For the fifth consecutive election since 2005, Andrea Coy won re-election to the Sebastian City Council. Not even taking time to savior her victory, Coy was hard at work immediately following the certification of the election results to ensure the success of the Sebastian Clambake scheduled for Nov. 9 and 10 at the Sebastian Riverview Park.
In responding to what Coy felt were the top priorities for her new term, she said that the “first priority had to be the hiring of a new City Manager to replace Al Minner who is leaving to accept a job in Leesburg.”
Coy wants to find a city manager who shares her commitment “to making improvements to the City of Sebastian.” It is her belief that staffing levels have been cut over the years so that additional reductions in personnel would make it difficult to fulfill the needs of the city residents. Even if it takes months to find the appropriate candidate, Coy wants to ensure that the next city manager will be someone who is an innovative thinker and who will work to meet the needs of the residents.
Coy’s second priority is to work day and night if necessary with federal, state, county and local civic leaders to improve the quality of the Indian River Lagoon. With emphatic sternness, she said “I will take my case to lobby whoever is necessary to protect our lagoon.”
Priority number three for Coy is one which is asked about most often by city residents and that is the ditches and swales need to be brought up to speed in order to save money. The contractor who had been hired to address this problem had been terminated and a new contractor will soon take over the project. It is Coy’s intention to “make sure that the contractor meets all the contract specifications in a cost-effective and timely fashion.”
City Clerk Sally Maio stated, “The new council will be sworn in on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 and there is a six page agenda for the first business meeting of the new City Council.” Joining in the swearing will be Bob McPartlan, and Richard Gillmor. Bob McPartlan easily won re-election and former City Councilman Richard Gillmor won a close contest over Don Wright who has declined to challenge the election results.
When asked what she attributed her renewed vote of confidence that she continues to get from the voters, Coy stated, “They know that I am fighting each and every day to make Sebastian a better place to live.”
As a retired U. S. Army Master Sergeant, Coy has worked with seven non-profits and gotten to know large groups of voters with differing priorities. The voters in return know that she works tirelessly on their behalf.
Coy through her long public service career in elected office has accomplished many things. However, the one accomplishment of which she is most proud of is the Senior Activity Center of Sebastian. This facility provides social recreational opportunities to more than 200 people. The cost to the City of Sebastian is essentially only to cover the costs of the utility services for the non-profit organization that charges no membership fees. The center became a reality by “working closely with the business community that provided funding, offered discounts and made donations of needed items to create a safe and secure environment for seniors to enjoy the company of their peers.”
In responding to her personal career goal, Andrea said she “never wanted to be one of those people whose heads get too big for their hats.” As someone with a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Education, Andrea is fully prepared to educate politicians at the federal, state, county and local level about why it is so important to protect the Lagoon. Thus, she is ready to once again roll up her sleeves and work tirelessly to meet the needs of the voters.
9/11 observances in Sebastian today
Riverview Park, Sebastian – Speaker, retired Col. Bill Prince; St. Peter’s Academy Choir; veterans color guards; members of county and local government; artifact from ground zero on display; wreath laying; veterans salute. 8:43 a.m.
First Responder Recognition Dinner: 4 p.m. Sept. 11. American Legion Post 189, 807 Louisiana Ave., Sebastian. 321-956-0135
Exchange Club of Sebastian gives $16,000 to help prevent child abuse
The Exchange Club of Sebastian was honored to present Yellow Umbrella with a check for $16,000 in August. Exchange Club Yellow Umbrella is a Child Abuse Prevention Center, located in South Brevard. This donation is the direct result of the Sebastian Exchange Club Foundation’s 20th Annual Blue Water Open Charity Offshore Fishing Tournament, which was held on June 8th of this year. The proceeds from this tournament allows the Sebastian Exchange Club to support many non-profit organizations in the local community, Yellow Umbrella being it’s largest recipient. The date for the 2014 BWO has been set for June 7, 2014.
The prevention of child abuse is near and dear to all Exchange Clubs across America. Sebastian Exchange has the privilege of sponsoring Yellow Umbrella. In 1979, Child Abuse Prevention was adopted as Exchange’s National Project. Each Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Center, sanctioned by the National Organization, requires a local Exchange Club sponsorship, and Sebastian Exchange was happy to oblige.
Child abuse affects more than 3.2 million children each year in America. Yellow Umbrella, as with other CAP centers, utilizes professionally trained parent aides who act as role models and teach parents how to be more loving and responsible to their children, through home intervention, structured classes, and training materials. The supportive relationship that develops between the parent aide and the family helps to break the cycle of abuse. Terri Mermis, Executive Director of Yellow Umbrella states, “In just the first two months of the new fiscal year, we have assisted 257 parents and 674 children. Our programs include, but are not limited to, Parenting and Anger Management classes, youth mentoring, counseling, family stabilization, supervised visitation, and paraprofessional services, as well as providing donations of food, furniture, diapers, clothing, housewares, and baby items to families in need.”
Michael Natale, President of the Exchange Club of Sebastian, states, “In these troubling times, there is a great need for the services provided by Yellow Umbrella. Parents, as well as children need to know that help is available to them should they require it. We believe in what Yellow Umbrella represents and the services they provide. Through our support, we hope to help them continue in their endeavors. “
Exchange is the oldest service organization in America, founded in 1917. Throughout the years, Exchange Clubs have served their communities in areas of Americanism, Community Service, Youth and the Prevention of Child Abuse. These activities are designed to meet the needs of the communities they serve as well as to preserve and strengthen the principles that make our nation great.
Sebastian Exchange is actively involved in all these activities, and is always looking for other individuals in the community with similar aspirations for service. The Exchange Club of Sebastian meets every Wednesday (except the first Wednesday of each month) at noon at Captain Hiram’s Tiffany Room. If interested, join them any time at a luncheon meeting.
Fellsmere Police Chief to retire
After 19 years of service to the City of Fellsmere, 7 serving as Police Chief, Scott A. Melanson will be retiring from the City September 23. In a written announcement, City Manager Jason Nunemaker wrote, “The City owes a debt of gratitude to Chief Melanson for his dedication throughout his years of service. As City Manager it has been a pleasure working with Scott and I wish him the best in his future pursuits.”
Nunemaker announced Keith M. Touchberry, who is currently a Captain with the Vero Beach Police Department, will be Fellsmere’s new Chief of Police. ”Mr. Touchberry is currently a Captain with Vero Beach Police Department serving as Second in Command. Mr. Touchberry has over 24 years of law enforcement experience and is a greater Fellsmere resident. We look forward to welcoming Keith aboard and joining the management team,” Nunemaker wrote.
Questions regarding this transition may be directed to Jason Nunemaker, City Manager at 772-646-6303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exchange Club fills Food Pantry shelves
The Exchange Club of Sebastian is dedicated to Community Service. A favorite project is filling the shelves of the Roseland Ecumenical Food Pantry, which happened on August 12, just in time to aid back-to-school children and their families. $1,000 worth of food and paper products were donated as a way of showing the Club’s gratitude for the wonderful contribution the Food Pantry makes in our community.
The Sebastian Exchange Club, thanks to the efforts of members, friends, community sponsors, and fishermen, raises funds each year through the Sebastian Exchange Club Foundation’s Blue Water Open Charity Offshore Fishing Tournament, which was held this year on June 8th. All proceeds from the tournament are directed back into the community, through the Club’s dedication to Community Service, Patriotism, Youth Activities, and the Prevention of Child Abuse. These are the Pillars on which the National Exchange Club and local Exchange clubs are founded.
The Exchange Club of Sebastian meets every Wednesday (except the first Wednesday) of each month at noon at Capt’n Hiram’s on Indian River Drive in Sebastian. The club welcomes residents with like-minded goals of making a positive difference in the community to join them for lunch. For more information regarding Sebastian Exchange, get in touch with Michael Natale, President, at 772-388-0044 or email email@example.com.
Sebastian Exchange Club sopports Youth Guidance
The Exchange Club of Sebastian presented Youth Guidance a check for $6,000 at their July 17th luncheon meeting, in support of their programs and mentoring achievements. This donation was made possible through Sebastian Exchange’s very successful 20th Annual Blue Water Open Charity Offshore Fishing Tournament which was held on June 8th, 2013.
Youth Guidance provides programs and activities for children of low income, single parent families. The Exchange Club of Sebastian is all about helping at-risk children and helping to prevent child abuse. A partnership between these two organizations is a natural fit!
Doug Borrie, Executive Director of Youth Guidance is quoted as saying, “The Sebastian Exchange Club is a huge supporter of Youth Guidance. This donation ($6,000) will help us serve more than 400 of Indian River County’s neediest children by providing mentors and adult role models. Youth Guidance appreciates the Sebastian Exchange’s dedication, generosity and willingness to make a difference with the children enrolled in our program.”
Exchange, America’s Service Club, is a group of men and women working together to make our communities better places to live through programs of service in Americanism, Community Service, Youth Activities, and its national project, the Prevention of Child Abuse. The Exchange Club of Sebastian meets every Wednesday (except the first Wednesday of each month) at noon at Captain Hiram’s Tiffany Room. They welcome like-minded people looking for a way to serve the community. If interested, join them any time at a luncheon meeting.
“America’s Gatekeeper: The Story of Paul Kroegel” begins production
Marvo Entertainment Group has announce the newest project in its series on heroes of conservation, America’s Gatekeeper: The Story of Paul Kroegel, is in production. This one-hour documentary will tell the story of a young German immigrant who left his native Chemnitz to become the first Refuge Manager of America’s first National Wildlife Refuge, Pelican Island, Florida. This is the story of a man whose deep and abiding love for nature still inspires us today—a man who truly proved one person can make a difference.
Filming began in March as videographer Mike Benton captured the celebration of Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge’s 110th birthday, along with many gorgeous images of the island, its wildlife and the Paul Kroegel Homestead. We also caught up with “Theodore Roosevelt,” a.k.a. Jim Wiegand, and recorded some of his inspiring words about Kroegel. We extend special thanks to Kevin Lowry, Pelican Island NWR Visitor Services Manager, for his historical perspective and assistance with educational outreach. See the new promotional video for the project at: http://www.marvoentertainmentgroup.com/agpk-home
In our archival research, Marvo has started on a new path of discovery with a treasure trove of documents and photographs that are being made available through the generosity of Kroegel’s granddaughter, Janice Timinski; Jim Culberson of Sea Bird Publishing; and the National Conservation Training Center Archives. You may view a sampling of these wonderful documents at: http://www.marvoentertainmentgroup.com/agpk-home/paul-kroegel-2/agpk- updates-surprises-and-treasures/agpk-archival-treasures
We have put together an extraordinary team for the project, including our host, Kroegel’s great- great grandson, Nicholas Rouco. “I am very excited at the prospect of being able to contribute to his legacy,” Rouco said. “When I was young I was amazed at the fact that there was a statue dedicated to him. Being so young I had not fully understood his impact. Several years later … I finally began to understand and appreciate the importance and the impact my great-great grandfather had on America’s history.”
Pelican Island NWR Manager Charlie Pelizza feels Kroegel’s life is a real source of inspiration. “What started with Paul and a small five-acre protected island has grown to a nationwide network of 556 refuges totaling over 150 million acres,” he said. “Being only the third Refuge Manager in Pelican Island’s history, I am continually humbled to be in his company, but share in his dedication and passion. Knowing Paul and understanding the refuge management tradition that began with him is not only important for us to connect with today but also for the generations to come.”
The Cultural Council of Indian River County, Florida, has partnered with Marvo to help spearhead the multimedia project. It has recently been presented to the Sebastian City Council,
City of Sebastian, Florida, and the Board of County Commissioners, Indian River County, Florida.
Barbara Hoffman, Chairman of the Board of the Cultural Council of Indian River County, Florida, emphasized the importance of Kroegel’s legacy. “Preserving our environment and its inhabitants is such a worthy endeavor,” she said. “To learn how one person can make such a difference in this world is inspiring to all, but especially to the young. This is a story that needs to be told.”
We look forward to telling the story of the immigrant who changed our landscapes with our first National Wildlife Refuge. For underwriting opportunities in bringing this extraordinary story to life, contact Samuel Koltinsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marvo Executive Producer Samuel Koltinsky’s work is inspired by a passion for stories, history, preservation, and the environment. Over the past twenty years, he has produced numerous documentaries in Europe and the United States and has worked with PBS, the History Channel and the Documentary Channel.
National Elephant Center’s first phase unveiled
“We are hoping this becomes a pachyderm’s paradise” said Rick Barongi, outgoing chairman of the National Elephant Center, speaking to a group of approximately 50 people who turned out Wednesday for the unveiling of the center’s first phase.
“We are on time and under budget” said executive director John Lehnhardt, referring to the 30-acre, $2.5 million project. When complete, the center, a collaborative effort of 73 zoos from across the country, will span 225 acres on the Fellsmere Grade, about 3 miles northwest of downtown Fellsmere.
The center will be home to aging elephants, young male elephants, transitioning herds, and others being moved between zoos.
Phase one includes a 13,000-square-foot open air receiving area, a keeper’s station and four paddocks. Up to nine elephants will be housed in the initial phase. The elephants will begin arriving in the late spring, Lehnhardt said. Eventually the center will accommodate up to 37 elephants.
Though the center will not be open to the general public, visiting schoolchildren and adult groups will be invited out, and will be able to see the elephants from a viewing area next to the keeper’s station.
Lehnhardt explained that the initial funding for the purchase of the land and construction of phase one came from the participating zoos. He said the group plans to expand fundraising to appeal to private donors.