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Published by Vero Beach 32963 Media, 2017-02-09 11:20:03



Piper not likely to be hurt by
Trump trade policies. P7
Community Center
plans divide Shores. P10

Official optimistic that FMPA
will not block partial electric sale. P11

MY Coach Joe exonerated! More old homes
VERO torn down as
land value rises
Judge raps School District’s rush to judgment
BY RAY MCNULTY Superintendent Mark Ren- Joe Nathaniel after his exoneration. PHOTO BY GORDON RADFORD Staff Writer
Staff Writer dell and other administra-
tors, who, rather than praise If you have noticed houses
Now that a state admin- Nathaniel for his courageous disappearing in your neigh-
istrative law judge has thor- efforts in subduing a teen the borhood, don’t worry: Your
oughly trashed the bogus case judge accurately described eyes are not deceiving you.
against Joe Nathaniel and as "foul-mouthed, defiant
recommended the Sebastian and violently aggressive," Houses are vanishing more
River High School criminal inanely blamed the teacher and more frequently from
justice teacher be exonerated and tried to fire him. one end of the island to the
of all the trumped-up charges other – there one week, gone
brought against him last year, And we need to be con- the next – as rising property
it's fair to wonder: cerned about school officials, values, built-out neighbor-
including some members of hoods, stricter building codes
Did the school district's the county's Board of Educa- and changing tastes in home
wrongheaded administrators tion who rushed to judgment styles drive the tear-down-
seize upon a November 2015 and condemned Nathaniel’s and-build-new phenomenon.
scuffle with a long-established actions after viewing a few
troublemaker to get rid of an seconds of an incomplete, “In many communities on
outstanding employee whose student-recorded video. the island, the only way to
popularity they feared and get a lot is tear down an exist-
candor they couldn't control? "They said they didn't ing house, and we are firmly
need to investigate because in the teardown phase of de-
Indeed, we're obligated to they saw the video," Nathan-
question the motives – if not iel said after reading Admin- CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
the competence – of Schools
CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Shores to sell land
in unusual auction
One-fifth of teachers Homeless live in camps in woods throughout county
at Gifford Middle have BY LISA ZAHNER
quit thus far this year BY KATHLEEN SLOAN Staff Writer
Staff Writer
BY KATHLEEN SLOAN A 5.4-acre parcel located
Staff Writer A tent camp in a wooded area within the Vero Beach city limits. PHOTO BY GORDON RADFORD Four homeless men on the east side of A1A across
and three homeless wom- from Pebble Bay that has been
How bad are things at Gif- en banded together and a source of civic contention
ford Middle School? Halfway formed a camp in a wood- over the past year or so will
through the school year, 10 ed area of Vero two months be sold in an unusual auc-
out of 48 teachers – 21 percent ago. They set up a kitchen, tion in April, thanks to a plan
– have already left. shower, bathroom and sev- hatched by former County
eral sleeping tents. They Commissioner Wesley Davis.
Two teachers who quit their share the labor of hauling
jobs at the school blamed CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
Principal Roxanne Decker’s CONTINUED ON PAGE 6


February 9, 2017 Volume 10, Issue 6 Newsstand Price $1.00 Vero’s excavation
celebration: Can
News 1-12 Faith 73 Pets 72 TO ADVERTISE CALL you dig it? P20
Arts 35-40 Games 53-55 Real Estate 75-88 772-559-4187
Books 50 Health 57-62 St Ed’s 34
Dining 66 Insight 41-56 Style 63-65 FOR CIRCULATION
Editorial 48 People 13-33 CALL 772-226-7925

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

2 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


My Vero Nathaniel, who stands 6-foot-4 and to the altercation between Nathaniel where Nathaniel noticed Speights was
weighs 300 pounds, has claimed from and 18-year-old Isaiah Speights, Van lingering and dutifully escorted him to
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 the outset that the district targeted Laningham cited the youth’s "insolent, the classroom he was supposed to be
him because he questioned the fir- insubordinate" tone and behavior, in.
istrative Law Judge John G. Van Lan- ing of longtime Sebastian River foot- and his obscene language.
ingham's ruling, which was issued last ball coach Randy Bethel in December Along the way – and again in the
week. "And they tried to use this inci- 2012 and, a year later, publicly spoke "Incredibly, if sadly, the evidence classroom – Speights hurled expletives
dent to show I was an angry black man out about some of Bethel's former suggests that students at Sebastian and mocked Nathaniel, at least once
that couldn't be trusted around kids. black assistants being referred to on River High School commonly address punctuating his remarks with a racial
campus as "The BBC" – big black teachers using similarly vulgar lan- epitaph, even though both Nathaniel
"But anybody who knows me knows coaches. guage,” the judge remarked, “evidently and Speights are black.
that's not true," he added. "That's because such verbal defiance is either
why so many people – students, for- Van Laningham’s no-nonsense not punished, or it is not punished "This astonishingly disrespectful
mer students, parents, teachers, black ruling was dismissive of the school severely enough to stop it from being and provocative challenge to Coach
and white – showed up at that School district's claims of wrongdoing by commonplace." Joe's authority took place in front of
Board meeting last year to speak on my Nathaniel and disparaging of admin- the entire classroom of approximately
behalf. They know I'm a good teacher istrators' handling of the incident. For those not familiar with this two dozen students," Van Laningham
who cares about the kids.” story: The late-morning incident at wrote.
When recounting the events that led Sebastian River began in the hallway,
He then added: "To this point, Isa-
iah had been the only aggressor, while
Nathaniel, the target of Isaiah's unpro-
voked verbal attacks, had done noth-
ing ... that could reasonably be viewed
as a provocation. If anything, Nathan-
iel's responses, so far, had been mea-
sured and lenient."

Speights then clenched his fists and,
as the judge put it, assumed a "posture
in the manner of the cartoon charac-
ter, the Hulk." Seconds later, Nathaniel
and Speights were engaged in a scuf-
fle, during which Speights initiated
physical contact by jabbing Nathaniel
in the stomach.

Van Laningham rejected the school
district's contention that the jab was
"incidental" and a "slight touch," in-
stead describing it as the "first act of
physical aggression, which constitut-
ed a battery."

The judge wrote: "To be very clear,
this was not an act of self-defense
on Isaiah's part; no one, not even
Isaiah, makes that claim. Before Isa-
iah struck him, Nathaniel had not
touched Isaiah, or even threatened
the student."

Van Laningham wrote that the force
of the blow – "whether it was powerful
enough to inflict pain or just annoyed
Coach Joe" – was irrelevant.

"The student crossed a bright, red
line when he intentionally struck the
teacher for no reason," he wrote.

After tossing aside a desk "in reck-
less disregard of the harm this heavy
object might cause if it struck some-
one," as the judge put it, Speights
charged at Nathaniel and they began
to grapple.

Eventually, Nathaniel wrapped
Speights in a bear hug and wrestled
him to the ground, holding him there
until another teacher, Chris Jefferson,
urged Speights to stop resisting and
relax, which he did. Nathaniel then re-
leased him.

Another student used her smart-
phone to record parts of the tussle, and
district administrators – along with
School Board chairman Dale Simchick
and now-former board member Clau-
dia Jimenez – relied almost solely on
the video in rendering their verdicts

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 3


that Nathaniel was wrong and de- rections officer who holds a master's would have received positive rein- defiant and violently aggressive stu-
served to be fired. degree in criminal justice and is work- forcement, making it more likely that dent from causing further damage.
ing on his doctorate. Isaiah would act that way again.
Van Laningham, however, verbally "For this, he should be given a pat on
shredded the video's value as evidence "Isaiah was way out of line, and "Other students would have been the back," he added, "not a pink slip."
in the school district's case, citing the somebody in authority needed to put encouraged to emulate Isaiah's con-
recording's "inherent limitations that the student in his place," the judge duct. The learning environment It was the School Board that chose to
undermine its supposed objectivity,” wrote. "It fell to Nathaniel to do so. would have suffered," he continued. send the case to the state Division of Ad-
in part because it starts with Nathan- Had Coach Joe been 'nice' to Isaiah "Fortunately for Sebastian River High ministrative Hearings in January 2016,
iel "reacting to Isaiah's antagonistic and let him have his way, as the dis- School, Coach Joe had the fortitude to when Rendell sought to fire Nathaniel,
behavior, which has taken place be- trict seems to believe would have been stand tall, roll up his sleeves and do the who had worked in the district for 13
forehand, off camera." preferable, Isaiah's appalling behavior tough job of keeping a foul-mouthed, years with an unblemished record.

Van Laningham wrote that, as he CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
construed the video after reviewing it
dozens of times: "Isaiah appears never Exclusively John’s Island
to be in retreat, except tactically and
then only as necessary; indeed, he Nestled along the North Course on a generous .48± acre corner lot
seems always to be on the offensive, is this beautiful 4BR/4BA family retreat. Conveniently located in the
constantly looking for an advantage in heart of John’s Island on a quiet, cul-de-sac street, this 4,575± GSF
the scuffle." home enjoys spacious main living areas and private pool views. Features
include an expansive living room with fireplace adjoining the lanai, wet
The judge wrote that any "narra- bar, gracious island kitchen opening onto the breakfast area, large
tive" portraying Speights as a "prac- master suite with sitting room, and a detached cabana with kitchenette.
tically innocent bystander trying his 380 Llwyd’s Lane : $1,975,000
best to defuse Coach Joe's inexplica-
ble rage" was "laughable," though he three championship golf courses : 17 har-tru courts : beach club : squash
added that the district's interpretation health & fitness center : pickleball : croquet : vertical equity membership
is reasonable if that's what the viewer
"wants to believe took place." 772.231.0900 : Vero Beach, FL :

The same goes for the school-re-
corded video of the interaction be-
tween Nathaniel and Speights after
the youth stormed out of the class-
room and arrived at the Sebastian
River principal's office, where he de-
manded that he be allowed to use the

Nathaniel, worried that Speights
was using the phone to enlist help in
causing trouble at the school, abrupt-
ly grabbed the handset from the teen’s

The district argued that Nathan-
iel's action was an "unprovoked es-
calation" of the incident. The judge
disagreed, writing that other district
employees on the scene shared Na-
thaniel's concern.

"Taking the telephone away from
Isaiah," Van Laningham decided, "was
reasonable under the circumstances."

Van Laningham wrote that he found
it "troubling" that Indian River Coun-
ty Sheriff's Deputy Eric Sesack – the
School Resource Officer who arrived
in the classroom at the end of the
scuffle – allowed Speights to "stalk
the hallways without escort" after the
teen had shown he had "lost control of
himself and was a danger to others."

The judge was puzzled that Sesack
didn't place Speights in custody after
the youth kicked the water fountain
off the wall.

"Although this criminal act was
committed in plain view of a law en-
forcement officer," Van Laningham
wrote, "Deputy Sesack did not arrest
Isaiah because he felt that attempt-
ing to subdue the student at that point
would be too risky."

Throughout his ruling, Van Laning-
ham sided with Nathaniel, a 48-year-
old former law enforcement and cor-

4 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


My Vero district spokesman Flynn Fidgeon said Teacher turnover the problem has gotten worse in the
the staff is "still in the process of shar- CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 past two years.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 ing this information with the School
Board members," who will then de- failure to provide additional staff and In 2013-2014 school year, two teach-
Confronted with a chamber jam- cide whether to challenge the DOAH other support before increasing the ers resigned and one teacher’s contract
packed with a pro-Nathaniel crowd, recommendation. number of special education children was not renewed for a turnover rate of
board members said they preferred placed in general education class- 3 out of 52 teachers, or 6 percent.
to seek a recommendation from the Two new members, Laura Zorc and rooms. The school is in the second
DOAH because the agency's judges Tiffany Justice, were elected in No- year of increased mainstreaming. In 2014-2015 school year, four teachers
have more experience and expertise vember, replacing Jimenez and Matt resigned and two retired for a turnover
in handling such matters. McCain. But Charles Searcy remains Bill Wood and Bonnie Julin were rate of 6 out of 51 teachers, or 12 percent.
in Nathaniel's corner and said he will both rated “highly effective teachers”
Nathaniel’s fate is still in the school try to get the matter back before the by the district, but said they found it In 2015-2016 school year, seven re-
board’s hands. The board could still board as soon as possible. impossible to teach in an increasingly signed, four retired, one teacher’s con-
fire him. But to ignore or appeal the disruptive and potentially dangerous tract was not renewed and one teacher
DOAH judge's decision – especially "I'd like to see Coach Joe back in his atmosphere at Gifford Middle. They was fired for a turnover rate of 13 out
one so overwhelmingly in Nathaniel's classroom," Searcy said. said special and general education of 48 teachers, which is 27 percent –
favor – would be as suspicious as it students were not getting the atten- more than twice as high as the School
would ridiculous. Nathaniel said he has received nu- tion or services they deserved, and District’s overall teacher turnover rate
merous calls from supporters in the that overall discipline in the school of about 10 percent in the same year.
It also would give even more am- community since word of the ruling was absent.
munition to Nathaniel, who, despite began to spread last week. Many of the In the current 2016-2017 school year,
spending the past 13 months on paid callers say they will be in room when According to the teachers, when eight teachers have already resigned and
suspension, almost certainly will file a the School Board takes up his case they reported problems and asked for two have retired for a turnover rate of 10
lawsuit against the district to compen- again. support they were supposed to be re- out of 48 teachers so far, or 21 percent.
sate him for the public humiliation he ceiving, Decker blamed them and crit-
has endured and the damage that was "At times, it has been very stress- icized their classroom management Wood, a science teacher for 31 years
done to his reputation. ful, but the way people have rallied skills. Decker would target teachers in the Indian River County School Dis-
around me has meant a lot," Nathan- who spoke up, Bill Wood said, giv- trict before retiring in the 2015-2016
Surely, Rendell and the board know iel said. "And I'm not surprised by the ing them poor reviews, ruining their school year, is still in touch with peo-
that's coming. So will they appeal? The judge's ruling. But I will not feel vin- chances of getting another teaching ple working at Gifford Middle School.
district has 15 days from the date Van dicated until they get rid of the guy in job within or outside the district.
Laningham issued his recommenda- charge of human resources." He said he has been told two sci-
tion – until Tuesday – to contest the School district documents that ence classes at the school have each
ruling. Judging by how poorly this case was show the teacher turnover rate at the had three teachers since the beginning
handled the School Board needs to school during Decker’s tenure indicate of the year. An eighth-grade reading
In response to an email seeking take a hard look at Rendell as well. class has also had three teachers since
Rendell's reaction to ruling, school school began, according to his sources.
If not, we need to take a harder look
at our School Board.  “The revolving door of teachers is
happening in other classrooms at Gif-

12 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


State audit faults School District on health insurance fund

BY KATHLEEN SLOAN trict administrators they could not raise which means it owns and operates its ending June 30, 2016. But the audit,
Staff Writer insurance premiums to pay off the defi- own health insurance company. All dated January 2017, was barely dis-
cit. Supposedly, the recent 32-percent insurance providers in the state file a cussed by the school board before a
A recent audit reveals the Indian increase in premiums, totaling about $4 yearly plan with the state Office of In- motion, passed unanimously by the
River County School District did not million more from employees this year, surance Regulation, which approves or board, moved it into the public record.
transfer money from the general is being used only to pay for this year’s denies it, pulling or renewing the pro-
fund into the health insurance fund, claims and administration fees. vider’s license. Leaving the other four findings aside,
as promised, raising the question of the first concerned the self-insurer’s fund.
whether employee insurance premi- But since there is no record of a The state Auditor General’s office, in
ums are being used to pay down the transfer, it is unclear how the district its annual “operational audit,” found Auditor General and CPA Sherrill Nor-
fund’s $7 million deficit. paid vendors the $3.8 million owed at five problems with the Indian River man said the district “certified” it would
the end of last fiscal year, June 30, 2016. County School District’s finances for transfer $3.8 million from the general
The School Board previously told dis- the fiscal year starting July 1, 2015, and fund to pay off bills from vendors if the
The school district is self-insured, employees’ premiums weren’t enough
to cover it. Not only did the district not
transfer the money by the end of the fis-
cal year, according to the audit; it still
had not done so by Nov. 23, 2016, over
four months into the current fiscal year.

Norman also chided the school
board for not passing a policy that re-
quires the district to end the year with
a healthy balance in the fund.

“The Board should establish poli-
cies identifying a target net position
balance or funding level for the health
self-insurance plan to ensure the plan
is adequately funded and actuarially
sound,” Norman wrote in the finding.

The fund was nearly $7 million in defi-
cit at the end of the fiscal year, an amount
that included a $3.8 million deficit in
health-provider and administration
costs and the loss of a state-mandated
$3 million “safe harbor” or reserve-fund
equal to 60 days of expenses.

The district was already violating in-
surance regulations by not keeping its
safe-harbor reserves up; it then pushed
the envelope further by not transferring
funds as certified. That was reckless,
considering the Office of Insurance
Regulation could yank the district’s in-
surance license, leaving 2,000 employ-
ees and retirees without coverage.

So how did the district pay off ven-
dors last fiscal year?

School Board Member Laura Zorc
asked Morrison that question at the
last board meeting. He assured her
employees are not paying off the $7
million deficit with their increased
premiums, but didn’t explain where
the district got the money to pay off
the $3.8 million owed vendors.

After the meeting, Indian River Coun-
ty Education Association President Liz
Cannon, the teachers’ union represen-
tative, asked the question again.

Morrison said the $3.8 million to
vendors was paid from “cash flow from
various funds,” and later amended it to
“the cash fund.”

Since there is no cash fund listed
in the budget, this makes it appear
Morrison is informally shifting cash
around, robbing Peter to pay Paul, to
keep the general fund fat and the in-
surance fund in the black. 

14 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Patti Gaede, David Meyers, Jo-Anne and Alexis Kennedy and Joe Hoyt. Myles and Carol Tintle. John and Caryn Morrow. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

Bob, Nicole and Kathy Bolton. Bob and Gerri Ripp. Viola Frierson, Gale Dorsey and Takisha Frierson.

Orchid Outreach honors grateful scholarship winners

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF raised each season through the kind- grown to include Orchid Island em- you are in college,” said a grateful
Staff Writer ness of Orchid Island Golf & Beach ployees and county residents attend- Bolton. “It would make it a lot hard-
Club members. To date, Orchid Out- ing Indian River State College. er if I didn't have the scholarship. I
Orchid Outreach celebrated 16 reach has awarded 41 scholarships to would have to work more hours and
years of giving at their annual cocktail worthy and hardworking students.” “Orchid Island has such a family not be able to focus on school and
reception to honor scholarship recipi- feeling; the employees and residents studying.”
ents and thank benefactors for their Lamport noted that the lavish cel- here are very close,” said Lamport. “I
generous support. More than 200 ebration was made possible through think that's the reason why some of The Scholarship Foundation of
members of the Orchid Island Golf & committee member dues to ensure us volunteer for the event. We like to Indian River County has admin-
Beach Club enjoyed hors d'oeuvres that all donations would go directly guarantee that anybody that works for istered the scholarship program
and cocktails at the home of John and into the scholarship program. Mem- us is going to be able to go to school.” since its inception and in 2012 the
Jo-Anne Kennedy. And, although the bers prepared and served an assort- Indian River State College Founda-
day had started out rather dreary, the ment of delectable treats to rival those The 2016 recipients of the Orchid tion became an additional partner.
clouds cleared and the sun came out of the finest chefs and the club do- Employee Scholarships were Melvin
just in time for a spectacular sunset as nated staff time to help with shuttles, Baker, Erin Cady and Kaela Miller, “All of our scholarships are made
guests gathered on the terrace. waiters and bartenders. and the recipients of the 2016 Orchid possible through donations, foun-
Scholarship were Diana Rugani, Ni- dations and private organizations
“The committee offers this soiree Orchid Outreach was founded in cole Bolton and Grace Waage. or communities like Orchid,” ex-
as a thank you to all those residents 2001 under the direction of Nancy plained Camilla Wainright, Schol-
who have generously donated to our Bryson and the late Mary Ellen Straw- Bolton, a student at Indian River arship Foundation of Indian River
educational scholarship program and ser to provide scholarships to children State College who has worked at Or- County executive director. “With-
introduce newcomers to our cause,” of first responders at the then newly chid Island for the past six years, at- out their support, we wouldn't have
explained Orchid Outreach commit- constructed Indian River County Fire tended the reception with her parents. money to help students go to col-
tee chair Tracy Lamport. “Funds are and Rescue Station. Through over- lege. It has impacted a lot of lives in
whelming support, the program has “This means I don't have to worry our community.”
about school; paying for books and all
the extra things that you need when

16 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Ann Decker, Donna Thrailkill and Julia Keenan. Milo Thornton, Laura Shucart, Rosemary Haase and John Burdock. Gerry Collins, Dorsey Seed and Donna Spackman.

Ruth Martin, Barry Reardon, Murray Martin and Marsha Reardon. Dennis Spurgeon, Thomas Spackman and Fred Delacruz Janet Kelley, Grace Skrzypczak and Ruthie McNally.

Robert Tench and John Kennedy. Colette and Wayne Hedien.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 17


Vaughn Bryson, Keena and Chris Clifford. Olivia Delacruz, Tracy Lamport and Gerry Collins.

Bill and Colette Kennedy with Loretta and Jack Curley.

Amy and Ken Fortgang. Emery and Bonnie Davis.

18 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


A sprout-out to Gardenfest’s blooming popularity

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF Mike and Lisa Giessert. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE houses, planters, pottery, furniture, day – the plant-holding area where
Staff Writer fire pits, lighting, statuary and other buyers could leave their purchases,
sale, including vast selections of ferns, garden accessories. and the Boys and Girls Club volunteers
The Garden Club of Indian River succulents, bromeliads, Florida native who helped transport goods to cars via
County gets two green thumbs up for plants, herbs, orchids, bamboo, roses Some visitors came and made a day wagons.
its hugely successful 16th annual Gar- and African violets, as well as fruit, of it, shopping for new plants and gar-
denfest gardening extravaganza last flowering and palm trees. den accessories, picking the brains of The Garden Club was organized in
weekend at Riverside Park. An esti- Indian River County Master Garden- 1928 and has grown to include nine
mated 20,000 garden enthusiasts came “This is a green show,” explained co- ers, lunching at the food court and circles and a membership of 220 gar-
from all over the state to attend the chair Karen Vatland. “We only include entertaining the little ones at the chil- den lovers. Proceeds from the event
two-day celebration of floriculture. things that have to do with gardening. dren’s activities tent. are used for the protection and con-
No jewelry. No apparel.” servation of native plants and natural
Gardenfest co-chair Barbara Rus- The “Ask an Expert” workshops were resources, for civic beautification proj-
sell noted that the event has doubled There were some non-plant items, standing room only, as respected pro- ects and scholarships.
from an initial 40 vendors when it first though, such as bee and bat boxes, bird fessionals shared their knowledge on
began, to 85 vendors this year. Rus- how to be successful with tower gar- Althoff said that this year the club
sell added, “That first year we sent out dens, orchids, shade gardening, cala- has renewed its commitments to Main
more than 200 invitations, now we diums, fairy gardens, tropical plants, Street Vero Beach, McKee Botanical
have to turn people away. Participation gardening for wildlife and epiphytes. Garden’s Children’s Garden and schol-
is by invitation only.” arships.
To help spread the seeds of garden-
“The event has grown so popular, related knowledge, several nonprofit The Bougainvillea Circle will host
people come from as far away as Jack- organizations that share the Garden its 19th annual Antique and Vintage
sonville, Miami and Tampa,” shared Club’s mission of keeping the world Show and Sale on Feb. 11 and 12,
club President Kathie Althoff. “We’ve green were also on hand to answer from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day; ad-
even had busloads from as far away as questions, including Keep Indian River mission is $2. Merchandise will in-
St. Petersburg before.” Beautiful, the Shining Light Garden clude jewelry, decorative arts, paint-
Foundation and the Vero Beach Orchid ings, Oriental rugs and mid-century
Visitors strolling through the park Society. memorabilia. Plants and gourmet
saw an explosion of color emanat- lunch will also be available. The club
ing from the huge variety of plants for Two other popular services were is located at 2526 17th Ave. 
kept particularly busy throughout the

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 23


Toni Hamner, Laura McDermott and Nancy Lynch. Baerbel O’Haire, Adrienne Lower, Beth Howard and Laura Steward. Barbara Sides, Sarah Connors, Francine Lynch and Jan Pillard.

Brenda and Robin Lloyd.

site is surrounded by a Habitat commu-
nity of low-income, working families.
The goal is to use a communal sports
and recreation area to build a stronger

New Horizons recently opened a
new Indian River County Learning
Center where individuals with mental-
health illnesses can learn or relearn
daily living and employment skills so
that they may live meaningful, produc-
tive lives. The grant funded equipment
and supplies, enabling them to double
the number of clients served in a much
more centrally located location.

The Learning Alliance introduced a
Moonshot Institute Learning Lab for
Educators, giving teachers the tools,
strategies and collaboration necessary
for their students to achieve academic
success, bringing them ever closer to
the Moonshot Moment goal of achiev-
ing 90 percent literacy by third grade.
The Learning Lab is now serving as a
national model.

The four panelists were unanimous
in their appreciation, noting that being
awarded an Impact 100 grant is seen as
getting a stamp of approval within the
philanthropic community.

Impact 100 is again on track to top
400 members, and each woman will
have a say determining the next grant
recipients when they vote at the April
19 Annual Meeting. Membership dues
must be received by Feb. 28 to vote. For
more information, visit impact100ir.
com. 

24 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Designer shares vision of magical Children’s Garden

BY STEPHANIE LABAFF guest shared, ‘all about the kids.’” den and Indian River County while limitation will be their imagina-
Staff Writer McKee originally opened in 1932 making it relevant today, he said he tions.
first honed in on the story the com-
Emmanuel Didier, the designer as McKee Jungle Gardens and be- mittee wanted the Children’s Gar- “I think the children’s garden is
of a new Children’s Garden being came one of Florida’s most popu- den to tell. terribly important,” shared Gail Ma-
planned at McKee Botanical Gar- lar attractions before shutting its lin, McKee board member. “We don’t
den, spoke with Windsor residents doors in 1976. The 18 acres not al- “For me, it’s a treat to work with have anything like this for children
last Tuesday as part of their Com- ready sold to developers was reborn people that are so passionate about here, and they just love to be let
munity Spotlight Series, a revolving following a successful $9 million nature,” said Didier. “I’ve learned so loose. Here they will be safe while
series of lectures regarding local campaign to purchase, stabilize, re- much about the plants and history they learn from all of the wonderful
nonprofit organizations’ latest de- store and reopen as McKee Botani- of McKee. It’s a gift they have shared things they will encounter. I think
velopments. cal Garden. It is now listed on the with me.” the parents will like it as much as the
National Register of Historic Places children.”
Against the backdrop of the com- and has been endorsed as a Proj- Didier said his philosophy is that
munity’s elegant Town Hall and ect of National Significance by The landscape is not a thing, but rather a Carol Henderson, who was glad to
Chapel, Didier shared his vision, Garden Conservancy. set of relationships between things, have the opportunity to learn more
philosophy and the methodology and he explained that the story about it, said, “I think it’s a wonder-
planned for the project; the biggest McKee’s board of directors felt a which evolved during the develop- ful project. It’s important for chil-
undertaking at the garden since its children’s garden was the next step ment process is now intertwined dren to have these experiences.”
rebirth in 2001. in the evolution of the garden and with the design.
say their goal is to create a fun and “On behalf of Windsor, we are
“We are always grateful to have whimsical outdoor destination that The garden will integrate vari- thrilled to support McKee Garden and
Emmanuel in town, but this visit inspires imagination and curiosity ous children’s discovery modes their plan for a dedicated Children’s
was especially timely as we work to in children through interaction, ed- throughout the 3/4-acre fenced area, Garden,” said Jane Smalley, Windsor
build more awareness of this cam- ucation and exploration. That goal even tossing in a pirate ship to pay marketing director. “McKee is one of
paign,” said Christine Hobart, McK- ties in nicely with Didier’s belief in homage to the culture of the Trea- Vero Beach’s most beautiful historic
ee’s executive director. the art of “place-making” as a tool sure Coast. Jumping off from lily landmarks, and its continued evolution
for building community. pads, children can be ‘monkeys’ on provides both residents and visitors
“The response he received at a bridge, hide with faeries among with a unique outdoor experience.”
Windsor was exceptional. His vi- Sharing that his challenge was giant mushrooms, or tackle a maze
sion is truly inspired and, as one utilizing the rich history of the gar- under a bamboo village. The only For more information call 772-794-
0601 or visit 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 25


Jane Smalley with Carol and Bob Henderson. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Ginny Blossom, Mike Mersky and Kathy Savage. Patty Rennick, Sandra Rennick and Laurin Pohl.

Barbara Mohler, Gail and Bob Malin and Christine Hobart.

Doug and Dhuanne Tansill with Karen Meyer and Emmanuel Didier.

26 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Hibiscus’ Wine/Dine fundraiser: Love Italian style!

BY MARY SCHENKEL Rosemary Smith co-chaired a hard-
Staff Writer working committee of volunteers
who not only helped plan the de-
Supporters of the Hibiscus Chil- lightful affair, but also volunteered at
dren’s Center offered up another the event itself; among other things,
molto bene evening of food and fun expertly manning the four food and
at their Wine and Dine Taste of Italy wine pairing stations.
– The Journey Continues fundraiser
last Saturday evening at the Bent An accordion player at the entry
Pine Golf Club. Barbara Petrillo and helped put the 250 guests in the mood
for their tasty culinary tour of Italy,

Rosemary Smith and Barbara Petrillo. Patricia Palmer and Kim Wallace.

Vero’s Lifestyle Store as did the décor of the dining rooms, Proceeds from the event support
transformed into an Italian tratto- the mission of Hibiscus Children’s
Shu Shu El Tonobi ria complete with red-and-white- Center and its efforts to improve the
Fine Jewelry checked tablecloths and wine-bottle lives of abused, abandoned and ne-
Trunk Show candles. The co-chairs, who have a glected children and youths. The Hi-
shared Italian heritage, wanted the biscus Village in Vero Beach provides
Thursday & Friday event to take on the aroma and atmo- long-term home environments for 13-
February 9th & 10th sphere typical of their grandmoth- to 17-year-olds, offering them a safe,
ers’ kitchens, with great food, music, nurturing environment and provid-
2900 Ocean Drive • 772.231.2901 wines and conversation. And they ing them with the life skills, educa-
succeeded. tion and career preparation training
to help them be successful in life.
Bent Pine’s Executive Chef Sar-
ah Wills and her crew served up a Paul Sexton, Hibiscus Children’s
mouthwatering repast with an an- Center CEO, said he is seeing a rein-
tipasto station, entrees featuring vigorated energy in the organization
ricotta impastata gnocchi, chicken and projects a robust future thanks
pícatta, steamed clams and mus- to a strong commitment from the
sels and Tuscan braised short ribs community.
with mushroom risotto. Dessert was
a decadent tiramisu with assorted To meet an ever-growing need, in
biscotti. The delectable dishes were addition to the Vero Village and Shel-
each paired with a wonderful Italian ter in Jensen Beach, they have just
wine, supplied by Robert Wayne from opened a 24-hour emergency shelter
his Royal Palm Pointe shop, Varietals in St. Lucie County, called the Sanc-
and More. tuary 4Kids.

Guests also enjoyed playing a wine “It’s directly related to the need
toss game, getting complementary we see in our community to expand
caricatures done, bidding on a large our services,” said Sexton. “That’s
selection of Italian and wine-themed what’s so exciting about these
silent auction items and later taking events. We’ve become healthy so
to the dancefloor, with DJ Joe Tessier we can expand more. The principal
playing just the right tunes to help money we raise here goes to the Vil-
them work off a few calories. lage, but because of their support it
helps the entire mission.” 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 27


Sue and George Sharpe with Jan Harrell. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Kat Redner, Martha Redner and Trudie Rainone. Peggy Rosvold and Alissa Weiss with Tori and Stephen Hume.

Gordon Brunner and Mary Ellen Brophy with Margo and Paul Stynchcomb. Robi and Sandy Robinson, with Donna and Paul Sexton. Barbara and Terry Cosgrove with Linda Teetz.

28 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Riding high: Glittering gala fetes special equestrians

BY CHRISTINA TASCON ilies who attended a special Denim
Correspondent and Diamonds 25th Anniversary
Gala last Saturday evening at the
“Just walking up to the property, Vero Beach Country Club. Guests
driving to the barn seeing the hors- were there to “pony up” in support
es and our riders makes my heart of SETC therapeutic riding programs
swell,” said Vinnie Parentela, Special for children and adults with mental,
Equestrians of the Treasure Coast physical and emotional disabilities.
board president.
Before dinner, a lively live auction
His is a sentiment shared by many and a performance by Royal Ball-
of the volunteers, sponsors and fam- room dancers, the country couture-

Victoria and Corey Kerkela. PHOTOS: GORDON RADFORD Joe and Diane Hirbour.

clad guests congregated in the main gan riding with instructor Cassie
foyer, browsing auction items and Ford at the SETC property on 53rd
sampling hors d’oeuvres while en- Street.
joying the smooth country tunes of
the Low Key Band. “Karina is always much brighter
all the days after her interaction
Royal Ballroom dancers Asya and with the horses, and being with the
Oleg Dimitrov, whose daughter, nice people who are so careful with
Karina, takes riding lessons with her there,” said Asya Dimitrov.
SETC, were joined by Kerry Bartlett,
all volunteering their entertainment Volunteers and instructors shared
services to support the organiza- stories of miraculous changes in
tion. The dancing couple said they their students, as they learn how to
have seen positive changes in their balance, communicate, take com-
daughter’s demeanor since she be- mand of their horses and build up
confidence physically and mentally

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 29


Tony and Joan Swiderski, Donna Schantz. Tonya, Taylor and Wesley Davis. Jade Deibert, Gail Bonaminio, Sheila DeClerck.

Al Kettle and Nicki Sarett. Diane Parentela and Cassie Ford.

through the programs. a lot of benefits for people with dis-
“We had a student completely abilities; it makes them stronger and
helps with social skills. The program
scared of our little beginner stuffed they run in partnership with Dodg-
horse, and now he dives on and off ertown Elementary School com-
so enthusiastically we have to watch bines reading and math to help with
him,” said volunteer Donna Schantz. those skills, too.

“After repeating the term ‘walk on’ Denis also recently started a new
over and again, one little girl who Ride Beyond Diagnosis program for
was non-verbal finally repeated the breast cancer patients, which helps
term as best she could. That is why them cope with the disease through
we get up at 5:30 every morning,” equine therapy.
said instructor Dar Denis.
“The true heroes of Special Eques-
“The outside of a horse is good for trians are our wonderful riders who
the inside of a person,” said instruc- are our students and our therapists
tor Joan Swiderski, paraphrasing – the horses. They make this pro-
a quote she attributed to Winston gram,” said Parentela. “I really want
Churchill. “It gives me goosebumps to thank our volunteers, instructors,
to see the changes in some of these board members and, of course, our
children.” sponsors, without whom we would
not be able to continue.” 
Program Director Vickie Penly
said that horseback riding provides

30 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


JI Foundation keeps ‘granting’
wishes, thanks to great donors

Jim and Sandy Johnson. Don and Mary Macrae. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

BY MARY SCHENKEL pected grants, that the foundation will
have donated roughly $10 million, cu-
Staff Writer mulatively, to the community. That’s
pretty significant,” said Johnson.
Donors and supporters of the John’s
Island Foundation were feted last “Little did I know when this began
Monday evening at a delightful cock- that it would ever be this successful.
tail party at the John’s Island Golf Club, I’m so proud that it has been a success,”
underwritten by local businesses to said foundation originator Ellie Mc-
celebrate the success of past cam- Cabe, remembering back as she looked
paigns and encourage continued con- at the crowd of nearly 400 guests. “I
tributions. went to the United Way and said, ‘What
are the needs?’ They said capital needs;
Established in 1999, the John’s Island that nobody was really contributing
Foundation has granted more than funds for that. And we didn’t want to
$9.2 million in grants to local nonprofit compete with the Service League in
agencies in support of their capital ex- any way.”
penditure needs. Donations are solicit-
ed through a seasonal letter campaign In a brief presentation, Johnson re-
rather than through fundraisers. That lated that the foundation issued an
domain belongs to the gated com- emergency relief grant to Epic Missions
munity’s other hugely philanthropic after Hurricane Matthew destroyed its
faction, the John’s Island Community roof.
Service League, which provides grants
to fund charitable programs and oper- “The John’s Island Foundation is
ating budgets. Many John’s Island resi- only about one thing – infrastructure.
dents support both groups, and make We are unique in that capacity,” said
substantial charitable contributions Johnson, adding that they granted
on their own as well. $40,000 and found a roofer to install an
entirely new roof. “That is pure John’s
“We have 550 donors to the John’s Is- Island Foundation.”
land Foundation; these are effectively
households, who will raise between He also showed a short video about a
$725,000 and $750,000. And we’ve got “Speak Up” grant given to the Wabasso
27 agencies seeking grants totaling School to provide voices to nonverbal
$850,000,” said Jim Johnson, current developmentally disabled students.
board president. He is one of many resi- The money enabled the purchase of a
dents who volunteer their time to serve program and iPads to enable students
on the board and foundation commit- to speak, engage and communicate
tees, such as the site review teams. with others.

An extensive vetting process has One charming couple, Muggie and
team leaders making initial presen- John Hardy, clearly have no trouble
tations to the board, followed by site communicating with one another.
committee volunteers visiting agen- “We’ve been married for 72 years. He
cies to clarify any questions, before fi- is 101 and I’m in my 90s,” said Muggie
nal recommendations are made to the Hardy, the two glancing at each other
board. with a loving twinkle in their eyes.
“We’ve been here since ’87. We made a
“We project, given this year’s ex- good choice.” 

34 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


St. Ed’s b-ball team shooting for playoff success

BY RON HOLUB a skilled dimension that enabled and McGuire at 8.9. McGuire was the St. Ed’s James McGuire
Correspondent St. Ed’s to win five of six down the leading rebounder with 5.6 per game. (24) and St. Andrew’s
stretch. He proved to be a nice com- The district tournament began with Jakym Johnson.
The postseason began this week for plement to backcourt mate Thomas a tough assignment.
St. Ed’s varsity boys basketball team Bockhorst. Size down low facilitated PHOTOS BY DENISE RITCHIE
and anything was possible in the Dis- the inside-outside game most teams “We played two close games and this
trict 7-3A tournament based on what seek on offense. one could go either way,” Zugrave said Everybody loves to be around him,
happened during the regular season. of the Boca matchup. “They have some including the coaching staff. He ral-
“Thomas Bockhorst continues to good players and so do we. It should lies us when we are down and makes
St. Ed’s was seeded fourth and carry us,” head coach Greg Zugrave be a good game and really that’s what things that much better when we are
drew fifth-seeded Boca Raton Chris- said. “He really creates a lot of offense it’s all about. We just want to see what going well.
tian in the first round this past Mon- for us. Brandon Succes is our leading happens and give ourselves a chance
day. The teams split a pair during scorer and he’s really helping us. Isa- to win some playoff games.” “The seniors really embodied what
the regular season, with the travel- iah Paul transferred from John Carroll we would like to see happen. They
ers winning on the road. The Pirates in January and what a breath of fresh The game that stood out for Zugrave worked their way through the system
hosted the playoff rematch hoping to air he has been. He ignited us on de- during the season was an overtime and learned what they needed to do to
reverse that trend. fense and gave us another ball handler loss to No. 1 seed Village Academy. improve. They are three great kids.”
at guard. We are really excited about He said “they are very talented, but if
The regular season was a veritable him being here. He was absolutely a we had made a couple of foul shots we On Senior Night Barry got what used
wash at 11-10 overall, 4-3 in the district; nice surprise. would have won the game. We were re- to be called a “courtesy” start. His
however the finale on Senior Night last ally the only team in the district that minutes this season were limited and
week demonstrated what this team is “With the three of them plus con- played them close. I would love to see he accepted his role gracefully. Then,
capable doing. The 75-47 win over St. tributions from James McGuire and our kids get another shot at them.” in the second half vs. St Andrew’s, he
Andrew’s Episcopal Academy repre- some other guys, we were able to get had one of those “Rudy” moments.
sented a season high in scoring. The some of the scoring we were worried An opportunity to avenge that
Pirates displayed a crisp half-court of- about at the beginning of the year.” frustrating Village Academy loss Barry’s 10 points didn’t break re-
fense and converted numerous turn- would be intriguing, but everyone is cords or make the headlines, but his
overs into fast break baskets. The scoring averages during the aware that the district tournament coach and many others certainly rec-
regular season were bunched among will be no cakewalk. ognized a feel-good story, and what
The midseason addition of John the top four. Succes led at 10.7, fol- high school sports should be all about.
Carroll transfer Isaiah Paul added lowed by Bockhorst at 9.9, Paul at 9.3 “We are not a great 3-point shoot-
ing team and other teams know that “It was an inspirational perfor-
by now,” Zugrave told us. “But we re- mance,” Zugrave said. “Everyone in
bound the ball well and play good de- the gym who knew K.C. and was root-
fense. We make it difficult for the other ing for the Pirates had a smile on their
team to score and that has allowed face.” 
us to compete against teams that are
more talented and athletic. I really
credit the kids for buying into that sys-
tem. I’m really proud of them and what
they have accomplished this year.”

Three seniors were honored be-
fore the St. Andrew’s game. Two were
starters and big factors on the court,
while the third was just one of those
everyday guys any organization
wants and needs.

“Thomas Bockhorst and James
McGuire contribute a lot and do the
things that show up in the newspaper.”
Zugrave said. “K.C. Barry, on the other
hand, is just the perfect teammate.


36 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


‘Private Lives’: Belly laughs, some hard to stomach

BY MICHELLE GENZ of four (five, counting the welcome Liana Hunt and Jason Laughlin. P HOTOS BY GORDON RADFORD
Staff Writer cameo of Andrea Gallo as the fussing
French maid). For a play written just a suites, their chit-chat only hints at the One happen to step out without their
If you want to spend a perfectly year after the 1929 stock market crash, push-pull of past love: the inevitable better halves and hear the orchestra
good evening thinking about the the clothes still reflected the glamor of ennui of Couple One for Couples Two below playing their song, they each
worst relationship of your life, River- the Roaring ’20s, charmeuse gleam- and Three. Once the two in Couple start singing it, discovering each
side Theatre’s “Private Lives” is just ing like ganache and suits fitted to a T.
the thing.
Dark though the play quickly turns,
The comedy of manners, a genre Coward’s premise is pure farce: A di-
meant to poke fun at upper-class af- vorced couple (Amanda, played by
fectations, turns on some unfunny, Catherine Gowl; and Elyot, played by
unmannerly behavior; the great Jason Loughlin) both remarry, then
Noel Coward laced his most famous find themselves in adjacent rooms on
play with enough laugh lines be- their respective honeymoons.
tween dope slaps to keep a Riverside
audience chuckling in spite of itself The play, directed by Riverside
last week. regular James Brennan, opens with
their new spouses Sibyl (Liana Hunt)
After a long string of musicals, it and Victor (Spencer Plachy) each hav-
was a treat to have Riverside’s big- ing a turn on the terrace, gunning to
budget main stage dedicated to a get their betrothed to dish on the ex.
straight play and an iconic one at that. Their jealousies are as apparent as
The opening-night anticipation was their shortcomings. The starry-eyed
further piqued as the curtain rose on Sibyl and the clunky traditionalist
Allen Cornell’s stunning set, a confec- Victor are both in for some major sur-
tion of a French Riviera hotel, its fa- prises; despite the shut-ups they get in
çade complete with entwined plaster reply to their leading questions, they
dolphins set in an arched niche. And may as well be blowing on hot coals.
Gail Baldoni’s costumes continued
the illusion on the good-looking cast As the two newlywed couples take
turns emerging from their respective

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 37


other and the passion starts to burn ple to hang on. Loughlin’s Elyot didn’t of the indelible impulses that trail leather straps – by adding contagion
white-hot again. let his dandy down enough to make love yet are kept safely out of sight, to the toxin. With a device he used
a 21st century audience feel the heat; like the stinging tentacles of a gos- in more than one play, Coward lets
In minutes, they’ve slipped the and Gowl’s Amanda, though her lines samer man-of-war. “Private Lives” the lover-combatants slip off to con-
marital noose, bolted for Paris to- were racy and her delivery coy, never wants us to laugh at that sting, pre- tinue their banging – in both senses,
gether and are back at it in Amanda’s seemed to lose herself to lust. senting an abusive relationship as a while the action continues on stage:
apartment. In a state of near stu- banana-peel gag. Their spouses, having discovered
por, they take a break and turn from The New York Times’ Anita Gates the cheating pair in their Paris lair,
sex to brandy. The teasing doesn’t was wowed at a production in Hart- At a time when “no” means no and start up a good row of their own.
stop, though, and when Elyot reads ford, Conn., two years ago that Cow- guns are pulled over the last slice of Fwap! goes Sibyl’s hand across Vic-
the signal wrong and starts kissing ard could pack a script with domestic pizza, lines like “If you don’t stop tor’s face as Elyot winks at Amanda:
Amanda’s neck too purposefully, she violence and it doesn’t offend us 85 screaming, I’ll murder you,” or “I Aw, so cute. There’s hope for those
breezily turns away: too full from din- years later. That wasn’t the case at Riv- should like to cut off your head with two, too! As Victor violently shakes
ner, she says. That too-familiar con- erside. I heard several in the audience a meat axe,” may have lost their sense Sibyl by the shoulders, Amanda and
tretemps triggers rage on the part of remark that the smack-down humor of hyperbole. Elyot tiptoe off together, back to the
Elyot. Locked on to a target who has was insensitive to an issue so many front of love. 
veered off into the blue, he figures in the community work to prevent. I Coward then ties a bow around
out another way to fire his missile: he spent much of the evening wondering the piece – more like buckling the
goes ballistic. who in the audience was longing for a
trigger warning. MAGIC
Even an agreed-upon truce word IN YOUR HAND
can’t stop the resulting domestic vio- “Certain women should be struck
lence. And that is what you have to regularly – like gongs,” says Elyot to
call it, mutual though it is, and despite Amanda matter-of-factly in defense
the funny flying feathers of the pillow of his having slapped her across the
fight, the startling smash of the lamps face. Gates says we’re not offended
and the nicely executed somersaults because the abuse goes both ways:
over the couch. Amanda had just broken a record
over his head. I guess Gates hasn’t
I found it hard to stomach, particu- considered the strength dispar-
larly with few hints from the generally ity that might make the next gong
unsubtle acting of the black moods strike more consequential.
that drive such episodes – a few choice
lines muttered or growled would have Beneath the farcical circumstance
helped set that stage. Nor was there a is a disturbing notion that defies co-
sense of the intense sexual attraction medic approach. Coward was all too
that would have compelled the cou- familiar, a closeted gay man in 1930,





7 72 . 2 3 4 . 6711

38 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


A buffet of art to feast on at Fifth Avenue Gallery

BY ELLEN FISCHER also, respectively, Fifth Avenue’s pub- The street-facing front part of the ​Marlis Newman’s “Make Lemonade,”
Correspondent licity head and exhibit chair. For a gallery, separated from the main body acrylic on canvas.
first-time visitor, their presence is a of the interior by freestanding walls,
Prepare to stay a while when visit- bonus; both are eager to relate the gal- is reserved for temporary solo and ing. The most ambitious of these is
ing Eau Gallie’s Fifth Avenue Art Gal- lery’s history and offer the lowdown group exhibitions. Artists who exhibit “High Seas and an Office Chair,” a
lery. There’s a lot to see. on the artists who show there. there are not necessary members. Its canvas that shows a little boy in a pa-
current exhibition, “Child’s Play: A per cap solemnly rotating the legs of
The member-owned and -operated Founded in 1975, Fifth Avenue Gal- Journey into Imagination,” features an overturned swivel chair-turned-
gallery boasts a roster of 18 artists who lery was originally located on Fifth Av- oil paintings by Lisa Mistiuk, who re- ship’s wheel. Both he and his craft are
work in painting, printmaking, sculp- enue in Indialantic, Florida. The name sides with her husband, an automo- threatened – in imagination only – by
ture, jewelry and mixed media. That stuck; the location didn’t. According tive designer, and their children in a realistically painted wall of water
last category includes a nautilus ren- to Mittleman, the gallery’s early life greater Detroit. that crests over the boy’s head and
dered in glowing neon tubing. Mount- was marked by moves from one rental splashes onto the carpet – er, deck – in
ed atop a pure white stretched canvas, retail space to another; none of them The artist and her family lived for a front of him.
“Our Chambered Lives” by Heather seemed just right. time on the Space Coast. Back in 2011
Kelley is the first thing you see when Mistiuk, a California native and a re- Three small still-life paintings in
you set foot in the gallery, and the last In 1981 the gallery’s members pur- cent graduate of San Francisco’s Acad- the show portray part of a toddler’s
thing you will turn to look at when you chased land on the Eau Gallie dis- emy of Art University, showed her
leave. trict’s Highland Avenue (across from work in two of Fifth Avenue’s group
the present-day Foosaner Art Mu- shows. During her brief time with
On a recent afternoon two of the seum) and decided to build a gallery the gallery Mistiuk, by dint of her ar-
gallery’s artists, Barbara Desrosiers there. tistic talent and congeniality, made a
and Lois Mittleman, were on duty to lasting impression on her colleagues.
greet visitors and ring up sales; each Ellen Pavlakos, a sculptor who had They still follow her progress, both as
member commits a couple days a just joined the gallery, brought in an artist and as a doting mother.
month to staffing the gallery. her husband Andrew, a designer and
builder of custom homes and com- “She uses her children as models for
Desrosiers is a painter and photog- mercial buildings. He took on the her paintings,” says Mittleman.
rapher who sometimes mixes those challenge of designing a structure
mediums in her work. Mittleman cre- specifically to house an art gallery. Roughly half of the 20 works on
ates jewelry variously of metal, glass Completed in 1985, the building has display from Mistiuk are paintings of
and semiprecious stone. The two are served its purpose well ever since. children quietly playing or daydream-

A.E. Backus Museum Presents

Wet Paint: An in-depth look at the works of the Florida Highwaymen

Features paintings from private collections & curated by Roger Lightle.
On View January 12, 2017 - March 16, 2017

Reception and Lecture by the Exhibit’s Curator, Roger Lightle,

on Friday, February 17. Lecture starts at 5pm,
Reception 6-8 PM. The Public is Invited.


Tent Sale of Vintage Painting

Saturday, February 18, 10am - 4pm • Sunday, February 19, noon - 4pm

Choose from a fabulous selection of Vintage Highwaymen paintings available for purchase.
Guided tours of the exhibition, speakers throughout the day.

Highwaymen Heritage Trail Celebration • Moore’s Creek Lineal Park
Saturday, February 18, 2017 • 10am - 4pm

Meet the Original Highwaymen and some of the Legacy Painters,
Music , Food, Kidz Zone.

Visit or Call 772.465-0630 for more information
500 N. Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce, Fl 34950

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46 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Shortly afterward, Rice spoke to re- A member of the Syrian armed group “What bothered us most of all was
tired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, her Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa hold positions that there was no Plan B,” the Trump
counterpart in the incoming adminis- official said.
tration, about the proposal. against the Islamic State outside
Ayn al-Issa, in the countryside To the Trump team, it seemed that
“Don’t approve it,” Flynn respond- of Raqqa province. Obama administration officials had
ed, according to two former officials delayed authorizing the plan because
briefed on the exchange. “We’ll make they knew it was inadequate and did
the decision.” not want to be held responsible, the of-
ficial said.
On Jan. 17, Obama chaired his final
National Security Council meeting and A senior Obama administration of-
directed his team to leave the decision ficial said the criticism was unfound-
on arming the Kurds to the Trump ad- ed and a sign of the new White House’s
ministration. In one of his last acts as “intelligence insecurity.” In addition
commander in chief, he approved the to the short memo that Rice gave Fly-
deployment of two or three Apache nn, the outgoing administration left a
attack helicopters to Syria and autho-
rized the Pentagon to provide more Fighters of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection
support to Turkish forces fighting for Units (YPG) hold a position during fighting
the Syrian town of al-Bab. against Islamic State fighters.

Rice prepared briefing papers for es to train the Kurds in using the new
Flynn, emphasizing the importance of equipment and fighting in a densely
moving quickly to arm the Kurds. packed city, but it lacked details about
how many U.S. troops would be re-
Obama told a small group of aides quired and where the training would
that he would personally discuss the im- take place, the Trump administration
portance of the matter with Trump on official said. Trump officials said they
the morning of the inauguration, pos- were dismayed that there was no pro-
sibly in the limousine on the way to the vision for coordinating operations with
Capitol for the swearing-in ceremony. Russia and no clear political strategy
for mollifying the Turks.
“Welcome to the NBA,” Obama said
he planned to tell his successor, ac- Nor were there contingency plans if
cording to officials present. the Kurdish attack stalled, the senior
Trump administration official said.
The recommendation was dead on
arrival at the Trump White House.

The Obama plan required U.S. forc-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 47


thick package of supplemental mate- Plan B, after it became clear that Plan emerged as one of the most passion- lead them right back to some varia-
rial, the Obama official said. A – using Turkish forces to take Raqqa ate supporters of arming the Kurds, tion of the Obama plan.
– would not be feasible. the senior Obama administration of-
Most of the shortcomings outlined ficial said. Aides declined to describe “He’s a businessman,” the senior
by the Trump team were obvious to It is up Mattis and Dunford to sort Mattis’s thinking on the option. Trump official said of the new presi-
Obama’s advisers, he added. In fact, the through Syria’s many complexities Trump has promised to give Dunford dent. “His attitude is that I am hiring
senior Obama administration official and come up with a new plan. At and Mattis a free hand, which could really good people to make these deci-
said, arming the Kurds was Obama’s the end of Obama’s term, Dunford sions.” 

48 Vero Beach 32963 / February 9, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Big government has outlasted presidents for a century

Donald Trump’s recent flurry of executive orders BY STEPHEN MIHM | BLOOMBERG the stars aligned to help put an end to big government
mandates that for every new regulation issued by and runaway regulation, this was most certainly it.
any agency, two must be eliminated. This comes on posals included a far more expansive role for his
top of a federal hiring freeze and vows to reduce ad- own department, all in the name of efficiency. Un- So how did Reagan do? One crude measure comes
ministrative bloat and otherwise force the govern- derstandably irked, other cabinet officers fiercely from the number of pages published in the Code of
ment bureaucracy to conform to the kinds of expec- resisted. Nothing came of it. Federal Regulations, or CFR. After Reagan had been
tations that govern private business. in office for close to a year, that number stood at
Hoover was more successful in retirement, when 107,109. A year later, Reagan had managed to shave
While Trump sees himself as an outsider president President Harry Truman asked him to chair what would that down to 104,983. Then it resumed its upward
bringing new ideas to Washington, these particular become the Hoover Commission. “Red Tape himself march. By the end of his second term, the number
ideas would be painfully familiar to his predeces- dwells in the civil service,” Hoover declared in 1949.“The stood in defiance of his crusade at 117,480.
sors. For the past century, presidents of both parties result is an accumulation of waste and dead wood.”
have sought to rein in the federal bureaucracy. Most A similar fate befell an effort launched by Presi-
have failed to make it more efficient. What’s interesting about the Hoover Commis- dent Clinton and implemented by Vice President Al
sions (there were two) was that they did succeed in Gore. Known as the National Partnership for Rein-
Not even anti-government crusader Ronald Rea- increasing the efficiency of government with Con- venting Government, or NPR, Gore sought to em-
gan was able to lessen the regulatory burden in any gress turning proposals into legislation. This was power civil servants as “change agents.”
significant way. due in no small part to the unusual bipartisan con-
sensus forged between Hoover and Truman, along Obsolete bureaucratic fiefdoms were abolished,
Can Trump triumph where so many stumbled? with Hoover’s public-relations mastery in getting departments consolidated, internal rules and reg-
He’s already buckling to pressure on the hiring freeze. the public behind him. ulations slashed. Likewise, the size of the federal
And if history is any guide, his only chance at success workforce declined by over 400,000, though private
depends on something he’s avoided so far: the hard But contrary to Hoover’s hopes, his Commission contractors – proxies of government power – likely
work of building a bipartisan consensus across all did not shrink the federal government; nor did it picked up much of the slack.
branches of government. Here’s what he’s up against. curb its regulatory powers. If anything, the recom-
mendations of the Commission led to more govern- Moreover, little of this translated into a significant
Reform efforts arguably began with President ment, including the creation of the General Services reduction in the regulatory state. As with Reagan, there
Theodore Roosevelt, who made his feelings known Administration, an agency that now has a $20 billion was a rather modest decline in the size of the Code of
with this quip: “Our executive government machin- budget and employs nearly 12,000 people. Federal Regulations under Clinton, from 132,228 in 1993
ery should be at least as well-planned, economical, to 131,060 in 1997 – before creeping upward to 138,049
and efficient as the best machinery of the great busi- By the 1970s, disillusionment with what became by 2000. As Clinton’s presidency wound, the dream of
ness organizations, which at present is not the case.” derisively known as “big government” fed a series of much smaller federal footprint came to naught.
campaigns and commissions to curtail the regulatory
Roosevelt’s campaign for efficiency and account- powers of the federal government. The popular energy As for actually shrinking government and slash-
ability gave rise to the banal-sounding Committee behind them even helped deliver Ronald Reagan to the ing regulatory burdens – that’s more difficult. No ad-
on Department Methods, which sought to impose White House in 1980. If there was ever a moment where ministration has enjoyed sustained success in this
order on the burgeoning federal bureaucracy. Like regard. But Trump’s current approach – the “twofer”
many of its successors, it largely failed. rule – is almost certainly doomed to fail.

Future presidents followed Roosevelt’s lead, set- History suggests that federal bureaucracies are
ting up other committees and commissions aimed quite capable of undermining such a simplistic di-
at streamlining the federal government. Congress rective. After all, regulations vary in size and scope;
stood in the way of many reforms, refusing to with- it’s quite possible to eliminate two redundant,
draw money from pet projects or agencies. But the meaningless, or otherwise obsolete regulations and
individual bureaucracies also proved remarkably re- replace them with one that has real teeth.
sistant to seeing their power diminished.
Two-for-one gimmicks are a public relations stunt.
When President William Harding sought to If Trump really wants to reduce the federal footprint,
streamline government in the 1920s, Secretary of he’s going to have to do considerably more than sign
Commerce Herbert Hoover took the lead. His pro- a flashy executive order. 

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