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Published by Vero Beach 32963 Media, 2018-03-22 13:29:51

03/22/2018 ISSUE 12

VB32963_ISSUE12_032218_OPT

‘Art in Bloom’ flaunts
flower power. P14
FMPA vote set on

letting Vero exit. P12
2 nursing aides arrested for
defrauding elderly couple. P11

For breaking news visit

MY VERO Hospital seeks
to reduce delays
BY RAY MCNULTY at jammed ER

Craig Callan, the face of Duke Habernickel and his 30-foot-long photo montage, “Studies in Green,” at his home in John’s Island. PHOTO BY GORDON RADFORD BY MICHELLE GENZ
Dodgertown, is retiring Staff Writer
Tiny ‘offending’ image leads IRMC to toss large artwork
Craig Callan was sitting be- A bad flu season combined
hind his desk at Historic Dodg- BY MICHELLE GENZ a 30-foot-long montage that week, interrupting his own in- with drastic staff cuts at the
ertown last week, pointing to Staff Writer recently hung in the annual terview to lean in at an image. county’s health department
his attempts to organize 40 John’s Island art show. have combined to jam up
years of memories, photos and Retired CEO Duke Hab- Habernickel believes that patient flow at Indian River
memorabilia stacked around ernickel spent two years as- And still a tile or two can sud- a single photo will draw in a Medical Center, making emer-
the room in not-so-neat piles. sembling the 2,400 photos he denly catch his eye. particular person for a reason. gency room waits longer.
shot for his “Studies in Green,” At least that’s how he explains
"This is all very personal to “Look at that,” he said a half- Last week, IRMC’s interim
me," he said as his eyes scanned dozen times one morning last CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 CEO Karen Davis described
the keepsakes-covered walls of to the Hospital District board
his spacious office, which offers a systemwide effort to ease
a panoramic view of Holman congestion at the hospital re-
Stadium. "The photographs, sulting from a 10-percent in-
the jerseys, the hats, the bats, crease in patients.
the plaques ... Everything here
means something." “It’s just a crunch every-
where,” said Davis. “Every bed
Together, these cherished that we can physically put in
mementos tell the story of a that building, we have put in.
mostly wonderful, sometimes-
tragic, never-dull life spent “We’ve moved people out of
as Peter O'Malley's full-time offices [to make room for pa-
ambassador to Vero Beach, tients] . . . I don’t want to leave
where, for 20 years, Callan the chair in my office for long
represented the Los Angeles
Dodgers and their owner with CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
the class, character and com-
Island’s biggest house,
CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 sold 3 months ago, put
on market for $29.9M
Dr. Anton Post out as director of
Harbor Branch after just 15 months BY STEVEN M. THOMAS
Staff Writer
BY KATHLEEN SLOAN the move in a positive light.
Staff Writer Harbor Branch has seen The biggest house on the
barrier island, auctioned off
After just 15 months on considerable turmoil and for $19.6 million just three
the job, Dr. Anton Post is out uncertainty since longtime months ago, is back on the
as executive director of Har- executive director Marga- market for $29.9 million.
bor Branch Oceanographic ret Leinen left to take a job
Institute, but Florida Atlan- at Scripps Institution of The investment group that
tic University is portraying Oceanography in San Diego
CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
CONTINUED ON PAGE 9

March 22, 2018 Volume 11, Issue 12 Newsstand Price $1.00 Vero gets its Irish
up for St. Patrick’s
News 1-12 Faith 56-57 Pets 81 TO ADVERTISE CALL Day Parade. P27
Arts 41-46 Games 59-61 Real Estate 83-96 772-559-4187
Books 58 Health 63-68 St. Ed’s 69
Dining 74 Insight 47-62 Style 70-73 FOR CIRCULATION
Editorial 54 People 13-40 Wine 75 CALL 772-226-7925

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

2 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

NEWS

My Vero Officially, his retirement becomes ready to go, O'Malley embraced his also getting older, and running this
effective April 25, exactly 40 years after decision, thanked him for his years of business is 20 times harder than work-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 he launched his Dodgertown career as service and warned him about the dif- ing for the Dodgers was."
the general manager of the complex's ficulty that sometimes accompanies
passion expected of a franchise once Sports and Conference Center and 10 the transition to retirement. He paused for a moment, then con-
regarded as baseball royalty. years after being named director of the tinued: "I've been reading more and
entire baseball campus. "Peter was great with this," Callan more articles about people my age
And he will take all of them with said. "He was very supportive, very ac- passing away, and there are things I
him, along with the memories, when "Peter and I have been talking about commodating. He talked about how want to do before it's too late. I've got
he leaves the room for the last time, it for a year," Callan said of O'Malley, hard it was for Tommy Lasorda when a 9-year-old son, Liam, and I want him
which will probably happen within who sold the Dodgers in 1998 but re- he left managing and how tough it can to have memories of doing things with
the next few weeks. turned to Vero Beach in 2012 to rescue be to pull yourself away from what me because I might not be around
the town's struggling sports facility, you've been doing your whole life. when he's in his 20s.
Callan, a month shy of his 69th birth- four years after the team moved its
day, announced his retirement this spring-training headquarters to Ari- "But this is the right time for me," "So I'm going to spend more time
week, ending four decades of devotion zona. he added. "I could still keep going, but with my family and use whatever years
to a baseball treasure that always will I've done pretty much everything I can I have left to take it easy, enjoy life and
occupy a special place in his heart. When Callan finally decided he was here. I've got nothing else to prove. I'm make more memories."

He knows the future doesn't come
with a guarantee: His first son, Chris-
tian, was 29 and suffering from bipolar
disorder when he committed suicide
in Arizona in 1999.

"Christian's been gone for 19 years,"
Callan said wistfully. "There are pic-
tures of him here, too."

Callan was only 20 and attending
Christian Brothers University in Mem-
phis, Tenn., in 1971, when he married
his first wife and their son was born.
When the couple divorced, he was
granted custody of Christian.

"I wanted him, and I got him at a
time when you never heard of fathers
getting their kids," Callan said. "Re-
member that TV show in the 1970s,
'The Courtship of Eddie's Father?'
That was us."

Callan eventually moved to Penn-
sylvania's Pocono Mountains, where
he worked for Harrison's Conference
Centers, which in April 1978 sent him
to Vero Beach to run Dodgertown's
conference center.

"My boss asked me if I wanted to
work with the Dodgers, and I told
him, 'Hey, I'm from Brooklyn,' " Cal-
lan said. "I didn't know where Vero
Beach was, but I didn't care. It was
the Dodgers."

It didn't take long for Callan to im-
press the Dodgers' then-director of
Dodgertown, Charlie Blaney, with his
work ethic, enthusiasm and atten-
tion to detail – all of which earned
him the opportunity to take over
in 1988, after O'Malley promoted
Blaney to vice president of minor
league operations.

"Peter didn't really know me," Cal-
lan said, "but he took a chance and I
made sure he never regretted it."

As the Dodgertown director, Callan
was responsible for the year-round
operations of the conference center,
overseeing the management of the
Dodgers' Vero Beach-based Florida
State League (Class A) and Gulf Coast
League (Rookie level) teams, and su-
pervising all aspects of big league
spring training.

He also made arrangements for
training visits from international base-
ball teams and NFL teams, along with

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 3

NEWS

the wildly popular Dodgers' Adult game at Holman; the large crowd that thinking, 'Wow, I can't believe this is – a job that went beyond the much-
Baseball Camps. And he supervised jammed the Stadium to say good-bye happening.' anticipated opening of Camelback
the operations of the team-owned to an era; and, as the March sun set Ranch.
Dodgertown Golf Club and Dodger on spring training in Vero Beach, the "It was the end of something unique,
Pines Country Club, prior to their sale Dodgers' buses pulling away from something special," he added. "It was "I was going to run the place when
in 2002. Dodgertown for the last time. the end of a 60-year marriage between it was finished," Callan said. "I was
the team and the town, and it didn't working for the Dodgers, and there
It was in 2002 that the Dodgers re- "It was a really sad day," Callan said. end well. It was like a divorce, which, I was no longer a job in Vero Beach. So
warded Callan for his performance by "I remember standing on the field af- think, is why there were so many hard we were going to move to Arizona.
promoting him to vice president in ter the game, just looking around, see- feelings." That's where my job was."
charge of spring training and minor ing the looks on people's faces and
league facilities – a promotion that ex- Callan, though, had a job to do CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
panded his duties to include oversee-
ing operations at the Dodgers' Campo Exclusively John’s Island
Las Palmas training facility in the Do-
minican Republic and serving as a Situated on a double lot with desirable SE exposure is this beautifully
liaison with all of the organization's renovated 6BR retreat. Showcasing breathtaking pool, multiple fairway and
minor league affiliates. lake views, the 7,061± GSF home’s timeless architecture is highlighted
by the gracious living room with fireplace and vaulted beamed ceiling,
He also was responsible for di- illuminated by a series of French doors. Ensuring privacy with guest
recting the 2002 construction of a bedrooms around the family room, features include, new hardwood floors,
30,000-square-foot building beyond den with fireplace, island kitchen, and master suite with outdoor spa.
Holman Stadium's right-field wall. 260 Island Creek Drive : $4,250,000
The much-needed structure would
include clubhouses, training facilities three championship golf courses : 17 har-tru courts : beach club : squash
and administrative offices. health & fitness center : pickleball : croquet : vertical equity membership

Under Callan's leadership, Dodger- 772.231.0900 : Vero Beach, FL : JohnsIslandRealEstate.com
town was named Major League Base-
ball's "Best Spring Training Site" by
Baseball America three times.

"People ask how I could do the
same job for 40 years, but I never did
the same job," Callan said. "I was like
a utility infielder. I played a lot of dif-
ferent roles."

None, though, was more important
than being the year-round face of the
Dodgers in the Vero Beach commu-
nity, where Callan served as a United
Way of Indian River County president,
sat on several civic-group boards, re-
ceived a "Key to the City" in 2004 and
was honored with two "Citizen of the
Year" awards.

"He's been a real hero in this com-
munity," said former Vero Beach po-
lice chief Jim Gabbard, one of Cal-
lan's closest friends. "The Dodgers
gave him carte blanche to do good
things in the community, and he's
done more than anybody I can think
of – a lot of things most people don't
know about. He's just a really good
guy."

By 2007, though, the Dodgers had
decided to move their spring-train-
ing operation to Arizona, where they
put Callan in charge of transforming
a Glendale broccoli farm into Cam-
elback Ranch – a glitzy, new Cactus
League complex they would share
with the Chicago White Sox.

"I was in Glendale for two years, on
and off," said Callan, who supervised
the design and construction of the fa-
cility, which opened in 2009.

In fact, when Callan returned to Vero
Beach for the Dodgers' final Grapefruit
League game at Dodgertown 10 years
ago, he flew back to Arizona the next
day.

Callan vividly remembers St. Pat-
rick's Day 2008 – the nostalgia-filled,
pregame ceremony before the final

4 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

NEWS

My Vero the doctors were preparing me for the open the new place, and I couldn't be Reducing ER delays
worst," Callan said. "We almost lost there, so I was out. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 her."
"They took care of me," he added, for fear that someone will be in that
Then fate again threw him a curve- But Callan stayed at her bedside "but, all of a sudden, I didn't have a chair too.”
ball: Ten years after the devastating and kept praying, never giving up job there or here."
death of his son, Christian, Callan hope. Miraculously, mere minutes be- Davis anticipates that some of the
nearly suffered another tragic loss. fore doctors were to begin harvesting He wasn't unemployed for long. estimated 600 patients a month who
his wife's organs, her kidneys began Dodgertown was closed for less are being turned away by the Health
He returned to Vero Beach in late functioning again. than six months when Minor League Department due to recent cuts in pri-
January 2009 to accompany his eight- Baseball leased the property and hired mary care will be turning to the ER
month-pregnant wife, Cindy, to what Six weeks later, Callan and his wife Callan to help turn the baseball com- for treatment. Some may be arriving
was expected to be a routine doctor's returned to Vero Beach, where she plex into a year-round, multi-sport for minor non-emergency problems,
appointment at the Winnie Palmer underwent a slow, difficult recovery. training facility, which would even- while others will have true emergen-
Hospital for Women and Babies in Their son, Liam, who was a heathy tually operate under the name "Vero cies that are the result of not having
Orlando, fully expecting to fly back baby, is now 9. Beach Sports Village." been treated at an earlier stage.
to Arizona the next day to prepare for After MiLB endured heavy financial
Camelback Ranch's opening. "When I first came to Vero, I was a losses, however, the place was about Thanks to a Hospital District initia-
single parent and 28 years old, taking to be shuttered again in 2011. tive, there are now patient navigators
More than a month later, however, my 9-year-old son to school," Callan That's when O'Malley returned to in the ER to help patients find the right
he was still in Florida – and his wife, said. "Fast-forward 40 years, and now Vero Beach with a newly formed, five- place for non-emergency treatment.
then 49, was still in the hospital. I'm 68 years old and still taking my way partnership, which took control Early numbers point to a 50-percent
9-year-old son to school. of the complex's operations, expand- success rate at arranging for patients
Hours after undergoing an emer- ed its facilities and negotiated with to get appointments at facilities that
gency Caesarian-section delivery of "Back then, I was one of the young- Major League Baseball for permission are less focused on acute care and less
the couple's son, Liam, Callan's wife er parents," he added. "Now I'm the to use the name "Historic Dodger- expensive, where they can form a rela-
experienced life-threatening compli- oldest parent. People think I'm his town." tionship with one doctor as opposed
cations stemming from a pregnancy- grandfather." O'Malley also kept Callan on as a to dealing with the rotating ER docs.
related blood clot. vice president, a position he held for
Actually, Callan also has a 19-year- the past six years. “We’re screening with a physician
Doctors treated the clot with a old granddaughter, Corliss-Rose, who "Craig Callan has devoted his adult from the beginning,” Davis said. “If it’s
blood thinner, which caused her to was Christian's daughter. life to leading, managing and enhanc- not an emergent case, we’re giving them
bleed internally. Not long afterward, ing Historic Dodgertown, and he de- options of places where they could re-
some of her organs, including her kid- Oh, and he never made that move to serves tremendous credit for how this ceive care that would be less expensive
neys, began shutting down, prompt- Arizona. renowned training and conference than coming to the [emergency room].”
ing the medical team to put her in a center looks today," O'Malley said in a
chemically induced coma. "I had to stay in Vero with Cynthia statement announcing Callan's retire- At the other end of the hospital stay
and Liam, so the Dodgers needed to ment. spectrum, case managers have the
"She was in a coma for 10 days, and bring in someone else to run the fa- "Craig is a community treasure, task of arranging for transitional care
cility in Arizona, and that's what they and I'm happy that he and his family either at home with the help of nurs-
did," Callan said. "They were ready to will continue to enjoy living in Vero ing agencies and Meals on Wheels,
Beach." or in rehab facilities. Now, those case
That's the plan, anyway – for Cal- managers are being assigned to pa-
lan to relax more, play some golf and tients when they come in the door,
spend more time with family, espe- Davis said. “That’s the time you start
cially his son. to think about discharge, not when
Certainly, Callan won't experience they’re ready to leave.”
another year like 1988, when he was
hired to be Dodgertown's director, Davis has decades of experience in
married Cynthia, had a home built in addressing such problems. A senior
Vero Beach and watched the Dodgers director of the national health care
win him a World Series ring. consultancy Alvarez and Marsal, she
And as much satisfaction as he de- was selected by a nine-member search
rived from helping O'Malley bring committee of IRMC officials who
Dodgertown back to life these past came together to find a temporary re-
six years, he admits nothing could ap- placement for retiring CEO Jeff Susi.
proach the thrill of being a member of (IRMC is in merger negotiations with
the Dodger family, where he enjoyed Cleveland Clinic, which would doubt-
friendships with the legendary likes less appoint a CEO of its choosing.)
of guys named Lasorda, Koufax and
Scully. Davis has a master’s in health admin-
But he knows the time has come to istration and B.S. in nursing. She has
pack up those memories and get on served as president and COO of Health
with the rest of his life. South’s imaging division and has been
"I know I was just a small cog in the CEO of a hospital in Framingham,
machine, but I was a part of some- Mass. She has also acted as interim
thing very special – the Dodger way, CEO at several other health systems.
the O'Malley way, doing things and
treating people the right way," Callan Davis began taking a hard look at
said. "This hasn't been a job as much the hospital’s problematic emergency
as it's been a lifestyle. department, which has been plagued
"I couldn't ask for a better career," with unusually long delays for years,
he added. "Now I'm looking forward soon after taking over leadership of
to the next chapter."  the hospital almost three months ago.

Her strategy to improve patient flow
involves metrics at every level. “It’s full
visibility and transparency on the re-
sponsiveness of the lab, radiology, how

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

NEWS

long it takes for a physician to see them physician outsourcing company, to nursing officer, has created a flex-pool have people working two or three ex-
and treat them; how long it takes from take over the staffing of the emergency for the nursing staff so that familiar tra shifts, but they’re willing to do it.
the time they register until the head is department. faces stay on the floor when the crunch And I had much rather have our own
in the bed or their feet are out the door.” times hit, and the hospital doesn’t have staff do it than have somebody else
Thursday, Davis praised the new to resort to hiring contract nurses. that we hired from the outside.”
Six weeks ago, with the approval of doctors, calling them “a wonderful
the hospital’s board of directors, Da- pleasure to have.” “We’ve honestly had to do some in- Even housekeeping has proved a
vis contracted with Emcare, a national centives during the busy period. We
At the same time, LindaWalton, chief CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

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6 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

NEWS

Reducing ER delays out the patient needs to be admitted to be able to go to a skilled facility or “And that was it,” said Habernickel.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 to the hospital, a second wait – often home healthcare,” said Davis. “After that, this thing was non grata.”
much worse – begins. “When we have
critical arena. “That’s one of the big holds in the ER of eight or nine hours, The hospital team is holding “sum- It happened just minutes after the
issues and it was something I noticed it’s only because we’re trying to get a mits,” as Davis called the meetings, artwork was installed outside an Indi-
when I first came in. It just didn’t feel bed emptied,” Davis says. “The beds and has already worked with repre- an River Medical Center waiting room,
like it should,” Davis said. don’t have a chance to get cold before sentatives from United Healthcare to a dream for Habernickel, who wanted
we’ve putting another patient in it.” speed up the approval process. the artwork displayed where it would
Now, staff custodial workers are serve a purpose: distracting and de-
tasked with the most important work – She has called in a group consisting “I think you can see we’re starting lighting people in a stressful situation.
properly cleaning hospital beds – while of representatives from every depart- with ‘A’ and going all the way to ‘Z,’”
contract workers help with common ment to help cure those delays. “We’re Davis told the trustees. “That’s the The offending photo was a shot
areas like lobbies and waiting rooms. taking this apart thread by thread,” reason I have a commitment to you of Habernickel himself, taken by his
she told the District Board trustees at that our changes will be sustainable 13-year-old grandson as the two were
As a result, Davis says quality scores their monthly meeting last week. and you’ll see improvement in our out for a walk. Habernickel, who is in
on environmental services have “ab- services in the ED. his 80s, is impishly grinning beside his
solutely” gone up. “That’s a huge ac- Davis is also talking with represen- own raised middle finger. A nearby
complishment.” tatives from the agencies that pro- “The emergency room is the one sign warning not to feed the squirrels
vide transitional care after patients department that is impacted by all the – the target of Habernickel’s defiant
Beds represent the wrench in the are discharged. Those include home departments,” Davis said. “We’re opti- gesture – is cropped from the shot.
works of emergency treatment. “In health nurses and Meals on Wheels for mistic that if we can solve this in the
the past four months, our hospital patients being discharged to home, busy times, the slower times will be a “I’m offended by this,” said the ex-
has been completely full, including and for other sicker patients, nursing piece of cake. Everyone in the organi- ecutive to Joel Rossmell, one of two
today,” said Davis. “We have had 200 facilities, rehab hospitals, and even zation is excited about the process. No men Habernickel hired to wrangle
patients on average every day come hospice. Her hope is to “form a con- one misses a meeting.”  the three 10-foot by 8-foot panels into
into the emergency department, and tinuum with them, a partnership, so place. After maneuvering through a
there are 41 beds in the ER. Just the that they can help us get patients out.” IRMC tosses large artwork tight stairwell, they installed the plexi-
math tells you where the issue is. We CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 glass panels end to end on a track out-
have to wait for discharges.” Another frequent cause of delay side the new intensive care unit and
is insurance payors, whose approval how a hospital executive stepped out recovery room.
While a triage nurse and a physician is often required before patients can of her office last week and zeroed in
now see a patient immediately, there move into post-acute care. “Often- on one 2-inch by 2-inch slightly risqué Interim hospital CEO Karen Davis
still has to be a bed in the ER for the times, patients are held two or three photo out of the vast wall of images. had helped pick the location, Haber-
patient to be examined. Once an ex- days in the hospital waiting for ap- nickel said. The hope was that the tiny
amination room opens up and it turns proval from the insurance companies images of nature, people and fine art
would help people pass the time as

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 7

NEWS

they waited and worried about friends nor any of several others that could be sive to those who objected to some of for its policy, but a 2010 piece in the
or family being treated nearby. construed as controversial: a squatting the images.” New Yorker says certain topics are off-
dog, a swastika, a sign saying “Jesus is limits there – no images of violence
Habernickel, a Princeton graduate Looking for YOU!” “I suppose they’re kind of nervous or explicit sexuality. “But that doesn’t
who for many years led his father’s about the impending Cleveland thing,” mean that the images [that are allowed]
mail-order clothing business, Ha- It didn’t take long for those images says Habernickel, referring to the cur- aren’t challenging,” the author wrote.
band, has been pursuing his art full- to find their audience, as the executive rent negotiations with the Cleveland
time since retiring to Vero more than and one other passer-by took umbrage, Clinic to take over IRMC. “I wouldn’t want to be the one to
a decade ago. From more traditional warily scanning the tiny tiles in a sort of make that call” as to whether Haber-
works like portraiture he has moved to Where’s Waldo of offensiveness. “In my heart I kind of thought that nickel’s photos were offensive, said Tri-
whimsy, vividly painting coconuts he when Cleveland Clinic saw that thing bus, an artist herself. She liked “Stud-
sets out in his John’s Island front yard Rossmell said a dozen other viewers hanging outside of their waiting rooms ies in Green” so much she kept it up an
at Easter, and carving a 12-foot-tall to- reacted favorably to the artwork dur- that they’d be really excited and inter- extra day or two after the John’s Island
tem pole out of a holly tree. ing the 20 minutes he was there. ested in the art. I expected that a cou- show.
ple of months from now, it might be
“Duke really has become a star,” First thing the next morning, Haber- moved into some new building they’re Even the offended hospital executive
says Janet Tribus, organizer of the well- nickel got a call to pick up his work of going to put up here.” had trouble finding backup, said Ross-
respected John’s Island show for more art. A hospital maintenance crew had mell. “She grabbed another woman
than a decade. “He has a real artist’s already dismantled it and left in on a And who knows but that Cleveland from the hospital just to prove her
mind.” cart in Davis’ office, he said. might have been pleased. Placing art in point. But the other woman just looked
healthcare spaces is a growing move- at it and laughed. She said, ‘I don’t find
Habernickel is a member of the hos- Asked for comment, neither Davis ment, with the Cleveland Clinic per- it offensive at all.’ “
pital’s Eagle Society, donors who over nor the offended executive responded haps its biggest advocate.
a lifetime give more than $10,000. Not directly, nor was the hospital forth- “I don’t know this man. I don’t know
long ago, he also was a patient after coming about a general policy regard- The Clinic formed an “aesthetics what he’s thinking about. But I think
suffering a stroke from which he has ing the art it displays. But an emailed committee” in 1983, followed by a for- it’s funny,” the second woman said,
fully recovered. He even has a souve- statement from the hospital’s market- mal art program in 2006. The 6,300 according to Rossmell.
nir of his stay embedded in “Studies ing person seemed to tread lightly on works in the collection at the main
in Green”: a tight shot of the shower the inference that anything was ac- campus in Cleveland are so significant “Out of 2,400 images, there’s going
drain in his hospital room. tually shocking, and referred only to that docents are on staff to give tours. to be something for you to react to,”
“negative feedback regarding a few of said Rossmell. “So for that woman to
He hadn’t pointed out that shot to the thousands of images.” “Artwork lends comfort, beauty and walk up and go to that picture, in my
Davis when she happily agreed to ex- wit to the environment,” states former mind, that’s your deal, you know?
hibit the work, Habernickel said. She “Knowing that art is subjective and CEO Toby Cosgrove. “Fine art is good
only saw a few sample panels and that we are here to provide care and medicine.” “It was almost like, the shoe fits.
they did not include the finger photo, comfort to people from the commu- That was the funny part about it.”
nity, we felt it important to be respon- It can also be a hard to swallow.
Cleveland didn’t respond to a request CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

8 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

NEWS

IRMC tosses large artwork terest, but when asked, a spokesper- erties broker associate Clark French. “It was a lot of fun to build,” said
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 son for McKee said offensive photos “As soon as the sale closed in Janu- Foglia, prior to the auction. “It was
would have to be swapped out. dream job for a very good client who
When Duke’s wife Gael suggested ary, the owners turned over the keys made timely decisions and is a really
replacing the offending images, they “I could use it for a roof somewhere, and a very generous budget and we’ve good guy. There is nothing else that
debated how they would do it. “We or a sidewalk,” Habernickel jokes. had dozens of workers in there putting large on the Treasure Coast. You would
had other images that we could have “It’s big. There’s no room in anybody’s in 18-hour days, completely redoing have to get into Palm Beach to find
made work,” said Rossmell, “[but] the house for it. But deep in the good part all the finishes and putting in all new something comparable.
hospital took it down before we could of my mind, I think it is soothing, furniture,” French said.
even change anything.” beautiful and very entertaining.” “There are four kitchens, four el-
The revamped house, located at evators – including one commercial
Now, Habernickel has decided his Asked if he was upset by the hospi- 1940 S. A1A in the Estate Section, was grade – and a 25-person movie the-
work of art won’t be changed, no mat- tal’s decision, Habernickel instantly debuted at a party earlier this month ater. The pool is extraordinary. An av-
ter what; an artist shouldn’t bow to shrugged it off. attended by more than 300 potential erage pool is 450 square feet. That one
censorship. But Rossmell has come up buyers and influence brokers, accord- is 10 times as large, with a surface area
with a possible solution: Post-it notes, “Nah. You can’t enrage me. Come ing to French. of 4,500 square feet and a capacity of
stuck to the offending tiles, declaring on. Get a life,” he said. 186,000 gallons.”
“This offended so-and-so.” Hosted by Jonathan Goldsmith,
“They don’t want it. I understand who played “The Most Interesting French says the movie theater has a
When Habernickel got his artwork their point of view, but I’m not going Man in the World” in Dos Equis beer half-million-dollar projection system
home, he noticed there was a minor to change it. It’s my art,” he declared. commercials for 10 years, the party and cost well over a million in total
but notable addition – and it wasn’t a “I wouldn’t take out one image any featured luxury product displays by and that the pool is “the largest in In-
Post-it note. On a photo of a Renais- more than Rodin would say OK if Mercedes Benz and Rolex, along with dian River County.”
sance-era nude, someone had penned somebody at the Metropolitan Muse- a premium tequila bar serving Astral
in two dots for nipples. um who doesn’t like big boobs were to tequila, the brand Goldsmith now When he decided to sell the prop-
say, ‘Hey Rodin, would you reduce the represents. erty, McGuire listed it for $45 million
“That photo was way up high,” said size of these?’”  with French and his partners Cindy
Rossmell. “Someone must have done Invitations went to selected people O’Dare and Richard Boga to set a
it while it was on the cart.” Biggest house back on market in the Mercedes, Rolex and Premier nominal value, but did not aim for a
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Estate Properties databases and to the traditional sale.
The dots came off; no harm, no foul. owners of $10-million-and-up homes
So far, though, Habernickel hasn’t bought the property put “several mil- between Vero and South Florida. Instead the home was put up for
been able to get a commitment from lion dollars” into redecorating and auction by Concierge Auctions, a lux-
another organization to hang the refurbishing the 40,800-square-foot “There are 1,600 homes between ury property sales company that auc-
piece. He has talked to the Environ- estate in hopes of flipping it at a prof- here and Miami with a tax-assessed tioned six homes in Vero in 2017.
mental Learning Center and McKee it, according to Premier Estate Prop- value of $10 million or more and all of
Botanical Garden; both showed in- those people got invitations,” French Nine bidders, from China, Switzer-
said. land, the U.K. and the United States,
participated in the 26-hour, online,
As part of a worldwide marketing no-reserve auction, but the high bid
campaign, the estate is being adver- was only $17.5 million, about half
tised on the front page of the Palm what McGuire is reported to have
Beach Daily News, aka The Shiny spent on the estate. With a 12 percent
Sheet, and will be one of handful of buyer’s premium added on to com-
luxury properties featured in the cata- pensate the brokers and auction com-
logue for Christie’s upcoming sale of pany, the total amount paid was $19.6
the Peggy and David Rockefeller art million.
collection, which will be auctioned off
in May for an estimated $1.5 billion “We were hoping for more,” Ka-
with the proceeds going to charity. tie Lawless, a business development
manager with Concierge Auctions,
“Premier is a member of the Chris- said at the time.
tie’s network and Christie’s reps came
and looked at the house and decided While she and McGuire may have
to include it in the program, out of all been disappointed by the sale price,
the thousands of luxury properties however, it opened the door for some
marketed by Christie’s International serious arbitrage.
Real Estate,” French said. “That is a
real validation of how exceptional the At the price it went for, the deal was
property is. The house is not being “too good an opportunity to pass up”
auctioned, but buyers with the means for the investment group that bought
to participate in the art sale will see it.” the property.

Situated on a 7-acre parcel with 315 French declined to identify any
linear feet of Atlantic Ocean frontage, members of the investment group, a
the 18-bedroom, 27-bath house was limited liability company called Sun-
custom built for Robert Allen Mc- rise Design.
Guire Jr. by Joe Foglia of Foglia Cus-
tom Homes and Vic Lombardi of JV The LLC’s principle address is 10
Enterprises, two leading local builder/ Ocean Lane in Indian River Shores,
developers who have partnered on a according to state records. Dennis
number of projects. Stattman, who is listed as the Autho-
rized Member of Sunrise Design, pur-
Constructed with luxury finishes chased the Ocean Lane property at a
and the latest smart-home technol- Concierge Auction last March for $10
ogy over a period of two years and million.
completed in 2015, the main house
and guest houses encompass 27,588 Even though the McGuire house
square feet of air-conditioned living was new and had not been lived in for
space and nearly 41,000 square feet more than a year or two, the investors
under roof. believed the finishes and décor, which
were dark and lacked sophistication
in some instances, were a mismatch

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 9

NEWS

with the underlying quality of the highlight its Côte d'Azur architectural on its approximately $22 million in- lion may well represent the property’s
building and land and a drag on the intent and make it more appealing to vestment. realistic value.
value of the property. high-end buyers.
While the original $45 million list Mansionquest.com, a website that
Clark French’s wife, Lu French, and If the strategy is successful, and price was unrealistic in the opinion evaluates luxury properties in Florida,
Clive Daniels Furnishings collaborat- the house sells in the next year close of Vero brokers and builders, and the ranks the 1940 S. A1A estate as the most
ed to redecorate and refine the interi- to asking, the investment group $19.6 auction sale price was a bargain, valuable in Indian River County, with a
or, making it lighter and more chic, to stands to make a substantial profit the current asking price of $29.9 mil- just value of $28,869,142 in 2016. 

Harbor Branch President of Communications Cara and the University that took over Har- institute’s $40 million endowment and
Perry. bor Branch Oceanographic Institute continues to maintain separate over-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 11 year ago. sight of the endowment and funds
Florida Atlantic is seeking more re- generated by the specialty “Save Our
in 2013, with an unpopular interim search partnerships with private cor- Harbor Branch, founded in 1971 by Seas” license plate program created by
executive director overseeing the de- porations and Post has been tapped to J. Seward Johnson, Sr. and famed In- former Harbor Branch marine mam-
cline of its marine mammal rescue lead the effort, Perry said. ventor Edwin A. Link, flourished for mal program leader Steve McCulloch
and research program, and a lawsuit several decades and became one of to fund research at Harbor Branch
filed by the Harbor Branch Founda- “Dr. Post is uniquely qualified for the top oceanographic research in- prior to the FAU takeover.
tion against FAU. this position and was chosen specifi- stitutes in the world, pioneering deep
cally by the Vice President for Research, sea expeditions in submersibles, small In the 11 years since the merger, the
When Post, a renowned oceanog- Dr. Daniel Flynn,” Perry added, citing submarines conceived and created foundation increased the endowment
rapher with a blue chip career, was Post’s “international connections.” by Link. After Johnson died, though, from $40 million to over $70 million
hired to lead the Institute in Novem- his heirs did not continue the kind and funded many research projects.
ber 2016, many viewed it as a new Born in the Netherlands, Post got of financial support he had provided
beginning and hoped for smoother his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees and Harbor Branch struggled to stay Then, a year ago, in reaction by a
sailing going forward. from the University of Amsterdam afloat, selling off research ships and move by FAU, the foundation brought
and then spent a year in Japan as a cutting programs. suit against the university, claiming it
Now, though, Post is gone, replaced Brookhaven Institute intern. Other was trying to illegally take over the en-
by James Sullivan, Ph.D., who was ap- post-doctoral studies were in Israel, As a means of survival, Harbor dowment funds and fire the founda-
pointed interim director last week. at Hebrew University, University of Branch agreed to an FAU takeover in tion staff.
Chicago, Massachusetts Institute of 2007, turning over $92 million, mostly
A principal Investigator and re- Technology and University of Rhode in land and buildings, to the univer- The case went to mediation Decem-
search professor for the last three Island. He was also worked for the fed- sity, essentially giving the institute to ber 2017. On March 14, 2018, media-
years, Sullivan is a “rising star,” accord- eral government as program director the Florida Atlantic. tion was declared at an impasse and
ing to university insiders. His concen- at the Division of Ocean Sciences for litigation is continuing, according to
tration on harmful algae blooms in the the National Science Foundation. As part of the deal, an independent Katha Kissman, president and CEO of
Indian River Lagoon and the applied Harbor Branch Foundation kept the the foundation. 
science and solutions that may come In his new position, Post will “help
from the research have gained notice. the Division of Research facilitate
collaborative research with small,
Prior to joining Harbor Branch, Sul- medium and large corporations,”
livan earned his master’s and doctor- Perry said. “He will facilitate memo-
ate in biological oceanography from randums of understanding and work-
the University of Rhode Island, be- ing agreements with international
coming research faculty at its Gradu- universities that share FAU’s common
ate School of Oceanography as well research interests.”
as a Senior Oceanographer for the
private company, Sea-Bird Scientific Post will concentrate on finding cor-
WET Labs Inc., which manufactures porations interested in FAU’s “pillars
tools for measuring and monitoring of research,” the Institute for Healthy
ocean activity. Aging & Lifespan Studies, the FAU
Brain Institute, the Institute for Sens-
Post, meanwhile, has assumed a ing & Embedded Network Systems En-
new title that is a bit of mouthful: “As- gineering and the FAU Harbor Branch
sociate Vice President for Corporate Oceanographic Institute.
and International University Rela-
tions within the Division of Research The staff shakeup comes during a
[at FAU],” according to Assistant Vice litigious interval between the inde-
pendent Harbor Branch Foundation

10 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

NEWS

Weapons indictment added to drug charges against Vero doctor

BY BETH WALTON with the DEA in exchange for consid- revolver and a 12-gauge pump-action community. Their Oct. 13 complaint
Staff Writer eration of cooperation at sentencing, shotgun. describes a physician selling and at-
court documents note. One secretly tempting to manufacture counterfeit
Vero Beach spine surgeon Johnny recorded multiple conversations with If convicted, Benjamin will be re- opioid drugs for profit with little re-
Benjamin was indicted a second time Benjamin to help investigators gather quired to forfeit the guns to the Unit- gard for human life or the law.
by a federal grand jury this month evidence. ed States government.
as prosecutors added an additional The filing begins with one of the
weapons charge to the doctor’s litany Bond for both men was set at Benjamin’s attorneys, Larry Donald confidential informants telling Ben-
of drug charges. $250,000 each last week. Murrell in West Palm Beach and An- jamin that it was the doctor’s pills
drew Metcalf in Vero Beach, did not that led to the Palm Beach woman’s
Two codefendants, the informants Benjamin, 52, remains in federal respond to a request for comment. Sept. 1 overdose. According to the
who cooperated with the U.S. Drug custody as he awaits trial. The doc- complaint, Benjamin allegedly re-
Enforcement Agency as it investigat- tor’s petition against the warden of Murrell pleaded for Benjamin’s pre- sponded “that she was just another
ed Benjamin, were named for the first a Miami federal detention center for trial release at the October hearing. ‘page in a large stack,’ and did not
time and indicted on multiple drug unconstitutional confinement was Friends and family have come to the seem too concerned.”
charges. dismissed March 14. A federal magis- courtroom from all over the country
trate denied him bond at an October to vouch for him, he said at the time. Later, the two talked about Benja-
Zachary Steward and Keven George detention hearing. min purchasing “trees” and “blues,”
Slater were charged with one count The guns in his house were legal code words for marijuana and oxy-
of conspiring with Benjamin in Palm It was at that hearing in the West and stored in a locked case. The ones codone, from the dealer. The surgeon
Beach County to possess and distrib- Palm Beach courthouse that As- in his car were in a holster and the said he wanted five racks, or 5,000
ute a controlled substance resulting sistant United States Attorney John doctor holds a concealed carry per- pills, to start, authorities claim. A
in death; one count of distribution McMillan said Benjamin had “guns mit, the attorney added. drug pick-up was arranged on a re-
there during the fall of 2016; and an galore” in his barrier island residence corded line.
additional count for illegal distribu- and car. Benjamin, whose medical license
tion of a controlled substance in In- is intact, is a registered controlled- When the dealer warned Benja-
dian River County as early as January The new indictment accuses Benja- substance prescriber in Indian River min the pills might be dangerous, the
of that year. min of possessing at least 14 firearms County and holds staff privileges at doctor said he would notify his buy-
to further a drug trafficking crime. It the Indian River Medical Center, ac- ers up north, according to the federal
Each defendant faces 20 years to goes into no further detail about how cording to the Florida Department complaint.
life in prison if convicted. the weapons were used. of Health. There are no public com-
plaints on his file. “Believe me, I’ll tell them, they will
The two informants agreed to work The doctor, prosecutors say, had a be happy to hear that,” the doctor al-
variety of semi-automatic pistols, a The surgeon has been incarcer- legedly responded. “But, once again,
ated since Oct. 12 when Indian River that’s the reason we’re running it
County Sheriff’s Office deputies ar- the way we’re running it. Because at
rested him after he allegedly became some point someone is going to have
suspicious of one of the informants a problem, someone is going to do
and stole a cellphone during a heated something stupid and when it does it
exchange at the doctor’s Pro Spine needs to be so (expletive) far away.”
Center office.
Federal agents watched Benjamin
The DEA had been investigating meet the undercover dealer behind
Benjamin for more than a year before the Pro Spine Center for the transfer
his arrest. Agents were looking into a of the pills. The next day they followed
2016 Palm Beach overdose death and Benjamin to the Melbourne airport
wanted to know how the deceased where he was caught going through
woman got the pills that killed her. security with thousands of blue tab-
lets and a ticket to Philadelphia. Ben-
They tracked down her dealer, and jamin told officials he needed the
then found that person’s supplier, us- medication for his neck cancer.
ing unique markings etched into the
tablets left behind at the crime scene. Airport security seized the tablets
Once caught, the accused started but allowed Benjamin to go on his way.
working with agents in hopes they
would receive lighter sentences for A few days later, during a final
cooperating. meeting between Benjamin and one
of the informants, something went
The federal government has come wrong with the audio recording de-
down hard on defendants charged vice, investigators note.
with drug crimes in recent years, es-
pecially those in the medical profes- The doctor allegedly typed on his
sion it believes are contributing to computer that he had been stopped
the country’s opioid epidemic. by airport police, and wanted to
know if his associate was responsible,
Fentanyl, one of the drugs Benja- according to court records.
min is accused of distributing, is of-
ten used as a cutting agent in both The informant told investigators
illegal street drugs like heroin and that Benjamin threatened him with
prescription painkillers. Misuse and a throat-slitting gesture before say-
over prescription of the super-potent ing “to not run and hide because they
drug has become a serious problem will just come after you, your mom,
in the United States, resulting in tens your sister and your kids.”
of thousands of deaths.
He then claimed Benjamin stole his
Investigators paint a picture of Ben- phone. The case is set to go to trial in
jamin that starkly counters the sur- April. 
geon’s reputation in the Vero Beach

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 11

NEWS

2 nursing aides arrested for defrauding John’s Island couple

BY BETH WALTON quired reimbursement, he explained. tives, Kornicks said she terminated the “This was a very complex case from
She thought Shepherd and McGee company’s relationship with the de- the very beginning,” he said. Shores of-
Staff Writer were “hard working girls and didn’t fendants and encouraged the family to ficers partnered with family members,
have that much money so she would report their suspicions to the Florida attorneys, accountants and doctors
Police arrested a pair of home pay them immediately,” Barrett writes. Department of Health. to build the case, Rosell added. “If it
healthcare aides last week claiming wasn’t for their cooperation, we might
they defrauded a John’s Island couple The Hon. Joe Wild set a $45,000 bond Staff at the Indian River Shores De- not have been able to secure these ar-
and spent more than $500,000 of their for each defendant – $15,000 for each partment of Public Safety began their rest warrants.”
elderly clients’ money on personal ex- criminal charge. He also issued an or- investigation in December, Rosell said.
penses and luxury goods, including a der that McGee and Shepherd not con- A team of two detectives and an officer Indian River Shores residents who
Bahamian cruise, a stay at the Plaza tact the surviving victim in the case. quickly determined the case was not suspect they might be victim of fraud
Hotel in New York City and a five-day just alleged fraud but also exploitation or wrongdoing should contact police
Rolls Royce Ghost rental priced at In order to post bond, each woman of the elderly. immediately, Rosell said. 
more than $900 a day. must prove payment isn’t from an il-
licit source, the judge told defense at- Ryan Weaver Insurance Inc. is a locally owned
Both victims suffered from dementia torneys Andrew Metcalf and Lydia Pit- and operated independent agency. Located in the
and cognitive impairment and one of taway. The allegation is that they have CenterState Bank Building, just off of Miracle Mile
them passed away during the early stag- stolen a lot of money. They can’t use and across from Classic Car Wash in Vero Beach.
es of the investigation, adding urgency that to bond out, Wild said.
to the detectives’ work, Indian River Serving Vero Beach for over 10 years!
Shores Police Chief Rich Rosell said. Both defendants wore handcuffs All lines of commercial or personal insurance available.
and orange jail-issued jumpsuits as
Officers at the Shores Public Safety they appeared before the court via vid- Contact any one of our professional agents for a quote!
Department didn’t stop working on eo feed. Family members gathered in
behalf of the victims when the sus- the gallery of the courtroom to hear the Melissa and Ryan Weaver, 855 21st Street
pects were behind bars, Rosell added. charges read out loud. Neither woman Agency Owners CenterState Bank Building
The lead detective on the case went to has a criminal history.
ask credit card companies to forgive 2nd Floor – Vero Beach
the stolen debt. He was able to get Ci- Shepherd, who has since posted
tibank and American Express to for- bond, said she understood the counts (772) 567-4930
give over $400,000 in fraudulent debt. against her. Her lawyer told the judge
she had been cooperating with inves- [email protected]
Police allege Chiquita McGee, 29, tigators and posed no flight risk. rweaverinsurance.com
and Sophia (Brown) Shepherd, 30,
both of Vero Beach, used their position The defendant expressed her inno-
as caregivers to take advantage of their cence during a January interview with
elderly and disabled clients. police, court documents note. Before
her lawyer advised her to end the con-
The two made their first appearance versation, she claimed she had emails
in court via a video feed from the Indian from the family authorizing the use of
River County Jail March 14. They face their credit cards.
charges of exploitation of the elderly,
organized fraud and scheme to defraud At the time, she was wearing a yel-
an organization. If convicted, they could low diamond ring that matched one of
spend up to 60 years in prison. the suspected fraudulent purchases,
Detective Barrett notes.
The women, certified nursing assis-
tants who worked on a contract basis McGee, who is 7-months pregnant,
for Indian River Home Care, convinced remained in jail Friday. She sat in a
their patients, a husband and wife, to wheelchair during her first appearance
let them to open credit cards in their in court and said she has two children
names, but under the victims’ ac- at home who need their mother. She
counts, reports the Indian River Shores also said the pregnancy is high-risk for
Public Safety Department. medical complications, and that her
next prenatal appointment is at the
In addition to purchasing luxury car end of the month.
rentals and nautical vacations, their
spending spree included cosmetic den- Both women have been fired from
tal work, plastic surgery, the purchase their jobs.
of high-end jewelry and clothing, a
car engine and hotel stays throughout “This is a very serious issue,” said
Florida, police allege. Authorities also Margot Kornicks, owner of Indian Riv-
claim the two fraudulently obtained er Health Care. “It’s very sad that it ever
checks from the victims. happens.”

During interviews with police, the Kornicks’ company contracts with cer-
wife said she didn’t remember authoriz- tified nursing assistants and coordinates
ing such extravagant expenses. “[She] scheduling their work for its clients.
believed the suspects were buying her
husband pants and shirts and things All CNAs go through a background
like that,” wrote Detective Ken Barrett check before entering into an agree-
in an arrest affidavit filed with the court. ment with Indian River Health Care,
as required by the state, Kornicks ex-
She trusted the nurse aides were plained. The agency also listens to its
purchasing supplies the couple needed clients’ concerns and needs, she said.
with their own personal funds and re-
After family members expressed
concern last fall that appropriate care
wasn’t being provided to their rela-

12 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

NEWS

FMPA vote letting Vero exit statewide power co-op imminent

BY LISA ZAHNER escape had been made and seconded, projects, along with Vero Beach, have FPL. In exchange for lettingVero out, the
Staff Writer but then electric co-op members got already approved the Vero sale and exit FMPA is set to receive $108 million from
nervous about not having enough from the electric business in concept. the utility sale proceeds. FMPA officials
By the time Vero Beach 32963 hits time to review four complex resolu- Over the past five months, FMPA offi- have said the organization will use the
mailboxes this week, the Florida Mu- tions presented to them only hours cials traveled the state educating city cash infusion to get out of its last re-
nicipal Power Agency should have al- prior to the meeting in Orlando. officials about the details of the exit maining interest-rate swaps, which got
ready voted to allow the City of Vero agreement and each governing board the co-op into hot water for risky invest-
Beach to exit the statewide electric co- So the critical vote needed before the has given the formal go-ahead for that ment practices during an operational
op – should being the operative word. city closes on its $185 million sale of the city’s designee to approve the deal. audit published by the Florida Auditor
Vero Beach electric utility to Florida Pow- General’s Office in January 2015.
The vote was scheduled to happen er & Light was tabled for one week. Vero must exit its membership in the
last Thursday morning (March 15), and co-op and its long-term legal entangle- Vero and a handful of allies voted to
a motion to approve the long-awaited The 19 member cities that have ments in order to close the sale with go forward with approving the resolu-
ownership stakes in FMPA’s power tions last Thursday, but about three-
quarters of the members voted to give
board members more time to dig into
the documents and further discuss the
four resolutions this past Wednesday,
March 21, in a previously scheduled
telephone-only board meeting. FMPA
board members routinely participate
and vote by telephone, since the 31
member cities are strewn across the
state from Key West to the Panhandle.

One ripple effect of FMPA tabling the
vote is that a meeting with FPL, FMPA
and Vero’s transactional attorney, Nat
Doliner, that was scheduled for this
past Tuesday during the City Council
meeting, won’t happen until later.

But the delay shouldn’t move the tar-
get closing date of Oct. 1 off track, City
Manager Jim O’Connor said.

Last week a somewhat misleading
possible closing date of July 1 appeared
on a timeline put out by FMPA, but that
date simply reflects a range put forth by
FPL to determine how a swifter conclu-
sion might affect the cash needed to sat-
isfy commitments to all parties at closing.

O’Connor also said he was pleased
the transaction was tentatively set to
be heard before the Florida Public Ser-
vice Commission in late April. “That’s
good; that means they completed the
audit they were conducting and that it
went well,” he said.

The PSC must vote to approve two
matters related to the Vero electric
sale. The Commission’s primary job is
to ensure the transaction is equitable –
not only to Vero’s customers, who will
after the closing be charged lower FPL
rates for the electricity they use, but
also to FPL’s existing 4.9 million cus-
tomers across Florida.

PSC approval of the acquisition
means that the sale price of $185 mil-
lion, plus other consideration, will not
raise the rates of FPL’s customer base.

The second matter the PSC must
vote on is to redraw the electric territo-
ry maps to connect Vero Beach proper,
the southern portion of the Town of
Indian River Shores and the pockets of
unincorporated Indian River County
now served by Vero Electric with FPL’s
existing territory. 

FAIR TO SIZZLIN’! FIREFIGHTERS’
FETE BLAZES TRAIL OF FUN P. 22

14 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

Floral and hearty: ‘Art in Bloom’ flaunts flower power

Dottie Currie and Kathy Faber. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Best in Show Floral Designers: Liz Farnsworth and Susan Pyles PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
Artwork: Robert Natkin, “Bath Apollo I.” Ann Webber and Lee LaPointe.

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF the quality of the exhibits. It is an art a luncheon co-chaired by Susan they’ll live with you; you’ll be happy.”
Staff Writer form,” added LaPointe. Bouma, Dottie Currie and Dhuanne This year’s designers were Ann
Tansill, and catered by Elizabeth D.
A sold-out crowd of 500 antho- Participation in the exhibition is Kennedy and Co., dining in two seat- Boyd, Midge Dunn, Liz Farnsworth,
philes scrutinized one stunning ar- by invitation, with designers chal- ings to accommodate everyone, at Inge Holland, Ann Jones, Barbara
rangement after another at the Vero lenged to create floral arrangements tables set with a luscious lemon dé- Kaytes, Lee LaPointe, Suzanne Mal-
Beach Museum of Art’s annual Art inspired by art selected from pieces cor. lory, Betty McCarthy, Sharie Mor-
in Bloom Luncheon, which this year in the museum’s permanent collec- timer, Nancy Murray, Helena Pear-
featured Brazilian-born floral art- tion and special exhibitions. Guests Called “the most innovative of the son, Susan Pyles, Pinkie Roe, Elaine
ist Ronaldo Maia, owner of Ronaldo contemplated the interpretive pair- super flower designers” by the New Sigler, Ann Webber, Arun Wijetilleke
Maia Flowers on Park Avenue in New ings before casting their votes for fa- York Times, Maia charmed attendees and Nancy Wolcott.
York City. vorites in each of five categories. as he peppered them with tidbits of
floral wisdom, such as: clean water, Winning entries and artwork inter-
“We’re just two good friends who “I love seeing how many wonder- the stem must always touch the bot- preted: Best in Show: Liz Farnsworth
like playing with flowers. It’s such a ful ideas come from people’s minds,” tom, leaves should never be inside and Susan Pyles, “Bath Apollo I” by
happy occasion; people look forward said Michele Witt, who returns each the water, and follow the handle. Robert Natkin; Best Interpretation:
to it every year,” said Ann Webber, ex- year, drawn to the creativity. Ann Boyd, “Pepper Pot from Camp-
hibition co-chair with Lee LaPointe. “For me, arrangement is a mar- bell Soup I” by Andy Warhol; Best
“We have more arrangements than “The arrangements stand alone as riage between vases and flowers. Liv- Use of Color: Arun Wijetilleke, “Un-
we’ve ever had before. We have 16 ar- art, but the art itself is the jumping ing with flowers, you learn what they titled” by Conrad Marca-Relli; Best
rangements and the caliber just gets off point,” said designer Barb Kaytes. need. You must love them before they Use of Texture: Pinkie Roe, “Untitled
better every year. The interpreta- “It’s challenging, but at least it gives love you back,” shared Maia, admon- (landscape)” by Jacques Enguerrad
tions have been excessively fine.” you the parameters to work within or ishing everyone to not show off. “Add Gourge; and Curator’s Choice Award:
to bust out of.” flowers to your home for your peace Lee LaPointe, “Sport Fishing, Mazat-
“People respond so well because of of mind and joy. Live with them and lan, Mexico” by Paul Outerbridge. 
After viewing the gorgeous ar-
rangements, guests settled in for



16 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 Mary Elzemeyer, Ellen Carter and Susan Kamer. Winnie Mortenson, Jessica Katchen and Barb Kaytes.
Helen Getz, Dhuanne Tansill and Margaret Bragg.

Best use of Color Floral Designer: Arun Wijetilleke
Artwork: Conrad Marca-Relli, “Untitled.”

Brooke Megrue, Lucinda Gedeon, Ann Jones and Joan Hoben.

Laura Penfield, Ann Webber, Carol Coxhead and Teresa Winslow.

Kay Hammond, Alix Clemente, Sue Roberts and Molly Hurley.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 17

PEOPLE

Kate Graham and Suzi Locke. Charlotte Stifel, Brady Roberts and Laura McDermott. Sally Spilman and Matilde Sorensen.

Emmy Dunbar with Tuny Hill. Best Interpretation Floral Designer: Ann Boyd Heidi Rose and Carol Kanarek.
Artwork: Andy Warhol, “Pepper Pot from Campbell Soup I.”

Justine Kovacs and Cathy Filusch.

Michele Witt and Susan McCord.

18 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

B4 and laughter: Ladies have blast at Flamingo Bingo

Claire Foceri, Alla Kramer, Brenda Lloyd and Susan Clay. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

BY MARY SCHENKEL Arriving guests, many sporting out-
Staff Writer fits featuring the picturesque pink
bird, sipped on Flamingo Stingers – a
Flamingos are social, loyal and un- tasty champagne and pink lemonade
deniably fashionable, not unlike the concoction – while perusing enticing
more than 170 women who gathered silent-auction packages and purchas-
at the Oak Harbor Club last Wednes- ing raffle tickets for a ‘Flock of Florida
day for a Let’s Flamingle-themed Fun’ package in Orlando.
Bingo Luncheon to benefit the Senior
Resource Association. “Elton John would be proud of me.
They say if you’re going to go with a

Sara Dameron, Karen Deigl and Pud Lawrence.

theme, you should go all the way!” gos Purse Game. As Lawrence called
said the always upbeat Anna Valen- out a list of quirky items based – very
cia Tillery with a laugh, as she greeted loosely based – on things a woman
the arrivals. Tillery, who served as the might have in her purse for a trip to
event’s all-important Bingo caller, the Everglades, women rummaged in
sported festive rose-colored flamingo their bags to win prizes donated by lo-
glasses. cal businesses.

“This special event gets more excit- And then, their colorful bingo daub-
ing every year,” said SRA President/ ers at the ready, the good-naturedly
CEO Karen Deigl, welcoming every- competitive ladies (and a few brave
one to the 13th annual luncheon be- men) got down to business – peering
fore thanking sponsors, committee intently over their bingo cards. The
members and board members. “We quiet concentration was broken only
appreciate our loyal attendees and as gleeful shouts of ‘Bingo!’ rang out,
welcome all you newcomers, too.” the winners proudly waving their
game-cards to have them verified by
Organizers hoped to raise $40,000 committee members.
to support the organization’s Adult
Day Care facilities in Vero Beach and “I think that the event was wonder-
Sebastian, and the Meals on Wheels ful,” said Ben Earman, SRA marketing
programs, all of which have seen an & events manager. “It was just a great
increase in clientele and need. fun afternoon for everybody there.”

“Because of your participation, The nonprofit also provides Emer-
scores of vulnerable seniors in Indian gency Meals on Wheels and Social
River County will receive a hot, nutri- Congregate Meals, and provides
tious meal tomorrow along with a visit transportation through the pub-
from our friendly volunteers,” said lic transit GoLine and door-to-door
Deigl. “Because of you, more fami- transportation for eligible riders
lies and caregivers will have a place through the Community Coach. Their
to take their loved ones who need su- 74-member Silver Tones Chorus per-
pervised care in a safe and welcoming forms three concerts each season; the
environment during the day.” Spring Concert, 7 p.m. Thursday April
19 at the First Presbyterian Church,
Guests enjoyed a delicious quiche is The Three B’s: Beatles, BeeGees &
and salad luncheon sitting at tables Beach Boys.
with adorable flamingo-topped cen-
terpieces, before Pud Lawrence pre- For more information, visit seniorre-
sided over a Flamboyance of Flamin- sourceassociation.org. 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 19

PEOPLE

Back: Liz Earman, Ben Earman and Kelly Clemenzi. Mary Beth McDonald, Dawn Content, Sandra Ames and Helen Post.
Front: Anna Valencia Tillery, Angela Bosman, Eileen O’Donnell and Lisa Harvey

Lucia Bailey, Jeanine Harris and Bobbi Smick. Carmen Stork, Maggie Foreman and April Dooley. PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
Cheryl Roseland, Leslie Mather-Jones and Brittany Banack.

Caitlin Rice, Nick Ellis, Tonya Woodworth, Carrie Adams, Nicki Walker and Jordan Wassell.

20 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 Kneli Spencer, Theresa Vazquez, George Watson and Debbie Seagrave.
Kathie Pierce, Dawn Michael and Paula Weiss.

Joanna Meyer, Mary Lewisy and Barbara Neubarth.

Eva Gurley and Karen Schievelbein. Georgia Irish and Amy Selby. Elke Fetterolf and Ginger Smith.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 21

PEOPLE

Joanne Battaglini and Denise Battaglini. Wanda Lincoln and Martha Redner. Liz White and Nikki Parris.

Marty Stinson and Debbye Mack.

Carol Fischman and Carol Kanarek.
Charlotte Terry and Linda Currie.

22 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

Fair to sizzlin’! Firefighters’ fete blazes trail of fun

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF
Staff Writer

The 38th annual Firefighters’ In- “Chief” Neal Snyder educates festival goers with his Firefighter Training Show PHOTOS: GORDON RADFORD
dian River County Fair was ablaze
with fun the past couple of weeks, the craft, baked good and canning ricultural endeavors through the 4-H with the 4-H for six years, started with
with children of all ages wandering competitions. Club. swine and this year entered a steer,
about the fairgrounds in wide-eyed breed-stock, goats, a citrus tree, rabbit
wonder. Since 1980 the local event “The educational show teaches “The fair is the culminating event and a cavy. The 11th-grader admitted
has provided a venue for wholesome fire safety and what to do in case of for 4-H participants,” explained Dar- record keeping for that many animals
family entertainment while creating fire,” said Steve Graul, assistant fair ren Cole, 4-H program director. “They was a lot to keep up with, but worth it.
a platform for local youth to show- manager. “We’ve added beer and show their livestock and compete in
case their talents, agriculture and wine and increased our musical en- judging and competitions after the “I was very shy,” said Flynt. “Through
livestock. tertainment. Tracy Lawrence was a year-long process of record keeping 4-H my leadership abilities and social
really big hit. It was sold out.” and data gathering.” skills have grown. We’re really one big
Tantalizing smells drew crowds family.”
down the runway as carnies called “We’re already in the process of Members compete in a variety of
out to entice passers-by to try their talking to the county about expand- competitions, including citrus trees, Each year fair proceeds are dis-
luck at bursting balloons and shoot- ing the stage and entertainment area baking, barbecue, shooting and whip bursed to help local burn victims
ing out bullseyes – all with the prom- next year. No matter what the econo- cracking. They also raise and show with their bills. To promote the
ise of giant stuffed animals. my people will still spend money on swine, rabbits, cavy, breed-stock, poul- missions of other local nonprofits
entertainment,” added Wayne How- try, goats and steer; selling their live- the fair also hosted a blood drive for
From atop the Ferris wheel, cou- ard, general manager of the fair. stock at auction on the last day of the One Blood, a food drive for United
ples snuggled as they circled in the fair. Against Poverty and a clothing drive
chilly night air and the bird’s-eye The Firefighters’ Fair has a long- for the Salvation Army. 
view of the fairgrounds gave chil- standing history of promoting ag- Abigail Flynt, who has been involved
dren the chance to map out strate-
gies to hit their favorite rides such as
the Zipper, bumper cars and spin-
ning teacups.

To keep things interesting, the
firefighters bring in new perfor-
mance shows each year. This time
the Nerveless Nocks had audiences
on the edge of their seats, watching
as motorcyclists raced around in the
Globe of Death, an 18-foot-tall steel
ball cage.

Another big draw on the strip is al-
ways the Firefighter Training Show.
Other fair favorites included the Old
Florida Bonsai demonstration and

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 23

PEOPLE

PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 24

Xander Dobie.

Colton and Melinda Judson. Nellie Gonzalez, Theresa Cruce and Edward Lewis.

24 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 Wayne Howard, Firefighter’s Fair general manager, and Steve Graul, assistant fair manager.

Gina Ianni and Sailor. Victoria Wooten and Elivs. Abigail Flynt and Auggie.

PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
Will Barkey, Ryan Patterson and Hunter Troska.



26 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 24 4-H Club Exhibitors. PHOTOS: MARY SCHENKEL
Kaylee Ward, Shelly Pickerill, Stacy Gabbard, daughter Avery Gabbard and Evan English.

Tiffany Tripson with son Will Tripson grooming Dale Brisby. Nora Smith (front) with Savannah Levering, Joseph Bradley and Natalie Bradley. Haylei and Amanda Emanuel.

Savannah Coley and Josh Dailey.

Landon Bourdette with his prize-winning Ameraucana.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 27

PEOPLE

Vero gets its Irish up for St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Walt Schubert. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE ‘St Patrick’ John Michael Matthews at the OBA. Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s
Day – or so it seemed as Veroites
donned their most festive green
for the 15th annual St. Patrick’s
Day Parade last Saturday morn-
ing, presented by the Oceanside
Business Association. Green-
clad fans lined the Ocean Drive
parade route from Flamevine
to Azalea Lane, watching and
cheering as friends and family
members showed their Celtic
and community. Led by jew-
eler John Michael Matthews as
St. Patrick himself, the patron
saint of Ireland, the enthusi-
astic parade participants in-
cluded school, church and civic
groups, lots of talented young
twirlers, law enforcement per-
sonnel, and members of the An-
cient Order of Hibernians, the
country’s oldest Irish Catholic
Fraternal Organization. 

PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

28 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 27 Dave and Terry Paddock. Dee and John Grossweiler.
Brooke Billings and Gale Billings.

Barbara and Rick King with Matthew and Sara Gent.

Sarah and Brady Whitelock. Rich and Pat Hunter with Babe.

Kerry Eble and Annie Jones. Kathy Edwards.



30 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

Raising lots of green at St. Pat’s Day run and shindig

BY KERRY FIRTH
Correspondent

The luck of the Irish was with the The Bobby Owens Band. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE
Mental Health Association of Indian
River County at two St. Patrick’s Day and crisis intervention help.
events to raise funds for its Walk-In & “We also operate some drop-in
Counseling Center. Saturday evening
featured a festive Shamrock Shindig centers to provide a supportive envi-
After-Party at the newly remodeled ronment for people struggling with
Grand Harbor Beach Club. mental health conditions,” he added.
“These centers are run by peers in re-
Roughly 100 partygoers, colorfully covery and are open seven days a week,
clad in multiple shades of green, en- 365 days a year.”
joyed leprechaun plates of food paired
with local Florida craft beers and wine. Brugnoli took a moment to talk
The Bobby Owens band played pool- about the recent Whole Health initia-
side, enticing guests to get up out of tive introduced by the MHA last year.
their seats and dance under the stars In an effort to ward off severe emo-
while enjoying the lovely evening. tional and behavioral problems before

Bidding was steady at the silent
auction tables for coveted prizes that
included impressive trip packages,
artwork, wine baskets and a signature
hand-painted Turtle Trax sculpture
valued at $20,000.

“The proceeds from today go direct-
ly toward providing immediate access
to mental health care without barri-
ers,” said clinical psychologist and
MHA board chair, Karen Mersky, Ph.D.
“If someone is in a crisis they can walk
in and see a counselor right away. We
will see them regardless of their ability
to pay.”

“The Mental Health Association
serves about 1,000 patients per year
at our Walk-In Counseling Center, but
we provide between 10,000 to 11,000
services overall,” said MHA Executive
Director Bob Brugnoli, Ph.D. “Services
include individual and family therapy,
medication management, psychiat-
ric evaluation, case management and
group therapy support.”

Brugnoli noted that any Indian
River County resident is eligible to
receive free mental health screening

their onset, MHA is offering classes the airport and as far west to 66th
and lectures that address the integra- Avenue before returning to cross the
tion of physical, emotional, occupa- finish line. An after-party celebra-
tional, social and spiritual health. tion included live music, costumes,
food-truck delights and some well-
Earlier in the day, 127 green-clad deserved handcrafted brew.
runners, and even a few leprechauns
who infiltrated the pack, participated “This was our first St. Patrick’s
in an inaugural Brew to Brew St. Pat- Day celebration,” said Mary Silva,
rick’s Day half-marathon. The day fund development and special events
was picture-perfect with blue skies manager for the MHA Walk-In &
and 70-degree temperatures for the Counseling Center. “We had over
runners, some of whom came from 60 volunteers serving water at vari-
as far away as Washington State, New ous stops along the course and we
Jersey, New York, Georgia and Arkan- couldn’t have done it without them.”
sas. The 13.1-mile course began and
ended at Walking Tree Brewery, tak- For more information about upcom-
ing runners on a tour through down- ing classes and lectures at the Walk-In
town Vero and McAnish Park, past & Counseling Center and other MHA
services, visit mhairc.org. 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 31

PEOPLE

Karen Mersky, Bob Brugnoli and Anne Lanier. PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 32
Dane and Elizabeth Ullian with Mary Pat Slater. Angela Guzenski and Morgan Smith.

Jamie Bloss with Tom and Miley Cyr.

32 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 Mark and Kim Wieleba with Donna and Jim Hagedorn.
Joanne Quaile, Mark and Patricia Ashdown, Kit Fields.

Steve Erickson, Joan Chesley, Mary Pat Slater and Stacey Morabito. Morgan Goetzfried and Carol Martin with Amy Wagner.

Mary Silva. Lyndal and Chris Hill.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 33

PEOPLE

Nancy Ofstie and Ellen McGovern.

Nate and Kristen Bruckner. Justin and Vanessa Larson.

34 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

Thousands scampi out at ShrimpFest & Brew bash

Kim Jones and Joe Falzone. PHOTOS: GORDON RADFORD Debbie and Tibor Brandauer. John and Kathy Patterson.

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF Leila Cano with Julia Rueda. exhibits. Face painting, games and couldn’t think of a better way to spend
a clown offered distractions for the a Saturday afternoon.
Staff Writer children, while a motorcycle show on
Saturday and car show on Sunday at- Through deeds and actions, the
The ShrimpFest & Craft Brew Hul- tracted an older set. Rotary Club of Sebastian and the Ex-
labaloo last weekend was a jumbo change Club of Fellsmere serve indi-
success. The third annual event, a col- Patsy and Marshall McCammack viduals in need.
laborative presentation by the Rotary said they were on their way out to
Club of Sebastian and the Exchange lunch when they stumbled across the “We are a group of people who have
Club of Fellsmere, was moved this year festival and decided to stop by, and a heart for and are looking out for peo-
to Riverview Park in Sebastian from were glad they did. Both declared ple who need help; who are less fortu-
its previous location on the grounds of that the fried shrimp they polished nate than us and maybe aren’t in a po-
the Historic Fellsmere School. off was scrumptious, adding that they sition to help themselves,” explained
Kim Jones, Rotary Club of Sebastian
The three-day crustaceous festival president.
was filled with music, food and fam-
ily fun in support of north county Proceeds from the event will bene-
youth sports and nonprofit organiza- fit north county youth organizations:
tions. About 300 volunteers helped to Sebastian River Girls Basketball, Se-
serve roughly 4,000 pounds of Florida bastian River Interact Club, Sebastian
shrimp to an estimated 15,000 hungry River Wrestling, Sebastian Sharks
people, according to event chair Marc Youth Football & Cheerleading, Trea-
Gingras. sure Coast Rugby, and Boys and Girls
Clubs of Sebastian and Fellsmere. 
Five local restaurants cast their
nets wide, vying to earn the coveted PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 36
Golden Shrimp Award. The Chubby
Mullet Bar & Grill served up pickled
shrimp; the Old Fish House Bar & Grill
treated festival-goers to fried shrimp
cocktails; Squid Lips proffered peel
& eat shrimp; Woody’s Bar-B-Q made
shrimp salad rolls; and the Tiki Bar &
Grill, which took home the trophy for
their sautéed buttered garlic shrimp.

In addition, the Rotary club tossed
shrimp scampi pizzas into a brick
oven and, for those wanting to nibble
on something other than shrimp, food
trucks provided a variety of alterna-
tives.

A Craft Beer Tasting Garden was the
perfect stopover for those wanting to
wet their whistle, offering ale aficio-
nados a sampling of suds from more
than 20 Florida craft brewers, includ-
ing local favorites American Icon
Brewery, Orchid Island, Pareidolia
Brewing and Walking Tree Brewery.

Nearly 90 vendors filled the park,
hawking artwork, crafts, jewelry,
homemade soaps and educational



36 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 34 John Pollacek and Michelle Grainger.
Sebastian Barracudas. Lou and Dana Bare.

Michael and Sara Dipardo with Declan and Connor.

Margie Forderkonz and Bill Michaud. Bill and Cyndy Rose. Hollie and Fred Rose.

Ralph and Cynthia Smith with Candice and Peter Erickson.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 37

PEOPLE

Keoni Stinson, Yolonda Anderson, Aniyah Stinson and Jaleah Bellany. Arthur Hodge, Jaime Labbe, Bob Morgan, Andrew Manero and Joe Falzone. Maria Lopez, John Campbell and Yecenia Castro.

Marc Gingras and Kim Prado.

Olivia McCabe and Colleen Le. PHOTOS: STEPHANIE LABAFF

38 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

Fittingly festive fete marks ‘Hallstrom’ centennial

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 40 ed visitors as they walked through were the new hot toy, and it was con-
Staff Writer the home. sidered scandalous for a woman’s
Julia Kain, John Sherman Jr, Adrienne Kain hemline to show her calf.
With the full fanfare due to the and Jon Rutherford. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE “Ruth was a snappy dresser,”
genteel grand dame, the Indian River shared Ruth Stanbridge, IRCHS vice “I’m overwhelmed with the people
County Historical Society recently Inside, the house was alive with president and county historian. “We who have come through today and
hosted a 100th Birthday Celebra- chatter over some items never before have so many clothes that we’ll be said that they have passed by this
tion of the historic Hallstrom House, displayed. Among the treasure trove having another event in the fall so we place for years and never stopped,”
completed by Swedish-born horti- were linens, china, vintage cloth- can bring more out for people to see.” noted Carolyn Bayless, IRCHS presi-
culturalist Axel Hallstrom in 1918. ing, shoes and items the Hallstrom dent. “It took them 100 years, but to-
family collected during their travels On the back lawn, people enjoyed day they finally stopped.”
His daughter, Ruth Hallstrom, around the world. A pamphlet filled party games from a bygone era that
willed the stately home to the Histor- with details about the artifacts aid- included a bean bag toss, pin the The Hallstrom Farmstead was once
ical Society upon her death in 1999 at candle on the cupcake, drop the part of a 40-acre pineapple planta-
age 95. clothespin in the jar, face painting tion and citrus grove planted by Axel
and, to acknowledge the family’s Hallstrom. Hallstrom House is locat-
Ruth was known for her gracious cultural heritage, Kubb. The Swedish ed on a 5-acre parcel under the care
hospitality and visitors enjoyed that lawn game, a hybrid of bowling and and preservation of the Historical
same good cheer at the party, com- horseshoes, is played with wooden Society and is open to the public. The
plete with cake and ice cream, party blocks (kubbs) and batons (kastpin- IRCHS is working with the county to
hats and games. nar) with the objective to knock over develop a walking trail on 100 acres
the blocks. surrounding the property and to pre-
Attendees sat on the front porch, serve buildings remaining from the
many trading stories of Ruth Hall- As the afternoon waned, folks original farmstead.
strom’s generosity and zest for life. gathered on the back lawn to listen to
Cars loaned by the Indian River the sounds of David Letts & the Letts The Historical Society, whose mis-
Corvette Club sat on the front lawn, Dance Band and later the music of sion is to preserve local history for
adding their own bit of nostalgia in Gary Lenard Moore. They could also future generations, has created a se-
a nod to Ruth’s Corvette, which she test their trivia knowledge of 1918 ries of videos chronicling Vero Beach
was often seen zipping around town history – when the Red Sox had just history, which can be viewed at irch-
in with the top down. won the World Series, Lincoln Logs istorical.org. 

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40 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

PEOPLE

Vicki Bayless with Carolyn Bayless.

PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 38
Laurie Cassidy, Melanie Smith, and Lauren Poirier with Breckin Poirier.

Joe Urciuoli, Jim Merklinghaus, and Gene Benoit.

PAMELA PIKE GORDINIER FINDS JOY
IN HER ARTISTIC JOURNEY

42 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

ARTS & THEATRE

Pamela Pike Gordinier finds joy in her artistic journey

BY JANE BEATTIE an authentic life; a life worth living.”
Correspondent An award-winning artist, Gordinier’s

“As an artist, my work and life are works are in the collections of several
one. I believe that working with inten- Fortune 500 companies, and she has
tion is a mind-spring for creating art been an elected member of the Connect-
and that this same philosophy applies icut Academy of Fine Arts, Copley Soci-
to life,” says Pamela Pike Gordinier. ety of Boston, Mystic Museum of Arts
“My goal is to create honest art and live and the Connecticut Watercolor Society.

She is married to Dr. Glenn Gordi-

PHOTOS BY GORDON RADFORD

nier, an avid year-round surfer off the climate during the winter months held
coast of Rhode Island and author of the a great deal of appeal.”
book “Surfing Cold Water: A New Eng-
lander’s Off-Season Obsession.” When Vero Beach was also home to many
not surfing, he is a professor of Mari- of her students from Connecticut and
time History for the Maritime Studies Rhode Island, so the couple decided
Program of Williams College and Mys- to settle here for part of the year, now
tic Seaport, and is the Robert G. Albion happily dividing their time between
Historian at Mystic Seaport. Vero and Stonington, Conn.

Despite her husband’s affinity for Gordinier says that while she works
cold water, she says “thinking about in all mediums, “my work is about
creating and teaching art in a warmer ideas. And then I wait for the smile or a
look of confusion.”

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 43

ARTS & THEATRE

organization to create an installation rative works, such as in her “Colorful
of paintings, poetry, music, video and Woman Series,” and often in many of
dance that stressed hope for survivors her landscape pieces as well.
of domestic violence and asked the
question, “What do you Hope?” Gordinier teaches at her studio in
Stonington as well as locally at the Vero
Gordinier explains that her inspira- Beach Museum of Art. She will present
tion for the exhibit had been derived workshops there on the exhibit “Shad-
from the image of Vero Beach men ow and Light: The Etchings of Martin
walking in red stilettos at a benefit for Lewis” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 13-
SafeSpace, which assists victims of do- 14, asking the question, “If you paint
mestic violence. As with all her exhib- the shadow, can the image appear?”
its, her interest is in bringing positive
outcomes and awareness to an issue. Her work will also be featured in April
at the Beneduce Realty gallery on 14th
Color is a constant source of expres- Avenue in Downtown Vero Beach. The
sion for Gordinier, who uses it to cre- opening reception is Friday, April 6 dur-
ate an emotional response in her figu- ing First Friday Gallery Stroll. 

COOL GLASS

The Treasure Coast’s largest collection of
contemporary glass and one of America’s
Coolest Stores, right here in Vero Beach.

Her work recently received both re- wife’s nerves & father to five silly daugh-
actions at this year’s Art on the Island ters for a quarter century, seeks wealthy,
3-Dimensional Fine Art Exhibition at titled, childless widow of an un-entailed
the Marsh Island Clubhouse. At the estate for long walks across ha-ha’s.’
2016 judged exhibition, she won first
place in the mixed medium category. “My art begins with an intention, a
question that interests me; either per-
Her February piece asked the ques- son, universal or timeless,” says Gordi-
tion, “What are you seeking?” Using nier. “I believe that, like art, if we live
the chart of the Brooklyn waterfront with intention then we live an authentic
and referencing “A Tree Grows in life; a live worth living.”
Brooklyn,” she used the branches to
represent the strength and hope em- Of her creative process she explains,
bodied in the human spirit. Every leaf “I think of creating art as a medium
on the tree is a reprint of an actual per- of communication; a passage of ideas
sonal submitted to the New York Book that elicits self-reflection. Creating art
Review in bygone years. that is accessible to the viewer is im-
portant to me so that the viewer be-
Included in the humorous mix were comes a participant.”
doozies such as ‘Portly, Handsome Man,
81 summers, some hair and teeth, ample Over the years, Gordinier has had
supply blue pills; seeking 90+ foxy cou- several one-woman exhibitions that
gar, to snuggle under afghan, swap po- utilized questions to create her vision.
diatry, colonoscopy, & dental stories …’ For an exhibition last June at the Ly-
and ‘Worn-Out Husband, friend to his man Allyn Art Museum in New London,
Conn., she worked with a community

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COLLECTION OF AMERICAN-MADE ART AND JEWELRY

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44 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

ARTS & THEATRE

Collections matter: VBMA curator builds for future

BY ELLEN FISCHER
Columnist

Late last month a Coffee with the Cu- bition “Magritte: The Mystery of the In researching the works in that Danielle Johnson.
rator lecture by Vero Beach Museum Ordinary” exposed her to René Mag- show, Johnson was party to an exciting
of Art curator Danielle Johnson was ritte masterpieces from collections discovery regarding a work in MoMA’s PHOTO BY DENISE RITCHIE
presented by the Gallery at Windsor in worldwide. collection. Magritte’s 1935 painting,
the planned community’s clubhouse “The Portrait,” was found by conserva-
lounge. Subtitled “Building a Collec- tors to have been painted over a piece
tion: Contemporary Art at MoMA and of canvas that once was part of a larger
VBMA,” Johnson’s lecture spoke to her (and presumably lost) Magritte titled
past experience as a curatorial assis-
tant at the Museum of Modern Art in
New York and her ideas about the fu-
ture of the Vero museum collection.

Johnson is a 2012 Ph.D. graduate in
Art History from New York University’s
Institute of Fine Arts; her dissertation
was “Salvador Dalí and René Magritte,
1928-1938.” Her undergraduate degree,
in art history and French, was taken at
Colgate University. She has held adjunct
teaching positions at City University of
New York Graduate Center, New York
University and Hunter College.

For four years starting in 2011, John-
son worked as a curatorial assistant in
MoMA’s Department of Painting and
Sculpture. Her research for the exhi-

MARCH 16


APRIL 27
2018

Annual
Juried
Photography
Exhibition

Photo Credits - Past Entries: Painted Bunting by Walter Veasey,
Kept, Kept Safe by Larry Lovotny, Little Sister by Barbara DuPont,
Foundation by Erika Masterson, Framed by Nature by Charlie Newman,

Through the Eye of the CameraPeople’s Choice Award Winner - Tannery in Fez, by Linda Leonard.

A.E. BACKUS MUSEUM & GALLERY

500 N. Indian River Drive Fort Pierce, FL 34950
772.465.0630 www.BackusMuseum.com

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 45

ARTS & THEATRE

“The Enchanted Pose.” Art, acknowledges that the VBMA has you have to fill in the gaps (in the collec- water spilled from the tops of a trio of
The subject of “The Enchanted Pose” tended toward the collection of early tion) later,” she cautioned. fuchsia red, polyurethane sculptures
20th century American paintings. Not into a pool below. Each sculpture was
was a pair of identical nudes, placed left to worry; she envisions the contin- Johnson notes that MoMA’s relation- composed of several funnel-shaped
and right on the canvas in identical pos- ued collection of that material, even ship with a young Jasper Johns led to its cones, with the narrow end of each in-
es. “The Portrait” at first glance depicts though its artists – many of whom were acquisition of “Target with Four Faces” serted into the broad top of the next. The
a table setting for one, facing the viewer. born in the 19th century – have long when Johns was still in his 20s. Today tallest sculpture of the three was a little
It takes only a moment to notice that the since departed this vale. there are more than 350 works by Johns over 9 feet high.
slice of ham before us is looking back: in the MoMA collection: paintings,
there is an unblinking eye at its center. She also anticipates adding more sculpture and prints from every stage in Johnson speculated that the cast
contemporary art to the museum’s col- that artist’s long career. polyurethane favored by Benglis for
As a scholar and art historian, John- lections, especially the work of living “Pink Ladies” might prove resistant to
son was interested to learn that the old- artists. That includes artists near the Another artist Johnson selected for Florida’s harsh climate.
er painting, which had received criti- beginning of their careers, as well as un- comment was veteran sculptor Lynda
cal notice before its disappearance in derrepresented groups of artists, such as Benglis, whose 2015 exhibition at Storm “We have a strong sculpture garden
1932, had simply been cut into quarters women and artists of color. King Art Center featured water-inspired at the Vero Beach Museum of Art. I
by Magritte for reuse; three paintings abstractions. In an outdoor grouping want to think about continuing to de-
by him in other collections were sub- Johnson mentioned the works of sev- from Benglis’ 2014 “Pink Ladies” series, velop it,” she said. 
sequently found to have been painted eral living artists, represented in Mo-
over the remaining fragments. MA’s collection, that she would not mind
seeing represented here, including How-
Johnson related the story of the lost ardena Pindell.
and found painting to illustrate the im-
portance of the museum in collecting Now 75 years old, Pindell studied
and preserving art for the future. Mo- painting at Boston University and Yale
MA’s acquisition of the painting (it was University. In 1967 she took a job in the
a 1956 gift from the collection of Sur- print department at MoMA, which she
realist painter Kay Sage) revealed for left a dozen years later to pursue her ca-
Johnson the “usefulness,” – i.e. mean- reer as an artist and teacher. Her non-
ing – that an artwork can have in the objective work of the 1970s was created
context of a museum collection. That in part by collaging punched paper dots
“usefulness” changes over time, with onto paper or canvas. In her most recent
every new generation of caretakers, work, Pindell collages words, phrases
researchers, presenters and audience and photo imagery onto canvas to ad-
members that interact with it. dress social issues that include home-
lessness, sexism and xenophobia.
When it concerns a living artist’s
work, a contemporary art museum’s Johnson also admires the work of
acquisition choice will reflect current mid-career artist Kara Walker. Her
trends and ideas in the art world as well 2014 installation (short title: “The
as the museum’s trust in the artist’s po- Marvelous Sugar Baby”) in a defunct
tential. As the acquisition ages and the Brooklyn sugar refinery included a
museum’s staff and audience change, huge, sphinxlike figure sculpted using
the artwork may come to have meaning tons of refined sugar. MoMA collected
as a mile marker in the artist’s develop- some of the installation’s smaller aux-
ment; later still it may be researched and iliary figures, which were recreated in
exhibited as a historic artifact of the so- long-lasting resin.
ciety that produced it. As Magritte’s “The
Portrait” illustrates, even a well-known Closer to home, Johnson is intrigued
work whose meaning has evolved over by the work of Miami’s Edouard Du-
the years can still hold surprises 80 years val-Carrié. Paintings by him that have
after its creation. caught her eye address the revolutionary
history and current hardships of Duval-
According to Johnson, a collecting Carrié’s native Haiti.
museum’s priority is “building a collec-
tion for the future.” Acquiring the work of living artists is
paramount to building a collection that
Johnson, whose current title is Cu- looks to the future, Johnson says.
rator of Modern and Contemporary
“If you don’t collect at the moment,

“Do You Believe In Magic?” John Sebastian
Closes Live! From Vero
Beach Concert Series

An American singer, songwriter, guitarist
and autoharpist. Founder of The Lovin’
Spoonful, the band was inducted into the
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with such hits as
“Do You Believe in Magic,” “Summer in
the City” and more!

CHLive! FRIDAY, MARCH 30 AT 7PM
THE EMERSON CENTER · 1590 27TH AVE, VERO BEACH
YeaVrECslRoofsOFeMRtOuoBMsEiHcAoCmoeVnciesritts PRESENTING SPONSOR: Cindy O’Dare
SHOW SPONSORS: The Audiohouse, Barth Construction

and Indian River Land Trust

MusicWorksConcerts.com or call (800) 595-4849
BUY TICKETS NOW!5

46 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

ARTS & THEATRE

Coming Up: ‘Up With People’ rocks message of unity

BY SAMANTHA BAITA under. A $49.99 VIP pass includes a pre-
Staff Writer concert Q&A with Cahill, an individual
photo op, and an autographed poster.
1 An uplifting evening, for certain: 855-252-7276.
Since 1965, Up With People, a

troupe of talented young singers and 3 “Welcome Back!” John Sebastian:
Sebastian is of course, the Gram-
dancers in their teens and 20s, have

brought music, boundless enthusiasm my Award-winning singer-songwriter,

and a message of peace and unity to guitarist, harmonica player, autoharp-

audiences all over the world, and this ist and raconteur who founded the

Thursday and Friday they’re bringing 1 This Thursday and Friday at the Indian River County iG Center. band with the super cool name – the

it all to Indian River County. The 2018 Lovin’ Spoonful – and he’ll be in con-

tour focuses on “shared hope for a bet- cert at the Emerson Center next Friday,

ter tomorrow,” and the 100-plus troupe Up With People website states that the blending social action with good cheer, March 30, to close the LIVE! From Vero
group’s founder, J. Blanton Belk, ob- determination – and music. Show times
members, from many countries and served this phenomenon and realized are 7 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday. Beach concert series. The Lovin’ Spoon-
young people might be able to do what Tickets are adults, $18; students, $13;
with diverse mindsets, cultures, eth- government couldn’t: “walk across bor- children 12 and under $8. ful, Wikipedia reminds us, made it into
ders, see beyond race, and build bridges
nicities and beliefs, will be at the Indian of understanding between people.” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in
Among its many hundreds of perfor-
River County iG Center (1590 9th Street mances, Up With People counts four 2000, having answered the British Inva-
Super Bowl halftime shows, and an
SW) for a pair of performances featur- emotional performance at the Olym- sion by putting their first seven singles
pic Village Theatre in Munich on Sept.
ing international songs and dances, 8, 1972, after the tragic massacre of Is- 2 To many ears, there’s no voice on the Top 10, unprecedented, gushes
raeli athletes. Today, Up With People quite so compelling as an Irish ten-
to benefit Youth Guidance, Hibiscus continues to travel the globe, with a Wikipedia, at the height of Beatlema-
new generation of young performers,
Children’s Center and United Against or. One of the best, Emmet Cahill, late nia. Show time is 7 p.m. Tickets start at

Poverty. Generations of youth have of the Irish group Celtic Thunder, will $35. 772-234-4412.

been a part of this group – perhaps take the stage this Sunday at the Emer-

you or someone you know has – since son Center. Fresh from his St. Patrick’s 4 Veteran radio journalist Janie
Gould, well-known for her pop-
its founding in the tumultuous ’60s, Day debut at Carnegie Hall, Ireland’s

when Vietnam and civil rights were in premier tenor returns to join the Space ular radio series “Floridays,” which

the forefront and young people took to Coast Symphony Orchestra, under the ran on public radio WQCS-FM for

the streets in protest and solidarity. The baton of Aaron T. Collins, to perform almost a decade, will present the

final program of the 2017-18 Flori-

Direct From Las Vegas da Humanities Series season next
An Evening With Cher, Elton John, Lady Gaga & Streisand
Starring Master Las Vegas Impersonators The Edwards Twins Thursday, March 29, at the Emerson

Center. For this unique presenta-

tion, “Global Events That Touched

Florida: Great Depression Through

the Cold War,” which will cover such

diverse topics as the history of U-

boat attacks, German POWs, the Cu-

ban Missile Crisis and more, Gould

will employ anecdotes harvested

from her priceless collection of 300

recorded interviews with Floridians

sharing their first-hand experiences

and recollections of life on the Trea-

2 Emmet Cahill performs Sunday at sure Coast “back in the day.” The
Emerson Center.
free program will begin at 7 p.m.
“Emmet Cahill in Concert.” The after-
noon will feature songs from the epon- 772-778-5249.
ymous world chart-topping (Billboard,
iTunes and Amazon) album, “Emmet 5 Ease yourself into the weekend
Cahill’s Ireland.” In the hands of these with some music in the park. For
gifted musicians, familiar and beloved
songs from the Irish repertoire such as a pleasant, music-centric Friday in a
“An Irish Lullaby” and “Danny Boy,” as
well as selected numbers from musi- beautiful riverside venue, take a little
cals, will touch hearts and soar to the
rafters. The show promo offers an inter- drive down the road to Sebastian’s
esting bit of trivia: According to the last
Dancing With Vero’s Stars, Contestant David Thomas U.S. Census (2010), some 34.5 million Riverview Park for the Sebastian Riv-
Americans list their heritage as mostly
Presents A Bene t For The Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition. or partly Irish. That number is, inciden- er Area Chamber of Commerce’s very
tally, seven times larger than the popu-
Live At The Emerson Center lation of Ireland itself (4.68 million). popular Concerts in the Park series.
Show time is 3 p.m. Doors open one
Sunday April 1, 2018 hour before curtain. Tickets are $29.99 This month you’ll get a kick out of the
for adults and $14.99 for students 18 and
7:00pm - 10:00pm Sebastian River High School Jazz En-

semble and Steel Drum Band. These

Balcony $55 Premium $75 young musicians are really good.

Beverages and food (hot dogs, BBQ,

FOR TICKETS CONTACT Italian ice and popcorn) are always
THE EMERSON CENTER BOX OFFICE
available. For more down-home fun,
772.778.5249
there’s a free raffle at intermission

with giveaways from local merchants.

5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Riverview Park.

Free. 772-589-5969. 



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50 Vero Beach 32963 / March 22, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™

INSIGHT COVER STORY

LYLE CRAKER LOOKS OVER SOME
OF THE PLANTS USED IN STUDIES IN
THE AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT’S

GREENHOUSE AT UMASS.

BY JOSH DEAN | BLOOMBERG

THE $30 BILLION MEDICAL MARIJUANA GIVEAWAY
Lyle Craker is an unlikely advocate for any politi- plants to high temperatures to study the effects of licenses to produce LSD and Ecstasy for that pur-
cal cause, let alone one as touchy as marijuana law. climate change. pose, but anyone who seeks to do FDA-approved re-
He is not even remotely controversial, and there search with marijuana is forced to obtain the plants
are no counterculture skeletons in his closet – only Craker also has become the flag bearer for the from a single source: Uncle Sam.
dirty boots and botany books. He’s never smoked long and frustrating effort to loosen the Drug En-
pot in his life, nor has he tasted liquor. forcement Administration’s chokehold on cannabis Specifically, since 1968 the DEA has allowed only
research. one facility to legally cultivate marijuana for re-
“I have Coca-Cola every once in a while,” says the search studies, on a 10-acre plot at the University
quiet, white-haired Craker, from a rolling chair in He first applied for a license to grow marijuana of Mississippi, funded by the National Institute on
his basement office at the University of Massachu- for medicinal research in 2001, at the urging of Rick Drug Abuse and managed by the Ole Miss School of
setts at Amherst, where he’s served as a professor in Doblin, the founder and executive director of the Pharmacy.
the Stockbridge School of Agriculture since 1967. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Stud-
He and his students do things such as subject basil ies (MAPS), a nonprofit that advocates for research The NIDA license, Doblin says, is a “monopoly” on
on therapeutic uses for LSD, MDMA (aka Ecstasy), the supply and has starved legitimate research toward
THE FEDS ARE marijuana, and other psychedelic drugs. understanding cannabinoids, terpenes, and other
BOGARTING THE constituents of marijuana that seem to quell pain,
WEED, WHILE Since 1970 marijuana has been a DEA Schedule I stimulate hunger, and perhaps even fight cancer.
ISRAEL AND CANADA substance, meaning that in the view of the federal
ARE GRABBING government, it’s as dangerous as LSD, heroin, and Twice in the late 1990s, Doblin provided funding,
MARKET SHARE. Ecstasy, and has “no currently accepted medical use PR, and lobbying support for physicians who want-
and a high potential for abuse.” ed to study marijuana – one sought a treatment for
AIDS-related wasting syndrome, the other wanted
By that definition, pot – now legal for medicinal to see if it helped migraines – and was so frustrated
use by prescription in 29 states including Florida, by the experience that he vowed to break the mo-
and for recreational use in eight – is more dangerous nopoly. That’s what led him to Craker.
and less efficacious in the federal government’s esti-
mation than cocaine, oxycodone, or methamphet- In June 2001, Craker filed an application for a license
amine, all of which are classified Schedule II. to cultivate “research-grade” marijuana at UMass,
with the goal of staging FDA-approved studies.
Scientists and physicians are free to apply to the
Food and Drug Administration and DEA for trials Six months later he was told his application had
on Schedule I substances, and there are labs with been lost. He reapplied in 2002 and then, after an


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