Your Comments

  • Rob and Anne Wood: I got to know Tom DeMott while vacationing in a rental house on Willow Street, Anna Maria, for several seasons. We passed each other to and from the beach at the end of the street almost daily wh...
  • Cyclist: If Ganis opened his car door into the path of the cyclist, the cyclist likely had to slam on his brakes resulting his fall (possibly head over handlebars). It seems to me that contact is not necessary...
  • Rick Kaz: This was a terrific article but only touched on life with wild animals. You would probably be very lucky to actually see a coyote as they are very elusive and crepuscular/nocturnal being active at daw...
  • Margaret Gacki: I was among a dedicated gathering of Janis' fans, worldwide, watching the live stream online. It was amazing! Such a thrill and an honour for me, to see her "live" and in real time. A first for me and...
  • Ona Podell: What a wonderful time spent listening to Janus Ian. We drove from New Tampa to see her. She is a classic performer....
  • Bill McGrath: GOODd work on the Coast Guard article, Ms. Prucnell. Minor detail: I'm the former prez of the AMI Dem Club....
  • Frank Rodrigues: Great news!!! Will be there in June!!!!!!...
  • Tom: Do you feel the city has to also eradicate those nasty, evil sharks? I'm sure many are staying away from the island because they are really scared of those too....
  • bonnerj: Ask the BBPD, but I'm pretty sure the response is that more than one officer is required to process a DUI, and there is a MCSO traffic team that specializes in DUI (for better court results) ... and a...
  • Determined: Why is it that B.Beach P.D. has to call M..C.S.O. to process a D.W.I. ?...
  • bonnerj: LOL. LOL. LOL. Both Mayor Dan Murphy and myself had a chuckle over your request. The answer to your question, however, is a resounding NO....
  • bonnerj: I hope you educate yourself on how to live with coyotes......
  • bonnerj: The Islander story doesn’t say it is a Mote-funded project....
  • Marine ScientistPhD: This is a good long-term project. It is NOT a Mote project, but is funded as an independent entity. Mote does not fund (out of its millions of dollars of donations and aquarium fees) much of anyt...
  • Jeff Porzelius: Mr. Jones should rethink the city's position on Coyote control and do it quickly!! I've been to Anna Maria Island over a dozen times from Illinois, and would not return, especially with children , kn...
  • Theresa Annese: Good morning. Several years ago I purchased a plank on the pier with our family names. Will that option be available again.. Thank you...
  • bonnerj: But, but, but.... You must be kidding. Can you change seats in your car in a matter of seconds while it's moving? If so, what are you driving because it is IMPOSSIBLE in a sports car, especially so in...
  • Janet Aubry: Ok, I'll cop to nosey with a caveat of concern. People are interested in how this guy manages to break so many laws and star in so many news stories yet still remains free to break more another...
  • bonnerj: Seems like nosey questions ... not pertinent to the news report. Watch the video. The driver was NOT Shawn Kaleta. -- Bonner Joy...
  • Janet Aubry: I attended an informative, compelling , well documented presentation at the last Anna Maria City Commission meeting. Mr. Jones, who is with the City of Anna Maria, presented a wealth of information ...

112 thoughts on “Your Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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 Ann….you 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!!!!!

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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!”

  20. 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!


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