Tag Archives: 03-25-2020

Anna Maria pier work continues, celebration uncertain

thumb image
Workers with All Glass Windows haul framing materials March 18 to the T-end of the new Anna Maria City Pier. The ongoing work drew spectators, which attracted the attention of a Manatee County sheriff’s deputy, who ordered bystanders to keep a distance. Islander Photo: Lisa Neff

Construction on the new Anna Maria City Pier proceeded the week of March 16 amid COVID-19 concerns.

“Coronavirus has not affected our construction progress as of yet,” Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy wrote The Islander March 20.

The original pier opened in 1911, but was closed in September 2017 after it was damaged by Hurricane Irma.

The old pier was demolished and the city began construction on a new pier in 2018.

Murphy wrote that the bathroom buildout continued and the fire-suppression system neared completion.

Onshore utilities were being connected the week of March 16 and, possibly, into the week of March 23.

Power cables were set to be pulled to the end of the pier and meters would be installed later in March.

“When the construction is complete we will open it up for fishing and sightseeing,” Murphy wrote. “We probably won’t have a big party with lots of people due to coronavirus, but that is still under evaluation. None of us seem to know how the virus will progress over the next few weeks. So we are cautious to confirm a celebration date.”

— ChrisAnn Allen


Eyes on the road 03-25-2020

The Florida Department of Transportation and Manatee County posted the following notices:

  • Multiple locations in Bradenton Beach: A Manatee County pipeline replacement project continues in Bradenton Beach, possibly into late summer. Impacted areas include Bay Drive South, Bridge Street, Church Avenue and Cortez Road. Construction in rights of way is expected, as well as increased truck traffic and heavy equipment operations. People — motorists and pedestrians — can expect detours.
  • Cortez Road and 119th Street West in Cortez: Work to realign the intersection of 119th Street West on Cortez Road/State Road 684 continues. Ajax Paving Industries of Florida is the contractor on the project, estimated to cost $5 million and continue until fall 2020. The work involves resurfacing the roadway, improving drainage, constructing a sidewalk and installing new highway lighting. Drivers can expect lane closures on Cortez Road from 123rd Street West to 86th Street West 10 p.m.-6 a.m. and on the southside of 119th Street West during the same period. Pedestrians can expect sidewalk closures. Also, detours on 119th Street West will begin after Easter.

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


Did you know?

To view live traffic conditions, including traffic on the Anna Maria Island and Cortez drawbridges, go online to smarttrafficinfo.org and click on a camera icon.

Travel times and incident reports also are posted on the site.

— Lisa Neff

Due to COVID-19, AME remains closed

Anna Maria Elementary staff and students will not return to school until April 15 — at the earliest — due to the continued spread of COVID-19.

As spring break ended March 20, parents and school employees were preparing to teach students remotely using a learning management system, “Schoology,” according to a statement from the Manatee County School District.

“Schoology” allows teachers to create lessons and communicate with students.

The service provides “virtual learning for kindergarten through 12th-grade, allowing users to create, manage and share academic content,” according to schoology.com.

Lessons will be delivered via email or to homes by Monday, March 30, according to the statement.

Families who need access to computers and technology will be provided with learning tools to get lessons.

“Next week, our teachers and schools will be working hard so they can be prepared to begin delivering lessons,” a March 17  district notice read.

“I’m stressed just thinking about how to work from home, cook for my second-grader and managing online school,” parent Sierra Hall wrote March 19 in an email to The Islander.

Private schools in the area also are closed.

Anna Maria resident Ashley Matelau has a son in middle school and a daughter in high school at Bradenton Christian School.

Matelau told The Islander, “The kids are doing online school while I continue to go to work and so far it’s been OK.”

“The thought of spreading coronavirus to someone with a compromised immune system or an elderly person is too much of a risk, so we will stay home for as long as it takes,” she added.

For Danielle Canup, AME parent of two, a job in health care does not give her the opportunity to work from home.

“At first I thought it was a huge inconvenience because I don’t have the option to work from home but I’m optimistic it will work out,” she wrote in a text message to The Islander March 20.

State session ends, home rule retained

Following a short extension, the legislative session in Tallahassee has ended.

And Anna Maria Island officials can rest assured that home rule is safe for another year.

The session was extended to compile the budget, including new Florida Health Department funding for COVID-19 testing and supplies.

Bills that would have preempted regulation of vacation rentals to the state, died in committees before making it to final votes.

Holmes Beach lobbyist Martha Edenfield wrote city commissioners March 16 that of 1,699 bills filed, only 188 bills passed both chambers.

“Legislation on sovereign immunity, the preemption of local licenses, the preemption of vacation rentals, legislation amending the Bert Harris Act and the reduction of the communications services tax all failed passage,” Edenfield wrote.

Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach have developed regulations for trash, noise, parking and occupancy issues at vacation rentals that would have been eliminated if the bills had been passed.

Holmes Beach Commissioner Terry Schaefer, who followed bills of concern during the session, said March 18 that he was pleased with the outcome and grateful to island residents for writing and speaking with their state representatives.

“I think we all feel, as we have in the past two or three years, that we dodged a bullet, but I think it’s largely attributable to all the pressure put on state legislators hearing from communities, the public and their beliefs on cities governing themselves on issues,” he said. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation, nor should it ever be.”

Streetlife – 03-25-2020

Anna Maria

No new reports.

      Anna Maria is policed by the MCSO.

Bradenton Beach

March 14, BridgeWalk Resort, 100 Bridge St., trespassing. A man was walking suspiciously around the motel and, when approaching him, an officer recognized the man as someone trespassed from the property within the past year. The officer arrested the man, who was given a notice to appear in court.

March 15, Coquina Beach, 2650 Gulf Drive S., resisting an officer without violence. An officer responded to a vehicular crash at Coquina Beach. The officer approached the suspect and asked for her license and registration, but she refused to comply. She was arrested and transported to the Manatee County jail.

March 15, 200 block of Gulf Drive South, recovered stolen vehicle. An officer was dispatched to find a stolen vehicle. The officer conducted a traffic stop and instructed the occupants to exit. The driver presented his license and was identified as the vehicle’s renter. The driver’s information were taken and the vehicle impounded. Tampa Police Department was investigating the issue as of March 15.

March 15, 1400 block of Gulf Drive South, burglary. An officer responded to a theft at the Coquina North Boat Ramp, where the victim left the vehicle locked and went out on his boat. The vehicle window was broken. Kids clothing, a computer case and laptop were taken.

BBPD polices Bradenton Beach.


No new reports.

MCSO polices Cortez.

Holmes Beach

March 11, 400 block of 62nd Street, information. A Holmes Beach patrol officer responded to a call regarding possible criminal mischief due to a damaged gate. Upon investigation, the gate had deteriorated and there were no signs of criminal activity.

March 11, Minnie’s Cafe, 5360 Gulf Drive, found property. A man found cash in the restaurant parking lot and turned it over to the HBPD.

March 11, 700 block of Manatee Avenue, traffic stop, marijuana. An officer on patrol was alerted by the license plate reader system. The officer stopped the vehicle and determined the male driver had a suspended license. He also smelled marijuana emanating from the vehicle and saw a lit marijuana cigarette. The motorist handed over more cannabis that was in the console. The driver was given a notice to appear, issued a violation for less than 20 grams of marijuana and released.

March 12, 200 block of Harbor Drive, identity theft. A female contacted the HBPD after checking her credit report and discovering a loan she did not initiate had been taken out in her name. An investigation is pending.

March 12, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Marchman Act. A police officer was dispatched to the public beach parking lot in reference to an unconscious male. He responded to the officer, but appeared heavily intoxicated and was transported to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton.

March 12, 700 block of Manatee Avenue, traffic stop. A patrol officer observed a motorist fail to stop at a flashing red light. The officer determined the male motorist’s license was suspended with revocation status. The driver was arrested and transported to the Manatee County jail.

March 13, 3200 block of Gulf Drive, traffic, DUI fourth or subsequent. An officer was called to a moped crash involving no other vehicles. The male driver was semiconscious and smelled of alcohol. His head was bleeding and he was transported to Blake Medical Center. He refused a field sobriety test and blood draw. Upon review of his criminal history, a judge signed a warrant for a blood sample, which was to be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as part of a DUI investigation.

March 14, 100 block of 39th Street, public urination. An HBPD officer on patrol observed a man urinating on the beach. The man was given a violation.

March 14, 4200 block of Gulf Drive, burglary. A man said a neighbor saw someone suspicious enter his vehicle. About $5 in cash was stolen. A case number was issued.

March 15, 100 block of 48th Street, alcohol. While patrolling the beach access, an officer heard a man vomiting. A female companion was carrying open cans of alcoholic beverages and other open containers were in sight. Both people were issued violations for consumption of alcohol on a public beach.

March 15, 5800 block of Marina Drive, traffic stop. An officer was alerted to a license plate reader hit and stopped the vehicle. The female motorist was driving with a learner’s permit and had a suspended license. She was issued citations for violation of learner’s permit and driving with a suspended license. The tag was removed from the vehicle, which was left in a parking lot, and the female was released.

March 16, Anchor Inn, 3007 Gulf Drive, trespass. An officer was called to the bar to remove an intoxicated male patron who had created a disturbance.

March 16, Publix, 3900 E. Bay Drive, theft. The store manager reported a male suspect stole food. The suspect was detained at a bus stop, arrested and transported to the county jail. The food was returned to the store.

March 16, 300 block of Avenue C, traffic. A juvenile female motorist was stopped by an officer on patrol for driving a vehicle without a tag and no headlamps. The officer determined she did not have a license. She was issued a warning and released.

      HBPD polices Holmes Beach.

            Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the BBPD, HBPD and MCSO.

Island real estate transactions – 03-25-2020

325 Hardin Ave., Anna Maria, a 1,651 sfla 3bed/2bath canalfront home built in 1989 on a 11,900 sq ft lot was sold 02/28/20, Plumb to Saltwater Strata for $1,300,000; list $1,495,000.

606 Concord Lane, Anna Maria, a 2,533 sfla / 3,384 sfur 3bed/3bath/2car canalfront home built in 1966 on a 10,890 sq ft lot was sold 02/21/20, Fasciano to Feyer for $875,000; list $925,000.

105 Fourth St. S., Unit West, Casa Playa, Bradenton Beach, a 2,113 sfla / 3,600 sfur 4bed/3½bath/2car land condo with pool built in 2011 was sold 02/21/20, By the Shore Investments II LLC to Sailor for $850,000; list $950,000.

778 Jacaranda Road, Anna Maria, a 1,878 sfur / 1,948 sfur 4bed/2bath duplex built in 1973 on a 6,190 sq ft lot was sold 02/27/20, Corrigan to Real Advantage Group Inc. for $735,000.

1407 Gulf Drive S., Unit 103, Coquina Moorings, Bradenton, Beach, a 1,225 sfla 3bed/2bath condo built in 1982 was sold 02/20/20, Watson to Culbreth for $598,200; list $589,000.

503 70th St., Holmes Beach, a 1,540 sfla / 1,918 sfur 3bed/2bath/1car pool home built in 1967 on a 8,925 sq ft lot was sold 02/28/20, McGrath to Smith for $595,500; list $595,000.

402 Bay Palms Drive, Holmes Beach, a 1,279 sfla 2bed/1bath/1car home built in 1965 on a 17,655 sq ft lot was sold 02/28/20, Gemperline to Simpson for $500,000; list $529,000.

1325 Gulf Drive N., Unit 134, Tortuga, Bradenton Beach, a 850 sfla 2bed/2bath condo with shared pool built in 1976 was sold 02/28/20, Powers to Alderson for $365,000; list $389,000.

1801 Gulf Drive N., Unit 182, Runaway Bay, Bradenton Beach, a 1,080 sfla 2bed/2bath condo with shared pools built in 1978 was sold 02/27/20, Mullane to Tredal for $345,000; list $365,000.

1603 Gulf Drive, Unit 6, Tradewinds, Bradenton Beach, a 540 sfla 1bed/1bath condo with shared pool built in 1971 was sold 02/25/20, Nickolson to Hill for $222,500; list $235,000.

2315 Ave. C, Unit 8, Lay-Z Liv-N, Bradenton Beach, a 488 sfla 1bed/1bath condo with shared pool built in 1979 was sold 02/24/20, Ross to Thomas for $213,500; list $219,900.

117 Seventh St. N., Unit 23, Bay View Terrace, Bradenton Beach, a 729 sfla 2bed/1bath condo with shared pool built in 1973 was sold 02/26/20, Kamholz to Wheatley for $220,000; list $233,000.

Jesse Brisson, broker/associate at Keller Williams on the Water, can be reached at 941-713-4755.

Spring fishing excels: no crowds, no fish virus, no problem

thumb image
Kate England, visiting Anna Maria Island from Leonardo, New Jersey, holds one of the many seatrout she and husband Raymond caught — and released — March 16 while on a charter fishing trip with Capt. Aaron Lowman. Lowman said, “This trout — and many more — devoured live shiners in Tampa Bay.” The Englands also had keepers of Spanish mackerel and mangrove snapper for dinner, as well as some snook that were released.

Despite the dark cloud of Coronavirus looming overhead, those willing to get out of the house and go fishing are reaping the rewards of the springtime bite around Anna Maria Island.

Fishing inshore is heating up, especially for the popular trio of catch-and-release species — snook, redfish and spotted seatrout.

While fishing the flats and casting live shiners where mangroves and oyster bars exist, the snook and redfish action is quite good. Specifically targeting the reds is good in the canals and around docks and pilings. In this scenario, live shrimp is the best bait. And, in these areas, there’s also a chance of catching some late season sheepshead and black drum — which gives the angler the option of taking a fish home for dinner.

Moving offshore, the springtime bite is following suit. Migratory species — kingfish, amberjack and cobia — are being caught with regularity. Blackfin tuna are in the mix, as well as bonito, sharks and permit.

Bottom fishing offshore is good, too, with numerous red grouper and mangrove snapper being reeled up from the depths.

On my Southernaire charters, I am concentrating on the flats. On the deeper grass flats, catch-and-release spotted seatrout are attainable. Catching 20 or 30 trout on a morning charter is real — not to mention the mix of other species. We’re finding Jack crevalle, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel prowling the flats in search of a tasty morsel. These species add a welcome variety to the trout bite.

Fishing shallow flats along the mangrove shorelines also is providing great action for my clients. Catch-and-release snook are being accommodating while some catch-and-release redfish also are finding the hook.

Jim Malfese at the Rod & Reel Pier says there are some post-spawn sheepshead being caught by pier fishers using live shrimp, although most are right at the 12-inch minimum length.

While targeting the sheepies, anglers are hooking into an occasional black drum and some flounder.

Casting jigs from the pier is proving to be good for Spanish mackerel. Morning hours seem to be the best for targeting macks, according to Malfese.

Capt. Warren Girle is working inshore with good results. He says fishing in the residential canals where docks and seawalls are present is providing action on a variety of fish, including black drum, jack crevalle and catch-and-release redfish. In these areas, live shrimp is Girle’s bait of choice.

Moving out of the canals to the grass flats is working, too. Casting jigs over deep grass flats is resulting in many catch-and-release spotted seatrout for Girle’s clients. Tipping the jigs with fresh-cut shrimp is adding enticement and attracting plenty of other species, including pompano, jack crevalle, ladyfish and some macks.

Lastly, Girle reports that bottom fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is equally good. Live shrimp as bait is bringing mangrove and lane snapper to the hook, as well as some sheepshead.

Capt. Aaron Lowman is working at the nearshore structure in the Gulf of Mexico, where a live shiner on the hook is working well for a number of species — Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper and jack crevalle.

Moving inshore around the deeper grass flats is producing good action for anglers using shiners as bait. The primary action is from catch-and-release spotted seatrout with a mix of ladyfish and jack crevalle taking the bait.

Lastly, fishing shallow flats — depths of 3 feet or less — is resulting in catch-and-release action on redfish and snook. Mangrove edges around oyster bars are prime territory to find these species, according to Lowman.

Capt. Jason Stock says spring fishing is in full affect on his boat. While working offshore, Stock is putting clients on migratory species — blackfin tuna and amberjack — in abundance.

Bottom fishing around wrecks and hard bottom is working well for yellowtail and mangrove snapper, as both are being caught with ease by Stock’s clients. Other species being found around structure include bonito, shark and flounder. Lastly, casting live crabs over offshore reefs and wrecks is proving to be quite good for permit.

Capt. David White is taking advantage of the calm, clear waters that have settled in around our area. Venturing offshore is producing results on a number of migratory species — kingfish, cobia, bonito and Spanish mackerel.

Bottom fishing offshore is producing red grouper and mangrove snapper for the coolers.

Moving inshore, White is having similar results for his clients, who are hooking sheepshead around local structure in Tampa Bay. In the same areas, macks are being found in abundance. He’s also reporting the catch-and-release action on the flats is good, too, especially for snook and trout.

Send high-resolution photos and fishing reports to fish@islander.org.


Strange times indeed, island sports meet virus limits

thumb image
Chet Hutton, right, won the Key Royale Club’s men’s senior tournament for golfers over age 75 years with a 14-under-par 114 on 18 holes, and second-place finisher Jim Hitchens, who shot 8-under-par 120. Islander Photos: Courtesy KRC
John Cassese, right, defeated Jim Hitchen 1-up to win the Key Royale Club 2020 match-play championship, an event that began with 33 golfers and took five weeks to complete.
Debi Wohlers, right, defeated Laura Purcell 3-and-2 to finish on top in the Key Royale Club’s women’s scratch match-play championship March 13. This was Wohler’s sixth match-play championship at the KRC.

In response to the Covid-19 virus pandemic, government mandates have scuttled all organized team sporting events ranging from professional leagues all the way down to grass-roots organizations like Manatee Area Youth Soccer Organization, G.T. Bray Recreational Center and the Center of Anna Maria Island.

Following Governor Ron DeSantis’ March 20 mandate for bars and restaurants and guidelines to limit gatherings to no larger than 10 people, the Center suspended all sports leagues, group classes and closed the fitness center at the center.

The center is closed until further notice.

Tom Nelson at the Key Royale Club in Holmes Beach said March 22 that the club is suspending organized matches and the clubhouse is serving take-out only.

What the future holds is anyone’s guess, but my feeling is that the April 15 target date set by the School Board of Manatee County as a possible day for students to return to school won’t happen.

This situation could last into the summer or beyond.

Stay safe. Stay well.


Horseshoe news

Horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City Hall horseshoe pits continued March 18 with three teams advancing to the knockout stage.

The team of Bob Mason and Rich Brozi drew the lucky bye into the final and watched as Rod Bussey and Jerry Disbrow cruised into the finals with a 21-8 victory over Glen Moqqed and Adin Shank. Bussey and Disbrow stayed hot in the championship match and earned a 21-16 victory over Mason and Brozi to earn bragging rights for the day.

There was no need for a knockout stage during the March 21 games as Tim Sofran and Del Reese were crowned champs for the day after posting the lone 3-0 record in pool play.

Play has been suspended as of XXXXX

????XXXXgets underway at 9 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Anna Maria pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection.

There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.


Key Royale news

The Key Royale Club’s women members competed in their sixth annual scratch match-play tournament March 13, which boiled down to a contest between Laura Purcell against Debi Wohlers.

Wohlers outlasted Purcell 3-and-2 in the 18-hole match for the crown. Congratulations to Debi.

The 2020 senior tournament for men over 75 years of age took place March 18 with two rounds of 18-hole stroke play. Chet Hutton cruised to the last hole with an impressive 14-under-par 114 to take the title — a six-shot victory over second-place finisher Jim Hitchens, who finished at 8-under-par 120. Jim Auch was third at 6-under-par 122.

The KRC match-play champion was crowned March 20, culminating five weeks of action that began with 33 golfers vying for the crown. In an extremely close final match, John Cassese edged Jim Hitchen 1-up at the end of 18 holes to earn the match-play club championship.

In regular golf action last week, 37 men turned out March 16 for the weekly modified-Stableford system match. Terry Tarras carded a plus-6 to edge Dave Richardson and Bob Soos for first place by a point.

Tarras and Soos also were part of the winning team along with Marty Hicks and Dale Hudson to combine on a plus-9 and earn clubhouse bragging rights for the day.

The women played their regular nine-hole individual low-net match in four flights on St. Patrick’s Day.

Ellen Boin rode a chip-in birdie on the first hole to a 5-under-par 27 to cruise to a four-stroke victory in Flight A. Roxanne Koche was alone in second with a 1-under-par 31, while Brenda Solleveld, Judy Christensen and Connie Livanos tied for third at even-par 32.

Monica Lawson carded a 3-under-par 29 to earn a one-stroke victory over Billie Jean Pinson in Flight B. Sue Christenson was alone in third with an even-par 32.

Terry Westby’s 3-under-par 29 gave her the victory in Flight C over Barb Harrold, who finished one shot back at 2-under-par 30.

Sally York fired a 1-under-par 31 to grab first place in Flight D by a stroke over Jane Perkins.

Obituaries – 03-25-2020

David Teitelbaum


David Teitelbaum of Bradenton Beach, a developer, real estate broker and owner of Anna Maria Island Resorts, including two motels in Bradenton Beach, died March 22.

The Islander learned of Mr. Teitelbaum’s death as the paper went to press for the March 25 issue.

Mr. Teitelbaum was an island businessman, island advocate and island volunteer who served on the Manatee County Tourist Development Council and the board of the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce and Visit Florida, as well as other affiliations.

In August 2018, after his retirement due to health concerns, Mr. Teitelbaum received a service honor from the TDC, presented by Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Elliott Falcione, who said at the time, “We thank you for all you have done and look forward to working with you and your expertise for many years to come.”

Teitelbaum took great pride in the recognition.

Terri Kinder, president of the chamber, wrote March 22 after Mr. Teitelbaum’s death, “His contributions to both Anna Maria Island and Manatee County and the positive impact they continue to have on our business community will live on.”

She remarked on Mr. Teitelbaum’s leadership in protecting the fare-free operation of the island trolley service, as well as his leadership on the chamber board, the TDC and the Economic Development Council for Manatee County.

Chamber board chair Beverly Kilpatrick wrote March 22 to The Islander: “Such a great person in our community. He had such good insight into helping businesses on the island succeed.”


Phelps K. Tracy Jr.

Phelps K. Tracy Jr. of Holmes Beach died March 17. He was born Sept. 8, 1945.

A gathering to share memories will be announced at a later date. Donations may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia.

Mr. Tracy is survived by his wife, Rebecca; son Phelps; sisters Eugenia, Eleanor and Martha and their families.