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Published by Vero Beach 32963 Media, 2017-04-13 11:57:18

04/13/2017 ISSUE 15


Seagrapes could still trip up
Shores auction. P7

Polo with a Purpose:
Beating Leukemia. P16
Neighbors seek to block
new Ocean Drive restaurant. P8

Condo residents Student code
fret about drones of conduct is
off their balcony bewildering

Staff Writer Staff Writer

Over the past six months, 10 More than 1,000 gather on street in front of Grind & Grape in Central Beach for fundraiser for Andy Capak. PHOTO BY DENISE RITCHIE Student behavior problems
Sea Quay residents have filed were the number one concern
complaints with the ocean- Fundraiser for wounded pub owner draws huge crowd parents and teachers raised
front condominium's prop- in a recent five-year strategic
erty manager, saying they've BY SAMANTHA ROHLFING BAITA loud live music, a cornuco- sponse to a traumatic near- plan meeting, but dealing with
seen drones flying too close to Staff Writer pia of food and drink, and fatal shooting. those concerns is complicated
the building – sometimes just a crowd estimated at more by the School District’s unclear
outside their windows. The street scene on Bou- than 1,000 people – all of When 31-year-old St. Ed’s and confusing student code of
gainvillea Lane last Satur- which was pretty extraor- graduate and pub owner conduct.
"Our owners said they've day night was off the charts: dinary considering that Andy Capak was gravely
seen them outside their slid- upbeat and festive, with the event was an ad hoc re- wounded on March 31 on How confusing is the lengthy
ing-glass doors, which is a written document that parents
real problem this time of year CONTINUED ON PAGE 9 are required to sign when en-
because, when you live on the rolling their children in school?
ocean, you sometimes leave
the door open," said Sea Quay Well, when School Board
property manager Charity Member Laura Zorc studied
Gruwell. "Some of them say the code to see how it had been
it's potentially dangerous. applied in what she called “a
Others say they feel it's an in- serious school incident,” she
vasion of their privacy." admitted “it was Greek” to her.

But is it illegal? And that was last year’s ver-
sion. This year’s 72-page re-
Dale Sorensen Real Estate ranks
among top 500 U. S. brokerages Harbor Branch sues
FAU in bid to block
BY STEVEN M. THOMAS a ‘hostile takeover’
Staff Writer
Of the more than 86,000 residential real es- An aerial shot of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute just south of Vero. PHOTO BY BRUCE CADY Staff Writer
tate brokerages in the United States, a firm
based in tiny Vero Beach, Dale Sorensen Real The Harbor Branch Ocean-
Estate Inc., was one of the country’s top 500 re- ographic Institute Foundation
alty businesses last year with more than $600 has gone to court to prevent
million in sales. what it describes as a “hostile
takeover” of its $68 million
Sorensen was the only Vero-based com- endowment fund by Florida
pany that made it onto the widely-respected Atlantic University, which it


April 13, 2017 Volume 10, Issue 15 Newsstand Price $1.00 Educators real stars
of Learning Alliance
News 1-10 Faith 72-73 Pets 74 TO ADVERTISE CALL ‘Celestial’event. P24
Arts 37-41 Games 53-55 Real Estate 77-88 772-559-4187
Books 52 Health 57-62 St Ed’s 42
Dining 66 Insight 43-56 Style 63-65 FOR CIRCULATION
Editorial 50 People 11-36 Wine 67 CALL 772-226-7925

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

2 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Drones ry and it's really outside our domain." Also, the FAA strictly prohibits flying not received complaints about intru-
Drones, once they're airborne, fall drones at night, though waivers can sive drones.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 be granted with severe restrictions on
under the jurisdiction of the Federal rare occasions. The Sheriff's Office has.
The Vero Beach Police Department Aviation Administration, which regu- "We've gotten a couple of com-
is aware of the problem, spokeswom- lates their use under its Unmanned Federal law allows the FAA to fine plaints of drones flying over residen-
an Officer Anna Carden said, but only Aircraft Systems rules and guidelines. individual operators up to $15,000 tial areas – not looking in people's
because it monitors the for each offense and confiscate their windows, but over people's property
neighborhood social-media site. She Among the FAA's safety guidelines drones. In one case, a Chicago-based – but we just forwarded them to the
said no formal complaints have been are restrictions prohibiting flying photography company paid $200,000 in FAA," Sheriff's spokesman Maj. Eric
filed. drones at altitudes above 400 feet; fines for violating the airspace over New Flowers said.
within five miles of an airport without York City 65 times from 2012 to 2014. "Around here, most of the drones we
"There were posts about drones prior approval from air traffic control; see are used commercially," he contin-
flying over the beach and coming a beyond the operator's line of sight; Vero Beach Airport Manager Eric ued. "Realtors use them to get photos
little too close to the property there," over groups of people and stadiums; Menger said his office has gotten of properties for sale. Developers use
Carden said. "We've done some re- near emergency response efforts; and calls from commercial operators them to get aerial shots of land they're
search on the laws, but it's new territo- when the operator is under the influ- seeking approval to fly drones within planning to build on. You also have pro-
ence of drugs or alcohol. the FAA's five-mile radius, but he has fessional photographers using them.
"There are some amateur hobby-
ists flying them just for fun," he added.
"Thing is, most of the people who fly
them in our county don't have the right
certification or get the proper permis-
sion. There might be one or two who
do. But we cannot arrest on FAA rules,
so we just report violations to them."
FAA guidelines, however, don't spe-
cifically prohibit drones from flying
too close to condos – such as Sea Quay
and The Village Spires, where one
resident saw one hovering just off her
11th-floor balcony last fall – as long as
none of the other restrictions are vio-
But Florida law might . . . if the drone
is equipped with a camera.
According to the Freedom from Un-
warranted Surveillance Act, which was
amended and strengthened in 2015
after Gov. Rick Scott initially signed it
into law in 2013, it's illegal in Florida
to use an unmanned aircraft to take
photos or record videos of people on
private property without their permis-
Designed to restrict police from us-
ing drones to gather evidence, the stat-
ute requires law enforcement agencies
to acquire search warrants before us-
ing unmanned aircraft systems for
surveillance, except when there's a
"high risk of a terrorist attack" or a
reasonable suspicion that swift action
is necessary to prevent imminent dan-
ger to life or serious damage to prop-
"A person is presumed to have a
reasonable expectation of privacy on
his or her privately owned real prop-
erty if he or she is not observable by
persons located at ground level in a
place where they have a legal right to
be," the statute reads, "regardless of
whether he or she is observable from
the air with the use of a drone."
But does the statute also apply to
private citizens?
Apparently, yes.
"I went to an FAA seminar last year
and an FAA lawyer was asked exactly
that question," said Bruce Cady, an
FAA-licensed pilot and Vero Beach-
based professional drone operator

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 3


who owns Brisance Content Capture, though that area is within five miles of this time of year, so there's always the police and FAA, she's not sure what
which specializes in drone photogra- the airport. possibility the drone could get caught can be done.
phy and videography. in some turbulence or a gust of wind.
He also empathized with Sea Quay Nor does Cady, who said it's silly to
Based on the lawyer’s answer, Cady residents concerned about drones fly- "That could be dangerous,” if, say, expect drone operators who don't both-
said he believes the operators who ing too close to their building. a drone was blown in an open sliding er to get FAA approval to know the rules.
were flying the drones at Sea Quay – if door.
they were taking photos or recording "It's not just an invasion of privacy "That's the conundrum," Cady
videos without the residents' or prop- or being intrusive," Cady said. "It's not Gruwell said Sea Quay residents said. "Drone manufacturers include
erty manager's permission – were vio- safe, especially along the beach and at plan to discuss the drone problem at the rules when you buy one, but how
lating Florida law. that altitude. Drones are relatively light their next condo association meeting, many people – especially minors –
in weight and it's often breezy there but, beyond filing complaints with the bother to read them?" 
However, there is no criminal pen-
alty for such an offense, which has NEW PRICE
caused some confusion over law en-
forcement's role in policing these in- Exclusively John’s Island
cidents. Reports can be filed, but ar-
rests are unlikely. Located on a generous .76± acre lot among majestic oaks, this
beautifully renovated 4BR/4.5BA residence overlooks private preserve
"This is all so new that law enforce- and panoramic John’s Island Sound views. Classic architecture and
ment agencies really don't know what custom millwork grace this elegant 6,522± GSF home with attention to
to do," Cady said. "I've had numerous detail. Features include a handsome living room with fireplace, gourmet
conversations with local police offi- island kitchen, family room, second level master suite with study, guest
cers and sheriff's deputies when I've bedroom ensuites, summer kitchen with grill, pool and boat dock.
been out working, and I've used that 400 Coconut Palm Road : $4,270,000
interaction to show them what I'm
doing and how to operate the drone. three championship golf courses : 17 har-tru courts : beach club : squash
health & fitness center : pickleball : croquet : vertical equity membership
"My suggestion to the officers is:
When you see someone operating a 772.231.0900 : Vero Beach, FL :
drone, engage with them and ask what
they're doing," he added. "If they're
doing something they shouldn't be do-
ing, they'll probably stop and go away.

"There's not a lot law enforcement
can do because, unless someone is us-
ing the drone for something criminal,
it's more of a privacy and civil liberties
issue, anyway."

The Florida statute does allow in-
jured parties to sue drone operators if
the plaintiffs can prove they've been
harmed in some way. It also authorizes
successful plaintiffs to collect, in ad-
dition to any damages awarded, their
attorneys' fees from defendants – simi-
lar to the provisions governing federal
Americans with Disabilities Act cases.

The law does not allow people
to shoot or otherwise knock down
drones flying over their properties.

"There have been cases in other
parts of the state, where somebody
shot down a drone, but they were ar-
rested for discharging a firearm and
fined for destruction of property,"
Cady said. "And they should've been:
There really no need for that, and it's

"The operator of a drone needs to
maintain a line of sight, so if someone
were flying a drone over my backyard,
the first thing I'd do is go out to the
street and have a conversation with

Cady said he's not surprised to hear
of the Sea Quay residents' complaints,
because the condominium's private
pier – the only such structure that
extends into the ocean in the county
– makes it a popular area for drone

He estimated that half of the drones
seen along the county's beaches are
flown on the stretch between Sea
Quay and the Village Spires, even

4 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Harbor Branch The foundation decided to take the began to “regularly push back” against tion – which came into existence as
matter to court last month, he said, af- the foundation’s protocols, procedures the governing body of Harbor Branch
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 ter the FAU board and Dr. Daniel Fly- and funding decisions. when Johnson and Link founded
nn, the university’s vice president for the independent research institute
accuses of attempting to breach a con- research, continued to move forward The complaint states that, on sev- – would make grants from its endow-
tract signed nearly a decade ago. with plans to take control of the fund eral occasions, FAU attempted to ment fund solely to and for the benefit
despite the foundation’s objections. change the terms of grants awarded to of the renamed Harbor Branch Ocean-
In a lawsuit filed March 30 in St. Luc- Harbor Branch scientists by the foun- ographic Institute at FAU.
ie County Circuit Court, the foundation In their March 30 resolution to au- dation after they were issued “so funds
alleges that FAU’s Board of Trustees thorize taking legal action, the foun- could be used for alternative or dif- Besides administering the proceeds
intends to seize control of the foun- dation’s directors wrote that they re- ferent purposes not approved” by the from its sizable endowment, the foun-
dation’s grant-making function, “thus quested a meeting with FAU to discuss foundation. dation is the entity designated by the
eliminating any oversight, transpar- the university’s demands, only to be Florida State Legislature to receive and
ency and accountability for the funds” told the demands “are not negotiable.” Those actions surprised the founda- disburse funds from the four “Save
the independent foundation provides tion, which seems to have enjoyed an Our Seas” specialty license plates. Ac-
to the Boca Raton-based university. As of Monday, FAU had not yet for- amicable and successful partnership cording to state statute, the bulk of the
mally responded to the foundation’s with FAU up until then – a marriage license plate income, which Founda-
“We don’t know what FAU would do lawsuit, and Galardi said he didn’t know that dated back to December 2007, tion President and CEO Katha Kiss-
if they got control of the endowment if the two sides could settle their differ- when the two parties entered into an man says amounted to $2.7 million
fund,” said Joe Galardi, a West Palm ences before the case gets to a judge. agreement that made Harbor Branch last year, must be used for “scientific
Beach attorney representing the foun- part of the university. research and education on marine
dation, “so we’re asking a court to look However, the university released an plants and animals and coastal ocean-
at the contract, examine the facts and emailed statement that read: The foundation turned over its ography in state marine waters,” along
tell the parties what they’re allowed – lagoon-front campus in northern St. with other types of marine and coastal
and not allowed – to do.” “FAU is surprised and disappointed Lucie County and intellectual prop- science.
that the HBOI Foundation has mis- erty to FAU, which hoped to enhance
Galardi said the foundation is con- interpreted our commitment to our the reputation of its marine-sciences After the merger agreement was
cerned that, under FAU’s control, endow- partnership and to our shared respon- program. signed, the foundation “continued
ment funds could be redirected away sibility for efficient and proper stew- to operate independently” through
from Harbor Branch’s charter mission of ardship of our resources. In exchange, the university agreed to a volunteer board composed of “ac-
marine research to pay other university operate, renovate and expand Harbor complished professionals, including
expenses. It also is concerned that the “This lawsuit is an unfortunate dis- Branch, which was founded in 1971 by senior executives from Fortune 500
university might use state money from traction that we hope to move past Johnson & Johnson Co. heir J. Seward companies, financial experts, attor-
four specialty “Save Our Seas” license quickly, so we can return to achieving Johnson and inventor Edwin Link and neys and former elected officials,” the
plates created to fund marine research our shared goals to fill our respective had grown into a world-renowned re- complaint states.
for purposes other than those mandated missions.” search facility.
by the Florida Legislature. The foundation also continued to
According to the complaint, FAU Under the agreement, the private,
launched its efforts to take control of nonprofit Harbor Branch Founda-
the endowment fund in 2015, when it

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 5


employ its own support staff, accoun- and distributed more than $28 million 2016, when Flynn raised the possibil- foundation’s administrative, legal, ac-
tants, auditors and legal counsel to in grants and license-plate funds to ity of the university taking over the counting, audit and clerical functions
oversee and advise on investments the facility, while never receiving any foundation’s legal services and other would be “transferred to FAU” on July
and grants from the endowment fund. money from FAU. administrative functions and services, 1, according to the complaint.
the complaint states.
Over the past nine-plus years, the After the initial dispute in 2015, FAU The complaint states that the foun-
complaint states, the foundation re- “began a more direct attempt” to seize Then, in January, Flynn announced dation objected to the proposed take-
tained sole control of the endowment control of the endowment fund in late that, as a cost-cutting measure, the

12 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Circus, circus! JI fundraising gala goes over the ‘Top’

BY MARY SCHENKEL all the wonderful JICSL events, will riding a lion. sortment of circus goodies, from can-
Staff Writer support local charitable initiatives, John’s Island staff got into the act as nonball cheese puffs and Ringling
this year funneling more than $950,000 Bros.’ popcorn shrimp, to fire-eating
The circus came to town in a big back in to the community. The money well, led by very buff strongman Da- chicken, sword-swallowing fish and
way last Wednesday evening at a Big will fund grants to 37 different agen- vid Colclough, assistant general man- center-ring tenderloin; finishing it all
Top by the Sea Gala at the John’s Island cies and will also provide scholarships ager. “I just got through working out,” up with clown cakes, elephant ears
Beach Club hosted by the ultra-cre- to children of John’s Island employees. quipped a mustachioed Colclough, and a table of nostalgia, with penny
ative John’s Island Community Service hoisting his barbell with ease. candy, Cracker Jacks and Animal
League, which produced an event to ri- Dress for the evening called for Crackers.
val Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show John’s Island casual or PT Barnum, “They have such great enthusi-
on Earth. and more than a few of the roughly asm,” said DeSimone, watching as No circus is complete without per-
400 guests let their imaginations run Steve Hudson, Steve Hanlon, Lenn- formers, and they had them in spades,
“I always liked the circus as a child wild. DeSimone greeted arrivals as the art Jonason and Kevin Caldabaugh including stilt-walkers, jugglers, uni-
and I thought it would make a good ven- French clown Pierrot, her white dress clowned around with the crowd. cyclists, and even a tightrope walker.
ue for a benefit to celebrate our past,” topped with a ruffled black collar and
said Big Top Chair Ginger DeSimone. studded with black pompoms. To keep costs down there was no “My favorite was always the tra-
“It was just a coincidence that Ringling actual circus tent, so illusion became peze, but we didn’t have a ceiling,”
Bros. decided to fold their tent in May, With no actual circus animals the name of the game. Red and white said DeSimone. Instead there was a
right after our benefit. So now it seems planned, folks took matters into their tent stripes highlighted the entryway hula hoop contortionist, spinning 40
like it’s appropriate to have a farewell own hands, including DeSim- and huge backdrops in the lobby and lit hoops while twisting with the flex-
circus event.” one’s good-natured husband ibility of Gumby. Later guests did a
Glenn, who donned a blow- buffet room gave the impression little spinning of their own, dancing
Proceeds from the evening, as with up costume of a lion tamer of being inside the Big Top. to the band Street Talk. 
Chef Farnsworth razzle-
dazzled with a large as-




1. Mary Ellen Brophy, Betsy Woodruff, Kate Thornton and Kate
Graham. 2. Vicki Aspbury, Anne Grealis, Emily Sherwood and Mary
Anne Gargaro. 3.Front: Kevin Caldabaugh. Back: Steve Hudson,
Lennart Jonason and Steve Hanlon. 4. Front: Pat Thompson and Steve
Hudson. Middle: Ginger DeSimone, Lynn Keutz, Andrea Thibodeau,
Pamela Hamilton, Katherine Seem, Kevin Caldabaugh, and Steve
Hanlon. Back: David Colclough. 5. Tina Lyons, Ginger DeSimone, Jim
Goett, Glenn DeSimone and Christi DeSimoneg. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE


14 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™



9 10

11 12


6. Hope Woodhouse, Katherine Seem, Sherrie Petermann and
Andrea Thibodeau. 7. Jon Seem with Laura and Bill Buck.
8. Sara Beth and Dillon Roberts with Vanessa and Justin
Larson. 9. Bob and Wheatie Gibb. 10. Bill and Marlynn Scully.
11. Jay and Karen Kemmerer. 12. Liz and Steve McKeever.
13. Randy and Sandy Rolf with Scott and Gail Alexander.
14. Bill King and Libby Thompson with Tammy and Nick
Purgatorio. 15. Bernie Murphy with Connie and Ron McGlynn.
16. Jo Ellen and Troy Hafner. 17. Don and Betsy Kittell.
18. Todd and Kathy Fennell with Chris and Debbie Marine.
19. Joan and Jay McLaughlin.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 15


13 14 15

16 17


16 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Polo with a Purpose: Ponying up to beat leukemia

Sharon and Jim Baumgardt. Rob DiMarco, Christina Mandina, Dr. Leonardo and Maria Mandina, Maria Mandina Valle and Carlos Valle PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

BY MARY SCHENKEL forts to cure leukemia, lymphoma, unusual for someone to show up at research. It also assists under-insured
Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and the primary physician’s office with patients to obtain often prohibitively
Staff Writer to improve the lives of patients and some nonspecific mild symptomatol- expensive drugs.
their families. ogy perhaps, before a general physical.
Last Saturday evening’s Polo with a That would be a good time to run some “By your donations to this Leukemia
Purpose Charity Ball at the Quail Val- As arriving guests perused a selec- basic blood tests that are absolutely Society, you enable us to be more gen-
ley River Club to benefit the Leukemia tion of silent-auction items during the essential to a diagnosis. So my mes- erous to all patients and to do more re-
& Lymphoma Society was decidedly cocktail hour, they were amazed by sage to you is go see your family doctor search,” said Scott. “We have a lot more
personal for many involved. It was per- slights-of-hand by “Magician to the if you’re not feeling up to par, because to do.”
sonal for emcee Luke Webb, a member Stars” Jeff Edmonds. Later, auction- it can be a life-saver for you.”
of the Indian River advisory council eer Ron Rennick presided over a lively Webb spoke about his experience,
of the LLS Palm Beach chapter, diag- live auction. During a delightful din- Dr. Scott has lived and practiced in noting of the diagnosis, “To say it was a
nosed in 2007 with chronic myelog- ner, and afterward for dancing, guests Vero Beach since 1975, specializing in shock is an understatement.”
enous leukemia. were entertained by the Bob Hardwick internal medicine, hematology and
Sound Sensation Dance Orchestra. oncology. While there is no cure, his cancer
It was personal for event chair Patta has been kept in remission for 10 years
Conboy, whose brother has battled “In our first year of this event, we “I’ve been practicing now for 42 through a simple course of treatment –
the disease for more than 15 years; to thought it only fitting to honor two of years and I have to tell you, it has been one Gleevec pill each day.
the professional polo players in atten- our own; two physicians who make a a very exciting time in hematology and
dance, supporting Wellington player huge impact on our community,” said oncology,” said Scott, recalling the ma- “Because of funding by donations
Brandon Phillips, diagnosed with non- Webb. jor breakthrough about 20 years ago from events like this, LLS is on the cut-
Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 14; to the of the drug Gleevec, which changes ting edge of cancer treatments,” said
patients whose lives have been saved Dr. Mandina, a practicing family leukemia cells and puts patients into Webb. “They’re the single largest cor-
by event honorees Dr. Michaela Scott physician for 36 years, also has ties to long-term remissions. “It absolutely poration dedicated to blood cancers,
and Dr. Leonardo Mandina; and it the equestrian community as a breed- revolutionized how we treat patients.” but what’s unique about blood cancers
was personal to the many other guests er, with wife Maria, of magnificent is that they happen to correlate very
touched by cancer. Andalusians at their Hacienda del Sol She also spoke about DNA genome strongly with other cancers that are
Ranch in Vero Beach. testing, funded by LLS, which can en- out there. So a lot of the therapies that
Funds raised at the inaugural event, able targeted treatments. Scott noted have been developed, that were funded
hosted by BG Vero Beach Polo Club, Mandina noted that family physi- that since its founding in 1949, the LLS by LLS research, have actually gone on
will go toward lifesaving research ef- cians often play a key role in diag- had funded more than $1 billion in to treat and cure other cancers as well.
nosing cancer, explaining, “It’s not And that’s why this is so important.” 

Don’t get nervous, call Scott Tree Services

CELL: 772-473-7150
OFFICE: 772-569-3874


Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 17


Sandie and Mike McGuinness, Connie Webb and Pam Payne. Samantha and Roger Lynch with Jane and Jim Schwiering. Elke Fetterolf, Dr. Michaela Scott and George Fetterolf.

Terrie Mooney, Luke Webb and Molly Teter Webb. Brad and Helene Jefferson with Rita and George Allen. Nancy Faigen, Gary Smith, Jeanine Harris and Kay Brown.

Wilma Connell and Patta Conboy. Patty and Ron Rennick.

Paul Genke and Lila Blakeslee. Rachael Hetson and Gaston Rodriguez.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 23


Sue Post, Libby Thompson, Kelli Martin and Nancy Forlines. Samantha Kmetz. PHOTOS STEPHANIE LABAFF Claire Collier, Marie Camacho and Devin Stanley.

Mary and Ron Wuslich with Gwen Thompson.

Sally Pearse and Laura Moss.

Duane and Jane Weise.

June Bercaw and Alet Filmalter.

24 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Educators real stars of Learning Alliance ‘Celestial’ event

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF etarium Director Jon Bell and his Gail  Williams,  Tom  Hammond  and  Jean  Oglethorpe. Victor Adams and Ray Oglethorpe.
Staff Writer fellow astrophiles set up telescopes
outside for guests to get a close-up
The stars shone brightly last look at celestial objects.
Wednesday evening at a Celestial
Celebration: An Evening among the After moving into the Holmes
Stars at the Vero Beach Museum of Great Hall for a dinner catered by
Art hosted by The Learning Alliance. Elizabeth D. Kennedy & Co., the
The theme was a nod to the com- lights went out, plunging the room
munity supporters and educators into pitch-black darkness before
involved in the Moonshot Moment stars lit up the ceiling, creating the
literacy initiative. illusion of the night sky with celes-
tial images wafting overhead.
Over the course of this school year,
Stephanie Roth Sisson’s book “Star The enlightening scene segued
Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries nicely into a video presentation
of the Cosmos” was used to inspire about “Star Stuff” in which Sagan
students by reading about the famed was quoted as saying, “After reading
astronomer, astrophysicist and re- my first book about stars, the scale
searcher whose contributions were of the universe opened up to me.”
crucial to NASA and space explora- The segment ended with a statement
tion. about the Pulitzer Prize-winning
author, “Imagine if young Carl Sa-
More than 250 literacy support- gan never learned to read.”
ers began with cocktails and hors
d’oeuvres in the Buck Atrium while Before the lights came up, per-
listening to the sounds of James formers from Groovolution Enter-
Broxton and the Essence of Sound tainment pumped up the crowd
Band. To further illuminate the spir- with a choreographed dance using a
it of the evening, Hallstrom Plan- rainbow of LED lights to “Can’t Stop
the Feeling.”

Heidi Sparkes Guber, Peter Remington and Liz Woody. Marianne Bartlett, Liz Crowther and Nance Hoder.

Teddy Floyd and Eric Flowers. PHOTOS GORDON RADFORD Randy and Nancy Hines.

Come in and let us create a masterful blend of function The Learning Alliance launched literacy programs were integrated.
and esthetics for the kitchen of your dreams. its literacy initiative seven years ago “When we started, 42 percent
and in 2012 spawned the communi-
f e at u r i n g : ty-wide Moonshot Moment goal of of the student body in K-3 was on
achieving 90 percent grade-level lit- free and reduced lunch. Now that
Established 18 Years in Indian River County eracy by third grade by 2018. number is at 70 percent. We found
that those economically disadvan-
• The Treasure Coast’s most Comprehensive, Professional Showroom Sharing the status of that ambi- taged students needed more time,”
• Extensive Collection of Styles and Finishes to Meet Your Budget tious goal, Ray Oglethorpe, TLA Oglethorpe explained.
• Convenient Hours or By Appointment • Remodeling specialists chairman said, “We thought they
were well on their way to success. We “We are holding to our 90 percent
(772) 562-2288 | learned we could get kids to read the goal. Not only is that goal morally
3920 US Hwy 1, Vero Beach FL 32960 words, but they might not have the right, but it’s also absolutely vital for
vocabulary to understand what the the economic health of this nation.
words are.” Frederick Douglass once said, ‘It’s
easier to build strong children than
He said that as they uncovered repair broken men.’ In Indian River
new challenges in the ever-changing County we’re trying to build strong
landscape, vocabulary and fluency children who will be literate, cre-
programs were implemented, after- ative and compassionate citizens in
school and summer programs were this world with the social and emo-
developed, and social and emotional tional grit to succeed.” 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 25


Amie Rutherford, Megan Kendrick and Julie Kastensmidt. Susie Brinckerhoff, Madeleine Bouldin and Beth Werwaiss. Jennifer Norris, Lisa Ross and Suzy Feeney.

Mary Ellen McCarthy and Christine Smith. Julie Carroll and LaShann Biondi.

Fran Adams and Barbara Hammond. Sandy and Ted Bowers.

Betty and Whitney MacMillan. Dr. Glenn and Emily Tremml.

Richard and Barbara Murdock. Marcia Poutiatine and Susie Hunter.

Ed and Susan Smith. Terry and Lindsay Eakin.

26 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


The Circle turns inspiring philanthropy into art form

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF Bonnie Wilson and Joyce Donahue. Brady Roberts and Laura Moss. ter a recap of the four finalist programs,
Staff Writer were ready to vote. As evidenced by the
Nancy Edmiston, Circle chairwoman. Karen Loeffler and Sophie Bentham-Wood. level of excited discussion, the women
The circle is a geometric shape that “Until I was involved with the Circle, were passionate about the programs.
has permeated art since the begin- into the museum who would normally
ning of time. It is also defined as an I had no idea of the extent of the out- have little or no access to the museum “We have $37,960 in grant money to
area of action or influence, which reach and educational programs the and art.” spend this year,” said Edmiston. “That
aptly describes the essence of The Museum provides,” said Diane Wil- brings the total of funds disbursed
Circle, a Vero Beach Museum of Art helm, who has been part of the group Last fall, at an afternoon tea at the since the Circle’s founding to $234,176.
philanthropic group whose members since its inception. Marsh Island Clubhouse, museum Our donations have given the museum
contribute a minimum of $250 to staff presented the group with seven the budgetary flexibility to go in new
supplement the funding of Museum Mackie Duch commented on the programs for funding consideration. directions and become an important
outreach programs. impact the outreach programs have part of the community in many differ-
on children, noting, “It brings children “What you all do is truly inspiring,” ent ways.”
Last Thursday members gathered shared Robyn Orzel, director of devel-
for their final meeting of the season opment/associate executive director. After ballots were tallied, Edmis-
to decide which programs to fund for “To see so many thoughtful, caring, ton announced with a flourish, “The
the 2017-2018 season. articulate and generous women com- winner is the Intergenerational Pro-
ing together to support arts education gram, which will be fully funded in the
The group began eight years ago at a time when it needs it most is very amount of $24,293.”
with the intent of selecting and fund- gratifying.”
ing programs with a focus on com- The program connects older adults
munity, family and education. The Circle members had winnowed with at-risk teens through collabora-
circumference of the Circle has con- down the list of potential awardees tive art-viewing and art-making expe-
tinued to grow, each year adding new through research and site visits and, af- riences. Funding will allow the current
members. program, in partnership with the Teen
Challenge Boys Ranch, to continue
“This year membership reached an and will expand to include the Hibis-
all-time high of 133 members. We have cus Village.
24 charter members still involved with
the Circle and 18 new members,” said The remaining funds will be grant-
ed to cover 50 percent of the cost of
the Artful Engagements program,
which partners with the Senior Re-
source Association to promote social
engagement while participating in
art-making. The interaction promotes
cognitive and physical stimulation and
diminishes emotional isolation.

“This is about community impact
and about the museum reaching dif-
ferent audiences. Improving lives
through the arts,” said Brady Roberts,
executive director and CEO. “Without
the Circle, I don’t know that we would
be able to do these programs. We need
this support so we can go on doing
things for the community and bring
the arts to people and bring people
into the museums so they can have
great experiences.” 

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Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 27


Patricia Chartrand, Maureen Baus and Susan Hale. Jan Phillips, Marty Snyder and Kitty Mountain.

Louise Schmitt, Lee Albro, Judy Balph and Caroline Taylor.

Debra Schmidt, Patty Antos and Lynn Miller. Diane Rose and Joanne Kudzma. Muci Clemens and Norma Peters. Margie Wheeler and Lisa O’Brien.

Elise Geary and Carol Ceplenski. Sheila McDonough and Carole Kaplan. Susan Kintner and Nora Koontz. Gail Prauss and Nancy Cutshall.

Emilie Burr, Gerri Smith, Gillian Stewart and Susan McSorley.

Sara Shankland, Mackie Duch, Leah Tompkins and Diane Wilhelm. PHOTOS GORDON RADFORD

28 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


A Fraiche Note’s
scallop and tenderloin dish.

1 23

In like Lynne: Judges crown Vero’s Top Chef 2017

BY MARY SCHENKEL ning as Vero’s Top Chef 2017 at the sional judges to determine which com- sine. And despite the friendly rivalry,
Staff Writer ninth annual Vero’s Top Chef Chal- petitor would earn the Top Chef title. all were in agreement that they were
lenge Finale at Bent Pine Golf Club to Guests were not left out of the epicure- pleased their efforts would raise mon-
Chef Cassandra Lynne, owner of A benefit the Hope for Families Center. an equation, though; they chose Chef ey to assist homeless families.
Fraiche Note: Private Chef Services, Bill Narhi of the Vero Beach Yacht Club
emerged victorious last Monday eve- In a new twist this year, organizers as the recipient of the People’s Choice Osceola Bistro owner Chef Chris Bi-
enlisted the assistance of four profes- Award. reley was first up, presenting a Greek-
style dish with a Florida twist; sautéed
The professional judges spanned the Florida gulf shrimp served over fresh,
culinary world: Kimmy Coveny and house-made spinach linguine, with a
Joey Fenyak, owners of Joey’s Seafood white wine broth flavored with lemon,
Shack and former 2016 Top Chef fi- capers, tomato, Kalamata olives and
nalists; Thomas Finck, founder of the Feta.
Treasure Coast Bailliage (chapter) of
the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an inter- Narhi impressed with twist on beef
national association of gastronomy; Wellington; breast of pheasant and
William Solomon, who oversees the shitake mushroom mousse wrapped
Indian River State College Culinary in flaky puff pastry, beautifully plated
Institute as Human Environmental atop a yin and yang port wine demi-
Science Department chair; and noted glace and calvados cream sauce,
author George Taber, whose reporting served alongside truffle whipped po-
on the Judgment of Paris transformed tatoes and layered vegetable timbales.
the world of wine.
Bent Pine Golf’s own Club Chef
It was a deliciously hard-fought com- Sarah Wills served up a succulent sea-
petition, with each of the four talented food tower over a bed of green bam-
finalists creating exceptional cui- boo rice, featuring a jumbo lump crab
cake, pan-seared with a crisp crust

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 29


4 56

TOP CHEF CAPTIONS surrounding moist crabmeat, topped with shared that this is the first stable environ-
ment many of these children have ever
1. Bill Friesell, Margaret Watson, Susan Friesell, Ken marinated shrimp, a saffron beurre blanc known. She also noted that each of the
Watson and Dick Campbell. 2. Chef Cassandra Lynne shelter’s 21 rooms costs roughly $2,000 per
and Michael Hicks of A Fraiche Note. 3. Joey Fenyak and and delicate micro fennel garnish. month to operate, which includes all their
Kimmy Coveny. 4. Ginny Hustead, Al Ebstein and Judy residents’ meals. In addition to providing
Peschio. 5. Vero Beach Yacht Club’s pheasant en croute. Lynne’s winning dish featured lively cit- a structured, safe environment, the HFC
6. Diana Grossi and Pat Dunsmore. 7. Osceola Bistro’s partners with other agencies to offer pro-
seafood linguini. 8. Nicki Maslin and Toni Abraham. rus flavors in a base of fluffy, lemony potato grams in education, health and job prepa-
PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE mousseline topped with a tender slice of
“This is the only shelter on the Treasure
7 beef tenderloin and a perfectly pan-seared Coast for families. This just has to exist,”
said event sponsor Sue Scully. “They want
scallop, surrounded by a citrus champagne to move on and do better. There are just so
many people in the woods and living in cars
beurre blanc. and they need our help.” 

And as if that wasn’t enough, dessert was

a warm, molten-lava chocolate cake.

A short video as guests and chefs awaited

results brought home the message of the

evening, with children at the shelter shar-

PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 30 8 ing their thoughts.
Diana Grossi, HFC executive director,

30 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Bent Pine’s 17
crabcake dish

12 13

9. Thomas and Carole Finck with Jean
and George Taber. 10. Scott Chisholm
and Chris Holly. 11. Judi Freni with
Dick and Carol Mahony. 12. Gail and
Sam Murdough with Sheila Ledbetter.
13. Rey Neville and Michele Hollingworth
with Sue and Graham Burton. 14. Kathy
and Charley Holden. 15. Sue Scully and
Sheila Ledbetter. 16. Melissa Burke with
VB Yacht Club chef Bill Narhy. 17. Darcia
Francey and Pam Gatto.

15 16


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34 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Weekend whirlwind as thousands enjoy Hibiscus Fest

Nichole Green and Maryann Wolonowski. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Tony Young, Fé Domenech and Nancy Ross.

Elizabeth Graves Bass, Miss Hibiscus 2016 Melanie Coppola and Cindy Goetz. Miss Congeniality Mackenzie Ross, Miss Hibiscus 2017 Gabi McFall PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 36
and Miss Photogenic Riley Lowell Janie Graves Hoover, Terry Torres, Elaine Jones and Carolyn Kleinpeter.

The Art & Science
of Cosmetic Surgery

SPECIALTIES INCLUDE: Julia and Laura Amelio with John Michael Matthews.
• Minimal Incision Lift for the
Face, Body, Neck & Brow Margaret and Becky Mattingley. Historic Downtown Vero Beach
• Breast Augmentations & Reductions Jacob and David Busch. was the place to be this weekend.
• Post Cancer Reconstructions Gorgeous weather and nonstop
• Chemical Peels • Botox fun drew thousands to the 14th
• Obagi Medical Products • Laser Surgery annual Hibiscus Festival Fine Art
• Liposculpture • Tummy Tucks and Fine Craft Show presented by
• Skin Cancer Treatments Main Street Vero Beach. Things
kicked off at the Heritage Cen-
Celebrating Over 25 ter Thursday evening with the
Years in Vero Beach crowning of Gabi McFall as 2017
Miss Hibiscus. The weekend’s ac-
3790 7th Terrace tivities included an early-morn-
Suite 101 ing Hibiscus Bike Ride Saturday
and two days of artist displays,
Vero Beach, Florida vendors, plenty of food, continu-
ous live entertainment, a Shop-
772.562.5859 ping Cart Parade to benefit Unit-
ed Against Poverty, and even a Downtown Vero Historical Walk-
ing Ghost Tour. 
Ralph M. Rosato

36 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 34 PHOTOS GORDON RADFORD Josie and Joy Campell with Ainsley, Jill and Austin Samberg. Lori Robinson, Kathi and Tim Glenn, Cherie and John Pagano.
Alex Soares with children Eliza, Isabel and Karin.

Dick and Bobbie Winger.

Wendy and Stewart Pierce.

Gary Moore and Sharon Lay.

Cathleen and Dale Materka.

Amanda Saunders and Jillian Lopes.


38 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Producing golf film an ‘Honour’ for Orchid Islander

BY RAY MCNULTY “I read the book
Staff Writer
and loved it,” Whit-
Part-time Orchid Island resident
Ken Whitney, who retired in 2013 af- ney, 59, said of “Tom-
ter 25 years as an executive with the
Blackstone Group investment firm, had my’s Honor: The Sto-
heard all the reasons why he shouldn’t
put his money behind a golf movie. ry of Old Tom Morris

Especially this: Unless the flicks are and Young Tom Mor-
funny, they’re usually not profitable.
ris, Golf’s Founding
While “Caddyshack,” “Happy Gilm-
ore” and “Tin Cup” have become em- Father and Son,” the
bedded in American culture, golf dra-
mas such as “The Greatest Game Ever award-winning vol-
Played,” “The Legend of Bagger Vance”
and “Bobby Jones: Strokes of Genius” ume on which the
struggled at the box office.
movie is based. “It’s
And “Tommy’s Honour” – the inde-
pendently produced, Scottish-made a very powerful story. Ken Whitney. PHOTO: DENISE RITCHIE
film that will open next week in 150
theaters in 30 American markets, in- “Some golfers
cluding Vero Beach – isn’t a comedy.
might know the
It’s an emotionally gripping drama
that tells the story of the challenging names, but most
and bittersweet relationship between
the father and son who ushered in the people don’t know
modern game of golf in a class-divided
Scotland in the mid-to-late 1800s. the story, and this is

a chapter in the his-

tory of golf needs to

be told,” he added.

“But this is more than

a golf story. It’s really

a love story.

“Golf is just the


That’s why, de-

spite hearing from a

stream of naysayers,

Whitney accepted

venture capitalist Keith Bank’s invita- thing less than encouraging.
tion to join him as an executive pro- “I remember him saying, ‘You’re
ducer of “Tommy’s Honour.”
probably going to lose all your money.’”
In fact, Whitney took the plunge There was one friend, however, who
against the advice of Teddy Schwarz-
man, the founder of Black Bear Pic- offered encouragement: When Whit-
tures, which produced the 2014 hit, ney discussed the project with Barry
“The Imitation Game,” which received Reardon, the now-retired Warner
eight Oscar nominations, won the Bros. president for distribution who
2015 Academy Award for Best Adapted owns a home at Orchid Island, he was
Screenplay and grossed more than told to trust his instincts.
$225 million.
“He said the No. 1 rule in this busi-
“Teddy is the son of Stephen ness is to never generalize,” Whitney
Schwarzman, who is one of the found- said, explaining how Reardon cited
ing partners at Blackstone, and I was “Chariots of Fire,” the 1981 British-
half-hoping he would want to partici- made historical drama that won four
pate,” Whitney said. “But when I told Academy Awards, including the Oscar
him about the movie, he was some- for Best Picture, despite lacking a mar-
quee screenwriter, director and cast.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 39


“So I’m aware of the risks,” he add- The roles of Tom and Tommy Mor- Nilas Martins helps Ballet
ed. “I told my wife: What we put into ris are played by Scottish actors Peter get in step with Bournonville
this, we might never get back. But she Mullan and Jack Lowden, and British
could see how much I wanted to do actress Ophelia Lovibond plays the BY MICHELLE GENZ a requirement of the Balanchine Trust,
this, that this was a passion project part of Tommy’s wife, Meg Drinnen. Staff Writer which safeguards the choreography.
for me, and she told me to go for it.”
The screenplay was adapted from When two seasons ago Ballet Vero For this year’s season final next week-
Still, it wasn’t until Whitney met the book by Cook and his wife, Pame- Beach wanted to stage its first Bal- end, the company is bringing in another
with the movie’s director – Jason Con- la Marin, a former feature writer for anchine ballet, “Valse Fantaisie,” it City Ballet veteran, Nilas Martins, to set
nery, Sean’s son – that he was finally the Orange County Register and Los brought in a former New York City Ballet a piece of choreography of the great 19th
convinced to put his money where his Angeles Times. dancer, Paul Boos, to direct rehearsals, century Danish dancer and choreogra-
passion was.
“Tommy’s Honour” debuted in CONTINUED ON PAGE 40
Whitney flew to Los Angeles and June at the Edinburgh International
they talked for four hours over din- Film Festival and, four months lat-
ner. He said Connery’s enthusiasm for er, earned Best Feature Film hon-
“Tommy’s Honour” was infectious. ors at the British Academy Scotland
“It wasn’t just Jason’s vision for the
film,” he said. “It was his passion for The movie made the first of its
the project. He talked about his rela- three scheduled U.S. premiers last
tionship with his father and how it re- week at the World Golf Hall of Fame
volved around the game of golf.” in St. Augustine, where Whitney said
it was well-received, albeit by a golf-
A former University of Delaware loving audience.
golfer who has won multiple club
championships and remains heavily Two other premiers are scheduled
involved with national and local First for April 12 in New York and April
Tee youth-development programs, 13 in Chicago – proceeds from both
Whitney was already sold on the story. will benefit the First Tee – before the
movie opens nationally April 14.
For those who don’t know:
 Tom Morris, also known as “Old “The golf community has really
Tom,” was a club maker, ball maker, embraced this movie, so much so
greens keeper, caddie and head pro at that everyone that’s seen it has said
St. Andrews from 1865-1903. He was they’ve enjoyed it,” Whitney said.
instrumental in founding the Open “We’ve already gotten praise from
Championship, also known as the CBS’ Jim Nantz, the Golf Channel’s
British Open, in 1860, when he struck Rich Lerner and Ben Crenshaw, a
the first ball in tournament history. two-time Masters champion and Hall
He played in the event for 36 con- of Famer.
secutive years and won the title four
times, his last coming in 1867 at age “Kingdom Magazine, which was
46, which, to this day, makes him the started by Arnold Palmer, recently
oldest Open champion. came out with a five-page article on
 Tommy Morris, also known as why it might be the best golf movie
“Young Tom,” was golf’s first prodigy, ever made,” he added.
having won a still-unmatched four
consecutive Open Championships “So we’re looking forward to finally
and becoming the youngest major getting this out in front of general au-
champion in history when he won the diences.”
1868 title at age 17. He also was one of
the pioneers of professional golf, as Whitney, whose full-time home is
well as a course and equipment in- in Scarsdale, N.Y., expects “Tommy’s
novator, before his death at 24 – just Honour” to be a big hit in Vero Beach,
months after his wife and baby died given the number of golfers and golf
during childbirth. fans in the community.
 Tom Morris was subservient to
the class distinctions of Scotland in By the way, this isn’t Whitney’s
the 1800s, never once stepping in- first venture into stage and screen.
side the Royal & Ancient Golf Club’s He was a producer for “Fun Home,”
clubhouse. Tommy Morris, born and the Broadway musical that won five
raised in St. Andrews, was a rebel Tony Awards in 2015. He’s also cur-
who refused to accept the societal rently producing a film about how
and golf norms of the time. Charles Dickens came to write “A
As Connery says on the movie’s Christmas Carol.”
website, “They were creating history
with no sense of their legacy.” “Tommy’s Honour,” though, seems
“It’s a story line people are going to mean more to him.
to love,” Whitney said, “and Jason
did a wonderful job of pulling it all “It’s an expensive project because
together.” it’s a time-period drama, so there’s a
The only actor recognizable to lot involved in terms of the attention
most U.S. movie goers is Sam Neill, to detail – to hair, makeup, costumes,
who starred in “The Hunt for Red equipment, the landscape, and even
October,” “Jurassic Park” and “Bicen- the golf swings, which were different
tennial Man.” back then,” Whitney said.

“But it’s been a wonderful project
and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
I’m excited about it, because this is a
story that needs to be told. I think this
is a film that people will be watching
for a long time.” 

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How much is a Payback contracts, or “value-based
medical miracle pricing” in pharma industry parlance,
worth? BY CAROLINE CHEN are already used in Europe. In the U.S.
BLOOMBERG to spread payments from insurance they’re trickier to execute, because
companies to drugmakers over years, there isn’t a single payer with which
Sofia Priebe, 14, is slowly going Insurers are “used to paying rent like an annuity. Another is to have a to negotiate and patients frequently
blind. Her parents were devastated for health, and we’re asking them to money-back guarantee, so if a drug or switch insurance plans throughout
when they were told there’s no treat- buy a houseful of cure,” says Mark treatment stops working for a patient, their lives.
ment for the genetic mutation that’s Trusheim, a visiting scientist at MIT’s the manufacturer is on the hook to re-
causing her retinas to deteriorate. For Sloan School of Management who’s fund part of the cost to the insurer. Jean-Jacques Bienaime, CEO of
the dozen years since Sofia received leading a working group to explore fi- BioMarin, proposes creating legisla-
that diagnosis, her mother has lived nancing models for upcoming drugs, tion requiring patients to carry the
every parent’s nightmare — being drawing from examples in the housing reimbursement obligation with them
powerless to help her suffering child. market and activist hedge funds. when they change jobs or insurers,
to ensure drugmakers continue to be
Now a gene therapy for a similar Spark Chief Executive Officer Jeff paid. BioMarin is working on a gene
form of blindness is expected to re- Marrazzo sees his company’s pric- therapy for the blood disorder hemo-
ceive U.S. Food and Drug Adminis- ing decision as precedent-setting, as philia, which Bienaime argues is easily
tration approval this year, and Laura it would be the first gene therapy ap- worth millions of dollars per patient
Manfre, Sofia’s mom, is holding out proved in the United States. Spark has for a cure.
hope that her daughter may soon get spent about $400 million to create the
treatment as well. “We don’t really care treatment and now wants to be com-
what it costs,” she says. pensated for the efforts and huge risks
it took during the research and devel-
But how much is a miracle really opment phase.
worth? A million dollars? Five million?
More? And who will pay and how? Spark Therapeu-
tics has spent
It’s one of the most vexing challeng- $400 million
es confronting drug and insurance developing a
companies as modern medicine ad- blindness cure.
vances, spurred by research on the hu-
man genome. Spark Therapeutics Inc., What’s unclear is
which developed the gene therapy to how to price the
cure a rare form of childhood blind- breakthrough.
ness called RPE65-mediated inherited
retinal disease, is among the first to How the payment debate plays out
face this question. will determine not only whether pa-
tients will be able to gain access to
Spark’s treatment, voretigene nepar- these treatments, but also how hard
vovec, delivers a functioning piece of drugmakers will push to develop other
DNA directly to the eyes to preserve transformative medicines.
remaining sight and even restore some
vision. “Why is it that there are not more
cures?” Marrazzo says.“It’s not because
Other companies, including Glaxo- there are bad actors. It’s an industry full
SmithKline Plc and BioMarin Pharma- of people who react to incentive struc-
ceutical Inc., have also been grappling tures.” If compensation could be rede-
with the pricing problem. signed to reward one-time treatments
over chronic treatments, “that’s where
Some new treatments, such as Spark’s people would play,” he says.
retina drug, are intended to work with
just one shot – promising a lifetime cure One idea under consideration is
from a single, costly treatment.

Insurers don’t dispute the worth of
cures in the pipeline but say they’re
not equipped to pay one large sum
upfront. The U.S. health-care system
is built around managing symptoms
with prescriptions that insurers pay
reimbursements for monthly: For ex-
ample, medicines such as cholesterol-
lowering Lipitor or acid-reflux drug
Nexium are often taken over a period
of many years and don’t deliver a per-
manent fix.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 47


“The average cost of severe hemo- Leadiant Biosciences’ pricey long-term drug, provide the drug to Medicare and
philia A is about $500,000 a year, so $1 Medicaid patients and charge com-
million upfront would cover two years $320,000Adagen, has an annual cost of about mercial insurers a cheaper price than
– that’s not much, if they’re healed for to treat the “bubble boy disease,” while the they likely would have paid to a for-
life,” Bienaime says, adding that Bio- Strimvelis gene therapy by GlaxoSmithKline runs profit private company.
Marin hasn’t decided how to price its
drug, which is going through trials. $634,000 Other ideas that his group is inves-
for a single-shot treatment.* tigating include government grants
MIT’s Trusheim is considering or prizes to developers of cures, or
more radical payment plans, such *COST INFORMATION FROM GLAXOSMITHKLINE, STRIMVELIS ONLY AVAILABLE IN EUROPE volume-purchase commitments such
as having the U.S. government buy as those used by the Bill & Melinda
an entire company instead of paying Gates Foundation in developing na-
for its drugs. “The government could tions, which guarantee manufacturers
sell off the research and development that a minimum amount of a drug will
arm of a company, like a Carl Icahn,” be bought if they successfully develop
he says, referring to activist investors it. Trusheim’s group plans to publish its
who take over corporations, often recommendations by early next year.
selling off units that they deem pe-
ripheral. When designing payment mod-
els, the size of the patient population
The idea is to then have the feds

48 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


matters: The larger the potential im- already spooked others. “What I hear is Such market realities may already arguably a bargain price: $634,000 for
pact, the more the system will strain that they call it ‘the Gilead HCV experi- be reflected in new-drug prices. When the one-time treatment, equivalent to
to deal with the huge cost of one-time ence,’ and by that they mean everything GlaxoSmithKline brought its Strimve- two years of the enzyme replacement
cures. That’s what Gilead Sciences Inc. that it entails: the publicity, scrutiny, lis gene therapy to market in Europe therapy that patients previously had to
learned in 2015, when it launched a the payers first accepting then reacting, last year for the “bubble boy disease” take for a lifetime.
cure for hepatitis C at $84,000 for a the Senate Finance Committee,” says that leaves children without an effec-
three-month regimen, or $1,000 a pill. Meyers. “I’ve heard, ‘Why bother?’ ” tive immune system, it picked what’s Martin Andrews, Glaxo’s senior
vice president for rare diseases, notes
For anyone facing the prospect of
liver cancer or a liver transplant, that
$84,000 is a very good value, says Jim
Meyers, Gilead’s executive vice presi-
dent for global commercial opera-
tions. The price was in the ballpark of
existing treatments, and “there wasn’t a
payer we spoke to in market research
that felt a price in the $80,000 to $85,000
range wasn’t acceptable,” he says.

The drug proved immensely popu-
lar – far beyond Gilead’s expectations –
thanks to a quick endorsement by the
American Association for the Study of
Liver Diseases. About 3 million Ameri-
cans have hepatitis C, and many want-
ed the cure immediately. “We started to
see a flow of patients well above what
any of us anticipated, and a price that
made eminent sense to payers sud-
denly didn’t make sense,” Meyers says.

Rather than winning kudos for
treating an intractable malady, Gilead
quickly became a poster child for high
drug prices, an image it’s fought to
shed for the past two years.

Meyers warns that the backlash has

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 49


that the drug could have been valued sive therapy that nobody ever used,” “How has our judicial system that you can’t purely do with hard and
higher, but he says the company had he says. awarded for damages in the case of fast economics.”
to bow to economic realities, includ- patients who have lost their vision?”
ing the big deficits in European gov- Spark has a few more months to put asks Marrazzo. “That’s basically ev- Whether that will help its drug
ernments’ health budgets. “We didn’t a price tag on reversing progressive vi- eryday Americans sitting on a jury reach the market without consumer
want to have the world’s most expen- sion loss. Employees are researching and answering this question in a way or government blowback remains to
court cases involving the value of sight. be seen. 

50 Vero Beach 32963 / April 13, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Time to stop fearing change. Let’s ‘Make Vero More Vero’

BY VAL ZUDANS Several area neighbors and local The Ocean Drive parking issue is a government out of every business
businesses came to the P&Z meeting to microcosm of failed local government. where they have no business. Find a
If you’ve been in Vero Beach more express their alarm at this site plan ap- I call on our new mayor Laura Moss, way out of the high-priced govern-
than a couple years, you no doubt have proval. By far the biggest concern was a the other four City Council members, ment-run electric business. Stop try-
heard the phrase “Keep Vero Vero.” The lack of adequate parking for business- our city manager, and city planner to ing to negotiate decades-long deals for
sentiment, to which I have an affinity, es, and the further stress likely to come definitively fix the Ocean Drive parking tens of millions of dollars against giant
is that we very much like our little para- from having another restaurant across situation. I know that they can do it. corporations.
dise, and never want to lose any of the from hotels.
charm or culture. I have heard many potential ideas Government has no business be-
Because the city has never properly and they all merit consideration as ing in the marina business when oth-
Unfortunately, this can result in a addressed the parking issues on Ocean components of the solution. They in- ers can do much better at lower cost.
fear of change, even when adapting is Drive, the citizens were legitimately clude: develop a parking system for City government should not be in
safer. It is in the nature of humans to anxious about how this project would Ocean Drive that discourages hotel the sewer and water business if the
fear change. potentially harm their businesses. and other employees from parking county can do it better at lower cost.
directly on Ocean Drive; reconfigure County politicians (Hospital District,
We need healthy, environmentally How do we make local business suc- Cardinal Drive to add more nearby School Board, and County Commis-
clean, prosperous business in our cessful and, at the same time, protect parking spaces; use money from the sion) should not be running hospitals
community. A decision was made by our quality of life? Local leaders need parking system to build a garage within or taking on millions of dollars of risk
our community leaders that Ocean to be proactive, listen to residents, be reasonable distance from most Ocean negotiating self-insurance contracts.
Drive would be a focus for restaurants, creative, and do the right thing. This Drive activities; allow golf carts access
boutiques, financial enterprises, and parking issue is absolutely, positively to city owned roads with speed limits Politicians should stay out of boon-
hotels. It has been a great success. And a solvable problem. The solution is below 25, and find new spaces for their doggles like INEOS and buying Dodg-
simultaneously we have a big problem. not to restrict business and take away parking; and expand other parking op- er facilities and land when it only en-
people’s private property. The solution portunities outside Ocean Drive. sures that we will eventually lose those
Every hotel worker, restaurant serv- is to adapt in a way that improves our incredible community assets, or suffer
er and shop salesperson has to park culture and quality of life. Local leaders can’t stop there. Get huge financial losses.
somewhere and, along with the pa-
trons, there are not enough spaces dur- Local government should stick to
ing our busy season. those things that only they have the
potential to do well: roads, parks, po-
Some might even say that is a good lice, resident safety, and community
problem to have. But some of the planning. We would all be better off if
“Keep Vero Vero” crowd think differ- we had such a self-governed govern-
ently, and have even fought to make ment.
it more difficult to operate a business
in our community; they hope that this Rather than fearing change of any
will prevent a change in our culture. kind, stop crying “Keep Vero Vero.”
Demand that your leaders “Make Vero
I was recently appointed by Mayor More Vero!” 
Laura Moss to the Vero Beach Plan-
ning and Zoning Board. At P&Z, we Val Zudans, MD, is an island resident
had an application to build a new res- who serves on the Vero Beach Planning
taurant on Ocean Drive. I am happy to and Zoning board. He has been a prac-
report that the Tides restaurant, one of ticing ophthalmologist at Florida Eye
my favorite local restaurants (try the Institute since 2002. His views are his
hogfish), is expected to occupy this lo- own, and do not necessarily reflect the
cation. views of Vero Beach 32963.

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