BP announced at about 2 p.m. July 15 that it had stopped the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil well about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans.
Oil had been leaking from the well into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of 35,000 to 60,000 barrels a day since April 20, when an explosion occurred at the Deepwater Horizon rig. The blast killed 11 workers and set off a massive effort to stop the leak and contain the gushing oil.
Voters in Anna Maria will decide Sept.7 whether to keep Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus in office, or recall him under the provisions of Florida’s recall statute.
Chief Judge Lee Haworth of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court today set Sept. 7 as the date for the recall election after receiving and accepting the Recall Commissioner Stoltzfus petition from Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Bob Sweat.
Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Bob Sweat notified Anna Maria city clerk Alice Baird July 9 of the certification of the second petition submitted by the committee to recall Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus.
Stoltzfus was notified later that day at his Pennsylvania home and the recall process will now proceed to the courts.
Anna Maria’s planning and zoning board had two new members at its July 5 meeting, along with a request from Commission Chair John Quam to have a number of recommendations finalized for presentation at the commission’s July 8 work session.
The request from Quam meant P&Z Chair Randall Stover had to bring new members Mike Pescitelli and Carol Yetter up to speed on regulations for Segways and other personal motorized vehicles, in addition to the Quam parking plan proposed for Pine Avenue.
Options to purchase property for public parking in Bradenton Beach’s downtown district will be allowed to lapse.
The city community redevelopment agency committee did not move forward July 7 with the options for the parking proposal brought to the table by committee member Ed Chiles.
Chiles had recommended purchasing at least two properties in the 100 block of First Street North and adjacent to the city hall and Tingley Memorial Library. And, last week, he said a third property had become available.
Christopher Drescher, 30, entered a guilty plea in Manatee County Circuit Court July 6 to charges of home invasion robbery and false imprisonment in an April 17, 2008, incident involving former Anna Maria City Commissioner Linda Cramer.
Drescher’s plea came a few days after the long-awaited trial began June 28.
Summer tourism on Anna Maria Island appeared to jump-start in early July and many in the industry attribute that to the BP oil spill that is already affecting Florida’s Panhandle resort locations.
At the Manatee County Tourist Development Council’s July 7 meeting in Holmes Beach, Kristen Moriarty of Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures said her business is up 30 percent from last year at this time, thanks to vacationers who normally head to Pensacola and Panama City coming to Anna Maria Island.
Vacationing New Yorker Phil Thurman can point to the place on a Gulf of Mexico map where the Deepwater Horizon well is gushing oil.
Bill Prince, vacationing on Anna Maria Island from Atlanta, knows generally where the still-growing plume is projected to travel.
Both men — who had been planning to vacation in the Panhandle last week — are aware that the spill that began April 20 about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana remains about 350 miles away from the Tampa Bay area.
Some Anna Maria Island charter boat captains are anticipating they will dodge the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and possibly benefit from an increase in tourism.
With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently releasing a study that projected the Island has a 1 percent chance of seeing any oil, the captains think visiting fishers will funnel to the area from the Panhandle and other Southern states.
Some captains, such as Capt. Warren Girle, already have noticed increased clientele. He said three out of his six charters last week were from anglers who normally book fishing trips in the Pensacola area, which has been touched by oil.
Ann Howard of Bradenton wins the third week
of The Islander’s Top Notch photo contest with
this image of a spotted eagle ray leaping in Longboat Pass. She is a
nominee for the Top Notch grand prize, including a feature spot in the
Jack Elka 2011 Anna Maria Island calendar.
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