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Published by Vero Beach 32963 Media, 2018-04-05 14:03:16

04/05/2018 ISSUE 14


Dodger Pines Country Club
property sits vacant. P8
Schlitt family marks
a century in Vero. P26

Victims’ plea spares burglar
much longer prison sentence. P9

For breaking news visit

MY VERO Island jolted by
BY RAY MCNULTY on Ocean Drive

Food, Wine and Music BY BETH WALTON
festival winds up in red Staff Writer

Fe Domenech said she’s Estate Jewelry of Orchid Island (left) was hit by break-in during the wee hours. PHOTO BY GORDON RADFORD Detectives on Monday were
selling her Pebble Bay home to still looking for suspects in
pay off the remaining $41,000 Brian Barefoot: Epitome of an elected official two island break-ins that rat-
of the debt she incurred in cre- tled the nerves of oceanside
ating, organizing and operat- BY LISA ZAHNER residents last week.
ing the inaugural Vero Beach Staff Writer
Food, Wine and Music event An unknown person smashed
in February. Indian River Shores Mayor foot is known locally for his and with the Indian River the front display window of
Brian Barefoot is the epit- work with St. Edward’s School Medical Center Foundation Estate Jewelry of Orchid Is-
Not so she can skip town. ome of what an elected of- Board of Trustees during an Executive Committee. land around 3 a.m. on Tues-
Nor is she planning to run ficial should be, and that’s important transition period day, March 27, and made off
away from her commitment to why he’s stepping down next for the school community, A consultant and profes- with 25 pieces of sterling sil-
the six local charities named as week after five years of ser- ver jewelry, valued at around
the event’s beneficiaries, none vice to the town. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 $4,000.
of which received even a frac-
tion of the hoped-for proceeds He’s way overqualified for The store is located at 3115
they were to share. the job, so he’s not wrapped Ocean Drive in the heart of
To the contrary, Domenech up in his office. He gets no the upscale Central Beach
said last week she plans to power trip from being may- shopping and dining district,
stay here and make the fledg- or of a town of a few thou- across the street from the his-
ling, four-day festival even sand people. “This is not toric Driftwood Resort.
better next year – by changing heavy lifting, there are other
the date to avoid Presidents people who can do it,” Bare- CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Day weekend, adjusting her foot said.
advertising strategies to reach Several proposals
more of her target audience, A John’s Island resident for the relocation
and benefiting from not be- since 2008 and local prop- of historic house
ing a new, unknown event on erty owner since 2000, Bare-

Any local buyer for the After a story in Vero Beach
downtown Post Office? 32963 revealed the historic,
108-year-old Laura Riding
BY LISA ZAHNER Jackson house was facing a
Staff Writer costly relocation from its cur-
rent location on the Envi-
The Vero Beach City Coun- ronmental Learning Center’s
cil has a $1.2 million offer on Wabasso campus, house foun-
the table for the mid-Twenti- dation president Marie Stiefel
eth Century block structure
that houses the downtown CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
U.S. Post Office, plus the park-
ing lots on either side of the


April 5, 2018 Volume 11, Issue 14 Newsstand Price $1.00 Easter egg ‘scramble’
was all it was cracked
News 1-10 Faith 52 Pets 75 TO ADVERTISE CALL up to be. Page 18
Arts 35-40 Games 53-55 Real Estate 77-88 772-559-4187
Books 51 Health 57-61 St. Ed’s 63
Dining 68 Insight 41-56 Style 64-67 FOR CIRCULATION
Editorial 48 People 11-34 Wine 69 CALL 772-226-7925

© 2018 Vero Beach 32963 Media LLC. All rights reserved.

2 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Island jolted by break-ins suspect without success,” said officer waited outside until officers came to My Vero
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Megan DeWitt, a spokeswoman for the scene.
the Vero Beach Police Department. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Some of the jewelry was later found The house had been torn apart and
by a maintenance worker on the The jewelry store had surveillance personal items taken, Grass said. The the local philanthropic community’s
grounds of the Driftwood, according to cameras recording footage during the resident was still inventorying what is already-crowded winter calendar.
Estate Jewelry manager Tom Grimshaw. early-morning hours when the theft missing.
occurred, Grimshaw said, and the vid- She said she passionately believes the
“I feel bad this happened to this city, eo was turned over to police. There were no security cameras at event will overcome its growing pains
to the town of Vero – not that it was the residence, he said. Police went up and eventually become an established
just our store – but that it happened Indian River Shores Public Safety also and down the street asking the neigh- island happening, and she won’t allow
here, because it doesn’t feel quite as is on the lookout for a brazen thief. Po- bors if they heard or saw anything, but herself to be discouraged by the first-
safe now,” Grimshaw said. “It is upset- lice say an unknown suspect ransacked no one had additional information. year losses, which, she added, forced
ting that they would have the audacity a Surf Lane residence March 26, the day her to reach into her own pocket.
to do this to anybody on this street.” before the jewelry store robbery. The Indian River Shores Depart-
ment of Public Safety was reviewing She said she emptied her savings
“Multiple officers responded to the The resident left his home in the footage from the town’s roadside cam- account – all $25,000 – to cover ex-
jewelry store in an attempt to locate a morning and when he returned around eras to see if there was anything that penses.
2 p.m., he found a door pried open, might be connected to the midday
said Officer Rodney Grass. The victim robbery, added Grass.  “I put up my own money, everything
I had saved,” said Domenech, who
seven years ago moved from Miami
to Vero Beach, where The Event Firm
International, the boutique events-
planning company she launched in
2006, is now based.

“I’m in the red, but the fact that I
lost money is just part of the process,”
she added. “I’m not doing this to make
a profit. Not only did I not take a sal-
ary, but I put my own work on hold to
make this happen because I love Vero
Beach and I believe this will be a great
thing for our community.”

With the help of sponsorships,
Domenech raised enough cash to
bring in celebrity chefs Graham El-
liott, Shaun O’Neale, Alex Thomopou-
los and Christi Ferretti, as well as vo-
calist Matteo Bocelli, son of acclaimed
Italian singer-songwriter Andrea Bo-

And the event drew positive reviews.
So what went wrong?
“Our costs were about where I
thought they’d be, but we didn’t raise
anywhere near what I thought we
would,” Domenech said, admitting
that her initial projections were overly
optimistic for putting on a first-time
event of such magnitude in Vero
“We fell more than $100,000 short
of our sponsorship goals, and our
ticket sales were less than half of what
we had hoped they’d be,” she added.
“So we lost a lot more money than I
thought we would.
“But we had a good event: The
sponsors were happy, and I thought
the charities were happy, too.”
Most of them were.
Representatives from the local
HALO Rescue no-kill animal shelter,
Indian River Lagoon National Estu-
ary Program, Hibiscus Children’s
Center and American Cancer Society
all praised Domenech’s efforts, con-
gratulated her on getting the event
started, encouraged her to look be-
yond the poor first-year financials and
expressed their continued support.
The directors of the other two chari-
ties, however, said they were so disap-
pointed with Domenech’s failure to

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 3


deliver any money – and disillusioned “I’m hurt and upset to hear this,” to criticize her well-intended efforts. tial vision, but you have to start some-
by the experience – that they probably Domenech said. “I tried to do right, do “She was truthful with us,” Woodson where. Anytime anyone is willing to
would not continue their affiliation something good for the community, put that kind of energy into a project
with the event. even putting in my own money. said. “She told us she didn’t know what to further a mission, I’m very appre-
to expect the first year. All she prom- ciative of that. And I think we saw a
“I probably won’t do it again, if they “Now this?” ised was that if we came on board glimmer of what this event can be.
even do it again next year,” said Tony For the record: Theresa Woodson, for the first year, she’d give us the op-
Zorbaugh, executive director of The senior marketing manager for the portunity to stay on for the first three “I’m certainly not going to criticize
Source, a Christian outreach ministry American Cancer Society’s Treasure years. someone for trying.”
that serves the poor and homeless in Coast chapter, said Domenech never
the Vero Beach area. misled her and that it would be wrong “Fe took on a lot,” she added. “The Domenech admits to some miscal-
end result was not the same as her ini-
“We put in a lot of time and staff- CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
ing, and we haven’t seen anything,” he
continued. “She spun this as a three-
year commitment, saying it would
take that long to see any real money,
but a percentage of the ticket sales
was supposed to go to the charities.
That hasn’t happened.

“I don’t know what happened, but
a lot of this doesn’t make sense,” he
added. “It wasn’t a good experience.”

Annabel Robertson, executive di-
rector of United Against Poverty’s Vero
Beach campus, said her organization,
like the other charities, helped pro-
mote the event and supported it by
providing volunteers.

For that contribution, she received
no money – only a thank-you email.

“As a nonprofit executive, you’re ac-
countable to your volunteer board,
and I need to report back to them and
explain what happened,” Robertson
said. “So I’m seeking an understand-
ing, one way or another, and I have a
staff member working on it.

“But this has put us all in a difficult
position with our boards.”

Robertson said she was never told
there would be no proceeds this year –
that it would be three years before she
saw any money – and her organization
almost certainly will not participate in
the event next year.

Domenech, though, said she was
up-front about the slim chances of
the event making enough money in
its first year to share proceeds with the
six charities.

“I was very, very candid in my meet-
ings with the charities,” she said. “I
told them I didn’t know what the re-
turns would be – because it’s a first-
year event – but that their involve-
ment would give their organizations
exposure and they’d be proud of being
a part of what we’re doing.”

She said she explained that it might
be three years before the event gained
enough traction in the community to
write substantial checks to the chari-
ties, from whom she requested only
“minimal support.”

She said “everyone I spoke to after-
wards was really happy,” and that she
followed up with two emails – one on
March 1 to thank the charities for their
participation, another on March 8 to
share a financial report on the festival.

That’s why she was stunned to learn
that a couple of the charities were
questioning her handling of the event.

4 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


My Vero something where we could help several Brian Barefoot The Shores cell tower is up and soon
charities without having to do multiple will be operational, and Vero electric is
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 events and it would be a win-win for CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 well on its way to being sold to Florida
everybody,” she added. Power & Light for $185 million, bringing
culations, including the inability to get sional director, Barefoot is a former significantly lower electric bills to the
discount rates at local hotels during “That’s how I came up with this Executive Vice President and Director town and most of its residents.
Vero Beach’s busy season, particularly concept.” of Investment Banking at Paine Web-
on a holiday weekend, and relying too ber, and a current director of Blue Cross “I was hoping to step down way be-
heavily on the Internet and social me- Domenech said she spoke with oth- Blue Shield of Massachusetts, as well as fore now, but I needed to see this elec-
dia to promote the event. ers who had organized similar events President Emeritus of Babson College. tric thing through. I’m competitive
and was told that it would take three and I don’t like being taken advantage
“That type of advertising works well to five years to get firmly established With the bit of time his resignation of,” Barefoot said. “And it was nice to
from Stuart south, but not as much in the community and generate sig- will free up, Barefoot said he plans to get the cell tower done.”
here,” she said. “Too many people I nificant revenues. travel internationally with his family,
spoke with afterwards said, ‘Bocelli including a long-planned expedition to Councilman Bob Auwaerter said he
was here? We didn’t know . . .’ So we’ll “They told me: The first year you Tanzania in July. He’s only backing away appreciates the knowledge, the profes-
change that for next year.” lose your shirt,” she said. “Then you from Shores’ government, effective sionalism and the leadership Barefoot
spend the second year trying to make April 25 – not from his other activities. has brought to the council and to the
She also admits to being warned by up for the first year. By the third year, mayor’s chair, and in Barefoot’s stead
friends and peers who knew it would though, you’re breaking even and He underscored that his work with he hopes that on April 13 the council
be difficult for her to create from maybe getting some revenue to share. the hospital foundation continues to be appoints someone with substantial
scratch, organize and manage a large, a top priority. “We’re going to keep the financial experience who believes in
multi-faceted, four-day event in such “The fourth and fifth years, you’re band together as this Cleveland Clinic running the town pragmatically like a
a small town. established,” she added. “The spon- thing shakes out. The people who want business – big shoes to fill indeed.
sors know what they’re getting. It’s eas- to keep Vero Vero, I’m sure they view
“A lot of people thought I was nuts to ier to get the chefs and entertainment, this with some concern because it will “He is to be commended for his years
do it, because it was too big and would and you get them for free or at a lower bring a bunch of people in here, moving of service to the town,” Auwaerter said.
require too much work,” Domenech rate because they want the exposure. here, but the benefits of the Cleveland
said. “But over the past seven years, I Clinic coming here will be substantial Former Vero Mayor Pilar Turner said
heard from different charities that told “And you’re able to give significant over the next six to eight years.” she appreciated Barefoot’s dedication
me there were too many events going money to the charities, so everybody to the sale effort, especially during
on every year, that the same doors get is happy.” But when it comes to the Shores some of the darker days in 2014 and
knocked on, that it’s always the same Town Council and being mayor, it’s early 2015 when she was “the lone pro-
conversation but in a different form. Despite the dismal financial num- time for someone else to take over, ponent for the sale of Vero Electric on
bers from February’s event – despite Barefoot said, as two of his major Vero’s City Council.
“So, as someone who has been plan- losing her life savings and having to goals have been accomplished, or
ning and doing events my whole life, put her home on the market to pay off nearly accomplished. “Mayor Barefoot’s perseverance
I wanted to do something different – her debts – Domenech said her vision boosted my spirits and resolve,” Turner
and commitment haven’t changed. said. “With the mayor’s leadership and

But her address might. 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 5


the support of Indian River Shores, we That last detail might seem like a When he asks someone a question new ideas or innovative proposals. If
are now about to be free from the FMPA! simple thing, but it’s a rare quality in in a meeting or a private conversa- there was discord on a contentious
All of Indian River County owes a debt politics, local or otherwise. Despite tion, he’s not setting the person up for a issue, he would let everyone else say
of gratitude to Mayor Brian Barefoot.” the fact that he’s probably one of the stinging comeback, he genuinely wants their piece, then he would try to bring
smartest people in the room most of to learn from what they have to say. the divergent factions – or even dis-
People who know him say Barefoot the time, Barefoot listens way more agreeing colleagues on the dais – to-
is solution-driven, open-minded and than he talks. Barefoot always came to meetings
an extremely good listener. prepared, but was never closed off to CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

6 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Brian Barefoot vember’s election, when Council- They were told the ELC plans don’t from its surroundings and designed to
man Richard Haverland will be term- include an ongoing role for Laura Rid- make the most of wind, rain and natu-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 limited, opening up a seat, and Vice ing Jackson’s one-time home. Stiefel ral light.
Mayor Mike Ochsner will be up for said no specific timeframe was pro-
gether to strike a compromise every- re-election. vided for when the structure would Powell said the house could be a
one could live with. have to be moved, leaving the board good fit for the South Prong Slough
The remaining two years of the term uncertain about how best to proceed. Conservation Area, 37.5 acres on the
“That’s a very tough skill under any for Barefoot’s old seat on the council south side of County Road 510 west of
circumstances, and in Florida with also will be on the November ballot.  At the March meeting, Indian River 66th Avenue. The county recently and
the Sunshine laws it makes it even State College Provost Casey Lunceford reluctantly demolished a hurricane
tougher,” Auwaerter said. Historic Jackson house talked about the possibility of moving damaged Cracker home on the prop-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 the house to the college’s Vero Beach erty.
Despite being a busy man, Barefoot campus, which offers a venue com-
seemed always able to carve out a few scheduled a public meeting to discuss patible with the home’s many historic Replacing it with the Jackson home,
minutes or more to field a question or options. and literary associations. of similar vintage, would maintain
to chat about important issues, said the historical ambiance of the prop-
County Commissioner Tim Zorc. “Bri- The meeting, which took place “It’s ideal,” Lunceford said. “We like erty and support one of the objectives
an has always been very accessible to in March at the Laura Riding Jack- the educational aspect. The west side of the Conservation Lands program:
take phone calls, even though he’s a son Writing Center on 14th Street, of our campus is very open and natu- “protection of historic and cultural re-
really busy guy, he would always take revealed widespread interest in the ral. Accessibility is not a problem. We sources.”
the time.” quaint house, which is one of the few have the space, and we’d be glad to
authentic Florida Cracker homes still host it.” The South Prong Slough location,
He will be missed, Zorc said. “It’s standing in the county. Powell explained, is close to the Jack-
kind of sad because I had a good rela- Indian River County Conservation son home’s original location, and the
tionship working with him on several “We have felt alone – but we’re not,” Land Manager Beth Powell had ideas county is already moving forward with
issues,” he said. said Stiefel. as well, suggesting two sites under her plans for expanded site access that
department’s purview that could work could be “folded into [the house proj-
Barefoot was elected in March 2013 The house’s uncertain future came well for both the foundation and the ect] easily.” She said a county/founda-
and re-elected in November 2016 af- to light last summer when house county. tion partnership would create incen-
ter the town shifted its elections from foundation board members met with tive for the county to speed up work
March to November, and he would ELC’s new leadership to discuss an She pointed out the benefits of on the property.
have been term limited in 2020. ambitious multimillion-dollar expan- combining historical and environ-
sion plan the environmental center mental elements to attract a wider A second possibility, Powell said,
The person council members ap- has undertaken. demographic, appropriate since Jack- is the 59-acre Russell Grove site, off
point to fill Barefoot’s seat on the son was herself an environmentalist Roseland Road adjacent to the Boy
council at a special council meeting whose home was built of materials Scout camp. While the Slough prop-
on April 13 will serve until this No-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 7


erty is on a flood plain, the Roseland in 1940 by notable poet, essayist, an- DeVoorde, added that the Foundation hire a closing agent, but the potential
property is high and well-drained. thologist and publisher Laura Jackson, has been in discussion with the ELC, buyer has offered to cover the cost of
who was associated with many leading and “they have been working with us.” that agent and other expenses related
In either case, the nonprofit foun- literary figures of the 20th century, and to the closing.
dation would be responsible for the her husband, Time Magazine poetry Two weeks after the meeting, Stein-
estimated $100,000 cost of moving the critic Schuyler Jackson. The couple wald said ELC has offered to extend Members of the public questioned
structure, but the county would do raised citrus organically and shipped for one year the Foundation’s current why the city would want to “lose
much of the site improvement work. it to northern markets to support their 5-year lease and that ELC and Foun- control” of the property and what it
And it was mentioned at the meet- work. The house is one of the few local dation attorneys are currently negoti- might become down the road should
ing that an individual, currently un- examples of true Florida Cracker ar- ating an agreement. the postal service ever move out, but
named, might assist the foundation by chitecture still standing in the county. Mayor Harry Howle is in favor of the
footing the bill for the move. The Foundation’s ultimate goal is sale for several reasons.
The structure was moved to its cur- that the house continues to be “a gath-
Other supportive proposals came rent location, an acre leased from the ering place for readers, writers and lit- “The city doesn’t have the best his-
from Indian River Land Trust Execu- ELC for $2,100 a year, renewable every erary enthusiasts of all ages; a place of tory when it comes to being a land-
tive Director Ken Grudens, who said five years, in 1994. While on the cam- literary legacy and history, and a cen- lord,” he said.
a location on Land Trust property pus it has been open for tours and ter for education and personal growth
should be considered, and Vero Beach used for writing workshops and po- through writing.”  Right now, the city is responsible for
City Council Member Laura Moss, etry festivals. The current lease expires repairing the aging building and ma-
who suggested a city park location, in December. Buyer for Post Office? jor things could need fixing, with no
and recommended the Foundation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 money in the budget to do so.
apply for Tourist Tax funding. When contacted by Vero Beach
32963 in February, ELC leaders were building, but not everyone wants to Howle said the potential buyer
House foundation treasurer Susan ambiguous about whether or when sell it. has not requested any information
Boyd wondered whether the property the house would have to be moved, on zoning restrictions on the prop-
on 20th Avenue that housed the old but ELC Executive Director Molly The council announced recently erty like a developer would, because
county administration building and Steinwald said at the meeting that that a resolution declaring the prop- Cedarhurst, N.Y.-based Nationwide
the school board offices might be re- ELC’s expansion master plan would erty surplus would be on the April Postal Management is a company that
purposed as an “historic village,” onto indeed require all the campus’ acre- 17 agenda. Should a majority of the owns about 700 similar buildings in 46
which several of the county’s remain- age, edging out the historic house. council approve, City Manager Jim states as an investment in real estate
ing Cracker structures, including the She also said there was no immediate O’Connor said that resolution gives with a revenue stream from long-term
Jackson house, could be relocated. deadline for removing the house. city staff the power to enter into a leases. “This is what they do,” he said.
contract for sale. He said the city may
Built in 1910 among the citrus groves House foundation secretary and It’s been widely reported that the
west of the railroad tracks in Wabasso, Jackson’s personal attorney, Rene Van Postmaster has questioned the need
the small frame house was purchased for the Downtown Post Office with the


8 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Dodger Pines County Club property remains vacant

BY RAY MCNULTY homes on the property and, thus, gen- owns the company, is planning to While Sunfield hopes to eventu-
Staff Writer erate greater profits. make a trip to Vero Beach soon to ally develop the property and build a
visit the property and discuss his op- residential community there, McGarry
More than 15 years have passed Under the city's master plan, how- tions with Carter Associates Inc., the said the company will need to address
since the last round of golf was played ever, the property is zoned for more local civil engineering and surveying noise issues because of the land's
at the Dodger Pines Country Club, and "innovative land use," McGarry said, firm he contracted after Sunfield pur- close proximity to the airport.
still the property sits idle. citing a desire for "more connectiv- chased the land in late 2013.
ity" within the development through "They're not in the high-noise area,
That's not likely to change anytime a grid-like street pattern and more ac- "Our intention is to do something but they are within the noise impact
soon. cess roads into the community. there," Orsi said. "We didn't purchase area, so they'll need to meet noise-
the property to do nothing with it." buffer standards with insulation," Mc-
"Obviously, we're planning to de- In addition, McGarry and his staff Garry said. "They'll also have to sign
velop it at some point," said Jenni- wanted larger setbacks to provide Four groups have owned the prop- a waiver acknowledging that they're
fer Orsi, vice president of Sunfield more of a buffer between the develop- erty since the Los Angeles Dodgers building next to an airport, so they
Homes Inc., the New Port Richey- ment and the property line along the sold it to Vero Beach developers Don can't come back later and complain
based development and real-estate city-county boundary. Proctor and Jerry Swanson in 2002. about the noise."
company that owns the 222-acre
property adjacent to the Vero Beach There were also density issues. Over the years, the old clubhouse John Blum of Carter Associates said
Regional Airport. "We did a wholesale review of the was leveled; Safari Pines Estates, the one of the previous owners, Southstar
plan and there were just too many mobile home park that was located Development Partners of Coral Ga-
"We put together a proposal a cou- problems, so we rejected it," McGarry near the club's entry in the southeast bles, was required to take its plans to
ple of years ago, but the city had some said. "They could've tried to go for- corner of the property, was removed; the Vero Beach Airport Commission.
issues with the plan, so we've put ward without our recommendation, and some fencing was erected by Orsi
things on hold for now." but they would've needed waivers to after residents of nearby neighbor- If Sunfield does follow through with
get around our code. hoods complained about wild hogs its plans to develop the property, coun-
The issues, according to Vero Beach "They also could've addressed our roaming the area. ty officials will expect the company to
Planning Director Tim McGarry, in- issues and re-submitted their plan, at least share in the cost of widening
volved the design of a proposed resi- but we haven't heard from them," he Other than that, not much else has 26th Street between 43rd and 58th av-
dential development of 780 single- added. "There's nothing on the books been done. The once-popular, par-73 enues to accommodate the inevitable
family homes. now, so if they do want to do some- Dodger Pines golf course – which fea- increase is traffic.
thing, they'll need to start over again." tured a rare par-6 hole that covered
Sunfield wanted to build a more Orsi said her father, Michael, who 670 yards – is now unrecognizable, The county's capital improvements
traditional community with limited grown-over and covered with weeds. plan already includes the widening of
access and cul-de-sacs to put more

It’s Time For A Fresh
Perspective With New Ideas.

Secure Our Campuses  Retain Our Teachers
Scrutinize Superintendent’s Performance

Enforce the Discipline Policy  Expand S.T.E.M. Programs
Improve Exceptional Student Education
Decrease the Amount of Testing

H: (772) 794-1327 I C: (786) 512-7017

Paid for by Randy Heimler for School Board District 4

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 9


26th Street, and the county has been tually will move forward with the wid-
purchasing the necessary right-of-way ening project, which would include
along the north side of the road for years. improvements to the intersections of
However, the project continues to be 43rd and 58th avenues.
pushed back because, with the Dodger
Pines property still undeveloped, there "We've been budgeting money with
isn't yet a need to widen the road. the long-term goal of getting it done,"
Boling said. "It's just a question of when."
"If the developer decides to move
forward, they'd need to update their Though the property is currently
traffic study with the city and county," zoned for residential development,
County Community Development Di- McGarry said the owners could seek a
rector Stan Boling said. "But to devel- rezoning if they wanted to build some-
op that property, the road would need thing other than homes.
to be widened, and the developer is
probably going to have to widen it – In fact, McGarry said he would wel-
with the county's input." come mixed-use zoning on a portion
of the property to accommodate what
Even if the property remains unde- he called "employment-based devel-
veloped, Boling said, the county even- opment" – something he believes is
compatible with the airport area. 



BY BETH WALTON Cox in March adjudicated Lock-
Staff Writer wood guilty on 11 felony counts for the
crime, which happened in the summer
A plea for mercy by the victims of of 2017. The charges include burglary,
an Indian River Shores home burglary giving false information to a pawnbro-
has spared their neighbor, a 33-year- ker and dealing in stolen property.
old opioid addict, from spending years
of his life in prison. The negotiated plea is in the state’s
best interest and the victims’ request for
The Hon. Cynthia Cox sentenced leniency justifies a deviation from the
Christopher Lockwood to just one year standard punishment, Cox told the de-
in the county jail followed by two years fendant and his family at the sentenc-
of probation. He had been facing be- ing hearing documented in transcripts
tween 4 and 125 years in prison for his provided by the 19th Judicial Circuit.
She told Lockwood he would not get
Lockwood pled no contest in De- a second chance.
cember to burglarizing his neighbors’
Island Club home when they were out “Not only is this theft, but you stole
of town. He stole an estimated $9,000 from someone who was your friend,
worth of jewelry, fine cutlery and which to me is an all-time low,” Cox
cash, pawning the items throughout said. “You’re getting a huge gift from
the Treasure Coast and lying about the state and from the court. And
their origins. hopefully you understand that there


A Night of Hope

You are invited to join us for a night of music, food &
enjoyment with special guest Oscar Roan,

retired NFL player for the Cleveland Browns.

Thursday April 19th, 2018 at 6:30pm
First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach
520 Royal Palm Boulevard, Vero Beach, Florida 32960
No ticket is necessary - please RSVP for a seat by calling 772.978.0265 ext. 104
~ There will be an opportunity for a donation at the event ~

Proceeds from this evening Dinner sponsored by:
will benefit Pathway of Hope.

10 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Island Club burglar His testimony came after his par- into the open,” Peggy Lockwood said. Assistant State Attorney Brian Work-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 ents spoke on their son’s behalf. Peggy “[Christopher] has told us he is ready to man read their statement out loud to
Lockwood said her son had been ad- accept the professional addiction help the court.
won’t be another gift.” dicted to pain pills for more than a he needs now and in the future.”
Lockwood expressed remorse and decade, a deadly habit that started “We continue to wish for a situation
during his years as a student at Florida At the December plea hearing the in which Mr. Lockwood would be al-
told the judge he wished to extend his Atlantic University. judge hesitated to accept the prosecu- lowed to receive treatment and reha-
deepest apologies to the victims, peo- tion’s offer for a reduced sentence, not- bilitation and reenter society as a good
ple he calls friends. Lockwood went to rehab in Boca ing the defendant had pled no contest citizen,” it said.
Raton, and had been attending self- to misdemeanor petty theft in the past.
“I have worked with them. I have help support meetings, his mother ex- The couple left a key to their house
gone fishing with them. Have gone to plained. He relapsed this past summer She wanted to make sure the vic- with Lockwood’s girlfriend, who was
plays with them. And I did something when his parents were out of town. He tims, in their request for leniency, were watching the residence for the family
that I know is morally wrong,” he ex- wasn’t thinking correctly. He was act- aware that the burglary of their home while they were out-of-town.
plained. “I wasn’t operating in the ing out of desperation, she said. was not an isolated incident.
right mind-frame. I promise going for- Upon their return, they noticed the
ward I’ll live a good life and I won’t be “This terrible crime he committed has The couple did not appear at the French doors in the back of their island
back here ever again.” enabled the truth of the opioid addic- courthouse in February but wrote an home were left unlocked and a jewelry
tion he was hiding from us to come out email to the judge reiterating their desire box in the closet had been opened, a
for Lockwood to get a second chance. warrant for Lockwood’s arrest states.

Initially, it didn’t appear anything
was missing, but weeks later while
preparing to host a dinner party, they
realized their sterling silver flatware
was gone.

Later, the couple would discover
two diamond rings, an antique gold
charm bracelet and $1,000 in cash was
also missing.

A sheriff’s deputy found items
matching the descriptions of what
was stolen in a pawnshop database. A
manager at Warrior Pawn in Sebastian
told police Lockwood claimed he was
selling goods he inherited.

Other items were sold to a second-
hand dealer, Square Deal Gold Buy-
ers, in Melbourne. In both instances,
Lockwood signed paperwork indicat-
ing he was not selling stolen property.
Documents show he received nearly
$1,500 for the goods. 

Buyer for Post Office?

fairly new post office on U.S. 1 having
the capacity to serve the whole area, so
it could be a good time for the city to
make an exit. The postal service can get
out of the lease with one year’s notice.

“If something happens with that
lease, we’re going to be stuck with a
property worth about $300,000,” Howle
said, referring to the base value of the
property without the lease income.

O’Connor said an analysis of the
deal showed that the $1.2 million of-
fered compensates the city up-front for
more than a decade of $110,000-per-
year rent revenue. That could be used
to pay down debt or invested to accrue
interest, without the cost of upkeep on
the aging building and paved lot.

The city has not received any com-
peting offers in writing since the dis-
cussion two weeks ago, but O’Connor
said his office is open to proposals up
to the April 17 hearing date. He said
the proposals could be for more than
$1.2 million, or even the same amount
if the buyer offered deal points attrac-
tive to the city. 


Aislynn Puglise, James Puglise
and Ashlynn Puglise.

12 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


John Locke with Betsy and Greg Rogolino. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Kip and Mary Jacoby with Randy Riley.


Kim Prado, Georgia Irish, Mariner Pete, Mary Cone, and Bill Penney. Diane and Andrew Weintraub..

United Way celebration: Thanks a million (or three)!

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF million to help fund agencies that tions throughout the community.” practices and look at the strengths
Staff Writer serve the community. Rather than focus on the dollar and weaknesses of our system and
ultimately make funding recom-
Thank you, gracias, merci, grazie, Stars were scattered about the amount of the campaign (locally the mendations,” said Schlitt.
arigato, danke, spasiba and mahalo tables highlighting community con- third largest), Penney said, “I want
– the message came through loud tributions and hammering home to talk about something that’s much Additionally, their Volunteer As-
and clear at the United Way of Indi- the message that Team Marine had more important and less numeri- sistance Income Tax program has
an River County Thank You Celebra- “a little help from their friends,” in- cal, and that’s the people. People, made a significant impact on local
tion last Wednesday evening at the cluding the 17 Torchbearers, 18 Elite groups, organizations and commu- taxpayers’ “bottom line.” He said
Quail Valley River Club. Campaign Sponsors and 72 Alexis de nity members have donated their that since January, 21 volunteers
Tocqueville members who donated a time, energy and influence with the have prepared almost 800 tax re-
With much to celebrate, Team Ma- collective $1 million. United Way to make our community turns and collectively will bring over
rine co-chairs Mary Cone, Georgia a better place.” $1 million back to local taxpayers.
Irish, Bill Penney and Kim Prado an- “Tonight is our opportunity to pay
nounced that with three months left tribute to all of you who give, who Team Marine co-chairs noted that Donations will be accepted until
in the 2017-2018 campaign, they have advocate and who volunteer on be- team members gave presentations June 30, when the campaign offi-
reached 97 percent of the $3,040,000 half of your community and United at 114 workplaces and stuffed thou- cially ends. To help them cross the
goal. Way. Thank you for living United,” sands of letters in direct mail cam- finish line join United Way support-
said UWIRC CEO Michael Kint. “To- paigns. Publix continues to set the ers at the fifth annual Jackie Robin-
The amount is a far cry from the night we celebrate a successful and a bar high, raising a record $587,482. son Celebration game on April 15 or
$41,000 raised in the first campaign fulfilling year of mobilizing the car- the May 5 Citrus Classic golf tourna-
57 years ago which supported nine ing power of our community.” Jeff Schlitt, UW board chair-elect, ment.
agencies in a county with a popula- said that the $3 million raised pro-
tion of 26,000. Today the local Unit- He noted that they are focusing vides much-needed services and Kint also announced and intro-
ed Way serves a population of more their key efforts in the areas of edu- programs for local residents. duced the 2018-2019 campaign co-
than 151,000 through 30 traditional cation, health and financial stability chairs, Randy and Marge Riley with
funded partners and six initiatives. by “bringing people together; foster- “Volunteers who serve on our Vi- Kip and Mary Jacoby.
Overall it has raised more than $60 ing partnerships and collaborations sion Councils and Citizens Review
that strengthen and improve condi- Panel, evaluate these needs, ex- For more information, visit united-
amine existing services, study best 

14 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12 Molly Steinwald, Shannon Bowman and Michele Peters. Mary Cone, Dan Kross and Sandy Brown.
Susan Adams, Sabrina Sampson and Michael Kint.

Scott Alexander, Bill Penney and Karl Williams. Martin Zickert and Michael Kint with Fred Augenstein. Carol Kanarek, Gerry Thistle, and Ann Marie McCrystal.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 15


Bernadette and Mike Emerick with Angela Nelson. Kyle and Debbie Morgan with Clay Price. Bill and Marlynn Scully.

Barbara and Voltaire Pearce. Dr. Robert Brugnoli and Elizabeth Ullian. Randy and Sandy Rolf. Chris and Angel Robertson.

Leslie and Michael Swan.

Dawn and Ted Michael.

16 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Nice to sea! ORCA celebrates crucial grant match

BY MARY SCHENKEL partners and environmentalists to and protect the ocean’s most pre- the state was no longer interested in
Staff Writer a reception last Monday evening at cious real estate: its nurseries.” their maintenance, and in 2017 cut
the Quail Valley River Club. funding by two-thirds, resulting in
“We’re here tonight to celebrate Penney noted Widder’s many the removal of 15 monitors.
the successful match of the $300,000 Introducing ORCA CEO Edith achievements and commendations,
Schooner Foundation Grant,” said Widder, Ph.D., Penney said, “Edie among them filming the very first Vin Ryan of the Schooner Foun-
Bill Penney, Ocean Research & Con- founded ORCA in 2005 to help save video of a giant squid in the ocean; dation stepped up to help with a
servation Association board vice the ocean she spent most of her life the seven newly-released post- loan of $300,000 and said the mon-
chairman, welcoming a gathering exploring. She has focused her pas- age stamps featuring her deep-sea ey would be gifted if the community
of ORCA supporters, community sion for saving the ocean into deter- creature images; the recent pre- matched it up to another $300,000.
mining what is needed to preserve sentation of the Citation of Merit
for Outstanding Exploration at the “I was absolutely overwhelmed
Explorer’s Club in New York; and when we were able to match that
receipt of the MacArthur Genius $300,000 in four and a half months,
Award and corresponding $500,000 thanks to many of the people in
grant, all of which she used to de- this room, including 100 percent of
velop ORCA Kilroy water quality ORCA’s board,” said Widder, before
monitors. inducting a number of individuals
and organizations into a new ORCA
Information from the Kilroy Blue Lagoon Society for their con-
monitors has enabled ORCA to pro- sistently generous support.
duce pollution maps denoting the
origins of problem areas as a way to “When Dave and I moved here
address how best to fix those issues. in 1989, this was still being called
In 2014 the state provided $2 million the most biologically diverse estu-
to purchase and install 25 Kilroys at ary in the United States; it was just
all the major canals and tributaries magnificent,” said Widder. “But the
feeding the Indian River Lagoon, a deterioration, especially over the
project completed in 2015. last few years has been truly, truly
Shortsightedly, once purchased,
She outlined critical threats to

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 17


Richard Baker, Mary Chapman and Wayne Mills. Bill Penney and Al Turner. Linda and John Johnson with Nancy and Tom Going.

marine life and humans alike, from Mills had been a 25-year board
fish kills and the destruction of sea- member of the Chesapeake Bay
grass meadows caused by brown Foundation, which worked with
tides, to the Microcystin in the toxic multiple municipalities to restore
blue-green algae that sent scores of that previously polluted watershed;
people to the hospital and, over the it is now roughly 50 percent recov-
long term, can cause liver cancer. ered. Mills stressed the need to
build a broad coalition of concerned
“The only way you’re going to organizations throughout Florida in
protect water is to have some sort order to capture the attention of the
of an alert system,” said Widder. legislature and address the issues
“We have to get smart about this, facing our own Indian River Lagoon
because what we’re talking about is and estuaries around the state.
our planetary life support system.
And if we don’t sustain them, then For more information, visit
they can’t sustain us.” 

ORCA board chairman Wayne Stephanie Bennett-Smith, Georgia Wells and Edie Widder. PHOTOS: MARY SCHENKEL

18 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Easter egg ‘scramble’ all it was cracked up to be

Staff Writer

Eggs here, eggs there, eggs, eggs scoop up as many as they could, us- PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 20 Matilde Sorensen and Elizabeth Sorensen.
were everywhere last Thursday af- ing such techniques as the snatch
ternoon, as children ran frantically and run as well as thoughtful stra- graphs taken with the Easter Bun- and mountains of Easter basket
through Humiston Park in search tegic plans. ny, added a bit of flare with fairy grass topped the crowns of young
of goodies left by the Easter Bunny hair and face paintings and busied and old alike on bonnets spruced
and his friends at Dale Sorensen Ocean Drive was flooded with themselves with crafts. up with eggs, bunnies, chicks and
Real Estate. families excitedly chattering over even marshmallow Peeps. Colorful
their hauls, baskets clutched firmly Later, participants paraded up flowers sprouted from egg cartons
“The Vero Beach Easter Parade is in hand. While waiting for the next and down a red carpet to show off perched atop heads and strawberry
all about the community and a cel- phases of the festivities, children the elaborate bonnets and bowties, baskets held little critters. Dashing
ebration of Easter and spring,” said played in the park, had their photo- they had either crafted themselves bowties were festooned with flow-
Dale Sorensen of the second an- or purchased in the silent auc- ers, polka dots and fringe.
nual Vero Beach Easter Parade, an tion. Miles of spring-colored tulle
eggstra-special event to benefit the Judges had to make some tough
Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River calls, but in the end “top” winners
County. in the Bonnets and Bow Ties Parade
were Jeanie White, Aislynn Puglise
The number of egg-hunters mul- and James Puglise.
tiplied like rabbits in the course of
just one year, but Sorensen was up Next, more than 40 golf cart pa-
to the challenge, quadrupling the rade competitors, each more spec-
number of eggs scattered about. An tacular than the one before, added
estimated 3,000 to 5,000 children a Vero twist to their designs, with
searched high and low for 20,000 nautically-themed floats boasting
toy- and candy-filled eggs, along whales and clownfish, flamingos,
with a few rare eggs containing tiki huts, pineapples, alligators, tur-
“golden” tickets for special prizes. tles, fishing and surfing bunnies,
and designs accented with bloom-
To keep things fair, the little ing flowers made from tissue paper
chicks were sent out into the field to and balloons.
hunt and peck based on age. Young
first-timers roamed the field con- Brian and Dale Lieberman earned
tentedly clutching one egg in their the title of Most Humorous with a
little hands, while older, more ex- cart that went a-fowl; the Most Easter
perienced eggsters were eager to Spirit award went to Georgann Sch-
reiber for her au naturel take on an
Easter wonderland; Ann Wallace in
her mini golf cart was named Most
Original; and Cathy Curley’s flam-
boyance of flamingos won Best of
Vero Beach.

“Last year’s inaugural parade was
such a huge success. The children
had such a wonderful time,” said
Matilde Sorensen, who came up with
the idea for the parade. “It’s so enjoy-
able watching their faces light up.” 

20 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18 PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Nicholas Rosario, Kristina Puscher and Jackie Rosario.
Elizabeth Thomason and Jim Belanger.

Ava Justice, Elizabeth Milton, Martha Sue Gallaher, Kathleen Provancher, Shawn Venazio and Beth Petrone. Hope Shine, Merritt Shine, Lola Shine and Halle Grella.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 21


Hannah Brown and Felicity Tedeschi. Ann Merritt and Clement Merritt. Kristin Casalino and Jan Pratt.

Sophia Rodriguez. Britton Carroll.

22 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Running bunnies raise monies at HabiTrot & Realtors Hop

Susan Billero with Grandson Elysia Brennan. PHOTOS: GORDON RADFORD Hollie Billero Buldo and Mr. Bunny. Gregory Cerna, Felicia Bailey and Jennifer Bailey.
Jonathan Buldo and Neil Flynn

Sharon Garnett and Lacoln Holenstein. Eve Kyomya and Connie Utter.
Luci Very, Chip Landers and Sandra Morgan.
Runners, many sporting rab-
bit ears, were quick like a bunny
last Saturday as participants in
the HabiTrot & Realtors Hop for
Habitat 5K Run/Walk at South
Beach Park hosted by the Real-
tors Association of Indian River
County and Habitat for Human-
ity. Even the Easter bunny joined
in on the fun, running alongside
youngsters in the Bunny Hop for
Kids. Race proceeds will help
Habitat for Humanity in its quest
to “build strength, stability and
self-reliance through shelter.”
Overall winner was Dillon Hel-
zerman, 17:22.27, and top female
was Grace Gumpel, 19:16.23. 

24 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Delicious bones to pick at Twisted Tail Ribfest

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF of 10 Florida rib masters. Event pro-
Staff Writer ceeds support the Vero Beach Rotary
Charities Foundation, and this year
Riverside Park was smokin’ recently will also benefit Camp Haven, the En-
at the third annual Twisted Tail Rib- vironmental Learning Center and the
fest, the signature fundraiser of the Gifford Youth Achievement Center.
Rotary Club of Vero Beach. Barbecu-
ing terms were bandied about during Slow-roasted, grilled and smoked,
the two-day fest as meat lovers feasted the tasty fare was replete with secret
on finger-lickin’ ribs from the grills sauces and rubs to create perfect fall-
off-the-bone pork ribs and beef ribs,

Tara Ayers, Tammie Fulford and Patty Brown. PHOTOS: GORDON RADFORD

baby back, spare and St. Louis-style The Rotary Club of Vero Beach was
ribs, by the slab or by the bone. founded in 1926 and supports more
than 30 local charities, according to
And while ribs were the featured Russell Twiss, event co-chair with Sta-
item of the weekend, along with tra- cey Miller.
ditional accompaniments of sweet
tea, coleslaw, baked beans and roast- “Internationally the mission is
ed corn, there were numerous other the eradication of polio,” said Twiss.
menu items for those wanting to add “We’re dedicated to building better
a little variety to their meal, such as communities and helping out.”
pork egg rolls, brisket, sausage, sea-
food, collard greens, gator balls and “Rotary is business people com-
Texas spurs. ing together for fellowship, business
exchange and to be in service to the
Attendees dined al fresco while live community. We understand there are
bands entertained them in the back- needs outside our community and
ground. After polishing off their messy participate globally and within the
finger food with piles of napkins and state, but this community is our fo-
cold beer, guests walked off their cus,” added Miller.
meals while perusing items offered
by non-food vendors and watched as “We did really well this year through
children chased bubbles in the sun. the generosity of our community.
With events like this you don’t know
For every 10 tickets purchased, rib how many people are going to show
aficionados could cast a vote for their up or if the weather is going to hold.
favorite meaty masterpiece in a Peo- There are a lot of factors. These kinds
ple’s Choice competition. Porky-N- of events cannot continue without
Beans from Port St. Lucie took home sponsors like Jetson’s, George E. War-
the 2018 Best Ribs in Vero Beach, with ren Corporation and Southern Eagle
Uncle Kenny’s BBQ from Clermont Distributing. They all stepped up to
following in second and Vero’s own help make this happen.”
Tommy T’s in third.
Daniel Fourmont, Rotary Club of

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 25


Sandy Curl and Brooke Wadsworth. Stacey L. Miller and Russell Twiss. Don and Amy McAdams.
Stacey Klim and Sylvia.
Theresa and Richard Shelton. ROSNER $28,700 SPECIAL
MOTORSPORTS 2015 Lexus NX 200t

$36,600 SPECIAL $72,000 SPECIAL SUV 26K miles
BMW 2017 BMW M4
Coupe 5K miles $29,990
Convertible 38K miles 2008 Jaguar XKR
Convertiable 32K miles
$27,990 $24,990
2007 Chevrolet Corvette 2002 Chevrolet Corvette
3LT Convertible 28K miles
Z06 Coupe 20K miles

$38,000 SPECIAL $78,990 $26,500
2014 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 2014 Maserati Gran Turismo C-sport 2015 Mercedes Benz GLA 250

Sedan 18K miles Convertiable 19K miles 4matic SUV 21K miles

Danette and Don McDowell. 48 Years
In Business!
Vero Beach president, said Indian
River County has very active rotaries, SEASONAL STORAGE AVAILABLE, $11,000 SPECIAL $11,800 SPECIAL
with more clubs per capita than any- AIR CONDITIONED & 1995 Chevrolet Camaro 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL 500
where else. 24 HOUR SECURITY.
Z28-LTI 37K miles Convertible
“We support numerous projects on
a local level,” said Fourmont. “This Sales: (772) 469-4600 
year for the first time we’re going to 2813 Flight Safety Dr., Vero Beach, FL 32960
be in the United Against Poverty 9th
Annual Shopping Cart Parade at the HOURS:
Hibiscus Festival (April 7) with a mo-
torized Rotary Wagon.” Monday - Friday: 9:00AM - 6:00PM  Saturday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM  Sunday: By Appointment Only

For more information, visit rota- 

26 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Schlitt family celebrates a century in Vero Beach

BY MARY SCHENKEL PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 28 diate family get-togethers. the Florida State vs. Florida game.
Staff Writer “When my kids were born about 15 “So we just had a new Schlitt born
the annual fundraiser as volunteers.
Multiple generations of Schlitt fam- “My grandmother and grandfather years ago, I got this feeling from my yesterday,” Ford said, adding that the
ily members from around the country grandma that she would be so sad that baby is now a fifth-generation Vero
gathered last Saturday afternoon at (Florence and John Schlitt) started the we weren’t doing the big gatherings Beach Schlitt. “Her name is Caroline
the Saint Helen’s Church Parish Hall Easter egg hunt tradition,” said Bar- anymore,” she said. O’Neill; she’s the daughter of Natalie
for an extra special Easter reunion, cel- bara Schlitt Ford. “They had eight kids Schlitt and Joey O’Neill.”
ebrating the legacy of Louis and Mary and started doing the egg hunts in the They restarted the tradition 13
Anna (Anna) Schlitt, who moved to ’50s or ’60s; they were always at their years ago and there are now two gath- Over the din of little ones excitedly
Vero Beach from Missouri 100 years house.” erings each year – one the Saturday racing about playing with one another,
ago. Three of the couple’s five children of Easter weekend, and the other the older family members were recording
– Christine, Alphonse (Al) and Corne- Ford explained that as the family Saturday after Thanksgiving, high- some of their stories for posterity. And
lius (Corny) – moved with them in 1918, grew, the gatherings moved to other lighted by some friendly rivalry with there are plenty of stories to tell.
and were joined by sons John and Leo houses but eventually got so large
after they returned from serving dur- that they split off into smaller, imme- In addition to farming, which initial-
ing World War I. ly drew the pioneer family to the area,
the industrious and entrepreneurial
It was only fitting that the gath- Schlitt family branched out into in-
ering take place at St. Helen’s; the numerable ventures; among them, in-
Schlitts hosted its first Catholic Mass surance, real estate, commercial and
in their home and helped establish residential development, construction,
the church in 1919. The family has painting and property management.
continued its ecclesiastical relation- Additionally, its members continue a
ship ever since and sent many of longstanding tradition of affiliations
their children to St. Helen’s School. with a host of nonprofit and civic as-
They were also instrumental in start- sociations.
ing the Harvest Festival more than
50 years ago and continue to support “The cool thing is that we actually all
really like each other,” said Ford with a
smile as she glanced about the bustling
roomful of relatives. 

28 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26 Louis Schlitt, Dolores Schlitt Barth, Jean Schlitt St. Pierre, John Schlitt and Bob Schlitt.

Ray Schlitt, Dorothy Schlitt Bennett, Richard Schlitt, Barbara Schlitt Ford,
Linda Schlitt Gonzalez and Rose Ann Schlitt.

John Schlitt with Sue Schlitt. Caroline Schlitt with her father, Ken Schlitt. Terry Schlitt with Solomon Schlitt.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 29


Al and Ruth Ann Schlitt, Fred and Margaret Schlitt, and Jean and Ray Schlitt. Theresa Barth Hale, Ali Schlitt, Eva Andreson and Shannon Andreson.

Bob Schlitt and Don Wright. Kathi and John Sapp with Dorothy Schlitt Bennett. Cheryl Scott Mitchell and Carolyn Sherman Whitehouse.

30 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Humane Society ensures every dog has its ‘play’

BY MARY SCHENKEL Play program.
Staff Writer “The main goal is to increase

The front yard of the Humane So- adoptions and create behavior modi-
ciety of Vero Beach and Indian River fications; put the dogs together and
County has quite literally gone to socialize them,” says Marcel Gon-
the dogs with the introduction of a calves, the shelter’s pet behavior and
canine play yard for their Play Dogs enrichment manager. The Brazilian-
born Goncalves, who has a degree

Marcel Goncalves and Rod Grandison with volunteer Billy Craig (behind). PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

in Animal Science, was employed introduces canine enrichment and
at West Palm Beach Animal Control assessment programs to shelters na-
before being hired here eight months tionwide. Goncalves says the goal
ago. is to identify dog personalities and
behaviors in play groups, promote
He also trained with Aimee Sadler,
founder of Dogs Playing for Life, who CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

32 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 PEOPLE Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 30 to show their best. When you see a
dog running and playing, you see
behavior modifications and improve that come into receiving, but the the smile; you see the happiness,” he
dogs’ social skills as a way to increase program gives the behavioral team a says. “The same dog in a kennel, be-
adoptions. powerful evaluation tool. hind bars, you don’t see that behav-
ior. We have had many, many dogs
“It not only increases adoptions, “We see these dogs every single adopted straight from the yard; it’s
but makes them last because the day; it’s not just one 15-minute eval- very rewarding.”
behavior issues are already worked uation,” says Goncalves, noting that
out,” adds Sara Smith, development dogs are taken out for two hours a On average 10 dogs at a time are in
director. day, five days a week. the yard, rotated in and out depend-
ing on factors such as size, tempera-
Goncalves says that at most shel- “We’re able to look at a dog, as ment and sex, to introduce them to
ters, especially open-door shelters Marcel says, and really see over time as wide an array of canine personali-
like the Humane Society, there is of- what their strengths and weaknesses ties as possible.
ten a lack of information about the are,” adds Smith.
animals. Now, thanks to Play Dogs “We couldn’t have done this with-
Play, they can better assess the dogs’ Goncalves explains that play out our volunteers,” says Goncalves.
behavior, which has led to a lower re- groups enable dogs to be evaluated “If we had to run this only with staff,
turn rate. in the most natural environment we wouldn’t be able to afford it.”
Staff has always evaluated the dogs Volunteers undergo extensive
“So now they have an opportunity training and have various duties,
such as moving the dogs from their
kennels to the play yard, recording
notes on their behavior, photograph-
ing them and assisting in the play
yard. Volunteers and staff in the yard
wear holsters holding a squirt bottle,
a small air horn and a shaker bottle
to correct any inappropriate behav-

Goncalves introduces new dogs
to stable ‘base dogs’ that he already
knows are good communicators and
that can teach other dogs how to play

“Those dogs are going to do the job
by themselves,” he says. “They are so
stable they’re going to let me know
if there is something wrong with a

If the base dog can’t fix the prob-
lem, using ‘dog language’ Goncalves
will intervene, but he says, “most of
the time, they will do their job. They
know how to communicate. They
know how to tell the dog to slow down
or to come out of their shell and play.”

Bleachers are set up in front of the
play yard where potential adoptees,
school groups and the general public
can watch the dogs play and social-

“Every day is different; every day
is a challenge,” says Goncalves. “It’s
fascinating.” 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 33


Camaraderie sizzles at Volunteer Fire Dept. Fish Fry

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 34 the fixins, many said they return year Proceeds will be used to purchase
Jose Diaz, William Sorensen and Josh Bailey. after year not only for the delicious equipment and to provide scholar-
Staff Writer meal but to show support for the ef- ships for volunteer firefighters to at-
PHOTOS: GORDON RADFORD forts of the volunteer firefighters. tend fire, EMT and paramedic school.
Things got a little heated last Satur- The VBVFD currently has masks and
day afternoon at Fire-Rescue Station The doors to the firehouse were helmets at six stations and hopes to
#2 during the 51st annual Vero Beach thrown open wide, encouraging folks outfit more.
Volunteer Fire Department Fish Fry, to sit and chat at tables in the fire
as volunteers cranked up the heat truck bays. Volunteers talked with For more information, visit vbvfd.
to raise funds and awareness for the visitors about the work they do and net or attend a 6:30 p.m. meeting the
95-year-old organization. the motivation behind their commit- first Monday of every month at Station
ment to keeping local residents safe. 3, 2950 Airport W Dr. 
Formed in 1923, its squad mem-
bers were the city’s first firefighters.
Today the volunteers work alongside
IRC Fire Rescue, providing backup
and support and living up to their
motto: ‘Here for our community 24
hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days
a year.’

The volunteers assist IRC Fire Res-
cue by responding to fire, rescue and
medical emergency calls; educat-
ing the public; providing continuing
education for volunteer firefighters;
and providing aid to sick, injured or
fallen firefighters.

Currently numbering about 25,
some volunteers are attending the
Fire Academy in hopes of joining
the ranks of IRC Fire Rescue, while
others already have full-time jobs
and simply desire to give back to the

“When I found out about the vol-
unteers, I got involved,” said Brian
Torres, who works for the Division of
Forestry and serves as VBVFD presi-
dent. “It’s a good organization. A lot
of the volunteer firefighters come
on with us while they are going to
school or are waiting to start with the
county. It’s on-the-job training.”

In addition to the much-needed
assistance offered by the volunteers,
the process enables the county to
groom potential recruits on how they
want things done, Torres explained.
“So when they get hired they aren’t
rookies fresh off the street.”

Chris Jones, a recent IRC Fire Res-
cue recruit, joined the Volunteer Fire
Department while attending the Fire

“I wanted to get my feet wet and
see what everything was about be-
fore I was hired and ‘thrown into
the fire’ with no knowledge,” said
Jones, adding that being a volunteer
helped focus his direction. “You get
scheduled with a station and work
hand-in-hand with the big guys. It’s
a safer, easier way to learn on the job
and still have first-hand knowledge
because you’re actually doing it.”

As people gathered around, their
plates laden with panko-crusted cod,
coleslaw, potato salad, fries and all

34 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33 Donnie Burke and Chris Jones. PHOTOS: STEPHANIE LABAFF Kayla Torres and Dylan Torres.
Joe Hill and Brian Torres.

Jessica Camacho, Dominique Sydney and Ruby Sheets. Daniella Vazquez and Brianna Hall.

Ryan Weaver Insurance Inc. is a locally owned Nick and Becky Hammer with Ivy and Mike Richmond.
and operated independent agency. Located in the David Vazquez and Jack Flanary.
CenterState Bank Building, just off of Miracle Mile
and across from Classic Car Wash in Vero Beach.

Serving Vero Beach for over 10 years!
All lines of commercial or personal insurance available.

Contact any one of our professional agents for a quote!

Melissa and Ryan Weaver, 855 21st Street
Agency Owners CenterState Bank Building

2nd Floor – Vero Beach

(772) 567-4930

[email protected]


36 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Perfect Ten-or: White wins Voigt Vocal Competition

Staff Writer

Excitement and anticipation in- Masamane C. Rangwansha, Abigail Levis, Matthew White, Anne Marie Stanley, Helena Brown, Ariana Wehr, Betsy Diaz and Anne Maguire. PHOTO BY PAT RICE
formed the audience buzz March 24
at the Vero Beach High School Per- Judges Eva Franchi and Matthew Principe.
forming Arts Center. Out front, opera
buffs perused their programs, while can provide many more opportunities.” First-place winner Matthew White, second-place winner Abigail Levis and third-place winner Helena Brown.
backstage, eight of opera’s most gifted But, before the finals’ night drama,
young performers prepared to bring
their A-game as they faced off in the Vero Beach Opera leadership found
finals of the Deborah Voigt Vero Beach themselves facing a different kind of
Opera Foundation’s second Interna- drama. The highlight of the three-day
tional Vocal Competition. competition was to have been the pres-
ence of world-renowned soprano and
There was plenty of drama; the eight self-dubbed “down-to-earth diva” Deb-
having sung their way into the finals orah Voigt herself, starring that Wednes-
though a field of 101 applicants rep- day in a glittering “Evening with the
resenting nine countries. Ultimately,
from 30 vocalists in the prelims, to 15
in the semis, only eight remained: sev-
en sopranos and a tenor.

When the smoke cleared, the winner
of the $10,000 first-place award, from
the Kleinschmidt Family Foundation,
was the solitary man, Matthew White,
whose wonderful voice was matched by
an engaging delivery and ability to con-
nect. White compelled the audience to
feel what he was feeling as he immersed
himself in the words and the character
they portrayed. It was, he says, “my first
major vocal competition win.”

White says the Vero Beach Opera and
the competition have been “instrumen-
tal landmarks in my development as an
artist.” The VBO “was extremely impor-
tant to me as a young singer. They be-
lieved in me and debuted my first small
role in a professional company.” He
adds that a “stamp of approval at this
level moves others to follow suit and

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 37


Diva Concert” and serving as a judge. and Dominguez knew each other from At this level, every contestant is tech- good looking, what are you doing? You
But that didn’t quite happen. Voigt their days at the Oberlin Conservatory. nically excellent, so the judges assess should sing to her, not to the sky. Mat-
other vital qualities; musicianship, thew, he reached everyone.”
had flown back to the states after a Although one diva shy, the Wednes- role interpretation and diction are also
concert in Abu Dhabi, but snow storms day concert was a great success, with vital. “You can have all the (technical Winner of the second place, $5,000
delayed her flight south. Still, everyone the performers receiving an enthusi- skill) in the world but you must also award from Windsor was mezzo so-
figured she would make it in time for astic standing ovation, VBO president master the art,” said one. “You must prano Abigail Levis; third place, $3,000
the concert. But flights were delayed Joan Ortega-Cowan reported. sing the music as it was intended.” from the Sergio Franchi Music Founda-
again and again. Finally, on the morn- tion, went to soprano Helena Brown. Re-
ing of the concert, word finally came On Saturday, before the finals be- Franchi, who absolutely glows with ceiving $1,000 encouragement awards:
that Voigt wouldn’t be able to make it. gan, jury president Matthew Principe her love of opera and her passion for Anne Maguire from Juliet Dykstra;
read the audience a letter from Voigt, helping young artists, agrees that a Ariana Wehr from Louis Lawson; Betsy
Panic did not ensue; the VBO crew expressing “great regret” that she good voice alone is not enough. Diaz from Shay/Webster; Anne Marie
switched into show-must-go-on mode. couldn’t be present. She explained that Stanley from Tommy and Simonetta
Soprano Meryl Dominguez, third-place the snow delay “was compounded by “You must let the voice out like a Steyer; and Masamane Rangwansha,
winner in the first Deborah Voigt com- a recurrence of an illness that had me bird to fly to the sky. One tenor had a a $1,500 award from Jeffrey Petersen,
petition in 2016, was to have sung with hospitalized for a week over the sum- good voice, but he was cocky,” said Segura/Molloy/Petersen Group, Merrill
Voigt. Now she would step into the spot- mer. With doctor’s orders I have re- Franchi. “When you’re singing a love Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith, Inc. 
light, but needed someone to sing with turned to my home for treatments.” As song, you’re so busy being tall and
– a tenor. a former competition winner herself,
Voigt said she knows well how much HOT GLASS
VBO Artistic Director Roman Orte- these awards help “in such a crucial
ga-Cowan drew from his numerous time in a young artist’s journey.” The Treasure Coast’s largest collection of
connections in the opera world’s up- contemporary glass and one of America’s
per echelons and rang up Manny Per- After the eight competitors had given Coolest Stores, right here in Vero Beach.
ez, a sought-after voice teacher with it their all, the distinguished jury delib-
a Miami studio and access to excel- erated: Principe, associate producer for
lent singers. Ortega-Cowan needed a Met Live in HD and Radio; Roman Orte-
tenor immediately, a quick study, to ga-Cowan, in for Voigt; and Eva Franchi,
sing with Dominguez, who was madly widow of Sergio Franchi, internationally
flipping through her repertoire for ap- acclaimed Italian-American tenor and
propriate pieces to sing with an as-yet multimedia star. After Sergio’s death,
unknown tenor – that night. Eva Franchi created a foundation in his
name to award scholarships to talented
Even the impossible didn’t take long; young singers. To date, she says, $1.3
Perez had just the tenor. Roy Hage, who million has been awarded, representing
had a voice complementary to Domin- 980 grants and scholarships.
guez’s was available. Turns out, Hage


7 72 . 2 3 4 . 6711

38 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Sexton helps ‘Poetry & BBQ’ attract three top talents

BY MICHELLE GENZ He’s got a freshly published chap- published by Yellowjacket Press.
Staff Writer book, “Descent.” The Tampa event included Peter

If there is time between readings at Serving as Indian River County’s in- Meinke, Florida’s poet laureate and a
the April 15 annual Poetry and Barbe- augural poet laureate has had an unex- past luminary at one of the Vero bar-
cue to benefit the Laura (Riding) Jack- pected benefit: His latest poems were becues. He and others are part of a
son Foundation, host Sean Sexton can published after the honorific caught web of writers Sexton has strength-
always pull something out of his back the ear of a publisher at an October po- ened over the years as he crisscrosses
pocket. etry reading. “Descent” is now part of the state, and on occasion the nation,
a series of chapbooks by poets laureate to perform at poetry readings and at-
tend poetry conferences.
Sean Sexton.
His encounters have immeasurably
enriched the literary scene in Vero Beach PHOTO BY GORDON RADFORD
as his contacts make their way here year
after year. Sponsored by the Vero liter- Sexton’s lineups typically evolve from
ary group the Laura (Riding) Jackson new friendships with poets he meets. “I
Foundation, the gatherings, now in their badger them to come pray at the church
eighth year, are held under a white tent of poetry for our paltry $500 honorari-
on Sunday afternoons in April, when the um.” But he also manages to include
crush of season has ebbed and Vero’s arts enough temptations to seal the deal.
supporters can finally take a few hours
for themselves. Readings are followed a This year’s headliner, Naomi Shihab
bluegrass band, beer and smoked-on- Nye, whose Vero connections include
site barbecue in the natural beauty of designer Gretchen Rose and children’s
the Environmental Learning Center off author Debra Frazier, will be staying
the Wabasso Causeway. with Charlotte Terry, a founder of the
Laura Riding Jackson Foundation.
This year’s barbecue features three
women poets of different ethnic back- “And she’s bringing her 90-year-old
grounds reading on the theme “Be- mother,” says Sexton.
yond Water and Walls.”
Nye, an Arab-American living in San

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 39


Antonio, first came to Sexton’s atten- imprint known for publishing new writ- Tartt was recommended by Claude tion to discuss a permanent location
tion 20 years ago when her husband, ers, and, as Sexton puts it, “a national Wilkinson, who read his own poetry at for the modest wood-frame house. Its
Michael Nye, a fine art photographer, publisher to die for.” In April 2016, So- the 2015 barbecue. current home at the ELC may have to
had a nationally touring exhibition of telo’s poem “Death Wish” was published be used for that group’s planned expan-
his work in the Indian River Mall. in the New Yorker magazine; other po- As for the weekend’s workshops, sion. The house, which was moved from
ems have appeared in Kenyon Review Pushcart Prize-winning poet Alice Fri- its original location in Wabasso in 1994,
“I just hit it off with Michael so well,” and Boston Review. She is very active man is returning to lead the Saturday may have to be relocated again. Sexton
says Sexton, who invited Nye to his in Houston’s thriving poetry scene, and adult writing workshop April 14 from says Indian River State College is a real
ranch west of Vero. works for the city’s Poetry in the Schools 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friman was the possibility and that its representatives
program. featured poet two years ago when the were very encouraging. To date, it ap-
“You should meet my wife,” Nye told lineup was themed “Three Daughters pears the ELC will let the house remain
him. “She’s a lot more famous than I “I called her during Hurricane Har- of Eve.” The teen workshop, April 14 for another year.
am.” vey,” recalls Sexton. “It was just hitting from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., will be led by Nye.
the coast. Two days later, I looked at her “They’re in for a treat,” says Sexton. If the barbecue leaves no time for
Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. address on MapQuest and there were Sexton read from his new book, his
Louis, Mo. With an American mother red barriers on every road to her house. Those workshops will be held at the fans have another chance to hear him
and Palestinian father, Naomi spent her It looked completely flooded. She had Laura Riding Jackson Foundation’s read – at his own hand-built house on
high school years in Ramallah and Je- gotten the worst of it.” new writing center at 1914 14th Avenue Treasure Hammock Ranch. An Evening
rusalem – as well as San Antonio, Texas. in downtown Vero. That center, the of Readings and Spirits is part of a po-
With 11 published collections of poems, Raised in Laredo and San Antonio, first official location for the foundation etry-themed basket to be raffled at $10
she has accumulated top prizes for her Sotelo refers to herself as a “south Texan now 22 years old, marks a “growing a ticket. The basket includes books by
poetry including four Pushcart prizes Persephone.” Many of her poems have up,” to use Sexton’s phrase. all of this year’s poets. Raffle tickets are
and a Guggenheim fellowship. From references to ancient mythology, but available at the foundation’s downtown
2010 to 2015, she served as chancellor for they can include stinging references to “We see it as a kind of launch for office, which is open from 10 a.m. to 2
the Academy of American Poets. A song- modern myths of ethnicity and gender what happens next,” says Sexton. p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.
writer, she has also written children’s with titles like “Trauma with White Ag-
books and novels. nostic Male” and “Do You Speak Virgin?” The downtown space will be used for Sexton debuted the chapbook two
the foundation’s 25 workshops as well months ago at the annual Cowboy
Also scheduled to read next Sunday The third voice scheduled is that of as its efforts to find a permanent loca- Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. He
is Analicia Sotelo, a 31-year-old Hous- Peggy Ann Tartt, whose 2002 collection tion for its raison d’etre, the Cracker- has read his poems there every year
ton-based poet who is Mexican Ameri- “Among Bones” was published by Lotus style former home of the late renowned since 2011.
can; Sexton calls her “one of the hottest Press, a publisher of black poets. Tartt poet Laura Riding Jackson.
things going in the poetry world.” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize the Poetry and Barbecue takes place April
previous year. She and Sexton have yet Until now, the historic house has 15 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the ELC, 255
Sotelo was suggested by Tony Hoa- to meet, but they’ve spent hours on the been the lone structure representing the Live Oak Drive. Tickets are $25. For
gland, one of last year’s barbecue po- phone. “She is very engaging, I just love foundation. Last month, an informa- more information visit lauraridingjack-
ets. She recently had her first volume her,” he says. tional meeting brought together some 
of poetry, titled “Virgin,” published by 30 professionals, government officials
Milkweed Editions, a long-established and supporters of the literary founda-

40 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Coming Up: Riverside presents must-see ‘Mamma Mia!’

BY SAMANTHA BAITA Throughout its existence, the Choral
Staff Writer Society has dedicated itself to enriching
the community through performances
1 I’ll wager you know the lyrics to and by providing educational oppor-
at least a couple of the irresistible tunities, both of which will be clear in
this uplifting spring presentation. Mu-
ABBA songs from one of Broadway’s sic begins at 4 p.m. Tickets are $20. 772-
longest-running musicals (5,773 per-

formances) – “Mamma Mia!” – which 1 Coming to Riverside Theatre April 10.

opens at Riverside Theatre this coming

Tuesday, April 10. The jukebox musical 3 If you’re in the mood to rock your
Friday night in a fun home-town
phenom that sprang from a collection to Donna, to invite them all to the wed- VBHS senior Lance Lunceford will be
ding, believing she’ll recognize her real featured in the Vero Beach Choral Soci-
of the Swedish pop group’s mega-hits Dad immediately. They all accept. With ety’s “Songs of the Soul Spring Concert” way, with live music in a beautiful park
Donna’s two bandmates and Sophie’s this Sunday at Community Church
has been seen, says the theatre promo, two besties providing advice and an is- of Vero Beach. The Society’s Artistic right on the Indian River, circle Friday,
land full of wedding guests, locals, the Director Jason Hobratschk describes
by more than 60 million people in 50 potential dads, who returned to the is- Lunceford as demonstrating maturity April 13, on your calendar. Sebastian
land they had last visited two decades of musicianship, sensitivity in his play-
countries since opening in London’s ago – and great ABBA tunes “Dancing ing and prodigious technical ability River Area Chamber of Commerce’s
Queen,” “Knowing You,” “Waterloo,” that is “remarkable to see in a young
West End in 1999. This joyful musical is, “Money, Money, Money,” “The Win- musician.” These characteristics led Concerts in the Park series has been
ner Takes It All,” “Mamma Mia” and to Lunceford being awarded the Cho-
of course, the story of Sophie, a young over a dozen more – this one’s an ab- ral Society’s annual scholarship, first rockin’ certain Friday evenings for 19
solute Must-See. “Mamma Mia!” runs in a field of 12 outstanding applicants.
woman whose mom Donna, a single through April 29. Tickets start at $35. “Songs for the Soul” was composed (but years now, with a variety of musical
772-231-6990. not named) by Mozart in 1780 for litur-
parent, has raised her on an idyllic gical use in Salzburg. The second work genres from popular area talent. Bring
on the program is the folk song cycle
Greek island, where she runs a pictur- “The Sprig of Thyme” by John Rutter. your chairs or blankets to Riverview

esque but dilapidated old resort. When Park on the 13th and enjoy the upbeat

Sophie becomes engaged to the hand- music of Ladies of Soul and their Ladies

some and charming Sky, she dreams of of Soul Band. Food (New York Nick’s

having her dad walk her down the aisle, Hot Dogs, Woody’s BBQ, Louie G’s Ital-

but Donna has never disclosed his iden- ian Ice, and Lions Club of Sebastian

tity. When Sophie discovers her mom’s popcorn) and bevs are also available,

diary, from her wild girl-band days, and there’s most always a raffle. Admis-

she learns that her dad could be one of 2 A gifted young musician with a sion, sunset and river breezes are free.
“fervent love for the trombone,”
three men, and decides, unbeknownst Concert time: 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

42 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™



One day last June, scammers from They’d come to mingle with thou- set by social networks and search plat- for wondering if it was somehow spon-
around the world gathered for a con- sands of affiliate marketers – middle- forms. sored by Facebook Inc. Saleswomen
ference at a renovated 19th century men who buy online ad space in bulk, from the company held court onstage,
train station in Berlin. It was a Davos run their campaigns, and earn com- They think of themselves as kin to introducing speakers and moderating
for digital hucksters. missions for each sale they generate. the surfers-slash-bank-robbers of the panel discussions. After the show, Face-
1991 movie Point Break, just more book representatives flew to Ibiza on a
All the most popular hustles were Affiliates promote some legitimate materialistic, jetting from nightclub plane rented by Stack That Money to
there: miracle diet pills, instant mus- businesses, such as Inc. to Lamborghini race while staying a party with some of the top affiliates.
cle builders, brain boosters, male en- and EBay Inc., but they’re also behind step ahead of the authorities. One San
hancers. The “You Won an iPhone” many of the shady and misleading ads Diego crew took in $179 million before It was hard to believe that Facebook
companies had display booths, and that pollute Facebook, Instagram, Twit- getting busted last year by the Federal would cozy up to disreputable adver-
the “Your Computer May Be Infected” ter, and the rest of the internet. Trade Commission for violating three tisers in mid-2017 as it was under in-
folks sent salesmen. Russia was rep- laws governing online conduct. tense scrutiny from lawmakers and
resented by the promoters of a black- The top affiliates – virtually all of the media over revelations that Rus-
mask face peel, and Canada made a them young men – assemble a few The Berlin conference was hosted by sian trolls had used the platform to in-
showing with bot-infested dating sites. times a year to learn the latest schemes an online forum called Stack That Mon- fluence the 2016 presidential election.
and trade tips about gaming the rules ey, but a newcomer could be forgiven

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 43


Officially, the Berlin conference was for That Money. Now, at 31, he’s one of and an additional $1.3 billion else- by an affiliate who sells deceptively
aboveboard marketing, but the attend- the wealthiest men in Poland, with where. (He later showed me reports priced skin-care creams with fake en-
ees I spoke to dropped that pretense a net worth estimated by Forbes at that roughly support those figures.) It’s dorsements from Chelsea Clinton.
after the mildest questioning. Some $180 million. On Instagram, he posts not just affiliates who think Gryn is at
even walked around wearing hats that pictures of himself flying on private the pinnacle of the industry. In June, Facebook has recently put more re-
said “farmin’,” promoting a service that jets, spearfishing, flexing his abs, and just before the conference, Facebook’s sources into weeding out scams. But
sells fake Facebook accounts. thinking deep thoughts. newly installed executive in charge of for years, even as the company’s total
fighting shady ads, Rob Leathern, had ad revenue reached into the billions,
Granted anonymity, affiliates were Last year he posed for the cover of invited him to the company’s London it assigned few engineers to the mat-
happy to detail their tricks. They told Puls Biznesu, a Polish financial news- office to explain the latest affiliate ter. Ben Dowling, one of only three
me that Facebook had revolutionized paper, with his face, neck, and ears tricks. such employees when he was hired in
scamming. The company built tools painted gold. Gryn’s prominent cheek- 2012, says Facebook was focused on
with its trove of user data that made it bones, toned biceps and forearms, The basic process isn’t compli- checking whether ads followed policies
the go-to platform for big brands. Af- perfectly gelled pompadour, and prac- cated. For example: A maker of bogus about things such as the percentage of
filiates hijacked them. ticed smile lend him a resemblance to diet pills wants to sell them for $100 a text and images, and not on catching
his favorite movie character: Patrick month and doesn’t care how it’s done. people with bad intentions.
Facebook’s targeting algorithm is so Bateman, the murderous investment The pill vendor approaches a broker,
powerful, they said, they don’t need banker played by Christian Bale in called an affiliate network, and offers “They definitely didn’t want them,
to identify suckers themselves – Face- American Psycho. to pay a $60 commission per sign-up. that was totally clear,” Dowling says,
book does it automatically. And they but “they weren’t particularly effective
boasted that Russia’s dezinformatsiya “I’m Robert Gryn, and when I’m not The network spreads the word to at stopping them.” (He left Facebook
agents were using tactics their com- playing games or trying to build bil- affiliates, who design ads and pay to in 2014.) The company hired a few
munity had pioneered. lion-dollar startups, I like to live life to place them on Facebook and other dozen reviewers in Austin and Hyder-
the fullest,” he tells the camera in the places in hopes of earning the com- abad, India, to look over ads that users
When I asked who was at the heart trailer for his vlog, drinking from a mug missions. The affiliate takes a risk, pay- or algorithms had flagged as question-
of this game, someone who could ex- that says “I’M A F---ING UNICORN.” ing to run ads without knowing if they’ll able and ban accounts that broke the
plain how the pieces fit together, the work, but if even a small percentage of rules. But affiliates evaded them using
affiliates kept nominating the same When I introduced myself in Berlin, the people who see them become buy- a subterfuge they call “cloaking.” It was
person. He was a Pole who’d started Gryn suggested we decamp to a near- ers, the profits can be huge. easy, especially if you were running
out as an affiliate himself, they said, by bar, saying he was tired of getting Voluum.
before creating a software program so much attention. His online bravado Affiliates once had to guess what
called Voluum – an indispensable tool was just an act, he said; in person, he kind of person might fall for their Gryn’s software allows affiliates to
they all use to track their campaigns, preferred to affect a humble naiveté, unsophisticated cons, targeting ads tailor the content they deliver accord-
ing to a number of factors, including
HOW AFFILIATES PROFIT OFF FACEBOOK the location or IP address associated
with a user. The feature is useful for ad
A merchant wants An “affiliate The affiliates Facebook users When an targeting – for example, showing Span-
to sell something. network” connects ake ads–often engage with engagement leads ish speakers a message in their native
deceptive ones– the ads. to a purchase, the language. But it’s also a simple matter
the merchant and pay Facebook merchant, network, to identify the addresses of Facebook’s
to affiliates. to display them. ad reviewers and program campaigns
and affiliate all to show them, and only them, harm-
get paid. less content.

Merchant Affiliate Affiliate $ Facebook PURCHASE Those who were caught and banned
Network Marketer Ad found that this was only a minor set-
back – they just opened new Face-
$ book accounts under different names.
Some affiliates would buy clean pro-
The affiliate takes a riskby paying for ads upfront. But even if just a small percentage files from “farmers,” spending as much
of users buy, the profits can be huge. Facebook earns money no matter what. as $1,000 per. Others would rent ac-
counts from strangers or cut deals with
defeat the ad networks’ token defens- as if he couldn’t believe where luck had by age, geography, or interests. Now underhanded advertising agencies to
es, and make their fortunes. His name taken him. Facebook does that work for them. The find other solutions.
was Robert Gryn. social network tracks who clicks on the
He told me that having money ad and who buys the pills, then starts Affiliates say Facebook has sent
Gryn strutted into Station Berlin taught him that materialism is unful- targeting others whom its algorithm mixed signals over the years. Their
like a celebrity, wearing a trim gray filling. “Life is like the most beautiful thinks are likely to buy. accounts would get banned, but com-
suit, a shiny gold watch, and gold- game,” he said, sipping a beer in the pany salespeople would also come to
rimmed mirrored sunglasses. He was sun, speaking in unaccented English Affiliates describe watching their ad their meetups and parties and encour-
trailed by a personal videographer, he’d learned in international schools. campaigns lose money for a few days age them to buy more ads.
and men he didn’t recognize ran up “Money is just the high score.” as Facebook gathers data through trial
to him for bro hugs. and error, then seeing the sales take Two former Facebook employees
Gryn estimated that users of his off exponentially. “They go out and who worked in the Toronto sales office
Only a few years ago, Gryn was tracking software place $400 mil- find the morons for me,” I was told said it was common knowledge there
just another user posting on Stack lion worth of ads a year on Facebook that some of their best clients were af-
filiates who used deception. Still, the
sources said, salespeople were instruct-
ed to push them to spend more, and the
rep who handled the dirtiest accounts
had a quota of tens of millions of dollars
per quarter. (He left Facebook last year.)

“We are deeply committed to en-
forcement against malicious advertis-
ers and protection of people’s data,”
David Fischer, Facebook’s vice presi-
dent for business and marketing part-


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nerships, said in a statement. “We re- he didn’t want to give tips to bad ac- ers are caught in the review process, month beachfront apartment two
quire all employees to follow our code tors, but he said the practice has been Leathern said, and Facebook has no months earlier and had already em-
of conduct and act in the best inter- reduced by two-thirds. interest in profiting from those who braced the lifestyle, with a collection
est of both people and advertisers on slip through. “We are working hard to of flat-brimmed hats, a bike for riding
Facebook.” Facebook is adding 1,000 people get these people off the platform,” he on the boardwalk, and a ketogenic diet
to its ad review team, and it’s banned told me. “Winter is coming. They may that forbade eating outside a single
In February 2017, the company ads for cryptocurrencies, which were get away with it for a while, but the par- four-hour window.
hired Leathern, a 43-year-old South popular with affiliates. Leathern has ty’s not going to last.”
African ad startup founder, who’d started engaging with journalists on Gryn employs 88 programmers nine
drawn attention for writing a series of Twitter – and occasionally he reaches I caught up with Gryn a second time time zones away in Poland, and when
online posts about what he described out to individual users. in January in Santa Monica, Calif. He’d I visited, he’d fulfilled his management
as “subprime ads.” His work for Face- moved from Krakow to a $20,000-a- responsibilities by 9 a.m. as usual. He
book has progressed amid unceasing The majority of deceptive advertis- told me he’d decided to share his story
criticism that the social network is because he felt a duty to show young
helping create a society in which little Poles that they can succeed as entre-
can be trusted – a fever that reached a preneurs without relying on govern-
new intensity with the disclosure that a ment graft.
consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica,
acquired the data of 50 million users He said he’d grown up among Po-
without their permission. land’s elite, the son of a mobile phone
executive, with a beach home in Spain
In a sense, affiliate scammers are and a cabin outside Warsaw where his
much like Cambridge Analytica. Be- grandmother taught him to forage for
cause Facebook is so effective at vacu- mushrooms. But he was depressed
uming up people and information as a child, and when he was older, he
about them, anyone who lacks scruples had to be taught how to smile. Nothing
and knows how to access the system he learned in school excited him. He
can begin to wreak havoc or earn mon- paid even less attention in college and
ey at astonishing scale. graduate school, though he obtained a
master’s in marketing. His real educa-
Leathern’s job is to police a $40 tion came on the internet.
billion-a-year ad platform that mali-
cious players are constantly trying Around 2009, Gryn moved to Prague
to subvert. In August he announced to intern at a company called El-
Facebook would start using artificial ephant Orchestra, which specialized
intelligence to disrupt cloaking. He de- in selling ads on misspelled domain
clined to describe the process, saying names such as Elephant

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 47


Orchestra was so profitable that its Soon, Gryn discovered Stack That striking gold,” he said. “You almost in turn borrowed the tactics of fax
founder, then about 26, produced a Money and other forums where they panic.” spammers in the 1980s and ’90s.
feature-length movie about typo do- posted about their millions. Once
mains and got Václav Havel, the for- Gryn realized that what the affiliates Gryn found the affiliates at a mo- Fake personal endorsements and
mer Czech president and anti-com- were doing wasn’t hard, the possi- ment when they were discovering news reports are still the most ef-
munist hero, to make a cameo. The bilities excited him so much that he social media. They’d begun apply- fective tricks. Dr. Oz, the Shark Tank
company’s customers were affiliates. sometimes couldn’t sleep. “It’s like ing tricks on Facebook that had been judges, and Fixer Upper co-host Joan-
invented by email spammers, who’d

48 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™



“This alert [from the Department ical plant was intended to blow it up; government. The Kremlin sees Russian – that is, they should be taken off the
of Homeland Security and the Fed- the attack failed only because the cybercriminals as a strategic asset.” electric grid either permanently or as
eral Bureau of Investigation] provides computer code was defective. Earlier a backup.
information on Russian government in the century, the Stuxnet computer To counter these threats, we need to
actions targeting U.S. Government virus – reportedly created by Israelis take practical steps limiting the expo- The problem with leaving them on
entities as well as organizations in the and Americans – damaged machinery sure of critical infrastructure to cyber- is obvious: In a crisis, the grid might
energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, used in Iran’s nuclear program. attacks. Although there is no hope of be immobilized, weakening the mili-
water, aviation and critical manufac- providing complete protection, we can tary’s ability to respond.
turing sectors.” It’s possible that the threats to U.S. do better than at present. In an inter-
critical infrastructure are exaggerated view, Robert K. Knake, a former Obama Third, Congress should create an
– Joint DHS and FBI memorandum, by nonexperts and alarmists. It’s also administration official now at North- agency to investigate major computer
March 15, 2018 possible that the explosion of hacking eastern University, made three useful hacks. The purpose would be to learn
has prompted firms to improve their suggestions. as much as possible and publicize the
One curiosity of the cyber-age is that cyberdefenses. results so that others could prevent
the American public seems relatively First, we should put the electric grid similar breaches. The new agency
unconcerned by what, arguably, is the “If there’s any silver lining to the at- offline. Instead of using the Internet to would resemble the National Trans-
biggest threat from the Internet: attacks tacks,” says Vikram Thakur, a senior re- transmit data and operating instruc- portation Safety Board, which investi-
on the nation’s “critical infrastructure” searcher at Symantec, a cybersecurity tions, communications would shift to a gates transportation accidents.
– the electric grid, payment networks firm, “it’s that the security posture of self-contained network. Although some
and water systems, among others. our infrastructure has gotten better.” Internet connections might remain, it The Internet represents a perma-
would be harder for outsiders to pen- nent change in the international order.
The reaction to the recent DHS-FBI Still, the threat is indisputable, espe- etrate the system and take control of It has created new avenues for conflict
“alert” is a case in point. The report re- cially from Russia. In recent congres- electricity flows. and social breakdown, both at home
ceived middling media attention the sional testimony, James Andrew Lewis and abroad. It has altered the nature of
day it was issued – and then coverage of the Center for Strategic and Inter- (The main obstacle to this proposal, warfare in constantly evolving ways.We
virtually vanished. Americans and their national Studies put it this way: “Rus- Knake said, is not technology but mon- need to prepare national defenses just
news outlets seem more preoccupied sia is a haven for the most advanced ey. Who’s going to pay for it?) as we would for a conventional attack.
with President Trump’s endless politi- cybercrime groups, and no clear line We can’t pretend this is a bad dream
cal crises. delineates the criminal world from the Second, U.S. military bases should that will vaporize when we awake.
have their own sources of electricity
These may ultimately be far less im- Some thought the DHS/FBI memo
portant than the disorder or chaos in- would be the catalyst that crystallized
flicted by a full-scale cyber- assault on public opinion. People would recog-
the institutions and networks that sus- nize that our adversaries are messing
tain everyday life. not only with our political ideals but
also with fresh water, reliable elec-
Just how vulnerable are America’s crit- tricity and accurate medical records.
ical systems? Probably no one knows, Public opinion would shift from indif-
but a good guess might be “more than ference to outrage, making possible a
you think.” Do we really want the Rus- more aggressive response.
sians, the Chinese and others poking
around in our various cyber-networks It hasn’t happened. What is certain
to destabilize the economy and sow is this: If we fail to act, we will have
panic? only ourselves to blame for the conse-
quences. 
This is not child’s play. The New York
Times recently reported that a cyber- This column by Robert Samuelson for
attack on a Saudi Arabian petrochem- The Washington Post does not necessar-
ily reflect the views of Vero Beach 32963.

PATIENTS’ RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES questions and pay attention to instructions given by caregiv-
ers. If you feel you won’t be able to follow the care plan, tell
Today, patients are an integral part of their healthcare team. your healthcare team. Make sure your healthcare institution
Open and active communication between patients and health- has a copy of your written advanced directive if you have one.
care providers is essential.
National and state guidelines have been developed to delineate CHOOSE AN ADVOCATE
a Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities. Some key elements are
highlighted below: You are encouraged to choose a family member or friend to
be your advocate. Some states, including Florida, require for a
PATIENT RIGHTS form (which you can request from your healthcare facility) to
be filled out to name your advocate. Generally, your advocate
As a patient, you have the right to receive medical care in a can be with you to provide support during your care. He or she
courteous and respectful manner. Your dignity and privacy are can get information and ask questions when you cannot. Your
protected. You have a right to be informed about the care you advocate can remind you about instructions, help you make
will be receiving, to express concerns, and to be listened to. You decisions and/or ask for help if you are not getting the care you
are entitled to make decisions about your care, including refus- need. If you sign a document called a healthcare power of at-
ing treatment, except as otherwise provided by law. Your pain torney, your advocate can act as your legal guardian and have
should be addressed and you should have access to a list of your authority to make decisions for you.
current medications. Your questions and requests should re-
ceive prompt and reasonable responses. You have authority to SPEAK UP
know the names of the people who are providing care for you.
If something goes wrong with care, you have a right to know A future column will offer advice on how you, as a key member
about it. Having a family member or friend to act as your per- of your healthcare team, can make a hospital stay a positive
sonal representative and advocate during care is encouraged. experience by speaking up. Research shows patients who take
part in decisions about their healthcare are more likely to have

To help your healthcare team provide the most effective care, For more information about Florida’s Patient’s Bill of Rights and
it’s important for you to fulfill certain responsibilities. Be sure Responsibilities (F.S. 381.026) and other related topics, visit
to share information about past illnesses, hospitalizations, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration’s website at
medications, and other matters related to health status. Re- 
port unexpected changes or conditions and communicate any
concerns about treatment, care, environment, or other issues Your comments and suggestions for future topics are always welcome. Email
that may impact your care, hospitalization or recovery. Ask us at [email protected].


50 Vero Beach 32963 / April 5, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


na Gaines are among the most popu- Voluum is intended for ad tracking
lar imprimaturs, though Eagle favored and targeting, not trickery, Gryn said.
Kim Kardashian. After she complained Dishonest affiliates could apply other
to TMZ that her name was being used software to the same ends. “We’re not
without permission to promote colon in the business of policing the inter-
cleanses, he bragged on an affiliate fo- net,” he said. “If we ban people from
rum in 2009 that the ads were his. Voluum, they’d be doing the same thing
somewhere else the next day. At least
The latest products include En- we consolidate the bad apples in one
hance Mind IQ – or Elon’s Smart Pills, place.”
as they were called in a recent Face-
book ad falsely suggesting that the As affiliate marketing boomed, so
Tesla Inc. co-founder had talked them did Codewise. Revenue reached $39
up on 60 Minutes. The checkout page million in 2015, according to a state-
says the pills are free, though buyers ment Gryn provided me. Google
must still submit a credit card number. banned Voluum over cloaking con-
Online reviews are full of victims com- cerns, but that didn’t derail the com-
plaining of the subsequent recurring pany – Facebook was where the action
$89-a-month charges. was. In January 2016, Gryn met with
American investment bankers who
Other affiliates use deceptive pic- told him they could get $200 million
tures to sell junky watches, dresses, or more for Codewise, which he owns
and flashlights from Chinese facto- outright. He turned them down.
ries. Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran
says she frequently fields complaints Gryn hired a public-relations agen-
from people duped by skin-cream cy and developed an online persona
ads on Facebook featuring her face. in keeping with his newfound wealth.
Two of her own sisters fell for the For his 30th birthday, he rented a villa
scam, Corcoran told me. “I send out in Ibiza, hired 15 “pool girls” as en-
so many cease-and-desist letters,” tertainment, and flew in eight of his
she said. “But it’s very hard to track friends on a private jet for a weeklong
down the source.” party that cost $250,000.

Around 2011, Gryn started running When he got back to Poland, he
a “Free iPhone” offer in Poland. It was rented a giant billboard in Krakow
his breakthrough. The lottery had real and put up an ad with his face and the
winners, but entrants had to agree to message “Don’t Be a Corporate Slave.
Join Poland’s Fastest Growing Startup.”
be billed a few zlotys ($1 or so) a week. In February 2017, Forbes put him on
It brought in more money than Gryn the cover of its Polish edition, naming
was earning at Elephant Orchestra, him the country’s 57th-richest man. He
and he quit to do affiliate marketing started getting recognized around Kra-
full time. In 2012, when he was 24, his kow and receiving fan mail from young
revenue hit $1 million. people inspired by his story.

The next year his broker flew him to Inevitably, there was a backlash. So
Las Vegas to celebrate with other affili- Gryn went to Phuket, Thailand, cleared
ates. Photos show a nerdy-looking Gryn his mind by training as a Muay Thai
smiling next to an Oompa Loompa his fighter for three weeks, and decided
hosts had hired for a candy-themed to move to California, where he’d fit in
party. The group paid thousands of dol- better. “In Poland, people can’t stom-
lars at a club to chug vodka from light- ach success,” he said. “They associate
up multiliter bottles as big as beagles. it with stealing or thievery.”
Gryn felt awkward and shy, but he knew
he wanted more. “It was absolute deca- Sitting on a bench on the Santa
dence,” he said. “I just wanted to ride Monica pier after a ride on the Ferris
that wave.” wheel, I asked Gryn about the ethics
of affiliate marketing. He said he’d
Also in 2013, Gryn bought out Code- stopped doing it himself, because
wise, a web development company he started to get handwritten com-
in Krakow he’d hired to create a cam- plaints from people who’d entered
paign-tracking tool. The software had his iPhone sweepstakes and couldn’t
modest but supremely useful features, figure out how to cancel the recurring
such as tracking campaigns on mul- charges.
tiple platforms – Facebook, Google,
Twitter, etc. – in one place and altering “I had no idea that this is what it’s
content based on a user’s country. doing to people,” he said. “As an affili-
ate marketer, you just look at the num-
Gryn branded it Voluum and be- bers. You don’t see the faces. You don’t
gan offering it to other affiliates. On see the people that you’re potentially
the first day of sales, 1,000 custom- financially hurting. It just sucks money
ers signed up, at a minimum of $99 a out of the poorest people.”
month. (Gryn said some clients now
pay thousands of dollars a year, based But affiliates, he continued, aren’t
on usage.) He and his employees really to blame. They’re just taking ad-
donned suits for the occasion, spraying vantage of opportunities created by
Champagne around the office as the large corporations in a capitalistic sys-
Twista song Sunshine played on repeat. tem built around persuading people to
buy things they don’t need. 

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