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Published by Vero Beach 32963 Media, 2016-12-29 11:32:08



Phase-out of old septic systems
gains support. P10
Aerial Antics

gymnasts spin in. P18

Shop with a Cop event was
law-fully heartwarming. P12

MY VERO Clinical trials to
be open to Vero
BY RAY MCNULTY cancer patients

Seagrove resident in
pain over native Syria

There was pain in Safouh SUN SETTING ON VERO ELECTRIC: In 2016, workers began demolishing the Vero electric plant, taking down cool- BY TOM LLOYD
Atassi's voice as he spoke ing towers and fuel tanks. Mayor Moss hopes to continue the transition in 2017. Story, Page 7. PHOTO BY MITCH KLOORFAIN Staff Writer
about the barbarism, blood-
shed and chaos that has dev- School District cover-up seen over blame for Florida Cancer Specialists
astated his native Syria. $7 million deficit in health insurance fund and Research Institute will
make scores of clinical trials
"It's a very sad situation," BY KATHLEEN SLOAN Asst. School Superintendent William Fritz trict’s self-insured health insur- of cancer drugs available to
the 85-year-old retired urolo- Staff Writer ance fund for its teachers and to Vero Beach patients in the
gist was saying last week, when other employees, has repeat- coming year, potentially pro-
I visited his oceanfront Sea- The School District, which edly claimed the district didn’t viding a second chance for
grove home to talk about the ran up the current $7 million charge enough in premiums those with hard-to-treat can-
horrors endured by the people deficit in its health insurance over the past five years because cers or a more effective treat-
of Aleppo, the war-ravaged city fund by ignoring the advice of Brown & Brown, its broker, rec- ment for others on existing
where he was born and raised its actuary from 2011 to 2015, ommended increases insuf- cancer medications.
and, 50 years ago, helped es- now seems to have been caught ficient to keep pace with rising
tablish a medical school. in a cover-up in its effort to costs. According to local oncologist
blame the massive premium Dr. Raul Storey, between “80 to
"Besides the many people shortfall on “bad advice” from Asked by the School District 100 clinical trials” will be open
who have been killed – more its former broker. to produce records supporting for enrollment by patients
than 300,000 civilians have this claim, Fritz said he couldn’t here, aimed at “every different
died – there are another 10 Assistant Superintendent find Brown & Brown recom- type of cancer.”
or 15 million that have left of Human Resources William mendations on premium rates
the country," he continued. Fritz, who oversees the dis- Florida Cancer Specialists
"Many others are in jail, and CONTINUED ON PAGE 3 and Research Institute, which
we can only wonder what's go- opened its office in Vero about
ing to happen to them. Then three years ago, has 34 lo-
there's the calamity of the cations and more than 200
historical treasures in Aleppo,
Palmyra and other places in CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
Syria being destroyed.
No retail shops for
"But what makes this es- Ocean Drive condo
pecially tragic," he added, "is
that much of this could have BY PETE SKIBA
been prevented." Correspondent

It was then that Atassi's tone Vero Planning and Devel-
changed. Anguish turned to opment Director Tim Mc-
anger. Despair became disgust. Garry has said he would like
to see more mixed-use devel-
He called Syrian president opment in the city, with retail
Bashar al-Assad the "worst or restaurants on the ground
butcher ever" – worse than his floor of new residential build-
father, Hafez, another tyrant ings, but developers of a lux-
who reigned as the country's
president from 1971 to 2000. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
He compared the atrocities


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© 2016 Vero Beach 32963 Media LLC. All rights reserved.

2 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


My Vero The United Nations has said it has to happen, too, especially after Presi- held part of Aleppo concluded last
proof that Syrian forces dumped dent Obama drew that red line in the week, putting all of Syria's industrial
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 chlorine gas on opposition fighters sand," he continued. "The revolution capital, much of it now in ruins, back
on at least three occasions, but the was taking hold. There were defec- under the control of government
committed during the past five years U.S. continued to provide only token tions from the Syrian military. People forces.
to Nazi atrocities in WWII. And he support to the rebels. were thinking: 'If the United States
wonders why the good people of the does something, Assad is done.' But Atassi said he monitored the entire
world weren't outraged enough to "During the first two years of the it never materialized. Syrian situation – what began as a
step in and save the Syrians. uprising, if the moderate rebels had peaceful protest quickly escalated to
gotten just a little help – not just ver- "Gradually, things deteriorated." a violent uprising and, ultimately, to
He's particularly puzzled by President bally but militarily, perhaps by neu- After more than a year of Russian civil war – via television and newspa-
Barack Obama's refusal to follow through tralizing the Syrian Air Force – Assad air strikes that pummeled the resis- pers. Before there were headlines, he
on his "red line" warning to Assad in Au- would be gone," said Atassi, who has tance and bolstered his defenses, said he followed the conflict through
gust 2012, when the U.S. commander- lived in Vero Beach since turning over Assad has successfully repelled the Facebook posts and tried to help by
in-chief threatened military intervention his Wisconsin medical practice to his final wave of the rebellion. raising money, which he sent to peo-
if Syrian forces used chemical weapons son and retiring here in 1996. The evacuation of civilians and re- ple he knew there.
against anti-government rebels. sistance fighters from the last rebel-
"Everybody thought it was going "These people were asking for free-
dom, to improve their lives, end a
dictatorship," he said. "I was so en-
thusiastic about it, and I thought I
should do something."

In fact, he said his family has past
ties to the Syrian government. His
brother-in-law was once prime minis-
ter and a distant cousin was a former
president, but both were eventually
jailed by Assad for more than a decade
for opposing his policies and were re-
leased only because they were expect-
ed to die soon afterward.

"I still have a nephew who lives
in Damascus, but I have not talked
to him in quite a while," he said. "I
also have another nephew who lived
in Aleppo until a year ago. The last I
heard, he's in Lebanon."

The conflict in Syria began in
March 2011 in the southern city of
Daraa, where protests were ignited
by the arrest and torture of teenag-
ers who painted in Arabic on a school
wall, "The people want to topple the

More protesters took to the streets
after armed security forces fired on
and killed several demonstrators. The
unrest triggered nationwide demon-
strations demanding Assad's resigna-

By July 2011, the number of pro-
testers in Syria had swelled to the
hundreds of thousands, and the re-
gime's use of force only stiffened
their resolve. Eventually, rebels began
taking up arms to defend themselves
and expel government forces from
their communities.

“There was a lot of corruption,”
Atassi said. “People close to the re-
gime profited and made tons of mon-
ey, but the unemployment rate was at
30 percent and a lot of people were

So when the Arab Spring came to
Syria from Tunesia and Egypt, people
started demonstrating peacefully for

“Then there was the atrocity with
the kids,” he added. “After that, it was
no longer a peaceful revolution. It be-
came a civil war with moderates, along
with members of the military who had
defected, fighting the government.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 3


And for a while, Assad was losing. School District in cover-up period actually came not from Brown disregarded that advice, implementing
Then the Russians came to help him.” CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 & Brown but from the Wakely Consult- only a 6 percent increase, according to
That was in September 2015. ing Group, the actuary employed by Fritz.
because the district had moved to new the School District. And Wakely recom-
Assad and Russian President Vladi- offices and there had been staff turnover. mended significant rate increases each The result of the School District’s fail-
mir Putin had forged a strategic alli- year that were largely ignored by the dis- ure to follow the rate advice of its actuary
ance, and the Russian airstrikes not But in fact, documents that Vero trict. led to the surprise news this past sum-
only turned the tide of the war against Beach 32963 obtained from the Florida mer of the huge deficit which now has to
the rebels, but they also pushed back Office of Insurance Regulation show On Sept. 30, 2013, for example, Wake- be paid off over the next four years from
against the efforts of ISIS to create an that rate recommendations during this ly recommended a rate increase of 30 property-tax dollars.
Islamic caliphate in Syria. percent in 2014-15. The School District
The airstrikes did something more:
They put the U.S., which already was
conflicted about intervening militarily
in Syria, in a more difficult position.

The U.S. was training and equip-
ping many of the anti-government
rebels the Russians were bombing
under the guise of helping Assad fight
ISIS, an enemy to Syria, Russia and the

“Russia said it was bombing ISIS,
but they were really protecting Assad
so they could expand their influence
in the region,” Atassi said.

Atassi said Assad now owes Putin
and already is his puppet. Their mar-
riage, though, helps both countries
because Russia can use its veto power
on the UN Security Council to protect
Syria, and Assad offers Putin greater
influence in the Middle East.

Atassi first came to the U.S. in 1958
for a medical internship in Cleveland,
where he met his wife, Donna, who
was a nurse. He returned to Syria in
1961 to begin a urology practice and,
in 1964, was asked to help establish a
medical school in Aleppo.

Two years later, however, he be-
came so concerned about the wors-
ening political climate in Syria that he
decided to move permanently to the
U.S., only to have the Assad regime re-
fuse to let him leave.

So he sneaked across the border
into Turkey and eventually made his
way to Wisconsin, where he practiced
in Neenah for 30 years.

In 1996, Atassi and his wife moved
to The Moorings, then built a beach-
front home at Seagrove in 2001. Fif-
teen years later, he remains active,
even vibrant, so much so that on his
85th birthday this month, he swam 85
laps in his backyard pool.

He plays tennis three mornings
each week, plays golf twice per week
and volunteers one morning per week
at the Indian River Medical Center's
Cancer Center.

“I'm so fortunate to be here and in
good health,” Atassi said. “That's why
I try to give back.”

But he has no plans to return to
Syria. He hasn't visited there since the
late 1990s.

“I feel very strongly that I'm an
American, that this is my country, this
is my home,” Atassi said. “But I do
feel the misery in Syria and especially
Aleppo. I sympathize with the people.
I was raised there. It's part of me.” 

4 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


School District in cover-up “The district should not be on the He suggested listening to audio tapes “I wonder if we aren’t running afoul of
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 hook for all of this,” School Board Mem- of the Health Insurance Advisory Task public records law.”
ber Shawn Frost said last month. “There Force meetings to sort out who is at fault.
In addition, to prevent future deficits, is such a thing as malpractice. And if it Wonder no more. State law 119 re-
the district has just raised the premiums was a staff issue, we need to make sure But the advisory board tapes would quires public records be kept in the
of its employees by anywhere from 53 they don’t have their hand on the tiller have been a faulty source of evidence building in which they are used and
percent to 650 percent. going forward.” because the board was managed by made easily accessible.
Fritz’s Human Resources staff, according
When the size of the health fund defi- At the document show-and-tell, to Brown & Brown Executive Vice Presi- A public official who “knowingly”
cit came to light last summer, the old where Fritz was supposed to provide dent Ken Felten. withholds public records commits a
School Board at that time blandly ac- evidence to the board, he all but said misdemeanor and “is subject to suspen-
cepted Fritz’s accusation that the prob- the dog ate his homework. Even though Felten said he attended meetings with sion and removal,” a fine of up to $1,000
lem was Brown & Brown’s fault. But the he is required by state law to maintain Human Resources staff where he was and one year in jail.
new board seated after the November such records in good order, he said he told what he could and could not di-
election wanted to see documents sup- couldn’t find the recommendations vulge to the Health Insurance Advisory If negligence is the cause for not hav-
porting the claim. on premium rates and was too busy to Task Force. ing the records, up to a $500 fine can be
launch a search. imposed.
The new board appeared to swallow
Fritz’s excuses, although Frost did say, But the documents Fritz told the
board he couldn’t find turned out to be

Fritz usurps School Board authority
in raising retiree insurance premiums

BY KATHLEEN SLOAN jumping the gun on policy issues
Staff Writer because that is the role of the Board.
They are charged with implementa-
Assistant School Superinten- tion, board corporate sets policy.”
dent William Fritz appears to have
usurped School Board authority by At the same time, Frost said his
announcing a substantial hike in concern about Fritz’s actions was
retiree health insurance premiums lessened, “because the simple eco-
before the increase was approved nomic fact is that if the rates do
by the board, and at least one board not increase in step with the costs,
member is not happy about it. we will face an economic disaster.
If the vote had not passed on the
Fritz oversees the human resourc- 22nd, we would have to have called
es department, which includes ben- a special meeting to figure out how
efits and risk management. His de- we would deal with the issue.”
partment sent a letter dated Nov.
9 to retirees 65 and older, with no New board member Tiffany Jus-
sender-name or contact given, in- tice and veteran Dale Simchick did
forming them of a 32 percent hike in not return requests for comment.
rates to take effect Jan. 1.
There are 175 65-and-older retirees
But it wasn’t until Nov. 22 that the on the district health insurance plan.
Indian River County School Board They qualify for Medicare and the dis-
met and approved the increase. trict plan is a supplement, which covers
the deductible not covered by Medicare
After seeing a copy of the letter sent for hospital and medical costs.
to retirees ahead of the board’s vote,
newly-elected board member Laura The premium went from $432 to
Zorc said, “This is unacceptable.” $570 a month for retiree-only cov-
erage and from $810 to $1,069 a
Board members Shawn Frost month for retiree-spouse and retir-
said, “I'm not a big fan of staff ee-children coverage. 

Don’t get nervous, call Scott Tree Services

CELL: 772-473-7150
OFFICE: 772-569-3874


Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 5


also readily available online at the Flori- mended by Brown & Brown. State law supposedly misled the school district. Wakely directly; the company was not a
da Office of Insurance Regulation. requires these reports, and it’s hard to Brown & Brown was the district’s bro- subcontractor for Brown & Brown.
believe Fritz was not aware of the re- ker and consultant, and was responsible
End-of-the-year reports on the fund’s cords. for recommending and paying an actu- Each year-end report provided rate
activities and recommendations for fu- ary to produce the year-end reports and recommendations for the next two
ture rates were filed regularly by Wakely Fritz also erred in repeatedly referring recommendations. But the district hired years.
Consulting Group, an actuary recom- to Brown & Brown as the actuary that


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10 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Shores to consider eliminating aging septic systems

BY LISA ZAHNER still use aging septic systems that most ered taking action to mandate that A mile or two south of the Shores
Staff Writer scientists say leak harmful chemicals residents switch from septic to sewer. Town Hall, the City of Vero Beach is
into the groundwater and eventually tackling the issue with a hybrid septic-
Pressure on local governments to into the lagoon. Now, however, Councilman Dick sewer system in which the liquid from
take action aimed at reversing the eco- Haverland is urging his colleagues to septic tanks is pumped into a small
logical crisis in the Indian River Lagoon The Shores Town Council has in the fully examine the issue and ponder pipe that connects to the city’s main
has resulted in programs to phase out past heard presentations about septic potential solutions. wastewater system and the septic tank
septic tanks, and the Town of Indian pollution by environmental organiza- is left in place as a backup. The city
River Shores is not immune to the issue. tions and scientists, including Dr. Bri- “Bring somebody in to give us all plans to extend the system throughout
an LaPointe of Florida Atlantic Univer- sides of the issue,” Haverland said, ac- the island portion of Vero and install it
The Shores is served by Vero Beach sity’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic knowledging there is some disagree- in some mainland neighborhoods.
Utilities but sewer service is not avail- Institute, but the discussion was strict- ment among experts about how much
able to the entire town and 160 homes ly academic; the Shores never consid- septic systems contribute to the over- At the same time, Indian River Coun-
all pollution load in the estuary. ty Utilities plans to begin construction
next summer on a $2.2 million project
to run more than 11,000 linear feet of
sewer line to serve 61 residential and
commercial parcels along the Sebas-
tian riverfront. The project will elimi-
nate the need for 38 septic tanks and,
as County Utilities Director Vincent
Burke said, “any future development
[near the sewer line] would be done in
an environmentally sound manner.”

With lagoon health and septic tanks
at the forefront at the state level, local
governments can pursue grant funding
as the county did for its project, with St.
Johns River Water Management District
footing $650,000 of the $1.97 million
construction costs for the Sebastian
sewer line. The county utilities depart-
ment will chip in $400,000, $393.000 will
come out of the county’s local-option
sales tax revenues, and $531,000 will be
assessed to individual property owners
over a 10 year period. The City of Se-
bastian voted to cover residents’ impact
fees for hooking up to the system.

“We’re not saying that this is the
end-all to solve the lagoon problems,”
Burke said, adding that the sewer proj-
ect is just one part of a broader set of
actions the county has taken, “an ar-
row in the quiver” to reduce harmful
runoff into the lagoon.

Responding to Haverland’s request,
Shores Town Manager Robbie Stabe
said he would pull a workshop togeth-
er, probably in February, so the coun-
cil and the public can get all the in-
formation needed to make a decision
about how to handle septic systems in
the Town.

Stabe said he would also bring Vero
Utility Director Rob Bolton in once
again to explain the STEP system and
tell the council what might be involved
with expanding hybrid sewer service
to homes now on septic systems.

In the meantime, Stabe and Town
Clerk Laura Aldrich said they would
pull out the minutes and handouts
from previous presentations on this
topic and distribute those to refresh
council members’ memories about
previously presented septic and sewer
information. 

12 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Shop with a Cop event was law-fully heartwarming

Eric Flowers, Mark Rodgers, Chief Michelle Morris, Santa Claus, McGruff the Crime Dog and Chris Brackston. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Myah Bertino and Lt. Milo Thornton.

Detective Erin Burke with Tianna Dutrevil. Derrick Timothy, Sgt. Phil Huddy, Joshua Reynolds, A’ahilyah Delion. Laila Barot (front), Detective Pete Miller, Trisha Chung and Alanah Graul.

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF Sebastian Police Commander Dan dren enjoyed breakfast al fresco – con- shopping with and they are able to see
Staff Writer Acosta admitted that he always looks suming holiday donuts and getting that law-enforcement officers care and
forward to seeing the joy on the chil- better acquainted with their new offi- are human and want to do the best
Christmas came early for a group dren’s faces. cer pals. for the community. The children see
of VIPs who received a full law-en- they can come to us whenever there is
forcement escort as they “dashed” “It’s a great way for us to interact Indian River County Sheriff’s Depu- something wrong; that we’re here for
their way up U.S. 1 to the Sebastian with the kids,” said Acosta. “They ty Roberta Barker recognized the need them.”
Walmart for the fifth annual Shop get to see us in a positive situation, for the program five years ago, grow-
with a Cop hosted by local police not just when someone is being ar- ing it from 25 children that first year to Indian River County children in
departments, Sheriff’s Office, Fire rested.” more than 150 annually. need between the ages of 5 and 17 are
Rescue, Highway Patrol, Railroad, identified through the schools, case
Probation and Fish and Wildlife of- Many of the children would other- “These officers volunteer their workers, resource officers, nonprofit
ficers. wise find nothing under the tree and, time,” explained Barker. “They enjoy programs and law-enforcement offi-
in the spirit of Christmas, most were shopping almost as much as the chil- cers, and must not have participated
As the convoy of buses pulled up more interested in buying gifts for dren. It’s amazing to see them all come before. Funding comes from donations
to the store, 150 local children were family members than themselves, together to help.” and money raised during a Christmas
greeted by Walmart employees, San- shopping for jewelry for their moth- in July celebration at Riverview Park
ta and officers standing by balloon- ers, clothes and toys for siblings, and “We get hundreds of applications ev- organized by Sebastian Police Chief
decorated carts. even a water purifier. ery year. Unfortunately, we can’t help Michelle Morris.
everyone. We are looking for the fami-
Each child received a $100 As they perused the aisles, im- lies that aren’t going to have anything. “It is heartwarming; the officers
Walmart gift card and was paired promptu games of basketball broke It’s hard to believe there are so many are so excited. And if someone wasn’t
with a volunteer before making their out – the officers assuring the chil- kids in this one county that don’t have in the Christmas spirit, after they see
way through the store to brighten dren the balls “needed to be tested” anything,” said Sebastian Police Dept. the children with the officers, they’re
their holidays and build positive re- – and more than one bicycle went School Resource Officer Ashley Penn, ready for the holidays,” said Penn. 
lationships with law enforcement in zooming by (all helmeted riders, of who came on board the second year.
the process. course). SHOP PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
“The children are able to have a re-
Their purchases made, the chil- lationship with the officers they are

14 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


SHOP PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12 Brian Baker, Jay Needham and Mike Health. Candace Kaigler, Deputy Roberta Barker and Officer Ashley Penn.
Lt. Tony Dudley and Kelly Metcalf.

Jahzara Farmer, McGruff and Williona Lee. Graceann Kirkland and Grant Eller. Jamez Vazquez and Ande Gonzalez with Rain Thornton, Candace Kaigler, Daneisha Evans
Deputy Chris Swindell and Niyah Yasin

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 15


Swedish tradition delights at St. Lucia ceremony

BY MARY SCHENKEL theories as to how an Italian Catho-
lic saint became revered in Sweden,
Staff Writer but the most likely is the notion that
she brings light and hope to dark
The United States has always been a Nordic winters, ushering in light,
melting pot of cultures, and one of the hope and a reason to think of good
nicest consequences of that diversity is things to come. Lucia Day is Dec. 13
the vast variety of delightful customs on the Julian calendar. 
people have brought to this country.
Around Christmastime in Sweden, one Eva Frisell, Sven Frisell, Brad and Mona Endicott, and Petra Frisell.
charming tradition is a Winter Solstice
Celebration, marking the event with a Hercules and Peggy Segalas. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Helmut Swarovski and Carla Meyer. Ray Williams and Merrilee Keller.
candle-lit St. Lucia ceremony as a re-
minder that the sun will soon return. Audrey Shaw Pinney with Michael and Linda Shaw. Tom and Lucia Martin. David and Jennifer Sims.

Windsor residents Brad and Mona
Endicott have preserved that cus-
tom, and last Tuesday evening invited
friends to share it with them at their
lovely home, which was beautifully
decorated with a large assortment of
exquisite ornaments, lights and dis-
plays collected over the years.

Mona Endicott and her daughter Pe-
tra Frisell, who were both born in Swe-
den, cherish the Nordic ceremony and,
as is tradition, have passed down the
role of St. Lucia through the genera-
tions to Petra’s stunning daughter Eva

“I love Christmas and Petra loves it
even more,” said Mona Endicott with
a smile.

Petra laughs and said, “Can you tell
I’m a little obsessed? I’m absolutely be-
sotted with Christmas, and my mother
indulges me and lets me do all this.”

A senior at American University in
Washington, Eva Frisell embodied the
essence of St. Lucia, and with good rea-

“The first time I did it, I was in sec-
ond grade; maybe even a little young-
er,” Eva recalled, adding that there is a
skill to not catching on fire. And of the
tradition itself she added, “It’s so sweet.
When I was practicing earlier, Mona
and my mom started crying. It’s a very
emotional night for us.”

Dressed in a long white gown with
a red ribbon at the waist and wearing
an evergreen crown of lit candles, she
led a procession of handmaidens and a
little Stjärngossar (star boy) around an
inner courtyard twinkling with lights
and into the living room, awash in the
glow from candles and a spectacular
Christmas tree.

Before the ceremony, Mona’s son
Sven Frisell related the legend of the
Italian Lucia of Syracuse (283–304),
who wore candles on her head to leave
her hands free and light her way as
she carried food to persecuted Chris-
tians hiding in the Roman catacombs
around 304 AD. She was executed by
authorities for her efforts and was lat-
er canonized. He said there are many

16 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Reveling, with a Claus, at McKee ‘Holidays’ fest

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF that were somewhat out of place for ing in the Royal Palm Grove, and snow- lined path of the Royal Palm Grove.
Staff Writer the normally tranquil setting, with men playing hide-and-go-seek along- In addition to the lights, crowds re-
bells ringing, train horns blaring and side preening flamingoes.
As the sun began to set last week, holiday music playing throughout the turn year after year for several holiday
the lush grounds of McKee Botanical garden. Music filled the still night air with favorites, including the 1924 vintage
Garden came to life at the 13th an- the return of the First United Method- Wurlitzer band organ, designed as an
nual Holidays at McKee, a three-night As they strolled through the 18-acre ist Church Handbell Ensemble, whose attraction at old-fashioned fairs, which
celebration that charmingly lit up the enclave, families came upon a giant bells could be heard from the Bam- has quite a following. Reminiscent of a
night. Attendees wandered the lumi- Santa napping near koi leaping in the boo Pavilion. New this year, the Tania bygone era, the pipe organ’s loud music
naria-lit pathways, listening to sounds pond, pandas frolicking among the Tunes Carolers merrily sang holiday mimics a full-sized band from its or-
bamboo, Frosty the Snowman loung- favorites as families strolled the palm- nately decorated façade, which is just
as much of a draw as its period music.

After writing letters to Santa and
then sitting to chat for a bit with the
Clauses, children of all ages were mes-
merized by the clickety-clack of four G-
scale model trains running along 200
feet of solid brass track. The tri-leveled
display takes about one month to put
together with three full-time and two
part-time volunteers working on the
project, explained train volunteer Pe-
ter Tyson.

“Everyone loves the trains,” said
Tyson as he stood back to monitor the
trains’ progress. “I’ve been building
models since I was a kid and it’s still a
lot of fun. It’s so satisfying to see all the
smiling faces.”

About 25 cars comprise four sepa-
rate trains. The most popular that
night was the Santa Express, which
was making its way through the tun-
nels, across the farmland and into the
village delivering toys to good girls and

The Hall of Giants became a winter
wonderland once again, with a minia-
ture Christmas Village that grows big-
ger each year with the help of volun-
teers. Ice skaters could be seen gliding
across an inviting little pond, and you
could almost envision snow flurries
falling on the peaceful little town.

Holidays at McKee is just one of the
many ways people can enjoy the gar-
den. “It is our hope that everyone will
spend more time at McKee in the com-
ing year nurturing health and happi-
ness by surrounding themselves with
nature,” said McKee’s Executive Direc-
tor Christine Hobart.

If you missed Holidays at McKee,
you do have another chance to enjoy
the “night life” in the garden. Lumi-
naria-lit pathways will light the way
for Nights of Lights from Dec. 28 to 30.
Santa will have returned to the North
Pole, but the wonderful lights, vintage
band organ and model railroad will
still all be on display.

As they did last week, attendees can
also stop by the Patisserie at the Gar-
den Café to enjoy a special holiday
menu and can also visit the Garden
Gift & Book Shop. 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 17


1 23 4
5 6


1. Christine Hobart. 2. Maria and Robert Tortorelli
with Jacob Blitz. 3. Back: Cody South and Natalie
Velasquez. Front: Maria Velasquez, Mariah
Kilbourne, and Mercedes Gonzalez with Jacob
James South. 4. Nicholas, Yanni and Patty
Pahigianis. 5. The Train Guys: Tom Hadden,
Peter Tyson, Larry Dreyer and Bill Mercier.
6. Christian Garcia with Patisserie Gingerbread
men. 7. Bill and Fawn Sances. 8. Olivia and Tommy
Sawyer. 9. Beth, Ethan and Stephen Johnson.




Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 19


a chill to the air as Bowers flung ing cartwheels,” recalled Vero Beach
and caught Peters during their live- High School senior Hannah Peters,
ly performance. Mike Perrault and who has taken classes since she was
Leomary Llorente took fans back in 3 years old. “I would do them for
time, reenacting the courtship of a hours and hours. My mom put me in
young Mr. and Mrs. Claus through a gymnastics, and I loved it.”
graceful ballet.
While recalling many a fall and
During this very Vero perfor- embarrassing moments, she swears
mance, synchronized “swimmers” it is all worth it in the end, add-
and umbrella-wielding dancers did ing, “It takes a lot of hard work and
their best to help Santa along and, dedication. Don’t be afraid. You just
with a little bit of magic, the jolly have to get out there and try. It’s so
old fellow regained his memory just satisfying when I finish a perfor-
in the “nick” of time. His faculties mance. The best part is seeing my
restored, performers sent Santa coaches’ smile after we do a really
off with their impressive human good job and seeing how proud they
Christmas tree. are of us.”

The original holiday production As the performers toddled off,
was written and directed by Patty many with visions of sugar plums
Howard, Angie Holshouser, Liz tumbling in their heads, Howard
Matthews and Julie Norman. reflected, “Our goal is to leave the
audience wanting more, and this
“We incorporated some amaz- year they all had so much fun at
ing props like a rock wall and aerial this year’s production. And with
silks this year,” said Howard. “We the heartwarming, holiday-based
try to come up with fresh and inter- storyline, many families make at-
esting choreography every year so tending our annual show a holiday
the performers are always challeng- tradition!”
ing themselves and learning some-
thing new.” Upcoming shows include per-
formances March 11 and 13 at the
Many have been with the pro- Firefighters’ Fair, and on Aug. 3, 4
gram since childhood and return and 5 at the 43rd Annual Aerial An-
yearly as performers and instruc- tics Youth Circus at Saint Edward’s
tors. School. 

“I was always in my front yard do-

20 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™






1. Performing Arts Troupe. 2. Annabelle Richard
gets lifted by her fellow Junior Entertainers.
3. Little Stars performers Kiersten Tate and
Annabella Richard. 4. Brianna Drisdom. 5. Lily
Stirrat. 6. Hannah Peters and DeMond Bowers.
7. Kennedy Torrent, Savannah Durand and Rylee
Woodall perform with the Spotlights.



22 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Jordan’s big band has Vero in the swing of things

BY MICHELLE GENZ years ago from Clemen-
Staff Writer
ton, N.J., when Jordan Jordan Thomas Orchestra. P HOTOS BY DENISE RITCHIE
When James Jordan took early re- had finally had enough
tirement from a 30-year career as
a public-school music teacher, he of driving in the snow.
never expected to find himself ba-
ton-in-hand again, leading a profes- “We had never been to
sional big band in Vero Beach, his
new home. Vero and we heard good

The Jordan Thomas Orchestra things about it, so we
is a 17-piece band that debuted in
October. It is one of only a handful came down to visit and
of professional big bands within a
100-mile radius, Jordan says. Now, absolutely fell in love.”
three gigs in, the band is about to
play its largest room yet – and no Cindy Jordan, a re-
doubt its warmest: Vero’s Italian
American Civic Association, north tired high school Span-
of the downtown area not far from
the Vero Beach Theatre Guild. ish teacher who herded

On Thursday, Jan. 5, the band will groups of high school
back up New York jazz vocalist and
composer Thana Alexa in a tribute kids on multiple trips to
to Ella Fitzgerald.
Spain, is now the band’s
“Putting this together has just
been such a monumental project,” assistant. She’s helping
says Jordan, who moved to Vero
with his wife Cindy two-and-a-half put together 17 books of

300 to 350 song charts

– quite a repertoire for

a band barely off the


The orchestra is the

second iteration of a

group Jordan formed in

New Jersey in 1989. That

band, also called the Jordan Thom- name bands – one drummer was last year, after he had settled into his
new home and found a job at Easter
as Orchestra, performed through music director for “The Lion King.” Seals as an employment counselor.
“All of a sudden it came to me last
2014, frequently featuring musi- The notion of rebuilding his big

cians from Broadway and the big- band didn’t come to Jordan until

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 23


year: I really miss playing. We started drum and bugle corps. “Music has Artistic talent flows in Gallery 14
asking around, do you know any bass such a huge empowering effect on ‘Our Beautiful Waters’ exhibit
players, sax players? It’s mostly been people. Once you put that instrument
word of mouth.” to your lips or your hands on the BY ELLEN FISCHER two of the gallery’s 14 owner-artists,
drums, guitar or piano, it takes you Columnist Barbara Landry and Shelley Weltman;
The response has been enthusias- back to when you were 16 years old.” the full contingent of owner-artists
tic, to say the least. Once again Gallery 14 in downtown juried the exhibition. The quality of
Together they produce a sound that Vero presents “Our Beautiful Waters,” the work submitted suggests that the
“One of the musicians told me, guest vocalist Tony Fernandez called a juried exhibition with a theme that jurors’ job was pretty easy. Out of 93
‘Boy, I’ve got to hand it to you. Not “a freight train at your back.” includes everything people like about artworks submitted, some 85 made
only are you making things happen, Florida: its beaches, birds and sea life. the cut for display; of those, eight were
you’re making it happen in Vero. Jordan’s goal is to perform music
That’s unheard of.’” beyond jazz standards; he’s started This year’s show was organized by CONTINUED ON PAGE 24
assembling arrangements of pop
A mix of professional and semi- tunes in the hopes of expanding his Compelling new works by a modern
professional players, Jordan’s musi- audience. “I’m trying to make it a master exploring the dynamic possibilities
cians include five saxophonists who more refreshing sound. We’re go-
double on flute and clarinet; four ing to play some of the old tunes but of contemporary glass.
trombone players; four trumpet play- we’re trying to get away from that
ers; and a four-piece rhythm section: and do more progressive type music. SEE THESE AND OTHER FINE THINGS AT VERO’S FINEST
drums, piano, both electric and dou- We’re going to take arrangements of COLLECTION OF AMERICAN-MADE ART AND JEWELRY
ble bass, and guitar. singers like Bruno Mars and Jason
Derulo and make those into a big- THEL AUGHINGDOGGALLERY.COM 2910 CARDINAL DR.
With a website about to launch, band style of music. Let’s face it: Most VERO BEACH, FL
Jordan expects the group’s calendar of the music you hear at parties and 7 72 . 2 3 4 . 6711
to start to fill in. weddings is electronic music. I think
we have a really good opportunity to
Putting the band together was introduce more people to the sound
like “putting a puzzle together,” Jor- of a big band, with all that power.”
dan says. “It’s an incredibly diverse
group.” Next Thursday’s show celebrates
a century of Fitzgerald’s influence –
The lineup includes Austin Rout- the jazz singer was born in April 1917.
ten, a 19-year-old jazz major at the Jordan, who hopes to take the show
University of North Florida; he plays to other cities in Florida says vocal-
tenor sax and excels at improvisation, ist Alexa, who is 29, sings with a voice
Jordan says. Then there’s Claudio Be- “almost identical to Ella’s,” says Jor-
rardi, an accomplished drummer dan. “She scats just like her too.”
from New York City who retired to
this area in 2010. Jordan scouted him Alexa, a graduate of New School
when he went down to hear a dance University in jazz, has played the
band in Fort Pierce. And saxophon- Blue Note among other New York
ist Sherry St. Petery teaches music at clubs. She was named a 2016 Down-
Liberty Magnet School; she’s a favor- Beat Critic’s Poll Rising Star and is ex-
ite among the band members. “She’s pected to draw a sizable crowd to the
a doll. We love her,” says Jordan. Vero club. And one audience member
will certainly have Jordan’s atten-
Other musicians are driving from tion: Alexa’s husband, jazz drum-
Orlando, including trumpeter Eric mer Antonio Sánchez, who since
Wright, a graduate of Rutgers Uni- 2002 has played with the legendary
versity and former adjunct profes- Pat Metheny Group. He also wrote
sor of music at Bethune-Cookman the Grammy-nominated score to the
University now teaching at Valencia 2014 movie “Birdman.”
College. And Amanda Buzzetta, a
23-year-old Venezuelan-born trom- “Of course, the show is about Tha-
bonist, is a regular; she just finished na Alexa, but we’re hoping Antonio
up her microbiology degree at Uni- might sit in with us,” says Jordan.
versity of Central Florida and plans
to become a doctor. She performed in In the meantime, the band’s re-
the UCF jazz and wind ensembles as hearsals are open to the public and
well as the symphony orchestra and take place in the evening on the first
is a member of a top Latin band in and third Thursdays of each month.
Orlando. They’re held in the newly renovated
space the Italian-American club calls
The senior musician is 88-year- the Bella Italia Ballroom. There’s a
old Charlie Almedia, a former mem- bar on premises and snacks are avail-
ber of the U.S. Air Force Dance Band able most nights. So far, even the re-
who left to become a U.S. Army hearsals are drawing something of a
bandmaster. A jazz clarinetist, he crowd; Jordan can count on at least 40
toured with Bob Hope, Dionne showing up.
Warwick and Frank Sinatra, among
many others. He drives south from And it doesn’t hurt that when the
Viera. “He’s got some resume,” says band rehearses, the Italian American
Jordan. “He still plays beautifully Civic Association’s president, Tony An-
and I just love his stories.” dola, makes everybody pizza.

“Music is like anything you love “The guys are gaga over his pizza,”
or are passionate about: It keeps you says Jordan. “They come to rehearsal,
young,” says Jordan, who was a drum they get to play jazz, they get pizza and
major in his high school marching a cocktail – they’re thrilled.” 
band and played in a 140-member

24 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 but also the lakes and springs of the artists who look forward to showing “Dawn Reef,” with its shining palette
state’s interior. The wildlife dependent their work at Gallery 14,” says Beautiful of translucent blues, pink, orange and
awarded prizes by two invited judges. on those habitats is often featured. Waters chairperson Barbara Landry. yellow was the prizewinner. “Celebra-
This year’s prize winners were selected tion,” painted in similar colors and the
by Emily and Paul Kubica. The couple In the past the show has been a Landry notes that the prizes award- more abstract of the two, is a breezier
own Laserchrome Technologies, a dig- fundraiser for charities that included ed by the judges are a bit more inter- composition whose gestural markings
ital printing company in Melbourne. Harbor Branch Oceanographic, ORCA esting this year. Best in Show honored – comet-like streaks of cadmium or-
(Ocean Research Conservation Asso- its winner with a Laserchrome digital ange – fly through a patchwork atmo-
“We have been doing a show about ciation) and the Environmental Learn- capture and reproduction of the art- sphere of blue on blue.
Florida’s waters for approximately six ing Center. Artists have turned over ist’s work, a prize Landry says is worth
years,” says Dorothy Napp Schindel, part of the proceeds of any sales of an estimated $250. First-, second- and Landry says the judges, for whom
an artist-owner who handles the gal- their works to those efforts. third-place awardees respectively the artworks were identified by entry
lery’s PR. earned checks for $200, $100 and $75. numbers and not the artists’ names,
This year, however, marks the first In addition, merit awards of $50 were were particularly moved by the ethe-
The annual event began as Our that Our Beautiful Waters is not being awarded to three artists this year. real “Dawn Reef.”
Beautiful Ocean, but the title changed presented as a fundraiser. The compet-
a couple years ago to Our Beautiful Wa- itive exhibition will instead be a way In addition to distributing prizes “It really evokes emotion,” they told
ters to include not only Florida’s ocean for Gallery 14 “to give more back to the at the Nov. 2 reception, this year the her.
and gulf, marshes, rivers and lagoons, judges presented their points of view
on the award selections to the assem- The jurors Kubica awarded Best in
bled throng. Show to Paul Davis for his oil painting
“Tidal Water Rest.” Executed in Da-
“These moments were very mean- vis’ signature glazing technique, the
ingful to the artists and well received work depicts a spectral sailboat gliding
by attendees,” says Landry. through deep water.

For Shelley Weltman, one of those First place went to Melbourne artist
moments was tearful. Sandy Johnson for her pastel painting
“An Indian River Morning.” The atmo-
“My heart took a leap when they an- spheric work shows orange clouds tow-
nounced a merit award for Kathleen ering above the Indian River; distant
Staiger,” she says. condos glint redly on the lagoon’s far
edge. A member of the Pastel Society of
Gravely ill, Staiger was not present to America, Johnson has two other works
receive the award, which was her last. in the show.
The highly-regarded artist and teach-
er died two days later, on Dec. 4. She Marie Morrisey took second place
learned of the award in her final hours. for “The Hunt,” a sculpture created
from a large carved and painted gourd.
Staiger is represented in the current
show by two abstract oil paintings.

Print print.

Over the past couple of months, a number of people have asked us resources from print newspapers to a lousy website has for all practi-
why we have suspended Indian River County’s leading breaking news
website, Our reply has been that we are doing a total rei- cal purposes killed Vero’s local daily.
magination and rebuild of the site, and that it will return in early 2017.
While some newspaper companies like Gannett appear to remain
But like a number of newspaper publishers, we also are grappling
with the question of whether investing time and money in online determined to go all-in on digital, this article reprinted by permis-
news was a smart idea in the first place. Goodness knows, diverting
sion from the Columbia Journalism Review provides an excellent

overview of the soul-searching taking place in journalistic quarters.

  – Milton R. Benjamin, publisher

Roger Fidler is a forefather of digital mersive, interactive ads. And the tab- Fidler is equally concerned about print offers a limited amount of ad
journalism. In the early 1980s, he wrote let could be slipped into a briefcase or the reading experience and econom- space, which is infinite online, driving
and illustrated an essay on the future of bag. Fidler was right, of course. Apple ics of all forms of digital news. Now down ad prices and sending publish-
news. When Fidler presented his ideas has sold several hundred million iPads, retired from teaching journalism at the ers racing around a hamster wheel. To
around Knight Ridder, his co-workers and more than a billion phones that University of Missouri, he has watched make money, they need more content
sometimes laughed. “It was not quite serve much the same purpose. newspapers struggle to move their to advertise against. Some of this con-
like Roger had descended from anoth- content and business online. The idea tent is – how to put this? – lousy, giving
er planet,” a colleague of his once told Now, Fidler wonders if he was wrong. of interactive advertising has clearly readers another reason not to pay for
me, “but he was saying some things “I have come to realize that replicating not panned out, he says. Readers are news.
that were simply very hard to believe at print in a digital device is much more annoyed and distracted by it, so many
the time.” difficult than what anybody, including block it with browser extensions. They have killed print, their core
me, imagined,” he told me this summer, product, with all of their focus online.”
The idea he spoke of most was one and he wasn’t just referring to tablets. He and others have observed that
Steve Jobs would have many years lat- Even though his iPad is never far
er – a tablet on which to read electron- away, Fidler still subscribes to the print
ic newspapers. Fidler’s design and ex- editions of The New York Times, the
ecution of a prototype were so similar Columbia Daily Tribune and the Co-
to the eventual iPad that when Apple lumbia Missourian. “I have been won-
sued Samsung over design infringe- dering,” Fidler says, “whether we have
ments, Samsung used Fidler’s early de- completely underestimated the viabil-
vice to argue the idea was in the public ity and usefulness of the print product.”
Me too.
In Fidler’s vision of the future, news I am not a dinosaur; I’m a tech dork
and information were headed to the who waits in line outside the Apple
nascent internet, where stories would Store for new iPhones. If my wife ever
be instantly published from one com- divorces me, she will testify that I spent
puter to millions more, eliminating too much time on Facebook and Twit-
the need to operate an expensive press ter. I’ve been an enthusiastic and vocal
run by expensive workers. supporter of digital news at my work-
place, The Washington Post, so much
A tablet, he thought, was the per- so that my colleagues and bosses
fect device to replace paper. Readers might be surprised I’m even posing the
could click on boxes that revealed data following question: What if everything
or more information about a particular we’ve been led to believe about the fu-
subject. Advertisers could produce im- ture of journalism is wrong?

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 29


Two decades have passed since Scarborough, a market research firm the most common way of reading that her numbers don’t exist in a vacuum.
newspapers launched websites, and yet owned by Nielsen, for the 51 largest news, with more than half of readers Print is rebounding or stabilizing in
here we are. Big city papers have gone US newspapers, finding that the print last year opting for ink on their hands
under, thousands of journalists have edition reaches 28 percent of circula- every day. The percentage who only other areas of daily life. Sales of print
lost their jobs, and the idea that digital tion areas, while the digital version read news via a computer? Five percent books have risen every year since
news will eventually become a decent reaches just 10 percent. Digital readers in 2014…and in 2015? Also 5 percent. 2013, while e-books have leveled off
business feels like a rumor. don’t linger. Pew Research Center data and in some genres declined. Univer-
shows that readers coming directly to Chyi’s findings show that among sity students prefer printed textbooks
The reality is this: No app, no 18- to 24-year-old news readers, 19.9 over electronic ones, according to
streamlined website, no “vertical in-
tegration,” no social network, no algo- “They have killed print, surveys. And independent and used
rithm, no Apple, no Apple Newsstand, their core product, with bookstores have made a comeback.
no paywall, no soft paywall, no tar- all of their focus online.”
geted ad, no mobile-first strategy has Yet as book publishers double down
come close to matching the success news sites stay less than five minutes. percent had read the print edition of a on print – even raising the price of e-
of print in revenue or readership. And Readers coming from Facebook are newspaper during the past week. Less books to make paper more attractive
the most crucial assumption publish- gone in less than two minutes. than 8 percent read it digitally. – the cost of printed newspapers is go-
ers have made about readers, partic- ing up, not down. Publishers are water-
ularly millennials – that they prefer Publishers argue that print readers Chyi has been making this argument ing down the lemonade and asking for
the immediacy of digital – now seems are just getting older while younger for several years, but when I spoke to her more quarters. You don’t have to be an
questionable, too. readers move further away from even this past summer she told me that few economist to see this won’t end well.
considering print, but Pew surveys people in the industry were paying at-
I wish I were being hyperbolic, but and Chyi’s analysis of the Scarborough tention, including media reporters. Now It’s undoubtedly true that Ameri-
Iris Chyi, a University of Texas associ- data show that considerable inter- they are. Jack Shafer, a sharp media critic cans read less print news year after
ate professor and new media research- est in print still persists, even among at Politico, highlighted her research in an year. In fairness to the digital gurus,
er, has been collecting facts to support young readers. October column on the enduring value I won’t hide this fact: The number of
these assertions. Like me, Chyi is not of print, but missed the larger context – print newspaper readers has been
anti-technology. She enjoys her travels Pew reports that print-only is still halved in the last 20 years.
around the Web. While pursuing her
PhD in the late 1990s, Chyi conducted But what if the big decline in print
audience research for the Austin Amer- readership has more to do with a lack
ican-Statesman. of quality than a lack of interest? By
cutting staff, eliminating sections, and
But looking at reader metrics nearly moving up deadlines hours (further
a decade later, it became clear to Chyi aging the news before it’s delivered),
that online penetration and engage- publishers have communicated that
ment weren’t growing. This got her print really is only useful for lining the
wondering, like Fidler, whether news- bottoms of bird cages.
papers were pursuing a future that
would never come. Corporate titans often say that you
must be willing to sacrifice your best
Chyi began conducting surveys and products to develop new and potentially
collecting readership data, analyzing it bigger ones. Apple killed the iPod with
all in academic papers and a recent book the iPhone.We all know how that worked
titled, Trial and Error: U.S. Newspapers’ out. But what if newspapers are killing
Digital Struggles Toward Inferiority. She their iPod without an iPhone in sight?
has come to believe that the digital shift
has been a disaster for media organiza- CONTINUED ON PAGE 30
tions, and that there is no evidence on-
line news will ever be economically or
culturally viable. “They have killed print,
their core product, with all of their focus
online,” Chyi told me in an interview.

To help explain her position, Chyi
devised a metaphorical symbol for
news online: Ramen noodles. Com-
pared to dinner in a nice restaurant, ra-
men noodles are an inferior good. They
are cheap. You can cook and consume
them just about anywhere, includ-
ing a dorm room sink, in five minutes.
To make them profitable, you have
to sell them by the metric ton. As for
their taste, typing the phrase “Ramen
noodles taste like…” into the Google
search box produces this result: “Ra-
men noodles taste like soap.”

In her book, Chyi writes that “the
(supposedly dying) print edition still
outperforms the (supposedly hopeful)
digital product by almost every stan-
dard, be it readership, engagement, ad-
vertising revenue,” and especially will-
ingness to actually pay for the product.

In a paper published earlier this
year, Chyi examined data collected by

30 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Newspapers still get the vast majority of their rev- distracting way of reading, which in turn increases In her book, Chyi quotes a study in which an un-
enue from print. Meanwhile, a growing number of comprehension named newspaper publisher says, “Our website
online readers use ad blockers, less than 10 percent wouldn’t exist if we didn’t have the print edition, be-
of readers are willing to pay for more content online, “The cornerstone of democracy,” Thomas Jeffer- cause it wouldn’t make money.” The publisher was
and the digital advertising business stinks – and not son once wrote, “rests on the foundation of an edu- then asked, “Would the print product exist without
just because of the oversupply of ad space. cated electorate.” But how educated can a society the online edition?” The publisher was a bit per-
of skimmers really be? A 2013 study in the News- plexed.
In October, executives at The Guardian bought paper Research Journal found that Times readers
ads on their own website to see how much money recalled more stories and specific details in print “Now that’s a good question,” he said, “and one
they were left with after Google and the various ad than they did online. The study’s authors blamed that I’m sure has occurred to everybody in our in-
auction companies took their cuts. The result? Thirty dustry: ‘What if we just didn’t do it?’ We are batting
cents on the dollar. Given all this, you might think the poor online results on distractions (ads, links, our heads against the wall. All the effort that is going
there would be some serious soul searching in the etc.) and fewer design cues about which articles into the website is hurting the print edition. Could
industry. You would be wrong. were newsy and significant. we just not do it? I don’t know.”

Instead, there is evidence that publishers are ignor- The results are important, the study said, in At least one publisher is trying. Michael Gerber
ing the writing on their monitors. Chyi writes in her elucidating “the modern role newspapers play in is not a scion of the Sulzberger family. He has never
book that“a well-known newspaper association, which maintaining an informed citizenry.” The electorate worked at a newspaper. He’s a humor writer. Last year,
is supposed to inform its members with research rel- has never been fully informed, but that’s typically he launched The American Bystander, a humor maga-
evant to the state of the industry, once declined to pub- by voter choice. Online news, the research says, zine publishing some of the biggest names in comedy
lish a research synopsis they invited me to write.” In a could make it impossible to be informed – even for writing, including George Meyer, the genius behind
letter explaining why, the group told her that because those who want to be. The Simpsons, and cartoonists such as Roz Chast.
her findings showed that moving to digital might not Gerber has a website, but there is no writing from the
be the best strategy for newspapers, the organization magazine on it. The site exists solely to let readers pay
didn’t want to share them with its members. for printed copies, which are then mailed to them.

Fidler, Chyi, and others concerned about digital “If you put quality content online, you are tether-
news aren’t just worried about the future of journal- ing it to a business model that is cratering and dy-
ism; they’re worried about society. In recent years, ing,” Gerber told me, adding that it’s undeniable that
a flurry of studies has shown that the reading expe- “very, very few formerly print publications are better
rience online is less immersive and enjoyable than off now than they were prior to the Web.”
print, which has implications for how we consume
and retain information. The American Bystander is printed on thick paper
and looks and feels substantial. The first two issues
Studies show that readers tend to skim and jump had more than 100 pages each. Gerber just raised
around online more than they do in print – not just nearly $40,000 for the magazine on Kickstarter. He
within individual stories, but from page to page gets the irony, but “[w]e are going for it,” Gerber says.
and site to site. Print provides a more linear, less “We’re going where everyone else isn’t.”

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38 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Best time to buy tix, and more New Year’s travel tips

BY ANDREA SACHS Flights are cheaper overall Who should we thank for this most lowing a few guidelines, based on Ex-
The Washington Post According to Expedia’s New Heights wonderful trend? Low-fare carriers pedia’s findings.
for Air Travel study, ticket prices are such as Frontier and Spirit, which put
You don’t really need to make it an falling. “Average air ticket prices con- pressure on the bigger birds to com- B● ook on a Sunday, when fares can
official resolution, do you? That in tinue to drop around the world, mak- pete in the bottom bracket, as well as be 16 percent cheaper. (Conversely,
2017 you will travel – a lot? But maybe ing now a stellar time to fly,” said the foreign airlines, which are expanding don’t book on a Friday, even if the
you will resolve to be smarter about study, which is based on 2016 data stateside. Hobica also expects prices martini told you to.)
booking airfare and snagging those from Airlines Reporting and other will decline on highly competitive
low prices. Here are some develop- partners. Economy-class prices have routes, such as New York to Los Ange- R● eserve more than 21 days in ad-
ments that could help make that reached their lowest point in three les and Chicago to Atlanta. vance. Sample savings: Book early,
promise stick. years. In North America, ticket prices and you could pay $1,462 for a Euro-
decreased by about 5 percent. For a The day you book matters pean holiday; wait too long, and the
More ‘bare-bones’ fares $472 flight, that means you save $23 Fares are like frogs; they hop all over price spikes to $2,226.
Next year, George Hobica, founder – the price of a solid lunch or several the place. But you can improve your
of, predicts that silly souvenirs. chances of snagging a low fare by fol- I● nclude a Saturday-night stay in
more airlines will start offering budget your itinerary. (Exceptions to the rule:
fares. United recently announced its China and North Asia.)
new basic economy category, a rock-
bottom fare that comes with some sac- ● Travel during low season: Expedia
rifices. For example, you can only bring says to visit Africa, North America
on board a personal item (no overhead and the Caribbean in January; the
bag), and you can’t choose your seat Middle East in February; and the
(the airline plays fairy godmother, or Asia-Pacific region in June. The com-
wicked witch, at check-in). Delta’s ba- pany’s data also discovered the best
sic fare has similar restrictions on seat months to nab a low economy fare:
selection and also requires passen- January for trips to Southeast Asia,
gers to board in the last zone. “I expect February for Australia and Septem-
American Airlines to follow suit on ber for Europe.
competing routes,” Hobica said.
The year 2017 isn’t just the Year of
the Rooster. According to an Enter-
prise survey, it might also be the End
of the Staycation. Your resolution just
let out a cheer. 

The Cottages Are Coming

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 39


William Shakespeare, in “Henry IV, Part I,” wrote, “Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this WEST A85 EAST
flower, safety.” — AK4 KJ6
97642 10 6 J 10
When you are in any contract, but especially a slam, play as safely as possible (unless Q J 10 8 9653
you are in a duplicate pair event, where overtricks can be so valuable). In this week’s deal, 8753 SOUTH J942
South is in six spades. What should he do after West leads the diamond queen? A 10 8 5 4
The bidding had a modern slant. North’s two-no-trump response was the Jacoby Forcing 72
Raise, promising four or more spades and at least game-going values. South’s three- AKQ
spade rebid denied a singleton or a void and indicated a maximum one-level opening,
some 17-19 points. After North made a four-diamond control-bid (showing the diamond Dealer: South; Vulnerable: Both
ace and denying the club ace), South used Roman Key Card Blackwood to learn that
his partner had two key cards (one ace and the spade king, or two aces) and the spade The Bidding:
queen. Since a key card was missing, South signed off in six spades.
Declarer saw that, with no losers outside the trump suit, he could afford one spade loser, 1 Spades Pass 2 NT Pass
but not two. What should he have done? 3 Spades Pass 4 Diamonds Pass LEAD:
4 NT Pass 5 Spades Pass Q Diamonds
If the suit was 2-1, anything would have worked, but to accommodate a 3-0 split, declarer 6 Spades Pass Pass Pass
led a low spade from the dummy and covered East’s six with his eight. When South won
the trick, he cashed his spade ace and claimed.

If West had won trick two, the spades would have been 2-1. Or, if East had discarded at
trick two, declarer would have won with his ace and led back toward dummy’s queen.

40 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™



7 Cypriot cheese (8) 1 In abundance (6)
8 Scarce (4) 2 Confederation (8)
9 Concoction (6) 3 Slake (6)
10 Tense (6) 4 Fluid (6)
11 Bridle strap (4) 5 Genuine (4)
12 Pleasure seeker (8) 6 Potato snacks (6)
14 Evaluated (8) 13 Designate (8)
18 Camouflage (4) 15 Hues (6)
20 Raillery (6) 16 Leftovers (6)
22 Haphazard (6) 17 Dashed (6)
23 Intend, plan (4) 19 Type of cake (6)
24 Reputation (8) 21 Bivvy (4)

The Telegraph

How to do Sudoku:

Fill in the grid so the
numbers one through
nine appear just once
in every column, row
and three-by-three

The Telegraph

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 41


ACROSS 65 The Revolution’s 3 Like Pinocchio, 66 Remove from The Washington Post
other George in the end granny’s grasp?
1 Cosmic THE LABEL DEPARTMENT By Merl Reagle
“scorecard” 66 See 57 Across 4 Computer, 67 Israel native
71 It means there are familiarly 68 By way of
6 Some oinkers
10 Of atmospheric boom days ahead 5 “Wait ___!” 69 Noel Coward
72 ___ consequence 6 Somewhat tune,
weight 73 It’s nothing “Someday ___
15 Purchase from a 74 Word before smith sugary You”
7 Like some
nursery or stitch 70 Boitano surface
18 Girder 75 Nutritionist’s fixations 71 Henner-Hirsch
19 Finish filming 8 “Where ___ I?”
20 Per ___ income exclamation 9 Surveillant series
21 On-off switch of amazement? 10 Munchhaüsen, 75 “Batmania,” e.g.
80 Chocolate giant 76 A Bradley
abbr. 84 Basic rule for one 77 Part of RFE:
22 How nutritionists 85 Doesn’t pass, in 11 Part of a st.
football abbr.
take 86 Top Saudi address 78 “___ Love Her”
things? 88 Put on the radio 12 Hervé’s co-star,
24 Little character 89 Item with pips (Beatles)
seen on a 90 On the train once 79 ___ de triomphe
nutritionist’s wall? 93 Loot in the Boot 13 Bellini, Cellini, 81 “The Miller’s,” for
26 Soothing stuff 94 Boston and Eton: or Fellini
27 Seasonal song abbr. 14 Colombian city one
28 Nutritionist’s 96 Fiber source 15 Parsley piece 82 Leslie Caron role
remark about how 97 German
the old career is nutritionist’s 16 Due (to) 83 It may precede
going? opinion about his 17 Remains in a “while”
29 Force to leave rising business?
30 Advice seeker’s 100 Soliloquy start bottle 87 It may recede
addressee 103 Moon vehs. 20 Colt or Mustang after a while
32 Relative of “me 106 Eccentric 23 Nibble
neither” 107 Wheel-spinning 25 It’ll cook your 91 South Pacific
33 You can beat places standard
them 108 With 115 goose
34 Nutritionitht’th Across, British 28 Holiday, for one 92 Minimum battery
favorite thinger- passengers’ 29 “Nice bull- power
thongwriter? gripe to a speedy
39 When to sing an nutritionist? dodging!” 93 Eye shade?
aubade 111 Interest sharer 30 Of love 94 AAA offering
41 Say likewise 112 Serenade 95 Checks off
42 Non-cash deal 115 See 108 Across 31 Briskness 96 Goldilocks tried
43 Terrorizer of 116 Puzzle-solving 34 N.Y.’s Public
1920s Chicago nutritionist’s three of them
46 Dumbo memento comment to a Theater founder 98 Panda park
49 Nose variety kibitzer? 35 Feverish fit 99 Alban Berg opera
50 At the drop of ___ 119 Dusk, to the Bard 36 Impulse 100 Aggressive, as a
51 Fish alternative 120 Danson role
52 Shelters of a sort 121 Pavlov’s first 37 Farthest from the personality
54 Paul Reubens 122 Cart way pin, in golf 101 ___ and ahed
persona 123 Hullabaloo 102 Good, to Guido
57 With 66 Across, 124 Locations 38 Biol. branch 104 Ancient capital of
nutritionist’s 125 Directory item 40 Tread reducer
advice to a boxer 126 Feeds (on) Ethiopia
who thinks he can 44 Barley bristle 105 Knocks
beat the champ? DOWN 45 Skirt feature
61 Actress-wife of 60 1 Sgt. Preston’s 46 Mencken was senseless
Down, ___ San one 109 Spinning speeds,
Juan dog 47 What the
63 Cell info 2 Rose lover? Morlocks have for briefly
64 911 result lunch in The Time 110 Dessert suffix?
48 Turow topic 111 With 12, a show
50 Lesbians’ sea 112 Hip
113 Exclusively
51 Displays brazenly 114 Klopstock works
53 Little lizards 116 Original ___
117 Targets of
55 Isn’t satisfactory
56 Right wing? “fertilizers”?
58 Sinaloa single 118 Peace, in
59 Xanax container
60 Actor O’Brien Russian
62 Appt. person,


The Telegraph

46 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Progress on diagnosing Alzheimer’s at earlier stage

BY MARIA CANFIELD about the significance of this find-
Correspondent ing.

Researchers at the Washington Most people know that clusters of
University School of Medicine in St. abnormal matter in the brain play
Louis have developed a chemical a role in Alzheimer’s disease. These
compound that could potentially be clusters, made of protein fragments,
used to detect Alzheimer’s disease in are called amyloid plaques and they
its earliest stages. We spoke to Vero build up between nerve cells. Amy-
Beach neurologist S. James Shafer loid plaques are classified as either
compact or diffuse (more spread out).

Compact amyloid plaques.

Scientists have long known that disease is multi-faceted. A full medi-
compact amyloid plaques are asso- cal history is taken, and blood tests
ciated with Alzheimer’s disease and are conducted to see if there are any
there have been three compounds conditions – such as inflammation,
approved by the FDA in the last few infection or a thyroid deficiency
years to detect their presence; these – that might be causing the symp-
compounds are used in conjunc- toms that caused the patient to seek
tion with imaging tests such as PET help. An MRI of the brain can show
scans. tumors, nerve injury or bleeding. A
formal cognitive assessment, using
The prevailing belief has been that diagnostic tools designed to map
there is no relationship between dif- mental function, may also be ad-
fuse plaques and the disease; how- ministered.
ever, the Washington University
researchers believe that the diffuse But before all of that, there is a
plaque – which the compound they simple discussion. Dr. Shafer says,
developed detects – may be an in- “I’ll ask the patient ‘What is different
dicator of the earliest stages of Al- today than it was a year ago? What
zheimer’s. can’t you do now that you could you
do then?’ It’s really important for the
Vero’s Dr. Shafer does not question spouse or caregiver to be part of this
this not-yet-approved compound, discussion, because sometimes the
called fluselenamyl, detects diffuse patient does not have a full aware-
amyloid plaques and says that imag- ness of what has changed.”
ing tests are valuable as an “adjunct”
method of diagnosing Alzheimer’s. While many people think of mem-
The Washington University research ory loss as being an early sign of Al-
was conducted using brain slices of zheimer’s, Dr. Shafer says that is ac-
patients who had died of Alzheim- tually a later manifestation. “What is
er’s and other diseases. In addition usually seen first is a problem with
to finding that fluselenamyl detect- language; having trouble finding the
ed much smaller clumps of amyloid right word to name something,” he
protein than did the three FDA-ap- says. This problem is called aphasia,
proved compounds, the study also a reduction in the brain’s ability to
showed another advantage – their use and interpret language appro-
new compound did not interact with priately. In addition to not being able
the healthy “white matter” in the to come up with the right word, the
brain slices; such interaction can person may also have trouble fol-
cause false positives. lowing and participating in conver-
As explained by Dr. Shafer, the
evaluation to diagnose Alzheimer’s Another early indication of Al-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 47


zheimer’s is a condition called aprax-
ia – the inability to carry out a previ-
ously-learned motor activity (such as
dressing or making a sandwich).

The level of impairment deter-
mined by the discussion and the
tests drives the treatment options.
And while early detection (which
the Washington University research-
ers tout as an advantage of flusele-
namyl) is key in most diseases, Dr.
Shafer says it’s somewhat different
with Alzheimer’s, as it’s a progres-
sive disease – there are medications
that can slow its progression, but it
can’t be stopped. However, he does
say that diagnosing Alzheimer’s early
can be helpful for planning purposes
regarding current lifestyle and care
that will be needed in the long run.

What Dr. Shafer is really excited
about is the possibility of compounds
being developed that will help cure
Alzheimer’s, rather than just diag-
nose it. “This is an area of research
that is going to grow,” he says. “If we
can develop compounds that devour
and destroy amyloid plaques, that
will be a really big deal.”

Dr. Shafer sees patients and conducts
research at the Vero Beach Neurology
and Research Institute, located at 1040
37th Place, Suite 201, in Vero Beach.
The phone number is 772-492-7051. 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Style Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 49

The best red carpet moments of 2016

From Bella Hadid’s barely-there dress at the Cannes Film Festial, to
Julianne Moore’s showstopping Oscar gown, there have been plenty
of oh-ah red carpet moments this year. 

Hope Resale Boutique

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(772) 918-4640

(Tax Deductible 501 (c) 3 Charity
Hope Foundation of Indian River County)

8860 N US Hwy 1 (just north of Hwy 510)

50 Vero Beach 32963 / December 29, 2016 Style Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

The fashion industry wants you to wear PJs out. Don’t do it!

BY ROBIN GIVHAN acteristic display of independence,
The Washington Post confidence and adherence to civility,
consumers have been immune to the
Designers really want to turn fancy concept. They’ve ignored the celebrity
pajamas into glamorous streetwear. endorsements and the cachet of de-
The average shopper seems uncon- signer labels.
The nation is bravely refusing the
Yet the fashion industry will not let normalization of pajamas. Shoppers,
this idea go, despite your reluctance stay strong.
to wear a pair of silk pajamas to a
cocktail party. Indeed, in an unchar- Mind you, designers are not tout-
ing basic cotton PJs, flannel onesies

or even filmy nightgowns. They want to the idea that people should wear
you to wear extremely fancy silk pa- fancy pajamas on the street. The Ital-
jamas and dressing gowns— the sort ian brand F.R.S. (both the founder’s
that you might sleep in, if you had initials and an abbreviation of “for
a manservant dressing your bed in restless sleepers”) uses fabrics pat-
Pratesi sheets and Hermès throws. terns and rich colors that call to mind
The point of these pajamas, however, life in a Medici palazzo. Piamita was
is not sleep. They are intended to be founded by two fashion editors in 2011
glammed up with chic shoes and a with fashion pajamas as its early focus.
handbag, a slash of red lipstick and a They ooze charm.
significant amount of chutzpah. Per-
haps a robe top over trousers and a All of these garments have luxurious
dress shirt. You’re supposed to wear fabrics, elaborate patterns, saturated
this look to a holiday party. Or celebra- colors, comfortable silhouettes. They
tory dinner. Or to the mall. are, in fact, quite handsome. But they
look precisely like what they, in fact,
A significant portion of the fashion are: Pajamas.
industry has gotten behind this no-
tion. This week, a Givenchy floral pa- And they are thriving — within the
jama top was for sale on the Neiman fashion ecosystem, anyway. In the
Marcus website for $811, marked down spring, Dolce & Gabbana hosted a
from the original $1,690. That was just “pajama party” in Los Angeles, where
for the top; the bottoms were extra. At guests Naomi Campbell and Jessica
Saks Fifth Avenue, customers will find Alba were decked out in pajamas. The
a Gucci corsage-print silk pajama top Hollywood Reporter‘s Booth Moore
priced at $2,200 and the bottoms at recalls the model Gigi Hadid wearing
$1,300. And in September, when Bou- a pajama jumpsuit on the red carpet.
chra Jarrar debuted her spring 2017 Moore has also seen the look at fash-
Lanvin collection, the focus of the line ion-y Los Angeles parties. She, herself,
was boudoir looks, including a partic- owns a lovely pajama shirt, purchased
ularly striking black-and-white striped from a shop in Paris. But have any of
robe worn as a blazer. these looks really been spotted in the
Further down the fashion food
chain, Victoria’s Secret is selling “after Moore, author of “Where Stylists
hours satin pajamas.” And J. Crew has Shop,” says she hasn’t seen it. Not even
paired with jeans as well as a pajama in Los Angeles, the city that turned
jumpsuit styled with one of its black pink velour track suits into a fashion
Regency blazers and black flats. statement.

To be clear, these are not pajama- Meanwhile, on the East Coast: “It’s a
style garments, nor trousers that sim- look I haven’t seen hit the streets very
ply borrow the loose fit and drape of much,” notes Joseph Errico, fashion
sleepwear. Ostensibly, these are pa- director of Nylon, a fashion and cul-
jamas, promoted for both men and ture magazine based in New York. He
women. Indeed, in recent years, entire likes the idea of it; Errico owns a Prada
brands have been born solely to cater pajama shirt that he bought way back
in the early ’00s. And he’d use it for a

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