Is paid parking becoming latest
trend in the downtown? P8
Vero awash in white for
‘Cinema de la Mer.’ P16
Elite Airways resisting bid
by Vero to raise airport fee. P4
For breaking news visit
MY VERO School Board told
three local charters
BY RAY MCNULTY ignore deseg order
Text messages cast new BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
light on Flowers’ probe Staff Writer
Text messages obtained While the Indian River
by Vero Beach 32963 raise
doubts about Sheriff’s Maj. County School District has
Eric Flowers’ claim earlier this
year that his friendship with begun working closely with
School Board member Tiffany
Justice didn’t fuel his decision the NAACP to comply with a
to launch what proved to be a
questionable investigation of 52-year-old federal desegre-
a school district employee.
gation order, three local char-
In fact, the texts indicate that
Flowers led the charge to un- ter schools reportedly are ig-
mask the employee, Vicki Si-
dles, who was suspended with noring the order and acting as
pay for five months despite be-
ing cleared by a Sheriff’s Office if it does not exist.
detective of any criminal con-
duct. Chris Taylor, the school dis-
Relying on two anonymous, trict’s director of assessment
posts that Justice said caused and accountability, told the
her “substantial emotional dis-
tress” – which, coincidentally, Vero’s annual Christmas parade down Ocean Drive once again is huge hit. Story, Page 12. PHOTOS BY KAILA JONES School Board and the NAACP
is one of the elements neces- that three of the five area
sary to establish a criminal cy-
ber-stalking charge – Flowers Hospital sees openness with patients key to improvement charters have refused to sub-
convinced the State Attorney’s mit required reports to his of-
CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Those reports are supposed
Accused reality TV BY MICHELLE GENZ ing the rate of episiotomies, as carrying risks of infection to outline what efforts the
fraudster seeking Staff Writer a once-common practice and fecal incontinence, has schools are taking to improve
reduction in bond
of surgically widening the dropped at the Vero hospital African-American student ac-
BY LISA ZAHNER
Staff Writer As Cleveland Clinic Indian perineum as the baby first from 18 percent to around 7.8 ademic achievement, reten-
Christopher Todd Delaney River Hospital’s foundation emerges during childbirth. percent. The national goal, tion and graduation rates and
wants to go home for Christmas.
kicks off a $12.5 million ma- That procedure, now seen CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 CONTINUED ON PAGE 7
Incarcerated since his July 3
arrest on charges that he bilked ternity ward renovation cam-
CONTINUED ON PAGE 5 paign, the hospital’s medical Support grows for preserving
leaders are taking a hard look
at quality measures in mater- ‘Big Blue’ at Centennial Place
nal and child health.
That laser focus, as they
call it, includes attaching doc- BY NICOLE RODRIGUEZ
tors’ names to patient data; Staff Writer
previously such tracking was
“blinded” – with providers When they toured Vero’s now shuttered
lumped together anonymous- electric plant last week, members of the
ly in the hospital’s reporting. Centennial Place steering committee were
Unmasking individual doc- wowed by the massive industrial building
tor’s performance proved Council and committee members tour old Vero power plant. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
dramatically helpful in lower-
December 12, 2019 Volume 12, Issue 50 Newsstand Price $1.00 Navy’s Blue Angels
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Books 46-47 Health 53-56 St. Edward’s 67
Dining 60 Insight 37-52 Style 57-59 FOR CIRCULATION
Editorial 44 People 11-32 Wine 61 CALL 772-226-7925
© 2019 Vero Beach 32963 Media LLC. All rights reserved.
2 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
‘Big Blue’ thinks about preserving “Big Blue” be- ning process and come up with a final Repurposing the building would
fore coming to a conclusion about the plan for the riverfront property, which be environmentally friendly, given its
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 building’s fate. flanks the 17th Street bridge on the proximity to the Indian River Lagoon,
mainland side. Duany added.
and some now are thinking serious- The plant was abandoned roughly
ly about preserving the history-rich a year ago after Florida Power & Light DPZ co-founder Andrés Martin Another reason for making a trans-
structure, which is woven into the fab- Co. bought the city’s electric system for Duany is an admirer of the defunct formed Big Blue part of the overall re-
ric of Vero Beach. $185 million. The 12-member steering power plant’s architecture and be- development project is its height, which
committee was formed last month by lieves it should somehow be incorpo- lends itself to some kind of observation
Committee Chairwoman Vicki the city of Vero Beach to help organize rated into final plans for several key deck or other rooftop amenity.
Gould was impressed by the sheer community input on the redevelop- reasons.
enormity of the building and the de- ment of the 30-plus-acre site now occu- “The roof of the building is the only
velopment possibilities it presents. pied by the shuttered power plant and “There are aspects of the building, place in Vero where you can see the
current wastewater treatment facility. such as the control room and some of city as a whole. There will never be
“It just makes your creative juices the machinery, that is basically indus- a building built so tall,” Duany said.
flow and makes you think of what The city earlier this year hired trial art of historical significance and “As a vantage point for citizens ... it is
it could be,” Gould said, adding she world-renowned urban planning firm it should be preserved,” Duany said. a precious space because city height
wants to hear what the community DPZ CoDesign to help guide the plan- “Certain rooms need to be preserved.” limits will not allow anything remotely
like it to ever be built.”
The planning process is anticipated
to last six months and includes time to
analyze the site, garner input online,
formulate a public survey, hold a se-
ries of public meetings in late January
and present a final report to the city
council summarizing the communi-
ty’s wishes in May.
DPZ plans to formulate five redevel-
opment concepts for the prime river-
front site that the public can choose
from, ranging from a mostly undevel-
oped site to a fully developed area that
incorporates the wishes of immediate
site neighbors, the greater Vero Beach
population and elected officials.
The council plans to present the pub-
lic with a final plan or two and then put
the issue on the ballot during the 2020
election so voters can choose what they
want done with the site. The city char-
ter prohibits a change in the use of the
property unless voters approve it.
Structurally, the plant, built in the
1960s, is reminiscent of Brutalist ar-
chitecture, a style marked by its mono-
lithic and blocky appearance with a
rigid geometric style that flourished
from the 1950s to the mid-1970s. The
pale green control room with vintage
analog controls evokes the early days
of the space age.
At the same time, Duany has said
that the scale of the building reminds
him of medieval cathedrals.
Public tours are scheduled for Jan.
18 and Jan. 25. The public can learn
about the tours and share ideas for
the redevelopment project by going
to speakupverobeach.com – a website
created by DPZ to garner public input
on the project.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Office in January to issue a subpoena
requiring Twitter to disclose Sidles’
Flowers also obtained a court order
prohibiting Twitter from informing
Sidles of the subpoena.
He then handed the case to Sheriff’s
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 3
Detective Aaron Scranton, who con- pair sent messages with thumbs-ups bit. I have some ideas I want to run by legations of sexual misconduct which
fronted Sidles with the tweets, which and heart symbols. you tomorrow if you have time.” were seen by her daughter,” he wrote,
implied Justice was engaged in an in- adding that Justice said the allegations
appropriate relationship with former It was on the night of Jan. 22 that In his supplemental report that ac- were “all lies being spread about her.”
School District Superintendent Mark Justice first mentioned Sidles’ Twitter companied the findings of the Sheriff’s
Rendell, who has since left the district posts in a text to Flowers: “Just had to Office investigation of Sidles’ tweets, Flowers wrote in his report that Jus-
under a cloud and now is a principal have a conversation with my daugh- Flowers acknowledged that Justice tice told him she feared for her safety
in Cocoa Beach. ter who saw the horrible tweets about had contacted him about “ongoing and that of her family “because the
me.” harassment from a Twitter account” as account was an unknown user,” and
After a four-month investigation, far back as last December. in late January requested an investi-
Scranton was unable to build a case “I’m so sorry,” Flowers replied, add-
strong enough for the State Attorney’s ing, “I’ve been thinking about it quite a “Specifically, she referenced the al- CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
Office to prosecute.
Still, when asked about the text
exchanges, which covered January
through March, Flowers insisted that
neither his friendship with Justice nor
her public endorsement of his cam-
paign for sheriff in 2020 influenced his
Just as he had in May.
“I didn’t do anything extraordinary
because of our friendship,” Flowers
said last week. “What I did for her, I
would do for anybody.”
Certainly, that’s what we want to be-
lieve, but the text messages between
Flowers and Justice include many ex-
changes in which both public servants
appeared to be overly eager to help
each other – her with his campaign,
him with her desire to out the anony-
Justice’s support for Flowers’ cam-
paign was obvious as she would alert
him to opportunities for him to attend
civic, political and educational gather-
ings throughout Indian River County.
“I think you are great for IRC,” Jus-
tice wrote in a text in January. “I will
do what I can to help when I can. You
“Thank you!!!” Flowers replied. “I
am honored to have your support.”
She then responded: “I am thankful
that good people like you still want to
be a part of the governance process ...
If I feel that I have been able to make a
positive difference, I may run again.”
To which Flowers replied: “I will
support you either way. I know the
toll that it takes on a family. I’m fortu-
nate that my little guy is small and my
wife is 100 percent on board with my
“When the time comes, a bunch
of people are going to jump out and
think they ‘deserve’ the position but
none of them have or will work as hard
as I can and do.”
In one March text message, Justice
reminded Flowers to attend a gather-
ing at John’s Island and warned that
Fellsmere Police Chief Keith Touch-
berry had mentioned to officials from
The Learning Alliance that he planned
to run for sheriff.
“I want you to be around as much
as possible,” Justice wrote, “so we can
make that difficult.”
Throughout their exchanges, Flow-
ers expressed his appreciation for
Justice’s help. On a few occasions, the
4 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
My Vero member of the Sheriff’s Office, replied “We were a little uncomfortable,” tity, filed a complaint with the Sher-
that her case was “at the top of my list.” Maddux said, “because nobody knew iff’s Office’s Internal Affairs Division,
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 who he was.” which cleared Flowers of any wrong-
Flowers also rode to Justice’s rescue doing.
gation into the account. He told her in late February, when he asked an on- As it turned out, the visitor was affili-
he would discuss the matter with the site deputy to check out a man whose ated with the Communication Workers After the school district’s five-month
State Attorney’s Office. looks she didn’t like attending a School of America – the union that represents investigation, Rendell’s henchmen
Board meeting. the school district’s support staff – and concocted a couple of bogus admin-
In the text exchanges that followed, was in town for a meeting the next day. istrative charges and recommended
Justice continued to ask whether Twit- Justice texted Flowers a surveil- that Sidles be suspended for a week
ter had complied with the subpoena lance-video photograph of the man, We can only wonder if he knows his without pay, but she left to take a job
and identified the account holder, and accompanied by a message that read: tag was run. in the private sector.
Flowers kept her updated. “Not loving this tonight.”
While it might be difficult to fault Sidles said she has moved on with
“I truly appreciate you handling all Flowers texted back, informing Jus- Flowers for erring on the side of safety her life, but she’ll never forget how
of this,” Justice wrote. tice that School District Public Infor- at that School Board meeting, it’s easy Justice tried to have her arrested and
mation Officer Cristen Maddux already to understand why Sidles is convinced fired, or how Flowers was a more-
“Glad to help,” Flowers replied. had sent him photos of the man and his friendship with Justice contributed than-willing accomplice.
At one point, Flowers had to explain that the deputy assigned to the meeting mightily to the Sheriff’s Office invad-
to her that crime analysts were busy would run his automobile tag number. ing her privacy. “I already knew she was endorsing
working on homicides that had oc- him and helping with his campaign,
curred on consecutive days. “I feel so vulnerable sitting up there,” “She could’ve gone to theVero Beach so I can’t say I’m surprised by what
“OK, I get that in the grand scheme Justice responded. Police Department,” Sidles said, “but was in the texts,” Sidles said. “What
of things my issue is nothing,” Justice she knew she had a friend at the Sher- did surprise me was finding out that
wrote. “But my family is everything to Asked about the incident, Flowers said iff’s Office.” if you know somebody at the Sheriff’s
me and this person is trying to hurt my the deputy approached the man, who Office, you can get someone investi-
family.” was wearing military boots and carrying Sidles, who said Flowers and Jus- gated without any evidence or prob-
Flowers, the third-highest-ranking a pocket knife, who alternated between tice “abused their power and posi-
sitting and standing and occasionally tion” and invaded her privacy by able cause.”
walked in and out of the chamber. forcing Twitter to disclose her iden-
Elite Airways resisting Vero’s bid to raise airport fee
BY RAY MCNULTY cause the fees were so low in the they’re working on it,” Menger said. a passenger loading bridge, Menger
original license agreement,” Menger “I’m sure they’ll try to get it lowered, said. Elite-related expenses also in-
Staff Writer said. “We offered low fees as a start- but I think they’ll take a closer look clude other ground-support equip-
up incentive to get them here. Also, at it and realize they’re still getting a ment and repaving projects.
Elite Airways President and CEO we didn’t know exactly what our ex- very good deal here.
John Pearsall said last week his ex- penses would be, because we hadn’t “We don’t want to lose Elite, and
ecutives were continuing to negoti- had commercial air service in 20 “We don’t charge very much, we’re certainly not trying to drive
ate with Vero Beach officials, who are years. compared to other airports, and we them away,” Menger said. “They
seeking a new three-year agreement provide a lot of consistent and loyal provide a huge benefit to our com-
under which the airport fees the “They started here in December passengers who pay a higher-than- munity. We want them to do well
Maine-based airline pays annually 2015, and this is the first increase normal fare because they want the and we want to continue working
would more than triple. we’ve sought,” he added. “Even with convenience Elite provides. with them.
the increase, the fees are still relatively
Pearsall refused to comment on low. For a commercial airline, $38,000 “They’ve been here four years now, “But the airport is an enterprise
the city’s proposal, saying only that shouldn’t be a big cost.” and they’ve said their flights between fund for the city,” he added. “We
he hopes the matter will be resolved Vero Beach and Newark is their best have to operate as a business and
soon. If Elite signs the agreement, route.” be self-sufficient. We operate on the
Menger said he expects Elite simply revenues we take in. There are times
However, when asked if the fee in- would pass along the cost to cus- The city has proposed increasing we can give incentives on a short-
crease could prompt the airline that tomers who fly into and out of Vero the licensing fee it charges Elite from term basis, as we did here, but,
provides the airport’s only commer- Beach, primarily on year-round $8,400 to $20,625 per year and imple- once they’re established, we need to
cial air service to leave Vero, Pearsall routes to and from Newark, New menting an $18,000 annual fee for charge them what we need to cover
replied: “I’m not saying that.” Jersey, and Portland, Maine, and on two ticket counters. The agreement our expenses.
seasonal flights to and from Ashe- also would allow the city to impose
According to a Nov. 22 memo- ville, North Carolina. additional charges, such as fees for “Also, if Elite starts adding flights,
randum from Vero Beach Airport landing, ground-support equipment our expenses will go up. This agree-
Director Eric Menger to City Man- With Elite averaging more than and passenger facilities. ment allows us to charge more to
ager Monte Falls, Elite’s annual fees 18,000 such passengers the past two cover them.”
would jump from $8,400 to $38,625 years, the additional cost to passen- Menger wrote in his memo that
under the new agreement – an in- gers would be less than $2 per ticket. the new agreement would be ret- Menger said he has encouraged
crease the airport figures it needs to As of last week, though, Menger said roactive to Dec. 1 but wouldn’t take Elite executives to expand service
cover the costs of having commer- airline executives were “still balking effect until July 1 “to give the airline and add destinations, perhaps to
cial airline service at Vero Beach Re- at the price.” time to adjust to the new proposed markets in the Midwest, possibly
gional Airport. fees.” Cleveland – home of Cleveland
The City Council, which was ex- Clinic, which has taken over man-
Menger said last week the in- pected to approve the agreement at He wrote that the airport spent agement of Vero Beach’s hospital.
crease was “not unreasonable” and its Dec. 3 meeting, removed the item $350,000 to renovate the terminal
should not be considered a “big from the agenda because Elite hadn’t building, adding that the city pays While Elite’s jet service to and
cost” for a commercial airline, even signed it. Menger said he hopes to roughly $80,000 annually for over- from Vero Beach produces a claimed
though it calculates to a 360 percent put a signed agreement before the time and part-time airport staff, annual economic impact of $8 mil-
price hike. council next month. as well as $96,000 for police ser- lion for Indian River County, Menger
vices. said the airport’s expenses continue
“Percentage-wise, it seems like “Elite knew this was coming and
a huge increase, but that’s only be- The airport also spent $18,000 for to rise.
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 5
Accused reality TV fraudster off the ground, the accused fraudster But with only $1,700 in declared Defender Justin Barenborg’s arguments
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 has filed a motion to have his $150,000 assets and $1,100 monthly Social Se- for the bond reduction next Tuesday.
bond reduced, claiming it is excessive. curity checks as income, it’s unclear
investors out of more than a half million where 63-year-old Delaney would get Even if the bond is reduced and Del-
dollars they invested in a reality televi- Delany, who managed two firms on the funds or security to bond out, un- aney can come up with the means to
sion show called “JetSet” that never got Vero’s Ocean Drive, wants Judge Dan less the bond is reduced dramatically. bond out, there could be another hur-
Vaughn to reduce his bond to a “reason- dle. Delaney is charged with one fel-
able amount,” the Nov. 27 motion states. Vaughn is set to hear Assistant Public
CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
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Accused reality TV fraudster volving elderly victims the court may pending an order from the judge set- Indian River Healthy Start Coalition,
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 insist on timely prosecution. Section ting a definite timeline. which will have offices in the renovat-
106 of Florida Statute 825 addressing ed maternity ward.
ony count of fraudulent transactions, crimes against the elderly states, “The That seemed to light a fire un-
falsification or concealment of mate- presiding judge, after consideration of der the defense, as the very next C-sections are a staggeringly com-
rial facts; and one count of first-degree the age and health of the victim, may day Barenborg filed notice that he’d mon and increasing problem. Not
grand theft, pursuant to a scheme or advance the trial on the docket.” scheduled depositions of six poten- counting cataract removal, they are the
course of conduct. tial witnesses on Jan. 6, and nine most common surgery American wom-
One investor, a part-time Port St. Lu- en undergo. They also contribute to
In cases when the theft of a large cie resident, entrusted Delaney with more people on Jan. 13. higher medical costs, running an esti-
amount of funds is involved and a $280,000 from the sale of Citicorp stock mated $3,000 more than vaginal births.
defendant attempts to put up assets he’d earned over his career with the Hospital promotes openness
or funds to get out of jail, the court company. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Considered major surgery, C-sec-
typically holds a hearing to consider tions put a woman at greater risk of
whether the funds being put up for the Another investor rolled $249,000 out as established by hospital safety and delivery complications including site
bond are ill-gotten gains. of her 401(k) and gave it to Delaney quality organization The Leapfrog infection and hemorrhage.
to invest in his JetSet project. Court Group, is 5 percent.
“We will ask him about the source records show Delaney had hoped to “There’s no doubt it contributes to
of funds and object if it appears he’s raise an initial $3 million to get the Jet- “Everyone’s competitive, right?” issues like maternal morbidity,” said
using stolen money to bond out,” As- Set project going. His pitch included a said Megan McFall, director of wom- Berry.
sistant State Attorney Lev Evans said, promise of 10 percent annual interest en’s health at Cleveland Clinic Indian
describing the general procedure in payments, the FBI investigation found. River, talking about unblinding the Even when everything goes well,
economic crime cases. data. “Let’s just let each other know C-sections require a much longer re-
Delaney lived in White Plains, N.Y., how we’re doing as practitioners – Dr. covery period than vaginal delivery at
If Delaney cannot post bond before but had become known in Vero for X or Dr. Y are providing X number of a time when most women are facing
the holidays, at least his time awaiting giving investment seminars, after episiotomies – so you know.” physical and emotional exhaustion.
trial might have gotten shorter after supposedly working as an investment
a hearing last week in which Evans advisor for more than 20 years. He al- Along with episiotomies, unblind- “If you had different major surgery,
asked Vaughn to put defense counsel legedly dipped into his base of high- ing the data will apply to c-sections you would be kept in the hospital and
Barenborg on a schedule to move the end clients who trusted him to seed “in the near future,” said Indian River you would be cared for. But when
case forward more quickly. the JetSet project, records show. marketing director Angela Dickens. you’re home with a new baby, you’re
expected to snap out of it and take
The two victims Delaney is accused At Vaughn’s urging, Evans and “If they would do that with cesar- care of the baby, and oh by the way,
of stealing from are both retirees, and Barenborg informally agreed last week eans, I would be very happy,” said an feed the baby with your body,” said
Evans pointed out that in cases in- to make a good-faith effort to bring enthusiastic Andrea Berry, CEO of Berry, whose organization sees new
the case to trial in the spring of 2020, mothers in the hospital and continues
to counsel them at home.
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 7
“It’s a weird thing that we don’t give The Joint Commission, an inde- tors. With one set to go on maternity Berry cited one Florida hospital that
the reverence to that surgery that we pendent, nonprofit healthcare watch- leave in February and another work- is putting name tags on labor and de-
should and give that mother the time dog known for its rigorous hospital ing part-time, McFall says the clinic livery doctors and nurses that say, “Ask
it takes to heal.” accreditation process, recently an- expects to replace those positions with me about my C-section rate.”
nounced it will begin flagging hospi- three midwives – a move that could
Twenty years ago, the overall national tals with a rate higher than 30 percent help lower C-section rates at CCIR. “When people ask, they flip the tag
C-section rate was 22 percent – and that on its Quality Check website next year. over, and the rate is printed on the
was considered high. The World Health A study published last month ana-
Organization believes a rate of between In addition to her duties at the lyzing 23,000 deliveries found that other side.”
10 percent and 15 percent would be ap- hospital, McFall, who grew up in mothers using midwives had a 30 per-
propriate without compromising ma- Vero, oversees Partners in Women’s cent to 40 percent drop in C-sections, 3 charters ignore deseg order
ternal or infant health, but the national Health, an OB-GYN practice funded when compared to women who went CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
rate in the U.S. today is 31.9 percent. by the Hospital District and staffed through labor under an obstetrician.
with Cleveland Clinic-employed doc- That improvement could be due to the hiring of more African-American
In Florida, the rate is even higher, tors. Because Partners delivers three- the education and psychological sup- teachers, and what results they are
one of the worst in the nation at 36.8 fourths of the babies in the county port midwives give women as they ap- getting from the efforts.
percent. The Indian River County rate – there are two private practice physi- proach delivery day.
is nearly as high at 35.2 percent. cians as well – the clinic is in a unique “Most of them have ignored my re-
position to improve maternal health. Research has shown mothers aren’t quests for information,” Taylor said at
That overall rate includes women, as concerned about C-section rates a recent School Board meeting. “If they
both low and high risk, who were resi- McFall is widely recognized for her as public health experts are. Pregnant continue to refuse to comply, we could
dents of the county, regardless of where efforts at the hospital and with the women tend to choose a doctor first; take steps to have their charters revoked.”
they delivered. Of the 1,294 births in county’s agencies involved in mater- the hospital is typically default choice
the county, 1,064 were at Cleveland nal health; Berry called her a “vision- – wherever the doctor likes to deliver. The School Board has not discussed
Clinic Indian River; 220 women deliv- ary” whose ability to pick up on trends In the case of Cleveland Clinic Indi- possible revocation but members
ered elsewhere. in maternal and child health makes an River, it is the only hospital in the have made it clear they believe char-
things “better for every mom.” county with maternity services. ter schools should be making an effort
Healthcare rating organizations and to comply with the court order, since
government agencies also track the rate Allen Jones, a Hospital District Despite that relative lack of concern they are part of the district.
of C-sections among various subsets of trustee deeply involved in maternal among expectant mothers, hospitals
patients, including low-risk women. and infant health issues, called McFall are realizing that paying attention to Taylor’s job is to assist schools and
“a terrific resource for Partners,” and maternal quality improvement mea- make sure they are in compliance
The low-risk C-section rate, increas- “an expert in providing and managing sures can have marketing benefits – it with various rules and regulations, in-
ingly recognized as a more meaningful care at the hospital.” reflects not only openness with pa- cluding the desegregation order.
statistic than the overall rate, was 25.9 tients but the urge to do better.
percent nationally and 30.6 percent at There are currently six Partners doc- CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
Cleveland Clinic Indian River.
8 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
TRAIN-RELATED DEATHS PROMPT
NEW FOCUS ON SAFETY MEASURES
BY GEORGE ANDREASSI mile death rate of the nation's 821 rail-
roads. The AP reported 41 deaths along
Staff Writer its South Florida route.
Indian River County’s crusade to re- With most of the deaths attributed
duce train-related deaths prompted to suicide, VTUSA/Brightline President
Virgin Trains USA and state transpor- Patrick Goddard announced Dec. 4
tation officials last week to unveil new the company would work with the 211
safety measures. Helpline on a new effort to combat sui-
cide-by-rail. “Suicide-by-rail is an in-
VTUSA, also known as Brightline, dustry-wide issue,” Goddard said. “The
intends to run 34 passenger trains per nationwide statistics are startling.”
day through Indian River County at up
to 110 mph by late 2022 after complet- VTUSA offered to match $500,000
ing track construction between West in state funds requested by state
Palm Beach and Orlando. Rep. Mike Caruso (R-Delray Beach)
to spread awareness about the 211
The trains are already running in Helpline as a suicide prevention re-
South Florida, between Miami and source, particularly in areas near rail-
West Palm Beach. road tracks.
For several years, county commis- If the State Legislature provides the
sioners and state Sen. Debbie May- money, the efforts would include reach-
field have pleaded with state leaders to ing out to homeless people and placing
establish regulations for higher-speed signs along the tracks promoting the
passenger trains and exercise greater 211 suicide prevention services.
oversight on the $4 billion VTUSA
project linking Orlando to Miami. VTUSA/Brightline officials have said
all along that safety is their top priority.
Longstanding local safety concerns
took on greater urgency Dec. 2 when In another rail safety initiative,
the Associated Press reported its analy- Florida Department of Transportation
sis of Federal Railroad Administration announced plans on Dec. 5 to spend
data showed VTUSA had the worst per- $60 million on new warning systems
IS PAID PARKING BECOMING
LATEST TREND DOWNTOWN?
BY RAY MCNULTY “We didn’t know we needed one,”
Staff Writer said longtime insurance broker
Gerry Thistle, managing partner of
Apparently, privately owned pay- the local group that owns the build-
to-park lots in downtown Vero Beach ings along 14th Avenue, between
are proliferating. 20th and 21st streets, as well as most
of the parking lot behind them.
Six months after the new owners
of the lot across Old Dixie Highway “Now that we do, we’ll do what’s
from the Kilted Mermaid and Fish- necessary to get the appropriate per-
ack began charging people to park mit from the city,” he added. “The
after business hours and on week- parking situation downtown has be-
ends – and towing dozens of cars come difficult over the years, and we
to make their point – the longtime have to make sure our tenants have
owners of the lot behind Vero Prime the ability to park there.”
plan to do the same.
Thistle said the lot has 78 total spac-
In fact, the owners of that lot – lo- es, including 16 in the southwest cor-
cated on the east side of 15th Avenue, ner that belong to the city and will con-
south of 21st Street, across from the tinue to offer free parking.The other 62
rear of the Indian River County Court- are owned by his group, which plans
house – started charging a flat fee of to resume charging $5 after 5 p.m. on
$5 to park there a couple of weeks ago. weekdays and all day on weekends,
possibly as soon as this weekend.
The owners stopped charging –
temporarily – when the police in- The owners will use the money to
formed them they needed a permit, pay an attendant to collect fees and
which they plan to obtain this week.
maintain the lot, Thistle said.
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 9
at railroad crossings on all state roads. torists from stopping on or too close to an River County, said county spokes- there’s definitely room for more.”
In Indian River County, the initiative railroad crossings. man Brian Sullivan. FDOT should re- “It has been a major concern and
quire far more robust safety measures
would cover only 20th Street and 19th “One fatality on our rail crossings is and cover all railroad crossings, not a major priority for our board,” Sul-
Place, State Road 60 eastbound and one too many,” said state Transportation just those on state roads. livan said about the recent focus on
westbound, in downtown Vero Beach. Secretary Kevin Thibault. passenger rail safety. “But you never
“It’s good to have their attention want to say, ‘See, you should have lis-
The warnings, including signs and Despite the flurry of activity, the on rail safety,” Sullivan said. “I think
pavement striping, aim to keep mo- new safety measures do little for Indi- tened to us. We told you so.’”
10 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
3 charters ignore deseg order Vero Beach 32963 seeking comment rating from the State of Florida for the Dobbs credits the school’s small size
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 about non-compliance. 2018-19 school year. as a reason for its success. Only 265 stu-
dents are enrolled in the 6th-8th grade
Five charter schools currently op- By contrast, Taylor and NAACP While the school district as a whole school, including approximately 25 Af-
erate in Indian River County – Imag- President Tony Brown praised North is struggling to close a longtime 30 per- rican-American students.
ine South Vero, Sebastian Charter Jr. County Charter Elementary and Se- cent proficiency gap between African-
High, Indian River Charter High, North bastian Charter Jr. High for their com- American students and white students “I think our small size really makes a
County Charter Elementary and St. Pe- pliance efforts. in math and reading, student perfor- difference,” Dobbs said. “Many public
ter’s Academy. A sixth charter, Somer- mance at Sebastian Charter Jr. High is schools have gotten so large – which is
set Academy, is scheduled to open for “We filed our first report last year,” much more equitable. good and bad. They can offer a lot of
the 2020-21 school year. said William Dodds, principal at Se- programs, like band, that we don’t.
bastian Charter Jr. High. “Our goal is African-American students at the
School administrators at Imagine to make sure our demographics reflect school are reading at a 68 percent pro- “But our staff gets a chance to re-
South Vero, Indian River Charter High the community and make sure we’re ficiency rate, compared with 72 per- ally know students and their families.
and St. Peter’s Academy did not re- meeting the needs for all our students, cent for white students, Dodds said. In We work closely with students and we
spond to phone calls or emails from in all our classes.” math, the proficiency rate for African- have high expectations and hold our
American students is 71 percent ver- students accountable.”
The school’s efforts seem to be pay- sus 73 percent for white students.
ing off. It received an “A” proficiency Dobbs said Sebastian Charter Jr.
High has doubled its African-Amer-
ican student enrollment in one year
because school officials have stepped
up recruiting efforts in Gifford and
other neighborhoods with large Afri-
can-American student populations.
The school also provides free busing.
One challenge the school continues
to struggle with is hiring more African-
American teachers, Dobbs said. Only
one out of 15 teachers at the school is
“Our challenge is we don’t have a
high turnover rate,” Dobbs said. “We
also don’t have a retirement plan.
“We do try to recruit, but to be hon-
est, most 22-year-olds are looking to go
somewhere bigger, like Orlando. Vero
Beach is a nice place to raise a family or
retire, but there’s not much to do for a
North County Charter Elementary
also provides free busing to students
and actively recruits African-American
students, said Principal Jessica Keaton.
Like Dobbs, Keaton credits small
class sizes and more individualized at-
tention for the school’s success.
“NCCS takes pride in educating all of
our students to the best of their poten-
tials,” Keaton said. “We focus on tradi-
tional academics, with a ‘back to basics’
approach, and creating a school family
– both of which we have found to be cru-
cial for improving student achievement.”
Although not yet open, Somerset
Academy outlined specific strategies for
how it plans to recruit African-Ameri-
can students and teachers as part of its
application to open a school here.
According to the application, the
school will target recruiting at African-
American colleges and implement a
curriculum that stresses diversity and
African American culture.
Brown said the NAACP’s current fo-
cus is the Indian River County School
District as a whole, but the organi-
zation does plan to address charter
school compliance in the future.
“I feel that as a recipient of taxpayer
dollars – local, state and federal – they
must be held accountable to all rules
governing other schools in Indian Riv-
er County, especially the desegrega-
tion order,” Brown said.
CHRISTMAS SPIRIT ‘REINS’
AT OUR PARADE
12 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Ho-ho-ho wow! Christmas spirit ‘reins’ at our parade
Dillon Helzerman. PHOTOS: KAILA JONES Monica Jennings. Ellie Gamez and Elizabeth Metz.
Ellie Knowles and Emma Metz. Violet Love O’Dell and Angela Love.
Mark and Patricia Ashdown. Armani Moore reacts as Santa’s float passes by. PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
Alina Stricker with children Liam and Landon.
BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF ginning to feel a lot like Christmas.” ized recliner to a bathtub, much to zens of the deep while visions of sug-
Staff Writer First responders took the lead during the amusement of the crowd. And ar plums danced in their heads.
the festive holiday showcase, with captained by members of the Ma-
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen the Vero Beach High School March- rine Connection, the Merry Fishmas Closing out the parade with the
took a stroll down Ocean Drive last ing Band hot on their heels. floated past, where stockings had magic of Christmas, Santa Claus
Saturday evening during the 35th an- been hung with care from fishing rod glided by atop the Dubose and Sons’
nual Vero Beach Christmas Parade, Local dignitaries made appear- holders in hopes of reeling in a good sleigh, reminding boys and girls they
sponsored by the Oceanside Business ances alongside participants from catch this year. have only a few more weeks to ensure
Association and Sunrise Rotary Club. nearly 100 businesses, nonprofits their place on the big guy’s Nice List.
and sporting groups – all helping to Coastal Connection created an
Nearly 600 striped, lighted and spread some holiday cheer. Floats ocean-themed, environmental float In the wake of all the fun, children
tinseled runners warmed up the ranged from the standard reindeer- out of recyclable trash, where a plas- scurried about scooping up snowy
crowd pre-parade during the fifth pulled sleigh to swamp buggies and tic octopus and turtle reminded bubbles from the sandy streets and
annual Runner’s Depot Candy Cane cranes. The 4-H float embraced the beachgoers of the dangers of straws happily chattering about the experi-
3K. Dillon Helzerman sprinted in season with its “Farm Life” theme, to sea creatures, as umbrella jellyfish ence, as folks gathered their parade
first with a time of 10:11 and Kendall where cows pulled a tractor driven by floated in their wake. gear and headed home.
Wyckoff was the women’s top finish- a pig taking flight over a barn full of
er at 12:17. farm animals. Beachland Elementary School- “The parade is important because
ers followed their motto – fins up for it gives people the opportunity to
With just enough of a nip in the A brigade of wheeled paraders learning – with a shark-infested float. get together and celebrate as a com-
air for little ones to sip hot chocolate drove circles around their neigh- At its center, a diving cage allowed munity,” said parade coordinator Al
while bundled in blankets, it was “be- bors in everything from a motor- swimmers to safely observe the deni- Benkert, adding that this was one of
the biggest parades to date.
14 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 15
Elsa Young and Michael Young. Mia Chandler. PHOTOS: STEPHANIE LABAFF Caitlin Moscrip and WIll Fox.
Caroline Mills, Katelyn Beare and Caitlin Roberts.
Cam and Mary Lou Brown. Tranaiya White and Trinity White.
16 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Movie and groovin’ at posh ‘Cinema de la Mer’ party
BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF
Downtown Vero Beach was awash Dale Metz, Susan Keller Horn and Anthony Aruffo. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Liz Bowler and Jerusha Stewart.
in winter white recently, as a bevy of
Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival fans somewhere else while we relax and en-
amassed during the fourth annual joy watching a film.”
Cinema de la Mer, a super-secret white
party to benefit the nonprofit organi- Mere hours earlier, the secret loca-
zation. tion was revealed, with ticketholders
informed that it would be along 14th
In a flurry of 50 shades of white, Avenue, outside the Theatre Plaza. The
guests showcased their alabaster fin- setting was significant, in that the film
ery, wearing everything from cowboy chosen was an encore screening of
hats and beach bonnets to chiffon and
linen attire, highlighted with feather
boas, lace and pearls.
“Tonight was a marvelously magi-
cal evening which, like the Vero Beach
Wine + Film Festival, created a sense
of community and shared vision,” said
Jerusha Stewart, VBWFF founder and
executive director, adding that the fes-
tival is more than just a four-day event
“It’s about education, building
awareness, opening up our minds and
hearts. And like tonight, it’s also about
just entertaining; letting all of us go
Logan and Alexis Peralta. Domitria Moore, Wendy Dickerson and Tiffany Barkwell.
“Vero’s Historic Theatre,” a documen- Band under the starry sky, before roll-
tary directed by Vero native Dale Metz, ing up the street and bidding their
chronicling the history of the iconic compatriots adieu until the next grand
As the open-air screening rolled “Our goal in 2020 and going forward
at the north end of the street, guests is to continue to become an important
dined at lavishly decorated tables year-round force with our program-
adorned with fine china, candelabras, ming, special events and community
crystal and silver on tasty morsels they involvement with Suncoast Mental
had toted in, or on scrumptious boxed Health Center, schools and other non-
dinners prepared by Edgewood Eatery. profit organizations,” said Stewart.
A tableau of silver and white masks,
swans, sea urchins and flowers added In addition to the June 11-14 festi-
hints of whimsy to the tablescapes. val, she announced that a new winter
event, the VBWFF West – Best of Fest,
To help “white up the night,” guests will be held Feb. 28-March 1 at the
vied for top honors in the Best Dressed Vero Beach Outlets. It promises to be
Table Contest, sat for a caricature art- a special launch of films paired with
ist, purchased raffle tickets for “a life opportunities to dialogue with film-
worth living experiences” and created makers, food and wine experts.
a community painting by rendering
white flowers on a prepared canvas. “By having a winter event, we be-
lieve we create an opportunity for
Sparklers lit the night as habitués more people to enjoy the cutting-edge
reclined in posh seating areas while film festival experience,” noted Stew-
listening to the sounds of the Classern art.
Quartet or danced to the Groove Soul
For information, visit vbwff.com.
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 17
Andrea Levin, Freddie Rose and Heidi Rose. Tracey Zudans and Dr. Nancy Baker. PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 18
Mike Dickerson, Richard Moore and Eric Barkwell.
Torri Soler and Ashley Juno. Isabel Garrett and Dr. Alan Corbin. Patricia Miles and Barry Shapiro. Maria and Javier Anaya.
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18 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 Jackie Morey and JoAnn Pagano
Angela and Dan Dickens. George and Sue Sharpe.
Amy and Michael Strezinski.
Kimberly Stewart, Barry Shapiro and Debbie Drennan.
20 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Enjoying ‘Collages’ and cocktails at Stouthouse fundraiser
Dawn Miller and Mark Kirby. Quentin Walter, Tim Glover and Lynn Johnson. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Dana and Jenny Lugibihl.
BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF Visions of Stouthouse. The evening featured the original set the tone for a magical evening of
Staff Writer The secluded artists’ retreat is a se- collages and limited-edition cards art and music out on the deck, amid
by Stouthouse artistic director Quen- the native vegetation and cool winter
Culture vultures gathered post- cret haven located on a wooded acre tin Walter, along with the sounds of breezes. Inside, guests sampled hors
Thanksgiving at Stouthouse and of land just a stone’s throw from the Maurice Sedacca, a jazz and Latino d’oeuvres created by retired Chef
went mad over martinis – chocolate, Intracoastal Waterway, a place where guitarist known for his romantic Huey Zaplin, while perusing stained
lemon or dirty – during a fall fund- artists can nurture their creativity Spanish guitar music. glass designed by the late Weldon
raising event, Intimate Collages and uninterrupted by the distractions of J. Stout, pieces from the STAF (Seth
everyday life. Fairy lights and a crackling fire
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 21
Kim and Thomas Bowman with Vicky Lada. Jeanne and Scott Leslie. Huey Zaplin, Sarah Morley and Geoffrey Myers.
Jerusha Stewart and Penny Phillips.
Thelonious Alvin Foster) Collection
and a selection of Walter’s work.
Proceeds from the evening will
aid in funding a studio expansion
project for the nonprofit, will further
the preservation of the home and
stained-glass installations designed
and executed by Stout, and will allow
for the maintenance of the STAF Col-
The evening’s theme hinted at the
underlying reason for the evening’s
gathering, said Walter. The idea was
to give a nod to the past and, with the
unveiling of the design for the new
building, showcase what supporters
envision for the future.
Walter said the planned build-
ing, which will replace the current
artists’ workroom, will feature a
3,800-square-foot, three-story, envi-
ronmentally sustainable studio for
forward-thinking artists concerned
with ecological stewardship. The ad-
dition will include an archive, larger
studio space, and a place for the ar-
tistic director to live, so that an artist-
in-residence can inhabit the historic
“It’s all about the art,” said Walter.
“Stouthouse is a legacy for my hus-
band. I have an awesome collection
of over 100 artists to preserve and
wanted to give artists the gift of time;
time away from their daily routine so
they can focus on their art.”
For more information, visit stout-
22 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Vero Vino Wine & Food fest: Good time, great cause
Tammy Bursick, Susan Rane and Glenn Ferdinand. Phil Matson with Jen and David Puglisi. PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 24
Norman Wells, Dr. Deborah Brown and John Jennings.
BY MARY SCHENKEL New Orleans,” said Glenn Ferdinand,
Staff Writer event co-chair with Susan Rane and
Tammy Bursick. He explained that
The sounds of great jazz poured out the idea began to develop when a
of the Heritage Center, giving arriv- group of Unity Center members –
ing guests a delightful taste of things what would soon become the Vero
to come at the third annual Vero Vino Vino Team – first began contemplat-
Wine & Food Festival, hosted by the ing a way to give back to the commu-
Unity Center of Vero Beach. nity.
“I’m from New Orleans, Louisiana, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Indian
and there’s lots and lots of festivals in River County were the beneficiaries
Roger and Sally Smith. Tricia and Jacques Goulet.
the first two years, and this time they the ‘Have Piano Will Duel’ summer
opted to donate funds to the Edu- concert series each June.
cation Foundation of Indian River
County. “They come to Unity Center of
Vero Beach on a Saturday morn-
“One of the other creative ideas we ing and they practice for about four
came up with was a youth concert,” hours; an intensive jazz workshop,
said Ferdinand. He explained that and then we give a free concert in
Jacob Craig, music director at First the evening,” said Ferdinand. “A
Presbyterian Church, selects about small part of the proceeds will help
a half-dozen students and facilitates that concert series; it’s a stipend that
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 23
we give to the students.” a selection of wine-centric auction folks followed the ‘dessert first’ adage with Dueling Pianos and with the
Roughly 175 guests milled about items. and went straight for the tempting Education Foundation. When you
goodies proffered by Sweet Creations. look deeper into what they do you’re
the Heritage Center – inside and out Wild Thyme Catering had laid out a going to find some incredible pro-
on the patio – enjoying the fantastic generous spread of delicious ‘lite fare’ “It’s a community event,” said Dr. grams. We’re always out and about,
music by the Indian River Charter to complement a wide assortment of Deborah Brown, presenting sponsor and this is our favorite event. I love
High School Wolves Jazz Ensemble, domestic and international wines with husband Norman Wells. “It’s this event.”
led by David Mundy, and perusing provided by Southern Social. Some all about the incredible good it does
24 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 22 Tommy and Anna Pease with Elizabeth White and Michael Reed. Duncan MacLeod, Maria Beckett and Barbara Petrillo.
Debbie Emerick with Kevin and Kim Slade.
Heather and Jeffrey Gonzales. Angie and Marcelo Romero with Nikola Matson.
Keith and Sandra Winters. Mary Jane and Jim Elford.
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26 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Haul’s well with (non) Walk to Remember event
BY STEPHANIE LABAFF
Supporters of the Alzheimer and Taunya Foerster and Bruce McEvoy. Judy Lemoncelli, Tiffany Tripson and Peggy Cunningham. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE
Parkinson Association of Indian River
County didn’t let this year’s weather- Remember, I’m here to welcome you ningham shared that 1.5 million
related cancellation of the 16th annu- to the first annual walk that wasn’t,” Americans have Parkinson’s and
al Walk to Remember get them down. said executive director Peggy Cun- 5.8 million suffer from Alzheimer’s.
Reports of lightning put a damper on ningham. “This is the only event that Those numbers are expected to dou-
the walk that had been scheduled for supports all of the local families who ble by 2030.
early November, but clearly not the are managing that journey with Al-
spirit of the participants. “That’s 16 million caregivers, un-
paid, saving us all an enormous
Instead, they put one foot in front of amount of money nationally,” added
the other and gathered recently at the Cunningham.
First Presbyterian Church to celebrate
that they were just shy of reaching She said that is why the work of the
their lofty $156,000 fundraising goal. local nonprofit to empower, educate
and support families dealing with
Crews showed up sporting their memory and motion diseases is criti-
team shirts and, after enjoying an cal. Every dollar raised stays in In-
afternoon snack, laid claim to raf- dian River County to assist local resi-
fle prizes before Cunningham an- dents.
nounced this year’s top fundraising
teams. In the Corporate category, Get To meet the ever-growing demand
Doped Up took first place, and in the for its services, the organization has
Family category it was Bubba’s Bud- expanded programming outside
dies. of its Vero Beach location, and into
Gifford, Sebastian and Indian River
“Instead of thanking you for par- Shores, with plans to expand to other
ticipating in the 16th annual Walk to areas of the county as well.
OIL & PROPANE FLORIDA Dawn Midelis, Sena Black and Lin Goldstein. For more information, visit alz-
zheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s,
or movement disorders. You have
been amazing partners.”
She added that “a few weeks ago, we
actually blew past what we raised last
year. Here’s the most amazing part:
For an event that wasn’t, we are only
$6,200 from our goal. We will continue
to accept funds until Dec. 31 when we
put this event to bed.”
Highlighting the importance of
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Eileen O’Donnell, Crystie Lupo and Allison Downing. Susan Elliott, Deb Kornatowski and Mary Colyer. Sue Schadt, Linda Gust, Ester Rymer and Betsy Root.
Marie Conforti and Pamela Hennig.
Jeffery Hindelang, Araya Hindelang and Kendal Palmer.
Susan Michael and Cheryl Coutu.
28 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Whiz show! Blue Angels dazzle fans in quick visit
BY STEPHANIE LABAFF Lt. Cmdr. Adam Kerrick, Ret. Col. Martin Zickert and Lt. Julius Bratton. PHOTOS: KAILA JONES the winter visit enabled the Blue An-
Staff Writer gels to walk through the facilities
of excellence and service to country grandfather, a World War II veteran. and discuss logistics and safety prior
Two members of the U.S. Navy through flight demonstrations and “Air shows are great. That’s why to the April show. A retired U.S. Air
Blue Angels Flight Demonstration community outreach.” Force Colonel, Zickert confessed that
Team roared into Vero Beach last I’m here today,” he said. “It’s all pilots never really lose the love and
Monday morning to review the site He added that they hope the kind of symbiotic. To see the air- the thrill of flying.
in advance of the 2020 Vero Beach shows also act as an inspiration planes my grandfather saw when he
Air Show, scheduled for April 25 and for children to think about some- was serving is pretty neat. It makes “I didn’t miss flying after retiring
26 at Vero Beach Regional Airport. thing bigger than themselves. Ker- me feel like a kid again.” until they [the Blue Angels] showed
rick shared that as a youngster, he up here for the first time,” admitted
Lt. Cmdr. Adam Kerrick and Lt. had attended an airshow with his Martin Zickert, the Vero Beach Zickert, an envious gleam in his eye
Julius Bratton landed No. 7, a two- Air Show’s Blue Angels liaison, said as he admired the F/A-18 sitting on
person F/A-18 Hornet, and were the tarmac.
greeted by a crowd of aerophiles ea-
ger to get a sneak peek at the Navy The show will include performanc-
blue and gold Hornet aircraft. es, aircraft displays, an Air Show Food
Fest event at Riverside Park, and the
The Blue Angels, who made their Blue Angels’ new C-130J transport,
first air show appearance in 1946 recently retired from the Royal Air
in Jacksonville, Fla., and their first Force to replace Fat Albert.
Vero Beach appearance in May 2014,
are said to have wowed 500 million Proceeds from the Vero Beach
people nationwide over the years. Air Show benefit local veterans pro-
grams through the Veterans Coun-
Kerrick said air shows help pro- cil of Indian River County, and child
mote their mission, explaining that abuse prevention programs through
it gives them an opportunity “to the Exchange Clubs of Indian River,
showcase the pride and profession- Vero Beach and the Treasure Coast.
alism of the United States Navy and
Marine Corps by inspiring a culture For tickets or volunteer informa-
tion, visit veroairshow.com.
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30 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
‘Dream’ home’s a reality for Fellsmere Boys & Girls Club
Judy and Bill Munn with Elizabeth Thomason. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Robert Auwaerter, Fellsmere Mayor Joel Tyson and Fellsmere Police Chief Keith Touchberry.
BY MARY SCHENKEL mere Boys & Girls Club. Karen and Larry Mulder. in the world is to write a check for this
Staff Writer “Just earlier this year, Larry and Kar- place. The toughest thing is what they
was a dream less than one year ago and do every day; to come here every day
Supporters of the Boys and Girls en Mulder came to us with a proposal here we stand with our dream realized. and spend time with these young kids
Clubs of Indian River County recently to build a new facility for the Boys & We had a hard-working board commit- who need help badly.”
celebrated the opening of a bright and Girls Club. They had a vision for the tee to help with raising the necessary
airy 8,000-square-foot facility adjacent children and asked us to help them funds,” added Munn. The project was The couple is also involved in Boys &
to the historic Old Fellsmere School achieve our common goals,” said Bill overseen by architects Edlund Driten- Girls Clubs in Michigan, their primary
building, home to the Fellsmere City Munn, BGCIRC board co-chair with bas and Binkley, Proctor Construction residence.
Hall complex and, since 2010, the Fells- Dan Somers, welcoming the crowd. and Carter and Associates Engineer-
ing. “Our passion is to help children re-
CARPET ONE “It’s hard to believe that this project alize their potential. These are beauti-
CREATIVE FLOORS In addition to the Mulders’ lead gift ful kids who have so much potential;
Creative Floors & Home has more for your of $1 million, Munn said they had 100 they’re such nice kids,” said Karen
& HOME entire home from the floor up! With Flooring, percent board participation and gener- Mulder.
Tile, Cabinets and even vacuum cleaners! ous gifts from the community.
Of the wonderful new facility, Munn
772.569.0240 Earlier Larry Mulder, an avid cyclist, said, “We’ve incorporated everything
said he first discovered the Fellsmere we could possibly think of in here. And
1137 Old Dixie Hwy • Vero Beach Club about four years ago, while rid- we’ve also allowed for expansion.”
creativefloorscarpet1verobeach.com ing past the Old Fellsmere School. He
soon began volunteering with a group Elizabeth Thomason, BGCIRC exec-
of middle school boys, now fondly re- utive director, said that the Fellsmere
ferred to as “The Mulder Dozen.” club currently has 156 members, an
average daily attendance of about 115
Larry Mulder spoke enthusiastically and a wait list of 38 children, which
of Fellsmere Club staff, led by its direc- they can now accommodate.
tor, Keisha Rainey.
With a $2.2 million annual budget
“These are great, giving people. They to run the Vero Beach, Sebastian and
just give everything to these kids and Fellsmere clubs, continued funding
I love that,” he said. “The easiest thing and additional staffing are their great-
est challenges. Parents are charged
minimal amounts of $30 for one child,
$50 for two and nothing more for ad-
ditional children. With an average
household income of less than $25,000
for participants, some can’t even afford
“Countywide, 82 percent of our kids
are on free and reduced lunch and al-
most 100 percent of the Fellsmere kids
are on free and reduced lunch,” said
Thomason said the new facility was
built to enable diverse programming,
from computers and enhanced tech-
nology, to books and creative space for
budding artists, a multi-purpose room
and an outdoor covered patio with ta-
For more information, visit bgcirc.
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 31
Mary and Jim Johnson with Margaret Kearney. PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 32
Kent Jones, Jessica Schmitt and Sherman Hotchkiss.
Architects Logan Dritenbas and John Binkley. Stephanie and Jeff Pickering with son Grant, Jeff Smith, Dan Somers and Casey Lunceford.
Yamilet Cendejas and Ivy Tashlik.
32 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 Curt and Eva Chapman with Warren Dill. Mary Grimm McClellan, Paul Hanson and Trudie Rainone.
Stacey Klim, Barbara Pearce and Peggy Jones.
Michael Kint and Michael Natale.
Maria Pantoja, Fernando Herrera,
Elida Gomez and Ernie Wilson.
WORDS ON BIRDS:
FLORIDA’S FEATHERED FLIERS
34 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
ARTS & THEATRE
Words on birds: Author ‘exposes’ Florida’s feathered fliers
BY STEPHANIE LABAFF Juanita Baker.
PHOTOS BY KAILA JONES
Juanita Baker, Ph.D., is proof positive
of the old adage: “Birds of a feather flock HEAR
together.” To best illustrate her avian IT
affinity, she has compiled a captivating LIVE
book that captures the beauty of some
of Florida’s finest feathered friends.
“Florida Birds Exposed” is a compila-
tion of ‘Bird Photo of the Month’ sub-
missions to the Pelican Island Audu-
bon Society from 2009 to 2019. Each
is accompanied by poems and essays
describing the unique attributes of the
The book evolved out of an Introduc-
tion to Birdwatching talk and field trip
Baker had given to the Indian River
Photography Club a decade ago. Con-
sidered by many to be the “mother
hen” of birding photography in Indian
River County, Baker wanted a way to
share her love of birds and photography
with others – to promote the important
role birds play in our lives, as well as to
demonstrate the sheer joy of watching
Baker had taken the group to the Se-
MusicWorks and Paris Productions
StoFPcokerirnfAegncSyt tuAfgfeer! Performs
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely
Hearts Club Band
SMC H Note for Note BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 1
Live! Cut for Cut January 7, 2020
VEROFROBMEA FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27 7:00 PM RACHMANINOFF 7:30pm
The Emerson Center · 1590 27th Avenue, Vero Beach Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Doors Open at 6 pm, Seating at 6:30 pm Gabriela Martinez, piano Community Church
of Vero Beach
Tickets: www.MusicWorksConcerts.com (800) 595-4849
PRESENTING SPONSORS: Cindy O’Dare & Fenia Hiaasen DVOŘÁK 772-460-0851
Slavonic Dances, Op.46
SHOW SPONSORS: The Audiohouse · Joe and Denise Corr AtlanticClassicalOrchestra.com
Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown · Catherine Sullivan
NON-PROFIT PARTNER: Cultural Council of Indian River County
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 35
ARTS & THEATRE
ty and character of the birds. all demonstrate her passions for travel, psychology is about,” says Baker.
The commonly spotted photography and the environment. Whether you’re a serious birdwatcher
Her paintings are interspersed among
anhingas and red-winged numerous artifacts she has collected [an observer interested in contributing
blackbirds, the elusive during extensive travels, and she is toward the collective bird knowledge]
painted bunting and red- equally adept at writing prose and sci- or a twitcher [someone whose goal is to
dish egrets, roseate spoon- entific literature. rack up the number of rare birds they
bills, Florida grasshopper have seen], “Florida Birds Exposed” is
A professor emeritus at Florida Insti- an invaluable resource.
sparrows, wild turkeys tute of Technology, Baker holds a Ph.D.
and common yellow- in clinical psychology and draws paral- Proceeds from book sales help sup-
throats are just some lels between birds and humans. port the Pelican Island Audubon Soci-
of the birds that soar ety. They can be purchased for $29.95
through the pages. “When I was going through gradu- at the Audubon House, the Vero Beach
ate school, we learned about birds, and Book Center or online.
In the foreword, Flor- some of the key studies that helped en-
ida Park Services direc- lighten us about human behavior were For more information, visit pelican-
tor Eric Draper notes done on birds and rats. Behavior is what islandaudubon.org.
that “birds excite us and stir curiosity,
bastian Inlet early one morning during adventure and companionship.”
low tide. After that field trip, Baker be- “I hope people will appreciate this
came inundated with photos of birds, book and let the birds inspire them to
as the photographers became more and make changes. I want them to see that
more adept at capturing the fascinating these birds are really special,” says
creatures on film. It didn’t take long for Baker, who migrated to Florida from Il-
a little birdie to whisper in her ear that linois – by way of Pakistan.
a Florida Bird Photo of the Month was “It was mosquitoes that brought us
in order, with photos published in the to Vero Beach,” she explains. “My hus-
PIAS newsletter the Peligram. band Richard is a mosquito geneticist,
and that has taken us around the world.
“This book is important,” says Baker. During the Vietnam War, the State De-
“We have some really wonderful birds, partment got very interested in what
and everyone needs to know how pre- diseases the troops could contract and
cious our birds are. What’s happening bring back to America. So, they wanted
to the birds tells us what’s happening to to set up five research centers in tropi-
us. If the birds go, we will go, too. We’ll cal regions, and we ended up in Paki-
be in very deep trouble. We need to pay stan, where we lived for 13 years.”
attention to our birds.” Today, the couple is so comfort-
able living among their fine-feathered
All of the photographs in the book are friends that they built their own “nest”
of Florida birds, with a heavy influence along the Sebastian River in a home
on those photographed in Indian River that is somewhat akin to a treehouse.
County and its immediate environs. Even the unique PIAS headquarters on
Oslo Road was made to look like a bird-
“It’s a wonderful book as a result of house.
all 50 of the photographers’ efforts,” She points to their outdoor deck,
notes Baker. where a painted bunting had just flown
to one of their bird feeders, and half-
Baker says that while she hadn’t ini- jokingly says, “That’s my office.”
tially thought about writing a book, Baker says her fascination with feath-
once she retired she had more time to ered creatures goes back much further,
devote to the effort. As an added bo- initially taking hold when she began
nus, birdwatching and photography collecting birds’ nests as a young girl.
are pastimes that she and husband, “As a child, I wouldn’t sleep during
Richard Baker, Ph.D., president of the nap time at school. Instead, I’d lie there
Pelican Island Audubon Society, enjoy and listen to a cardinal sing. I can still
doing together. remember; it was so beautiful.”
Baker credits her soaring interest in
In fact, the couple previously collab- ornithology to the encouragement of
orated on “Reflections of Blue Cypress: an eighth-grade science teacher. Lat-
Photographs, History, and Poems of the er, while spending time in India dur-
Headwater Lake of the St. Johns River.” ing college, she became a shutterbug,
That book pays homage to one of their chronicling the people and animals
favorite places to explore. she encountered during her travels.
She attributes her adventurous ex-
In “Florida Birds Exposed,” Baker ploits to her parents, who, she explains,
delves into what makes Florida such an allowed her to fly freely – exploring na-
attractive location for the amazingly di- ture.
verse variety of birds that either call the “I was so interested in the world,”
state home or visit as snowbirds during says Baker. “I’m a curious person by na-
the winter months; whether staying or ture. My mother was an artist and read
just stopping over on their way further philosophy. She was quite a woman;
south. she gave me the art influence. I’ve loved
art all my life.”
She used the Cornell Laboratory of Her artistic interests are varied, but
Ornithology’s ‘All About Birds’ website
as a resource for some of the scientific
data. The book includes information
such as the birds’ descriptions, their
habits, adaptations, diet, habitats and
preferred nesting grounds. The poetry,
penned by Baker, delves into the beau-
36 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
ARTS & THEATRE
COMING UP! It’s a holly, jolly, jazzy Christmas at Waxlax
BY SAMANTHA ROHLFING BAITA
1 Put a little cool in your Yule: Oh,
yeah. This Sunday, Dec. 15, at
the Waxlax Center in Vero Beach, the
cool jazz sounds of pianist/composer/
bandleader extraordinaire Duke El-
lington and the jazz hot talents of the
Space Coast Symphony Jazz Orchestra
come together to bring you a swing-
ing version of a holiday classic: “Duke
Ellington’s Nutcracker and a New 1 This Sunday at Waxlax Center.
Orleans Christmas.” Those of you fa-
miliar with the SCS Jazz Orchestra
know you’re going to hear “Central Howl at the Moon Ugly Sweater Bash this Saturday, Dec. 14, at one of the Beach High School Performing Arts
this Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13-14. most unique and beautiful venues Department’s symphonic and jazz
Florida’s top jazz musicians,” groov- Riverside puts it this way: “The uglier around, the Sebastian Inlet State Park. bands, chorus and orchestras will most
the better, because your crime against It’s December’s Night Sounds Con- certainly make your season bright with
ing – holiday style – under the direc- fashion gives you the chance to win a cert, the very popular series hosted their annual winter concert, “Winter
prize for ugliest sweater!” (Actually, by the Friends of Sebastian Inlet State Wonderland.” Time: Sunday, 2 p.m.;
tion of trombone professor Frank Wo- this is the perfect time because, I’ve Park “under the moon and stars.” This Monday, 78 p.m. Tickets: orchestra,
been told, the Fashion Police are tak- band of seasoned musicians has been $15; mezzanine, $10. 772-564-5537.
sar. Here’s a bit of backstory, related by ing a holiday break.) There will be the bringing its unique sound and pas- www.IndianRiverSchools.Tix.com.
usual live music, requested by you, and sion for music and performance to
the show promo: In 1960, Ellington’s performed by two piano players this Central Florida audiences for almost
week – Rhoda Johnson and Ken Gus- a decade. Says the park promo, “With
colleague Billy Strayhorn suggested tafson – facing off on twin 88s in Duel- a perfect blend of soulful guitar,and
ing Pianos, playing virtually any song powerful vocals,” Hot Pink delivers
doing a jazz arrangement of Tchai- you can come up with, all backed by a songs of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, “from
guest drummer. There is always food Stevie Wonder to Elton John, from
kovsky’s beloved masterpiece. Done available at the grill, and two full bars. Soul to Rock and Roll.” Night Sounds
(No BYOs.) If you aren’t crowned King concerts take place at the pavilions
and done. So “The Dance of the Sugar or Queen of Ugly Sweaters, there are on Coconut Point, on the south side of
also doors prizes. Outside, Live in the Sebastian Inlet, and they’re free with
Plum Fairy” becomes the swinging Loop, the music is free: On Friday, it’ll regular park entry fees. Time: 6 p.m. to 5 Here’s a wonderful Christmas
be Big Coque, a classic rock cover band; 9 p.m. park admission: $8 per vehicle, season experience created for
“Sugar Rum Cherry”; “The Dance of and Saturday, it’s Doo Wop City, an old- limit 8 people per vehicle; $4, single
ies rock ’n’ roll band. Times: Howl, 7:30 occupant vehicle; $2, pedestrians,
the Reed Pipes” transforms into the p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Loop: 6 p.m. to 9:30 bicyclists, extra passengers. 772-388- kids that will totally delight grown-ups
p.m. Tickets: Howl, side seats, $12; ta- 2750 or Sebastian Inlet State Park.
sassy “Toot Toot Tootie Toot”; and the ble, you can reserve a table in advance, as well. This Saturday, Dec. 14, the ter-
$16 to $22. 772-231-6990.
divine “Waltz of the Flowers” becomes rific Space Coast Symphony Orchestra
a glitzy Vegas showstopper, “Dance of Woodwind Quartet will bring to life
the Floreadores.” To make absolutely the beloved holiday classic, “The Night
certain this holiday jazz evening is the Before Christmas,” at one of the area’s
jazziest, Wosar and the orchestra will most magical places, McKee Botani-
also perform “holiday favorites with a cal Garden. This special treat is part of
New Orleans twist.” Time: 3 p.m. Tick- the SCSO’s “Once Upon an Orchestra”
ets: adults, $25 through SpaceCoast- series, this musical adventure teaching
Symphony.org or at Marine Bank and kids about the woodwind family. After
Trust, beachside and mainland; at the the program, kids will have a chance
door, $30; 18 and under or with student to try out woodwind family members
ID, free. 855-252-7276. for themselves, “act out a favorite char-
acter, pose as a musician in the sym-
2 Riverside Theatre cordially in- 4 Among the most joyful and sat- phonic photo booth” and even color in
vites you to root through the back isfying musical offerings during
their very own “Once Upon an Orches-
of your closet for your most horren- 3 Eschew red and green for a cou- the holiday season are the concerts tra” coloring book. Time: 10 a.m. McK-
ple of holiday season hours and
dous, ghastly, hideous, awful Christ- presented by the talented young mu- ee Botanical Garden ticket required:
mas sweater, gather up your similarly opt for Hot Pink. This eclectic rock sicians of our local schools. This Sun- adults, $12; seniors, $11; 3-12, $8; under
adorned posse and head over to the band will be bringing the live music day and Monday, Dec. 15-16, the Vero 3, free. 772-794-0601.
38 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
INSIGHT COVER STORY
BY MARY BETH SHERIDAN | WASHINGTON POST
MEXICO’S STRONGEST PRESIDENT IN DECADES
SAN MIGUEL CANOA, Mexico – His approval ratings regularly top 60 to revive the hopes of the many citi- trips – even the Group of 20 summit of
Elsewhere, Latin America is burning. percent, in a region where many lead- zens who had soured on democracy. world leaders in June.
ers struggle to reach half that.
In other places – Chile, Colombia, “A very clear majority of Mexicans Raymundo Flores, 27, was one of
Bolivia, Ecuador – presidents are be- And yet, as the veteran leftist consoli- think his government is their govern- thousands in the largely indigenous
sieged by demonstrators. dates power, critics worry he is threat- ment,” said Jesús Silva-Herzog Márquez, community who sat expectantly in
ening some of Mexico’s hard-won dem- a political scientist. The downside? folding chairs waiting for López Obra-
But when Mexico’s leader rolled into ocratic gains. They say López Obrador “Mexico today is a country much more dor’s arrival.
this mountain town one recent Friday, the is weakening institutions that safeguard dependent on one man’s will.”
crowds were adoring. Peasants walked for human rights and clean elections and is “He pays so much more attention to
miles to greet him. Angel Roldán Pérez, a exerting more control over funding to López Obrador arrived in San the pueblos,” said Flores, a construction
62-year-old farmer in a red baseball cap, the states. Miguel Canoa on a recent afternoon worker. “We’ve always been forgotten.”
had recently received a singular blessing: the same way everyone else does: On a
an agricultural grant of $84. He is steering cash grants to the crowded, two-lane road stippled with López Obrador has enhanced his
poor and vulnerable and saying he speed bumps. The town of 25,000 is man-of-the-people reputation by slash-
“It was the president,” the farmer insist- is going around bureaucrats to limit just 12 miles from Puebla, a thriving ing traditional perks – giving up the
ed. “He helped us. Before, they wouldn’t corruption. Detractors say he is using city southeast of the Mexican capital presidential jet and mansion and cut-
give us the aid. There was a lot of corrup- public money to build a massive base with sleek auto-part plants and pres- ting officials’ salaries, including his own.
tion.” of loyalists such as Roldán Pérez. tigious universities. But in San Miguel,
burros still clomp up narrow streets, To Mexicans, the 66-year-old is not
A year after taking office, President López Obrador, known by his ini- and 1 in 5 homes lack running water. just accessible; he’s practically un-
Andrés Manuel López Obrador looms tials AMLO, remains popular despite avoidable. He holds a 7 a.m. news
larger than any Mexican president in little progress in resolving Mexico’s It was the 225th city that López Ob- conference nearly every weekday,
decades – setting the nation’s agenda major problems, such as the record- rador had visited since taking office and his running commentary on the
with daily news conferences, reshap- high number of homicides or the Dec. 1, 2018, part of an effort to travel state of Mexican affairs, much like
ing the government with a drastic stalled economy. At a moment of tur- to rural hospitals, indigenous centers President Trump’s tweets, dominates
overhaul of the budget and introduc- moil across Latin America, perhaps and farm communities. In part, he has the news. AMLO uses the platform to
ing a raft of programs to help farmers, his greatest accomplishment has been managed that by passing up all foreign rebuke independent media that are
the elderly and students. critical of him. The sessions also allow
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 39
INSIGHT COVER STORY
Supporters of President Mariachi musicians join
Andrés Manuel López a serenade for López
Obrador celebrate Obrador’s 66th birthday
during a rally in in November outside
Mexico City. the National Palace in
Below: Angel Roldán Perez, 62, and his wife, Dominga Marcial,
55, say their lives have improved under López Obrador. They
took their grandsons Francisco and Leonardo to a recent rally
for the president in San Miguel Canoa.
him to project the image of a plain- Civic activists say the government is “There is a clear intention on the part ey and produced few results. But there’s
spoken grandfather – the opposite of undermining autonomous bodies cre- of the federal government to weaken little doubt he sees them as crimping the
the country’s formal, jargon-spouting ated during the transition to democra- and control them,” said Markos Cortés, power he won at the ballot box.
politicians. cy. Congress last week slashed the bud- national director of the opposition Na-
gets for the National Electoral Institute, tional Action Party. Gibrán Ramírez, a Morena party in-
But if López Obrador appears to be a the National Human Rights Commis- tellectual, said the institutions reflected
“super-president,” it’s not just because of sion and other institutions. López Obrador has defended the cuts, a bygone era, in which activists sought
his marketing skills, said Jorge Buendía, saying that the institutions wasted mon- to strip powers from an authoritarian
a prominent pollster. AMLO is also prac- president.
tically the last man standing in a politi-
cal landscape transformed by Mexicans’ “A lot of the substantive functions of
growing disgust with corruption. the state remained outside political con-
trol,” he said. “This is undemocratic.”
López Obrador won the 2018 presi-
dential election in a landslide, as his Ramírez defended López Obrador’s
reform-minded party, Morena, took move to exert greater control over how
control of congress. The country’s oth- states spend federal funds. Several
er main parties have shriveled. governors, he noted, have wound up
behind bars for diverting government
“These counterweights no longer money. Decentralization “allowed a lot
exist,” Buendía said. of the corruption of the Mexican polit-
ical system,” he said.
In some ways López Obrador’s party
has assumed the role held by the In- López Obrador has used his po-
stitutional Revolutionary Party toward litical clout to overhaul the state ap-
the end of its 71 years of rule, when the paratus – slashing jobs and salaries,
country was becoming more demo- squeezing funds out of scientific and
cratic but most major political offices academic research, and channeling
were still in the hands of a single party. money into new projects, including an
80,000-strong National Guard and a
“It seems a lot like the 1990s,” Buendía train across Mexico’s narrowest point.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 42
That’s not the only echo of the past.
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42 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39 INSIGHT COVER STORY
“What he has done is take control of President Andrés Adriana Pérez García, 31, a street
the government, take control of the bu- Manuel López Ob- vendor, turned out for López Obra-
reaucracy, eliminate all sources of au- rador’s first year in dor’s recent rally. She was disappoint-
tonomous power, any counterweights, office preserved his ed her son had not received a prom-
with a long-term plan of political con- popularity, but con- ised school subsidy.
trol,” said Luis Rubio, head of the Mexi- cerns over Mexico’s
can Council of International Affairs. violence and stalled “We voted for change. We haven’t
seen anything,” she said.
López Obrador denies having author- economy loom.
itarian tendencies. He says he’s trying to The civic group Mexicans Against Cor-
fix a government that long benefited a Protesters outside ruption and Impunity has studied some
small elite while ignoring the country’s the National Palace of the new social programs. It has found
many poor. last week. The chalk sloppy record-keeping, poor planning
reads “The poor first” and a lack of transparency, said María
“We are introducing changes the – a López Obrador Amparo Casar, who heads the group.
country needs so that everyone – from slogan.
the bottom up – can create a new coun- change brought by the president is
try,” he said this month. palpable. Two disabled relatives have
started receiving cash transfers. Then
Among his changes, López Obra- there is the agricultural subsidy the
dor has ripped up longtime programs couple received recently – 1,600 pe-
aimed at providing school subsidies sos, or about $84. They had not seen
and medical checkups for the poor, such aid for years.
opting for cash sent directly to parents.
He has vowed to funnel support di- “It comes from him,” Marcial said.
rectly to farmers, rather than through For all the president’s popularity,
agricultural organizations long tied to plenty of Mexicans are dissatisfied.
the former ruling party. López Obrador’s party is new to gov-
ernment, frequently disorganized and
“In the past, this aid was distributed working with an austerity budget so
through intermediaries and organiza- tight that at times there is no one to
tions, and it didn’t reach the people answer the main telephone line at the
– it got stuck en route or didn’t arrive president’s office.
in full because of kickbacks,” López
Obrador told the crowd in San Miguel
Canoa. “That’s over.”
For Roldán Perez, the corn farmer,
and his wife, Dominga Marcial, the
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 43
INSIGHT COVER STORY
“The big question is how much of the national investors by increasing debt crack down on U.S.-bound migrants. eration to arrest the son of Joaquin “El
money is getting to the people, and wheth- or raising taxes, which limits his abil- There is a potential hazard to dominat- Chapo” Guzman last month.
er the people really need it,” she said. ity to expand social programs.
ing Mexico’s political landscape: López The president’s daily news confer-
A lack of experience is just one of the Mexico is so reliant on U.S. trade that Obrador might not be able to blame the ences highlight how much one man
constraints on López Obrador’s gov- when Trump threatened to impose pun- opposition for whatever failures occur. represents Mexico’s government.
ernment. ishing tariffs earlier this year, López Ob- The president’s approval ratings, Buendía
rador quickly acceded to his demands to noted, dipped a bit after the botched op- “He seems to be the one making all
He has pledged not to spook inter- the decisions,” Buendía said.
44 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Drivers won’t put down their phones – and people keep dying
In New York state, it’s been illegal for drivers to talk that despite laws, penalties and reminders of the leveled out in the past year, most likely because of a
on a hand-held phone for almost 20 years; texting at hazards of cell phone distractions while behind the rash of new laws and a public push for pending pro-
the wheel was banned a decade ago. Across the U.S., wheel, drivers continue to put themselves and oth- posals. Massachusetts signed a bill last month that
distracted driving laws have been spreading. Now, ers on America’s roads in grave danger. bans drivers from holding phones, and similar laws
even Florida has weak ones in place. took effect in Maine and Florida earlier this year.
On an average weekday, the percentage of texting
Yet federal studies estimate over 3,000 people a while driving is 9.1%; that figure shoots up to 13.5% The laws don’t necessarily tell you if one state is
year die from distracted driving, and safety experts on Thanksgiving and 12.1% on Christmas. safer than another, but TrueMotion’s research has
believe the actual number is far higher. found that the passage of new laws – and perhaps the
TrueMotion tracks five levels of distraction: Non- associated media coverage and heightened aware-
The number of drivers who’ve had a distraction- call active usage (texting and app usage); non-call ness – lead to a decrease in distracted driving.
related incident – from a close call to a full accident passive usage (hands-free app usage); phone call in-
– remains terrifyingly high. Laws can’t do much in hand; phone call hands-free; and no distraction. In Georgia, for example, a study of between 20,000-
those moments when a seconds-long glance at a 25,000 drivers using TrueMotion’s apps found that
phone can result in a fatality. New York drivers called, texted or swiped through the passage of a hands-free law last year was respon-
apps about 22% of the time they were on the road. sible for reducing distracted driving rates by 20%.
Mike Pitcher, a retired Atlanta executive, is still Los Angeles fared slightly worse, mostly in the “non-
haunted by a near hit a few years back. Elated at hav- call passive usage” category, which could include the “What you’re seeing is that the laws are having an
ing just bought a house, he broke his personal no- use of apps for navigation and directions. effect but they aren’t in enough states to affect the
phones-at-the-wheel policy and unwittingly cruised overall levels dramatically,” says Matt Fiorentino,
his Cadillac Escalade past a stopped school bus and In New York City, higher concentrations of in- marketing director for TrueMotion. “We need more
two grade-school kids about to cross the street. “I hand phone use occurred while cars were travelling than hands-free legislation in a few states to make
slammed on the brakes, looked back in the rear-view on major thoroughfares, such as into and out of the meaningful progress on that issue.”
mirror,” recalls Pitcher. Lincoln Tunnel connecting New York City and New
Jersey. Distracted driving patterns in Los Angeles About 90 percent of voters support stronger laws to
One way to try to assess just how badly we’re be- varied more and occurred on freeways and in less crack down on smartphones at the wheel, according
having on public roads may come from the phones dense neighborhoods. to Stopdistractions.org, a safety advocacy that lob-
in question. Insurance agencies and fleet managers bies for stronger handheld phone laws all over the
have turned to several technology startups that moni- The trends seen in TrueMotion’s data aren’t all bad. country. “People know they shouldn’t be doing it, but
tor the speed and motion of a phone to flag when it’s The company says distracted driving appears to have they can’t stop,” says Stopdistractions.org founder
being used by a driver. Jennifer Smith. “They realize that they need that law.”
A smartphone driving platform, TrueMotion Inc. Mike Pitcher’s experience turned him into an an-
asks drivers to have their phone usage tracked while ti-distracted-driving evangelist. A talented public
they’re behind the wheel in exchange for insurance speaker, he travels the country to speak out about the
incentives or other rewards. The company has devel- dangers of using smartphones on the interstate and
oped proprietary apps for Met Life, Inc., The Progres- the slippery slope of highway text messaging. He also
sive Corporation, and Travelers, among others, and banned all phone use for drivers at LeasePlan USA,
that data is not shared with external parties. a company he ran at the time of his close call, which
manages a fleet of 300,000 vehicles for large commer-
The data shared with Bloomberg comes from cial customers.
TrueMotion’s analysis of the roughly 30,000 drivers
using one of two free apps that the company offers: “It’s an epidemic and if it happened all at one time,
TrueMotion Family, targeted mostly to parents of in one place, there’d be a congressional hearing on it,”
driving-age teenagers; and Mojo, an incentive-based Pitcher explained. “But it’s 100% preventable.”
app where subscribers can accumulate points for
safe driving and then exchange those for rewards. A version of this column first appeared on Bloom-
berg. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Vero
The data support the generally-accepted wisdom Beach 32963.
Those who tout it’s better to give than to receive might Giving creates a “warm glow” that doctors can ac-
be onto something. tually see on a scan in the areas of the brain asso-
The whole act of gift-giving can offer psychological ciated with pleasure, connection with other people
benefits. Giving a gift to someone expresses interest, and trust. And they’ve learned that during gift-giv-
appreciation and gratitude, and strengthens bonds. ing, the brain secretes “feel good” chemicals such as
But let’s take it a step further. In addition to gifting serotonin (a mood-mediating chemical), dopamine (a
family, friends, business associates and others during feel-good chemical) and oxytocin (a compassion and
the holidays, being a giving person – of your time, tal- bonding chemical).
ent and treasure – is good for you yearlong. As Win- The National Institutes of Health reviewed functional
ston Churchill put it, “We make a living by what we MRIs of people who give to various charities and found
get. We make a life by what we give.” that giving stimulates the mesolimbic pathway – the
Giving boosts physical and mental health. In addition reward center of the brain – releasing endorphins
to lowering blood pressure, giving increases self-es- and creating what is known as the “helper’s high.” Be
teem, decreases depression, lowers stress and pro- aware – it’s addictive.
duces a longer, happier life. In a study in which some people were randomly in-
The International Journal of Pscyhophysiology report- structed to spend money on themselves and others
ed that people who give social support to others have were to spend money on others, those who spent
lower blood pressure than people who don’t. Further- money on others experienced more feelings of hap-
more, they found that supportive interaction with piness. Another study found that participants who
others helped givers recover from coronary-related concentrated more on family or religious-oriented
events like heart attack and cardiac arrest. traditions and rituals had a greater level of happiness
The University of California at Berkeley studied people than those who focused on spending money and re-
age 55 and older who volunteered for two or more ceiving gifts.
organizations. They discovered these volunteers were Material aspects can actually undermine season hap-
44% less likely to die over a five-year period than piness and well-being. Instead of fixating on money,
those who didn’t volunteer, even after taking other possessions, image and status, engage more on the
factors like age, exercise, general health and smoking social aspects of the holiday – kindness, relationships
history into consideration. and altruism.
Similar findings were reported by the University of This year, experience the wonders of the season.
Michigan. Their study included elderly people who Spend time with family and friends. And remember, in
helped friends, relatives and neighbors, or gave emo- the words of Mother Teresa, “It’s not how much we
tional support to their spouses vs. those who didn’t. give but how much love we put into giving.”
Your comments and suggestions for future topics are
always welcome. Email us at [email protected]
© 2019 VERO BEACH 32963 MEDIA, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
46 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
When the second volume of Charles Moore’s MARGARET THATCHER waiting outside started to chant “Free Nelson Man-
monumental biography of Margaret Thatcher dela!” Although the Brexiteers claim her as their
came out in 2015, she had two indisputable claims HERSELF ALONE: THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY Euroskeptic patron, it’s unclear how she would
to preeminence: She was the only woman to have have voted. She was concerned about a centralized
been prime minister of the United Kingdom and BY CHARLES MOORE | 1006 PP. $40 bureaucracy run out of Brussels and a European
the most reviled political figure of modern British REVIEW BY ELAINE SHOWALTER, THE WASHINGTON POST single currency, and she was strongly opposed to
history. Now Theresa May has joined Thatcher on German reunification, but she also believed that
that short list of female PMs, and Tony Blair, Da- “Britain was part of European civilization” and that
vid Cameron and a fast-moving Boris Johnson have its destiny was “in Europe, as part of the Commu-
knocked her off the top of the hate list. It seems long nity.”
ago that she was wielding her symbolic handbag of
power in Parliament and bestriding the world stage But Thatcher’s extraordinary run came to an
as the Iron Lady of a still-great peacetime Britain. end with a series of disasters and misjudgments at
home, especially the hugely unpopular poll tax. On
Yet Thatcher is one of a tiny number of women Nov. 22, 1990, she stood down. She was a vigorous
in history to deserve and receive the accolade of 65, and the loss of status was an abrupt transition,
a three-volume biography. Moore’s massively re- Moore writes, for which she was “unprepared emo-
searched, elegantly written and admirably bal- tionally, domestically, financially and practically.”
anced book, covering the years from her trium- She had no permanent home, office or staff, and
phant reelection in June 1987 to her fall, decline a meager income from government pensions. Her
and death in 2013, does justice to her courage and husband, Denis, had plenty of money but hadn’t
complexity. True, his minutely detailed account paid a bill himself since they moved to Downing
of Tory politics, with its Jacobean skirmishes and Street. Out of sync with modern technology, fum-
fraught cabinet reshuffles, will probably mean little ing about those who had forced her out, she had
to most American readers. And Moore, a former to make money, set up a household and find a new
editor of conservative media outlets from the Spec- role. She made lucrative speaking tours, wrote her
tator to the Daily Telegraph (nicknamed the Tory- memoirs and soon entered the House of Lords as
graph), introduces every British man (and woman) Baroness Thatcher. In her public role, she annoyed
he names by noting their education, often Eton and John Major with unwanted advice and criticism
Balliol College, Oxford, but including a few outli- and went to 116 funerals.
ers like John Major, educated only at a school called
Rutlish. Like Thatcher, it can seem a bit stuffy and In 2001, she had a few small strokes, and some
remote. people noticed a mental decline, although her en-
emies would later say that like all women, she was
But Thatcher’s final term encompassed many always irrational. Denis died suddenly in 2003; her
events of transatlantic and global significance. De- dearest ally, Ronald Reagan, died of Alzheimer’s in
spite her reputation as rigid and unfeeling, she took 2004, and, suffering from early dementia herself
progressive, empathetic stands on many issues, of- but superbly dressed and coifed by her devoted
ten ahead of her party. Trained as a scientist, she household team, she attended the funeral, where
took an early interest in discussions about AIDS and her prerecorded eulogy protected her from making
talked about the need for international conferences embarrassing slips of the tongue. Moore presents
on climate change and global warming. these last years as particularly sad, calling her “The
Lioness in Winter.” Her adult children, Mark and
She supported free speech. Although Salman Carol, gave her more worry than help, and she could
Rushdie belonged to a group of British writers fero- never get the hang of country-house weekends.
ciously opposed to Thatcher and had created a char- “She played no games or sports,” notes Moore, and
acter in his novel “The Satanic Verses” called “Mrs. “dressed with intimidating formality.” In her retire-
Torture,” when the Ayatollah Khomeini declared a ment, she was like a woman “unwillingly divorced”
fatwa on Rushdie for blasphemy, her government and “isolated in a man’s world.” These feminizing
gave him full police protection, moving him among metaphors trivialize her strength and disregard
57 safe houses in five months. After Khomeini’s death comparisons to her male peers, including Reagan
in June 1989, they helped him negotiate with the Ira- and French President François Mitterrand, mas-
nian government to get the fatwa lifted, although sively protected in retirement and decline by their
Harold Pinter opposed any concessions and “want- wives and even mistresses. Thatcher had no model
ed to fight to the last drop of Salman’s blood.” (Al- for being a lioness at leisure.
To be sure, Moore is aware of the sexism and overt
MIX & MINGLE AT TRIMMINGS though never resolved, misogyny Thatcher suffered throughout her career.
the threat became dor- He frequently points out that her ability to establish
HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE mant, and after Thatch- solid relationships with world leaders was often de-
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15 er’s death Rushdie ex- scribed as feminine flirtatiousness and infatuation,
pressed some gratitude rather than thorough preparation. When she judi-
1 TO 4 PM that she had offered ciously hosted Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
him unquestioning sup- in April 1989, for example, the Soviets said she
FESTIVE FARE & port.) looked at him with “sheer rapture and adoration.”
15% OFF STORE WIDE* Yet Moore himself too often casts her in a stereotyp-
She worked with ically feminine, besotted role, calling her “girlishly
*SOME EXCLUSIONS MAY APPLY white South African effusive about Reagan” and as awkward when she
leaders to end apart- met with his successor, George Bush, as “a girl on a
3201 Cardinal Drive heid, and Nelson Man- new date after many happy years with her previous
Next to Chelsea’s Market dela’s release was a high boyfriend.”
point of her term. In Thatcher died in April 2013 and chose not to have
772 213 8069 his first official visit to a state funeral to which heads of state were invited,
trimmingsvb.com Downing Street on July although the queen and many statesmen came to
4, 1990, they talked for the solemn ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
so long that the press
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 47
Cole Porter’s story is pretty much a Cole Porter One critic de- his right leg was amputated,
story. That much is clear in a new collection of his scribed a Porter show and his creative life came to
letters. The composer who wrote the music and lyr- as having “something a halt.
ics for “Kiss Me, Kate,” which won the first Tony for about it like the sack
Best Musical in 1949 – as well as for such hit songs as of Rome; it is like re- Cole Porter lived long
“Night and Day,” “Begin the Beguine,” “I Get a Kick viewing … a deluge enough to see “Kiss Me,
Out of You,” “You’re the Top” and “I’ve Got You Under of music, costumes, Kate” filmed in “that silly
My Skin” – led a madcap existence with just enough angels, scenery, food, 3D.” He ultimately warmed
tragedy to keep the rest of us from getting jealous. vivacity and week-end to television, though when
charades.” But all that a musical revue of his
Porter was born in 1891 in Peru, Ind., to a druggist vivacity didn’t arise songs aired in 1956, he in-
father and a mother who encouraged his musical just from high spir- sisted on overseeing every
and theatrical interests. When he was 8, he recalls, its. Porter was a con-
his wealthy grandfather used to drive him into the summate student. His aspect of the staging. “I
Indiana countryside, rein in the horse, point to the grasp of algebra may have been in love with ev-
county poorhouse with his buggy whip and, for rea- have been wobbly, but ery show I’ve written,” he
sons that are not quite clear, say, “That, Cole, is the another critic wasn’t said, “and it hurts and irri-
place you will end up.” far wrong when he said tates me to hear one of my
the composer was “es- tunes mistreated.” Never
As a teen, Porter attended Worcester Academy sentially a parodist” who one to underestimate his
in Massachusetts and set his sights on Yale. On his could write any type of own achievements, the
first try at the Yale entrance exam, he failed the clas- song. “Sponge” might be composer takes more
sics portion but passed algebra. When he retook a better word, though,
the exam, he passed the classics and failed algebra. because he admitted to than a little credit for
Drum roll, please! Yale let him in anyway, and he hit studying the music of helping the medium
the ground running, writing some 300 songs there, Richard Rodgers, Jerome come of age. In the years
or so he claimed, as well as his first surviving musi- Kern and Irving Berlin BCP (Before Cole Por-
cal, “The Pot of Gold.” and taking what he could ter), TV was “nice and
from them. folksy,” but “now she’s
A year after graduating, he found himself in New got class!”
York, though his first Broadway show, “See America Porter’s strong work ethic got him to the top fast It’s almost impossible to go to
First,” was labeled “the worst musical comedy in and kept him there long enough to rub shoulders a cabaret these days and not hear a Cole Porter song.
town” by one critic. Porter registered for the draft with everybody who was anybody in showbiz. Ethel His music has been performed by Ella Fitzgerald,
in 1917 and was sent to France. His duties remain Merman, Fred Astaire, Sophie Tucker, Jimmy Du- Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and countless jazz art-
a mystery, though he seemed to have enjoyed the rante, Noël Coward, Katharine Hepburn: Celebs ists. The centenary of his birth was celebrated dur-
war, writing to his mother that “I like my job and my such as these appear on almost every page. Zelda ing the halftime show of the 1991 Orange Bowl, and
health was never better.” and F. Scott Fitzgerald pass through, as do the Duke that same year, his face appeared on a U.S. postage
and Duchess of Windsor. stamp. Oh, and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk
“The Letters of Cole Porter” is an intimidating of Fame.
marvel of scholarship, though editors Cliff Eisen and His is not entirely a tale of champagne and caviar, Cole Porter overflowed with the one trait that all
Dominic McHugh weave his correspondence into a though. His marriage to Linda Lee Thomas (“the but guarantees artistic success: self-confidence. So
mostly tidy account by adding diary excerpts, news- most perfect woman in the world”) didn’t stop him he probably never believed his grandpa’s prophecy.
paper clippings and plentiful commentary of their from taking on scores of male lovers, though he ago- But he sure showed the old guy, didn’t he?
own. There are Cole Porter biographies already (as nized over her emphysema and grieved her death.
well as two biopics, nearly 60 years apart, with Cary He also had physical ailments of his own after a THE LETTERS OF COLE PORTER
Grant and then Kevin Kline playing the composer), horse threw him and caused compound fractures in
and another seems unnecessary. Considering all both legs. At first, the injuries didn’t seem to slow BY CLIFF EISEN AND DOMINIC MCHUGH | 672 PP. $35
the connective tissue, “The Letters of Cole Porter” him much. But a few years before his death in 1964, REVIEW BY DAVID KIRBY, THE WASHINGTON POST
amounts to the last word, a work as disjointed and
delightful as any of Porter’s unforgettable songs.
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48 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Bonz bonds with bud Benji, a peppy Papillon
Hi Dog Buddies! a puppy, before my ears got so She’s a Papillon like me. When she
comes over, we chase each other all
The minute I spotted the doormat fluffy, I looked sorta like baby around the apartment.”
at Benji Fulford’s apartment, I knew it
was gonna be a fun innerview: it said Yoda. I was only 3 pounds when “What kinda food do you like?”
“WOOF!” in great big letters. PAWsome! “I eat Orijen kibbles from CANNA-
Mommy first got me.” duh. An Mommy cooks me chicken,
There was lotsa barkin’ soon as we liver an hamburger. I very much en-
rang. When the door opened, Benji “So, Benji, how DID you an joy the occasional bok choy stem,
anna lady were right there to greet us, which Mommy cuts in into teeny
Benji uttering a few more barks, while your Mom get together.” pieces. I am also a fan of Arugula. An
peeping out from behind the lady’s legs. coconut flakes. An cheese. For spe-
He’s an ex-treemly hansome, ex-treem- “Well, I was born near Mon- cial treats, I get duh-lishus liver-an-
ly amiable snowbirddog: a Papillon, berry crisps. Wouldja like to try one?”
brown an white, with a small, charming tree-ALL (which is inna big They sounded tasty. “Don’t mind if
triangular face decorated with a scat- I do.”
tering of freckles, a tail that looks like a place called CANNA-duh). They were tasty.
waterfall, and those amazin’ really long Post-snack, I asked, “Where do you
wavy ears that stick up, an then flow I’m a purebred with a buncha sleep?”
down like budderfly wings. (I found out “In the kitchen.”
Papillon is French for “budderfly.” Cool of fancy, champion ances- “The kitchen?”
Kibbles, right?) “Well, see, when I’m in Mommy’s
tors. My Mommy an Daddy room, I wake her up a lot when it isn’t
Soon as his Mom assured him that we the right time. I’m not exactly sure why.
were from The Newspaper and, thus, have those long, weird kennel Benji.PHOTO: KAILA JONES But, in the kitchen, I’m totally fine. I just
OK, Benji stepped forward. “WELL- names but everybuddy calls curl up in my cozy carrier with my Bun-
come, Mr. Bonzo! I’m always cautious ’em Quiz an Boss. Mommy ny Rabbit and go to sleep.”
of you Big Dogs at first. No offense. This Heading home, I was thinkin’ about
is my Mommy, Jutta. Let’s go sit over by has Japanese an Swedish an- energetic liddle Benji, butterfly ears
the couch, OK?” swinging side to side, shaking the day-
cestors and Daddy has Rus- lights out of his rubber chicken. An
Benji’s Mom, me an my assistant wonderin’ if I’d have the nerve to try
did so. Benji, however, took the scenic sian an Polish.” Benji petooied the shark. “I really bok choy. Whatever it is. Or maybe ask
route. At a gallop. He flew from the front about getting some of those liver-an-
door, shot down the hall, through living “Woof! So you’re some kinda Inner- like ridin’ in the car with Mommy, even berry crisps.
room and kitchen, made a coupla loops,
then skidded to a stop. His Mom tossed national Dog of Mystery,” I said. though it’s a long way, 26 hours, Mommy Till next time,
a ball down the hall a coupla times,
prompting Benji to sail after it, execute “Naw. Not me. I don’t do those fan- says. When we make The Big Drive, we The Bonz
a 4-point skid-turn, an zoom back. At
one point, I noticed he now had a yellow cy shows or anything. But I do speak stop overnight at this nice pooch-frenly Don’t Be Shy
rubber chicken in his mouth.
French, since that’s all I heard till I was place. I have my own cozy liddle car- We are always looking for pets
“Mayg yourselbbs add hobe,” he said, with interesting stories.
slinging the chicken around with such 12 weeks old. You see, Mommy hadda rier. I still ride in it and even sleep in. I
enthusiasm I thought his ears (or the To set up an interview, email
chicken’s face) would fly off. Papillon pre-me – Gigi. When she went have my bunny rabbit, too. It makes me [email protected]
“Don’t those amazing ears get kinda to Dog Heaven at 16, Mommy wanted feel suh-CURE! I gotta admit, though,
another girl, just like Gigi. She went when Mommy gets my carrier out for
Benji petooied the chicken out. “You
just hafta get used to ’em. When I was back to the breeder, who had a new lit- a regular ride, I’m a liddle hezzah-tunt
ter: two boys, including me, anna grrrl. cuz it usually means a trip to the doctor
Mommy woulda picked the grrrl ’cept or the groomer, which are the opposite
somebody’d already called dibs, lucky of my favrite places. I know they’re For
for me. Now Mommy’s glad, cuz I’m so My Own Good, but still. Anyway, the
bouncy an frenly an smart an cute an groomer just clips my nails and gives
cuddly, you know, all those things hu- me a dumb ol’ bath. I’m pretty much a
mans love. Well, sometimes Mommy wash-and-wear kinda pooch, so it’s not
calls me a Scatterbrain, but I prefer to that bad.
think of myself as having a Healthy Cu- “Down here’s nice cuz I don’t hafta
riosity.” wear clothes or boots. Mommy paper-
I nodded. Suddenly, something be- trained me at first, AN took me outside
hind the chair caught Benji’s attention. every couple hours, just to be on the safe
“’Scuse me,” he said. He ran to the chair, side. Now I’m older (I’m gonna be 3 in
an came back dragging a munched-on, Feb-you-arry) so I Do My Duty outside
green stuffed shark almost as big as only. Here, If I hafta go, an Mommy’s on
him. the computer, I lick her feet to remind
“Ib’s by FAY-brut!” he explained, roll- her. In Canada, I just stand in the hall
ing around on the floor with the shark. an bark. Me an Mommy leash walk
“Do you like it down here? What’s the around the pond every evening. I have
trip like?” I inquired. a BFF, Pippa, who lives across the street.
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 49
A WRONG DOES NOT ALWAYS DO BADLY WEST NORTH EAST
A97 KJ53 864
By Phillip Alder - Bridge Columnist 8 10 5 2 9643
8753 A J 10 2 Q64
Thomas C. Haliburton, a Nova Scotian politician, judge and author who died in 1865, said, A J 10 7 6 82 K93
“When a man is wrong and won’t admit it, he always gets angry.”
Some bridge players who get cross with partner are guilty, adopting the “offense is the best Q 10 2
defense” policy. In contrast, sometimes making the “wrong” bid or play does not cost. In AKQJ7
today’s deal, critique the auction. K9
South might have opened one no-trump; the heart suit was a plus value, but the black-suit
holdings were minuses. If he had, though, maybe three no-trump would have been the final Dealer: North; Vulnerable: North-South
contract. After West led the club jack (or seven), that would have gone down two.
North might have responded two clubs, Reverse Drury, showing three-plus heart support
and a maximum pass. Then South would have insisted on game, reaching four hearts one SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST OPENING
way or another. Pass Pass
1 Hearts Pass 2 Hearts Pass LEAD:
Finally, South was aggressive in going straight to game. Two no-trump would have been a 4 Hearts Pass Pass Pass 8 Hearts
better rebid, but North would have jumped to four hearts.
West did well to lead a trump. How should South have played?
He immediately cashed the diamond king and played his nine to dummy’s 10. However, East
took that trick and shifted to clubs for down one.
South would have done better first to try for a club ruff on the board: heart 10, club two. If
East rose with the king and returned a trump, South would have next led the club queen.
Here, that would have worked nicely. But if the defenders could have denuded dummy’s
trumps, the diamond finesse was still available.
50 Vero Beach 32963 / December 12, 2019 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
SOLUTIONS TO PREVIOUS ISSUE (DECEMBER 5) ON PAGE 68
1 Attention (5) 1 Banquet (5)
4 Joy (7) 2 Provide food (5)
8 Factual (13) 3 Boaster (4-3)
9 Attendance (7) 4 Twee (6)
10 Concluded (5) 5 Depart (5)
11 Rock-faces (6) 6 Peppermill (7)
13 Extent (6) 7 Foot-lever (7)
16 Best (5) 11 Bathe (7)
18 Clothes (7) 12 First (7)
21 Community (13) 14 Ends (7)
22 Registers (7) 15 Well-known (6)
23 Panache (5) 17 Beliefs (5)
19 Spacious (5)
20 Chalet (5)
How to do Sudoku:
Fill in the grid so the
numbers one through
nine appear just once
in every column, row