Vero approves emergency
beach repairs. P9
Quail Valley gala
goes over top. P14
John’s Island real estate
market hot after record year. P8
For breaking news visit
MY VERO Speed bumps, but
no road blocks, for
BY RAY MCNULTY Vero electric sale
Number of panhandlers
on mainland increasing
If you regularly drive around Panhandlers on the Northwest corner of 20th Street and U.S. 1. PHOTO BY GORDON RADFORD BY LISA ZAHNER
the Vero mainland, you’ve Staff Writer
probably seen panhandlers at Who will take over hospital? Final vote Tuesday
certain busy intersections – No barricades have been
U.S. 1 and 17th Street, U.S. 1 BY MICHELLE GENZ coming Tuesday, Jan. 30, to Hospital leaders intend to thrown up yet to block the
and 20th Street, and U.S. 1 and Staff Writer pick one of four heathcare keep it that way after a key sale of Vero Beach electric to
Aviation Boulevard. systems vying to take over adviser warned that weary Florida Power & Light, but a
Marriage metaphors are Vero’s hospital – but, so far, suitors could get cold feet. handful of Vero’s sister cities
Sometimes they're stand- getting a workout as Indian no one has used the term in the statewide power co-op
ing. Sometimes they are sit- River Medical Center officials ‘bridezilla’ in the two-month Key to averting that out- may act as speed bumps as
ting on something or reclining gear up for a final vote this intensive courtship. come is the pace of the pro- the city rushes to exit the elec-
on the ground. Almost always, tric utility business for good.
they've got some sort of sign – CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
often with the hand-scrawled Nineteen equity member
words "God Bless" or "Please cities in the Florida Municipal
Help" or "Need Work” – asking Power Agency must approve
for a handout. releasing Vero from its long-
term obligations to the co-op
You may want to help in exchange for $108 million.
them. You probably can af-
ford to part with a few dol- After tedious negotiations –
lars, and they look like they which saw the FMPA’s chief le-
could use the money. But if gal counsel put 4,000 miles on
you are like me, you may also his vehicle traveling around
be uncomfortable. Panhan- the state with CEO Jacob Wil-
dlers hanging out along the liams selling the Vero exit plan
road don’t seem to belong in to the cities’ elected boards –
CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 3
Vero Beach Rowing George Heaton strikes plea deal in
hires director to take Vero Beach Hotel financing scheme
club to the next level
BY BETH WALTON Heaton, 74, thus escaped
BY RAY MCNULTY Staff Writer more serious charges, punish-
Staff Writer able by up to 30 years in pris-
George Heaton, developer on, for his role in a complex
As Austin Work drove New Vero Beach Rowing Club Director Austin Work. PHOTO BY GORDON RADFORD of the Vero Beach Hotel and scheme whereby he deceived
east through Texas last Sat- Spa, faces up to five years in banks about the sale of condo
urday, eager to embark on prison after entering into a units at the Vero Beach Hotel
his new job as the full-time plea deal last week to a single to obtain the money he need-
rowing director of Vero felony charge of conspiracy ed to finish construction.
to make false statements to a
CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 federally insured institution. He also was ordered to pay
CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
January 25, 2018 Volume 11, Issue 4 Newsstand Price $1.00 A tidal wave of
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Books 46 Health 53-57 St. Ed’s 48
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Editorial 44 People 11-30 Wine 63 CALL 772-226-7925
© 2018 Vero Beach 32963 Media LLC. All rights reserved.
2 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
George Heaton in plea deal prove that millions of dollars in buy- Granitur, 60, who handled the closings asking for assistance, because Vero
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 ers’ incentives for sales contract de- on the condominium units. Beach does not have a law that pro-
posits, rebates and cash-to-close pay- hibits panhandling at intersections.
some $263,000 in forfeiture to compen- backs were not disclosed to the banks Granitur’s trial is scheduled for Feb-
sate for the financial crime, and could that financed the condominium units. ruary, but it could be delayed until "It's not illegal," Vero Police Chief
well be forced to reimburse banks for summer. David Currey said. "If they're on a
the estimated $3.5 million federal pros- The defendant and his co-conspira- sidewalk, not disrupting the flow
ecutors said they lost in the scheme. tors – an accountant and a lawyer – pro- Heaton will be sentenced when the of traffic and not accosting people,
vided false information to four banks at trial is over. they're not breaking the law. In fact,
During the real estate slowdown a least eight times, records show. we have to be careful not to violate
decade ago, Heaton needed to show a My Vero their constitutional rights.
certain number of condo sales in order Deborah Baggett, 55, an accoun-
to get construction financing released tant who worked for Heaton, pleaded CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 "I've seen them myself, and my of-
for the luxury hotel and condo prop- guilty the previous week to the same ficers have seen them," Currey said.
erty on Ocean Drive. charge for her role in the scheme. Vero Beach. This is not Tampa or Fort "Cars will be stopped at an intersec-
Lauderdale. tion and people are waving a few dol-
Had the case proceeded, prosecu- Baggett and Heaton, as part of their lars at them. But that's why they ... are
tors said they would have been able to plea deals, agreed to help prosecutors But it turns out they have a right to out there.
and presumably testify against Vero be there, holding up their signs and
Beach attorney and escrow agent Eric "As long as people give them mon-
ey, they're going to continue to do it,"
he added. "They're not going to stand
there or sit there all day long if it's not
productive. But if they keep getting,
they'll keep coming back."
Vero Beach officials are aware of
the panhandling problem, City Man-
ager Jim O'Connor said, and they've
had numerous conversations about
adopting a city ordinance to prohibit
But they've been unable to come up
with anything they believe will be de-
fensible in court.
"You can't prohibit people from
standing on the sidewalk," O'Connor
said, adding, "We've talked to other
communities that are dealing with the
same issue, and every one of them is
saying the same thing – that the prob-
lem seems to be getting worse.
"But they're all struggling to come
up with a way to stop it."
In July 2016, the city of Sebastian
passed an ordinance that prohibits
panhandling at 12 intersections, in-
cluding those at County Road 512 and
U.S. 1, Barber Street and U.S. 1, and
County Road 512 and Roseland Road.
The ordinance makes it unlawful
"for any person to solicit money for
any cause" at the city's "busiest and
most dangerous intersections," where
"drivers need to be most alert and
more aware of their surroundings ..."
It further states: "People walking out-
side of the pedestrian crosswalks and
between lines of temporarily stopped
vehicles in an effort to solicit money . . .
create an unnecessary distraction and
pose an unacceptable heightened risk
and danger to the public health, safety
Why hasn't Vero Beach adopted a
O'Connor said he has discussed Se-
bastian's solution with City Attorney
Wayne Coment and, "We're not sure
Panhandling is also a problem peo-
ple complain about in the unincorpo-
rated county, but it occurs mostly in
shopping center parking lots, such as
those at the Wal-Mart on State Road
60 and the Publix at U.S. 1 and 12th
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 3
Street. There also have been com- "The main complaint we get is, Vero electric sale Williams and Vero leaders believe
plaints about panhandlers at the in- 'They're there,' " Currey said. "Peo- CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 those can be successfully addressed.
tersection of State Road 60 and 58th ple want us to tell them, 'You can't
Avenue, as well as near the base of the be out here.' But we can't legally do more than two-thirds of the cities had The City of Lake Worth earlier this
I-95 entrance and exits ramps in Vero that." voted in the affirmative as of press month approved documents paving
Beach and Sebastian. time. the way for Vero’s exit, but did so con-
At the moment, there seems to be tingent upon the FMPA issuing some
"We have our share of panhandlers, only one way to make the panhan- Four cities – Lake Worth, Alachua, extra assurances that Lake Worth
too, but it's not as big an issue for us dlers who make you uncomfortable Clewiston and Fort Meade – raised a would not be assuming any additional
as it is for the city," Sheriff's Maj. Eric disappear. variety of issues or concerns, but both risk. The FMPA board last Thursday in
Flowers said. "People do seem to be
noticing more this past year, but I Don’t give them money. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
don't know why. We've been dealing
with it for years."
Both Flowers and Currey said it's dif-
ficult to track the number of complaints
about panhandlers because they're
logged as "suspicious person" calls.
"If you do see a problem with pan-
handlers, I'd encourage you to call us,"
Flowers said. "We'll go out and talk to
Currey said many businesses, es-
pecially those along U.S. 1, have filed
trespass affidavits with his depart-
ment, which gives police the author-
ity to remove transients and potential
panhandlers from the property with-
out the owner or customers having to
call in specific complaints.
That's why you no longer see pan-
handlers operating at the drive-thru
exits at the McDonald's on U.S. 1 and
"We can't keep them off the side-
walks, but they can't be within 30 feet
of an exit or entrance," Currey said.
"And if they're blocking the drivers'
view or distracting drivers as they’re
trying to pull out onto a busy corridor,
it becomes a public safety issue and
we can act."
O'Connor said the city is consider-
ing posting signs to discourage pan-
handling, but there are legalities to
contend with there, too, and, "I'm not
sure how much good it would do."
Currey said he isn't sure if there
has been an increase in panhandling
around the city or whether the pan-
handlers have simply become more
visible because, as a result of the tres-
pass affidavits, the major intersections
are their only remaining good options.
"There might be more evidence of it
because you see them at the only places
they can be," the chief said. "We're try-
ing to be proactive, but most of these
people are harmless. In some cases,
they're our eyes and ears on the streets.
Some of them even have homes."
When panhandlers are arrested, he
added, it's usually for "nuisance crimes,"
such as trespassing, having an open
container and disorderly intoxication."
Many of the panhandlers do leave be-
hind litter at their intersections. Some
urinate in public, behind buildings. A
rare few harass or distract drivers.
Mostly, though, they simply stand
there with their signs and wait for
people to wave them over and give
4 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Vero electric sale Two other cities might end up caus- FMPA’s chief attorney Jody Finklea this concluded in a timely manner,”
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 ing the formal FMPA vote approv- have been working to make Alachua O’Connor said on Monday.
ing Vero’s exit to be postponed until and Clewiston’s attorneys comfortable
session at its Orlando headquarters March. The city attorneys in Alachua with the documents by putting them The Florida Public Service Com-
approved a document clarifying that and Clewiston had yet, as of press together with municipal attorneys mission approval process has already
for Lake Worth. time, to sign off on the documents from cities that have already vetted begun, with the PSC conducting an
needed to OK Vero’s exit. and approved the deal. audit of FPL’s valuation of the Vero
Another city that had already voted electric utility. FPL on Jan. 16 submit-
to approve the Vero deal, but whose Just as Vero’s attorney Wayne Coment The Fort Pierce Utility Authority, ted seven pages of responses to the
FMPA representative would still need or Indian River County’s attorney Dylan which has still yet to vote, also bro- PSC staff’s detailed questions about
to cast a vote along with the full board, Reingold must sign off on documents kered a side deal with Vero and FPL the transaction.
brought up an issue related to the pur- before they are placed on the agendas for some transmission equipment it
chase of bulk power, but O’Connor of those boards, Alachua and Clewiston wanted on the shared southern border It’s the PSC’s responsibility to make
said CEO Williams told him that he cannot vote on the FMPA Vero electric of the Vero system, and City Manager sure that the $185 million FPL is pay-
believes he has the Fort Meade issue sale item until their respective attorneys Jim O’Connor said that arrangement ing for the Vero system, plus the $23.5
taken care of. are satisfied and give the go-ahead from was a win for all concerned. Vero’s million in inducements FPL has bro-
a legal perspective. closest neighbor Ft. Pierce, O’Connor kered with OUC and the capital out-
That’s two down. said, is not expected to be a problem. lay for FPL to build a state-of-the-art,
O’Connor said Williams and the storm-hardened substation off the
Jacksonville Beach City Manager river in Vero so Big Blue can be dis-
George Forbes was perturbed that mantled, are fair and equitable to
Fort Meade, or any other city, might FPL’s existing 4.9 million ratepayers.
be using their straggler status as a bar-
gaining chip. Last week at the FMPA Of the $185 million cash proceeds,
meeting, he accused some members the FMPA will receive $108 million
of trying to play “Let’s Make a Deal” and Orlando Utilities will receive $20
because they know how critical the million in penalties for Vero to exit a
timing is for approval. wholesale power contract six years
early. Another $26 million will go to
Williams downplayed this, saying pay off Vero’s outstanding electric util-
he would tackle the big and small con- ity bonds. Legal fees also will be paid
cerns one at a time until everyone was out of the closing, leaving the city
satisfied and ready to vote a resound- with the decision of what to do with
ing yes. Williams has been a game- the slightly more than $30 million re-
changer in Vero’s efforts to get out of mainder.
the FMPA. The new leader is politi-
cally savvy and realizes the value of Rowing Club hires director
putting the all-consuming Vero Beach CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
controversy in his rear-view mirror.
Beach Rowing, his 7-year-old Austra-
The deal also infuses much-needed lian shepherd was resting comfort-
cash into the FMPA’s coffers at a time ably on his lap.
when it is finally making progress dig-
ging out of decades of debt, and relax- “Her name is Stella,” Work said,
es the pressure Vero and Indian River “and she’s a great boathouse dog.”
County were putting on state regula-
tors to increase oversight of the co-op. All she needs now is a boathouse –
and that’s in the works.
The FMPA is set to meet on Feb. 15,
and if all the cities have voted on Vero’s “This club is ready to take off,” said
exit, it will take the matter up at that Work, “and I’m excited to have the op-
meeting, or possibly at a special call portunity to be a part of it and nurture
meeting later in February, or in March. its competitive aspirations.”
FPL and Vero officials hope to close The rowing club launched in January
the sale on or before Oct. 1 – provided 2017 a campaign to raise the $2.3 mil-
all regulatory and legal approvals are lion needed to build a 12,000-square-
in place. “We’re still marching in the foot boathouse and rowing center on
same direction and expect to have
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 5
leased, city-owned land at MacWilliam and secure storage for its boats. except for seeing photographs, I’m necessary local support. Completing
Park, under the east side of the Barber Thus far, the club, which was found- coming in blind,” Work said from the the new boathouse is the next step in
Bridge. road. “But from what I’ve seen, what the process. We’ve got all our stuff. We
ed in 2008, has raised $1.8 million and the club has right now is a really solid just need to move it into our house.
The center, which will include an al- hopes to reach its goal by the end of foundation.
ready-completed, 100-foot-long float- March, with plans to break ground “Once the boathouse is built ... we’ll
ing dock, would provide a base for the early this summer. “We have the necessary equipment, have everything we need to take the
club’s operations, training facilities the necessary coaching boats, and the
“I’ve never been to Vero Beach, so, CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
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6 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Rowing Club hires director els – along with other impressive cre- petitively in college, and several of his Key vote on hospital looms
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 dentials. older rowers – ages 27 and up – earned CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
trips to the Masters Nationals.
club – and, really, the sport – to the As an athlete, he rowed at the Salis- cess, a timeframe so tight it had officials
next level in the Vero Beach area.” bury School in Connecticut and at A certified rowing instructor, Work visiting eight hospitals in four days.
Lewis & Clark College in Oregon, also has helped teach paralympic
Taking the club and sport to the next where he was the team’s captain while athletes. “Time is your enemy,” said Jupiter
level is exactly why Work, 37, is taking studying film and theater. Advisory’s Jamie Burgdorfer, who has
this leap of faith. “Most of my career, I’ve been a com- shepherded the two boards – IRMC and
After graduating with a bachelor’s petitive rowing coach, and I plan to do the County Hospital District – through
That, and the warmer climate. degree in 2003, Work moved to Chica- the same in Vero Beach,” he said. “But the partnership process since August.
Prior to his most recent job – head go to study improv comedy at The Sec- I also want to reach out to the commu-
juniors coach and then rowing direc- ond City. It was there that he began his nity, bring more people into the sport Last week there were some last-
tor of the Austin (Texas) Rowing Club coaching career, recruiting and work- and expand the club’s presence. minute jitters about those boards hav-
– Work coached rowers at Wellesley ing with more than 200 novice and ju- ing only two days to review the final
College in Massachusetts for five years nior rowers for five years. “We’re going to try to involve every- proposals.
and, before that, at the Chicago Row- one – veterans, homeless groups, first re-
ing Foundation. He then was hired by his former col- sponders, para-athletes, middle school But once an accord is reached on a
“I was looking for something I could lege coach to help coach the novice and high school kids, and especially se- finalist this coming Tuesday – or later,
really sink my teeth into, something women at Wellesley. There, he helped niors,” he continued. “There’s a signifi- if the boards can’t agree – the pace
I could help build from the ground develop 12 NCAA All-America rowers cant retirement population in Florida, should slow, at least for the boards.
up and make an impact,” Work said and coached teams that earned med- and rowing is a great, low-impact sport IRMC officials will produce a non-
of his decision to reply to Vero Beach als at the conference and national that produces incredible benefits. binding letter of intent and the part-
Rowing’s advertisement in ROWING championships. ner of choice will have exclusive rights
Magazine. “I’m also excited about hav- “My goal is to do what it takes to to begin negotiations in earnest, typi-
ing the chance to live in Florida. The Work, though, wanted a warmer cli- make this sport as big in Vero Beach cally for 90 or 120 days. That means a
ocean, the golf, the weather ... It’s not mate, which he found in Austin, where as possible. That means we have to do binding definitive agreement should
New England or Chicago.” he was hired in 2014 to be the head more than build a rowing center. We be reached by late spring.
Work, who arrived in Vero Beach juniors coach at the local rowing club. have to build a rowing culture.”
late Sunday, brings with him more Eighteen months later, he was pro- There also were concerns that only
than his faithful dog. He brings ex- moted to rowing director. Work said Vero Beach Rowing cur- summaries and not the full proposals
tensive coaching experience – at the rently has about 120 members – 50 would be made public in advance of
high school, college and masters lev- During his tenure, the Austin club’s masters rowers and 60 to 70 juniors Tuesday’s decision.
rowers consistently finished among and high school athletes. He will be
the top 20 at USRowing’s Youth Na- the club’s only full-time employee. In addition, there has been some
tional Championships. Half of his late-to-the-game grumbling within
juniors were recruited to row com- “There’s a lot to do,” Work said, “so
I’m going to hit the water rowing.”
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 7
the Indian River County Commission hospital campus, valued at more than press, the public and not one but two road, we knew we would be unable to
about self-insurance costs rising un- $160 million. governing boards, the suitors have sustain high quality healthcare for this
der new hospital management. And spent considerable time and money community.”
at least one commissioner – Bob So- Hospital District Board Chairman selling themselves to Vero’s hospital
lari – wasn’t happy about the county Marybeth Cunningham says neither officials. Now they have had to put Her second concern was that the
missing out on some substantial sale Solari nor any other county official their best offers in writing, an arduous process would be disrupted to the
proceeds, if, as expected, the hospital asked to read the potential partners’ process with tedious detail, and not point that it “would cause suitors to
deal involves an amended lease, not preliminary proposals, received in No- one they would relish publicly debat- walk away.”
an outright sale. vember. ing, Burgdorfer warned.
“We are difficult to start with be-
A 2012 law pushed by Gov. Rick By contrast, the board of the hos- “I would say we are pushing them cause we are a board of the hospital
Scott, who wants to get rid of public pital as well as the unpaid trustees of very hard. We are asking them to do a and a board of public District trust-
hospitals in Florida, would in the case the Hospital District have been pour- lot, to take a lot of time and care and ees, public officials that are elected,”
of a hospital sale divide the proceeds ing hours and hours of time into the spend a lot of money when they don’t Cunningham said, referring to the
evenly between the Hospital District, search. Both boards include former know if they’re going to be your part- District’s required transparency under
which uses tax money to underwrite top executives of national and inter- ner of choice,” said Burgdorfer. “They Sunshine laws.
medical care for the poor, and a fund national firms, and many have mul- are somewhat weary and I think that’s
for businesses involved in healthcare tiple decades of experience in health- just about right. But we want to be re- “This county should be ecstatic,
that would be administered by the care related fields. spectful of them.” absolutely ecstatic, that we have four
County Commission. suitors, all very different, that we can
Last week, trustees of the Hospital When on Thursday, District Trustee talk about, debate and decide on. I
If the IRMC property is leased by the District Board learned from Burgdor- Tracey Zudans read aloud a motion would really hate to be in a position
new operator, no money will go to a fer that despite the intense interest to release the complete proposals to where we didn’t have a choice, where
county business development fund. shown in IRMC during the courtship, both the public and the boards upon we couldn’t make those decisions,
their four suitors – HCA, Orlando receipt, Cunningham countered with where they were made for us because
“The more that comes up with this, Health, Adventist Health System and an impassioned plea to leave the care- people walked away.”
the worse it looks to me,” muttered So- Cleveland Clinic – may be tiring of the fully constructed process in place, just
lari. process. the way advisers planned it. Just the day before, at another Dis-
trict meeting, Burgdorfer had men-
The financing details Solari seems With public scrutiny intensified Her fears were twofold. “The very tioned another risk to the takeover
surprised by have come up in multiple under the Sunshine laws, an unusual worst that can happen to this county deal.
District meetings since last Febru- circumstance in hospital deals, the is that we do nothing,” she said. “We
ary, when the decision to partner was health systems have been peppered have a responsibility to our residents “You are not the only hospital
made. But until now, few if any county with constant queries. “We’re calling and that’s why we started this whole in Florida looking for a partner of
officials have shown much interest, them almost daily,” said Burgdorfer. process because looking down the choice,” he warned. “You are the only
despite county taxpayers owning the one doing it in the public eye.”
Trotted out for inspection by the
CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
8 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Key vote on hospital looms tense scrutiny by Juniper – and no one He urged the board instead to fo- trying to make sense of them, from
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 else until the weekend. cus on impressions they have already the evening of Jan. 22 until we finish
formed over a year of research and re- our report.”
“The other companies are watching District trustees and the hospital flection, including advice from nation-
every move you make. It some cases, board of directors will first lay eyes on ally-recognized consultants plus mul- That report – Juniper’s summaries
it’s eerie – they show up a week after the proposals this coming Sunday, Jan. tiple presentations from the suitors – will be presented by Burgdorfer and
we show up. That’s not good, but it is 28, two days ahead of the vote to pick a themselves. He said just as important his Juniper associates, Jordan Shields
what it is. So far there hasn’t been any partner. Zudans wasn’t the only voice as the terms in the proposals, which and Barry Sagraves, this coming Tues-
harm in that, but it’s a factor. So far the asking for more time; trustees Michael he expects to be similar to Novem- day beginning at 9 a.m. That’s when
finalists are being constructive and Weiss and Allen Jones also expressed ber’s preliminary proposals, will be the seven District trustees, 18 hospital
positive ... But it’s an issue you should concern. their suitors’ identities, their financial board members and any interested
be aware of.” strength, and their ability to be forward citizens head to the huge new Inter-
But Burgdorfer disagreed. “Time thinking in terms of the healthcare in- generational Center on Oslo Road for
Last Monday night, Jan. 22, the final is your enemy. I can’t emphasize that dustry. two to three hours of proposal review.
proposals of the four takeover candi- enough,” he cautioned. “Time is our
dates arrived in Juniper’s inbox. And enemy both in terms of dealing with “You’ve been touching them, feeling After that, the boards will meet sepa-
there they remain, the object of in- the market and untoward things that them, reading about them and hear- rately starting at 1 p.m. to debate their
can happen, and there are a lot of ing from them for months,” he told final choice. With luck, the boards will
them.” the District Board. “You all have views agree on a single suitor. “We’ll go all
of all of this, strong opinions in many night if we have to,” said Trustee Mi-
cases, which is great. No one could in chael Weiss.
any remote sense criticize you for not
being thorough enough, believe me.” In fact, even under Sunshine law,
they can break off and resume the next
Zudans’ failed motion had asked day if need be. And the day after that.
that the proposals also be released to Trustees were warned by Cunning-
the public on receipt, though state law ham last week to “clear your calendars
requires they become public only after Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.”
a decision is reached, or 30 days after
receipt, whichever comes first. With luck, the Intergenerational Cen-
ter’s giant red front façade will not be-
Instead, Juniper’s summaries of come another metaphor: the sudden
the proposals will be available to the stop the boards will come to if the two
public at Hospital District offices this can’t reach consensus on the winner.
coming Monday before the vote,
Asked if there was a plan for that
“The proposals are difficult for the eventuality, even Burgdorfer had to
suitors to write and they’re technical and think for a bit. ‘We’re not sure,” he ad-
full of minutiae,” said Burgdorfer. “But mitted. “We’ve been thinking about
they are not particularly illuminating. that. It’s very unusual to have two
boards trying to make the same deci-
“It will take us 20 hours a day of sion. But we welcome that challenge.
reading them and calling the suitors It’s fun for us.”
John’s Island real estate market
hot after a record year in 2017
BY STEVEN M. THOMAS the company’s accomplishments.
Staff Writer While most realtors count transac-
tion “sides” – meaning they count it as
Realtors around town are talking two if they represent both seller and
about the bustling real estate market purchaser – John’s Island Real Estate
in John’s Island. counts properties.
“JI is always popular and with re- “We were either on one side of 141
cent upgrades it has become a lifestyle sales, including those pending, or
choice once again,” says Sally Daley, more often on both sides,” represent-
owner of Daley and Company. ing both buyer and seller, says the
company’s marketing director Robyn
“It is very active,” says Premier Es- Flick.
tate Properties broker associate Kay
Brown, whose parents lived in the club Gibb says all segments of the John’s
community. “I have a lot of friends up Island market have been strong, with
there and there is very little product the condo market leading the way in
available. They had the best year last terms of high demand, and ocean-
year, as far as I know, that they have front properties seeing the greatest
ever had.” price appreciation, rising more than
10 percent in value on average.
John’s Island Real Estate Broker Bob
Gibb confirms, “It was a record year “We have 292 condos and at some
for us. We had 141 properties closed or points in the year we had as few as
pending by the end of December, and three or four available. Right now we
our dollar volume was up 40 percent are up to six or seven,” Gibb says.
John’s Island’s appeal to buyers is
The 141 sales number understates shown by tight inventory across the
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 9
board, in all types of housing, from range in price from $170,000 for a as examples of ongoing upgrades at The boutique real estate company
oceanfront, riverfront and golf course small one-bedroom condo, to $11.5 the exclusive by-invitation-only club has eight agents, including Gibb and
single-family homes to less expensive million for a 5-bedroom, 7-bath, community. new agent Susie Perticone, a John’s Is-
cottages and condos. Only 65 out of 14,500-square-foot oceanfront house land “legacy” whose parents lived in
1,362 homes in the community were on a 2.58 acre lot. A majority of avail- Named after John La Roche, who John’s Island.
on the market in mid-January, which able homes are priced between $1 mil- homesteaded the area in 1889, John’s
is less than 5 percent and signifies a lion and $6 million. Island was founded in 1969 by noted Originally from Darien, Connecti-
strong seller’s market. Florida developer Edwin Llwyd Eccle- cut, Perticone, like all her fellow
Gibb gives John’s island Club much stone, and the club was sold to the agents, now lives in John’s Island year
“Anything less than five percent is of the credit for the booming real es- membership in 1989. round. According to Gibb, his agents’
always a seller’s market,” says Gibb, tate market. “The club has been fan- insider knowledge and connections
“and anything less than 10 percent is a tastic with food and service. They do a According to the John’s Island Real enable the company to dominate
seller’s market in a second-home com- great job of anticipating and meeting Estate website, the 1,650-acre ocean- sales in the community, handling ap-
munity like John’s Island.” members’ wants and needs.” to-river community known for its live proximately 95 percent of listings and
oak trees and Georgian architecture sales.
The company’s highest-priced sale He cites a new watering hole called has been “designated as one of the top
in 2017 was $9.9 million, which was Jack’s Bar and the Market Place, a small 100 Platinum Clubs of America and “John’s Island Real Estate does a
paid for an oceanfront estate. convenience store that opened in the named one of ‘America’s Top 25 Golf great job,” says Brown. “They kind of
remodeled golf clubhouse in 2016, Communities’ by Travel + Leisure.” cover the territory up there.”
The 65 homes now on the market
Vero approves extra $200,000 for emergency beach repairs
BY LISA ZAHNER proved a $200,000 change order ex- discussion, bringing the total cost “Moving forward I’d like to see the
Staff Writer panding the scope of a post-Matthew of emergency sand for Matthew and County and the City working in tan-
dune repair project to shore up those Irma up to $272,000. When asked his dem [to fix the beaches],” Howle said,
Hurricane Irma’s appetite for Vero’s two beaches, even though there is no feelings about spending unbudgeted referring to ongoing efforts by the city
dunes at Conn Beach and Humiston money in the 2017-18 budget for the money for emergency sand, Mayor to get bed-tax money from the county
Beach Park, on the heels of her sand- repairs and the expenditure will eat up Harry Howle said he would prefer not for beach repair.
chomping predecessor Matthew in nearly a quarter of the city’s emergency to spend $200,000 on beach replen-
2016, is proving to be costly for Vero fund. ishment, but that it is a necessary to The Conn Beach boardwalk rou-
Beach taxpayers. retain one of the top amenities and tinely becomes unsafe after a tropical
The matter was approved on the biggest tourist attractions in Vero. storm or series of rough Nor’easters
The City Council last Tuesday ap- council’s consent agenda with no
CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
10 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 NEWS Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Repairs to Vero’s beach begin immediately so work can be com-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 pleted by March 1, when all equipment
will have to be off the beach ahead of
chew into the dunes, and scientists sea turtle nesting season.
say beaches within Vero’s city limits
are some of the most critically erod- There’s no money in the 2017-18
ed in the county. It will take 3,560 budget for these repairs, and Vero does
tons of sand trucked onto the beach not share in the funding Indian River
from an inland sand mine to replen- County receives from various sources
ish the dunes and get the boardwalks – including the bed tax – to pay for
and dune crossings ready for another dune and beach repair projects.
storm season this summer.
City Manager Jim O’Connor said the
Permits from the Florida Department money would come out of the city’s
of Environmental Protection have been $827,509 emergency reserve fund set
secured and the beach repair work will aside for things like hurricane dam-
age. Approximately 75 percent of the
costs may eventually be reimbursed by
the Federal Emergency Management
Agency, but “the allocation of FEMA
funds for dune restoration is not certain
at this time,” according to O’Connor.
Operating on a separate track, the
county is scheduled to refurbish the
city’s beaches, deemed Sector 5 in the
county’s beach plan, in late 2018 or
early 2019, provided that funding from
the state is available and the project is
deemed eligible. In the meantime, the
city is on its own.
Vero is prohibited from using tax
funds for large-scale beach replenish-
ment such as the county has planned
due to a 1980s-era referendum. Those
who oppose beach replenishment
mostly object to paying dearly for what
they deem to be a futile fight against
nature, but oceanfront residents and
businesses rely upon regular influxes
of sand to protect property and pro-
mote a healthy tourist economy.
Howle is the most recent in a series
of Vero mayors to try to get funding
out of Indian River County to help pay
for repair of city beaches.
Previous mayors Jay Kramer and
Dick Winger took an adversarial ap-
proach with the county over the bed
tax, but Howle said he’s trying to ac-
complish the same goal via diplo-
macy. “It certainly is worth noting the
vast majority of tourism dollars come
from COVB. Being sure Vero gets a fair
shake is always something we keep in
mind and would like to explore further
in the future.”
The Vero Beach Lifeguard Associa-
tion 2017 Annual Report published
earlier this month states that more
than 755,000 people flocked to Vero’s
city beaches during guarded hours
last year, with estimates for total visi-
tor count topping one million people.
Beach attendance was up 8 percent
from 2016, and was the highest since
2012, providing a strong boost for local
One reason city beaches are so
popular is that Vero not only pays to
“groom” its five major public beaches
from November to April, when it’s not
peak turtle-nesting season, but also
contracts with workers to comb the
beaches for trash.
AND THEY’RE ARF! ‘BARK IN PARK’
UNLEASHES THE HOUNDS P. 20
12 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
1. RoVan Dright and Christine Hobart. 2. Jean
Ueltschi, Lee LaPointe and Susan Smith. 3.
3 4 8 Marion de Vogel, Annette Rodriguez and Allison
Varricchio. 4. Robin MacTaggart and Laura Buck.
5. Scott Varricchio and Bob Ritter. 6. Matt and
Olivia McManus with Christina and Nick Bruce.
7. Sandra and Ron Rennick. 8. Jordan and
Sayre Schwiering. 9. Mike and Diana Gabor.
10. Logan Geeslin and Ron Ellis. 11. Evelyn
Mayerson, Barbara Metzler and Kitty Kirby.
12. Nick Bruce, Dr. Monika Srivastava and Kunal
Shah. PHOTOS: STEPHANIE LABAFF
5 7 11 12
‘Seed to Sea’ supper promotes McKee Children’s Garden
BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF five years’ worth of strategy and work, the Children’s Garden at McKee will work of the unusual salad with its va-
Staff Writer and we really appreciate you being help to solve that issue,” said McMa- nilla-fig balsamic drizzle.
here to kick off the next phase,” said nus.
McKee Botanical Garden benefac- board president Matt McManus, shar- “As I look back on the night, every-
tors dined at an inaugural Seed to Sea: ing that they have already raised $4.8 From one course to the next, attend- one in that room has been to many,
Secret Supper last Sunday evening to million toward their $7.5 million goal. ees savored each unique dish. The many charitable dinners. I wanted to-
benefit the planned Children’s Garden “This is part of a much larger interna- menu featured colossal crab wraps night’s dinner to be what was remem-
at McKee. Adding to the allure of the tional movement to reconnect chil- paired with Schofferhofer Grapefruit bered,” shared Varricchio.
adventurous culinary experience, the dren with nature. As we began to learn Bier; salads of compressed yogurt,
location and chef had remained a mys- more about this, my wife and I were grains and fruits were paired with The icing on the cake was the auc-
tery until Saturday afternoon, when shocked to learn that only 50 percent a Chateau Montelena Porter Valley tion of a wine dinner for eight, pre-
guests received a missive disclosing of preschoolers spend time outside Riesling; and aged goat cheese raviolo pared personally by Varricchio, which
that Chef Scott Varricchio would cre- each day and the average 8- to 18-year- in roasted tomato-bacon broth were sold for $6,000.
ate the six-course dinner with wine old is on a digital screen device for paired with the Chateau Montelena
pairings at his Citrus Grillhouse. about 7.5 hours each day.” Chardonnay. Both the Bay of Fundy “The event exceeded our expec-
diver scallops and the Miyazaki beef tations and the responses we have
After enjoying conversation and To nurture that powerful child/ with Miatake mushrooms were ac- received from our guests have been
cocktails, diners settled in at tables nature bond, the Children’s Garden companied by the Chateau Montelena overwhelmingly positive,” said Chris-
decorated with Children’s Garden is being designed to create a fun and Cabernet, and dinner concluded with tine Hobart, McKee executive director.
vignettes, including a “treed” pirate whimsical outdoor destination that a selection of sweets. “I have to extend particular thanks to
ship, faeries and swing. The focus will encourage imagination and curi- Chef Scott Varricchio and his team,
of the evening was to sow seeds of osity in children through interaction, “I wouldn’t have ordered several of who outdid themselves. I have no
growth in the project by engaging do- education and exploration. the items served tonight, but now that doubt that we will make progress to-
nor support. I’ve tried them I really liked them,” ward our campaign goal as a result of
“The loss of free play, particularly whispered one guest to his dinner the enthusiasm of the evening.”
“Tonight is the culmination of about outdoors, is an epidemic and we think companion, after having made quick
For more information, visit mck-
14 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
QV Gala goes over the top for children’s charities
BY MARY SCHENKEL Joe Faria to serve up a scrumptious
Staff Writer four-course dinner; private wine
tasting dinners at members’ homes;
Quail Valley Charities Events Kathy Mulvey, Kevin Given and Martha Redner. PHOTOS: STEPHANIE LABAFF and duplicate bridge, tennis and
capped off this year’s hugely suc- golf tournaments.
cessful fundraising endeavor with
a Saturday evening gala attended by Kathy Mulvey, widow of Quail
more than 400 club members, spon- Valley founder Steve Mulvey, who
sors and representatives of the vari- passed away this September, said
ous nonprofit organization ben- she was committed to continuing
eficiaries. Monies raised provide her husband’s vision of funding
grants to local nonprofit charities children’s charities.
whose programs have an emphasis
on children and education. “That is what Steve was all about,”
said Mulvey. Referencing a special
This year’s series of events, each ‘Steve’s Corner’ section set aside in
of which was sold out, included a the dining room, she added, “Steve
Girls’ Night Out shopping spree was a world renowned hunter so
in the fall; a Tower Shoot at Black- we’re raising money for the event by
water Creek Ranch; 5K and 1-Mile selling his munitions.”
Fun Run; Gourmet Guest Chef &
Wine Dinner, with visiting Execu- “People now understand the goal
tive Chefs Mikey Beriau of White of reaching as many children’s
Cliffs Country Club, Dean Moore of charities as we can. Our members
Harvard Club Boston and Helmut all want to participate in the event,”
Holzer of Gourmet Foods Interna- said event chair Wanda Lincoln,
tional joining QVC Executive Chef adding that they can do so in their
own way, whether competing in
one of the tournaments, sitting on
Gourmet Guest Chef & Wine Dinner
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 15
Brace and Landis Young with Matilde Sorensen. Chef Helmut Holzer, Chef Michael Beriau, EVENTS CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
Chef Joe Faria and Chef Dean Moore. Cathie Naerebout, Denese Jokela and Marta Schneider.
Rene Donars with Maryann and Paul Prezzano and Ralph Evans.
a committee or simply writing a Pastry Chef Ashlee Wykoff looked
check. “Each person can find their almost too good to eat; but no wor-
niche in order to help the charity.” ries there.
Quail Valley staff efficiently at- “Look at this – it’s over-the-top
tended to everyone’s needs as wonderful,” said Lincoln. “They
guests milled about, grazing at donate every year to us; they’re so
numerous internationally-themed generous. I tell them, some people
buffet stations, bidding on auction come just for the dessert.”
items donated by a generous com-
munity and listening to the band, Kevin Given, COO/GM, expect-
Bobby and the Blisters. ed the events to raise more than
$600,000 to fund 40 charities as well
Lincoln pointed out the extraor- as an additional yet-to-be-named
dinary ‘Sweet 16’ dessert display charity close to Mulvey’s heart. With
running the entire width of the grill this year’s contributions, Quail Val-
room, fashioned by the owners of ley Charities will have granted in
Frosting and Grind + Grape. The excess of $6 million since its 2001
exquisite confections created by inception.
16 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 Nancy Clancy, Joy Jackson and Ginny Metters.
Ed and Susan Smith. Mary Singer, Jim Chandler and Marilyn McConnell.
Elke and George Fetterolf.
Gourmet Guest Chef & Wine Dinner
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 17
PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 P HOTOS: GORDON RADFORD Colin Lloyd.
Ted McBeth. Allan Bentley.
Christian Lloyd. Chris Rubio.
Quail Valley Tennis Event
Colleen Ryan, Kathy Mulvey, Wanda Lincoln and Kelly Donovan. PHOTOS: MARY SCHENKEL
EVENTS CONTINUED ON PAGE 18
Maryann Prezzano, Susan Perry, Susan Temple, Stacey Barnett and Stephanie MacWilliam.
18 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
EVENTS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 Debbie and Kyle Morgan with Lisa Terry and Tom Nelson. Walt and Michelle Borisenok with Joanna Myers and Rachel Heddings.
Robyn Orzel, Ellie and Bob McCabe, and Angelia Perry.
Ashlee Wykoff and Barbara Monday. Kay Brown and Scott Thomas.
Elke and George Fetterolf with Wivi-Anne Weber. Linda and Neill Currie with Marie Stiefel.
20 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
And they’re arf! ‘Bark in Park’ unleashes the hounds
BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF
Riverside Park was alive with joyful by rescue dogs, Lily. Fran Figliolo with Donner and Heidi.
yips, sniffs and tail-wags last Satur- proving every dog Sam Peck with Abby and Yasha.
day at Bark in the Park, hosted by the should have his
Humane Society of Vero Beach and day. Returning this
Indian River County. Proceeds from year were the agility
the annual dogfest support the overall course, Disc-Connect-
care of all animals at the shelter. ed K9s, Ultimate Air Dock
Jumping Dogs and demon-
“The Humane Society of Vero strations by the COVB Police De-
Beach & Indian River County is all partment and IRC Sheriff’s Depart-
about building a better community ment K-9 Units. New on the schedule
by bringing people and pets together, was a sheep herding demonstration.
then helping them stay together,” said
Michael Mandel, HSVB executive di- Between demonstrations, people
rector. “A large part of that involves visited with dogs up for adoption
community engagement and creating and five found their forever homes.
venues for people and pets to enjoy Two-legged attendees also dined and
with one another. That is what Bark in shopped at pet-centric vendors and
the Park is all about – giving pets and a Kids Zone featured rock and face
their families a fantastic day to enjoy painting.
each other and all of the many activi-
ties they will find at Bark.” Their next event is Cause for Paws,
March 20 at the Oak Harbor Club. For
Like a dog with two tails, canines more information, visit hsvb.org.
and humans could barely contain
their enthusiasm at the veritable Unit-
ed Nations of four-legged friends. As
humans traded stories, their canine
companions gladly accepted pats on
the head from even those without
The pups came in all shapes and
sizes, with everything from purebreds
to mutts making an appearance, as
giant pawed, clumsy puppies watched
in awe of the coiffed grande dames
Demonstrations went on through-
out the day, including performances
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 21
Keni Johnson with Zach and Lorraine Gariepy with Lucie. Amanda Forbing with Peanut. PHOTOS: GORDON RADFORD Michelle and Lauren Snider with Hershey.
Evelyn Brandes with Clark.
J.P. and Courtney Antosh with Nala.
Dennis and Jayne Pagano with Lulu and Buttercup. Catherine and Scott Caddell with Beau. Amelia Pinheiro with Sadie.
22 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
‘Transforming Landscapes’ champions native planting
BY MARY SCHENKEL with keynote speaker Doug Tallamy,
Staff Writer University of Delaware professor and
author of “Bring Nature Home,” and
An audience of environmentally continued all day Saturday with more
conscious residents packed the Emer- than a dozen speakers covering an ar-
son Center last Friday evening for the ray of topics focused on protecting and
start of a conference on Transforming restoring nature and the environment
Landscapes for a Sustainable Future, through native plant landscaping.
hosted by the Pelican Island Audubon
Society. The conference kicked off “This is really the first big confer-
ence we’ve had,” said PIAS President
Steve Turnipseed and Richard Baker. Doug Tallamy and Juanita Baker. PHOTOS: MARY SCHENKEL
Ryan and Melissa Weaver, Agency Owners Susan Lovelace and Bonnie Swanson. “That’s why we decided we need to
Ryan Weaver Insurance Inc. is a locally owned have a conference; we need to get it
and operated independent agency. Located in the Richard Baker, Ph.D., a staunch pro- started and maybe change this,” said
CenterState Bank Building, just off of Miracle Mile ponent of efforts to restore the health Baker, noting that he would like to see
and across from Classic Car Wash in Vero Beach. of the Indian River Lagoon and protect other developments follow suit.
natural habitats for birds, wildlife and
Serving Vero Beach for over 10 years! future generations. As the population has increased,
All lines of commercial or personal insurance available. Baker said the area’s native plants have
Baker attributed the undertaking been ripped out in favor of manicured
to Moorings resident Wayne Sandlin lawns, which he called “the most ir-
who, after learning about the destruc- rigated crop in the U.S.; three times
tively high concentration of nitrogen in more than corn.” He also noted the
the lagoon caused by chemical runoff, amounts of CO2, toxic carcinogenic air
asked “What can we do about this?” pollutants and chemicals, and fertiliz-
ers used were staggering.
He hopes to institute PIAS projects
such as rain gardens to remove pol-
lutants from stormwater, and planting
100,000 trees in the county.
Referencing the book “The Sixth
Extinction: An Unnatural History”
by Elizabeth Kolbert, which speaks to
what is “likely to be mankind’s most
lasting legacy,” Baker said, “If we all
were to plant natives in our yards,
maybe we could save this planet from
having a sixth extinction.”
For more information, visit Pelican-
Contact any one of our professional agents for a quote!
855 21st Street – CenterState Bank Building
2nd Floor – Vero Beach
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 23
Child Advocate of Year honor to Grand Harbor group
CHS CEO Mike Shaver: a Case Aim pantries into Title I schools. “If we want them to be produc-
program that takes some of the Sabrina Sampson, Treasure Coast tive members of this society, then
administrative burden away from someone needs to invest the time,
Case Managers, enabling them to CHS executive director, noted that the talent and the energy to help
spend more time with their cli- one of the many reasons Grand them get there, because none of us
ents, and the Community Partner- Harbor Community Outreach was did this on our own,” said Sampson.
ship Schools program, instituted chosen for the award is its support
locally at Pelican Island Elemen- of the Transitional Living Center The program costs roughly
tary School, which brings resources in Vero Beach, which assists young $300,000 every year and, despite
such as wellness services and food adults ages 18 to 23 who would oth- the lack of any state funding, has
erwise have nowhere to live.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 25
Dale Jacobs and Janet Baines. PHOTOS: MARY SCHENKEL
Sheryle and Gil Playford.
BY MARY SCHENKEL
Members of the Grand Harbor
Community Outreach Program
gathered at the lovely St. Andrews
Island home of Dale and Betty Ja-
cobs last Thursday afternoon, rep-
resenting the organization as it
was presented with the Children’s
Home Society’s 2017 R. David and I.
Lorraine Thomas Child Advocate of
the Year Award, its highest honor.
The Grand Harbor Community
Outreach Program was formed to
address the unmet needs of the
community and last year alone
granted more than $390,000 to lo-
cal charities. The CHS Treasure
Coast Division, one of 12 statewide,
provides services to roughly 11,000
children in four counties who find
themselves in unsafe family situa-
In his welcome to the group, Dale
Jacobs, who serves on the CHS cor-
porate board and the GHCO board,
spoke about some of the innovative,
cost-effective changes enacted by
24 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Dale Jacobs with Susanne and Doug Sweeny and Betty Jacobs. Mike and Jan Harrell with Ted Miller. Dale Jacobs, Sabrina Sampson and Doug Sweeny.
Bill LaViolette and Melissa Shine with Sally and John Pearse. Joe and Mary Alice Pojanowski with Debbie and Larry Hahn. Jerry Reichert with Pat and Alan Gale.
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 25
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 CHS, adding that the actual amount on behalf of Grand Harbor Commu- And there’s no better way to start
was considerably higher as it does not nity Outreach’s 400 generous donors than with children, who are in pov-
met that obligation for the past eight include the extremely generous num- and 150 volunteers. erty but not through any fault of
years thanks to contributions from ber of toys, gifts and gift cards annu- their own,” said Sweeny. “The most
individuals and groups such as Grand ally given each Christmas. “Our theme for the last few years effective way to transform lives is to
Harbor Community Outreach. has been to provide hope and help help the young people whose lives
Doug Sweeny, GHCO board presi- to our neighbors in need so that they are just beginning.”
She noted that on paper Grand dent, said he was accepting the award can lift themselves out of poverty.
Harbor donated more than $70,000 to
26 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Author ‘dazzles’ Patron Producers with Broadway tales
BY MARY SCHENKEL PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 28 would be for these theater devotees, cobs and Gerald Schoenfeld, who took
Staff Writer whose annual donations of $10,000 a chance on a young choreographer,
Laura Buck and Brooke Megrue. PHOTOS: MARY SCHENKEL or more enable Riverside to produce the late, great Michael Bennett.
Riverside Theatre’s Patron Produc- such superb big-budget Broadway
ers were treated to a cocktail recep- and librettist. shows. Calling Bennett’s “A Chorus Line”
tion and intimate conversation last “We met and I wanted him to come the “‘Hamilton’ of its day,” Riedel
Monday evening with Michael Riedel, “It was fascinating to me, because a said “it was the hottest show that Off-
New York Post theatre columnist and to Vero and see our theater,” said lot of the book pertained to my time in Broadway had ever seen; you could
author of “Razzle Dazzle, The Battle Bardes. She approached Allen Cornell, New York City, working in the theater,” not get a ticket.” The show moved to
for Broadway.” Riverside’s CEO/Producing Artistic said Cornell. “The Broadway that I Broadway’s Schubert Theatre three
Director, who saw it as an opportunity knew back then is entirely different months later and ran for 15 years.
Riedel’s book takes readers from to thank Patron Producers for their from what it is today and I think Mi-
Broadway’s near collapse in the early patronage. Having already read the chael’s book takes us on that journey.” “From that one show, there was sud-
1970s to its rebirth in the 1990s. He book, he knew what a special treat it denly a musical that the world knew,”
also briefly touched on his upcoming “As Allen said, this book is about a said Riedel. “As one of the Schuberts,
sequel, from the ensuing decades to different time on Broadway,” agreed who is still alive, told me, ‘Michael,
today, where rapidly escalating ticket Riedel, noting that Broadway is now before ‘A Chorus Line’ there was no
prices yield earnings of $3 million and a multibillion-dollar global business. money. After ‘A Chorus Line’ there
more each week. “But, it wasn’t always that way.” was nothing but money.’”
Riedel was in Vero Beach as the An entertaining and engaging Using the money from that one
guest of Windsor resident Cynthia speaker who clearly enjoys his sub- show, they were able to refurbish their
Bardes, author of the children’s book ject, Riedel related Broadway’s story theaters and invest in other mega-hit
series about Pansy the Poodle. In the of near ruin to rebound, beginning in shows. Today the Schubert Organiza-
‘small world’ of writers and the the- the early 1970s, when Times Square tion is valued at roughly $50 billion.
ater, Bardes was introduced to Riedel was replete with peep shows, prosti-
at a party hosted by author Francine tutes and pimps. Between 1968 and “What ‘A Chorus Line’ did was, it
Pascal, creator of the Sweet Valley 1972, Broadway had lost a full two- planted the idea that you could sal-
High series and sister of the late Mi- thirds of its audience. He attributes vage Times Square; that Broadway
chael Stewart, Broadway playwright theater’s rescue to Schubert Organi- was worth fighting for,” said Riedel.
zation board members Bernard Ja-
“Razzle Dazzle” is available at the
Vero Beach Book Center.
28 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26 Judy and Bill Schneebeck. Bill Buck with Joan and Michael Hoben.
Allen Cornell, Cynthia Bardes, Michael Riedel and David Bardes.
Duke and Gael Habernickel.
Rosemary Haverland, Dawn Michael, Laura Frick and Ted Michael. Anne and Jerry Blatherwick with Stephanie Smith.
Doug Tansill, Kathie and Michael Pierce, and Dhuanne Tansill. Sue and Dick Bergeman. Bill and Eva Gurley.
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 29
Tidal wave of creative talent at ‘Art by the Sea’
BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF
Art-lovers were afloat in a sea of Vanetta and George Beckman with his PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 30 Sandie Doherty and Diann Valesko.
talent last weekend during the 30th Best of Show piece. . PHOTOS: GORDON RADFORD Ed Uttridge.
annual Art by the Sea exhibition and
sale presented by the Vero Beach vantage of a first opportunity to pur- Keri Keene and Sue Dinenno.
Art Club at the Vero Beach Museum chase the various works. A portion
of Art. The judged show, featuring of the proceeds from each sale sup-
nearly 225 pieces by members of the ports the Vero Beach Art Club and its
VBAC or the museum, opened to a educational outreach programs, in-
packed house at the Friday evening cluding scholarships for high school
cocktail reception and awards cer- seniors and donations of art sup-
emony. plies to local elementary and middle
schools and various art classes.
“For 30 years we have been doing
this and I swear that each year the The show continued through the
art seems to get better and better,” weekend with viewers casting a vote
said Anne Malsbary, VBAC presi- for their favorite pieces to determine
dent, before introducing co-chairs the People’s Choice Award winner,
Judy Rixom and Sherry Haaland, who was announced late Sunday.
who announced the show’s winners.
The Vero Beach Art Club will host
Participants could enter one piece Art on the Island, its annual three-
of artwork, completed within the last dimensional art show, Feb. 9-11 at
two years and not exhibited at a pre- the Marsh Island Clubhouse, begin-
vious Art by the Sea show. Indepen- ning with a cocktail reception on
dent judge Nancy Dillen selected the Friday evening.
winners in the categories of oil, wa-
tercolor, acrylic, mixed media, pas-
tel/graphics, sculpture/3-D, film/
digital photography and jewelry.
George Beckman was presented
with the Mary Mazur Memorial Best
of Show Award for his kinetic sculp-
ture, “Dancing Spirit,” which was
enhanced by its graceful motion.
A new President’s Choice Award
introduced this year went to sculp-
ture artist George Paxton for his
bronze sculpture, “Pensive.”
On Friday, many guests took ad-
30 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29 Deirdre and Hal Bugbee. Ralph and Ann Lewis.
Barry Shapiro and Madeline Long.
Emily Tremml and Laura Moss. Bill and Janet Gimbel with Cindy Ward. Judy Rixom, Anne Malsbary and Sherry Haaland.
32 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
ARTS & THEATRE
Savor exquisite offerings by Vero’s Opera and Ballet
BY SAMANTHA BAITA Clockwise from left: “Madama Butterfly” per-
formed by the Vero Beach Opera. Marie Antunez
Staff Writer with Drew Alexander Upton. Tiziana Lahey (in
hat) as Pinkerton’s “real American wife.” Marie
The cultural opportunities in our Antunez and Martin Nusspaumer as Madama
small city have long been impressive:
the diversity, excellence, sophistica- Butterfly and U.S. Naval officer Pinkerton.
tion and support far exceeding the
norm for a city of our modest size. Ex- PHOTOS BY J. PATRICK RICE
cellent examples this past week were
Vero Beach Opera’s “Madama Butter- sibility look easy. Even fun.
fly” and Ballet Vero Beach’s “All Rodri- The opera-savvy, full-house audi-
guez,” both staged at the Vero Beach
High School Performing Arts Center. ence was engaged from the moment
the curtain rose on the gorgeous, ex-
A staple of the operatic repertoire quisitely lighted set: a house and gar-
worldwide, Puccini’s tragic mas- den overlooking Nagasaki Harbor.
terwork about a U.S. Naval officer, Acting and singing were equally excel-
Pinkerton, and the young Japanese lent, and the flow, curtain to curtain,
geisha he marries “for convenience” belied the almost three-hour length.
is, arguably, Vero Beach Opera’s most
impressive, virtually flawless, fully
staged production to date.
Performing for the first time with
the Vero Beach Opera (hopefully the
first of many collaborations) was the
highly respected Atlantic Classical
Orchestra, under the baton of Met
veteran and Grammy winner Caren
Levine, a petite, charismatic power-
house, who made a daunting respon-
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 33
ARTS & THEATRE
Experience and numerous contacts at ballet: “All Rodriguez.” In its fifth Camilo Rodriguez. colt, exploring and frolicking in a dap-
the apex of the opera world have served season, the uber-talented young com- pled meadow (one viewer’s interpreta-
VBO Artistic Director Roman Ortega- pany has just come off a hugely suc- PHOTO BY DENISE RITCHIE tion). It was quite mesmerizing.
Cowan and President Joan Ortega- cessful season opener, “Nutcracker
Cowan well as, through the years, they on the Indian River,” and this perfor- a Faun,” Rodriguez employed his el- The final segment, “Sheer Vibra-
have transformed the all-local Vero mance was the perfect “next show.” egant uber-disciplined dancer’s body tion,” to music by Grieg, was origi-
Beach Opera Guild of the 1980s into a to own the compelling music, as he nally part of the Interpretive Dance
professional company with sufficient Camilo Rodriguez is the company’s transformed into a faun, or perhaps a Series at the Vero Beach Museum of
clout to draw top international stars. ballet master and principal dancer. He Art, and featured Grimsley, Hoffman
began his ballet career in San Juan, and Matthew Carter, moving togeth-
The strong, well-chosen cast of “Ma- Puerto Rico, and honed his skills tour- er, then separately, in a playful mix of
dama Butterfly” included a husband ing internationally. With the famous styles and combinations.
and wife: Uruguayan soprano Marie Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
Antunez as Madama Butterfly, and he discovered his gift for parody. In “All In an hour and a half, Rodriguez had
Uruguayan tenor Martin Nusspaum- Rodriguez” the dancer also showcased revealed a quite exceptional, very dis-
er as Pinkerton. Antunez was able to an unexpected talent: choreography. tinctive gift for choreography, which
maintain the geisha physicality while one hopes he’ll continue to nurture
projecting the broad, emotional vocal Against a simple drop, which changed and share.
dimensions the story demanded, and colors throughout the evening, the
Nusspaumer was an excellent match, dancers, in simple black or white leo- CHOP LOCAL
a charming cad, able at once to convey tards, allowed their uber-disciplined,
blithe affection and careless cruelty. dance-honed physicality, the music and Elevate your prep work and presentation
the choreography to shine. In the first with our personalized maple cutting boards.
The cast included local resident Tiz- segment, “Divertissement Nostalgique,”
iana Lahey, who more than held her with music by local composer Paul Gay, Great for weddings and housewarmings,
own after suspending an opera career Alyssa Grimsley and Alexandra Hoff- they make a lasting and personal gift.
to raise a family. Lahey, a soprano, por- man on point, moved through the mu-
trayed Pinkerton’s “real American wife” sic, in sync, counterpoint and solo, evok-
Kate, whose return to Nagasaki with ing pure, elegant classical combinations,
Pinkerton three years later, after Butter- showcasing each dancer, in tulle, then
fly has faithfully awaited his return to tutus, then simple leotards.
her and their young son, Sorrow, impels
Butterfly’s tragic and dramatic suicide. The second segment, “The Swan,”
recalled the Les Ballets Trockadero.
Sorrow is typically a scene-stealer, To Saint-Saens’ “LeCygne,” in clas-
and preschooler Drew Alexander Upton sic white swan attire all lovers of
certainly was, performing with 4-year- the dance recognize, drag has never
old charm: there was a rather lengthy looked so feathery, as Rodriguez en-
segment in which Sorrow, Butterfly tered gracefully on point, scattering
and her companion Suzuki, beautifully hundreds of feathers across the stage
sung by mezzo soprano Mabel Ledo, from an apparently molting tutu and
stood on a ledge amidst heaps of blos- sending the audience into hysterics.
soms, gazing at the Harbor, awaiting
Pinkerton’s ship. Upton, who was to In “Afternoon in the Paddock” to
fall asleep, remained so for a good long DeBussy’s “Prelude to Afternoon of
while. Finally, enough was enough, and
he studiously began brushing the blos-
soms off the ledge, totally in character
and totally adorable.
“Madama Butterfly” received aloud,
lengthy, well-deserved standing ova-
tion, and the audience’s exit conversa-
tions were filled with superlatives.
Ballet Vero Beach presented what
turned out to be a completely delight-
ful evening of not-your-grandma’s-
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34 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
ARTS & THEATRE
Coming Up: Guild’s acting up to ‘Celebrate 60’
BY SAMANTHA BAITA bash, Feb. 1-18, they’ve got some not- 60” show times are Thursday and Fri-
Staff Writer to-be-missed entertainment planned, day at 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at
and you can pick some or all. First on 2 p.m. It’s a show the whole family will
1 For six decades, the Vero Beach the bill is “Celebrate 60,” which the enjoy. The following two weeks of the
Theatre Guild has had its thumb Guild is calling one big, fun-filled, en- Festival include a Dinner Gala and Si-
tertaining “musical romp.” To be pre- lent Auction; the annual Open House;
on the pulse of Vero’s theater-going cise, a talented four-thespian Guild and five readers’ theater productions
cast will take audiences romping over four days performed by 35 Guild
crowd, so, no surprise, for its three- actors. Call or visit the Guild box of-
fice, 772-562-8300, for show details and
week Theatre Festival fundraising ticket information.
2 This Thursday, Jan. 25, you have
a quite special opportunity to
meet one-of-kind artist, poet and
rancher Sean Sexton, scion of one of
1 “Celebrate 60” from Feb. 1-18. Indian River County’s pioneer fami-
through more than three dozen of the lies and the county’s first poet lau-
biggest, glitziest musical hits (and a few
misses) from Broadway and the Guild, reate. Flametree Clay Art Gallery is
via solos, duets and, of course, produc-
tion numbers. Plus, you’ll get the inside hosting the evening, during which
scoop on some of the juiciest, funniest
antics, actual facts and fun moments Sexton will read from his latest col-
through those six wonderful decades
of great community theater. “Celebrate lection of poems, “Descent.” You’ll
also be able to enjoy the gallery’s cur-
rent exhibition, “Lay of the Land,” a
collaboration featuring the ceramic
art of Sexton and fellow artist Jordan
Hyde. Wine and light hors d’oeuvres
will be served. The poetry reading be-
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 35
ARTS & THEATRE
100th anniversary), and that’s not even 5 Susan Neves and David Pershall.
all. You know the music will reach the
rafters. This celebratory concert will in-
clude acclaimed vocalist Michelle Am-
ato, who has worked with Quincy Jones,
Liza Minnelli, Sandi Patty, Donna
Summer, Michel McDonald and Yanni,
and has been featured soloist with the
Memphis Symphony and the South
Florida Pops. And here’s something you
don’t see every day: at intermission,
there’ll be a Special Anniversary Recep-
tion with refreshments for The Entire
Audience. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m.
2 Sean Sexton. 4 Here’s a mood-lifting way to 5 Opera fans will want to get tick- has brought audiences to their feet
kick-start the week and get your ets in hand pronto for the Vero in such lauded opera houses as Paris’
Opera Bastille, Deutsche Opera Ber-
mind off the news for couple of hours: lin, Vienna State Opera, Gran Teatro
del Liceu in Barcelona, and many
a nice big helping of Big Band mu- Beach Opera’s next exciting pro- throughout Italy. Pershall debuted
at the Metropolitan Opera in 2015 as
gins at 7 p.m. I will see you there. sic from some of the crazy-talented gram “An Evening With Verdi” (the Figaro in “The Barber of Seville,” and
the following season sang Schau-
young musicians of our middle and 19th century Italian opera composer nard in “La Bohème” and Lord Cecil
in “Maria Stuarda.” Of his Figaro,
3 No doubt about it, the Indian Riv- high school jazz bands. This Monday who, says Wikipedia, became one miamiARTzine raved that Pershall
er Symphonic Association knows “fleshed out Figaro’s joie de vivre
and Tuesday nights it’s Vero Beach of the pre-eminent opera compos- with antics, characterization and a
matchless voice which delighted the
how to celebrate its 25th anniversary: High School’s annual Big Band Bash, ers in history). Performing some of audience all evening.” Curtain is at 7
p.m. Tickets are $30-$100.
with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra a high-energy concert featuring the the world’s operatic favorites at the
in its annual pops concert, “Broadway high school jazz bands playing Big VBHS Performing Arts Center next
Our Way,” next Friday at Community Band standards and contemporary Saturday will be the internationally
Church, that’s how. Fabulous favorites numbers. Also appearing at the Tues- acclaimed dramatic soprano Susan
from an almost overwhelming array of day concert will be the Jazz Bands Neves and baritone David Pershall,
Broadway blockbusters – “An American from Gifford, Storm Grove and Oslo a rising star in the world opera pan-
in Paris,” “Gypsy,” “Hamilton,” “Jesus middle schools. Toe-tappin’ starts theon. A Met artist, Neves’ repertoire
Christ Superstar” and “West Side Story” at 7 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $10 includes some of the most daunting
(in celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s and $12. roles written for soprano, and she
38 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
INSIGHT COVER STORY
Winter usually means a lull in the es can now strike Taliban targets at will, As more than a half-dozen U.S. military and Syria and assets such as jets, field
fighting in Afghanistan. Taliban fight- whereas under the Obama administra- officers put it, “The gloves are off.” advisers and surveillance drones are
ers blend back into their villages, where tion they were restricted to defending redeployed in Afghanistan. U.S. bases
it’s warm, and U.S. forces hunker down Afghan forces under imminent attack. The blitz is set to intensify as U.S. here are abuzz with activity. Numerous
through the holidays. military operations draw down in Iraq military officers used a phrase often
repeated during this war: “We’re at a
But for the first time in 16 years, the turning point.”
cold has not slowed the war in the air.
U.S. and Afghan forces conducted 455 But whether the new strategy is a de-
airstrikes in December, an average of cisive step toward forcing the Taliban
15 a day, compared with just 65 the year to the negotiating table or just another
before. Even in December 2012, when curve along a seemingly endless road
there were nearly 100,000 U.S. troops of war depends on whom you ask.
in Afghanistan, barely 200 strikes took
place. High above Afghanistan’s spectacu-
lar snow-swept mountains, from the
All told, 2,000 airstrikes were carried vantage point of a KC-135 Stratotanker
out between August and December of on a recent re¬fueling mission, what
last year, nearly as many as in all of was clear was the quickening pace of
2015 and 2016 combined. the air campaign.
The huge spike in airstrikes is the Over the course of six hours cir-
product of new rules of engagement, ad- cling above the two most active areas
opted as part of a strategy that President of fighting – Helmand and Nanga-
Trump announced in August. U.S. forc- har provinces, which are hundreds of
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 39
INSIGHT COVER STORY
miles from each other – F-16 fighter strikes have taken full advantage of it uses to finance its operations. Hun- this level of casualties,” a senior intel-
jets swooped in again and again, tak- the new rules of engagement. Dozens dreds of Taliban fighters have been ligence officer said during a briefing
ing on tens of thousands of pounds of of them, for instance, have targeted killed. this month in Kabul. “Not that there’s
fuel in midair. labs where the Taliban turns poppy any shortage of fighters, but it is creat-
into narcotics such as heroin, which “We’ve started to hear of Taliban ing friction within their ranks.”
“Where last year we’d do a 12-hour commanders saying they can’t sustain
flight over Afghanistan and offload The new strategy presupposes that
maybe 20,000 pounds of fuel, now U.S. and Afghan forces can pound the
we do four hours and might offload Taliban so hard that it has no choice but
50,000 pounds,” said Ronny, a senior to relinquish its war against the Afghan
airman who controlled the “boom,” government and instead join it in some
a device lowered from the back of the sort of power-sharing agreement. The
KC-135 that can refuel almost any mil- intelligence officer said that the Taliban
itary aircraft. could even be given control of entire
provinces in such an agreement.
A year ago, the U.S. Air Force was
preoccupied with bombing the Islam- Yet even though that would be a
ic State in Mosul and Raqqa, and the major walk-down from the George
KC-135s were flown out of an air base W. Bush era, when many Americans
in Qatar, concentrated mostly on that thought the Taliban could be van-
effort. That meant combat pilots in Af- quished, many analysts doubt the
ghanistan might often be able to stay in new goal is attainable.
the air for just an hour at a time before
running out of fuel. “U.S. strategy is so military-centric.
Even 100,000 troops couldn’t finish
Under the new strategy, KC-135s are the Taliban, and ever since those days,
based in-country at Kandahar Airfield, they have been zealously confident,”
enabling combat pilots to stay out said Borhan Osman, senior analyst
much longer. for Afghanistan at the International
Crisis Group. “The U.S. is misreading
“How’s it going down there?” Ronny Taliban psychology. Their whole fight
asked one of the F-16 pilots while their is about saying, ‘We were a legitimate
planes flew in tandem, connected by government and you toppled us and
the boom. The pilot could see him installed a puppet government.’ This
through the boom’s window and talk to new U.S. strategy will only make them
him over a radio. After some small talk more willing to fight.”
– college football, dormitory high jinks,
preferred breakfast meats, “Game of U.S. military leaders acknowledge
Thrones” – the conversation turned to that the Taliban controls or contests
the matter at hand. nearly half of Afghanistan’s districts –
a number that has slowly crept higher
“We dropped two big ones on them through the past year, according to the
about an hour ago. The guys on the Special Inspector General for Afghani-
ground called it in, saying they were re- stan Reconstruction, a U.S. govern-
sponding to sniper fire,” said the F-16 ment watchdog.
pilot. “We might need to come back for
one more round [of fuel], but I’m not But they also generally praise the
sure yet.” scrapping of what Trump called Presi-
dent Barack Obama’s “arbitrary dead-
That luxury of time is new. And al- lines” for troop withdrawal and the
though defending friendly troops un-
der fire isn’t, many of the recent air- STORY CONTINUED ON PAGE 42
AS MORE THAN A HALF-DOZEN U.S. MILITARY
OFFICERS PUT IT, “THE GLOVES ARE OFF.”
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39 INSIGHT COVER STORY
return to a “conditions-based ap- to point out that, per their own num- lence, and recent reporting from Iraq ment over the course of a decade, Air
proach.” The shift, they say, sends a bers, civilian casualties decreased in by media and monitoring groups has Force Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch, the
signal to the Taliban and its regional 2017 from the previous year, despite uncovered systematic underreport- NATO mission’s director of “future
backers that the United States is “here the huge increase in airstrikes. ing of civilian casualties by the U.S. ops” – meaning he leads the mission’s
to stay.” They also argue that it boosts military. strategic planning – is almost unbri-
the resolve of the Afghan government Independent verification of that dled in his optimism.
and aligned forces by showing that claim is hampered by constant vio- Despite being on his third deploy-
the United States has recommitted to
keeping them in power.
From a U.S. domestic standpoint,
the political cost of recommitting to
years of more war has diminished as
Afghanistan has faded almost entire-
ly from the national conversation. In
private conversations, foreign officials
here say the U.S. military may be in
Afghanistan indefinitely, as it is on the
Korean Peninsula and elsewhere.
In the coming years, the U.S. mili-
tary hopes to double the size of Af-
ghanistan’s special operations com-
mando force and to triple the size of
the Afghan air force. It has already
committed to sending roughly 3,000
more American troops, bringing its to-
tal to 14,000 to 15,000. Many will em-
bed with beleaguered Afghan ground
forces. With more ground troops, more
and more aircraft will be required to
Human rights groups have long ex-
pressed concern that more airstrikes
could result in an increase in civilian
casualties. Military officials are quick
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 43
INSIGHT COVER STORY
Brushing off comments by Army that what he wants people back home advised the U.S. government and doesn’t matter what happens on
Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., command- to understand is that the new strategy NATO, the appropriate response to the battlefield. The Taliban cannot
er of U.S. forces here, that the war is at is a “game changer.” that optimism is to ask, “Okay, but, so be eliminated. We can say we’ll wait
a stalemate, Bunch said it is a “stale- what?” them out, but we can’t. We have the
mate where the momentum has clearly To Barnett Rubin, a senior fellow option of leaving, and they don’t.
shifted.” He said that the new strategy at the Center on International Coop- “I’m not skeptical in the sense that Eventually, one way or another, we’ll
was having “tremendous impact” and eration who has studied and written they say its going great and I say it’s take that option.”
about Afghanistan for decades and not,” Rubin said. “It’s more that it
44 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
HAWAII’S ALERT SHOWS THE SAD STATE OF GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY
BY HANA SCHANK AND SARA HUDSON tems like it’s 1998, when PalmPilots were that would digitize immigration forms; As a result, officials who don’t know
the hot new technology. Even worse, the system was outdated before any- better can spend absurd sums of money
Earlier this month, people across some government systems actually were one even began building it. on ludicrous technology. And contrac-
Hawaii spent 38 minutes thinking they designed in 1998 – or earlier – and have tors – who do know better – line up to
were going to die because a govern- been patched continuously since. After more than 10 years and a cost of take advantage: In 2016, the Transpor-
ment worker selected the wrong op- more than $1 billion, only three forms tation Security Administration spent
tion on a missile alert interface. A 2016 congressional hearing on the have been digitized, the system often $47,000 on an app whose sole purpose
oldest systems running at the federal stops working, and many civil servants was to generate an arrow to point airport
Multiple images later circulated show- level unearthed a benefit-tracking sys- who rely on it say they wish they could travelers left or right in a security line.
ing an interface similar to the screen the tem used by the Department of Vet- go back to paper processing.
employee would have been using. They erans Affairs that dated back 50 years Many inside government know that
all shared the same quality: outdated, and was written in COBOL, the tech- The odds are high that the alert system this process is broken, but trying new
confusing, problematic design. nological equivalent of Old English. in Hawaii was created using this type of things means taking huge – and public
process, because this is how most feder- – risks. Nevertheless, some government
We don’t know if the system in Ha- Government systems aren’t built al, state and local technology gets built. employees are trying. Innovation and
waii was ancient or simply poorly de- this way because of lack of funds, or When an agency needs a large technol- digital-service teams have reshaped
signed, but we know that no talented laziness, or broken promises, or stu- ogy project, it typically has neither the procurement in California, New York
user-experience designer would cre- pidity. Many within government care resources nor the expertise to do it in- City and St. Paul, Minn., opening con-
ate a giant list of links or a drop-down deeply about the state of its technolo- house. These projects go to contractors. tracts to new competition and solicit-
menu for a lifesaving function. It’s the gy. But to improve it, they have to over- ing proposals that rely on modern de-
design equivalent of communicating come massive, systemic hurdles. But the companies that land these sign and development.
with Alexa via smoke signals. contracts often aren’t known for mod-
First, speed and size. The public sec- ern software development. In 2017, the Some local leaders are taking on
The incident in Hawaii exposes a tor buys software and systems the same U.S. government paid Lockheed Martin small, low-cost, high-impact efforts
problem far larger than a single confus- way it orders battleships. An agency nearly $7 billion in IT contracts, making rather than enormous systems devel-
ing screen: Government is not good at can spend years gathering require- it the second-biggest federal technology opment projects . In Florida, Gaines-
buying, building and using technology. ments, after which it gives the contract contractor. The company – best known ville created a Department of Doing
The wonder is that mistakes like this to one of a handful of companies with for building planes and missile systems that puts license and permit applica-
don’t happen more frequently. the resources to handle such a massive – doesn’t even list user-facing technol- tions under one roof, so a new business
order. Many of these companies have ogy as a line of business on its website. owner has to go to only one place to get
Government doesn’t apply – and of- been involved with failed government started. When Syracuse, N.Y., couldn’t
ten doesn’t even know – the best prac- systems in the past. But because it is Even worse, once a contractor builds afford a system to track infrastructure
tices that make modern technology so hard to meet the requirements to a system for one government entity, it projects, the city turned to Google
excel. become a government contractor, few can resell it to others. Since little work Sheets to coordinate across agencies.
companies qualify, and the usual sus- is involved in a resale, these companies
Technologists in the private sector pects continue to get new work. charge less, and states take comfort in These are small steps toward tech-
have to ensure that their products are using the same system as another state. nologies that put users first and sup-
simple, effective and intuitive, or else Oracle was largely responsible for port civil servants working to keep the
users will turn to a competitor. But the humiliating launch of HealthCare. The second barrier to improving gov- country running. Technology is the
when it comes to government, users gov in 2013, yet it still receives millions ernment technology is a lack of exper- engine of government; it allows people
don’t have a choice. of dollars a year in federal contracts. tise. The staffer who procures an emer- to apply for affordable housing or be-
gency alert system one month may be come citizens or file taxes.
Without competitive pressure to Because of their enormous scope, responsible for buying office supplies
deliver better technology, the goal for these projects often take years to com- the next month; he or she is expert in Without a rethinking of how the
most federal, state and local entities is plete. By the time they launch, the writing contracts, not in technology. public sector handles it, every state
simply to get the thing launched by a technology is old. U.S. Citizenship and Government lacks workers with techni- risks a failure far more catastrophic
certain date. Immigration Services spent three years cal expertise who sit at the intersection of than 38 terrifying minutes.
gathering requirements for a system what agencies need and what they buy.
Too often, government designs sys-
DIGESTION: FOOD FOR THOUGHT PART II
Last time we explained that the digestive system is made up of hollow organs (the mouth, esophagus, Digestion works by moving food and drink through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. What isn’t used as
stomach, small intestine and large intestine [including the rectum and anus]) and solid organs (the carbohydrates, protein, fat and vitamins is waste that is eliminated through the anus.
liver, pancreas and gallbladder). THE DIGESTIVE PROCESS
Digestive Organ Movement of Food Digestive Juices Used Food Particles Broken Down
Mouth Chewing Saliva Starches
Esophagus Swallowing None None
Stomach Upper muscle in stomach relaxes to let food enter Stomach acid Protein
and lower muscle mixes food with digestive juice Starches, protein and carbohydrates
Small intestine wavelike contractions)
Peristalsis (involuntary movements of the long- Small intestine digestive juice
itudinal and circular muscles in progressive
Pancreas None Pancreatic juice Starches, fats and protein
Liver None Bile acids Fats
MOVING FOOD THROUGH THE GI TRACT ach. When a person swallows, food pushes into it with acid and enzymes to form what is called digested parts of food and older cells from the GI
the esophagus. From there the body’s involun- chyme. Slowly the stomach empties chyme into tract lining) are pushed into the large intestine.
The large, hollow organs of the digestive tract tary system takes over. The lower esophageal the small intestine.
contain a layer of muscle that enables their walls sphincter, a ring-like muscle at the junction of LARGE INTESTINE
to move. This movement of organ walls is called the esophagus and stomach, passes the food SMALL INTESTINE
peristalsis. Peristalsis has been described to be and liquid between the esophagus and stomach. The large intestine absorbs water and any remain-
like an ocean wave that travels through the mus- As food approaches the closed sphincter, the The small intestine is the major site of digestion ing nutrients and changes the waste from liquid
cle as it contracts and relaxes. Food and liquid muscle relaxes and lets food pass through to the for food absorption of nutrients. The muscles of into stool. The rectum stores stool until it pushes
are propelled through the GI tract and mix with stomach. the small intestine mix food with digestive juices stool out of the body during a bowel movement.
the contents of each organ below: from the pancreas, liver and intestine to push the
STOMACH mixture forward. The walls of the small intestine Your comments and suggestions for future topics are
ESOPHAGUS absorb the digested nutrients into the blood- always welcome. Email us at [email protected]
The stomach is a muscular, elastic, sac-like organ stream. Then the blood delivers the nutrients to com.
The esophagus is a muscular tube that carries that grinds and churns swallowed food, mixing the rest of the body. Waste products (mostly un-
food and liquids from the mouth to the stom- © 2018 Vero Beach 32963 Media, all rights reserved
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INSIGHT BOOK REVIEW
In the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, it be- Elite,” two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Jake Bernstein analyzing them to the ICIJ. The consortium then or-
came clear to intelligence agencies that tracking the shows that almost two decades of governmental ef- ganized a massive investigative effort that eventually
funds of terrorist groups and individuals was one of forts to make the global financial system more trans- involved journalists from 107 media organizations in
the most powerful tools at their disposal. Thus, “fol- parent have yielded scant results. While the system more than 80 countries. The large endeavor was nec-
low the money,” a Watergate-era dictum, acquired is now more tightly regulated and its controls harder essary because of the scale of the leak, which includ-
renewed relevance in the 21st century. Monitoring to evade, those who have the motives and the money ed files for more than 200,000 Mossfon clients from
money flows would not only allow those fighting ter- can still buy opacity, anonymity and secrecy for their the past 40 years. The files contained 2.6 terabytes of
rorism to disrupt al-Qaeda’s financial support, but, financial dealings. data, far more than the information made public by
even more important, it could provide actionable in- WikiLeaks in 2010 or Edward Snowden in 2013.
telligence about the terrorists’ identities, their where- Provided, of course, that they retain the assistance
abouts and, in some cases, even their future targets. of experts like the lawyer I interviewed in Zurich or But as Bernstein painstakingly documents, the
Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that un- impact of the Panama Papers was not due to just the
Unfortunately, it became equally apparent that til 2016 was one of the world’s largest providers of huge size of the leak but the details it revealed about
there were significant hurdles in tracking these offshore financial services. But what are those? A how the shadowy world works and who some of its
money flows. The international financial system was leaked internal memorandum from the firm help- inhabitants are. Most of them are not household
rife with centuries-old rules, institutions and practic- fully explained that 95 percent of its work consisted names, just very rich individuals. And because own-
es that made it very easy for banks to shield their cli- of “selling vehicles to avoid taxes.” Mossfon, as the ing an offshore corporate entity is not illegal, many of
ents’ identities and hide their assets and transactions giant law firm is also known, is the source that un- Mossfon’s clients use the complex legal structures the
from the prying eyes of tax authorities, law enforce- derpins Bernstein’s exhaustive investigation of what firm designed for them for legitimate purposes.
ment agencies, and litigious business partners or he calls the “largely unregulated place known as the
former spouses. Guaranteeing secrecy and anonym- secrecy world,” where, in his estimate, 8 percent of Bernstein, however, is not that interested in the
ity to their customers was the main promise of most the world’s household financial wealth is hidden. run-of-mill global rich who seek anonymity. Instead,
banks catering to a wealthy international clientele. he concentrates on telling the stories of those who
Bernstein, an experienced journalist, was a senior broke the law, evaded taxes, circumvented inter-
This needed to change. Thus, the month after the member of the International Consortium of Investi- national sanctions, hid assets, cheated partners, or
attacks, Congress enacted the Patriot Act, a broad set gative Journalists (ICIJ) team that broke the Panama “normalized” fortunes made through crime and cor-
of provisions aimed at enhancing domestic secu- Papers story, which in 2017 won the Pulitzer Prize for ruption. Among Mossfon’s best-known clients are
rity against terrorism, strengthening border controls, explanatory reporting. The Panama Papers consist of a dozen current or former heads of state, including
boosting surveillance and improving intelligence gath- more than 11 million files stolen from Mossack Fonse- dictators with immense fortunes that were impossi-
ering. The law also included a section “intended to fa- ca and anonymously obtained by the German news- ble to accumulate honestly. They also include more
cilitate the prevention, detection and prosecution of paper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which turned for help in than 60 relatives and friends of heads of state and
international money laundering.”This mandated strict influential politicians, including close associates of
new controls on financial transactions and unprec- Vladimir Putin and relatives of eight current and for-
edented banking regulations, such as the obligation to mer members of China’s ruling body.
know the identities of the ultimate owners of accounts
held offshore and of those involved in international In a brief epilogue, the author does not discuss the
money transfers. Moreover, Washington vigorously broader context that has shaped and is now changing
pressed other nations to adopt similar measures. the illicit world he so ably dissected. Instead, Bern-
stein describes the details of the predictable decline
Four years later, as part of my research for a book of Mossfon and then goes into the organizational fric-
on global illicit trades, I interviewed in Zurich a well- tions that led the ICIJ to part ways with its parent or-
known private banker who specialized in what he de- ganization, the Center for Public Integrity.
scribed as “wealth management for high-net-worth
individuals from around the world.” I asked him how SECRECY WORLD
much harder it was now for his clients to hide fortunes
or move them around. He smiled and calmly replied: INSIDE THE PANAMA PAPERS INVESTIGATION OF
“The main difference is that now I charge more.”
ILLICIT MONEY NETWORKS AND THE GLOBAL ELITE
In “Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers In-
vestigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global BY JAKE BERNSTEIN | HENRY HOLT. 335 PP. $30
REVIEW BY MOISES NAIM, THE WASHINGTON POST
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Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 47
Trying to INSIGHT TRAVEL
solve the mystery of the missing airfare
BY CHRISTOPHER ELLIOTT them a little less accurate. So when a they know you’re interested in buying for about 73 percent of their total an-
The Washington Post customer tries to book a ticket, they a ticket. It’s difficult to prove or dis- nual operating revenue from domestic
sometimes get a “price has changed” prove. It would probably take a lawsuit, operations. They sold about 719 mil-
John Angarano isn’t just tired of or “ticket unavailable” error message. a government investigation and an IT lion domestic tickets. Assuming every
what he suspects are bait-and-switch audit to determine whether the phe- other passenger paid just $10 more
airfares online. He’s also skeptical It’s a radioactive topic in the airline nomenon is intentional. than expected because of these tactics,
about the excuses airlines and online industry. I reached out to several air- then airlines reaped a cool $7 billion by
booking sites give for displaying an ini- line law experts, and all of them refused “It’s an unfair practice,” says Amena switching fares in 2016, or about 6 per-
tial low price then switching it out later to comment on the record. But while Tareen, an occupational therapist from cent of their domestic ticket revenue.
with a higher fare. they may be reluctant to talk, passen- Marietta, Ga., who says the fare increase
gers aren’t. They are only too willing to has happened to her “many times.” “It’s not that hard to refresh Web
When he recently searched online detail their frustrations with now-you- pages to prevent having outraged
for a flight from Rochester, N.Y., to see-them-now-you-don’t fares. Before online booking sites, this wasn’t consumers,” says Eric Johnson, a Co-
Boston, he says he found several af- a problem. Travel agents used a reserva- lumbia University professor who pub-
fordable prices only to have them re- Ella Nusenbaum, a business student tion system such as Worldspan or Sabre lished a paper on how consumers re-
placed with “this fare is no longer avail- from Richmond Hill, Ontario, says she that displayed real-time fares, for the act when they encounter hidden fees.
able” as the transaction progressed. It often runs into this kind of pricing on most part. Human agents, who still rely
happened over and over, he says. airline and online booking sites. One on these systems, say they don’t count on And if airline executives and book-
incident stands out – a flight initially a fare unless they see it on their screens. ing sites think their customers will grow
“It’s frustrating to get this message advertised at $1,500. accustomed to this kind of pricing, his
and feel like the initial price you saw “I never quote anything to a client un- research suggests the opposite.
really isn’t real-time or accurate,” says “In the confirmation window, it til I can confirm it in Worldspan,” says
Angarano, who, as an IT specialist at the suddenly told me that my flight’s price Becky McGuire, an independent travel But to bring any enforcement action,
University of Rochester Medical Center, went up to $2,600,” she recalls. “I sus- agent from Lake Havasu City, Ariz. “If a the Department of Transportation says
is something of an expert on technology. pect their system understood my city fare is no longer available, then it should it would need proof of an airline “sys-
and dates were firm and decided to be pulled from the system.” tematically and intentionally” using
Airline experts and people familiar push a higher price on me, knowing this tactic to lure consumers to its web-
with airline reservations systems claim that I had to book the trip.” It’s difficult to estimate the additional site or increasing the prices ultimately
it’s not intentional. Rather, it’s the re- revenue generated by changing fares. paid by passengers.
sult of caching, or temporarily storing Airlines and agencies have long But here’s a rough measure: Domestic
information on a website. That allows denied that they leverage customer airlines earned $91.2 billion from fares Put differently, there’s no smoking
prices to be retrieved faster, but makes data to display an initial low fare then in 2016 according to U.S. Department gun. And until there is, nothing is likely
switch it out with a higher price once of Transportation data, which accounts to change.
48 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
INSIGHT ST. ED’S
St. Ed’s soccer ‘passionate’ about postseason success
BY RON HOLUB Elizabeth Zoltak Jordyn jandra Mogo, Julie Young, Clara Mas-
Hughes seau and Maura Ramsey complete
Correspondent PHOTOS: GORDON RADFORD the octet that was honored on Senior
field when we get it. We all have full- Night. A final high school sports sea-
St. Ed’s varsity girls soccer team de- and everyone on the team is very pas- on communication with each other son is always emotional.
feated Sebastian River High, 4-1, last sionate. I think everybody feels confi- once the game gets going.”
Friday night in the final dress rehearsal dent going into the postseason. We’ve “We’ve all been with each other for
before hosting the District 10-1A tour- played some difficult teams recently Carter Cooper and Trisha Tee are the past four years and know each oth-
nament this week. Ally Eidemueller and that is going to help us when it re- also in the co-captain foursome. Ale- er well,” Mogo said, “We have learned
scored twice and Elizabeth Zoltak once. ally matters in our tournament games.” a lot from each other.
Five eighth-graders were called upon to
fill in after the ranks were decimated by Co-captain Jordyn Hughes anchors “This year our team is very unique.
illness, and one of them, Riley Kester- the defense. Looking forward to the Our coach is pregnant. It’s crazy be-
son, accounted for the other tally. playoffs, she told us “it’s going to be cause she has a human inside of her.
nerve-wracking early in the day, but We are all watching her and paying
After completing the regular season once the game starts we will be in the attention to her during our practices
at 7-5 overall, 4-2 in district, the Pirates moment and play our hardest. We won’t and games. We are checking on her
were well positioned to advance to the let anything negative get into our heads. and her husband is checking on her a
championship game this Friday eve- lot. Whenever a ball goes toward her
ning. Off two regular-season wins by “I play defense so I try to be really we all go into shock because we hope
a combined score of 17-1, St. Ed’s was aggressive. I just keep guarding the the ball doesn’t hit her.
the prohibitive favorite to send Pine opponents and always try to position
School packing in the opening semifi- myself between them and the goal. I “We are all prepared to work very
nal round on Tuesday. always focus on the ball and see who hard, win in the district tournament
is around me so we can move it up and move our way up. We always get
If all goes according to that script, ready and we are really competitive.
head coach Jaclyn Mohr’s team will get We are really focused when we get on
Holy Trinity Episcopal in the title game the field for a game.”
and guarantee a fourth consecutive
regional appearance under her tenure. Junior Elizabeth Zoltak has been a
major contributor offensively from
The resilience of the team has been her midfield position. She had a goal
tested all season long. Last week was no and assist in the FPC win, and three
exception. Back-to-back games with Fort goals with two assists on Senior Night
Pierce Central exemplified that point against Pine School.
precisely – in addition to indicating that
the team may have hit a crescendo. “I think we have come together as
a team in the last couple of weeks,”
“One of our best games of the year Zoltak said. “Last week was really hard
was last Thursday against FPC,” assis- but it helped get us back in the groove
tant coach and husband Scott Mohr ex- and gear up for the district tournament.
plained. “We lost to them 5-0 (at home)
onTuesday and then came back 48 hours “I’ve actually been playing with
later to beat them 2-1 on their field.” these seniors for four years. I love
playing with these girls. We all have
Eidemueller is one of four senior such different personalities, but we
co-captains. She said “coming into this really click well as a team. They are
season we lost a lot of starters and we great on and off the field. I hope that
had to regroup. We are seeing a differ- we get the result that we want.
ent team than we have seen in the past.
It’s been a lot of fun because a lot of No misunderstanding there. The
new people have stepped up. desired result is defeating Holy Trinity
Episcopal for the district champion-
“We put a lot of work into practices ship.
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 49
OPTIMISM OFTEN LEADS TO DISAPPOINTMENT J7643
Letitia Landon, a 19th-century English poet and novelist, wrote, “How disappointment AK54
tracks the steps of hope!”
All bridge players have had to suffer disappointing results. But in some cases, the loss K 10 8 5 2 EAST
was self-inflicted, declarer being unduly optimistic and running into an unfavorable Q J 10
distribution of the cards, one that would not have been fatal to the contract if he had J9 AQ
played more carefully. K76
In this week’s deal, South is in five clubs. What should he do after West leads the heart
queen, taken by dummy’s king? As a secondary issue, how would three no-trump have Q 10 8 7 2
An inexperienced player would have bid three no-trump with that North hand and
been very disappointed when West knew enough to duck the first round of clubs and SOUTH
restrict declarer to a pair of club tricks. If South has seven winners, as his pre-empt at
unfavorable vulnerability suggests, North has the four tricks that justify leaping to five 9
Declarer should see that he has three potential losers in his hand: one spade, one heart
and one club. He has only 10 top tricks: two hearts, two diamonds and six clubs. 63
An optimist would run the club nine at trick two. However, if West is in midseason form, A Q J 10 8 4 3
he will take the trick and return a trump to kill the contract.
Dealer: South; Vulnerable: North-South
South must ruff his heart loser on the board. He should cash the heart ace, then exit
with a spade to open up a communication line to his hand. East does best to take the The Bidding:
trick and shift to his trump, but declarer wins with his ace, trumps his last heart, ruffs a
spade in hand and sets about drawing trumps. SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST OPENING
3 Clubs Pass 5 Clubs All Pass
CARPET & TILE CLEANING
Residential & Commercial
Upholstery Cleaning Air Duct & Vents Cleaning
Area Rugs Pet Odor Removal
50 Vero Beach 32963 / January 25, 2018 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
SOLUTIONS TO PREVIOUS ISSUE (JANUARY 18) ON PAGE 70
1 Contented sound (4) 1 Theatre fan (4-4)
3 Soggy mass (4) 2 Change direction (8)
9 Think up (5) 4 Without reward (6)
10 Holy books (9) 5 Ghost (7)
11 On edge, tense (5) 6 Famous person (4)
12 Musician (9) 7 Watery part of milk (4)
15 -- Hemingway, author(6) 8 Operatic song (4)
17 Blacken the name of (6) 13 Youngster (8)
19 Flat (9) 14 Something hated (8)
21 Custom (5) 16 Smash (7)
23 Small orange (9) 18 Large bottle (6)
24 Lifting machine (5) 20 Arduous journey (4)
25 Short slope (4) 21 Chop roughly (4)
26 Flat-topped hill (4) 22 Boyfriend (4)
Certified Collision How to do Sudoku:
Fill in the grid so the
numbers one through
nine appear just once
in every column, row
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