening up to the winter solstice Dec. 21, we have to take advantage of every opportunity.

As water temps drop, our tactics are changing. Very soon, white bait will be difficult to find. And even if you find it, the fish may not respond as they did on warmer days. The days of buying bait shrimp are nearing. Slower populations and a lot more patience will play a major role in achieving a successful day of fishing.

Locations of fish will be changing, too. Most backwater species will be starting their search for a warmer sanctuary. Canals, shallow bays, creeks and rivers are going to start showing more numbers of fish as winter settles in.

It’s time to start jigging soft plastics under docks. Flounder, reds and black drum will readily respond to a Berkley Gulp in cooler water temps.

Finally, different species are going to enter the area as the water cools. Pompano already are cruising the beaches and also can be found foraging over grass flats in the bay waters. If you’re fishing the bays, expect to pick up blues, macks, jacks and ladyfish, too.

Gags are entering Tampa Bay in good numbers, but season closes Dec. 4.

Just a reminder, snook season closed Dec. 1. The linesiders get a little break until March 1, although there’s no reason you can’t catch-and-release this species.

Capt. Rick Gross of Fishy Business charters is producing good number of fish despite strong winds from the recent cold front. Both prior to and after the front, fishing conditions were tough at best. With a little persistence and a lot of know-how, Gross is leading his clients to keeper-size redfish, flounder and spotted seatrout.

For the reds, Gross is free-lining shiners on shallow flats adjacent to mangrove islands. Being able to locate edges on the lee side and out of the wind is aiding in locating fish. Redfish 16-22 inches were the average this past week.

Flounder and trout are being caught on both live shiners and soft plastics combined with a jighead. To find these fish, Gross is fishing deeper grass flats, which contain an abundance of sandy potholes. By casting baits or lures into the holes, Gross is producing keeper fish for his clients.

Capt. Warren Girle was fishing nearshore structure prior to the front with good results on a variety of species. Mangrove snapper are readily taking fresh-cut live shiners, which is resulting in limits of fish up to 20 inches. By chumming with fresh-cut live shiners, Girle is creating a slick, which in turn is attracting hungry snapper to the transom. With a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader connected to a small live bait hook buried in a chunk of shiner, snapper are aggressively taking the hook.

With all the commotion, other predators such as gag grouper and kingfish are attracted to the bait. Gags up to 27 inches are being caught sporadically on snapper baits. Skilled anglers are reeling these fish to the boat. As for the kings, the same applies. Kingfish in the 10-pound range can be expected.

In Sarasota Bay, Girle is drifting and jigging for migratory fish — pompano, bluefish, jacks and ladyfish. This is a fun method of fishing, if just for the variety of fish caught — and the pompano make great table fare, too. Small cannonball head jigs tipped with fresh-cut chunks of live shrimp are producing the bite.

Capt. Aaron Lowman is managing to find a bite despite strong winds and tough fishing conditions. During the strong east winds, prior to the front, Lowman was able to locate rallies of Spanish mackerel close to the shoreline, and mangrove snapper were in the mix while anchored over structure.

On the flats, Lowman is finding spotted seatrout and redfish in calm waters. For the trout, he’s jigging with Berkley Gulp shrimp on a jighead over deep grass flats. For the reds, Lowman is finding shallow flats around mangrove islands are producing a bite.

Lowman also is hooking up respectable-sized flounder around residential docks and structure. Again, he’s casting Berkley Gulp shiner with a jighead under docks to locate the tasty flat fish with the migratory eye. While targeting flounder, Lowman also is putting clients on snook and redfish.

Dave Sork at the Anna Maria Island City Pier says while the bay has been rough and blown out, Spanish mackerel are being caught frequently by fishers using silver spoons or Gotcha plugs. Macks up to 22 inches to the fork are being reeled up — three or four at a time by various anglers in some instances.

Mixed in with the macks are jacks, ladyfish and the occasional bluefish. Remember to arrive with an ample amount of lures. These fish are toothy and when the bite is good, you lose a few lures in the process.

Send fishing reports to fish@islander.org.

Calendar – 12-04-2013

Wednesday, Dec. 4

1:15 p.m. — Gulf Coast Writers host author Judy Allen Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-3209.

5:35 p.m. — Official sunset time.


Thursday, Dec. 5

5:35 p.m. — Official sunset time.

8 p.m. — Island Players premiere of “Over the River and Through the Woods,” 10009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-5755.


Friday, Dec. 6

1 p.m. — “Waking up and Shaking Up the Human Inside” workshop, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-896-5827.

5-8 p.m. — Downtown Holmes Beach holiday open house, shops, offices and galleries hosting open houses, Marina and Gulf Drives. Information: 941-778-1541.

5:35 p.m. — Official sunset time.

5:30-7:30 p.m. — Island Gallery West reception for Jane Delight Keeling, 5368 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6648.

5:30-7:30 p.m. — Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island reception for Nancy Lindley McDermott, Guild Gallery, 5414 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6694.

5:30-7:30 p.m. — Anna Maria Island Art League Christmas Walkabout and reception, 5312 Holmes Blvd., Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-2099.


Saturday, Dec. 7

Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

8:30 a.m. — Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island breakfast and meeting, Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-1383.

9 a.m.-1 p.m. — Holly Berry Bazaar, Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-1638.

10 a.m. — Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade featuring Santa Claus and pirates, Bayfront Park to Coquina Beach, where the Privateers will host Santa and a party. Information: 941-962-9820.

10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. — Lester Family Fun Day, Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1908.

11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. — Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Party for children, featuring Santa Claus, pirates and lunch, Coquina Beach, Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-962-9820.

5:35 p.m. — Official sunset time.

Sunset — Local Group of Deep Sky Observers sidewalk astronomy, city field, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-342-9632.


Sunday, Dec. 8

4 p.m. — Off Stage Ladies bake sale, Island Players theater, 10009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-799-2181 or 941-518-4431.

5:36 p.m. — Official sunset time.

7:30 p.m. — Island Players auditions for “Delval Divas,” 10009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-5755.


Monday, Dec. 9

5:36 p.m. — Official sunset time.


Tuesday, Dec. 10

Noon — Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island meets, Bridge Street Bistro, 111 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach Information: 941-794-8044.

5:36 p.m. — Official sunset time.


Wednesday, Dec. 11

5:36 p.m. — Official sunset time.



Thursday, Dec. 5

8 p.m. — State College of Florida-Manatee Sarasota Jazz Ensemble concert, Neel Performing Arts Center, SCF Bradenton, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-752-5252.


Friday, Dec. 6

5-9 p.m. — Village of the Arts ArtWalk, with the theme of “An Olde Fashioned Village Christmas,” 12th Street West and 12th Avenue West, Bradenton. Information: chromazoe@gmail.com.

6 p.m. — South Florida Museum “Greetings from Florida” film screening, “Ace Ventura,” 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-746-4131.


Saturday, Dec. 7

11 a.m-4 p.m. — Village of the Arts ArtWalk, with the theme of “An Olde Fashioned Village Christmas,” 12th Street West and 12th Avenue West, Bradenton. Information: chromazoe@gmail.com.


Wednesday, Dec. 11

11:30 a.m. — Off Stage Ladies meeting and cookie exchange, Mannatees Sports Grill, 7423 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-799-2181.


Coming up

• Dec. 13, Anna Maria Holiday Open House, Anna Maria.

• Dec. 14-15, Anna Maria Island Art League Winterfest, Holmes Beach.

• Dec. 14, Christmas on Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach.

• Dec. 14, Roser Memorial Community Church Bethlehem Walk, Anna Maria.

• Dec. 15, Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra holiday concert, Holmes Beach.

• Dec. 25 is Christmas Day.


Save the date

• Jan. 1 is New Year’s Day.

• Jan. 11, Anna Maria Island Community Center Cornhole Tournament, Anna Maria.

• Jan. 11,         Florida Maritime Museum Porch Party, Cortez.

• Jan. 17, Florida Arbor Day, events communitywide.

• Jan. 18-19, Anna Maria Chalk Festival, Anna Maria.

• Jan. 26, Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra Bach and Vivaldi concert, Holmes Beach.

• Feb. 1, Friends of the Island Library Book Sale, Holmes Beach.

• Feb. 15-16, 32nd annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival, Cortez.


Calendar of ongoing events, activities

        • Dec. 5-15, Island Players present “Over the River and Through the Woods,” 10009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-5755.

        • Dec. 5-22, “Peter Pan,” Manatee Players, Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-748-5875.

        • Dec. 5-22, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” Manatee Players, Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-748-5875.

• Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m., horseshoes pitched, Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-708-6130.

• Wednesdays, through December, 11 a.m. Lifelong Learning Academy, Einstein Circle Discussion Group, Studio at Gulf and Pine, 10101 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-359-4296.

• First Wednesdays, 1:15 p.m., Gulf Coast Writers meeting, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-3209.

• First Wednesdays, 6 p.m., Mana-Tweens book club, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-3209.

• Second Wednesdays, 7 p.m., Think+Drink science night, South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4131.

• Most third Wednesdays, noon, Anna Maria Garden Club meets, Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-2607.

• Third Wednesdays, 6 p.m., Mana-Tween club, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-3209.

• Fourth Wednesdays, 7 p.m., star talk, South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4131.

• Thursdays, 5-10 p.m., Main Street Live, Old Main Street, Bradenton. Information: 941-932-9440.

        • Thursdays, 7 p.m., Jan. 16-March 27, bingo, Annie Silver Community Center, 103 23rd St., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-778-3580.

• First and third Thursdays, 2 p.m., knitting group meeting, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive. Information: 941-778-6341.

• Third Thursdays, 10 a.m., Island Library Book Club, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-3209.

• Third Thursdays, 10 a.m., guardian ad litem, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-3209.

• Most Fridays, Senior Adventures, low-cost field trips from Annie Silver Community Center, 103 23rd St. N., Bradenton Beach. Fee may apply. Information: 941-962-8835.

• Fridays, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Mike Sales’ sunset drum circle, Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 778-0784.

• Third Fridays, 5-8 p.m., Pine Avenue Porch Party presented by local merchants, Pine Avenue, Anna Maria. Information: 941-896-3132.

• Saturdays, 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island meeting, Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-1383.

• Saturdays, through May, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Downtown Bradenton Farmers’ Market, Old Main Street. Information: 941-932-9440.

• Saturdays, 4 p.m., family night, South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4131.

• Second Saturdays, 10 a.m., origami club, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-3209.

• Third Saturdays, 11 a.m., stress management through breathing, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive. Information: 941-778-6341.

• Third Saturdays, through May, 9 a.m., Manatee County Junior Audubon meeting, Felts Audubon Preserve, 4600 24th Ave. E., Palmetto. Information: 941-376-0110.

• Sundays, through April 27, Bridge Street Market, 107 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach. Information: 215-906-0668.

• Mondays, 12:45 p.m., bridge games, Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Doors open at 12:15 p.m. Information: 941-778-0414.

• First Mondays, 7 p.m., Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage board meeting, Fishermen’s Hall, 4515 123rd St. W., Cortez. Information: 941-254-4972.

• Third Mondays, noon, Anna Maria Island Democrats meeting, Mannatees Sports Grill, 7423 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-779-0564.

• Third Mondays, 7 p.m., U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 81 meeting, 5801 33rd Ave. Court Drive W., G.T. Bray Park, Bradenton. Information: 941-779-4476.

• Tuesdays, 10 a.m., children’s storytime, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6341.

• Tuesdays, noon, Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island meeting, Bridge Street Bistro, 111 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-794-8044.

• Tuesdays, 12:30 p.m., Anna Maria Duplicate Bridge, the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-3390.

        Send announcements of ongoing activities to calendar@islander.org.

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.

Real Estate – 12-04-2013

1712 Gulf Drive N., Unit 6, Bradenton Beach Club, Bradenton Beach, a 1,386 sfla / 1,602 sfur 3bed/2bath condo with shared pools built in 2003 was sold 11/15/13, Trinkle to Jackson Florida Properties LLC for $975,000.

308 55th St., Holmes Beach, a 1,981 sfla / 3,109 sfur 3bed/3½bath/2car land condo built in 2005 was sold 11/08/13, Warfel to Leep for $605,000; list $633,000.

104 Gulf Drive S., Unit 203, Gulf View, Bradenton Beach, a 1,029 sfla / 1,065 sfur 2bed/2bath condo with shared pool built in 1980 was sold 11/13/13, Federal National Mortgage Association to Boesch for $434,000.

3803 East Bay Drive, Unit 3A, Sunbow Bay, Holmes Beach, a 2,354 sfla 5bed/3bath condo with shared pool built in 1977 was sold 11/07/13, Belden to Barcewicz for $430,000; list $445,000.

303 Gulf Drive, Unit 2, Gulf Reach, Bradenton Beach, a 838 sfla 2bed/2bath condo built in 1971 was sold 11/12/13, Federal National Mortgage Association to Gary for $213,500.

1603 Gulf Drive N., Unit 27, Tradewinds, Bradenton Beach, a 380 sfla 1bed/1bath condo with shared pool built in 1971 was sold 11/12/13, O’Connell to Saganich for $129,000.

Jesse Brisson, broker/associate at Gulf-Bay Realty of Anna Maria, can be reached at 941-778-7244.