Author Archives: Mike

Permit For Holmes Beach Hotel ?

Updated 3-2016 and 9-2017 below.
Back in 2001, a former landmark restaurant “Pete Renard’s”, and briefly “Marina Bay”, lay abandoned and deteriorating in the heart of Holmes Beach. Opposite the main mall Island Shopping Center, and sitting on prime waterfront with boat canals and docks, the previously family run night spot with the revolving floor and popular restaurant changed hands and then closed.

Holmes Beach City Mainsail Tidemark marina

It’s been 7 15 years since an aspiring developer put together a plan for a complex of 40 luxury hotel condominiums, a deepwater marina for yachts and boats up to 65 feet in length, a restaurant, lounge and meeting facilities, to be called Tidemark Lodge & Marina.

Pre-construction sales of condominium suites were priced from the $300,000s to the $600,000s. The plan was approved by the city commission and demolition began. Periodic press releases promised great things even as long periods passed with no activity on the site.

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Manatee Watch

manatee by NOAA National Ocean Service

Photo by NOAA National Ocean Service

Anna Maria Island includes several areas where manatees graze seagrass beds and pass through boat channels and canals. On the Gulf beach, in 2011, a herd of 13 manatee congregated and had to be patrolled by Police to keep onlookers from endangering themselves and the animals.

Finding and viewing manatees in the wild is a rare occurrence but Bradenton has one, named “Snooty”, at the South Florida Museum. He was born in 1948 and is the oldest manatee in captivity. You can see “Snooty” at the Parker Manatee Aquarium, 201 10th St W., Bradenton.
Update July 23, 2017: Snooty died by accident one day after its 69th birthday.

Update August 31, 2017: South Florida Museum board of trustees admitted to being at fault when it announced Snooty became stuck and drowned in a tunnel due to negligence and complacency by staff, who were aware of a loose cover panel that was not repaired. “Justice for Snooty” is calling for resignations or firings of museum CEO Brynne Anne Bresio and COO Jeff Rodgers. Aquarium director Marilyn Margold no longer works at the museum. Staff have received additional training with a new checklist and record-keeping instructions.

Mote Marine Lab has two manatees, and numerous other aquatic wildlife, at their research facility Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, at City Island off Lido Key.

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2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast


The season’s first updated June forecast for Atlantic hurricanes in 2017 has been released by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project.

(April 6 ) This year, 2017, the expectation is for a “below average” year, based on 29 years of observations from 1981 to 2010. There is the potential for shear-enhancing El Niño conditions to develop over the next several months. The tropical Atlantic has cooled over the past month, and the far North Atlantic is currently colder than normal. These cold anomalies tend to force atmospheric conditions that are less conducive for Atlantic hurricane formation and intensification.

(June 1) We have increased our forecast and now believe that 2017 will have approximately average activity. The odds of a significant El Niño in 2017 have diminished somewhat, and portions of the tropical Atlantic have anomalously warmed over the past two months. While the tropical Atlantic is warmer than normal, the far North Atlantic remains colder than normal, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation. We anticipate a near-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean.

August 2004, Hurricane Charley washed out part of Captiva Island.

August 2004, Hurricane Charley washed out part of Captiva Island.

From http://tropical.colostate.edu :-

We anticipate that the 2017 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have slightly below- average activity. The current neutral ENSO is likely to transition to either weak or moderate El Niño conditions by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. The tropical Atlantic has anomalously cooled over the past month and the far North Atlantic is relatively cold, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation. We anticipate a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.
by Philip J. Klotzbach and Michael M. Bell (as of 6 April 2017)

An analysis of a variety of different atmosphere and ocean measurements (through March) which are known to have long-period statistical relationships with the upcoming season’s Atlantic tropical cyclone activity indicate that 2017 should have slightly below-average activity. The big question marks with this season’s predictions are whether an El Niño develops, as well as what the configuration of Sea Surface Temperatures will look like in the tropical and far North Atlantic Ocean during the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.

June 1 – Our confidence that a weak to moderate El Niño will develop has diminished since early April. While upper ocean content heat anomalies have slowly increased over the past several months, the transition towards warm ENSO conditions appears to have been delayed compared with earlier expectations. At this point, we believe that the most realistic scenario for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is borderline warm neutral ENSO to weak El Niño conditions. There remains a need to closely monitor ENSO conditions over the next few months. Additional discussion of ENSO will be included with the July 1 and August 4 updates.

2017 Forecast numbers:

Atlantic Hurricane SeasonApril    June 2017 forecast29-year Median
Named storms (>35mph winds) 11         13
12
Hurricanes (>72mph winds) 4             6
6.5
Major hurricanes (>111mph winds) 2             22
US landfall likelihood42%        55%52%
Gulf Coast landfall probability24%        32%30%
Major Hurricane in Caribbean
probability
34%        44%42%
Manatee County hurricane landfall
probability*
0.6%        0.7%0.7%
Manatee County tropical storm
probability*
14.7%      18.3%17.1%
Manatee County >75mph wind gusts
probability*
4.2%        5.4%5.0%

* http://landfalldisplay.geolabvirtualmaps.com

Tracks of major hurricanes making Florida peninsula and East Coast landfall during 1916-1965 and 1966-2015.

Tracks of major hurricanes making Florida peninsula and East Coast landfall during 1916-1965 and
1966-2015.

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Anna Maria Island Sights

Top 5 Sightseeing Activities On Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Beach

Anna Maria Island Beach

Anna Maria Island sightseeing is a unique experience unlike that of any other place in Florida!  While plenty of Florida cities and towns are beautiful, there is an old charm about Anna Maria Island you just don’t find anymore. There are no high-rises, parking garages or large chain stores. Anna Maria Island is truly an authentic old Florida vacation destination.

During your visit there are a few spots that you must add to your sightseeing bucket list. Check out the Island Real Estate top five sightseeing activities on Anna Maria Island.

Visit the Piers

Anna Maria City Pier

Anna Maria City Pier

While on Anna Maria Island you must visit at least one of the three piers. Each offers a unique piece of island history, and some great fishing too! On the north end of the island you’ll find the Rod & Reel Pier and the Anna Maria City Pier. Both offer views of Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. On the south end of the island you’ll find the Bradenton Beach city Pier with views of Sarasota Bay and the coastline of Cortez Fishing Village. Each of the three piers offers dining options, and is the perfect spot to catch sunrise.

The Anna Maria City Jail

Anna Maria City jail

Anna Maria City jail

It’s not a visit to the island if you don’t get your picture taken inside the old Anna Maria City Jail. Find it at the Historical Society Museum on Pine Avenue. No roof, no doors, no windows, no bar and no visitors for years and years!
Now a local tourist stop, the Anna Maria City Jail typically was used for overnight stays by “the rowdies” who had too much to drink at the local dance hall. Continue reading “Anna Maria Island Sights” »

Anna Maria Island Bridge and Cortez Bridge Openings Change

Update Feb, 2017: U.S. Coast Guard proposes changing operating schedule of bridges across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from three times per hour to twice. Anna Maria Bridge and Cortez Bridge will open on the quarter hour and three-quarter hour on demand, during daylight hours. The change is to be year-round. The proposal is open for comment until April 14.

On Jan 15, 2014, the US Coast Guard began its winter schedule for the timed raising of 2 bridges that connect Anna Maria Island to the mainland.

Anna Maria Bridge opening

Passing under the Anna Maria Island Bridge

The summer schedule allowed for on-demand raising at 20 minute intervals: on the hour, 20 past, and 20 ’til, if required by a boat during daylight hours.

The winter schedule now in force from Jan 15 to May 15 is for 30 minute intervals: on the hour, and the half hour, on demand, during daylight.

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