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Water lilies at McKee Botanical Garden are truly gorgeous in summertime Social | Lifestyle Man who protected presidents as a Secret Service agent saw history firsthand Our Neighbors



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Rocco, Samara, Warren, Carlie, Nathaniel, Ryder, Clara and Keira show off the safari hats they made in the Welcome to the Jungle class at art camp.

Art cures the summertime blues State College looks beyond horizon at new careers News

 Kids at art camp try all their colorsArts


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Local News

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Council votes to take down Live Oak Road traffic sign

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done anything,” said Conn Way resident Janet Widmann, who along with neighbor Adriana Lancaster collected more than 200 signatures in opposition to making Live Oak Road a culde-sac and to the no left turn sign. The drainage work on Live Oak Road is expected to take four months and could begin by late summer. In the meantime, Public Works staff is investigating putting in speed tables to slow down the Live Oak Road-Indian River Drive route. A speed table is a rubber hump long enough for the entire wheelbase of a passenger car. The long, flat design allows cars to pass withCONTINUES ON PAGE 4

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road to cut through their street to travel between S.R. A1A and the west end of Beachland Boulevard. The issue came to a head as the city worked on plans to fix a drainage issue on Live Oak Road. Residents put together a petition asking to block Live Oak Road at S.R.A1A, shutting down all through traffic on the street. At its June 7 council meeting, the matter came up for discussion and the signs went up. However, that decision raised the ire of residents on Conn Way and Mockingbird Drive and other nearby streets. “Why is re-directing a problem to another street a solution? All you have done is move it; you haven’t


Just two weeks after providing direction to put up a no left turn sign from Live Oak Road onto State Road A1A, the Vero Beach City Council responded to objections from nearby residents and ordered the sign removed. Interim City Manager and Public Works Director Monte Falls said the sign would be removed immediately, but a no through traffic sign put up at the same time would remain in place. “I want the public to know that we really listened to you,” said Council Member Tracy Carroll, who held up a manila file folder filled with corre-

spondence from her constituents on the subject. Carroll has been directly affected by the increased traffic as she lives on Live Oak Road. She said at the council meeting, however, that her driveway is actually on Conn Way, one of the roads affected with increased traffic by the posting of the no left turn sign. The increased traffic and speeders on the 1.2-mile stretch of Live Oak Road and Indian River Drive has been a concern of residents of those attached roads going back to the 1990s. Residents and workers from such places as Johns Island and other areas in the north barrier island have been cited by residents as using the



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The keys to the city






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The Vero Beach High School state championship girls’ lacrosse team was honored at the recent city council meeting with the keys to the city.

As summer swelter begins, electric rates going up VERO BEACH NEWSWEEKLY

Just as electric usage will peak with the onslaught of summer, Vero Beach

electric customers will see a $4 per 1,000 kilowatt hour increase in their monthly bills to stem an unexpected

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rise in wholesale power costs. “What we are proposing is that for bills with meter readings July 1 and after that we change the electric service fuel cost portion of the bill from $56 per 1,000 kilowatt hour to $60 per kilowatt hour,” Customer Service Manager John Lee explained to the Council at its Tuesday meeting. Lee noted that the rates were returning to what they were in January 2011. The $4 increase would cause a Vero electric customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of power per month to see his electric bill go from $109.14 to $113.14. The 3.7 percent increase keeps electric bills far below the $158.82 per 1,000 kilowatt hour per month customers were paying in De-

cember 2009. The rate, however, remains above Florida Power & Light’s rates, which, at under $100 for 1,000 kwh, have consistently been the lowest in the state. The city is in discussions to sell its electric utility to FPL. Lee has said higher costs were likely due in part to the unexpected shutdowns of the Stanton I and II coal power plants in Orlando for repairs and the longer than anticipated maintenance shutdown at the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant. “We (are starting to see expenses) go in the wrong direction and we want to stop the slide,” Lee said. He added that summers in Florida are volatile in terms of energy consumption and costs and that he will continue to closely monitor costs.


tion, some said they would consider helping to pay for the tables out of their own pockets. “We broached that position (of private funding) with them and I didn’t get tomatoes thrown at me, so we are going to try and move that forward and get our policy adopted and do some good in that neighborhood,” Falls said.


Matthew J. Henry, DDS

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out slowing as significantly as with speed bumps. The removable speed tables cost around $3,000 and it is estimated that about six would be needed for the 1.2 mile stretch of road. Residents along the roads are so anxious for a solu-

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Alan Polackwich

series of public hearings in the fall. The county hopes to coordinate its redistricting with the School Board, which also has five districts, and perhaps conclude with School Board and County Commission districts that have the same district numbers and boundaries, potentially less confusing for residents. In other action, commissioners agreed to hold a joint workshop with the School Board, whose chairman asked to discuss its lease of the school district administration building from the County Commission. The School Board pays $3,500 a month under the lease, said County Administrator Joe Baird. The school district is rumored to want more space, he said.

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Indian River County commissioners on Tuesday endorsed the division of the county into five new districts to even-up the number of people living within each boundary. It’s something they’ve got to do, according to the Florida Constitution, so that the population of each district is within about 10 percent of equality with each other. With the 2010 census numbers out, “This year, the commission is required to look at the districts and reconfigure them,” said County Attorney Alan Polackwich. Today, the five districts are way out of parity. Commissioner Wesley Davis’ District 1 has about 32,000 residents. The other districts range down to a low of 20,700 residents. It’s important to remember, Commissioner Gary Wheeler emphasized, that Indian River County commissioners are elected countywide. Every voter gets to vote on candidates for all five commission districts. Candidates must live within the district in which they are running. “People think of gerrymandering between Democrats and Republicans from news media reports about the state and federal governments,” Wheeler said. “They gerrymander them all over the place,” meaning, for example, Florida legislative districts are often drawn in strange, extended shapes to take in the most voters from a particular party living there, ensuring that party holds the seat. “But redistricting in this county is almost insignificant. We all serve at the pleasure of the entire county,” Wheeler said. Still, Davis said, when a county resident discovers that they live within a certain commission dis-

trict, they are most likely to call that commissioner’s office for constituent service. Left unsaid is the fact that the same resident identification with a commissioner can help at election time if that commissioner has more voters living within his district. Polackwich said his office is already developing a plan for getting the word out through many channels over the summer about the redistricting process leading to a

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‘Perfect storm’for foreclosures headed for Indian River County BY IAN LOVE VERO BEACH NEWSWEEKLY

A local real estate investor says a wave of home foreclosures is headed our way and this time it could hit property owners in some of the tonier parts of Indian River County.

Stephen Denny is a principal in Jet Cash Home Buyers, which specializes in buying and selling distressed properties in Indian River County. His company tracks the foreclosure market from when notices are first filed right up until the home is sold to a new owner.

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He says there are two main factors that will lead to the glut of foreclosed homes hitting the market. “The process takes about 12 months from the first filing to the courthouse sale,” Denny said. “We track all the new filings and last spring and into the summer we saw those homes reach higher peaks than we have ever seen before. That told us we were going to have a huge rush of inventory this summer.” In addition to those homes flooding the market, there remain a significant backlog of pending bank actions that were shut down late last year when it was discovered so called foreclosure mills were not filing accurate documents with the courts. The federal government finally had to step in and shut down all foreclosures until it could be determined if all the paperwork and procedures had been handled properly. The lenders, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, pulled their files from the foreclosure mill attorneys and have been re-apportioning them to at least two dozen attorneys around the state. Those attorneys have been working on the paperwork to change the representation and the institutions had to go back and audit the files themselves to make sure that all the documentation was correct. The effect was to virtually grind Florida’s bustling foreclosure market to a halt. “Now they are getting caught back up in the court system, so all those foreclosures from October that were halted are starting to come up and at the same time all those filings from the spring of last year are starting to come back through the pipeline,” Denny said. “There is just a huge wave of inventory coming. I am calling it the perfect the storm. This is unprecedented what we are going to see.” Another factor is that the banks

are no longer dragging their feet in pushing to get rid of these unwanted properties. “In the third and fourth quarters we are expecting to see the floodgates open up,” said Wendy Wilson of Associated Home Solutions Realty. “Obviously, we don’t have a crystal ball, but the banks want to get these toxic assets off their books.” Wilson and Denny are co-owners of Jet Cash Home Buyers and Associated Home Solutions Realty. They said what may be different about this new wave of foreclosures is that we could see more high end homes in the mix. While barrier island real estate has adjusted down like the rest of the market, many of those home owners with mortgages have been able to keep making payments to the banks. “You are starting to see some higher end homes now (in foreclosure),” Denny said. “There are two reasons. One, those homeowners typically had more resources than the mid- or lower-end homeowners, who live week to week in their pay structure. Those people were affected immediately. We may be seeing some of the higher-end owners losing now because their resources have extended out. “Secondly, is a group of strategic defaulters who decided even though they could hold on to the house they are not going to because it does not make good financial sense for them. They go through specific steps before leaving like going out and buying a another home and after securing the new property, letting the other home go because otherwise they couldn’t qualify for the loan.” Given the turbulent times, there seems to be less of a stigma for homeowners, even those with the means to cover their mortgage, to make the decision and walk away from an unwanted property. “It seems it is no longer taboo to lose your home to foreclosure,”

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“There is just a huge wave of inventory coming. I am calling it the perfect the storm. This is unprecedented what we are going to see.” – Stephen Denny, Jet Cash Home Buyers

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This Vero Isles home has been in the foreclosure process for months. Denny said. “Look at guys like Donald Trump, who made a business practice out of that. It is just a business decision. I am not passing moral judgment, but it is not something I would be comfortable with, but for others it is just a business decision.” Denny admits right now it is a buyer’s market for foreclosures, but that he and Wilson will continue to look at mid-range properties to purchase, fix up and resell. Their companies carefully track the homes they purchase and work off a strict timeline to make repairs and get the properties back on the market to be resold. “We believe that the high-end market is still adjusting and if adjusts down while we are doing a project, our numbers don’t work,” Denny said. “We have always had our eye on that market, but I don’t think it has finished adjusting.” Denny and Wilson also say that they don’t expect the real estate market to return to anything resembling normal for another three

years. And, of course, having gone through this unprecedented real estate correction coupled with a deep recession, normal may take on a whole new meaning then. “We don’t see the market stabilizing until 2014,” Wilson said. “We have actually had people exit Indian River County for the first time, because there are no jobs. What we think we are going to see is that we will return to a pre-boom ratio where housing prices are relative to the job market and the salaries that job market provides. When we had this runaway boom, housing was not geared to the baby boomers, but to families with homes going for $350,000. That is not sustainable when you have a median income in this community of under $50,000. “After the market stabilizes we think you will see appreciation of four to six percent a year. We will recover, we will get back to a normal market, but that normal market will be where the housing index is tied to the job market and the local salaries.”

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Indian River State College looks past the horizon






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Students take advantage of convenient one-stop student services at the IRSC Mueller Campus in Vero Beach. BY MICHAEL CROOK VERO BEACH NEWSWEEKLY

For generations, the sons and daughters of Vero Beach who aspired to university educations and graduate degrees have had to pack their bags and move away to get them. Soon, with in-demand bachelor’s degree and career training programs coming to the campuses of Indian River State College, that will no longer be the case, college leaders say. The Treasure Coast is now recognized as fertile ground for life science and technology companies. Indian River State College (IRSC) is at the center of the transition to a more diverse knowledge-based economy in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties. President Dr. Edwin Massey recalls conversations that inspired the regional transformation. “Our community was grounded in tourism and agriculture, which will continue to be major industries,” Massey said. “To build on that base and compete in the

21st century, we needed to diversify and provide the resources and highly-skilled workforce that businesses require to go to the next level. Our mission is to build the region.” Vero Beach Newsweekly asked Dr. Massey to discuss his vision for the future of Indian River State College. In 10 years, or 20, will IRSC still be talked about as the “community college”? Or does he envision a different sort of “branding” or focus? “That’s already changed a good bit,” Massey said. “More people now are using ‘State College’ when they talk about us, so I think the change is already in process. The important thing people are beginning to understand is the change of mission. “We’re transitioning from providing two-year educations to workforce-based four-year programs. It seems to me like that is getting some traction,” Massey said. “As far as the future, people don’t think about education sometimes as a business,” he said. “You prepare

yourself by forming a very strong foundation to look into the future and predict what the community is going to be like. What you can do presently is to form a strong foundation based in the liberal arts as well as the occupational areas to address the community needs.” The college leadership is trying to look beyond the immediate horizon to meet the needs of communities as diverse as Vero Beach, Fort Pierce and Stuart. “We’ve been looking at all the predictors,” Massey said, especially with the idea of meshing college offerings with the state’s targeted industry sectors – the industries Florida will be trying to attract in coming years. “That has driven a lot of our thinking -- to prepare to accommodate those various sectors,” he said.

Liberal Arts? With the strong emphasis on building a skilled workforce in this region – and this is not a trend that is

unique here, as colleges and universities across the country try to tune their coursework toward preparing students to make a good living – is a “liberal arts” education on its way to extinction? Massey says no. “I think it will always play a part in higher education,” Massey said. “The change in the job market today requires that you need a combination more than ever before: the complexities required by technology, tremendous communication skills, analytical skills, and you can't really talk about a course being totally liberal arts or totally occupational any more.” Even if your career is going to surround you with stacks of computer network servers that communicate by blinking lights and lines of code, you still need to be able to read, write, analyze and organize the analog way, among the people you work with and work for. “We've had several companies come in and tell us about the diversity of skills that they need in a trained

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LOCAL NEWS Impressive growth


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Dr. Edwin Massey, IRSC President into the state’s budget for new construction at state colleges and community colleges. “There probably won’t be building money for at least a couple of years.” Massey gratefully emphasized the generosity of local philanthropists “from the Schumann Center to the Brackett Library to the Richardson Center, which were primarily built with private money, with matches from the state.” “We’re going to push it forward to expand two-year programs and bring in some of those four-year programs on site,” Massey said.

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ate President Ken Pruitt with shaping the college’s ambitions. “He challenged us to see what was here already, rather than striking out in a new direction. We had a unique scientific concentration with the USDA Horticultural Research Lab, Smithsonian Marine Station, Florida Medical Entomology Lab and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. It made sense to grow in the research/

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entrepreneurial center with a concentration on technology — making the school part of an educational fabric in southeast Florida that includes Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University, Barry University and the University of Florida. “We’re making tremendous progress in a very short period of time,” says IRSC president Ed Massey. Massey credits former Florida Sen-

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In 2010, ground was broken on an $18.5 million STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Center. IRSC’s Kight Center for Emerging Technologies and its Treasure Coast Public Safety Complex for police, fire/rescue, counterterrorism and natural disaster recovery learning are leaders in the country. Indian River State College has also received funding for an $18 million


worker,” Massey said. “They’re looking for specific occupational skills but it’s always coupled with very, very strong liberal arts skills in terms of communication.” The future of Indian River County’s Mueller Campus, just west of Vero Beach, will need to depend on an improving economy, Massey said, which is ironic, given that business and industry leaders, and economic development experts, say growth depends on building a skilled local workforce. “The future of Indian River County is important to us,” Massey said. “We bought additional land in the county – we now own land all the way out to 66th Avenue and out to Route 60,” he said. “But the growth of the campus will be driven a lot by the economy,” which would drive more tax revenue

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bioscience arena.” Pruitt acknowledges his vision may have played a role, but leadership and community synergy is bringing the vision to fruition. “Without direction, commitment and resources, vision unrealized,” Pruitt said. “Dr. Massey has provided the leadership to take the concept of the Research Coast from dream to reality.” Massey also stresses the important of business/education partnerships. “Indian River State College develops trainging and facilities to stay abreast of the changing job market so fully qualified employees are ready when companies need them. We ask, ‘How can IRSC help you?’” One such company is Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies. The institute’s president and CEO, Dr. Richard Houghten, emphasizes that his tour of the college was critical in the biomedical institute’s decision to expand from California to Port St. Lucie. “We were at the end of a long day of meetings and tours,” Houghten recalled. “Then we visited Indian River State College. It was the tipping point in our decision.” The college’s ability to anticipate the future is integral to its mission, Massey said. “We tied into Florida’s targeted industries as the predictor for emerging areas of need,” Massey said. Transformation is not quick or simple. It requires vision, leadership and dedication. Houghten said, “The success of this area comes back to Indian River State College, the driving force that brings this region together. Our response to this community was, ‘Wow!’ We saw community and political leaders united to really make things happen … not just promise they would one day. This synergy is a rare find and creates a place we are pleased to call home.”

Targeted industries Florida has targeted eight industry

sectors the state wants to persuade that the Sunshine State is the perfect place to locate or relocate. They are Emerging Technologies; Information Technology; Homeland Security/ Defense; Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM); Manufacturing; Life Sciences; and Clean Energy. Indian River State College programs and facilities are “tailored to directly address business needs with speed and flexibility, ready to attract and support new and existing businesses,” according to the college.

• Clean Energy. Fifty-seven graduates of the IRSC Power Plant Technology Institute have been hired or promoted by FPL. Expanding the college’s energy initiatives, the Brown Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Mueller Campus in west Vero Beach will prepare students for energy careers and provide services to business startups. In Indian River County, collaboration between the college and INEOS – New Planet Bioenergy will result in biomass training being linked to the Brown Center.

• Technology. The Kight Center for Emerging Technologies is a cuttingedge training resource in cyber security, photonics, robots and digital media, with sought-after graduates and numerous IRSC hires by Digital Domain, the Academy Awardwinning animation firm opening a branch in Port St. Lucie. In Martin County, IRSC works closely with Triumph Aerostructures—Vought Aircraft Division to gear up potential employees.

• Life & Ocean Sciences. Future doctors gain experience through the Florida State University Regional School of Medicine at IRSC, with Florida’s Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) also based at the Main Campus in Fort Pierce. In Okeechobee, the college works closely with Raulerson Hospital to provide training and facilities for professional development.

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The Brackett Library is a joint-use library between Indian River State College and Indian River County.

• STEM. The college’s STEM line and on-site career colleges, state Activities Center will house seven teaching laboratories in the region’s biotechnology corridor. According to Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sekaly, co-director/ scientific director of the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida (VGTI), “The STEM Center will provide a world-class learning environment for support the VGTI team working on team working on cures for diseases.”

• Public Safety. The college’s Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex serves as a 50-acre living laboratory near the Fort Pierce campus for regional, national and international education, including security training for the Super Bowl and Presidential Inauguration. Programs offered there include Criminal Justice, Emergency Management, Fire Science and others.

Why IRSC? With all the competition from on-

universities and private institutions of higher learning, Indian River State College must always be answering the question in a prospective student's mind, “Why would I choose to enroll here?” They've got 10 top reasons listed in the margin of every page of www.irsc. edu: 1. Great Educational Value 2. Five Treasure Coast Campuses 3. Reasonable Cost 4. Many Financial Aid and Scholarship Opportunities 5. Small Classes With Professors Who Help You Succeed 6. Personal Attention 7. Over 150 Bachelor’s Degree, Associate Degree and Technical Certificate Programs 8. Real-world Learning With Jobrelated Experiences 9. Convenient Learning Online -Any Day, Any Time 10. Full Range of Student Clubs and

Steve Voorhees, 35, was in South Carolina working with an aviation firm when layoffs loomed. He applied at Sebastian’s SpectorSoft, and scored a job as a sales engineer. The company’s product is a program that “monitors everything you do on a computer, every keystroke, every web page you visit.” It’s used by employers in health care, government, education and more to improve productivity, protect the employer from misuse of its computers, and monitor web traffic. “I was going to college at Greenville Tech, majoring in information systems management,” he said. “I transferred everything down to IRSC, and enrolled in the cybersecurity program, which is right down my alley here. He’s grateful that most of the courses he’s taken so far have been available online. “Everyone at the college has been super friendly and very helpful,” Voorhees said.

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Community Forum Root of traffic problem is at Beachland and A1A Residents living along Live Oak Road and Indian River Drive have seen the traffic passing in front of their homes steadily increase over the years, as development on the north barrier island has led to significant growth in the area’s population, specifically during the high-season months of November through April. While the residents living along Live Oak Road-Indian River Drive have valid concerns about the traffic passing through their neighborhood, it is helpful to keep in mind that the root of the problem lies not along their neighborhood street, but at the intersection of A1A and Beachland Boulevard. Live Oak Road-Indian River Drive serves as a collector road for the neighborhoods north of Beachland Boulevard and west of A1A, providing access to these arterial roads. This two-lane street, winding through what would otherwise be a quiet neighborhood, with a sharp curve and no sidewalks, was not itself designed to be an arterial road, much less as speedway. Most drivers turning right onto Live Oak Road from southbound A1A, or left onto Indian River Drive from eastbound Beachland Boulevard are simply looking to avoid the bottle-

neck of traffic at the intersection of Beachland Boulevard and A1A. If installing speed tables is seen as the solution to the problem, then the real issue will not have been addressed. The complaints of the residents along Live Oak Lane are merely a presenting symptom of a larger problem. Any traffic “calming” measures which discourage drivers from using Live Oak Road-Indian River Drive will only serve to increase traffic on other streets in the surrounding neighborhood, as drivers looking to avoid the high-season traffic jam at A1A and Beachland Boulevard continue to look for alternate routes between north A1A and the Barber Bridge. Neither the right turn lane from southbound A1A on to Beachland Boulevard, nor the left turn lane from eastbound Beachland Boulevard onto A1A are long enough to accommodate high-season traffic. Just as a comparison, the turn lane from west bound Beachland Boulevard into Riverside Park, the turn lane from Indian River Boulevard onto westbound Royal Palm Point are all longer than the turn lanes at A1A and Beachland Boulevard. Because both of the roads that form

“Doing good by doing right.” Vero Beach Newsweekly is distributed throughout Vero Beach and the barrier island. Mail may be sent to Vero Beach Newsweekly, 1801 U.S. Highway 1, Vero Beach, Florida, 32960 To advertise call Martine Fecteau at 772-696-2004 or Mark Schumann at 772-696-5233.

this busy intersection are state roads, any improvements must be made by the state. The time is now for the city

to begin working with the state to identify ways of increasing the traffic capacity of this intersection.

Traffic turning left from Beachland Boulevard onto northbound A1A

Right hand turn lane from A1A to eastbound Beachland Boulevard

Mark Schumann Publisher 978-2246

Christina Tascon Contributor 978-2238

Michael Crook Managing Editor 978-2238

Martine Fecteau Account Executive 696-2004

Ian Love Lead Writer 978-2251

Carrie Scent Graphic Designer 978-2238

Siobhan Fitzpatrick Contributor 978-2238

Marsha Damerow Graphic Designer 978-2238


countries don’t share that sentiment. For instance, in Kenya there are 42 tribes, each with its own language. To communicate with each other they all speak a second language, Swahili (as we learned in The Lion King). Most of them also speak English. I pity the poor soul who only knows Kikuyu. In Quebec Province, Canada, French is their primary language. I know they can speak English when they come here, but when I go there, it seems that they only know French. I also suspect they wear T-shirts with a photo of Charles de Gaulle and the caption “I want You…to speak anything but English,” but since I can’t read French, I will never know. Milt Thomas is a Vero Beach resident and an experienced freelance writer/ author with a 20-year background in the music industry. He currently writes biographies, blogs, lectures, travels extensively and is an active member of the National Press Club.


or Chinatown in New York. However, the children of these immigrants all learn English and speak it without an accent. I met a student at Vero Beach High School with an Arabic sounding name who spoke flawless English and I assumed she was a first or second generation American. But she was from Jordan, and when I complimented her on her effortless English, she said that if she wanted to fit in with the other high school kids, she had to speak like them and not sound foreign. It’s always been this way in America – immigrants come here to better themselves, whether Italian, German or Spanish, and learn English to assimilate into our culture. They may speak their native tongue at home, but outside the house they speak English. So, I’m not sure why it has become such an issue in recent years. Since I travel frequently outside the U.S., I’m relieved that people in most other

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time in Vero Beach, everyone spoke English except for a few Seminole Indians. Today however, we have a sizeable Hispanic population and plenty of visitors from other countries who MILT THOMAS speak German, French, Japanese or British. The visitors typically speak English because they come from countries where people are routinely multilingual from childhood (except for the British, although I hear that if you wake a Brit up in the middle of the night, he or she speaks English just like we do). In my experience, immigrants who move here all learn to speak English. They have to if they want to find a job, unless the job is in an enclave of people from their land, as in Miami

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Someone once told me that people who speak three languages are trilingual, people who speak two languages are bilingual, and people who speak one language are American. In one respect, I’m lucky to be a unilingual American. Whenever I fly, it’s comforting to know that English is the international language of air traffic controllers and pilots. Just about every place I go in the world, English is the language of tourism. Whenever I buy a computer program, English is fortunately one of the ten languages I must thumb through for setup instructions. So, I was curious when I received one of my many ‘FWD’ed emails from friends suggesting we all wear T-shirts with a picture of Uncle Sam pointing his finger and the caption, “I want YOU…to speak English.” I assume that’s in response to the general sentiment in this country that if people are going to live here they should speak our language. At one


Why worry about multilingual immigrants in USA?

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Everyday prayer prepares us for moments of great need One of the exercises I do for training Bar and Bat Mitzvah students involves a “Spirituality” packet. I have students select a prayer/story/meditation from this packet at the beginning of most lessons and most practice sessions. The goal is for each student to transition into this spiritual study of prayer from their everyday tasks and to build a discipline of regular prayer. So often we have a time of crisis and want words or skills of prayer but are not sure what to do, what to say, how to make it feel right and meaningful. By doing acts of prayer in the midst of our everyday life we build the muscles/ skills that help us be ready for the extraordinary moments of needs. While meeting students for this activity I came across this prayer in my packet. ADONAI, OUR, GOD, we give thanks for the gift of life, wonder beyond

words; for the awareness of soul, our light within; for the world around us, so filled with beauty; for the richness of the earth, which day by day sustain us; RABBI for all these and MICHAEL BIRNHOLZ more, we offer thanks. I wanted students not to just say words written on the page. In addition to the words in the packet, I wanted them to think about what they were thankful for and what words they would add to express this. I asked them to brainstorm their own additional line. As each line one was added I had the next student read prior students’ work and then add their own. After a few days of students I had this list:

For family and friends who help you when times are rough We give thanks for our world and the people we share it with. And the pets who always seem to know how to make it better. For the loved ones that comfort you in times of trouble. For giving us education so that we may help make the world which you created a better place. For prayer that gives us opportunities to communicate with You, G-d. For the gift of Torah so that we can understand Your ways and use them in life. For sustaining us with food and water so that we can live. As I present these words from a prayer book and add the creations of my students I realize that it is not just 12-yearolds that need this exercise. What prayer would you add? What order would you

put it in? It is simple to write down words of thanks giving. Would you use it or is this just an academic/spiritual exercise? Would you add it to your own prayer ritual in the morning or at night? Or, is this a great opportunity to start a prayer experience. Can you challenge yourself for the next month to be like my students and offer these (or the words of your choosing) at a specific time each day? Finally, if you were going share this experience: Church/synagogue, office, Facebook, email…where would you put this to engage others in the dialogue? It is my prayer that we will all take time to consider and wrestle, to formulate and connect with prayer and ritual and have opportunity and experience of God, connection and/or the holy. Rabbi Michael Birnholz has served Temple Beth Shalom in Vero Beach since 2002. One of his goals is bringing Jewish values and wisdom to the wider community.

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Social | Lifestyle Summertime is when McKee’s water lilies truly shine BY CHRISTINA TASCON

McKee Botanical Gardens has one of the largest outdoor water lily collections in the US and although many bloom through the year, the summer is when they really shine. The garden was open early on June 18th for the Seventh Annual Water Lily Celebration to view and take photos at their peak blooming time. Many photographers set up to get the one perfect shot of the stunning flowering plants. With 90 varieties

and 200 individual lilies in the garden that means cameras were plentiful. Whether it is the giant Victoria Amazonica, which is more common, or the award-winning varieties, all of the flowers are stunning and picture ready. Among the newer and more prized lilies is the Chaz, a blue-purple lily with unusual red leaves that was a 2002 International Water Lily and Water Gardening Society “Best in Show” winner. McKee is known to have many award winning lilies in

their collection and people come from all over to take advantage of the proliferation and quality of so many samples in one place. For the celebration, visitors were treated to a photo class by Pat Rice on how to best capture water lilies; a water plant and Koi sale took place, as did origami lessons; and artists Rick Kelly, Marlene Putnam, Sean and Sharon Sexton and Emily Tremml gave painting demonstrations. The photo contest was a highlight







Color Category: Winner, Shelley Stang, “Lilium Translucens”

of the day and all of the photos submitted had to be of water lilies and must have been taken at McKee. Winners were Shelley Stang, Lilium Translucens for Color who picked her winning photograph because she said it had an “ethereal quality and was almost translucent.” She said it was a fluke shot but she knew it was unlike any others at McKee. Anne Malsbary, Petals of Light for Black & White could not believe her photograph was the winner and said, “There were so many excellent artists that I feel so honored to have won.” Joan C. Jones, Duplication in the Manipulation category “liked the lighting on this particular lily as it seemed to glow. I manipulated the lily with pad and background to create the overall design of 25 lilies flipped in different directions giving the final photo almost a kaleidoscopic effect.” The People’s Choice award went to George F. Bollis, Jr., “S” Curve. This photo was taken in warm morning light. Bollis said “Of all the lilies I photographed that particular morning, this lily stood out because of the beautiful composition and the low, strong, morning lighting. The strong S-Curve, accented by the Rembrandt (side) lighting, is a photographer’s dream.” McKee had let in photographers and artists at specially arranged times to capture the plants which mainly bloomed at dusk, evenings or early morning. It seemed like a perfect fit to add the contest and exhibit at their Water Lily Celebration, so it was added last year for the first time. McKee Botanical Gardens is located at 350 US Highway 1. For more information, call 772-794-0601 or visit

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Black & White: Winner, Anne Malsbary, “Petals of Light”



People’s Choice Award: Winner, George F. Bollis, Jr., “S Curve”


Visitors and photographers set up to take pictures of the water lilies


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s?;=uoD;O?;TKDGOD; Stave off summertime blues with colors of art


When school lets out in June there is a noticeable sigh of relief from the students and parents of school aged children. The everyday routine of

getting up in the morning, finding and putting on clean school clothes, gathering book bags and lunches and getting to the school bus on time followed by after school homework and bedtime battles can be trying.

But after the first few days of sleeping in and trudging over to the the pool and beach routine get a little stale, what’s to do? Little minds are like sponges that need constant stimulation to keep from falling






Ethan works on monster figures for his picture book.

into a vegetative state and the latest video game provides very little input. What offers a creative outlet for children are the summer camps held at the Vero Beach Museum of Art. Children ranging in age from 4 to 16 are able to enjoy a variety of classes which may inspire them for not just a week but their whole lives. With art education taking a back burner in many schools, these summer classes are more important to a child’s development than ever before. The Museum provides a safe and beautiful environment with highly educated instructors who truly care about their students. The Museum Art School has designed a curriculum that offers a variety of classes to pique the interest of every age group. Children from 4 to 5 years old learn about the oceans through sand art, collages and watercolor work and kids 6 to 8 may study fiber arts, stamping or storybook art. Older children from 9 to 11 or 12 to 16 might want to learn digital photography techniques, paper making, clay or “op art.” From foundation drawing classes to advanced print making and pottery classes, the courses are designed to be educational and yet entertaining enough to keep the smallest child interested and challenging enough for a teen aged mind. Classes are one week each and run for half a day from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. with a short snack / rest break. Prices range from $70 - $100 depending on the class and some scholarship funding may still be an option for students with financial need so please call the education office to find out what is available. Class schedules may be viewed at or call Ellyn Giordano, Registrar at 772231-0707 ext 116.

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CARE WEST Your Better-Health Connection

Kristin Kelly, MD Board Certified Family Practice

Dr. Kelly provides primary and urgent care services, no appointment necessary, and accepts most insurances.

SUMMER HOURS Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm Saturday 8:30am-2:00pm Sunday Closed

2050 40th Avenue, Vero Beach, FL

772-564-0175 Kara concentrates studiously on her artwork.

Ashley takes on Van Goghâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Starry Night in the acrylic class.


Teachers: Front - Bhagavati Braun, Marie Morrow, Valerie Savoie Guerra, Jessica Phillips, Terry Parker Back - Annie Padnuk, Dir. of Ed: Marshall Adams, Sherry Haaland, Dawn Molton, Faculty Mgr. Sean Clinton, Exec. Dir. Lucinda Gedeon, Regina Stark, Lis Bech and MAS Registrar Ellyn Giordano

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New assistant choral director to add small ensembles CHRISTINA TASCON VERO BEACH NEWSWEEKLY

Jason Hobratschk is not new to the Vero Beach Choral Society but his position as Assistant Choral Director is to him and to the organization as well. Hobratschk has sung bass under Artistic Director Daniel Koh for the Choral Society and with the Atlantic Chamber Singers. He has been the choirmaster and organist at Trinity Episcopal Church since last year and has nine years of directing experience in his past before being chosen for this position. The Choral Society, which currently has 40+ performers, wanted to branch out with smaller ensemble groups and form a men’s chorus and perhaps, Madrigal, Barbershop and Jazz break out groups. Hobratschk will first create a small women’s group as he also assists Koh with rehearsals and performances in the current schedule but the main goal will be the formation of these small groups within the Society. Board President, Loren Smith, said that the Board felt that it was the perfect juncture to “reach out and add a new depth to go to the next level.” He also stated that they saw a need to reach out to the community and bring in more groups and schools to expose students and the public to their style of music. Daniel Koh the Artistic Director said that Smith brought a lot of great new ideas when he signed on as Board President but he was already teaching full time at Saint Edwards and going for his doctorate at the Yale School for Music and his time was limited. About the addition of Hobratschk, Koh said that he was “very excited about the hiring of Jason. He brings a wealth of performing experience along with scholarly expertise so we have the best of both worlds.” Loren Smith said the Board agrees that the main purpose of the VBCS is to bring artistic talent to the pub-


Jason Hobratschk lic and to do that he said there was a need to attract new funds to cover their many educational and philanthropic causes including the scholarship endowments they have been giving out each year since 1997. To get more funds, they had to present sponsors, donors and ticket buyers with a new series of performances

to attract larger quantities of tickets sales. He said that this new vision was a collaborative effort using Daniel Koh’s creative genius and Hobratschk’s directing talents to enhance the offerings of the VBCS. The board’s decision was a joint one and Kol always believes that “it is much better when music is decided

by a collaborative effort rather than individual ego.” You can tell when talking to him that he is excited by the prospects out there now that Hobratschk is on board. Many non-profits have learned to be media savvy marketers and to come up with creative new ways to bring in funds in this turbulent economic time. The Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center also has begun to offer smaller ensemble groups such as the Stringsations Quartet to play private functions with selected students who play in the larger classical orchestra of the school. Not only did it give the performers more experience but it was an added benefit to the school. The VBHS, the Riverside Theatre, the Children’s Theatre and many other arts groups have learned to read what the ticket buyers want and offer more of that type of programming to bring in added income. Oscar Sales, Marketing Director of the Riverside Theatre said that when they offered musicals, the sales went way up so this last year they had a series of musicals rather than just one or two. These changes have been very successful and it is the hope that the new groups that Hobratschk will foster will do the same for the Vero Beach Choral Society. The group continues to grow and build on their audience base each year. Their singers, volunteers and the members of the VBCS are volunteers who work for the love of music. Currently their performances all take place at Trinity Episcopal which has been a very good pairing after the recent renovations to the beautiful church. If you are interested in joining the Vero Beach Choral Society or would like to view their musical schedule you may go to or email them at

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Community Calendar




To submit your calendar listing please email:



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JULY 4TH EVENTS Vero’s 4th of July Fun & Fireworks: 6pm until after fireworks at approximately 9pm over the Indian River, Vero Beach. Three to four bounce houses, food vendors at the Grand Pavillion, face painting and a shell vendor. Bring chairs or blankets but no private fireworks, alcohol or pets. Sebastian Freedom Festival: 8am until after fireworks at approximately 9pm, by the Lion’s Club and City of Sebastian. Full day of 4th of July activities. 7am 5K run, 8am opening ceremony, flag raising and parade on Indian River Drive. 9am-8pm Beer Garden, live music all day, various contests, and ending with fireworks. Riverview Park, Sebastian. Stars Over St. Lucie: Mainstreet Fort Pierce 4th of July Festival, 5:309:30pm with vendors, food, live band and fireworks at Marina Square by the river. 772-466-3880


FRIDAY, JUNE 24 June 25: Summer Cruise and Picnic to benefit Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. 10am-1pm, River cruise with a lunch on Intracoastal island. $25. 772-242-2559 June 26: Jefferey Biegel, Pianist, will appear at the Community Church, 1901 23rd St, with the Space Coast Symphony. 3pm, $20 tickets (free admission to anyone under 18) 321-536-8580 June 27: Humane Society is holding a Pet First Aid and CPR clinic for kids ages 8-11 to learn to take care of their pet’s emergencies. 9am-noon. $15 per person. 772-388-3331, June 28: Walk on the Wild Side at the Humane Society, 9am-noon, meet wild creatures, exhibits, nature crafts, and games for kids 8-11. $15. 6230 77th Street, register at 772-3883331, June 29: Musicians United for Haiti,


morning and afternoon classes in eight week-long sessions. For more information, call Ellyn Giordano at 772-231-0707, x116 or e-mail: June 24: Captain Sig Hillstrand and his brothers from the “Deadliest Catch” television show will be appearing at the King Center. 6 pm picnic followed by talks by the brothers about life on the boat and being on the show of one of the nation’s captivating new “reality series” at 8pm. Tickets: $29.50 321-242-2219 or June 24: Senator Bob Graham presents “Keys to the Kingdom.” Vero Beach Book Center, 1pm. Books must be purchased at the VBBC. 772-5692050 June 24: Downtown Mainstreet “Island Street Party” Food and drink vendors, live music by Voodoo with Reggae, beach music and a Tropical Costume Contest 5:30-8:30pm. 772-480-8353


If you’d like to see one of your photographs published in Vero Beach Newsweekly, please send them to us at Photos need to be at least 200 dpi and in jpeg format.

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7pm, VBHS Performing Arts Center, 1707 16th Street, Darol Anger, jazz & folk violinist; Brittany Haas, bluegrass fiddler; Henneke Cassel, Scottish fiddler, Natalie Haas, Celtic cellist; Victor Lin, Jazz pianist/violinist; Joe Craven; Lauren Rioux, Appalachin fiddler; Mike Block, cellist – all world-class performers. Tickets are $30-$35 call for reservations, 772-562-5641 www. July 1-2: “Back to the Future” with the Riverside Rascals. Songs from Musicals at the Anne Morton Theatre, 3280 Riverside Park Drive. July 1 & 2, 1:30pm & 7:30pm on July 1st. 772-231-6990

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Every Thursday: “Sip of the City” happy hour from 5-6:30pm put on by the Mainstreet Vero Beach organization to familiarize people with the downtown eateries. July 1st 14th Avenue Steakhouse, July 15th Bodega Blue, July 29 French Quarter. Go to for their full calendar. Every Saturday: Oceanside Business Association’s Farmer’s Market from 8am-noon. Located in the parking lot just south of Humiston Park on Ocean Drive. Fresh vegetables, juice, herbs, bakery goods and music and hot food items., 772-532-2455 Every Sunday: Sunday Market from 9am-2pm in historic downtown Vero Beach at the corner of 14th Avenue & 21st Street. To register as a vendor or for more information, contact Eric Hessler by email: eric@ or call the Main Street office at 772-480-8353 Through July 14: IRC Courthouse Vero Beach Art Club Member Exhibition, 2000 16th Street, Vero Beach Monday through Friday 9am-5pm. Through Sept 25: The Vero Beach Museum of Art presents “What’s the Story?” Visitors are invited to guess the meanings of a selection of artwork picked to pique the viewer’s curiosity and to encourage them to look more closely at the subject matter. (Admission to general exhibitions and education wing exhibitions is free for this exhibit. Donations are welcome.) 772-231-0707. June 13-Aug. 5: Summer Art Camp at the Vero Beach Museum of Art. In the studios of the Museum Art School. Children ages 4-16. 65


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The man who protected the President BY IAN LOVE

Don Bell has been up close and personal with some of the most powerful men in the world, providing him an exclusive view of their psyche and temperament. However, what he knows he will never tell. Bell, who moved to Indian River County with his

wife Stephanie in 2004, spent 20 years in the Secret Service and another six years working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was in those positions that he was on protective details for then former President Harry Truman along with Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.







Bell’s first presidential assignment was with Harry Truman at his home in Independence.

As a Secret Service agent, his job was to protect the President and his family by any and all means necessary. The job requires close proximity to the man you are guarding and allows you time with the President that others rarely see. The job also requires that you keep private what these powerful men do when outside the public eye. For the Secret Service to do its job there must be that trust between the person being guarded and those responsible for his well-being. Not to mention, that to Bell’s way of thinking it is just plain wrong wallow in gossip. “Sure you are aware of some personal things about their lives,” Bell said from his Abington Woods Circle home in western Indian River County. “I would never speak of them myself, I would just feel like I had violated a trust.” Bell, 71, says he has been lucky in getting this front row seat to history. He is still figuring out what he wants to do with all the memorabilia he has collected. Among those items are two biographies of Harry Truman autographed for Bell and his wife by the 33rd President, an autographed head shot of Vice President Spiro Agnew, a picture from his time with the FBI of then Attorney General Robert Kennedy standing on top of his desk surrounded by Washington D.C. school children and Bell in the background. These are things Bell never dreamed he would possess growing up with his 10 brothers and sisters traveling rural Kentucky and Tennessee with his mother and Methodist preacher father. “I never realized I would blunder into all these things,” he said. “I was just like a bumper car at the carnival.” Bell started his career in 1958 two weeks after graduating from his rural high school in western Tennessee. He moved alone to Washington, D.C. to take a clerical position at the FBI headquarters. “My paycheck was $45 a week,” he said, noting he stayed at a guest house on 13th and Massachusetts for $60 a month that included two meals a day. From his clerical position, Bell moved on to providing FBI Tours for tourists and sometimes the friends of Director J. Edgar Hoover and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who had offices on the same floor at the Department of Justice. Despite all his other accomplishments, Bell seems

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He is most proud of coaching the FBI’s girls’ basketball team to the league championship.

Among the presidents Bell protected were Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter.

matter when someone makes a threat on the life of the president. “We have to take every one seriously,” he said. “You have to do a complete investigation to determine if this person is or is not a threat to the President. It is difficult because you are trying to predict dangerous behavior.” His travels took him to Bulgaria, Indonesia, New Zealand, The Phillippines, Portugal, Austria, the Middle East and countries throughout Europe.

It was during many of these trips that he saw the sides of our President’s the few ever get to see. And true to his calling he will not tell tales out of school. In fact, he says he had very good working relationship with all the U.S. leaders he protected. “I found them all to be decent individuals,” he said. “To become President you have to go through hell and high water, they understand why we are there and that we have a job to do and that was to protect them.”


most proud of his stint as the 21-year-old head coach of the FBI’s girls’ basketball team. “We won the league competing against U.S. government agencies,” he said with obvious pride. Despite rubbing shoulders with some of Washington’s power brokers, Bell determined he needed a college education if he were to achieve anything in life. “I realized I could spend the rest of my life being around these famous people,” he said. “But it would not make me successful.” So in 1962 he returned to Kentucky and earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Murray State University in Social Science with a minor in English. He would later earn a Master’s from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After a stint in the Marine Corps Reserves, Bell returned to the FBI in Memphis and took another nonagent position working as a night security clerk. He was on duty the night Martin Luther King was shot in Memphis. It was Bell who received King’s bloody clothes and prepared them to be sent to the FBI headquarters in Washington as part of the investigation. Bell’s next move was down the hall to join the Secret Service field office in Memphis in December of 1968. He has been steeped in the tradition and history of the agency ever since. “The Secret Service was created on April 14, 1865 by President Lincoln on the morning he was shot at Ford’s Theatre,” Bell said. “He created the Secret Service at the time because almost half the paper currency circulating in the United States was counterfeit, so the Secret Service was formed to investigate counterfeiting operations.” Bell said he would have as many as a 100 cases involving counterfeiting of U.S. currency, open at any one time. At the same time he would be ordered to participate in the agency’s other important function of guarding the President. His first such assignment was to provide backup help in 1969 for former President Harry Truman at his home in Independence, Mo. “I was 29 at the time and you can imagine what it was like to be around someone like Harry Truman,” Bell said. “He was such a humble man. He lived in a three-story white frame house with no air conditioning.” Bell would move to Washington, D.C. to serve at Secret Service headquarters from 1971 to 1977, but wanted to move his wife and two small kids (he and wife Stephanie have three children Becky, Greg and Brian) from the excesses of Washington. He accepted a transfer to Louisville where he remained until retiring in 1988. Bell spent much of his time tracking down counterfeit cases, threats to harm the President and fraud cases. He said it is never considered a joking

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Active Life Mardy Fish Foundation gives kids pro tennis lessons


Pro tennis champion and local native Mardy Fish’s foundation keeps on finding ways to enrich the lives of kids in Indian River County – this time with a well-rounded, yearround tennis teaching program for children. The Mardy Fish Foundation has created Kids on Courts, a “learn by immersion,” age and skill-based tennis development program especially designed for junior tennis players. The program teaches juniors (ages 5-14) of all abilities the skills for playing competitive tennis. The Mardy Fish Foundation now has USPTA professional Kristen Fettig-Wilson as  Program Director of Kids on Courts. Kids on Courts offers four different tennis programs, each focusing on a specific age group and skill level.  The QuickStart program is geared toward all beginners, 5 to 10 years old offering a new and better approach to introducing kids to the game. Kids on Courts Match Play meets once a week offering a half-hour of instruction and a half-hour of either match play or skill appropriate ‘point playing’ games. Kids on Courts Summer Camp provide fitness training, stroke development and match play. Lastly, there is the Kids on Court Tournament that provide an opportunity for all players to put their skills to the test in an organized, well supervised tournament situation offering match play and tournament instruction as needed.  Much of the funding for the camp comes from the Mardy’s Tennis & Jake’s Music Fest charity event featuring Fish and country singing star and local favorite Jake Owen. The pair announced recently that their sixth






Alex Contant annual event will be held Dec. 9-10 at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club and Vero Beach Sports Villages’ Holman Stadium. “The foundation itself is just to serve kids of Indian River County in all kinds of arts, sports, music, dance, just to give kids something positive to do,” said Kristen FettigWilson. “Mardy is just so big on giving back to the community he took from for so many years.” One of the main goals of the Mardy Fish Foundation Kids on Courts is to give juniors a sport they can play their whole lives. “Players will learn how to be gracious on the court, whether they win or lose,” Fettig-Wilson said. “They will develop skills to compete and think on the court as well as forge new


Kristen Fettig-Wilson, Will Ashcroft friendships. Playing tennis is great for your health, and the kids will have fun no matter which of the four programs they participate in.” Of course, children of parents who belong to clubs with tennis facilities already enjoy the settings, the finely groomed courts and the hospitality of their clubs. Meanwhile, “There are a ton of kids out there who haven’t touched a tennis racquet because they don’t have the means,” Fettig-Wilson said. “But it’s such an inexpensive sport.” Vero Beach has plenty of public and neighborhood courts that cost little or nothing to play on. Tennis racquets for beginners need not cost more than $25, though don’t be surprised if your child lobbies for a $75 Babolat after a few months of learn-

ing. Still, that’s less than they spend on shoes. And the weeklong camp? Just $50, and there are scholarships available “on a case by case basis,” FettigWilson said. The first week of Mardy Fish Kids on Courts summer camp started Monday. Registration is still open for July and August camps. “We are limiting the spots, which we haven’t done before,” Fettig-Wilson said, because of the strengthening response to the program and because active tennis pros tend to spend summers elsewhere. Every teacher is certified by the U.S. Professional Tennis Association. “So many kids, learn from their gym teacher, who doesn’t really play tennis,” Fettig-Wilson said. “We have

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teaching pros who work up at Windsor, out at Indian Trails.” In that light, $50 for six hours of tennis instruction with a USPTA pro is a bargain. In fact, that’s a good price for a one-hour lesson with a pro. The upcoming Kids on Courts sessionsare:July11-15from6p.m.-7:30p.m. Aug 1-5 from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.  Kids on Courts Summer Camp consists of fitness, stroke development and match play. Each day will put focus on a different element of the game such as stroke development, foot work, mental components, etc.  All participants will be ready and able to play in the end-of-summer tournament upon completion of Summer Camp, Fettig-Wilson said.  For more information contact Fettig-Wilson via e-mail @ or 231-330-3984.

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The spa scene in Vero Beach allows you to pick your pleasure BY SIOBHAN FITZPATRICK FOR VERO BEACH NEWSWEEKLY

There is nothing like a relaxing massage, soothing facial or some other palliative procedure to soothe the soul and take the edge off a stressful day. Fortunately, Vero Beach has a wealth of unique establishments offering spa services, ranging from the swanky to more simple surroundings.

Brittany Nuzzi, Director of the White Orchid Spa at the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa on Ocean Drive, says what sets Orchid apart is its nurse practitioner, Meredith Harris. At her Spa, Nuzzi can offer an array of ‘medically driven’ services available to both guests of the hotel and the public. Rather than go to a physician’s office for a Botox injection, a cli-

ent can receive the same professional care by Nurse Harris, but in a soothing, environment lit with candles, a well-appointed changing room complete with towels, a shower and whirlpool. And Harris always conducts a pre-treatment interview before the session begins, so she knows precisely the desires of her clients. In addition to Botox, White Or-






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Lucky for us there are lots of spa and massage options in Indian River County.

chid offers many different kinds of facials, from the Wrinkle Control Mask Facial ($75-$150) to the Clear Cell Facial ($85) to the HydraFacial ($120) which is one of the newest advances in non-laser skin resurfacing. One of Orchid’s massage therapists, Amy Fletcher, often performs these treatments and is quickly becoming known as the “madam of the facials” for her amazing results. And of course, like all spas, Orchid offers numerous types of massages, including Swedish ($50-$90) Aromatherapy ($110-$150), Maternity/Pre-Natal, and many more. One of Nuzzi’s favorite massages is the Lomi Lomi Hawaiian ($125$175), which is a spiritual Hawaiian massage done to traditional Hawaiian music with the masseuse mimicing the wave motion of the ocean as she works on her guest’s body. “It’s a real sensory experience,” said Nuzzi. “You really feel transported to Hawaii.” Nuzzi and her staff also are committed to using organic products, including Prive, Image skin care and Bella Lucce.W hat’s more, clients can purchase any of these products from the spa’s store if they wish. Like White Orchid, the nearby spa at Costa d’Este Beach Resort offers myriad beauty treatments, including its popular Shiatsu massage, an ancient form of bodywork delivered through the therapist’s bare feet (overhead bars are used for balance and support) and providing one of—if not the – deepest forms of massage in existence. One of Costa d’Este’s masseuses, Swedish-born Maria Ronnholm, provides Shiatsu in addition to an array of other types of massages in-

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J U N E 2 3 , 2 0 1 1 ! V E R O B E A C H N E W S W E E K L Y

Shiatsu massage is an ancient form of bodywork delivered through the therapist’s bare feet. It is a specialty at the spa at Costa d’Este. cluding scalp and facial, deep tissue, mother-to-be massages, and her signature, the Swedish massage. ( Prices for the various massages range from approximately $50 for 25 minutes to $160 for 80 minutes, depending on the kind of treatment a client chooses.) Costa d’Este also offers a number of different facials (organic products for all facials are available by request), everything from the Classic facial ($95 for 50 minutes) to “Fountain of Youth ($190 for 80 minutes) that reduces the appearance of fine lines and includes the use of peels, serums and collagen masks; scalp, neck, shoulders, arm hand and foot massage are included. Clients who enjoy spa services, but who are not guests at the hotel can still take advantage of all of the other amenities of the hotel free of charge for that day including the pool and steam room. For those who wish to enjoy spa

Most of the spas also offer items for sale to help you relax at home. services at a smaller, more intimate environment (and at a slightly less expensive price), there is always A Pampered Life, also on Ocean Drive. However, you might miss the salon because it’s tucked in the back of the store, which sells a number of beauty products, from lotions to shampoos and more. However, behind the cash register is a door that leads to two private, comfortable rooms where clients receive essentially the same beauty services that are offered at the nearby hotel spas. In addition, A Pampered Life’s spa also includes a professional make-up artist. Another great venue to get an excellent massage is at Kevin Healy’s chiropractic office on 17th Street on the mainland. While Healy, a doctor of chiropractic, is known for his exceptional back services. He also offers through colleague and massage therapist, Rhonda Kay Guidebeck, massage therapy, myofascial release and all aspects

of medically necessary massage and soft tissue rehabilitation. Many of Healy’s chiropractic clients end up going to Rhonda, which Healy said makes sense since post- healing often includes “deep tissue, neuro-muscular, Swedish, and medically prescribed rehabilitation for injuries as well as postsurgical rehabilitation,” said Healy. What’s more, Healy added, working in an office with two medical experts provides the patient with diagnostic options and the ability to access emergent care if necessary. “For example, that sore spot in a muscle may be a trigger point or something more serious, and having a physician on site can expedite the proper treatment,” said Healy. And for those people who have difficulty leaving their home due to an illness or who simply enjoy the tranquil ambience of their own pool, garden, porch or other favorite room, there is Edie Mon-

aghan. She is self-employed and does in-home massages. For many, an at-home massage is preferable particularly because often after a person gets a massage, the last thing they feel like doing is getting into a car; a nap is usually desired, making the $130 for 90 minutes well worth it. (Monaghan also offers shorter sessions.) Monaghan has certifications in a number of therapies including classic Pilates instruction and is well qualified to provide healing massage. “My specialty is integrating my 25 years of education, experience and expertise into a comprehensive experience,” she said. “Specifically, I am known for my healing massages which are comprised of a thorough massage blended with stretching, and reflexology enveloped in a timeless, quiet environment which allows the client to unwind and release.”

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Obituaries Frances Branan Frances T. Branan, 85, died May 24, 2011, at the VNA Hospice House in Vero Beach. Arrangements are with Thomas Lowther Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach, with a memorial service at 4 p.m. A guestbook is available at Anthony Peluso Anthony “Tony” P. Peluso, 69, died May 25, 2011, at Hospice of Palm Beach County. He was born in Neptune, N.J., and lived in Vero Beach, coming from Wildwood, N.J. Survivors include his brother-in-law, Michael J. Taylor, nephew, Michael E. Taylor, and niece, Miranda L. Taylor, all of New Jersey; and friend, David Watterston of Vero Beach. Wallace Arthur Ross Wallace Arthur Ross, 57 of Vero Beach, passed away at VNA Hospice House in Vero Beach, FL on June 8, 2011. He was born in Vero Beach to the parents of Horace Ross and Minnie Bell Godwin Ross. He was educated in the public schools of Indian River County and was a member of Jones Temple Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. in Gifford, FL. Wallace was preceded in death by his parents, Deacon Horace Ross and Missionary Minnie Bell Ross and his grandmother-in-law, Elizabeth Wallace. He leaves behind to mourn his passing and celebrate his homegoing: a devoted wife, Kathaleen Ross of Vero Beach, FL; 2 sons, Caliuas Arthur Ross (Nicole) of Vero Beach, FL and Jamaal Levor Ross (Lori) of Orlando, FL; 2 daughters, Tonya Brox-

ton (James) of Vero Beach, FL and Teneka Demps of Orlando, FL. Arrangements have been entrusted into the care of Thorne’s Mortuary in Stuart, FL. A guest registry is available at

Paul Imerito Paul Howard Imerito, 87, died June 6, 2011, at the VNA Hospice House, Vero Beach. He was born in Union City, N.J., and lived in Vero Beach, coming from Middletown, N.J., and Micco, where he lived for 23 years. He was a member of St. Luke Catholic Church. Survivors include his wife, Eleanor; daughters, Diane Chapin of Micco and Ellen Imerito of Tinton Falls, N.J.; sons, Thomas Imerito of Pittsburgh and Howard Imerito of Long Meadow, Mass. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Parkinson’s Foundation, Processing Center, P.O. Box 5018, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5018. Arrangements are by Fountainhead Funeral Home in Palm Bay. Eleanor McCarthy Eleanor James Gara McCarthy, 71, died June 10, 2011, at the Indian River Medical Center in Vero Beach. She was born in Pottsville, Pa., and lived in Vero Beach since 2002, coming from Norfolk, Va., and Short Hills, N.J., where she lived for 27 years. She was a member of the Johns Island Club and Bent Pine Golf Club. Survivors include her husband of 47 years, Philip; sons, Philip II, Robert, both of New York City, and James of Gainesville; and sisters, Elizabeth McLaughlin of Virginia Beach, Va., and Mary Sykes of Williamsburg Landing, Va.

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Memorial contributions may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Attn: Tribute Gifts, Church Street Station, P.O. Box 780, New York, NY 100080780. Arrangements are by H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments in Norfolk.

Ruth Miller Ruth Miller, 87, died June 11, 2011, at the Indian River Medical Center. She was born in Dunmore, Pa., and lived in Vero Beach, coming from Topfield, Mass. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Vero Beach and the Red Hat Society. Survivors include her sons, Michael Miller of Henrietta, N.Y., and Daniel Miller of Plantation; daughters, Cheryl Azzerone of Bedford, N.H., and Mary Lou Norman of Freeville, N.Y.; and four grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, David F. Miller. Memorial contributions may be made to Heifer International, 1 World Ave., Little Rock, AK 72202. Arrangements are by Cox-GiffordSeawinds Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach. A guestbook is available at Edwin Pfeiffer Edwin William Pfeiffer, 85, died June 11, 2011, in Vero Beach. He was born in Jersey City, N.J., and lived in Vero Beach for 22 years. He was a past member of Hawks Nest Club, Vero Beach (President 1995-1997). Survivors include his wife of nearly 56 years, Caroline S. Pfeiffer of Vero Beach; daughters, Suzanne Pfeiffer of Chicago, and Christine Pfeiffer of Sea Bright, N.J.; and sister, Helene Yamarick of Glen Mills, Pa. Memori-

al contributions may be made to The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County, P.O. Box 644, Vero Beach, FL 32961. Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach. A guestbook is available at

Richard Siravo Richard Charles Siravo, 76, died June 11, 2011 at his home. He was born in Philadelphia and lived in Vero Beach since 1994, coming from Willingboro, N.J. Survivors include his wife, Marilyn Siravo of Vero Beach; sons, Vincent Richard Siravo, Steven Charles Siravo and Thomas John Siravo, all of Melbourne. Memorial contributions may be made to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 1311 Mamaroneck Ave., Suite 310, White Plains, NY 10605. Arrangements are by Cox-Gifford-Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach. A guestbook is available at Nancy Andritter Nancy J. Powers Andritter, died June 13, 2011, at VNA Hospice in Vero Beach. She was born in Ossining, N.Y., and lived in Vero Beach since 1993, coming from Connecticut. Survivors include her husband, Hans J. Andritter. Memorial contributions may be made to VNA Hospice House in Vero Beach, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960. Arrangements are by National Cremation Society. Local arrangements are by Aycock Funeral Home, Fort Pierce. A guestbook is available at

Martine Fecteau at 772-696-2004 Mark Schumann at 772-696-5233

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More Than A Zip Code

B E A C H The Vero Beach Newsweekly gives you the barrier island and more. To learn more, call Martine Fecteau at 772-696-2004 or Mark Schumann at 772-696-5233.


Advertise your business to every home on the barrier island, and to communities such as Vero Isles, River Wind, Oak Harbor, Grand Harbor, and the Vero Beach Country Club.

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Making their garden grow with as little work as possible






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Steve Schlitt designed his gardens to create a casual flow between the inside and the outside of his barrier island home. BY SIOBHAN FITZPATRICK FOR VERO BEACH NEWSWEEKLY

When Steve Schlitt and his partner, Richard, moved into their home in the Bonita Beach neighborhood they set about creating outside gardens that flow throughout the property. While the house is surrounded by their handiwork, it also meets their desire of not requiring constant attention to manage. “Nothing I grow requires a lot of work,” Schiltt said. “Gardens should be a lot of fun, not a lot of work. When I’m in the mood to garden, I do, but when I’m not, I don’t. That’s why I like cats (he and Richard have four)—they are independent.” Schlitt wanted to put in a lush garden where at the time, there wasn’t really much of anything. He started with a few plants in the front yard—to separate their house from the street, and began to develop outdoor living areas. When he began to plant, he made sure to only grow what didn’t need fertilizer or pesticides to survive, and essentially only needed watering once

a week or so. “I try to use things that like to live where they are – that are well suited to the environment and flourish on their own,” said Schlitt, adding that the overall effect he was searching for was casual and provided a flow to the entire residence. “We wanted there to be a direct connection between inside the house and outside the house,” he said. That meant putting in picture windows in the rear of the house that would open views from inside the house onto the back -- very verdant -- garden. He also added sliding glass doors on the sides of the house which they bought in 1998. “Eight months a year the sliding glass doors are open,” said Schlitt, who works for Coldwell Banker Ed Schlitt Realtors. “Unfortunately, when it becomes real hot out during the summer we have to keep the doors closed, but at least there is still a vista since the doors are made of glass.” And the garden does not simply stop in the back or front yard. The ‘flow’

idea is consistent throughout the entire property. For instance, the area where the previous owners used as a parking space on the side of the house, Schlitt created a patio garden with a beautiful Italian fountain as its centerpiece. The side garden opens up into two different pathways which feature intermittent bursts of color from red bougainvillea and yellow Allamanda in his primarily green garden. These walkways then open up to vistas beyond the garden (like a beautiful oak tree, three houses down), which makes the garden feel bigger by essentially “borrowing space” from his neighbors’ landscaping. Schlitt also uses this idea of ‘borrowing’ plants from outside his personal garden to hide structures from other homes – which includes his guest house, which is covered by a variety of trees and large plants, making it essentially invisible from his backyard. The cottage is perfect for a couple who wants privacy—and a bit of Vero history. The lovely two bedroom, two bath


(available to rent) is one of the original cottages that were in place before the Howard Johnson’s on Ocean Drive in Vero was built. That property is now the present of location Costa d’Este. “The people who lived here before us actually put the cottage onto a truck and moved it here,” said Schlitt. Throughout his meandering garden, Schlitt uses mostly native plants, including a lot of Cabbage Palms and Palmettos as garden plants. He also incorporates Sea Grapes, Oaks for foundation, and Bald Cypress because they go dormant in the winter. Having said that, Schlitt is not afraid to use non-native plants like Sword Ferns and Cycads. But again, the one key thing the native and non-native plants have in common is that none of them require a lot of manual up-keep. Always keen on keeping his garden a work in progress, Schlitt with the support of Richard is working on a new challenge. “I’m trying to ‘bonsai’ a Bald Cypress,” he said.

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Real Estate






Barrier Island Real Estate Sales – June 9-June 15

Address 135 Island Cottage Lane 860 River Trail 4600 Highway A1A 1353 Island Club Square 9640 Maiden Court W 1193 Governors Way 715 Iris Lane 8725 Lakeside Blvd., #302 356 Fiddlewood Road

Address: Subdivision: List Date: List Price: Sell Date: Sell Price: Listing Broker: Selling Broker:

3240 Savannah Place Windsor 9/16/2010 $5,900,000 6/15/2011 $4,750,000 Windsor Properties Windsor Properties

Address: Subdivision: List Date: List Price: Sell Date: Sell Price: Listing Broker: Selling Broker:

961 Greenway Lane Riomar 5/19/2011 $2,225,000 6/9/2011 $2,225,000 Dale Sorensen Real Estate Inc. Dale Sorensen Real Estate, Inc.

Address: Subdivision: List Date: List Price: Sell Date: Sell Price: Listing Broker: Selling Broker:

10749 N. Frayne Drive Windsor 4/3/2010 $1,250,000 6/14/2011 $1,200,000 Windsor Properties Windsor Properties

Address: Subdivision: List Date: List Price: Sell Date: Sell Price: Listing Broker: Selling Broker:

850 Beach Road, #376 John’s Island 10/8/2010 $1,100,000 6/15/2011 $875,000 Cliff Norris Real Estate Dale Sorensen Real Estate, Inc.

Subdivision The Estuary Indian Trails Caledon Shores Condo Island Club Riverside Old Orchid Bermuda Club Orange Park Estates Sea Oaks Veromar

List Date 9/1/2010 11/17/2009 3/7/2011 2/1/2011 12/16/2010 12/1/2010 10/1/2010 4/14/2010 3/8/2011

List Price $699,000 $650,000 $539,000 $479,900 $369,000 $384,900 $324,900 $349,000 $275,000

Sell Date 6/15/2011 6/15/2011 6/15/2011 6/15/2011 6/9/2011 6/15/2011 6/15/2011 6/15/2011 6/13/2011

Sell Price $625,000 $580,000 $525,000 $455,000 $340,000 $330,000 $300,000 $300,000 $245,000

Listing Broker Dale Sorensen Real Estate Inc. Dale Sorensen Real Estate Inc. Dale Sorensen Real Estate Inc. Norris & Company Treasure Coast Sotheby’s Intl Treasure Coast Sotheby’s Intl Norris & Company Treasure Coast Sotheby’s Intl Dale Sorensen Real Estate Inc.

Selling Broker Alex MacWilliam, Inc. The Alexander Group Realty Norris & Company Dale Sorensen Real Estate, Inc. Conklin Realty Norris & Company Norris & Company Treasure Coast Sotheby’s Intl. Billero & Billero

Mainland Real Estate Sales – June 9-June 15 Address: Subdivision: List Date: List Price: Sell Date: Sell Price: Listing Broker: Selling Broker: Address 1125 Ansley Avenue SW 5600 95th Street

Subdivision Ansley River Boat Club

Address: Subdivision: List Date: List Price: Sell Date: Sell Price: Listing Broker: Selling Broker:

4795 St. James Avenue Oak Harbor 3/25/2010 $545,000 6/10/2011 $485,000 Cliff Norris Real Estate Grand Harbor Real Estate List Date 9/30/2010 1/24/2011

List Price $295,000 $269,000

Sell Date 6/15/2011 6/10/2011

Sell Price $279,000 $250,000

Listing Broker The Land Corporation of Fl RE/MAX Riverside

805 Holden Court Collier Creek 2/3/2011 $399,000 6/9/2011 $335,000 RE/MAX Alternative Realty Re/Max Crown Realty

Selling Broker Non-MLS Treasure Coast Sotheby’s Intl.

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Vero Beach News Weekly  

Vero Beach News Weekly Issue 12