Appeals court affirms code enforcement board’s ruling in Carroll case Reply

City’s next step may be to clarify the authority of the Code Enforcement Board

NEWS ANALYSIS

MARK SCHUMANN

“Affirmed.”

In testimony before the Code Enforcement Board John Carroll admitted renting his property at 530 Camelia Lane to tenants for stays of less than 30 days. The Board ruled the code prohibiting such short-term rental is to vague to be enforced.

In testimony before the Code Enforcement Board John Carroll admitted renting his property at 530 Camelia Lane to tenants for stays of less than 30 days. In fact, the property has been advertised for one-night stays. The Board ruled the code prohibiting such short-term rental is too vague to be enforced.

In a one-word decision rendered last Friday, a three-judge panel let stand the Vero Beach Code Enforcement Board’s August, 2013 ruling that former city councilwoman Tracy Carroll and her husband, John, did not violate the City’s code prohibiting short-term rentals.

Concluding the code is “vague,” the Board, in a 3-2 decision, ruled there could not have been a violation.  In appealing the Board’s decision, the City’s attorney, Susan Trevarthen, argued the code is constitution and that it is not within the scope of the Code Enforcement Board’s authority to set aside existing code or staff’s interpretation of that code.

The 19th Circuit Court of Appeal’s one-word ruling gives little, if any, direction on the three-judge panel’s thinking on the specific issues in the case. Trevarthen is scheduled to address the City Council next Tuesday to explain what options the City may have. More…

Obituaries: October 1, 2014 4

coleCOLE COPPOLA, 16, born Sept 25, 1998, passed away in the early morning hours of Sept 28th after a tragic accident in Vero Beach. Cole was the beloved son of Dr. Nicholas and Elaine Coppola and brother to sisters Melanie and Mary. He is survived by his grandparents, Pat and Mary Lou Ciambriello; his uncles, Dr. Christopher Coppola, Bob Sordelet, Tino Ciambriello and a multitude of loving family members.

He was a true friend to hundreds of fellow classmates and faculty at John Carroll High School and the fellowship at St. Helen’s Catholic Church in Vero Beach and Saint Anastasia in Fort Pierce where he was an Altar Server. More…

Power sale turned upside down 4

Seemingly desperate to complete the sale of Vero Electric to FPL, pro-sale utility activists, along with a few city council candidates, argue for appealing to the governor, lobbying the legislature, and taking the FMPA  to court - all to force the setting aside of Vero Beach's contractual obligations to its fellow FMPA members and the joint action agency's bond holders.

Seemingly desperate to complete the sale of Vero Electric to FPL, pro-sale utility activists, along with a few city council candidates, argue for appealing to the governor, lobbying the legislature, and taking the FMPA to court – all to force the setting aside of Vero Beach’s contractual obligations to its fellow FMPA members and the joint action agency’s bond holders.

COMMENTARY

MARK SCHUMANN

Under the weight of Vero Beach’s contractual obligations, the walls have fallen in the house of cards that was Florida Power & Light’s attempt to acquire Vero Electric.

The central pillar supporting the sale crumbled when Orlando Utilities Commission leaders concluded the deal would put in jeopardy their existing bond covenants. Without the OUC to assume Vero Beach’s position in three Florida Municipal Power Agency projects , there is no deal, because there is no other buyer willing and able to assume Vero Beach’s place in the FMPA power projects. More…

FPL’s outside influence divisive, even poisonous 8

COMMENTARY

Editor’s note: The following commentary, first published June 7, is even more relevant today, given Councilwoman Pilar Turner’s assertion that the Florida Municipal Power Agency is “dividing” the community.  

I spoke with someone yesterday about Turner’s campaign website who observed there are two sides to every story.  In truth, there are sometimes more than two sides to a story, and the one you need to be most concerned about is the side that is not being told.  

It seems to me Turner, her former colleague on the city council, Tracy Carroll, Craig Fletcher, Bob Solari, Glenn Heran, Charlie Wilson and their friends at Florida Power & Light are the ones who are driving a wedge through the heart of the community.  Some want more political power, some want more customers, some want to “liberate” valuable waterfront property for developers, some desperately need to be right, but every one of them wants something.  More…

McKee Botanical Garden to host chef series Sundays in October Reply

NEWS RELEASE

McKee Botanical Garden will host a series of three culinary classes on Sunday afternoons in October, each featuring a different local chef and cuisine.

McKee’s chef series will begin on October 12 with an ‘Introduction to Indian Vegetarian Cooking’ taught by home chef and caterer Urvi Upadhyay. Held initially on August 17, the class was an immediate sell out and due to its popularity a second date has been added for October. Attendees will learn about the essential spices used in Indian cooking, observe a cooking demonstration and sample a variety of classic Indian vegetarian dishes. Class will begin at 2:00 pm. Cost to attend is $55 for McKee members and $60 for non-members. MORE…

Chamber offers leadership program Reply

NEWS RELEASE

IRCOUNTY CHAMBER LOGOLeadership Indian River County is a community leadership program offered by the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce starting in January 2015. The 7-session training program will bring together a cross-section of the community, representing our social, economic and geographic diverse population for a hands-on, multi-disciplinary study of our community. Participants will gain an introduction to the infrastructure, natural resources and current political issues of Indian River County and an understanding of what constitutes leadership. More…

O’Bryan hosting candidate forum Oct. 6 at Highlands Community Center Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Indian River County Commission Chairman Peter O'Bryan

Indian River County Commission Chairman Peter O’Bryan

Indian River County Commission Chairman Peter O’Bryan announced that as part of his monthly community outreach in South County, he will be hosting a Candidate Forum on Monday October 6th starting at 5:30 PM.  The forum will be held at the Vero Highlands Community Center, 625 Highland Drive SW.  O’Bryan invited candidates for State Sen. District 32, State House District 54, Indian River County Commission District 2, and Indian River Mosquito Control District Seat 2.  In addition, Bill Monroe and Sheriff Loar have been invited to present opposing opinions on Amendment 2, Medical Marijuana.

 The forum is free and open to all candidates for the listed races, as well as free and open to the general public.

Former Press Journal columnist starting weekly newsletter 3

Lemmon Lines

MARK SCHUMANN

Russ Lemmon

Russ Lemmon

Former Press Journal opinion columnists, Russ Lemmon, is starting his own weekly newsletter.  Announcing the launch of Lemmon Lines, Lemmon wrote, “The newspaper business wasn’t for me anymore.  It has changed too much.  The focus is on digital, not print.”

Lemmon explained that in the next couple of weeks he will be selling advertising for his new weekly newsletter, which he hopes will grow to eight pages by the end of the year.  Lemmon promises Lemmon Lines will be, “a fund read with lots of interesting tidbits.”

 See: Lemmon Lines

Turner’s campaign website mixes fact, fiction and speculation 3

COMMENTARY

“That Turner can support the Shores and the County in their assault on Vero Beach raises serious concerns about her willingness to protect the interests of the taxpayers of Vero Beach.”

MARK SCHUMANN

Pilar Turner

Pilar Turner

Not only does the website for Vero Beach City Councilwoman, Pilar Turner, lack the proper, legally required political advertising disclaimer, it mixes, even confuses fact, fiction and speculation.

The Lagoon

Sounding much like former Vice President Al Gore, who famously claimed to have invented/initiated the internet, Turner now claims to have been “the first in the County to raise awareness of the serious deterioration of our Indian River Lagoon.”

The Electric Sale

Addressing the stalled sale of Vero Electric, Turner wrote,”There has been much mis-information bantered. Here are facts: Although the voters clearly gave the City Council the directive to sell the electric utility, we have been unable to conclude the sale. The Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) is the issue.” More…

Wilson’s broken 2009 campaign promise: City will net $90 million from electric sale, he said 2

MARK SCHUMANN

In 2009, then candidate Charlie Wilson promised Vero Beach voters the sale of their electric utility would lead to a 30 percent reduction in rates, while netting the city $90 million in cash to invest.  The investment proceeds, Wilson promised, would offset the annual $5.5 million transfer from the electric utility to the general fund. More…

Ray of Hope: Saving up beauty Reply

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.  — Lauren DeStefano

Lament for a son Reply

 

“We strain to hear.  But instead of hearing an answer we catch sight of God himself scraped and torn.  Through our tears we see the tears of God.”

“Faith is a footbridge that you don’t know will hold you over the chasm until you’re forced to walk out onto it.”

- Nicholas Wolterstorff – Lament for a Son

Lament for a Son

MARK SCHUMANN

Early Saturday morning, Cole Coppola, 16, was killed while bicycling with friends across the Alma Lee Loy Bridge. According to police reports, Cole was hit by a car driven by Jamie Nicole Williams, 21, also of Vero Beach. Williams was arrested and charged with felony DUI manslaughter, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Cole, the son of Dr. Nicholas Coppola, attended John Carroll High School, where he played football and lacrosse.

Since learning of Cole’s death, all I have been able to think about is the deep, unspeakable loss and suffering of his family and friends, as well as the tragic turn in the life of a young woman, who must now face the consequences of what she has done. More…

Educational reform and accountability: What is best for ALL children? 2

GUEST COMMENTARY

CLAUDIA JIMENEZ

Editor’s Note: Claudia Jimenez is a member of the Indian River County School Board and co-chair of Connected4Kinds.

Claudia Jimenez

Claudia Jimenez

In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court determined that the voucher program then in place, the Opportunity Scholarship Program was, “… fostering plural, nonuniform systems of education in direct violation of the constitutional mandate for a uniform system of free public schools” and was therefore unconstitutional (Bush v. Holmes, 919 So. 2d 392 – Florida Supreme Court 2006).

Since then, the debate over public education has become divisive with opposing camps supporting ‘choice’ (virtual, charter or vouchers for private, including religious schools) or traditional public schools. Well-meaning, caring individuals are found on both sides of this issue. More…

The guns of September 2

It is more than a little ironic that exactly 100 years after the great power of Europe blundered into a long, bloody and expensive conflict, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores and Indian River County are on the verge of firing the first shots in what some fear will be a multi-year, multi-million dollar legal battle that could make its way to the Florida Supreme Court.

Ironically, 100 years after the great powers of Europe blundered into a long, bloody and expensive conflict, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores and Indian River County are now on the verge of firing the first shots in what some fear will be a multi-year, multi-million dollar legal battle that could make its way to the Florida Supreme Court.

COMMENTARY

MARK SCHUMANN

When representatives from the Town of Indian River Shores and the City of Vero Beach adjourned their mediation session today, the two neighboring municipal governments were left at impasse. All indications are Shores special counsel, Bruce May, and his clients are ready, perhaps even eager, to take their case to court. More…

Howle pictured taking notes from Heran, Faherty Reply

Stephen Faherty and Glenn Heran

Stephen Faherty and Glenn Heran

Harry Howle III

Harry Howle III

Blogger, Bea Gardner, posted a picture yesterday of Vero Beach city council candidate Harry Howle III meeting with utility activists and county residents Glenn Heran and Stephen Faherty.

In the picture, which was taken by VeroNews.com photography, Keith Carson, Howle appears to be taking careful notes from the two utility activists who first built support for the sale by assuring the public the sale would net the City some $156,500,000.

Though it is now clear the sale will cost the City and the customers of Vero Electric no less than $26,000,000, if it can be concluded at all, Heran and Faherty, along with Howle and his fellow candidates, Pilar Turner and Charlie Wilson, continue to insist completing the sale to Florida Power & Light will be their top priority. More…

Obituaries: September 25, 2014 Reply

MARK PRANGE passed away on September 24, 2014 at Indian River Memorial Center, Vero Beach. 

Mark is a lifelong resident of Vero Beach. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA. He had also attended Indian River State College where he earned a Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Science Degree.

Survivors include his mother, Peggy Prange of Orlando, FL; sisters, Kim White of Warner Robins, GA, Kay Monroe of Orlando, FL, Kris Altman of Port St. Lucie, FL, Lynn Hutchinson of Sturbridge, MA; nieces, Cheryl Fan, Tamara Monroe, Kirstie Altman, Brittany Altman; and nephew, Davin Monroe. 

He was predeceased by his father, Edwin Prange. 
The family will receive friends at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 27, 2014 with a service following at 11 a.m. at Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home. 9/25/14)

Recent Obituaries…