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Published by Vero Beach 32963 Media, 2020-01-30 16:55:16

01/30/2020 ISSUE 05


New program may see schools
compete for students. P10
County unlikely to
kick in on airport. P8
United Against Poverty

‘lifting lives’ at UP Center. P22

For breaking news visit

MY VERO Big surge in kids
seeking mental
BY RAY MCNULTY health assistance

High time for hard look at BY MICHELLE GENZ
Barber Bridge intersection Staff Writer

It’s too easy to say human A stunning increase in the
number of ninth-graders asking
error caused the pair of fatal for urgent help with their men-
tal health – 37 came forward in
crashes that have occurred in just four days last fall – is putting
heavy pressure on a year-old
the past two years at the inter- school program provided by the
Mental Health Association.
section near the west end of
The violence and suicide
Vero’s Barber Bridge. prevention program was pro-
posed by the nonprofit MHA
Nor should it matter that and the Indian River Hospital
District the day after the Valen-
perception is not reality – tine’s Day 2018 school shooting
in Parkland, Florida, and was
that officials say there aren’t put into effect last February.

nearly as many crashes at the Last year’s entire spring se-
mester generated about the
intersection of State Road 60 same number of students seek-
ing counseling – 40 out of 970
and Indian River Boulevard in the program – as in the four
days this past October.
as we might think – because,
when wrecks do happen there,
Sheriff’s captain let
they’re often serious and some- March seminar to discuss project to flush Bethel Creek with seawater. Story, Page 10. PHOTO BY ROSS ROWLINSON off after theft probe
times devastating.
The time has come to take Staff Writer
a hard look at an often-busy
Investigators say a recently
Felony charges filed against tourism directorcrossroads where drivers from concluded, 144-day Internal
the island and mainland con- Affairs probe into theft allega-
tions against a Sheriff’s Office
verge, and see if there’s anything BY LISA ZAHNER Vero Beach IHOP last month, Information charging McNe- captain – who chose to resign
that can be done to improve the Staff Writer the 40-year-old county tour- al, a Vero Beach resident, with in September, rather than
engineering of the intersection, ism director is now facing third-degree felony of battery provide a sworn statement –

the functioning of the traffic Despite assertions by Alli- formal felony charges for the of Vero Beach Police Officer CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

signals, or the contour and con- son McNeal’s attorney that his Dec. 22 incident. Kassandra Ayala, plus third-

dition of the roadway. client was drugged in a local On Jan. 22, State Attorney degree felony resisting arrest

CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 bar before being arrested at a Bruce Colton’s office filed an with violence and a second-

degree misdemeanor charge

Abandoned citrus packing houses poignant reminder of glory days for trespassing.
The charging document filed

by Assistant State Attorney Mi-

BY SAMANTHA ROHLFING BAITA chelle McCarter says McNeal’s
Staff Writer altercation with Ayala – which
police say occurred around 3

Abandoned citrus pack- a.m. on a Sunday morning at

ing houses in and around the IHOP in the 1800 block of

Vero Beach are a poignant U.S. 1 in Vero – happened dur-

reminder of the glory days ing the course of Ayala’s duties

here, when the scent of or- as a police officer, and that Mc-

ange blossoms perfumed Neal knew Ayala was a police

the air in spring and sum- officer when she allegedly tried

CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 PHOTO BY KAILA JONES to hit her in the face, landing a


January 30, 2020 Volume 13, Issue 5 Newsstand Price $1.00 ‘Frostbite Regatta’
sees model boaters
News 1-12 Faith 73 Pets 50 TO ADVERTISE CALL make waves. P18
Arts 33-38 Games 51-53 Real Estate 75-88 772-559-4187
Books 48 Health 55-59 St. Ed’s 49
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Editorial 46 People 13-32 Wine 67 CALL 772-226-7925

© 2020 Vero Beach 32963 Media LLC. All rights reserved.

2 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Tourism director charged custody, scraping her chin, and their his investigation of the case. He added Vaughn’s courtroom on McNeal’s be-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 use of force was deemed appropriate that McNeal has no history of the kind half on Feb. 7.
and within police department policy of behavior alleged by police.
blow on Ayala’s arm instead. because she resisted arrest. McNeal, who has worked as tourism
The Information also says McNeal, However, as of Monday, according director for the Indian River County
Defense Attorney Bobby Guttridge to Vero Beach Police Captain Matt Mo- Chamber of Commerce for the past
whose job is to help attract and wel- told Vero Beach 32963 in December naco, “no complaint has been filed” by nine years, was reportedly suspended
come visitors to Vero Beach, “refused that McNeal had good reason to think McNeal alleging that she was the vic- by the Chamber after her arrest. Calls
to depart” the IHOP after having been that she had been the victim of drink tim of drink spiking. and messages to Chamber President
warned. spiking in a local bar.
Calls and messages to Guttridge Dori Stone were not returned. 
Police were called by an IHOP em- Guttridge said McNeal had been out over two weeks’ time asking for any
ployee because McNeal was causing with friends before the IHOP incident updates on McNeal’s drug test results Kids seek mental health aid
a disturbance inside the restaurant, and that she immediately got tested and inquiring whether a drink-spiking CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
according to the police report. Of- for drugs after posting bond and get- complaint had been filed with some
ficers responding to the call pushed ting out of jail. Guttridge said the test law enforcement jurisdiction other “The problem is much greater than
McNeal to the ground to get her into results were pending, and he would than the Vero Police were not returned. we ever imagined,” said Dr. Nick Cop-
not name the bar as it could hamper Guttridge is set to appear in Judge Dan pola, CEO of the Mental Health Asso-
ciation. “We were patting ourselves on
the back last year. Then we went back
this year, and now that we’ve earned
their trust, we realized last year we
were only scraping the surface.”

So far, the program has been funded
by the Hospital District and $50,000 in

Now, though, as the MHA extends
the program’s reach to more than
2,000 students, the number of cri-
sis interventions Coppola’s team will
oversee seems certain to increase dra-
matically, creating a need for more
funding for additional therapists.

Coppola appears poised to get addi-
tional help from the Hospital District,
after his statistics jarred trustees at
their January meeting.

Trustee Dr. Michael Weiss, who ini-
tially voted against funding the MHA
program, encouraged Coppola to come
forward for more money if necessary.

“Don’t be bashful when it comes to
asking for funding. This is a very im-
portant program,” said Weiss.

Adding to the alarm over children’s
mental health is a recent increase in
pediatric in-patient admissions at
Cleveland Clinic Indian River’s Behav-
ioral Health Center. Those admissions
rose 31 percent between 2017 and
2018, to 418 kids. In 2019, there were
404 admissions, a slight decrease but
still a large number of troubled chil-
dren and teens.

When some Hospital District trust-
ees initially balked at funding a pro-
gram they felt should be paid for by
the school district budget, Coppola
countered that schools are the best
place to reach suffering kids with
mental healthcare, making it a mental
health issue more than a school issue.

In the fall 2019 semester, 54 Indian
River County students were involun-
tarily admitted for in-patient men-
tal health treatment under Florida’s
Baker Act, and 142 were assessed for

In all, 225 students were referred
to the school district’s own mental
health staff, though that number is
“definitely an understatement of stu-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 3


dents served,” according to the Indian in every secondary school, and “be- health specialists, the school system as- Hospital District is making mental
River County schools’ mental health havior intervention specialists” at ev- signs multiple schools to one provider, health a priority. She, Cleveland Clinic
coordinator, Dr. Sharon Packard. ery school, though MHA therapists though the new school district superin- Indian River Hospital president Greg-
say they find students often associate tendent, Dr. David Moore, said at two ory Rosencrance M.D. and others met
Hospital District chairwoman Ma- those roles with meting out discipline townhall meetings this month he wants with local mental health providers last
rybeth Cunningham called the num- or concern for failing grades, and need a therapist in “every school building.” week to outline optimal care for the
bers “staggering.” an outsider – someone other than a community.
school employee – to discuss depres- In 2018, there were 10 psychologists
Indian River County students’ own sion or thoughts of suicide. and two clinical licensed social work- “We challenged them to come up
impressions, taken as a whole, reflect ers for nearly 18,000 students. with a vision of what mental healthcare
more detachment, discouragement and As for psychologists and mental
fear than at most schools nationally. Cunningham made it clear that the CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

In a fall 2018 survey designed by a
national company specializing in re-
search on school climate, some 7,000
students here responded to questions
about social and emotional health as
well as how safe they felt at school.

The answers of middle- and high
school students came in at the sur-
vey’s lowest percentile range of 0 to
19 on three measures – how well they
could persevere through challenges;
how confident they were about ac-
complishing academic goals; and how
well they could empathize with oth-
ers. The percentile numbers mean
that students here were in the bottom
one-fifth of U.S. students in their self-

In the two other measures – whether
students believed they could change
factors affecting their school perfor-
mance, and how well they managed
their emotions, thoughts and behav-
iors – the sixth- through 12th-graders’
assessment still appeared darker than
most kids in the country, though not
as dire, falling within the 20 percent to
39 percentile nationally.

Regarding student’s perception of
safety at school on both a physical
and psychological level, the survey
again put Indian River’s teenagers in
the bottom 20 percent.

Following the survey, an alarmed
school system established the Office
of Mental Health Services, under Pack-
ard’s leadership. This is separate from
the Mental Health Association’s vio-
lence and suicide prevention program.

“The skills that allow students to
achieve academically and in life are
often the same skills that promote
mental wellness,” said Packard. She
said the district’s goal is to have all
faculty and staff receive six hours of
training in youth mental health first
aid, which serves to identify symp-
toms of mental illness and the risk of
harm, and teaches adults how to con-
nect students with professional help.

“When children feel safe, secure
and healthy, they are free to learn,”
said Packard.

In the 2019-20 school year, the
school system got $516,000 in mental
health funding provided by the state
through a post-Parkland law intended
to make schools safer. The money was
used to hire Packard, along with eight
mental health providers and a part-
time social worker.

Packard said there are counselors

4 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Kids seek mental health aid breaking down the Massachusetts’ in 24 hours or within a week if they felt space, while SLC Commercial Realty
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 teams’ boats to spare them the effort they needed it. and Development vice president Mike
and writing notes of support to victims’ Yurocko said the buildings are a little
in Indian River County should be, what families and team members. Of those 37 ninth-graders who last too “specialized,” and thus very costly
already exists and where are the gaps,” fall checked the box for a free mental to retro-fit to a different purpose.
said Cunningham. “When everyone Then four days later, there was an- health screening, 26 asked for contin-
agrees on the gaps, then we can priori- other crash involving past and present Add in the cost of deferred mainte-
tize them and work with funders on a students of Vero Beach High, after an ued help after being assessed.  nance and major repairs; some of the
five-plus year plan for funding.” 18-year-old Vero High senior allegedly packinghouses have languished on
fired shots into a parked car, killing a Citrus packing houses the market for years. Wayne Bibeau
She said she is talking to United former student and leaving a 17-year- CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 with the county property appraiser’s
Way, the Community Foundation and old girl in critical condition with a office said the empty Graves pack-
others on the plan, calling it potential- gunshot wound to the head. Among mer, and more than half the grape- inghouse on Old Dixie at Route 510 in
ly “very exciting.” the car’s occupants was a student at fruits grown on the planet came from Wabasso has been for sale since 2004.
the Freshmen Learning Center. Indian River and St. Lucie counties.
“We’re behind,” said Coppola. “I’m But some packinghouse properties
trying to catch up to get in front of it The first day of school after that Most of these hulking ghosts, with near Vero have been repurposed and
because our goal is to prevent a sui- tragedy, two MHA therapists were at their tumble-down signs and flapping redevelopment is coming to others.
cide, is to prevent a violent outcome Vero Beach High School as part of a sheet metal, are strung out along U.S.
of any kind. We need to get in there crisis response effort. “They’re in dis- 1 and Dixie Highway between Wabas- The Indian River Packers facility on
deeper in hopes that something bad belief. They’re shocked,” Christina so and Oslo Road. Oslo Road is leased by Waste Manage-
doesn’t happen.” Aspromonte, MHA’s clinical manager, ment as a garage for its garbage and
said of students. They are the aftermath of citrus recycling trucks and as the “station”
While the school district has been greening – a wicked, insect-borne for the natural gas it uses to fuel its
spared the horror of a full-scale attack A third therapist, Jared Buchanon, bacterial disease from China that ap- fleet, according to Bibeau.
or other catastrophe, bad things that was at the Freshman Learning Center peared in Florida in 2005 and over the
have happened have caused some leading a session of the MHA’s depres- next decade wiped out 75 percent of “It is a thriving operation,” Bibeau
kids to feel powerless, confused, pro- sion awareness course. orange production and 85 percent of said.
foundly sad or unsafe. grapefruit production in the state, ac-
Divided into three 50-minute ses- cording to the University of California. Further north, on the west side of
Setting aside divorce or separation sions, the course began with an 18-min- U.S. 1 at 45th Street, part of Quality Fruit
of parents, a prime contributor to kids’ ute video of six students with depres- The faded names on the shuttered Packers’ 3.38-acre property has been
distress, according to MHA therapists, sion. Follow-up discussion included packinghouses – Hale Groves, Quality sold to developers and soon will be the
there are also painfully inexplicable having students identify symptoms in Fruit Packers, Graves Brothers – evoke home of the county’s newest Wawa.
events to cope with. In the last school each vignette and discuss ways the stu- the history of Indian River County, but
year alone, a Sebastian River High dents get help to feel better. the properties themselves could be At the same time, Crossover Mission,
School senior collapsed and died on part of its future. a basketball-centric nonprofit that
the basketball court; one Sebastian “Some of these kids feel they can’t be supports and redirects “at-risk youth
River student allegedly shot another in helped,” said Aspromonte, who regu- The packinghouses come with fair- through afterschool programs run by
the head, killing him; and a girl at Char- larly leads the sessions herself. The vi- sized chunks of land and many of the dedicated coaches and mentors,” is
ter High School reportedly took her gnettes and their outcomes show kids buildings are still sound, despite their negotiating with Quality to lease the
own life over a boy at Sebastian River. that “mental health professionals are forlorn looks. former packinghouse on the property
equipped to help them,” she said. for a gymnasium complex, according
Just this month, a horrific crash near Several of the packinghouses are for to Crossover co-founder and executive
a landmark bridge killed a member of a A post-program survey of the stu- sale but commercial real estate agents director Cathy DeSchouwer.
visiting college rowing team and left a dents backs that up: 91 percent felt say they can be a challenge to unload.
dozen others injured. The accident was the program showed them ways to get A foodbank is operating out of a for-
wrenching for rowers at both Indian help. Prior to the course, “a lot of these Billy Moss, with Lambert Commer- mer packinghouse near the airport,
River and Sebastian River High, who kids think no one can help them,” cial Real Estate, said the sprawling according to Yurocko, and produce
used their afternoon practice carefully Aspromonte said. buildings are simply too large – typi- markets occupy portions of others.
cally tens of thousands of square feet
At the same time, students were giv- – for most businesses that are seeking Additional ideas for bringing these
en self-referral forms to get help with- concrete and steel behemoths back to
useful life include transforming them

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 5


into marijuana or hemp grow-houses. packinghouse as an indoor tennis fa- acres still producing fruit, according es in the county has fallen from 40
Several potential buyers have looked cility has been floated, too, but an in- to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to six, according to Indian River Cit-
into that possibility, but nothing has dustry source said, “I don’t think it got and the Indian River Citrus League, rus League Executive Director Doug
materialized to date, according to In- far, because of cost.” which represents growers along Flor- Bournique.
dian River County Community Devel- ida’s east coast between St. Augustine
opment Planning Division data. There are roughly 27,000 acres of and West Palm Beach. Despite those grim statistics, Bour-
abandoned grove land in Indian Riv- nique said the industry is slowly com-
The idea of using an abandoned er County compared to about 15,700 The number of active packinghous-

6 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Citrus packing houses the way it’s supposed to,” at the time of One or more of those changes might If it turns out after the FDOT review
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 the accident. well make the intersection safer. that the intersection itself is, in fact,
properly designed and engineered,
ing back, noting that “60 PhDs and But the death of a young athlete the But don’t be surprised if FDOT re- what other factors can be blamed for
150 techs from the USDA [are] tanta- day after her 20th birthday has hit the views the crash data and determines the recent tragedy?
lizingly close” to figuring out how to community hard, and the Florida De- no improvements are needed.
defeat citrus greening. partment of Transportation is now Vero’s busy winter season could be
conducting a “safety and operational Statistics provided by Currey last week a culprit.
In March, a state-backed partner- audit” of the intersection. indicated there had been only 50 crash-
ship that includes a Japanese cor- es at that intersection over the past 32 Motoring around town and travers-
poration, the Coca-Cola Company According to FDOT, the audit is a months, including 13 in the last eight ing busy intersections is a challenge at
and local growers will begin plant- “bottom-up review of existing active months. That’s slightly more than 1.5 this time of year, when our roads be-
ing 250,000 grapefruit trees on 1,500 and passive traffic safety measures, crashes per month and just 18.5 per year. come crowded with drivers who are
acres in several locations around such as signage, road striping and sig- seniors, teenagers, working folks, sea-
Indian River and St. Lucie counties, naling, traffic volumes and patterns, Those numbers seem startlingly low – sonal residents and out-of-town va-
a $25-million project expected to in- and historical crash data.” even difficult to believe – for people who cationers, all of whom have different
crease the state’s grapefruit crop by travel through the intersection regularly driving habits and many of whom are
15 percent when the trees begin to FDOT officials will analyze the in- and remember seeing police vehicles, not familiar with Vero Beach.
formation they gather to determine if ambulances and crashed cars on many
bear fruit in a few years.  additional safety measures are needed occasions, but they were verified by Phil Busy construction workers and
and present their findings to the coun- Matson, the county’s MPO staff direc- commuters, tourists glancing at their
My Vero ty’s Metropolitan Planning Organiza- tor, using the Florida Signal 4 Analytics GPS devices in search of their hotel
tion on Feb. 12. crash-mapping database endorsed by instead of watching the road, families
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 FDOT and the state’s Department of with back seats full of noisy kids, teen-
In the meantime, there is a public Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. agers with brand-new licenses and
After the Jan. 15 crash that killed outcry for somebody to do something older snowbirds whose reaction times
Holy Cross rower Grace Rett and in- to make the intersection safer. “The numbers on the database cor- have slowed – too often, they’re all on
jured a dozen other people, Vero roborate the numbers you received the road at the same time.
Beach Police Chief David Currey said, Some want FDOT to reduce the from Chief Currey,” Matson said. “We’re
“I don’t believe there’s a problem with speed limit on the boulevard in the area averaging about 18 or so accidents an- It’s probably not mere coincidence
the intersection.” City Manager Mon- approaching the intersection. Others nually at that intersection, maybe 20 in that the two most recent fatal crashes
te Falls said, “Everything was working want a red arrow added to the traffic sig- a bad year.” at west end of the Barber Bridge oc-
nal, thus allowing left turns only under a curred at this time of year, and involved
green arrow and eliminating the risk of (Currey said the crash statistics do two people who were from out of town.
mistakes when gauging oncoming traf- not include minor fender-benders af-
fic. Adding a second southbound left ter which drivers agree to not call the Col. Christopher Hannon, a 58-year-
turn lane is another possibility. police.) old former Air Force pilot from Mel-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 7


bourne Beach, was riding his bicycle Ronald Wolfe of Fort Pierce, told police have concluded he was at fault in the tools, camping equipment and house-
and attempting to make a left turn that Diggins appeared to be “looking fatal crash. hold fixtures, and said items have not
from Indian River Boulevard, across down and not looking at the roadway” been properly accounted for, nor were
the intersection and onto the Barber as he turned toward the bridge. But was the fault entirely his, or does they submitted for issuance of an as-
Bridge, when he was struck and killed the intersection need to be changed in set number and/or assignment.”
by a northbound car on the afternoon But the report doesn’t provide any some significant way to make it safer?
of Feb. 2, 2018. certain answers as to why Diggins, driv- A Jan. 10 letter from Sheriff Deryl Loar
ing a van filled with 11 of his Holy Cross Hopefully, FDOT will provide some informed Bailey that the IA investiga-
After investigating the crash, which rowers, pulled directly into the path of tion found him guilty of “unbecoming
created the worst traffic jam in memory the pickup that, according to multiple answers in February.  conduct” and “neglect of duty,” but was
on the barrier island, for two months, witnesses, had the right-of-way. unable to prove any violations of the law.
police and prosecutors determined Sheriff’s captain let off
that both the cyclist (failure to yield; “That’s the big question: Why?” Cur- CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 If he had been charged with and
illegal left turn) and driver (speeding) rey said last week. “What did he see? convicted of a crime, Bailey, who Loar
were at fault. What was going through his mind? We did not uncover enough evidence to says he “considered a friend,” could
haven’t spoken to him yet.” charge him with a crime. have lost his pension benefits, which
“Had those traffic violations not oc- now are safe.
curred,” Currey said at the time, “this Diggins, who brought the team to According to the IA report, however,
crash would not have happened.” Vero Beach to train, was among those the investigation produced sufficient Bailey, who had spent more than 15
injured in the crash and has been re- evidence to prove that Adam Bailey, years as a deputy, resigned on Sept. 20
Similarly, a preliminary Vero Beach covering at Fort Pierce’s Lawnwood as captain of the Corrections Division – exactly one month after Loar received
police report released last week Regional Medical Center. last summer, violated Sheriff’s Office an anonymous complaint about the
blamed the tragic crash earlier this rules, policies and procedures by pur- captain’s purchases and just before an
month at that same intersection on the He, along with Wolfe and six rowers, chasing more than $1,700 worth of IA investigator sent the case to detec-
Holy Cross women’s crew coach, who was hospitalized after the crash. Rett, household-type items with his agen- tives to determine if a crime had been
was driving the rented passenger van who was riding in the right-front pas- cy-issued credit card. committed.
in which Rett was killed. senger seat in the section of the van
that took the brunt of collision, died at According to the complaint lodged Detectives cleared Bailey of any
The report, in fact, indicates the the scene. against him, “It is alleged that Cap- criminal wrongdoing and returned the
longtime coach, Patrick Diggins, 55, tain Adam Bailey has procured items case to the IA unit in December, when
failed to yield the right-of-way to an The police report stated that Dig- using his assigned credit card and the departed captain again refused to
oncoming northbound pickup truck gins uttered several remarks before then used said items in a manner not be interviewed by investigators.
when he attempted to turn left from being taken to the hospital, including: directly related to the mission of the
the boulevard onto the bridge shortly “Please let me have had a green light. Sheriff’s Office. Bailey could not be reached for com-
before 7:30 a.m. Did I have a green arrow? God, please ment.
let me have had a green arrow.” “It is alleged that he purchased new
It also states that the pickup driver, “His resignation did not impact our
Witnesses say he didn’t, and police

8 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


County unlikely to kick in to keep Elite flying fromVero

BY NICOLE RODRIGUEZ “There has been a tendency for the Department of Transportation in De- 80 percent of the cost for large capital
Staff Writer city to look at county residents as tak- cember that the airport will be reclas- projects, while the city is responsible
ers and not contributors to the city sified from a general aviation airport for 20 percent. With the commercial air-
County Administrator Jason Brown airport,” Brown said. “The city raised to a commercial airport. port designation, the cost split would be
says Indian River County most likely the issue that some of the customers 50/50.
will not fly to the rescue as Vero Beach of Elite are county residents so they Shortly afterward, in early January, the
tries to come up with funds to keep need to help pay for this, but I would city’s Airport Commission voted unani- “The real problem is the state law,”
commercial airline passenger service also say county residents ... support mously to terminate Elite’s lease at the Airport Manager Eric Menger said. “We
at Vero Beach Regional Airport. the airport in its other operations.” airport to preserve the state funding. But need to find a way to just make a small
public sentiment strongly favors retain- change to allow small airports like ours
The funding shortfall cropped up “The other problem I have with the ing passenger service at the airport and to not be so severely impacted by the
when Elite Airways, the airport’s only county putting in county tax dollars is the City Council at its Jan. 21 meeting reduction in grant funding. ”
passenger airline, boarded more than governance,” Brown added. “County voted to renew the airline’s lease.
10,000 passengers for the first time in residents do not get to vote for City City officials have asked state Sen.
2018. That number triggered a reclas- Council, so we have the taxation with- The council is expected to hold a Debbie Mayfield (R-Melbourne) to file
sification of the airport from a general out representation problem.” workshop in the coming months to an amendment to an existing bill this
aviation airport to a commercial air- hash out a strategy aimed at keeping legislative session, which is already un-
port that will go into effect in July. Using county-controlled tourist taxes, Elite in Vero long term. derway, in order to effect the change.
collected from hotel stays, isn’t an option
The reclassification reduces the air- either, Brown said. State law mandates Options the city is considering in- “Senator Mayfield is looking into
port’s eligibility for state grants and those funds must be used for visitor clude reprioritizing airport projects to what she can do to support the air-
could cost the Vero as much as $1 mil- centers, museums, zoos, sports stadi- slow the loss of revenue, lobbying to port,” Mayfield’s Legislative Assistant
lion annually for airport projects in ums, aquariums and beach renourish- change the state law that mandates the Adrienne Cronebaugh said in an email.
the city’s five-year plan, according City ment projects. airport’s reclassification, raising prop-
Manager Monte Falls, but Brown said erty taxes on city residents and seeking A short-term solution would be to
that is the city’s problem. Elite Airways President John Pears- help from the county. delay pricey projects while efforts
all last week suggested implementing to change the law are underway to
Brown said he would recommend landing fees to help make up for the The city’s top priority is pushing for avoid quickly depleting the airport’s
the County Commission refrain from lost grant money, but such fees would a change in the state airport classifica- $3.5-million fund balance. That ma-
taxing county residents to prevent not make much of a dent in the deficit, tion law so that the grant money will neuver could buy the city up to 15
passenger service at the airport from generating only about $45,000 per year. not be lost. months to formulate a permanent fix,
crashing. city officials said.
The city was notified by the Florida When an airport is designated as gen-
eral aviation, the state usually covers “We could delay some capital proj-

Established 18 Years in Indian River County

(772) 562-2288 |
3920 US Hwy 1, Vero Beach FL 32960

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 9


ects that could receive some FDOT Sheriff’s captain let off fire detector, tools, camping equip- criminal prosecution, Loar replied:
funding for a year or a little more than CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 ment and kitchen and bathroom fix- “Hell, no. There was no deal. As soon
a year,” Falls said. tures. as we found out about this, we put
investigation,” Loar said. “Once we re- him on administrative leave.”
“That would give us time to explore ceived the anonymous complaint, we Several of those items remain “un-
some of the options, and the most like- started an administrative review. At accounted for” and are “presumed Loar said he was disappointed by
ly option would be to get that regula- some point, when we thought there lost,” the IA report states, adding that Bailey’s betrayal of trust.
tion changed.” might be a criminal element, we hit “there is no one other than Captain
the brakes and turned it over to our Bailey to take responsibility for” their “It’s a black eye, sure, but I can’t
A last resort could be a property tax detective bureau and let them take a maintenance and care. police every inappropriate decision
hike for city residents, but it would look at it. every employee makes before he
take a 13.8 percent boost in the city’s Other items, such as containers of makes it,” Loar said. “The thing is,
property tax rate to cover the $1 mil- “If we had found any criminal be- motor oil, also could not be found, I like the guy. He was a part of our
lion shortfall, city officials said. havior, we would’ve gotten a warrant but there was no way for investiga- command staff, and I considered
and arrested him,” the sheriff added. tors to determine if they had been him a friend.
“It’s difficult to get legislative change,” “We did bring in the State Attorney’s used in jail-related operations, which
Councilman Joe Graves said. “The only Office to review what we had, but they would have been legal, or taken for “This was the first problem we had
other way is asking 18,000 residents to agreed with our detectives that there personal use. with him,” he added. “I know he was
be taxed to provide a benefit for the was nothing criminal here. going through a divorce, and he has
county and the region and I don’t think However, in a Sept. 16 letter to Un- five kids – not that it’s an excuse – but
anyone wants to be taxed.” “This wasn’t theft.” dersheriff Jim Harpring, Internal Af- I don’t think he’s a bad guy. He just
Still, based on the evidence uncov- fairs Lt. Justin Knott wrote: made an error.”
The popular Maine-based airline ered during the IA investigation, Loar
has offered flights since 2015 from said the captain could not have kept “Interviews of the personnel as- Unlike a criminal conviction, vio-
Vero to Newark, N.J., Portland, Maine, his job. signed to the areas revealed many lations of agency regulations and
and other destinations. Elite has said “I can fire you for misuse of prop- items [purchased by Bailey] have procedures do not jeopardize Bai-
that Vero is its best market, but it erty, and I would’ve fired him,” Loar never been seen.” ley’s retirement benefits, Loar said.
would have to have 200,000 passen- said. “I’m sure he knew I’d fire him, However, the IA report has been sent
gers boarding in Vero to make up for which is probably why he resigned He added that the items “have not to the Florida Department of Law En-
the lost grant money, far more than the when he did. He was a captain over- been located during inspection of the forcement.
11,084 passengers who flew out of Vero seeing 150 employees, and with rank corrections buildings (including out-
on Elite planes in 2018. comes expectations.” lier buildings) where items of similar “Any future employer will have ac-
Among the household items Bai- nature would generally be retained.” cess to that information,” Loar said,
After the City Council vote, the city ley purchased were indoor-outdoor “if Adam tries to get back into law en-
and Elite executed a three-year con- security cameras, a carbon-dioxide/ Last weekend, Loar said “some of forcement.”
tract for the airline to continue operat- the items have since been recovered,”
ing at the airport, but the deal comes but others remain missing and unac- Loar said he plans to promote from
with a 60-day termination clause that counted for. within the Sheriff’s Office to fill the
vacant captain's position in the Cor-
can be invoked by either party.  Asked if Bailey had agreed to quietly
resign in exchange for a promise of no rections Division. 

10 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Seminar to discuss flushing Bethel Creek with seawater

BY NICOLE RODRIGUEZ in Bethel Creek, aimed at determining take initial water samples, but most of prediction everyday – that’s not actual
Staff Writer if the murky inlet can be cleaned by the information about currents, salini- data, it’s based on models and statis-
flushing it with ocean water. ty, water temperature and other condi- tics. Usually the weather predictions
County Commissioner Tim Zorc is tions is being provided by St. Johns Wa- are pretty accurate.”
determined to clean up Bethel Creek. The university last year was awarded ter Management District, the Marine
For years, he has pushed for a project $800,000 by the state legislature for the Resources Council and Harbor Branch Zarillo, Duane DeFreese of the Indi-
that would flush the stagnant creek first phase of the project, which will Oceanographic Institute, which main- an River Lagoon Council, and Dennis
with ocean water. study a site in the Banana River and the tain sensors in the lagoon, according Hanisak, a scientist at Harbor Branch
Bethel Creek – which starts near the Vil- to Gary Zarillo, a professor of ocean- Oceanographic Institute, are slated
Continuing that effort, he will host a lage Market on the barrier island and ography at Florida Tech and one of the to speak at the March event, talking
seminar in March to make the public curves through residential neighbor- principal investigators on the project. about the FIT study and other efforts
more aware of an innovative research hoods to open into the lagoon near the to clean the polluted lagoon.
project now underway in the creek Vero Beach Municipal Marina. The amassed data from all sources
that could lead to the kind of seawater will be plugged into a computer mod- The data-gathering phase of the
flushing he believes would restore the The university did not provide a el in which virtual dye that moves with Bethel Creek study is expected to con-
ecological health of this inlet from the breakdown of how much money would the currents will be introduced to de- clude in June.
Indian River Lagoon. be spent on the Bethel Creek portion of termine if a permanent or temporary
the project, but did say all money will flushing system could provide a cure The conclusions reached by the uni-
At the seminar, experts will explain go to pay a team of scientists and their for the creek’s ecological ills. versity’s team of eight scientists and
a research project that has been un- post-doctoral research associates. biologists will be distributed to the
dertaken by scientists from Florida “The model in the numerical world state, county and public. If it is con-
Institute of Technology. The project in- Scientists began gathering water- mimics the real world to the best of our vincing and more funding is available,
volves a highly sophisticated comput- quality, hydrologic and biological data ability,” Zarillo told Vero Beach 32963. the goal will be to proceed with flush-
er-model study based on data collected in the creek late last year. “It’s like when you get your weather ing the creek, which is a short distance
from the ocean.
A team from FIT visited the creek to

New program may see local schools compete for students

BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ tasked with developing unique pro- The goal is to motivate each school be created to facilitate transporting
Staff Writer grams and curriculum to attract stu- in the district to provide better op- students to schools outside of their
dents from other schools, under a new portunities for students, Moore said. neighborhood. Moore said he will also
Superintendent David Moore wants “schools of choice” program Moore Those opportunities could come in seek to increase the number of choice
Indian River County schools to com- announced last week. the form of niche programs, such as students each school can accept.
pete for students by offering special- specialized math and science class-
ized programs youths will be excited “I’ve asked principals to market es, or arts programs not offered else- Besides creating programs that ex-
about and want to attend, and he has their schools with unique offerings,” where in the district. cite students, new schools of choice
a plan to make that happen. Moore said. “In March we’re going to offerings and expanded transporta-
have a schools of choice fair where The schools of choice fair will be tion could have a secondary benefit,
Principals and teachers at ev- principals and teachers will pitch their an annual event, Moore said. helping the district remedy a lack of
ery school in the district have been schools” to students and parents.
Under his plan, new bus stops will diversity in local schools. 

NEW LOCATION Experience, Education & Maturity Can Make a Difference

Financial Advisor
Raymond James Financial Services, Inc

2756 20th St.
Vero Beach FL 32960

[email protected]

Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC.
Investment advisory services through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 11


Longer term, the hope is that im- Road A1A burst, dumping 3 million Because Vero is midway between between the Vero bridges exchanges
proving water quality in places like gallons of raw sewage into the creek. the Fort Pierce and Sebastian Inlets, very slowly, and the creek was filthy for
Bethel Creek will lead to ecological more than 15 miles from any source months after the sewage spill.
restoration throughout the lagoon. The city instituted water-quality of fresh ocean water, tidal flushing
monitoring and installed aerators to and currents are minimal in this sec- Zorc’s seminar will be held in Coun-
Talks about how to clean up and re- speed up decomposition of the hu- tion of the lagoon during much of the ty Commission Chambers, 1801 27th
store the creek reached fever pitch in man waste, but that action did not ad- year. Dirty water in Bethel Creek and Street Building A, Vero Beach, on March
2017 after a sewage main along State dress the overarching problem.
4 at 9 a.m. 

12 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Vero City Council backs Sen. Mayfield’s rail safety bill

BY GEORGE ANDREASSI ty bill, the council voted unanimously ally want to make it clear that I applaud Indian River Shores Vice Mayor
Staff Writer Jan. 21 to send her a letter supporting the efforts of Sen. Mayfield for putting Bob Auwaerter called out Moss, who
the legislation. forth this rail safety bill,” Graves said. is running against him for County
As Virgin Trains USA develops pas- “I would never compromise the safety Commission in District 5, for her Jan.
senger service that will zip through Vero Councilman Joe Graves and Vice of the citizens in order to get a stop.” 7 comments about the city remaining
Beach at up to 110 mph, the City Council Mayor Laura Moss said their reluctance “neutral” in the county’s legal battle
concluded safety trumps cozying up to to support Mayfield’s bill on Jan. 7 as the Criticism of Graves and Moss for against the passenger rail project.
the company for a possible train station. council sought talks with Virgin Trains downplaying Mayfield’s bill and push-
about a train station was misinterpreted ing for talks with Virgin Trains about “You can’t be neutral when it comes
Two weeks after skipping a chance by the public and rival politicians. putting a train station at Vero Beach to the safety of your citizens,” Auwaerter
to endorse state Sen. Debbie May- Regional Airport continued during the said at the Jan. 21 meeting. “At 110 mph,
field’s high-speed passenger rail safe- “After hearing the comments after Jan. 21 council meeting. a high-speed passenger train will cover
the last city council meeting, I person- a 100-yard football field in 1.9 seconds.
One-thousand-one, one-thousand –
(slaps hands) – you’re dead.”

Auwaerter chastised the council for
declining to endorse Mayfield’s bill Jan.
7 out of fear of alienating VTUSA while
seeking talks about a multi-modal ter-
minal at the airport.

“Apparently some council members
at the last meeting expressed a hope
that by staying silent the chances for a
Vero Beach train station increase,” Au-
waerter said. “How much money are
you willing to hand over to Virgin Trains
to get one?”

Moss rejoined by expressing skep-
ticism about decisions made by the
current County Commission to spend
$3.5 million to fight the passenger rail
project in court.

The Senate Infrastructure and Secu-
rity Committee last week approved the
high-speed passenger rail safety bill.
Next up is the Senate Transportation,
Tourism and Economic Development
Appropriations Committee.

Mayfield’s bill would give FDOT more
authority over passenger rail projects
and operations that aren’t covered by
federal regulation. It would also require
tighter safety controls at railroad cross-
ings, more fencing along train tracks
and new training for public safety work-
ers, among other initiatives.

Virgin Trains USA, previously known
as Brightline and All Aboard Florida,
killed 31 people between January 2018
and December 2019, Federal Railroad
Administration records show. Florida
East Coast Railway freight trains, which
share tracks with Virgin Trains in South
Florida, killed another 22 people in the
past two years. FECR trains travel 40-
to-60 mph.

Several Indian River County residents
spoke in favor of Mayfield’s bill, while
longtime activist Brian Heady advised
the council to scrap the endorsement
and leave train regulation to the federal

Joanne Dorey of Orchid said May-
field’s legislation is needed so the
Florida Department of Transportation
can regulate passenger trains travel-
ing between 80 mph and 125 mph, like

Virgin Trains. 

Anne Wallace and Lisa McClure.


14 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


At glittering ‘Haven’ gala, priceless stories of rebuilt lives

Terry and Babs Lyons. Jermey Gable with Bernadette and Tim Longden. PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
Louise Hubbard and Diana Stark.

Tina Cary, Donna Baker, Connie Bishop and Pat Stelz. PHOTOS: KAILA JONES Lisa Rymer and Sabre Mochachino with Rich and Linda Bradley.

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF Currently, 95 percent of the men at shared a video from Vetson Derisse, a him to create a platform to begin re-
Staff Writer Camp Haven are employed, all of those Camp Haven graduate who now serves building his life.
with children are paying child sup- in the U.S. Army.
The Grand Harbor Clubhouse glit- port, and 100 percent of the men are “I am proof of someone capable of
tered brilliantly last Thursday eve- meeting their financial obligations, ex- “It’s a thrill to see these men go off to change,” said Moshier, who is now a
ning during the annual Diamonds in plained Bradley, adding, “If you don’t start their own businesses and get into successful business owner, working
the Rough Gala fundraiser to benefit pay you don’t stay.” professional careers. We’ve got a para- to give back to a community who gave
Camp Haven. medic, IT professionals, plumbers and him so much.
Board member Gordon Stewart re- electricians,” said Korkus.
An impressive diamond ice sculp- capped progress made in 2019, noting “I’m still a work in progress, but I’m
ture stood sentinel at the entrance that thanks to a generous donation Jermey Gable, Camp Haven assis- grateful that my restoration has pulled
– a testament to the hard work of from the John’s Island Foundation, the tant director, introduced David Moshi- me to be able to help others,” said
the homeless men who have passed men now have access to an outdoor er as this year’s Camp Haven Graduate Moshier. “I will be forever grateful to
through the shelter, as they ‘chisel’ out fitness area to promote both healthy of the Year. Camp Haven, to God and to those re-
a new life for themselves. Camp Haven minds and bodies. Stewart also spoke sources and people who were available
helps them rebuild their lives by pro- of the demolition of a dilapidated struc- “This gentleman came to our fam- and eager to help me change the trajec-
viding temporary housing along with ture on the south side of the property, ily completely broken. Our approach tory of my life.”
employment, psychological and per- which will soon house a new meeting to rebuilding his life was done care-
sonal counseling. space and warming kitchen. fully and gently,” said Gable, noting After enticing guests to battle over
that Moshier has since achieved life- live-auction items, auctioneer Wesley
Guests mingled over cocktails and Announcing MaryAnn Egan as this changing goals. Davis challenged the crowd in a Call
hors d’oeuvres as they perused an im- year’s Diamond Award recipient, event to the Heart to help cover the $26,000
pressive collection of auction items chair Linda Teetz called her a “jewel “Most people need to hit rock bot- they need to continue providing men-
before settling into a delicious dinner and a gem.” tom before they are willing to change. tal health services.
and entertainment by Bobby and the I hit that rock bottom as I found myself
Blisters. “This Diamond Award is really sym- struggling with mental illness and ad- “One of the biggest crises that we
bolic of your very good nature; your diction and eventually became home- see right now is those individuals that
“Since Camp Haven opened in Janu- very soul. We are so thankful for all less,” shared Moshier. need mental health services. We see it
ary 2014, we have helped 201 men,” that you do for the men at Camp Ha- right here in our community. And we
said Chuck Bradley, executive director. ven,” said Teetz. Disconnected from family, friends see it overlooked so frequently,” said
“Seventy percent of those folks have and society, he eventually found him- Davis.
graduated our programs.” After highlighting several success self in jail, before being referred to
stories, Brian Korkus, board chairman, Camp Haven in 2014. There, stability, For more information, visit camphav-
structure and accountability enabled 

16 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 Gordon and Linda Stewart with Chuck Bradley. Rita Lewis, Danny Davis and DeDe Layer.
Susan Del Tufo with Mike and Bernadette Emerick.

Jamie McAndrews, Jeff Thompson and Adam Logemann. Robin and Brian Korkus with June Bercaw.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 17


Dorothy and Wilfred Hart. Dr. Nancy Baker and Sarah Logemann.

Nelson Domacassé and Donald Houpt. Karen Egan and Cathy Gilet. MaryAnne Egan and Opey Angelone. Shotsie Lajoie and Jim Schorner.

Robert and Anna Paugh with Peggy and Jeff Thompson.

Jean Kelly, Bonnie Oliver and Linda Teetz.

18 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Model boat hobbyists make waves at ‘Frostbite Regatta’

BY KERRY FIRTH turns while tacking and tilting back- actually feel like you are in the boat.” Beer. “We race different classes of
Correspondent wards when heeling, just as they would Roughly 40 members of the local boats on different days and invite all
at the helm of a seaworthy ship. racers to join in the fun on Sundays. It’s
The excitement got underway quick- club hail from Vero Beach, Sebastian a great way to spend an afternoon with
ly, as a model sailboat, having lost its “So many of us were avid sailors in and Melbourne, with large contin- friends in a beautiful setting.”
radio transmission, was blown across our younger years, and model sail- gencies from the Moorings and John’s
the pond in the gusty wind. The skip- boat racing gives us the thrill of sailing Island. Because Hobart Park Pond is Asked how he got into the sport,
per hailed the rescue boat captain, without all the work,” explained Bob recognized as one of the best courses nationally ranked Rob Hill said, “We
but even the remote-controlled chas- Beer, Indian River Commodore. “You in Florida, this year’s regatta attracted were living in Atlanta and moved into a
er couldn’t catch the runaway ship, sailors from Stuart, West Palm and townhouse that had a big window.”
which plunged into a dense thicket of Port St. Lucie.
reeds until a manned skiff could motor Wanting to fill that space, he began
to its aid. While the club holds weekly races for looking for an antique model sailboat,
three different models, this regatta was when he saw a YouTube video of men
And that was just one of the unex- limited to the DragonFlite 95, nation- standing by a pond sailing remote-
pected dramas which unfolded during ally the fastest growing and most pop- controlled boats.
the annual Model Sailboat Frostbite ular model. Manufactured in England,
Regatta, hosted recently by the Indian the DragonFlite 95 is 33 inches long, “I had no idea these existed and it
River Model Sailing Club at Hobart weighs only 3 pounds and is very fast. was an epiphany for me. That very
Park Pond. Its responsive handling also makes it a night I ordered a kit and I never looked
perfect entry level racer. back,” said Hill, who now owns 18
The regatta has been a favorite of models.
model sailboat hobbyists for over 20 Racers adhere to self-regulated rules,
years, drawing sailors from around calling their own fouls and completing Members happily offer trial sails and
Florida to compete with fellow enthu- penalty loops if they hit a marker or fel- help with model construction on prac-
siasts in a series of two-minute races low sailor. The average race consists of tice days and Sunday fun days. Show
that test the sailors’ skills and patience. 10 to 12 heats, with the winner of the up at Hobart Park around 1 p.m. and
most heats declared overall winner, someone will likely offer you the con-
Navigators, their feet firmly planted with bragging rights and a trophy. trols. Then it’s up to you to harness the
on the ground, control rudders and wind.
sails via radio; their bodies leaning into “Our club members are out here
at least four afternoons a week,” said For more information visit IRMSC.
org. 

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 19


Bob Beer, Peter Dube and Andy Andreoli. Bob Genader and Augie Canamero. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE
Lee Adamson and George Emmert
Alan Dibble and Curtis Hakes.

Captains’ meeting at the Model Sailboat Frostbite Regatta.

20 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Pancreatic Walk: Taking
steps to ‘beat this disease’

Beth Genya Orr, Gary Carmichael, Benny Ocasio and Eric Schmidt.
Margaret Kennedy and Katie Leonard.

Staff Writer

Riverside Park bloomed with hues Carol and Bob Lincoln. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE
of purple recently during an inau-
gural Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer I have lost five personal friends that
Research Walk to raise funds and were all victims of pancreatic can-
awareness about pancreatic can- cer. I am an anomaly in this whole
cer. Walk organizer Margaret Ken- fight.”
nedy lost her mother and cousin to
pancreatic cancer eight years ago The mission of the Lustgarten
and wanted to do something to help Foundation is to fund scientific and
turn the tide on this devastating clinical research of pancreatic can-
disease. cer in the areas of diagnosis, treat-
ment and prevention, with the ul-
More than 56,000 people will be timate goal of finding a cure. The
diagnosed with pancreatic cancer nonprofit also provides information
this year, and because of late di- and clinical support services to pa-
agnoses and limited treatment op- tients and caregivers.
tions, the survival rate is less than
8 percent. The foundation is the largest pri-
vate funder of pancreatic cancer re-
“People that are diagnosed with search in the world and to date has
pancreatic cancer don’t have much directed $188 million toward re-
time,” said Kennedy. “We need to search in hopes of creating a larger
eradicate this disease or, to be a lit- community of survivors.
tle more realistic, early prevention
is key. We need to kick butt and do One-hundred percent of the pro-
everything we can to beat this dis- ceeds from the walk support re-
ease.” search aimed at early detection,
better treatments and a cure for the
Walkers wore specially designed disease.
T-shirts, carried photos and post-
ers, and wore race bibs penned with For information, visit lustgarten.
the names of friends and loved ones org. 
who have succumbed to pancreatic

Survivors are rare, especially
beyond five years, so Gary Carmi-
chael, a 10-year survivor, stood out
among the crowd of walkers.

“I’m honored to be here to provide
support to the Lustgarten Founda-
tion,” he said. “I survived my pan-
creatic cancer and in those 10 years

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 21


Pat Allex and Brian Mosblech Gary Carmichael and Floy Turner with Cathy Cady.
with Fischer and Maevery Mosblech.

Loraina Leggio with Gigi Robinson and Tara Platt.

Jon Sternberg, Sharon Hubbert, Michele Hubbert and Reed Sternberg.

Jake Miller, Chris Miller, Judi Miller, Sydney Miller, Janis Brown and Maureen Persson.

22 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


United Against Poverty ‘lifting lives’ at new UP Center

Staff Writer

“It’s such an exciting time. We’re on Paul and Jayne Becker with Annabel Robertson and Peter Bijur. PHOTOS CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 Don Drinkard and John Paccione.
the brink of a bright new future,” said
Annabel Robertson, executive director PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE at United Against Poverty because I
of United Against Poverty. “It’s the re- was so truly impressed by the vision of
ality of a dream. This is a monument to evening to thank everyone involved in nors and community partners on two Austin and Ginny Hunt,” said Robert-
the heart and soul of this community, the project, including donors, volun- prior evenings. son. “What they were doing touched
for caring for those in need.” teers and staff. my heart; the organization they were
One section of what was once a citrus creating, their vision for a brighter fu-
Robertson made the remarks Awash with vibrant, uplifting pri- warehouse now houses an enormous ture that you’re standing in today. I was
at the opening of the nonprofit’s mary colors, the facility officially wel- member-share grocery, its brightly inspired to do that through the love of
brand-new UP Center, a remarkable comed the public at a Grand Opening lighted aisles neatly packed with ev- service that my father, who was a phy-
46,000-square-foot facility where Unit- celebration last Saturday, following in- erything you would find in a main- sician, gave to me. So it’s quite person-
ed Against Poverty can now take their vitation-only receptions for major do- stream grocery store, but at drastically ally touching that the medical clinic
holistic approach of helping fami- reduced prices for qualified families. was named in my honor.”
lies lift themselves out of poverty to a
whole new level. Close to $8 million Classrooms, offices, meeting and Board member Don Drinkard refer-
was raised for the venture by private board rooms are located all through- enced the Margaret Mead quote on the
philanthropy alone, without any gov- out the space, to be used for UP’s ed- donor appreciation wall: ‘Never doubt
ernmental funding. ucation, development and training that a small group of thoughtful, com-
programs, crisis stabilization services mitted citizens can change the world;
“The organization was founded by and a business development program. indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’
Austin and Ginny Hunt as Harvest They can also be made available for
Food and Outreach. If it hadn’t been for use by nonprofit community partners, “This building is going to be lifting
their vision, there would be no United several of which will offer on-site ser- lives in this community for decades to
Against Poverty,” said Barbara Lowry, vices. come,” said Drinkard to donors. “You
UP board president, one of several peo- are those citizens.”
ple who addressed the crowd Thursday One of those, Treasure Coast Com-
munity Health, will operate a health Lowry noted that with six large class-
clinic, including behavioral health rooms, they have the physical capacity
counseling. Thanks to an anonymous to increase from 100 to 300 the number
donor, the clinic has been named in of participants in their STEP (Success
Robertson’s honor. Training Employment Program), but
would need to hire additional STEP fa-
“Many of you know that I left a career cilitators and success coaches.
in the law eight years ago to come work
“We met the needs of the commu-
nity by building this space, but now we

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 23


need the community to help support as wonderful as this in my life,” said done perfectly. We’ve had so many need of someone in poverty under one
us so we can increase staffing for our board member Barbara Butts. “The people who have stepped up to the roof, and we’re doing things that have
programs,” said Lowry. “And we will people in this organization are top plate. And so many people are going to never been done. I’m hoping that this
double our capacity in the member notch. They give 175 percent of them- be helped.” model can go national. It’s such an im-
share grocery from 500 to 1,000 people selves on a daily basis. They come in pressive model.”
per day. That’s pretty significant.” early, they stay late, and this building “I was impressed with the holistic
is from the heart. Everything has been approach,” said board member Pam For more information, visit upirc.
“I have never seen an organization Harmon. “We’re serving almost every org. 

24 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 22 Angela Oliver-Burgess with Bonnie and Curt Oliver and Barbara Lowry. Trudie See, Dick Daley and Pam Harmon.
Amy Patterson, Sherry Brown and Sue Post.

Lynn Miller and Lisa Djahed. Eva and Bill Gurley. Nancy and Dick Shoemate. Betty and Dale Jacobs.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 25


Bob and Carmen Stork with Joanne and Trevor Snelson. Kathie and Michael Pierce with Pat Brier. Ed and Deborah Simmons with Gina and Ed Johnson.

Barbara Butts, Mary Ellen McCarthy, Pat Hall and Faye Potts.

Chip and Jennifer Watson with Samantha and Robert Brackett.


We’re clearing our shelves to make
way for new merchandise!


Through February 6
Some Exclusions Apply

3201 Cardinal Drive • Next to Chelsea’s Market
772 213 8069 •

26 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Sebastian Fine Art & Music Festival: Wow about that!

Artist Barbara Umbel with Lisa Grandage and Lisa Barry. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE PHOTOS & STORY CONTINUED ON PAGES 28 & 29
Sherry Krohn, Regina Blair and Debra Blumstein.

BY STEPHANIE LaBAFF The two-day event showcased art-
Staff Writer work from more than 100 juried art-
ists, wowing fest-goers with every-
Winter winds carried in a flurry thing from drawing and photography
of creativity during the 19th annual to painting, textiles and sculpture.
Sebastian Fine Art & Music Festival Artists used drumsticks to paint with,
along the Sebastian waterfront near palm fronds as canvases and medi-
Riverview Park. ums such as clay, wood, and metal to

The Golden Ukes.

create functional pottery and wear- from wind chimes and fish rubbings
able art. to baskets and birdhouses, attendees
headed over to the green space by the
An impressive lineup of artists and lagoon to enjoy lunch while listening
artisans from across the country chat- to music from a variety of groups that
ted with art enthusiasts, discussing played throughout the weekend.
techniques and happily answering
questions. After perusing everything Event organizer Robert Johnson,

Treat Yourself Event
Only on Tuesday, February 11th •12PM to 5PM
Drinks & Appetizers! Bring a Friend!


at Primary Care of the Treasure Coast

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Micro Pen treatments buy 3 get 1 free
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Rose Petal Facial for $100
with complimentary hand paraffin treatment

Hal Brown, MD  Guy Ulrich, MD
Terri Maikranz, Esthetician  Kristi Harp, MA  Maggie Obernier, LPN


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$34,000 $40,000 $15,000

2009 Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow Ed., 15k Mi. 2015 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4, 16k Miles 2004 Ford Mustang Mach 1, 39k Miles

$69,000 $101,000 $49,000

2017 Mercedes-Benz SL550, 22k Miles 2016 Range Rover SVAutobiography, 13k Mi. 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2LT, 5k Mi.

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28 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


PHOTOS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26 Judith Bairstow, Skip Murphy and Toni Hill.
Sharon Matty and Cynthia Mowry.

Sis Stewart. Michele Labrie and M.J. Kalish look at art by Julia Dressler. Curt Thornton.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 29


along with his wife and several other tion of the show. We’re doing some- participating in a professional art City of Sebastian and its environs.”
board members, stepped up to con- thing good for the community,” said show. Proceeds from the festival enable
tinue the event in memory of festi- Johnson.
val founder and longtime director The goal of the nonprofit is to “pro- the distribution of scholarships to Se-
Lisanne Robinson, who lost her bat- In addition to “throwing a cul- mote interest in and appreciation of the bastian schools’ performing and vi-
tle with cancer in June 2018. tural event,” he explained that local arts and to promote cultural enhance- sual arts programs.
emerging artists are also invited to ment and awareness through public
“We’re trying to carry on the tradi- attend so that they can experience exhibition and performance within the For more information, visit sebasti- 

30 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Mystical, magical Children’s Garden opens at McKee

BY KERRY FIRTH of the wonderful interactive play- over a stream to the Waterlily Foun- to take their turn at the helm and
Correspondent ground during a private showing tain and courtyard. Once there they aim cannons at far away targets.
Friday evening, before its official could enjoy the full wonders and
Donors and supporters of the opening on Saturday. splendors of the Children’s Gar- Liza McClure and Ann Wallace
brand-new Children’s Garden at den, with its interactive splash pad, couldn’t resist kicking off their
McKee Botanical Garden set their Minkee, a pirate monkey mascot, where children will cavort among shoes and climbing up the rope
inner souls free as they explored greeted guests under the Monkey dancing water spouts, a Nautilus slide.
the enchanted nooks and crannies Bridge, directing them to follow a Shell Amphitheater and even a pi-
wooden path through the trees and rate ship marooned in the top of a “I think we were supposed to slide
tree. down it,” said McClure with a laugh.
“This is like being a kid again.”
Caterers in pirate costumes of-
fered up platters of cannonballs, Bob Wood was especially proud
peg legs and parrot meat, washed of the pirate ship, claiming it as his
down with a selection of wines. own.
Music emanated from a musical
duo playing saxophone and violin, “It was his idea for sure,” said
and from a steel drum trio further Emanuel Didier, designer of the
back in the bamboo garden. Visitors Children’s Garden. “Mr. Wood chal-
were spellbound as they meandered lenged us to create the ‘fury of the
through the fairy forest, along the storm’ by placing a ship in the tree-
music maze, and into a reading cir- tops, like it was on the crest of a
cle, where blue crab benches were wave. It was brilliant. And the kids
waiting for someone to sit down learn about the trees as they pre-
and read a book from the lending tend to be at sea.”
l ibra r y.
Didier said that the first time he
But it was the pirate ship that cap- visited McKee, “I was blown away by
tured nearly everyone’s attention, its unique sense of place, where the
as guests climbed up the gang plank jungle wrapped itself around history.
I’ve worked on many gardens but this
one is special in its timeless presence.
It was an honor to design the Chil-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 31



Randy and Sandy Rolf with Sally and Dick Brickman and Barbara Acton. PHOTOS: DENISE RITCHIE

Lila Bahin and Margaret Hutchins. Gigi Smithers and Triana Romero.

Eleanor Sexton with Ann Hamner and Connie Wood.

John Kurtz, Ed Wood and Mary Kurtz.

dren’s Garden to capture its essence.” enthusiastic Christine Hobart, execu-
“I’ve always loved McKee and the tive director. “It has been an amazing
journey, and after nearly a decade of
fact that we finally got the Children’s strategic planning and two years of
Garden is the crème de la crème,” said construction, we are so proud to of-
longtime supporter Alma Lee Loy. “We fer our children a special place where
have to build good stewards of our en- they can play and explore while expe-
vironment, and by exposing children riencing nature.”
to such a mystical place surrounded
by nature, it will instill their love of For more information, including
nature and their desire to preserve it.” Children’s Garden weekly activities,
visit 
“It’s a dream come true,” said an

32 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Susan Schuyler Smith, Emmanuel Didier and Christine Hobart.

Alice and Wallace Cole with Sheila Marshall and Karen Meyer.

Gordon and Allie.

Dr. David and Barbara McKenna. Alma Lee Loy with Eddie and Donna Morris.


34 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


Riverside’s ‘39 Steps’: Whodunit delivers frenzied fun

BY PAM HARBAUGH Dan Fenaughty and
Correspondent Jessica Mosher.

Gags so gloriously over the top that PHOTOS BY ANGEL UDELHOVEN
groans are welcomed relief, brisk tim-
ing so tight it crunches under your feet
like a stroll in autumn, four actors so
charged with comic energy and vaude-
villian delight in dozens of roles that
you’re exhausted by intermission … all
that can mean only one thing: “The 39
Steps,” and it is produced to perfection
at Riverside Theatre.

The play, adapted in 2005 by Patrick
Barlow from John Buchanan’s 1915
novel and a previous play by Simon
Corble and Nobby Dimon, “The 39
Steps” makes theatrical high-camp fun
of the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film of the
same name. Throughout, references
are made to numerous Hitchcock films.

Set in pre-war Great Britain, the
plot follows dapper Richard Han-
nay, who goes to the theater and ac-
cidentally becomes embroiled in a
plot concerning German spies. He es-
capes capture and heads to Scotland
to solve a murder mystery, for which
he is the main suspect.

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 35


The theatrical “conceit” here is that And it’s all done with such alacrity
a few items (and people) have mul- by the professional cast that you barely
tiple uses. Trunks get pulled on and off have time to breathe.
stage. Doors and windows are moved
about as characters go through them. Dan Fenaughty takes on the Hannay
Streetlamps get dragged on from off- role, which is like a two-hour aerobics
stage and used in the silliest of manners. marathon. He crawls through win-
dows, jumps on moving trains, runs
One man creates a conversation be- away from the coppers, yet still has
tween two people by facing left and time to woo a woman.
wearing a policeman’s hat; and then
he pivots, facing right with a newsboy’s The plotline also involved a mysteri-
hat. Voila, a conversation between two. ous woman with a schtrong Cherman
One man speaks into a cup while an- ackzent, a wee Scottish lass and a do-
other is on the phone; what you hear gooder named Pamela, who has no idea
is the muffled voice coming from the how sexy she is. They are all played by
phone. Et cetera, et cetera … Jessica Mosher, who is especially funny




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Dan Fenaughty and
Jessica Mosher.


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36 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


in her vampish portrayal of the Ger- to whom he brings a syrupy, villainous
man spy, Annabella Schmidt. Sydney Greenstreet essence.

Rounding out the other 100-plus Director Trey Compton uses all his
roles are two actors called “The skills, including those of choreography
Clowns.” Played by Bruce Warren and and fight director, to fit all the puzzle
Seth Andrew Bridges, these two knit up pieces together. He has forged a bril-
the action. liant bit on the train, where his actors,
sitting on a couple of wooden trunks,
They become a vaudeville act, trav- bump along then swing this way and
eling salesmen, policemen, newsboys, that as the train stops, then squeeze by
spies, Scottish innkeepers and so many each other, “Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry …”
more. Bridges is a hoot as the mysteri-
ous wife of Prof. Jordan. And Warren As is the convention with this play,
has such great fun that he steals the coattails flap in the wind as the charac-
show in his many brilliant bits, espe- ters crawl along the top of the train …
cially those of a “bosomy” innkeeper; or when a door opens onto the Scottish
and the head of a Germany spy ring, moors. Actors bump up and down in a

Bruce Warren, Seth Andrew
Bridges, and Dan Fenaughty

on the floor.

car as it travels a country road. Shadow Seth Andrew
puppetry, by design naively wrought, Bridges.
suggests a number of scenes, most
vividly crop dusters bearing down on
Hannay (a la “North by Northwest”).

However, for a comedy, this produc-
tion does run a tad bit too long. The first
act is so fast and filled with such fury of
action, that you are exhausted by inter-
mission. The second act slows down
considerably. Compton could murder
a couple of lily-gilding darlings, like
the frequent furtive moments between
Hannay and Pamela, and speed up the
final act.

Big kudos here to the design team
as well. Scenic designer Emily Luongo
has created such a delightful play-

Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™ Dan Fenaughty, Bruse WaVrreerno Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 37

and Seth Andrew Bridges.


Jessica Mosher and thon meets Hitchcock. The TV comedy
Dan Fenaughty. troupe Monty Python was founded by
Terry Jones, who died the night that
Riverside opened this production.
And, indeed, you can certainly see that
wonderful madcap British influence
in this play.

It is whodunit fun from start to finish.

“The 39 Steps” runs through Feb. 9
at Riverside Theatre, 3250 Riverside
Dr., Vero Beach. Tickets are $65. Call
772-231-6990 or visit RiversideThe- 



ground for these actors, and for the only reflect the period, but they are also LIVE
audience. Luongo turns the black box highly functional in the lightning fast
Waxlax Stage into a deserted prosce- costume changes. JENNIFER HIGDON Dance Card February 18, 2020
nium theater. 7:30 p.m.
Craig Beyrooti’s sound design and
Ropes, sandbags and ladders line Sarah Jean Elliott’s lighting design are STRAVINSKY Pulcinella: Suite Community Church
audience walls, and a collection of old both key to moving the plot. Indeed,
props line stage walls. A ghost light sits the lighting and sound designs for the BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto of Vero Beach
in the center of the stage. An actual pro- Broadway production both won the Elena Urioste, violin 772-460-0851
scenium arch has been built complete show’s only 2008 Tony Awards. And
with traveling curtain. both designs at Riverside are excellent
and polished. You can’t get better.
It’s not surprising to read in the pro-
gram that Luongo has designed for Big kudos to stage manager Kyle
Riverside’s children’s programming. Atkins and his crew. The timing here
Typically, design for children’s theater is so exacting, so crisp that any slip
must be filled with uninhibited cre- would embarrass. There are no slip-
ativity and playfulness. She certainly ups. The cues, like the acting, are ex-
has brought those two ingredients to quisitely performed.
this production.
There’s a poignant timing with the
Jen Dasher’s costume design is ex- opening of this production. The play
ceptional as well. The costumes not is frequently described as a Monty Py-

38 Vero Beach 32963 / January 30, 2020 Your Vero Beach Newsweekly ™


COMING UP! ‘Finest Hours’ talk will be time well spent

BY PAM HARBAUGH this Friday, Jan. 31, and 2 p.m. Saturday
Correspondent and Sunday, Feb. 1 and 2. Tickets are $15
general and $5 students 18 years and
Good heavens! There are just not younger. The Vero Beach Theatre Guild
enough days in the week to do even is at 2020 San Juan Ave., Vero Beach. Call
half of what’s coming up. 772-562-8300 or visit VeroBeachTheatre-

1 Although this is not an actual 3 Would-be actors sitting on the side-
movie screening, it should be lines, pay attention:TheVero Beach

fascinating. It’s a talk by Michael Tou-

gias, author of “The Finest Hours,” 1 Michael Tougias, Tuesday at Theatre Guild will also offer “Musical Au-
North Indian River Library.
which was turned into a Disney film ditioning 101” taught by theater profes-

in 2016 starring Chris Pine and Casey sional Michael Naffziger. Beginners are

Affleck. Tougias will speak about welcomed. It is scheduled for 10 a.m. to

how the disaster movie was made. 589-1355 or visit 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. $50. Deadline to

And by the way, of particular interest register is Feb. 5. Call 772-562-8300 or

is the fact that the hero in the story 2 The Vero Beach Theatre Guild has visit
something unusual and of a liter-
was Bernie Webber who lives in Mel- 3 Michael Naffziger at Vero Beach
Theatre Guild Feb. 8.
bourne. The talk begins 2 p.m. Tues- ary nature: a staged reading of Arthur 4 The wonderful singer Joan Os-
borne comes to the Emerson Cen-
day, Feb. 4 at the North Indian River Miller’s acclaimed drama “A View from

Library, 1001 Sebastian Blvd., Sebas- the Bridge.” First, a disclaimer, yours truly ter next week. Osborne became widely

tian. Also, the Friends of the Library directed this. An artful hybrid between a known for her recording “One of Us,” 5 Four Shillings Short will perform
their Celtic/folk/world music at
will present the 1970 movie “Lovers production and a play reading, a “staged that asks, “What if God were one of us …

and Other Strangers,” 1:30 p.m. Feb. reading” has actors holding scripts and just a stranger on a bus.” The concert is “Around the World in 30 Instruments”

6 at the North Indian River Library. moving about in character to tell the presented by LIVE! From Vero Beach. It concert 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5 at the

The screening includes refreshments story. “A View from the Bridge” is part of begins 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6 at the Em- North Indian River County Library. This

and a short movie trivia contest with the Theatre Guild’s Apron Series “A Sea- erson Center, 1590 27th Ave.,Vero Beach. is a free family concert. The library is at

prizes. Free. The library is at 1001 son with Arthur Miller.” The staged read- Tickets are $30 to $95. Call 800-595-4849 1001 Sebastian Blvd., Sebastian, Fla. Call

Sebastian Blvd., Sebastian. Call 772- ing has three performances, 7:30 p.m. or visit 772-589-1355 or visit 

HEAR IT LIVE...AT BRUNCH MusicWorks and Paris Productions


Atlantic Classical Orchestra. JOAN OSBORNE––– SINGER/SONGWRITER –––
At Blue Star Brasserie

Sunday, February 9, Noon

Sunday, March 8, Noon
The Emerson Center · 1590 27th Avenue, Vero Beach
Sunday, April 19, Noon Doors Open at 6 pm, Seating at 6:30 pm

Reservations required. Seating is limited. Tickets: (800) 595-4849

For tickets, please contact the ACO Box Office at 772.460.0851 PRESENTING SPONSORS: Cindy O’Dare & Fenia Hiaasen
Or purchase online at
SHOW SPONSORS: The Audiohouse · Joe and Denise Corr · Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown
Ocean Grill · Catherine Sullivan

NON-PROFIT PARTNER: Cultural Council of Indian River County

Click to View FlipBook Version