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Published by Vero Beach 32963 Media, 2017-07-20 13:31:46

07/20/2017 ISSUE 29


Landlord gets rid of tenant
complaining of rats. P10
Purchase of defunct
INEOS plant near. P11

Rising property values make
government budgeting easier. P8

Dick Golden, jazz School District
radio host:‘The lost one teacher
music moves you’ in six last year

Staff Writer Staff Writer

Dick Golden, now 73, has Indian River County School
begun what he calls his "tran-
sition to retirement," but it's District lost more than one
difficult to imagine him not
finding some way to remain in sixth of its teachers during the
radio, reveling in the music to
which he has devoted his life. 2016-2017 school year, a high

The part-time island resi- rate of attrition that comes
dent has interviewed jazz leg-
end Count Basie, and once with hard-to-calculate costs
wrote a three-page congratu-
latory letter to Frank Sinatra, to the district and its mission
who responded with a hand-
written note on his personal of educating children.
stationery and then followed
Nearly 200 of the district’s
1,120 teachers left during the
Beloved cafe reopens
as Frères Patisserie 2016-17 fiscal school year

BY STEPHANIE LABAFF which ran through June 30,
Staff Writer
according to documents pro-
Since the sudden death of
Patisserie owner Mark Ed- A collapsing pier in need of repairs at the Vero Beach Municipal Marina. PHOTO BY GORDON RADFORD vided in response to a public
monds earlier this year, many
Vero Beach java junkies have Vero finally getting serious about marina repairs recordsrequestbyVeroBeach
found themselves adrift. For 32963.
most, the Patisserie was more That number is more than
double the 8 percent attrition
BY SAMANTHA ROHLFING BAITA "We've been putting Band- marina a jewel of the commu- rate cited by District Superin-
Staff Writer Aids on all this," councilmem- nity. Something's got to give." tendent Mark Rendell in April.

ber Lange Sykes said. "Repairs "We agree to have the ma- More teachers have left since

The City Council has finally need to be made. We have an rina as a focal point in the he made that claim, but no

gotten fed up with unsightly opportunity here to make the CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

and unsafe conditions at the

Vero Beach Municipal Marina Meg Laughlin: Reporter with
a thirst for truth and justice
that Vero Beach 32963 began
reporting on more than a year

In a lengthy and at times

intense session with Harbor- BY ELINOR J. BRECHER
master Tim Grabenbauer and Correspondent
City Manager Jim O'Connor

during a budget workshop, Meg Laughlin, an award-winning jour-

councilmembers expressed nalist whose reporting for Vero Beach

frustration with the state of 32963 brought the financial challenges

the marina – which provides and operational problems of Indian River

a first impression of the city for Medical Center to the community’s atten-

thousands of visitors every year tion, died of cancer last week. She was 70.

– and said repairs can’t be put CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 Laughlin (right) with Kristen Simpson, whose home was saved.

off any longer.

July 20, 2017 Volume 10, Issue 29 Newsstand Price $1.00 Funky and hunky:
Barefoot Beach Ball
News 1-12 Faith 59 Pets 38 TO ADVERTISE CALL aids lifeguards. P14
Arts 23-26 Games 39-41 Real Estate 61-72 772-559-4187
Books 32-33 Health 43-48 Style 49-51
Dining 52 Insight 27-42 Wine 53 FOR CIRCULATION
Editorial 34 People 13-22 CALL 772-226-7925

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

2 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Dick Golden broadcast on Sirius/XM's Real Jazz chan- gold medal was pretty extraordinary." said, explaining that he grew up in
nel, received the gold medal in the Best Which means it was fitting. the Boston area in the 1950s and '60s,
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Music Special category at the New York Across the past 50-plus years, Gold- when there was a wide variety of mu-
Festivals International Radio Awards. sic across the radio dial.
up with a cassette containing the un- en has enjoyed a pretty extraordinary
mistakable voice of "Ol' Blue Eyes" do- "To be recognized in such a way is career, one that began during his high “Although Elvis Presley and Little Rich-
ing a couple of unscripted promos for quite an honor," said Golden, whose school days in the early 1960s, when ard and rhythm-and-blues were getting
Golden's radio show. radio shows have been aired locally he would ride a Greyhound Bus from a lot of play and were great in their own
– first on WGYL-FM in Vero Beach, Boston to Portsmouth, N.H., to host way, I was drawn more to the jazz artists
He continues to cherish his long- then on WQCS-FM in Fort Pierce – for a radio show on which he would play and the American classics – the well-
time friendship with Tony Bennett, most of the past 30 years, and who has the music that stirred his soul: the jazz crafted songs performed by artists who
who he affectionately and accurately owned a condominium in Indian Riv- of Basie, Armstrong, Duke Ellington could blend lyric with melody and com-
describes as "the man who carried the er Shores since 2012. and Ella Fitzgerald, along with Ameri- municate on an emotional level.
American standards songbook into can standards composed by Irving
the 21st century." "The show was a two-hour birthday Berlin, Cole Porter and George and Ira "That's the music really touched me."
tribute to Tony Bennett and Louie Arm- Gershwin and performed by Sinatra, So while most of his peers were
Then, last month, one of Golden's strong that I did in August 2016," he add- Bennett and Nat King Cole. twisting and bopping to rock 'n' roll,
George Washington University-pro- ed. "For an international radio festival to Golden embraced the music of an ear-
duced radio shows, which now are recognize that genre of music with the "I'm at that intersection," Golden lier generation.
"I didn't tell anybody I was taking a
bus to Portsmouth to play Tony Ben-
nett and Frank Sinatra records on the
radio," Golden said.
Golden next worked for two Boston
radio stations while attending North-
eastern University, where he majored
in English. That big-market experience
led to his move to Cape Cod, where in
1970 he became the first program di-
rector at WCIB before joining WQRC in
Hyannis two years later.
In 1977, Golden experimented with
a six-night-a-week, four-hour program
that featured what he called "Ameri-
ca's music." For the next 28 years, he
hosted "Nightlights" and became the
voice of jazz and American standards
in southeastern Massachusetts.
Golden's show was so popular that,
when the station was sold and the new
ownership announced his program
would air only on weekends, public
outcry persuaded the owners to return
"Nightlights" to its traditional schedule.
Among those who wrote letters to
the station were Carly Simon, Willie
Nelson, Bette Midler, Lionel Hampton
and, of course, Bennett.
It was WQRC owner Greg Bone who
introduced Golden to Vero Beach in
1986, when Bone's company pur-
chased WGYL and WTTB and began
sending recordings of "Nightlights" to
WGYL, which aired the program from
8 p.m. to midnight five days per week.
"Although the program was on tape,
Dave said there was such a vibrant
community in Vero Beach for jazz and
the arts that he needed me to go down
and do some consulting and promo-
tions," Golden said. "So I would come
down four or five times each year, dur-
ing the high season, and I'd stay about
a week or two each time."
He said he quickly fell in love with
Vero Beach, which he felt shared much
of Cape Cod's charm, appeal and
When WGYL was sold and changed
its format in 1997, Golden's program
was eliminated. Two years later, how-
ever, the show was resurrected by Fort
Pierce's WQCS, which aired "The Amer-
ican Songbook" on Saturday evenings.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 3


"So I've been in the market here for feels an honesty that transcends talent lions of listeners. And he still composes "But then, once you get started, a lot
30 years," Golden said. and fame. his shows with the same commitment, of it is feel.
same joy, and same improvisation as
And counting: Golden said WQCS "Louie Armstrong was once asked he has done for more than five de- "I'm actually listening to the music
will soon announce that his program to describe the music he played, and cades, mixing information about each as I'm playing it, and one song leads
will be expanded to five nights per he said, 'What we play is life,' " Golden song and keen insights with his selec- you to the next," he added. "It's not
week (Monday through Thursday and said. "That's exactly what I've always tions to create something special. unlike a jazz song. There's structure,
Saturday) starting Oct. 1. tried to do when putting together a but there's also improvisation. You
program. The music I play is a repre- "You have to have at least the essen- create something in the moment, but
Golden said he was thrilled by the sentation of the American experience." tial ingredients forged in your mind, it fits with the melody.
news – so much so that he plans to so a lot of thought and preparation
move from his home in Washington, Golden, through his radio programs, goes into it," Golden said. "You've got to keep your focus on
D.C., where he has produced his "GW has shared that experience with mil- what's next." 
Presents American Jazz" program for
Sirius/XM on the George Washington Exclusively John’s Island
University campus for more than a
decade, and become a full-time Indi- Showcasing endless, multiple fairway and water views of the South Course
an River Shores resident. is this exceptional 4BR/5.5BA residence. The serene pool and outdoor living
areas are surrounded by lush landscaping, creating the ultimate in privacy. It
“I expect to relocate by next sum- boasts 5,875± GSF, recessed lighting, living room with tray ceiling and fireplace,
mer,” he said. That, too, is part of his dining area with cove lighting, gourmet island kitchen adjoining the family
transition to retirement. But don't ex- room with fireplace and lanai, master suite with private lanai, office and study.
pect him to spend less time in the stu- 280 Island Creek Drive : $2,550,000
dio. His is a labor of love.
three championship golf courses : 17 har-tru courts : beach club : squash
"There was some wonderful music health & fitness center : pickleball : croquet : vertical equity membership
made from the late 1930s through the
end of World War II and into the early 772.231.0900 : Vero Beach, FL :
'50s," Golden said. "Musicologists say
that was a time when popular music
was great, and great music was popular.

"That music is timeless," he added.
"Even today, we have Tony Bennett
collaborating with Lady Gaga. But
Tony Bennett isn't singing Lady Ga-
ga's songs. Lady Gaga is singing songs
by the Gershwins. When they're on
stage singing to 20-year-olds, George
Gershwin is very much alive."

Why does this music mean so much
to Golden?

"I loved people who were able to
communicate the human experience,"
Golden said. "The music that I love
does the same thing. They're not just
songs; they're short stories. But when
you tell them with music – when you
get the perfect voice, the perfect into-
nation, the perfect phrasing, the perfect
melody – you touch people's emotions.

"When Sinatra sings, 'One For My
Baby,' that's art . . . and it's timeless,"
he added. "When you hear a word,
you think a thought. When you hear
a sound, you feel a feeling. When you
hear a combination of word and sound,
you think a feeling or you feel a thought.

"That's why this music endures. It
moves you."

Certainly, it moved Golden, who,
despite not being a musician, has
spent his entire adult life sharing his
love for these words and sounds and
how they make him feel.

He listens to songs composed by Ber-
lin and the Gershwins and he feels the
pride and joy of Jewish immigrants cel-
ebrating their freedom of expression.

He listens to the jazz compositions
and performances of Basie, Armstrong
and Ellington, and he recalls the words
of President Bill Clinton, who cited their
black heritage and astutely described
the genre as "music that was forged in
great pain and played with great joy."

He listens to Sinatra sing, and he

4 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Meg Laughlin even if it ended up not being what she During her years at the Miami Her- From the Herald’s late, legendary
thought it would be.” ald, her fans eagerly pawed through the investigative reporter/editor Gene
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Sunday paper to see what dark tale of Miller, Laughlin learned ‘“Keep it
During a more than year-long battle fraud, corruption, sexism, racism, hy- simple, stupid, and ask 100 questions
In a 35-year career that spanned with cancer, Laughlin – who moved pocrisy, betrayal, greed, cruelty or ex- … ,’’’ said Freedberg. “She wouldn’t be
lengthy stints with the Miami Herald, back to Miami for treatment – con- ploitation she’d dragged into the light. satisfied until she got all the answers.
the St. Petersburg Times and Vero tinued to keep in touch with her Vero I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a hun-
Beach 32963, Laughlin was always Beach sources, nursing a hope she She gave voice to some of society’s ger for truth in anyone.’’
focused on reporting that “made a would be able to return to the jour- most vulnerable – and least sympa-
difference.” nalism wars. “How I wish I was back thetic – people. Among the former: Benjamin hired Laughlin in 2012 for
snooping around for ‘63,” she emailed Haitian house servants, a grieving Vero Beach 32963. The former Wash-
In Vero Beach, in addition to her only weeks before her death. mother tormented by a stalker, fami- ington Post editor specifically sought
hospital articles, Laughlin’s reporting lies in foreclosure. “tough-minded veteran journalists
ranged from stories that exposed mis- “Meg was very proud of the work committed to long-form journalism,
management and corruption in non- she did at the community paper,’’ said Among the latter: death-row in- who wanted the time to report stories
profits to a series that inspired readers her friend Sydney P. Freedberg, who mates, “incorrigible’’ violent teens, ac- and the space to tell them.’’
of Vero Beach 32963 to contribute to a worked with Laughlin at both the Her- cused terrorists and their alleged sym-
fund-raising campaign that saved the ald and the Times. “She said the idea pathizers. In a time of shrinking newsrooms
home of the widow of slain island resi- wasn’t to make a lot of money but to and straight-to-the-web click bait,
dent Brian Simpson from foreclosure. make a difference.’’ “Her life was all about fairness,’’ Vero Beach 32963 was journalism
said her daughter, Helen “Trey’’ Casey heaven for Laughlin.
“Meg’s reporting exemplified the To use a journalism cliché that Guzman.
very best of the type of journalism we would have made her eyes roll: Meg Mark Seibel, a former Herald editor
strive for with Vero Beach 32963,” said Laughlin comforted the afflicted and Laughlin’s work won awards at who sent Laughlin to cover the wars
publisher Milton R. Benjamin. afflicted the comfortable better than both the Herald and Times, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, where she’d
almost anyone in the business. Her the Florida Society of News Editors’ share sweltering, sand-infested tents
“The citizens of Indian River Coun- stories saved lives, homes, careers and Paul Hansell Award for Distinguished with frontline troops half her age, de-
ty owe a debt of gratitude to Meg for reputations, even as they infuriated Achievement in Florida Journalism, and scribed her as “fearless in terms of see-
her tireless efforts to create and focus the rich, powerful and influential. multiple Green Eyeshade Awards from ing what was there and what needed to
awareness on some of the most im- the Society of Professional Journalists. be told.’’
portant issues facing our community,” They were counter-intuitive, often
added Paul Nezi, a retired insurance upending the accepted narrative of She shared in two Herald staff Pu- One of Seibel’s favorite Laugh-
executive who served on the IRMC the event they highlighted. litzers and was awarded a prestigious lin stores involved Elian Gonzalez.
Board of Directors. Knight Fellowship in Journalism at Laughlin figured out that the little
The classic Meg Laughlin story was Stanford University in 1996. boy’s Miami cousin, Marisleysis Gon-
“She was uncompromising and thor- hard to report, harder to write, a treat zalez, who helped care for him, had
ough. She always checked her facts. And to read, and practically guaranteed to Tom Shroder, now a non-fiction been hospitalized 11 times for emo-
she was devoted to finding the truth cause the editor trying to get it into the author, was the Miami Herald editor tional problems.
paper agita. who hired Laughlin full time in 1990.
“Looking into the actual back-
“Nobody could see through the ground of a person who was lionized
bullshit like she could,’’ he said. “A tru- as Elian’s surrogate mother was a very
ly rare talent connected to a thirst for delicate task,’’ Seibel recalled.
truth made her one of a kind.’’
Among Laughlin’s many memorable
The St. Petersburg Times (now the Herald stories: “We Love You Dr. Kes-
Tampa Bay Times) hired Laughlin in selman.’’
2005 to cover the trial of University of
South Florida Professor Sami Al-Arian, Michael Kesselman was principal
accused of terrorist ties. She also cov- of North Beach Elementary, which in
ered the Haitian earthquake, the U.S. 1990 was up for a prestigious U.S. De-
military prison at Guantanamo Bay, partment of Education award. Laugh-
and the criminal-justice system. lin wanted find out what made the
school stand out.
Notable Times stories included
“Doubt,” about a Lakeland man con- Instead, she found that the re-
victed of killing his wife despite evi- vered educator browbeat his staff and
dence implicating another man, and cooked the test-score books. Kessel-
“Right by Miles,” which investigated man lost his job.
why a sheriff’s office failed to investi-
gate its own deputy’s role in a wreck Laughlin adored animals. Her peach-
that killed a teenager. faced lovebird, Parker, flew freely around

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Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 5


her house. She fed whatever showed up tle bird [Homer the great blue heron] freelancer. “We’d watch as the bird ate. Guzman, who went to her mother’s
at the bowls on the porch: feral cats, rac- that hung out at the same time every She did this every day.’’ room. Moments later, Meg Laughlin
coons, possums, even a toad. day by the water, but she’d cut the fish took her last breath.
up carefully, then place the bird’s din- During Laughlin’s last days, her
“When I visited her inVero, I couldn’t ner on a rock,’’ said Marjorie Klein of cat, Plumeria (aka Plumey), snuggled Laughlin requested cremation and
believe that she not only shopped for Asheville, N.C., a former Miami Herald on her chest. At 6:30 a.m. on July 12, no funeral. Her daughter plans a gath-
fish at the fish market to feed this lit- Plumey jumped off and yowled at Trey ering for family and friends in the fall. 

6 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Marina repairs nearby dragged her to the main dock had to wait for service at the marina the Vero Beach Yacht Club. O’Connor
and hauled her to safety, but not before when fueling his boat. "It's happened believes the move was a wise one, on
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 she sustained a nasty gash on her arm. to me a lot," he said, noting that he balance, looking toward future needs,
has observed employees in the office but servicing the debt sucks a whop-
coming fiscal year," said Mayor Laura “The only docks I've seen in Florida hanging out, "having lunch together,” ping $339,000 out of the marina budget
Moss. in worse shape are in Tarpon Springs,” instead of fueling boats. annually – a burden the enterprise fund
a marina resident said at the time. will be carrying for another 11 years.
Longstanding complaints from Residents and visitors have voiced this
boaters and live-aboard residents have Piles of junk that persist for months, same concern about inattentive or in- Council member Dick Winger be-
focused on both cosmetic and safety broken equipment and damaged bath- active employees to Vero Beach 32963 lieves the city should somehow take the
issues. The aging piers are of particu- rooms have been pointed out by ma- for more than a year. Grabenbauer said debt burden "off Grabenbauer’s back,"
lar concern. Some have slippery sur- rina visitors and residents alike. Last there are cameras at the fuel dock so em- although he's pretty sure that's not go-
faces, rotting wood and cracked con- year, Grabenbauer said plans to replace ployees can see when a boat pulls up, ing to happen. He said that the marina
crete with rusting rebar exposed. the north restrooms in 2007 had been even if they are sitting inside, but it was has a reasonable income, but the heavy
put on hold when the economy tanked, suggested to him that employees should debt service pretty much cancels it out.
In April, a woman who lives aboard leaving gaping holes in bathroom walls. be more visible and available outside the
her boat at the marina and her dog office – to "bump up the service." Grabenbauer’s fiscal 2017 budget
were dumped into the lagoon when Shower stalls, partitions and fixtures includes fee hikes for dock, anchorage
the concrete “finger pier” on which were purchased in 2016, but Graben- "I'll talk to the staffers as soon as I and transient rentals to raise more in-
they were standing suddenly col- bauer said they were not delivered get back,” Grabenbauer said. come, and he'll continue to apply for
lapsed. The woman suffered bruises until the winter season when the ma- Florida Inland Navigation District and
on her arm in the fall, but was able to rina was at its busiest. Not wanting to The Council acknowledged the ma- other available grant funding.
make it out of the water and onto the close half the available restrooms at rina's maintenance woes stem in large
dock. The dog was also rescued. that time, he decided to wait until after part from a huge debt-service burden In addition, the city has budgeted
season to do the renovation. that eats up much of its cash flow and $75,000 for center dock replacement and
A marina resident who did not want limits Grabenbauer’s ability to do more $25,000 for restroom renovation as part
to be identified said other boaters and That was last year, however, and than patchwork repairs in response to of three-year $185,000 capital improve-
at least one marina employee have fall- the bathrooms still have not been re- incidents such as the collapse of the ment plan for the marina. The last major
en from the slippery, crumbling docks. paired, a delay that was upsetting to finger pier – which is still unrepaired. dock renovations were 30 years ago.
Sykes. "We're coming into season –
Another source related an incident again,” he said. “I don't know why it's As a city enterprise fund, the marina is Planning Director Monty Falls and
in which a resident boat owner slipped taken so long.” expected to operate on its own income, Vero Beach Marine Commission Chair-
on her dock, and tumbled into the wa- but in 2007 Grabenbauer borrowed $4.7 man Tom Juliano have pledged to work
ter next to her boat. With no ladder on Grabenbauer promised to send out million to buy a dry storage structure, with Grabenbauer to get the repairs
her stretch of dock, she couldn't pull RFPs for the bathroom renovation right with related equipment and floating underway as quickly as possible.
herself out. Fortunately, neighbors away. docks, on a 1.19-acre parcel south of
The workshop session included
Sykes also reported that he's often

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 7


some back-and-forth about the pos- for a breakdown by school. son Flynn Fidgeon reported three more der left for reasons that are not clear in
sibility of privatizing the marina op- Thereare23traditionalpublicschools teachers left Gifford this year – which the school district paperwork.
eration as a last resort, but for now, the would push the total of lost teachers
consensus is to keep it a city operation. in the district. The charter schools were to 19 at the school – new spokesperson School Board members asked to
not included in the district’s report. Cristen McMillan said the three left be- comment on the high teacher-turnover
"We know where we want to go,” fore July 1, 2016, the start date for count- rate did not respond by press time.
Moss said. “Vero Beach is a first-class The school with the highest turn- ing teacher-losses for 2016-2017.
city, and we have a real opportu- over this past year was the Alternative But Randy Heimler, who is running
nity here. I think we can still turn it Learning Center for discipline-prob- Four county schools had turnover for Indian River County School Board
around."  lem students. Five out of 11.6 teachers rates over 20 percent. Storm Grove Chairman Charles Searcy’s seat in the
left – one was part time – for a 43 per- Middle School saw 12 out of 45 teach- November 2018 elections, said he has
Teacher turnover cent turnover rate. Indian River Acad- ers leave for nearly a 27 percent turn- already spoken to nearly 10,000 vot-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 emy had 12 out of 36 teachers leave for over. Vero Beach Elementary had 13 ers in the several months he has been
a 33 percent turnover rate. out of 49 teachers leave, also nearly a campaigning, and teacher turnover is
update on attrition has been provided 27 percent rate of turnover. Dodger- their biggest concern.
to the community. Gifford Middle School had 16 out of town Elementary and Citrus elemen-
53 teachers leave for a 30 percent turn- tary both lost about a quarter of their “The number one issue is the high
The nearly 200 departures also are over rate. teachers – 9 out of 35 at Dodgertown number of teachers leaving our school
almost double the teacher-loss rate and 14 out of 56 at Citrus. district and the reasons why they are
claimed by Rendell for the 2015-2016 In February, Vero Beach 32963 re- leaving,” Heimler said. “The number
school year. ported on two teachers at Gifford Mid- The lowest teacher turnover rate one reason is the lack of respect they
dle who said they left teaching because was at Osceola Magnet, an elementary are receiving from the administration,
The Florida Department of Educa- of discipline problems at the school. school, where just 2 out of 35 teachers the district, and the School Board. This
tion does not require school districts departed. Beachland Elementary had is mostly being caused by the non-en-
to track teacher turnover, and it’s not Both Bonnie Julin and Bill Wood similar low turnover, with only 2 out of forcement of the discipline policy.
clear how sharp a fix Indian River said disruptions in their classrooms 32 teachers leaving.
County School District has on the made it impossible to teach, and said “The teachers cannot teach when they
numbers. The administration initially they left their jobs to save their health. Of the teachers who left, 31 retired, have children that should either be re-
refused to provide teacher turnover more than 120 resigned and 30 were ceiving services or they are just not being
statistics to Vero Beach 32963, saying “My doctor told me I’ve got to stop, coded as “non-renew,” which means properly disciplined by the school ad-
it did not have the figures. I’m going to stroke-out in the class- either they or the district chose not ministration,” Heimler said.
room,” said Julin, whose last day was to renew their contract, according to
This newspaper then paid the dis- in mid-January. school spokesperson McMillan. The “The teachers have nowhere to go to
trict $200 to compile a report, asking district dismissed five teachers and fix this problem and instead they are
“I didn’t sleep last night, all the anxi- two teachers transferred. The remain- becoming more and more frustrated,
ety came back,” said Wood, who devel- and then they eventually just leave our
oped a heart condition that has eased school district.” 
since he took an early retirement.

Although previous school spokesper-

8 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Frères Patisserie he and his wife Maria were buying, The structure of the water here chang- heart of the Vero Beach Arts and An-
that Gomez discovered Patisserie had es things too,” explains Gomez, who tique District.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 closed. “I had no idea what happened. purchased a special water filtration
I saw everything was still in here and system to ensure patrons would get the “My clients were people like Andy
than just a place to pick up French there was a leasing sign out front. My best cup of Joe around. Still at the helm Warhol, Julian Schnabel, Jeff Coons
pastries, organic lunches and a great brother Bruce has been in the bakery of the bean grinder is Papa, everyone's and Jean-Michel Basquiat. At that
cup of coffee – it was a place to catch business in Woodside [in Queens] for favorite Barista, a face synonymous time, some of them were up-and-com-
up with friends, conduct casual busi- more than 20 years. I thought maybe with the original Patisserie experience. ing artists. I would go to their gallery
ness meetings and just hang out. In this was an opportunity.” openings and studios. I have such fond
less than five years Edmonds and his Since pastries are where Tony's exper- memories of that, and I want to create
partner, Christian Garcia, developed a From there events gathered momen- tise lie, that's the initial focus of Frères opportunities for artists here.” Working
cult-like following at the café. tum quickly. Gomez talked with his Patisserie. with local art guru Barry Shapiro, Go-
brother; they made an offer and closed mez intends to create a space at Frères
While the couple will still be missed on the deal quickly. “They were on the But Gomez plans to add breakfast, to display artwork by local artists and
by all who were fortunate enough to verge of walking the big equipment sandwiches, salads and soup, and he open in the evenings for showings.
cross paths with them, the buzz now is out of here. My big brother helped me has already begun to make connec-
that Patisserie has reopened as Frères out. He gave me a purpose. That's why tions with local farmers and produce Gomez so enjoyed his visits to the
Patisserie Vero Beach. New owner we called it Frères, which is French for vendors to add organic, farm-to-table original Patisserie, he says, “We're not
Bennett Gomez became enamored brothers.” ingredients. Once the menu is filled out, doing a clean slate, we're reconstruct-
with Edmonds’ French-style bakery Gomez hopes to extend hours, add beer ing that slate. I want to give people
while visiting the area when he and his After sitting unused for months, and wine, offer dessert wines and open back their space.”
wife were thinking about moving from the place got a thorough cleaning, for special evening events.
the Bayside neighborhood in Queens, inspections were made and licenses Frères Patisserie Vero Beach is lo-
New York to Vero Beach so they could obtained. Frères held a soft open- Gomez was in the art shipping busi- cated at 1910 Old Dixie Hwy. Open
be closer to his mother. ing last Thursday and Tony, the head ness in New York City during the early Mon. through Sat. from 8 a.m. to 4
baker, has been busily making cin- 1980s and feels like he's come full cir- p.m. Visit them on Facebook or call
“When I found the Patisserie, I felt namon rolls, meringues, cupcakes, cle with his new venture nestled in the 772-332-7599. 
like I would be able to live here. The donuts, cookies, pan de sal (Spanish
next time I came back for a visit I salt bread), bread pudding and cakes. RISING PROPERTY VALUES MAKE IT EASIER
stopped by the Patisserie again, and “Once we had coffee, we opened the FOR GOVERNMENTS TO SET BUDGET PRIORITIES
that's when I became certain Vero door,” Gomez says with a chuckle.
Beach was a place we could be happy,”
recalls Gomez as he talks about the in- “Tony worked in the bakery business
explicable draw of the café. in New York with my brother for more
than 20 years. He's getting a feel for
It was during a visit in April, when he things down here. He's used to cook-
was doing a walk-through of the home ing with gas, and we have electric here.

BY LISA ZAHNER “We did have an increase in the
Staff Writer taxable property value from last year
of 7.7 percent, so based upon that
The City of Vero Beach has shelved increase, we have a $454,000 higher
road projects for the past few years as budget than we did last year,” Mayor
other funding priorities and concerns Laura Moss said last Monday at the
over property tax hikes left elected start of the city’s three-day budget
officials with tough budget choices, workshops.
but this coming year a surge in as-
sessed property values will provide “We kept the tax rate the same as
a quarter million dollars for needed last year, living on the assessed value,
road repairs. the increase in the assessed value,”
City Manager Jim O’Connor said. Ve-
Governments across the county are ro’s tax rate is expected to remain flat
benefitting from increased real estate at $2.51 per $1,000 in assessed value,
values that translate to more property the maximum tax rate that the City
tax revenue and are weighing their Council unanimously approved last
options, deciding whether to spend week. For comparison, that rate is up
the extra money or to hold the line on from $1.93 at the end of the real estate
budgets and reduce tax rates. boom of the late 2000s.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 9


City Finance Director Cindy Law- 2012-2013 fiscal year based upon sales
son said a slight upward revision of in 2011.
assessed values released after bud-
get materials were printed show a 7.9 On top of the increase in assessed
percent increase, giving Vero another values, the county plans to raise taxes,
$11,000, still without increasing the increasing its general fund millage
property tax rate. rate nearly 2 percent, from $3.36 per
$1,000 of taxable value, to $3.42. Still
In addition to making road repairs recovering from drastic cuts, and still
and paving possible, Vero’s quarter 30 percent under budget levels in the
million in extra revenue will fund the peak of the real estate boom, county
city’s share of a 15 percent hike in departments want to add a total of 65
healthcare premiums and a 2 percent positions, bringing staffing up to 1,442
across-the-board salary increase for people, inclusive of the “constitutional
city employees – should all those ex- offices” like the sheriff’s department
penditures make it into the final bud- and jail.
get in September for the fiscal year
commencing Oct. 1. None of the published or approved
tentative tax rates are final until each
Indian River Shores is also basing government holds two public hear-
its budget on increased assessed val- ings – at least one that must com-
ue. Like Vero, the Town is expected to mence after 5 p.m. to accommodate
keep the tax rate the same, or possi- residents who work during the day but
bly reduce it as budget talks continue might want to attend or speak – and
this summer. final votes are taken in late September
and reported to the property appraiser
The tentative tax rate voted on by and to the state.
the Shores Town Council last month
was $1.71 per $1,000 of assessed val- The best overall look at property
ue, the same as 2016. values comes from preliminary bud-
get documents published by the In-
The latest numbers show Shores’ dian River County School District, as
property values increasing by 6.73 school assessments span both unin-
percent, but after reviewing those corporated areas and all the munici-
projections, Stabe said Monday, palities across Indian River County.
“We’re setting the increase in prop-
erty values at 5.36 percent over the In the document dated May 23, the
prior year values from the same time school district estimated property val-
frame. At this point we are holding ues would rise 6.79 percent from $16.4
at the 1.7186 maximum millage rate billion in 2016 to $17.5 billion in 2017
since the budget meeting will take when tax notices go out in August. Up-
place after the required date for TRIM dated numbers released last week stat-
notices.” ing property values of $17.6 billion, or
a 7.19 percent increase over 2016 for
As far as how the upward shift in school district tax assessments, will be
property values and anticipated tax presented later this month.
receipts will affect the Shores ex-
pense budget, “We just need to see A bar graph in the School Board
how the discussions from the budget budget packet shows property values
workshop go later this month,” Stabe forecast to increase each year out to
said. 2021, when assessed values are ex-
pected to reach $21.2 billion, citing
Property values in the Town of Or- the August 2016 Ad Valorem Estimat-
chid rose 5.69 percent from 2016, and ing Conference as the source of the
now total $414.2 million in assessed projections.
value. Sebastian property values rose
12.2 percent, in part due to nearly $36 Assessed values can be nearly a
million in new construction. Fells- year and a half behind real estate sale
mere property values rose 6.7 percent prices in reflecting upward (or down-
over 2016. ward) trends in values. Sales for the
calendar year 2016 are used in projec-
Indian River County government tions for taxes billed in the fall of 2017
is looking at taxing property owners and paid during the 2017-2018 fiscal
based on projected assessed proper- year. So a very hot market during the
ty values of $16.3 billion, an increase recent Winter 2017 season will not be
of 7.6 percent over 2016. But County reflected until next year. There is also a
Administrator Jason Brown noted lag time before taxes assessed on new
graphically in budget documents that construction hit the tax rolls.
the county still lags $2.3 billion behind
peak property values in the 2007-2008 Sissy Long of the Indian River Coun-
fiscal year, when total value topped ty Property Appraiser’s Office said
out at $18.6 billion. “Truth in Millage” or TRIM notices
will be mailed out on Aug. 14 show-
That year’s number was based upon ing property owners their worst-case
sales figures during the 2006 calendar scenario tax bill based upon the maxi-
year near the height of the real estate mum property tax rates approved by
“bubble.” Assessed property values the various local jurisdictions. Then
began to decline in the 2008-2009 fis- actual tax bills are sent out on Novem-
cal year, dropping to $17.4 billion and ber 1. 
bottoming out at $12.7 billion in the

10 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Landlord gets rid of tenant who complained of rat infestation

BY KATHLEEN SLOAN tice before ordering her out, instead of lems he was supposed to fix have never ter being bitten by a rat, Ramsey cited
Staff Writer the 15-day notice he gave. been completed or recurred after being Titone for nearly identical infractions,
fixed improperly – with rat infestation noting “inoperable windows,” “exte-
Despite a decision in her favor in Judge Morgan dismissed Titone’s the biggest problem. rior doors are not weather/water/or
County Judge David Morgan’s court- eviction case and ruled Kelly owes no pest and rodent tight.”
room last Friday, Catherine Kelly will rent, but Titone employed a tactic he Asked about Kelly’s complaints,
still be forced out of her rented home has used frequently when renters law- Titone said, “No evidence of rat or roach Ramsey re-inspected the house
by the end of August after complaining yer up and fight his eviction attempts: issues or any other pests has been pre- about a month later and found “all
about rat infestation at the property. negotiating a last-minute, out-of- sented. ... We have observed on several corrections have been made to code,”
court agreement with Stubbs and Kel- occasions dog food and dirty dishes/ according to his report, which had no
When Kelly’s landlord, Mark Titone, ly to evade fines or sanctions. water left in the sink which pest control other details on the violations or cor-
didn’t remedy the rat problem at her will inform you is extremely attractive to rective actions.
home after repeated complaints, she In hallway negotiations, Stubbs gave pests.”
took stronger action, filing complaints up requests for legal fees and damag- Ramsey said Titone usually comes
with the Department of Health of Indian es in exchange for an agreement that Belying Titone’s claim are the Vero into compliance quickly. The latest
River County and the City of Vero Beach Kelly can stay in her home until Aug. Beach Code Enforcement and Health citation “could very well be for differ-
Department of Code Enforcement. 31 and will get her rental deposit back. Department of Indian River County ent windows and doors,” Ramsey said.
documents, which point to poor struc- “It’s a very old house.”
Shortly afterward, Titone tried to Titone owns 44 rental units in In- tural repair as the reason for the rat in-
evict her, claiming she had not paid dian River County. In February, Vero festation. But rats were and still are getting
her June rent and stating that he Beach 32963 reported he has brought into the house. When the Health De-
planned to sell the dilapidated house nearly 70 eviction actions against ten- According to those documents, it partment sent an inspector to the
at 1833 10th Avenue where Kelly lives ants since 2010. Court documents re- appears the house on 10th Avenue has house, not only were “rodent drop-
with her teenage son and daughter. veal a common thread. Many of the had a rat problem for years. In 2014 pings” found, wrote inspector G.R.
defendants claimed Titone promised the house was tenanted by Tina Ku- Schuessler, but there was “a dead rat
Kelly fought the eviction attempt to make a rented property livable, but mar, who also filed a complaint with in a trap in kitchen!!”
and at the Friday hearing her Florida never did. When they complained, he the Vero Beach Code Enforcement. At
Rural Legal Services Attorney, Valen- filed an eviction notice. that time, Code Enforcement Officer Schuessler found that Kelly’s
cia Stubbs, submitted Kelly’s rent re- Tom Ramsey cited Titone for windows “housekeeping is satisfactory,” and
ceipts, proving she is current with her With few homes on the market being inoperable and for windows and saw “no evidence of trash, debris or
rent. Stubbs also argued Kelly’s lease in her price range, Kelly too rented doors not being rodent proof. garbage,” which cleared Kelly as being
required that Titone give 30-days no- Titone’s house at 1833 10th Ave. based responsible for the confirmed pres-
on promises. Since July last year, prob- When Kelly complained in April af- ence of rats. 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 11


Purchase of defunct INEOS plant in home stretch

BY LISA ZAHNER then have the ability to commercialize was shuttered and its secret technology return to the area, the county is not in-
them if there are viable.” was sold off to a Chinese company. volved in the Alliance endeavor, with
Staff Writer one exception: Alliance plans to take
Because of the university involve- “I hope it continues,” Flescher said yard waste from the landfill as “feed-
Alliance BioEnergy's offer to buy the ment and state ownership of the patent, about the open lines of communica- stock” for ethanol production, via an
shuttered INEOS ethanol plant has de Liege said he can be completely open tion. agreement with the Indian River Solid
been approved by the U.S. Depart- about the technology because he’s le- Waste Disposal District.
ment of Agriculture, and the deal is ex- gally protected from anyone pilfering it. De Liege said he plans to host an
pected to close in a couple of months. open house at the plant soon after Al- Commissioners directed staff to
Commission Chair Joe Flescher said liance takes over ownership and has a bring back a 90-day extension to a
Alliance CEO Daniel de Liege told he very much appreciates the transpar- chance to clean the facility up a bit. yard-waste option agreement giving
the County Commission last week ency, because the county was left most- Alliance more time to close on the sale
that finally, after months of delays and ly in the dark about what was or was not Though commissioners want the and begin the plant conversion. 
much longer negotiations than he happening at the INEOS plant before it plant revived and hope to see dozens
ever expected with the bank and the or even hundreds of high-paying jobs
broker of the property, he's ready to
start implementing his eco-fuel pro-
duction plans and, not far down the
road, rehiring former INEOS technical
personnel to help operate the plant.

“They have been reaching out to us,”
de Liege said. “Certainly where appro-
priate we’ll bring those people on be-
cause we certainly need people who
know the facility and have worked there
to get it turned on easily and quickly.”

De Liege said Alliance has all the
funding in place, a combination of
cash and loans, to close the deal. At
the same time, looking ahead at ex-
pansion and development needs, Al-
liance continues to raise money from
the public through stock offerings, de
Liege said, “so I can get as close to zero
debt as I can on this first round.”

“We still have a ways to go on the
closing,” de Liege said, adding that it’s
a minimum 60-day time period of due
diligence, some final environmental
testing and drafting a formal agree-
ment. “Then we get to start painting
and tearing down, not necessarily in
that order.”

Before staffing up to convert the
plant to a patented, mechanical pro-
cess of turning yard waste into cheap
sugar and ultimately into ethanol, Al-
liance will move its corporate head-
quarters from West Palm Beach and its
laboratory equipment and staff from
Longwood, Florida, relocating both to
the former INEOS site.

Chief engineer Jim Brown, de Liege
said, will be the point person dealing
with the county on any needed per-
mits and on general operations.

Alliance plans to produce etha-
nol using technology developed and
tested by University of Central Florida
scientists. The technology is owned by
the state, but Alliance has purchased
the exclusive right to develop and
commercialize the patented process.

“We want to do a scientific incuba-
tor, what we would like to do is have
a satellite, if you will, of the university
right here on our property that deals
with renewable technology,” de Liege
said. “We would foster those ideas and

12 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Consultants seek job of searching for partner for hospital

BY RUSTY CARTER retainer of $20,000 up to a billing rate would have the hospital select finalists Up next was another Chicago firm
Staff Writer of as much as $170,000 per month. within the next 90 days, select a partner called Chartis. The three-man team
by early December and hammer out an told the group, “If you’re a hot prop-
Three consulting firms did their best No formal winner was named, but agreement by the end of April 2018. erty, you’ll get the interest you want.”
Monday to woo members of Indian the non-verbal reaction of committee
River Medical Center’s Collaborative members may be enough to assume at The pair suggested soliciting 20 Chartis pointed out that IRMC
Committee, vying for the job of help- least one of the consultants is already potential partners which, over time, breaks even on Medicare, a feat the
ing the cash-strapped hospital find a out of the running. would be whittled down to 15, then consultants referred to as “the mantra
partner to bail it out. 10 before choosing 2-5 finalists. They in the industry.” On the downside, they
That would be Chicago-based Ju- said they would charge a monthly re- noted that much of IRMC’s physical
The fees they proposed for trying to niper Advisory, which made the first tainer of $20,000, plus other fees. plant is now in its fourth decade of use.
find the right match for IRMC were all presentation. Consultants James Burg-
over the lot, ranging from a monthly dorfer and Barry Sagraves laid out an Collaborative Committee members They also noted that IRMC’s profit
ambitious 11-month timeline that seemed underwhelmed. margin is more dependent on ambula-
tory services. “Is there a partner that can
really deepen the clinical capability?”

“These are not mutually exclusive,”
responded Marybeth Cunningham,
the chair of the collaborative commit-
tee. Added committee member Tony
Woodruff: “We’re not for sale. We’re
looking for a partner.”

Chartis sought a much larger
monthly fee, asking for $160,000-
$170,000 per month. The representa-
tives also pointed out that the com-
pany’s work in the final phase of the
process could be “very significant,”
costing as much as $600,000.

The third contestant was a familiar
face – Maine-based Stroudwater As-
sociates, which has been guiding the
hospital through the early stages of the
change process, including public meet-
ings, and is now competing to stay on
as the partner-selection consultant.

David Whelan, former president of
Stroudwater, said the hospital is “driv-
en by what you’ve established. We will
bring you innovative solutions.”

Worried Stroudwater was stretched
too thin for this next phase, Cunning-
ham asked how many clients Stroud-
water was currently working with. Jeff
Sommer noted they had two projects
in Georgia, two in Texas and one each
in Wisconsin and New York.

Sommer offered reassurance, tell-
ing Cunningham “we are committing
our most senior folks to this project.”

Committee member Tony Woodruff
was blunt in a question to Sommer:
“What’s exciting about us?”

“Significant size and scale,” Som-
mer replied. “$250 million in revenue.
A good chassis on which to build.”

He went on to talk about Stroudwa-
ter’s role in the process.

“We monitor the due diligence, ad-
vise the client on how to deal with is-
sues, and negotiate a resolution with
the partner.”

Sommer also laid out a 12-month
timeline, but said it could be done
in as few as nine months. He quick-
ly conceded the shorter timeline
was unlikely given IRMC’s multiple
boards. The company’s fee for the job?
Up to $390,000. 


14 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™





COVER CAPTION: Mermaid Brandee Anthony, Mayor Laura Moss and Mermaid Teale Beckenbach
1. Amanda Cisneros and Jeremy Cassell. 2. Kristen Runge and Lee Olsen. 3. Vero Beach lifeguards:
(front) Oscar Fontana, Josh Ashley, Erik Toomsoo, Cierra Flores, Zach Weinstein, Graham McLeod and
Evan Weinstein; (back) Colter Hanawalt, Vincent Valentino, Ellis Baker and Aaron Levy.


Funky and hunky: Barefoot Beach Ball aids lifeguards

BY MARY SCHENKEL for a quick dip in their finery. VBLA meetings and training sessions. money for this equipment,” said
Staff Writer Attendance was particularly high “The City Council has really wanted to Toomsoo, adding, “because often-
become educated and I think it’s mak- times we’re going down and plucking
Eclectically dressed revelers packed this year as the Peter W. Busch Fam- ing a big difference. I think they’re fi- some of their guests out of the water.”
tables overlooking the ocean and ily Foundation generously funded the nally recognizing that public safety is
gathered poolside at Waldo’s Restau- cost of tickets so that residents could a function of government and they’ve Their long-term goal, still in the
rant last Saturday for the third an- get to know their lifeguards and all put assets towards keeping the beach- planning and approval stage, is to
nual Barefoot Beach Ball to benefit the they do to keep people safe as they es as safe as possible.” erect a much-needed tower at Hu-
Vero Beach Lifeguard Association. The enjoy Vero Beach’s most valuable as- miston Park. In the meantime, their
VBLA again teamed up with Donna set. The VBLA’s informative Monthly Assets include critical equipment recommendations to improve public
Roberts Mitchell and Sally Dillon of Beach Reports show that from January such as ATVs, which help lifeguards safety include keeping lifeguard tow-
Idea Garden/Planet Vero and Lee Ol- through June, roughly 410,300 people rapidly reach people in distress. The ers open until 7 p.m. during the sum-
sen, manager of Waldo’s, to host the visited Vero’s guarded beaches. city recently provided an ATV to aug- mer to accommodate the hundreds of
zany affair, billed as an abnormal for- ment the one donated last year by the people who visit the beach after work.
mal. The VBLA was formed six years ago Busch family and one they already had.
in response to Recreation Department “Unfortunately, the tragedies we
Partiers dressed to have a bizarre budget cuts that saw a reduction in “So now we have three ATVs; one at have had have been after hours,” said
ball as they danced to Dave and the lifeguard staffing and hours. In the each tower. We’re really happy about Toomsoo. “We would prefer to be pro-
Wave, feasted on assorted tasty good- county, guarded beaches became sea- that,” said Toomsoo. VBLA efforts active and prevent things from hap-
ies, downed Waldo’s famed Voodoo sonal or were eliminated completely, have also created a more integrated pening rather than later reacting to
bucket and watched as little ones raced increasing numbers at city beaches. As system between lifeguards, police and it.”
on the beach and swam in the pool a result of VBLA efforts, support from fire rescue personnel, but they would
with two lovely mermaids. There were governmental entities has significant- like to see an ATV police patrol on the Also on the wish list: additional
also live- and silent-auction items, a ly improved. beach, particularly on busy weekends. storage for their vehicles and equip-
pie-eating contest and a bachelor auc- ment, and a wave runner to better
tion. And as the sun began to set, saxo- “We’re really encouraged,” said Erik “What’s been really good too is that respond to ocean rescues. Because
phonist Mike Howley led those willing Toomsoo, VBLA president, comment- the hotels, specifically [Vero Beach] parking remains an issue, they have
to take the plunge down to the beach ing that City Council members, Rec- Hotel and Spa, Costa d’Este and of put an additional tower at Sexton Pla-
reation Director Rob Slezak and City course Waldo’s, have been super sup- za on the back burner.
Manager Jim O’Connor have attended portive of us as far as helping us raise
For more information, visit 

16 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™



78 9

10 11

12 13

4. Dayle and Brian Lieberman. 5. Lee Olsen,
Ali Walker, and Sydnee and Earl Elder. 6. Kara
Hanson, Chris Woodruff and Emily Dailey.
7. Paula and Doug O’Malley. 8. Sandy Binder and
Leslie Schneider. 9. Samantha Toomsoo, Oscar
Fontana and Terra Mundy. 10. Harmony Rivas,
with Lanette and Kevin Lyons. 11. Katherine
DeVocht, Bruce Black and Billie Moultrie.
12. Ashley and Erik Chelberg. 13. Sally Dillon and
Donna Roberts Mitchell. 14. Erin O’Connell and
Josh Ashley.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 17


Young readers hooked on books at Moonshot Party

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF of “Stone Soup” and also performed
Staff Writer while Assistant School Superinten-
dent Pam Dampier read “The Giving
Words flew off the page last Thurs- PHOTOS: GORDON RADFORD Tree” by Shel Silverstein.
day evening, launching young readers
into the world of books at the fourth PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 “Summer learning opportunities
annual Moonshot Moment Family State Rep. Erin Grall reads to the kids. are so important for our students. I
Pizza Party at the Heritage Center to love the fact that Moonshot reaches
celebrate National Summer Learning Barbara Hammond and Shannon Maitland. Jessica Celaya with children Jordan and Gabby. out to community leaders like Chief
Day. Currey, Erin Grall and myself,” said
Justice. “It helps us to engage with
The Learning Alliance and Moon- kids, and that’s the future of the coun-
shot Community Action Network ty.” She pointed out how impactful it
joined literacy groups across the na- is for children to have strong leaders
tion to promote summer literacy as a telling them, “You’re worth our time
way to prevent the summer slide. The and we value you.”
goal of the National Summer Learn-
ing Association is to reach 2 million After filling their heads with story-
children while advocating for “the book characters, the children hun-
importance of keeping all kids learn- kered down to fill their bellies with
ing, healthy and safe during the sum- pizza and ice cream sprinkled, in a
mer.” nod to this year’s “Stone Soup” theme,
with chocolate stones. Other themed
“Tonight is about the community; activities included rock painting and
celebrating our children and the im- creating chef hats and soup recipe
portance of learning over the sum- cards.
mer,” explained Barbara Hammond,
Learning Alliance co-founder. “Kids The Moonshot Moment Reading
lose 25 percent of their knowledge Rocket bus was also on hand, ready
over the summer, so we really want to launch readers into literacy and
parents and families to read with adding to the revelry with a rousing
their kids and talk with their kids so game of corn hole, the limbo, freeze
that the kids go back to school ready.” dancing and a demonstration by the
Vero Beach Karate Association and
Adam Faust, Glendale Elementary Jason Wesley, the Self Defense World
School principal and emcee extraor- Champion.
dinaire, brought his “A” game once
again, flying in on his magic carpet as The resounding message of the
a blue-clad Aladdin to the delight of evening was that reading is fun! 
eager young bookworms.

“I’m committed to helping kids and
one of the ways we do that is working
with our community partners,” he ex-
plained. “The Learning Alliance and
the Moonshot Moment help us get our
community involved with our public
schools to help elevate our kids.”

The event kicked off with Vero
Beach 32963’s own Samantha Rohlf-
ing Baita, staff reporter and canine
columnist Bonzo’s assistant. This
time Baita brought along a differ-
ent sidekick, Toto, to help read one of
Bonzo’s weekly doggy “day in the life”

The children also listened raptly as
Vero Beach Police Chief David Cur-
rey corralled some crazy monsters in
Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild
Things Are;” school board member
Tiffany Justice inspired the children
to try their best with “The Little En-
gine That Could” by Watty Piper, and
state Rep. Erin Grall shared “Cordu-
roy” by Don Freeman.

To further bring stories to life,
members of the Vero Beach Char-
ter High School Drama Troupe read
and enacted Jon J. Muth’s adaptation

18 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 Allison and Fran McDonough. Veronica Cichewicz with children Ava and Daniel.
Cat and Adam Faust with daughter Sophia.

Luanne Lewis with daughter Amelia. Marie O’Brien and Shanti Sanchez. Lara Silvestre with daughter Catalina.

The Art & Science Frances Reeves and Sarah Martinez. Nikki Boswell and Leslie Connelly.
of Cosmetic Surgery

• Minimal Incision Lift for the
Face, Body, Neck & Brow
• Breast Augmentations & Reductions
• Post Cancer Reconstructions
• Chemical Peels • Botox
• Obagi Medical Products • Laser Surgery
• Liposculpture • Tummy Tucks
• Skin Cancer Treatments

Celebrating Over 25
Years in Vero Beach

3790 7th Terrace
Suite 101

Vero Beach, Florida


Ralph M. Rosato

Tina and Jason Guarino with children Violet, Melanie, and Sloan.

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


An impassioned pitch to interest minorities in baseball

James Willis with youth league players.

lessons, about how to accept failure Florida A&M University. He spent
and how it builds character. And it half of his senior year at Savannah
has taken me places I probably never State University before returning to
would have gone.” graduate from Florida A&M.

Born and raised in Gifford, Willis Although both are Historically
played baseball and football at Vero Black College or University schools,
Beach High School before attending

April and James Willis with their children Kaden and Lathan. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

Braden Duque at bat.

BY MARY SCHENKEL that same passion.
Staff Writer “Back in the day, in Jackie Rob-

James Lakendrick (Ken) Willis inson’s time and Roy Campanella,
is endeavoring to build his field of more blacks played. They came from
dreams within the hearts of minor- the Negro League and it was appeal-
ity youngsters. A physical education ing to the black community. After
teacher and head baseball coach at the Negro League faded out, there
Sebastian River High School, Willis were not a lot of minority figures
loves the game of baseball and would that they looked up to,” says Willis. “I
like to see more minorities develop tell people all the time, baseball is a
great game. It taught me a lot of life

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


there were few minority baseball
players. When he asked why, his
coach bluntly said that he needed
the best players available to win and
that incoming minority students
were not prepared to compete.

“The landscape of baseball has
changed over the years,” Willis ex-
plains. “Most teams are probably
80/20 or 90/10 white to minority at
HBCUs because all the coaches feel
like ‘I have to win to keep my job.’”

Unlike basketball and football,
which are less expensive, can pretty
much be played anywhere and don’t
require as many players, he says mi-
norities are not learning baseball
early enough to obtain the required
skillset to play at the college level –
and that is exactly what Willis aims
to change.

In 2014 he and wife April, aca-
demic coordinator at Indian River
State College, founded Willis Sports
Association, offering free clinics to
children and coaches. April handles
the administrative and fundraising

In 2015 WSA was accepted into
Major League Baseball’s Reviving
Baseball in Inner Cities program;
at the time, it was the only RBI pro-
gram from Miami to Jacksonville.

Their very first week as an RBI
program he received a call asking
for one of his players to be in an MLB
commercial being taped in Mel-
bourne featuring Washington Na-
tionals player Bryce Harper. “So on
opening day it aired and you could
see our kid on TV. That was a great
opportunity that just being a local
league I couldn’t give to the kids.”

Additionally, for the past four
summers MLB has hosted an Elite
Development Invitational camp at
Historic Dodgertown, flying in 200
minority youth ages 12 to 18 from
around the country to expose them
to training from 25 ex-MLB players
and coaches. Hunter Greene, then
a 15-year-old California high school
student, participated in the first EDI
and this June was selected by the
Cincinnati Reds as the No. 2 overall
pick in the MLB Free Agent Draft.

While it’s a little early to see stars
in his group, Willis says “you can see
the growth of the kids and see their
love of baseball and their develop-
ment of the character and life skills
through what we’re doing. That’s
a win-win for me. I love winning
championships in each kid.”

They start young – as in really
young, with Baby Ballers for 2-and
3-year-olds and T-Ball ages 4 to 7.
Leagues begin at age 9 and there
are traveling teams of varying ages.
They’re also starting a girls softball
program. Roughly 65 participated
in Baby Ball/T-Ball this past spring,

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 21

Alicia and Rupert Blackwood with their sons Jakobe and Rupert Jr. PEOPLE

and 84 participated in leagues. “We’re fairly new; no one really rather than introducing it to them
“We’re the first on the Treasure knows about us,” says April Willis. “So in middle school or high school. We
we’re trying to make people aware make sure when they come, it’s a
Coast to offer baseball for 2- and and get some support from the com- place where they can be a kid and
3-year-olds. It’s just something to get munity. We’re in that three-to five- have fun. A 2-year-old might want to
them interested,” says April Willis. year span, the challenging period of hit the ball off the T, but five minutes
starting anything; getting people to later they might just want to chase
“Their parents tell us, ‘Man, on know who we are, why we are.” the ball.”
Saturdays, they wake up saying,
baseball, baseball, baseball!’” Willis “It’s going to take programs like Willis agrees, adding, “The organi-
adds with a smile. “That is a joy see- this, starting from the ground and zation tries to give them a Disney-like
ing those little kids running around building the love of the game, the experience; unforgettable. They’ll
out there.” enjoyment and the fundamentals to talk about it years to come – the fam-
help kids compete at the high school ily bond, the relationships they build,
With Historic Dodgertown their and the collegiate level,” says Willis. and knowing not only the game of
home facility, players are learning baseball, but that they have people
on hallowed ground. But though “It’s putting the life back into it, the that care about them. That goes fur-
MLB clubs support ‘dependent’ RBI fun,” adds April Willis. “And we’re ther than any hit.” 
leagues in their local cities with ev- trying to do it at a much younger age,
erything from free uniforms to um-
pires, RBIs without a MLB club are
considered ‘independent’ and must
find their own funding through
grants, sponsorships, fundraisers
and donations.

One of the RBI requirements is
an enrichment component that fol-
lows the Jackie Robinson curricu-
lum of “Breaking barriers in life and
sports.” Their 4.Me after-school male
empowerment and enrichment pro-
gram at Gifford Middle School will
be expanded to girls next year.

This fall they will add an elemen-
tary-level afterschool program at
Sebastian River and Dodgertown
Elementary and at Fellsmere Boys
and Girls Club called Fun at Bat. It’s
designed by MLB, Shape America,
USA Baseball and Franklin Sports
to teach baseball basics to children
who have never played the game.

“The last half of that 8-week pro-
gram deals with literacy,” says April
Willis. “Each player gets a book and
each week they will have a champi-
onship principal that they go over,
such as responsibility, team work,
leadership, character and being re-

Their greatest need is funding for
a van to transport students from
school to Dodgertown, as the dis-
trict’s after-school bus has very
limited availability. Money is also
needed to purchase uniforms and


24 Vero Beach 32963 /July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Guild ‘shows’ its hand with classic concert benefit

Staff Writer

To the favorites familiar from past Cast members of the Summer Show rehearse at the Vero Beach Theater Guild. P HOTOS BY GORDON RADFORD

performances, the Vero Beach Theatre

Guild is adding songs from a wish list of

future shows as its summer benefit.

The annual fundraiser, which has in-

cluded formats as varied as operettas

like “The Mikado” to readers’ theater

and avant-garde one-acts, this year is a

classic concert, with some of the volun-

teer guild’s top singers not in costume

but in formal wear, taking center stage

at the microphone.

“A classy concert,” as longtime the-

ater guild director and set designer

Mark Wygonik puts it.

Wygonik is co-directing the benefit

with Ben Earman who will also per-

form. Other singers include Vallery

Valentine, a well-known Vero R&B

and soul singer; Scott Freshley, who

in sang the title role in “Beauty and

the Beast,” among many others; Der-

rick Paul, who played Che in “Evita”

and the King in “The King and I”; Sara

Gordon, who was the Witch in “Into

the Woods”; and Kelly Clemenzi, who Vallery Valentine rehearses.

played Cinderella in “Into the Woods.”

Dana Rogers is also in the show; she

played Tracy Turnblatt in “Hairspray.” – include songs from “Book of Mor- time,” says Wygonik.

Jillian Lopes, who played Juan Peron’s mon,” “The Color Purple,” “Boy from “You’re always at the

mistress in “Evita,” will sing a song Oz,” and “Spring Awakening.” All mercy of whether

from “Secret Garden” in the concert. are shows that the Guild is hoping to a theater within 50

Dan Hall will sing the ‘90s Australian stage – as soon as rights become avail- miles is going to be

singer/songwriter Peter Allen’s songs able to community theaters. doing the show. We

from “Boy from Oz,” and “Book of “Some of these shows could be kept applying for it

Mormon.” staged within the next five or ten years,” and applying for it.”

Guild veteran Larry Strauss serves Wygonik says. He says last year’s

as narrator. One musical he particularly looks success getting

Accompanying those voices is a top forward to is “Waitress.” Now in its “Evita” was a lucky

Vero pianist, Jacob Craig, who directs second year on Broadway, it competed break: “We really

the strong and multi-faceted music pro- against “Hamilton” in the 2017 Tonys expected Riverside

gram of First Presbyterian Church. for Best Musical. The Broadway tour is really beautiful music,” says Wygonik. Theatre to be able to do it.”

The as-yet unsung tunes – at least, coming to Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center Music and lyrics were written by Sara In addition to pianist Craig accompa-

not at the Guild’s home, a recently ex- in March. Bareilles, herself a singer/songwriter nying the singers, there will be one oth-

panded playhouse on San Juan Avenue “‘Waitress’ is a wonderful show with and actress best known for her hit er musician in the ersatz pit: Nick Keeler

song “(I’m Not Going to Write You a) on drums.

DO YOU NEED HELP Love Song.” Money raised from tickets sales for
“It’s a very simple show,” says Wygon- the concert will go toward staging plays
ik, explaining that the show’s low-tech – for a change. For the past four years,
qualities make it perfect for limited- the theater has been aggressively fund-

RICOH, LANIER AND budget community theaters. raising for a new three-story expansion.
“Sister Act” is another show he’s hop- Completed last summer, that build-

ing to mount. That show was part of ing expanded storage, added dressing

the all-professional Riverside Theatre’s rooms and bathrooms, and provided a

• Local Sales, Service & Supplies 2016-17 season, after rights were re- rehearsal space so that while one show

• Local Dispatch for Fast and Efficient Service leased to regional theaters. “And high was mounted on the main stage, anoth-

• Local Billing & Invoicing schools can get the watered-down kid- er show could begin rehearsing.

• Local Warehousing of Parts & Equipment die version, which is not what we want Shows scheduled for the upcoming

to do,” he adds. season are Neil Simon’s “Laughter on

When rights do become available the 23rd Floor,” “Joseph and the Tech-

Authorized to big-name shows, Vero’s Guild tends nicolor Dreamcoat,” “Lend me a Tenor,”
Lanier Dealer to pounce. Rights to “Evita” were fi- “The Fantasticks” and “To Kill a Mock-

775 8th Court, Ste. 8 • (772) 778-5543 nally made available to the theater last ingbird.”
season. “It wasn’t available for a long Tickets for the concert are $25. 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 /July 20, 2017 25


McCall’s photography more than a pretty picture

BY ELLEN FISCHER taste the freedoms – and responsibili- never sent overseas; his orders for ing photos that were enlarged to wall-
Columnist ties – of adulthood. Vietnam were discovered behind a file sized murals. One of the company’s
cabinet in the personnel office when owners, artist David Nordahl, became a
Robert McCall will tell you right away “I remember taking photographs McCall was four months away from life-long friend. (Nordahl later became
that he does not do weddings, portraits with it and trying to have some mean- his discharge date. “The guy from the pop star Michael Jackson’s personal
or commissions. ing to it,” he says. office said, ‘Don’t worry about it. You’ve portrait painter.)
got less than a year left; you can’t go. We
“I didn’t have to sell out,” he says. “I His first attempt at creating a mean- took care of it,’” McCall says. A 1972 photo by McCall shows a wild-
could make money other ways.” ingful composition was a still life of a haired Nordahl with a skeptical gleam
pop bottle. He still has a print of that After his discharge, he returned to in his eye, standing with his girlfriend
Before he settled on hanging wall- one. At the time he was a college student Minnesota where he worked for a com- in front of a gigantic earth-moving ma-
paper for a living, he tried making working part time at a gas station, where pany called Pandora Productions, tak-
money with his camera. For a couple he photographed an acid green bottle of CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
years he took photos that were made Kick soda pop on a jet black desktop.
into wall murals. He co-founded a CATCH THE FEVER!
fashion photography business. And “I thought it was cool,” he chuckles.
he worked undercover for a law firm “It was in Ektachrome,” he says, re- OVER 40 BREEDS AVAILABLE
before realizing that he “wasn’t very ferring to a type of color transparency
good at taking photographs of stuff I film, the kind used for slides. Made A portion of each Dog Fever sale will be donated to the
didn’t like to photograph.” for amateur use, it was simpler and Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County.
cheaper to process than Kodachrome,
That, he said, was when he decid- the superior color and longevity of SEE THESE AND OTHER FINE THINGS AT VERO’S FINEST
ed to concentrate solely on “fine art” which were immortalized in Paul Si- COLLECTION OF AMERICAN-MADE ART AND JEWELRY
photography. mon’s 1973 ode to the jaded reminis-
cences of young adulthood. THEL AUGHINGDOGGALLERY.COM 2910 CARDINAL DR.
Although he has never made a living “It wasn’t until I started shooting in VERO BEACH, FL
from his photography, his work in the the Army that I realized what Koda- 7 72 . 2 3 4 . 6711
medium is much more than an avoca-
chrome was,” McCall says.
Robert McCall. P HOTO BY GORDON RADFORD Shooting film, that is.
His life took a turn in 1965
tion. For nearly 50 years McCall has
used his art not only as a diary, but also when McCall got a letter from
as a lens through which he views dif- the draft board requiring him to
ferent aspects of his life: relationships, report for a physical, after which
ideas and experiences. he immediately registered for
college at the University of Min-
He is truly a photographer who takes nesota. He was granted a defer-
pictures to discover what the world ment.
looks like.
That their only child was fur-
Born in Minneapolis in 1946, McCall thering his education made his
says that he began “fooling around” parents happy; McCall, who
with a Brownie camera at age 10, but chose school over soldiering, was
didn’t feel the photography bug’s bite of a different mind.
until he was in his mid-teens.
“I didn’t like school. Didn’t like
That was in the early 1960s, when his it since third grade.”
dad, Robert Sr., purchased an Olympus-
Pen half-frame camera for his own use His college career kept McCall
and allowed his son to experiment with out of the Army for only a couple
it. Small and easy to carry around, it was years. When he withdrew from a
perfect for a young man just starting to class that he was failing, his cred-
it load fell below the 12 hours re-
quired for his deferment.

“I ended up in the service on
April 15, 1969. The April draft in 1969
was the largest draft ever.”

It was also the year McCall began to
consider himself a professional pho-
tographer. When asked during basic
training what his dream job in the mili-
tary would be, McCall said, “I want to do

“You’ll get it,” he was told.
McCall began his photo career as a
lab technician at Fort McArthur in San
Pedro, California. He soon graduated
from developing film and “souping”
prints, to being given a camera and told
to “go out and take whatever you want”
to learn how to use it.
McCall ended up taking photos of
ceremonies, Army basketball games
and head shots of the brass. He was

26 Vero Beach 32963 /July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


pany in St. Paul.” He eventually Coming Up: Magic in the air
took up the paper hanger’s brush with Symphony’s ‘Fantasies’
himself to work as an indepen-
dent contractor – first in Minne- BY SAMANTHA BAITA Riverside Chil-
sota and, after his move here in Staff Writer dren’s The-
1989, in Vero Beach. atre (many of
1 Billed as “a magical concert of cas- whom have
In January 1982 McCall had tles, knights and ladies,” the Space gone on to ca-
his first solo photography show reers in profes-
in Minneapolis, in a restaurant Coast Symphony Orchestra’s first clas- sional theater).
in the Hennepin Center for the Critic David
Robert McCall - Jon Kral 1999. Arts. The exhibition opened on sical concert of the new season, ”Fan- Sherwood in Backstage writes enthu-
one of the coldest nights in Min- siastically about the musical’s “fairy
Robert McCall - My Mother - Ft. Pierce 2009. nesota history. Of the 100 people tasies,” seems certain to enchant. This dust-infused whimsy” and raves, “this
who had RSVP’d for the event, is a celebration of youth and of the
chine. The picture fairly sums up what only about 30 showed up. Nev- Sunday at Community Church in Vero power of theater to inspire children and
young adults in the Midwest looked like ertheless, the show remained adults alike.” The show is based on the
and did for fun back in the day. on display for a month, during Beach, under the baton of Aaron T. Col- 2004 novel by Dave Barry and Ridley
which time several prints were Pearson, and, according to its website,
A couple years later McCall worked sold from it. lins, the orchestra promises to bewitch “upends the century-old story of how
with a designer to create window dis- a miserable orphan boy becomes the
plays for “the largest wallpaper com- At that time McCall was pho- its audience, leading off with Dukas’ legendary Peter Pan.” Show times, on
tographing the South Dakota Riverside Theatre’s Stark Stage, will be
landscape as well as landscapes famous work (that might have been a Friday and Saturday at 1:30 p.m., 5:30
in northern Minnesota near Lake p.m. and 7:30 p.m. One hour before the
Superior. When he found a dark- certain rodent’s most iconic movie role), evening shows and one hour after the
room he could borrow or rent, he matinees, RCT invites you and the kids
printed his black-and-white im- “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Collins to enjoy Riverside’s new Kidspot! with
ages himself. When he couldn’t, games, crafts, activities, snacks, char-
he kept on shooting roll film. says, “The music is absolutely gorgeous acter meet-and-greets and prizes.

In 1998, McCall’s first solo and really creates mental pictures,”
show in Vero Beach inaugurated a
Royal Palm Pointe gallery owned and adds, “I’ve given up trying to get
by photographer David Bazinet.
In more recent years McCall has the image of Mickey Mouse out of my
exhibited in the Vero Beach Art
Club’s annual Art by the Sea Ex- head.” The first half of the program also
hibition at the Vero Beach Mu-
seum of Art. The museum’s then- includes “Elsa’s Processional to the Ca-
director Lucinda Gedeon bought
one of McCall’s ocean abstracts thedral,” a wonderful work from Wag-
from the show in 2007.
No matter how personal the subject, ner’s “Lohengrin,” depicting Elsa’s en-
McCall has one unalterable rule.
“Whatever I take pictures of, it has to gagement to Lohengrin, a knight of the
be more than a pretty picture. It has to
have something interesting about it. I’ve Holy Grail. Part two brings Berlioz’s in-
always had that.” 
tense and passionate “Symphonie Fan-

tastique,” inspired by “a fever-dream of

unrequited romantic love.” $20 advance 3 Locals “in the know” make up the
lively crowd at the small and styl-
tickets are available through the SCSO

website and at Marine Bank’s Vero ish Havana Nights Piano Bar, upstairs

branches. Tickets at the door are $25. at Maison Martinique Restaurant at

The concert begins at 3 p.m. The Caribbean Court Boutique Hotel,

tucked away amidst tropical foliage

2 Bring your children to this one, on south Ocean Drive. You’ll find live
and you will likely be delighted,
music Monday through Thursday from

too, with “Peter and the Starcatcher,” 4:30 pm., and Friday and Saturday from

performed by the talented students of 5 p.m. 

By Patrick Malone and R. Jeffrey Smith | Washington Post The unique research and produc- America’s warhead production ex-
tion facility is located at Los Alamos pressed worries that the facility was
An extended shutdown of the arsenal, with key work postponed National Laboratory (LANL) in New ill-equipped to prevent an accident
nation’s only scientific laboratory and delays looming in the produc- Mexico, the birthplace of the U.S. that would kill its workers and po-
for producing and testing the plu- tion of components for new nuclear atomic arsenal. The lab’s director tentially others nearby.
tonium cores for its nuclear weap- warheads, according to government ordered the shutdown in 2013 after
ons has taken a toll on America’s documents and officials. the Washington official in charge of Parts of the facility began renewed
operations last year, but with only

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 29


partial success. And workers there last nium at the facility from becoming engineers specialized in keeping the A criticality accident is an uncon-
year were still violating safety rules “critical” and fissioning uncontrollably. plutonium from fissioning out of trolled chain reaction involving a fis-
for handling plutonium, the unstable “They’re not where we need them yet,” control. The lab has 10. sionable material such as plutonium
man-made metal that serves as the he said of the lab and its managers. that releases energy and generates a
sparkplug of the thermonuclear ex- The safety risks at the Los Alamos deadly burst of radiation. Its preven-
plosions that American bombs are de- tion has been an important challenge
signed to create. Then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, center, visited Los Alamos. for the nuclear weapons program since
the 1940s. Criticality accidents have
Los Alamos’s persistent shortcom- Aerial of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Plutonium Facility 4. occurred 60 times at various nuclear
ings in plutonium safety have been sites in the last half-century, causing a
cited in more than 40 reports by gov- A February report by the Defense plutonium facility, which is known as total of 21 agonizing deaths.
ernment oversight agencies, teams Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, an PF-4, were alarmingly highlighted in
of nuclear safety experts and the lab’s independent safety advisory group August 2011, when a “criticality ac- The problems at Los Alamos were
own employees over the past 11 years. chartered by Congress, detailed the cident,” as it’s known, was narrowly revealed by a year-long investiga-
magnitude of the gap. It said Los Ala- averted, one of several factors prompt- tion by the Center for Public Integrity,
With key work at Los Alamos de- mos needs 27 fully qualified safety ing many safety officials there to quit. which also found several unpublicized
ferred due to safety problems, offi- accidents at other privately run U.S.
cials and experts say the United States nuclear facilities.
risks falling behind on an ambitious
$1 trillion update of its nuclear arse- Los Alamos’s handling of plutonium
nal, which former president Barack was the target of internal and exter-
Obama supported and President nal criticism a decade ago, around
Trump has said he wants to “greatly the time of its takeover by three prof-
strengthen and expand.” it-making firms – Bechtel National
Inc., URS (now AECOM) and BWXT
During the hiatus, Los Alamos has Government Group Inc. – in an alli-
had to forego 29 planned tests of the ance with the University of California.
safety and reliability of plutonium cores “We couldn’t prove we were safe,” said
in warheads now deployed atop U.S. Douglas Bowen, a nuclear engineer on
submarine-launched and land-based the laboratory’s criticality safety staff at
missiles and in bombs carried by air- the time, “not even close.”
craft. The facility also hasn’t been able
to make new plutonium cores to re- In September 2007, the facility in
place those regularly withdrawn from question – technically known as PF-4
the nuclear arsenal for testing or to be for Plutonium Facility Four and locat-
fit into warheads, which are being mod- ed in a highly secure part of the Los Al-
ernized for those missiles and bombers amos campus in the mountains above
at a projected cost of billions of dollars. Santa Fe – was shut for a month while
managers conducted new training
“The laboratory shut down an and created an internal safety board to
important facility doing important fix its problems.
work,” said James McConnell, the as-
sociate administrator for safety, in- Alarms were sounded more loudly
frastructure and operations at the after a nuclear technician positioned
National Nuclear Security Administra- eight plutonium rods dangerously
tion (NNSA), a semiautonomous arm close together inside what is called a
of the Energy Department, in a recent glovebox – a sealed container meant
interview at the agency’s Washington to contain the cancer-causing pluto-
headquarters. “What we didn’t have nium particles – on the afternoon of
was the quality program that we want.” Aug. 11, 2011, to take a photograph for
senior managers.
Ernest Moniz, the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology physicist who Doing so posed the risk that neu-
served almost four years as President trons emitted routinely by the metal in
Obama’s energy secretary, said in a sep- the rods would collide with the atoms
arate interview that “we were obviously of other particles, causing them to fis-
quite concerned about” the shutdown sion enough to provoke more colli-
at Los Alamos. Moniz said he consid- sions and begin an uncontrolled chain
ered the situation there a “mess” and reaction of atom splitting.
the testing interruption “significant.”
As luck had it, a supervisor returned
“I don’t think it has, at this stage, in from her lunch break and noticed the
any way seriously compromised” the dangerous configuration. But she then
nuclear arsenal, Moniz said. But he ordered the technician to reach into
added that it was still his conviction the box and move the rods apart, and
that “obviously we’ve got to get back to a more senior lab official ordered oth-
that” work as soon as possible. A mock ers present to keep working. Both de-
plutonium core was made at Los Ala- cisions increased, rather than dimin-
mos last year in a demonstration timed ished, the likelihood of an accident,
to coincide with a visit by Ashton B. because bodies – and even hands –
Carter, then secretary of defense. contain water that can reflect and slow
the neutrons, increasing the likelihood
At a public hearing in Santa Fe last of a criticality and its resulting radia-
month, McConnell said that while Los tion burst.
Alamos is making progress, it is still
unable to resolve the safety issue that “The weird thing about criticality
provoked its shutdown four years ago, safety is it’s not intuitive,” Don Nich-
namely an acute shortage of engineers ols, a former chief for defense nuclear
who are trained in keeping the pluto-

30 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


safety at NNSA, said in an interview. Workers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Plutonium Facility 4. issues that contributed to the LANL
The calculations involved in avoid- Director’s decision to pause opera-
ing criticality – which take account Rods of plutonium placed precariously close for this 2011 photo. tions in June of 2013,” safety board in-
of the shape, size, form, quantity and spectors wrote.
geometric configuration of the pluto- agement has not yet fully embraced the tubes held or where they’d come
nium as it moves through more than its commitment to criticality safety.” from, the safety board said. In May, In 2016, for the third straight year,
a dozen messy industrial processes – workers packed a drum of nuclear the Energy Department and the De-
are so complex that it takes 18 months Shortfalls persisted in 2015, and waste with too much plutonium, pos- fense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
of training for an engineer to become new ones were discovered while the ing a criticality risk, and in the ensuing each listed criticality safety at Los
qualified, and as many as five years to facility, still mostly shut down, was probe, it became clear that they were Alamos as one of the most pressing
become proficient. used for test runs. relying on inaccurate and confusing problems facing the nuclear weapons
documentation. Safety experts had program, in their annual reports to
That’s why the consequences of the In January and again in April 2015, miscalculated how much plutonium Congress. “Required improvements
2011 incident were so severe, even workers discovered tubes of liquids the drum could safely hold. to the Criticality Safety program are
though a criticality did not occur. containing plutonium in seldom-used moving at an unacceptably slow
Virtually all the criticality specialists rooms at PF-4, with labels that made “These issues are very similar to the pace,” the most recent NNSA perfor-
responsible for helping to keep work- it hard to know how much plutonium mance evaluation of Los Alamos, re-
ers safe at Los Alamos decided to leased in Nov. 2016, said.
quit, having become frustrated by the
sloppy work demonstrated in the in- Hazardous operations at PF-4 slow-
cident and what they considered the ly started to resume in 2016, but prob-
lab management’s callousness about lems continued. In June, after tech-
nuclear risks when higher profits nicians working in a glovebox spilled
were at stake, according to interviews about 7 tablespoons of a liquid con-
and government reports. taining plutonium, workers violated
safety rules by sopping up the spill
The lab’s inability to fend off a with organic cheesecloth and throw-
deadly accident eventually became ing it in waste bins with other nuclear
apparent to Washington. materials, posing the risk of a chemi-
cal reaction and fire, according to an
Four NNSA staff members briefed internal Los Alamos report.
Neile Miller, the agency’s acting ad-
ministrator in 2013, in an anteroom A similar chemical reaction stem-
of her office overlooking the Mall that ming from the sloppy disposal of Los
year, Miller recalled. The precise risks Alamos’s nuclear waste in 2014 pro-
did not need an explanation, she voked the shutdown of a deep-under-
said. She said that criticality is “one of ground storage site in New Mexico
those trigger words” that should im- for the waste for more than two years,
mediately get the attention of anyone a Department of Energy accident in-
responsible for preventing a nuclear vestigation concluded. That incident
weapons disaster. cost the government more than a bil-
lion dollars in cleanup and other ex-
With two of the four experts re- penses
maining in her office, Miller picked
up the phone that day and called Frank G. Klotz, the NNSA director,
McMillan at the Los Alamos com- has tried to be upbeat. In March, he
plex, which is financed by a federal told hundreds of nuclear contractors
payment exceeding $2 billion a year. packed into a Washington hotel ball-
She recommended that the key plu- room for an industry gathering that
tonium lab inside PF-4 be shut down, PF-4 was fully back in business, having
immediately, while the safety defi- “safely resumed all plutonium activi-
ciencies were fixed. ties there after a three-year pause.”

McMillan responded that he had Klotz said the updated nuclear
believed the problems could be solved weapons would be delivered “on time
while that lab kept operating, Miller and on budget.”
said. He was“reluctant” to shut it down,
she recalled. But as the telephone con- But a subsequent analysis by the
versation proceeded, he became open Government Accountability Office
to her view that the risks were too high, clashed with Klotz’s description. In
she added. So on McMillan’s order, the an April report on costs associated
lab was shut within a day, with little with the NNSA’s ongoing weapons
public notice. modernization, the GAO disclosed the
existence of an internal NNSA report
The exact cost to taxpayers of idling forecasting that PF-4 will be unable to
the facility is unclear, but an internal meet the plutonium-pit production
Los Alamos report estimated in 2013 deadlines.
that shutting down the facility where
such work is conducted costs the gov- Moreover, late last year when Los
ernment as much as $1.36 million a Alamos conducted its first scheduled
day in lost productivity. invasive test of a plutonium pit since
the shutdown of PF-4 more than three
Initially, McMillan promised the years ago, it did not produce the need-
staff that a “pause” lasting less than a ed results, according to NNSA’s annual
year wouldn’t cause “any significant evaluation of Los Alamos’s perfor-
impact to mission deliverables.” But at mance last year.
the end of 2013, a new group of safety
experts commissioned by the lab de- The test involved the core of a refur-
clared in an internal report that “man- bished warhead scheduled to be deliv-
ered to the Navy by the end of 2019 for

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 31


use atop the Trident missiles carried if they were storing a vehicle for years plutonium-pit operations at Los Ala- Active NNSA sites that fit that de-
by U.S. submarines. A second attempt while still expecting the engine to start mos. Options being considered include scription include the Savannah River
involving a different warhead was can- and the vehicle to speed down the upgrading the facilities there or “add- Site in South Carolina, the Pantex
celed because the safety analysis was road at the sudden turn of a key. ing capabilities or leveraging existing plant in Texas and the Nevada Na-
incomplete, NNSA’s evaluation said. capabilities elsewhere in the country, tional Security Site. The NNSA ex-
At the public hearing in Santa Fe at other sites where plutonium is al- pects to complete its analysis by late
Weapons designers say these tests on June 7, NNSA’s McConnell said the ready present or has been used.” summer. 
are akin to what car owners would do agency is studying whether to keep

32 Vero Beach 32963 /July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


The fires were big news, for a while. ed, “Love and Fire,” has now been ex- three core convictions. First: Ar- never really follows up), but she does
Accomack County, on Virginia’s East- panded into “American Fire,” a brisk, son, as crimes go, is really, really a masterful job of portraying a com-
ern Shore, spent late 2012 and early captivating and expertly crafted re- interesting. Second: A wave of munity finding its best self. “No-
2013 under siege, enduring 86 arsons construction of a community living unsolved crimes can have unex- body was driving drunk, nobody was
in five months’ time, most of them set through a time of fear, confusion and pected effects on the fabric of a burgling,” she writes. “The sense of
in abandoned buildings. No one died. danger. community, not all of them nega- community outrage and pride got
For a while, investigators wondered if tive. Finally, and most important larger, and the firefighters became
they had a criminal mastermind on What Hesse found at the end of to Hesse: Love is strange. intimately acquainted with the bak-
their hands, but when the firebugs her journey to the far side of the ing skills of every sympathetic house-
were finally caught, they turned out Chesapeake Bay was Trump coun- How strange? Boy meets girl, boy hold on the Eastern Shore.” Later in
to be two locals, a pretty ordinary try, though no one called it that then. proposes to girl on bended knee at the book, Hesse tallies the human
couple in a complicated kind of love, Rural and mostly white, Accomack the local roadhouse, boy and girl effort involved in fighting and inves-
a love that found extraordinary ex- County was and is a close-knit com- hit hard times, boy loses the abil- tigating the fires set by Charlie and
pression in late-night flames. munity battered by a long economic ity to perform in bed, boy and girl Tonya: 41,302 hours, 14,924 of them
decline. Following the 2016 elec- drive a gold minivan around with overtime, by the Virginia State Police
He confessed; she protested her tion, reporters have fanned out to their eyes peeled for unused, de- alone. At one fire station, volunteers
innocence, not convincingly; both such places, but aside from a couple caying buildings – of which the play Call of Duty day and night un-
of them went to prison. In March of pages of commentary about mass Eastern Shore has thousands, just til they’re interrupted by yet another
2013, Monica Hesse, a writer for The media’s neglect of rural America and sitting there, ready-made symbols alarm – and off they go, uncomplain-
Washington Post and a novelist (“Girl a few stray observations about small- of decline, oddly beautiful in their ing.
in the Blue Coat”), traveled to Ac- town mores and shopping habits, dereliction and oddly beautiful
comack County to cover the trials of Hesse isn’t writing political para- when set aflame. Arson is an offense tailor-made for
Charlie Smith and Tonya Bundick. journalism. rural places full of old buildings, and
The lengthy feature story that result- Hesse spends a chapter com- Hesse also delivers a great book about
Rather, her book is grounded on paring Charlie and Tonya to Bon- fire. In many places, “American Fire”
nie Parker and Clyde Barrow, reminded me of Sebastian Junger’s
and she makes the analogy work, essays on the subject, or even of Nor-
though you may need to squint man MacLean’s classic “Young Men
a little. Tonya, a lot like Bonnie, and Fire.” Hesse is interested in the
was a showoff with something to way fire moves, the way it’s set and
prove and a streak of poetry in her the way it’s fought, but most of all
soul. Charlie, like Clyde, was . . . in the power it has over the mind:
well, OK, Charlie wasn’t much like Why do we like to see things burn?
Clyde. Charlie was a high school By the time the culprits are caught,
dropout, a onetime volunteer a squadron of arsonist profilers has
fireman, a guy who thought he’d descended on Accomack County, and
found the love of his life, but who their insights form some of the most
found himself a world of trouble interesting portions of the narrative.
instead. Bruce Springsteen would
know what to do with this. Hesse’s story is built not out of ar-
chives but from interviews, dozens
By page 11, we know whodunit. of them: Just about everyone in town
And we know what been done. The has talked to her, and the reader
trick of “American Fire,” handled comes to understand that the au-
by Hesse with wonderfully ca- thor’s greatest strength is her ability
sual assurance, is that she doesn’t to take people at face value, whatever
show us her firestarters starting she thinks of them or what they’ve
any fires, not until very near the done. Only Tonya Bundick refused
end of the book. Rather, she shows to do more than a cursory interview,
us Charlie and Tonya living the but still Hesse bends over backward
noncriminal half of their lives, to make her a sympathetic figure
the normal part, and she makes (still, by the end of the story, I was
us care. Charlie tries to make ends convinced that not only was Bundick
meet doing auto-body work; Tonya guilty, but that she was in the grip of
opens a small clothing boutique in some kind of advanced psychosis).
the office of Charlie’s shop. In one
of the book’s best moments, Charlie The roads of Accomack County
and Tonya are sharing a Christmas feel well-traveled; the houses feel
Day meal at the Royal Farms gas sta- lived-in; all of the people, by the time
tion when they’re joined by a pair of the book closes, feel awfully famil-
police officers. They all know each iar. There are echoes here of Tru-
other; everything in this book is re- man Capote’s “In Cold Blood,” but
lentlessly local. “Y’all must be busy, for all that book’s majesty and dar-
with all the fires going on,” says ing, something clinical and superior
Charlie to the cops. It’s a banal scene, hovers over its prose; Hesse, using a
but given what we know and what we similar reporting style, is not so am-
suspect by that point of the book, it’s bitious or comprehensive. In the end,
also a small, delicious thrill. however, she may tell a much more
One of the gladdest – and, in other human story. 
ways, saddest – aspects of the book
is the way the fires bring the people AMERICAN FIRE
of Accomack together. Hesse mutes Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
the poisonous spread of suspicion
that invariably occurs in such situ- By Monica Hesse
ations (she says that “people turned Liveright. 255 pp. $26.95
on their friends and neighbors,” but
Review by Scott Berg
The Washington Post

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 /July 20, 2017 33


This new biography is the mas- and her broad grasp of the formed and passionate abolition- protest a form of performance art.”
terpiece that the gadfly of youth- era’s scientific issues inte- ists, encouraging his activism. But Thoreau was preoccupied with
ful America deserves. I have been grates Thoreau’s dawning no person in his life affected him
reading Henry David Thoreau and ecological conscience into more than his handsome older natural rhythms: day and night, sum-
reading about him for 40 years; I’ve a better-understood context brother, John Jr., whom he adored. mer and winter, seed and harvest. He
written a book about him myself. than most writers on the Henry imitated him in hobbies, ro- celebrated their parade and exploit-
Yet often I responded to Laura Das- topic can provide. mance and even – after John died of ed their symbolism. In Walls’ later
sow Walls’ compelling narrative tetanus in Henry’s arms – in medical pages, as Thoreau battles tuberculo-
with mutterings such as “I never Every biographer faces symptoms. John’s death resulted in sis and slips toward death at the age
knew that” and “I hadn’t thought of the challenge of portray- Henry’s breakdown, out of which he of 44, she aptly employs his own im-
it that way.” I found myself caught up ing and deciphering a sub- climbed with difficulty. agery: “As the days shortened and the
in these New England lives all over ject’s parents — their his- leaves fell, a new Thoreau emerged:
again. tory, their mythic resonance Thoreau’s era is fascinating for pensive and sadder, slower, deeper.
throughout the subject’s many reasons, including the Tran- As he fought to regain strength, fight-
On a foundation of rigorous schol- life. Walls does both with scendentalist reassessments of reli- ing the grave, he turned to the most
arship, Walls, a professor of English aplomb. “John Thoreau gion and society during the 1840s, the common activities and the most
at Notre Dame, resurrects Thoreau’s would be remembered as bloody results of the Fugitive Slave mundane needs with intentionality
life with a novelist’s sympathy and a quiet man,” she writes of Act of 1850, the war with Mexico be- and deliberation. Walden had been
pacing. Most of her previous books Henry’s father, “unambi- tween 1846 and 1848, and the start of his book of spring and summer. Now,
are about either the American Tran- tious and too decent to press the Civil War, which was still raging willing his recovery, he was learning
scendentalists or the explorer and the hard bargains needed when Thoreau died in 1862. Far from a mind of autumn. In these darken-
naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, for success in the cash-poor hiding out in the woods, Thoreau was ing and haunted pages of his Journal,
early republic. But time and passionately involved in these issues. Thoreau began to trace the outlines
again, he met defeat by tak- His now-famous night in jail was an of Walden’s sequel: he would call it
ing a forward leap, such as orchestrated public protest; he sup- Wild Fruits, and it would be his final
opening his own store, and ported the violent abolitionist John harvest.” 
when it failed, trying again Brown. Decades later, both Gandhi
in Maine.” Walls builds up and Martin Luther King Jr. credited HENRY DAVID THOREAU
John’s character scene by scene, and Thoreau’s essay “Civil Disobedience” A Life
when he dies, I felt deeply sad despite with helping inspire their own non-
knowing this story well. violent activism. By Laura Dassow Walls
Henry’s mother, a huge influence University of Chicago Press. 615 pp. $35
on her son and a woman whom many Walls is too well versed in Tho-
friends and neighbors memorial- reau’s life to accept his own often Review by Michael Sims
ized, comes alive in this biography. contradictory pronouncements or The Washington Post
“If few noticed John,” Walls writes, his semi-fictional first-person narra-
“everyone noticed the indomitable tor as necessarily factual. She teases
Cynthia, who stood a head taller out nuances and implications, but
than her husband and was one of without unfounded speculation. And
the most famous talkers of the day, often she sums up a trait with a sly
full of wit and anecdote spiced with image, such as the final clause of this
sarcasm, and blessed with that brisk sentence: “Moving to Walden Pond
efficiency that New Englanders call thus had a double purpose: it offered
‘faculty.’” She remains a strong and a writer’s retreat, where Thoreau
witty presence throughout. could follow his calling as spiritual
Both of Henry’s smart and re- seeker, philosopher, and poet; and
sourceful sisters, Helen and Sophia, it offered a public stage on which he
influenced him – not least as in- could dramatize his one-person rev-
olution in consciousness, making his


1. Camino Island 1. The Swamp BY ERIC BOLLING 1. Wonder BY R.J. PALACIO
2. Hillbilly Elegy BY J.D. VANCE 2. Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty
BY JOHN GRISHAM 3. Make Your Bed
2. A Gentleman in Moscow BY WILLIAM MCRAVEN
3. The Legend of Rock Paper
BY AMOR TOWLES 4. Rediscovering Scissors BY PETER BROWN
Americanism BY MARK LEVIN
3. Beach House for Rent 4. If I Had a Little Dream
5. Earnest Hemingway: A

4. Cocoa Beach 5. From Percy Jackson: Camp
Half-Blood Confidential
5. The Little French Bistro


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


A Girlfriend Memoir

Thursday, July 20th at 6 pm

34 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Thoughts about a nuclear North Korea – and what to do now

BY RICHARD KERR most leaders, his personal survival ing our finger nails is not a reasonable tives of taking military action, impos-
probably is a primary concern. alternative. ing sanctions on China that probably
Nuclear weapons have been used in would have limited effect and damage
anger only twice – bombs dropped on The threat of catastrophic action In a recent interview, Robert Gates, relations, or doing nothing all seem
the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and against the US or South Korea is aimed former Secretary of Defense and Di- like poor choices.
Nagasaki. at getting attention, some economic rector of CIA, said sanctions against
and political concessions and proba- China would be feckless. He also be- But Gates’ proposal has too many
Their use ended the World War but bly some measure of national support. lieves military action could result in moving parts and depends heavily on
launched an arms race, raising the Kim may also be trying to provoke a war on the peninsula. “good faith.”
threat that these staggeringly powerful U.S. military response that would re-
weapons could destroy the civilized sult in strong reaction from the Chi- Gates proposed a strategic deal with Inspection regimes conducted by
world. nese, the United Nations and frighten China that would involve some con- third parties are notoriously flawed.
South Korea into measures aimed at cessions to North Korea but only on the
We have lived with this threat for al- reducing the American presence. condition that real limits were placed Perhaps some combination of these
most three quarters of a century, and on North Korean military programs en- various approaches might be attempt-
although there have been times when Should the US just sit and watch forced by an international monitoring ed. The U.S. could begin talks with Chi-
concern over the use of nuclear weap- North Korea’s nuclear and missile pro- group and supported by China. na along the lines suggested by Gates.
ons has been real, assured mutual de- grams. No! Just sitting by and chew-
struction of the parties involved pre- That’s a big order but the alterna- To keep the pressure on, it would
vented a nuclear exchange. be necessary to tighten economic and
financial efforts limiting ties between
At present, more than a half dozen North Korea and the rest of the world
nations – the five major powers and without imposing dramatic sanctions
several others – have nuclear weap- on China.
ons and the capability to deliver
them via ballistic missiles. North Ko- A shoot down of the next North Ko-
rea is on the brink of adding itself to rean missile test also would show our
that list. resolve without too great a risk of a
significant military escalation. It may
Many believe that the leader of come to war on the Korea peninsula
North Korea is irrational, and might – and that would indeed be a tragedy.
well be willing to use nuclear weap- But there are worst outcomes than
ons. Consequently, they are urging military conflict.
preemptive action to stop the North
Koreans from attaining the capability Living under the constant threat
to deliver a nuclear weapon via an in- that Kim-Jong-un might make an “ir-
tercontinental ballistic missile. rational” decision and use his nuclear
weapons is not acceptable.
It is worthwhile, however, to ques-
tion whether Kim-Jong-un is irrational Regime change may be the only real
or whether there is some calculus that solution. One question I always have
would restrain him from such drastic had is whether the North Korean mili-
action. tary would follow its “dear leader” into
a fatal conflict. I continue to wonder.
First, North Korea’s leader must
know that use of a nuclear weapon Richard Kerr, an island resident and
under any circumstance would result former Deputy Director of CIA, writes
in the end of him and his regime. Like columns on national security for Vero
Beach 32963.

ARE YOU AN INPATIENT OR a less acute setting (not a hospital), you will be discharged and services © 2017 VERO BEACH 32963 MEDIA, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
OBSERVATIONA PATIENT? PART II you need will be coordinated per your physician’s orders.

Last time, we explained the difference between inpatient, outpatient and Q. CAN A PATIENT BE PLACED IN OBSERVATION AFTER UNDERGOING
observation status for patients who are covered by “Original Medicare.” AN OUTPATIENT SURGICAL PROCEDURE?
A. The intent of outpatient surgery is for you to have your surgery and
Today we’ll share some frequently asked questions and answers about go home on the same day. Medicare allows four to six hours as a “recov-
observation status. ery” period. However, if you experience a postoperative complication,
such as:
Q. WHAT IS OBSERVATION STATUS? o inability to urinate
A. Observation status usually starts with an Emergency Room visit. If you o trouble keeping solids or liquids down requiring IV feedings
need to be observed, evaluated or require a significant period of treat- o cannot ambulate after spinal anesthesia
ment or monitoring to help the doctor decide whether you should be ad- o unexpected surgical bleeding
mitted or released, you will likely be considered an observation patient. o unstable vital signs
your physician may place you in observation for monitoring, and
FOR OBSERVATION STATUS? If you decide you’d like to stay overnight for convenience, but your
A. Observation status is appropriate for problems that can usually be medical condition doesn’t warrant an overnight stay, the hospital may
treated within 24 hours, or in cases where the cause of the problem be able to accommodate you. However, Medicare will only pay for the
has not yet been determined. Examples include vomiting, weakness, period of care that was medically necessary. You will be responsible for
headache, stomach pain, nausea, some breathing problems, fever and the additional time.
some types of chest pain.
A. While Medicare generally covers 24 hours of observation, other in- A. If you have Original Medicare, inpatient admissions are billed under
surers cover different amounts of observation time. Usually a decision Medicare Part A – with all hospital-related charges covered in full, after
as to whether the patient can be discharged or needs to be admitted you’ve meet your annual deductible. If you are an observation patient,
can be determined within the 24-hour period. outpatient deductibles and co-pays apply.
Physician billing – both for services provided in the hospital and in
Q. WHAT IF THE PATIENT’S CONDITION DOESN’T REQUIRE ACUTE the doctor’s office – is paid through Medicare Part B. Deductibles and
INPATIENT CARE? co-pays apply. 
A. If the doctor and hospital determine your care can be performed in
Your comments and suggestions for future topics are always welcome.
Email us at [email protected].

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38 Vero Beach 32963 /July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


No Bull! Bonz says this Mastiff is one cool Dude

since I’m a cool dude myself …” Bark that startled the kibbles out of me.
I picked up my pencil from the
“Woof! That’s Way Pawsome! floor. “Dog! That was intense!”
“I KNOW. So that alone can
Hi Dog Buddies! You’ve sure got it goin’ on!” keep bad guys away. But, truth

Woof! Wait’ll you hear who I inter- “You bet yer Beggin’ Strips.” be told,” he leaned closer, “when
viewed this week. I mean, this pooch- there’s a car backfire, or thunder
eroo takes Cool Kibbles to a whole new “So tell me about yourself,” I or fireworks, I hide under the bed.”
level. He’s a 110-pound Bull Mastiff who
everybody calls “The Dude.” I KNOW! urged. “No woof!”
Right? We met in his office over by the “Lassie’s Honor. PopPop’s
HOS-pittle, where he works a coupla “Sure, Dawg! It can get a little thinkin’ about getting’ me a Thun-
days a week as a consultant and patient dershirt.” The Dude’d been chewing
support associate. confusing, so stop me anytime.” on a toy panda, and now he arose,
dropped the slightly soggy bear, and
Soon as me an my assistant entered “Roger that.” ambled over and laid his big head on
the office, we spotted a sign on the in- his PopPop’s knee.
side door that said, “The Dude Abides.” “So, when my human sister “Any special pooch pals?” I queried.
The receptionist said The Dude’d be “I’m buds with all the neighborhood
with us in a minute, an pretty soon he Katie was startin’ med school, dogs, but my cross-the-street neighbor,
came strollin’ out, big, good lookin’ Quinnie Campbell, she’s special: pret-
pooch, fer sure, lotsa character, black she decided she wanted a dog, tiest little Yellow Lab you’d ever wanna
around his sorta mushy face and gold meet.” He sighed and got That Faraway
everywhere else. so she did some research an Look.
“I hear ya, Dawg,” I said.
“Bonz! Dawg! Great to meet you! I’m found out us Bull Mastiffs I couldn’t believe it was time to go
Dude Heskel: They call me The Dude. already. “It was great yappin’ with you,
This is my Pop Pop, Neil. My Mom – I are good at stayin’ home, Dude. You’re a dog after my own heart.”
call her Bunn – travels a lot for work, so “Back atcha, Bonz. Hey, let’s get to-
me an PopPop are bachin’ it.” and aren’t super high-main- gether one of these nights. We can have
coupla Meat Pops an watch ‘The Big
I noticed The Dude’s dad was wearing tenance like some of those Lebowski.’ It’s my fav!”
this cool tie with Bull Mastiff silhouettes “Lookin’ forward to it,” I told him.
all over it. Sweeet. fluff-muffin-y diva dogs Heading home, I was makin’ a mental
list: Tell Mom about Meat Pops. Put ant-
“It’s a pleasure,” I told him. (no offense). So she got lers on the grocery list. Circle my birth-
After the Wag-and-Sniff, The Dude led day on the calendar.
us back to his office. On the way, I com- King. He was a real cham-
mented on “The Dude Abides” sign and The Bonz
he showed me the back, which they turn pion, a big deal pooch fer
to the front when he’s left the building. It Don’t Be Shy
says, “The Dude has gone bowling.” sure. He just stole hearts
I was a little puzzled. “Bowling?” We are always looking for pets
He chuckled. (Most dogs don’t know right and left, including with interesting stories.
HOW to chuckle, but it totally suited The
Dude.) “See, I was named for that guy in Bunn’s. He had about To set up an interview, email
the movie “The Big Lebowski.” Back in [email protected].
the ’90s humans went barkin’ nuts for 50 kids all together. So,
it. Anyway, a human called Jeff Bridges
played The Dude, who was Super Cool Bunn totally wanted The Dude, Bull Mastif
(for a human). And he loved bowling. So, one of King’s puppies.
But all his kids had families
already, ’cept for the very last litter be- v o u s
fore he retired. The breeder out in Cali at first. But not
told Bunn only one puppy from that lit- for long. Now I have the coolest
ter was still available – ME. SHE says she life. I love my family, an I have a ton of
told PopPop, but PopPop says he doesn’t pooch an people friends. At work, I’m
exactly remember that. Anyway, by the really good at helping patients stay nice
time she got back in touch, it was Too an calm, an I’m always available if they
Late: Somebody’d put a deposit on me, need a Second Opinion.
“I usta play in the ocean, but I drank
an poof! I was gone.
“Bunn was bummed, but, just in case, too much salt water and barfed all after-
she called First Dibbs on me, if they noon. So that’s out. Other than goin’ for
changed their minds. WELL, Bonz, as walks and the occasional car ride, I’m
you probly figured out, the first deal fell cool just hangin’ out at my place, right
along river, with the fam. You know, that
“Woof! That was a close one!” I ex- peaceful, easy feelin.’”
“Word,” I said.
“You bet your biscuits it was! Bunn an “You’ll get a kick outta this Bonz.
PopPop had me flown all the way from You’d think cuz I’m a big, impressive
Cali, an they picked me up in OrLANdo. poocheroo I’m a fearless watchdog. For
I was only 4 months old and sorta ner- example, this is my bark.”
And he bellowed out this Big Deep

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 /July 20, 2017 39


John Buchan, a Scottish politician and author who wrote “The Thirty-Nine Steps,” said, WEST 7 EAST
“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual 87 10 5 3 9542
series of occasions for hope.” J 10 9 3 QJ765 AQ65
J974 A62
The same can be said about bridge. Whenever you make a bid or play, you hope it K 10 8 SOUTH 43
will prove best. More often than not, it is right to stick to the tried-and-true actions, but K 10 6
occasionally doing something unusual will work like a charm. K842
In this deal, look only at the West hand. What would you lead against three no-trump, A92
given that you know from the Stayman auction that dummy will have four spades and
declarer holds four hearts? Dealer: North; Vulnerable: Neither

If South had denied a four-card major, North would have rebid three clubs, which would The Bidding:
have shown game-forcing values, a four-card major and longer clubs. Perhaps five clubs
would have made and three no-trump failed due to a fatal heart weakness. SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST OPENING
Pass Pass
In a social game, sitting West was Susan Ludwig of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. 1 NT Pass 2 Clubs Pass LEAD:
Normally, one would have expected her to lead the diamond four. Here, that would have 2 Hearts Pass 3 NT All Pass ??
made the defense difficult. East would surely have won with his ace and returned a
diamond. Then, though, declarer would have established the club suit and cruised home.
To defeat the contract, East would have had to win the first trick and shift to hearts, a very
tough play to find.

Ludwig led the heart jack, which worked perfectly. The defenders easily took three hearts,
one diamond and one club.

40 Vero Beach 32963 /July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

7 Gown (4) 1 Bay (4)
8 Well-spoken (8) 2 Produce (8)
9 Discover (6) 3 Falcon that hovers (7)
10 Writer (6) 4 Majestic (5)
11 Director (7) 5 Brusque (4)
13 Fragrance (5) 6 Declare (8)
16 Different (5) 12 Self-rule (8)
17 Bike bag (7) 14 Real, solid (8)
19 Riddle (6) 15 Thirsty (7)
21 Root vegetable (6) 18 Elementary (5)
23 Discourteous (8) 20 Gleam (4)
24 Grass clod (4) 22 Sculls (4)

The Telegraph

How to do Sudoku:

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

The Telegraph

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 /July 20, 2017 41


ACROSS in the city 13 Evergreen “leaf” 76 Welles role The Washington Post
84 Puts the cuffs on 14 Browned quickly, 77 Nile avian
1 Canoe-bark tree 85 Handle shape, in 78 Mountain road RODENTS’ GALLERY By Merl Reagle
6 Tyke’s tender as tuna
10 Parts of a flight space 15 Edward K. shape
15 Live in sewers, for 86 Dental degree 80 President’s
87 Greek sun god Ellington
example? 91 Musical Joplin 16 Mayberry moppet promise
19 Palmer, to pals 92 With 97 Across, 17 Prop for 19 Across 82 Like a grate
20 Biggest dessert at a line from a 18 Carefree, to 86 Units of force,
in physics
the rodent fairy tale? Camille 87 Crackers brand
Rodent Diner? 95 Fries lightly 20 Old bed condition 88 Composer Satie
22 The ___ Carta 97 See 92 Across 21 Extra-noteworthy 89 He was the
23 Related 99 Sapporo sash 26 “Bennie and the
24 Guinea pig tender 100 Investment in the Wolfman
25 Dry, cold wind Jets” 90 Popular business
of France and future? singer
Switzerland 101 Fine all around 29 16 Down’s pop mag
27 Docking place 102 Church section 30 Pooh pal 91 Styne at the
28 “Well, whattaya 103 Opp. of 8 Down 31 “___ in the wrist”
know!” 106 Exam adjective 32 Little Steinway
29 Jessye Norman 108 Name-change homewreckers 93 Lobster catcher?
selection 33 London restaurant 94 See 117 Down
32 Pitcairn, for one: nation hub 96 Tipper’s guy and
abbr. 110 Start of the 35 Fighting sound
34 Yasir, that’s his effect on TV’s others
baby: abbr. second half of the Batman 97 The elusive
36 SSW U-turn 6th century 37 Cozy recess
37 New pet rodent? 112 Walt Kelly 38 Mind’s I spondulix
42 Hidden hikers character 39 Secretariat rider 98 Ashbury crosser
44 Popular beverage 113 Radiated Turcotte 103 Rodentlike
at the Rodent happiness 40 Young lady of Sp.
Diner? 115 Most popular 41 1973 Orson insectivore
45 ___-schmancy dessert at the Welles film about 104 Too much sun or
46 Dance great Alicia Rodent Diner? frauds,
48 Soldier adjective 121 “And it won’t cost ___ Fake worry, for example
49 Latin word on a you 42 Soft or hard 105 Gleason’s
bill ___” products
51 Pisa’s river 122 Rodent tycoon? 43 Freud’s daughter bartender
52 Au alternative 123 Hollywood Hopper 45 Beatles adjective 107 Ingrid Bergman’s
53 Top bond rating 124 “___ old pappy 47 Puts
54 Shampoo brand used to say ...” 50 Bullshout character in
55 Rich rodents’ 125 Fish sandwiches 52 Canine comments Casablanca, Ilsa
home? 53 Piedmont town ___
61 Tony Randall film, DOWN 54 Game played with 109 “Gotcha!”
7 Faces of Dr. ___ mallets 110 Say (it) isn’t so
63 “Doo-dah” lead-in 1 Bingo call 56 Verve 111 Trip “vehicle” of
64 Munchkin kin 2 Her, to Hesse 57 Sword handle the 1960s
65 Locate 3 Bakker was one: 58 Ore ending 112 Worst
67 Literary 59 Abner’s pal, on 114 Educ. liaison
monogram abbr. radio 116 Shatner and
69 “___ man 4 Magnon intro 60 Escape route? Shak.
answers ...” 62 Exxon rival 117 With 94 Down,
72 Nile ophidian 5 Honey-sesame 66 Mr. Ferrari play on which
74 Rodent’s favorite seed candy 68 “Moonlight,” for Cabaret is based
snack? one 118 ___ de Cologne
79 Dixon’s colleague 6 Helens intro 69 “___ little 119 He lost to JFK
81 Enjoy 7 Asian gazelle confused ...” 120 Jamboree org.
empanadas, e.g. 70 Funny Girl subject
83 Capybara’s home (or a topless 71 Press adjective
Hawaiian island?) 73 Boringly
8 Musical abbr. explanatory
9 Cole Porter show, 75 Loose talk
Red, Hot, ___
10 Casablanca
11 Lobster catcher
12 Masterminded

The Telegraph

42 Vero Beach 32963 /July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Couple raising triplets doesn’t need unsolicited advice

STORY BY CAROLYN HAX THE WASHINGTON POST weirdly like picking a favorite. marks on one’s parenting is for the kids to grow up.
But even that stuff is several orders of magni- People just can’t or won’t help themselves, and in
Dear Carolyn: My husband my experience, at least, their resistance seems to
and I have triplet boys, preschool tude easier than shaking off the steady rain of get weaker the more children you have in tow. Mul-
age. We’re blessed, but one thing bystander opinions. tiples? Red capes to the meddling bull.
has become bothersome.
I wish I had a great solution for you, but the So prepare a brief, perfectly civil response that
We usually dress them similarly. only surefire cure I’ve found for unsolicited re- you can have at the ready at all times. “Thanks for
It makes things easier because we your concern” is a good one. Or, “I’ll keep that in
can buy three outfits at a time, mind.” And if someone’s rude or oblivious enough
they aren’t fighting over who gets to follow up: “We’ve got this.”
to wear a certain shirt, and we can
easily pick them out when they’re This is ideal for strangers and other drive-by
playing in the park. God forbid if something were to butters-in. When you hear from people you care
happen to one, we could tell whoever is looking for about enough to attempt some retraining, you can
him that he looks just like these other two, perhaps say instead: “I know you mean well, but managing
just in another color or pattern. kids in triplicate means advice in triplicate, too,
However, we often have well-meaning people, and what’s most helpful is for people to let us do
from strangers to close friends and family, tell us our thing.”
that the boys will resent us for doing this in the fu-
ture. We often hear that we’re stifling their imagi- And what a thing it is – good for you guys and
nations and individuality by putting them in good luck.
matching outfits.
When my husband and I were little, we were Re: Triplets: For all I know, I got this from a col-
subjected to coordinating outfits with our siblings umn or chat of yours years ago, but I’m a big fan of,
and suffered no lasting damage. We know as they “Thank you, but I am not in the market for parent-
grow they’ll start to push back. ing advice right now.”
In the meantime, is there a polite way to tell peo-
ple to back off? Or to help us let this go? – Anonymous

– Matching Anonymous: For all I know, you did get it from
me, but I don’t recall saying it.
Matching: Another advantage you didn’t men-
tion: When I was dressing twins, there was al- I like it either way, thanks, in part because of its
ways the nagging question, who gets the warmer foundation in the fact that no parent on Earth is in
sweater/softer jeans/cuter shirt? It always felt the market for unsolicited parenting advice right
now or ever. Nothing like a universal truth mixed
in with your civil deflections. 


44 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Construction starts on new IRMC endoscopy center

BY TOM LLOYD Dr. Gregory MacKay.
Staff Writer
Having gastrointestinal issues? You
are far from alone.

The National Institute of Diabetes
and Digestive and Kidney Diseases re-
ports that well over 70 million Ameri-
cans are affected by various digestive
health problems annually.

That’s roughly one in every five peo-
ple in the country.

Those digestive – or gastrointestinal
– problems lead to well over 6 million
in-patient hospital procedures each

Combine those numbers with the
American Cancer Society’s April 2017
prediction that colon cancer will
claim some 50,000 lives this year, and
the overall gastrointestinal picture
might seem somewhat bleak.

In the eyes of Indian River Medi-
cal Center gastroenterologist Dr.
Gregory MacKay, however, the local
outlook is much brighter now that
construction has begun on the new
Scully Endoscopy Center at the Vero

Beach hospital. dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome,
“We’re thrilled,” says a smiling hemorrhoids, anal fistulas, peptic ul-
cers, abdominal pain syndrome, bili-
MacKay. “I think it’s going to be ex- ary tract disorders, gallbladder issues
cellent for patient care. We’re going to and pancreatitis.
be able to take care of more patients
with this center. And, it’s going to be, I That’s a massive workload and an
think, easier for patients to access our even longer checklist to go through
center.” before any accurate diagnosis can be
Pausing only briefly, MacKay adds,
“We’ll have areas for family to wait MacKay knows that better than
and we are getting new scopes and most. In 2012, he was one of the cur-
equipment to fully outfit” the new fa- rent center’s founding fathers and
cility. since then the number of patients
seen each year has nearly doubled.
Endoscopy, in its simplest terms, is
the use of Lilliputian-sized cameras “Five years ago when our group,
attached to flexible tubing which al- Vero Gastroenterology, joined with
lows physicians to view, in real time, the hospital to improve GI care within
areas or organs inside the body which the community, we developed an out-
may be infected, damaged or cancer- patient endoscopy center. It was in an
ous. intensive care unit or ICU that was
being vacated when the new surgi-
The U.S. National Library of Medi- cal ICU opened. We had an area that
cine calls endoscopy “the keystone of we renovated on a fairly small bud-
modern gastroenterology.” get but made it extremely functional
and good for patient care. It worked
At IRMC, endoscopy has grown ex- very well for five years and delivered
ponentially both in terms of patients excellent care to the community. [But
seen and procedures performed over now] our number of patients has been
the past five years, becoming an in- expanding and the procedures we’re
valuable diagnostic and treatment doing have expanded.”
Vero’s demographics account for
Aside from its well-documented a substantial part of the new patient
success in finding and removing co- load.
lon cancers, endoscopy allows doctors
to look for gastric, rectal, pancreatic, “GI conditions,” MacKay says, “are
esophageal, liver and other cancers worse as we get older. That’s why
while also tackling a staggering array this community has a tremendous
of gastroenterological issues includ- amount of GI problems.”
ing acid reflux, GERD, heartburn,

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 45


Today, the center boasts five full Van Lith says the endoscopy center been smart enough to do this expan- The new $6.1-million facility is sched-
time gastroenterology physicians in- was designed with future growth in sion in a spot where we can expand uled to open in early 2018. For more
cluding Dr. Ashley Canipe, Dr. Charles mind within the existing [building] footprint information, call the IRMC endoscopy
Eberhart, Dr. Bruce Grossman, Dr. and not [have to] build more building.” center at 772-299-3511. 
Joseph Zerega and MacKay in what “If the demand does grow, we’ve
can now accurately be described as
cramped quarters or – as MacKay dip-
lomatically phrases it – “an extremely
busy” workplace.

Here Richard Van Lith, an IRMC
vice president, enters the conversa-
tion saying that the new facility will
be “about 10,000 square feet.”

That’s roughly twice the size of the
current center.

Approximately 4,500 square feet,
according to Van Lith, will be on the
ground floor with a covered, drive-up
entrance, a reception area and an el-
evator that goes up to an additional
5,500 square feet on the second floor
where the new endoscopy suites will
be located.

Just the covered drive-up entrance,
says Van Lith, will be a welcome change
for both current and future patients.
Currently those patients have to park
over by the hospital’s Patient Pavilion
and ER entrance and – as Van Lith puts
it – “traipse all the way through the
hospital to get here.”

That’s asking a great deal from pa-
tients with wheelchairs, walkers, hip or
knee problems or a bad stomach ache.

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46 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Don’t be a gluten for punishment: Supplement may help

BY MARIA CANFIELD Dr. Alejandro Perez. The results showed that those par-
Correspondent ticipants given AN-PEP had 85 percent
PHOTOS: GORDON RADFORD less gluten in their stomachs than the
A new study from Sweden suggests placebo group; this was regardless
that an enzyme found in an over-the- of whether they had received a high
counter supplement can stop gluten or low dose of the enzyme. Earlier re-
from reaching the small intestine, search had shown that AN-PEP broke
acting as a safeguard against gastro- down gluten when ingested as part of a
intestinal distress for gluten-sensitive liquid meal, but this is the first study to
people. confirm the results using solid foods.

The findings were presented at Di- Alejandro Perez, D.O., who is board-
gestive Disease Week 2017, an inter- certified in gastroenterology and prac-
national conference for gastroenter- tices as part of the
ologists and other specialists in related
fields. Sebastian River Medical Group, be-
lieves the findings of this study are
Lead researcher Julia König, Ph.D. is intriguing but should not be consid-
from the School of Medical Sciences at ered conclusive, as the number of par-
the University of Örebro. She and her ticipants was low. He says, “The study
colleagues tested the enzyme, called opens the conversation as to what may
AN-PEP, on patients who reported be possible in the near future for pa-
themselves to be gluten-sensitive. The tients suffering from gluten-associated
participants consumed porridge and symptoms. Critical in understand-
wheat cookies – both of which con- ing these study findings is that even a
tained gluten – and were then given small amount of gluten – equal to the
either AN-PEP or a placebo. The team amount of a half-slice of bread – can be
then monitored the levels of gluten in enough to cause symptoms in gluten-
the stomach and small intestine over a sensitive people.”
three-hour period.
Gluten is a protein occurring natu-

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Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 47

rally in wheat, rye and barley, and may HEALTH
often be found in processed foods.
Gluten-sensitive people usually learn Some estimates indicate that up
to eat a gluten-free diet, but occasions to 18 million people in the United
may arise when they are not sure if States – about 6 percent of the
what they’re eating contains gluten. population – have some degree
The University of Örebro’s Dr. König of gluten-sensitivity, but celiac
says, “AN-PEP allows gluten-sensitive disease only affects about 1 percent
patients to feel safer, for example, of the population.
when they are out with friends at a res-
taurant and cannot be sure whether
something is 100 percent gluten-free.”

Some estimates indicate that up to
18 million people in the United States
– about 6 percent of the population
– have some degree of gluten-sensi-
tivity, but celiac disease only affects
about 1 percent of the population. For
those with celiac disease, eating glu-
ten causes an immune system reac-
tion which damages or destroys the
villi, the microscopic projections lin-
ing the small intestine that allow for
the absorption of nutrients into the
body. The classic symptom is diarrhea;
other symptoms include bloating, gas,
fatigue and low blood count (anemia).

Additionally, osteoporosis – weak-
ened bones – can be a complication of
untreated celiac disease. Vero’s Dr. Per-
ez says “the damage to the small intes-
tine prevents the proper absorption of
nutrients such as calcium and vitamin
D, which can eventually lead to bone
loss and osteoporosis.”

The government has made it a little
easier to buy gluten-free food at the
supermarket; as of August 2014, any
food labeled “gluten-free” must com-
ply with the FDA definition (less than
20 parts-per-million of gluten). Addi-
tionally, there are many foods that are
naturally gluten free, including fresh
fruits and vegetables, eggs and dairy,
unprocessed meats and poultry, fish
and seafood, beans, nuts, rice, corn
and potatoes.

Dr. Perez says there is greater aware-
ness of gluten sensitivity now than
there was a decade ago, which had led
to an increase in the number of diag-
nosed cases. He cautions, “patients
should not jump to a quick diagno-
sis without an appropriate work-up.
Symptoms of gluten-sensitivity com-
monly overlap with other conditions,
such as irritable bowel syndrome. And
often, a wide array of gastrointestinal
symptoms will improve on a gluten-
free diet due to its overall healthier di-
etary composition.”

AN-PEP is available in a supplement
called Tolerase G. It is intended for peo-
ple who are gluten-sensitive but not for
those with celiac disease. “Patients
who suspect they may have gluten sen-
sitivity or celiac disease should seek
the care of a specialist for an appropri-
ate evaluation,” says Dr. Perez.

Dr. Perez’s practice is located at 920
37th Place, Suite 105 in Vero Beach; the
phone number is 772-567-4825. 

48 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Excess of opioids prescribed for Medicare patients

BY LENNY BERNSTEIN overdose,” a government watchdog excludes people who had cancer or opioids from multiple prescribers or
The Washington Post reported last week. were in hospice, who may require pharmacies for legitimate reasons,”
large doses of painkillers. the report noted, “these patterns raise
Nearly 70,000 people on Medi- In all, about half a million people concern.”
care’s drug plan received “extreme” on the drug plan took amounts of the The report highlights another as-
amounts of narcotic painkillers in powerful drugs considered too large pect of the prescription opioid epi- The report found sharp differences
2016 and more than 22,000 others ap- under standards set by the Centers demic that killed more than 15,000 among states in opioid consumption.
peared to be “doctor shopping” for for Disease Control and Prevention, people via overdoses in 2015: potential In Alabama, 46 percent of Part D ben-
drugs, patterns that put both groups according to the Inspector General’s abuse by older and disabled people eficiaries had received at least one opi-
“at serious risk of opioid misuse or office of the U.S. Health and Human who qualify for Medicare Part D, the oid, and in Mississippi, the figure was
Services Department. That number program’s optional prescription drug 45 percent. At the low end of the scale
benefit. In 2016, 43.6 million people was Hawaii (21 percent) and New York
were covered. Medicare primarily (22 percent). Overall, 1 in 3 Medicare
serves people who are older than 65. drug beneficiaries received an opioid
last year.
The opioid crisis has been most
closely linked to people between the Those drugs were authorized by
ages of 25 and 44, particularly eco- more than 115,000 prescribers who or-
nomically stressed whites and people dered opioids for at least one person at
in rural and small-town America. But serious risk of misuse or overdose be-
the new report shows that older peo- cause of their consumption patterns
ple are far from immune. or doctor shopping, the inspector
general concluded. The vast majority
As pressure to rein in use of addic- did so for just one or two patients, but
tive painkillers has grown along with 198 of them each prescribed drugs for
the epidemic, some older people and at least 44 beneficiaries receiving ex-
patients in chronic pain have pushed treme amounts of the addictive pain-
back, worrying that they will not be killers.
able to obtain the medications they
say allow them to function. One Florida physician ordered the
equivalent of 1,239 milligrams daily
In a Washington Post poll published of oxycodone and fentanyl for a single
in December, a majority of long-term patient. The doctor’s overall prescrib-
opioid users said the drugs have dra- ing habits cost Medicare Part D $1.6
matically improved their lives by million.
relieving intractable pain, and two-
thirds said the relief is well worth the A third of the 401 prescribers who
risk of addiction. showed “questionable prescribing
patterns” were nurse practitioners or
The nearly 70,000 extreme users physician assistants.
received the equivalent of 240 mil-
ligrams of morphine every day for Every state but Missouri has estab-
the entire year, Inspector General lished databases that prescribers are
Daniel R. Levinson’s office reported. required or encouraged to check for
The CDC recommends avoiding con- signs of doctor shopping or abuse be-
sumption of more than 90 milligrams fore authorizing the drugs. Some au-
per day and says use of the drugs for thorities believe that these “prescrip-
more than three months substantial- tion drug monitoring programs” are
ly raises the risk of dependence. The helping to curb doctor shopping for
most common drugs were Tramadol painkillers.
and pills containing hydrocodone or
oxycodone. Also last week, the National Acad-
emies of Science, Engineering and
In the extreme group, 678 people Medicine predicted that it would take
received more than 1,000 milligrams years to undo the harms of the pre-
a day for the entire year – a level that scription and illegal opioid crises. In
might indicate they were selling or a new report on pain management
otherwise diverting their drugs to and the opioid epidemic, a panel of
others. One person in New Hampshire experts urged the Food and Drug
was prescribed 13 months’ worth of Administration to begin considering
80-milligram OxyContin, 13 months the public health implications of new
of 60-milligram OxyContin, 13 opioid medications and conduct a full
months of 40-milligram OxyContin, review of the safety and effectiveness
14 months of 30-milligram oxycodone of all opioids currently on the market.
and 13 months of fentanyl patches.
The organization, which provides
The 22,308 doctor shoppers re- independent guidance on a wide vari-
ceived more than 120 milligrams of ety of policy issues, also called for the
controlled substances daily for at least expansion of treatment for substance
three months, and used at least four abusers and improved insurance cov-
prescribers and four pharmacies in erage for comprehensive pain man-
2016. agement using both drugs and non-
pharmacological techniques. 
“Although beneficiaries may receive

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Style Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 49

Wilt-free workwear: How to find a suitable summer suit

The Telegraph

Even though it’s warmer, you still any good ones.
have to feel and look smart for work – Also, I feel this time of year it’s quite a
this is when a summer suit can come relief not to have to think about tights
into play. It’s a good excuse to invest in so its refreshing to wear trousers in-
lighter, brighter colors and break away stead. Flash some tanned ankles and
from the classic navy and black. Avoid team with your favorite heels or flats;
anything with linen that will crease these trouser suits should carry you
the moment you sit down, and look for through until the weather turns … 
lightweight wools or cottons that have
a bit of stretch in them, such as polyes- when I want to feel good and stand out.
ter or Lycra. Don’t be put off by these However, it is difficult to find the right
materials – they are your friends. tone of red – and in a fabric that feels
and looks expensive. Often I have or-
Some of you will prefer a nipped-in dered something red online then been
waist and longer trousers to elongate the disappointed with the actual fabric.
legs, or more of a boyfriend-cut jacket,
which can hide a multitude of sins, with If I haven’t convinced you to think
slimmer trousers. I would recommend outside the box with a colorful sum-
not going too loose on both top and bot- mer suit, then you are excused and
tom as generally it’s not very flattering can stick to navy, rather than black. I
unless you are tall and slim. Play around appreciate that in some work places
with proportions and see what suits you the standard uniform is a darker color,
– the beauty of online shopping is that so concentrate on lightweight fabrics
you can try these options at home. and pair with a print blouse to em-
brace the summer.
For the most casual option, take ad-
vantage of the blue and white shirt- And in case anyone has noticed, I
ing stripe trend that is everywhere at haven’t included any skirt suits in this
the moment. It doesn’t help that I am category simply because I didn’t find
a complete sucker for stripes, so the
idea of a whole suit was too irresistible
not to include. If you need to smarten it
up, wear it with a crisp white shirt and
white loafers. If this option is too casual
but, like me, you love stripes, then opt
for a monochrome stripe.

If you prefer one block of color, then
look for a pretty neutral in an off-white,
cream or pale pink. It can look really
smart with a navy silk shirt and navy
heels but is classic enough to use the
jacket as a separate or with jeans at the

For those of you brave enough for a
pop of color, go as bright as you dare.
I am completely obsessed with any-
thing red and it’s always my go-to color

50 Vero Beach 32963 / July 20, 2017 Style Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

How ‘Thrones’ influences the way we dress

The Telegraph

“Fallen kings, defeated by a fear- plate, both by viewers in search of escap- Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke), with architectural decoration and vin-
less and heroic sisterhood. Bright and ism and by designers. “Costume is al- the Mother of Dragons draped in plissé tage textiles. Her exquisite efforts could
brave warrior queens they were, are, ways a fundamental device to present a goddess gowns and statement torque certainly be compared with the levels of
and forever will be.” You’d be forgiven character’s personality to an audience,” necklaces. Then there is Winterfell workmanship found in Parisian ateliers.
for thinking you’d tuned in to a medi- says Michele Carragher, the show’s prin- princess Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner),
eval fantasy, but not so – these were the cipal costume embroiderer, responsible who has grown into a strong, scorned “Daenerys’ ‘dragonscales’ can take
notes handed out to journalists at de- for crafting the micro details that we sal- woman with a wardrobe of power capes between three and 10 days each, and
signer Elie Saab’s haute couture show ivate over in HD. Working with Clapton, to match. And for Cersei Lannister Sansa’s wedding dress took 10 days,”
in Paris last week. He couldn’t have she “will discuss a character’s backstory, (Lena Headey), queen regent of the Sev- reveals Carragher. “I always like to in-
made the plotline any clearer: “Game traits, and personal journey within the en Kingdoms, only the richest embroi- corporate hidden meanings and meta-
of Thrones,” the television epic that re- script and this will all go towards influ- deries and gilded corsets will do. phor within my designs.” Look out for
turns to the box next week, has found a encing my design”. trapped birds or bleeding lions the
place on his mood board. But as much as the catwalks will ref- next time you press pause.
For those in need of a recap of the erence the series, Carragher says that
Since the show first aired in 2011, key fashion players (well, the ones not haute couture fashion embroideries Eliza Higginbottom, the show’s jew-
parallels have been drawn between yet slaughtered), we have Daenerys also inform her research process, along elry designer, was first asked by Clap-
“Game of Thrones” and, say, the re- ton to create a sculptural necklace for
vival of folksy appliqués at Dolce and
Gabbana, or the wave of Roman gowns
at Valentino and Alberta Ferretti.
Most would say that the influence was
subconscious, but a few brands, like
Helmut Lang, have declared more lit-
eral interpretations, with Manish Aro-
ra even playing the theme song as his
catwalk backing music in 2015.

Fans obsess over the visually-rich,
fictional world rendered by British
costume designer Michele Clapton
and the army of embroiderers, jewel-
lers, seamstresses and armorers that
she employs to clothe the Seven King-
doms. Their costumes provide a sub-
plot, highlighting a character’s power
or weakness, as well as helping to dis-
tinguish tribes, statuses and climates.

Perhaps most importantly, though,
they define characters that are worthy
of being placed on pedestals as fashion

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