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Published by Vero Beach 32963 Media, 2016-11-03 13:54:01



Shores cell tower finally
moving ahead. P16
Upgrades coming
to Vero electric. P6

Driver of car that killed
Cole Coppola to serve time. P7

MY VERO Striking new Quail Valley lodge opens on the Pointe School District
seeks huge hike
BY RAY MCNULTY BY RAY MCNULTY site of the old Lobster Shanty Welcome to Quail Valley in premiums
Staff Writer – with its New York fieldstone at the Pointe, the latest ad-
‘Rig’ an election? Not and river rock exterior, com- dition to Vero Beach’s wildly BY KATHLEEN SLOAN
here, say the experts It looks unlike anything else bined with a dark-wood inte- successful private club, which Staff Writer
in Vero. rior – has the appearance of continues to offer its mem-
You'd like to think nobody a North Carolina or Colorado bers an ambiance not usually The Indian River County
is taking Donald Trump se- In fact, the 47,365-square- mountain lodge. School District, having al-
riously when he talks of the foot waterfront complex on the CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 lowed its employee healthcare
election being "rigged." fund to plunge $7 million into
the red, is seeking to hike the
But many of his most ar- premiums teachers and other
dent supporters appear to staff will pay in the year ahead
believe him – and apparently, by as much as a whopping 230
some of those people live and percent.
vote here.
The School Board voted
"We've already had some unanimously to increase the
people questioning the vot- premiums of 229 non-union
ing equipment," Indian River employees by up to $200 a
County Supervisor of Elec- month, effective this past Tues-
tions Leslie Swan said. "We've day, and has given the same of-
even had a few ask about fer to the Indian River County
George Soros and whether Education Association, which
we're using the Smartmatic represents about 1,100 teach-
voting machines." ers, and to the Communications
Workers of America, which rep-
George Soros? Smartmatic resents about 800 workers.
voting machines?
For those who don't know:
The Internet and social me-
dia have been buzzing with
rumors that Soros, the Hun-
garian-born billionaire who


Two locked in key battle for Hospital District trustee School teacher with
cancer has insurance
BY MEG LAUGHLIN cut off during chemo
Staff Writer

Karen Deigl Two candidates running for Val Zudans BY KATHLEEN SLOAN
the same seat on the board Staff Writer
of trustees of the Hospital
District are locked in a bitter, Lis Bech, an award-win-
complex and extremely im- ning art teacher in our pub-
portant argument over Indian lic schools for 19 years, tried
River Medical Center’s insur- to schedule her regular bi-
monthly ovarian cancer
CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 chemotherapy treatment re-

CONTINUED ON PAGE 3 Art teacher Lis Bech

November 3, 2016 Volume 9, Issue 44 Newsstand Price $1.00 Can’t mask joy
at Halloween
News 1-16 Faith 67 Pets 52 TO ADVERTISE CALL parade. Page 26
Arts 33-40 Games 53-55 Real Estate 75-88 772-559-4187
Books 50-51 Health 57-61 St Ed’s 66
Dining 68 Insight 41-56 Style 62-65 FOR CIRCULATION
Editorial 48 People 17-32 Wine 69 CALL 772-226-7925

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

2 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


My Vero any ownership stake in the company. by different groups, from the polls to Florida. "And we have a top-notch
And secondly, Smartmatic says none the election office to protect the integ- canvassing board that is very careful
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 rity of the process. to not be political."
of its voting technology is being used in
staunchly supports progressive causes, any state during the 2016 U.S. elections. "Nothing," she said, "goes over the She dismissed talk of voter fraud in
is rigging the election through his con- Internet." Florida – again a swing state that could
trolling interest in Smartmatic, the And yet ... decide the presidential election – say-
company that manufactures the voting "People are asking," Swan said. "A As for touch-screen machines, Swan ing, "Sure, you have some glitches, but
machines being used in 16 states. lot of times, people will come to our said there's only one at each early-vot- I haven't seen any rigging."
office to ask about the machines, but ing site and Election Day polling place
There are only two problems with what they're saying makes no sense." in the county, but they are designated Even when there are controversies,
these rumors. That's because the machines uti- for people who have disabilities that such as the need to extend the regis-
lized here work in conjunction with prevent them from using paper ballots. tration deadline in the wake of a hurri-
Soros not only does not control paper ballots, which, if the system fails cane or questions about the validity of
Smartmatic – his connection to the or the count is disputed, can be used She recalled only one person voting mail-in ballots, the Florida courts have
London-based corporation is that its to verify the vote totals. via touch screen in the past four years. been quick to step in.
chairman, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, In fact, Swan said the cartridges
sits on the board of Soros' Open Society from the voting machines and the pa- "Leslie Swan runs a first-rate op- Still, Trump continues to bang the
Foundation – but Soros has never held per ballots are transported separately, eration," said Indian River County Tax election-is-rigged drum at his cam-
Collector Carole Jean Jordan, former paign stops, questioning the legiti-
chairman of the Republican Party of macy of the system and undermining
faith in the process.

So I put the question to Swan: Could
you rig the vote if you wanted to?

"I'm sure there are some bad peo-
ple out there, but we've got so many
checks and balances," Swan said. "It's
not only me. We have poll watchers. We
have a canvassing board made up of a
county commissioner, a county court
judge and myself. And we have to sign
off on the machine's tabulations.

"After the election, there's a state-
mandated audit of one randomly se-
lected race on the ballot," she added.
"The canvassing board has to count
votes by hand to make sure our totals
match the machines' totals. Also, any-
body can come in and see the ballots.

"Florida has come a long way."
Maybe so, but Swan said she be-
lieves most of the suspicions about
voter fraud in Florida are connected to
registration rolls, not the casting and
counting of ballots.
Even there, she said the system has
improved – primarily through creation of
a statewide voter registration data base.
"Since 2006, everything is verified
through the state, using drivers licenses
or Social Security numbers," she said.
"Voter registration is now monitored
statewide, so if you move from one coun-
ty to another, the state has a record of it."
There is no national data base, how-
ever, so the system isn't foolproof:
Florida doesn't know for certain that
a voter who registers isn't also regis-
tered in another state.
Republican Club of Indian River
County president Tom Lockwood
said he doesn't discount the concerns
raised by Trump. He said he can recall
only "one or two instances" of voter
irregularity here, but, "There are defi-
nitely some other areas of the country
where things have happened that were
very questionable."
He is not alone in that belief.
According to a Washington Post-
ABC News poll conducted in Septem-
ber, nearly half of registered American
voters believe that voter fraud occurs
"somewhat" or "very" often.
Fortunately, not here. 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 3


Teacher loses insurance Bech’s oncologist has agreed to con- out the problem. “They’re self-insured, School district spokesman Flynn
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 tinue the chemotherapy treatments, they’re their own entity,” she said. “But Fidgeon said no comment on Bech is
even if her insurance is dropped, but they say there are federal and state allowed, because it is a personnel is-
cently, only to learn the Indian River her prescriptions and other medical laws preventing them from letting me sue.
School District had cancelled her costs are also cost-prohibitive. back in.”
health insurance and she was on the The district did not respond to
hook for $6,000. “I don’t want to pass away now,” The next day she went back to work. questions about the short enrollment
Bech said. “I’m not coming in out of fear of the period, lack of administrative help and
Shocked and scared, Bech called district. I’m coming here for my kids subscribers being dropped for filling
the district’s benefits department, After learning she’d been dropped, and for me. I love what I do.” out forms incorrectly. 
but no one would take her call. Em- Bech took a day off to try to straighten
ployees had been warned in a dis-
trict-wide email that Hurricane Mat- Exclusively John’s Island
thew had delayed open enrollment
data entry and “Employee Benefits Located in an oceanside building with its own private entrance, this attractive
will not be taking calls and/or ap- 3BR/2BA end unit enjoys soothing tropical breezes and desirable, southern
pointments.” oceanside views. Features include 1,825± SF, multiple exposures, custom
millwork, a beautifully renovated galley kitchen with custom finishes and wet
She was allowed to email, however, bar and an expansive lanai with custom built-in. A beautiful seaside master
and got a response. “They told me in suite, two guest bedrooms and private pool & beach access are sure to please.
an email that I was no longer on the 700 Beach Road #257 : $890,000
district insurance, and it was my fault
because I filled out the form incorrect- three championship golf courses : 17 har-tru courts : beach club : squash
ly,” Bech said. health & fitness center : pickleball : croquet : vertical equity membership

“I’m very expensive right now. I 772.231.0900 : Vero Beach, FL :
think they’re trying to drop me,” Bech
said. “Just one of the drugs I’m taking
is $9,000 each time.”

The School District is self-insured
and client services, such as help with
enrollment, leave much to be desired.
This year it sent out an email, disre-
garding those without computers or
a district email account, informing
employees everyone had to enroll all
over again, not just those with plan

The email provided no further ex-

Sign-up lasted one week, and
School District employees had two
choices: take time off from work to
get help at the administration office,
which turned people away who had
been waiting in line for hours, or fill
out the forms online.

Missing the enrollment window or
filling out the forms wrong would re-
sult in being dropped, another email

“I can’t stand for hours, so I filled it
out online,” Bech said. “There was no
way to know if you had filled out the
form wrong. Is the benefits depart-
ment so understaffed that no one had
five minutes to send an email or call
people in jeopardy?

“I’m appalled at how the district
has handled this and am ashamed to
say that I have worked so hard for an
entity that cares so little about their
staff,” Bech said. “Teacher morale is so
low now people are retiring in droves,
or if they’re younger, they’re switching

Bech’s daughter, Ellie Houston, said,
“This is not just a screw-up. This is a
matter of life and death for her. She
has stage-four ovarian cancer. It will
never go away. She will have to battle
it until she goes into hospice care.
This could be the end of everything
for her.”

4 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Hospital District battle concern about the impact of higher re- position, the IRMC Finance Commit- The increase in reimbursement
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 imbursement rates on the community. tee was told on Monday that the hos- rates by one hospital out of the many
pital has sent letters of termination providers in a large geographical area
ance reimbursement rates for the ser- Here, in summary, are the argu- of insurance participation to several would be insignificant, he said.
vices it provides. ments of each of the candidates: private insurers as a tactic to try and
negotiate better rates. “To say that a rise in the hospital’s
Incumbent Val Zudans, a Vero Beach Zudans says that the CEO of Indian reimbursement rate will cost the self-
ophthalmologist, says if hospital CEO River Medical Center, which is strug- But his opponent Deigl argues that if insured employers more is right. But it
Jeff Susi were to negotiate better reim- gling financially, needs to negotiate Indian River Medical Center were to ne- is misleading to say the premiums of
bursement rates with commercial in- better reimbursement rates with com- gotiate significantly higher reimburse- businesses insured with commercial
surance companies – rates even close mercial insurance companies in order ment rates for services, the increases insurance will go up,” he said.
to those obtained by neighboring hos- to strengthen the institution financially. would raise self-insured employers’
pitals – IRMC would be profitable, and payments for services, and would also If an Indian River County teacher
would not constantly be seeking more To make his point, Zudans offers increase the cost of premiums for busi- with a broken leg goes to Sebastian Riv-
money from taxpayers. numbers recently published by the nesses who purchase commercial in- er Medical Center, the reimbursement
state: IRMC gets 141 percent of the surance for their employees. rate for services would be double what
He also contends that companies Medicare reimbursement rate from it will be at Indian River Medical Center,
with private health insurance are not insurance companies like Blue Cross “Increasing the negotiated health which the School District will pay.
likely to be significantly affected. Blue Shield and from self-insured insurance rates would increase the
agencies. Sebastian River Medical overall bottom line of IRMC, but it But if an employee at a small Indian
His opponent Karen Deigl, a for- Center, on the other hand, gets 298 would also increase the overall pre- River County business with commer-
mer Hospital District executive direc- percent of the Medicare rate, and one miums of individuals who are fully cial insurance chose to be treated at
tor, argues that if the insurance reim- of the hospitals in St. Lucie County insured, as well as increase the premi- Sebastian River rather than at IRMC,
bursement rates for patients treated at gets 397 percent of the Medicare rate. ums of self-insured businesses such as the employer would not pay a greater
IRMC go up, government agencies that the County, the School District and the premium because the costs are aver-
self-insure like the School District, the “Our community is already paying Sheriff’s office,” said Deigl. aged over all of a large area’s providers.
County and the Sheriff’s Office will take high rates for premiums because every
a significant hit, and private employers other regional hospital has higher rates Here’s what some of the experts we Several of the experts also strongly
will see their insurance bills soar as well. and we are subsidizing these communi- discussed this with had to say: disagreed with IRMC CEO Susi’s ratio-
ties,” said Zudans. “All of the benefits of nale, expressed in a letter two weeks ago
Healthcare experts that we inter- better IRMC rates would go to improve Miami healthcare attorney Ever- to Chamber of Commerce Chairman
viewed last week tended to side with Zu- IRMC’s financial performance. Only a ett Wilson, named a “power leader in Jeffrey Schlitt, for not more aggressively
dans, who has cast himself as a watch- fraction of the rates would be borne by healthcare” by the South Florida Busi- negotiating reimbursement rates.
dog holding IRMC accountable and our community. ... The hospital under- ness Journal, said the argument that
looking out for the interests of taxpayers. stands it is in dire financial shape and an increase in commercial insurance Susi conceded that increased reim-
Deigl, on the other hand, has the backing needs better negotiated rates.” reimbursement rates for IRMC would bursement rates would help the hos-
of IRMC and its supporters, who express inevitably result in increased premi- pital financially, but expressed con-
In a move that would appear to pro- ums for local employers is misleading. cern over the impact of higher rates
vide some substantiation for Zudans’ on self-insured employers.

Laura Moss

for Vero Beach city counciL


“Moss, who wants a sale, chairs the city’s Utility Commission
and knows the issue well. She’s been great at community outreach.”

-Endorsement by Press Journal, 10/21/2016

“I fully support Laura Moss for City Council. I can’t think of a better
candidate to lead the fight to sell our electric system, lower taxes,
and provide the financial relief that Vero Beach residents deserve.”
-Pilar Turner, Vero Beach City Councilwoman

• Chairwoman, Utilities Commission, City of Vero Beach
Best-qualified to complete the sale of Vero Electric to FPL
and to restore the Indian River Lagoon.

• Board of Directors, Taxpayers’ Association of Indian River County
Best-qualified to manage the city budget wisely and restore our infrastructure.

• Steering Committee, Communications Director, The Circle at
Vero Beach Museum of Art
Best-qualified to improve communication between City Council
and the people it serves.

[email protected] 772.713.4769 Political Advertisement paid for and approved
PO Box 276 Vero Beach, FL 32961 by Laura Moss for Vero Beach City Council

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 5


“IRMC is here to serve the commu- healthcare, is to make sure it is eco- it would be pretty shocking if one better rates with insurance compa-
nity,” Susi wrote. nomically viable.” wasn’t going to the table regularly.” nies?” asked Wilson.

“Self-insured employers under- “All hospitals negotiate repeatedly “A CEO should want as much rev- Zudans points out that were Susi
standably want the hospital reim- with commercial insurers,” said Mike enue as he can get from all sources. to successfully negotiate with insur-
bursement rate to be as low as pos- Bittman, Orlando healthcare attor- Going down the philanthropy road ance companies, the revenue of the
sible,” said Wilson, “but the hospital’s ney of the year. “Hospital CEOs always and District tax dollar road is good. hospital could increase by more than
primary obligation, along with quality want better reimbursement rates and But why cut off the road of negotiating

6 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Hospital District battle about two hours greater than Sebastian. Tech upgrades coming
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 In other areas of Medicare ranking, (slowly) to Vero electric

$20 million, which would necessitate IRMC also falls below the Florida and BY LISA ZAHNER needed to handle telephone calls and
much less tax money from the Hospi- national average: How well nurses and Staff Writer face-to-face interactions.
tal District for indigent care. doctors communicate with patients,
how quickly patients receive requested Vero electric customers won’t get “We’ve still got a large number of
But negotiating better reimburse- help, how clean the rooms and bath- Florida Power & Light’s low rates any- people coming in to pay their bills in
ment rates with insurance companies rooms are, how frequently pain is con- time soon, but by next summer they person,” Lawson said. “We’re hoping
depends on a lot of factors. trolled and how often a patient would may finally get something else FPL to reduce that.”
recommend the hospital to others. customers have long taken for granted
A prominent Florida healthcare at- – the ability to manage their electric The latest phase of system and soft-
torney, who asked not to be named In some categories, however – like get- accounts via their home computers or ware enhancements from Cayenta
because of her firm’s past work with In- ting pain meds to patients with broken even their smart phones. software and InvoiceCloud, approved
dian River Medical Center, said a hospi- bones, giving flu shots to employees and by the City Council last week, will offer
tal’s reputation for quality service is one getting medicine at discharge to prevent During the years the Vero Beach more options for customers to pay their
of the main things that gives it leverage. blood clots – IRMC’s rankings are better City Council was actively pursuing a bills.Those changes are expected to cost
than the Florida and national averages. full sale of the electric system to FPL, about $73,000 to implement, plus about
“If the Emergency Room wait-times the city lacked the impetus to bankroll $30,000 per year in bank and credit card
are low, if patients are not being read- “Leverage in negotiating better rates the modernization of a system that fees due to the anticipated increase in
mitted after treatment, if it looks good depends on the perceived value of the was about to get sold off. electronic transactions.
in Medicare statistics, this is all good hospital, and a hospital with a great
for leveraging,” she said. reputation is in the position to lever- But as prospects of closing the FPL Lawson said the new system will al-
age,” said Wilson. deal began to look bleak, the council low customers to make credit card pay-
Medicare ratings show that Indian tasked City Manager Jim O’Connor and ments without having to be transferred
River Medical Center received two gold This past Monday, Zudans attended Finance Director Cindy Lawson with to a separate card-processing website
stars in 2016 for its overall quality of a finance committee meeting at the finding ways to automate the systems, as at the present. The system upgrade
care, while most hospitals in the U.S. hospital and said he came away with in hopes it would reduce the number will also handle auto-pay drafts or
received three or more stars. (Sebastian this information: of cashiers and customer service staff one-time payments from checking ac-
River Medical Center received three.) counts. 
“IRMC set financial performance
Unfortunately, despite much ef- goals a year ago but failed to meet 7 of
fort, IRMC still has an average Emer- 8 of their goals. The only goal they met
gency Room wait-time from entry was related to use of electronic records.
to a hospital bed of more than five Some of the highlighted failed objectives
hours, which is greater than the Flor- were: improve profitability, maintaining
ida and national average, and also cash balance, managing operating ex-
penses and employee retention.” 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 7


Driver of car that killed Cole Coppola to serve time

BY RAY MCNULTY County Courthouse and will be given Witnesses later told police they saw teen friends, Hunter Kraaz and Brad-
Staff Writer an opportunity to address the judge Williams, who worked as a bartender ley Moll – and that the boy swerved
before she hands down her sentence. and waitress at the beachside Citrus into her lane.
A plea deal has been reached be- Grillhouse, drink a glass of wine and
tween state prosecutors and the Williams' Melbourne-based at- a shot of tequila at Trattorio Dario, an Both teens initially said Williams'
woman who was charged with DUI torney, Alan Landman, could not be Italian Restaurant on Ocean Drive. car "swerved" into the bike lane and
manslaughter after 16-year-old Cole reached for comment. struck Coppola. However, they were
Coppola was killed in a car-versus-bi- They said she arrived at the restau- deposed separately and, without iden-
cycle traffic accident on the 17th Street According to police, Williams was rant's bar at about 12:20 a.m., after tifying them by name, Landman said
Bridge two years ago. driving drunk on the bridge at about leaving work, and stayed until 1:30 the boy closest to the crash was un-
1:45 a.m. on Sept. 27, 2014, when her a.m. They said she did not appear to able to confirm where the collision oc-
Jamie Williams, now 23, who plead- 2008 Honda Accord veered into the bike be intoxicated. curred.
ed not guilty after her arrest and was lane and struck Coppola, knocking him
released from jail after posting a off his bicycle, over the guard rail and Landman's position has remained If convicted on the DUI man-
$100,000 bond, will enter a change into the Indian River Lagoon below. the same since he was retained to de- slaughter charge, Williams, who
of plea Dec. 1 in Indian River County fend Williams: "That she did not cause moved from Vero Beach to Brevard
Circuit Court, Assistant State Attorney An autopsy determined that Coppola, the accident. It's our contention that County to be near her parents, faces a
Steve Gosnell said Monday. a John Carroll High School student from she was driving lawfully in her lane of mandatory minimum prison term of
Vero Beach, died of multiple injuries, in- traffic and the boy rode into her." four years.
If Circuit Judge Cynthia Cox accepts cluding broken ribs and brain trauma.
the new plea, Williams will be sen- Landman said his accident-recon- "As a prosecutor, I've got to do
tenced immediately. Gosnell said the Police say Williams, who stopped struction expert would offer testimony what's best in terms of the law, but ho-
plea bargain, which was approved by immediately and called 911, submit- supporting such a contention, which micide cases are always difficult, es-
Coppola's family, requires Williams to ted to a breathalyzer test, which re- included the likelihood Coppola, near- pecially when the victim is a juvenile,"
serve time in prison. vealed she had a blood-alcohol level ing the crest of the bridge, became so Gosnell said. "Going through a trial
of .14 – above the legal limit of .08. leg-weary pedaling up a long, steep in- can be very difficult for the victim's
There are still some minor details cline that he unintentionally wobbled family.
yet to be finalized, Gosnell said, but She was charged with DUI man- and veered into the traffic lane.
he doesn't anticipate any changes to slaughter, misdemeanor counts of "So I've met with them, discussed
the deal. Coppola's family will attend possession of less than 20 grams of Williams told police at the scene that the case with them and consulted
the 3 p.m. hearing at the Indian River marijuana and possession of drug she saw the bicyclists riding on the with them on the plea deal," he added.
paraphernalia, and a traffic violation bridge – Coppola was trailed by two "They'll be in the courtroom." 
for failing to stay in a single lane.

8 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 NEWS Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

Quail Valley “We had two distinct clubs already,
and we wanted to do something differ-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 ent here, too,” Given said of the private
club that opened in September, add-
found in this part of Florida. ing that the early reviews have been
When members see the new restau- overwhelmingly positive.

rant, lounge and hotel at Royal Palm “We have a lot of members who grew
Pointe, they say “Wow!” up here or are longtime residents,” he
said. “They’ve seen a lot of changes in
“Many of our members belong to Vero Beach over the years. So it’s nice
other clubs in town,” Quail Valley co- to hear them say ‘Wow!’ when they see
owner and general manager Kevin the place.”
Given said, “and we don’t want to
duplicate what they’re getting some- Members and potential members
where else.” had a similar reaction when they first
saw the Golf Club, where players find
Back in January 2002, Given and dramatic elevations not common
his business partner, Steve Mulvey, on Florida courses, and the design
opened the Quail Valley Golf Club, and decor of the 26,000-square-foot
which features a links-style course that clubhouse lend a Hamptons-like
surrounds a stately, Shinnecock Hills- feel.
like clubhouse on 400 acres northwest
of Vero. And while the immensely popular
River Club, nestled on 10 acres along
Two years later, after purchasing the the west side of State Road A1A, was
old Riomar Bay Yacht Club property, designed and built to blend in with the
they opened the Quail Valley River surrounding Riomar neighborhood,
Club, complete with clubhouse din- the campus’ distinctive look still draws
ing, tiki bar, tennis courts, fitness cen- compliments.
ter, spa and marina – all in the motif
of what Given called a “Rhode Island So when Mulvey and Given pur-
beach club.” chased the 1.02-acre, Royal Palm
Pointe property for $3.5 million two
Now comes the complex at the years ago and announced their plan to
Pointe, which Given said makes Quail build a mainland restaurant and ho-
Valley unique: It’s the first such club tel – accessible by automobile, boat or
to operate three separate campuses in club-operated water shuttle from the
the same town.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 9


River Club – members were eager to The new campus at the Pointe was day parties and wedding receptions; “We were feeling pinched in those
see the finished product. needed, Given said, because the River particularly on Friday and Saturday areas,” he said.
Club was forced to turn away too many nights – and its eight existing, one-
They haven’t been disappointed. revenue-generating banquets – espe- bedroom hotel rooms were booked Given said the expansion to the
As was the case with the Golf Club cially anniversary celebrations, birth- throughout the busy winter season. Pointe allowed the club to increase its
and River Club, the new place fits in
well with its neighbors, despite its CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
different look. There’s a noticeable
contrast between the exteriors of the Re-elect Dr. Val Zudans
Quail Valley building and the adjacent
townhomes, but the lodge-like design for Indian River County Hospital District Seat 5

 Physician in practice in Indian River County since 2002
 Appointed to Hospital District by Florida’s Governor
 Past President of Indian River County Medical Society
 Trained at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and
University Of Florida College of Medicine
 Endorsed by Indian River County Medical PAC

against the backdrop of the Indian Dear Fellow Citizens, would make $50-$90 million at their rates. Even a rate just 2/3 of
River Lagoon adds character to the My name is Val Zudans. My wife Tracey, our 3 children (now 4), what Sebastian negotiated (Florida Hospital System’s rates) would
east end of the Pointe. and I moved to Vero Beach in 2002 after finishing my ophthalmology improve result by $20 million.
residency at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. I joined Florida Eye
The combination of brown stone Institute as an employee in 2002, became partner in 2004, and CEO In response to my open letter ( informing the public
and dark wood provides a cozy, re- in 2009. of IRMC’s situation, Mr. Susi, CEO for 17 years, and my campaign
laxing feel inside the restaurant and One year ago I was finishing my second term as IRC Medical opponent both simultaneously made similar suggestions that my
lounge, both of which offer spectacu- Society president and looking for a way to continue serving our demand that management improve their financial situation would
lar, panoramic views of the lagoon. community. I applied for a vacancy on IRC Hospital District through cause government and local businesses to suffer. Mr. Susi sent
Governor Scott’s office (as did my campaign opponent). Governor a letter to the IRC Chamber of Commerce President stating “Dr.
“We made some adjustments as Scott interviewed and appointed me to serve until the next election. Zudans does not understand our Mission as a community Medical
we went along,” Given said, “because That election is upon us. Center.” My opponent called me “shortsighted” (amusing since I’m
Governor Scott asked how much taxpayers paid annually to support an ophthalmologist). Sadly, both the CEO and my opponent either
we’d be out there and say, ‘Whoa, this hospital operations ($7-8 million), how much IRMC Foundation has appear to not understand how insurance underwriting works or are
is sensational,’ and look for ways we given IRMC ($100 million), how much property tax the hospital pays purposely misrepresenting how insurance works. Health insurance
could enhance the views.” (zero), and how much the hospital makes annually (zero or less). companies base their premiums and estimated claims cost on ALL
Finally, he asked me how much IRMC should earn if it was for-profit. medical costs in a rating region. The region could include several
The restaurant serves lunch Mon- The Governor suggested to me over $40 million annually. Governor counties and costs from several hospitals, physicians, infusion
day through Friday, dinnerWednesday Scott cofounded HCA in 1986 at age 34; it grew to become the largest centers, dialysis centers, labs, medications, radiology providers,
through Sunday and brunch on Sun- private heath care company in the US and he served as CEO. I drove surgery centers, and other providers. They further adjust based on
day. The two dining areas, with a total home from my interview on a mission to verify his answer. other factors.
seating capacity of 214, are named af- Governor Scott’s last question matters because we the citizens
ter the owners’ dogs – Given’s choco- own IRMC facilities. District Trustees’ have a duty to look after Our community is already paying high rates because every other
late lab (Ruby) and Mulvey’s recently taxpayer assets. IRMC reported fiscal year end results on Halloween. hospital in our region has higher rates and we are subsidizing their
departed St. Bernard (Humphrey). They missed 7 of 8 financial performance targets. IRMC reported 63 communities. All of the benefits of better IRMC rates would go
days cash on hand (DCOH). IRMC can pay its bills for 63 days (down to improve IRMC’s financial performance. Only a fraction of the
The restaurant and lounge overlook from 75 last year). According to Becker’s Hospital Review, the leading rates would be borne by our community. Hospital management
an octagon-shaped deck that reaches hospital business news magazine, the median U.S. hospital has 165 knows this and is trying to get better rates. While Mr. Susi publicly
into the lagoon, offering tables for DCOH. IRMC’s loan covenants require 60 DCOH minimum and if the warned the community of higher rates, Press Journal columnist
outdoor dining and cushioned seating trend continues, IRMC would have to count unrestricted Foundation Larry Reisman reported, “Susi met with local business leaders to
for social mingling. assets to avoid default. Management knows they are dramatically discuss how the hospital could negotiate higher payments from
underperforming neighboring hospitals financially and must reverse insurers without breaking the backs of self-insured governments or
“We were looking for a level of so- the trend. businesses.” Letters of termination of insurance participation are
phistication,” Given said, “but with a So, I repeatedly asked hospital management over this last year: "If being sent by IRMC to private insurers right now as a tactic to try
comfortable feel.” the hospitals to the north and south of us can run highly profitable and negotiate better rates. The hospital understands they can not
businesses without taxpayer support or incredibly generous continue the current trend. I understand my role as a watchdog
philanthropy, why can't IRMC do more than break even?” looking out for the interests of the taxpayer owners; we need a high-
Management’s answer is that surrounding hospitals have quality, financially viable community hospital. I ask you to support
negotiated private insurance rates 2-3 times IRMC. Our hospital my mission to hold our hospital accountable. Please vote for me for
IRC Hospital District Seat 5.

Val Zudans, M.D.

Paid for and approved by Val Zudans Campaign for Indian River County Hospital District Seat 5

10 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Quail Valley are 100 percent booked for Christmas School health insurance revenue in the current fiscal year while
and 80 percent booked for Thanks- CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 the School District needs $5.8 million
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 giving. more. The county plans to pay 76 per-
While the teachers union rejected the cent of the premium increase, while
membership to 1,015 – 315 golf, 700 He said only 40 percent of the proposal and wants to negotiate further, the school district only plans to ab-
social – and that the dining facilities membership lives year-round in Vero the School District is acting as though it sorb 27 percent.
and golf course was the main draw Beach, so most members haven’t yet is a foregone conclusion that the union
for 600 of those members. (More than seen the new campus. employees ultimately will fall in line. In past meetings, Assistant Superin-
60 percent of Quail Valley’s members tendent of Human Resources and Risk
belong to other local clubs, with 22 “Initially, more people are opting “The longer (union) negotiations Management Dr. William Fritz con-
percent having memberships at John’s for the rooms at the River Club,” Given last, the more money per month tended the district got into this mess
Island.) said. “They’re familiar with it. They like each individual will have to pay,” said through bad actuarial advice from
the convenience of being right there School Board member Charles Searcy. Brown & Brown Insurance over the
Also, the new restaurant allows with all the other amenities. Some just last several years. The company has re-
Quail Valley to book group functions want to stay on the island. The vote hiking rates was one of the cently been replaced with Aon Hewitt.
at the River Club and still offer dinner final actions for outgoing School Board
to members at the Pointe. “We think that’ll change when more members Claudia Jimenez and Matthew Fritz warned the board last March
people see the new property,” he add- McCain, whose eight-year tenure over- the healthcare fund was in the red.
The new hotel offers two three-bed- ed. “With clubs like ours, especially saw the depletion of funds in the dis- Aon firmed up the deficit amount in
room suites on the third floor, three with so many members belonging to trict’s self-owned health insurance com- a May projection. The fund lacks the
two-bedroom suites on the second other clubs, it can take a while for the pany, which now require replenishment. state-required reserve equal to 60-
floor and six one-bedroom suites on membership to absorb things. days expenditure, which is about $3
the first floor. The accommodations Tiffany Justice and Laura Zorc will million. It also spent the fund into a $4
range from 800 to 2,800 square feet “We’re very excited about what join the board in November. million deficit for medical fees, there-
and some include full kitchens and we’ve done at the Pointe, and we want fore the total deficit is $7 million.
living areas. our members to see it and consider it “I know it’s going to be a big hit,”
an option.”  Jimenez said. “But if we want to contin- Admitting they made a mistake, the
All of them include lagoon views ue to be self-funded, it has to be done.” board approved a plan in July to pay
and private porches. They are simi- the $7 million deficit off in three years,
larly designed and the interior decor Board member Dale Simchick agreed, but that still awaits the state Insurance
is essentially the same – tasteful, airy admitting “The (Indian River) county Commission’s approval. Although the
and comfortable with neutral colors caught it earlier,” vaguely acknowledg- commission has approved three-year
and more of a lighter, Florida feel. ing the comparatively small premium plans for replenishing “safe harbor”
increase county employees face. reserves, there is no precedent for ap-
Combined, Quail Valley’s River Club proving a medical-fee deficit. In the
and Pointe hotels have 19 total suites Indian River County is also self- interim, the district’s general fund has
with 25 bedrooms. insured, but has done a better job of paid the $4 million deficit. 
keeping costs down. The county needs
Given said the club’s hotels already about $2.1 million more in premium

12 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

Shores appeals PSC ruling

Staff Writer

Attorneys for the Town of Indian City,” Mayor Brian Barefoot said last
River Shores last week appealed a rul- week.
ing by the Florida Public Service Com-
mission which failed to remedy what The PSC heard arguments in Sep-
town officials claim would be an illegal tember from Shores attorney Bruce
utility operation within its borders af- May of Holland and Knight, from Ve-
ter Vero electric’s franchise agreement ro’s attorney, Robert Scheffel “Schef”
expires the end of this week. Wright of Gardner, Bist, Bowden, Bush,
Dee, LaVia & Wright, plus a handful of
The Town, petitioning the five- Shores residents who delivered im-
member board of appointed utility passioned pleas as private citizens
regulators in Tallahassee as a consum- and utility customers.
er of Vero electric service, has asked
the PSC for an “expedited administra- The commission voted 4-1 to ap-
tive hearing” on the matter. prove its legal staff’s recommendation
to rule against the Shores, and issued
“While constitutional issues some-
times can be complicated, this one is
not. The constitutional constraints on
the City’s extra-territorial powers are
based on a common-sense principle,
namely, one municipality (the City)
cannot unilaterally impose its mu-
nicipal will on another equally inde-
pendent municipality (the Town), un-
less the Florida Legislature expressly
grants those unilateral powers to the

Endorsed by Sheriff Deryl Loar and “I want to A pledge to always do what is best for us!
State Attorney Bruce Colton Preserve,
Protect and pLower rates while continuing
PROVEN EXPERIENCE Prosper the to sell Vero Beach Electric
City of Vero pNo to All Aboard Florida
FIRM | FAIR | CONSISTENT Beach where pSell the Electric Utility!
I was born
• 25 years of experience practicing law locally and raised.” pMaintain Vero’s Infrastructure
• Experience presiding over hundreds of trials - Parks - Beaches -Streets
as Traffic Court Hearing Officer pSave the Lagoon
• 10 years of experience as circuit
pGradual Conversion of Septic
court mediator Tanks to the “Step-System”
• Former prosecutor at State
Attorney’s Office pContinue Limits on Building
Heights throughout the City

pNo short term rentals Political advertisement paid for and approved
by Sharon Gorry for City Council
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Michael J. McNicholas for Judge, 19th Circuit, Group 6
Please visit for more information about our campaign
Email: [email protected] • Ph: 772.453.0285

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


a written ruling in early October. The tion that has been discussed is to file
Town’s appeal was filed on Oct. 25, the a federal antitrust lawsuit against Vero
final day to do so. Town officials had Beach as an “unregulated price mo-
held a “shade meeting” to discuss the nopoly” if the PSC is not willing to ad-
Shores legal strategy. dress the issue.

In its appeal, the Town reiterates its Vero claims, and thus far the PSC
original arguments that the PSC may and the courts have affirmed, that the
withdraw or modify territorial agree- city has both the right and responsibil-
ments, that the Town as a customer ity to serve its entire service territory
has standing to request such a review, – including the Shores and the unin-
and that for Vero to “exert extra-terri- corporated county – regardless of the
torial powers” outside the city limits existence of a valid franchise agree-
and within the Town limits without ment. The county has taken issue with
the Shores’ permission after Nov. 6 this as well, but they have a few extra
violates the Shores’ home rule powers months to deal with it, as the county’s
under Florida law. 30-year franchise agreement with Vero
expires in March.
“As an incorporated municipality,
the Town has a right to be protected Vero has approximately 3,000 cus-
from the unilateral exercise of extra- tomers in the Shores, which Florida
territorial powers by the City in viola- Power & Light had offered to purchase
tion of Article VIII, Section 2(c)of the for $30 million cash, but that offer was
Florida Constitution,” the appeal says. not accepted and subsequently ex-
“The Town thus has a substantial in- pired on Aug. 25.
terest in seeking relief to ensure that
the City’s conduct is compliant with, Both the Shores and Indian River
and the Territorial Orders are modi- County have formally notified Vero
fied to conform to, the Florida Con- that they would not be renewing their
stitution as such conduct and orders electric franchise agreements. Shores
relate to the City’s unilateral exercise residents and officials are supporting
of extra-territorial powers within the three candidates for Vero Beach City
Town’s corporate limits.” Council who have vowed they would
vote to sell the Shores customers for
If the Town continues to get no re- $30 million, an action that would end
lief from the PSC, it may appeal to the the Shores’ legal battles with Vero at
Florida Supreme Court. Another op- the PSC and elsewhere. 

14 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Body cameras being tested by Shores, Sheriff’s Office

BY LISA ZAHNER cameras but not committing to use plored the Seattle Police Department’s officer’s body. Sometimes the officer
Staff Writer them every day on the beat. challenges in dealing with strong open compromises safe body position in or-
records laws – similar to Florida’s laws der to get a good video.
While the nearby seaside Town of Questions over privacy, cost, safety and – that have drowned police personnel
Melbourne Beach began using police evidence retention and access have pro- in processing, redacting and fulfilling “Overall, the cameras are not bad.
body cameras in the spring of 2015 vided much fodder for the national me- requests for body cam images. If we can find a camera that offers a
and now swears by them, law enforce- dia, with the NewYork Times following the wider field of vision, then we might
ment agencies in Indian River County massive New York Police Department’s Local testing of the devices is prov- buy them,” Rosell said. The Shores has
have been more hesitant, testing the continued resistance to the cameras. ing out those same concerns, and no money currently budgeted for a de-
more, on a small scale. partment-wide body camera system.
Most recently, the Times has ex-
Indian River Shores Chief Rich The Indian River Sheriff’s Office,
Rosell, a 35-year law enforcement vet- which patrols the north and south
eran, said “we have been testing body barrier island and assists Vero and the
cameras for several months now.” Shores in major crimes, is testing out
body cameras for use in the field via its
On the positive side, Rosell said,“they Training Unit, according to Public Af-
are excellent in a situation where an fairs Lt. Eric Flowers. The big question
officer has an investigation in a home. is where the money would come from.
They are a great additional tool for
the documentation of evidence. They “We have not ruled out using them
do not take up as much space on the in the future, but do not have a fund-
server as we originally thought. They ing source to cover the cost. The es-
are compact and do not interfere with timated cost to outfit our patrol sec-
how the officer does his job.” tion with body cameras is more than
a million dollars including the infra-
The not-so-great-side of the cameras, structure to support the storage and
according to Rosell, is “the field of vision downloading of videos and handling
is very narrow. They do not amount to of public records requests that will re-
much more than another audio source sult in their use,” Flowers said.
on a motor vehicle stop due to the man-
ner in which they are mounted on the “We will begin work on the 2018

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 15


fiscal year budget soon. As we work As the number of officers goes up – MEADOWS
through that process, we will deter- Vero has more than 50 police officers for Circuit Judge
mine what capital items to purchase – the initial cost for the equipment
and replace. I can't say at this point grows, plus the storage capacity and
when we would attempt to ask the processing time increases, and the
county for that additional funding city’s current server system could not
or if it would even be included in our handle the added load. “We are still
budget or a separate funding request looking at it, and there may be grants
to the county,” Flowers said. or other opportunities to help with
the funding,” Martin said. “The soon-
Of the police forces covering the est we might be able to do it would be
barrier island, Vero seems the farthest next (2017-18) budget year. This bud-
away from strapping cameras to its of- get is already closed out.”
ficers. Capt. Kevin Martin said he and
Chief David Currey have considered Drivers stopped for speeding in
adding body cameras to Vero’s opera- Melbourne Beach, or anyone who
tions, but that so far, the money has calls police to report an incident has
not been in the budget.

Every step of my career
has led me to now ask

for your vote.

n 11 years as an Attorney at Law admitted in:
State of Florida
United States Federal Court- Middle District of Florida
United States Federal Court- Southern District of Florida

n 15 years as a uniformed Law Enforcement Officer in the local area


I thank you for your
consideration and ask

for your vote.

Paid for and approved by Robert B. Meadows for
Circuit Judge 19th Circuit Seat 6

16 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Police body cameras Shores cell tower is moving ahead

most likely been on camera the past BY LISA ZAHNER which the 110-foot monopine cell The Town and Datapath will share
year and a half, and Chief Dan Duncan Staff Writer tower will be constructed and cam- the cost of building the tower. The ex-
says the relatively small outlay of cash ouflaged to look like a huge pine tree. act price is not known, but the Town
has paid big dividends in public safety. The Town Council Monday voted Datapath is leasing the land for renew- is responsible for up to $150,000 of the
unanimously to enter into a land-lease able five year terms for up to 50 years. pine tree camouflage, as this accoutre-
Duncan authorized the camera pur- agreement with Datapath Tower, the ment was not envisioned in the origi-
chase in the spring of 2015 . next step in the effort to get better cell Datapath has agreed to pay the nal proposal.
phone service in Indian River Shores. Town a $30,000 fee up front, plus pe-
“When you tell somebody that they riodic payments of $1,350, in addition Initially, Datapath had planned to
are being video recorded, they act dif- The lease covers 2,500 square feet on to a share of the proceeds of the fees build a monopole tower, which was
ferently,” Duncan said. “It can prevent Town Hall property needed to sink a paid by cell phone providers to place deemed aesthetically unacceptable
an incident from escalating. It keeps concrete base up to 40 feet deep upon their transmitters on the tower. after nearby residents protested hav-
our officers safer and it keeps the pub- ing to look at the unadorned equip-
lic safer.”  ment from their back yards.

Last week, council members ap-
proved the land lease with the caveat
that they wanted Datapath to excavate
and remove the concrete base should
the tower ever become obsolete. After
last Thursday’s meeting, Town Manager
Robbie Stabe and Mayor Brian Barefoot
discussed the matter with Datapath, de-
termining that removal of the massive
pilon was not only a deal-breaker due
to the potential cost, but that it would
neither be feasible nor recommended.

“Datapath said that it could not be
done, and even if they could do it, it
would leave the potential for a mas-
sive sinkhole to develop,” Stabe said.
Putting the Town Hall, the Commu-
nity Center, the Public Safety Complex
or neighboring homes in jeopardy like
that is not an option, he added.

With that information in hand, Bare-
foot called a special council meeting
for Monday morning and approved the
land-lease with a compromise: Should
the tower ever be taken down to make
way for some future cell technology,
Datapath would remove the top two feet
of concrete, restoring the site to pre-con-
struction level and returning it to sod.

Stabe told the council that timely
execution of the land-lease agreement
was critical to nailing down at least
one of the major cell phone providers
for the new Shores tower. The tower
can support up to five or six providers,
depending upon the configuration of
transmitters that are installed to send
out cell phone and data signals.

As part of the planning process for
the tower, the Town approved Ordi-
nance 524 to amend the Land Devel-
opment Code to allow “a communi-
cation tower up to 135' under very
specific conditions,” but the final site
plan of the tower, once presented,
must come back for approval.

Datapath is awaiting approval from
the federal Environmental Protec-
tion Agency and from two of the nine
Native American tribes which must
sign off on the project because at one
time in history, those tribes may have
had ancestors living on or migrating
through the barrier island. 

18 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™





1. Osceola Bistro Chef Chris Bireley and John Moore. 2. Jeff and Jacqui Hitt with Chef Lori Young, owner of Sweet Creations.
3. Sandy Patterson, Chef Adrienne Drew of Catering by Adrienne Drew, and Shirley Becker. 4. Lucinda Gedeon, Quail Valley River
Club Chef Peter Caruso, and Frances Sprout. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

Big Brothers Big Sisters banquet: How sweet it is!

BY MARY SCHENKEL sponsors and guests on behalf of the been awesome,” said Miller. “The last of this room up here if truth be known.
Staff Writer 500-plus children served locally by Big year Florida VPK Assessment showed All of these people up here play differ-
Brothers Big Sisters. that 91 percent of the kids we worked ent roles in the Moonshot Moment.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Lucie, with were ready to move on to kinder- But every single one of them brings
Indian River and Okeechobee coun- BBBS CEO Judi Miller explained that garten.” passion to the mission, they bring ex-
ties drew a sold-out crowd last Monday their VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten) pectations for kids, they bring tenacity
evening to its delightfully sweet Choc- program started about four years ago Mentor Carlene Igras added that and a commitment for collaboration
olate, Champagne and Chefs fundrais- as a pilot program funded through the children entering kindergarten today like I’ve never seen before.”
er at the Quail Valley River Club. Indian River Community Foundation. are expected to know considerably
more than in years past. She praised Ray Oglethorpe, Learning Alliance
Arriving guest sipped cocktails and “It came as a result of AmeriCorps Brielle’s mother for reinforcing literacy board chairman, cited as a “crying,
champagne while perusing raffle members and Moonshot Moment at home, but noted that mentorships national shame” that just 30 percent of
prizes and some incredible live auc- representatives who encouraged us are even more critical for children third graders nationwide can read pro-
tion items, which they would later to work with kids at the VPK level and without home support systems. ficiently, before praising this commu-
be cajoled into purchasing through expand what we were already doing nity for uniting behind the Moonshot
humorous ribbing by attorney John for struggling students in kindergar- “Every year we honor a group or in- literacy goal.
Moore, the evening’s ultra-persuasive ten through third grade,” said Miller. dividuals that have made a transfor-
auctioneer. Additionally, Walmart “It was innovative for us and it was a mational difference in Indian River Following a delicious gourmet din-
Distribution Center managers had do- special opportunity. Because they said County,” said Miller, before recogniz- ner, there wasn’t a sweet tooth left un-
nated 15 bicycles as Christmas gifts if kids get off to a bad start, they can’t ing members of the Moonshot Com- satisfied guests as sampled the sump-
for BBBS children and board member catch up.” munity Action Network. MCAN is the tuous chocolate desserts whipped up
Brad Lorimer solicited another $16,000 70-plus organizations and individuals by Chefs Chris Bireley, Osceola Bistro;
in symbolic bike purchases to support She introduced a mother and her behind the Moonshot Moment goal Tim Blouin, Grand Harbor Club; Pe-
the mission. daughter Brielle, who has flourished of having 90 percent of third graders ter Caruso, Quail Valley River Club;
since entering the Passport to Early reading at grade level by 2018. Adrienne Drew, Catering by Adrienne
“Everyone asks if I’m the chair of Literacy program, which provides one- Drew; Scott Varricchio, Citrus Grill-
the event and I say no, I am the creator on-one tutoring by AmeriCorps mem- Introducing Ray Oglethorpe, Mark house; and Lori Young, Sweet Cre-
and everyone else on the committee bers, and family engagement through Rendell, Barbara Hammond, Meredith ations by LS Young. 
was a chairperson,” said Joanna Mey- Literacy Nights, field trips and book Egan, Fran Adams, Lucinda Gedeon,
ers, thanking the committee, chefs, donations. Lenora Ritchie and Kerry Bartlett, she BBBS PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
added, “We could probably have half
“The results of this program have

20 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™



5. Citrus Grillhouse Chef Scott Varricchio with Helen
Scott, Vero Beach City Councilwoman Pilar Turner
and Al Turner. 6. Ray Oglethorpe, Barbara Hammond,
Meredith Egan, Fran Adams, Kerry Bartlett and Mark
Rendell. 7. Jim DiMarzo with Jean and Jim Kelly.
8. Joanna Meyers, Sally Fusco and Michelle Borisenok.


Grand Opening


November 5
4:00-9:00 pm
6180 N HWY A1A

772.492.6913 | | @seasaltstyle

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 21


9 10 11
12 14


9. Rita Chanfrau, Vanessa Bynum, Sherry McMahon and Melissa Alfonso.
10. Linda Teetz, Bonnie Oliver, Jane Cauger and Jeanne Guttman. 11. Armund
and Marie Ek. 12. Anthony and Sasha Bonna with Grand Harbor Club Chef
Timothy Blouin. 13. Barry and Dr. Ellen Van Der Meulen with Sterl Shinaberry.
14. Mel Teetz, Maya Peterson and Sylvia Cancio with Elke and George Fetterolf.

22 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Alzheimer & Parkinson event honors community support

BY MARY SCHENKEL learned a little more about some of
Staff Writer the innovative programs and servic-
es they offer.
Supporters of the Alzheimer & Par-
kinson Association of Indian River “We’re learning more and more
County gathered at Northern Trust that the brain is extremely complex,”
Bank last Wednesday for a Donor said Board President Bruce McEvoy,
Reception sponsored by Mercedes- who recently attended an interna-
Benz of Fort Pierce, Northern Trust tional Parkinson Symposium. “The
Bank, and Becky and Bob Allen, and number suffering from neurological
diseases is well understated.”

Todd Seth, Peggy Cunningham and Andy White. Nancy and Bob Puff. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

He was encouraged to learn that so deserve,” said Cunningham, add-
exercise has emerged as a corner- ing that these individuals need to be
stone of recovery, and that indica- supported, socially validated, con-
tions are that Parkinson’s can be nected and empowered. “What your
slowed if a program of physical ex- support has done is you are provid-
ercise, nutrition and medical treat- ing these families with a comprehen-
ment is implemented soon after di- sive local resource. You are allow-
agnosis. ing us to operate entirely by private
funding, so there is no burden on any
“In looking at our strategic plan, taxpayer.”
a key goal will be community out-
reach, so those who are suffering Free services are currently offered
from neurological diseases can re- in Vero Beach, Gifford and Sebastian,
quest consultations and a range impacting roughly 1,000 residents
of services that we are able to give each year through such programs
them,” said McEvoy. as support groups and respite care,
movement and exercise programs,
“In Indian River County, statisti- memory screening, private coun-
cally, we feel there are 5,000 cases seling, Virtual Dementia Tours and
of dementia-related disorders,” said Project Lifesaver.
Peggy Cunningham, APAIRC execu-
tive director, adding they anticipate Three of the more innovative
that number to triple in the next 30 approaches were demonstrated
years. “As a community, we need to Wednesday: Maureen Burkhart,
be ready for this.” a certified music therapist, leads
a weekly Movin’ & Groovin’ class,
She said that because 80 percent which effectively addresses balance
of dementia sufferers are cared for at and gait; Mugs Holifield’s Qi Gong
home by unpaid family and friends, classes provide energizing exercise
there is a 65 percent chance a care- and spirit serenity; and Dawn Miller,
giver will predecease the spouse; program manager for Movement at
their death the result of the expense the Museum, leads a dance program
and stress of caring for their loved in collaboration with the Vero Beach
one. Museum of Art designed to increase
flexibility and awareness of the
“We want to talk about what we can mind-body connection. 
do for the residents in this county to
give them the quality of life that they

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 23


Sue Tompkins, Becky Allen, Carol Kanarek and Bob Allen. Nancy and Vaughn Bryson with Sandy Kahle. Linda Wells, Tim Girard, Cindy Goetz and Janean Barrows.

Mabel Ortiz, Moreen Burkart, Mugs Hollifield, Roberta Rose. Vicki Suplizio and Joan Edwards. Gail and Scott Alexander.

24 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


High hopes for Mental Health Collaborative initiatives

BY MARY SCHENKEL Brett Hall. PHOTO: DENISE RITCHIE tor before incorporating as its own times we just need help connecting
Staff Writer 501(c) 3 this September. the dots to live a life in balance. And
he’s decided to take on a real chal- that’s where we come in,” said Hall.
At the United Way of Indian River lenge in our community.” After consulting with community “The Connection Center will be the
County Community Leaders Break- leaders, providers and funders, the community hub for all things im-
fast last Wednesday (see Page 30), The MHC was founded 12 years MHC developed a strategic plan re- pacting mental health and sobriety.
UWIRC CEO Michael Kint intro- ago as an affiliation of funders and sulting in four initiatives: a Mental This is a place where anybody in the
duced Brett Hall, the new executive providers working together to in- Health Court, which launched in community can come.”
director of the Mental Health Col- crease access to mental health ser- 2015; reducing mental health stig-
laborative of Indian River County. vices. The program was incubated ma; incorporating behavioral health Individuals will receive both fi-
Originally from Chicago, Hall has through the United Way with Lisa into primary care; and designing nancial and clinical screenings to
served in mental health and health- Khale as its part-time administra- and operating a Community Con- determine the level and types of ser-
care leadership for more than 20 nection Center. vices needed, and care coordinators
years; the last six running the Be- will secure appointments and fol-
havioral Health Center at Indian Citing statistics that in 2014 one low up to ensure there are no issues
River Medical Center. in four people had a diagnosable preventing them from keeping those
mental illness, one in three had a appointments.
“In my work here in Indian River substance use disorder and one in
County over the past 12 years with two had a chronic medical illness, Although the collaborative is fo-
the Mental Health Collaborative, I’ve Hall said, “This affects all of us; our cused on mental health and sobri-
come to know and admire a great friends, our families and our co- ety, Hall said that as a centralized
many people who are dedicated to workers.” hub of programs and services, they
improving the mental health system will be able to assist in other areas
here,” said Kint. “Brett Hall is one Hall referenced the late Dr. George impacting those individuals, such as
of those folks. Brett has impressed Engel, who believed that the secret primary and dental care, transpor-
me with his depth of knowledge and to optimal health was the balance tation, housing, vocational training
his willingness to collaborate. It’s a of the biological, psychological and and food needs.
difficult arena. Due in large part to social systems.
those qualities, I am delighted that “We will do whatever we can. We
“We have some of the best biopsy- can’t solve every problem but we will
chosocial services available right do whatever we can to make sure
here in Indian River County. Some-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

that we are addressing all of the so-
cial determinants that are impact-
ing their mental health and sobri-
ety,” said Hall. “So that’s what makes
us different; we’re treating the whole
person in every conceivable aspect
of their life – when we can.”

He stressed that the Connection
Center is not a service provider, add-
ing, “We’re working together with
the providers to support each other;
we’re certainly not working in com-
petition. The collaborative member-
ship is all the providers, funders and
systems in town. The Connection
Center will have agreements with
the providers and then they will pro-
vide an appointment or two a week
to the connection center so that we
can get our patients in that need ser-

“The Connection Center

will be the community

hub for all things

impacting mental health

and sobriety. This is a

place where anybody

in the community

can come.”

– Brett Hall

vices rather quickly.”
Hall also hopes to collect data re-

garding any unmet needs, explaining,
“I don’t think we always have clear
data on what our community needs.
We will be the living, breathing,
needs-assessment for the community,
so that at any time a funder can come
in and say, ‘What is the biggest need
in town?’ And I can tell them we had
so many people looking for X, Y and Z
that we couldn’t fill.”

An established MHC board, com-
prised of providers, funders and ad-
vocates, will have oversight of the
Connection Center and will help de-
termine how it is run.

“It is a true collaboration back and
forth,” said Hall, noting that in addi-
tion to membership dues, funding
sources have included the IRC Hospi-
tal District, IRC United Way, the Rob-
ert F. and Eleonora W. McCabe Foun-
dation and others.

The Connection Center is sched-
uled to open sometime in November
at 2345 14th Avenue, across from the
Historic Vero Beach Train Station. 

26 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Can’t mask the joy at Halloween parade/contest

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF nual Halloween Parade and Costume
Staff Writer Contest.

A menagerie of mythical crea- More than 400 costume-clad chil-
tures and cartoon characters, ma- dren and their sidekicks wended their
rauding pirates, faeries, firefighters way from the Vero Beach Woman’s
and superheroes filled the streets of Club to the Vero Beach Community
downtown Vero Beach last Saturday Center, where mermaids, witches,
morning at the City of Vero Beach cowpokes and ninjas strutted across
Recreation Department’s 58th an- the stage as contestants vying for top
honors in the annual costume contest.



The judges had their work cut out Several generations were represent-
for them, deciding between costumes ed among the groups, with many hav-
ranging from Elsa to Maleficent, veter- ing walked in the very same parade
ans to farmers and superheroes to liz- themselves, before later watching
ards. their children and now, much to their
delight, their grandchildren. It truly
Little ones – carried, pulled in deco- was a family day of fun, topped off by
rated wagons or pushed in camou- goody bags and snacks for the young-
flaged strollers – were accompanied sters after walking the parade route.
by entourages dressed in complemen-
tary attire. Popeye and Olive Oyl, a bee- At the Community Center, while
keeper and his little honey bee, and the waiting for the judges to winnow
Little Mermaid with her own personal down the finalists, everyone enjoyed
“daddy” diver were among some of the performances by the Vero Classical
more unique ensembles. Ballet and the Vero Beach Recreation
Department’s Little Stars.
A few folks more young at heart than
in actual age took the opportunity to “I love that we can keep this tradi-
show off their own creativity costumed tion alive,” said City of Vero Beach
as old favorites, including the Adams Recreation Department Director Rob
Family, a hunter in a deer stand and the Slezak. “It’s just so much fun for kids
Joker. and adults. Everyone has a great time
and leaves with something.”
It’s hard to say who had more fun,
the children dressed up as their cur- Don’t miss the Recreation De-
rent favorite heroes or the parade- partment’s Aerial Antics Youth Cir-
goers watching from the shade of oak cus holiday presentation of “Santa
tree-lined 14th Avenue, who remi- Who?” – 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 17
nisced about favorite costumes they at the Vero Beach High School Per-
had worn as children. forming Arts Center. 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 27


1. Christin and David Paladin with Mya. 2. Aria

Sanders. 3. Larissa and Rolf Peterson. 4. Dylan,

Kristin, Kurt and Dawson Runge with Taylor

Anderson. 5. Peter, Angelina, and Dena DuBois.

6. Chris DuBois. 7. Anna Koehn. 8. Gaby Dwyer

leads the Halloween Parade. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE


28 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Niceties entice shoppers
at Autumn in the Park

June Fitzmeyer. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Dave, Barb and Pat Stanley.

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF service and friendship, and focuses
on service projects in the areas of
Staff Writer brain disorders, leadership develop-
ment, service for community and
Riverside Park was filled with patriotism. The group not only sup-
more than falling leaves last week- ports the community through finan-
end as shoppers flocked to the Trea- cial contributions, but it also pro-
sure Coast Pilot Club’s 29th annual vides thousands of service hours to
Autumn in the Park. local projects contributing to the im-
provement of Indian River County.
This year 60 of the 90 vendors were
new to the annual juried arts and Funds raised through Autumn in
crafts show, adding another dimen- the Park will benefit the Alzheimer
sion to the popular event. With a and Parkinson Association of Indian
wide variety of handcrafted jewelry, River County, a relationship formed
wood, ceramics and glass pieces, art- several years ago when the club pro-
work in watercolors, oils and acryl- vided funding for their Project Life-
ics, plants and garden accessories, saver program. Funds enable them
handmade clothing and fiber art, to provide free tracking bracelets
foods and skin care products, there and replacement batteries to resi-
was something for everyone to enjoy. dents with Alzheimer’s and other
brain-related disorders, and to autis-
The club added a map this year to tic children who are at risk of wan-
make it easier to navigate through dering off. The transmitters’ vital
the plethora of vendors and ensure tracking technology is used by law
that shoppers wouldn’t miss any- enforcement to search for and rescue
thing. Many attendees took a break those individuals if the need arises,
in the shade and enjoyed lunch or a most often finding them in less than
cold treat before making their way 30 minutes.
through the rest of the unique items
on display, hoping to get a head start “We were able to apply for a grant
on their holiday shopping. through the International Club and
then match the funds to help launch
“The two-day event has grown over the program,” shared Joan Edwards.
the years,” explained event chair “My husband had Alzheimer’s and
Tammy Bursick. “We are thrilled the people at the Alzheimer and Par-
with the number of people who have kinson Association were a great re-
shown up for the event.” source.”

The Treasure Coast Pilot Club was Their annual Pancake Breakfast,
founded more than 20 years ago by a held during the Hibiscus Festival, is
group of businesswomen who want- another of their major fundraisers,
ed to be part of the international raising money for scholarships, chari-
group’s mission to “sponsor worth- table organizations and civic endeav-
while service projects to improve the ors throughout the community. 
quality of life in their communities.”

The local chapter is dedicated to

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


Eileen O’Donnell, Tammy Bursick and Peggy Cunningham. Dan and Pat Kroger looking at “Human Essence” by T shun Ng. Deanna Larsen, Debbie and Renee Ladd with Lisa Page.

Michele Conlon, Sharon Hite and Laura Jordan.
Tim, Andrei and Catherine Palmer.

Terri Finethy (Ocean Energy and Earthbound Art)

30 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Community leaders went ‘Way’ above and beyond

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF County Awards presentation, honor-
Staff Writer ing members of the community “do-
ing exception things to advance the
The Oak Harbor Clubhouse was common good.”
filled with happy chatter as more
than 200 local business, govern- United Way Board Chair Susan
ment, nonprofit and community Adams and Board Chair-Elect Erin
leaders gathered for the 24th annual Grall kicked off the morning with
Community Leaders Breakfast and the presentation of the Ralph T. King
Richardson Spirit of Indian River Award, which recognizes the long-
term commitment and outstanding

Tracey Segal, Jackie Solari and Pilar Turner. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

Tom Manwaring, Michael Kmetz and Jill Borowicz.

Debbie and Kyle Morgan with Jeff Smith and Linda Eromin.

achievement to the United Way by companied by a check for $2,500,
a volunteer. Introducing Andy Bein- was presented to The Arc of Indian
dorf, this year’s recipient, she said he River County for their work provid-
has done “just about everything you ing services to the vulnerable within
could possibly do within the world the community. Their programs and
of the United Way.” services assist individuals with spe-
cial needs to gain greater indepen-
The Agency Excellence Award, ac-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 31


Nancy Heinrich, Mary Silva, Mary Beth Vallar and Elida Gomez. Christina Price, Laura Wilsey, Chrissy Stephens and Andrew Russell

Hope Woodhouse, Joan Woodhouse and Susan Adams.

dence and achieve their full poten- the School District of Indian River
tial. County.

The Richardson Spirit of Indian “It is exciting and mentally ful-
River County Overall Excellence filling work to be in such a giving
Awards, named in honor of Dan community with so many capable
K. Richardson, a founder of the and dedicated people all working on
United Way of Indian River County behalf of the common good,” said
more than 50 years ago and its first UWIRC CEO Michael Kint.
board chairman, recognizes excel-
lence in community contributions. Keynote Speaker Brett Hall, the
The awards were presented to three new executive director of the Mental
businesses of varying sizes, each Health Collaborative of IRC, spoke
dedicated to improving the commu- about the organization recently be-
nity: Omni Financial, United Parcel coming its own nonprofit entity and
Service and Grall Law Group. the planned November opening of
a Connection Center in downtown
A special award this year was pre- Vero Beach as a central resource for
sented on behalf of the United Way mental health services in the coun-
of Florida. Indian River County was ty. (See Mental Health Collaborative
at the top of the list based on data story on Page 24.)
compiled at the state level for work-
place giving within the public sec- The breakfast ended with a chal-
tor, including county governments, lenge from 2016-2017 United Way
property appraisers, tax collectors Campaign Co-Chairs Kyle and Deb-
and others. bie Morgan. “We truly do live in the
best small town in America, and that’s
Taking top honors was the office evidenced by the folks that are seated
of the Indian River County Clerk of in this room. We’re excited to give our
the Circuit Court with a ranking of time to a cause we deeply believe in.
No. 1 in the state, with rankings of There are many ways to live United
third through fifth, respectively, for and we want to invite all of you to par-
the office of the Indian River County ticipate in this year’s campaign.” 
Supervisor of Elections, the Indian
River County Sheriff’s Office and UNITED WAY PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

32 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Janie Graves Hoover, Marty Zickert and Penny Chandler. Meredith Egan, Carol Johnson and Bob Bauchman. Patrick and Erin Grall.

Sandy and Randy Rolf.

Andy Beindorf and Meredith Egan.
Brian Hartman, Amber Brady and Diana Dwarika.



34 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


For passionate rock opera, ‘Evita!’ is solid Guild

BY MICHELLE GENZ with Hillary Clinton: her enormous Kaitlin Ruby and Rob Kenna
Staff Writer Eva Peron Foundation. With a budget
of $50 million (a whopping sum then) PHOTOS BY DENISE RITCHIE
While the rest of the nation counts and 14,000 employees, it provided ev-
down to the election, a Vero theater erything from health clinics and class-
group is ratcheting up the fervor factor, rooms to children’s theme parks. And
rehearsing rallies for a political icon in like Hillary, she championed women’s
another era and on another continent. rights. Before Eva died of cervical can-
cer at only 33, she managed to win Ar-
“Evita!,” the rock opera that chroni- gentine women the right to vote.
cles the life of Argentina’s beloved Eva
Perón, opens at the Vero Beach The- “Oh what a circus, oh what a show,”
atre Guild Nov. 10, just two days after sings Che Guevara, a character who
the election. Written by Tim Rice and serves as narrator and in cameos
Andrew Lloyd Webber, the show has through the play; he is played by Vero’s
been on the schedule for a year and a Derrick Paul, a professional model
half – about as long as Donald Trump who can rock that jaunty beret. That
has been in the race for president. “circus” he sings about refers not to a
rally, but Evita’s funeral.
“I didn’t really think about the tim-
ing,” says director Mark Wygonik. “It Evita was not born into wealth and
really only hit me when we started re- celebrity. On the contrary, she grew
hearsing the crowd scenes.” up extremely poor, and it’s left to the
elegant Kaitlin Ruby to portray that
Like Trump, whose brand expanded dichotomy on the Guild stage. The
greatly through his role on “The Ap- 20-year-old Ruby was a 2014 Miss Hi-
prentice,” Eva Peron made her first biscus. That same year, as she was
fans on the air waves – radio, not TV. graduating from Indian River Charter
And like Trump, people talked about High, she starred as Annie Sullivan in
her sex life; for years, rumors flew that the Guild production of “The Miracle
she was a prostitute. Worker,” followed by Daisy in “The

Evita had one thing in common

Great Gatsby” at Charter. 54, is a singer/songwriter from Sidney,
Ruby is currently working on a de- Australia, and a former contestant on
that country’s version of “Star Search.”
gree in marketing for a University
of Florida online program, back in Kenna finds inspiration for his role
Vero after a scholarship stint at Stet- in Peron’s dashing 1940s wardrobe,
son University. which ranges from a pinstripe suit to a
smoking jacket to a tuxedo.
Last week she auditioned at River-
side Theatre in the hopes of winning a He also appears in military uniform
professional role. complete with epaulets and gold braid.
It is far more formal than the uniform
Rob Kenna, who plays Juan Peron, Kenna wore as a police officer in New
also has Riverside in his sights, though South Wales.
it looks as if it will be next season be-
fore he has time to audition. Kenna, It was during that time that he suf-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 35

Kaitlin Ruby, Rob Kenna, and Mike Nemits ARTS & THEATRE

PHOTOS BY DENISE RITCHIE Walter, who coaches the dancers for rehearsal room meant that practice
Vero’s “Dancing with the Stars” char- for “Evita” could start while the last
ity knock-off, serves as choreogra- play, “Sylvia,” was being staged in the
pher. theater itself.

The sets, designed by Wygonik, As for Ruby as the glamorous Evita,
include crowd scenes peopled by the crew is building her own private
scenic artist Isabel Garrett’s neutral- dressing room in the wings. “I prob-
hued portraits, applied to life-size ably change 8 to 10 times during the
wood cut-outs. As for the actual cast, show. That’s a lot,” Ruby says.
its 32 members are wrangled by stage
manager Jim Daly, including through “This is a tough, tough show, and
multiple set and costume changes. if we all get it right, it’ll be worth it,”
says Kenna. ”Mark wants people to
With the new two-story Guild ad- be blown away.”
dition completed, costumes are now
stored on premises instead of in a dis- “Evita!” opens Thursday, Nov. 10,
tant storage rental. And a new large with a 7 p.m. performance. It runs
through Nov. 27. 

fered a fractured skull and other military takeover of the Argentine
injuries when he was attacked by government. A widower, he was twice
a man with a machete. During his Eva’s age – 48. She quickly displaced
long rehabilitation, he took up the the young mistress he already en-
guitar and began writing songs. joyed.

Kenna first came to the states in In his new role, Peron was re-
2001, and found Vero on a subse- sponsive to the needs of the work-
quent trip in 2011. In between reno- ing class, enacting a minimum
vating his lakeside home for resale, wage and health benefits to the dis-
he has played regular gigs at Havana may of the country’s conservative
Nights and for private parties. oligarchy – some 1,800 land owners.
Evita joined in his efforts, becom-
Born in a small town, Eva Duarte ing president of the newly-formed
dreamed of becoming an actress actors’ union, and used her clout
since childhood. One of five children on radio to spread her message of a
of an unmarried woman, her absent new tomorrow.
father, who had a family in another
town, had taken Eva’s mother as a Preparing for his presidential run,
mistress when she was only 15. Peron married Eva, who promptly
abandoned her film career for a new
When Eva was 1, he abandoned his role as first lady. This is the mo-
illegitimate family, leaving Eva and ment when the swelling voices of
her siblings to live off the meager the crowd lift Evita to her pedestal:
earnings of her seamstress mother. “A new Argentina, the voice of the
people … will not be denied!”
Eva left for Buenos Aires at 15 to
begin her radio soap opera career; Director Wygonik recruited two
by 22 she was a national star. Two talented choral conductors to coach
years later, she became the mistress the cast in the challenging score:
of Juan Peron in 1944. Jacob Craig of First Presbyterian
Church, and Ryan Kasten, formerly
A charismatic Army colonel with of Community Church.
a soft spot for fascism, Peron was
the newly named secretary of war Ballroom dance instructor Karren
as well as of labor in the year-old


7 72 . 2 3 4 . 6711

36 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Coming Up: Galleries galore, beaucoup blues ... and Crosby

BY MICHELLE GENZ p.m. to 9 p.m. In Vero, while there is Longineu Parsons Gallery Stroll along
Staff Writer still – STILL – no outdoor live music, 14th Avenue.
not even buskers from the local arts and soulful guitar-
high school, the galleries diligently
open for the public. To the north of ist Ted Shumate play
the main gallery district, Vero artist
1 It’s the first Friday of the month Barry Shapiro opens his new show the Sunrise Theatre’s
and the downtown areas of Friday at the Center for Spiritual
Care, at 1550 24th Street. Black Box stage Fri-

both Fort Pierce and Vero spring 2 Vocalist, flutist and trumpeter day night with their

to life. Around the marina in Fort band, 21 Blue. World-

Pierce, the ghosts of Edgartown class musicians,

have receded from their annual Hal- they’ve put togeth-

loween tour appearance, and the er a set that offers

Flat Natural Band plays from 5:30 a historical look at

American blues mu-

sic, from Louis Arm-

strong to Miles Davis.

The show starts at 7

p.m. in an intimate

space including a

full bar and cabaret

tables along the back


3 A heads-up for
the David Cros-

by concert at the

Lyric in Stuart Nov.

22. He’s promoting

the release of his new

solo album, “Light-

house,” performing

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 37


with his band on what they’re call- acter; the result is more like a con- writer Rob Kenna. Peron’s much a run-down hotel in Mexico. There
ing the Lighthouse tour. His origins cert-in-costume that features very younger bride Eva works her popu- he meets a classically Williams-ian
in folk music generated “Turn, Turn, fine musicians and some gorgeous list magic with the oppressed Ar- cast of characters, including one
Turn” long ago as well as a very fa- vocals. “Ring of Fire” runs through gentine masses, stirring a national lonely woman who shows him kind-
mous cover of Dylan’s “Mr. Tambou- Nov. 13. movement to fight against poverty ness; she may be his ticket to salva-
rine Man.” His last album “Croz,” and for social justice. tion.
released in 2014, was his first solo 6 The spotlight will shine bright-
effort and featured guest appear- ly on the elegant Kaitlin Ruby “Evita” runs through Nov. 27. The theater, located at the end
ances by Wynton Marsalis and Mark of Clematis Street in West Palm
K nopf ler. in the title role when “Evita” opens 7 Palm Beach Dramaworks’ pro- Beach, is known for excellence in its
duction of “The Night of the staging of this sort of play. There’s
in Vero next week. also a South Florida component to
“Iguana’s” lineage: Williams work-
The ambitious Andrew Lloyd Web- Iguana” has drawn solid reviews as shopped the play at Miami’s Coco-
nut Grove Playhouse in 1960.
ber and Tim Rice musical is being the theater’s first Tennessee Wil-
The play runs through next week-
staged at the newly expanded Vero liams play in its 17-year history. end. 

Beach Theatre Guild. The drama concerns a defrocked

On-stage president Juan Perón is minister with a thing for under-

played by Australian singer/song- aged girls who finds sanctuary in

Nouveaux Honkies.

4 The Nouveaux Honkies Wel-
come Home Party promises to

be a regional draw Saturday at Terra

Fermata in Stuart.

Starting at 4 p.m., the three-band

soirée starts with the dexterous one-

man-band Ben Prestage. Raised on a

rural dirt road between Martin and

Okeechobee counties, he now lives

with his own family in Vero Beach.

Prestage’s roots music is followed

the stirring original music of coun-

try artist Abby Owens, who traces

her origins to an Indiantown or-

ange grove; born at home, she was

“weighed on a vegetable scale,” as

one of her best tunes puts it.

Abby just got back from Nashville

and yet another shot at a recording


Then the road-rambling Ameri-

cana duo the Nouveaux Honkies

take over.

Guitarist and vocalist Tim

O’Donnell and violinist Rebecca

Dawkins returned home from a stint

circulating the South in their solar-

powered RV.

They set up for a spell near Austin

to record a new album. They take

the stage at 7:30, then Abby steps in

again at 10:15 for the rest of the eve-


5 If you like Johnny Cash, you
should make the drive up to

Vero’s Riverside Theatre for an ex-

cellent production of “Ring of Fire.”

The jukebox musical, like all the

shows at Riverside, is staged with

professional actors. They include Ja-

son Edwards, who performed in the

show on Broadway and directs the

Vero production. The show focuses

more on the music than on retelling

Cash’s story and recreating his char-

38 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


On the money: ‘Ring of Fire’ brilliantly captures Cash

BY MICHELLE GENZ on opening night last week in what son Edwards, who plays the
turned out to be a brilliant concert-
Staff Writer in-costume of country music so clas- senior of the Cash-ish char- Ring of Fire
sic I would reclassify it as Americana.
If you settle in Riverside Theatre’s Blues, gospel, rock and rockabilly all acters (they are not imper- PHOTOS BY DENISE RITCHIE
“Ring of Fire” expecting a dark por- are represented, along with the vin-
trayal of the complex Johnny Cash: tage TV variety-show style that popu- sonators), had such a warm
Man in Black, you’re likely to be disap- larized him with a wider audience.
pointed. But at least it isn’t a tale of red bass-baritone you could pull
versus blue, like every other narrative The gimmickry in “I’ve Been Every-
these days. where” that has the entire cast lined up it around you like a heavy
with guitars singing a handoff of faster
Never mind his addictions, the and faster place names may have daz- quilt. Edwards was a male
drinking, speed and downers that zled on the mid-century small screen.
kept him going through grueling On the Riverside Main Stage, though, lead in the original 2006
touring. Never mind his Dust Bowl it was the simpler, less-efforted scenes
childhood that had him picking cot- that left plenty of space for the straight- Broadway “Ring of Fire.”
ton from the age of 5. Or the adoles- ahead delivery of one soulful song af-
cence that began with the torment ter another: “While I’ve Got it On My Right before Johnny Cash’s
of losing his big brother in a hideous Mind,” “I Still Miss Someone,” “Tear-
sawmill accident, that not only he but Stained Letter,” “All Over Again,” and death in 2003 (just four
his mother presaged. another Kristofferson classic, “Why
Me Lord.” months after June Carter
Forget about the woman he left be-
hind along with their 10,000 pages of Consider the on-stage musicians, of- died), Cash gave Bill Meade
love letters and four daughters, when ten doubling as cast members. There’s
he pursued June Carter. a fiddler, a standup bass player, an ac- the rights to create a show
cordion player, a percussionist with a
These aspects are danced around – range of old-timey noisemakers, and with his music. Meade was
sometimes literally, but never dwelled some classic acoustic guitarists all
upon. Cash’s second-act cover of Kris with country bona-fides as long as the a classical musician turned
Kristofferson’s broodingly beautiful Appalachian Trail.
hangover lament, “Sunday Morning Broadway musical coordi-
Coming Down,” drew titters from the The older of the two Betty Carters,
opening night audience. Even Cash’s played by Allison Briner-Dardenne, nator who worked on “Hel-
own fascination with prison life – had more than a hint of Bonnie Raitt
never experienced firsthand, though about her silky voice and won my heart lo, Dolly!” and “Saturday
he spent a few one-nighters in jail – is in an instant with her understated de-
handled in an almost comical chorus livery. This spring, Briner-Dardenne Night Fever.” He brought in
line of singing inmates, hanging their played in comedian Steve Martin’s
heads and dragging balls and chains “Bright Star” on Broadway, a similarly Richard Maltby Jr. and, us-
like something out of a Mel Brooks Southern-themed musical and a New
movie. York Times “critics’ pick.” ing 38 Cash songs, told six

That wholesome lighthearted- In the Vero show, guest director Ja- separate stories involving
ness was just what the doctor ordered
different people. Staged in

2006, it flopped on Broadway. Then, bum of his own ready for release.

seven years later, Maltby tried again, Trenna Barnes, who sang and por-

streamlining the original show and trayed Carter in her younger years, is

having musician-actors telling bits in her 11th production of this show. A

and pieces of Johnny Cash’s own sto- native of Tulsa now living in Memphis,

ry. That show, in 2013, had Jason Ed- she spent eight years with all-girl band

wards singing for Cash. Edwards has called Cowboy Crush. She played the

gone on to direct the show numerous role in a more Broadway style than Bri-

times in regional theaters. ner-Dardenne, swishing her petticoats

Benjamin D. Hale plays a younger and tossing her curls like a character

version of Cash. His prior experi- out of “Oklahoma!” Her voice, though,

ence includes singing Cash’s role in a was just as authentic and powerful.

recording-studio reenactment called The play takes place on a single set

“Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah’s designed by John Iavocelli: the exte-

in Las Vegas. Having backed up Kris- rior of a log cabin, the porch of which

ten Chenoweth at the 2012 American serves as bandstand for the various

Country Music awards, Hale has an al- musicians. They include Jeff Lisenby,

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 39


the music director and keyboardist Carolina native who has been playing
who comes downstage at one point to violin since the age of 4, toured with
deliver a terrific accordion accompa- Bobbie Gentry and Jim Stafford, and
niment; Lisenby was also part of “Ring he toured and recorded with Dwight
of Fire” on Broadway. Yoakam’s band.

Also on the porch is guitarist Brent He becomes an audience favorite
Moyer, who pulls out a trumpet for playing a sullen old timer who pipes
some dashing mariachi-inspired up with a great line or two out of the
phrases on the title song. blue. Another crowd favorite is stand-
up bassist John Marshall, who rips out
To one side is guitarist and man- a solo that makes you wonder who’s
dolinist Sam Sherwood, who briefly doing the sound effects. (He is.)
doubles as Johnny’s brother Jack,
slipping off to work on that fateful Opposite that porch is a highway bill-
day at the sawmill. On the other side board topped by vintage curved lamps.
of the porch, Walter Hartmann has It serves as a screen for various photo
crammed his array drums and a few images evocative of the Cash era.
regional instruments besides. Hart-
mann, a Tennessee native, studied at At a time when media forms have
Berklee College of Music before mov- evolved far beyond billboards and are
ing back to Nashville. He has recorded reminding us not of a common past
with Dr. Hook, Brenda Lee, Johnny but a painfully disparate future, “Ring
Paycheck and many others. of Fire” is a tonic to take in with grati-
tude. Just don’t strike up a conversa-
Fiddler Brantley Kearns, a North tion in the lobby.

Students’ interpretive
dances inspire, inform

BY MICHELLE GENZ America’s premier collecting museum,
Staff Writer the Smithsonian, and fetch as much as
$40,000 at auction, historians give them
There will be mostly white visitors to value that is harder to quantify, calling
Vero Beach Museum of Art’s exhibit of the works an early act of defiance in the
pottery and poetry by David Drake and civil rights movement.
they may marvel at the 19th century Af-
rican-American slave from South Caro- Next Wednesday, when Ballet Vero
lina whose works are on display. The Beach presents its latest collaboration
resourcefulness it took the man known with the museum, the audience in the
simply as Dave to create such beautiful typically packed Leonhardt Auditorium
pieces and to write such inspired in- will view on a large screen an intimate
scriptions is moving; some verses hint moment captured on video one after-
at using the stars as a means to escape noon last week, a moment that might
to freedom. make Dave’s work more wondrous.

Still, the emotion behind the works A small group of African-American
and the words they bear may elude students, middle- and high-school
those whose ancestry does not include aged, participated in a movement work-
slaves like Dave. Though the pots are in shop staged and recorded by Adam


40 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39 Program to find volunteers for his work- Ballet Vero Beach’s Adam Schnell to be a total surprise to the dancers.”
shop. “Just through the wonder of these faciliates during a movement workshop. Tickets are distributed free by Ballet
Schnell, the ballet company’s founder. kids we realize we have a lot to learn
Among their prompts: They were asked about this world.” PHOTOS BY DENISE RITCHIE Vero Beach to various non-profits like
to imagine the worst thing anyone had Youth Guidance, Boys and Girls Club
ever called them, then move to the At his prompts, inspired by music Awkward? Hardly. All the kids par- and the Gifford Youth Activity Center.
emotion it provoked. Schnell chose – most of it familiar to ticipated diligently, giving Schnell For a main-stage performance, it can be
them, like Beyoncé’s “Listen” – they their rapt attention. “That was beau- as many as 300. “That’s the whole point
The Drake exhibition is one of three moved through the studio, interpreting tiful,” remarked one 10th-grade girl of our tag line: Dance is a universal lan-
that Ballet Vero Beach dancers will various cues while following his direc- somberly at the end of an exercise. guage,” says Schnell. “We try to be all-
interpret. The others, impressionis- tions. Turn, speed up, slow down, in- encompassing.”
tic landscapes by Florida artist Bruce teract. At one point, they stretched out That night, Schnell edited the video
Marsh and works from “The American on the floor and wrote down positive or he captured at the end of each prompt. The museum collaborations are of-
Spirit: Selections from the Manoogian negative words on paper. He lay down a sound track and mulled ten sellouts, but he’s hoping to have
Collection,” have inspired, respectively, over what to tell the professional danc- some seats free for the workshop. 
a contemporary trio choreographed by “If you were David Drake the potter, ers who would perform on stage while
Camilo Rodriguez and a classical duet and people were finding your artis- the video was screened behind them.
by Matthew Carter. tic work 150 years later and they were
studying it, what kind of change would His decision: Nothing. “We’ve never
That left Schnell to draw the Dave you hope to inspire in the world?” done improv for an audience. I want it
show – and it proved a wild card. Dave prompted Schnell. “Would you want
(Drake was the name of one of his mas- peace, do you want happiness, do you
ters) was somehow able to learn to read want everyone to be able to afford the
and write – forbidden skills for many next iPhone?”
slaves. In the clay pots he made, he often
etched phrases or simply rhymes. Read- A girl wrinkled her nose. Silently they
ing between those lines is Schnell’s self- went to work and wrote. Understand-
appointed task, one for which he felt he ing. Unique. Equality. “Now write down
sorely needed help. a word you’ve heard that you felt took
away all your power, and made you feel
“I knew that my perspective on this small and insignificant.”
exhibit would mean nothing. It’s an
amazing story but it’s not going to res- Ghetto. Crazy. Wannabe.
onate,” says Schnell. “I was thinking Then they got to their feet and held
about a group that would add some- the papers to their chests. Moving
thing to his story and drive it home to through the room to the music, each
the audience.” squared off with another participant
who read the word and reacted.
He called on Vero’s Youth Guidance

Don’t Miss the A.E. Backus Museum’s
Grand Re-Opening Celebration

Grand Re-Opening Gala Celebration An Evening in Old Havana

November 19th, 2016 - 6 PM - Dinner, Dancing to Latin Jazz, All Inclusive
$175, early ticket purchase for current members by October 31st - $150.

Please RSVP Today - Seating Limited.

Grand Re-opening Open House

November 20th, 2016 Noon - 4 PM - Join the Museum and experience
an afternoon of talks and presentations on life in the Real Cuba by the
photographers and noted art collectors. Free Admission and refreshments.

Cuba: It’s Not All
Black and White
November 20th – January 6

Photographs and sculpture from an
internationally acclaimed collection.
Pull back the iron curtain and catch a
glimpse of life in Cuba. These images,
some created at significant risk to the
artist, explore life in a country long
hidden from us. After struggling for
decades to freely express themselves,
these artists have jumped the borders

of their island nation and find
themselves on the international stage.


500 N. Indian River Drive,
Fort Pierce, FL 34950
772– 465-0630

42 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


NEW YORK of the original Cannonball runs, relying discreetly. Speed limits are routinely ig- a unique waste-disposal system and a
on instincts and car smarts to traverse nored, and the event still attracts a cast secret weapon in the back seat; a long-
It wasn’t yet 6 a.m. on a Saturday and the country. Drivers faced a $3,000 limit of characters as colorful as ever. haired Brooklyn man who would find his
most of the country was still asleep – when shopping for cars, though most journey interrupted by a police K-9 unit;
from the buildings scraping the night put hundreds more – thousands even – Cherkassky, 40, runs his own small and a pair of brothers from the Midwest
sky in downtown Manhattan to the into repairs and improvements. business outside Philadelphia, has a who had more than 20,000 songs loaded
white sands along California’s coast- wife and two children. He moved to on an iPod and a booming sound sys-
line. Dmitry Cherkassky was eager to Once the race begins, anything goes, the United States at 14 from the area tem in their van that they hoped would
see all of it. and drivers take whatever risks and that’s now the Ukraine. rock them from coast to coast.
precautions they see fit. Many will top
He slid into the driver’s seat of the 100 mph, and they all try to avoid road “They told us to hate this country,” They all had to leave to the Red Ball
1983 Mercedes 300D. Four energy construction and speed traps, finding he said of his childhood. “They said Garage in the same 24-hour period, get-
drinks were in the center console and unique ways to fend off sleep depriva- you should be grateful to God you were ting a time stamp they’d carry across the
three devices were mounted on the tion, empty fuel tanks, pesky bathroom born in USSR. But this country gave me country. Cherkassky and his 33-year-
dashboard. He plugged his destination stops and law enforcement patrolling everything I have.” old Mercedes – price tag: $2,800 – were
into the GPS. the highways. the first in the garage on a dark Septem-
The race was a chance to take in ber morning, and he was eager to get
“Okay, we’re going to the Portofino “Two paths generally lead here,” ex- the entire country, to search its hills going. He was the only first-timer in the
Inn,” the computerized female voice said. plains Ed Bolian, who holds the record and valleys and all the space that fills field, and he had no idea how his car or
for posting the fastest cross-country the giant divisive gaps separating the his body would respond to whatever
His was the first car off in the C2C driving time. “One is an obsession with Donald Trump billboards in Indiana the next 2,900 miles held.
Express, a cross-country road race cars and road trips. The other is an ob- and Hillary Clinton bumper stickers in
that’s a direct descendent of the Can- session with police countermeasures. California. Drivers and organizers pre- But he was ready to find out.
nonball-Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Me- If you like either, this is the holy grail.” fer to call it a “run,” not a race, and it’s Cherkassky snapped a photo in front
morial Trophy Dash from the 1970s, a search for country and possibility as of the garage with his driving partner,
which was made famous thanks to The technology has improved, but much as it is a search for self. the red neon sign glowing bright in the
Hollywood and the “Cannonball Run” the basics haven’t changed. The race background, before climbing back in
movies starring Burt Reynolds and an starts at the Red Ball Garage on 31st In addition to Cherkassky, four other the car.
ensemble cast. Street in New York and ends at the Por- teams would be on the road: a tactical “Okay, let’s go,” he said. “Time’s
tofino Hotel and Marina in Los Angeles. group dressed as Blues Brothers driv- burning.”
The race attempts to honor the spirit The details and date are shared only ing a replica of the Bluesmobile; a vet-
eran team in a Lincoln Continental with

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 43


NEW JERSEY wanted me to get off there. I heard her the world’s fastest hearse, which goes leave 14 hours later, maximizing their
talking. I just didn’t know what she was 137 mph, and Forrest Sibley is a me- driving at night, which they felt could
Eric Propst’s van was well-stocked saying.” chanical engineer who’s working on a boost their average speed by 10 mph.
and well-outfitted. He sat behind an high-tech device that disrupts police
11-inch chain link steering wheel. He He corrected his route but had lost radar detectors. A competing driver “It’s not analogous to anything you’d
had an extra gas tank and a spare tire, seven minutes. Through the van’s noted that when the Blues Brothers normally do in a car,” Bolian said. “It
of course. He also had a microwave, speakers, Mick Jagger sang, “You Can’t show up, “It’s like bringing a nuclear feels more militaristic because there’s
mini-fridge, solar panels, a Kenwood Always Get What You Want.” weapon to a knife fight.” so much effort going into preparations
speaker system and a couple hundred and making sure the car is safe.”
feet of wires under the carpeted floor PENNSYLVANIA They’d put together a race plan
to keep everything purring nicely. months earlier, and no detail was The few stops they make for gas are
He’d packed two coolers of drinks, six While the Propst brothers rocked overlooked. The dashboard alone was carefully coordinated and rehearsed.
pounds of candy, 30 packs of nuts, 54 out, the Blues Brothers took a differ- more elaborate than the Starship En- They’d jump out of the car and two
bags of chips, plus beef jerky, choco- ent tack: They wouldn’t turn on the terprise: one phone mounted left of men would grab gas pumps, one fill-
lates, cookies and enough snacks to radio once for their entire trip. They the steering wheel; high-powered sta- ing the car and the other tending to the
feed an entire summer camp. couldn’t afford any distractions. De- bilizing, binoculars by the passenger extra tank. One man literally sprints to
spite their familiar costumes and eye- seat with a backup pair nearby; radar the restroom, while another cleans the
Strategies and motivations varied catching car – a perfect replica of the detectors on either side of mirror; two windshield and the third disposes of
from team to team. The Propst broth- toll passes; a timer; a mounted iPad garbage. Then they pull back onto the
ers wanted an adventure and a good highway and the gadgets all begin to
finishing time, but they also hoped to Roscoe Anderson shows that, on an epic road trip, there are some things just as important as another driver. whir – all of them except the car’s radio.
avoid police lights. They didn’t want to
pay any fines and certainly didn’t want The Propst brothers, Eric, and Kevin, begin their 2,812.6-mile journey from the Red Ball Garage in “It’s like a cat-and-mouse game,” To-
to lose time on the road because of a Manhattan to the Portofino Hotel and Marina in Redondo Beach, Calif. man says. “You want to go fast to make
traffic stop. Other teams were more good time, but not so fast where you’re
comfortable taking risks, but they in- 1974 Dodge Monaco made famous and another mounted phone. There in big trouble. If you get arrested, that
sist every decision is a calculated one in the “Blues Brothers” film with the was a police scanner in the center con- will surely screw up your time.”
with safety in mind. words “We are on a mission from God” sole, two navigation systems running
stripped across the back window – the at all times and another device that The Bluesmobile was near Philadel-
This year’s run was preceded by a three men were a business-like unit, a detects aircraft that might be monitor- phia when the roads were clear and
series of calamitous events that cut dream team of sorts. ing speed overheard. In the trunk was the group decided to test the car. They
in half the number of participants: a a fuel cell, which would allow them to watched the speedometer climb to 133
co-driver no-showed, a 1956 Chevy In 2013, Bolian drove across the carry more than 30 extra gallons. mph. It meant a busy, productive night
was rear-ended, two teams that flew country in 28 hours, 50 minutes, a time was ahead. At least they hoped.
in from New Zealand pulled out after many think will never be surpassed. While Cherkassky left first thing in
a near-fatal accident that landed three Toman holds the record for building the morning, the Blues Brothers would Not long after, Bolian saw flash-
Kiwis in the hospital five days before ing lights behind them. The radar de-
the race. The list of injuries was a re- tectors never went off. The highway
minder of the dangers posed any time patrolman said the Bluesmobile was
on the road: a broken femur, pelvis, going 90 in a 55 mph zone. He was un-
clavicle and ribs, a lacerated liver and impressed by the car or the costumes.
ruptured intestines.
Bolian took the ticket – only the sec-
There are 17 races recognized as ond he’s received in the past decade –
Cannonball or part of the lineage. and lost 12 minutes while the car sat
Since the first run in 1971, there has idle on the side of I-76.
been only one reported accident: a car
that ran off the road in 1975 and result- That certainly wasn’t part of the
ed in a broken arm. plan.

“I think people have this knee-jerk WEST VIRGINIA/OHIO
reaction: ‘Oh, you’re out endangering
people’s lives,’ ” said Arne Toman, who Roscoe Anderson’s pre-race prep
was competing in his second run. “Our was simple. Before his team pulled out
No. 1 rule is we don’t put anybody’s life of New York, he went to a nearby liquor
in danger, including our own. At this lev- store, purchased two large bottles of
el we’ve never been at a point where you vodka and then filled up empty water
feel unsafe. You’re so focused on what bottles, his personal fuel to help get
you’re doing – way more focused than across the country.
someone texting and driving 60 mph.”
Anderson had no driving responsi-
The Propst brothers remained fo- bilities, but he was still his team’s se-
cused on the GPS and stereo system, cret weapon of sorts. The 1978 Lincoln
blasting a soundtrack that would’ve Continental was a classy ride, and the
fit in well during the original Cannon- three team members dressed similar
ball runs four decades earlier. Eric, 51, to Thurston Howell III with ascots and
wore a Cheech and Chong T-shirt, and shades. With Anderson in the back-
Kevin, 47, a Michigan ballcap. They seat, the Lincoln would be driven by
playfully bickered about driving direc- Carl “Yumi” Dietz, who once held the
tions and Arlo Guthrie. record for driving across the country
solo, and John Ficarra, who was mak-
Just three hours into their journey, ing his eighth coast-to-coast run, more
the Rolling Stones were blaring from than any Cannonballer ever.
the speakers when Eric said, “Uh-oh,”
and turned down the volume. Passing the time is key, and all three
men had collected a variety of cas-
“I [messed] up somehow,” he said, settes for the car’s eight-track player.
studying the map on his phone. “It The Herb Albert tape broke and Aretha
Franklin exploded, but they had other


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options. There was an acoustic guitar, off to the side of the road to relieve Preston drove that first leg before ced- ILLINOIS/MISSOURI
harmonicas, and Anderson brought themselves. Ben Preston’s team had an ing the steering wheel to his brother.
along his banjo. extra fuel cell in the trunk and packed A red sun was setting on the hori-
several TravelJohns, a handheld urinal At around 9 p.m., outside of Spice- zon, as the van pulled off I-70 for its
Anderson’s job was to keep the others of sorts that absorbs liquid and can be land, Ind., red and blue lights started third stop of the run. The Propst broth-
entertained, via songs, stories or jokes. disposed of later. dancing in their rear-view mirror. The ers bickered over which exit to take.
The South Carolina native is blessed radar detector didn’t go off, and they
with Southerner’s knack for storytell- “Goddammit,” Preston’s brother didn’t feel like the car was going much “Just follow what it says,” Eric said.
ing, a battle-tested liver, a mop of shag- and driving partner barked early in the faster than the rest of the traffic: 84 in a While Kevin pumped gas, Eric
gy dark hair and a gregarious laugh. trip. “I can’t do it with you guys here.” 70-mph zone. bought a couple of energy drinks and
then checked the oil, preparing for the
“It’s like having a Muppet in the They’d soon learn that’d be the least The sheriff’s deputy had a bright night shift behind the wheel.
backseat,” Ficarra said. of their problems. flashlight and was direct: “Get your After 10 minutes, the Propst broth-
hands where I can see them.” ers were back on the road at 8 p.m.,
The team had one other proprietary INDIANA about the same time the Blues Broth-
novelty at its disposal. Most Cannon- Preston was lying down in the back- ers were pulling out of the Red Ball
ball teams plan on nine or so stops Preston, 38, bought the 1974 seat, resting. He felt the deputy spotted Garage, 734 miles away in New York. In
to address two crucial areas: empty Oldsmobile Omega off Craigslist for his long hair and became suspicious. many ways, this marked the real start
gas tanks and full bladders. The more $700 three years earlier, intending The deputy told the driver to step out of the race. As day-trippers clear off the
competitive teams tend to be creative to run it across the country. But in of the car and then questioned all three highways, the road opens up, and Can-
in these areas, though. his two previous runs, it just wasn’t men separately about where they were nonballers feel more comfortable chal-
ready. He ended up buying a second going, where they were coming from lenging the posted speed limits.
When Dietz bought the Lincoln three Omega for parts, replacing brakes, re- and what they were doing on the road Every team would be driving straight
months earlier and overhauled the building the suspension, overhauling driving so fast in such an old car. through the night. The Blues Brothers
brakes and suspension, he also drilled the steering system. Still, as he raced planned to switch drivers every 200
holes into the floorboard. All three it along the highways, it handled like It became clear quickly that the in- miles. Cherkassky had replaced his car’s
team members traveled with a funnel a small airplane gliding through a terrogation wasn’t about speed. They’d engine just a week earlier and was way
that was attached to a tube. The end storm, he said. been stopped in an area where meth too anxious to sleep. In the van, Kevin
of the tube was fed through the floor- problems are prevalent. The deputy was in the passenger seat and turned
board and the nattily-attired members Preston and his brother – a federal called for a K-9 unit to search the car up the volume on some Led Zeppelin.
of the Lincoln team were able to urinate employee who shall remain nameless for drugs. Meantime, the clock was “You should get some sleep,” Eric told
into the funnel: Voila! no time lost to in order to protect his security clear- ticking. him. “Remember you’ll be driving in the
nature’s call. ance – picked up the lone New Zea- wee hours when I need to nap a bit.”
lander who made it to the starting line By the time the dog sniffed its way When Kevin stirred awake around
“It works great,” Dietz said. “I don’t and their three-man team had zero through the Omega and it was clear
know why more people don’t do it.” complications over the first 600 miles. the car was clean, a half-hour had
passed. Preston’s team was given a
Each team had its own strategies. written warning, but the damage to
The Propst brothers used gas station their time had been done.
restrooms. The Blues Brothers pulled

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 47


dawn, the van had been on the road OKLAHOMA to many as it zipped by in the left lane. occupants were all still in costume with
for more than 21 hours. They were just While some managed to snap a quick their white shirts and black neckties.
as close to the start of the race as the With a vanity plate that read “EL- photo, an Oklahoma officer on I-44
finish. WOODS,” the Bluesmobile wasn’t ex- had just enough time to note the un- “I know I wasn’t doing the speed
actly inconspicuous on the road. Aver- seemly speed. limit, so I sure know you all weren’t,”
“Where are we?” Kevin asked, star- aging more than 85 mph, it was a blur the officer said.
ing out the window at an endless After catching up, the officer ap-
brown blanket of the Midwest. proached from the passenger side. The Sitting in the passenger seat with all


48 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Trump and Clinton urge early voting. We don’t.

As regular readers of Vero Beach 32963 know, we up what some observers call a real-time political sci- in urban areas, and therefore are easier to mobilize.
hate early voting. ence experiment, two dramatically different models Republicans dominate in rural areas, where voters
that may reveal how important the usual elements are harder to reach in person, he says.
Why anyone would feel impelled to cast a vote that of modern campaigning really are.
cannot be rescinded weeks before election day – when This cycle, the Republicans also don’t have the fi-
any manner of unanticipated events could occur in Mrs. Clinton is following the standard playbook – nancial resources the Democrats do, as Trump has
the interim – has always mystified us. raising hundreds of millions of dollars, organizing a not done as much party fundraising as Clinton has.
massive staff and ground game, going big on paid TV.
But as this column from the Christian Science Mon- But the Republican National Committee main-
itor relates, early voting is a key to the Florida “vote Trump’s campaign has taken a different approach. tains that the party has plenty of people here, more
banking” strategies of both Donald Trump and Hill- And it has outsourced ground operations to the Re- than 1,000 paid staff and trained organizers, work-
ary Clinton. publican Party – which some Florida Republicans ing on behalf of candidates up and down the ballot.
complain has left the party with an under-resourced,
“Pay no attention to the polls!” Hillary Clinton ex- less-than-robust operation here. “We have 12 times the staff on the ground in Flor-
horts the crowd at Broward College-North Campus, ida than we did in 2012,” says RNC spokeswoman
warning against complacency. “We've got to turn At Trump’s event in Naples, the only people appar- Lindsay Walters.
people out!” Young campaign workers with clip- ently working on GOTV - “get out the vote” - are out-
boards circulate, asking as many of the 1,750 rally- side groups. One bunch wears orange T-shirts with But at Trump’s event in Naples – one of seven he did
goers as they can to sign up to do phone-banking and the words “Trump the Vote – Vote Early!” printed atop in Florida last week – the party did not appear to have
door-knocking. a silhouette of Florida. a presence. It was the Trump Show, in all its glory.

Two days earlier, at a rally in southwest Florida, Mr. Another group, the nonpartisan Lift the Vote, Mason Marelia, a 25-year-old first-time voter, drove
Trump also warns against believing the polls. But his aims to inspire evangelical Christians – a cohort that over from Miami-Dade County to attend his fifth
ultimate message is the same: Get out and vote! leans heavily Republican – to turn out. Trump event.

It’s the home stretch to Election Day, and in-per- “We’re told 30 million Christians didn’t vote four Marelia believes a lot of Trump’s support isn’t re-
son early voting in Florida has been underway for years ago,” says Rick Williams, handing out Lift the flected in the polls – a point that other rally-goers
more than a week – that frenzied period when cam- Vote stickers at the Naples event. “People need to bring up unbidden. Last Friday, a Politico poll of
paigns try to lock in as many votes in advance as compare the Scripture with the platforms of all the GOP insiders from 11 battleground states echoed
possible. (Vote-by-mail started here even earlier, and candidates that are running, and then decide who that view: Seventy-one percent said they think the
is more popular than ever.) they want to vote for.” polls understate Trump’s support because some vot-
ers don’t want to admit they’re backing him.
Once a vote is cast in Florida, it can’t be changed, and But the apparent lack of a visible, party-led effort
so early voters are those who are certain of their choice. on the ground for Trump at this one event doesn’t Two days later, at Broward College-North Campus,
mean “his” voters aren’t voting early in Florida. In women turn out in droves to see the woman who
Anyone who might have been swayed by last Fri- fact, after the first week of early voting, slightly more may soon be America’s first female president.
day’s news that the FBI had discovered new Clinton Republicans than Democrats had voted – both in
emails, potentially containing classified informa- person and by mail. As in-person early voting kicked off in Florida
tion, probably hadn’t voted yet. last week, both campaigns pulled out all the stops.
This past weekend – the first weekend of in-per- Trump and Clinton each did multiple events; former
Here in the largest battleground state in the coun- son early voting – also saw the start of “Souls to the President Bill Clinton did a bus tour across the state;
try, the stakes could not be higher. Polls,” the practice in African-American churches of Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine was
busing congregants to vote after church. here; President Obama appeared in Orlando; Trump’s
But at the Trump rally, there wasn’t a clipboard to daughters, Ivanka and Tiffany, visited a charter school
be seen among the thousands of people in atten- “The poll numbers are very close here, and there’s in Riviera Beach. On Saturday, singer Jennifer Lopez
dance at the Collier County Fairgrounds near Naples. nothing in the early-vote numbers to contradict did a free Get Out the Vote concert in Miami in sup-
that,” says Michael McDonald, an expert on voter port of Hillary Clinton, who joined her on stage.
Trump was doing things his way, counting on his turnout at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
voters to turn out based on the inspiration of his Because it’s Florida, the biggest battleground state.
message, as conveyed over social media, email, tele- Professor McDonald notes that the nature of the And as anyone from either party over a certain age
vision, and live events – not because they’ve been Republican vs. Democratic electorates points to dif- remembers, after the Florida recount of 2000, turn-
badgered by volunteers to vote. ferent types of GOTV efforts. Democrats tend to live out matters. 

The contrast between the two campaigns has set

COMMON COLD VS. FLU : TREATMENT condition that arises when the body’s response
PART 2 If you get a cold, you can take over-the-counter to infection injures its own tissues and organs.
medications to help calm your specific symp-
Most people feel bad when they have a cold toms. But if you get influenza (the flu), antivi- HOW LONG AM I CONTAGIOUS?
but can typically still function. With the flu, it’s ral medicines can be prescribed to shorten the Symptoms of the flu start one to four days after
hard to even get out of bed. duration and severity of illness. Not everyone the virus enters your body. Most healthy adults
needs to take antiviral medicines; but those at are contagious from a day before symptoms
Severity of symptoms is a good indicator of high risk can benefit significantly. develop to five to seven days after becoming
whether you have the common cold or the flu. sick. Children may pass the virus for longer
If you think it’s the flu, contact your primary WHO’S AT HIGH-RISK FOR SEVERE ILLNESS/ than seven days. That means you may pass on
care physician (PCP) or a walk-in/urgent care FLU-RELATED DEATH? the flu to someone else before you know you
center as soon as possible. If special tests are  Young children, adults age 65 years and are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some
performed within the first few days of illness, older, pregnant women and people with people can be infected with and spread the flu
treatment can begin to shorten the intensity certain chronic medical conditions, such as virus even if they never show any symptoms.
and duration of illness. chronic lung disease and heart disease
 Asthma sufferers To avoid catching or passing on the flu, stay
PREVENTION – GET YOUR FLU SHOT ASAP!  People with inflammation of the heart away from sick people and stay home if sick.
Because the flu virus can mutate and change, (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis) or Wash your hands often with soap and water. If
the vaccine is updated yearly. Flu shots be- muscle (myositis, rhabdomyolysis) tissues soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-
come available in October each year. The and multi-organ failure (such as based hand rub. Frequently touched surfaces
sooner you get your flu shot, the sooner respiratory and kidney failure) should be cleaned and disinfected at home,
you’re protected. work and school, especially if someone is ill.
Although the vaccine is not 100 percent effec- – PNEUMONIA AND SEPSIS For more information, go to 
tive, people who get the vaccine are less likely Two of the most serious complications of the
to be hospitalized and/or die from it. Symp- flu include pneumonia and sepsis. Pneumonia Your comments and suggestions for future topics are
toms are typically milder, too. is lung inflammation in which the air sacs fill always welcome. Email us at [email protected].
with pus (and may become solid). Sepsis is a
© 2016 Vero Beach 32963 Media, all rights reserved

50 Vero Beach 32963 / November 3, 2016 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


their electronics on full-display, Bolian piped up and ga, Preston sent a message to the group letting them the other teams that they’d apparently lost their fuel
said they were headed to visit friends. known his alternator was cooked and he needed to pump on a desolate stretch. They had no backup and
stop at an automotive store. “Should have it done no simple contingency plan in place.
“What are you doing today?” he asked the officer. faster than a drug-sniffing dog stop,” he told them.
“My job is to cruise up and down this road,” the Advice started pouring in – some of it sarcastic
officer replied. About an hour later, Preston reported the second and designed to slow the pre-race heavy favorites.
“Well, beautiful day for it,” Bolian offered. alternator was also toast, and he started to worry
The small talk continued, and the Blues Brothers about ever getting out of New Mexico. Repairs are “I recommend removing the fuel tank and letting
dodged a second ticket but lost even more time. usually done on the roadside with whatever tools and it cool off for 2 to 3 hours,” Ficarra told Bolian.
The other teams avoided police in Oklahoma but parts each team has at its disposal.
steered through either fog or rain or monotony. The The Blues Brothers considered their options and
van was in a mellow mood, and the Beatles’ classic Fortunately for Preston, he happened to pack started estimating the time they’d lose by towing the
“The Long and Winding Road” played. The Propst the original, greasy 1974 alternator from the Ome- car and fixing it in Albuquerque. Sibley, the engineer,
brothers had been in Oklahoma for awhile and ga. He replaced the part for a second time and had another possible solution: He began hitting the
would be in it for awhile still. The scenery didn’t seem his team came up with another idea. The Kiwi he fuel pump with a hammer. It worked.
to change. picked up, Mason Hart, happened to be an aircraft
“You start to appreciate just how hard it is and re- mechanic. “We’re back, baby,” Toman reported to the other
ally how big the country is,” Eric said. “For months drivers once the Bluesmobile was again cruising
you look at the map or the atlas and go, ‘All right, The team stopped by a tractor-supply store in Gal- west on I-40.
we’re gonna go here, here and here. And now it’s like, lup, N.M., and picked up some hoses. They used a
get us out of Oklahoma already!’ ” McDonald’s cup with the bottom cut out to connect CALIFORNIA
the tubing and create a makeshift funneling system
TEXAS that would keep the car from overheating. It seemed Crossing into California brings each team a sharp
to work, and the Oldsmobile was back on the road jolt of adrenaline. The finish line might still lie 275
The Cannonball is a tour of America, but one that and back in the race. miles away, but most of the country was in the rear-
takes place at warp speed where the scenery all be- view mirror.
comes a blur of motion and time. Roadside America The Bluesmobile also ran into problems. About
reveals something about what we do and what we 140 miles shy of Albuquerque, Bolian reported to Cherkassky hoped to finish the race in under 40
want as we travel. It’s an assemblage of quirks, inter- hours, and he’d spend the last couple of them sweat-
ests, oddities. Ben Preston and Mason Hart pose with the 1974 Oldsmobile ing. He encountered an accident on I-15 west of Los
Omega after finishing fourth in 40 hours 55 minutes. Angeles and knew he’d be cutting it close. He was the
The world’s largest indoor miniature village in first to leave New York and the first to arrive at the
Pennsylvania. A McDonald’s in Oklahoma that was Driving from coast to coast poses many challenges; staying awake Portofino 39 hours and 58 minutes later, two min-
once the world’s largest. A toy and train museum in is just one of them. utes under his goal. He saw more than 2,900 miles
West Virginia and the Wilbur Wright Birthplace and of America, stopping just twice to fuel up and never
Museum in Indiana. The Cannonballers zipped by Ed Bolian in a perfect replica of the 1974 Dodge Monaco made sleeping a wink.
the largest cross in the nation on I-70 outside of Eff- famous in the “Blues Brothers” film.
ingham, Ill – 198 feet tall and 113 feet wide – and Ninety minutes later, the Lincoln rolled in. They
also the second-largest, a 19-story cross along I-40 lost their AC, and the cigarette lighter in the backseat
in Groom, Texas. broke. Leaving a trail beneath the floorboard that
stretched from one coast to the next, they clocked in
In between it all were football fields, gentlemen’s with a time of 37:05. The crew averaged 76 mph, and
clubs, churches, schools, casinos, Waffle Houses, the Lincoln got 13 miles per gallon.
Cracker Barrels and outlet stores.
Late at night, the Los Angeles roads are busy but
As the clock ticked, it became apparent that the navigable. Eric Propst was driving the van as intently
Cannonball was as much a journey as it was a race. as ever, determined to beat his mark from last year
Finishing first didn’t matter as much as simply finish- and hopefully break the 40-hour barrier.
ing . This mission was one of adventure, something
raw and visceral. They sought speed and experience, “Dammit!” he yelled, slamming the steering
a checkmark on a bucket list and story they could for- wheel.
ever tell.
The map on his phone looked like a series of over-
Texas marked the ninth state on the trip. As a rule lapping ribbons and Propst took a wrong exit, just his
of thumb, Cannonballers feel they can drive faster second wrong turn of the journey. At 11:10 p.m., the
west of the Mississippi River and generally make bet- van pulled into the Portofino, 41 hours and 18 minutes
ter time on the last half of the run. The Propst broth- after leaving New York. No music was playing.
ers had been averaging 68 mph for most of their trip,
much slower than the other competitors. With the fuel cell in the trunk of the Omega, Pres-
ton needed to fill up four times to cross the coun-
“Just because I’m a Cannonballer doesn’t mean I’m try, but he lost too much time with the K-9 stop and
a rule-breaker,” Eric said. the alternator fiasco. All things considered, he was
pleased with his time of 40:55.
In Texas, he hit a stretch of highway where the cows
far outnumbered the humans. The van was pointed The Bluesmobile was the last to start the race
downhill and Propst pressed the gas pedal to the floor. and would be the last to finish. Their race was al-
The speedometer slowly climbed: 92 . . . 96 . . . 100. Fi- ways one against the clock. They were pulled over
nally 104 mph, the fastest he’d ever gone in the van. twice, faced a 45-minute backup because of a traf-
fic accident and then dealt with the fuel pump is-
“Okay, now I’m happy,” he said, letting off the ped- sue. Altogether, they sat idle for 2:16, which would
al and settling back down at 85. doom most teams.

NEW MEXICO But around 3:15 a.m., the Bluesmobile pulled into
the hotel with an elapsed time of 34:16. The crew av-
No Cannonball trip is without complication. The eraged 82 mph, which jumped up to 88 mph when
C2C Express calls for older, cheaper cars, which they weren’t sitting idle.
means mechanical mishaps are inevitable.
At the end, the windshield of Propst’s van was
Hours removed from the K-9 searching his Ome- splattered with the vestiges of a 2,900-mile road trip,
a Jackson Pollock canvas of bug remains. Having fall-
en 1:18 short of his 40-hour goal Propst already was
identifying spots along the route where he lost time.

“You know what that means?” he said. “I’ll have to
do this again next year.” 

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