Clyde Dillard Adams

C. D. Adams (Clyde Dillard “Doc”) died May 10, 2017, at his home in Sebastian, Fla.

C.D. is the sixth son of Willis and Dora Fulford Adams, of Cortez, and the grandson of the first Cortez family, William T. and Sallie Adams Fulford. He is predeceased by his parents; five brothers, William H., Willis H., Leon H., Clayton; and, three sisters, Pauline Forcke, Doris Green and Mabel Hipp.

He is survived by his wife, Jeanie (McCann); four sons, Tim (Sue), of Sebastian Fla., Mark (Paula), of Houston, Texas, Thomas (Sue), of Sebastian Fla., and Steven, of Alaska ; a brother Cleve Adams, of Gardena, Calif.; 11 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; two nieces; five nephews; and, eight first cousins. A fishermen grandson comes to the west coast to fish during the mullet run.

C.D. graduated from Bradenton High School in 1942, and he returned for many of the class reunions throughout the years. He is remembered for bringing buckets of golf balls that he had picked up on his run every morning through the golf course. After graduation, he quickly enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. While flying over Germany, he had to parachute out of the B 17 bomber when it was too damaged to fly. The survivors hid out for several days. He was captured by farm women armed with pitchforks while he was digging up turnips to eat. He was a prisoner of war for seven months in a German prison camp. When he returned to the states, the Japanese had surrendered before he had to report for duty in the Pacific. Upon retirement from the Air Force, he worked in the fishing industry in Cortez for several years. He then began to work for Pratt Whitney Aircraft until retirement. His death now leaves just two surviving WW II veterans of the 67 from Cortez.

Published in: on May 16, 2017 at 7:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cortez, Sunny Shores push for long-term traffic solution

by Kathy Prucnell for | May 2, 2017

thumb imageCortez businessman John Banyas and resident Jane von Hahmann talk in the lobby at the Holiday Inn, 8009 15th St. E., Sarasota, before the April 24 meeting of the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization Board. Islander Photo: Kathy Prucnell
Cortez-119th-St.-DOT-Gwynn-050317-kp.jpg?x67689At the April 24 MPO board meeting, David Gywnn, Department of Transportation director of operations, explains options for changing traffic flow at 119th Street and Cortez Road West, part of a $3.7 million project between 86th Street West and 123rd Street West.
Cortez-119th-St-Slicker-050317-kp.jpg?x67689Bob Slicker, Swordfish Grill general manager, urges state and regional transportation officials April 24 to consider a long-term plan for Cortez Road.
Cortez-119th-St.-Jonnson-050317-kp.jpg?x67689Manatee County Commissioner Steve Jonsson, one of two county representatives on the MPO board, voices support for a permanent solution to address the 119th Street bottleneck.

Residents of Cortez and Sunny Shores met April 24 in Sarasota where their concerns merged for a long-term traffic fix for the Cortez Road West stranglehold.

At the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting — including an audience packed with residents — the Florida Department of Transportation presented its newest plans for the Cortez Road Safety Improvement Project with a $3.7 million budget.

DOT recommendations include an interim solution to be in place by the end of 2017.

According to David Gywnn, DOT director of operations, four 119th Street intersection options are under consideration:

  • Leave as is.
  • Remove the signal.
  • Modify intersection control to restrict movements.
  • Realign 119th Street from a staggered intersection, now with north and south legs separated by 200 feet on Cortez Road, into a “plus” intersection — if the corner at the Florida Maritime Museum property can be used.

Gywnn said the realignment “would probably be the best long-term solution” and predicted construction in the summer of 2019.

He also recommended the interim solution to modify the signal “so it’s not controlling the south leg” and to allow continuous — but for pedestrian option — eastbound traffic flow.

Longboat Key Commissioner Jack Daly said the change would be “very, very significant” to help get traffic off Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key in peak season.

Manatee County Commissioner Steve Jonsson thanked the DOT for delaying the process — in apparent reference to the DOT’s backpedal in mid-April on a proposal to eliminate a left-turn signal from Cortez Road West onto the south leg of 119th Street after the plan stirred opposition in Cortez.

Jonsson’s county district includes Cortez and Anna Maria Island.

He was the first to ask for a permanent solution.

“Before we agree to an interim plan,” he said, “I’d like to know what the permanent fix is going to be,” calling it “a mess” for the past 20 years.

With more traffic in Cortez and the future development of Peninsula Bay, “It’s something we should address sooner rather than later,” he added.

Cortez speaks out

John Banyas, owner of the Cortez Bait & Seafood, Cortez Kitchen, Swordfish Grill and N.E. Taylor Boatworks at the bay end of 119th Street, said it is “virtually impossible” for trucks — without taking out corners of people’s homes — to make turns on the village streets.

Banyas said 80 trucks — with 53-foot-long refrigeration containers — make the turns weekly in and out of 119th Street along with daily traffic from vehicles of 142 employees, mechanics, customers and others.

“We have a lot more traffic than you’re thinking,” Banyas said.

An April DOT study indicated a one-day count of 60-65 left turns per hour from Cortez Road south onto 119th Street — four times the number of such turns the DOT counted in 2014.

Jane von Hahmann, who lives and owns commercial property at the corner of 119th Street, said the DOT did not approach her about the prior plans.

She presented the MPO with a petition signed by 176 people, including 106 patrons of Cortez Kitchen April 22, who oppose removing a dedicated westbound left turn onto the south leg of 119th Street from Cortez Road.

“I like the idea that we’re stepping away from the no-left turn” from Cortez Road south on 119th Street, von Hahmann said, but, she added, she opposes the concept of eliminating 119th Street westbound left turns.

Due to the plan to de-signalize eastbound Cortez Road traffic, she predicted it will force westbound motorists wanting to turn left from the southside of the village onto Cortez Road “to play that shoot-the-gap game.”

Bob Slicker, Swordfish Grill general manager, implored the MPO and DOT to look long-term.

“Before you change our roads … in the oldest fishing village in the state of Florida,” Slicker said, planners should look at accurate traffic numbers, pedestrian traffic and the future development build-out.

Sunny Shores resident Vern Palsrok said two crosses have memorialized people who died at “very dangerous intersection” at 115th Street and Cortez Road.

At that intersection, motorists who want to turn left on Cortez Road from Sunny Shores must cross two lanes in a 45-mph zone.

Palsrok claimed DOT data indicating four fatalities is outdated — that an additional nine people have died at the intersection since 2015. He also said the neighborhood residents feel trapped in the subdivision.

“We’d love an on-demand light,” he added.

Palsrok reminded planners of the future development of Peninsula Bay, “We’re surrounded by the flower farm soon to be developed.”

In October 2016, Manatee County commissioners approved Peninsula Bay, with an expected build out over 12 years.

Developer Whiting Preston, owner of Manatee Fruit Co., plans 1,950 homes and 90,000 square feet of commercial space on 360 acres and access to Cortez Road West at 107th, 115th and 119th streets.

MPO concerns, DOT response

Another problem identified by MPO board members is a place where two westbound lanes merge into one on Cortez Road.

Motorists navigate around backed-up traffic in the right-hand merge lane or turn right and travel through neighborhoods to avoid the 119th Street bottleneck, according to Manatee County Commissioner Betsy Benac, who is an MPO member.

“Basically, they don’t like it that the lane ends,” she said. Gywnn said the improvements to the “extremely inefficient” 119th intersection should solve the backup and eliminate the line-cutting and neighborhood shortcuts.

Benac also asked whether a roundabout at 119th Street using FMM property had been ruled out as a solution.

“We’ll look at it again,” Gwynn said, “but it may not be the best approach for that intersection.”

Deed restriction muddles DOT’s options for Cortez Road

A permanent fix to the 119th Street bottleneck on Cortez Road may depend on whether obtaining a right of way is permissible under a deed restriction for the Florida Maritime Museum.

The property is encumbered by the Florida Community Trust bond that funded 1999-2000 renovations for the 1912 Cortez School — now the museum.

The deed restriction provides the property “shall be managed only for conservation, protection and enhancement of natural and historic resources” and for compatible “passive natural resource-based public outdoor recreation.”

“Folks are looking into it,” David Gwynn, director of operations for the Florida Department of Transportation, said regarding whether the property can be used for a public safety project.

Gwynn said he’s spoken to a representative of the Manatee County Circuit Clerk’s office, who didn’t think it was an allowable use.

He also spoke with Bradenton Beach Commissioner John Chappie, an FMM board member, Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore and Manatee County’s public works director Ron Schulhofer.

Manatee County Commissioner Jonsson wrote in an April 27 email, “At this point, I have no new information other than the county is in discussions with appropriate parties to reserve the options.”

Gwynn said April 28 he is still waiting for a county or circuit clerk representative to figure out a “legal way” to use the FMM property.

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Published in: on May 2, 2017 at 7:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Charles Henry Masemore

Charles Henry Masemore II, 82, of Palmetto, Florida passed away April 15, 2017 at Tidewell Hospice Ellenton. He was born and raised in Elkton, Maryland. He served in the United States Army, was a world traveler and he worked for Manatee County as a Project Inspector for many years. He led a good life and was predeceased by his beloved wife Martha Jane Capo Masemore. Survived by stepson, Lloyd H. Capo Jr. “Butch” partner, John W. Timbrook, stepdaughter, Cynthia J. Capo Mullon, husband Patrick H. Mullon, stepgranddaughter, Roxanne N. Mullon and step-granddaughter Whitney E. Mullon and niece Diana Masemore Lane.
No visitation or service will be held, he will be laid to rest at The Sarasota National Cemetery 9810 State Road 72 Sarasota, Florida.
There will be a celebration of life in his honor Saturday, May 6th from 12n till 3pm at The Moose Lodge 203 9th Street Drive West Palmetto, Florida. Memorial donations may be made to your local Humane Society.

Published in: on April 21, 2017 at 10:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Cortezians enjoy dockside picnic, art



Above, this “Upscale Fish” was created by students at
the Manatee School for the Arts from trash they collected
at Emerson Point Preserve in eight hours. The Florida Institute
for Saltwater Heritage purchased the fish and plans
to display it somewhere in Cortez.


CORTEZ – On a pleasant, sunny, spring day on Saturday, longtime Cortez residents welcomed newcomers on the Miller dock at the annual Cortez community picnic.

As the mullet, shrimp, hush puppies and guava bars disappeared, students at the Manatee School for the Arts explained how they made the nautical-themed artwork on display, including intaglio – etching fish designs on plexiglass plates, rubbing ink into the crevices and printing them on old navigational charts.

Other artworks included a watercolor of whales and dolphins in a fish bowl, a pastel sea turtle, a painting of Lake Titicaca by a Peruvian student and a print of fish found in the Red Sea. Students discussed what inspired them, such as a visit to an aquarium to see an eel and a music video that featured underwater “monsters.”

Kaye Bell, of the Cortez Cultural Center, thanked students for participating again this year in the picnic.

Resident Mary Fulford Green introduced a long-lost cousin and asked neighbors to publicly oppose a 65-foot, fixed bridge to Anna Maria Island that would encroach on Cortez businesses and homes.

The community has banded together successfully to oppose several previous development plans, including a marina and hotel.

Published in: on April 11, 2017 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Betty L. Guthrie

Betty L. Guthrie, 84, Cortez, died March 12, 2017. Born in Detroit, MI she moved to Cortez in 1942 from Grand Ledge, MI and was an active member of the Church of Christ Church in Cortez, FL since 1952. She was the owner/operator of Betty’s Beauty Salon for 17 years, was an award winning manager of JAFRA Cosmetics, President of the first Women’s Auxiliary for the Cortez Fire Department, was an original member of the Cortez Fishing Festival, and she was a member of the Sweet Adeline’s. She is survived by her beloved husband of 68 years, James ”Junie” of Cortez, FL; son, Jimmy (Sandy) of Riverview, FL; daughters, Carol (Allen) Haas of Deatsville, AL and Peggy (Steve) Barr of Scottsville, KY; 9 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren. Visitation 4-6PM Wednesday, March 15, 2017 with Services 11AM, Thursday, March 16, 2017 at Brown& Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, 604 43rd Street West, Bradenton, FL 34209. Memorial donations may be made to Cortez Village Historical Society, P.O. Box 663, Cortez, FL 34215. Condolences may be made to

Published in: on March 13, 2017 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fishing festival celebrates 35

Published in: on February 22, 2017 at 9:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Fishing festival celebrates 35

Carol Whitmore


Far left The aroma of shrimp with red peppers and
onions wafted over the food court, luring people from the
art and fishing exhibits.


CORTEZ – At the edge of the main parking lot at the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival is a fringe of green, the edge of the 95-acre FISH Preserve, made possible by the modest admission price paid by thousands of festival fans over the past 35 years.

The Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH) purchased the last, long-coveted privately owned parcel last summer from Iris LeMasters, of Grand Rapids, Mich., who had offered it at $1.2 million 12 years ago, inviting buyers to "Build your Florida dream home on this one-of-a-kind half-acre bayfront lot completely surrounded by preserve."

FISH paid $185,000 for the land, making the preserve 95 contiguous acres of uplands and wetlands bordered by Cortez Road to the north and mangrove-fringed Sarasota Bay to the south, serving as a buffer between the historic fishing village of Cortez and development to the east.

The preserve and the 35th anniversary of the festival were only two of the things FISH celebrated this year.

Festival volunteers Peg Miller, Sam Valeris and the Cortez Park crew were honored with awards, along with Capt. Soupy Davis, 90, for his contributions to the fishing industry and his fiddle playing at the Florida Maritime Museum’s monthly Music on the Porch jam sessions.

The pioneer award was presented to the unofficial matriarch of Cortez, Mary Francis Fulford Green, 92.

The granddaughter of Cortez pioneer Capt. Billy Fulford, she graduated from Bradenton High School in 1942 as valedictorian. She attended the Florida State College for Women (later Florida State University) in Tallahassee, earning a doctorate in education.

A great-grandmother, founder of Hope Family Services and longtime community activist, "She has done everything in her power as a mother would to protect what she sees as her special child – this village," FISH board member Jane von Hahmann said in presenting the award.

Published in: on February 21, 2017 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

BB truck driver strikes off-duty beach tractor driver at 7-Eleven

by Kathy Prucnell for | February 14, 2017

thumb image Mark Taylor, right, who drives the beach cleanup tractor on Anna Maria Island, is shown in December with Manatee County Parks and Recreation colleagues Cindy Turner, Mark Parsley and Carmine Demilio. Taylor was hospitalized at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton Jan. 30-Feb. 2 after being struck by a pickup truck at a Bradenton 7-Eleven store. Islander File Photo
police-holtan-021517.jpg Barbara Holtan, 55

Mark Taylor drives a tractor for Manatee County on Anna Maria Island, cleaning up the beaches.

At home and rehabilitating from a Jan. 30 crash, Taylor recounted Feb. 9 how a typical morning at the 59th Street 7-Eleven in Bradenton turned traumatic.

“It was still dark outside. I was just going to pop a movie into the box and go get me a tea,” he said. Then a woman in a truck drove into him.

Taylor was pinned to a Red Box vending machine until the woman put her 2002 Chevrolet Silverado in reverse.

“I remember screaming and beating,” he said, adding the woman kept her foot on the accelerator for what seemed like minutes.

“When she finally let up and pulled into the parking lot, she scratched the county truck,” Taylor said.

The Silverado also hit a car in the 7-Eleven lot, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. No injuries were reported to the vehicle occupants.

An ambulance transported Taylor to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton and a Tampa General Hospital trauma surgeon was called to Blake to operate on his leg, ripped open to the bone, he said.

At 9:21 a.m., the FHP arrested Barbara Holtan, 55, of Bradenton Beach, for driving under the influence/causing serious bodily injury to another and possessing drugs and paraphernalia.

A FHP trooper reported Holtan “visibly swaying and failing to maintain her balance” but no odor of alcohol. A field sobriety test was discontinued due to the concern Holtan would fall, the report stated.

Holtan told the trooper she commonly takes insulin and opiates, morphine, dilaudid and oxycodone. On an inventory of Holtan’s vehicle, a muscle relaxant and a broken pen casing containing white powder were found, according to the FHP report.

Holtan was transported for diabetic issues to Blake Medical Center, where she agreed to provide a urine sample, the report stated. From Blake, FHP transported Holtan to the Manatee County jail.

At her first court appearance, a 12th Circuit judge found probable cause for the charges and set $2,250 bond and approved a pretrial service supervised release. Holtan was released Jan. 31 pending a 9 a.m. Friday, March 3, arraignment.

Taylor was released from the hospital Feb. 2 with instructions for exercise but to “take it slow,” which he says is difficult.

Taylor said, “With spring break coming up, I really want to get back to work.”

He expects his stitches to be removed in two weeks and, in three-four weeks, he’ll be “back in the saddle” on the beach tractor, cleaning trash and litter from the beachfront.

“Wave to me when you see me,” he added.

Published in: on February 14, 2017 at 7:28 am  Leave a Comment  

The Cortezian January 2017

Attached is the January 2017 issue of The Cortezian with news and information about The Cortez Village and work of the Cortez Village Historical Society.





Published in: on January 24, 2017 at 7:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gleonic “Junior” Ibasfcalean

Gleonic “Junior” Ibasfalean passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on December 22nd, 2016 at the age of 60. Junior was born January 25th, 1956 in Toledo, Ohio, although he spent most of his life in the small fishing village of Cortez. To those who knew him, he was and will always remain a child of the Gulf Coast. It was there, near the calm waters of Palma Sola Bay, that he took in the warmth and beauty of a thousand Sunsets through the bay window in his living room, and watched the sailboats meander through the Bay channel. Over the course of his 60 years, he married twice, raised a family, and maintained an unwavering love of being on the water. To his friends, there are few people in the world who were more generous with their time, love and consideration. To his parents, he was a playful, care-free soul who became a devoted and dutiful son. To his Brother, he was a best friend and a partner in crime who would wade next to him, shoulder to shoulder, in the muddy waters of the bay on their way to the bus stop before school. To his children, he was always a constant and positive presence in their lives. From the moment their eyes opened until the moment his shut, he gave them everything he could to help them find their way in the world. To all who knew him, he was truly one-of-a-kind. His absence will leave a gaping hole in the fabric of our remaining years, and the tapestry of our lives.
Junior is survived by his sons Cody (Jessica) of Ruskin, Fl and Austin of New York, NY; Parents Gleonic Sr. and Betty Lou Ibasfalean of Cortez, Fl; Brother Cleonic “Nick” (Debra) of Cortez, Fl; Grandsons Landon and Reece of Ruskin, Fl; and niece Yolanda.
Visitation 6-8PM Thursday, December 29, 2016 with Services 12Noon Friday, December 30, 2016 at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel. Condolences to
In Lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make donations to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Published in: on December 31, 2016 at 2:21 pm  Leave a Comment