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Published by Vero Beach 32963 Media, 2017-01-20 11:24:53



Erosion uncovers ‘geo tubes’ on
beach at John’s Island. P11
For many, PBA is no
laughing matter. P52
Ex-CIA director tells Vero

of his concerns about Trump . P10

Bidding war at Bioenergy firm
Central Beach ups its bid for
house auction INEOS plant

Staff Writer Staff Writer

A house auction in Central The West Palm Beach-based

Beach produced some drama bioenergy firm angling to buy

last Saturday, when two wom- the defunct INEOS plant out

en got into a prolonged back by the landfill to produce eth-

and forth bidding war that anol from yard waste says it’s

lasted 25 minutes and pushed upping its offer for the prop-

the sale price of the home up erty in hopes of speeding up

from around $380,000 to more the takeover process.

than half a million. Daniel de Liege, CEO of Al-

Ron Rennick of Rennick Auc- liance BioEnergy, had a two-

tions was offering the 3-bed- PHOTO BY GORDON RADFORD hour meeting with high-level
room, 2.5-bath, 2,550-square- U.S. Department of Agricul-

foot house at 716 Conn Way Should kids be operating power boats on their own? ture decision-makers on Dec.
in what he characterized as an 29 where he pitched his offer
“absolute auction,” meaning and plan for the factory. He

there was no reserve or mini- said the officials were “very

mum price. “Whoever has the BY RAY MCNULTY in our local waters – especial- That question continues to supportive and very interest-
high bid will get the house, ab- Staff Writer ed in our technology.”
solutely,” Rennick said the day ly when they’re without adult be asked weeks after 15-year-
But Anchor Bank, which
supervision. old Vero Beach High School

before the auction. Vero Marine Center co- “I’m sure they’re out there,” freshman Jimmy Graves died holds the USDA-backed

Built in 1953 and later en- owner Brian Cunningham he said, “probably in smaller in a boating accident in the $49-million note on the

larged, the frame ranch-style said he doesn’t see many mi- boats and around the islands.” Indian River Lagoon. INEOS property, has hired a

home has the great virtue of nors operating motor boats But should he see any at all? CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 California broker to market


Attorney tells City Council full sale MY Ocean Grill owner on African horseback safari
of Vero Electric not going to happen VERO

BY LISA ZAHNER Vero electric for $185 million BY RAY MCNULTY Charley with Joey and Coleman Replogle. Fortunately, his horse was.
Staff Writer in 2011 after Florida Power & Staff Writer As his 11-person party
Light had offered $100 million came upon a male lion
It was no shock when attor- cash. There was this one mo- lounging in the grass only 25
ney Tom Cloud told the Vero ment during his recent Af- yards away, Replogle said he
Beach City Council last week Cloud was interviewing for rican horseback safari when was “fiddling with his cam-
that getting out of the electric the job of handling the sale Ocean Grill owner Charley era” – trying to adjust the
business isn’t going to hap- of Indian River Shores’ 3,000 Replogle wasn’t paying at- zoom lens while holding the
pen. After all, Cloud was part electric customers to Florida tention to his surroundings.
of the team that appraised Power & Light – a bid he lost to CONTINUED ON PAGE 7


January 19, 2017 Volume 10, Issue 3 Newsstand Price $1.00 Havana great time
at ‘Vintage Cuba’
News 1-12 Faith 66 Pets 46 TO ADVERTISE CALL gala. Page 17
Arts 25-32 Games 47-49 Real Estate 69-80 772-559-4187
Books 42-43 Health 51-55 St Ed’s 44
Dining 60 Insight 33-50 Style 56-59 FOR CIRCULATION
Editorial 38 People 13-24 Wine 61 CALL 772-226-7925

© 2017 Vero Beach 32963 Media LLC. All rights reserved.

2 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Vero Electric closing the sale, the Gray Robinson ful spending, its outrageous executive associate out, as long as they’d trav-
firm he is part of had a few major compensation and its risky hedging eled to Vero for the meeting. But in the
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 things going against it, including ap- practices by bringing the organization end, after hearing Cloud pan the full
parent conflict of interest. under state regulation, Cannon railed sale of the city’s electric utility, Moss
Nathaniel Doliner of mega-firm Carl- against it. voted with Howle and Sykes.
ton Fields – but since all five members Cloud tried to talk around it and
of the current council have gone on explain that a Chinese firewall sepa- NEWS ANALYSIS Another factor that could easily
record as being for a complete sale of rates him from the firm’s new hot-shot have disqualified Cloud from repre-
the system, that topic came up. And Tallahassee lobbyist, former Florida It was this association that led Coun- senting Vero in a full sale is the fact
Cloud, never passing up the opportu- House Speaker Dean Cannon, but it cilman Lange Sykes to make a motion that he serves as contract City Attor-
nity to demonstrate his legal prowess, fell on deaf ears. to thank the Gray Robinson guys for ney for Ft. Meade, one of Vero’s fellow
dug his own proverbial grave. their time, but to hire Carlton Fields 31 FMPA member cities.
Cannon lobbies for the FMPA’s polit- even before Cloud had the chance to
But even before Cloud opined that ical wing, the Florida Municipal Elec- make his pitch. Mayor Laura Moss New FMPA President Jacob Williams
the Florida Municipal Power Agency’s tric Association, and he has gone after voted with councilmen Dick Winger earlier this month told the Vero coun-
membership pacts were basically Vero Beach with a vengeance for his and Tony Young to hear Cloud and his cil that, to complete a full sale, every
ironclad and would prevent Vero from client. When legislators tried to hold member city would need to vote to do
the FMPA accountable for its waste- so, because every other member city
would need to execute a brand new
contract with FMPA, sans Vero. That
would place Cloud on both sides of the
transaction – brokering the deal for
Vero and advising his own Ft. Meade
City Council about whether or not
they should let Vero out of the co-op.

Admitting in public that the FMPA
contracts, to which Ft. Meade is a party,
are insurmountable, effectively splayed
Cloud’s hand for all to see on that one.

So rather than hire the lawyer al-
ready dead-set against a full sale, Vero
plods forward with solid, experienced
counsel who said he didn’t really know
enough about the city’s contracts with
FMPA to render an immediate opin-
ion. Doliner and his associates were
asked to submit terms to the city coun-
cil for a vote. Councilman Tony Young
said up-front that he would vote no to
the hire if the quoted hourly rate in the
$500 range was still in the paperwork.

Vero is in the market for a transac-
tional attorney with utilities experi-
ence because the newly formulated
council after the November election
cleaned house, firing prior attorney
Robert Scheffel “Schef” Wright. Wright
was put in charge of Vero’s utilities le-
gal team in April 2014, but made no
headway on the sale or on finding a
way out of the FMPA’s contracts.

While details are worked out to
engage Doliner and his firm, Mayor
Laura Moss is standing in as lead ne-
gotiator for the city, accompanying
City Manager Jim O’Connor and Elec-
tric Utility Director Ted Fletcher to key
meetings. Moss said O’Connor and
Fletcher have been actively engaging
FPL’s top technical staff to iron out ex-
actly what would be required to carve
the Shores out of Vero’s system.

Moss has been hands-on in the ef-
fort, too, going on tours of all the facil-
ities in question, looking at the poles
and wires and substations involved in
the partial sale so when specific items
come up in negotiations, she is well-
prepared with many of her questions
already answered.

FPL is scheduled to bring back a
working draft of a formal purchase
and sale agreement by the end of
March, but FMPA chief Williams says

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 3


the FMPA bondholders must sign off He said a bond counsel could pro- sure all Vero’s hired guns are truly on “swaps” for hundreds of millions of dol-
on the Shores sale, and that effort will vide a written opinion on several Vero’s side and not the FMPA’s, the city lars of funding on a coal plant in Taylor
take months to make happen. questions the city needs to find the is also looking to hire a new financial County which was never permitted.
answers to early on, namely, “Does the advisor.
Vero has not yet decided how it would partial sale as structured in the FP&L A state audit of the FMPA deter-
use the $30 million proceeds from the letter of intent or in the final contract Craig Dunlap of Dunlap and Associ- mined that the use of fuel hedging
Shores sale, but one option would be violate any of the bond covenants and ates resigned last month after council and financial vehicles like the Taylor
to pay off its $24 million in debt on the conditions, and, what are the redemp- members expressed concerns regard- Swaps were not consistent with indus-
electric utility. Calling those bonds is tion provisions of the remarketed Se- ing Dunlap’s long-time role in advising try standard and were too risky for the
something the city council knows little ries 2003A bonds?” the FMPA, and his role in the incredibly co-op to engage in. The board subse-
about, so they’ve invited Vero’s bond costly Taylor Swaps debacle, in which quently voted to end the speculative
attorneys, Marchena and Graham, to As part of this wider effort to make the FMPA invested in interest rate practices. 
brief them on what can be done, when
the bonds can be paid off and what, if
any costs or penalties the city might
face for defeasing those bonds prior to
their full term.

“In order to complete the proposed
partial sale of the electric utility to In-
dian River Shores, the City needs the
services of a bond counsel to clarify
the requirements of the Series 2003A
debt covenants and conditions,”
O’Connor told the council in a memo.


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Exclusively John’s Island

the plant, which might delay a closing Nestled along a protected Indian River cove, this exquisite, French-inspired
if the broker opts to open the sale to 4BR/4.5BA riverfront retreat enjoy breathtaking pool and water views of a private
competitive bidding. To forestall that, estuary with lush mangroves. Designed by famed architect, Harry “Bo” MacEwen,
de Liege said Monday his company is this beautiful home features 7,055± GSF, Brazilian Cherry and tumbled marble
“significantly increasing” its offer. flooring, T&G ceilings, screened verandah with built-in grill, two fireplaces, library,
bonus study, 1st floor master suite, dock with lift & convenient west gate access.
Alliance is only interested in INEOS’ 11 Sago Palm Road : $4,350,000
property, equipment and contracts
with the county for the yard waste three championship golf courses : 17 har-tru courts : beach club : squash
material, not the INEOS technology or health & fitness center : pickleball : croquet : vertical equity membership
the deep well injection rights that go
with the site. 772.231.0900 : Vero Beach, FL :

Rights to use the patented process
INEOS attempted at the Vero plant
have already been sold off to a Chi-
nese company that reportedly did not
want the Vero facility. Nebraska-based
Anchor Bank began the voluntary
take-back of the property from INEOS
in November, but the USDA must ap-
prove the buyer due to a clause in the
federally-backed loan.

“Everything is still going well from
our perspective, but they’re not sure
if they’re going to open it up to other
bidders,” de Liege said of Los Angeles-
based Ocean Park Advisors, the spe-
cialty firm handling the sale.

De Liege said county officials he’s met
with have been very encouraging, and
that several have contacted the USDA
to support Alliance’s offer – which if ac-
cepted will keep the plant open and re-
tain a number of well-paying jobs.

Time is of the essence with regard
to making the deal work, however, de
Liege said, because he needs a steady
stream of vegetative waste to fuel his
patented cellulose-to-sugar process
for making ethanol and byproduct
electricity out of grass clippings, palm
fronds and other yard waste.

INEOS had a contract with the


4 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


INEOS search facility, would be needed to con-
vert the existing bioethanol plant and
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 electric generators to operate the sim-
pler mechanical process Alliance uses.
county to mulch and dispose of yard
waste, using it as feedstock for its own Employing a technique developed
ethanol process and spreading it as by a University of Central Florida en-
cover at the landfill. gineer and researcher, Alliance would
pound the plant material with a ball-
“If they get into a bidding situation, bearing device, adding Kaolinte clay as
the county could get into a contract a catalyst to release the cellulose sugar
[with someone else] for the mulching and energy. The cheap sugar, produced
and the feedstock could go away, and for less than five cents per pound,
if the feedstock went away, we would would then be fermented into low-cost
have to go to Plan B out of state,” de ethanol for industrial applications.
Liege said. “Hopefully Ocean Park and
the bank would put the jobs and the County Solid Waste Director Himan-
impact to the community over a few shu Mehta said the temporary deal the
dollars – because a few dollars is what county has with an INEOS subcontrac-
we would be talking about if it goes tor to mulch yard waste at the landfill
into a bidding situation.” expires on March 31.

Meanwhile, de Liege has been Regardless of what happens to the
strengthening his network in the com- INEOS plant, he said, the county needs
munity based on his confidence that to secure an arrangement to make sure
he’s going to buy the INEOS plant. the yard waste gets ground up and has
a place to go.
Since Vero Beach 32963 broke the
story that Alliance is negotiating to “We’ve got to take care of our cus-
purchase the plant, convert it and tomers,” said Mehta, who was among
keep dozens of skilled jobs in Indian a handful of county officials who met
River County, de Liege said five key with de Liege last Tuesday about pos-
INEOS employees, both current and sibly assigning the deal the county had
former, have reached out to him about with INEOS over to Alliance should
working for Alliance. the takeover proceed. “We’ve got to
protect our residents and make sure
Those key people, plus scientists we have a contract in place.”
from Alliance’s Longwood, Florida, re-
The Solid Waste Disposal District is

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 5


up against the steep hurdle of meeting a on the Demandstar system, with open- The county uses mulch as landfill cov- yard waste is a key component of the
state-mandated goal of recycling 75 per- ing of the sealed bids set for Feb. 17. er, and also for landscaping at Sandridge county’s plan to meet the 75-percent
cent of the county’s solid waste stream, Golf Course. The mulch that’s been pro- state benchmark, but those credits were
and the county is soliciting bidders for “We’ve written into the bid that duced since the operation was moved not coming back to the county while ev-
the mulching work and the work of we control 100 percent of the mate- from INEOS to the landfill on Jan. 3 is erything hung in limbo with INEOS and
hauling the mulched material off the rial; that means we can choose to keep being stockpiled for those purposes. no one quite knew what if any energy or
landfill site. The bid packet is published some of it and have the rest hauled
away, or we can keep all of it,” he said. Getting proper credit for recycling CONTINUED ON PAGE 6



675 Beachland Boulevard Oceanfront Townhome $2.3 Million
O’Dare/French 772.234.5093
772.234.5555 More Info:
Our Unrivaled Global Network

Ocean Pearl Lots $3.995 Million Each 8050 Oceanfront Residences Starting at $2.995 Million Palm Island Plantation $1.75 Million
French/O’Dare 772.231.7525 Info: Kay Brown 772.234.5332 Info: Brown/Harris 772.234.5332 Info:

6 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


INEOS Kids boating In the meantime, the accident has boat. In most regulated states, the
raised questions about Florida laws operators must be at least 12 years
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 governing the operation of motor old, and some require the presence of
boats by minors, particularly those an adult and/or a boater-education
ethanol was being produced there. At The Florida Fish and Wildlife Con- under age 16. certificate.
best, the county got credit for a fraction servation Commission’s investigation
of the tonnage of plant material being is “still ongoing,” agency spokesman According to the FWC’s website: “No Many have age-related restrictions
mulched by INEOS. Chad Weber said, and a full report person under 14 years of age may op- that depend on horsepower. Cali-
might not be available until early Feb- erate any personal watercraft, such as fornia and Texas, for example, have
If Alliance purchases the plant and ruary. Thus far, few details have been a jet ski. There is no minimum age for a minimum age of 16 for operating
brokers a deal to take over mulching the released. operating other types of boats.” boats with motors of 15 horsepower
yard waste, Mehta said he and Utilities or more.
Director Vincent Burke would need to The FWC reported that Graves was The only requirement is that those
go to Tallahassee armed with hard data knocked out of a 17-foot Boston Whal- born after Jan. 1, 1988, must carry a At the other end of the spectrum,
about Alliance’s process to try to in- er at about 10:45 a.m. on the first Sun- photo ID and an FWC-issued boater age is the lone requirement in Arizo-
crease the recycling credits given to the day in December, when the boat hit safety card to operate a vessel pow- na (12), Kansas (12), Wisconsin (12),
county by FDEP to better reflect the ac- a wave about a half-mile south of the ered by 10 horsepower or more. New Mexico (13), Nebraska (14) and
tual tonnage of material being recycled. 17th Street Bridge. He did not surface Utah (16).
after falling overboard. The FWC card shows that the op-
The fact that Alliance’s process was erator completed the eight-hour in- “I’ve traveled around a bit, and
invented by a well-regarded University Divers found Graves’ body three struction requirement established there’s no consistency on a federal
of Florida scientist and tested at the uni- hours later with the help of an un- by the National Association of State level,” Cunningham said. “There are
versity for years, then commercialized derwater side-scanning sonar unit Boating Law Administrators; passed some places that require a boating li-
and further researched at a Florida lo- brought in by the St. Lucie County a course equivalency examination cense, even for adults, or they require
cation, could facilitate a good outcome Sheriff’s Office, but, as of Monday, approved by the FWC; or passed a a license to rent a boat.
for the county with state officials. “But the FWC had not identified the boat’s temporary certificate examination
we need to approach DEP now and start 15-year-old operator or its owner, nor approved by the FWC. “I don’t know that those places are
talking to them about how the recycling have investigators determined if the necessarily safer.”
credits would work,” Mehta said. boys were wearing life jackets. However, minors are exempt from
the boater-education requirement if Should Florida set a minimum age
If the mulch is hauled out of the Weber said the FWC would not there is an adult onboard who holds for operating motor boats, or at least
county, say to a compost manufactur- name the teen operating the boat – a boater safety card or is not required require minors under a certain age to
ing operation, the county gets ton-for- Graves’ friend – at the time of the in- to have one. The adult must be “atten- be accompanied by an adult certified
ton credit, even though trucking the cident because investigators hadn’t dant to and take responsibility for the in boater safety?
material increases the carbon foot- yet determined whether charges were safe operation of the vessel.”
print of recycling the yard waste.  forthcoming. Would changing the law make
Only 32 of the 50 states have a legal boating safer – for minors and adults
minimum age for operating a motor – on the state’s waters?

“In light of what happened a cou-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 11


Erosion uncovers ‘geo tubes’ on beach at John’s Island

BY LISA ZAHNER ball” if they intend to protect the beaches struction delays due to weather, equip- County officials estimate it will take
that fuel the area’s economic engine. ment failures and nasty legal disputes more than $14 million to fix the damage
Staff Writer among the subcontractors mining and Matthew did to area beaches, including
In the dog days of summer 2004, two placing the sand, but in the end the nearly $6 million needed to design and
Despite tens of millions of dollars major hurricanes, Frances and Jeanne, county considered it a success. construct replenished beaches within
pumped into North Barrier Island battered Indian River County just a few the city limits of Vero Beach
sand replenishment projects over the weeks apart, devastating the island Just months after the project was
past half-dozen years, the beachfront and area beaches. From 2009 to 2012, completed, however, Hurricane San- As a stop-gap move, the Vero Beach
in John’s Island is more badly eroded the county replenished the sand along dy roared up the coast, gobbling up City Council was set this Tuesday to
now than it has been anytime in re- a 6.6-mile stretch of shoreline from countless tons of sand. The county got approve a $391,000 contract for a Palm
cent memory, with erosion control John’s Island to Golden Sands Park to federal dollars to repair some of the Bay company to shore-up critical in-
structures installed 50 years ago ex- repair damage. damage to the dunes, but Hurricane frastructure at the Conn Beach area in
posed for the first time in decades. Matthew was another major setback. two phases. 
The project was plagued with con-
Last week, oceanfront residents re-
ported a collection of dark plastic-
wrapped bundles lining the beach at the
north end of John’s Island, one of the old-
est and most exclusive beach and coun-
try club communities on the island.

A reader-submitted photo of the
mysterious objects looked almost like
the bales of marijuana that occasion-
ally wash up on Florida’s shores, but
their placement seemed too deliber-
ate and the number way too large.

Indian River Shores Public Safety
Chief Rich Rosell said he had not re-
ceived any calls about suspicious ob-
jects on that part of the beach and
sent an officer to check it out. The odd
objects, according to Town Manager
Robbie Stabe, turned out to be a sys-
tem of “geo tubes” that had been in-
stalled for erosion control.

Longtime John’s Island resident War-
ren Schwerin, who helped develop the
private community back in the 1960s
and 1970s, said the dark-green objects,
which look to be wrapped in a tarp-like
material, are components of a system
designed to protect multimillion-dollar
homes that line the oceanfront there.

“Those are sandbags installed about
50 years ago by the developer of John’s
Island. Until Matthew and last week's
Nor’easter, they were 5 feet below the
surface,” Schwerin said.

Indian River County did not have a
Public Works Department or any engi-
neers on staff in the 1960s and so did not
inspect or approve the structure. Coun-
ty Coastal Engineer James Gray said he
was aware the devices were out there,
but that he has no record of when the
rudimentary barrier-style erosion-con-
trol system was installed or by whom.

“The sand filled container systems
... are not new. I don’t know the exact
history of the installation as they were
put in before my time with the county.
However, on occasion they do become
exposed following a prolonged period
of rough surf or from a major storm
event,” Gray said.

The erosion is worse now, post-Mat-
thew, than it was after the major hurri-
canes in 2004, Schwerin said, adding that
government officials need to “get on the

12 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Laura Zorc pushes for purchase of land near Vero High

BY KATHLEEN SLOAN much value to our district not to pursue echoed by the Indian River Neighbor- The county lost interest in the prop-
Staff Writer it,” School Board Member Laura Zorc hood Association. erty because the three baseball fields
said at last week’s school board meeting. on the land are not regulation size and
A new school board member and a “The Indian River Neighborhood are too land-locked to be expanded,
citizens’ organization that promotes Zorc was successful in getting ne- Association is very concerned the 16th said Sheila Votzi, a county parks divi-
good land use are trying to put the gotiations with the county reopened Street ball fields’ property will be sold sion employee.
brakes on the county effort to sell off after unsuccessfully pitching the same to private developers for high-density
to a private developer 12 acres at the idea at the December board meeting. residential use,” said acting Executive “The school district has been aware
corner of 16th Street and 20th Avenue Director Carter Taylor. for a year we want to get rid of the
across from Vero Beach High. “We don’t need it,” Superintendent property,” County Administrator Jason
Mark Rendell said in December, a po- “It is a very unique piece of property, Brown said.
“I would like strong negotiations sition supported by Zorc’s fellow board smack dab in the middle of the Vero
opened up on this property. It has too members. Beach High School campus. The dis- In that time the school district made
trict has a large investment there.” one offer, a land swap with no cash,
But this month, Zorc’s views were which was turned down by county

“We have offered them valuable
land next to Sebastian River High
School, but the county wouldn’t agree
to it,” School Board Member Dale Sim-
chick said at last week’s meeting.

“Let me tell you the characteristics
of that property,” Brown said. “In ex-
change for more than 11 acres, they
offered us a strip of land, about 1,800
feet by 8 feet, which is less than an
acre, on Sebastian River High School
grounds. The idea was we could build a
sidewalk on the land, essentially mak-
ing it easier for their students to get to
their high school. We’ve already built
a sidewalk connection to the school,
along Vero Lakes Estates. It sounds like
a great deal for the school district, but
not so great for the county.”

About two months ago, Rendell
again offered the same parcel to the
county at a meeting with Brown, but
the county commission, after waiting
a year, had already directed staff to sell
the land by the high school for cash,
Brown said.

Zorc has learned the district’s Land
Use and Acquisitions Committee rec-
ommended last March the district ac-
quire the property. She also noted Ren-
dell never followed up with Brown’s
request to see a list of other school
properties for trade.

“That’s not how it ended,” Rendell said.
“Brown said the county was not inter-
ested in a trade, they wanted cash. Even
though the Land Use Committee recom-
mended acquisition, I’ve no permission
from the board to spend money.”

The county’s emphasis on cash from
the school district may be a case of tit-
for-tat. “There is a little bit of history
there,” Brown said. “About 10 years
ago the county needed to widen a
road and the school district charged
$380,000 for the land.”

“We are being so naïve if we think
we don’t need this land,” Zorc said.
“We don’t know what we need, be-
cause we have no five-, 10-, 20-year
comprehensive plan.”

The board agreed to reopen negotia-
tions on the land with the county. 

14 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


All good: JI Community Service event hails successes

Patti Martin, Karen Drury and Elissa Holmes. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Mark Rendell, Tiffany Justice, Hope Woodhouse and Barbara Hammond.

Kathie Pierce, Jean Ueltschi and Sonny Nelson. Sarah Wendt, Laura Rebell Gross and Fenia Hiaasen. Ginger Kent, Debbie Berghorst and Joanie Paulsen.

BY MARY SCHENKEL dent, introduced and shared the im- nearly every field and occupy more build the confidence they will need,
pressive accomplishments of Laura than 90 percent of top positions. she added, “We teach our student to
Staff Writer Rebell Gross, whose mother and step- know that they’re valuable just by
father, Susan and Peter Solomon, are Gross said Tisch recognized that being themselves. As a result, when
Pat Thompson, current John’s Is- John’s Island residents. providing girls with a high-quality, our students get to college, they not
land Community Service League single-sex education gives them an only have a voice, they know how to
president, welcomed guests to the Gross began her relationship with advantage in life. She wanted to give use it. We want our students to know
group’s 37th annual luncheon last the flagship Young Women’s Leader- inner-city girls the same standard of that they are capable of being tomor-
Monday at the John’s Island Golf ship School of Harlem in 1998. After education afforded students in elite row’s engineers, financial advisers,
Club. The luncheon featured key- moving to Rochester, N.Y., the mother all-girl private schools. nonprofit leaders and business ex-
note speaker Laura Rebell Gross, who of three – husband Michael is an or- ecutives. In fact, we are counting on
spoke about the remarkable Young thopedic trauma surgeon – co-found- Their success has been nothing them to lead our country forward.” 
Women’s Leadership Network. ed the Young Women’s College Prep short of miraculous. Under the tu-
Charter School, before returning to telage of highly-trained, dedicated Betsy Prezioso, Michelle Gee and Lynn Babicka.
Before Gross spoke, Thompson NYC, where she is now YWLN Man- teachers and counselors, students
related that JICSL fundraising ef- aging Director of Girls’ Education. have a graduation rate of more than Pat Brier, Betsy Fox and Hope Woodhouse.
forts began in 1980 when it formed 96 percent and a college acceptance SERVICE LEAGUE PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
when they raised $25,000 through YWLN was founded in 1996 by Ann rate of nearly 100 percent. Students
their Tambourine Thrift Shop. This Rubenstein Tisch, who partnered have obtained undergraduate and
past year they raised an incredible with the NYC Board of Education to graduate degrees from some of the
$904,107, funneling the money back open the first public all-girls school top colleges and universities in the
into the community through grants in the United States in 30 years. There country and the schools’ alumnae
toward the operational expenses are now five NYC schools and their are achieving outstanding success in
of 38 nonprofit organizations and extraordinary success has inspired their careers.
scholarships to children of John’s Is- the development of affiliated single-
land employees. sex schools throughout the country. “There was lots of opposition, but
Its College Bound Initiative assists it was also hugely supported by the
“That’s more than we’ve ever giv- both boys and girls and, thanks to board of education, the city school
en,” said Thompson, noting that the community support, YWLN has pro- chancellor and the mayor. The school
league has become considerably vided more than $65 million in finan- was an unprecedented public/private
more than just a fundraising vehicle. cial aid awards. partnership; a public school with a
“We are out in the community lead- private school mission,” said Gross.
ing the way. We’re in the trenches; we “Today more than ever before in “Our girls came to school every day
are changing people’s minds. We re- the United States, women are achiev- in their uniforms, ready and excited
ally have become a major force in this ing great success,” said Gross before to learn.”
community.” remarking that despite great strides,
men still earn more than women in Stressing that they provide all
Woodhouse, JICSL first vice presi- the essential elements to help girls

16 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


SERVICE LEAGUE PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 Pat Thompson, Colleen Bonner and Louie Hoblitzell. Warren Schwerin, Mike McManus and Peter Solomon.
Sherrie Petermann, Faith Horton and Katherine Seem.

Jeanne Manley and Marlen Higgs. Kate Thornton and Martinna Dill. Sue Ann Siegelbaum and Linda Williams. Diane Feeley and Richard Canty.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 17


Everyone was Havana great time at ‘Vintage Cuba’ gala

Staff Writer

The Environmental Learning Cen- ELC PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 18
ter introduced un poco de Cuba to
Vero Beach at its Vintage Cuba – Circa Petra Blackman, Sara Lloyd, Emily Taft and
1951 Gala last Friday evening at the
Orchid Island Beach Club. The theme Allison Varricchio. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE
of the 26th annual gala was inspired
by a recent ELC fundraising trip to Auctioneer Wesley Davis kept
the island nation. things lively as he auctioned off a host
of unique items, including trips and
“We had so much fun connecting adventures, and, of course, Cuban Ha-
with Cuba’s people and their culture vana Club Rum and cigars.
and wanted to bring this lively atmo-
sphere to our gala this year, but with “This is our biggest fundraiser of
a historical flair remembering Cuba the year and proceeds help us educate
as it was in the 1950s,” explained ELC people, showing them how to inter-
Development Director Camille Yates. act with nature to improve their own
well-being, but also to conserve and
The Cuban eco-tour had focused protect our precious environment in-
on the environment, gardens, art, cluding the Indian River Lagoon,” said
music, architecture and the people Yates.
of the country, which has undergone
little change since 1961 when the U.S. They hoped to raise $140,000 to help
cut diplomatic relations. sustain and grow the 64-acre lagoon
island nature preserve, and its educa-
“Many of our supporters remember tional programs and facilities.
Cuba in 1951,” shared Nance Hatch,
marketing and communications di- “The ELC is near and dear to my
rector. “So the theme was a perfect fit heart,” said event co-chair Allison
given the recent lift on travel restric- Varicchio, who was drawn to the or-
tions and our visit to Cuba.” ganization 10 years ago. “All three of
my children went to the camps, and
The committee did an excellent job we always go to the Ecofest. The ELC
blending a Cuban essence with the is a big part of the community, and I
ELC mission to educate, inspire and believe we need to educate everyone
empower everyone to be active stew- about the importance of the lagoon.”
ards of the environment and their
own well-being. The ELC has recently added new
EcoVenture boat trips, an EcoTalk se-
Co-chair Sara Lloyd noted that ries and Adventures in Learning with
they made a successful change to prominent speakers, and they are cur-
digital invitations last year, noting, rently laying out plans for campus im-
“It just made sense to be more envi- provements and a capital campaign.
ronmentally conscious and cut costs
at the same time.” The Amazon Center for Environ-
mental Education and Research Foun-
The oceanfront garden was abuzz dation has lined up another special
as the sellout crowd of 210 guests en- ELC trip; this time to the Peruvian
joyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres Amazon Rainforest, Andes Mountains,
while perusing the selection of in- Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. The
credible silent- and live-auction trip is scheduled for May 1-11 and the
items. Gentlemen in fedoras and registration deadline is Feb. 10. For de-
women adorned in tropical colors tails visit 
sipped on mojitos and enjoyed balmy
ocean breezes and a full moon un-
der colored streamers reminiscent of
nights in Havana.

Upstairs, guests dined at tables
set with napkin rings accented by
antique cigar labels, tropical center-
pieces and chocolate cigars. The dé-
cor and Orchid Island’s architecture
enhanced the feeling of being trans-
ported to our island neighbors to the
south. The Cuban-themed dinner of
mojo pork loin with black bean rice
cakes and dessert of flan with gua-
va created a festival of flavor before
guests danced to music by The Killer

18 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


ELC PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 Camille Yates, P.R. Steinfurth and Marcia Fordyce. George Connelly, Maureen Baus, Eileen Connelly and Bob Baus.
Tim Buhl, Molly Steinwald and Dave Morgan.

Carol Buhl and Barbara Morgan. Tom and Marilyn Rooney.

Tony and Irina Fernandez. Karen and Bob Ritter.

Molly and Luke Webb. Shannon Kazen and Mark Butterworth.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 19


Anita Daniels with Martin and Jennifer Anderson. Ned and Sherry Ann Dayton with Stephanie and Jeff Pickering. Brennan and Christine Kahler, with Aurelija and Michael Merrill.

Ann Marie and Dr. Hugh McCrystal. Ellie and Bob McCabe. Tiffany Justice, Kelly Legler, Rebecca Emmons, Megan Raasveldt, Karen O’Brien and Lilly Ellis.

20 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Kids get kick out of Quail Valley Charities fun run

1 23


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Roughly 250 participants and
volunteers gathered Saturday
morning at Quail Valley River Club
to take part in the Quail Valley
Charities 15th annual Charity
Cup Week’s Kickoff 1-Mile Kids’
Fun Run & 5K Walk/Run. The hit
of the morning was Truman, the
gorgeous 9-month-old St. Bernard
pup owned by Steve and Kathy
Mulvey, who wanted nothing more
than to run with the children.
The now two-week-long series
of events, which also includes
bridge, tennis, golf and gourmet
dinners, culminates this Saturday
with the Charity Cup Gala. Funds
benefit local nonprofit programs
that have a focus on children and
education. 

1. Cathy Filusch, Cynthia Falardeau and Gail Kinney.

2. QVC Kids race with Truman the St Bernard.

3. Chris Curley, Destiny Pickard and Luciano

Franceschi. 4. Jeff Petersen with children Weston

and Greysen. 5. Amy Harwick and Erin Clinton.

6. Alice Knowles. 7. Bill Penney and Chad

Morrison. 8. Overall female winner for the Kids

Race, Scarlett Higgins. 9. Joanna Meyer, Carol

Fischman, Susan Temple, Wanda Lincoln and


22 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


American Muscle Car Museum revs up for fundraisers

BY MARY SCHENKEL Mark Pieloch with his 1966 Ford Mustang convertible. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE and an auction featuring books and
Staff Writer memorabilia autographed by Brian
County to host an event at the mu- Participants will gather at the Redman, jewelry and fabulous trip
The most unusual aspect of the re- seum – the 2017 Vero Road Rally Tour Fellsmere Health Center at 9 a.m. packages.
cently opened American Muscle Car Magnifique with honorary co-chairs for coffee and bagels before head-
Museum in Melbourne – aside from James and Dawn Redman. Tickets ing out together at 10 a.m. for the Pieloch, raised in a blue-collar
its magnificent collection of mint- are $125 and will help fund a much- trip to the impressive new museum. Boston family where education was
condition cars and trucks – is that needed update of the Fellsmere In addition to being among the first deemed paramount, worked his way
the facility only opens its doors for Health Center, the first of the TCCH to experience this singular opportu- through college to earn advanced
nonprofit fundraisers, car activities facilities and easily its busiest. nity, guests will enjoy food, drinks degrees in pharmacology and busi-
and educational opportunities. Its ness.
opening fundraiser in October ben-
efitted the American Cancer Society Over the years he established and
and it’s been nonstop ever since. sold a number of pet pharmaceutical
businesses and still maintains own-
“We’re not open to the public and ership of PF Inc., formerly known as
we have no plans to be open to the Pet Flavors.
public,” says owner Mark Pieloch,
who has residences in both Orchid Before moving to Florida, Pieloch
Island and Melbourne Beach. “We owned a 42,000-square-foot car fa-
really want to focus on being a desti- cility in Nebraska but was so busy
nation property. The goal of hosting establishing his businesses that he
the fundraisers is to raise at least $1 only had enough time to invite in
million for local charities. Looking an occasional school or car group. It
at the events we have on schedule wasn’t until he sold off five of his six
we’re easily going to meet our goal.” businesses that he was able to con-
centrate on his dream of building a
On Saturday, Feb. 25, Treasure car museum.
Coast Community Health will be
the first nonprofit outside of Brevard “I was into cars ever since I was a
little kid. I still have all my Match-
box cars,” says Pieloch. “I started

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 23


restoring my first car when I was in “Right now we’re not taking any women’s, pediatric and mental- MUSCLE CAR PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 24
high school.” more bookings for nonprofit fun- health care, dental care, discount
draising activities within the mu- drugs, an on-site lab, EKG and X-
In 2014 he purchased the Mel- seum, because we’re basically full. rays. It served more than 16,000
bourne property, primarily because With only three full-time employ- unduplicated patients last year and
Florida was conducive to year- ees we don’t have the capability to expects that number to increase by
round activities. Construction of do any more than we are already. 3,000 this year. Staying true to its
the 123,000-square-foot museum My goal is not to be over 26 week- mission of serving the community’s
took a little over two years to com- ends within a year; it was originally most vulnerable individuals and
plete. The abundant Florida sun- 12 per year. Because of the newness families regardless of their abil-
shine was another advantage. A I think we’ve been overrun with ity to pay, more than 90 percent of
hurricane-resistant, green facility, charities. I think in 2018 it will slow TCCH patients live in poverty.
the museum is completely powered down.”
by 1,200 solar panels (40 structures, To register for the Vero Road Rally,
30 per structure). Treasure Coast Community call Dennis Bartholomew at 772-257-
Health currently has five locations 8224 ext. 201. For information about
The museum boasts a in Indian River County, providing the museum, visit americanmuscle-
90,000-square-foot main display quality services including primary, 
area, 18,000-square-foot showroom
with numerous auto-related col-
lectibles, and a 15,000-square-foot
maintenance and restoration fa-
cility. An expansive parking lot –
enough to park 600 cars on concrete
and still maintain a 10-foot-wide
space between them – is ideal for
outdoor car shows and low-speed
autocross events.

But the real sparkle emanates
from Pieloch’s extensive collection
of roughly 270 mostly American-
made classic cars (nine Porches and
one Ferrari were thrown in for good
measure), valued at somewhere
around $32 million. The museum
is home to what he calls a “Who’s
Who” of American Muscle cars,
including the largest collection of
Yenko Super Camaros in the world,
and 45 out of 61 years (1955 to 2016)
of Indy pace cars. Baby-boomers
will especially love the stroll down
memory lane, revisiting the days
of drive-in movies, family car trips
and cruising “American Graffiti”-

And, while it’s hard to pick a fa-
vorite, Pieloch admits he has a
fondness for the midnight blue 1966
Shelby Cobra 427. But then again,
his favorite car year is 1957, the year
he was born and the year iconic
tailfins peaked.

Lately, Pieloch has spent much
of his time meeting with nonprofit
representatives about fundraisers
already on the books. The number
currently stands at 27 – three each
car shows and autocross events plus
21 events ranging from small spon-
sored receptions to ticketed fund-
raisers with upwards of 300 people.

For the charities, use of the mu-
seum is like manna from heaven.
Pieloch charges them nothing and
basically gives them free rein with
their events.

“We just let them have the facility.
What really makes it possible is that
we have about 40 volunteers who
help with the events; many from car
clubs. Without them we wouldn’t
be able to do this because we don’t
have the staff,” he explains.

24 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™




26 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


‘Natural Wonders’: Stringer gallery mingles old, new

BY ELLEN FISCHER situated exclusively in Vero Beach. Its Natural Wonders at the J.M. Stringer Galler. P HOTOS BY DENISE RITCHIE
Columnist Ocean Drive location is well-placed to
tempt collectors of the finer things in journs hang all over the gallery. His of stately coconut palms syncopate the
Partners John Stringer and Caesar life, including antique paintings and landscape paintings in the show in- horizontal seascape beyond them.
Mistretta of the J.M. Stringer Gallery sculptures from England, Continental clude “The Great Inland Sea,” a cattle
are so copacetic in their views on the Europe and the United States, as well pasture guarded by a lofty sable palm; It is, however, Sundwall’s Florida
art of collecting that each man can as recent works by some of today’s top “Dawn on Dixie Highway,” a blazing bird series that steals the show. Among
continue the other’s thoughts – as U.S. regionalists, several of whom live sunrise over a marshy patch of green; those paintings are “Just Looking,”
they did recently concerning a col- in Vero Beach. and “Peace and Plenty,” in which a row in which a group of inquisitive ibises
lection of ancient sculpture and pot- check out a colorful pottery display be-
tery they are offering on behalf of a On a recent weekday, Stringer and
downsizing collector. Mistretta were busy changing out the
gallery for the opening of “Natural
“We have nine pieces at the mo- Wonders,” a new painting exhibition
ment,” says Stringer. by contemporary realists Joseph Sun-
dwall and Luke Steadman.
“Great provenance,” adds Mistretta.
“The woman who owns these was Based in a small town in the Hud-
one of the major dealers in the Unit- son River Valley, Sundwall has been
ed States and did all the top shows,” represented by Stringer Gallery for
Stringer explains. some 15 years. In northern climes
“She’s not in the business any- the painter is known, among other
more,” says Mistretta, “and she has things, for his pictures of mounted
chosen us to – ” foxhunters navigating stands of ma-
“Right,” says Stringer. “It fits with ple and red oak, but don’t expect that
what we do.” subject matter here.
“Another element of beauty,” says
Mistretta. “He’s rather taken with Vero,” says
“Of course,” agrees Stringer. Stringer.
Although its first home was in New
Jersey, today J.M. Stringer Gallery is “He travels here quite a bit, as you
can see,” adds Mistretta.

Evidence of Sundwall’s Florida so-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 27


John Stringer, Luke Steadman, Caesar Mistretta, and Joe Sundwall. Steadman’s “Tran- says Stringer. “Together they com- mascots. But it is the pair of life-sized
P HOTOS BY DENISE RITCHIE quil Sky and Gentle plement one another.” sandhill cranes posted on either side
of a pilastered entryway that upstages
Rhythms.” A classic In addition to the work of Sundwall all the rest.
and Steadman, Stringer Gallery is also
seascape, the square currently displaying paintings by gal- Joy Jackson’s still life paintings of a
lery staples John Phillip Osbourne of pot of pink orchids (“Orchid Island”)
composition divides New York and Mary Garrish of Merritt and a vase of Queen Anne’s lace (“Hail
Island, as well as the work of two Vero to the Queen”) flank a magnificent
the picture into Beach island residents, Joy Jackson 1924 portrait painting by Robert Lewis
and Cathy Ferrell. Reid (1862-1929).
three regions: lumi-
Dispersed throughout the gallery, “Look at the palette, the feeling of
nous sky, swelling Ferrell’s bronze animal sculptures them,” Stringer says of Jackson’s jade
represent a roll call from Noah’s ark. green, seafoam, pink and violet colors.
ocean, shining sand. There is a lion, an otter and a red fox,
sea turtles and porpoises, and even a “Look at how gorgeous they go with
That work’s pal- double portrait of the gallery’s Yorkie the Reid. Am I right?”

ette of cerulean, co- CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

balt blue, gray-green

and brown (with a

hint of reddish pur-

ple) opens a gleam-

ing window in the

fore an Ocean Drive shop; “Skyway,” a claret-colored wall surrounding it.

cloudless square of blue diagonally Steadman revels in the quality of

halved by a soaring pelican formation; Florida’s light. In the current show

and “Think Pink,” featuring two rose- he presents a range of atmospheric

ate spoonbills who dance and dabble moods, from a summer sunrise that GNARLY, DUDE

with their reflections in a blue pool. stains Vero’s lagoon pink and gold Retired skateboards, reimagined and
transformed by artist George Peterson
Luke Steadman came to Stringer (“Tranquil Morning”) to the amber into compelling works revealing wear,

Gallery not long after gallerist Anne crepuscule of day’s end (“Sunset on age and quiet strength.

McEvoy, who represented Steadman’s the Indian River”).

work for the past several years, closed Other Steadman paintings that

her Admiralty Gallery last spring. bridge the hours between dawn and

“We’ve always admired Luke’s dusk are “Morning Watch,” which es-

work, and now this is his home,” says pies a night heron in a covert of man-

Stringer. grove; and “Passing Showers,” of an

Steadman’s paintings fit right into afternoon cloudburst over the Indian

the gallery’s casually elegant ambi- River lagoon.

ance. In fact, the first painting the “Luke is a tonalist; Joe has that lit-

visitor sees upon entering the shop is tle pop of life and color in his work,”

Join the A.E. Backus Museum
for Sunday in Key West

A Little Getaway Right Here at Home

Lavish Brunch & Auction

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Pelican Yacht Club

1120 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce

11:30 – 3:00 PM

Door Prizes Galore
$75.00 per person
Paid Reservations are
required, seating is limited.

Please call 772-465-0630
to reserve your place today!


Call the
museum to join
or renew your

and order

Fort Pierce, Fl 34950 VERO BEACH, FL
7 72 . 2 3 4 . 6711

28 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 tions that grow in response to the Baton huge! Big ACO buzz
breadth of their collectors’ interests. as David Amado era begins
Indeed he is. The Jackson pieces The broader those interests, the bet-
amplify the colors in the Reid, an airy ter. BY MICHELLE GENZ ing a radiant smile, stepped out from
impressionist work that depicts one Staff Writer the wings. With a face as animated as
Miss Marion Wilma Sells convalesc- Gazing around at his gallery’s an acting class exercise, he raised his
ing at a Colorado Springs resort. eclectic display, Stringer says, “It It was the start of an era as the At- baton to begin.
just shows how you can mix paint- lantic Classical Orchestra’s first con-
At the center of Reid’s picture, a ings. cert of its 27th season last week got What followed – Smetana’s over-
blooming young woman smiles at us underway last week. ture to “The Bartered Bride,” followed
while a watchful nurse hovers; arrayed You don’t have to have all an- by Tchaikovsky’s Concerto for Piano
around the convalescent is her collec- tique paintings, or all contemporary First, though, there was the usual and Orchestra and Beethoven’s Fifth
tion of two rag dolls, a pair of Chinese works. If they have the right spirit, cacophony in three movements. Symphony – was tonic to an audience
dolls and an adorable witch in a wide they can look fantastic together.” eager to embrace the 48-year-old con-
skirt and peaked hat. Outside the win- From the wings of St. Edward’s ductor of the Delaware Symphony
dow a view of Pike’s Peak literally puts J.M. Stringer Gallery is at 3465 School’s Waxlax Performing Arts Cen- who now calls Florida’s south-central
the world at this young woman’s feet. Ocean Drive on Vero’s beach. The cur- ter, the screech of metal chairs and coast his second home.
rent show continues through Feb. 11.  music stands was the treble clef to
Stringer is an advocate of collec- the percussive thuds and clicks of as- “Here’s some news,” ACO’s presi-
sorted instrument cases. Then came dent and CEO Alan Hopper an-
the chatter, in a half-dozen languages nounced brightly two days after the
with artists here from Russia, Serbia, Vero concert. “A board member said
Uzbekistan, Ukraine, China, Venezu- the buzz on the golf course was all
ela – and that’s just the string instru- about the concert.”
ments. At last the instruments had
their say, each in conversation with its At all three venues where the
master, warming up, then tuning up. chamber orchestra performs – Vero,
Palm Beach Gardens and Stuart – re-
Finally silence fell, the focus of the action was the same. The warm, ap-
musicians palpable as the tenure of proachable and keenly talented con-
the chamber orchestra’s next music ductor had audience and orchestra
director began. David Amado, flash- alike in thrall.


Anyone can do it!
Lessons begin February 2.

Space Limited - Register Today!

Learn more & register at
[email protected] • 772-492-3243

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 29


ACO Opening concert at the Waxlax Performing Arts Center.

People “couldn’t hold back their Next month, Amado conducts a and composer awarded the Rappa- emeritus who retired in 2015 after 12
praise,” he said. “Through the re- concert of all opera music, including port Prize through the foundation of years with the orchestra.
hearsal process you could just see it: Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini, with Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport.
David brought such extreme clarity singers from the Young Artist Pro- Jerry Rappaport, former board chair Robertson, who retired for health
and nuance to the orchestra.” gram of the Palm Beach Opera per- of ACO, is a prominent Boston devel- reasons, is doing well, says the ACO’s
forming. oper now living in Stuart. In addi- Roden.
Amado, who trained first as a pia- tion to supporting music and art, the
nist at Juilliard before studying con- It won’t be until the March concert foundation provides scholarships Friday afternoon, Hopper was fer-
ducting at Indiana University, is the that Amado gets to conduct new mu- for medical research, mental health rying Amado’s family – wife Mer-
son of both a mother and grandmoth- sic, his passion since his days with and public policy. edith, a professional violinist, and
er who were prominent violinists. Sequitur, a group he founded while their three school-age children – to
He was selected by an eight-member a student at Juilliard that focused on The ACO is one of the few orga- Stuart’s Lyric Theatre, for the final
panel last spring, and the first of four recent compositions. nizations outside of Boston that concerts of this first program. The
finalists to audition. Setting the bar receives Rappaport Foundation day had been a mild but gloomy one,
high, as one board member put it Amado and the Delaware Orchestra support. In celebration of Jerry Rap- spritzing rain more in the style of a
then, he conducted the ACO’s first were nominated for a Latin Grammy paport’s 90th birthday, and to honor northern autumn day that Florida’s
concert of the season with three more in 2010 for a recording of a concerto Amado, the orchestra is hosting a customary deluge.
candidates following with concerts of by Brazilian guitarist and composer benefit gala March 12 at Willoughby
their own. Those four were selected Sergio Assad performed with the L.A. Golf Club Stuart. Still, to the family now living
from 130 applicants, all viewed on Guitar Quartet. in Maine, it was an invigorating
YouTube or in person. Among the expected guests: Stew- change if for no other reason than
The March ACO concert will pre- art Robertson, ACO’s conductor the strength of the sun’s rays.
Never mind the racket made before miere a work of Conrad Tao, a pianist
the concert; what followed each piece “It’s so bright!” the kids exclaimed. 
was noisier still. Thunderous ap-
plause and whoops of approval were
unleashed from a record number of
listeners in each venue – and includ-
ing a record number of newcomers, a
critical measure of the orchestra’s fu-
ture success. But the ovations were no
match for the power of the program’s
music, a greatest-hits collection of fa-
vorites that included Tchaikovsky’s
extraordinarily difficult Piano Con-
certo No. 1, played by a young Rus-
sian pianist, Vyacheslav Gryaznov,
who dazzled the crowd with his
power and precision, then topped
off his performance with an encore,
a charming polka by Rachmaninoff.
“Slava played a different encore every
night,” says Cindy Roden, ACO’s pub-
licity director.

The Vero audience included a bank
of students from Vero Beach High
School’s orchestra program, all there
with free tickets. Not that they didn’t
earn them: The students performed
for arriving guests on the terrace of
the St. Ed’s theater. Different student
musicians were to play at all the ACO
concerts, part of an accelerated effort
to reach out to student musicians.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 31

Larry Kagan. ARTS & THEATRE

Obluck precedes each film in the
series with a short talk, followed by
a question and answer period. The
films are screened on Tuesday af-
ternoons and evenings from March
21 to April 18.

Harry Sideropoulo.

Jeffrey Becton in ‘The View Out His Window’.

by Doug LeClaire, director of the se- practical joke goes awry; it just won
ries, the two-hour concert melds im- the People’s Choice award at the Los
portant international films of years Angeles Comedy Shorts Festival. The
past with new films winning festival event has sold out in prior years; tick-
awards. This year, the films include ets are $20.
“Rust,” a short directed by Halifax,
shrouded in mystery by their shad- Nova Scotia, director Ben Proudfoot 4 The museum’s film enthusi-
ows. Also on display, the large photo- about an artist who makes sculp- asts are also snapping up seats
graphs assembled in photo-montage tures out of rusted scrap metal. The
of Jeffrey Becton in The View Out His film took Best Short Film at the Sher- to its film studies series. The next
Window (And In His Mind’s Eye). burne International Film Expo in
September. And “Drawcard,” direct- two series are already sold out, so
The museum just announced its ed by Antonio Orean Barlin of Aus-
third Asbury Short Film concert tralia, about an office worker whose here’s a heads-up to take action
coming up Saturday, Feb. 11. Hosted
and sign up for “French Connec-

tions: Fiction and the French Cin-

ema.” Film studies director Warren CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

32 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™



5 The Vero Beach Theatre Guild ‘Chicago.’
is offering up an unusual event:
ater. It’s about the lone patron of
a one-weekend, one-man musical a French restaurant who decides
to starve himself to death, a blow
from South Africa here thanks to to the servers and chef, who ladle
out une grande bouffe of adjectives
the strings-pulling of theater vet- and empty platters. The show runs
through Feb. 5. 
eran Mark Wygonik.

“Sugar and Cream,” playing Feb.

3-5 as a fundraiser for the theater’s

new addition, stars Johannesburg

resident Harry Sideropoulos. It’s

the story of a Greek gourmand and

serial dieter in search of the perfect

baklava. Someone please take this

man to Tea and Chi’s Maria Sparsis,

who bakes the baklava for her shop.

Speaking of Sparsis, the gal-

lery that is home to her more per-

manent creations – her clay works Palm Beach Poetry Festival.

-- Flametree Gallery, is hosting etry Festival has been going on all
week in Delray Beach. The finale
Vero’s favorite poet Sean Sexton reading Saturday night includes
Dorianne Laux, winner of a Push-
next Thursday night, Jan. 26, for a cart prize, two NEA fellowships ken-word event with two of the trio
and a Guggenheim; David Baker, known as the Mayhem poets.
poetry reading. Sexton’s pottery art poetry editor of the Kenyon Re-
view currently teaching at Denison
is the current show at Flametree. University; and Ginger Murchison,
editor-in-chief of the Cortland Re-
Sexton, the grandson of Vero’s leg- view. The reading and book signing 7 If you can squeeze a couple of
begins at 7 p.m. seats out of Riverside Theatre
endary Waldo Sexton, is a rancher,
That’s followed at 9:30 by a spo-
an esteemed artist and a poet who this weekend, it’s the last chance to

has published a collection of his see “Chicago,” the record-smashing

poems, “Blood Writings,” with An- musical with which Riverside has

hinga Press, Florida’s best-known done a smashing job. Then, start-

literary imprint. ing Tuesday, Michael Hollinger’s

absurdist comedy “An Empty Plate

6 On the subject of poetry, the at the Café du Grand Boeuf” plays
13th annual Palm Beach Po-
in the theater’s black box the-

34 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Some years are bigger than others. Their numer- point in a trend. Voters throughout the West are re- degree has become the deepest of social dividing
als evoke phase shifts in the world, lurches into new volting against their establishments. They’re tired of lines. It’s about the speed of technological change, as
forms of political and cultural order. Think of 1968 globalization, tired of immigration, tired of the dimi- app follows app unto confusion everlasting.
and its explosion of youth unrest, 1989 and the col- nution of working-class economic dreams.
lapse of the wall between East and West, or 2001 and In sum, many voters in much of the West want to
the rise of Islamist terrorism. “Brexit” – the shock British vote in June to exit slow down and turn inward. In doing so they may be
the European Union – could be just the beginning. rejecting the world their grandparents created after
Will the future rate 2016 as one of these hinges? “Frexit” might be next. Marine Le Pen has promised a World War II, a web of alliances cemented by ever-
Donald Trump is the obvious place to begin the French referendum on leaving the EU if she’s elected freer trade and migration and anchored by American
discussion. In 2016 the United States elected the least president in 2017. military and diplomatic might.
conventional president in history. He ran on a plat-
form of return – the return of manufacturing jobs, a Euroskepticism is similarly rising in Italy and even “We appear to be entering a new age of populist
return of U.S. primacy, a return of order in a darken- Germany. Rightist nationalism is on the march in nationalism, in which the dominant liberal order
ing world. Austria, Hungary, Poland, Norway, and Greece. that has been constructed since the 1950s has come
“I alone can fix it,” he said during his acceptance under attack from angry and energized democratic
speech at the Republican National Convention in Pundits lump all this together as the rise of “popu- majorities,” wrote Francis Fukuyama, a senior fellow
Cleveland. lism.” That definition fits in the sense that much of it at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for
Starting Friday, he gets a chance to try. seems the anger of the many against the perceived International Studies.
But President-elect Trump may be just one data perfidy of a few. But it’s also about race, and the anxi-
ety of whites about their place in nations changing That said, this isn’t the 1930s. The darkest of ideo-
before their eyes. It’s about class, and how a college logical “isms” aren’t on the rise. Fascism is not back.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 35


gest party. But in multiparty parliamentary systems, anger of substantial numbers of citizens against their
they can be the biggest winners, since they are vital elites is palpable. Brexit was a huge shock to the Brit-
and growing. Seeing this, competing parties may feel ish political establishment and Europe as a whole.
they, too, need to adopt populist-tinged positions.
Trump’s subsequent victory was “Brexit times
“We fall into a bit of a trap to think they are the three,” according to Nigel Farage, the U.K. Indepen-
voice of the people,” says Mudde of France’s Nation- dence Party leader and a euroskeptic. Italy weighed
al Front and other similar parties. in with its own populist insurrection in December.
Call it Brexit with red sauce. An Italian vote essential-
And the uprising – if that’s what it is – isn’t global. It ly ousted technocrat Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
is the democracies of Europe and the U.S. where the
effects of globalization writ large are stirring populist Should Italy withdraw from Europe, it may actually
emotions. There are 7 billion people on the planet, have larger consequences than Brexit. Britain has al-
and it is only around 1 billion, the population of the ways been an EU outsider, reluctant to join, eager to
Western world, for whom immigration and job losses stand by the exits. Italy was one of the original nations
to adopt the common euro currency and has long
The continued flow of migrants into Europe has seen advantage in the idea of a united Continent.
fueled nationalist movements across the Continent.
An Italian bank collapse could take the euro with
Marine Le Pen, leader of it. Going forward, the existing shape of the world eco-
France’s National Front nomic system seems in question. Will the EU single
party. She is expected to market, the world’s largest, split into pieces? Can the
do well in French elections euro survive? WWTD? (What Will Trump Do?) How will
this spring. Asia’s rising economies deal with the chaos in theWest?

Supporters cheer for President-elect For rising populist politicians, the answer is to re-
Donald Trump at a rally. verse course. The current system serves only the few,
insist National Front leader Ms. Le Pen and others. In
Totalitarian communism survives only in North Ko- David Cameron stepped down as Prime Minister a recent interview with Foreign Affairs magazine, the
rea. The 2016 death of Fidel Castro is emblematic of in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. conservative French politician labeled globalization
the passing away of the old-time methods of organiz- “a form of totalitarianism” and called for an end to the
ing human repression. and free trade are the political drivers of the moment. euro, tighter immigration controls, and more govern-
“This notion that there is a huge backlash against ment intervention in the affairs of big corporations.
Nor is nationalistic populism a new majority reli-
gion. Trump is president by the vagaries of the Elec- globalization and trade is a bit overblown,” says Pas- Bucks aren’t the only things behind populism’s
toral College. The switch of a few tens of thousands of cal Lamy, former director general of the World Trade rise, of course. There’s also identity politics. Immi-
votes inWisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania would Organization. “This is only a small part of the world.” gration – legal, illegal, and crisis-created – is a huge
have produced President Hillary Clinton. His support- issue from the U.S. southern border to Berlin. Writing
ers turned out. A substantial number of hers did not. But it is an important part of the world. And the in The New York Times, former human rights lawyer
Amanda Taub calls it “the crisis of whiteness.”
In Europe the radical right wins outright in few
countries. (The nationalist conservative Fidesz party Whiteness, in this case, means skin color and/
in Hungary is an exception.) It draws about one-third or privilege, the right to belong to a group that’s in
of voters in the region overall, says Cas Mudde, a charge and dominates the majority culture.
Dutch native and expert on extremism who is an as-
sociate professor at the University of Georgia School Trump appealed to people with this grievance.
of Public and International Affairs. “Make America Great Again” – what does that real-
ly mean? To many, it means bringing back the time
In most countries, the new populists aren’t the big- when pressing “2” to hear a menu in Spanish wasn’t
an option. It means more factory jobs, but it also
means the days when city streets were full of white
people in sober work clothes, not a polyglot of races
and different faiths.

Trump didn’t invent this approach. In many ways,
he’s just the apotheosis of the Republican Party’s so-
called Southern Strategy, which dates to the days of
candidate Richard Nixon. Following the passage of
civil rights legislation under President Johnson, South-
ern working-class whites began moving en masse to
the GOP. Republican candidates up to and including
Ronald Reagan pushed “states’ rights” – an issue Dem-
ocrats charged was racially tinged. By the 1980s the
white working-class emotional connection to the old
Democratic Party, forged by F.D.R., the New Deal, and
big social programs, had effectively vanished.

Nor was Trump elected solely by white men in
pickups who fly Confederate flags. He received al-
most 63 million votes. You don’t get that many with-
out winning some women, some college-educated
voters, and even some minorities.

But in the aggregate, the 2016 divide along racial
and gender and education lines was striking. Trump
won 57 percent of whites, as opposed to the 37 percent
who voted for Mrs. Clinton, CNN exit polls showed.
He won 62 percent of white men, while Clinton won
31 percent. He won 71 percent of white men without
a college degree, while Clinton took only 23 percent.

Across the Atlantic it’s the same thing but differ-


36 Vero Beach 32963 / January 19, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


ent. Less-educated whites in European countries “Made In” labels on all the foreign-sourced products Then there’s the increased protectionism by
have a similar feeling that something is slipping away in Wal-Mart and Home Depot and generally feel as Group of Twenty countries, from tougher regula-
from them, but it’s rooted in unique problems. In the if the new world of free trade may be great for some tions on where banks hold capital to buy-local mea-
U.S., it’s illegal immigration across the southern bor- people but not for them. sures and other restrictions on trade. And all that
der that’s an issue. In the EU, it’s legal migrant work- was before the Brexit vote and election of Trump.
ers and refugees. “It used to be generally accepted that reducing That has proponents of freer trade reaching for his-
trade barriers increases prosperity and promotes torical analogies.
In Britain, Ms. May promises that Brexit means peace, benefiting investing and recipient countries
a free flow of goods across borders but a more con- and promoting international cooperation in solving In 1930, Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Tar-
trolled flow of people. Even in Germany, which has problems around the world,” wrote former Treasury iff Act, which imposed tariffs on more than 20,000
accepted more than 1 million asylum-seekers in re- Secretary Lawrence Summers. “Almost all of this was items. The result was to deepen and extend the Great
cent years, decidedly nonpopulist Chancellor Ange- called into question in 2016.” Depression. Globalization could absolutely go into
la Merkel now says Islamic full-face veils should be reverse, and it would be politics not economics that
banned “wherever legally possible” and that sharia In 1972, when trade was dominated by a handful would bring that about.
(Islamic law) will never replace German justice. of industrialized countries and China was a closed
economy, trade accounted for 27.1 percent of glob- If Trump truly wants to boost U.S. employment for
It’s the pace of societal change that may drive al output, according to World Bank figures. In 2008, less-educated workers, maybe he should keep a wary
these positions. In Britain, the foreign-born popula- trade reached 61.1 percent of global output. eye on Amazon and its experiment with unmanned
tion grew 66 percent between 2004 and 2014. In Ger- stores, or the start-up Otto and its work on self-driv-
many, it grew 75 percent between 2011 and 2015. In What’s going on? Start in Asia, the most dynamic ing trucks. Automation of retail and long-haul truck-
the U.S., it’s about doubled since 1990. economic region. Its largest economy, China, is mov- ing could be huge killers of jobs decades hence.
ing up the value chain. China is “moving from an
This rapid shift makes some whites feel their status economy based on assembly of other people’s com- “Trade was never the dominant reason why we
is in doubt. English villagers committed to Brexit com- ponents to increased production of those compo- saw the shrinking of manufacturing, and stopping
plained that in London they feel like strangers because nents in China,” says Robert Lawrence, a professor of trade certainly won’t be the solution,” says Law-
of the many Asian tourists and Middle Easterners. In international trade at Harvard University’s Kennedy rence, citing the effect of automation and technol-
Louisiana, rural whites told author Arlie Russell Hochs- School of Government. ogy on factory productivity.
child that they feel as if they’re in a line climbing a hill to
reach the American dream – but the line’s progress has At the same time, China is rebalancing its econo- 2017 is now picking up where 2016 leaves off,
stopped, as blacks and immigrants cut in front of them. my away from exports to domestic consumption. In geopolitically speaking. An inaugurated Trump may
2006, exports made up 35 percent of its total output, proceed with his promises to build the wall, block
“People feel it is not their country anymore,” says estimates Ghemawat. By 2015, that had fallen to 21 noncitizen Muslims, and cajole U.S. firms to keep
Mudde of the University of Georgia. “To a certain ex- percent. That matters: China is the world’s largest ex- jobs at home.
tent, it is not their country anymore.” porter of manufactured goods.
May might start Brexit negotiations and find the
Globalization helps drive this sense of loss. Many Other forces have slowed globalization’s march EU less forgiving than her voters want. Italy will
workers see jobs flowing overseas and read the as well. Technology and automation make it easier form a new government, its 63rd in the past 70 years.
to produce more goods in higher-cost labor markets France will hold a presidential election in the spring.
such as the U.S. or EU.
In the short run, populist nationalism is likely to

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Early in “The Adventures of Huckle- have shown more initiative – Coover sustains that magical act of genocidal “Gen. Hard Ass” for slipping
berry Finn,” when Tom Sawyer and his or less restraint – sometimes literary ventriloquism for 300 pages, away from his regiment rather than
friends are devising rules for their band with surprisingly fine results. preserving Twain’s raggedly, tall-tale participate in any more atrocities. (It’s
of robbers, they run into a problem: Among the contenders, John patter spiced with the same accidental a comfort to know what fate awaits
“Here’s Huck Finn,” one of the boys Seelye published “The True aphorisms. But Coover’s feat of trans- Gen. Hard Ass, a.k.a. George Custer.)
asks, “what you going to do ’bout him?” Adventures of Huckleberry formation is ultimately more interest-
Finn” (1970), and Greg Mat- ing than his imitation. Rafting down Even out West, Huck’s greatest chal-
Indeed, what are we going to do thews offered “The Further the Mississippi, Twain captured pre- lenge is still his best friend, Tom Saw-
’bout Huck Finn? More than 130 years Adventures of Huckleberry Civil War America with a picaresque yer. The imaginative, quick-talking
after the publication of Mark Twain’s Finn” (1988). Nancy Rawles tale of marks and swindlers, innocents boy who charmed women and daz-
masterpiece – a novel that Hemingway told the story of Sadie, Jim’s and thugs. In the end, he allowed us to zled other kids with tales of pirates
called the beginning of “all modern enslaved wife, in “My Jim” fantasize that Huck might find some has grown up to become a maniacal
American literature” – we still don’t (2005), and Jon Clinch recon- respite from the raspy constraints of politician. Coover hasn’t altered the
know. Poor Huck just wanted to be left structed the life of Huck’s Pap society by lighting out for the Territory. direction of Tom’s character so much
alone, but nothing the Widow Douglas in “Finn” (2007). as followed its trajectory straight to
or his abusive father inflicted on him Coover, though, re-creates a strik- hell. Tom is the hypnotic mythmaker,
could match the punishments brought And now comes “Huck Out ingly different era: the nation’s first the egomaniac gilded with shiny hu-
down on Huck’s story, which has been West,” by Robert Coover, the centennial when the country is swell- mility. Riding into the Gulch at just the
sanitized, “sivilized,” Disneyfied and, literary cult figure who’s been ing with gold, immigrants and dreams right moment – accompanied by his
of course, banned in school districts transforming American myth of finally eradicating its native popu- personal photographer – he’s a white-
across the country. and history for 50 years. Twain’s lation. This is an empire no longer hatted, smooth-talking lawyer who
characters are back, alive again: expanding or fracturing but greedily molds the truth and public opinion
Even Twain couldn’t leave the river Huck, Tom, Becky and Jim, staking its claims on every last acre. as though it were mud from the creek.
kid well-enough alone. He sketched along with references to Pap Huck has ridden for the Pony Express He would be merely ridiculous, except
a sequel in 1885 that had Huck head- and the Widow and the Judge. – the Wild West Web of its day – and that now the boy who once rhapso-
ing out West with Tom and Jim to live he’s lived happily with Lakota Indians, dized about killing his rivals is a man
with Indians. That manuscript re- Is this resurrection some- but now there’s nowhere left for him to who can actually do it – quickly, glee-
mained unfinished, but other writers thing to celebrate, like the light out for, nowhere left to practice fully and frequently.
boys showing up at their own the natural morality that is his blessing
funeral? You may be tempted to sigh, and his curse. “It was almost,” Huck If the story meanders as much as the
“I been there before,” but you ain’t says, “like there was something wicked Mississippi River, it also gathers consid-
been here before, not like this any- about growing up.” erable force as Huck struggles to stay
ways. Coover’s novel picks up the sto- out of trouble, avoid Gen. Hard Ass and
ry decades later, in the 1870s, around As a result, despite a rich vein of resist Tom’s increasingly malevolent
the Black Hills of South Dakota dur- slapstick humor, “Huck Out West” friendship. As this symphony of echoes
ing the gold rush. Huck is a man now, is a more melancholy novel than reaches its conclusion, readers may
bearded, still living alone and still Twain’s original. “All stories is sad sto- hear the grisly battle from “A Connecti-
sounding remarkably like the boy we ries,” Huck says, and we come to see cut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.”
met in school: that his “desperate low-spiritedness”
“If I’d knowed we’d be a-finding gold, stems from the trauma of witnessing Among the many elements that
I’d a stayed down in the teepee,” he be- so much of the human slaughter that Coover imitates so well is Twain’s mis-
gins, “because there ain’t much worse federal expansion demanded. anthropy, his macabre sense of humor
can happen to a body than getting and his perpetually offended inno-
rich. All gold is fool’s gold, and I warn’t That darkness accrues slowly at first, cence. “That was a sad thing,” Huck
in that neighborhood on its account. though. Huck has settled in a place says, “to think that even Tom Sawyer
Drawed out by Tom Sawyer’s stories called the Gulch. It was, he tells us, was a-growing old.” Indeed, everybody
and still here long after he’d upped and “mighty peaceful and about as close seems to be growing old except Huck,
gone, I’d spent nigh half my life in the as one could get in this world to the who remains a voice of perplexed
Territories, working one job or t’other. Widow Douglas’s fancied Providence.” kindness, and Coover, who, at 84, is
I was sometimes homesick for the Big But the discovery of gold has ruined still a miraculously sharp writer. 
River, but I mostly got used to the Ter- that tranquility, drawing in hordes of
ritories and they got used to me, nei- prospectors and thieves. “Soon there’d HUCK OUT WEST
ther of us giving nor asking much, a be more people shooting at each oth- BY ROBERT COOVER
way of easing through time that suited er,” Huck predicts, correctly, “and then W.W. Norton. 320 pp. $26.95.
me when the world ’lowed it.” laws and lawmen getting mixed up in Review by Ron Charles,
it.” He’s already earned the ire of the The Washington Post

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