Tag Archives: News

Merchants make merry in Holmes Beach

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Grant Daleiden doesn’t quite know what to make of the fellow with the big white beard. Grant was visiting great-grandmother Loraine Larson of Holmes Beach and got a chance to meet Santa at the Dec. 2 downtown holiday open house hosted by an array of merchants surrounding the intersection of Gulf and Marina drives. Santa’s visit and the Privateers were hosted by The Feast restaurant.
The ladies are always minding the store at Mister Roberts Resort Wear, 5330 Gulf Drive. Sister owners Linda Clayton, left, and Signa Bouziane greet shoppers with saleswoman Jane Bonneson Dec. 2 during the Holmes Beach holiday open house.
Youngsters get into the groove with John Moher, “The Calypso Kid,” as he entertains shoppers Dec. 2 at the S&S Plaza in Holmes Beach.
The women of Acqua Aveda Salon, Spa and Store, 5311 Gulf Drive, mug for the camera Dec. 2 as the Holmes Beach open holiday house gets underway. The salon offered barbecue sliders and assorted beverages at the celebration.
Santa and his sleigh, courtesy of the Anna Maria Island Privateers, arrive to the Island Shopping Center on Marina Drive Dec. 2 for the downtown Holmes Beach holiday open house. Santa visited with children and adults alike, with help from some scallywag pirates and wenches, handing out gifts to the little ones.

Bradenton man arrested for DUI, marijuana

Holmes Beach police arrested a Bradenton man for impaired driving after the Lincoln he drove southbound on Gulf Drive early Nov. 13 allegedly swerved over the double centerline and into the bike lane.

Nicholas Jorge, 30, was arrested for driving under the influence and possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana.

After Officer Alan Bores pulled over the vehicle at 2:44 a.m., Jorge told the officer he’d been at a friend’s house in Anna Maria.

When asked how much alcohol he had consumed, Jorge allegedly told Bores he’d had three beers.

Jorge agreed to field-sobriety tests and Bores reported signs of impairment.

In a search, Bores allegedly found marijuana in Jorge’s left pocket as well as under the center console and in an ashtray, together weighing 6.5 grams.

He was transported to the Manatee County jail, where he refused to provide a breath sample, according to the police report.

Jorge was released on $1,500 bond, pending a Tuesday, Dec. 20, arraignment at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Brandon woman arrested for marijuana

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mora

A police search of a motorist stopped for speeding early Nov. 28 netted 3.3 grams of marijuana.

Holmes Beach police arrested Deja Mora, 18, in the 3600 block of Gulf Drive at 2:56 a.m. for possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana.

After clocking a Honda traveling southbound at 41 mph in a 25-mph zone, an officer pulled over the motorist and reported detecting an odor of marijuana.

Mora denied having any contraband and consented to a search of her vehicle and person, according to the police report.

Police found four burned marijuana cigars under a radio.

Mora was transported to the Manatee County jail and booked.

She was released on $500 bond, pending a Tuesday, Dec. 20, arraignment at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Red tide patches reported

A bloom of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, remains in Southwest Florida, according to surveys reported Dec. 1.

        Karenia brevis was observed in very low to high concentrations in samples collected from Manatee County.

  1. brevis also was observed in Pinellas, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier counties.

The next red tide update was expected Dec. 5, as The Islander went to press.

For more information about red tide in Florida, go to myfwc.com/redtidestatus.

Eyes on the road

The Florida Department of Transportation issued the following alert for the area:

State Road 789, from Broadway Street to North Shore Road on Longboat Key: Crews are constructing new sidewalks and a pedestrian crossing, improving drainage, installing lighting and adding signs and pavement markings. Motorists should expect possible daytime single-lane closures and flagging operations.

For the latest road watch information, go online to www.fl511.com or dial 511.

Anna Maria Island’s little beaches generate big numbers

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With the beaches as the main attraction, the tourism tax revenue Anna Maria Island generates for Manatee County is growing higher and climbing. The barrier islands provide 58 percent of the total tourist tax revenue in the county. Islander Photo: Sandy Ambrogi

They’re back. Prepare to idle.

It’s season again and part-time residents and vacationers are trickling onto Anna Maria Island.

A little deeper into winter will see a greater influx, but, already, parking lots are more crowded and the line of weekend traffic beachbound from the mainland across Palma Sola Causeway or the Cortez Bridge is growing.

After several quiet months — the exception being the full island in early October as a result of Hurricane Matthew refugees — those who survive on tourism may be looking forward to a record winter season.

If recent history is an indicator, the outlook is scorching hot.

Tourism dollar amounts obtained from Jennifer Johnson at the Manatee County Tax Collector’s office show numbers climbing, despite travelers’ concerns about the Zika virus and recent hurricanes.

August 2016 was the only month in the fiscal year, October 2015-September 2016, that showed a decrease in Manatee County tourist tax collection — down 8.59 percent.

The other 11 months produced gains — including a 21.42 percent increase in July 2016.

On the island, increases continued to tick up from the low in August through November.

Holmes Beach led the way with net totals of $148,200.56 in October and $152,449.20 in November. In fact, Holmes Beach has accounted for 24.95 percent of the total tourist tax revenues collected Aug. 1-Nov. 30 in Manatee County.

Anna Maria collections also were up, as were the tourist tax collections for Bradenton Beach.

The good economic news concerning tourist tax dollars on Anna Maria Island is bolstered by the overall state of Florida tourism.

On Nov. 21, Gov. Rick Scott announced 85 million tourists visited Florida January-September. This is the highest nine-month total recorded, the governor said.

 

Summary of tourist tax collections by municipality

OCTOBER 2016

Municipality          Tax collected

Holmes Beach       $152,784.08

Anna Maria            $90,384.93

Bradenton Beach   $57,543.24

 

NOVEMBER 2016

Holmes Beach       $157,164.10

Anna Maria            $94,301.49

Bradenton Beach         $58,107.90

Deadlocked BB Commission plans special meeting Monday to fill Ward 2 seat

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A crowd of people gathered for the Bradenton Beach City Commission meeting Dec. 1, hoping to see the Ward 2 seat filled. However, the seat remained vacant as commissioners came to a deadlock on two nominations. Islander Photos: Bonner Joy

At its meeting Dec. 1, the Bradenton Beach City Commission was prepared to address a single applicant for the vacant Ward 2 seat —Marilyn Maro.

But as the commission began its discussion, Commissioners Ralph Cole announced he had an application in hand, but was unsure of the process.

The applicant was announced to be Anne Leister, but Cole had no recommendation to offer and Leister was not present.

The vote was deadlocked when Commissioner John Chappie and Mayor Bill Shearon voted for Maro and Cole and Commissioner Jake Spooner voted for Leister.

The commission then set a special meeting Monday, Dec. 5, to again vote on filling the seat and to swear in the appointed candidate.

Commissioners agreed Maro and Leister meet the requirements for the position — they are Ward 2 residents and registered voters in the city for more than two years, which was confirmed the city clerk and the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections.

Shearon said that according to the city’s charter, the vote would have to be recast at the next city meeting.

City attorney Ricinda Perry recommended the application process be re-opened to allow for more candidates and commissioners agreed.

On Dec. 2, Bill Vincent, a Bradenton Beach resident and previous commission candidate, emailed a call to action.

He asked residents to contact commissioners to request the commission appoint Maro to the open seat.

Vincent said Maro has attended city meetings since September, and noted that three people, including himself, endorsed her at the Dec. 1 meeting.

Vincent also pointed out that Leister was absent and no one spoke on her behalf.

He also alleged that Leister’s husband is employed by Spooner — and Spooner was silent about his ties to the candidate at the meeting.

“Cole and Spooner offered no reason or rationale for their rejection of Marilyn,” Vincent said. “Neither did they provide any reason whatsoever for their vote for Anne Leister, the surprise, last-minute applicant.”

The city clerk is accepting applications from qualified candidates.

The special commission meeting to nominate, vote on and swear in the new commissioner will be at 6 p.m. at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.

Bradenton Beach to fill vacant commission seat Dec. 1

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Chappie retakes office in Bradenton Beach Bradenton Beach Commissioner John Chappie, left, is sworn in Nov. 21 by Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore. The ceremony took place at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N., with County Commissioners Betsy Benac, Steve Jonsson and Priscilla Whisenant Trace attending. Chappie was elected county commissioner in 2008 and was up for re-election this year, but instead decided to pursue the Ward 4 city commission seat. “By working together as partners, we can accomplish all the goals set forth by the city,” said Chappie, whose new city seat is for two years. Islander Photo: ChrisAnn Silver Esformes

Bradenton Beach Ward 2 resident Marilyn Maro is applying for a seat on the Bradenton Beach commission.

An 18-year resident of Bradenton Beach, Maro visited Anna Maria Island in 1998, “loved it” and then sold her home in Ohio.

Maro is a cosmetologist, cosmetology instructor and past owner of two salons.

If approved by the mayor and three seated commissioners, Maro would fill the vacancy left by termed-out Commissioner Ed Straight.

“Maro has been attending all of the meetings in city hall — her interest is evident,” said Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon, who nominated Maro for the position.

Her application included letters of recommendation from Ward 2 neighbors John and Sarah Kaufmann, Nancy Ockerman and Lynn Selander.

“I decided it’s time to give to the community and help out,” Maro said Nov. 23 in an interview with The Islander. “I would like to protect the quality of life for residents in my ward.”

Maro said she supports the six-month building moratorium.

“If I am appointed, I will speak with residents to find out what the issues are from their perspective and how we should work to resolve them.”

If appointed, Maro would serve a full two-year term.

The city has planned to vote on the appointment and hold the swearing-in ceremony for the newly appointed official early on the agenda at the same meeting — set to start at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1 at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.

Bradenton Beach seeks vacant commission seat

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Marilyn Maro

Bradenton Beach Ward 2 resident Marilyn Maro is applying for a seat on the Bradenton Beach commission.

An 18-year resident of Bradenton Beach, Maro first visited Anna Maria Island in 1998, “loved it,” and sold her home in Ohio.

Maro is a cosmetologist, cosmetology instructor and past owner of two salons.

If approved by the four seated commissioners, Maro would fill the vacancy left by termed-out Commissioner Ed Straight.

“Maro has been attending all of the meetings in city hall — her interest is evident,” said Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon, who nominated Maro for the position.

Her application included letters of recommendation from Ward 2 neighbors John and Sarah Kaufmann, Nancy Ockerman and Lynn Selander.

“I decided it’s time to give to the community and help out,” Maro said in an interview with The Islander, Nov 23. “I would like to protect the quality of life for residents in my ward.”

Maro said she supports the six-month building moratorium.

“If I am appointed, I will speak with residents to find out what the issues are from their perspective, and how we should work to resolve them.”

Challenger emerges for vacant HB commission seat

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Marvin Grossman
Dan Diggins
Four Holmes Beach commissioners are seated at the dais Nov. 21. Islander Photo: Kristin Swain

Former Holmes Beach Commissioner Marvin Grossman wouldn’t have faced opposition in the Nov. 8 election had he qualified to run, but he will be challenged for reappointment to his seat on the dais.

Grossman lost his seat by failing to meet the requirements for re-election during the June qualifying period. After the deadline passed and without time to correct his mistake, Grossman learned he should have paid his candidate fees with a campaign check rather than the personal check he submitted.

The challenge comes in the form of five-year Holmes Beach resident Dan Diggins, who has expressed interest in the vacant commission seat.

Diggins said in a Nov. 22 interview with The Islander that he spoke with the sitting commissioners and Mayor Bob Johnson about his interest. He said they offered advice and “some things to think about.”

“I like this island, I like its people,” Diggins said. “I think the city could use someone with my knowledge and skill set.”

Diggins retired from federal service in 2011 and, earlier in 2016, from work as a consultant. After traveling extensively for business, he said he hopes to become more involved in the Holmes Beach community in his retirement.

Grossman said he welcomes the challenge, though he hopes commissioners will appoint him.

“I think we have a good thing going,” Grossman said Nov. 22. “I don’t see any point in rocking the boat now.”

Had he qualified, Grossman would have been automatically re-elected to another two-year term.

The appointed commissioner will serve a one-year term, expiring in 2017. The seat would open for the next general election, then again in 2018, to put it in the correct rotation in the election cycle.

During a Nov. 21 organizational meeting, commission Chair Judy Titsworth announced anyone interested in the vacant commission seat should attend the Dec. 13 city meeting for an introduction.

“We want anyone who wants to be considered for the seat on the commission to feel welcome to speak up,” Titsworth said.

Commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, followed by a work session at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive.