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Published by Vero Beach 32963 Media, 2018-04-26 12:47:58

04/26/2018 ISSUE 17


Boulevard Tennis Club thrives
under new owners. P4
McKee’s Fairy and
Pirate Fest big hit. P15

Habitat’s tip of the hat to
retiring CEO Andy Bowler. P26

Witnesses build For breaking news visit
drug case against
Johnny Benjamin Opposition to new Orchid Publix
mounts among island neighbors
Staff Writer Blue Angels highlight Vero Beach Air Show. Story & photos, P20. PHOTO BY GORDON RADFORD BY RAY MCNULTY The seven-acre parcel on
Staff Writer which a relatively small Pub-
FORT LAUDERDALE – One lix would be built is entirely
by one, prosecutors paraded A growing group of Old Or- within Orchid’s town limits,
witnesses into a federal court- chid residents say they and even though the site is just
room this past week to build many of their neighbors op- west of the southwest sector
their case against a Vero Beach pose Publix’s plan to build a of Old Orchid, a 100-home,
spine surgeon accused of ille- supermarket in Orchid, adja- gated community located in
gal drug distribution and pro- cent to their community, and an unincorporated area of
viding the fentanyl-laced pain add they they’re worried their Indian River County.
killer that caused a Palm Beach voices won’t matter – because
woman’s 2016 overdose death. they’re not town residents. Thus, residents of Old Or-
chid, along with those across
Dr. Johnny Benjamin sat “I can’t speak for the whole the street in The Seasons at
calmly in court, sandwiched neighborhood, but a lot of us Orchid as well as other nearby
between his lawyers, as testi- here are not real pleased by this communities, have no voice
mony was taken on Monday, proposal,” Old Orchid resident in town matters – or the de-
the second day of the trial. Susan Shea said. “And some cision about whether to pro-
of us would like to express our ceed with a major construc-
CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 opposition. But I keep hearing tion project on their borders.
this is up to the (Orchid) Town
County: No money for Council and that we have no say. “We want to be good neigh-
railroad overpasses bors,” Orchid Town Manager
“How can we have no say Noah Powers said, “but, ul-
BY RAY MCNULTY when this property abuts our timately, it’s the Town Coun-
Staff Writer community and we’re defi- cil’s call.”
nitely going to be impacted
by what goes in there? That’s Stan Boling, the county’s
unbelievable.” community development di-
rector, agreed with Powers’
But also true.

Most of the county’s pop- Woman makes off with rings
ulation resides west of the from Village Shops boutique
railroad tracks, and both of
its local hospitals are located BY LISA ZAHNER
east of the tracks. So if Bright- Staff Writer
line’s passenger trains begin
hurtling through the county For the past two weeks, Indian River Shores Security camera footage shows the woman suspected of stealing two rings from Bella Cose in Village Shops.
32 times per day – joined by police have been trying to track down a wom-
more lengthy freights – a cou- an suspected of stealing more than $21,000
ple of years from now, what worth of jewelry from an island boutique via
will ambulances do? a sleight-of-hand trick during a busy trunk
show on March 27.
Most times, they’ll be
forced to idle at the crossings, CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
because county administra-
tor Jason Brown says building


April 26, 2018 Volume 11, Issue 17 Newsstand Price $1.00 Shores demolishes
town’s Community
News 1-10 Faith 61 Pets 73 TO ADVERTISE CALL Center. Photos, P9.
Arts 37-40 Games 51-53 Real Estate 75-88 772-559-4187
Books 50 Health 55-60 St. Ed’s 62
Dining 66 Insight 41-54 Style 63-65 FOR CIRCULATION
Editorial 48 People 11-36 Wine 67 CALL 772-226-7925

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

2 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Orchid Publix live just outside Orchid and are op- location would have on their commu- onto Jungle Trail, drive up two miles,
posed to the proposal – a Publix- nities, especially from increased traffic then take a right and go out on A1A, a
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 anchored strip mall with five other on 510 as well as signage and the in- little south of your gate,” Old Orchid
stores – actively participate in the trusive aura of parking-lot lighting. resident David Fischer said. “You’ll see
assessment, saying, “The town has decision-making process by attend- a lot more traffic on Jungle Trail, espe-
its own zoning department and Local ing any relevant public hearings and Other issues mentioned included cially during the season.
Planning Agency, and the decision expressing their concerns. noise, security, stormwater manage-
rests with the Orchid Town Council. ment, aesthetics and the impact on “How can more traffic on Jungle
The county has no jurisdiction there.” Earlier this month, several Old Or- Jungle Trail, which some said could Trail not be a negative?”
chid and Seasons residents were in see increased traffic from shoppers
The county’s input would come only the crowd of more than 100 people who live either to the north or south One of Fischer’s Old Orchid neigh-
if Publix moves forward and the proj- who attended Publix’s presentation and could use the scenic, unpaved bors, Dave Giesen, lives on West Maid-
ect requires changes to the traffic in- of its preliminary plans to the Orchid road as a cut-through to avoid back- en Court, where his home backs up to
frastructure, such as installing a signal Town Council. ups at the intersection of 510 and Jungle Trail, not far from the proposed
and turning lane, along County Road State Road A1A. Publix site.
510, locally known as Wabasso Road. Many of them questioned Publix
and town officials about the potential “If you live at Windsor, you come In interviews and email exchanges
Boling suggested that people who negative impacts a supermarket in that out of the parking lot, take a left turn with Vero Beach 32963, he said a su-
permarket would damage the tranquil
feel of the surrounding community.

“Many of us purchased homes here
because of the character of the area,”
Giesen wrote in one email. “We are
generally fearful of the implications
this proposed project would have on
the peace and serenity we enjoy today.”

He later said in an interview: “I
didn’t come here to have a supermar-
ket 1,800 feet away. We wanted the
house we bought because it abuts Jun-
gle Trail, because of the setting.”

Giesen said more than 100 homes
in Old Orchid are within 2,000 feet of
the proposed Publix complex and ar-
gued that these homeowners will be
impacted by the “noise, traffic and en-
vironmental degradation associated
with a loading dock, truck traffic and
the general ins and outs to the site.”

He said he cannot understand why
Orchid officials who rejected two
“more fitting” proposals – the Town
Council voted down plans for a court-
yard town-home community in 2011
and an upscale senior living facility
in 2016 – now seem so open to a more
disruptive use of the land.

“Why now? Why this?” Giesen
said. “After all the other things that
could’ve gone in there, the town is
going to approve this?”

Though Publix has a contract to
purchase the property from Vero
Beach developer Ken Puttick, who
submitted the previous two plans re-
jected by the town, Orchid officials
haven’t approved anything yet.

In fact, Powers said the town won’t
take further action on the matter un-
til Publix decides whether to pursue
the project and submits the neces-
sary application.

“The ball is in their court, and
they’re still doing their due dili-
gence,” Powers said last week. “Right
now, there’s no time frame, though I
imagine we’ll hear something in the
next few months.

“If Publix decides to move forward,
they’ll present their plans to our Lo-
cal Planning Agency,” he added. “And
if the LPA recommends approval, it
goes to the Town Council.”

However, the LPA and Town Coun-
cil do not meet during the summer,

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 3


so any plans submitted by Publix in Sebastian, and another one less Powers said Publix management from “quite a few Seasons residents
won’t be considered until the fall. than six miles away on U.S. 1 and 53rd wouldn’t pursue the project unless it who weren’t happy with what they
Consideration of those plans, Powers Street in Vero Beach. believed it would make money. heard.”
said, would include quasi-judicial
public hearings before both the LPA “Everybody likes Publix, but do we According to Ryan, Fischer, Giesen “Everybody I’ve talked to is against
and Town Council. really need another one?” Old Orchid and Shea, most of their neighbors it,” Fischer said, “and that includes
resident Kathy Ryan said. “It takes five share their concerns and are opposed some people from Orchid Island I’ve
With a standing-room-only crowd at- minute to get to the store in Sebastian, to the proposal. bumped into.”
tending the April 4 Town Council meet- and there’s another one down the road
ing, Publix representatives outlined in Vero. Aren’t they worried about can- Shea said there was “a lot of dissen- Powers, however, played down the
their plans to build a 31,000-square- nibalizing their other two stores?” sion in the crowd” at the Town Coun- opposition voiced at the meeting, say-
foot supermarket, along with five other cil meeting, where she also heard
stores, on the parcel across from Fire CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
Station No. 11.
Some opponents of the proposal
said the plans Publix representatives Exclusively John’s Island
put forth at the meeting differed from
the upscale, boutique-style market Beautifully updated, this exceptional 3BR/3BA residence enjoys
previously presented to town officials. magnificent, panoramic water and fairway views of the South Course. The
unique, barreled ceiling entrance flows into the spacious living room with
Instead, the supermarket would be fireplace and stately columns visually separating the lanai. All principal
merely a smaller version of a typical rooms open onto the poolside terrace. Boasting 4,263± GSF, additional
Publix and anchor a strip mall, though features include an island kitchen with large dining area, wet bar, cozy
the architectural design of the devel- breakfast nook, family room with small office, and updated bathrooms.
opment would reflect a West Indies 240 Island Creek Drive : $2,700,000
theme consistent with the Orchid area.
three championship golf courses : 17 har-tru courts : beach club : squash
The tallest part of the building health & fitness center : pickleball : croquet : vertical equity membership
would be 32 feet, and the property
would be extensively landscaped to 772.231.0900 : Vero Beach, FL :
create buffers that would screen the
shopping area from adjacent neigh-

Also, the Publix would face north
– toward the Orchid Island Golf &
Beach Club’s golf course – with the
rear of the supermarket backing up
to 510 and the parking lot in front.

“There are going to be lights all
over the place, and those 50-foot-
high lights will throw off an aura of
light in every direction,” said Fischer,
a lawyer and realtor. “You combine
that with the traffic and noise, and
what is that going to do to property
values around here?”

Fischer also wondered about Pub-
lix’s change of plan.

“After town officials first met with
Publix, it was supposed to be a small,
boutique-type grocery store that
would not look like a regular Publix,”
he said. “Then, at the meeting, they
said, ‘No, it’s going to be a Publix.’
That raises a red flag for me.

“Did they think saying it would be
a boutique-type store would make it
easier to get community support?” he
added. “Was it a bait-and-switch? And
now it’s a strip mall with five other
businesses? What are we supposed to

“Maybe they figure a stand-alone
Publix won’t do enough business to
sustain itself on a year-round basis,
so they’ll need the rent from the other

The question of whether a Publix in
Orchid could generate enough busi-
ness during the slow, summer months
in such a seasonal community was
brought up at the meeting.

Publix already has one supermar-
ket less than three miles away on the
mainland at U.S. 1 and Barber Street

4 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Orchid Publix MY Boulevard Tennis Club thrives under new owners

ing much of the feedback from town BY RAY MCNULTY All that was missing were the tum- watch your friends play and have a
residents has been positive. Staff Writer bleweeds. drink," Delavaut said. "Our food and
beverage numbers have been increas-
“How do you know the people outside This past Saturday, The Boulevard "I drove by this place for 10 years, ing since we brought in Counter Cul-
the town don’t want it?” Powers said. Tennis Club team made its Orchid Cup and I knew the potential was there," ture to run the restaurant."
“Have you asked people in Indian River debut and cruised through the eight- longtime Grand Harbor tennis direc-
Shores? At John’s Island? At Windsor? team tournament's men's, women's tor Christophe Delavaut said. "It just The owners plan to upgrade the
and mixed-doubles competition to needed the right ownership, the right deck furniture to encourage more
“There were, maybe, 100 people at take home the trophy. management." outdoor dining, Randazzo said, add-
the meeting, and only 14 spoke against ing that they also will make indoor
it, and half of them were from outside Just two years ago, such a triumph Help arrived on Jan. 18, 2017, when improvements to the restaurant area
of Orchid,” he added. “If that’s a ba- would have been unthinkable, and not a local ownership group fronted by to make the dining experience more
rometer, that’s a good meeting.” only because The Boulevard wasn't Delavaut, who left Grand Harbor in appealing.
invited to participate in the annual, April 2016, bought the foundering
Fischer said he’s hoping the home- inter-club event. club from Sue and Walter Rodman. "We don't look at this club as just a
owners associations at Old Orchid, The tennis facility, or even a tennis facil-
Seasons and other nearby communi- It would've been unthinkable be- The new group, particularly Dela- ity with a restaurant," Randazzo said.
ties will formally oppose the Publix cause, just two years ago, The Boule- vaut, hit the ground running – market- "Don't forget, we also offer massage
project and, possibly, present a united vard was a tennis ghost town – a won- ing the club through local advertising, therapy and a fitness center, and we've
front. derfully equipped but poorly managed recruiting lost members, listening to got a swimming pool, too."
club that, despite its early promise, existing members, organizing club-
Should Publix decide to move for- was hemorrhaging members fed up run activities, even installing water Among the other perks are the re-
ward and the project gets town ap- with shabby treatment from an uncar- fountains that worked – and continues ciprocal agreements that allow The
proval, Fischer said residents of the ing and unresponsive ownership. to make strides. Boulevard's premium members, who
outside-the-town communities have comprise about 30 percent of the to-
another option: They could go to court. Many of the remaining members, Now, 16 months later, The Boule- tal membership, to play golf, dine and
particularly more advanced players, vard is buzzing. drink at Pointe West and the Indian
“Since we’d be directly affected by struggled to find games. There were River Club on a year-round basis, as
the project, we would have a private no club-sponsored events or activities. The membership has more than well as at the Vero Beach Country Club
cause of action and we could sue by The 13 courts were too often unoccu- doubled, increasing from 108 to 238. from May to November.
claiming a nuisance,” he said. “But, pied, even during the previously busy There are men's nights, women's
hopefully, it won’t come to that. evening hours. nights, junior programs, adult clin- The Boulevard also has year-round
ics, beginners groups, USTA League reciprocals with the Vero Beach Yacht
“As people are finding out more in- teams, and tournaments. Court reser- Club and a summer agreement with
formation, the opposition is getting vations are now necessary. Sea Oaks, giving members access to a
more vocal and organized.”  beach club.
The club has come to life, and mem-
bers actually feel good about being And, relatively speaking, the price is
there – a sentiment that was sorely right: Annual dues for single member-
lacking under the previous ownership. ships range from $800 for "young pro-
fessionals" (under age 30); $1,600 for
"Over the past year or so, The Bou- "seniors”; and $1,750 for adults.
levard has earned a reputation as 'the
place to play' in the Vero Beach tennis "If you look at all you get, the price
community, especially for advanced is a bargain," Delavaut said, "and we
players," Delavaut said. "We have an didn't raise our dues this year."
abundance of 4.0-plus players. And we
have eight USTA League teams, men's That could change next year,
and women's from the 3.0 to 4.5 levels, though, as the surge in membership
playing this spring and summer. – most of which plays in the late after-
noon and at night – and the increase
"We’re also going after the begin- in USTA League play has forced the
ners," he continued. "We've started owners to explore adding lights to
Tennis 101 clinics for beginners who three additional courts.
pay $10 per session for three clinics. If
you develop new players, you develop Currently, The Boulevard has seven
new members. That's happening. lit courts.

"But we want to be about more than "That's our next big capital improve-
just tennis," he added. "We're also cre- ment," Delavaut said of lighting Courts
ating a more social environment." 7, 8 and 9. "We got away with not having
to do it this year, but with the member-
The new ownership – Grand Har- ship growing and an increased number
bor residents Tony Randazzo and Ed of USTA teams playing at night, there's
Friedman are the money men backing a lot of pressure to do it."
Delavaut's efforts – want to provide
an atmosphere in which the club be- Asked for a timeframe, Delavaut
comes a gathering place on and off the said, "We know it needs to be done,
courts. and it'll happen in the near future."

They want members to hang around One problem is that, contrary to
to eat, drink and socialize after they what many members believed, those
play. They want members to stop by courts weren't pre-wired for lights,
and hang out, even when they're not which adds to the cost.
Delavaut estimated the price tag for
That's happening, too. lighting the three courts at $70,000.
"Maybe you come by for lunch or
dinner, or maybe you come by just to "This is an expensive place to run,"
he said. "It's a big club that's more

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 5


than 10 years old, and with staff sala- Delavaut said about 70 percent of bers who returned after the change said, "but what we've found is that, in
ries and maintenance costs, there's a the new members are also members in ownership. Others, however, are a small town like this, you're best ad-
lot of overhead. at other clubs, including John's Island, former players returning to the sport, vertising is word of mouth."
Windsor, Quail Valley, The Moorings, experienced players new to town or
"So while we're doing well with Grand Harbor and Twin Oaks. newcomers to the game. When he took over The Boulevard's
memberships, we need to not only operations, Delavaut said he would
bring in new members but also keep About 30 percent of those new "We've done some advertising on have been "thrilled" to grow the mem-
the ones we've got." members are former Boulevard mem- TV and in the newspaper," Delavaut



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6 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


My Vero So instead of working 60 to 70 hours ed. "Nothing has come up that we and, yes, Orchid Cup, where last week-
per week, as he did when he started at didn't anticipate, and we're planning end his players' dominance of Quail
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 The Boulevard, Delavaut's now down to be here for the long term. Valley, The Moorings and other local
to only six to eight hours on the court clubs sent a message to Vero Beach's
bership to 175 in the first year. He fin- each day – and he gets Sundays off. "To this point, everything has been tennis community.
ished 2017 with nearly 200 members. positive, and that's the reaction we've
"It was harder than I thought," gotten from our members." The Boulevard is back ... and better
His goal for 2018 was to added 10 Delavaut said. "I'd leave the house in than ever. 
members per month. Thus far, the the morning when it was dark, and I'd Delavaut has an impressive back-
club has added 17 in January, 13 in come home at night when it was dark. ground as a teaching pro and tennis Village Shops jewelry theft
February and 10 in March. And there weren't many days off. director, but he's 54 in a profession CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
where job security tends to wane with
"We'll see what happens in April, "I went through a phase where, when age. If he wants to stay in Vero Beach, The blonde, suntanned and design-
and I know things tend to slow down I was on the court, I had a tough time which he does, he needs this venture er-clad woman, described in a police
during the summer months," he said. separating giving lessons and think- to succeed. report as 5 feet 7 inches tall and ap-
"But I'd love to finish the year with at ing about the business side," he added. proximately 110 pounds, allegedly
least 250 members." "Thankfully, I've got some help now." "I feel so lucky to be where I am at came into the Belle Cose luxury bou-
this point in my career," Delavaut said. tique in the Village Shops in Indian
Delavaut will benefit from the 17 And not just on the court. "I'm thrilled to be running a facility of River Shores, with her dog in tow, dur-
homes being built by GHO Homes In addition to Counter Culture run- this caliber, especially in a town like ing a jewelry trunk show event.
in adjacent Boulevard Village, where ning the food-and-beverage service, Vero Beach, where there's such a pas-
residents are required to have tennis Randazzo's daughter, Terri, now man- sion for tennis. I'm grateful to have She arrived around 1:42 p.m. and
memberships at the club. ages the off-the-court business, which two partners like Tony and Ed, who then departed, telling the store owner
frees Delavaut to focus on the tennis understand the business and are will- she had to go get some earrings that
"If you had asked me if we could operation. ing to make the necessary investment. she wanted to match, but that she
more than double the membership in "I wouldn't have gotten involved in would be back.
our first 16 months, I'd have said, 'No this if I weren't a tennis player," Ran- "And I appreciate our members,"
way,' but the word has gotten out," dazzo said. "I play. My daughter plays. he added. "For so long, they were do- The report states, “The owner of
Delavaut said. "I'm not surprised that My family plays. So, for me, this is more ing their own thing, putting together the store retrieved some jewelry to
we've grown, but it has come faster than just an investment. I enjoy seeing games and groups, because that's what show some patrons that visit the store
than I expected." how people are enjoying the club. they had to do. We've had to change regularly. These items were set out on
"Obviously, looking at what's hap- that mentality and change the culture, a display case in clear view of a secu-
So has the growth of his staff, which pened to the membership, things are so they'd let us take care of them." rity camera. At about 1750 hours (5:50
now includes four assistant pros who going in the right direction and we're
give lessons, run clinics, assist with the pleased by what we've seen," he add- Instead of being captained by mem-
juniors programs and run USTA team bers, Delavaut now oversees all of the
practices. club's teams – USTA, county league

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 7


p.m.) the suspect returns without the a very clear surveillance camera im- dividual stories varied, each said they eyes. Many stepped outside the room
dog. She shows her earrings and en- age out on social media in hopes that drove to Vero Beach for pills like oxyco- when prosecutors showed photo-
gages in conversation. There are other someone would recognize the woman. done or hydrocodone. They would wait graphs of her body. She had collapsed
patrons and friends present.” in the ProSpine Center parking lot be- on her bedroom floor Sept. 1, 2016. Her
Odds are, however, if the glamorous fore being presented with a signed script skin was blotchy and red from the ef-
That’s when the sleight of hand al- suspect was day tripping from outside from Benjamin’s prescription pad. fects of the toxic and addictive fentan-
legedly occurred. the area, or in town only for spring yl, with which some of Benjamin’s pills
break or the Easter holiday, she is now The handwritten scripts, shown to were allegedly laced.
According to the police report based gone and the odds of locating her may the jury, were then taken to area phar-
on the security camera footage, the not be great.  macies for fulfillment, they said. The Shaun Crowley said his wife hurt her
woman palmed one of the rings and bulk of the pills were later returned to back at a music concert years before
put it in her pocket without anyone Trial of Johnny Benjamin Slater for sale on the street. Each pill and was prescribed oxycodone. When
seeing what she did. She then con- CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 was worth an estimated $20 apiece, the family moved to Florida at the
tinued browsing and interacting with prosecutors said. height of the state’s pill mill epidemic,
other people in the store for several He wore glasses, a dark suit and tie. His she had trouble filling her prescrip-
more minutes before apparently slip- mother watched from the pew behind Though none of these accomplices tion, he said. She then started getting
ping the other ring into her pocket. him. If convicted, he faces life in prison. actually saw Benjamin sign the pre- pain pills from Slater, her coworker at
scriptions, two pharmacists who ex- an Outback Steakhouse restaurant.
“She then shops for several more The case hinges on the testimony pressed alarm over the excessive and
minutes and then departs walking out of Kevan Slater and Zachary Stewart, unusual scripts testified that they Slater, who called Cowley “a beauti-
toward the front of Bank of America. two DEA informants whom prosecu- recognized the doctor’s handwriting. ful soul,” took a somber tone as he de-
None of the friends in the store wit- tors say sold prescription and coun- One, confused why a person from the scribed giving his friend the fatal dose.
nessed the sleight of hand.” terfeit pain pills on the street for Dr. Miami area was in Vero Beach getting He said he warned her in a text message
Benjamin and assisted in a scheme to pain medicine, even called Benjamin the latest batch of pills was dangerous,
The vendor of the jewelry noted the build the surgeon’s inventory of ille- to verify that the prescription was legit. because of the fentanyl content. She
items missing when an inventory was gal pills as the illicit operation spread replied that a half a pill worked for her
conducted. After a review of the video throughout the Treasure Coast. Benjamin told Indian River County in the hours before her death.
surveillance tapes, the owner reported pharmacist Gregory Decrescenzo the
the theft to police on April 13. Three people testified Tuesday they woman had driven to Vero Beach for “I thought she needed them for pain
were recruited to fill prescriptions of a his care. relief,” Slater said under oath. “I be-
The items stolen were a rubelite and hundred or more pain pills in exchange lieved she was in pain.”
gold ring valued at $6,100, and an- for the promise of pain relief, drugs, The second day of the trial opened
other rubelite and gold ring valued at money or friendship. Though their in- with emotional testimony surrounding Slater testified Stewart had given him
$15,000. Rubelite is another name for the tragic death of Maggie Crowley, 34. the illicit pills to test out a new market, re-
pink tourmaline, a valuable gemstone. search price points and find customers.
Her family seated in the courtroom
The Shores Public Safety Department gallery at times wiped tears from their CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
put an “Attempt to Locate” bulletin with

8 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Designer defends effectiveness of Spoonbill Marsh

BY KATHLEEN SLOAN there are fewer and fewer opportuni- PHOTO BY GORDON RADFORD that much nitrogen, .91 milligrams per
Staff Writer ties to do so in Indian River County,” liter. The contrasting numbers allow the
Swindell said, waving a list of wildlife which he said makes it an excellent filter. county to claim credit for a major ni-
The designer of the county’s Spoon- species he said he has identified on Spoonbill Marsh was approved by trogen reduction, something that helps
bill Marsh recently defended the coun- the 69-acre site. “Spoonbill Marsh has meet requirements of the state permit.
ty’s water purification facility against been a great success.” the Florida Department of Environ-
charges by environmental activists that mental Protection in 2008 because But Shapiro and Taylor question the
it is hurting – not helping – the lagoon, Swindell said he chose the site, just it promised several benefits. First, it high input number, noting water sam-
and contended that the project is in fact north of Grand Harbor, which owns would treat about 2 million gallons a ples taken by St. Johns River Water Man-
a “great success.” the land and gave the county a util- day of mineral-heavy concentrate, the agement District that show total nitro-
ity easement over the acreage, in part side stream from well water treated via gen is about .57 milligrams per liter in the
The activists cite high nitrogen because the land would cost taxpay- reverse-osmosis at the county’s north middle of that stretch of the lagoon and
numbers, disappearance of salt marsh ers nothing and also because of the treatment plant to make it potable. .89 milligrams per liter near the shore.
habitat taken over by mangroves, and red mangroves already on the marsh.
flooding of property next door owned He had just completed a similar facil- Second, it would remove nutrients They want to know why lagoon wa-
by the Indian River Land Trust as evi- ity in Australia, exploiting the aerial from the lagoon. About 4 million gal- ter pumped into Spoonbill is reported
dence that Spoonbill Marsh may actu- root system of the red mangroves lons a day of lagoon water is mixed to have so much nitrogen, possibly in-
ally be harming the environment. with the 2 million gallons a day of con- flating the facility’s nitrogen-removal
centrate. The blended 6 million gallons claims. At the same time, they note, if
But Chip Swindell, owner and head a day is pumped first to settling ponds the county’s figures are accurate, the
engineer of Ecotech Consultants, which and then through a spaghetti-like net- marsh outflow carries nearly twice the
was hired by the county to design the work of runnels, eventually converging level of nitrogen St. Johns found in its
project a dozen years ago, said he has at two major outfalls into the lagoon. samples, meaning the marsh could
successfully designed 35 facilities similar actually be polluting the ecologically
to Spoonbill that use the natural filtra- As a final benefit, the project pre- sensitive waterway.
tion of plants and soil along fresh- and served 69 acres of waterside terrain for
salt-waterbodies to clean pollutants. wildlife, sparing it from development. Swindell said the St. Johns sam-
ple is from the middle of the lagoon,
“I want there to be more of these Despite Swindell’s rosy portrayal, while Spoonbill’s is from the shoreline,
multipurpose facilities – to preserve Indian River County residents Barry which is consistently much higher.
and promote wildlife and natural Shapiro and Carter Taylor have suc- He also claims there is good and bad
habitat and to treat waste water – and cessfully petitioned the Florida De- nitrogen – just like cholesterol – and
partment of Environmental Protection looking at total nitrogen is insufficient
to delay the county’s permit renewal for determining benefit.
application until questions about high
nitrogen levels and inconsistencies in Shapiro and Taylor have also dem-
reported data can be explained. onstrated, through aerial photogra-
phy, that the saltwater marsh intend-
The state permit, which is needed ed to be the natural filtration system
to operate the facility, ran out in Sep- to remove nutrients has been largely
tember 2017. County Utilities Director taken over by white mangroves at the
Vincent Burke said the permit has been Spoonbill site. The same displace-
“administratively extended,” while re- ment has occurred on the Land Trust
porting inconsistencies are checked out. property to the north, which was pur-
chased to preserve the rare salt marsh.
Nitrogen is the chief pollutant in the
Indian River Lagoon. A nutrient that They also have photographs of the
enters the lagoon via leaking septic sys- Land Trust property being flooded,
tems and fertilizer-laden runoff from and they have asked the Department
farms and lawns, it feeds algae blooms of Environmental Protection to inves-
that destroy plant and animal life by tigate whether Spoonbill’s pumped
using up oxygen and blocking sunlight water is escaping its borders and flow-
needed for sea grass photosynthesis, ing untreated into the lagoon, destroy-
the backbone of the lagoon ecosystem. ing salt marsh in the process.

Monthly reports turned into the The flooding is not due to Spoonbill
DEP by the county show that lagoon Marsh overflow, but “to the tidal fluctua-
water going into the facility is loaded tions in the river,” according to Swindell.
with nitrogen. For November 2017, the
average for total nitrogen was 2.1 mil- Swindell said he too is perturbed
ligrams per liter. by the takeover of white mangroves,
but denies it’s due to Spoonbill’s op-
The same reports show water flow- erations. “White mangroves are taking
ing out of the facility with less than half over areas up and down the lagoon, the
high spring and fall tides bringing the
seeds up, which germinate almost im-
mediately. I asked the DEP if we could
apply an herbicide to eradicate them
and they said ‘no, they’re protected.’”

The Florida Department of Envi-
ronmental Protection will give written
answers to questions submitted by the
public at the same time it issues a de-
cision on the permit in late May. 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 9




A crew demolished the Indian River Shores Community Center last Friday to make way for a new and improved facility. A contract to construct the new Community Center was expected to be awarded shortly.

10 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Railroad overpasses frequently freight trains blocked emer- require entrance and exits ramps. The plan was eventually abandoned
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 gency vehicles from crossing the tracks. “Living near an overpass or having because of the costs, the intrusive im-
pact on the adjacent areas and unex-
overpasses to allow vehicular traffic to The price tag would be much higher a business there is, in many cases, not pected decreases in freight traffic.
continue to flow over the tracks would now – so high that Brown said an overpass pleasant,” Brown said. “And there are is-
be “very expensive” and there’s no probably won’t be built unless Brightline sues with building one in an already-dis- Talk of overpasses disappeared un-
money budgeted for such projects. builds it, which isn’t likely to happen. advantaged area, which could be the case til 2015, when the advent of All Aboard
here, depending on where you put it. Florida, which gave birth to Bright-
Phil Matson, staff director of the “If Brightline wants to pay for im- line, prompted the MPO to resurrect
county’s Metropolitan Planning Or- provements like that, it certainly “You might be solving a problem in one the 1990s study.
ganization, said cost estimates ap- would be both helpful and welcome,” area, but you’re making problems worse
proached $30 million when local of- Brown said. “But we’re not going to in another, which you don’t want to do.” “When All Aboard Florida became
ficials explored building overpasses at use tax dollars to do it.” an issue and we began discussing
two crossings in the early 1990s. Twenty-five years ago, county offi- our options, I mentioned that we had
Cost, however, is only one obstacle. cials studied the possibility of build- studied this before,” Matson said. “But
At that time, however, officials decid- Brown said overpasses often have ing overpasses over the tracks – and that was almost three years ago, and
ed the potential benefits weren’t worth adverse impacts – economically as Old Dixie Highway – at 41st Street there were too many unknowns.”
the expense, Matson said, given how in- well as socially and aesthetically – on and State Road 512 to allow hospital-
adjacent areas, especially when the bound ambulances to avoid delays Now, though, Brightline is up and
bridges are near busy roadways that caused by freight trains. running in South Florida.

Four people already have been
struck and killed by Brightline trains,
just on the route between West Palm
Beach and Fort Lauderdale, but the
company continues to move forward
with its plans to connect Miami with

Members of Congress recently chal-
lenged Brightline’s government subsi-
dized financing scheme for its Phase
2 expansion, but if the company ends
up securing the Private Activity Bond
allocations it seeks, high-speed trains
could be zipping through Indian River
County in a few years.

If that happens, construction of ad-
ditional tracks along the Florida East
Coast Railway route is expected to
bring increased freight traffic, too. 

Trial of Johnny Benjamin

Moments after Crowley died, Slater
texted his dealer, Stewart, to say they
were no longer going to get paid.

Though he never met Benjamin,
Slater testified he had heard about
the Vero Beach physician who was the
source of his dealer’s supply.

Defense attorney Donnie Murrell
pointed to inconsistencies in testimo-
ny. He said the facts connecting the
drugs that killed Crowley to his client
were weak.

The DEA got tunnel vision once
Benjamin’s name was mentioned, he
said. The doctor was railroaded by his
longtime friend whose mother once
worked at his office. “Zachary Stew-
art is the drug dealer,” Murrell said.
“Zachary Stewart is the supplier. “

The informants can’t be trusted, the
defense attorney argued. They have
both pleaded guilty to drug crimes.
Their stories have changed throughout
the investigation. They are only here to-
day because they want to avoid prison.

“Lying is what drug dealers do every
day,” Murrell said. “It’s a talent of the

The trial was expected to last at least
through the end of this week. 

Lillian Pfennig.


12 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Good ‘4’-tune: Impact 100 selects top grant recipients

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF Karen Mersky, Felix Cruz and Kim Prado. PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 ing program in Indian River County,
Staff Writer the Youth Guidance Mentoring and
The Economic Opportunities PHOTOS: STEPHANIE LABAFF Activities Program will develop its
The ladies of Indian River Impact Council of IRC will use the grant to Youth Guidance Mentoring Acad-
100 met last Wednesday afternoon take its Early Bird Program Expan- Indian River County, gave an im- emy S.T.E.A.M. Magnet Program at
at the Oak Harbor Club for their 10th sion to Dodgertown Elementary, to pactful speech about the needs of its new facility, focusing on Science,
annual Impact 100 Grant Awards & prepare 3-year-old, low-income, at- local veterans. The grant will sup- Technology, Engineering, Art and
Annual Meeting and selected four risk children for school through a port the Veterans Helping Veterans Math enrichment as well as positive
worthy nonprofits to become Com- comprehensive, holistic education- Program – Safety, Accessibility and relationships with role models.
munity Partners as the newest re- al program. Home Improvements project, to re-
cipients of $100,000 Impact grants. pair homes and increase handicap Impact 100 members contribute
The Tykes & Teens, Inc. plea for accessibility for impoverished vet- $1,000 apiece annually, with 100
After each of the seven finalists assistance hit home for its Little erans. percent distributed as grants. This
presented a brief recap of the pro- TYKES (Teaching Young Kids Emo- year’s record-breaking 466 members
grams they had submitted for con- tionally and Socially) project, which “A few years ago I commanded an enabled a total of $466,000 grants to
sideration, Impact members took will enable mental health therapists Army combat unit in Germany that be awarded. This is the seventh year
their responsibility to heart, care- to identify and provide early inter- consisted of 1,000 soldiers,” said in a row that the nonprofit has dis-
fully considering the merits of each vention for preschoolers exhibiting Kouns, lightening the mood when tributed four $100,000 grants.
of the nonprofit request before cast- problem behaviors in the class- he admitted, “I brought them to-
ing their votes. room. gether often to discuss our missions The remaining $66,000 will be
and I have to tell you standing here shared equally by three Merit Award
After much deliberation, the Retired Col. Sam Kouns, repre- in front of the Impact 100 ladies is winners: The Buggy Bunch for its
Economic Opportunities Coun- senting the Veterans Council of much more intimidating.” PlayFULL Education Groups; Indian
cil of IRC, Tykes & Teens, Veterans River State College Foundation Inc.
Council of Indian River County, and As the longest-serving mentor- for an IRSC Pioneer Tech Camp for
Youth Guidance Mentoring and Ac- underprivileged children; and Vero
tivities Program were named as re- Beach Rowing toward its program,
cipients of 2018 Impact Awards. Creating a Community of Caring.

Outgoing president Suzanne “With this year’s Impact grant dis-
Carter shared the inspirational bursements, we will have donated
words of Nelson Mandela, which over $3.8 million to nonprofit orga-
she said mirror the fundamental nizations in our community,” said
mission of Impact 100 to collec- Carter, noting that they had much
tively impact the lives of individu- to celebrate after a decade of giving.
als and the community through “Not only that, we have helped thou-
transformational giving, saying, sands of people in the process. We
“Our human compassion binds us are women who collectively impact
the one to the other – not in pity or the lives of individuals in our com-
patronizingly, but as human beings munity through transformational
who have learned how to turn our giving.”
common suffering into hope for the
future.” For more information, visit 

14 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12 Brenda Cetrulo, Col. Sam Kouns and Patricia Geyer. Natalie Sanders, Pilar Turner and Angela Davis-Green.
Monica Jennings, Jeff Shearer and Paula Hundt.

Suzanne Bertman, Brenda Lloyd and Yamilet Cendejas. Tracy Sorzano, Baerbel O’Haire and Carolyn Antenen. Lois Appleby, Alma Lee Loy and Betty Cates.

Denise Battaglini and Trudie Rainone. Judy Peschio and Connie Dominianni.

Toni Hamner, Sandy Rolf and Alice Johnson.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 15


McKee’s Fairy and Pirate fest is a ‘gnome’ run for kids

Cheyenne Schlosser. Jordana Vargis and Sophia Ashley.

Kirra Kirkland. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Noah and Benjamin Gallo.

Jane Sease, Pam Schlamowitz and Delores Penn.

Michael and Grace Rollin.

Matthew and Kristi Challenor with their sons Pia Schwiering and Greysen Petersen.
Charlie and Archie (front).
Adorable fairies flitted from one
Reed and Reva Ullian. activity to another while fierce
swashbuckling pirates kept the
wild animals of the ‘It’s a Jun-
gle Out There’ exhibit at bay at
McKee Botanical Garden’s eighth
annual Fairy and Pirate Festival
last Saturday. Boys and girls went
on safari hunts, had their faces
painted, made crafts and played
games amid the enchanting flora
of the lush gardens. Other activi-
ties included dancing around the
Maypole, watching as cloud crea-
tures floated past, and building
fairy houses for pixies and sprites
at the Gnome Depot. Next up,
McKee will host the 14th annual
Waterlily Celebration on June 16.
For more information, visit mck- 

16 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Million-dollar smiles at John’s Island Service League

Hope Woodhouse, Judi Miller and Pat Thompson. Rita Murphy, Emily Tremml and Tina Nickel. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF JICSL members were joined by the arships were awarded to the children You are not just about providing
Staff Writer representatives of 39 nonprofit agen- of John’s Island employees. funds; you’re about helping people.
cies to rejoice in the announcement That kind of relationship-building is
A jubilant group of ladies gathered that the league gave away $1,025,000 The money was raised through what’s at the bottom of transforma-
for a Celebration of Hope last Monday this year. Community grants were fundraising efforts that included this tive change in the community,” she
morning at the 38th annual John’s Is- provided to charities that serve lo- year’s Makin’ Waves Gala, proceeds said, adding that JICSL members are
land Community Service League clos- cal women, children and families from the Tambourine Resale Shop, helping nonprofits succeed through
ing meeting, held at the John’s Island through their health, education and advertisements in The Little Black mentorship.
Golf Club. human services programs, and schol- Book and the sale of unique JI belts.
“I didn’t learn how to read until
“First and foremost, we are going I was in the eighth grade,” shared
to celebrate the amazing accomplish- Miller, remembering her first-grade
ments of everyone in this room,” said teacher telling her mother, “She’s
outgoing president Pat Thompson. such a sweet little girl, and she’s go-
“From the agencies we funded this ing to grow up to be a wonderful wife
season to the members of the Service and mother someday, but don’t ex-
League Grants Committee, our amaz- pect too much from her.”
ing board of directors and the many
JICSL members who have volunteered Miller credits the mentorship of
their time, their talents and their her third-grade teacher and her par-
money to help rewrite the future for a ents with helping her to overcome her
neighbor in need.” learning difficulties. “I think about
that first-grade teacher today and I
Guest speaker Judi Miller, CEO of think she would be really surprised
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Indian Riv- to know that I have a doctoral degree,
er, Okeechobee and St. Lucie, has been that I was on the school board for 24
intimately involved with the Treasure years and that I’ve been a CEO for a
Coast nonprofit sector for 27 years. three-county nonprofit for 27 years.”

“This breakfast is such a special Commenting that just as mentor-
time; a year-end celebration for the ship made a difference in her life, she
John’s Island Community Service noted that the mentoring and sup-
League and for all of your tremen- port league members provide to local
dous accomplishments. I have to be- nonprofits has enabled them to grow
lieve when this foundation was first and prosper.
formed, the primary goal was fun-
draising, because they saw so many “You’re the perfect example that
unmet needs. Despite the wealth in a candle loses nothing by lighting
this community, there is also extreme another candle. It just creates more
poverty,” said Miller. light, more brilliance and more beau-
“You have extended way beyond
just fundraising. You have honestly As Thompson passed the prover-
been and become visionary leaders in bial gavel to incoming president Hope
philanthropy and transforming this Woodhouse, the camaraderie and
community.” shared vision of the JICSL was appar-
ent. Members of the board added their
Miller said the league has brought thanks with a photo montage as “Put
foundations and other funding sourc- a Little Love in Your Heart” played
es together to “do unbelievable col- in the background. It’s exactly what
laborative work in terms of advocacy, league members do every day through
educating agencies and coordinating their dedication to the community. 
and communicating joint problems.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 17


Betsy Fox, Katherine Seem and Vicki Aspbury. Cathy De Schouwer, Gloria Anderson and Emily Sherwood.

Gail Kagler, Diamond Litty and Anne Melanson. Jessica Schmitt, Pat Thompson and Buff Penrose.

Nancy Brewer and Cathy Teneralli. Tom Manwaring and Lou Boccabella.

Dr. Glenn Tremml, Vinnie Parentela and Bob Brugnoli.

18 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Ladies’ first: Lanier ‘humbled’ by Woman of Year honor


Two-hundred dynamic women, Woman of Year Anne Lanier. PHOTOS: KERRY FIRTH Katie Toperzer and Cindi Goetz.
and a few good men, gathered at the
Moorings Yacht and Country Club last dents about eating disorders, preven- such a supportive community.” River Medical Center trustee.
Wednesday to salute a group of out- tion techniques and the importance of Theresa Tolle, owner and chief “I feel blessed to serve my commu-
standing Indian River County women getting help early.
at the sixth annual Woman of the Year pharmacist at Bay Street Pharmacy, nity and winning this award makes
Awards Luncheon, hosted by the Ju- “Becky’s death inspired me to talk received the Business Professional me want to do more and do better,”
nior League of Indian River. about this disorder and funnel my en- Category Award for her involvement said Tolle.
ergy into helping others avoid this ter- with the Sebastian Chamber of Com-
The event recognizes local women rible tragedy,” said Lanier, choked with merce and Sebastian American Can- Moreen Burkart, a music therapist
nominated by their peers; exceptional emotion. “I am humbled to be chosen cer Society, as well as her service as with VNA of the Treasure Coast, re-
role models who have demonstrated from this powerhouse group of wom- a Substance Abuse Free Indian River ceived the award in the Civic/Non-
high ethical standards and a strong en and grateful to be surrounded by County board member and Sebastian Profit Professional Category. The VNA
sense of community responsibility. Music Therapy Program has benefited

The 2018 Woman of the Year Award
was presented to Anne Lanier, who
had also accepted the top honor in the
Volunteer Category, for her passion-
ate commitment to helping individu-
als overcome eating disorders. Having
lost her beloved daughter to an eat-
ing disorder, Lanier parlayed her grief
into a drive to assist others, creating a
fund to provide financial assistance to
those unable to afford treatment. She
also visits schools to speak with stu-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 19


Betsy Wengler and Hannah Trodglen Hite. The winners: Theresa Tolle, Business Professional; Anne Lanier, Volunteer and Woman Erica Arsenault and Susan Aguirre.
of the Year; Sana Shareef, Rising Star; Moreen Burkart, Civic Non-Profit Professional.
more than 700 hospice patients and tice clubs and developed a youth-run sen on their accomplishments alone
their families, as well as Alzheimer’s, interfaith dialogue event featuring and not on who they knew or anything Business Professional:
dementia and Parkinson’s patients. keynote speakers from Georgetown else,” said Avery Twiss, event co-chair. Ophelia Angelone, Kim Artlip,
University and the Islamic Center at Megan Raasveldt, Jackie Savell,
“Often the populations we serve NYU. Luncheon proceeds support the
cannot advocate for themselves, so we mission of the Junior League of Indian Elizabeth Sorensen.
need to step up and make sure their Local organizations had nominated River to promote volunteerism, de-
voices are heard,” said Burkart. candidates earlier in the year, submit- velop the potential of women, and im- Civic/Non-Profit Professional:
ting detailed information listing their prove communities through effective Donna Clements, Betsy Wengler,
Sana Shareef was the shining star accolades and accomplishments to action and the leadership of trained
in the Rising Star Category, reserved the JLIR and personal statements from volunteers. Cathy De Schouwer, Kelly Jean
for young women between the ages of the nominees themselves. After nar- Hills, Hannah Trodglen Hite, Angel
18 to 25, for her amazing accomplish- rowing the field to a list of finalists, the “It takes a village to raise a vision,”
ments focused on overcoming the committee asked the Junior League of said Erica Arsenault, JLIR president. Pietsch, Donna Lee Robart.
political and religious polarity chal- Greater Orlando to select the winners. “We are all about women helping
lenges affecting the community. The women, which can only be accom- Volunteer: Lindsay Bass, Cindy
St. Edward’s School student founded “Going outside the county for judg- plished by lifting each other up and Goetz, Jodi Harvey, Kim Prado,
the Breaking Barriers and Social Jus- ing insured that the winners were cho- helping others thrive.” 
Carmen Noonan.

Rising Star: Stella Buckley,
Samantha Chabot, Lillie Harris,

Jacqueline Zamora.

20 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Blue Angels inspire oohs and awe at Vero air show

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF community outreach.
Staff Writer “We can’t take people onboard

All eyes were turned to the sky last Lt. Cmdr. Nate Scott. PHOTOS: GORDON RADFORD aircraft carriers and show them
weekend as planes zoomed over- what we do on a day-to-day basis.
head and pilots performed death- How we do that is through air shows
defying maneuvers during the Vero like this. Not to just inspire people
Beach Air Show, presented by Piper to join the military, but also to in-
Aircraft to benefit the nonprofit spire them to think about things
Vero Beach Air Show, Inc., which greater than themselves. Think
supports the charitable endeavors about excellence and what that
of three local Exchange Clubs and means, and to inspire that culture
the Veterans Council of Indian Riv- of excellence in whatever they do,”
er County. said Scott.

The Blue Angels were right at Other thrilling performers in-
home at the Vero Beach Regional cluded the F16 Viper Demonstra-
Airport, which served as a Naval Air tion Team, GEICO Skytypers, the
Station during World War II. Their Screamin’ Sasquatch, a jet truck,
much-anticipated return thrilled aerobatics and skydiving demon-
the crowds as flight teams dis- strations.
played their iconic diamond forma-
tion while reaching air speeds of up And on the ground, there was a
to 750 mph. No matter the age, fans Family Fun Zone, plenty of food and
watched the ballet in the sky with static displays of a variety of mili-
wide-eyed wonderment. tary and civilian aircraft, including
the Tinker Belle, a 1945 C-46 Com-
“We are the smallest community mando; a United States Coast Guard
they play,” shared retired Col. Mar- air-sea rescue helicopter; and a Se-
tin Zickert, the local Blue Angels li- ahawk; which provides anti-surface
aison. “We are also the community combat warfare support.
where their airplanes are closer
to the audience than any other air “I think you get out of your com-
show they do. I’ve done this for a lot munity what you put into it,” said
of years, and I still get goosebumps Robert Paugh, Vero Beach Air Show
when they fly over.” president. “There’s nothing bet-
ter than watching a person walk
Blue Angels slot pilot Lt. Cmdr. through the gate, unfold a chair,
Nate Scott, a fourth-generation mil- grab their son or daughter by the
itary serviceman, explained that hand, go pick up a hot dog and a bev-
their mission is to inspire a culture erage, and sit back and watch them
of excellence and service to country see this whole thing unravel. I wish
through flight demonstrations and I would have done this as a child. It
brings a smile to my face.” 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 21



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


PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21 Robert Paugh and Col. Martin Zickert, USAF, Ret. Dan Carminati and Wylie Sifford.
Kayla Provost and Karen Franke.

Scott and Lex Caddell. Debbie Mayfield, Carole Jean Jordan, Harry Howle, Laura Moss, Erin Grall and Rob Medina. Mike and Linda Oliver.

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Celebrating Over 25
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3790 7th Terrace
Suite 101

Vero Beach, Florida


Ralph M. Rosato

24 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


The Arc enchants with ‘Starlight & Sneakers’ benefit

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF Lalita Janke didn’t disappoint with Liza Gaston, Tammy Theoharis, Todd Marchant, Allison Varricchio and Deana Marchant.
Staff Writer a stop-and-smell-the-roses-themed
décor that included money-bloom-
Goblins, sprites, fairies and ing flowers, something she was
gnomes dotted the plush flora hoping would inspire others to give
at Rock City Gardens, delighting to the worthy cause. Still another
guests last Thursday evening at the was a crafty play on the sanctuary
fourth annual Starlight & Sneakers: of Noah’s Ark, similar to the care
An Enchanted Garden Party to ben- The Arc provides.
efit The Arc of Indian River County.
Chuck Bradley, executive direc-
Sneaker-clad guests mingled with tor, introduced Stephanie Kita to
the mythical creatures while enjoy- the crowd, explaining that at age
ing cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. 13 she had been involved in
Later, as the sun set and tempera- a dirt bike accident and
tures cooled, attendees dined al suffered a traumatic
fresco on a lovely buffet catered by brain injury.
Elizabeth Kennedy & Co. and took
to the dance floor, breaking in their “Stephanie worked
running shoes with some help from really hard to graduate
the Gypsy Lane Band. with her friends and
has recently earned her
Many folks took the annual bachelor’s degree,” said
sneaker competition very serious- Bradley with obvious pride.
ly, devoting considerable thought
and effort into designing the most The Arc Chorus showcased their
unique sets of tennies. Putting her talents with a special performance
best foot forward, Brenda Bradley’s of “Puff the Magic Dragon” and
fairyland footwear featured fairy other songs from their melodic rep-
doors, dragons and mushrooms. ertoire. Afterward, guests raised
the handcrafted bidding paddles

Dr. Walter and Lalita Janke with Toni and Paul Teresi.

Come in and let us create a masterful blend of function they had been given, to help fill this relies mainly on state funding to
and esthetics for the kitchen of your dreams. year’s $200,000 budgetary funding provide the services for each of the
gap. clients here and it takes $1,000 per
f e at u r i n g : year to provide help and support the
State funding has been cut by individuals here. Like Stephanie,
Established 18 Years in Indian River County as much as 50 percent in recent who went on to get her bachelor’s
years, locally impacting the coun- degree and rise to something that,
Monday - Friday 9 AM - 5 PM ty’s more than 2,000 special needs without the services of The Arc, she
• The Treasure Coast’s most Comprehensive, Professional Showroom families, where an alarming 90 per- may not have had the opportunity
cent of adults with disabilities are to obtain.”
• Extensive Collection of Styles and Finishes to Meet Your Budget unemployed or underemployed.
• Under New Ownership • Remodeling specialists Programs and services offered by The mission of The Arc, founded
The Arc help develop employment in 1975, is to support and empower
(772) 562-2288 | skills to enable them to live full and individuals with special needs to
3920 US Hwy 1, Vero Beach FL 32960 meaningful lives. achieve their life goals. The Arc pro-
vides adult day training, behavioral
Board member Jeff Petersen said services, residential group homes,
Starlight & Sneakers is about three supported living and supported
key things: having a great time, employment, and advocates for full
bringing The Arc closer to the com- acceptance of special needs indi-
munity and filling the funding gap. viduals as valued members of our
“The purpose is to educate and
let everybody know what The Arc On May 8 Ocean Grill will again
is about. You saw some of the great host Ocean Grill Night to benefit The
programs we have here with our Arc. For more information, visit ar-
chorus up here performing to- 
night,” said Petersen. “The Arc

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 25


Ann Wheeler, Lauren Robinson, Barbara Mandel, Ed Peirce, Penny Odiorne and Mary Ellen Replogle. Dr. Mickey Conway, Caroline Conway, Dr. Suzanne Conway and Ellen Donahue. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

Tom and Debbie Hughes. Tom Hope and Christine Walker.

Rhonda Lowe with Wade and Ivan Baxley and Jan and John Donlan.

Back: Chuck Bradley and Amber Stewart-Reid. Laurie and Brian Connelly.
Front: Akaycia Stewart-Reid and Caleb Stewart-Reid.

26 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Habitat’s tip of the hat to retiring CEO Bowler

Helen Crockett, Connie Poppell and Jim Crockett. Andy Bowler and Sheryl Vittitoe. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE Gary Parker, David Sommers and Kelly Madden.

Bruce Barkett, France Kenyon, Todd Heckman and Larry Lauffer.

David and Barbara Crosby. Susan and Rick Hahn.

A crowd of well-wishers gathered at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore last
Monday evening to bid adieu to retiring Indian River Habitat for Human-
ity president and CEO Andy Bowler, who leaves a nearly two-decade legacy
of cultivating Habitat’s goal of helping families to “build strength, stabil-
ity and self-reliance through shelter.” Under his direction, Habitat has as-
sisted 764 local families to realize their dreams of homeownership within
332 newly constructed homes, 88 rehabbed homes and 344 repair projects.
In his characteristic style, Bowler turned the focus away from himself and
encouraged Habitat volunteers and supporters to continue their efforts un-
der the direction of Sheryl Vittitoe, the nonprofit’s new president/CEO. For
more information, visit 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 27


Dick Robertson, Lauren Punzalan and Sandra Bowler. Joe and Bernice Idlette. Phyllis and Bill Plowden with Lindsey Smith.

Penny Chandler and Eric Flowers. Scott Beal and Gina DeMario. John and Emilie Brady. Georgia Irish and Ruth Jasmin.

28 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Classics in session at ‘Wheels & Keels’ car/boat show

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF rather than golf balls and clubs. Youth Sailing Foundation and has
Staff Writer Exhibitors from around the state grown over the years to now benefit
four nonprofits.
The Wheels & Keels Foundation took over the first hole, display-
hosted its eighth annual Antique ing an impressive lineup of rare The Moorings was built with the
and Exotic Car and Boat Show at cars and classic boats, while luxury boating community in mind and,
the Moorings Yacht and Country yachts floated nearby at the club’s having the most biologically diverse
Club last weekend, scoring a perfect marina. estuary in North America in one’s
game as the golf course overflowed backyard, has brought the welfare
with all things “wheels and keels” Gavin Ruotolo, foundation presi- of the Indian River Lagoon to the
dent, said the event was initially forefront for most residents.
borne out of a desire to support the
“We’re lucky to be living here and
we wanted to give back to the com- George O’Malley with Rick and Barbara Kaiser.
munity,” said Ruotolo. “These non-
profits all benefit young people, the


Mary and Chris Ryan.

Gordon Sulcer, Vince De Turris and Gavin Ruotolo. foreign antique and exotic cars and
boats, including a 1926 Ford Model
lagoon and the environment; things T, 1962 Austin-Healey 3000 MKZ
that are important for future gen- and 2008 Alfa Romeo, along with
erations.” shiny BMWs and Mercedes-Benz.
Vintage mahogany boats, yachts
The Wheels & Keels Foundation and an MRAP (Iraqi Light Armored
has selected organizations whose Vehicle) with an HSAC (High-Speed
activities strive to improve the lives Assault Craft) MKII Mod 2, further
of children and adults on the Trea- expanded the extensive variety of
sure Coast with proceeds benefiting vehicles.
The Arc of IRC, Indian River Rowing
Club, Navy SEAL Trident House and “There seems to be a great at-
Youth Sailing Foundation of IRC. traction to classic cars and boats in
Florida,” said Vince De Turris, foun-
Wheels & Keels kicked off Friday dation vice president, commenting
evening with a cocktail party in the on the diversity of the exhibited col-
Governor’s Lounge before guests lection. “We handpick these cars.”
adjourned to the dining room for a
sumptuous dinner, live auction and George O’Malley, foundation sec-
Call to the Heart paddle raise to retary, pointed out a Chris Craft
support the nonprofits. named Mr. T, noting, “That boat was
originally named by John ‘Duke’
On Saturday, the concours fea- Wayne the Hi Ho Silver.”
tured a variety of American and
Rounding out the afternoon,
lunch was served al fresco as Youth
Sailing and Vero Beach Rowing
team members chatted with pass-
ersby about their programs, and the
afternoon concluded with a red-
carpet award ceremony.

Next year’s show will be held
April 19. For more information, visit 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 29


Heather Dales and Noreen Davis. Dawn and Brian Stagg. Roy Harral and Bruce Hendricks Anne Stewart. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

Mary Brunker, Barbara Brumbaugh, Graham Phillips and Elizabeth Turek. PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 31
Shotsi Lajoie, Chris Ryan and Kip Jacoby.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 31


Kathi and John Schumann.

Stephen Kesselman (back) with Brayden, Caine and Greg Ciluzzi checks out a 1953 Ford F-100.
Harper Kesselman, and Craig Kesselman.

Grace Griffeth, Tiffany Starr, Colby Stebbins, Peter Swanson, Landon Flick
Rick Starr and Jane Clarke. and Kym Helwig (back).

Jill and Tony Blevins. Shawn Riley and Shae Riley.

32 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


‘Decade of Dancing’ celebrates Vero’s shimmying stars


A lively crowd filled the Intergen- Lisa Thompson Barnes , Nikki Maslan, and Karen Franke. PHOTOS: STEPHANIE LABAFF Crystal Lemley and Colt Crosby.
erational Recreation Center for A
Decade of Dancing last Friday eve- offers care, support and classes to all
ning to celebrate the 10th anniver- local mothers, babies and families.
sary of Dancing with Vero’s Stars, a
major fundraiser for the Indian River Dancing with Vero’s Stars has
Healthy Start Coalition. As past and grown from its humble 2009 begin-
present dancers and instructors min- ning, when it was held at the Elks
gled with guests and enjoyed cock- Club and dancers raised less than
tails and hors d’oeuvres, bidding was $50,000, to last year’s event at River-
swift and steady for the impressive side Theatre, where dancers raised
silent auction of donated items and

This year’s sold-out main event,
to be held May 12 at Riverside The-
atre, will again feature 10 commu-
nity leaders paired with professional
instructors who will perform a cho-
reographed dance in front of an esti-
mated audience of 650. Their judged
dance scores, coupled with their fun-
draising totals, will determine the
winner of the coveted mirror ball tro-
phy. The ultimate winner, however,
is the Healthy Start Coalition, which

Marianella Tobar, Drs. Adam and Giuliana Jones, and Amanda Robinson.

close to $300,000. event co-chair with 2017 winner Lisa
“A multitude of pregnant women Barnes Thompson.

and babies have been given a healthy For more information, visit
start thanks to these stars,” said 2015 or danc-
mirror ball winner Karen Franke, 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 33


Joe Wynes and Kaylan Keathley. Dr. Glenn and Emily Tremml with Andrea Berry and Ben Earman. Laura and Bobby Guttridge.

Charlotte Terry, Brenda Lloyd and Suzanne Sweeney.

Jackie Savell, Tim Girard and Melissa Shine.

Ana Batista and Chandeline St. Louis.

Maj. Eric Flowers and Shelley Adelle.

Tom and Rhonda Lowe.

34 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Donors feted for helping make VNA’s mission possible

Carol Newman, Marilyn Beck and Frances Hudson. PHOTOS: STEPHANIE LABAFF Supporters of the VNA and Hospice Foundation were feted at a Donor Ap-
preciation Reception last Wednesday evening at the Riomar Country Club.
Attendees were thanked by Kathy Orton, interim CEO and vice president of
Clinical Services, for their help in enabling the VNA to continue its mission
of providing compassionate solutions for patients and caregivers needing
home-based hospice and community health services regardless of finan-
cial standing.

Keynote speaker Dr. Kenneth Snyder gave a presentation on ‘Current
Treatment Strategies for Acute Ischemic Stroke’ that highlighted the strides
in stroke research made over the past 10 years. “It is an incredibly exciting
time in the treatment of stroke,” said Snyder, sharing news about the physi-
ologic imaging developed at the Gates Vascular Institute and University at
Buffalo Neurosurgery that has broadened the timeline for stroke treatment
and changed the standard of care. “There was no treatment option for you if
you woke up with a stroke up to two months ago. In our lifetime we’ve seen
a complete transformation of stroke care.”

For more information, visit 

Kerry Bartlett and Dr. Ken Snyder. Kathy Orton and Carol Kanarek.

Stephanie Cavanor, Joan DeCrane, Nancy Kasten and Al DeCrane.

Kay Brown and Ann Marie McCrystal. Kathie Pierce and Dr. Tom Spackman.

36 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 34 Bob and Marta Schneider with Emily Sherwood. Michael Pierce, Frank Bonner and Marty Gibson.
Don and Patsy Riefler with Lawrence Brashears.

Sue Tompkins, Judi and Don Nickelson, and Dr. Arley Peter. Lundy and Kit Fields. Alan Goldie and Jim Farney.



38 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


For Vero flutist, brrr-illiant opportunity in Minnesota


Staff Writer

Musicians typically pack their
pockets with reeds, picks and rosin.
When flutist Emilio Rutllant moves to
Minneapolis in September, he will be
packing lip balm; cracked lips are the
last thing the Vero Beach High School
graduate needs when he starts his
two-year fellowship with the Minne-
sota Orchestra.

“Chapstick’s going to be in every
pocket,” he says. “That, and gloves. I
can’t have frozen fingers.”

And he may want to keep his cell-
phone handy – silenced, of course.
As Rutllant adjusts to the climate, his
mother back in Vero will be aching for
the warmth of her son’s voice.

“I’m excited, but I’m going to miss
him a lot,” says his mom, Clara Mc-
Cullough. “He is the treasure of my

This Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m., the
rest of Rutllant’s Vero fans can hear
him play at First Presbyterian Church.
He will be accompanied by the
church’s music director Jacob Craig
on piano, who is “super-stoked,” ac-
cording to Rutllant, about getting to
play together again. The farewell con-
cert will have a free will offering rather
than an admission price, in the hopes
of raising money for a new wood flute
for Rutllant to take to Minneapolis.

The fellowship was awarded in part
because of Rutllant’s roots. Born in
Chile, he and his mom moved to the
U.S. following the death of Emilio’s fa-
ther. Emilio was 10. His mom, who has
since remarried, says it was Emilio’s
idea to move even though he, like his
mother, spoke no English. “It’s the
best country, the best life,” he told her,
having visited before on vacation.

A year later, when he entered Oslo
Middle School as a sixth-grader,

Don’t get nervous, call Scott Tree Services This is a really big way to develop my professional
chops with a major symphony, taking lessons with
BILL BARRY every member of the flute section. I get to dip my toe
in the water in terms of professional experience, but
CELL: 772-473-7150 it’s at the same time that I’m being nutured.
– Emilio Rutllant
OFFICE: 772-569-3874
SCOTT TREE OAK TREE SPECIALIST Emilio was managing well enough to Rutllant recalled that random
SERVICES TREE CARE, MOVING & CLEARING want to learn music. “It was kind of choice in his fellowship interview
LANDSCAPE & DESIGN SERVICES funny. I walked into the band room last month, when he was asked how
and I saw the flute there and I said, ‘I’ll he would present himself to a fourth-
play that.’” grade class.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 39


By the end of that semester at Oslo, In addition to receiving expert Minnesota’s empha- sional U.S. orchestra
he had mastered the entire first-year coaching for future auditions, Rutllant sis on inclusion ever to play there.
book. will be performing with the orchestra extends While Rutllant will miss
at select concerts; observing and par- that tour by a month, he expects to
When he moved on to Vero Beach ticipating in rehearsal; and well be- be included in future touring, “in case
High School, he followed the founder studying with or- yond the fellow- someone gets sick,” he says.
of the orchestra program at Oslo, Matt chestra ship. In 2015, it beat out In the meantime, it’s his mother
Stott, who was developing an orches- better-known orchestras to be- who may end up doing the traveling
tra program for older students. Rutl- musicians, come the first American orchestra to Minnesota to hear her son play
lant’s training was supplemented with not only fellow flut- to play in Cuba since relations with with the orchestra of his dreams.
private lessons from Vero ists but players of other in- the U.S. began to improve, von Rhein “She gets very sad every time I bring
flutist Jane Weise as struments, with the intention of points out. And in August, musicians up the subject, and I try to cheer her
well as Christina broadening his understanding of the will make history when they travel to up,” he says. “She’s just going to have
Burr Apelgren, orchestral experience. South Africa for a series of concerts to come up and visit me often and
“This is a really big way to develop honoring Nelson Mandela’s centena- she’s going to have to get used to the
principal my professional chops with a major ry. They will become the first profes- snow. It was cold in Chile, but Min-
flutist with symphony, taking lessons with ev- nesota is its own beast.” 
both the Brevard Sym- ery member of the flute section,” he
phony and the Atlantic Classi- says. “I get to dip my toe in the water
cal Orchestra. Rutllant quickly rose to in terms of professional experience,
first chair in the school orchestra. but it’s at the same time that I’m being
He went on to become principal nurtured.”
flutist at Stetson University’s orches- He may also serve as a stand-in for
tra while earning his B.A. in music, any of the orchestra’s four flutists in
and ultimately did his graduate stud- the event they travel or fall ill.
ies at the Frost School of Music at the Like the Opus One Orchestra he
University of Miami. is leaving, Minnesota Orchestra has
It was there that in May Rutllant seen renewed success after surviving
was awarded a doctoral degree. The a serious rough patch. The Miami or-
gathering his family staged in Vero chestra shut down altogether in 2008
to celebrate was “incredible,” he says. due to lack of funding, reopening two
“All my uncles – my late father’s broth- years later thanks to a $900,000 Knight
ers – came from Chile, which was re- Foundation challenge grant and the
ally special.” hiring of Gary Sheldon as principal
One uncle took over the kitchen and conductor.
made enough paella for 50 guests and The Minnesota Orchestra had its
then some. “There were enough left- existential crisis in 2012, when mu-
overs that I’m pretty sure everybody sicians refused to accept pay cuts
got to take some home too,” he added. and were locked out by the orches-
Rutllant will be leaving Miami City tra’s governing body, just as the city
Ballet’s Opus One Orchestra to begin of Minneapolis was renovating its
the two-year Rosemary and David home, Orchestra Hall. The entire sea-
Good Fellowship. Now in its second son was canceled as the lock-out con-
year, the fellowship was designed to tinued for 16 months, and subscrib-
encourage diversity in orchestras by ers bailed at record rates – a third of
funding study and performance by its regular audience cancelled. The
musicians of African American, Latin respected Finnish conductor Osma
American or Native American de- Vanska backed his musicians, stag-
scent. ing concerts independently to tide
Rutllant, who turned 28 last month, them over.
has been auditioning steadily with or- Finally, in 2014, the two sides found
chestras since earning his doctorate. a compromise. “It may have been
He has moved to Boca Raton to work just the wake-up call the orchestra
on an artist’s diploma at Lynn Univer- needed,” wrote John von Rhein, the
sity’s Conservatory of Music, training Chicago Tribune’s longtime classi-
under artist-in-residence Jeffrey Kha- cal music critic, in a January article.
ner, principal flutist of the Philadel- “All agree that a leaner, meaner Min-
phia Orchestra. nesota Orchestra has risen from the
Rutllant was one of 48 applicants for ashes, a better-run institution whose
the Minnesota fellowship. Of the half- musicians enjoy a greater say in a
dozen finalists who flew to Minnesota wide range of policy decisions, from
last month to audition, two were in- programming to touring to work
vited for a final interview. It was there rules.”
that Rutllant made clear his interest Last year, for the third year in a row,
in community outreach, particularly the orchestra balanced its budget.
teaching young people. The fellow- “When you see an orchestra in that
ship specifies that its winners will not moment, it’s really scary,” says Rutl-
only be mentored, they will mentor lant. “But they came back stronger
music students through the Minne- than ever.”
sota Orchestra’s Education and Com-
munity Engagement Department.

40 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Coming Up: Classic British rock invades ‘Night Sounds’

BY SAMANTHA BAITA once-in-a-lifetime chance to see and
Staff Writer hear him for yourself. I’ll see you there.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at
1 How about a little musical jour- $43.50. 321-242-2219.
ney back to the 1960s this Sat-

urday evening, beneath the moon 3 Looking to let your hair down and
have a little fun? Then be at Riv-
and stars? It’s next in the Sebastian

Inlet’s Night Sounds Concert Series, erside Theatre this Friday or Saturday

with music courtesy of the five- and you, too, can Howl at the Moon. If

piece British pop-rock-playin’ band you’ve been to one of these unique en-

St. Johns Wood, and the venue – the tertainment experiences, you already

beautiful Sebastian Inlet – courtesy know how much fun it is. If not, you’re

of the Florida Department of Envi- in for a treat. Howl at the Moon tour-

ronmental Protection. So bring your ing shows pack ’em in at venues all over

lawn chairs, bring your pals, and the country, with top-notch, versatile,

enjoy tunes from the Beatles, the 2 Kris Kristofferson at the King Center May 1. high-energy, musician/entertainers

Rolling Stones, the Who, the Kinks, who can play pretty much anything

the Zombies, the Animals, David you can come up with: There’s no set

Bowie, Eric Clapton and others who 2 Hands down, one of the biggest er-to. And he’ll be at the King Center in play list, it’s all up to the audience. The
of big names in the country mu- Melbourne this coming Tuesday, May 1.
crossed The Pond during the British Kristofferson has not only earned three Howl happens on the Waxlax stage:
Grammys, recorded 30 albums (includ-
Invasion. The popular and unique sic pantheon is singer/songwriter Kris ing three with pals Johnny Cash, Wil- It’s cabaret-style seating, and there’s a
lie Nelson and Waylon Jennings) and
Night Sounds series is hosted by Kristofferson, who made it huge with toured the globe doing concerts for 30 dance floor. Plus, there’s food, before
years, he’s also appeared in an amazing
the dedicated Friends of Sebastian chart-topping mega-hits such as “Me 70 movies, according to the show pro- or during the show, and a couple of
mo, nabbing a Golden Globe for one – “A
Inlet State Park and takes place on and Bobby McGee,” “Help Me Make It Star is Born.” Don’t miss this probably full bars. This weekend’s entertainers

the south side of the Inlet, in the Through The Night,” “Sunday Morn- are Howl favorites Rob Volpe and Ken

Coconut Point pavilions. Admission ing Coming Down” and “For the Good Gustafson. Admission starts at $12;

is free with regular park entry fees. Times,” which more than one genera- reserved seating and special occasion

Concert time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 772- tion has danced to, cried to, dreamed rates are available. Show times are 7:30

388-2750/321-984-4852. to, broken-up-and-gotten-back-togeth- p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 

42 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™



Rafael is about to finish his degree go, too. He is looking for scholarships down as president, bringing to an end Fidel Castro, toppled the American-
at Havana University, but his mind is to get a master’s degree in Europe. If nearly 60 years of rule by the family backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Ba-
elsewhere. The finance and economics he finds one, he plans to stay abroad, that led the country’s revolution. Rafa- tista in 1959.
he is learning are “what they use here where he can earn real money. el thinks it is time for Castro to go. But
in Cuba,” he explains; not much use “it doesn’t matter to me.” The post-revolutionary generation
anywhere else. Cuba’s socialist govern- Rafael is among the many young will bring a change in style and raise
ment pays for his education but the Cubans who respond to their crimped It will matter to most of Cuba’s 11 mil- Cubans’ expectations of their govern-
stipend for living expenses is just $4 prospects not by agitating against the lion people, who have no easy way off ment. It is unclear whether the new
a month, enough for ten meals at the system but by plotting to escape it. He the island. In a country where transfers leaders will meet them.
university canteen. does not oppose Cuba’s communist re- of power are rare, the one that occurred
gime, nor does he take much interest in last week is momentous. Castro, who Díaz-Canel, an engineer by training,
Additional lunch money comes it. So he is unexcited by a power shift is 86, handed power to the “first” vice- has acquired a reputation for modesty
from his siblings, who live abroad. that made headlines around the world. president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, who had during his quiet three-decade ascent
Rafael (not his real name) wants to not been born when Raúl’s brother, through government and the Commu-
Last week, Raúl Castro stepped nist Party. As a leader in his home prov-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 43




ince of Villa Clara, in central Cuba, he government. He met the students in will not be abrupt. Although la gener- video of which was leaked last August,
rode around on a bicycle rather than in front of the press and said that in the ación histórica will no longer run the he vowed to shut down critical media
an official car. At the (one-party) par- internet age “banning something is al- government day to day, it will still be in- and boasted of his efforts to throttle
liamentary elections last month, he most a delusion.” fluential. Until 2021, Castro is expected civil society. He called the loosening
queued up with other voters and chat- to remain head of the Politburo, which of the American embargo on Cuba by
ted to the press (Castro zipped in and His elevation to the presidency was controls the Communist Party and thus President Obama starting in 2015 an
out of his polling station). part of a broader generational change. the overall direction of policy. Ven- attempt to destroy the revolution.
Several octogenarian conservatives, tura will remain second-in-command.
Díaz-Canel has sometimes seemed such as José Ramón Machado Ventura Díaz-Canel will be only the third most Díaz-Canel was shoring up his flank
more liberal than other apparatchiks. and Ramiro Valdés, left the council of powerful member. to ensure his promotion to the presi-
He backed gay rights before it was state, a body with lawmaking powers. dency, says William LeoGrande, of
fashionable. In 2013 he calmed a furor Díaz-Canel is expected to replace gov- He may not be the reformer some American University in Washington,
caused by the censorship of some stu- ernment ministers with his own people. Cubans are hoping for. In a speech to DC. Others see the speech as evidence
dent bloggers who were critical of the a private Communist Party meeting, a
But substantive change, if it happens, STORY CONTINUED ON PAGE 46

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46 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


that Díaz-Canel will be no friendlier to cane Irma, which struck last September. OUTGOING CUBAN PRESIDENT convertible peso (CUC), used by tour-
critics of the regime or to the United State-controlled farms and factories RAUL CASTRO RAISES THE ARM ists and some state-owned enterprises
States than the Castros were. No one for some purposes, is pegged to the
expects him to allow opposition par- are incapable of producing the goods OF CUBA’S NEW PRESIDENT dollar at 1:1. Most wages are paid in
ties or to free the press. Cubans demand, and a lack of foreign MIGUEL DIAZ-CANEL. Cuban pesos (CUP), which ordinary
exchange makes it hard to pay for im- folk can exchange for dollars at a rate
A more plausible hope is that Díaz- ports. Shortages, of everything from regime provides security, free public of 24:1. At that rate, the typical govern-
Canel will follow the example of com- tampons to salt and sometimes elec- services and a tolerable standard of liv- ment salary is worth $25 a month.
munist parties in China and Vietnam, tricity, are a plague. This is straining a ing in return for its people’s quiescence.
which opened up markets and allowed 60-year-old covenant, under which the There are six other official exchange
citizens to enrich themselves while If Díaz-Canel is to maintain it, he rates between the two currencies, de-
maintaining political control. But even will not be able to avoid reforming pending on what sort of organization
this may not happen. the absurd system of twin currencies is doing the exchanging. For most
and multiple exchange rates. It dis- state enterprises the rate is 1:1, which
Attractive as the prospect might torts price signals, stunts productivity preposterously overvalues the CUP.
sound, Cuban politicians fear it would growth and keeps Cubans poor. The Thus, some state firms get vast hand-
turn their country into a sweatshop outs which make them look produc-
making cheap goods for rich Ameri- tive when in fact they destroy value. In
cans. Socialism, political scientists December Castro said that currency
point out, was less entrenched in Viet- reform “cannot be delayed any longer”.
nam than it is in Cuba.
But change will be painful. If the
But Díaz-Canel cannot avoid eco- currency were suddenly unified and
nomic reform of some kind. The econ- allowed to float, more than half of
omy is in terrible shape and getting state-owned firms could go bust, put-
worse. Venezuela, whose like-minded ting hundreds of thousands of Cubans
regime has provided aid in the form out of work. Members of the regime do
of subsidized oil, is in economic crisis not agree on whether the bigger risk
and sending less of it. is reforming too slowly or too fast. Ac-
cording to foreign diplomats, the gov-
The fall in trade between the coun- ernment is talking informally to the
tries, from $8.5 billion in 2012 to $2.2 German government, which has expe-
billion in 2016, caused Cuba’s first re- rience in unifying currencies.
cession since the collapse of the Soviet
Union, its benefactor during the cold Without the Castros’ revolutionary
war. Cuba’s budget deficit reached 12% mystique, Díaz-Canel’s performance
of GDP last year, in part because the will be judged more exactingly. That
government had to clean up after Hurri-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 47


both makes economic reforms more The government is planning a series There is talk of recognizing the right But Cuba’s increasingly disen-
urgent, and the short-term pain they of constitutional changes. These are to self-employment in the constitution, chanted people care more about
will cause more dangerous to the re- thought to include cutting the number a sop to the 580,000 people who work economic results than constitutional
gime. The new president may seek to of seats in the National Assembly (from in trades opened up to entrepreneurs tweaks.
boost his popularity before adminis- 605) and the number of vice-presidents by the government. Cubans would vote
tering any economic shocks – by ex- (from six). The post of prime minister on the changes in a referendum, giving If Díaz-Canel can deliver those, Ra-
panding internet access, for example. may be reintroduced. Díaz-Canel a measure of legitimacy. fael and youngsters like him might not
dream of exile. 

48 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™



Southwest Airlines Capt. Tammie Jo Shults person- Airlines preferred military pilots for many of the high as $455,000 for an extra 13-year commitment.
ifies a dying breed. same reasons as today. The change has drastically reduced turnover and

The icy calm Navy veteran, who last week told air The services recruit the best prospects they can find, the number of new pilots being trained: One pilot
traffic control “we have part of the aircraft missing, and vet them with care – which makes a pilot’s exten- serving 10 years now does the work of 2.5 pilots serv-
so we’re going to need to slow down a bit” while her sive background checks far easier for their future em- ing four each.
plane limped along with an exploded engine and a ployers. The military’s rigorous training weeds out all
blown-out window, comes from the last big genera- but the most promising candidates – of more than 90 It also deters some aspiring pilots who saw a four-
tion of military-trained pilots. recruits in Smith’s class, fewer than 50 made it through. year commitment as a viable alternative to flight
school but weren’t willing to commit to 10 years of
The pipeline that brought Shults and fellow fighter And, on top of it all, military pilots get hands-on flying, after a year or more of training.
pilot/media obsession Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger experience and additional training – often above and
into the cockpit of commercial airlines is drying up. beyond what’s required of their civilian counterparts. Now most pilots are choosing a civilian education
even though flight-time requirements for commer-
Thanks to rising commercial demand and changes Taken together, that amounted to a major subsidy cial co-pilots have climbed from 250 to 1,500 hours.
in how the military recruits and retains its pilots, a for major carriers, Smith said. It can cost as much as $300,000 to attend a private,
third of private-sector U.S. pilots have military back- four-year aviation university, Smith said. But the
grounds. That’s down from more than 80 percent in It costs $11 million to train a fighter pilot on the lat- returns are immediate – entry-level co-pilots earn
the 1960s. est hardware, Air Force Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, deputy $30,000 to $50,000 a year, and veterans at major car-
chief of staff for manpower and personnel services, riers can earn $300,000 or more.
Shults and Sully joined the military when it was still said last year. The number would be somewhat lower
the dominant career path for aspiring pilots. Shults for other classes of pilot and other military services. The private sector still wants military-trained pi-
was one of the Navy’s first female fighter pilots and lots, and they’ve moved to accommodate longer mili-
flew the F/A-18 Hornet before leaving in 1993. Sul- The military has grown increasingly reluctant to tary service periods. Carriers that in the 1970s refused
lenberger flew the Air Force’s F-4 Phantom II before let these million-dollar investments walk off into the to hire anyone older than 29 will now hire pilots of any
leaving for Pacific Southwest Airlines in 1980. private sector after a few years. age, Smith said.

Veterans like Shults and Sully are becoming increas- In the late 1960s, Air Force pilots were required to That means military pilots can accept their hefty
ingly rare in commercial aviation, and their numbers serve four years after getting their pilots’ wings. That retention bonuses, serve a full 20 years in the military
are set to fall further. Pilots with experience in the Air number is now 10 years, and the military has tried to get and secure their pension, then move on to the private
Force, Navy or Army skew far older than their civilian- pilots to stay even longer through aggressive bonuses as sector and put in another 25 before retirement.
trained counterparts, and thus will be hitting 65 – the
mandatory retirement age for commercial pilots – An annual average of about 2,400 trained pilots a year
sooner and in larger numbers. left the military between fiscal years 2001 and 2012, ac-
cording to the Government Accountability Office.
Military pilots often spend their 20s and some-
times 30s in the service, but they’re underrepresent- That isn’t enough to fill commercial cockpits.
ed even in the 35-50 age ranges. Big airlines hired about 5,000 pilots last year, to say
nothing of regional carriers and freight operations.
Shults is 56. Sullenberger was 57 when US Airways
Flight 1549 splashed down between New York City Smith’s surveys show that Delta Air Lines, where
and New Jersey after losing power in both engines. veterans made up 98 percent of incoming pilots just
He’s now 67. 20 years ago, now gets less than half its new hires
from the armed services.
Military pilots were the lifeblood of the airline in-
dustry as it grew, along with Americans’ appetite for At the same time, the Air Force is facing its own pi-
travel, in the postwar era. lot shortage. Despite their generous bonus system,
21 percent of Air Force fighter-pilot positions stood
“The military was considered the primary method vacant in 2016. 
of gaining flight experience for a later career at the
airlines,” said Louis Smith, president of, a This column by Andrew Van Dam for The Washing-
pilot-focused career consultancy. ton Post does not necessarily reflect the views of Vero
Beach 32963

INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE, Other complications include: on patient’s belt, capsule exits body painlessly in stool) © 2018 VERO BEACH 32963 MEDIA, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
 Abscesses (painful, swollen, pus-filled pockets of in-  Upper gastrointestinal (GI) series (X-rays)
PART II fection) that occur when inflammation goes through  CT scan, CT enterography (special type of CT of small
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CROHN’S DISEASE the wall of the intestines bowel)
Crohn’s disease usually starts gradually and can become  Anemia  MRI, MR enterography (special type of MRI of small
worse over time. Symptoms may come and go, range from  Arthritis bowel)
mild to severe, and sometimes appear suddenly, with no  Gallbladder disease
warning. The disease can affect different areas of the di-  Granulomas (a mass of granulation tissue produced TREATMENT
gestive tract at the same time. in response to inflammation, infection or presence of Treatment for Crohn’s disease may include:
When the disease is active, patients may experience: a foreign substance)  Medicine to reduce symptoms
 Abdominal pain and cramping  Inflammation of the eyes, joints and skin Anti-inflammatories, immune system suppressors,
 Bleeding and diarrhea  Liver disease antibiotics, anti-diarrheal medication, biologics (live
 Fatigue  Malnutrition antibodies), pain relievers and iron, calcium and vita-
 Fever  Osteoporosis min D supplements
 Malnutrition  Skin rashes due to infections; deep ulcers, usually on  Bowel rest
 Mouth sores the legs; and/or tender red nodules or lumps, usually Drinking only certain liquids or not eating or drinking
 Nausea and vomiting on both shins anything; being fed through an IV or feeding tube
 Reduced appetite/weight loss  Tiredness  Surgery
Fortunately, however, periods of remission can last weeks People with Crohn’s disease are also at a greater risk for Small bowel resection, large bowel resection or re-
or years. developing bowel cancer. moval of the entire colon and rectum with either:
DIAGNOSIS – Creation of an ileostomy (an opening in the abdo-
COMPLICATIONS Testing can include: men from which stool is passed into a removable
Crohn’s disease may lead to one or more of the following  Blood samples to check for anemia or an infection external collection pouch outside the body) or
complications:  Fecal occult blood test (stool sample) – Creation of an internal pouch from the small bowel
 Anal fissure, a small tear in the tissue or skin of the  Stool sample called fecal calprotectin (that can help that’s attached to the anal sphincter muscle, which
anus that can lead to infection distinguish inflammatory bowel disease vs. irritable eliminates the need for an external ostomy appliance
 Bowel obstruction bowel syndrome)
 Fistula, an abnormal connection between body parts  Upper GI endoscopy There’s no known cure for Crohn’s disease, but with prop-
that is caused by ulcers extending completely through  Colonoscopy er treatment many patients can reduce symptoms, expe-
the intestinal wall  Flexible sigmoidoscopy rience long-term remission and live full lives. 
 Ulcers (open sores) anywhere in the digestive tract  Capsule endoscopy (patient swallows a capsule that
from mouth to anus has a camera, images transmitted to recorder worn Your comments and suggestions for future topics are always
welcome. Email us at [email protected].

50 Vero Beach 32963 / April 26, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, “Make it the presidency,” urged Nellie Taft. authority wasn’t explicitly denied to him by the Con-
and some are born in Ohio,” ran the Gilded Age riff “Make it the chief justiceship,” pleaded her husband. stitution; Taft insisted on the Constitution’s positive
on Shakespeare. How else to account for the string of Roosevelt made it the presidency. His progressiv- grant of authority before acting.
Ohioans in the White House – seven of the 11 presi- ism irked GOP regulars, and he feared they would re-
dents from 1869 to 1923? It made electoral sense: All verse the reforms he achieved in rebalancing democ- Taft’s approach would have suited America a gen-
were Republicans, it was a Republican era in presi- racy and capitalism in American life. Taft let Roosevelt eration earlier, but Roosevelt had accustomed the
dential politics, and Ohio delivered a hefty chunk of think he would carry the progressive torch forward. country to activism, and when Roosevelt, finally
electoral votes. But it also made for some undistin- And so he did, but in his own way. Rosen aptly ob- bored with slaughtering the big game of Africa on an
guished presidents, including Rutherford Hayes, Ben- serves that by some measures – trusts prosecuted, epic post-presidential safari, returned to the United
jamin Harrison, James Garfield and Warren Harding. acreage protected, tariffs reduced – Taft was more States, he was easily talked into thinking Taft had be-
progressive than Roosevelt. Yet his style could hardly trayed him. In a fit of egotism he ruined Taft’s presi-
William Howard Taft got the job not because he was have been less Rooseveltian. Rosen, a law professor dency, split the Republican Party and handed the
from Ohio, although his Buckeye roots didn’t hurt. He and a biographer of Louis Brandeis, makes a com- White House to the Democrats.
got it because Theodore Roosevelt deluded himself pelling argument for Taft’s importance as a conser-
into thinking that Taft would continue the Roosevelt vator of the Constitution on the subject of presiden- Yet Taft’s career wasn’t over. Indeed, the career
legacy into the third term the Rough Rider forswore af- tial powers. Roosevelt boasted of seizing whatever he should have had all along was just getting back
ter 7 1/2 years in office. Or perhaps it was Taft who de- on track. Rosen complements his coverage of Taft’s
luded Roosevelt. Either way, Taft received Roosevelt’s work with attention to private matters. For all her
anointment and with it the Republican nomination in pushiness, Nellie was his true love, and the attention
1908, and he coasted to victory in the general election. he devoted to her recovery after a stroke is deeply
moving. Rosen relates Taft’s struggles with obesity,
It was a bad career move. Roosevelt would have observing that his weight ballooned when he was
been a tough act for anyone to follow; his personal- under stress, particularly in the White House. Sleep
ization of the presidency and his eagerness to expand apnea, a side effect, left him chronically drowsy. Taft
executive power raised the bar of presidential suc- took the inevitable fat-man jokes in stride and even
cess several notches. Taft was the least likely person made a few himself. When Yale offered him a chair
to clear the new standard. The glare of public scruti- in law after he left the presidency, he responded that
ny repelled him; the demands of democratic politics they had better make it a sofa.
dismayed him; the violence done to the Constitution
by Roosevelt’s aggrandizement offended him. He achieved his lifelong goal when Harding ap-
pointed him chief justice. Taft remained on the
He should have been a judge. He had been a Supreme Court for nearly a decade, resigning just
judge, and he liked the work. But it didn’t satisfy his a month before his death in 1930. His administra-
wife, who dreamed of more for her Will. And it didn’t tive talents reemerged as he streamlined the federal
satisfy Roosevelt, who saw in Taft something of what court system, and a political savvy few had suspect-
he had lost in the premature death of his younger ed in him helped persuade Congress to fund a new
brother. Taft was a gifted administrator; his talents building for the court, which had shared the Capitol
had prompted William McKinley to move him from with the legislative branch. Taft didn’t live to see the
federal circuit court to the Philippines to oversee the completion of the marble temple to justice and the
establishment of an American government for that constitutional separation of powers, but it served as
new colony. Roosevelt brought Taft to Washington to a fitting monument to the most distinguished post-
be secretary of war and perhaps his successor. In his presidential career in American history. 
new biography of Taft, Jeffrey Rosen relates a White
House moment when Roosevelt, after a private WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT
dinner with the Tafts, pretended to be clairvoyant.
“There is something hanging over his head,” Roos- THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTS SERIES:
evelt declared, looking above Taft. “I cannot make THE 27TH PRESIDENT, 1909-1913
out what it is. … At one time it looks like the Presi-
dency, then again it looks like the chief justiceship.” BY JEFFREY ROSEN, TIMES. 183 PP. $26


1. Shoot First BY STUART WOODS 1. A Higher Loyalty 1. Voices in the Air

BY OLIVIA dEBELLE BYRD 2. Assume the Worst 2. The Fates Divide


BY LISA WINGATE 3. Red Notice BY BILL BROWDER 3. The Darkest Corners
4. I've Been Thinking
5. Beneath a Scarlet Sky BY KARA THOMAS

5. Dog Man and Cat Kid


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