Weekend Cultural Events Reply

Friday, July 3


Stroll 14th Avenue at the July Gallery Stroll on Friday, July 3rd from 5 to 8 pm to see the new exhibits in the galleries and businesses in the Art District.  Here’s a preview of the new shows:

The Artists Guild Gallery celebrates our great land with a members only Exhibition, Red, White and Blue. The AGG’s new summer hours are Tuesday-Friday 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and the Saturday following the First Friday Stroll from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Pictured: The Flag by Gale Orozco

The Bridge by Barbara Landry. 

The Bridge by Barbara Landry.

Gallery 14 presents During July Gallery 14 presents: TOGETHERNESS: A Partners’ Retrospective.  This expanded showing of artist partners’ work will highlight favorites and debut new ones, while serving as a chance for viewers to see a full spectrum of the varied styles and traditions that make up the body of work of this multi-faceted and talented group.

Eyes Wide Open by Charles Blake.

Eyes Wide Open by Charles Blake.

Main Street Studios is hosting artist Charles Blake for the month of July with paintings portraying a sense of dreamlike darkness.  A departure from his previous works, this series focuses on the nature and the environment.

Saturday, July 4

The City of Vero Beach: The Vero Beach Veterans Parade will begin at 7:00 pm on Friday July 3rd. The Parade will begin at Cardinal and Flamevine on Vero’s Beach and proceed down Ocean Drive to the Sexton Plaza viewing area then up Beachland and return via Cardinal Drive. Parking is free along Ocean and Cardinal Dr.

Vero Beach’s 4th of July Fun and Fireworks will be held at Riverside Park with activities beginning at 6 p.m. The event will include bounce houses, food vendors and arts and crafts vendors.  The fireworks will begin at dusk, around 9 p.m.

The City of Sebastian:  43rd Annual 4th of July Parade and Freedom Festival will be held on Saturday, July 4th,  Enjoy a day filled with Independence Day celebrations including the 4th of July Parade,  live music, food, and fireworks!  The parade starts at 8:30 am at Jackson Street and follows Indian River Drive past Riverview Park. Fireworks will be on the Indian River after dark.

The Vero Beach Elks Lodge, 1350 26th Street, is having a July 4th BBQ on Saturday from 3-7 pm.  Enjoy fried chicken, homemade potato salad, baked beans and rolls.  There will be entertainment by Johnny Nick and a 50/50 raffle. For reservations: 772-562-8450.

GoLine now serving new beachside route Reply

GoLone RibbonCutting


The GoLine Indian River Transit hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning at the park-and-ride area for the launching of the new Beachside Circulator Route. The new route has officially begun serving Vero’s beachside, stopping at various shops, hotels and restaurants. More…

FMPA receives six proposals for management consulting services 1

Consultant to assist FMPA with responses to two Auditor General’s recommendations


FMPA LogoThe Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA), a joint action agency in which Vero Beach is a member, received proposals from six independent management consultants to assist the Agency in responding to two findings of the Florida Auditor General’s operational audit.

The firms who responded to FMPA’s Request for Qualifications included: Baker Tilly, McKinsey & Company, Mercatus Energy Advisors, NERA Economic Consulting, Stonecroft Advisors, and Vista Energy Group.

FMPA’s members have reserved the option to schedule, if needed, an interview with some or all respondents. Interviews will be scheduled on July 30. After that, a ranking will be published and negotiations will commence with the top-ranked firm.

The consultant will provide analysis and recommendations on fuel hedging and the All-Requirements Project contract termination provisions. The selected consultant will present its initial results to FMPA’s Executive Committee on Nov. 19, 2015.

Alcohol compliance checks net three arrests Reply


On June 15th and June 29th, Indian River County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputies conducted an undercover alcohol compliance operation, visiting more than twenty five establishments throughout the county that serve or sell alcohol. Three merchants were found in violation and issued arrest citations. The following individuals were charged with selling alcoholic beverages to a person under 21: More…

One arrested and one wanted in recent Gifford shooting Reply


POWELL,KADARIUSP278983_1Earlier today, detectives with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office arrested wanted subject Renard Paul (21) of Fort Pierce for robbery with a deadly weapon. Since the incident on June 24th, detectives developed enough information to obtain a warrant for Paul and expect further charges in the near future. Kadarius Powell (21) also of Fort Pierce, is wanted for robbery with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. More…

M.A.C.E. bust nets drugs and one arrest Reply


On Thursday afternoon, detectives with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Multi-Agency Criminal Enforcement (M.A.C.E.) Unit along with the Fellsmere Police Department executed a search warrant in the 1000 block of Grant Avenue in Fellsmere. During the search, detectives located and seized three grams of crack cocaine, two Suboxone strips, fourteen Tramadol pills, three Xanax pills, 1 Carisoprodol pill, miscellaneous drug paraphernalia and one hundred and fifty one dollars of drug money. More…

Ray of Hope: Interdependence 1

Everything that is in the heavens, on earth, and under the earth is penetrated with connections, penetrated with relatedness. – Hildegard of Bingen

Slight Uptick in County’s Cost of Living Reply


It costs slightly more to live in Indian River County in 2014 than it did in 2013, according to the latest Cost of Living figures released by The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER).

Among the 281 urban areas participating in the 2014 Cost of Living Index survey, the standard of living cost for a professional ranged from more than twice the national average in Manhattan, NY to almost 19 percent below the national average in Harlingen, TX.  The Cost of Living Index is published quarterly by C2ER – The Council for Community and Economic Research. The data represents average prices submitted by participating local organizations for the first three quarters of 2014.


Ray of Hope: That reservoir of goodness Reply


That reservoir of goodness. If we can find that grace, anything is possible…If we can tap that grace, everything can change…May God continue to shed his Grace on the United States of America. – President Barack Obama, from his eulogy for the Reverend Clementa Pinckney

Vero Beach’s new pension plan fair to employees and taxpayers 12


“Because of changing circumstances, it is sometimes necessary to renegotiate our commitments. In fairness to the city’s employees and to current and future taxpayers, the Vero Beach City Council, by adopting a generous defined contribution pension plan, has done just that.”


As is true with many defined benefit public employee pension plans across the country, Vero Beach’s general employee pension fund has nowhere near enough assets to meet its obligations.

Though the picture is now slightly improved, in 2012 Vero Beach’s general employee pension plan was only 59 percent funded. To close the gap, taxpayers are covering the cost of annual installment payments of some $4 million. These “catch-up payments,” which equal the city’s annual property tax revenue, will continue for another ten years, and are in addition to yearly payments of nearly $700,000 to cover current obligation.

Common in the public sector, but now nearly non-existent in private business, defined benefit pension plans such as Vero Beach’s place the investment risk on the pension provider, in this case the taxpayers of Vero Beach. More…

Weekend Cultural Events Reply

Ongoing Events

Magic Carpet Ride, a family-owned and operated charter bus company based in Vero Beach offers trips to the Coconut Creek Casino in South Florida on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week, or take a Wednesday trip to the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Call 866-562-4424.


The Comedy Zone at Riverside Theatre presents comedians Larry Reeb and Devin Seibold on Friday and Saturday, June 26th & 27th, with shows at 7:30 and 9:30 pm. Enjoy free outdoor concerts with The Smoking Jackets (Rockabilly) on Friday and Uproot Hootenanny (Irish Folk/Bluegrass) on Saturday. For Comedy Zone tickets ($16 & $18) visit RiversideTheatre.com.

Riverside Childrens Theatre presents The Lion King KIDS, performed by children in 2nd and 3rd grades with shows on June 26th & 27th. The beloved Disney classic comes to life on stage in this unique, hour-long telling of the story of Simba and his friends including all the favorite songs and moments from the movie. For tickets ($12 adults, $6 children), visit RiversideTheatre.com.

Weekend - MixedNotesBandMain Street Vero Beach presents Downtown Friday on June 26th with booths along 14th Avenue between 20th and 21st Streets from 6 to 9 pm. Live music will be performed by Mixed Notes playing R&B, Pop, Hip Hop, Oldies, Motown, Jazz, Funk, Caribbean and alternative music. Youth Sailing Foundation is the nonprofit of the month. Look for American Freedom celebrations all along the avenue and enjoy food and refreshments from the vendors. Call 772-643-6782 for more information. Free.


SOLD OUT: The Space Coast Symphony Wind Orchestra, in conjunction with the Space Coast Symphony Chorus, will perform in a free concert scheduled for 2:00 pm on Saturday, June 27th. This concert, America the Beautiful, will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach, 520 Royal Palm Blvd. America the Beautiful will showcase our national heritage,featuring music by John Williams, Richard Rodgers, Lee Greenwood, and marches from John Philip Sousa. Among the many rousing patriotic numbers will be a salute to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Audience members are asked to wear red, white and blue in a show of patriotic solidarity. Tickets are required for the free concert and can be reserved at SpaceCoastSymphony.org or by calling 855-252-7276.

Weekend - 4803750Award winning author Donna Gephart will lead a Free Teen Writers Workshop at the Vero Beach Book Center, 392 21st Street in Vero Beach, on Saturday, June 27th from 1 to 3 pm. She will be leading a creative essay writing workshop focusing on the style and subject of Edward R. Murrow’s “This I Believe” program. This workshop will be followed by an optional Teen Book Club meeting which is held at the Book Center every last Saturday of the month from 3 to 4 pm. Student participants will be encouraged to write about things that really matter to them in a fun and supportive environment. Snacks, water, and a copy of one of Gephart’s books will be provided. Students may register for this free workshop with the Laura Riding Jackson Foundation by e-mailing name, grade, and school to TeenWriters@LRJF.com.

Historians differ on symbolism in Florida flag 1


To art majors, it’s a saltire, a heraldic symbol. To theologians, it’s a St. Andrew’s Cross, named for the Christian apostle who was nailed upon it. To a lot of us, it’s just a big red X. But is that thing criss-crossing Florida’s state flag really a racist symbol of the old Confederacy? Continue Reading…

See also:
Mississippi to propose removal of Confederate emblem from state flag
Alabama state flag: Vestige of Civil War back in the news after Charleston shooting
How other southern states’ flags also evoke the Confederacy

X marks the end 11

florida state flag now

Florida state flag


Well, it’s finally happened – two and two finally makes four in the racial hatred equation. The Confederate flag does represent white supremacy. It is a relic of the painful past and does not belong in today’s America anymore than the Nazi flag represents today’s Germany.

History does tell us what that flag represents (if it is still taught in our schools, history that is). For those who might not remember, the pre-Civil War South was dependent on agriculture in an industrial age and its economy only thrived because it didn’t have to pay people to do the work.

Of course, slaves were not considered people. Even those slave owners who knew it was indefensible, turned a blind eye. The Civil War, or War Between the States, or War of Northern Aggression, whatever you want to call it to defend the morally corrupt practice, was a bold attempt by a courageous president to end slavery.  Even after that war, African-Americans (and I use that term for those who feel those citizens of African heritage are not Americans) lived in Jim Crow-enforced poverty, working for what we today call slave wages.


Chamber to host annual “State of the County” event Reply


The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce will host their annual “State of the County” luncheon on Friday, July 10th. The event will take place at the Executive Courthouse located on 2145 14th Avenue in downtown Vero Beach. The event will begin at Noon.

County Commission Chairman Wesley Davis and County Administrator Joe Baird will provide an overview of the current state of Indian River County.


“Local” newspaper continues poor reporting of power story 1



In addition to failing to report key facts that would help readers better understand the Vero Beach power story, the reporters and editors at the Stuart-based Press Journal continue to give so-called utility activist and Florida Power & Light apologist, Glenn Heran, seemingly unlimited opportunities to continue to twist the truth and mislead the public.

Heran, who initially built public support for handing Vero Electric to FPL by suggesting the City would net some $156.5 million on the sale, has perhaps been wrong more often and by a wider margin than any other player in the power saga.  Quite simply, there will be no proceeds from the sale. In fact, FPL’s latest proposal called for a $26 million surcharge to be assessed the customers of Vero Electric. Yet, the Press Journal’s editorial board continues to support the sale, and its reporters and editors continue to quote Heran, as if he is an expert on municipal utilities.

If Heran has done anything expertly, it has been to use hundreds of thousands of dollars of FPL money to persuade Vero Beach voters to pass referendums and approve sales agreements that, for legal and practical reasons Heran refuses to accept, can never be executed. More…

Faced with budget shortfall, city council considering tax increase 2


Facing a budget shortfall, Councilman Randy Old is ready to talk taxes.

Facing a budget shortfall, Councilman Randy Old is ready to talk taxes.

At the conclusion of a preliminary budget workshop this week, Vero Beach City Manager Jim O’Connor and Finance Director Cindy Lawson were asked to assume a 30 precent increase in the city’s property taxes as they prepare a draft budget for the 2015/2016 fiscal year.  Formal budget workshops begin in July.

Faced with a budget shortfall of $1.5 million in operating expenses and $1.1 million unfunded capital needs, at least a majority of the members of the Vero Beach City Council seem prepared to reverse the city’s recent trend of continuing to cut expenses.

“I think we are at the point where we are going to have to increase taxes, or we are going to have to cut beyond what our citizens want,” said Councilman Randy Old.

In 2006, Vero Beach’s property tax rate was 2.29 mills, which equates to $2.29 per $1,000 in taxable property value.  Since 2006, the council has cut the rate to 2.03, while also deferring maintenance, reducing some services, and most significantly cutting the city’s employee count from 527 to under 400. More…

Vero Beach to seek competitive bids for wholesale power Reply


Even if the city signs a new wholesale power agreement, it will likely continue to operate one of five power generators for up to 18 months.  At some point, though,

Even if the city signs a new wholesale power agreement, it will likely continue to operate one of five power generators for up to 18 months. At some point, though, “Big Blue” is likely to come down.

Following unanimous recommendations from both the Utilities Commission and the Finance Commission, the Vero Beach City Council this week approved a directive to staff to seek competitive bids for wholesale power, including, presumably, from Florida Power & Light.

Since the City of Vero Beach negotiated a 20-year wholesale power supply agreement with the Orlando Utilities Commission in 2008, the price of natural gas has fallen from $13 to $3 and Florida’s power generation capacity now far exceeds demand. In fact, so much has change since the OUC agreed to supply Vero Beach with two-thirds of its electric power that city leaders are now considering paying up to $50 million in liquidated damages to breach the OUC contract. What once was described as a “poison pill” in the OUC contract now appears to be bitter medicine worth taking.

Special utility attorney Schef Wright told the Council he expects eight to ten potential power supplies to submits bids in hopes of selling power to Vero Beach. Wright said the city’s request for proposals should go out by July 3, with all responses back by the end of July. More…

Shores legal bills now close to $500,000 6


A little more than a year ago, the Indian River Shores Town Council approved paying a $10,000 retainer fee to hire attorney Bruce May and the law firm of Holland & Night to represent the Shores in its legal action against the City of Vero Beach.  Since the payment of May’s initial retainer fee, the cost to Shores taxpayers has risen to nearly $500,000.

According to records provided by the Shores Town Clerk’s Office, Holland and Knight billed the Shores $329,406 through April of this year.  The Town has received at least an additional $134,000 in invoices from second law firm, Radey Attorneys, and a public relations consulting firm, Curley & Pynn.

Now that the Town, the County and Vero Beach have concluded what turned out to be six months of unsuccessful mediation, the Shores is taking its case to court.  All indications are that as the case goes to court, the cost to Shores taxpayers will continue to mount.

UPDATE: Early morning shooting leaves one hospitalized Reply


Sheriff Deryl Loarin five years.

Sheriff Deryl Loar

This afternoon, detectives with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant in the 4400 block of 34th Court where multiple firearms and drugs were recovered. Detectives located multiple weapons including a .22 caliber semi automatic handgun and a .380 caliber handgun. Detectives also located and seized more than two hundred grams of marijuana and 16.3 grams of unidentified pills. More…

This Weekend Reply

Ongoing Events

New Summer Camps

This Weekend-Studio MCreate at Studio MA, has added 2 hour etiquette classes for ages 6-8 and 9-12 and five day per week summer camps for ages 6-12. Topics will include The Art of the Table, Navigating the Place Setting, Charming Correspondence, Polished Presence for Girls, and Mighty Manners as well as a variety of art classes. Visit CreateAtStudioMA.com.
The Pelican Island Audubon Society is offering summer camps on weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm through August 10th. North County camps are held at Riverview Park in Sebastian and South County camps are held at the Audubon House on Oslo Road in Vero Beach. Activities and Skills include: Kayaking, Stand Up Paddling, Orienteering, First Aid, Wildlife Identification, Water Safety, Outdoor Cooking and more. Space is limited to 10 children per location. Visit pelicanislandaudubon.org/.

Riverside Theatre announces 2016 lecture series



Riverside Theatre’s Distinguished Lecturer Series announces its 2016 season: January 25, 2016: Eric J. Topol, M.D.
, Director, Scripps Translational Science Institute; February 8, 2016: Ken Burns, Historian and Award-Winning Filmmaker; February 22, 2016: Bret Stephens, Deputy Editor of the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page; and March 14, 2016: Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State (2005-2009). Lecture times are 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.. Cost for the season is $350 for the Stark Mainstage and $200 for the Waxlax simulcast. For more information visit http://www.RiversideLecturerSeries.com or call the Riverside box office at (772) 231-6990. More…

Indian River Chamber seeking award nominations Reply


IRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGOThe deadline is approaching for local businesses to submit their nominations for the Indian River Chamber’s 2015 Industry Appreciation Awards program.  Nominations are due in to the Chamber office by 5pm Friday, July 31.  Nomination forms and the awards criteria are available on the Economic Development page of the Chamber’s website www.indianriverchamber.com, at the Chamber building or from members of the Awards Committee.  Award recipients will be recognized at the Chamber’s annual Industry Appreciation Awards luncheon on September 17. Continue reading…

Early morning shooting leaves one hospitalized Reply



At approximately 4:00 A.M., deputies with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 3400 block of 45th Street in Gifford in reference to calls of shots fired. Deputies learned that Jarvis Hicks (23) of Gifford had been shot. Crime Scene Detectives are currently working to reconstruct the crime scene with 45th Street closed to traffic in both directions at 34th Court. Evidence recovered points to multiple calibers of shell casings with more than ten confirmed gunshots being fired during the incident. More…

IRMC awarded accreditation Reply


indianrivermedicalcenterIndian River Medial Center (IRMC) RECENTLY received official re-accreditation from The Joint Commission.

IRMC underwent a thorough, unannounced on-site survey in March 2015. During the review, a team of Joint Commission surveyors evaluated compliance with hospital standards related to several areas, including emergency management, environment of care, infection prevention, and medication management. Surveyors also conducted on-site observations and interviews.

The Joint Commission recognized IRMC for two best practices that they will evaluate for placement on their “Best Practices” website. This would allow hospitals across the nation to have access to how IRMC handles gastroenterology specimens and our alarm safety program.

This accreditation cycle is effective beginning March 14, 2015. The certificate and cycle are customarily valid for up to 36 months. Accreditation by The Joint Commission is required by both the state of Florida and the federal government for many programs, including Medicare.

Aerial Antics Youth Circus Aug. 6-8. Reply


YouthCircusThe City of Vero Beach Recreation Department will present ‘Totally 80’s Circus’, the 41st Annual Aerial Antics Youth Circus on August 6, 7 and 8. This years’ 80’s theme will combine gymnastics, dance and aerial routines with popular and fun 80’s music! The Aerial Antics campers and Leisure Square gymnastics and performing arts students will work all summer to prepare awesome routines for this spectacular event!

The 41st Annual Aerial Antics Youth Circus will be held at Saint Edward’s School on August 6, 7 and 8. Show time each evening is 7:00 p.m. Tickets will be available beginning June 15th at Leisure Square, the Vero Beach Community Center and Riverside Racquet Complex. Tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for children under 12 and seniors.

For more information please call 567-2144 or 770-3775 or visit the recreation page at http://www.covb.org. Summer camp and gymnastics classes have openings available. Please call Leisure Square at 770-6500 for registration information.