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Published by Vero Beach 32963 Media, 2016-10-13 16:22:17



Vero electric rates set to
go down slightly. P16
50,000 lose power

during hurricane. P14
Special Report: Photos from
Hurricane Matthew. Pages 8 to 13

For breaking news visit

MY VERO Judicial candidate
had troubled past
BY RAY MCNULTY at Sheriff’s Office

Hurricane washes out BY JOSE LAMBIET
long-planned wedding Special Correspondent

The newlyweds should be Well-known Vero Beach
criminal defense attorney
spending this week in Islamo- Robert “Bob” Meadows is
hoping to add the title “judge”
rada, enjoying a sun-splashed to his resume in a runoff in the
Nov. 8 elections, but a Vero
honeymoon in the Florida Keys Beach 32963 investigation
has uncovered a troubled past
and reveling in freshly made in law enforcement and some
inconsistencies in Meadows’
memories of their seaside wed- claims about himself.

ding at Holy Cross Catholic While Meadows claims to
be a lifelong Vero resident, he
Church and waterfront recep- actually went to high school in
Boca Raton, according to the
tion at Quail Valley's River Club. application he filled out when
he applied for a job at the In-
But an uninvited guest dian River County Sheriff’s Of-
fice, and on other paperwork
named Matthew showed up in he reported being employed
as a patrolman in the Deer-
Vero Beach at the worst possi-
ble time and ruined everything.
Vero cops arrested
"We planned this for a year," after alteraction

said Natalie Collins, a bar- BY LISA ZAHNER
Staff Writer
rier island native who grew up
Vero Beach Police officers
in Castaway Cove, where her Nicholas Allen Knutson and
Joshua Daniel Harris are both
parents still reside. "I loved out on bail after being arrest-
ed just after 3 a.m. Monday
the idea of getting married in Hurricane Matthew drives the Indian River Lagoon up over the dock at the Riverside Cafe on the Vero Beach barrier island. morning in the city limits af-
October, because it's such a ter an altercation with an on-
pretty month and we wanted Matthew’s wrath turned away by ‘Kiss from God’ duty police officer.
our friends from out of town to
enjoy whatVero has to offer and

see how beautiful it is. BY MICHELLE GENZ its neighbors, many of whom coastline. The damage hit
"We never thought about a Staff Writer
view the storm as a dry run particularly in the northern
for The One. stretches of A1A, where the

Collins and her fiancée, Scott It was not so much the Not that sidewalks didn’t wasp waist of the barrier is-

Myers, never imagined they'd might of Hurricane Matthew buckle and boardwalks col- land seemed to catch Mat-

be forced to postpone their as the might-have-been that lapse as the powerful Cat- thew’s eye like a lonely man

wedding because a massive has altered Vero Beach and egory 4 storm grazed our CONTINUED ON PAGE 2


Local businesses take a hit from near miss Storm delivers powerful blow to our
ocean beaches and lagoon shorelines
BY LISA ZAHNER Evacuation of the island
Staff Writer meant hotels had to clear out BY ALAN SNEL ful blow to ocean beaches and
guests on Wednesday after- Staff Writer Intracoastal shorelines here,
Vero Beach escaped disas- noon, losing several nights taking a 15-foot chomp out of
ter when Hurricane Matthew of income. However, they

veered away slightly at the snapped back quickly. Even though the main force the dunes along parts of the

last minute, but businesses in The Holiday Inn Oceanside of Hurricane Matthew missed coast while also destroying

town still took a hit in lost reve- was the first major hotel to re- Indian River County, the docks, ravaging sidewalks and

nue and spoiled merchandise. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 storm still delivered a power- CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

October 13, 2016 Volume 9, Issue 41 Newsstand Price $1.00 Haiti Partners:
Helping island
News 1-16 Faith 47 Pets 48 TO ADVERTISE CALL recover. Page 18
Arts 23-28 Games 49-51 Real Estate 63-72 772-559-4187
Books 44 Health 29-32 Sports 46
Dining 56 Insight 33-52 Style 53-55 FOR CIRCULATION
Editorial 42 People 17-22 CALL 772-226-7925

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

2 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Matthew turned away Pointe, foul-colored flood waters days before swelling to a weak Cat 1 Frances, a Cat 2, softened up the tar-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 closed the shopping and residential across the Panhandle. But those same get for Jeanne. Together they tore the
district. Elsewhere flooding closed forecasters strained to contain their town asunder, leaving residents ac-
on the dance floor, unleashing its un- lanes of traffic as did scattered fallen horror as they saw massive Matthew customed to Vero’s manicured beauty
toward advance on boats, docks and branches and upended trees, their muscling up the Florida coast as a shell-shocked at the wreckage.
dunes. ugly brown undersides exposed as potentially catastrophic Category 4,
crews worked to clear the mess. In a zeroing in on Vero after bulldozing Months passed before a blue-tarp
Sidewalks cracked and crumbled few cases, trees tumbled onto hous- the western peninsula of Haiti, east- checkerboard was no longer the aerial
and edges of the highway’s asphalt es, the terrifying dead-of-night thud ern Cuba, and the ports of Nassau and introduction to guests arriving at the
fell away in places. At residents’ favor- heard over howling winds. Freeport in the Bahamas. Vero airport. Roofers quickly soared
ite stretches of beachfront, the sands past the island’s millionaires as most
were licked away like icing off a cake. It is that terror that remains to Those of us who were here for the valued VIPs as contractors and con-
Hurricane-force wind gusts caused be dispelled, littering the collective twin storms of 2004 strained to believe struction workers poured in from as
widespread power outages that took mindscape like so many limbs in the anything could be worse. Jeanne was far away as New England.
until Sunday night to restore. yard. Meteorologists may have made a strong Category 3 when the north-
us crazy when wimpy Tropical Storm ern corner of its vast eye clobbered Even so, giant piles of debris re-
On the mainland’s Royal Palm Hermine waffled in the Caribbean for Vero. That was just three weeks after mained well into winter along the side
of U.S. 1, and a year later many house-
holds were still dodging carpet tack
strips on bare plywood floors, and
swatting mosquitoes on screen-less
screened porches.

For years after, many got the shud-
ders at the sound of thunder or the
whistle of the wind. They also got shut-
ters – hurricane shutters that not only
gave them peace of mind but took a
little off the top of their insurance pre-
miums that eventually doubled, if not
tripled because of the storms.

After so many years without a hur-
ricane, those premiums had just be-
gun to drop. That is no doubt about to

By mid-week across the area, day
turned to night in the orchestrated so-
lar eclipse of those shutters going up.
For those who couldn’t make that size-
able investment, there were decade-
old plywood sheets still tattooed with
trash talk for Frances and Jeanne.

“Every boy in Indian River County is
putting up shutters today,” tweeted a
Vero high school girl. “Lol I love it!”

Already on Tuesday, traffic seemed
heavy on North A1A, as hired help
arrived for preparations and resi-
dents ventured out for provisions. By
Wednesday, shopping center parking
lots looked more like Black Friday as
people stocked up on food and sup-
plies. At Sam’s Club, they walked past
inflatable Halloween skeletons; shop-
pers, frightened enough, figured Mat-
thew would do the decorating.

And then there was the news. Al-
ready covering the political storm,
newscasters started wondering how
Matthew might affect the election.
“People may be more concerned with
their homes and property than the
debate Sunday,” mused NBC’s Andrea

For Vero, the wheel-spinning wait
began in earnest Wednesday night,
when the forecast models seemed to
have Matthew as a staggeringly strong
140-mph Cat 4 coming ashore around
Cape Canaveral. But several respected
models put landfall on the Treasure
Coast late Thursday or early Friday, its
eye smack on Vero.

The storm surge would be the same
as in Frances and Jeanne, we were

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 3


warned. “But add in the high tide plenty of these,” he announced dra- collective peek outside mostly showed As what might have been fully sinks
sometime after midnight,” warned matically, bending down to pick up Vero was still intact. in, Vero is left to do what it does best:
WPTV’s veteran meteorologist Steve what looked like a curly brown stick. After picking up the sticks and shin-
Weagle, who broadcast for 67 hours “Palm tree leaves,” he declared with In fact, the highest speed recorded gles, many of its residents will pull out
straight during Hurricane Frances. authority. in Vero was 84 mph, the minimum their wallets and donate to those who
hurricane force wind. are suffering.
By evening, talk about the storm’s The poor guy, an obvious newcom-
ludicrous loop-di-loop began, adding er, repeated the term as the night wore The “kiss from God” that spared Two Vero-based Haitian charities
another dimension of double-dose on. With no one correcting him, we us, as the Martin County sheriff put it take donations on line: the medical
deja-vu. were left to wonder if the crew in the Friday in a voice full of emotion, was and dental services organization Hai-
studio wasn’t in on some area-wide the kiss of death in Haiti, where storm ti Clinic at, and Haiti
Thursday morning, a mandatory hurricane party doing vodka shots ev- fatalities are running as high as 1,000, Partners, a Christian education and
evacuation order went out for Vero’s ery time he said it. more terrible loss coming on top of social business effort that has partner
barrier island. Residents had to make the catastrophic earthquake of 2010. schools in the affected area, at haiti-
what they knew could be a fateful de- By dawn, the howling winds had You can also mail checks
cision to evacuate or ride it out. piped down to a steady whoosh. On And just three days after Vero had Haiti Clinic at 865 37th Place, Vero
the weather maps, the eye of the storm the all clear, Matthew caused devastat- Beach, FL 32960. 
Meanwhile, west of town, citrus had scooched up toward the Cape. A ing flooding in North Carolina, leaving
growers worried whether their strug- 1,500 people stranded.
gling trees would drop this year’s al-
ready lousy crop, or potentially topple

As recommended, horse owners
turned their horses out to pasture, al-
ways a worrisome moment. Rancher
and poet laureate Sean Sexton was
laid up with back surgery, leaving his
son Mike to tend to the livestock, in-
cluding, as Mike’s mother Sharon Sex-
ton posted on Facebook, “80 calves
and a few cows in labor.”

“They huddle in a group and turn
their backs to the wind,” she wrote,
having witnessed the bovine hurri-
cane-party instinct many times be-

Thursday morning, Gov. Rick Scott
gave yet another press conference,
flanked by what were presumably
disaster-related officials. Unnerv-
ingly, Scott himself seemed close
to undone. Once again, he issued
his clipped directives in hyperbolic
shorthand. “Do not surf. Do not go
to the beach. This will kill you,” he

Here at Ground Vero, the head-
pounding change in pressure added
to the angst of last-minute prep, com-
pounded by the worsening forecast.
Visions of potential projectiles danced
in minds and strained backs, as clay
pots, birdbaths and picnic tables were
hauled into already jam-packed ga-
rages. The needs of older relatives and
the youngest children were top prior-
ity, but there was ample fretting about

As the storm hovered 200 miles
away, Weagle warned of the sound
to expect, “Like thousands of wolves
howling,” he said ominously.

The worst of the wolf howls seemed
to come between midnight and 2 a.m.,
when the lucky among us were nod-
ding off. Those who didn’t lose pow-
er saw the increasingly bleary-eyed
newscasters start to repeat them-

One TV reporter stationed at the
Indian River Mall was asked to tell
viewers about the status of debris.
Straining to find any in the deluged
but utterly empty parking lot, he fi-
nally hit on something. “There are

4 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


My Vero and preparation for their wedding day "Then we started hearing from the wedding was scheduled to start – and
would be washed away. band, the photographer, the florist, the began crying. "She was very emotion-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 hairdressers, the nail techs, the makeup al," her mom said of her daughter, who
"At first, it looked like the storm was artists," she continued. turns 27 next week.
hurricane – the first such storm to blow going to pass by us on Thursday and
through this area in 11 years – would we'd be OK for the weekend," Collins "We had been in communication with This week, though, Collins and her
prompt a mandatory island evacuation, said. "Then the forecast changed." people all week," she added. "I couldn't mom will begin planning again. They'd
close major airports, create hazardous go 10 minutes without the phone ring- like to reschedule the wedding for
travel conditions and cause power out- With Matthew bearing down on Flor- ing. Everyone wanted to know if the March or April in the same church with
ages throughout the community. ida's Treasure Coast and expected to wedding was still on." the reception at Quail Valley, as before,
hit – or at least graze – Vero Beach as a but they need to check the availability of
Even as the bride-to-be and her be- Category 4 hurricane, Collins and Myers Collins and Myers decided it wasn't. both venues before setting a date.
trothed left their home in Wilmington, were confronted by a painful reality. "We really didn't have a choice," Col-
N.C., early last week and drove to Vero lins said. "It was a heart-breaking deci- Collins' mom said Quail Valley's man-
Beach for a full slate of wedding festivi- "I woke up Wednesday morning and sion to make, but there was no way we agement – she and her husband are club
ties, they fully expected to be married saw the track, and it looked like more of could do it." It proved to be the right members – has been "extremely accom-
Saturday afternoon. a direct hit," Collins said. "That's when I call: Though the hurricane didn't do as modating," and that the other vendors
knew the wedding wasn't going to hap- much damage as feared and Saturday have been "nice and understanding."
They closely monitored Hurricane pen." brought sunny skies, Matthew wreaked
Matthew and the daily predictions for havoc on travel. "We already have deposits down with
its future path and were optimistic The final decision was made over The storm made it impossible to have everybody," Collins said. "We just have
about the early forecasts, even when lunch. Collins and Myers picked up the wedding celebration the couple to find a date that works for everyone."
the weather experts said the storm was hamburgers from Casey's Place and wanted and planned for. In fact, after
headed our way. brought them back to her parents' arriving in Vero Beach in the wee hours Then new invitations will be printed
home, where they held a family meet- of Wednesday morning, Collins and My- and mailed.
They accepted they'd probably need ing. The four discussed the situation ers left townWednesday night and drove
to scrub Thursday evening's meet-and- and the possible options, then Collins' back to Wilmington – where the hurri- For those who don't know: Collins'
greet social gathering at Orchid Island mother and father left the room so the cane continued its trek along the south- dad is a former John's Island tennis di-
Brewery, where early-arriving guests couple could decide. east coast of the U.S. rector who owns the Tom Collins Insur-
could get to know each other. But they "Is this weekend ever going to end?" ance Agency.
clung to hopes that Friday's bridal lun- "People from out of town were getting an exasperated Collins said Sunday,
cheon at the Ocean Grill, wedding re- ready to make the trip, so a decision had when she called her mom to report only Collins' dad said he and his wife of-
hearsal at Holy Cross and rehearsal din- to be made," Collins' mom said. "We tree damage and a power outage at the fered their daughter and her fiancée
ner at Riomar Country Club were still talked about the guests coming to town, couple's North Carolina home. the option of getting married now – in a
possible. their safety and what happens if we lose According to her mom, Collins looked small ceremony – and returning to Vero
power at the hotels, at the church and at a clock at 3 p.m. Saturday – when her Beach in a few months for a reception-
The couple, engaged for nearly a at Quail Valley. Most of the out-of-town type party.
year, refused to believe all the planning guests were staying either on the beach
or at Quail. Despite last weekend's disappoint-
ment, Collins, who attended East Caro-
lina University on a tennis scholarship

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 5


and graduated in 2012 with a degree in to the combat service of his son, David, scheme of things, this is fixable." ories of their seaside wedding and wa-
merchandising, still wanted a tradition- a West Point graduate who left the Army At some time in the next six months, terfront reception.
al wedding. That's what she'll get. as a captain last year. "We'll get through
this. the newlyweds should be spending a And we can only hope that when they
"The Collins family has been through week in Islamorada, enjoying a sun- share their memorable wedding story
five deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan "It's a shame the wedding had to be splashed honeymoon in the Florida with others, they'll be able to do so with
and Kuwait," Collins' dad said, referring postponed," he added, "but in the grand Keys and reveling in freshly made mem- a laugh. 



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6 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Local businesses General Manager Chad Olson said he’s 3 p.m. Saturday and re-opened Sun- losses and provide exact numbers for
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 grateful the damage only required fixes day, with delivery trucks piled three sand restoration costs, Gray said.
to a pool pump and the air-condition- deep in the parking lot Monday morn-
open on Friday, and by Sunday morn- ing system, and that all of his staff are ing to replenish supplies. An Ambersand Beach oceanfront
ing it had cable and wireless Internet safe and back to work. But being out homeowner just south of the Sebas-
up and running, and was advertising of commission from Wednesday after- CVS Pharmacy re-opened on Sun- tian Inlet, Mercy Yaniz, put it simply
a full menu and drink specials at Mul- noon through Monday cost the resort day, as did 7-11, but both stores lost about the shoreline behind her house:
ligan’s Beach House next door. upwards of $100,000. all their perishable foods and were “We have no beach. We would have to
waiting with empty cases for deliver- get a ladder to get down to the sand.”
By Saturday evening, most of Ocean The hotel is running a 35-percent-off ies. CVS also had some roof damage,
Drive, including the historic Ocean deal on its website all this week to get resulting in a serious leak and a cor- Meanwhile, in the city ofVero Beach,
Grill, was bustling with activity amid guests back in the doors after Matthew, doned-off area in one of the aisles on storm-driven waves undermined the
shuttered windows and doors as peo- and also hosted a post-hurricane party Sunday.  boardwalk at Conn Beach south of
ple flocked to the beach for a hot meal Monday night, inviting locals to come Jaycee Park and washed out a strip of
and a cold drink while nearly one-fifth out and take a poolside break from ardu- Beach erosion Ocean Drive, leaving the boardwalk
of the county was still without power. ous cleanup efforts with a cool mojito. standing on stilts with a deep crevice
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 between it and the damaged roadway.
The Driftwood Inn has weathered “We loaded up all of our beach fur-
its share of storms over its 100-plus niture onto a semi and shipped it over tumbling boats along the north-island “The beaches took a major beat-
years, and it came through Matthew to the mainland, but when we get the stretch of A1A. ing,” City Manager Jim O’Connor said.
with only minor damage to some sid- beach chairs and cabanas back we will “The sand below the boardwalk has
ing and the loss of two beach access be filming a video showing everyone Overall, the storm blasted away a washed away.”
walkways. “We had everybody out by that the sun is shining here,” Olson said. couple hundred thousand cubic yards
3 p.m. Wednesday, we got power back “We want to get back in front of people of sand from the county’s signature O’Connor said Vero has received a
between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. Saturday to show them that everything is fine.” beaches, causing damage that will $216,000 bid to backfill sand into the
and reopened at 5 p.m. Saturday,” said cost about $13 million to repair based dunes under the popular boardwalk,
Zach Zebrowski, who handles own- Brian Durst, assistant manager of on initial observations, said James which remains open, and the city is
er relations at the timeshare resort. the Village Beach Market, said the Gray, county coastal engineer. soliciting additional bids.
He said the Inn had no major events store lost at least $11,000 worth of
booked during the storm downtime, perishable food, including $8,500 in After inspecting Indian River Coun- O’Connor said the boardwalk is
but did suffer some lost reservations. ice cream. “Everything else was saved. ty’s 22.5 miles of coastline, Gray said, structurally sound, but he warned
Fortunately we were able to get the “I would definitely say that we had sig- beach visitors to be careful and not
Costa D’Este had to cancel a wedding other items loaded into the coolers nificant erosion” in multiple areas. go around orange tape put up to keep
and several banquet events scheduled and freezers,” he said. “The building people away from dangerous areas or
during the five nights they were closed. itself had no damage.” County officials will hire consult- try to jump the gap – which has jagged
ing companies to survey the erosion concrete rubble at the bottom.
The market got power back around
Humiston and South Beach parks
also received damage, O’Connor said,

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 7


but it was not as extensive as the dam- shoulder where it was washed out by Vero cops arrested The two officers were apparently out
age in the boardwalk area. Waves and wave action and a storm surge that CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 together, and an on-duty officer en-
storm surge ate up part of the dunes at came in the Sebastian Inlet. countered Harris and Harris knocked
Humiston, creating a cliff at the edge Knutson was initially charged with a mirror off his police car, resulting
of the dunes, and O’Connor said the Surf was projected to be high the driving under the influence, and Har- in the criminal mischief charge, Cur-
water may have weakened some of the week after the storm, with waves up to ris was charged with criminal mischief rey said, and Harris’ behavior and de-
wooden staircases leading down to eight feet on Wednesday and Thursday, and disorderly intoxication. Both were meanor warranted the disorderly in-
the beach. Several were blocked with Oct. 12 and 13, which could do more picked up near the Vero Beach High toxication charge.
orange tape after the storm. damage to the shore, but Gray said School Citrus Bowl in the 1600 block
following surf can actually be a ben- of 17th Avenue in Vero Beach. Then Knutson drove up in his pick-
The city manager did not downplay efit sometimes, pushing sand that was up truck, presumably looking to see
the severity of the storm’s impact, but washed away back onto the beach. Police Chief David Currey said he where Harris had gone, and he was
said a powerful Nor’easter about three was notified of the incident at 1:55 a.m. suspected to be intoxicated.
years ago delivered more damage to the “After a storm you always look at Monday, but that he did not come in
city’s coast than Hurricane Matthew. what impacts are down the road. and question the officers. “We are con- Knutson was sworn in as a new of-
Sometimes a swell is not a bad thing ducting an internal investigation in ad- ficer in February 2014. Harris has been
Elsewhere in the county, several because it could push the sand that dition to the criminal investigation. Lt. on the force since October 2013, serves
ocean parks were damaged. Golden was washed away and assist or ac- Matt Monaco is conducting the inter- on the city’s Critical Response Team
Sands, Seagrape Trail and Tracking celerate some of the natural recovery nal investigation,” Currey said. and was named Officer of the Quarter
Station parks all suffered structural to the damaged beaches,” Gray said. in April 2015. Prior to becoming a po-
damage, Gray said. On the other hand, “If you have a low “They are both on paid administra- lice officer, Harris worked for the city
berm, the waves could come up to tive leave and we have their vehicles. as a lifeguard, and appeared in news
Some of the worst waterside de- damage the dune again.” They remain employed as police of- reports for catching a purse snatcher
struction was on the west side of A1A ficers while we conduct our internal on the beach. Court records show Har-
between the Pelican Island National Gray said he is thankful that the ero- investigation,” Currey added. He said ris went through a divorce in April.
Wildlife Refuge and the Sebastian Inlet. sion damage was not worse. the officers received formal notice of
being placed on leave shortly after they Their dates of birth and home ad-
Docks on the lagoon were smashed “It’s bad the way it is, but it could bailed out of jail Monday afternoon. dresses are being withheld as private
to kindling and boats were wedged been very, very bad,” he said. The officers have not been asked to by the Sheriff’s Office, as is custom-
between trees and rocks. Sections of turn in their badges or their weapons. ary when law enforcement officers are
the concrete sidewalk collapsed and O’Connor put it this way, “We were booked into the jail.
broke into pieces, with damage threat- very, very lucky.” Currey said the incident happened
ening the roadway which was closed “on the streets, if you will,” and sum- Det. Brad Kmetz, who serves as the lo-
to traffic part of the day Friday. Gray said residents can report marized what is in the police report cal union representative for Vero’s rank
beach damage to the county by calling that is public record. and file officers, declined to comment
“That will be a project in the future 772-226-1344. People can get emer- about the arrests or about whether the
I’m sure,” Gray said of further and gency permits for sand placements union is providing any representation. 
more extensive repairs to the highway and dune repair projects by calling the
same number. 


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14 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


50,000 lose power as trees cause outages and mess

BY LISA ZAHNER AND RAY McNULTY At the worst point, Vero had about electrical contractors from all over the ings or vehicles. “Damage was primar-
Staff Writer 20,000 customers without electricity, Southeastern United States need to fix ily caused by trees, nothing identified
and Florida Power & Light had more the transmission equipment, but tree as major damage,” said City Manager
The 12 years since the last ma- than 30,000 customers without power. crews had to cut up and remove the Jim O’Connor.
jor storm blew through Indian River On Monday, 750 customers were still culprit tree branches.
County was a welcome respite, but it without electricity, in part because Both the airport and marina made it
also gave the area’s trees a chance to new outages were occurring as trans- Two of the oldest parts of Vero through the storm mostly intact.
grow tall and lanky, providing perfect formers damaged in the storm contin- Beach – Old Riomar in Central Beach
fodder for Hurricane Matthew’s winds ued to fail. and Original Town on the mainland – Tim Grabenbauer, Harbormaster
to hurl branches onto power lines and were hit the hardest, but big trees went at the Vero Beach Municipal Marina,
scatter limbs, palm fronds, leaves and Residents with power outages down across the county. said Monday that two floating finger
berries everywhere. caused by trees were some of the last to piers were damaged, including one
be restored. Not only did the 110 hired On the plus side, Vero sustained no that needs to be replaced. The other
major structural damage to city build- sustained a broken piling that can be
repaired. Also damaged was an office
computer and a fuel dispenser. One
large sailboat blew aground when its
mooring lines chafed.

"The owner is in Spain," Graben-
bauer said, "but we got it back in the
water and secured to a mooring again.

Grabenbauer said the marina,
where 90 to 100 boats were docked
during the storm, was "back up and
running" at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Vero Beach Regional Airport closed
Thursday ahead of the storm and re-
opened on Saturday.

"The airfield looks good," Airport
Director Eric Menger said. "The wa-
ter drained the way it was supposed
to. The markings and signs were still
in place, except for the signs we took
down so they wouldn't blow away. We
also checked the security fence. The
only damage we saw was to some of
the hangars, but it wasn't anything

Neither the airport terminal nor
tower lost power during the hurricane,
which was the first to hit the Vero
Beach area since Wilma in October
2005. But the airfield lighting was lost
for a few hours before being restored
Friday morning.

The airplanes parked at the airport
were either in hangars or tied down
outdoors with their noses pointed to
the northeast – into the hurricane's
projected winds.

"There were about 13 or 14 tied
down," Menger said, "and when we
checked on them in the morning, they
all seemed to be right where we left

Many other owners opted to fly their
aircraft out of town and park them at
airports out of the storm’s reach.

"In situations like this, we're the ex-
act opposite of a marina," Menger said.
"Usually, when boaters see a storm
like this approaching, they bring their
boats into a marina to keep them safe.
Airplane owners, on the other hand,
want to get their planes out of harm's
way. A lot of airplanes flew out before
the storm."

Indian River County department
heads on Monday afternoon were still

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 15


compiling their damage assessments damage. Building A at the county ad- and the employees had to improvise not place piles under low lying limbs
with dollar estimates for repair for a ministration center, which has leaked using portable generators.” that may hinder the ability of the equip-
report to the Board of County Com- since it was built, stayed true to form ment to pick up the vegetative debris.
missioners on Tuesday, but County and let in enough water to do $80,000 To help with the cleanup, starting Do not place piles over storm drains
Administrator Jason Brown’s executive worth of damage to drywall and car- Thursday, the City of Vero Beach will which could block drainage and cause
assistant Dori Roy said preliminary pet. have a contractor picking up vegeta- your neighborhood to flood. Non-veg-
reports showed no major structural tive debris only from the right-of-way etative items such as fencing or con-
damage – though more than $1 mil- Indian River Shores Town Manager in the city limits. struction debris are not allowed.”
lion in county losses have been tabu- Robbie Stabe said the Town did well.
lated so far. “We had no damage to any Town build- The city sent out a notice Monday O’Connor said local governments
ings. The one Town dune-crossover at saying, “There will be only one pass on received word that they have been ap-
Brown said the storm destroyed Beachcomber Lane was damaged and each street. When stacking your debris proved for 80 percent reimbursement
$800,000 worth of traffic signals and will need to be repaired or replaced. next to the road please provide a mini- from the Federal Emergency Manage-
that Historic Jones Pier on the Indian The only issue we had was our genera- mum of 5-foot clearance from water ment Agency (FEMA) for eligible ex-
River Lagoon suffered $250,000 in tor failed [due to a blown circuit board] meters, electrical transformers, fire hy- penses, not including utility repairs. 
drants, mail boxes, power poles, etc. Do

Meadows where he was employed as a road to be fired,” Redstone said. “The demo- “I wouldn’t vote for Bob,” said
deputy, lieutenant and then detective tion was a way to keep him without hav- Wheeler, who became sheriff in 1992.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 from 1987 until 1997. ing to fire him. It was a mercy thing.” “He wasn’t a great deputy. He was the
type who yelled at people when things
field Beach police force for four years. He was nearly fired for “conduct un- In one of his performance evalua- weren’t going his way, and that’s not
More troubling than these inconsis- becoming” in 1991. But instead of get- tions in late 1991 found in what’s left what I wanted at the sheriff’s office.”
ting the administrative “death penalty,” of Meadows’ employment file at the
tencies is his record while he was with he was demoted from lieutenant to sheriff’s office, Meadows appeared to be Meadows said he worked in private
the Indian River County Sheriff’s Of- deputy – a highly unusual and steep de- considered by his peers as a hot-head. security before being hired as a deputy
fice, where he was twice charged with motion by law enforcement standards. and brought a wealth of then-cutting
conduct unbecoming an officer. “Bob has had a problem in accept- edge private security experience to the
Vero Beach 32963 requested a copy ing constructive criticism without job. For that reason, Meadows said, he
Former Indian River County Com- of the Internal Affairs investigation becoming defensive or irritable,” the was quickly placed at the forefront of
mission chairman and Sheriff Gary that led to Meadows’ demotion but evaluation reads while pointing out Dobeck’s effort to restructure the sher-
Wheeler said he remembers Meadows was told the paperwork had been de- that, in late 1991, he was improving. iff’s office.
as an “aggressive, abrasive cop” and stroyed because the incident occurred
questioned his temperament and suit- in the 1990s and only needed to be Wheeler didn’t recall either incident He claims his rise to prominence in
ability to put on a judicial robe. safeguarded for five years. involving Meadows because he had record time was at the root of his just-
not become sheriff yet, but offered an as-swift demotion.
With local contests overshadowed Today, the only mention of the demo- opinion about the five years Meadows
by the presidential slugfest between tion comes from two brief lines in forms served under him. CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, filed by the sheriff’s office in connection
the election for the man who will re- with Meadows’ request for admission to
place Judge F. Shields McManus on the Florida Bar Association in 2005.
the all-important circuit court has not
garnered much interest from voters. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners
document showed the then-Lt. Mead-
McManus retires at the end of his ows was accused of the wrongdoing
term after nine years on the bench, in April 1991, and the charge was sus-
and political newcomer Meadows, 58, tained by Internal Affairs weeks later.
surprisingly won the primary against
three other candidates in the 19th Ju- As a result of the charge, he was de-
dicial District – which lumps together moted to road deputy, with a salary cut
Indian River with Martin, St. Lucie and from $35,000 to $25,000, and assigned
Okeechobee counties. to the graveyard shift.

Now Meadows takes on the Aug. 30 He was accused of“conduct unbecom-
second-place finisher, Stuart attorney ing” again in April 1997, but that charge
Michael McNicholas, for a six-year was deemed “unfounded” and Meadows
term that pays $146,080 a year and al- resigned to pursue his interest in law.
lows the winner to preside over some
of the most important local cases. We contacted six sheriff’s officials from
that era, and none – including the then-
While he has defended several hun- Sheriff Tim Dobeck – seemed to remem-
dred criminal cases in Indian River ber what led to Meadows’ demotion.
and St. Lucie counties as well as in the
federal system since he became a law- “The name sounds familiar but I
yer in 2005, Meadows remains a rela- don’t remember what that [incident]
tive unknown to the general public. was about,” Dobeck said from his
home in Georgia.
In that context, Vero Beach 32963
opted to vet the Vero Beach resident Name sounds familiar? Dobeck for-
in the absence of any reporting about got to mention his ex-wife is Meadows’
Meadows’ background in the local daily. first cousin.

Meadows describes his previous ca- Orchid Police Chief Phil Redstone,
reer as a lawman on his campaign flyers who was in charge of Internal Affairs at
but does not elaborate beyond saying it the sheriff’s office in the 1990s, doesn’t
consisted of “15 years as a uniform law remember the details but remembers
enforcement officer in the local area.” that whatever Meadows was accused
of was a big deal. “Conduct unbecom-
Strangely, he doesn’t say where. ing,” he said, includes a vast variety of
As it turns out, Meadows spent a improper behavior.
problem-plagued 10 years with the
Indian River County Sheriff’s office, “I don’t remember the incident itself,
but I remember being brought in to a
meeting discuss whether Bob was going

16 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Meadows office to explain why he ran into troubles. Meadows says. “It’s as stupid as that.” Meadows eventually left the agency in
“In the restructuring process, some Dobeck, with whom he was close, 1997 with the rank of detective specializ-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 ing in child abuse. He told the exit inter-
people were promoted and some de- didn’t lift a finger. viewer he decided not to wait to reach his
“We were in the middle of the state ac- moted,” Meadows said. “I was promot- “I got demoted and they hoped I’d 20th year and the pension that’d go with
creditation process and I ended up being ed from deputy to lieutenant, so I had a it because he needed a career change,
asked to restructure the whole agency bull’s eye on my forehead.” quit,” Meadows said. “They gave me according to his employment file.
through a then-new tool – a computer,” the worst squad car in the agency and
Meadows explained. “I was one of the Meadows said he came to work one the worst shift. But I wouldn’t quit. I After leaving the Sheriff’s Office, Mead-
only ones who knew how to use it, and I day and was told he was under Inter- showed up for my first day with the old ows enrolled in the little known Appala-
used it to rework the duties of every sin- nal Affairs investigation for disobeying car looking like new after I buffed it.” chian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia,
gle member of the service and civilian.” an order. He had, he says, no idea what and eventually went on to a successful
he had done as he handed over his gun Wheeler didn’t give Meadows a break career as a lawyer in Vero Beach.
When we first reached Meadows, he and shield, and was placed on admin- either. Meadows’ employment file
hung up the phone when asked about istrative leave with pay. shows he applied to be a sergeant in Meadows’ personal life, meanwhile,
the demotion. But his campaign man- 1994, three years after the demotion, hasn’t been a bed of roses. He was
ager and sister, Virginia Meadows, ar- “Eventually, I found out it was because but was turned down. married and divorced three times by
ranged for a meeting in his downtown I gave a secretary an order despite the fact the time he was 43, and now he says
I was told not to give anyone an order un- He passed the tests to be on the he is single. 
til my superior came back from vacation,” SWAT team, Meadows said, but wasn’t
assigned to the elite squad.

Vero electric rates
go down – slightly


Staff Writer

Vero electric customers using 1,000
kilowatts of power per month should
see their bills decline by $1.50 this
month, but rates will still be roughly
30 percent higher than in Orchid, Se-
bastian and Fellsmere, areas served by
Florida Power & Light.

The slight easing of rates comes on
the heels of a quarterly analysis by city
staff that looks at power consumption
as it translates to revenues and recom-
mends short-term adjustments. This
adjustment, unanimously approved by
the Vero Utilities Commission in Sep-
tember, is set to appear on bills gener-
ated on or after the Oct. 15 billing cycle.

City Manager Jim O’Connor pre-
sented the analysis of the $89 mil-
lion electric utility budget to council
members via a memo, noting that the
utility, which transfers nearly $6 mil-
lion per year to pad the general fund
and keep city property taxes artificial-
ly low, is expected to stay in the black.
“This summary shows a year-end
surplus currently estimated at $2.014
million,” O’Connor said.

The projected surplus was arrived
at before factoring in unplanned costs
associated with last week’s hurricane.

The analysis shows usage higher
than projected and residential billing of
about $4 million more than managers
projected. Due to low natural gas prices
and a renegotiation of Vero’s bulk pow-
er purchase deal with Orlando Utilities
Commission, the city paid several mil-
lion less than expected for electricity.

Once Vero’s bulk power contract with
OUC expires, the city plans to go out to
the open market to negotiate short-term
power purchase agreements, which
consultants predict will result in a fur-
ther reduction in power costs. 

18 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™



Haiti Partners: On site, and helping island recover

BY MARY SCHENKEL training and oversight to empower ents, who must work four hours per of staff members were damaged.
parents of the school’s students to con- week to have their children attend the “Livelihoods have been destroyed
Staff Writer struct earthquake- and hurricane-re- school, were helping to get things ready
sistant buildings. for students who were eager to return in La Gonave, because many, many
As people in Indian River County to the classroom the next day. How- animals have died and gardens are
were battening down the hatches in “What peace of mind we have when ever, in the neighborhood surrounding destroyed. They have really been hit
advance of Matthew’s arrival, many we know that if an earthquake or hur- the school, there are many people who hard,” he added.
were also concerned about what the ricane is coming that everything here were unable to rebuild after the earth-
situation was like in Haiti, especially is going to be stable; everything is go- quake and are still living in little more There was also a lot of flooding in
relative to Haiti Partners and Haiti ing to be fine. We’ve been at this for a than lean-tos. Cite Soleil, where families used their
Clinic, where our local residents serve long time,” said Engle. “When we’re school as a shelter, but Engle said the
as board members, health care provid- doing things in Haiti, we do it with the “Their houses are constructed of mood of the people remains optimistic
ers, volunteers and financial support- long view in mind. Sustainability is pieces of wood, corrugated tin, tarps, despite the adversity.
ers. what we’re thinking of; building Hai- and they’re not fit to protect them in
tian capacity. It’s all about helping Hai- heavy rain. So they get wet a lot,” Engle “Once again we see amazing resil-
Haiti Partners was co-founded by tians change Haiti.” explained. “The children who come to ience among the Haitian people that
John Engle, who has homes in Haiti our school are prone to get sick more we can learn from. Anecdotally when
and Vero Beach, and Vero resident Kent Engle said that other than a couple often because they’re in damp, un- we were driving yesterday we passed
Annan. As Engle rode out the storm in of inches of water, which they could healthy conditions.” a water spot, where people convene to
Haiti, he provided regular video up- sweep out, the campus had very little fill up their buckets for their homes. It
dates via Facebook and their website, damage. Additionally, they were able The majority of the destruction oc- was raining, everyone was soaked and
and after the storm chatted by phone to collect 50,000 gallons of water in the curred in the southwestern peninsula, yet they were smiling and laughing,”
about conditions there. He noted that school’s reservoir which will be filtered cities such as Les Cayes and Jeremie, said Engle. “My 8-year old daughter
while their phone and Internet infra- and used as drinking water, for wash- which were hit very hard with flooding said to my wife and I, ‘Why are they
structure is expensive, it works well ing, gardening, construction and for and strong winds. While most of their smiling? It’s a hurricane.’ We said that’s
and enables them to stay in touch with their newest entrepreneurial business, partner schools in that area fared well, what Haitians know; to be resilient.
the rest of the world. which is hand-making paper out of some of their Micah scholars reported They know how to make the most of a
mango peels, corn husks, banana bark damage to their homes. Micah schol- situation regardless of how tough it is.”
The embodiment of its name, Haiti and a Haitian plant called Vertiver. ars are given scholarships by Haiti
Partners is a proponent of partner- Partners to work toward undergradu- With crops destroyed from signifi-
ships with schools, churches and “Our school has some small streams ate degrees at various Haitian semi- cant flooding combined with a lack
entrepreneurships. Its flagship Chil- and we have an extensive school gar- naries, with a goal of becoming justice of sanitation the next worry is an in-
dren’s Academy and Learning Center is den, which includes banana, avocado, advocates in their communities on be- creased threat of hunger and disease,
located on a three-acre campus in the spinach and eggplant, and there’s half of exploited women and children. such as cholera.
rural mountainous region of Baocia, some damage to that but not anything
just south of Port-au-Prince. terrible. In terms of structural damage Engle said they were still waiting to “We have created a fund with the
there’s nothing; it’s really built well,” hear the fate of a partner school located hurricane to help families in our com-
After the devastating 2010 earth- Engle added. in the remote Ile de la Gonave, where munity and network who are most vul-
quake, generous donations to Haiti telephone signals were still out. They nerable,” said Engle. “People can give
Partners enabled them to rebuild with By Wednesday people were harvest- did learn that their poultry business specifically to that fund through Haiti
stronger structures. Engle credited ing the fruits and vegetables before there was relatively OK, but that homes Partners.”
Extollo International with providing they could rot on the ground and par-
To donate, visit

20 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Below: Children at some of the Haiti Partners schools during happier times.
Haiti Partners campus

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 21


Boo! Enter this Haunted House … if you dare!

ber of the General Federation of ed House – quite the opposite, in fact.
Women’s Clubs. Noting the woman “It’s almost like a terror walk,” says
vs. women variance, she explains:
“Because we are a member of a group Hulse. “We have different sections.”
of clubs, the federation is considered The Sebastian United Methodist
the plural and we’re singular. We
have the hardest time getting people Church provides them with a vacant
to put it right.” field across from the church and vol-
unteers construct the spectacularly
But they have no intention of put- scary setting entirely from scratch.
ting anyone’s mind right at the Hunt- Only the ticket booth and storage



BY MARY SCHENKEL ises to be more terrifying than ever.
Staff Writer “We don’t have a lot of blood and

Prepare to be scared! guts. We do predominantly Alfred
For more than three decades, Hitchcock mentality,” says Teddy
members of the GFWC Sebastian Hulse, public issues chairman. “We
River Junior Woman’s Club have mess with what you’re afraid of. We
been targeting peoples’ fears and like to play with your psyche; every-
this year’s 36th annual Haunted body has a phobia.”
House: Terror on Main Street prom-
The Sebastian River Junior Wom-
an’s Club, formed in 1977, is a mem-

22 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21 you never know where we’re coming trip switch that opens the door to get
from. You never know what we’ll do.” them out of there.”
units have roofs; otherwise, creative
“ceilings” in the maze contribute to Each room has at least one or two There is also a western ghost town
the creepy claustrophobia. frights, with occasional interaction with storefronts, hangings and a
by performers. “It’s kind of like one spooky saloon, a ghost mine, grave-
Hulse explains that “eye candy” – big huge theater, moving from scene yard with crypts and a swamp.
think salt and pepper shakers draped to scene to scene.”
with a rat – are essential to get you to Clowns, a phobia shared by 51 per-
look in a particular direction, add- The main house features a foyer, cent of the population, will inhabit
ing, “Haunted houses basically work music room, dining room, conser- a new 3-D section. “The 3-D glasses
off the philosophy of getting you to vatory, kitchen, master bedroom, really mess with your vision and
look one way and coming in to get nursery, attic and library, and an ex- your depth perception. If you paint a
you from a different way. Your scare panded “door room” challenges folks clown’s face and the nose is 3-D, that
has to be unexpected. You walk past to find their way out. clown will literally come out of the
a picture and all of a sudden the pic- wall. His nose will look like it’s right
ture drops and somebody comes out “It’s amazing. It’s just a square but up against yours.”
at you. We’re known to come from they’ll keep walking around; they
above, from the side, below, behind; can’t find their way out,” she says They suggest children should be
with a laughs. “We have to have a 8 or older. They’ll have a quiet spot

Brianna Lauria.

to entertain little ones with color-
ing books while their siblings go

“It’s not a kiddie haunted house.
Usually I work security out front and
we can tell right at the door or while
they’re standing in line when a child
will not make it. Most of the parents
are pretty cool about it, but we also
have parents that are bound and de-
termined that their child is going to
go through.”

To keep them separate from folks
who do want to get scared, those
children go through in small groups
and are given “wimpy sticks” to give
performers a head’s up for a toned-
down version.

“The minute a kid says they can’t
make it through, we pull them out.
This is supposed to be fun. It’s not
supposed to be where the child has
nightmares for the next four weeks.
We want people to enjoy themselves.”

Club members, their friends and
family members all get involved in
some fashion, from construction to
event nights and tear-down.

“We live, eat and breathe this
thing,” she says of the year-long pro-

The Haunted House is the club’s
biggest fundraiser and supports
their community programs and
activities throughout the year, in-
cluding the upcoming Nov. 4 to 6
Sebastian Clambake Festival, Dec.
3 Christmas festivities at Riverview
Park, and Dec. 10 Children’s Arts
and Crafts Festival. 

The Haunted House opens at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21

and 22 and Oct. 26 thru 31. The cost is $8; $7

with a nonperishable item for the Ecumenical

Food Pantry. Student night, $4 with ID, is Oct.

26. For security purposes, no hats or costumes,

lighters, knives or firearms, food or drink allowed.

For the little ones, they will provide food and

games at a free Trunk or Treat, 2 to 4 p.m. Sat.

Oct. 29, at Sebastian United Methodist Church.

Visit for details.

24 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Art Outside: Kids learn, grow amid nature’s wonders

Staff Writer

Rumbling down a startlingly lush or along the lagoon. For some, it is the its underprivileged children. Kristin Beck leads a class discussion.
stretch of Oslo Road as it descends to- first time they have experienced the The Audubon Advocates program
ward the Indian River Lagoon, a school natural beauty that is one of Vero’s most PHOTOS BY DENISE RITCHIE
bus shuttles a dozen fifth-graders, fresh celebrated assets, but that often eludes was the brainchild of Bonnie Swanson,
out of school. a former elementary school principal. Swanson single-handedly set in motion
an astonishing movement conceived of
Behind the wheel is marine biologist by her Sebastian schoolchildren to pre-
and nature guide Kristin Beck. For the serve acres of land for the endangered
next two hours, the children are her
charges as they settle in and study the
densely wooded acre of the Audubon
House, headquarters of the Pelican Is-
land Audubon Society.

The children are all students with
promise whose families live with eco-
nomic challenges. They have been
chosen to become Audubon Advocates,
a title dreamed up by the Audubon
group. One afternoon a week for the
semester-long program, along with
several Saturdays, they will pull on old
sneakers or strap into life preservers to
trek, kayak and sometimes just sit si-
lently and observe.

Often the program includes a com-
ponent called Art Outside, where stu-
dents draw, paint or write in the woods

Announces his move to a new location


Now located at
1040 37th Place Suite 201 Vero Beach, FL 32960

For information and appointments
Please call 772-492-7051


Serving our community with 20 years of care
and combined 36 years experience

1040 37th Place Suite 201 Vero Beach, FL 32960
PHONE 772-492-7051 FAX 772-492-7048

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 25


Dr. Richard Baker and Bonnie Swanson. makeup reflecting their populations. cate’s leaders are nature lovers who fol- Today, the notion of going outside to
All are on free or reduced lunch – a low a growing movement of educators play free of adult supervision is large-
scrub jay. Now on the board of the lo- federal measure of economic need. convinced that children’s brains ben- ly a thing of the past, even in afflu-
cal Audubon organization, Swanson Schools also were asked to pick more efit from being turned loose outdoors. ent suburban neighborhoods where
worked with that group’s president, en- girls than boys in an attempt to com- crime is low and green space abounds.
tomologist Dr. Richard Baker and oth- pensate for the preponderance of Such experiences typically happen There, electronic devices are the after-
ers to create the Advocates program. white males in the sciences. in family life. It was Beck’s grandfa- school diversion.
ther that got her into birdwatching as
“It’s the highlight of my week,” says Toward the end of the program a child. As a young adult, she drew on For children in low-income neigh-
Maria Maul, an art teacher at Sebas- last year, teachers noticed a marked that childhood passion while studying borhoods, devices are often not an
tian River High School who volunteers improvement in attention spans and whales off the coast of Massachusetts. option. But neither is playing outside
with the program. concentration. “You see a lot more birds than whales not just because of safety concerns
off the North Atlantic,” she says. She but because of a dearth of parks. And
Maul and the others help fuse the Even one week into their semester- has since gone on to work as a nature research has shown the frequency of
connections between creativity and long, weekly program, their focus was guide for Sebastian’s Outdoor Center, nature experiences is lower in some
impressive for 10-year-olds. Late last where among other things she offers minority groups.
month, a group from Citrus Elemen- birdwatching tours by kayak.
tary sat through a brief question-and- CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
answer session with Beck. Then, pencil
and journal in one hand and a camp
chair in the other, the kids made their
way through dense brush along a nar-
row muddy path and quietly set up.

Dwarfed by towering oaks, the chil-
dren gazed at the wonderland before
them. They went to work documenting
various leaves, berries and butterflies.

“Was big” wrote one little girl next to
her carefully drawn picture of a striped
butterfly. “Zebra longwing,” called out
Beck. “The Florida state butterfly.”

That got the other children scram-

Diana Perez, Maria Maul and Rygel Estillore.

science in their students’ young minds. bling for paper. But in an instant, their
In the peace of the outdoors, their de- subject had flitted away into the brush.
veloping skills of observation heighten “You have to be quick when you’re
their senses as they sketch and write in drawing butterflies,” coached Beck
nature journals. with a smile.

That is just the start. Bent in concen- The kids swatted away mosquitoes
tration, as they record the zig-zag of a without complaint and ignored their
leaf’s edge, make note of the weather muddy shoes. The antsiness of sev-
or interpret the meaning of a wood- en hours of classroom confinement
pecker’s call, research has shown they seemed to melt away in the steamy
are quieting their minds and reduc- stillness.
ing stress much the way mindfulness
training or meditation does. Just the week before, a different
group went out on kayaks, many for
At the same time, the children are the first time in their lives. In the com-
getting important and engaging lessons ing weeks, they will go seining in the
in environmental studies. Organizers lagoon, braving the muck with wad-
believe they are providing the children ing boots and learning to identify their
with an academic boost equivalent to – haul of seaweeds and creatures.
or better than – individual tutoring.
Their experiences, spontaneous as
At the program’s behest, schools they may seem, have been carefully
recommended students of a racial choreographed. The Audubon Advo-

26 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 ARTS & THEATREJasmine Delgado, front, and Dakari
Crumpler, back, examine plants.

Richard Baker, who for many years Audubon Advocates volunteer Su-
directed the neighboring Florida Medi- san Lovelace recalls her utter freedom
cal Entomology Lab, orchestrated the in childhood. “My mother turned me
1991 joint state and county purchase loose and never knew where I was or
of 290 acres on the north side of Oslo what I did. I wouldn’t dare say to my
Road, after it was threatened with de- own grandchildren go out and play and
velopment into condominiums pro- we’ll see you at dinner,” says Lovelace,
posed by a New Jersey developers. That who directs the International Bacca-
parcel would become the first section laureate program at Sebastian River
of what is now the 440-acre preserve High School.
known as ORCA.
In her high school English classes,
Four years ago, Baker, since retired, Lovelace has long used outdoor jour-
arranged to buy the land where the nal writing with her students, ever
Audubon House is located from the since becoming aware of what some
University of Florida, which owns the call “re-wilding,” a term used in Rich-
entomology lab. ard Louv’s Children in Nature Net-
work. Louv’s book “Last Child in the
Despite the confines of the Audubon Woods” posits that children are suf-
House’s one-acre lot, the sensation of fering from “nature deficit disorder,”
the old oaks and dense undergrowth
is of limitless and intricate goings-on,
and a liberating dynamic prevails of
feeling secure with the unknown.

Last month, while Richard Baker
talked to an adult visitor, three children
quietly disappeared. “They’ve finished.
They’ve gone back into the room,” he
said. “We try to give them freedom in a
safe environment. That’s so rare these
days that they’re able to get out and ex-
plore and have that free play. It’s very
empowering and I think it’s essential
for developing critical thinking and
problem solving. I think it’s an element
that’s missing from our society.”

the lack of what Lovelace says is “the them, leaping into the air. As the anx-
opportunity to explore and get your ious children squirmed on their wob-
hands muddy,” an important aspect bling kayaks, afraid a fish would land
to brain development. in their boats, they suddenly saw the
cause of the mullet free-for-all: a dol-
In her own readings on the subject, phin came racing through the water,
she was struck by the nature-centric and as it happened, straight for their
schedule of Finnish school children, kayaks. It was too much for at least
who are some of the highest-scoring one of the girls, who tried to paddle
in the world. “They give their kids a away, in tears.
15-minute break every hour to go out-
side,” she says. “And they don’t care Lovelace reassured her. “It isn’t al-
about the weather. If there’s a blizzard, ways easy for them,” she says. “But
they still go out.” it’s so important to experience. Even
though they live in Vero, a lot of them
Lovelace came along on that recent haven’t ever seen a dolphin.”
kayak trip at Audubon House. The ad-
venture proved a challenge, particu- Within minutes came the kids’ re-
larly for a few of the fifth-graders who ward: A mother dolphin rolled into
had never been out on the water before. sight with a tiny baby dolphin at her
side. 
Suddenly, mullet erupted all around

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 27


Coming Up: Want a good laugh? Try ‘Scared Scriptless’

Staff Writer

1 You used to have to travel to Chi-
cago, New York or L.A. to see the

kind of comedy improv where the tim-

ing, material and delivery is brilliant

enough that you’re left thinking some-

body had to have scripted this.

Then came “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?”

– a British television game show, quickly

introduced in a U.S. version, with a cast

of absolute comedy geniuses.

Since then, two of those actors, the

Scottish-born Colin Mochrie and Ca-

nadian Brad Sherwood, have devised a

tour that uses audience suggestions as

their improv prompt, the way it’s often

done in clubs.

Their latest effort – The Scared Script-

less Tour – drops in at Melbourne’s

King Center Thursday. If the family has

cabin fever from last week’s storm, this

might be just the thing to loosen every-

one up again.

2 As for the pediatric cure for the stir- Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood coming
crazies, Riverside Children’s The- Thursday to the King Center.

atre is staging “The Musical Adventures

of Flat Stanley” next weekend, Oct. 21-

22. That play, staged by Riverside’s adult

acting apprentices, had been slated for

last weekend. The show is part of River-

side’s new family programming. If you

haven’t seen the“Flat Stanley” books – or

gotten a paper cutout of Stanley mailed

to you – it’s about a boy who turns two-

dimensional and travels the world trying

to reclaim his fully formed self.

3 Hurricane Matthew also bumped
the First Friday Gallery stroll to the

second Friday, with Gallery 14 holding

its “Think Pink” reception happening

this Friday as well as artist Lisa Steffens’

opening a show of paintings and mono-

graphs at Raw Space @ Edgewood. Coming to Riverside Children's
Theatre next weekend.

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28 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Also Friday, you can wrap up the Gal-
lery Stroll with Row Jomah performing
on Kilted Mermaid’s stage starting at
8:30 p.m. The talented five-piece rock-
fusion band that grew from its vocalist
Joe Roma is on tour from its home base
of Clearwater. Kilted has a convenient
feature on its website that allows you to
sample all the bands it hosts. This one
strikes me as particularly good with a
drummer, Dylan Chee-a-tow, that could
keep you up all night.

4 And one more second chance,
this one not storm-related: If you

Row Jomah performs Friday missed British blues guitarist John May-
at Kilted Mermaid.
all at the King Center Tuesday, his tour

Coming to the Rinker Playhouse next weekend.

continues Friday night at the Lyric in cabaret dancer and friend of a gang-
Stuart. As excellent as his performance ster. Yuri Grigorovich directs the pro-
was in the 2,000-seat King Center, the duction, which screens at 12.55 p.m.
Lyric offers a much more intimate con- The theater shows it a second time next
cert, one in which Mayall should shine. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m.

5 Leonard Nimoy had some fanati- 8 Lots of changes at the Vero Beach
cal followers as he trekked among Museum of Art as we await the

the stars in “Star Trek.” Through it all, naming of a new director replacing

he himself was following the Dutch- the retiring Cindy Gedeon. Before she

born French impressionist Vincent goes, Gedeon and curator Jay Williams

Van Gogh, perhaps best known for his give us the first trio of exhibits in the

painting, “Starry Night.” new season, including the pottery of

These days, Nimoy and Van Gogh are the African American slave known as

travelling the country together, staging Dave and the paintings of Florida art-

a play Nimoy has written and produced ist Bruce Marsh, professor emeritus at

about Van Gogh’s life. “Vincent” is on its the University of South Florida.

way to West Palm’s Kravis Center, where

next weekend it will be performed in

the intimate Rinker Playhouse.

6 Riverside’s Comedy Zone was a
casualty of Matthew’s bluster.

It will return next weekend when the

place will be in full Octoberfest mode.

In the meantime, this weekend there’s

Howl at the Moon, with John Kenney

at the keyboards again opposite Neal

Kern. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30

p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, and Bruce Marsh paintings on display currently at
the Vero Beach Museum of Art.
there’s always a band out on the cir-
This weekend, a third exhibit opens
cular drive under the oak trees. Friday in the Holmes Gallery: The American
Spirit: Selections from the Manoogian
night it’s a Beatles tribute band. Collection. Richard and Jane Manoo-
gian are collectors of American art,
7 Sunday in a simulcast at the Ma- including of the Hudson River School.
jestic Theatre in Vero, the Bolshoi There are also two watercolors of An-
drew Wyeth. 
Ballet goes gangster with the “The

Golden Age,” a jazzy satire of a Europe-

an 1920s cabaret, where a humble fish-

erman, Boris, falls in love with Rita the

30 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Take cranberries – the berries, not juice – for UTIs


Everyone knows cranberry juice
is good for urinary tract infections,
right? Researchers from Texas A&M
Health Science Center College of
Medicine beg to differ – they con-
cluded that while cranberry capsules
are an effective treatment, cranberry
juice is not.

Each year, about 3 million Ameri-
cans will experience a urinary tract
infection (UTI). They are much more
common in women than men; some
experts say that half of all women will
get a UTI at some point in their lives,
with many suffering from repeat in-

Urologist Dr. Hugo Davila, MD,
practices in both Vero Beach and
Sebastian. He says, “More than 90
percent of UTIs are caused by E. coli
getting into the urinary tract through
the urethra, and then multiplying
in the bladder. The female anatomy
puts women at a higher risk than
men for UTIs.” The urinary system is

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Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 31


“More than 90 percent of its symptoms are immediately rec- dietary supplements, yogurt, a fer- Even though all drugs can have side
UTIs are caused by E.coli ognizable by sufferers: frequent and mented milk drink called kefir, and effects, the risk is generally minimal
getting into the urinary painful urination, pelvic and lower soy products. when a low dose is used.
tract through the urethra, abdomen pain, traces of blood in the
and then multiplying in urine, and fever. Dr. Davila says the reason probi- It’s important that people with a
the bladder. The female otics can help in both the treatment self-diagnosed and self-treated UTI
anatomy puts women at Natural remedies have a strong and prevention of UTIs is that they still seek medical advice, to make sure
a higher risk than men.” appeal, especially because the over- decrease the concentration of E. coli more aggressive treatment isn’t need-
use of antibiotics can lead to UTIs in the urinary tract. He says, “We ed; there is a danger of UTIs developing
– Dr. Davila and other bacterial infections be- always like to start with approaches into a more serious kidney infection.
coming drug-resistant. In addition that have no side effects. Probiotics
to cranberry capsules, there is some fall into that category, as do cranber- Dr. Davila can be reached at Florida
evidence that probiotics, especially ry capsules.” Cancer Specialists. The Vero office is lo-
of the lactobacillus variety, can be a cated at 1880 37th St.; the phone num-
safe alternative to antibiotics in the For post-menopausal women who ber is 772-567-2332. The Sebastian lo-
treatment of UTIs. Lactobacillus is suffer from recurrent UTIs, vaginal cation is 13060 US Highway 1, Suite A;
the “friendly” bacteria that live in estrogen is sometimes prescribed as the phone number is 772-589-0879. The
our digestive tract; it can be found in a preventive measure; like probiot- website for Florida Cancer Specialists is
ics, it works by reducing E. coli levels. 

designed to keep out these invaders,
but if its defenses fail, a full-blown
urinary tract infection can develop.
Antibiotics clear up UTIs quite nicely,
but it’s even better if the infection can
be prevented in the first place.

Enter the cranberry plant – a low-
growing, woody, vining perennial re-
sponsible for producing over a billion
pounds of tart fruit each year. Cran-
berries help with both the prevention
and treatment of UTIs because they
contain A-type proanthocyanidins,
which interfere with the ability of
bacteria to adhere to the bladder wall.
As a preventative measure, the rec-
ommended daily dose of cranberry
capsules is 300-400 milligrams.

Study leader Dr. Timothy Boone,
Ph.D., explains why cranberry juice
does not work: “It takes an extreme-
ly large concentration of cranberry
to prevent bacterial adhesion. This
amount of concentration is not found
in the juices we drink. There’s a pos-
sibility it was stronger back in our
grandparents’ day, but definitely not
in modern times.”

Vero’s Dr. Davila told us about a re-
port from the University of Michigan;
it concluded that cranberry juice may
not be well-tolerated long term, an-
other reason to use capsules rather
than juice.

The team from Texas A&M studied
160 patients who underwent elective
gynecological surgery. Because of the
insertion (and removal) of a catheter,
the development of a UTI is common
following this type of surgery. Half of
the women took four cranberry cap-
sules each day for 6 weeks after sur-
gery; the other women took a placebo.
In the cranberry treatment group, 19
percent of the women developed a
UTI, compared with 38 percent of the
placebo group; so the capsules cut
UTI incidence by 50 percent.

UTIs are perhaps one of the most
self-diagnosed of medical conditions;

32 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Embattled Theranos will close labs, wellness centers

BY ARIANA EUNJUNG CHA series of skeptical banning Holmes from owning, oper-
Washington Post ating or directing a blood-testing lab
reports starting in for at least two years.
Elizabeth Holmes, the embattled
founder and chief executive of Ther- October 2015, the Last week’s announcement es-
anos, said last week that the com- sentially shuts down the consumer-
pany will close its clinical labs and Wall Street Journal focused operations that were at the
wellness centers. The open letter, heart of the vision Holmes promoted.
posted on the company’s website, recounted how even
was essentially an epitaph for the The move will affect about 340 em-
consumer business that was the fo- Theranos’ own em- ployees in Arizona, California and
cus of the once-celebrated Silicon Pennsylvania, and Holmes was gen-
Valley company that Holmes boasted ployees questioned erous in recognizing them for stick-
would change the world with its sim- ing by her.
ple and inexpensive pinprick blood the accuracy of the
test. “We are profoundly grateful to
results of its testing these team members, many of whom
The biotech company was founded have devoted years to Theranos and
in 2003 by Holmes, a Stanford drop- and revealed that our mission, for their commitment
out. In magazine interviews, TV ap- to our company and our guests,” she
pearances and keynote speeches she government regula- wrote.
gave around the world, Holmes said
the innovation would empower con- tors had been look- Holmes said the company will
sumers by giving them the ability to now focus its “undivided attention”
bypass the gatekeepers – their doc- ing into the matter. on the Theranos miniLab platform
tors – to get important information which she described as a product that
about the health of their own bodies. The company ag- would be “miniaturized, automated
Numerous investors and consumers laboratories capable of small-volume
were attracted by her vision, and at gressively defended sample testing, with an emphasis on
vulnerable patient populations, in-
itself against the cluding oncology, pediatrics, and in-
tensive care.” 
accusations, but

over the summer

acknowledged ma-

jor defeats. In June,

Elizabeth Holmes, founder and chief executive of Theranos. Walgreens said it

had terminated its

one point the company was valued partnership with the blood testing

at $9 billion, making Holmes the start-up effective immediately. In

youngest self-made female billion- July, the Centers for Medicare & Med-

aire ever. icaid Services issued harsh sanctions

But as the company grew, so did against Theranos, imposing a fine,

questions about its technology. In a revoking its certificate for a lab and

34 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


On a Tuesday morning in Septem- It takes over two and half hours, we’re overrun. Being in this van is like aegypti, carrier and spreader of some
ber, under a sweltering tropical sun on emptying container after container, being in a Cheech and Chong mov- of the worst insect-borne diseases
the island of Grand Cayman, 140,000 to release all the mosquitoes into West ie, only with mosquitoes instead of known to medicine – dengue, malaria,
mosquitoes flit around in four large Bay. They’ve been doing this three smoke. and Zika.
coolers in the back of a gray Toyota times a week since July; residents used
minivan. to grimace when they drove by, but “Aren’t we going to get eaten alive?” The A. aegypti mosquito has evolved
now they barely glance over. The pro- I ask, trying not to sound too con- to survive even the most effective pes-
Behind the wheel is Renaud Lac- cedure seems more disruptive to those cerned. ticides. It can lay 500 eggs in just a bot-
roix, a Ph.D. in biology and medical of us in the van. tle cap’s worth of water, and it prefers
entomology who works for the British “No,” Lacroix says. “They’re males.” to bite humans over animals, so it lives
biotechnology company Oxitec. A col- Each time Evangelou opens a con- Male mosquitoes, he reminds me, in places where no one thinks to spray,
league, Isavella Evangelou, crouches tainer, a fair number of mosquitoes es- aren’t the ones that bite. Just about like under the couch.
behind him in a tight space next to the cape the wind tunnel and start buzz- the only thing male mosquitoes do, he
coolers. The minivan is idling on the ing around our heads. “There will be says, is seek out females, which do the The idea behind Oxitec’s experi-
side of a dirt road in West Bay, a quiet a few fliers, yeah,” Lacroix says with a biting. ment is that if enough genetically
neighborhood where iguanas and smirk. Oxitec is trying to leverage this modified male A. aegypti mosqui-
roosters dart in and out of the yards mating instinct to help wipe out one toes are released into the wild, they’ll
of small homes painted in Caribbean “A few” isn’t quite right. Before long, particular species of mosquito: Aedes track down large numbers of females
pastels. in those hard-to-find places and mate
The time has come for the mosqui-
toes to fulfill the purpose for which The eggs that result from any union
they were genetically engineered: a with an Oxitec mosquito will carry a
kamikaze mission to eliminate their fatal genetic trait engineered into the
own species. father – a “kill switch,” geneticists call
it. The next generation of A. aegypti
As the minivan’s air conditioning mosquitoes will never survive past the
struggles against the humidity, the larval stage, never fly, never bite, and
two Oxitec scientists prepare for the never spread disease. No mosquitoes,
release – a process that, given the Is- no Zika.
land of Dr. Moreau–level hysteria that
sometimes greets Oxitec’s efforts in test Oxitec is far from the first company
sites around the world, is surprisingly or research team that’s tried to sterilize
low-tech. an entire insect population. Scientists
have been going after A. aegypti in this
First, Evangelou pulls out a piece of way since the 1970s, usually by irradi-
light sheet metal that’s been shaped ating them. The problem with radia-
into a foot-wide tube. She sticks one tion is that it makes the mosquitoes too
end of the tube through a circular hole weak to get out and breed. The great
cut out of the van’s rear window, then innovation of the Oxitec method is that
fastens the other end in place with Vel- it cleverly achieves the same result as
cro a few inches from the mouth of a sterilization, while leaving mosquitoes
small Dyson fan. Next, she takes her able to do what mosquitoes do.
seat in the back, next to the fan, opens
one of the coolers, and pulls out one of The approach was developed by
the 30 plastic containers in which the founder Luke Alphey, a British geneti-
mosquitoes are waiting. Lacroix puts cist specializing in vector control, or
the van in gear, and off they go. the elimination of disease-bearing
creatures. Oxitec has applied the meth-
“Do I need to make a left here, Isavel- od in Brazil, Malaysia, and Panama, of-
la?” Lacroix asks. Consulting a GPS- ten with partial support from the Bill &
equipped tablet, she says yes. As the Melinda Gates Foundation, and claims
van slowly winds through the neigh- to have reduced the A. aegypti popu-
borhood, the tablet lets out a beep lation in tiny test areas by at least 90
about every 30 meters. Each time she percent. That’s a far better percentage
hears a beep, Evangelou – using little, than spraying, which usually hits about
if any, of the training that earned her a 50 percent and has a tendency to breed
master’s in biology – gently lifts the lid resistance, requiring more and more
of a plastic container, as close to the spraying to get the same low result.
fan as she can, and several thousand
mosquitoes are blown out through the “It takes one or two generations at
metal tube and into the neighborhood. least to be noticeable,” Lacroix says as
he grabs a green fly swatter the size of

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 35


a tennis racket and starts thwacking Control District have pledged to be measures. The disease subsided, but having it overseen by the FDA, which
away at some of the mosquitoes flying guided by that vote – even if it means only after 88 people were infected. would treat the GMO technology as an
around his head. saying no to the FDA’s approved ex- That was when the Mosquito Control animal drug, rather than as a biopesti-
periment, with a major Zika crisis District went searching for something cide, which might have required a com-
A. aegypti’s life span ranges from two looming over Florida. that might be capable of wiping out A. plete environmental impact statement
weeks to a month, so the company will aegypti completely. Enter Oxitec. from the U.S. Environmental Protec-
know in a few months if the population In public meetings, on local radio, tion Agency. “If you even want to take
is starting to decrease. If it is, Lacroix and, of course, online, opponents have In 2011 the MCD announced that all down one tree in a wetland, you need
says, “we can roll out to the rest of the all but commandeered the conversa- of the city of Key West – its 25,000 citi- an EIS,” Russo says. “And these clowns
island, drawing down south through tion about mosquitoes and Zika in zens, its millions of visitors – would be don’t want to do an EIS? And we’re con-
the peninsula.” the Keys. They call Oxitec’s tactics un- subject to a trial of Oxitec’s technol- sidered anti-science?”
ethical and underhanded. They call the ogy, overseen by the FDA. The MCD
Oxitec charges about $7.50 per per- company’s science untested, unprov- said the price tag would be less than At a particularly heated commu-
son per year in each area it treats. While en, and unsafe. Above all, they’re wor- $10 per resident, and it expected to nity meeting with the MCD board in
the price gets cheaper as the A. aegypti ried about unintended consequences. break even on the investment by re- 2012, Russo asked a series of questions
population decreases and fewer Oxitec Their not-so-affectionate name for the quiring less aerial spraying against the about Oxitec’s protocols and whether
mosquitoes need to be released, the Oxitec mosquitoes: Frankenflies. mosquito. the MCD was prepared for problems.
treatments aren’t a short-term pros- Russo says the board had no answers
pect: To ensure A. aegypti doesn’t come The Florida Keys Mosquito Control The Keys, however, have no short- for him that day, and no answers over
back, the company continues releas- District (MCD) is run by a board of five age of activists who know how to push the next two months.
ing its mosquitoes on an open-ended commissioners – elected officials, not back against government. Ed Russo
basis. bureaucrats – and commands a $10 is chairman of the Florida Keys Envi- Then the MCD announced that,
million annual operating budget and ronmental Coalition, a group formed after consulting with the FDA, it had
Chief Executive Officer Haydn Parry 69 full-time employees. When there’s after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil decided to move the venue for the
has called Oxitec’s method “a dead trouble, the board can decide more or spill. He’s also worked as a business experiment. Instead of Key West, the
end” for the A. aegypti species. And, of less unilaterally how to deal with it. consultant to Donald Trump, and re- proposed trial would be conducted in
course, in the age of Zika, such a dead cently wrote a short e-book titled Don- Key Haven, a small community of 144
end couldn’t be more desirable. Since In 2009, when A. aegypti brought ald J. Trump: An Environmental Hero. homes on a neighboring island. “That’s
the news emerged last spring that a dengue to the Keys for the first time (Trump was the first donor to the co- when all the flags went up and the si-
spike in cases of microcephaly in Brazil in nearly eight decades, the board re- alition.) rens wailed,” Russo says. “Would you
appeared to have been caused by Zika, sponded with an aggressive approach let your family take part in a scientific
politicians and public-health officials that saw workers go door to door to Russo’s group was among those in- experiment without your informed
from around the world have been beat- persuade residents to eliminate stand- censed that the MCD appeared to be consent in writing? If you’re a prisoner
ing a path to Oxitec’s door. ing water and take other preventive fast-tracking the Oxitec experiment by in an institution in the United States,
you are given that right.”
as Congress dithered all summer be- Mila de Mier, a real estate agent in
fore finally, in late September, approv- the Keys, started a peti-
ing the funding of countermeasures to tion to “say no to genetically modified
prevent large outbreaks. mosquitoes in the Florida Keys,” which
eventually got 170,000 signatures from
“I don’t think time is on our side,” around the country. Activists world-
Parry told a congressional committee wide offered support and expertise.
in May. “I think the utmost urgency is
required. I’ve just come from Puerto It took de Mier years, and the threat
Rico, and we could have a catastrophe of a lawsuit, to get the MCD to say
on our hands if we are not careful.” The how many A. aegypti mosquitoes it
big winner if Oxitec ends up enlisted estimated were in Key Haven. When
to fight Zika in the U.S. would be In- she secured the data, earlier this year,
trexon, a biotech company run by bil- it indicated that there were practically
lionaire Randal Kirk, which acquired none – or at least not enough to call for
Oxitec for $160 million in the summer traditional spraying methods.
of 2015.
De Mier, who’s emerged as a grass-
This August, the U.S. Food and Drug roots leader of the resistance, says she
Administration approved Oxitec’s first realized that as successful as Oxitec’s
stateside experiment, in Key Haven, method was said to be, it had never
Fla., an unincorporated area separated faced serious public scrutiny before
by a narrow stretch of water from Key coming to the U.S.
“I saw what they did in Brazil,” she
In many respects, you couldn’t ask says. “They brought a truck around with
for a better test site in America. It’s a loudspeaker, and they made a song.
secluded, tropical, and surrounded by ‘God sent you the mosquito to heal you.’
water, which prevents new mosqui- That was the public engagement.” (Ox-
toes from entering the area. If the Ox- itec does use vehicles with loudspeak-
itec method works in Key Haven, then ers in Brazil, but it also distributes more
Florida, and the country, could have a scientifically based information.)
powerful tool to help stop an incipient
public-health crisis. As Oxitec prepared its full proposal
to the FDA, the company released more
There is, however, an obstacle. Ox- details, and others started asking ques-
itec has been trying to conduct a trial tions. Meagan Hull, a longtime resi-
in the Keys for seven years, ever since dent, wondered why, if Oxitec’s method
a dengue outbreak there. Local oppo- was all about male GMO mosquitoes,
nents have thwarted those attempts did the company’s data say it also let
for years, and now they’ve forced a pair loose some females in its test – about 1
of referendums, set for November, on per 1,000 males?
the Key Haven test.
Officials from the local Mosquito

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It’s your lifetime. Spend it wisely.

38 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Did those females mate, and breed, A MOSQUITO RELEASE IN GRAND CAYMAN. tember at a meeting in Key West, where
and bite? Had anyone studied the town commissioners were deliberating
long-term effects of that? Wouldn’t taville. They thought that we would all blending with Zika to create a megavi- over a proposed resolution support-
some Keys residents almost certainly be out having a cocktail and just not rus that brought about microcephaly. ing the Key Haven project. “There’s no
be bitten by a GMO mosquito? Even care?” The entire notion has been disproved proof of Zika causing microcephaly, ex-
the males, some said, might create an- – chiefly because the concentration of cept what Oxitec says,” he added.
tibiotic resistance in the community, Then the Zika crisis emerged late birth defects in Brazil is located 400
because all the mosquitoes Oxitec last year, and the debate went off the miles from Oxitec’s test site, and the “I have nothing against spraying
grows in its lab are doused during the rails. In January a Reddit thread, post- A. aegypti mosquito travels only a few whatsoever,” said Judy Martinez, an-
larval stage with tetracycline, to by- ed in a forum known for floating con- hundred yards in its lifetime. other neighbor, at the same meeting.
pass their kill switches and allow them spiracies, raised the possibility that it “But I am against monkeying around
to grow to adulthood. was Oxitec’s testing in Brazil that had But that hasn’t kept some opponents with Mother Nature. They’re going to
caused the birth defects public health in the Keys from revisiting the ques- kill us off, that’s what’s going to hap-
“The tetracycline’s going to cause officials were attributing to Zika. tion, even now. “It’s these chemicals pen.” The resolution was ultimately
resistance,” says John Norris, a local you’re spraying that are causing mi- voted down.
physician. “They care nothing about The anonymous author posited that crocephaly,” one local environmental
the fact that they are breeding resistant some of Oxitec’s GMO offspring do, in activist, Doug Hattendorf, said in Sep- The Florida Keys Environmental
germs of no purpose.” fact, survive and pass on their genes, Coalition takes no official position on
the Oxitec-Zika conspiracy theory. But
David Bethune, a computer pro- Barry Wray, the group’s executive direc-
grammer and artist, wondered why tor, is willing to keep the conversation
Oxitec seemed so sanguine about going. “We’re witnessing the results of
long-term effects. “We don’t under- the microcephaly question gradually
stand how the science works, but we evolve,” he says.
do understand that when you put a
genetically modified organism into the Derric Nimmo, Oxitec’s head of pub-
wild, there are going to be other conse- lic-health research, remains slightly
quences than just reducing the popu- baffled by the dissidents’ claims. “I’ve
lation,” he says. done town hall meetings, done board
meetings, gone door to door,” he says;
Chief among them: What might the exchanges are mostly cordial, but
take A. aegypti’s place in the ecosys- strained. “I’ve kind of turned into, rath-
tem? Something stronger? “Just to er by accident, a communication per-
say, ‘We’ve got it all worked out’ is re- son for Oxitec in the Keys.”
ally unnecessarily arrogant,” Bethune
says. “We’re the little guinea pigs on an It’s not a natural fit for him. “I’m a
island that they thought of as Margari- scientist at heart. It’s my background,
you know, a Ph.D. My postdoc was all

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 39


about molecular biology in insects. quickly as he can. Even if some females lab-bred mosquitoes are screened for effectively reproduce, which means
And so I’ve had to learn to try and – are released, he says, they will have the disease before being released. the entire system is closed. “Within six
not dumb that down, that’s the wrong same kill switch gene the males have, to eight weeks there’s no evidence of
word – to try to communicate that in and their offspring will die in the larval The amount of tetracycline used on [Oxitec mosquitoes] in the wild at all,”
a simple way that people can under- stage. If the females do end up biting the mosquitoes is “extremely low,” he he says.
stand.” anyone, it would have the same impact says, trivial next to what you’d find in,
as any ordinary mosquito bite; all the say, a typical pig farm. As for long-term During the 60-day public-comment
He moves through the criticisms as impacts, the GMO mosquitoes never

40 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


period for the FDA’s review of Ox- a mile a minute, with a proselytizer’s
itec’s proposal, he says, “there were zeal. “We’re not pure altruists,” he says.
2,700 comments, and the FDA, the “We are running a business here. But
CDC, and the EPA have looked at all of believe it or not, we do a lot of think-
those, and they’ve said there’s nothing ing at Intrexon about how we might
here scientifically valid that changes improve the world.”
our minds.” Yet for years now he’s been
forced into a rear-guard action. Kirk, who has homes in San Fran-
cisco and Virginia but spends most of
“The age of engineered biology is his time in West Palm Beach, Fla., in-
actually well under way,” declares vested $300 million in Intrexon, which
Randal Kirk. The Intrexon CEO speaks a molecular geneticist named Thomas


Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 41


Reed founded in 1998 as the human genome was AEDES AEGYPTI ment asking the FDA to use emergency powers to
being sequenced, to assemble a library of standard- give them Oxitec right now.
ized DNA components – “hot rod parts,” as Kirk calls to force two separate referendums on Nov. 8 – one
them – that could be used to make designer genes. for Key Haven residents and one for all of Monroe “What’s happened now is you have various mos-
County, which contains the Keys and a portion of the quito districts saying, ‘Why can’t we use this tech-
Kirk took the company public in 2013. Before ac- Everglades. The results won’t be binding, but three nology?’ ” says Parry, Oxitec’s CEO. If the vote goes
quiring Oxitec last summer, Intrexon bought Aqu- of the five Mosquito Control District commissioners against Oxitec, “we would move the trial somewhere
aBounty Technologies, which genetically modifies have promised to honor the will of the people. else,” he muses. “But obviously it would be more
salmon to make them grow faster, and Okanagan preferable and more convenient to do it where we
Specialty Fruits, which makes apples that don’t turn If the Keys scuttle the project, it may go against planned to do it.”
brown. broader public opinion. A national survey released
in February by Purdue University found that 78 Even if Oxitec is chased away, the idea of un-
No Intrexon company has successfully brought a percent of those surveyed supported using GMO dermining A. aegypti at a genetic level will persist.
product to market yet. And Intrexon’s gene-design- mosquitoes to fight Zika. Last month a bipartisan More-sophisticated gene-editing techniques, such
ing system, a technology known as UltraVector, has group of 61 Florida state legislators issued a state- as Crispr/Cas9, have been developed, and new
never been submitted to any peer-reviewed journal. businesses will emerge to take advantage of them.
The scientific community is largely unperturbed by
But Kirk speaks broadly and loftily about genetic the idea of removing the A. aegypti mosquito from
modification – how it existed in the ecosystem long the face of the earth.
before Oxitec came along, most likely starting with
the breeding of cereal grain in Mesopotamia, which “The disappearance of a few species, while a pity,
led to the creation of seed and the portability of food. does not bring a whole ecosystem crashing down,”
evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson has written.
“Almost none of the things that we think of as “Our current methods of mosquito control are
natural are actually natural,” he says. “Cows, pigs, crude and kill more than just mosquitoes. An ex-
chickens, horses, strawberries, corn. We have been tinction gene at least has the benefit of being pre-
genetically engineering things both deliberately and cise and clean.”
accidentally for thousands of years, and we’ve been
creating millions upon millions of mutations without In Grand Cayman, the government is moving for-
any ability to document what they were.” ward. In a few years, A. aegypti might be eliminated
from an entire island, the first time such a thing has
As for A. aegypti, Kirk argues, that particular spe- happened. Maybe that will lead to something unex-
cies has prospered around the world only because pected, or maybe it won’t.
“we have genetically modified it for decades through
the use of pesticides. This is the most anthropophilic In the Keys, some would rather take their chances
mosquito. In other words, it loves us. We’ve geneti- with Zika than risk the unknown. “We are setting a
cally evolved it to love us.” The Oxitec method, Kirk standard for the rest of the world,” de Mier says. “To-
says, is an elegant way of undoing that work. day it’s a mosquito, tomorrow God only knows what
is going to happen.” 
The swelling controversy in the Keys was enough

42 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Aleppo on the brink: ‘Surrender and you can eat again’

BY DAVID IGNATIUS | WASHINGTON POST parent goal is to make living conditions The opposition force totals about Nusra will continue to exploit the situ-
in the city so intolerable that the oppo- 100,000, including fighters from the ation . . . and portray itself as the de-
“Catastrophic” is the word several sition has no choice but to capitulate.” al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, fender of the Syrian people,” the official
U.S. officials use privately to discuss the analysts estimate. (The group said re- explained.
latest developments in Syria, in which Think about those dry analytical cently that it was changing its name to
a savage Russian bombing campaign words: The Russians have made civil- the Front for the Conquest of Syria and “What’s ahead is not regime con-
has brought Aleppo near the point of ian suffering “a weapon of war.” splitting from al-Qaeda.) trol, but guerrilla warfare,” predicts
surrender. Yet even as members of the one analyst. For Russia, that can’t be an
Obama administration acknowledge U.S. analysts fear that Aleppo may U.S. officials see two possibilities if appetizing prospect. That’s one reason
the horror, they remain wary of options fall in a few weeks, marking a significant Aleppo surrenders. Opposition fighters U.S. officials are keeping the door open
that might counter the onslaught. turning point in the war. The analysts could disperse and harass Syrian and for Russia to return to the table – not
note that the city could hold out several Russian troops behind the lines or they in bilateral talks with the United States,
Whatever else U.S. officials say about months longer, given residents’ resil- could concentrate forces in the rural which were suspended this week, but
Syria, they should begin with an ad- ience. I witnessed that spirit four years areas of provinces such as Idlib, Homs, in a multilateral forum that might in-
mission that we are diminished, as in- ago this month, when I visited Aleppo Hama and Daraa where the opposition clude Iran and Saudi Arabia.
dividuals and as a nation, by watching as it was being shelled, even then, by is already strong. The United States and
the destruction of a city and its people. the regime. I stayed a few hours. The its coalition partners – such as Turkey, White House caution about military
Russia may be wading further into Syrian residents have remained for 48 Jordan and Saudi Arabia – could increase options is reinforced by the Pentagon,
a military quagmire, but the United months. covert military support to these fighters. as has been the case since the Syria con-
States is deep in a moral one. The stain flict began. Pentagon officials still cite a
of Syria won’t leave our national con- If Aleppo does fall, what then? The Backing the opposition is a tricky 2013 letter from Gen. Martin Dempsey,
sciousness for many years. answer is a deeper, nastier civil war. problem. A U.S. official says Jabhat al- then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Explains the U.S. intelligence official: Nusra has been the “main beneficiary” Staff, warning Congress that a no-fly
U.S. intelligence officials describe a “Even if the regime is able to eke out a (other than the Assad regime) of Rus- zone to protect civilians would cost $500
Russian campaign to break the Syrian victory in Aleppo, the opposition will sia’s onslaught. “Until Moscow stops million initially and $1 billion a month
opposition’s will, much as the United not be easily defeated. They are simply bombing hospitals and aid workers, thereafter, and would “require hundreds
States and its allies did in the incendi- too large to defeat.” of ground and sea-based aircraft.” The
ary bombing of German and Japanese administration’s wariness has deepened
cities in World War II. Russian weap- since Russia’s intervention in 2015.
ons now include thermobaric bombs,
incendiary munitions, cluster bombs If military options are risky in Alep-
and bunker busters. They are attempt- po, what about humanitarian assis-
ing to burn Aleppo alive. tance? Here, there’s an opportunity for
America to be bold – in a massive mo-
As cease-fire talks collapsed over bilization, organized as quickly as hur-
the past two weeks, the Russians have ricane or earthquake relief, that could
struck hospitals, bread lines at baker- bring aid to suffering civilians.
ies, civilian neighborhoods. The mes-
sage, says one U.S. analyst, is: “Surren- Line the relief convoys up at the
der and you can eat again.” Turkish, Jordanian and Lebanese bor-
ders and dare the Russians to stop
Here’s a U.S. intelligence official’s them. Air-drop supplies to a besieged,
chilling assessment: “The Syrian re- desperate city. Let the world see what
gime and its Russian backers have ad- Russia’s brutal policies have brought.
opted a calculated approach of exacer- These are inadequate, imperfect op-
bating the dire humanitarian situation tions, but they’re surely better than do-
in Aleppo as a weapon of war. Their ap- ing nothing. 

NUTRITION, PART II  Corn sweeteners and high-fructose  Buying canned fruit packed in water or juice,
corn syrup not syrup. If you buy fruit packed in syrup,
ADDED SUGARS (CONTINUED)  Fruit juice concentrate and nectars drain and rinse with water to remove excess
 Honey syrup.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is  Malt syrup  Snacking on vegetables, fruits, low-fat
requiring manufacturers to add a new category  Molasses cheese, whole-grain crackers and low-fat,
called “added sugars” to nutrition labels. The Although you may have heard otherwise, there’s low-calorie yogurt instead of candy, pastries
government has given most manufacturers until no nutritional advantage to honey, brown sugar, and cookies.
July 26, 2018 to start using the new nutrition la- fruit juice concentrate or other types of sugar
bel format, which includes other changes as well. over white sugar. OTHER SURPRISING SOURCES
While current nutrition labels report total grams If you are able to keep added sugars to a mini- Added sugars also hide in a lot of your favor-
of sugar in a serving of a product, until the new mum, you can decrease your risk of obesity, dia- ite foods: barbecue sauce, chocolate milk, cole
nutrition labels are in use, the amount of added betes and other health problems by: slaw, dried fruit, granola, instant oatmeal, jelly
sugars is not listed. (On the new label, added sug-  Drinking water or other calorie-free drinks and fruit jams, ketchup, protein bars, spaghetti
ars will be a subcategory of sugars.) For now, the instead of sugary sodas, sports drinks and sauce and sweetened teas.
only reliable way to identify added sugars is to coffee drinks.
look at the ingredient list. If you see sugar listed  Making sure your fruit juice is 100 percent ONE LAST TIP TO HELP LOWER YOUR
among the first few ingredients, the product is fruit juice – not juice drinks that have ADDED SUGAR INTAKE
likely to be high in added sugars. added sugars. Even better, eat the fruit Cut out processed foods. These are often high in
ADDED SUGAR HAS MANY NAMES rather than drink the juice. added sugar, fat and sodium.
Even when you read ingredient lists and food la-  Choosing breakfast cereals with less sugar.
bels, it’s difficult to identify added sugars. Check Skip sugary and frosted cereals. We’ll conclude this nutrition series next time
for ingredients ending in “ose”– that’s the chemi-  Opting for reduced-sugar varieties of syrups, with practical step-by-step instructions to help
cal name for many types of sugar, such as fruc- jams, jellies and preserves. you actually use the information listed on a nu-
tose, glucose, maltose and dextrose. Other com-  Choosing fresh fruit for dessert instead of trition label to make better food choices. 
mon types of added sugars are: cakes, cookies, pies, ice cream and other sweets.
 Cane juice and cane syrup Your comments and suggestions for future topics are
always welcome. Email us at [email protected].

© 2016 Vero Beach 32963 Media, all rights reserved

44 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


A walk through a forest might never munch them. Not only that, they in the United States in September, start using up space and water, which
be the same again after reading this also give off a gas to warn nearby the book has popped up on both the weakens the old tree, but only a little.
elucidating book, which makes a case trees that then immediately release Washington Post and New York Times Then, about 150 years later – as Wohl-
for trees as social beings that com- toxic substances to protect them- bestseller lists. leben points out again and again,
municate, feel and help each other. selves – these are “arboreal early– trees “live life in the slow lane” – the
“The Hidden Life of Trees” explains warning systems,” as Wohlleben ex- I’m usually not keen on anthropo- beech, which can grow taller than the
that trees use scent to talk, “agree” to plains. Other species in temperate morphizing nature – and here trees oak, finally overtakes it and soaks up
bloom together and take communal rain forests in North America send are “nursing their babies” and having all the sunlight. The oak now finds
action against pests. Bizarre as this chemical distress signals and elec- “a long leisurely breakfast in the sun,” itself in the shade, which means that
might sound, the author Peter Wohl- trical impulses through the fungal while “alders flaunt their wealth” and sugar production goes down. And so
leben is not a New Age disciple who networks at their root tips when fungus mushrooms are “rascals” who the old oak starves and dies after a few
conjured up some crazy esoteric vi- under attack from insects, thereby “steal” sugar and nutrients. These more decades.
sions but a forester in Germany who alerting their neighbors to the im- cutesy expressions make me cringe.
underpins (most) of his ideas with pending danger. Why can’t we see nature on nature’s Wohlleben is a passionate advocate
hard scientific data. He refers, for ex- terms? But I have to admit that Wohlle- for ancient forests because what he
ample, to studies in which scientists Wohlleben explains that trees ben pulls it off – most of the time – be- describes does not work in planta-
have discovered what one called the are connected through their root cause he sticks with scientific research tions, where trees start life with dam-
“wood wide web” – in which trees “ex- systems and that they not only ex- and has a knack for making complex aged root systems (“the brain-like
change news about insects, drought, change nutrients but even help biology simple and thoroughly enjoy- structures are cut off”) and without
and other dangers.” sickly neighbors. They are, he able. And frankly, right now, nature “learning” from the older generation.
writes, “superorganisms with in- needs every little help there is. So, if They are “loners,” as opposed to the
Umbrella thorn acacias in the Af- terconnections much like ant Wohlleben’s decision to anthropo- social beings in undisturbed forests.
rican savannah, for example, pump colonies.” Together they balance morphize nature got more than half a Wohlleben concludes his book with
toxins into their leaves when giraffes out extreme weather (by creating million Germans to be excited about an evocative description of the trans-
microclimates), protect one another trees and ancient forests, I do hope he formation of a conifer plantation that
against storms and pests, store water can do the same for Americans. begins with the arrival of tiny bark
and generate humidity. Each member beetles and ends with an ancient for-
in the community is valuable. He writes about “youngsters,” their est 500 years later. Patience clearly is a
He refers to research at the Univer- “mothers” and light deprivation, which virtue when it comes to forests.
sity of Bonn that indicates that trees is part of their “strict upbringing.” In
have “brain-like structures” at their an undisturbed forest, the canopies of Much has been written in Germany
root tips that analyze toxic substanc- old trees capture 97 percent of the sun, about Wohlleben’s claim that trees
es and soil conditions and then send which doesn’t leave much for the young communicate with one another –
electrical impulses to redirect root ones below, but that’s good because which is fascinating – but “The Hidden
growth. Many scientists doubt that trees need to grow slowly in order to live Life of Trees” is much more: It’s a decla-
this is enough to be called a brain, but long. Their wood gets denser (the in- ration of love and an engrossing primer
Wohlleben welcomes the idea of blur- ner cells hardly contain any air), which on trees, brimming with facts and an
ring the boundaries between plants makes them less prone to breaking and unashamed awe for nature. Most of
and animals. more resistant against fungi and pests. all it’s a timely reminder that we know
“The Hidden Life of Trees” caused very little about trees – and that there is
quite a stir when it was published last In one chapter, Wohlleben de- still so much more to learn. 
year in Germany, where it is still on scribes a beech as being very social to
the bestseller lists. Wohlleben’s Cana- its own kind but a bully to others such THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES
dian publisher, Greystone Books, now as the oak. For my taste, it’s borderline WHAT THEY FEEL, HOW THEY COMMUNICATE:
hopes to achieve the same in the Eng- anthropomorphic, but he vividly ex-
lish-speaking world – and I think the plains the battle between trees: how DISCOVERIES FROM A SECRET WORLD
firm might be right. Since its release young beech saplings grow quietly in BY PETER WOHLLEBEN
the shadow of a mighty oak. Below
the surface, however, the little trees Greystone. 271 pp. $24.95.
Review by Andrea Wulf, The Washington Post


Thursday, October 20th at 6pm TOP 5 FICTION TOP 5 NON-FICTION BESTSELLER | KIDS
1. Razor Girl BY CARL HIAASEN 1. The Power of Mercury 1. Dog Man BY DAV PILKEY
Coming soon as a major motion picture 2. Home BY HARLAN COBEN 2. Harry Potter and the Cursed
3. The Woman in Cabin 10 BY LESLIE MCGUIRK
THE CURSED MAN BY RUTH WARE 2. Best. State. Ever 3. Ada Twist, Scientist

Saturday, October 22nd at 11am 4. A Great Reckoning BY DAVE BARRY BY ANDREA BEAT

Bad Kitty Scaredy Cat Day! BY ROBERT B. PARKER & 3. Killing the Rising Sun 4. Fish in a Tree

Take a picture with Bad Kitty!
5. A Gentleman in Moscow 4. Born to Run 5. The Terrible Two BY MAC BARNETT


5. The Year of Voting

392 Miracle Mile (21st Street), Vero Beach | 772.569.2050 |

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 45


Fees taking a hefty toll on car-rental customers

BY CHRISTOPHER ELLIOTT are common, offer an optional way to your toll could help consumers. It’s
pay for tolls, according to the company. hard to imagine HTA fighting a com-
The Washington Post pany like BancPass unless a lot of mon-
Kaiser could have paid his bridge ey is at stake. Hundreds of millions of
Car-rental companies are collect- toll in cash and avoided the fees – but dollars a year, maybe.
ing millions in toll fees – from their if a camera caught a glimpse of his
customers. plate in a noncash lane, then he would In the meantime, if you’re renting a
have automatically enrolled himself in car, and are considering using a bridge,
When he crossed the San Mateo- the program. And the program is not tunnel or toll road, make sure you
Hayward Bridge in Northern Califor- cheap. Avis charges a convenience fee study the rental agreement carefully.
nia, James Kaiser expected Avis to bill of $3.95 for each day of the entire rental If you’re not sure of the fees, choose an
him for the $5 toll. It did, then it added period, including any days on which alternate route – just to be safe. 
a convenience fee – of $19.75. e-Toll is not used, up to a maximum of
$19.75 per rental month, plus any tolls
“I had no idea I’d be charged that at the maximum prevailing rates post-
much,” says Kaiser, a photographer ed by the toll authority.
and guidebook author who had been
on assignment in Yosemite National Billing policies for toll roads vary
Park. “No one explained how the sys- widely. For example, Hertz charges
tem worked.” $4.95 per day for PlatePass, its electron-
ic tolling product, up to a maximum of
To Kaiser, the fees seem excessive, $24.75 per rental, but it keeps charging
and he wonders where all the money is you by the day even if you don’t incur
going. It turns out that there are a lot of a toll. If you don’t opt in to Sixt’s pro-
motorists like him who are also look- prietary tolling program (rates vary by
ing for answers. state), and do not pay tolls with cash
or a credit card, you are automatically
They recently got one, courtesy of enrolled in its pay-per-use program,
suits and countersuits between Banc- which is the cost of the toll plus a $5 ad-
Pass and Highway Toll Administra- ministration fee per toll.
tion (HTA). In case you’re just tuning
in, BancPass makes a smartphone app Whether these tolling systems are
for paying tolls; HTA is a company that a source of profits or not, one thing is
offers electronic toll-payment services clear: They’re pretty confusing.
for several large car-rental companies.
BancPass claims HTA interfered with Consider what happened to Harvey
its business when it pressured Apple Moshman, a television producer from
and Google to remove PToll from its Chicago, when he recently rented a
app stores in 2014. car from Advantage in Orlando. It
charges $7 per day for Pay-By-Plate, its
Court documents suggest that car- tolling program.
rental customers pay millions in com-
bined fees and tolls every year. David “Pay-By-Plate is not explained to
Centner, HTA’s chief executive, says you at the counter,” he says. “On the
that most of the money collected cov- rental agreement, it states that any
ers tolls, not fees. Even so, the court- manned or unmanned toll that you
room revelations bring up an impor- violate during the rental period will
tant question: How do you avoid these result in a $25 administrative fee per
fees the next time you rent a car? toll violation. To me, violate means
willfully deciding not to pay – to blow
Public court filings and statements through a tollbooth.”
made in open court by HTA’s lawyers
indicate that the fees beyond actual But he didn’t willfully commit any
tolls collected by car-rental companies toll violations. Rather, he used toll roads
could be as high as $250 million an- that didn’t have any booths, not real-
nually, with at least half of that going izing that doing so without a payment
directly to the companies. That’s the device would incur a penalty. “There
conclusion of Glenn Deitiker, president was no opportunity to pay,” he says.
of BancPass, who said he believes tolls
and the related fees are a massive profit Total damage: $77.38 for three tolls.
center for car-rental companies. Advantage may not have told him
about the fees verbally, but his rental
“That is why the car-rental industry agreement and the company website
came down so hard on us,” he said. are clear. Advantage promotes its sys-
tem as one that offers “speed and con-
Centner, however, says that HTA “is venience” for customers, explaining
not making hundreds of millions of that drivers will pay the cash or pay-
dollars on this program.” by-mail toll rate as published by the
toll authority, whichever is higher, plus
Rental car tolls and fees have been a service fee per rental day or a maxi-
something of a mystery for years. Avis mum monthly fee. The fees vary by lo-
explains the system Kaiser encoun- cation.
tered, called e-Toll, as an electronic toll- Is there a better way? Certainly, hav-
collection program that “makes road ing an app or another way of settling
travel more convenient.” The tran-
sponders, which come preinstalled in
vehicles that are used where toll roads

46 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Inside the juggernaut: Coach explains Vero’s success

BY RON HOLUB VBHS football coach Lenny Jankowski. picked right up where they left off “The QBs we’ve had here enjoy go-
and hasn’t missed a beat through six ing to practice, work hard on and off
Correspondent PHOTO BY DENISE RITCHIE games with a 73 percent completion the field, are very good in the class-
rate for 1445 yards and 19 TDs. room, have a high football IQ, and
Congratulations are warranted and the last one to leave. they are good teammates. I couldn’t
perhaps overdue when you consider “Those are some of the intangibles “Sometimes the players and their be more proud of them.”
the astounding numbers associated parents aren’t willing to – or can’t – put
with Vero Beach High football teams and you couldn’t have a better face for in that extra time,” Jankowski said. Of course, the QB does not win
over the past six seasons under head our team. Here’s a guy who has put in “These guys we just talked about were games by himself. The rest of the
coach Lenny Jankowski. his time. He knows the offense as well willing to do that and have achieved team is loaded with speed and size
as I do. We have great conversations great success. They worked very hard from the extensive talent pool avail-
For fans accustomed to week-to- during practices and games, both at it and did all the things that are re- able across our entire community. He
week excellence on the field dating when it’s going well and when it’s not quired for guys to progress. said, “I don’t think it’s any secret that
back many years, some might say vic- going well. you have to have good players to win
tory in the present day has been greet- “We’ve got 43 sports teams here. games. We certainly have our share of
ed with nonchalance. When the streak “He and I are rarely not on the same The ‘program’ athlete – the guy or the good players.
of consecutive regular season wins hit page. We get things together pretty girl – that comes through the system
the 30 mark last month, it was time to quickly. He handles himself very well and progresses as a player through “On top of that, they have other
step back and take a tiny glimpse into and our other starting QBs shared sub-varsity teams and sometimes in great qualities. First and foremost our
how this is being done. those characteristics.” a backup role is for whatever reason a players are very unselfish and they
dying breed. play very well as a team. If you talk to
Jankowski’s teams are 54-8 overall Jankowski’s past two starters, Car- any of them you’ll realize that’s their
and 51-3 in regular-season games. The son Proctor and Carter Stanley, went mindset and goal. Aside from being
2016 version was 6-0 when Matthew through a similar apprenticeship. talented they are a lot of fun to be
blitzed through last week and tempo- They eventually achieved great suc- around.”
rarily ruined the party. cess under center as seniors. Dean
Jankowski doubles as the athletic
Talk to any coach and they will for- director and can be drawn in many
ever tell you success starts on the of- different directions. He first started
fensive and defensive lines. Jankowski coaching football at age 22 and went
is no exception, but his teams have through a “program” similar to the
taken it a step further. An efficient one that proved beneficial for some of
passing game has been a signature his players. He has reached a point of
feature and – even in a pass-happy era personal and professional satisfaction.
in the pros and college – that has not
always been the easiest aspect to de- “Being the AD comes with a lot of
velop on the high school level. Espe- important responsibilities, but get-
cially with a new starting quarterback ting on the field every day is definitely
almost every year. the most enjoyable part,” Jankowski
told us. “I really look forward to foot-
“We work very hard at it,” Jankowski ball practice. That’s all I’ve ever done.
said. “I’ve been lucky to have some That’s all I’ve ever known.
very good QBs. Take Mike Dean, for
example, and really our last three “I enjoy the preparation and get-
starters. They have all been ‘program’ ting our teams ready to play. It’s a
guys. That seems to be a dying breed challenge each and every day in the
in an instant gratification world. sport of football. We’ve got some great
coaches. They are a lot of fun to be
“Mike Dean was our JV QB in his around and I’ve got a lot of respect for
sophomore year. He played sparing- them. They do a great job.
ly as the varsity backup last season.
Then he gets his opportunity this year “I enjoy coming to work every day. I
as a senior. He’s our hardest working get to work with great people. I have a
guy. He’s the first one to practice and very rewarding profession.” 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 47


Hardiness allows us to reclaim hope, no matter the season


Maybe residents of every area of THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES
the world need to be hardy. When we AFTER THE STORM
lived in the Midwest and endured rag-
ing, frigid snowstorms that rattled the Yet, observing nature’s response to It was the wrong season, yes, but they tion floods in and sweeps everything
windows, froze the water pipes, piled hurricanes can be instructive for us as couldn't stop. They looked like tele- away, the green buds spring up out of
snowdrifts across the front door and we fashion our own adaptive response phone poles and didn't care. And after season. Nature seems prepared to re-
trapped us inside for days on end, to storms, can’t it? The wonderfully the leaves came blossoms. For some ceive the thrust of new life whenever
we called ourselves hardy. But we’ve insightful poet Mary Oliver has writ- things there are no wrong seasons. and however it arrives.
heard friends that hail from other re- ten a poem entitled “Hurricane,” in Which is what I dream of for me.”
gions and nations describe torrential which she masterfully describes wit- Perhaps we are constructed to re-
rains or earthquakes or mudslides nessing the devastation to trees, bent How do we storm-tossed souls keep ceive that infusion of new life, too,
or tornadoes or droughts they’ve and shorn of their leaves by hurricane doing it? How do we find the strength even when it seems out of season. If
withstood, and then calmly assert winds. They stood naked and vulner- to face the devastations of life, time we’ve lost a loved one, a job, a relation-
that people who dare to live there, of able after the storm. Oliver allows that after time, and carry on with confi- ship, our health, our expected future,
course, need to be hardy. she has also experienced a more indi- dence, hope and grace? we may feel shorn of faith and trust
vidual and personal hurricane in her and everything that made life worth-
Recently, we Floridians – and in fact, life, with what felt like equal devasta- The poet who wrote the biblical while. We may feel it cannot come to
residents all up and down the eastern tion. She concludes her poem with book of Ecclesiastes claimed that for us again. But surely there is no wrong
seaboard – have another reason to call these words: “But listen now to what everything there was a season, and a season for reclaiming hope. We can
ourselves hardy. We have just weath- happened to the actual trees; toward time for every purpose under heaven. dare to dream because after all, God
ered Hurricane Matthew and its after- the end of that summer they pushed Generally it’s true, the seasons are as seems to have built hardiness into us,
effects of power outages, floods, torn new leaves from their stubbed limbs. dependable and as inevitable as the and fashions us to receive new life, in
landscapes, and even, tragically, lost passing of time itself. But sometimes, any season. 
lives. For many there will be a long as Mary Oliver notes, when devasta-
and agonizing time ahead to reach a
state of recovery. Our hardiness now,
as perhaps at other times, has been
sorely tested.

48 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Bonz: My man Max has need-to-know info

Hi Dog Buddies! mans! It's a cooperative effort between were abandoned or turned in. MvoaluxnatnederHSuhmerarnyeSShoivceielyty.
the County's Emergency Management, “But what if we do get separated from
This week, I'm putting on my Serious Services, Animal Control, the School 3485; after-hours emergencies: VB Police
Hat, to give you a bunch of Important District, the Humane Society, and the our humans? I knew a Pomeranian once – 772-978-4600; Sheriff – 772-569-6700.
Information about how us pets can help Red Cross. My pal John King – he's the who got so scared of a thunderstorm,
our Humans get ready for a hurricane. human in charge of the county's Emer- he busted out the screen door and ran “And it’s a good idea to check local
I went to my Go-To Pooch Pal, Max the gency Services – told me the pet-friendly away. Got picked up by a Big Rig driver mainland motels to see what their pet
Mutt, who does PR for the Vero Beach shelter is Really Cool Dog Biscuits be- and ended up in Boise.” policies are, Just In Case. For addi-
and Indian River County Humane Soci- cause sometimes people who should tional information,” Max added, “You
ety. I know a bunch of you know all about evacuate decide to stay in their houses “That's why we should all have ID can call the Humane Society: 772-388-
that place cuz that's where your humans during emergencies because they can't tags or a chip. (You can get free ID tags 3331 ext. 10.”
got you, right? Anyway, Me and Max find anywhere that'll take their pets. at the Humane Society.) Then, when
were on the phone this morning and I That's scary.” everything calms down, whoever So, Pet Buddies, I hope you and your
got a lotta good info for you to pass on to finds us can call our humans,” Max ex- humans made it through Matthew okey-
your humans. I nodded. plained. “ID is the KEY! dokey, and you can share all Max's great
“The pet-friendly shelter does require info to be even more prepared for the
First off, you can go to the county us pooches to show proof we've had our “When your humans are making next storm. Maybe it'll be Hurricane
website – – where rabies shots. (Cats too.) And they want their Emergency Supplies Kit, they Lassie. Or Hurricane Marmaduke. Or
there's lots of what-to-do-when-there's- us to register as early as possible. And should make one for you, too, with all Tropical Storm Snoopy. Whaddya think?
a-hurricane information, including stuff remember, the shelter's only for families your stuff: leash, carrier, water, food
about us pets. OR, you can go straight to who're in an evacuation area AND don't in a watertight container, dishes, can Till next time,
Max's Humane Society website – www. have any place else to go. There's only opener, toys, treats, poop bags, scoop, He has put together this paw- room for a couple hundred pets in the health records and meds. Cats gotta The Bonz
some brochure, “If You Go, They Go! Di- shelter and there are about 80,000 pet have their litter boxes, too.”
saster Planning for Pet Owners.” companions in this county!” Don’t Be Shy
“Shut the Doghouse Door!” I ex- I had a Thought. “How 'bout a picture
“First thing to remember,” said Max, claimed, taking notes like crazy. of us with our humans?” We are always looking for pets
“is: Humans should NEVER leave their “I Woof You Not! The best place for us with interesting stories.
pet behind alone. EVER! So that means and our humans to stay is in ushully our “Great idea, Bonz!” Max said. “And the
stay home together, or go to friends or very own home. But not always!” more we get our humans to Plan Ahead, To set up an interview, email
family together. Sometimes, your hu- “Why not,” I wondered. I mean, that's the better it'll be when a storm does [email protected].
mans don't have a choice except to where all my stuff is. And my fluffy bed. come. Like know special phone num-
board you, in which case, you gotta be “Because, Bonzo, if you live on the bers, and motels that are pet-friendly
brave, and trust them to come back. Barrier Island or in a mobile home, you Just In Case. Wherever you end up, get
Don't let yourself worry. Hey, you might should evacuate, or sometimes the Hu- your humans to bring enough food
even make cool new pooch friends. If mans In Charge tell you you HAFF to, cuz and stuff for you to last two weeks. Cuz
you HAFF to evacuate, and don't have of safety. I recommend that pet owners you Never Know. That story about your
any other places to go, you could evacu- who live in evacuation areas make prior Pomeranian pal reminded me that, if
ate to a special shelter together.” arrangements to go to homes of friends you're the kinda poocheroo who gets
or relatives outside the area. Because, if wa-ay nervous traveling or in a storm or
“Right, Max!” I said. “I just found out you don't, you could get washed away or in a strange place, have your human talk
about a shelter here in Indian River blown away. Or both!” to your vet about getting you some Chill
County that's Pet Friendly. It's at Liberty “OK. Thanks! Important safety tip! It's Pills or something to calm you down.”
Magnet School, 6850 81st St.! And I heard good to know there's a shelter like that
us pets AND our humans can go there! around here. There's nothing worse than “Dog! You sure know a lotta important
That's Seriously Cool Dog Biscuits!” being scared any way and then having to stuff!”
be separated from your family. It causes
“True enough, Bonz,” Max said in a Se- lotsa pooches flashbacks to when they “Thanks!” he said. “I wanna give you
rious Voice. “At last, us pets have an Of- a little list of Important Phone Numbers.
ficial Shelter where we can bring our hu- Ready?”

“Yep!” My paw was getting a cramp.
“Injured or lost animals: VB/IRC Hu-
mane Society – 772-388-4592 (lost and
found); IRC Animal Control – 772-226-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 49


763 Q942 10
By Phillip Alder - Bridge Columnist Q 10 J762 AK4
AK8764 Q3 J 10 5 2
There was a sizable entry to my latest competition. In four hearts, many ducked the 97 A 10 8 J6532
first trick, hoping West would not find the club shift. In the real world, that might
work, but not in a competition. Only two had the play problem correct: Bob Owens of SOUTH
Slidell, Louisiana, and Paul Simonsen of Vallejo, California. But Simonsen did better AKJ85
on the subsidiary questions to win the first prize of one month’s subscription to www. 9853 Owens gets two weeks. 9
This deal from Steve Conrad of Manhasset, New York, is a good defensive lesson.

In a pair event, North-South pushed into four spades. Given the vulnerability, East
should have doubled, hoping to go plus 200 and beat everyone making 130 in

West led the diamond ace and continued with the diamond king. South ruffed, drew
trumps, and cashed the clubs, ending in the dummy. Then came a low heart. How
should East have analyzed the position?

East should have known that West had started with three spades, six diamonds, two Dealer: North; Vulnerable: North-South
clubs and, therefore, only two hearts. Thus declarer had four hearts. So, it could not
cost for East to play low. Then, West would have taken the trick, and the contract The Bidding:
would have gone down.
However, East won with his heart king. Now, if he had continued with his low heart (or Pass Pass
a diamond, conceding a useless ruff-and-sluff), the contract would still have failed. 1 Spades 2 Diamonds 2 Spades 3 Diamonds LEAD:
But he cashed the heart ace, squashing his partner’s queen. Keep counting. 3 Spades Pass Pass 4 Diamonds A Diamonds
Pass Pass 4 Spades All Pass

50 Vero Beach 32963 / October 13, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™



7 Smash (5) 1 Hamper (6)
4 Pose (3) 2 Deserve (4)
6 Gloomy (3) 3 Massage (5)
8 Furtive (13) 4 Group (3)
9 Reside (5) 5 Altogether (7)
11 Hike (4) 6 Dearth (8)
13 Hire (5) 7 Crave (6)
14 Fund (5) 10 Additional (5)
15 Apparent (5) 12 Appraise (8)
16 Flex (4) 14 Patella (7)
18 Accurate (5) 15 Examine (6)
21 Solo (13) 17 Lethal (6)
23 Observe (3) 19 Garbage (5)
24 Skillet (3) 20 Partiality (4)
25 Rash (5) 22 Chaps (3)

The Telegraph

Coastal Business How to do Sudoku:

INTERMEDIARIES Fill in the grid so the
numbers one through
in every column, row
FOR SALE and three-by-three

CALL: 813.857.2000

The Telegraph

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