Your Comments

112 thoughts on “Your Comments

  1. Gary McMullen

    The CNOBB and Mayor Shearon have been trying to hijack the city government for months. The CNOBB is comprised of all the detractors and loudmouths in the city. They want to change the voting wards so that they can fill the commission with those of their ilk. Shearon says that the many phone conversations that he has had with all of these members have never been about the lawsuit or government business. He says they are just personal friends and he can't remember anything they discussed. What an arrogant liar. His partner Martin is in on all the business as wall as she reads his emails to him. He has a special screen so he can read in commission meetings, does anyone thing that a legally blind mayor does not have that capability at home? He will not recuse himself. Why can't anyone make him? It is clearly a conflict of interest. Please vote against all the amendments and Shearon when you go to the polls on Tuesday or beware of what you will get as a city government.

  2. Stephen evans

    Have you ever heard of Dr. Dave?
    His medicine is his music.
    When I moved here twenty some years ago Dr Save saranadeded us,
    Made us feel good, and had tremndous following?
    Dr Save can no longer play @ the Uguly Grouper because of the Holmes Beach
    Music sound ordnance of no live music after 8:o.o pm
    This is a tourist island? Visitors come out island from all over the world for fun , food, and entertainment. Holmes Beach even built a music pavilion in the
    Park next to our big expensive city Hall.
    AMI hasn't grown? only the government, police force, and regulations?
    Please print in letters to our editor Bonner Joy

  3. tom matheson

    Sea Level is rising. NOAA expects 3 ft higher in 50 years, maybe 8 feet in 80 years, by 2100. As sea level rises, there will be more frequent floods until, in 50 years, virtually everything in this area will be always awash, gone. The arguing about development, about mangroves, about bridge heights... it will all be rendered moot.
    Humans are filled with hubris and greed. It doesn't matter how we legislate. We all are the enemy.
    Bye bye.

  4. mcmullen52

    The commissioners in Holmes Beach have really shown their true colors with the decision to not allow Gloria Dei to sell their own property. This church invested in this island more than 60 years ago and built a stunningly beautiful structure to worship in. But these carpetbagger commissioners (with one exception)are only interested in preventing property rights. How can the commissioners allow the monstrosity being built in downtown to go on and not allow the church to sell their property in order to survive? How many unneeded and unwanted visitors will use the hotel creating more congestion in downtown? The future purchasers of the church property could be intending to become residents. Denying because of a possibility is shallow and unbecoming. This church has been a good and faithful resident for many years. If the commission is truly looking out for their citizenry they should purchase the property for a park and give the church rightful compensation. They would not do it in order to prevent the huge Marriot from invading our city. What happened to our old Florida feel? Shame on the city.

  5. mcmullen52

    All the whiners complaining about a Baskin Robbins-Duncan Donuts store going in in Holmes Beach should remember their history of the island. Many didn't like Publix being the demise of the IGA. Same with Walgreens and Rich's Drugs. Where were these people when these franchises were trying to open? Who doesn't go to Publix or Walgreens or CVS or Subway or Aces Hardware. Why is everybody so scared of the free enterprise system we have in this country? I go to the old hardware store across from the marina because I like the selection and the management. I frequent the chains because I like what they offer. These mom and pop stores are no different from the chains in that they all purchase from off the island in order to serve their customers. Two Scoops doesn't make their own ice cream, they have it delivered so that argument holds no water. If the mom and pop stores provide a superior product and service they will be supported by the customers. Crying foul is not the way to handle this issue. Provide a better mousetrap and you will succeed.

    1. bonnerj

      OPEN EYES WIDER -- please. The research I did shows areas with protective ordinances exempt grocers, gas stations, pharmacies, banks and real estate offices -- those categories of business where mom and pops no longer exist. Even the hardware store you mention buys from the True Value chain. BR-DD is just the final straw that broke the camel's back. We all know the camel had its nose under the tent when stores like Domino's, Subway, China 1 and Dollar Tree showed up. It's the commercial landlord we have to watch out for -- foregoing leases with mom-and-pops in favor of formula stores that fill up metro/mall locations. Leases with formula stores are not in the best interest of AMI for the future. If the island were to be scoured by a storm, the mom-and-pops would struggle to get financing to recoup, while the big franchise/formula stores could easily swoop in and take up the shops from Pine Avenue to Gulf-Marina, the Centre and Bridge Street. However, if landlords recognize the value in the AMI market, and the unique quality of independently owned stores and their value to the community, they would entice local owners. And the city, county and state can make it worthwhile to the landlords to maintain the unique quality that attracted YOU and everyone else to AMI with tax breaks. It's a win-win.

  6. mcmullen52

    Let me get this straight, anyone renting a house in Anna Maria cannot rent to more than 8 people but the buildings that Chiles and his group built on Pine don't have to abide by this ordinance? No wonder there are so many Burt Harris claims filed against the city. The ordinance is unfair and does take away real value from these homeowner's property.

    1. bonnerj

      The PAR buildings were zoned specifically for residential-rental upstairs before they were built -- and scrutinized by the commission at that time. The 8-person occupancy limit applies to everything else in the city, not including commercial. -- Bonner

  7. mcmullen52

    I have been here for over 60 years Bonner Joy. And, as a matter of fact, it was a paradise where doors weren't locked and kids could go anywhere without the danger of being run over by a tourist who has no clue where he/she is going. The point is we shouldn't have to vary our routines because of the peak traffic hours. You always promote your "welcome mat" philosophy even though you are in the minority. Why are so many residents moving away? Why are all the cities trying to figure out a solution to the congestion and loud neighbors? The TDC has sold us out in their zeal for promoting tourism. These wouldn't be issues if the majority of residents felt as you do. I suggest you wake up because you are just dreaming if you believe there aren't issues with overcrowding.

    1. bonnerj

      Didn't you vary your routine at all when you moved here? I did. I relaxed and enjoyed life more, especially the beach and the great sunsets. I probably had never seen a sunset before I arrived on Anna Maria Island. I believe we can grow, learn, adapt and appreciate all the people who come here. And we can provide for them. Seems a simple thing to me to adjust to peak traffic on the road or at Publix. As for why people move … lots of people tell me they are "cashing in." I knew people 20 years ago who moved into Village Green to be closer to the hospital. Another couple left the north end because the wife became afraid of storms. There are myriad reasons to move, of course, and foremost is to move back north with family. I don't find it unusual and I don't know if the amount of people moving is extraordinary. There are many more people here now than when either of us moved here. I prefer not to let those things bother me and concentrate on the things that are just the same as the day I moved here… it's still paradise to me. I love the beach, the piers, sunrises and sunsets and the sound of the breeze in the palm trees. -- Bonner

      1. mcmullen52

        I have no doubt why you promote all the good and ignore the bad on AMI. Your paper only exists at the whim of advertisers which are the businesses on the island. Of course the businesses want the crowds because they need to make money and the Islander has to have a positive outlook to keep advertising. It is a simple symbiotic relationship that all should keep in mind while reading your "don't worry, be happy" narratives. I love the island and all it's attributes but I don't hide my head in the sand to the problems.

  8. michael doerr

    Yay!! Bonner!! I don't even mind the traffic. It means I live in paradise, and a lot of people would like to share in it. A little forethought...leave the island in the morning, back in the evening. Not a big problem. I don't even mind the drawbridge. Its all part of the charm of the island.

  9. mcmullen52

    Bonner Joy's rose colored glasses are firmly on her head again. The upcoming invasion of northerners will clog everything up again. I also see that the Aubry and Hagen contingent is again commenting along Bonner's happy happy joy Joy's way of thinking. These are the two families that withdrew their support of the park in Anna Maria because of hurt feelings because their donations with demands were not followed and now the restrooms are going in anyway. Where are your philanthropist ideals now? Put up or shut up.

    1. bonnerj

      Same goes to you. I don't mind people coming to enjoy AMI, why do you? Do you have a hardship -- or a job -- that prevents you from going to the grocery store or the beach at anything other than peak traffic hours? Did you think you had moved to a rural farm road and you woke up on AMI? Get real.

  10. Gary McMullen

    Killing the goose? The goose that turned our shores golden doesn't exist. It certainly is not increased tourism and runaway businesses. The island itself is the draw. The beauty of the island has decreased due to overbuilding. No one that has been here for many years needs boutique shopping on Pine. Bonner has put on her rose colored glasses again, but what would you expect from someone whose business and livelihood is derived directly from the business community via advertising revenue? Props for blasting Chiles and the judge but apparently the citizens who want less congestion don't agree with you.

    1. bonnerj

      To me, the island is exactly as it was when I first arrived here in 1972. I have no concern for houses. I love the Gulf of Mexico, the sound of waves at night, passing dolphins, cawing seabirds, the clackity sound of palm fronds in a light breeze. I love birds of paradise plants, key limes and fresh seafood. I like the feel of sand between my toes. I love the smell of low tide. I don't care how many people come to enjoy the same things. I don't care about buildings. Most businesses are owned by great, friendly people who also enjoy the same things. It's not rose-colored glasses that I wear … I understand quality of life and how to enjoy it. -- Bonner

  11. kevin fitzgerald

    found an injured great blue heron the other day and called the folks at anna maria island animal clinic. they came out in minutes, walked threw several feet of low water and mud, and rescued the animal. it is now recovering (at their cost) at the clinic. the two women who came out were awesome in getting to the animal, then quickly capturing it with simply a towel and their hands.

  12. Ami resident

    I thought it couldn't get any worse. And then the new AMI city mayor recommends hiring Ed Chiles attorney Ricinda Perry. I guess we know exactly which camp Dan Murphy is in.

    1. Janet Aubry

      Ricinda Perry works for a lot of clients besides Ed Chiles. I've watched her at work during many city commission meetings on the island over the years. I would have to think the camp Dan Murphy is in is the one that wants the City to have the best representation possible. Probably Ed Chiles hired her for the same reason.

  13. Gary McMullen

    More Bradenton Beach woes. So you elect a Planning and Zoning board to review projects to see if they conform to the Comprehensive Plan, allow DOT to plant trees and vegetation and make a nice pocket park and then (business owner) cries waah and the commissioners grovel to his wishes despite the recommendations of the P-Z board and the language of the Comprehensive Plan.

    You enrage the P-Z board members causing mass resignations. You are then sued by some of the members. You throw money at lawyers for years and still have no solution.

    Then lawyers want to join the city to help the business gain parking instead of a park. Now we find this is all over 4 parking spaces. SERIOUSLY?

    I don't like Shearon as a mayor but he and his board members were right on on their recommendation. When will the small governments of this island and Longboat Key stand up to the business owner? A normal family cannot build a 4 bedroom house in Anna Maria but Ed Chiles seems to have no problem remodeling all of his restaurants or getting anything else changed that he wants.

    Vote out the weak rubber stamping commissioners and mayors and put in people with integrity or here comes Clearwater Beach folks.

  14. Gary McMullen

    Our new mayor of Anna Maria did the right thing. The city needs an attorney that has no long or short term ties to Anna Maria city or island. It would be a mistake to hire someone that works for any island city. You would get local knowledge but it will be overshadowed by bias and the good old buddy system.

    The moratorium is infringing on property owner's rights and really will not accomplish much. The best practices have solved the party house issues according to your code enforcement officer and no real problems have been reported for months and months.

    Adopt the Holmes Beach parking ordinance and stop wasting money hiring,others for opinions that the residents and your constituents have already made known to you.

    Keep up the good work Mayor Dan.

  15. David Zaccagnino

    Sally Owen, I know that you illegally built beyond your permit and deceived the building department at 132 49th st, just like the builders you mention. I never worked in the building department and have nothing to do with permitting and your lucky bc I would have probably had you remove your illegal renovation. Sally the rules are for everyone, you are not exempt. Be careful when you start throwing stones.
    David Zaccagnino

  16. Concerned Resident

    While driving on Marina Drive I noticed a "Zaccagnino for Mayor" sign in front of a developer's office, but didn't pay any special attention. Then I began to notice more Zaccagnino's signs in front of those mega-party rental houses. The one's with 6 or more bedrooms and a parking lot in their front yard. Now, since no one actually lives in those homes(more that a week at a time) the signs must have been placed there by the developers or investor owners. It became pretty obvious who they supported.

    It hit me----Zaccaagnino has been a City Commissioner during the entire period when developers were allowed to find loopholes around the building code rules. These mega-rentals have done significant damage to the character of our beautiful island. It's time to retire "public servants" like him.

    Sally Owen
    Resident of Holmes Beach

    1. bonnerj

      Loophole, according to Merriam Webster -- "an error in the way a law, rule, or contract is written that makes it possible for some people to legally avoid obeying it." I don't think you can make a case that Zaccagnino, or anyone other than the developers who used the loophole, knew the loophole existed until the problems it caused became apparent. -- Bonner Joy


    They say follow the Money. Well here is where the money came from in the campaign for County Commissioner 6th district. You decide what is Ethical and Moral with these Contributions. Some are quite large, but at what cost? YOUR VOTE decides the Cost.

    Whitmore loses all the way around.

    282 Total Contributors: With 112 out of the 282 or 39% of the Contributors raising 81% of the Campaign Funding. 39% Contribute $64000.00 Thousand Dollars. This might be a good race if the Campaign had not been bought. Without the Rather large contributions Whitmore ends up being the Loser as Wonder Generates more funding from Grass Roots people, Non-Power Brokers.
    16 contributing $1000.00 or more , source of funding: Agriculture, Developers, Carpetbaggers, Attorney, Real Estate-Broker/Developer, Healthcare Services, Financial Services. TOTAL OF $16000.00

    96 Contributing $500.00 or more, Source of Funding: Agriculture, Developer?s, Carpetbagger?s, Attorney?s , Real Estate-Broker/Developer, Healthcare Services. TOTAL OF $48000.00

    123 contributing $250.00 or more Source of Funding ?Same as Above?

    137 contributing $100.00 or less
    Total contributions $79256.74

    Candidate Wonder:
    183 contributors:
    1 contributing $1000.00 or more
    7 contributing $500.00 or more
    19 contributing $250.00 or more
    152 contributing $100.00 or less
    Total contributions $19,497.23

  18. skip speer

    Whitmore accepts campaign funds from someone under criminal investigation for tax fraud, shame on you. Yes that is correct at least 2500.00 dollars of possibly tainted funds from someone being investigated for tax fraud and a carpetbagger on top of that. Would the citizens of Manatee County call that ethical, moral, or is that what the citizens of Manatee County want as a representative for the office of County Commissioner for the at large 6th district. The campaign of Ms. Whitmore has accepted at least 2500.00 dollars from a Buffalo NY carpetbagger xxxxxxx, who is being investigated for Tax Fraud. That puts Ms.Whitmore in an Ethical and Moral dilemma wanting or choosing to ignore the investigation or hoping no one would notice or bring it to the public’s attention. Claiming ignorance is unacceptable as the newspapers are full of stories about the suspect dealings of xxxxx. Shame on you, Shame on you.

  19. Gary McMullen

    Why is it that the city of Holmes Beach has a millage rate of 1.75 for the last three years and the city of Anna Maria cannot exist on a rollback rate of 1.8685? How is Anna Maria mismanaged? Why must we have an increase of 9% in property taxes and a much larger city is able to function at a lower rate?
    One of the reasons is that Anna Maria wasted thousands on a survey of Gulffront Park. That piece of land has existed and not been washed out for decades and decades. Why pay someone to tell them to remove the pines to prevent erosion? The sea oats that were planted along the gulf have created a three foot dune system in just a couple of years. The pines didn't seem to threaten them at all. The pines have been on the island longer than any living resident. They are as much a part of life here as the sea oats. Concentrate on reducing the tax burden on the residents instead of trying to destroy the ambiance of the park.

  20. Gary McMullen

    I only discovered the Tide and Moon store during one of our festivals when Pine was open to foot traffic. So the city commissioners in their infinite wisdom deny a business that was allowed an a-frame sign before their ordinance changed while permitting ones at the green village and two for rental properties? How is this fair? Web,Yetter, and Carter have caught the "we know best" mentality of small city government. Charging someone $200.00 for an application is also ridiculous. What happened to a city providing basic functions without citizens having to reimburse them for their time? No wonder no one wanted to run for mayor last term.

  21. Gary McMullen

    The Holmes Beach Congestion Committtee has the right idea about the parking problems on the island. I don't believe any one thinks that we need more parking spaces. We are suffering from the congestion daily. The residents on beach access streets suffer the most from that congestion. There are cars parked in front of their houses blocking driveways and beach accesses, cars crusing up and down the street looking for places to park and litter. Lots of litter. The day trippers should use the public beaches or park and walk. Use the trolley and walk. No one wants to deny families access to our wonderful beach but we pick up litter daily from uncaring beachgoers who litter without care because they don't live here. Give some relief to the residents.

    1. HB Resident

      I very much agree with the previous post. Residents of the Island appreciate visitors and we want everyone to be able to access and enjoy the beach. Access to the beach should not be through our neighborhoods though. All we are asking for is that the safety of our roads and streets be returned to us. Most other island communities around Florida and the coastline have eliminated street parking in residential areas already. We are behind again! Instead of being reactive, our island communities need to be more proactive. There is a workable plan on the table now let's implement it.

  22. jj

    amazing to me that Kaleta is above the law. Breaking and entering, stealing electricity. Why, tell me why does this man once again walk away scott free when anyone else would be in jail? Someone must have better attorneys than him.

  23. Greg Batson

    I ask that you please erect flagpoles and fly the American flag at several places on the island, especially two or three at the Holmes public beach.

  24. Aspen Parx

    Well put Mr. McMullen: Why don't you run for City Commissioner and put a stop to all this nonsense. At least then we would have someone who does care about the City of Anna Maria!

  25. Gary McMullen

    I hope that the City of Anna Maria pays for it's arrogance for denying the variance for an elevator. The city has been trying to strip homeownership rights on rentals and now it extends to medically necessary equipment. Shame on Webb, Carter , and Yetter. I believe that Yetter had conversations about the variance and Dye did his typical rubber stamp.

  26. Gary McMullen

    Let me see if I have this straight, you want to pay for the maintenance of the streets but will not charge for where most of the tourists park? Bayfront Park and Pine are where the majority of the vehicular traffic are heading. And, of course, you cannot charge for parking in private lots! Do something positive for your residents. Make right of way parking illegal without a permit. Make Pine safe. At your glacial speed, nothing will be in place before the next winter crush. The sheriff's office issues the tickets. Put in kiosks and no additional personnel are needed, Problem solved!

  27. Larry Zimmer, M.D.

    At it again. I guess that Mayor Shearon is finding out once you go against (corporation) they stoop to any means to destroy you. I guess they can't spell ethical.

  28. Jean Van de Camp

    I echo your sentiments completely Mr McMullen. However, in case we have forgotten, the
    Anna Maria City Commissioners have not run the City for years. The 'business' interests on Pine and the money behind them have been in charge for many years now. It's really quite pitiful to watch the Commissioners spend months, if not years, discussing something and then doing absolutely nothing. And people wonder why Anna Maria has changed almost beyond recognition!

  29. Gary McMullen

    Why exempt paid parking from some of the very areas that it is needed? Gulf, Pine and North Bay are the most congested areas in Anna Maria. Be courageous, as you were with the park, and have no exemptions on the righst of way Businesses don't vote, residents do.

  30. Gary McMullen

    City Pier Park is a fine name for the six lots on Pine. The trees are thriving. Too bad that Hagen and Chiles can't just move on. I give credit to the commissioners that voted against the donations with conditions. The folly is that they still believe that the residents of Anna Maria support them and their pro-business stance to the detriment of our laid back life due to the traffic and congestion. Grow up. Give back the money in the spirit you would like to have us believe that it was given. Make it something that the city can be proud of!

  31. Gary McMullen

    I, for one, would love to see Rex Hagen and Chiles eat their much-deserved crow pie. I again commend the city for not bowing to the almighty bribe they attempted. I think Aubrey should also sit at the table. And this is not an April Fools joke!

  32. Gary McMullen

    I believe that I am not alone when I say to the North Beach Property Owners Coalition of Longboat Key to have a bridge from Longboat Key to the mainland built or turn around and go the other way! Your traffic is causing the problem. We don't need to be inconvenienced for your benefit.

  33. Gary McMullen

    So Sgt. Pilato measured the tree house property and determined that, basically, the tree house is not infringing on the erosion control line. That agrees with the dredging company since they are not renourishing the beach under the tree house. What are the demigogs in Holmes Beach going to fall back on now? Stop wasting the city's money and stop the litigation. Let the owners apply for a building permit and be done with it.

    1. bonnerj

      SPECIFICALLY: The state alleges the tree house violates the 50-foot setback that extends landward from the erosion control line. And as a precedent, the state and the city of Holmes Beach have denied permits for swimming pools in the setback. The setback cannot be used to calculate the home's density built landward of the setback, or any other use.

  34. Gary McMullen

    Apparently the Islander has determined that the tree house is illegal contrary to the petitioner's opinions as well as the majority of residents.
    Recent opinions have also shown Bonner Joy to be afflicted with head in the sand syndrome. Of course this is a great place to live but ignoring the issues her paper reports on is doing a disservice to the readers.

  35. Gary McMullen

    Jeen Peelen misses the point and overeacts again. How dare she forget that the residents and homeowners deserve the reasonable use and enjoyment of their property. This includes the ability to rent. Enforcement of the laws on the books has solved the rental issues. It is unfortunate that our elected officials forget that they were elected to do the will of the people not to rail at laws that are designed to keep them reigned in.

  36. John Chambers

    I continue to be amazed at the slowly unfolding saga surrounding the six lots at the end of Pine Avenue in Anna Maria purchased in October 2011 by the City of Anna Maria. It has been nearly three years since the commissioners began discussing the possible purchase of this vacant parcel and agreed to pay over $4 million for it including bank and professional fees and interest over the life of the loan, not including lost ad valorem revenue. This is a lot of money for a town with a normal annual budget in the $2.5 million range yet, after nearly three years, there is still no consensus as to the desired use of the property. Since there seemed to be no meaningful direction, we approved 15 parking spaces (at over $250,000 per space!) last June but now even that is in doubt.

    Commissioner Webb raises his objection to donations for the parcel's improvement because he does not think the city should agree to conditions tied to a $50,000 contribution from Mr. Hagen. Where has Mr. Webb been since June? If he was not at the commission meeting when the plan was approved in June, surely he was aware of the action taken shortly after that meeting and should have taken corrective action at that time if he felt it necessary. Or was he just asleep at the switch? Instead, much time, money and effort has been expended, and apparently wasted, by many in the meantime.

    With respect to Mr. Hagen’s and PAR’s donations, they were quite generous and should be appreciated whether or not the money is accepted. If there was indeed an agreement as to how the parcel would be improved, their money should be promptly refunded if the commission does not completely follow through with their commitment as it was approved in June. What is disturbing is that three of the current commissioners (Webb, Yetter and Carter) are not willing to honor the agreement that was the result of an official vote in June. Do they think that Mrs. Carter’s addition to the commission invalidates all actions by previous commissions? Unfortunately, it seems apparent that some on the commission do not feel any financial responsibility to their constituents, as it is we who will pay for their mistakes, delays and lack of direction.

  37. John Shaughnessy

    Thank You
    I would like to thank all the voters of Bradenton Beach for getting out to vote. To my supporters and team I am deply grateful for all your efforts.
    To my wife especially for your unconditional support for putting up with all the trials and tribulations
    John Shaughnessy

  38. Gary McMullen

    It should be obvious to the residents of Anna Maria that commissoner Aubry does not live on a beach access street. Our street has a constant flow of vehicles and people driving and walking up and down the street looking for parking and or just sightseeing. It is intrusive and unsettling. The property for sale on Magnolia can't even see the beach for the vehicles parked in the right of way. I am sure it will take much more time to sell the property because of the constant traffic and commotion. Being nice does not work with the sense of entitlement these people have. All the neighbors on my street favor no right of way parking on beach access streets. Please commissioners, do something for the residents. We elected you to look out for our interests. We will remember your actions on election day.

  39. Raymond J. Mathieu

    A few weeks ago, I was having dinner at the home of European friends who purchased a home on Anna-Maria at the end of a canal. They were quite dismayed that the end of the canal was strewn with debris, trash and even a rotting mattress. Being foreigners, they did not know which way to turn to get this resolved. I called mayor Monti's office on their behalf and explained the problem. Within two hours, well equipped police officers were on the scene. They removed the mattress and other debris, leaving the area a lot more attractive and sanitary.
    Kudos for the mayor's office and the police department for this immediate and positive action!

  40. Gary McMullen

    Joy, seriously? Another editorial for tolerance. The majority of the business owners may very well live on the island. What is the point? The businesses want to make money. The more business the merrier. That is not what the majority of the residents want. It is way past the time that the resident's voices be heard and heeded. All residents wish improvement in the congestion. Our elected officials are finally starting to do something about it. It seems that you are using your position to attempt to sway opinion as well as only printing letters that support you and your rose colored glasses.

    1. bonnerj

      I don't hand-pick letters. I've experienced congestion since I moved here 38 years ago. I don't mind it. In fact, I ignore it and go about my merry way and I advocate others do the same. I welcome anyone who wants to come to AMI and share what I enjoy. NOT all residents feel as you do, and I'm proof of that fact. -- Bonner Joy

  41. Gary McMullen

    Jill Morris summed up the issues very well. Property value means nothing except higher taxes if you intend to reside here permanently. Finally our commissioners in Anna Maria are beginning to realize that there are dwindling residents and increasing tourism and that it is ruining the quality of life in our city. The day trippers care nothing for our island and the short rental people care less. High rental prices create a sense of entitlement in these people, We pick up trash every time we visit the beach. Our street has a constant flow of traffic. Promote residential parking permits. Prohibit right of way parking. Make our city safe for all before our way of life is lost forever.

  42. jj

    Saw the pic of the 3 boys who caught the shark. well I was on the beach that night. the boys had halogen lights were chumming the water with raw chicken and I told them lights and chumming was against the law. Talked to S fox about the issue of lights on beach during turtle season. It is a catastrophe. Not sure why this newspaper is awarding these boys for breaking the law. mixed signals are being sent to tourists

    1. bonnerj

      It's not against the law to use a light while fishing, it's against the law to distract turtles with the light. Turtles in the water don't see the light on the beach, only when they emerge from the water to nest. Using chum for bait is not against the law. Chill, or go fish.

  43. Dale Schmitdz

    At least he knows who butters his bread. When he worked out here at least he knew who give tickets to and who to arrest. Bravo for Sue Lynn she is standing up and making them tow the line. He will do the same thing when he is mayor or we will form our own department.

  44. Dale Schmitdz

    He knew who buttered his bread. He was a great cop. At least he knew who to arrest and who not to arrest. Now the mayor has shown the new police chief who wears the pants. Bravo for Sue Lynn a real mayor. When John is the new mayor he will do the same thing he'll show em who the boss is. If not we can form our own police department with him as the chief.

  45. jj

    sad to say a cop that once patrolled Anna Maria and was asked to leave the police force due to shady dealings involving the elderly has now found another way into the old peoples lives, business and personal affairs, working in real estate with the elderly who trust him as a former cop. Its a sad day for the old people in anna maria

  46. morgan s rothe

    I am writing because some of the readers of your newspaper may not know about recent developers plans to build high rises and a 300-boat Marina with subsequent huge loss of mangrove and the area of Long Bar point which is north of Bayshore Gardens and sticks into north Sarasota bay. I am a boater who has traveled by sailboat from Fort Myers to Cedar keys in the last few years and I can say with certainty that Sarasota Bay does not have a nicer boating area than this. Near Long Bar point you can paddle or motor a smaller shallow-draft boat for several miles without seeing any man-made structures or human impacts. The area is home to mangrove trees that are very old and have very high canopies where many birds are able to roost in relative safety. There are no high-rises looming over the mangroves and there are no boat docks or channel markers ...just mangrove shoreline...several miles of it..and little evidence of humans.
    Along these shores folks have a wonderful retreat where you can "get away from the grid" but it may change soon due to thoughtlessness by some Manatee County Commissioners and a few local developers. There has been some good coverage in local papers thus far and there are several petitions we can all sign that are against this new development that they have well over a thousand signatures but we need more people to get involved. Local fishing guides and other local watersports and hotels/resorts who depend on such pristine locales for their guests to enjoy can lend their voice to the fight as well as average citizens who love this beautiful stretch of bay that has no equal in the entire Sarasota bay all the way to Venice.
    (P.S.) If you have a "letters to the Editor" portion of your newspaper please feel free to publish my letter therein..and thanks for doing such a great local newpaper "week-in and week-out".

  47. dale schmitdz

    That is correct.Kudos to Sue Lynn. Finally someone who has the stones to stand up to the special interests that are ruining our city. You want to come to the city and generate services...,pay. AMPD and code enforcement should issue tickets and make arrests for speeders, noise makers and partiers. Too much noise; evictions. You are lucky that we don't charge admission and set up a gate at the city entrance. Its our city if you don't like it leave.

  48. Marsha Bard

    Kudos to Sue Lynn and the Anna Maria commissioners for doing what they can to limit growth at this end of the island and putting some sensible building regulations in place. If you don't like the regulations, then take your money and move elsewhere. Residents who have been here for a long time should certainly have a louder voice than those who see the island as a cash cow.
    Folks who come out there and complain about the regulations are like people who buy a house next to the airport and complain about the noise the planes make.

  49. Susan Smith

    After several months of reading about this “tree HOUSE”, I feel the need to respond. Very simply, we have the rules on this island for the sake of this island. We all live on this island and many come here so, like us, they can value the beauty of this beautiful island. But, if there are people and developers who do not follow the proper rules and regulations of the island, then, our island will not and would not be the island we have come to love. With that said, there have already been too many violations of those rules and regulations that have been violated by those who use deceptive means by which to achieve their means. We see huge box rental houses with associated problems, etc. Now we have to deal with those same-type deceptive means with regards a “tree house”? As we say in the south, Bob was hit “upside the head” for I’m sure if and when Mr. Bob Shaffer gave a get-go for a tree house to be built, it is my opinion, in his mind he was probably thinking of those days when people throw together a few boards to make a base, hammered a few board up the tree trunk to make a ladder, and post a “No Girls Allowed” sign or something of the sort. I’m sure what was actually built, the tree HOUSE structure, was the last thing on his mind. Who, in their normal mind, and in my sane opinion, would ever conceive that Richard Hazen and Lynn Tran were actually conceiving otherwise except them? And, now that they are caught are trying every position to fight their outright violation of the rules; shame on you for setting a precedent for others to break the rules as well. And, before anyone thinks I know any of the parties, I don’t. I am merely a citizen who believes in the rules, and the rules dictate that tree HOUSE structure is not legal…period. Fellow islanders, let us not stand for any violations of our rules of our island by anyone for any reason in order that we can keep protecting this island that is our home, and is our vested interest to protect for the interest of the environment, as well as for our children and the people who visit here.
    Susan Smith

  50. jj

    another holiday ruined by disrespectful people at the "Island Time" rental on Cedar ave. Come to find this time it was the actual owners of the property. They arrived with 2 yapping little dogs which they attempted to leave outside the entire week. Im not having it. police were called. These dogs barked for 6 hrs straight before I called law enforcement. and before that I attempted to reason with the owners. Mon a vie owners, we may only be your part time neighbors but you must show us the respect you show your neighbors at your "Real House" You are supposed to be "Christians" riding around in your big bus with your cross of Jesus splattered all over your bus. Practice what you advertise and respect your neighbors.

  51. Carol Soustek

    The whitefly infestation totally covered my lumbo gumbo trees and most of my avocado tree. The black mess was overwhelming. The research I did led me to order green lacewings and ladybugs. I found these on the internet and not costly. What I read said insecticides were not effective. Perhaps if enough of these beneficial insects are released on the island, we may keep the whitefly in check. I already released 4,000 lacewings and 1,400 ladybugs this week. Will release another group in 3 weeks. My trees are budding out again and I see no whitefly at this time.

  52. A. Crone

    Go see the Tour of Homes. Note 533 69th St, and learn how colluding brokers, contractors, & home purchasers cheat honest residents by filing fraudulent documents with county & municipal officials who are willing to ignore obvious inconsistencies. Our fine Island newspapers should be investigating these frauds. Start now by visiting 533 69th St this weekend and comparing to the county appraiser's and recorder of deeds records. Lawsuits against elected officials are long overdue. Thank you.

  53. dale.schmitdz

    As far as the noise I am quite sure that the police and code enforcement will now be DOING THEIR JOB. In the late 1990's the police department evicted, ticketed, and arrested loud noise makers. Especially the nine & ten year olds that were screaming and yelling in the motel resort poools at 7:00 PM. Most of us out here are retired and go to bed early and wake up late. We don't need you're money so go somewhere else like Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. We aren't spring breakers out here.

  54. dale.schmitdz

    As far as the noise I am quite sure that then police and code enforcment will be doing their jobs. We need to go back to thee way it was when the old Chief ran things back in 2000. They wrote tickets, evicted, and arrested loud youngesters that were yelling and playing in those resort pools at 7:00 PM. Remember we are not working out here and most of us are retired. We sleep early and wake up late. If you are coming here to party go somewhere else we don't need you're money.

  55. Don Kane

    It's interesting how government works wherever you happen to be.
    I did a Google search on CellPhone coverage and found a story from a year ago about the need for a tower on Bradenton Brach, including the police departments needs.
    Today we find nothing has transpired and cell service is as bad as ever.
    Neighboring towns with spotty reception are fighting towers to bring service to their areas, too.
    One thing we like about AMI is its Old Florida appeal...sometimes, however, it's just too darn Old

  56. Ann Chappell

    The first thing I would have the City do is have all Rental Signs removed in front of properties. Anyone renting a house should be able to find the house by looking at the house number. A small sticker could be placed on the door so the renter could confirm they are in the right location.. Having signs on the property is advertising for the rental agents or the home owner. It detracts from the beauty of the island.

    1. Nancy

      I agree don't need a rental sign on the island to rent it successfully.
      From a visitors point of view it makes the island look like all the houses are for sale.
      It really is just advertising for the rental agencies.

  57. John Chambers

    The Anna Maria commission is considering 20 crosswalks at a cost of something over $6,000. I can not remember the last time a pedestrian was hit crossing the road. Too, does anyone really think crosswalks will change the behavior of our residents and visitors? Most likely they will continue to cross the roads wherever they want even if additional unwanted and unnecessary signs are purchased and erected. That of course would be in addition to the initial cost. And one would expect that the crosswalks need to be maintained by repainting periodically and replacing after road repairs and repaving, requiring yet additional funds. Pedestrians will probably feel safer crossing the road at designated crossing areas but what will the City do to provide a greater degree of safety for them? Whatever it is will surely hit the budget again but if the City does nothing else to promote safer crosswalks, is there additional liability incurred by the City when someone does get hurt? If the commissioners want to provide a safer environment, they would accomplish much more by providing continious sidewalks along Pine Avenue and removing the fencing along Pine which in several areas require pedestrians to walk onto the road. Pedestrians are also frequently encountered along North Shore Drive which has no sidewalks whatsoever. Let's spend our money on something that matters.

  58. jean baylee

    Back in Bradenton Beach and people still walking dogs on the beach everyday. When did the beaches open to dogs. Perhaps more signs are needed. Why not make a dog beach on the bay?
    Now we can buy alcohol at the snack shack. There's another great idea.
    This is supposed to be a family beach. How many families will come here to enjoy a day at the beach with drinkers and dogs. Great environment for kids.
    The County said it will provide enforcement of the no drinking on the beach. Maybe while they are out there they can enforce the no dog rule.

  59. Sally Decubellis

    Hey Bonnie, If you don't like what the plaza looks like then I think it's time you move to St. Armands Circle!!!! The problem is with people like you- this island is meant to look like a fun, quirky island like no other- not like the million other water front places that all look the same. You seem to not have much sense upstairs and must come from UP NORTH with that attitude. This island has looked the same for many years and has done just fine- now they are raking down all the old homes and replacing what you consider to be "improved homes" . These businesses have been here longer than you, and seem to be quite content- sure they have to spruce things up, but they will surely ruin the place if they make it look like Longboat Key. So tell me why did you move here??? STOP CHANGING THINGS TO LOOK LIKE EVEYWHERE ELSE!!!!!

  60. Bonnie MacQuarrie

    I agree, the new homes are just beautiful and thank goodness some is taking pride in our island.

    I would like to know why someone who is running for city Commissioner meaning "Judy Titsworth Holmes" whose family owns the main shopping center in Holmes Beach that has not been renovated since the 40's, who is also a contractor/builder and now complaining about everyone else in Holmes Beach who is improving things on the island... when their "Holmes Beach Plaza" looks like it belongs in a third world country.

    It is an Eye sore to the whole city and with her last name being "Holmes" you would think they would take pride in their property since their property is the center of the whole town and looks like "S--T." I know they are just waiting for someone to buy their plaza... if that is the case, then put it up for sale so someone else can make something beautiful. There are Trash cans, crumbling pavement, just plain ugly parking lot front and in the back, no landscaping, where I have to drive by to get home every day. UGLY! Rusty fences, cracking paint, looks like Holmes Beach Ghetto!

    I have thought about this for 10 years thinking someday it would change and it has not; now it will become a case for the people of our community to pressure them into spending money on their property! And I have to wonder, what kind of builders they are???? SHAME ON THEM for such a disgusting and unattractive plaza that we all have to drive by every day, and all of our tourist probably think, "Wow what an ugly plaza!"
    The poor store owners like IRENES RESORT WEAR, SUN AND SURF, SAND DOLLAR AND THE INTERIOR DESIGN STORE AND ART STORE would make a lot more money if the plaza was more attractive and inviting to shoppers and our tourists, ourselves and our guests who we invite to our beautiful island! It took me about 3 years to finally go to the stores there only because I got to know the hardware store owners and finally felt comfortable enough to go shopping there. I would just go to Bradenton Beach or Saint Arman’s Circle to spend my money, and believe me I would have bought more $$$$ at Sand Dollar and Irene's Resort Wear if I felt like I was enjoying myself more and not looking across at that hideous Service Station.
    We haven't even gone to The Feast Restaurant yet because the plaza looks so terrible! I would rather go to Bridge Street and Eat or anywhere else but there. They probably have great food, but the curbside is not appealing to us so we always pick somewhere else to go. I know they have all spent a lot of money on the inside, but CURB APPEAL AND LOCATION IS EVERYTHING IN A BUSINESS! So I know they are losing my money $$$$ every time I go out to eat, and I know other people have said the same thing to me! All I can say is if they plan to run the city like they do their plaza and business - I hope Judy Titsworth Holmes doesn't win. I am sure she is a nice person, never met her, but not impressed with her family name or how they run their business.

  61. islander Post author

    It’s a race
    Holmes Beach voters have choices to make in the Nov. 6 election, and with absentee voters already casting ballots and early voting beginning Oct. 27, it promises to be — thanks to the presidential race — a big turnout.
    And so, just like the issues currently undergoing scrutiny by the city, the race for two seats on the city commission and the mayor’s post is trending along the same path.
    Like one of the candidates said, it seems like “them vs. us,” but where we fall in that contest may be the bigger question.
    There’s no doubt residents in Holmes Beach had complaints about vacation homes taking over neighborhoods with party sounds, kids squealing in pools, too much garbage at the curb for too long, and too many cars parked at one residence.
    But those problems were addressed, for the most part, in pretty rapid order with cooperation between the city and rental agencies on guidelines for renters and a better plan for the city’s waste hauler. After all, the rentals are not illegal, the occupants came to enjoy vacations in paradise, and we who live and work here appreciate all that tourism brings to Anna Maria Island.
    Rentals are expected in the city’s Residential-2 zone — the area zoned for duplexes. That can’t be in doubt.
    But soon, the debate turned to how duplexes are built.
    Two buildings or one? The units, whether joined by a “party wall” or a footer, were being sold separately — a direct result of the economy and the tourism trend. It was both affordability and the desire to get in on the booming AMI rental market driving that engine.
    Did buyers want to own what appears to be a single-family home with a back-yard pool? Or a unit joined in the middle by a common wall? Easy answer. Buyers want their “place” in paradise.
    Did builders do something wrong in meeting those demands from the marketplace? No. The code allows builders to join duplex units with a common footer or roof, but separate the buildings and the lot to appear just like a home.
    Did some of the units take on too many bedrooms, too many visitors, too many cars or too many vacations? Perhaps. But that’s not up to the builder. The contractor builds what the customer wants — to code.
    None of the blame the candidates want to lay on the city belongs with the staff, the administration or the commission, but rather it belongs with existing codes.
    And if ping-pong tables and outdoor furniture don’t belong in the downstairs parking/storage area of three-story homes, then what does? If the property isn’t covered by insurance because of Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines, then isn’t that risk better left up to the owner? That too, is up to the city to revise in its code and we have no problem with allowing the “Brady Bunch” game rooms. After all, the city will have a tough time enforcing any rule to the contrary in single-family home districts.
    All of this is just to say, there are problems and there are solutions. If errors or allowances were made in setback calculations, or owners created game rooms after a certificate of occupancy was granted, or builders sought “more” for their customers than some people think should be granted, stricter guidelines are needed.
    And the city has been working in that direction. However, change does not come swiftly. There is much to be considered legally as to how regulations, policies and codes will affect the city.
    We think much has been accomplished. And we commend the administration for working with the building department and legal staff to accomplish policy changes, and the city commission for tackling new ordinances.
    When it comes to endorsing candidates, our choices come, not from reactions to attacks and accusations, but a place of moral obligation to the community.
    Our incumbent commissioners and the mayor have served us well. We believe that. They deserve time to continue resolving any problems the city still faces, especially the focus group solutions, building duplexes as one or two buildings, and restoring rental controls — home rule — taken by the state. There is much to do and it is far broader than the challengers issues.
    These elected officials didn’t cause the problems, and we believe they have acted with appropriate caution and actions to maintain the city now and for the future.
    But let’s take it step by step, one by one.
    Incumbent Commissioners Sandy Haas-Martens and John Monetti understand the problems the city faces — not just one or two issues — but the big picture. They possess leadership, experience and governance skills that are unchallenged.
    Mayor Rich Bohnenberger has led staff through troubled times — and city staff deserves to be retained and protected from the attacks by disgruntled neighbors and builders. He’s held the city tax bill or lowered it for five years, when neither of the other two island cities could accomplish the same. He set a path of creating small “pocket parks” and he’s been successful in developing relationships that bring these assets to the city at little to no cost. He’s a proven asset.
    Now consider his challenger, Carmel Monti. He has no history on AMI of community service, no relationships with business or community organizations, and his first claim regarding his mayoral candidacy was that he intended to move to Sarasota, but someone convinced him to jump into the race at the 11th hour. He said he’ll stay, but only if elected.
    That would be enough said, and while we like Monti the Earth-friendly organic grower, he’s — lacking an understanding of the process. He lacks any experience and he’s focused on only one issue. The city is not a business, it’s a community with a charter, a vision, a budget and a staff.
    And we also find Marvin Grossman a likeable and energetic guy. But we’d like to have his help studying issues and working with the city before we endorse him as a commissioner. He also is a one-issue candidate.
    And who doesn’t like the idea of electing someone from the Holmes family to the Holmes Beach Commission. Judy Holmes Titsworth would have the “heart” of the community in mind, but somewhere along her path to the dais, she turned bitter.
    We’re disappointed that she has taken to attacks against the mayor. Wait, isn’t she running for commissioner? The mayor, on the other hand, has devoted a considerable amount of time, cooperating on her concerns, and initiating policies in the building department based on her input.
    We know Titsworth started out wanting to run for the mayor’s seat, but her path to the commission seemed more logical. She also has not served on city boards, volunteered or attended meetings until recently. She also is a one-issue candidate.
    Quite simply, any newly elected official would be tested by the issues and changes our community faces from four real challenges: the economy, the real estate marketplace, tourism and FEMA.
    We find the challengers attacking good people — community members and neighbors — incumbents who have served us well and would continue to do so — especially in the face of their single issue. The challengers are not uniquely qualified to solve any problem, but they are single-minded in their purpose.
    On a final note, we saw first-hand how our community sank to an all-time low last week when state detectives and Homeland Security/ICE representatives came to AMI to raid construction sites and arrest illegal aliens. Was it motivated by politics or envy?
    Who suffered short of the tainted image it created for the island? Only one man was arrested and, for all we know, he has children who are American citizens.
    It was an especially sad day and a poor reflection on whoever initiated the complaint. A sad day for a community that should be sitting at the table together to resolve its problems.
    This election has turned ugly.
    We need to wrestle back some civility. And we need to allow the 20-plus years of experience among the incumbents to do that — and to manage the city forward.
    We recommend voting for three honorable, respected members of our community, Rich Bohnenberger, Sandy Haas-Martens and John Monetti.
    They deserve your vote. — Bonner Joy

  62. islander Post author

    Holmes Beach Negligence

    For over four years now, I have seen one contractor get deferential treatment from the city on FEMA Remodels. By repeatedly lying on affidavits and getting witting owners (investors?) to go along with his false statements, this so-called developer is making a mockery of our town.

    The fault, however, lies with the folks who allow this to happen. These include our building department, the mayor and most of our commissioners. All of them ignore not only the evidence, but the proof.

    Under Sunshine laws, I've obtained copies and reviewed 4 suspect 50% remodels - plans, permits, FEMA affidavits, emails, etc. These are not the big box violations, but were the most egregious of over 20 ground floor renovation suspects that I've personally seen. In every single case, the lies are blatant and unmistakable.

    These are not just a stretch of the city's codes, but plain old outright lies - under supposed Penalty for Perjury. Yet, this builder keeps submitting false FEMA Remodel permits, the city continues to approve them, and no one ever checks - or seems to care.

    Commissioner Peelen's Crisis report should have been the last of many wake-up calls since FEMA last investigated Holmes Beach in April 2008 and forced the city to further delineate its remodeling laws. Apparently not, since she's been castigated by all. Steve Titsworth, a quality and highly reputable builder also has seen enough, submitting his letter last week on the most current violations at 302 67th St.

    The Crisis report has implications of collusion or even worse. A full investigation is warranted - it's the only way to restore what little faith remains in our city's building department.

    I have copies of the proof. And, it's undeniable except to the folks who are paid by us to enforce our building codes. It's clear that the city - from the mayor to the building department - is highly negligent. At best.

    George Cummings
    67th St.
    Holmes Beach

  63. islander Post author

    Letter to the Editor

    I attended a Holmes Beach City Commissioner meeting last evening where Commissioner Jean Peelen submitted a report to the city commissioners and mayor stating solutions to what she termed " Our Holmes Beach Crises". That crises constitiutes having an "invasion" of renters in our R-2 rental district that have come here just to upset our quiet and quaint little city. The city that spends money to advertise and encourage visitors to keep our economy here going strong. Our "crises" is that one builder in particular has built over 100 new homes here replaceing the old run down previously flooded, moldy homes that were built here in the 40's and 50's. She states our landscape is changing. Well, Hallelulah, the rest of the world would love to have a "crises" where people are building new homes, renovating old ones, hiring contractors, buying furnishings, spending money in restaurants, retail stores, bars, and stimulating our tax revenue and property values.
    It is said that when one door closes another opens, and due to the recession, folks now have the opportunity to buy the old and make into new, clean, colorful homes with tropical landscaping, meeting all city, state and FEMA codes. What a "crises" we have!
    Comissioner Peelen"s solutions sounded something like this. Restrict Building, Restrict Floor Space, Restrict noise, Restrict pool size and number, Restrict Advertising, Fine, fine and yeah, fine again. Hire more enforcement officers, and fire our current. Hire enforcement officers to enforce the enforcement officers. Place more regulations and restrictions, and God only knows what is coming next.
    One gentlemen stated that this sounded more and more like the repressive country he left then the one he sought.
    I contend that education of our renters and our current codes will fix many problems, and enjoying life in an island paradise and getting along with our neighbors will fix many more. Last but not least, replacing Ms Jean Peelen as a devisive and self promoting commissioner, will fix the rest.
    Diana McManaway
    Holmes Beach Resident.
    August 15, 2012

  64. islander Post author

    I've noticed something interesting while driving around the Island lately. Notice how almost every developer-owned property in Holmes Beach has candidate support signs in the yards? And have you noticed which candidates those signs support?

    Drive down the 100 block of 65th St, towards the beach access, and you'll see two empty rental properties, as well as a construction site that has been used for equipment storage for MONTHS now. Look at the signs in the yards. Notice anything? They all support the incumbents! Then drive down Holmes Blvd. and look at the political signs in the yards of homes WITHOUT vacation rental signs in the yards, the homes where the year-round, tax-paying citizens who are registered to vote in the city live. Almost without fail, all of those support the challengers. While on Holmes, again, look at the vacation rentals, and especially the"semi-famous" units, the ones that have been the subject of numerous citizen complaints, as well as visits from code enforcement leading to a stop work order for blatant violations of the rules, units that have been vacation rentals from the day their COs were issued. Notice which candidates those sign promote. I've never seen so many signs supporting incumbents posted in the yards of folks who are not even eligible to vote in the City of Holmes Beach elections strongly trying to keep the current regime in place. If the current commissioners strongly resent the implications the developers have more influence in this city than the actual folks who vote in the elections, why are all of the signs for the incumbents in developer-owned properties and non-resident units? And why is it you rarely see a sign for the incumbents in a yard that lacks a "Vacation Rental" sign?

    Laurel Nevans
    6250 Holmes Blvd. Unit 23
    Holmes Beach, FL 34217

  65. islander Post author

    Thank you, Ms Peelen!
    We could not believe it when we read that Jean Peelen, a Commissioner for the City of Holmes Beach, is being sued by a contractor for defamation. In following the news regarding the city meetings over the last few months, we were amazed at the campaign waged against Ms. Peelen due to her efforts to serve her consituents and promote enforcement of building codes and regulations. In the October 17th Islander front-page article, the contractor father who filed the defamation suit states that he is a "fiercely independent businessman" and the word that jumped out at us was "fiercely." It was appropriate for him to use that description of himself, in light of the steps he took in filing a lawsuit against Ms. Peelen because she accidently used his first name in her newsletter instead of his son's name,, for which she apologized and sent an immediate correction. His lawsuit brings to mind another "f" word...frivolous. In addition, his actions have ironically drawn more attention to the code violations of his son, thereby voluntarily magnifying any defamation his son's actions have caused the family name. In his statement at the meeting, the father is intent upon distancing himself from his son. However, the distinguishing name here is the lasr name, not the first,.and the father should address any sullying of the last name with his son instead of fiercely trying to try to blame Ms. Peelen, The son is the person whose actions caused defamation to the father's name. But maybe the father has already filed a suit against his son and requested an immediate resignation of his son from the family.

    The father's call for the resignation of "Jean of Holmes Beach" (the protector of the little guy) is indeed fierce and unreasonable. The city did not ban his son or other builders/developers who have made "errors" and carried them to full effect, with no chance of correcting those errors and no apologies offered. The mistake made by Ms. Peelen was minute, and an immediate apology prevented any real damage to the father...however, the father and son's last name was still involved. The father's fierceness toward Ms. Peelen appears to us to be a punishment for her efforts to simply stand up for her constituents, which efforts helped bring the code violations to light and may also prevent further code violations,...benefiting our little island. The father's last name appears on his son's business vehicles in large lettering...we do not recall seeing a first name, so any violations of the son will automatically reflect on the father as well. We didn't even think badly of the family name due to the pool violations (more like business as usual... big city-style) but the lawsuit , in our minds, is a negative to his family name as it is fierce and extremely harsh treatment for an error that was immediately corrected and apology made.. .

    Regarding the October 17th article's reference to possible additional lawsuits against Ms. Peelen, it unfortunately appears as if attempts at enforcement of code have created bullies whose only concern is their bottom line (business as usual ... big city style). But this isn't a big city and that is what everyone loves about Holmes Beach. Ms. Peelen is trying to preserve the island's wonderful small-town environment with no bottom line profits rewarding her for her hard work...only constant attacks.

    We did not want to get involved in the ongoing battle but,, because of the strength she has shown in the face of the ongoing adversity and the fierceness of attacks, we just wanted to express our thanks to Ms. Peelen for taking on code enforcement issues to protect the beautifuI island of Anna Maria, and specifically, the City of Holmes Beach for generations to come.

    Tony and Marianne Butzek, Holmes Beach

    309 68th St.
    HolmeasBeach FL

  66. Brian Blaine

    I will be very brief, and in advance, if you could please forgive my ignorance and lack of understanding I would appreciate it with regards to the city’s decision to take away parking at the Anna Maria City Pier.
    You have the number one attraction in Manatee County where there is very little parking to begin with, you build up a beach right there which adds to more people coming to the Pier and you now want to build a park where people park so no one has anywhere to park to go to your new park. I’m kind of lost. I think you are too. Please help me understand.

    Thank You,

    Brian Blaine

  67. jj

    Has anyone noticed that one of the houses purchased by Culletta on Cedar is already back on the market for 900+k? This is the one he didnt or couldnt knock down, most of His renters are loud noisey and have dogs that bark and bark all night yet a local man on cedar is always being sited for his little dog who barks and you can hardly hear it. Fair??? I think not

  68. Outraged

    Regarding the shooting of the great white heron. This deranged man discharged a firearm in city limits without just cause. In addition to the Fish and Wildlife sanctions, is the City of Holmes beach prosecuting him for this? Have they taken away his all his firearms? What's to stop this nut job from shooting at a passing boater, or a dog walker on the street?

  69. susan begat

    As a Bradenton native who has enjoyed walking on The City Pier since the 1950’s, I was profoundly saddened to see the results of the latest dredging project at the base of the pier – a project that destroyed a huge amount of sea life, including coquinas, sea roaches, fiddler crabs, sea weed, and much more. Large marine animals – like turtles, dolphins, snook, etc - are part of a long food chain that begins at the shore. When people wonder why each year there are fewer shiners and other larger fish around the City Pier , they should look no farther than the dredged sand plopped on the shores inhabitants like a giant fist. Remembering the former richness of the Anna Maria shoreline as I do, I am convinced that so-called “restoration” projects have done much more permanent damage to the sea life in the Gulf of Mexico than the BP oil spill ever will, but officials smile at that white sand and don’t even have to pay a fine.

  70. jean baylee

    The New Fort Lauderdale West. We all loved the west coast of Florida for its laid-back way of life and family atmosphere. Now it's as busy, or perhaps more so, than the east coast of Florida. Thank you Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.

  71. mjk

    Ball field/dog park. What a shame! The field was donated for kids,but they have to pay a fee and have insurance? Meanwhile dogs play for free? Why can't they find someone to donate a dog park and not make it a public issue?

  72. jean baylee

    BRIDGE STREET - I visit several times a year and am surprised at the Bridge St. controversy. Ms. Suhre says there are 7 bars on Bridge St. yet I only find 2 stand alone bars. These have been there many years and are patronized by locals and tourists alike as well as the rich and not so rich. Bridge Street is a beautiful, safe street and popular with tourists such as myself.
    Tourists love to walk Bridge St. for its 8 fun shops (one with a coffee and wine bar), 3 fine dining restaurants (which serve alcohol), pier and restaurant, French-style Bistro, and a spa.
    I guess I'm saying, don't try to give Bridge St. a bad rep. It has the ambianace of a Tropical Island. The owners of all the businesses there take pride in their establishments and keep the area safe and fun for all.
    In conclusion, as my mom would say, "if you don't like it, don't go!"

  73. Sandra D'Amato

    Please do not approve that darn market on Gulf DR.! that thing is a joke! Every day I am held up at the same spot and the people are crossing at all different parts of the road! Why have 2 markets so close together?? We have enough problems with traffic on this island!

  74. islander Post author

    Socially correct

    A comment last week regarding a dog-friendly beach was attributed to the wrong person. Following are the correct comments from The Islander website comment page:
    “I think having a dog beach is a wonderful thing and is long overdue. The majority of dog owners are considerate and responsible. They will pick up after their dog. Since Manatee County and the Island cities have a leash law, there should be minimal disturbance to the birds and other wildlife. Regarding dog pee, yes, dogs do it. So do birds, turtles and other critters, although the consistency is somewhat different.” — Julie West
    “We already have a beach where dogs are allowed — the causeway beach along Manatee Avenue. I suggested that elsewhere and a dog owner was quick to reply she wouldn’t bring her dog there because it’s too dirty. Bingo! If even 10 percent of people don’t pick up after their dogs, that’s too much for the beaches we advertise as being white and pristine. Tourists come for a short time and do not take the time or an interest in our rules. The garbage left for days at the curb of the Island rentals proves that. Oh, and if you think most people pick up after their dogs, come and take a walk down Key Royale and check out the medians — nicely landscaped gardens that too many use for puppy potties.” — Marlane Wurzbach

  75. Heimo J. Keller

    CELL TOWER: A new Perspective
    Suddenly - after years of time, work and money have been spent on cell tower plans, ordinances and possible future installations - suddenly - a new perspective emerges: The City of Anna Maria is thinking of starting all the action anew, just because the City is dreaming of earning money with a new tower. Before this will happen a few points have to be clarified:

    (i) How many citizens have still cell phone problems, problems which solely are caused by too week signals? I would guess that the manifold of strong and efficient antennas in Holmes Beach has taken care of this part of the problem.

    (ii) How many citizens would like to be irradiated even more intensively with pulsed microwave radiation just because a Tele company wants to earn its money with installations on city grounds but with services, which are clearly intended for customers outside City limits - e. g. on boats or on the Sunshine Skyway? Otherwise - just by servicing the few people within City limits – there will be no way that the investments for the installations, their maintenance and the regular “rental” payments to the City will repay.

    (iii) The more than 2000 year old Roman life principle – up to this day the base of any reasonable jurisdiction and decision making – should be obeyed: “Audiatur et altera pars”. The other part has to be heard! Out there, are numerous serious and renowned experts who warn vividly – on the basis of strong scientific evidence - not to further intensify the exposure of the public to pulsed microwave radiation. At least one of them should have the opportunity to present his views personally in Anna Maria before a final decision will be made.

    (iv) My experience is to have a closer look at all “free offers” especially at those which promise additional “free money” before taking action. This should be done in this case too. NO THING is free. Not even death: It costs your life.

  76. Heimo J. Keller

    Happy Australian Pines Hunt.

    Finally just a few Australian Pines have survived in AM “Willow Park”- at least for a while. The natural habitat of the Barrier Islands is xeric (desert-like) and salty. Australian Pines are one of a few or even the only big tree species which can withstand such harsh conditions close to the waterline. If you will have just a look (live!) at the coast lines of numerous Barrier Islands – from here to Naples e.g. – it is obvious that beaches with Australian Pines close to the water are wider, steeper (more sand around the roots) and higher compared to beaches without these helpful trees. The State of Florida is spending millions of dollars to renourish, replant and to “fortify” ( seawalls, breakwaters and the like) beaches and some Communities use money to get rid of the Pines which help just the same purpose: To shield the Mainland and the Islands from the impact of storms. Avoiding to plant new Australian Pines on Mainland ground which is used culturally - on the one side - and cutting down helpful trees close to the waterline of a Barrier Islands - on the other hand -are just two totally different matters. And by the way: The few plants which grew in the windshield of the Pines will go, if the trees fall: Poor Mother-In-Law-Tongues!

  77. Kathy Caserta

                        Booty Call

    The weather has been so nice that one early evening we started to take a walk from 30th St. to the north end of the Island. We walked with a nice breeze and my husband was ready to head back after 1 and 1/2 miles of walking. That would make it a nice 3 mile walk. We turned around and no breeze, it was a little more humid so I was excited to suggest that we just walk further north and then take that great free trolley. After all, I just took that walk on Saturday and did not really even think about the distance since the weather was so cool and nice. I have been waiting all summer to walk the beach in cooler weather. The sunset was great just past the Sandbar Restaurant and I knew there was a trolley stop in front of The Studio on Pine. What luck, we arrived at the bench just as the trolley pulled up!
    What timing, we were ready after that brisk walk for a nice ride home. 
    It is everything you love about the Island, the beach walk, the trolley ride back. What a life!

    Now that you have the idea that I just did this walk on Saturday and was excited that my husband would take a nice long walk with me that evening let me tell you that it all came to an end. The trolley driver looked at me and said, "Sorry you are not allowed on the trolley without shoes!" Well it was around 7:30 and we already walked 3.78 miles on the beach and now we had to turn around and walk back? Now you are talking about 7.56 unplanned miles with the walk back!
    The beach was getting dark and people left large holes to swallow up a person if you are not very careful. I guess if you fell in one of those holes you would have to crawl home?

    I always walk with my flip flops and had no problem on Saturday since I walked the beach and then carried them when the sand was smooth. I did not even think anything about it. 
    Many people walk without shoes or flip flops and enjoy the beach and water. 

    I have lived on this Island since 1999. I always watch the tourists enjoying the Island and taking the trolley and started to get excited about acting like a tourist. 

    I have mentioned this to some other Islanders and now hear stories like mine. One person roller bladed with their son and got tired but was refused entrance to the trolley. 
    I have had conversations and heard enough stories now to make a suggestion. Much of the taxes collected on the Island are taken off the Island for projects. Well how about some booties like they wear in the hospitals? Why not have a box of them on all the trolleys so that a person does not have to exercise by default! I like staying healthy and chalking up the miles on a beach walk but never planned to walk all that way. 

    Holmes Beach

  78. David Youngs

    Park Property value in City of Anna Maria.

    Recently the Islander reported that the city of Bradenton Beach purchased 4 lots for the John R. Chappie Gulfside Park for $300,000 earlier this year. Equaling about $75K per lot.

    Earlier in October 2011, it was also reported that the City of Anna Maria paid $2.8 million for six lots to be used for a park on N. Bay Blvd. Equaling about $467K per lot.

    The question that comes to my mind is why the vast difference in pricing between property in BB verses AM? 622 percent more in AM. Probably I am missing something, but it does seem unusual to see such a huge difference for public use park property.

  79. Jamie Schindewolf

    After reading the recent article about prices on the island, I am a little confused as to why the article ignores the real reasons that prices are higher: gas and insurance. The trucks that have to bring these items all the way out to the island and back use a lot more time and fuel ( especially during season when they get stuck in traffic). Additionally, as any island resident knows, the cost of insurance on the island is higher than that of the mainland. I hear people complain about "price gouging" by our island stores all the time and I wish they would take a few minutes to consider the explanations I provided above. I for one am happy to pay an extra seven percent for the luxury of being able to stay on the island to shop, and am grateful that these stores are here.

    A happy consumer

  80. John Chambers

    Why Raise Taxes?

    Our Anna Maria city commission set the stage Thursday night for a 15% increase in our city’s property tax rate this year. This tentative rate would set a new high for the city’s rate in recent memory. Why would they do that when we are experiencing historic highs in unemployment and facing continuing economic instability with a very uncertain future? They want to have the funds available in case they decide to purchase the six lots at Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard. These lots, while nice to have, are not needed. There is not even a meaningful explanation as to what the lots would be used for after a purchase - maybe parking, maybe electric cart charging stations, maybe green space, maybe a festival destination. The city obviously does not have the funds to make this purchase so they want to pass the burden of the mortgage payments off to the taxpayers for the next 10 to 20 years for something unnecessary. Let’s concentrate on what is necessary – getting our reserves restored to a comfortable level in case of a catastrophe, natural or economic. With the proposed budget, this can be accomplished quite easily over the next two years at the current tax rate.

  81. islander Post author

    Endangered species: American fisherman

    I read with great interest the latest article regarding shark fishing. It reminded me of a debate I had with William Mote some years ago, when he wanted me to capture live sharks for his aquarium on City Island. He said a fisherman such as myself, who enjoyed fishing (and often killing sharks), was in direct conflict with those at Mote who believed in protecting animals.

    Which is why he said: “ It is necessary to re-educate a new generation about protecting shark species. This also is why at Mote we work hand-in-hand with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, to enact good, sound conservation policies.”

    This is one reason why Florida’ s Commercial Fishing Industry is nearly dead — 85 percent of seafood consumed here is imported.

    Jobs are lost and the charter boat fishermen are being choked economically — gag grouper and other fishing restrictions closing seasons during peak tourism, with more jobs lost.

    And telling local outdoorsmen they can’ t fish from a beach or a pier! This is what happens when eco-extremists, propped up by a government agency, at taxpayers’ expense can push bad science — speculative fish stocks — in the name of conservation. Anyone really concerned with conservation should read “ Embracing the Earth’ s Wild Resources” by Eugene Lapointe, an IWMC World Conservation Trust publication.

    Your article states, “ The FWC does not have extensive shark research facilities, so expert advice on sharks comes from Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, which has a shark research facility.”

    I find it humorous that concerns from a few — I must assume, animal rights activists — would contact Anna Maria Mayor Selby about prohibiting shark fishing anywhere on the island. People who don’ t know how to fish are telling those who do what’ s best for all.

    And why would the city commission find director of shark research
    at Mote Bob Hueter’ s input relevant. This is the same protectionist who claims, “ Sharks are near extinction and their numbers have dropped 50 percent.” Then contradicts himself by saying in the same publication, “ Quantifying the exact shark number is not possible.” (The Daily News, Oct. 24). He now claims in your publication, “ Florida waters abound with sharks and anyone entering the water is probably within a mile or two of them.”

    Which is it, Bobbie?

    Any serious shark fisherman knows sharks feed at night. Best time — full moon and an outgoing tide. Anyone who wants to swim during these conditions is asking to become shark bait. It’ s my hope that when Gov. Rick Scott receives a true assessment of shark stocks from my fishermen’ s legal catch totals, photo documentation and DNA samples from my Predator Roundup Tournament, along with the National Fishing Alliance’ s reports of real industry data, some heads will roll at FWC.

    We need to stop wasting tax dollars on the FWC which implements these restrictions based on biased opinions of eco-extremists. As to any attempt to regulate shark fishing on Anna Maria Island, the Florida statutes state: The beach below the mean high-waterline is owned by the state. This renders any bans on beach shark fishing unconstitutional! On Feb. 2, the Boca Raton Marine Advisory Board voted unanimously to reject an ordinance banning shark fishing. Common sense prevailed.

    Forty years ago, I stepped out my back door and saw an America that was land of the free and home of the brave. Today, I step out the same door and see an America that is the land of the lobbyist (Peta, Pew, etc.) and home of the special interests (non-governmental organizations raising money)

    If Anna Maria Island City Commission attempts any anti-shark fishing ordinance, I will sue. As an outdoorsman, I will fight to protect my rights.

    Capt. Bill Goldschmitt, Sarasota

    1. Arthur Haine

      The Neanderthl mentality evident in the letter by Capt. Goldschmitt is the reason inshore fishing has become so poor here in Ma.The population of fluke, flouder, cod, scup,black sea bass and blackfish has been decimated by overfishing. As a result the economy has suffered in some areas. The only thing worth fishing for here anymore without running way offshore are bluefish and striped bass. The striped bass have taken a big hit in recent years yet the Fish and Game has failed to take appropriate measures because they are controlled by the commercial fishing lobby.
      I fish Florida in the winter and do not mind paying $50 for a non resdident license because I realize at least some of the money is going to the preservation of species. When I hear someone like Goldschmitt whining I know the Fl. authorities must be doing their job.

  82. islander Post author

    Marine life

    I am surprised at the recent outrage regarding my bull shark that was caught and released at the northern point of Anna Maria Island.

    I am more surprised at the assumption that chum was used.

    Fishing for shark is not a science, nor is it difficult. You merely put a piece of dead bait in the water.

    By no means was I "attracting" said shark to the area. The annual tarpon migration up the Gulf coast beaches that is so commonly publicized is always accompanied by trailing hammerhead and bull sharks.

    Just last year I had a 12-foot hammerhead cut a 6-foot tarpon in half, merely 75 yards from the beach. The blood and debris in the water was as graphic as any crime novel, yet there were no attacks to the swimmers oblivious to the spectacle.

    I implore the residents of Anna Maria to know the eco-sysem of the waters that surround our little island in the Gulf and to do the research on the tactics of our fishing residents before we “necessitate a debate within our public forum.”

    David White,

  83. islander Post author

    Just wondering

    Just wondering if Joan Dickinson, Greg and Ann Loomis and Freida Williams are accepting applications of the “shark police.”

    I’d like to apply.

    Does the position “entale” giving the sharks a warning first or just throwing them in the pokey — I mean aquarium.

    You live long enough, you’ll hear everything.

    I laughed so hard over the stop shark fishing article that I sent it to Reader’s Digest and Jay Leno’s show.

    W. Weser, Holmes Beach

  84. islander Post author

    On the scene

    Concerning “Police guard frolicking manatee herd from crowd of swimmers” in the June 8 Islander, I wish the newspaper been able to interview the bystanders.

    My wife and I, along with Holmes Beach neighbors, were in that crowd watching manatees mate May 8. About 20 people were wading — not swimming — a respectful distance from the animals when I arrived at about 5:30 p.m. At one point, I observed someone try unsuccessfully to touch a manatee. Two young police officers stood by, observing. The scene was calm.

    A largely enjoyable experience dissipated 10 minutes later with the arrival of a Holmes Beach Police Department sergeant who blew a whistle while marching into the crowd. All of us, it seemed, were too close to the water.

    Later, observing the tide was in the early stages of waning, I asked the sergeant who would help the remaining manatee into deeper water. He became irate and insisted that I move away.

    Back at the house, I e-mailed Mote Marine Laboratory, asking what anyone might do to help the remaining stranded animal.

    At about 10:30 p.m., my wife and I returned to the beach to see how the manatee was faring. The animal was still there, now yards from the nearest tide, a darkened Holmes Beach police vehicle nearby. No one else was around.

    The following morning I received a reply from Mote stating FWC officials moved the Manatee into deeper water overnight.

    I commend the behavior of all of the police officers but one, who belied his circumstances by asserting himself inappropriately. He was brash, bullying and insensitive. I was chagrinned that such person represented my community in an official capacity.

    Fred Teeter, Holmes Beach and Westminster, Md.

  85. islander Post author

    Chumming ban encouraged

    We were encouraged to see an article in the June 8 edition of The Islander about a request by several Anna Maria residents to prohibit chumming, the use of blood or cut up fish as bait to attract sharks close to shore. We urge Anna Maria’s commission to seriously consider this proposal. We believe that there would be support for this proposal among city residents.

    There is disagreement about the danger of chumming, but many believe that the practice attracts sharks to an area and increases the likelihood that sharks will come close to and be aggressive toward humans.

    In 2001, Florida was the first state to prohibit the feeding of sharks while diving.

    In July 2010, Vero Beach adopted an ordinance prohibiting chumming and "bloodbaiting" from any park or beach within city limits.

    Delray Beach approved an ordinance that bars chumming and fishing for sharks within 300 feet of the public beach.

    In addition to public safety concerns, shark fishing bans are strongly supported by conservationists. Sharks are magnificent creatures who are essential to the ocean ecosystem. Many species of sharks have seen their numbers decline in recent years.

    We urge commissioners to consider a ban on chumming and shark fishing in Anna Maria.

    Nick Atwood, Animal Rights Foundation of Florida

  86. Bonner Joy

    My husband and I believe were the first couple to get married on this boat - July 4, 1986... We celebrated our 10th anniversary with friends and family on her too. I was told the boat was scrapped and about Captain John's passing. He actually lived in the same complex as we did upon our return from CT... I have been trying to locate the boat in VA to surprise my husband for our 25th anniversary.

  87. islander Post author

    "I am responding to the letter from Bill Imfeld regarding 'that liberal agenda' in the April 6th editorial. Personally, as a Florida resident, I appreciate all comments from our news media regarding what is going on in this state. Too bad, Mr. Imfeld, that you are offended by an honest editorial in a local Florida newspaper. We, as Floridians and Anna Maria Island lovers and residents, want to know what is going on in our state and local cities. For you to be offended by political statements from a newspaper in an area that you visit, is ludicrous. The more informed our voters are, the better. All views should be analyzed and taken seriously. The fact of the matter is, that Florida elected a governor who is overreaching. I believe having the klieg lights shine on this issue is invaluable to our citizens. Thank you Islander. You are still my favorite Island newspaper.
    Maureen Dahms Bradenton "

    1. Almendra

      You have got to be kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why do we sliten to what the snowbirds recommend, leave the island the way it is- if you want an amusement park go toDisney World!!!!!! Now you know why there are not many people left that live here full time- what used to be a peaceful place to live has turned into a nightmare!!! This island does NOT need an amusement park!!! People come here to relax and get away from it all!!! I am sick and tired of people coming here for a week and then deciding the island needs this and that!! As it is all the old houses are being torn down for another real estate company!!! Now to all the people that read this don't get your panties in a wad and think I am bashing tourists- there's always someone out there! I have made many a friends to people from up north its just a select few that can't leave it alone. I live in a condo by the beach with my family and some of the retirees that come from up north do not like that we have children that live where they come to stay- rent a 55 and over if you do not like it, this beautiful island is shared by many- young and old. But PLEASE do not add this to the island, it would forever ruin it!!!!!!!!

      1. Patrick

        The delicious irony in your posting is that you decry the loss of the old homes in Anna Maria, but then go on to talk about how much you love your "condo by the beach".

        You mean the condo built in "Old Florida" or the one that was built on the ruins of Old Florida?

        Your condo destroyed something before it. Maybe your box is better than what existed prior, but maybe (probably) it destroyed something you want others to maintain - on their own dime - so that your view of the island is not diminished by...(wait for it)...developers who built the condos like yours.

        I cannot maintain my Old Florida home because Anna Maria Island won't let me. We have no choice but to tear it down and replace it with something the laws, rules, edicts and zoning require: an ugly box on stilts.

        Fix the 50% rule for Old Florida - let us take a 70 year old structure in need of serious TLC and fix it for the next 70 years. Until you push for that, your condo is the problem and its occupant is guilty of wishful thinking.

  88. Richard C. Maddox

    Holmes Beach's has an ethical quandry: the mayor solicits items of value to raffle off to the employees of the city. He states there is a policy that forbids gratutities to employees and it is not being violated because he is the intermediary.

    The question is who is attempting to gain favor? The mayor with the employees; the donor with the mayor, or the employees? The mayor said that the employee doesn't actually know who the donor is. I suppose if the favor were ever called in, then they will know; till then step lightly because someone may have gained undue influence.

    This policy has an air of impropriety at the minimum, even if well intended. At the most, if not properly voted and documented it may violate the state provision for extra compensation.

  89. T Boyer

    DaGiorgio's Aria strikes a sour note! We were given a gift certificate at Christmas for Dagiorgio's, now Aria in Sarasota. Unable to use it during that visit, we planned on using it in March before it's due date March 28, 2011. Alas, we have been told by the owner himself that this was a "new business" despite the fact that he is the same person. Granted, that may be true, but if he wished to retain customers, no complimentary glass of wine or appetizer for keeping our reservation on a Wednesday night was offered, just bad attitude and defensiveness. Save your gas and time --skip Aria in Sarasota and patronize any one of the other restaurants that wants to retain your business.

  90. Heimo J. Keller

    Cell phone radiation effects
    I wonder if any one of the supporters of even more intensive "cell phone radiation" on AMI has ever had a look at "You Tube"( This could easily be done by typing a neutral heading like - "cell phone radiation" - e.g., into the search box of their "starting page". This action would open up a full spectrum of contributions of different aspects of the problem. You could watch videos - viewed and commented by hundreds of thousands of people around the world - which show some of the surprises connected with the use of this technology. You can see videos in which corn is popped up just using the energy of a few cell phones, in which water is brought to boiling and many other "funny" experiments. Though these immediate "thermal" effects are certainly much less severe on the long run compared to the "non-thermal" effects - at least in my opinion - it is impressive to watch what you can do with a cell phone and its energy.
    Obviously there are also many serious contributions about "non-thermal” effects, like brain tumor and other cancer risks and much more of the like. And all these hundreds and/or thousands of entries about the risks of cell phone radiation on a web page which could not be suspected to be a strong opponent of wireless communication. Have a look and have fun, if you dare!

  91. PEELEN Post author

    Lisa and Bonner:

    I always admire when people take a stand. I am all for creating a real no-kill policy in Manatee County. I do, however, want all the facts out there. Eighty two dogs and 58 cats were euthanized in December and that is horrible. Just horrible.

    There are more facts though that concerned people would want to know that didn't appear in your editorial.

    In December 235 dogs and 137 cats were picked up by Animal Services wandering the streets. Sixty nine dogs and six cats were returned to their owners. Forty eight dogs and 30 cats were transferred to rescue groups. Fifty seven dogs and 17 cats were adopted.

    Animal Services is a small group of underfunded people who are doing what they see to be their best with the deluge of dogs and cats being abandoned by owners. They didn't create the deluge and they probably cannot, alone, create the solution.

    The tone of your editorial was confrontive and accusatory. I'm sorry to see that, because The Islander would be a wonderful ally for creating more adoptions, assisting with requiring spay/neuter rules, and making Manatee County a truly no-kill county.

    Jean Peelen, Holmes Beach

  92. Bonner Joy

    Shame on Laurie.

    Lisa Williams is a former investigator with a national animal rights group, and a staff member at The Islander, and corroborating on the content of her guest editorial is not an unusual practice, nor is it considered plagiarism. It's appropriate. We intend to push forward in asking for better laws, better practices and fewer killings at animal services because once the blinders of government employees are removed, they can accomplish a great deal more for animals.

    MY REPLY TO THOSE WHO REPLIED IN THE SUMMIT NETWORK THAT OUR COMMENTS (both mine and Lisa Williams') are negative, I hope you rethink your words. Most of you are involved in rescue groups, trying to save animals. We only seek to put a halt, once and for all, to the slaughter of innocent, homeless domestic pets at Manatee County Animal Services. Is that not your goal? WHY don't you join us in taking the steps to make Manatee County a true no-kill community? It's entirely possible to do this in very short order, and government has not yet succeeded. WHY do you protest our effort to convert to no-kill?

    It's completely incongruous. If you want a no-kill community, stop bickering, sign the petition and we'll notify you when we plan to address the county commission.

    E-mail us at or sign up on Facebook at Make Manatee County No Kill.

    Bonner Joy, publisher, The Islander

  93. Charlene Inglis

    Manatee County Animal Services Adoptions

    In January of 2006, I was lured to the Palmetto shelter by a friend who told me that a "white Cockapoo" was in danger of being euthanized because she couldn't be put out for adoption due to fear-barking. Was I ever shocked when employees brought out a huge brown dog who'd been discarded like yesterday's garbage and abandoned overnight a few days before.

    This girl, now named Peachy Doodle, didn't make a sound when she saw me, but came over and pushed up against me. Well, big brown dog stole my heart immediately. How I would explain to my husband a dog who was a different color and at least four times the size we were expecting remained to be seen.

    I observed at least three employees whose emotions were palpable in the hopes that I'd take this pitiful victim out of the shelter so they wouldn't have to kill her. One nice young man had tears of joy in his eyes when he loaded her into my car, and thanked me repeatedly for saving her.

    Upon taking her to the vet, tests revealed that she was in the final stages of egregious neglect. She'd been bred nearly to death, was severely underweight, full of every imaginable parasite, had teats nearly a foot long, mammary tumors, and apparently had never had a bath much less ever been groomed. Titers run on her revealed that she basically had no levels of antibodies in her system either. She was very sick and very sad. We later learned that she suffered from inflammatory bowel disease, likely due to years of stress and untreated parasites.

    After four baths, a grooming, great veterinary care and a proper diet, Peachy turned out to be a stunningly beautiful huge, white, healthy, and very happy girl.

    I cannot adequately express how much joy she has brought to our lives, and the lives of our other canine and feline companions --happiness that Peachy, as well as we, would have been denied if the employees at Manatee County Animal Services had not worked very, very hard to save her life. These unsung heroes will always hold a very special place in our hearts.

    Charlene Inglis,
    Nokomis FL

    1. Deborah Willimet

      God bless you and your family for saving this dog. I live near Pittsburgh. On one trip to AMI, we found a cat with no home, hungry, etc., living on the street. We tried to find her owner to no avail. We flew her home and she had 7-1/2 years of love in our family. Her bond with my daughter, age six at the time, grew into something amazing. We had to put her down on Easter of this year and we miss her terribly. Blessings to you.

Leave a Reply