Beach Town Festival promoter
says: ‘No refunds.’ P7
FPL plans to build
huge solar ‘farm.’ P11
Co-op head says bondholders
must agree to partial electric sale. P8
MY VERO Double lots on
ocean sought by
BY RAY MCNULTY wealthy buyers
Taxpayers stuck with BY STEVEN M. THOMAS
huge acupuncture bill Staff Writer
Who’s sticking it to whom? The top 1 percent of wealthy
That was my first thought
when I saw how much money homebuyers have a new No. 1
the county, which is self-in-
sured, paid out in acupunc- priority for their multimillion-
ture claims last year.
Certainly, it seemed a bit dollar homes – privacy, ac-
odd that those claims, filed by
only 221 of the 3,600-plus peo- cording to a 2016 report from
ple covered under the county’s
insurance plan, amounted to Luxury Portfolio International.
more than $1.2 million during
the 2016 fiscal year. The desire of this group for
Even odder that all of those
county employees were seeing secure and peaceful seclusion
the same acupuncturist. It’s
not like there’s only one practi- is illustrated in Vero by a new
tioner here in Vero Beach.
More than a million bucks trend in the estate section of
in one year – of our tax dol-
lars! – for a couple of hundred the barrier island, where buy-
people to receive acupuncture
treatments? The ‘sinfully delicious’ musical ‘Chicago’ launches the 2017 Season at the Riverside Theatre. REVIEW, PAGE 26 PHOTO BY HOLLY PORCH ers have begun purchasing
The Indian River Medi-
cal Center billed the county American Icon Brewery hoping to open by 4th of July double lots on the ocean to
only $1.6 million for treating build new homes.
employees during that same “It used to be if somebody
bought a double lot – that
CONTINUED ON PAGE 3
BY KATHLEEN SLOAN “I hope to have it open by we make it, we make it. We’ve was pretty rare. Now it is the
INEOS sale seen Staff Writer July 4th for obvious market- been working hard the last six norm,” says Premier Estate
ing reasons,” Rechter said. “I month. There are teams of ar- Properties broker associ-
BY LISA ZAHNER
Staff Writer Michael Rechter’s ambitious would love to hit that dead- chitects, engineers, brewery ate Clark French, who with
The CEO of the company plan to transform the old Die- line. But it has to be right. If CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
trying to purchase the INEOS
Bio ethanol plant and hire its sel Power Plant into a dining
employees remained tight-
lipped after meetings with and drinking destination has City barred from
federal officials last Thursday, moved another step closer to replenishing its
reality, and he now hopes to eroded beaches
CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 have his American Icon Brew-
ery open by the 4th of July.
The site plan for the brew-
ery was approved by the Vero
Beach Planning & Zoning Com- BY LISA ZAHNER
mission last week, and Rechter Staff Writer
hopes to get the county’s OK of
a $1.8 million building permit A county request for $5.8
next week, along with the Vero million in state money to
Historic Preservation Commis- fix Vero’s eroded beaches
sion’s “Special Certificate of Ap- highlights a bizarre situa-
propriateness.” tion: The city is barred by
With those hurdles cleared, CONTINUED ON PAGE 9 Three months after Matthew, no progress at Conn Beach. PHOTO BY JARED BLAIS
renovation will be ready to begin.
January 12, 2017 Volume 10, Issue 2 Newsstand Price $1.00 Reconstruction
of Citrus Bowl
News 1-12 Faith 45 Pets 46 TO ADVERTISE CALL resumes. Page 12
Arts 23-32 Games 47-49 Real Estate 69-80 772-559-4187
Books 42-43 Health 51-55 St Ed’s 44
Dining 60 Insight 33-50 Style 56-59 FOR CIRCULATION
Editorial 38 People 13-22 Wine 61 CALL 772-226-7925
© 2017 Vero Beach 32963 Media LLC. All rights reserved.
2 Vero Beach 32963 / January 12, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
American Icon Brewery food. We’ll do 25 things really well. We The main entrance will be on 12th A 2,700-square-foot mezzanine
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 want to bring foodies to our place.” Court, on the west side of the build- platform will be built to allow pa-
ing, with a driveway and 51-space trons to view the diesel engine from
and restaurant experts, and interior Rechter has instructed his land- parking lot. A large outdoor dining above on one side and the brewery on
designers; there are probably 15 com- scape architect to leave the view from space, partially covered, will be front the other while dining and drinking.
panies involved.” Route 60 open so people driving by and center. Rechter got permission to add a small
can get a good gander at the impres- building to house the cooler, grinder
The big draw will be the beer, of sive scale and strong Art Deco lines of Inside, the eye will be drawn up to and boiler for the brewery. “You’ll be
course, and Rechter’s brew master is 1920-era building. the 35-foot ceiling and then to the able to smell the hops,” he said.
already working on “our flagship beers. 20-foot-tall, 20-foot-long and 15-foot-
There will be six styles. Once we feel re- An open artificial turf area is planned wide diesel engine that used to supply “We’re going to build a staircase of
ally great about those, we’ll let the brew for the lawn space between the build- electricity to the city. “We’ll have to very cool reclaimed wood that goes up
master go crazy, creating seasonal ing and Route 60. It will be “a flex-space take it apart and refurbish it and build to the mezzanine. Or you can access
beers that will rotate all the time.” where people can play bocce ball or it again,” Rechter said. To emphasize it from the glass elevator,” both giving
spread a blanket or listen to live music the steam-punk aesthetic, some of the a view of the diesel engine while as-
“Our food will be as good as our and hang out. No food will be served housing may be left open to show the cending.
beer,” Rechter added. “It will be craft there,” Rechter told the Planning & inner workings.
Zoning Commission last week. The building was added to the U.S.
National Register of Historic Places in
1999 and Rechter hired an architect
specializing in historic renovations.
Plans submitted to the State Historic
Preservation Office were approved in
December, making Rechter eligible to
receive 20 percent of building renova-
tion costs in tax credits from the fed-
Rendering of American Icon Brewery.
The building is also on the Vero
Beach Historic Places Register and
the city’s Historic Preservation Com-
mission will review the plans Jan. 12.
This is the first historic renovation
project the commission will oversee,
according to city Planning Direc-
tor Tim McGarry. “There are only six
or seven buildings on the register in
The city sold the building to Rech-
ter for $500,000 last year, $150,000 less
than his bid of $650,000, because he
agreed to take over site contamination
remediation. He has hired Terracon,
a nationwide environmental-remedi-
ation engineering firm, to satisfy any
remaining state Department of Envi-
ronmental Protection requirements
not met by the city during its cleanup
Rechter pointed out “the levels of
contamination are minimal,” and for
the first time since it was built the floor
will be torn up and an underground
tank will be removed, possibly a source
of slow-leaking contamination. Any
contaminated soil will be removed be-
fore replacing the 9,000-square-foot
floor. Monitoring wells will remain in
place, with regular reports turned in
by Terracon and onsite inspections
being done by the state.
“It’s not effecting what we’re doing,”
Rechter said. “We are not eating the
soil and we’re not drinking the ground
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 12, 2017 3
My Vero ment costs range from $30 for a “com- 1,600 employees attended the meet- $900,000 a year. Had it been in place
munity acupuncture” session to $85 for ing and said Absolute’s acupuncture in fiscal 2016, the cost of the acupunc-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 a private acupuncture session. There is treatments had cured and prevented ture claims would have plummeted
an “initial intake” charge of $105 before health problems. from $1.2 million to $331,500.
period. The Sebastian River Medical the first private acupuncture treatment.
Center was paid only $560,000. In response, the commissioners “It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s
However, if you divide the $1.2 mil- voted to place a cap on covered acu- still a high number,” Boyll said.“If a prop-
How did acupuncture costs get to lion paid to Jaynes’ practice for the puncture claims, limiting patients to er co-pay were required, we wouldn’t be
$1.2 million? 8,200 visits, the average claim was for 26 visits per year with a maximum an- anywhere near $330,000. That’s a lot of
more than $140 per treatment. nual payout of $1,500. money. So we’re monitoring this situa-
Here’s how: Those 221 patients ac- tion very closely, and we’ll make further
counted for more than 8,200 visits, When Boyll took the matter to the The cap, which goes into effect Feb. changes to the plan if we need to.”
which, if you do the math, averages commissioners, several of the county’s 1, is expected to save the county nearly
out to nearly 40 treatments per person
at an annual cost of almost $5,500. Exclusively John’s Island
Now, get this: The entire $1.2 million This spectacular, private 4BR/6.5BA oceanfront retreat enjoys soothing
went to Dr. Jill Jaynes’ Absolute Integrat- tropical breezes and commands endless ocean and sunset views. A
ed Medicine, located in the Bridgewater lushly landscaped courtyard pool and Jacuzzi greets you upon entering.
Building on Indian River Boulevard. Enviable features include a double-height living room with gas fireplace,
three levels of indoor/outdoor living, 9,761± GSF, Venetian plaster
“That jumped out at us, too,” said walls, limestone floors, custom finishes, cabana guest suite, elevator,
Suzanne Boyll, the county’s human re- generous recreation room, study, exercise room and private beach access.
sources director. 640 Ocean Road : $8,200,000
Before you start firing off com- three championship golf courses : 17 har-tru courts : beach club : squash
plaints to your county commissioners, health & fitness center : pickleball : croquet : vertical equity membership
you need to know that Boyll didn’t take
over the human resources department 772.231.0900 : Vero Beach, FL : JohnsIslandRealEstate.com
In fact, it was Boyll, upon learn-
ing of the unusually high number of
acupuncture claims, who looked into
the situation last fall and promptly in-
formed commissioners of her alarm-
“We had already completed the pro-
cess for the coming year’s plan, which
was effective Oct. 1, when someone
brought the matter to my attention,”
Boyll said, adding that the county
had received a June report revealing a
significant increase in claims for acu-
Boyll said she researched the re-
cords and discovered the claims paid
to Jaynes’ practice had quadrupled
over a four-year period, primarily be-
cause more county-insured patients
were seeking treatments more often.
“There was a steady, progressive in-
crease,” she said, “so I started looking
at our options.”
The problem, as she learned, was that
Absolute Integrated Medicine billed the
insurer but did not require patients to
cover any of the costs of the treatments.
In other words: There was no co-pay.
“What we had heard – and what was
confirmed at the county commission
meeting – was that this practitioner
waived the co-pay,” Boyll said. “When
that happens, the treatments are es-
sentially free, so there’s no reason for
people to not go as much as they want.
“Think about it,” she added. “If you
have to pay [something] out of your own
pocket, you’re more likely to think twice
about whether you really need to go.
The co-pay is a mechanism that helps
minimize the insurer’s obligation.”
Boyll said her research revealed that
the frequency with which Absolute’s
patients seek treatment is far greater
than patients of other area acupunc-
turists who require a co-pay.
According to Absolute’s website, treat-
4 Vero Beach 32963 / January 12, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Double lots on ocean front lot, but evidently wanted more
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 elbow room.
his partner Cindy O’Dare sells much Just south of the McGuire estate,
of the property in the estate section. a Pennsylvania couple, Samuel and
“And it’s not like they are buying extra Dena Lombardo, paid $7,590,000 for
land so they can build huge homes three lots that total more than five
that take up every square foot. It is acres with 310 feet of ocean frontage.
more for privacy.” They purchased the land at 1980-2020
S. A1A in June 2016 but haven’t pulled
“Affluent buyers are increasingly pur- a permit for their house yet.
chasing wider lots and double lots to
create a physical barrier and landscape Further south, next door to the
buffer between them and their sur- home known locally as the “Bar Code
roundings so they can be secure and at Lady’s House,” a family bought two
peace on their property and have great- lots in 2015 that total 3.5 acres with
225 feet of oceanfront, where they are
now building a substantial home. De-
Patrice and Cary Stowe are
I moved our family to Vero er privacy if they’re using their pool or signed by noted modernist architect
Beach in 2006 to create and entertaining outdoors,” says Michael Phil Kean and engineered by Schulke,
expand The Heart Center. Thorpe, co-owner of Treasure Coast Bittle & Stoddard L.L.C., the impres-
We were impressed with Sotheby’s International Realty. sive house will continue a shift toward
Saint Edward’s administrators, more contemporary architecture in
faculty and facility, especially Bear in mind that lots in the estate Vero Beach.
for a community this size. section are not petite to begin with.
In our opinion, safety, quality In the northern part of the section, At the bottom of the estate section,
healthcare, and good schools which extends for a little more than a also in 2015, a buyer paid $9,250,000
are the three pillars of a quality mile from the Beachside subdivision for a new 20,000-square-foot home on
community. Saint Edward’s to the St. Lucie County line, most lots a 1.66-acre lot with 155 feet of ocean
School is a major factor in are 2 acres or more, with 150 feet of frontage at 2460 S. A1A. A few days later,
our ability to attract qualified ocean frontage – plenty of room for a in a separate transaction, they expand-
physicians and their families large estate home with yard and gar- ed their territory, buying the empty 1.7-
to Vero Beach. It is important dens. acre lot next door for $3.3 million, add-
that we support it for the ing another 155 feet of beachfront and
future generations to come. But estate section buyers increas- ensuring that they will not have any
ingly want more, including a buyer close neighbors on that side.
The difference is EXTRAORDINARY. who purchased property at the top of
the section two years ago. To ensure A sixth person who has doubled
Grades Pre-K – 12 privacy and plenty of room, they paid down in the estate section is rags-to-
www.steds.org | (772) 492-2360 $6.1 million for four acres with 230 riches success story Sir George Buck-
feet of ocean frontage to build their ley. Knighted in 2013 for his contri-
Florida home. butions to the United Kingdom as a
businessman, the 70-year-old former
They pulled a permit for the house CEO of the 3M Company paid $5 mil-
at 1860 S. A1A last summer and re- lion for two lots at 2070 and 2080 S
cently began construction of an entry A1A that total 3.75 acres and include
gateway. 240 feet of private oceanfront.
A few doors to the south, at 1940
S. A1A, Robert McGuire bought two
lots totaling five acres with 315 feet
of ocean frontage, where he had a
44,000-square-home built, according
to county property records. He had
been living in a 16,000-square-foot
home next door on a single ocean-
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 12, 2017 11
FPL plans huge Indian River County solar ‘farm’
BY SAMANTHA BAITA sultant David Knight pointed out “is The project still needs to be ap- including laborer positions, and oth-
Staff Writer already lower than the U.S. Environ- proved by the Planning & Zoning ers requiring special skills and quali-
mental Protection Agency's goal for Commission and the County Com- fications, said Knight, who added that
Florida Power & Light intends to Florida to meet by 2030.” mission, but that probably won’t be it could also “create indirect benefits
build a 74.5-megawatt photovoltaic a problem since solar farm devel- through FPL's purchase of goods and
operation – a solar farm that produces Knight’s letter also suggested that opment is supported in the County services from area businesses.”
enough juice to power 15,000 homes – because of the continuing decline of Comprehensive Plan's Future Land
in southern Indian River County, east the citrus industry and the resulting Use provisions. If all goes as planned, construction
of I-95, at 1750 122nd Avenue SW. pressure on grove owners to convert is expected to begin in April and be
their land to alternative uses, farmers Although the project itself is an un- completed in January 2018, according
Slated to be operational by early might do well to consider using their manned facility, it will create approxi- to documents submitted to the county
2018, the power-generating project property for solar farms. mately 200 jobs during construction, by FPL.
will occupy 354 acres of a 697-acre
tract of former groves FPL is buying
from Evans Properties, Inc. The sale
price has not been disclosed.
The Indian River County location
was chosen, according to FPL, be-
cause of its close proximity to existing
FPL transmission lines, flat topogra-
phy, lack of trees and underbrush that
would need to be cleared, and the fact
that building a solar farm there will
have virtually no negative environ-
Solar panels will be assembled on
site and installed approximately 2 feet
off the ground, placed strategically
to avoid wetlands and other environ-
mentally sensitive areas.
FPL, which built the state's first so-
lar energy operation in 2009 in DeSoto
County, is currently building new so-
lar facilities in Charlotte, DeSoto and
Manatee counties, which are expect-
ed to triple the amount of clean solar
power FPL generates. And more solar
farms are in the works.
FPL's $1.3 billion natural gas-fired
plant in Okeechobee County is sched-
uled for completion in 2019, and, said
Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL,
"the plant site has sufficient space to
accommodate large-scale solar power
generation, which we hope to add in
the future as the cost of solar technol-
ogy continues to decline."
FPL has reduced its solar energy in-
stallation costs by buying panels in huge
quantity for large-scale projects like that
planned for Indian River County.
More solar power will lower FPL's
carbon emissions rate, which con-
12 Vero Beach 32963 / January 12, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Reconstruction of 60-year-old Citrus Bowl resumes
BY KATHLEEN SLOAN dard, issued a report in October 2015 stalled at each end of the bleachers to replaced by two walk-in entrances on
Staff Writer stating the concrete bleachers on the make them handicap accessible and 17th Street.
3,000-seat home side were unsafe be- the press box was rebuilt.
Now that football season is over, cause of failing support beams. A $300,000 elevator will be installed
construction has resumed at Vero The second phase of the project to provide handicap accessibility to
Beach High School’s storied Citrus The first phase of reconstruction, includes tearing down and then re- the press box – an ADA requirement
Bowl stadium. done last winter and spring to avoid placing the men’s and women’s bath- Superintendent Mark Rendell said
disrupting football season, cost about rooms, the away and home locker the district tried to get waived, but
Renovation of the aging facility had $2 million. It included ripping out room buildings, the ticket booths and couldn’t. The more-than-50-percent
been planned for 2018, but the school the old concrete seating and install- the concrete apron under the stands. renovation of the 60-year-old facility
district moved the project up after an ing new aluminum seating. Winding The walk-in entrance at the corner of triggered several ADA-compliance up-
independent local engineer, Bill Stod- low-angled aluminum ramps were in- 17th Street and 16th Avenue will be grades.
Treasure Coast Lexus OPEN Proctor Construction was awarded
SUNDAY the contract for the second phase
NOON-5PM! of construction in October and the
company was scheduled to start a
OUR CUSTOMERS HAVE SPOKEN week-long demolition process this
When it comes to luxury automobiles, you have many choices, but when it comes right down to it, you want sophistication and style. Not just in week, Project Development Director
a car, but in the total buying and ownership experience. Just look at what your neighbors are saying about Treasure Coast Lexus. Michael McCabe said. Proctor hired
subcontractors last month while also
“If I were to recommend someone to buy a “Treasure Coast Lexus outperforms anybody, by “As I was driving a BMW for a test drive, I said “This particular dealership, without question, if I “I took a poll on Facebook and everyone said disconnecting water, sewer and elec-
tric utilities to the site and setting up
Lexus, I would recommend that they would far. You walk in here, and they know who you to my son that I haven’t driven a Lexus and rated it from one to ten, ten being the highest, that I should get a new Lexus. At Treasure temporary electric service.
come to Treasure Coast Lexus.” are right away. This place is unbelievable!” he said, ‘pull right in.’” I’d give them a twelve.” Coast Lexus, there’s no pressure.” After demolition, the water and sew-
er pipes will be dug up and replaced
Elmira Gainey Gerry Mueller Judy Smith Stuart Levy Kristy Lee with larger diameter pipes, since both
299$ PPIACYKMYEONUTR! $349LEASEPERMONTH+TAX the men’s and women’s bathrooms
NEW 2017 LEASE PER MONTH + TAX $419WITH $0 DUE AT SIGNING!† will go from five to 40 toilets or urinals,
LEXUS A$32,775 VALUE WITH $1929 DUE AT SIGNING!† LEASE PER MONTH + TAX the increase dictated by attendance
numbers. All the replacement build-
CT 200h $329 PPIACYKMYEONUTR!LEASEPERMONTH+TAX ings will have bigger footprints than
the former buildings. The enlarged re-
NEW 2017 A$36,460 VALUE WITH $2999 DUE AT SIGNING!† $419WITH $0 DUE AT SIGNING!† placement buildings will be concrete-
LEXUS LEASE PER MONTH + TAX block construction.
NX 200t Proctor is doing the work under
the auspices of a “Construction Man-
NEW 2017 A$39,150 VALUE WITH $2899 DUE AT SIGNING!† $479WITH $0 DUE AT SIGNING!† ager at Risk” contract finalized in
LEXUS LEASE PER MONTH + TAX December that sets the “guaranteed
$369 PPIACYKMYEONUTR!LEASEPERMONTH+TAX maximum price” for second-phase
IS 200t construction work at just under $3.4
million. That means Proctor is “at
NEW 2017 A$39,875 VALUE WITH $3929 DUE AT SIGNING!† $519WITH $0 DUE AT SIGNING!† risk” for any project cost overruns,
LEXUS LEASE PER MONTH + TAX but since it acts as both vendor and
$399 PPIACYKMYEONUTR!LEASEPERMONTH+TAX $509WITH $0 DUE AT SIGNING!† builder, handling all subcontractor
ES 350 A$42,230 VALUE WITH $3979 DUE AT SIGNING!† LEASE PER MONTH + TAX bids and materials purchases, it has
tight control of expenses.
NEW 2017 A$44,195 VALUE
LEXUS Architect, engineering and testing
$429 PPIACYKMYEONUTR!LEASEPERMONTH+TAX fees will cost another $275,000, bring-
RC 200t ing the second-phase project total up
to $3.675 million.
NEW 2017 WITH $2829 DUE AT SIGNING!† $609WITH $0 DUE AT SIGNING!†
LEXUS LEASE PER MONTH + TAX The district issued a “Certificate of
A$55,085 VALUE Participation” for $13.5 million last
RX 350 March to finance what was then es-
$499 PPIACYKMYEONUTR!LEASEPERMONTH+TAX timated as a $5.5 million Citrus Bowl
NEW 2017 WITH $3799 DUE AT SIGNING!† WITH $0 DUE AT SIGNING!† renovation and an $8 million Beach-
LEXUS land Elementary two-story classroom
and cafeteria/auditorium project.
GX 460 The district put up school property
as collateral for the loan, which is es-
†All payments include Lexus lease bonus cash. 36-month closed-end leases with Automatic Transmission and select equipment; adding options increases payment. Must lease or finance sentially a lease-buy-back form of fi-
through Lexus Financial Services. All payments plus tax & tag. Dealer fee included in advertised specials. No security deposit required. All offers include Lexus Financial Services Owner nancing.
Loyalty and require approved credit from Lexus Financial Services and 720+Beacon score to qualify. Lessee pays maintenance, excess wear & tear, 25¢/mile over 10,000 miles/year. $350
disposition fee due at lease end. Prices plus tax, tag, title & registration. Offers expire 01/17/17. #61985-TRLE Renovation costs for the stadium
5121 South U.S. 1, Ft. Pierce • 772-672-8108 SALES HOURS: MON-FRI8:30AM-7PM are steep, but football at the Citrus
SATURDAY 8:30AM-6PM • SUNDAY 12PM-5PM Bowl provides significant revenue to
www.TreasureCoastLexus.com SERVICE & PARTS: MON-FRI 7AM-6PM the district. “The football gate receipts
SATURDAY 7AM-3PM • SUNDAY CLOSED pay for all other athletic activities and
the district needs it functional by next
football season,” Rendell said.
14 Vero Beach 32963 / January 12, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
Back in the saddle! Vero’s Polo Club season starts
1 23 4
POLO CAPTIONS 67 POLO PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
1. Tina Tripaldi and Patta Conboy. 2. Curtis
Musselman, Shannon Davis and Allissa Maddox.
3. Paul Tripaldi, Belinda Girmonde, Erin Case, Alex
and Sofia Tamayo, and Hudson Broome. 4. Dayle
and Brian Lieberman. 5. Sally Ann Hillock , Dr. Mary
Kirby and Julia Buddendorf. 6. Zachary Tripaldi and
Pyton Nottage. 7. Camilo A. Rodriguez and Adam
Schnell. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE
BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF Genovese expects the crowd to swell to “I love the family dynamics of Brandon Phillips, a professional five-
upwards of 3,000. the polo here. Every one of my fam- goal player, and his endeavor to rid the
Staff Writer ily members comes out on Sunday to world of cancer.
“It’s come back home,” says Eques- watch me play polo,” said Busch, who
Polo returned to the fields in full trian Director Patta Conboy, noting grew up with the game and has be- “We’ve got all the right elements for
swing last Sunday with the first game that from its inception Vero Beach Polo come one of the top-rated female play- what could be a successful event the
of the BG Vero Beach Polo Club’s 2017 featured the Busch, Kahle, Proctor and ers in the world. “It’s not just what hap- first time out,” said Conboy. “The ball
Winter Season. Replogle families. “And now they are pens on the field, it’s what happens off will raise funds for cancer research
passing the baton to the younger gen- the field, and it’s the coming together while increasing awareness about
Despite a chilly brisk wind, families eration.” of the community.” what’s going on with polo in Vero
spent the afternoon tailgating as they Beach.”
watched the sport of kings from the Conboy has been successful at get- While they may have been adversar-
sidelines and, later, during the “Cham- ting the word out that Vero Beach is a ies on the field, Rodriguez, a veteran The event will honor local physi-
pagne Divot Stomp,” were treated to a polo destination, with packages and player and teacher with a four-goal cians Dr. Leonardo Mandina and Dr.
dance interpretation by Ballet Master membership opportunities that al- rating, said he and Busch have always Michaela Scott, and will feature cock-
Camilo A. Rodriguez of sculptor Debo- low polo enthusiasts to pop into town been friends. tails, dinner, dancing and a live auc-
rah Butterfield’s Horses exhibition on for anything from a private lesson to tion.
display at the Vero Beach Museum of a match. As an added benefit, visitors “I’m excited to be joining forces with
Art. spend money at restaurants, hotels Tiffany to return Vero Beach Polo to The 16-week season includes two
and shops. the former family environment we four-goal, one six-goal and an eight-
BG Polo picked up the ball in 2014 had when I first came here,” Rodriguez goal tournament, and a Woman’s Invi-
when Vero Beach Polo founders “The sleepy little town of Vero Beach said. tational. Matches are held every Sun-
George and Sandy Kahle opted out is a huge draw to players. With the cali- day through April 30 (except April 23)
after 15 years of play. When BG Polo ber of instruction and state-of-the-art BG Vero Beach Polo is working to at the BG Polo Grounds, 7634 South
& Equestrian owner Bobby Genovese facilities we offer, we’re seeing more expand the sport through education, Polo Grounds Way. Gates open at 12:30
first opened his polo school and train- and more visitors,” shared Conboy. member support, youth programs and p.m. and matches begin at 1:30 p.m.
ing facility in Vero Beach, his plan was “People are drawn to the idea of a fam- community outreach.
to infuse the existing club with young ily, fun club and the casual lifestyle.” For more information, visit Vero-
players. Over the course of three years, “I’m really excited,” said Genovese. BeachPolo.com or call 772-999-3709.
with the school and the club under one She spent much of the summer visit- “This year we’ve got more high-goal
umbrella, the BG Vero Beach Polo Club ing other clubs to get a broader view of players coming in than ever before.
has become a successful program with programs offered across the country, We’re getting more and more involved
a bright future. adding, “We’re building a solid local in the community. The goal has al-
program with a broad reach.” ways been to be more involved with
Genovese credits much of the suc- the community and bring polo back to
cess to the support of the founding Tiffany Busch and Gaston Rodriguez Vero Beach.”
families. “The core group has picked have been part of the local polo scene
this club up and taken it to a whole new since its inception and have garnered a On Jan. 28 they will host a Polo with
level,” he said. “It speaks volumes that stellar reputation on and off the field. a Purpose Charity Ball at the Oak Har-
the old guard is still coming out, play- They have joined the club as instruc- bor Club to benefit the Leukemia &
ing and supporting polo.” tors and now, with two instructors on Lymphoma Society. When a member
the fields during practice, they can of the BG Vero Beach Polo Club fam-
In their first year roughly 500 people maximize coaching on both sides of ily was diagnosed with leukemia,
turned out for matches, and this year the team. they were inspired by cancer survivor
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 12, 2017 21
‘Amazing’ Haiti Clinic 5K supports island patient care
BY MARY SCHENKEL and instruction on proper dental In an attempt to assist as many social media, getting donations or
care. people as possible, Haiti Clinic also finding specialists for teleconfer-
Staff Writer supports 11 other health clinics, ence services. Other volunteers have
“We provide volunteers to go over schools and orphanages with sup- formed packing groups with friends
Predicted thunderstorms never and assist with the medical needs plies and medications. and churches to collect and send kits
materialized Saturday morning, to and training,” said Tossie. “And if of needed items to Haiti.
the delight of participants in the there’s ever any specialists needed, “We’re always looking for volun-
fourth annual Haiti Clinic 5K Run/ we try to recruit specialists or we teers to go to Haiti and also to do For more information, visit haiti-
Walk at South Beach Park. The fun- have the means to do telemedicine, projects in the states,” Tossie added. clinic.org.
draiser will help the organization to to have a teleconference with a spe- She said volunteers can even work
continue assisting residents of the cialist.” remotely from home, helping with HAITI CLINIC 5K PHOTOS ON PAGE 22
poverty-stricken island nation with
its healthcare needs.
Haiti Clinic was founded by Vero
Beach physician Dr. Dirk Parvus,
who soon enlisted the help of other
medical professionals, including Dr.
Neil Heskel, who underwrote the
cost of the 5K.
“We’re going into our 10th year,”
said Heskel. “It’s amazing; we’ve
seen over 10,000 patients last year.
We’ve gone from an occasional week
where we carried suitcases of sup-
plies over, to now having two clinics.
Instead of episodic care we’re doing
continuous care. It’s getting better
every year and it’s because of our
support here. All the money we raise
will go to help patients in Haiti.”
“We provide primary and preven-
tive healthcare and dental care,” ex-
plained Haiti Clinic Executive Direc-
tor Jennifer Tossie, one of only two
U.S.-based employees. “Our clinics
are Haitian run; the staff there is all
Haitian-born Medical Director
Dr. Kobel Dubique, who earned a
masters in medicine from Harvard
University Medical School, leads the
teams of doctors and dentists who
provide care to patients at clinics in
two critically underserved areas –
the slums of Cité Solei and the rural
mountainous town of Baocia.
There are also 30 volunteer Com-
munity Health Agents from various
rural and remote villages, whom they
have trained in such areas as basic
first aid, the signs and symptoms of
hypertension, and how to accurately
take blood pressures, screening for
malnutrition and recording chil-
dren’s weight and height.
Clinic staff also provides educa-
tional classes on personal hygiene,
nutrition and well-baby care. Anoth-
er life-threatening concern is pre-
venting and treating the intestinal
worms which cause serious malnu-
trition in children. Their de-worm-
ing program provided more than
19,000 doses of Albendazole. In ad-
dition to tooth extractions, fillings
and children’s fluoride treatments,
each patient is given a toothbrush
22 Vero Beach 32963 / January 12, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
HAITI CLINIC 5K STORY ON PAGE 21 Jillie Sweetland, Henry Hazell, Spencer Greaves, Tomas Botero, John LaLime,
Doreen, Garrick and Alyssa Kantzler.
Coleman Kramer, Zach Bregoff and Adam Wolf. PHOTOS: STEPHANIE LABAFF
Dr. Neil Heskel with Miloura and Barry Barnard.
Richard Whitney, Pete Connelly and Jonathan Blackburn.
Al, Jimmy and Amy Granberg.
Sophia and LaChasity Shepherd.
Sean Roche with Jack and Kim Calhoun.
24 Vero Beach 32963 / January 12, 2017 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™
ARTS & THEATRE
Vero’s stained-glass story starts at Pickel Studio
BY STEPHANIE LABAFF and science teacher now at home synagogues and Paul and Rosie Pickel. PHOTO: DENISE RITCHIE
Staff Writer with a toddler, became interested in community fa-
stained glass while living in France. cilities all over the tional business.
The use of glass as a medium to Her church, Lutheran Church of the United States. “Dad thought of himself as an art-
tell a story has been around for a Redeemer, has a number of windows
millennium. At its peak, during made by Pickel, who opened the Vero In addition to ist but had good business acumen,”
the Renaissance, stained glass was studio 60 years ago. Garst’s visit to garnering a repu- recalls Pickel. “I’m more of a director
one of the most prevalent forms of the studio west of Vero set the crawl tation in the field, with an art background.”
painting in Europe. in motion. the studio can lay
claim to creating After his father’s death in 1994,
But Vero Beach? For such a small A world-renowned stained-glass the largest stained- Pickel continued the family legacy of
town – and barely a century old – Vero artist, sculptor and painter, Pickel glass window in telling visual stories through stained
Beach has an unusually rich collection studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in the world at the glass, and the business continues to
of stained glass in churches and public Munich, Germany, and apprenticed at Resurrection Cem- thrive at its location tucked on a shady
venues. That is due in large part to the the Franz Mayer Studio. etery Mausoleum in lot off State Road 60 just west of the In-
fact that 60 years ago, Milwaukee artist Chicago. At 24,000 dian River Mall.
Conrad Pickel chose sleepy Vero Beach He came to the United States in 1927 square feet, the
as the location for a second stained- and spent the next 20 years honing his project is listed in The process for creating stained
glass studio. craft. The Conrad Pickel Studio was the Guinness Book of World Records.
founded in 1947 in Milwaukee and is
With such a high-caliber stained- considered one of the leading stained- And while NASA might have put
glass studio located in Vero Beach, it’s glass studios in the country. man on the moon, the Pickel Studio
no wonder that Christie Garst, a lo- has put a mosaic NASA logo on the
cal art history enthusiast, organized In 1956, he opened a second studio floor at Kennedy Space Center.
the Stained-Glass Crawl three years in Vero Beach and turned over the
ago. That tour, scheduled for Jan. 28, management of the Milwaukee Studio Paul Pickel loved art and travel and
will take people to see more than 100 to his son Paul. He ran the Wisconsin has managed to meld his passions
examples of stained-glass art in Vero, studio before consolidating both stu- working as a second-generation
and includes a stop at the Conrad Pick- dios at the Vero location. stained-glass craftsman. He majored
el Studio. in art and business at the Univer-
Growing up, Paul Pickel watched sity of Wisconsin in Milwaukee with
Garst, a former high school math his father create glass masterpieces plans to pursue a career in interna-
that graced churches, cemeteries,
Join the A.E. Backus Museum
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Sunday, January 29, 2017
Pelican Yacht Club
1120 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce
11:30 – 3:00 PM
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500 N. Indian River Drive,
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Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 12, 2017 25
ARTS & THEATRE
Pickel Stained Glass. PHOTO: DENISE RITCHIE Craftsmen and commissions alike cause stained glass is enhanced by entrance of Royal Palm Pointe Park
come in by word of mouth. daylight, it changes with the weath- as well as the Downtown Vero Beach
glass has remained virtually the same er, season and time of day. “You can welcome sign at 20th Avenue and
as it was 1,000 years ago. The glass is The glass is hand-blown in a get used to a painting on the wall and 20th Street are examples of the stu-
mouth-blown, the paint contains tiny German town near the Czech stop seeing it. That never happens dio’s work.
glass particles, and each piece of glass border where it has been made with stained glass,” she says.
is bound by strips of pure lead. for hundreds of years. The color As for the Stained Glass Crawl on
is determined by adding metallic The window the studio did at the Saturday, Jan. 28, the tour will show-
Pickel starts a commission with oxides before the master blower Gifford Youth Achievement Center case more than 100 stained-glass
a site visit to consult with those in- blows the large bubble, which is is one of Pickel’s favorites. “It tells windows in Vero Beach, many of
volved with the project and to get a formed into a cylinder before it is the story of the center’s history. It’s them made by Pickel studio.
feel for what the clients have in mind. heated again. a special and very uplifting stained-
“Stained glass has to be part of the ar- glass window.” The free tour will start at 9 a.m. at
chitecture. It’s not like a painting on “We prefer mouth-blown glass the Lutheran Church of the Redeem-
the wall, it has to blend in with the ar- because of the interesting bubbles. While stained glass is a large part er in south central Vero. Docents will
chitecture. We have to be very careful; It creates the sparkle and adds of the studio’s work, they also de- be on hand to guide guests through
we work very closely with the archi- character to the glass,” says Pickel. sign mosaics, bronze sculpture and each site. To reserve a spot, email
tects or ministers or priests in develop- wood carvings. The mosaics at the [email protected].
ing the feeling.” After the glass is selected and
cut, each piece is waxed onto clear SHOW STOPPERS
Studio artist Lyn Durham will then glass with beeswax so the design
prepare a colored sketch. Once ap- can be viewed in a vertical po- Our elegant stoppered bottles with
proved, the studio crew can begin the sition. If everything is OK, then 24K gold details take center stage
process of making the actual window, Durham will paint the faces and
which entails checking and double- details. This process sometimes in any setting. Bravo!
checking the dimensions and laying takes five or six firings in the kiln.
out the window to size. SEE THESE AND OTHER FINE THINGS AT VERO’S FINEST
Then, each piece is leaded, and COLLECTION OF AMERICAN-MADE ART AND JEWELRY
“People love stained glass because the joints are soldered so that it
it’s like a painting that’s made out of holds it together. After that cement THEL AUGHINGDOGGALLERY.COM 2910 CARDINAL DR.
light and it changes with the light,” is rubbed into the lead and bars are VERO BEACH, FL
she explains. added to strengthen the panel. Finally, 7 72 . 2 3 4 . 6711
it’s ready for installation.
Durham then creates a cartoon – a The studio recently finished a
full-size drawing of the final design, window for St. Paul’s Church, which
which is then transferred to a pattern is currently under construction on
with lead lines, features and faces. Flamevine Lane in Central Beach.
The project took several months
Pickel’s wife, Rosie, is in charge of from conception through comple-
the selection and organization of the tion, Pickel says.
glass at the studio. “She has a real eye “It usually takes a year from design
for color,” says Pickel. through installation,” he says. He
stops to point out a rainbow of colors
“There are thousands of pieces in a beaming through the window of his
project and each piece has to be care- workshop.
fully cut, otherwise it would interfere Pickel Studio has done work for sev-
with the next piece,” says Pickel. That eral thousand churches in the U.S.,
care has to follow through the entire Bermuda, Canada, the Cayman Is-
process, he says, from firing the glass lands and the Caribbean.
and painting it to handling, packing, “It’s great to know that every day
shipping it and, of course, installing it. people are viewing our art all over the
country,” says Pickel. “We are very for-
It takes skilled artisans and quality tunate that way.”
materials to maintain the level of work Locally, the studio has done work for
the studio is known to produce. Today, at least 20 houses of worship, includ-
the studio has a full-time staff of eight. ing Christ by the Sea United Methodist
Church, Holy Cross Catholic Church,
Our Savior Lutheran, St. Mark’s An-
glican, St. Sebastian Catholic Church,
Temple Beth Shalom and Trinity Epis-
copal. There are installations in a
number of chapels including the Gif-
ford Youth Achievement Center, In-
dian River Medical Center and Indian
River Estates. Others adorn municipal
buildings and private homes.
For Pickel, stained glass creates the
atmosphere to complement the archi-
tecture. “People walk into a church
and are not conscious of the stained
glass, but it affects them,” he says.
“People are mesmerized by stained
glass because it creates such an inter-
esting atmosphere. If you look at the
window, it tells a story.”
Artist Durham points out that be-
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 12, 2017 31
ARTS & THEATRE
Fort Pierce journalist Gregory Enns, The festival runs from 10 a.m. to and is coming to Florida for the first
includes trolley tours, a ghost walk- 3 p.m. time after appearing at Jacob’s Pil-
ing tour, and reenactments includ- low in August. Tickets, $32, include a
ing an old Florida cattle camp. Then Then Saturday night at the Sun- glass of wine or beer.
inside the Sunrise as well as in the rise, a little more history – Marilyn
St. Lucie Bank Building across the McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., the former 5 On Clematis Street in West
street, the interesting speakers in- lead singers of The Fifth Dimension. Palm, Palm Beach Drama-
clude a group of former students of McCoo is now 73; Davis is 78. Then
the famous African-American au- Sunday, the 1980s soft-rock band Air works is workshopping a new play
thor Zora Neale Hurston, who once Supply performs.
taught school in Fort Pierce. And in its upstairs Perlberg Studio The-
author Sally Putnam Chapman will
talk about the Binney, Chapman ater. “Domestic Animals” by Jen-
and Putnam families – that’s Binney
of Crayola crayons, and Putnam as 4 In West Palm, Michael Bolton nifer Faletto looks at the impact of
in G.P. Putnam the publisher who plays the Kravis Center Friday
married Amelia Earhart (she once the Vietnam war through the eyes
flew secretly to Fort Pierce). Also
speaking are members of the Tom- night. Then Saturday night, the in- of a woman whose brother is a draft Domestic Animals.
mie family, prominent members of
the Seminole tribe. And a Vero resi- novative 8-piece orchestra Pink Mar- dodger while her husband enlists. the play. Seating is limited though –
dent, Al Grover, a retired boat build- tickets are only $18.
er from Long Island, will be on hand tini, performs with lead singer China There are matinee and evening per-
to talk about his tale of crossing the
Atlantic in a 26-foot outboard mo- Forbes. The orchestra’s founder de- formances, with a talkback after
scribes it as an “urban musical trav-
elogue” with Forbes singing in 15
Next Tuesday and Wednesday, Kra-
vis’ Peak series presents Compagnie
Hervé KOUBI in the Rinker Play-
house. The 17-member French-Alge-
rian and West African all-male dance
troupe made its debut in the States
three years ago to dazzling reviews
Proposed Lucas museum for Crissy Field
in the Presidio on the San Francisco Bay.
Possible Lucas museum site on Concept Design: Los Angeles Renderings Lucas tried to build in San Francis-
Treasure Island in San Francisco. co’s Presidio, which is a national park,
Rendering of the museum just and then on Chicago’s downtown wa-
George Lucas, the creator of one of south of Soldier Field in Chicago. terfront, only to abandon both sites af-
the highest-grossing movie franchis- ter being assailed by local forces. Some
es of all time, has long been vexed by people derided his architecture. Others
popularity: the Star Wars saga is the knocked the artwork.
source of his riches, but also the thing
that, he says, prompts elites to dismiss In Round 3, Lucas is pitting San
his work. It’s also an amplifier for dis- Francisco and Los Angeles against
content when crowds and critics com- each other as potential host sites.
plain that he has no taste.
The parallels between Lucas’s career
Now in retirement, he’s mounted a as a filmmaker and his sideline as a cura-
legacy project that’s grand even by the tor are striking.With his movies, he never
standards of someone who thinks on basked in the critical adoration enjoyed
a galactic scale. He wants to construct by his friends Francis Ford Coppola,
a Lucas museum to house and display Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg.
his art collection – much of it proudly
lowbrow, such as works by the senti- “I don’t really have a lot of awards,”
mentalist Norman Rockwell; original Lucas said in a December 2015 in-
Flash Gordon comic book art; Mad terview with Charlie Rose, sound-
magazine covers; and memorabilia ing glum. “I have an Irving Thalberg
from his own Star Wars films. Award, and I get a lot of little awards.
I’ve got two Emmys. But I’ve never had
Lucas has offered to build his muse- an Academy Award. I’ve been nomi-
um in a major American city for free. nated, but I’ve never won. I’m too pop-
Including construction costs, an en- ular for that.” He pronounced the word
dowment, and the value of the artwork, as a pejorative, as if he’d been wronged.
his organization says the total value of
his gift is $1.5 billion. Lucas has expressed similar bitter-
ness in public about his difficulties in
“It’s an epic act of generosity and altru- getting a city to say yes to his museum.
ism,” says Don Bacigalupi, the museum
effort’s president. “George Lucas, as with He declined to comment for this
any person of great resources and great story, but Bacigalupi defends his em-
success, could choose to do whatever he ployer. “I find it sad that we live in such
wants to do with his resources, and he a society that can’t receive a gift in the
has chosen to give an extraordinary gift way that it’s intended,” he says, “and
to the people of a city and the world.” instead throws up roadblocks and mis-
understandings and sometimes willful
But so far, Lucas hasn’t found a per- misrepresentations to what a museum
manent home for his museum. The can be and what a gift really is.”
monumental project has brought him
almost as much grief as Jar Jar Binks, Crissy Field is a grassy area on San
the prequel creature from the planet Francisco Bay in the Presidio – a for-
Naboo with an oddly Jamaican accent mer army base transformed by the
that some found racially offensive.
Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 12, 2017 35
INSIGHT COVER STORY
government into a national park 23 duct an open competition for the site – embarked on a PR campaign. In an wasn’t important enough. “He’s bit-
years ago. It enjoys one of the city’s fin- it couldn’t just be Lucas’s for the taking. interview with the Chronicle, he said ter and he’s angry,” Bechtle wrote her
est views of the Golden Gate Bridge. he belonged to an esteemed line of colleagues. In February 2014 the trust
“If it’s your land, you can do pretty creators. “As a popular artist, I hit the canceled the competition.
“This is just a fabulous place,” says much what you want,” Bechtle says. same chord with people that Rock-
Nancy Bechtle, an energetic 79-year- “But with public land, there is just a well hit, that Michelangelo hit, that the In Chicago, Emanuel was doing all
old with short brown hair, wearing a higher level of scrutiny.” The trust de- people who painted on caves in France he could to woo Lucas. He convened
gray fleece, black tights, and sneak- veloped design guidelines for the site. hit,” he said. “I relate to art more as an a site selection committee that con-
ers. “You can see why it’s so beloved by The building could be no higher than emotional experience than as an intel- sidered more than 50 locations, and
people in San Francisco.” 45 feet; as for looks, the trust didn’t lectual experience.” in May 2014 they chose a 17-acre plot
want a building that replicated an old- occupied by two parking lots just south
In 2008, President George W. Bush fashioned architectural style. Lucas seemed serene in these inter- of Soldier Field, home to the Chicago
appointed Bechtle to the board of di- views, but he was growing impatient. Bears. It was close to other museums,
rectors of the Presidio Trust, the agency In March 2013 the trust announced Even so, Lucas made the cut when the and to hear the committee tell it, the
that manages the park, and she soon it had received 16 submissions – in- trust narrowed the contestants down Lucas building would have views
became chairwoman. “I lost more cluding Lucas’s proposal for a Lucas to three finalists, and it looked like the comparable to those in the Presidio:
sleep over George Lucas,” Bechtle says, Cultural Arts Museum chronicling the competition was his to lose if only he “Framed by the cityscape on one side
“than I did over my teenage children.” evolution of visual storytelling from would bend. Nevertheless, in Septem- and an awe-inspiring expanse of water
primitive art to Renaissance paint- ber 2013 his impatience boiled over in and shoreline on the other, the Muse-
Lucas has a long history at the Pre- ing to Rockwell to Star Wars. Bechtle an interview with the New York Times. um would be positioned amid the ideal
sidio. In 2005 he constructed the head- thought it sounded rather nice. But He accused the trust of purposely stall- combination of physical and natural
quarters of Lucasfilm on the site of Lucas’s proposal topped out at 69 feet. ing in hopes of killing his museum. beauty.”
an old Army hospital in the park. Five
years later he approached the trust “It was a big, hulking building,” “They hate us,” he said, singling Lucas happily accepted. The same
with an ambitious proposal to build a Bechtle says. It also had a Beaux Arts out Bechtle for making an issue of day, Emanuel held a hastily convened
digital-arts museum on Crissy Field. “I design – not exactly contemporary. his Beaux Arts design. Lucas, who’d news conference in Chicago City Hall.
wanted to build an iconic building like John King, the San Francisco Chroni- recently married Mellody Hobson, a “I just got off the phone with George
the Sydney Opera House or the Eiffel cle’s urban design critic, says, “It was glamorous Chicago mutual fund man- Lucas and Mellody Hobson to thank
Tower or the Bilbao museum,” he told like Lucas just came in and said, ‘I’ve ager, said he was considering taking his them for choosing Chicago, the most
Rose in a 2014 interview at Chicago got this great thing. You should bend museum to his wife’s city, where Mayor American of American cities,” he said.
Ideas Week. “I wanted to get five of the the rules and let me build it, because Rahm Emanuel was eager to have it. A reporter asked what the mayor was
top architects and have a contest and I’m going to pay for it, and I’m George going to do about the Bears fans who
pick the best one.” Lucas.’ That’s how it came off to a lot of Bechtle and the board didn’t want to used the parking area to tailgate.
people.” King also doesn’t think much lose the cultural center. They offered
Bechtle liked the idea of a cultural of the design. “It just looked like a ge- Lucas a site near his company’s old In October 2014 a triumphant Lucas
center on the site. But she and the Pre- neric Spanish-themed shopping cen- headquarters, with a lesser view of the strode onstage in his usual jeans and
sidio Trust board wanted something ter,” he says. bridge. His board members informed plaid shirt to speak to an apprecia-
that would blend in and preserve views Bechtle that Lucas thought the site tive crowd at the Chicago Ideas Week
of the bridge. They also wanted to con- Rather than compromise, Lucas
CONTINUED ON PAGE 36
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INSIGHT BOOK REVIEW
“The two of you look at each other. cephalopods are smart, beauti- pable of scintillating moving displays, but it compares favorably with dogs’.
This one is small, about the size of a ful and possessed with extraor- flashing pulses of color like passing There is an important difference
tennis ball. You reach forward a hand dinary personalities. clouds, forking silver lighting or shim-
and stretch out one finger, and one oc- mering waves from a stone thrown into in how octopuses use their neurons,
topus arm slowly uncoils and comes Cephalopods certainly look a pool. Cuttlefish can play two screens echoing Godfrey-Smith’s earlier quip
out to touch you. The suckers grab alien, so it is hardly surpris- at once on their bodies, sending signals about an alien intelligence. There are
your skin, and the hold is disconcert- ing that science fiction writers to entice a possible mate from one side more neurons in their tentacles than
ingly tight. Having attached the suck- have hijacked their character- and warning off competitors with a in their brains. This gives them exqui-
ers, it tugs your finger, pulling you gen- istics for imaginary aliens. An separate display on the other. site sensitivity, allowing tentacles to
tly in. ... Behind the arm, large round octopus has three hearts that touch, taste and even, to a point, see
eyes watch you the whole time.” pump blue-green blood around The cleft in the tree of life that sepa- and think independently.
its body, using a copper- rather rated the lineages that led to verte-
Encountering an octopus in the than iron-based carrier for oxy- brates and invertebrates happened But how far can cephalopods take
wild, as Peter Godfrey-Smith argues in gen. Its eight tentacles are cov- 600 million years ago. One path, as their mental power? Are they capable
his fascinating book, “Other Minds,” ered in suckers that enable it to Godfrey-Smith explains, led to pro- of conscious thought? Godfrey-Smith
is as close as we will get to meeting an amble, probe and manipulate gressively more complex intelligenc- treks through some rather testing
intelligent alien. The octopus and its with great dexterity. When in es, in the form of fish, reptiles, birds philosophical and psychological ter-
near relatives –squid, cuttlefish and danger or enraged, it can switch and mammals. The other path, while rain to conclude in the negative. While
nautilus –belong to a vast and eclec- to jet propulsion, and if danger producing sophisticated means of cephalopods are capable of excep-
tic group of creatures that lack back- persists it can eject an ink cloud sensing and surviving in a dangerous tional complexity in their signaling,
bones, the invertebrates. Collectively of confusion and darkness. An world, eschewed mental complexity. the machinery of interpretation is too
known as cephalopods (head-footed), octopus has few hard body parts The cephalopods represent an island limited. Humans, perhaps uniquely,
they are related to snails and clams, (beak and eyes only), making its of intelligence in this invertebrate sea. have gained the ability to step outside
sharing with them the unfortunate body infinitely malleable. It can They represent a separate experiment ourselves, to think about our thoughts
characteristic of tasting wonderful. thread itself through a hole not in the evolution of the mind. by means of an unstoppable internal
Don’t read this book, though, if you much larger than the diameter monologue. While cephalopods can
want to continue eating calamari with of its eyeball. Godfrey-Smith is not a scientist but a produce highly patterned signals, they
an untroubled conscience, for living Most cephalopods are active hunt- philosopher. This is, he says, a philos- can’t see their own skins, Godfrey-
ers that seek prey (crabs and other ophy book as well as a scientific one. Smith argues, so he rules out the pos-
mollusks, mostly) in full view of poten- The question with which he wrestles sibility of any internal monologue.
tial predators. Here their soft and tasty is that of consciousness: “Does it feel
bodies are a liability. To counter this like something to be one of the large- And yet . . . could we be missing
vulnerability, evolution has produced brained cephalopods, or are they just something here? While they can’t see
the most expert shape-shifters in the biochemical machines for which all is much of their own kaleidoscopic skins,
animal kingdom. Cephalopods are dark inside?” they can clearly sense inside what
the ultimate color-changers, able to they are doing. Remote cameras on
match their backgrounds in an instant Cephalopod brains are certainly im- the seabed show octopuses crackling
so perfectly that even a keen observer pressive. Anyone who has come face to with color changes, even when there
can lose them. As invisibility cloaks go, face with an octopus will have sensed is no other creature present to observe
theirs are close to perfect. Cephalopod that something special lurks behind them. Godfrey-Smith believes this is
skin is like a pixelated video screen. its cat-like eyes. The Roman writer just a by-product of neural activity,
The top layer contains tens of thou- Claudius Aelianus said of them in the no more than an expressive quirk. But
sands of tiny pockets of three different 3rd century that “mischief and craft maybe it isn’t. Perhaps they are talking
colors that can be opened and closed are plainly seen to be characteristics of to themselves.
at will to display bright reds, yellows, this creature.” Captive octopuses give
browns or other shades, depending on full rein to that mischievous tempera- Interpreting what goes on in other
the palette a particular species has. Be- ment, learning to pop light bulbs with minds is still beyond the capabilities
low them lies a layer of reflective cells jetted water, block the outflow of their of philosophy or science. After reading
that interacts with stacked plates to tanks so they overflow and recognize this book, to paraphrase Byron, you
create iridescence. Underneath them individual people, squirting those they will “love not man the less, but cepha-
is another reflective layer to bounce dislike with water (or perhaps water lopods more.”
back incoming light. jets are an aquatic sign of friendship?).
Cephalopod skin patterns are no With half a billion neurons to play OTHER MINDS: THE OCTOPUS, THE SEA,
mere color-matching trick. They are ca- with, there is space for a lot of com- AND THE DEEP ORIGINS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
plexity. Admittedly, that’s only about
half a percent of humans’ hardware, BY PETER GODFREY-SMITH
Farrar Straus and Giroux. 255 pp. $27.
Review by Callum Roberts, The Washington Post