Rowing club 10,000 meter ‘Erg-A-Thon’ Feb. 11 Reply

More than 60 student athletes to participate in the 10K Erg-a-thon in Vero Beach

NEWS RELEASE

Vero Beach Rowing is organizing their third annual Erg-a-thon on Saturday, February 11th at Vero Strength + Conditioning from noon to 2:00pm.  Each participating high school level rower will row 10,000 meters on a rowing machine called an ‘erg’ to help raise funds for the construction of a new community boathouse and rowing facility at MacWilliam Park, an area with calmer waters and ideal for rowing activities.   

This year’s goal is to raise $10,000, and a GoFundMe page has been set up for donations as follows:  https://www.gofundme.com/ns-vero-beach-rowing-ergathon. More…

Local minister delivers open letter to President Trump 2

Guest Commentary
Editor’s note:  Rev. Scott Alexander, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Vero Beach, delivered the following open letter to President Donald Trump.  Alexander also delivered the message as a sermon to his congregation yesterday. 
SCOTT ALEXANDER 
Rev. Scott Alexander

Rev. Scott Alexander

Yesterday I preached the following “Open Letter to Donald J. Trump” on the occasion of his inauguration as the 45 th President of the United States…those in attendance (we had one of the biggest crowds of the year) urged me to share it as widely as possible…here is the complete text.

THE SERMON

The following letter was sent (under my signature) to President Donald J. Trump (care of The White House in Washington D.C.) two days ago (on Friday, January 20th) the day he was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. I share it with you now…and will publish it and share it as widely as I can in the coming days.

Dear Mr. President,
I am writing you this “Open Letter” on your inauguration week – which will be shared with the congregation I serve here in Vero Beach, Florida, and subsequently publishing it as widely as I can for other American’s to read and consider – because I have deep and serious concerns about the kind of moral leadership you may bring to your Presidency.

Let me begin, please, by briefly introducing myself. My name is Rev. Scott Wells Alexander. I am a 10th Generation American — with the first of my family arriving in Massachusetts in 1630 with the first wave of Puritan immigration. I have lived and worked in the United States my entire life, and have been a Unitarian Universalist minister for the last 43 years – serving congregations in Maine, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Florida and also working as a denominational executive for a decade (in the 1990’s) out of our national headquarters in Boston. I write you today as a proud and patriotic American, a religious leader (particularly focused on addressing hunger, poverty, and inequality in my community) and a faithful Unitarian Universalist.

Before I tell you what is on my mind today (as you begin your Presidency) let me share just a little about my religious tradition, which informs and animates everything I want to say to you as my President. Although the roots of our liberal faith tradition go all the way back to Jesus’ gospel message of compassion, inclusion and justice for all — and the earlier teachings of other great religious leaders (such as Buddha, Moses, Mohammad and Confucius) who also taught human unity, dignity and compassion — our formal institutional roots go back some 500 years to the European Reformation. Today, we are an inclusive, diverse and progressive 21st Century American faith tradition built on the bedrock principle of “The Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person,” and devoted to building a world (and a nation) with justice, equity, compassion, dignity and safety for all. More…

Partial utility sale could hurt local businesses Reply

NEWS ANALYSIS

MARK SCHUMANN

Local business owners enthused about the proposed sale of Vero Electric’s Indian River Shores customers to Florida Power and Light may be in for an unpleasant surprise, if not a rude awakening.

In the short term, any partial sale is likely to lead to higher rates for the remaining customers of Vero Electric.  City leaders pushing for the downsizing of Vero Electric, namely Harry Howle, Laura Moss and Lange Sykes, say the sale for the Shores is being pursued “in the context of a full sale.” Yet, they have so for offered no explanation for how a partial sale would in any way improve the prospects of eventually selling the remainder of the system.

If the sale of the full system proves undoable, then local businesses could be facing higher electric rates, not just short term, but for many years to come.  Not only will local business face higher power costs, but so too will schools, governments, the hospital, churches, the Vero Beach Museum of Art, the Riverside Theatre and other non-profits. Worse, if the sale must be partially funded by a significant, long-term surcharge, that burden will fall entirely on the remaining customers of Vero Electric, including commercial customers, city and county government, the hospital and non-profits.  Make no mistake about it, with only 2.7 percent of Vero Electric business customers located in Indian River Shores, and some 97 percent of the City’s commercial customers located outside the Shores, any shift if electric costs could be significant.

Though the Shores represents just 8.7 percent of the City’s total customer base, those customers use more power than the average resident. What does this mean?  Quite simply, the Shores portion of Vero Electric contributes more than 8.7 percent of operating profits. The loss of these profits will inevitably lead to higher rates, and/or higher taxes for everyone else. More…

Reader Comment: Half the experience for twice the price? What gives? Reply

Being both a resident of the City of Vero Beach and thus an owner of Vero Electric, I am writing in hopes that you could straighten out this “Sale situation of Vero Electric”.

#1- The former city council of Turner, Fletcher and Carrol signed an agreement to sell to FP&L some years back.   After spending several $MILLIONS by Vero Electric on attorneys they found no way forward, neither did FP&L’s attorneys.  Attorneys the City hired said we should get $185,000,000, but they accepted and offer for $85,000,000 less.  

#2-Then when a new city council came in they hired new attorneys and also spent $MILLION or so to find out that out prior $MILLION attorneys were right. This attorney also advised us not to sell a $47,000,000 asset for $30,000,000 because this would lead to higher rates. That city council took his advise.

#3- Now the new city council majority of Howle, Moss and Sykes fired that attorney that advised us not to take the deal  because they want to sell it for $30,000,000, because somehow that’s the neighborly thing to do. They then interview new attorneys, one of which knows all the details of all these bonds and contracts, but because this very knowledgeable of the facts attorney says a sale will NEVER be able to go through for the entire system, they do not hire him.  Instead they hire an attorney that knows none of the facts and details of all the contracts and bonds, but at $500.00 per hour he will gladly get educated in all the sales agreements that we have already paid other attorney $MILLIONS and who have all come up with the same conclusion that we will never be able to sell the entire system and that we are losing $17,000,000 on the sale of Indian River Shores and that our rates will be increasing.

If this is not the case, could you please tell me what really happened?

Thanks

John Wester.

Editor’s note: At a special call meeting of the City Council Jan. 10, Harry Howle, Laura Moss and Lange Sykes voted to hire the law firm of Carlton Fields at a rate of $495 an hour.  The firm will head the City’s negotiations to sell the Indian River Shores portion of Vero Electric to Florida Power and Light.  Councilmen Tony Young and Richard Winger preferred the firm of Gray Robinson, which has worked in utility and municipal law for some 38 years, and has handled utility sales.  In contrast, the lead attorney for Carlton Fields had not represented a municipal utility in a sale. Gray Robinson’s proposed fee was $250 per hour. Howle and Sykes were so sure they wanted to hire Carton Fields, that they moved to dismiss attorneys from Gray Robinson before even hearing their presentation. “I think it would be a complete outrage for the City of Vero Beach to invite a law firm here and then dismiss them without listening to their presentation,” said Young.  

Is a stormwater utility finally in the cards? Reply

Vero Beach leaders propose to establish a storm water utility to raise funds to better filter storm water runoff into the Lagoon.

Vero Beach leaders propose to establish a storm water utility to raise money to better filter polluted storm water runoff draining into the Lagoon.

Editor’s note: This story was first published Oct. 15, 2015.  On Jan. 10 of this year, in a joint meeting of the City’s Utilities and Finance Commissions, commission members voted 11-1 to recommend the City Council continue moving forward with forming a stormwater utility. The new utility, which would assess charges averaging $5 per month, is seen by many as the preferred means of establishing a dedicated source of funds for addressing stormwater runoff that is contributing to the Lagoon crisis. 

NEWS ANALYSIS

MILT THOMAS

The Vero Beach City Council has now taken the first steps in forming a stormwater utility. While that might not be the first thing on residents’ (and taxpayers’) minds, it ties in to the one subject on everyone’s mind, the future of our Indian River Lagoon. More…

FMPA offers possible path for sale of Vero Electric Reply

NEWS ANALYSIS

MARK SCHUMANN

A solution may be on the horizon to overcoming impediments that have so far blocked the sale of Vero Electric. To date, the absence of a qualified utility willing and able to assume Vero Beach’s long-term commitments to three Florida Municipal Power Agency projects has stood in the way of the deal. However, at a meeting of the FMPA board of directors in Orlando today, FMPA General Manager and CEO, Jacob Williams, outlined steps the agency is willing to take to help facilitate the sale of Vero Electric to Florida Power and Light.

Williams indicated the FMPA’s All Requirements Project, made up of 13 municipally owned utilities, could assume Vero Beach’s position in the Stanton I and II coal-fired power plants in Orlando, as well as Vero Beach’s share of the FMPA’s fractional ownership in the Saint Lucie nuclear plant. Because the average cost of Vero Beach’s power from these three projects is more than twice the current short-term price for wholesale electricity, Vero Beach will have to pay the FMPA’s ARP to “buy” the City’s position in the power projects. “Vero Beach will have to pay other municipal utilities to take its shares,” Williams explained to the FMPA board. More…

“Beautification Weekend” set for Feb. 11-12 Reply

NEWS RELEASE

In conjunction with the City Council, we are announcing the 3rd annual “Beautification Weekend” for the City of Vero Beach on Saturday and Sunday, February 1112.  Dedicating a weekend to beautification re-establishes a concept that first began in 1930 honoring Dr. Humiston’s efforts in beautifying the City through cleanup and planting projects. This year the Tree and Beautification and the City will be completing a beautification project to kick off this weekend. The Vero Beach Police Department property was selected as the project location and it will be receiving plenty of attention and new landscaping. More…

Stormwater Utility best way to fund improving lagoon health 1

GUEST COMMENTARY

Editor’s note: Randy Old is a former member of the Vero Beach City Council. He currently serves on the City’s Finance Commission.

RANDY OLD

Randy Old

Randy Old

On Tuesday, at 9:30 am, February 7, the Vero Beach City Council will consider establishing a stormwater utility system dedicated to funding the infrastructure required to keep stormwater runoff from polluting the lagoon. Studies have shown this to be a serious problem, but one that has been ignored for years by the city because of lack of funds.

The purpose of the Stormwater Utility is to protect and improve the health of the lagoon, by providing a dedicated funding source to control and clean stormwater before it gets to the lagoon. The Utility is funded by all those who own impervious property, be they individuals, schools, the City, churches, or commercial enterprises. The average bill would be $5.00 per month, or $60.00 per year, and would generate a total of just under $950,000. Those wishing to reduce their bill could change the impervious qualities of their property.

The Finance and Utility Commissions each recommended to the City Council that the City finalize the consultants’ study, and that billing each property owner be done through the existing utility billing system.

There are about 166 Stormwater Utilities in Florida that have been created by municipalities.  The main advantage of this project is that this funding allows the city to plan a multiyear program, to make use of matching grant programs, and to ensure that the lagoon funding doesn’t compete during the budget process with roads, staffing, and safety. Most importantly, while the effort to protect and improve the lagoon is now voluntary, it will soon become mandatory as state and federal guidelines become law. This project establishes a method for Vero to comply with the future.

Happy New Year,

Randy

Hibiscus Children’s Center ‘Wine & Dine’ Sat., Feb. 4 Reply

Hibiscus Wine & Dine Committee

Hibiscus Wine & Dine Committee

NEWS RELEASE

Hibiscus Children’s Center is excited to announce that we will once again take you on a culinary journey at the “Taste of Italy” – The Journey Continues! Don’t miss this fabulous Wine & Dine event to be held on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 6:00-9:00pm at Bent Pine Golf Club in Vero Beach.   Guests will savor a progressive Italian tasting from appetizer to dessert. There is nothing like the flavors of classic Italian cuisine, especially when paired with wonderful wines selected by our event partner, Varietals and More. Your taste buds will be delightfully tempted while we join together for a great cause, to support the abused youth living at the Hibiscus Village and help to provide a better future for the teens. More…

Attendance at City’s beach parks nearly 700,000 in 2016 2

Tim Capra, Vice President of the Vero Beach Lifeguard Association, teaches students from Classical Conversations at South Beach Park

Tim Capra, Vice President of the Vero Beach Lifeguard Association, teaches students from Classical Conversations at South Beach Park

NEWS RELEASE

According to an annual report recently released by the Vero Beach Lifeguard Association, total beach park attendance increase by 40,000 patrons from 2015 to almost 700,000. Attendance does not include the beach outside the guarded areas and 100 yards north and south of each guarded beach. Estimates put the total number of people who visit our beach at over 1 million per year.

The total number of medical emergencies declined by 30% to just under 300. Water rescues were down 13% in 2016 with lifeguards rescuing 34 people from drowning. Approximately one half of all water rescues and medical emergencies occurred outside the guarded areas. Unfortunately, 1 fatality occurred in the water due to the dangers of breaking waves. Medical emergencies and water rescues occurred in almost every month despite the weather conditions or time of year.

March through July continued to see the largest crowds at our beach.

Turtle nesting season ran from April through October with turtle research volunteers marking 1 in every 15 nests. More…

Youth Sailing Foundation appoints new director of sailing Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Mary Morgan

Mary Morgan

Mary Morgan grew up sailing at the historic Riverton Yacht Club on the Delaware River. Starting in a Sunfish, she quickly moved up to racing C-420’s.

Mary worked as Sailing Instruction Manager at the Cooper River Yacht Club throughout her high school and college years. There she learned the skills required to plan and administer sailing instruction programs, which included community sailing and outreach to inner city children from Camden and Philadelphia. Along the way she became an accomplished sailor and racer

Most recently Mary worked summers as Sailing Director at Brant Beach Yacht Club on Barnegat Bay in New Jersey. There she managed a sailing program that encompassed teaching beginners as well as coaching racing teams. With responsibility for curriculum development, teaching and staff supervision, and acting as liaison with Club parents, officers, and management, Mary brings a wide range of skills and experience to Youth Sailing Foundation.

Mary is a recent graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Business Economics. While at Rutgers, Mary was a member of the sailing team and member of the Alpha Zeta Honors and Service Fraternity.

About the Youth Sailing Foundation 

Cultural Calendar Reply

ONGOING – THROUGH JAN. 22

CASH ON DELIVERY AT THEATRE GUILD

weekend-cultural-connection-doy-demsick-mitchell-steinMichael Cooney’s riotous farce, Cash on Delivery, is coming to the Vero Beach Theatre Guild, 2020 San Juan Avenue, January 12th through January 22nd. Eric Swan lost his job two years ago and was afraid to tell his wife, Linda. Instead, he has been duping the British Welfare Authority ever since by claiming every type of benefit for the innumerable people he claims live at his address. His schemes include fictitious children and bogus disabilities. When welfare investigators show up, events spill out of control in hilarious fashion. Cash on Delivery runs through Sunday, January 22, with four matinees and six evening performances. Tickets are $24 and $26 and may be purchased by calling 562-8300 or online at verobeachtheatreguild.com.

AT RIVERSIDE THEATRE

weekend-chicagoChicago – on stage through January 22. Get an entertaining, story-filled tour backstage on Friday, January 13 at 11 am or 2 pm. See the set designs and props up close. Learn more about how the shows are created and brought to life on stage. The tours last roughly one hour, the cost is $5 per person / Free for Members ($100 or more donors). RiversideTheatre.com.

 

 

weekend-empty-plateAn Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf performs January 17 – February 5 at Riverside Theatre. At the world’s greatest restaurant, the Café du Grand Boeuf in Paris, is open for only one patron, owner and American millionaire Victor, the staff is always ready to prepare the most sumptuous of meals. On a hot July night in 1961, Victor arrives from Madrid disheveled and depressed with one simple wish: to die of starvation. The devoted staff, who depend on Victor’s patronage for their livelihood, desperately try all means to change his mind. When all else fails, Victor is convinced to have his favorite dishes prepared, but the food is to be kept in the kitchen and only empty platters served. Comedy ensues throughout the delectable seven course meal as a feast of words and declarations fill the restaurant. For tickets ( $45) call the Box Office at 772-231-6990 or visit http://www.riversidetheatre.com. More…

An Empty Plate in the Cafe du Grand Boeuf at Riverside Theatre is a tasty treat Reply

REVIEW

MILT THOMAS31991062250_7c3aef058f_z

I love to cook and among my favorite dishes is a Moroccan Tagine, a kind of stew that includes something for every one of my taste buds – savory (umami), sweet, sour, salty and bitter.  The Riverside Theatre play, An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf is such a dish, and like any well-prepared meal, it leaves you comfortably satisfied.

Yes, it is a play about food – or more specifically, it’s absence. Let me explain. It takes place at the Paris restaurant, Café du Grand Boeuf (Restaurant of the Big Ox) in 1961. The staff provides comic relief as they prepare for the restaurant’s owner and only customer to arrive. The headwaiter, Claude (Brian Myers Cooper), is a candidate for Ritalin if there ever was one as he flits around the stage in near panic mode trying to shake his staff into a modicum of professionalism. His reclamation project is Antoine (Daniel Burns), a recently hired, stuttering dishwasher, who Claude  wants to transform into a waiter before the owner arrives. Mimi (Maria Couch), is the restaurant’s hostess and Claude’s unhappy wife, who dreams of living the life of Jackie Kennedy as she complains about Claude’s anniversary present, a tube of lipstick.

More…

Umpire training academy taking place at Historic Dodgertown Reply

NEWS RELEASE

t1larg-umpires1More than 80 men and one woman are learning the rules of the game of baseball and practicing calling balls and strikes at the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) Umpire Training Academy, currently taking place at Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida, through the end of January.

The MiLB Umpire Academy is the country’s only all-inclusive program, preparing aspiring umpiring professionals on the technical side – and nuances – of the game. The Umpire Training Academy has been held at Historic Dodgertown since 2010.

Students come from all walks of life, and from all over the world to attend the training academy. For example: More…

Murder, mayhem and great music in Riverside Theatre’s Chicago Reply

REVIEW

MILT THOMAS

chicago-riverside-7There are those people who love musicals and those who despise them. People love musicals because they use song and dance to advance a story; people who don’t like musicals consider breaking out in song and dance an impediment to a story.

So listen up if you are in the former group – Chicago, currently playing to packed houses at Riverside Theatre is a must-see event! If you see any musical, even if you have seen every version of this one, you know why Chicago is probably the most successful show in modern musical history. Well, not probably. Chicago IS the longest running American musical in Broadway history (20 years and still running), winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy. It spawned a movie version that won six Academy Awards in 2003 including Best Picture (first musical to win in 35 years), and another movie, All That Jazz, about original Chicago choreographer Bob Fosse, that won the Palme d’Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

As far as the latter group is concerned, those who might otherwise shun musicals, it’s safe to say that all this success had to pull in plenty of people like you, so why not give it a shot? Truly, you need to see this production! More…

Author to discuss Florida’s ‘fringe subcultures’ Reply

NEWS RELEASE

lynnwaddellWhat do “mud boggers, furries, ufologists, and nudists” all have in common?

They are among the weird, wacky, and wonderful cultural curiosities who have found refuge in Florida and are making an indelible mark on the reputation of the Sunshine State.

On January 12 at 7 PM, author and journalist Lynn Waddell will appear in a free lecture at The Emerson Center’s Florida Humanities Series to explore Fringe Florida: The Unusual Subcultures of the Sunshine State. Her presentation, drawn from her 2013 book published by the University of Florida Press, begins at 7:00 p.m.

Waddell contends that many Florida tourists are bypassing the attractions of Miami Beach, Orlando, and Tampa.  Instead, they are spending their time in less familiar locations, seeking to witness odd behaviors and lifestyles that challenge traditional cultural norms.  To make her point, Waddell will go behind the sensational headlines to take our audience inside some of the state’s most eclectic and daring worlds.  She will reveal the colorful people and lifestyles that make Florida truly unique, while discussing how these edgy subcultures came to

Cultural Calendar Reply

ONGOING – THROUGH JANUARY 22

CASH ON DELIVERY AT THEATRE GUILD

weekend-cultural-connection-doy-demsick-mitchell-steinMichael Cooney’s riotous farce, Cash on Delivery, is coming to the Vero Beach Theatre Guild, 2020 San Juan Avenue, January 12th through January 22nd. Eric Swan lost his job two years ago and was afraid to tell his wife, Linda.  Instead, he has been duping the British Welfare Authority ever since by claiming every type of benefit for the innumerable people he claims live at his address.  His schemes include fictitious children and bogus disabilities.  When welfare investigators show up, events spill out of control in hilarious fashion.  Cash on Delivery opens Thursday, January 12, and runs through Sunday, January 22, with four matinees and six evening performances.  Tickets are $24 and $26 and may be purchased by calling 562-8300 or online at verobeachtheatreguild.com More…

FPL seeking yet another rate hike Reply

MARK SCHUMANN

In addition to the $6.93 per 1000 kilowatt rate increase recently approved by the Florida Public Service Commission for Florida Power and Light, the utility giant is now asking the PSC for permission to rase rates another $318.5 million, or $3.36 per month on the average residential customer. Together, the increases would bring FPL’s rate for 1000 kWh to $99.56.

In comparison, Vero Electric’s rate is $116.08 per 1000 kWh, for a difference of 14.2 percent. Vero Electric’s rate includes a 6 percent payment in lieu of tax to the City’s general fund. If the residents of Vero Beach were served by FPL, the City would instead assess a 6 percent franchise fee, brining FPL’s rate to $105.53, for a difference of 9 percent.

Proponents of the proposed sale of Vero Electric to FPL have long argued the move would save city residents 30 percent or more on their power bills. In truth, if the sale of the utility system to FPL ultimately requires a substantial and long-term surcharge on the current customers of Vero Electric, there may be no measurable savings to the city’s utility customers.

Moss departs from her own ‘decree’ that all communication must be ‘cordial and positive’ 1

COMMENTARY

MARK SCHUMANN

Laura Moss - "Team Shores"

Laura Moss – “Team Shores”

Departing from the published agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Laura Moss opened by publicly berating Councilman Richard Winger for writing a guest column in which he shined a light on instances when previous City Council’s have made major decisions and commitments that have not turned out well for the taxpayers of Vero Beach and for the customers of Vero Electric.

Winger’s central point was that previous Councils have not alway taken the time necessary to properly “vet” important decisions. Winger said he wants to avoid making that same mistake with the proposed partial sale of Vero Electric’s Indian River Shores customer base to Florida Power & Light.

The original wholesale power agreement with the Orlando utilities Commission and the purchase of the old Dodgertown golf course for $10 million were to example Winger sited. In his column, Winger went on to urge the current Council to carefully consider and fully understand the implications of selling Vero Electric’s Indian River Shores customers base to Florida Power & Light for $30 million. (A team of 5 independent utility experts hired by the City concluded a sale for less than $47 million will expose Vero Beach taxpayers and the remaining customers of Vero Electric to higher taxes and higher electric rates. When the team reported its recommendations, their conclusions were supported buy City Staff.) More…

Howle’s Press Journal guest column simplistic, misleading 5

COMMENTARY

“The people of Vero Beach must decide for themselves if Howle is lying to them. At the very least, he is, intentionally or otherwise, misleading them into believing that what good for Indian River Shores is necessarily good for the taxpayers of Vero Beach.”

“If the customers of Vero Electric are not to be hung out to dry, it is critical that the Council first determine under what terms a sale of the remainder of the system could be possible.  To take this so-called “first step” without fully understanding what the next step will be is nothing short of foolish.”

MARK SCHUMANN

Harry Howle

Harry Howle

In 2015, when he won a seat on the Vero Beach City Council, Harry Howle promised the voters of Vero Beach he had a solid, five-point plan for selling Vero Electric to Florida Power and Light. More than a year has passed since Howle took an oath to serve the best interests of the City of Vero Beach and its residents, and yet he has not followed through on a single one of the five steps he once claimed were necessary to sell the system.

Instead of fulfilling his promise to bring rate relief to the people of Vero Beach and to all 34,000 customers of Vero Electric, Howle now claims selling just the Indian River Shores portion of the system is “an important first step.” (Howle offers no explanation for why selling off the Shores portion of the system now will in any way improve the prospects for selling the remainder of the system.)

What makes this “first step” so important?  As puppets of the Indian River Shores Town Council, Howle, and two new members of the Vero Beach Council, Laura Moss and Lange Sykes, have made it clear they intend to give Shores leaders what they want, regardless of the likely negative impacts on the taxpayers of Vero Beach and the customers of Vero Electric. More…

Cultural Calendar Reply

ONGOING – THROUGH JANUARY 22

CHICAGO OPENS AT RIVERSIDE THEATRE

weekend-chicagoWinner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Chicago holds the record for the longest-running revival and the longest running American musical in Broadway history.  Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the show follows chorus girl Roxie Hart and her murder of a faithless lover. She convinces her hapless husband Amos to take the rap, but then he finds out the truth and turns on her. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and Velma Kelly, another “merry murderess, “vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the “American Dream”: fame, fortune and acquittal.  Chicago runs from January 3 through 22.  Visit RiversideTheatre.com for tickets. More…

Art in the Park this Sunday Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Art in the Park is scheduled for January 8 at Humiston Park.

Art in the Park is a monthly Fine Art & Crafts Show put on by the Vero Beach Art Club members on various Sundays. Members set up display tents to offer original art to visitors and residents. This monthly show provides the perfect opportunity to interact with artists and craft artisans and to buy beautiful selected works. The event is co-chaired this year by Yvonne Steere and Joe Montignino.

The art exhibited usually includes: Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor and Pastel Paintings along with Collage Wall Art, Photography and Digital Art, Sculpture/Glass Works/Wood/ Ceramics, Jewelry, and other unique handcrafted items.

Come, bring the whole family to enjoy art of many of the creative members.  Hours 10am to 4pm.

Please visit the The Artists’ Gallery at http://www.VeroBeachArtClub.org

ORCA to present research findings at the first Report on the Indian River Lagoon Reply

NEWS RELEASE

IRT-Home PageThe Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA) will present The Report on the Indian River Lagoon, highlighting the organization’s most significant research findings over the past two years. The event will be held on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pelican Yacht Club, located at 1120 Seaway Dr. in Fort Pierce.  Reservations must be made in advance as seating is limited. Cost is $35 per person and includes the presentation, along with a cocktail reception, plus hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Individuals wanting to make a reservation can call ORCA at 772-467-1600 or visit teamORCA.org and click on the tab “ORCA Store”. 

With the decline of the Indian River Lagoon, ORCA’s efforts in the Indian River Lagoon have been front and center in the newspapers.. Thanks to ORCA’s research programs, in conjunction with ORCA’s Kilroy water monitoring systems, we have been able to gather information about the sources of pollution causing the degradation of our once healthy, one of a kind ecosystem and are optimistic for the future of the lagoon.

There will be a question and answer session after the formal presentation and attendees will have an opportunity to look over ORCA’s educational displays before and after the presentation. 

This event is sponsored by Treasure Coast Newspapers/TCPalm, Sunrise Ford, DiBartolomeo, McBee, Hartley & Barnes, CPAs and Central Window of Vero

ShrimpFest and Craft Brew set for Feb. 26 Reply

NEWS RELEASE

shrimpfestShrimpFest & Craft Brew Hullabaloo! Spend the weekend with us and bring your lawn chairs so you can enjoy great bands all day long, cold beer and shrimp cooked eight different ways by eight of the best restaurants in the area. Hotdogs and hamburgers will also be on the menu.

The Second Annual ShrimpFest & Craft Brew Hullabaloo will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, and Sunday, February 26th from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. FREE entry and parking, live music, exciting kids’ activities, lots of vendors and more. Local restaurants will compete for the best shrimp recipe using Florida shrimp and you get to vote for your favorite dish. The Old Fish House Bar & Grill will attempt to hold on to the Golden Shrimp Award from last year but will be up against tough competition. More…

Gymnastics registration Jan. 21 Reply

Kiersten Tate, Addison Clem and Kares Hasenauer performing in the City of Vero Beach Recreation Department’s Aerial Antics Youth Circus. (Jackie Foulks)

Kiersten Tate, Addison Clem and Kares Hasenauer performing in the City of Vero Beach Recreation Department’s Aerial Antics Youth Circus. (Jackie Foulks)

The City of Vero Beach Recreation Department will hold Gymnastics registration on Saturday, January 21st beginning at 8am at Leisure Square Fitness Center (3705 16th Street).  There are gymnastics and aerial classes available for beginners through advanced students.  Our performance-based program offers gymnastics and performing arts instruction for toddlers through teens!  Weekday and Saturday classes are available to fit every schedule.  Registration will remain open until classes are full.

Participants enrolled in this Gymnastics Session will perform at the Firefighters Fair March 11th or March 13th.

 For more information, please call the Vero Beach Recreation Department’s Centerstage Facility at 770-3775 or visit the recreation page at www.covb.org.

Camp Haven renovations moving to second phase Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Jim Kerns, Claude and Pat Hessee, Jim Schorner and Lalita Janke with Brego Construction Corp. Owner Pablo Bregolat

Jim Kerns, Claude and Pat Hessee, Jim Schorner and Lalita Janke with Brego Construction Corp. Owner Pablo Bregolat

Thanks to community support and a State of Florida Challenge Grant the renovation of eight additional transitional housing units is underway at Camp Haven, Indian River County’s transitional housing program for homeless men, located on US 1 near Aviation Boulevard. The efficiency units will be available to men who have completed Phase I at Camp Haven and are ready to take the next step toward living independently.

According to Brego Construction Corp. Owner Pablo Bregolat, renovations are 50 percent complete. The plumbing, framing, carpentry and electrical are done, and they are currently working on drywall and tile.

In the past two years, 55 men have successfully transformed their lives through the support of Camp Haven. The completion of additional housing will allow the nonprofit to move forward with Phase II: The Pathway to Self-Sufficiency program, the next step for men who are committed to rising out of homelessness. More…

Riverside Theatre’s ‘Chicago’ adds performances Reply

NEWS RELEASE 

The Riverside Theatre's production of Chicago opens Jan. 3

The Riverside Theatre’s production of Chicago opens Jan. 3

Riverside Theatre’s production of Chicago, adds two additional performances! Chicago runs January 3-22, 2017 on the Stark Stage and is sponsored by Laura and Bill Frick and Riverside Theatre’s Patron Producers Group.

“Due to the great demand for tickets, we have added two additional performances to our run of Chicago,” says Jon R. Moses, Managing Director, COO of the Theatre. “While we cannot extend the run beyond the close date of January 22nd, we’ve been able to add a performance to week two and week three of the run.”

The added performances are: Sunday, January 15 at 7:30 pm and Thursday, January 19 at 2pm. The added performances make week two and week three nine performance weeks. More…

January marks fifth anniversary of O’Malley’s continued leadership of Historic Dodgertown Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Jan. 1, 2017 marked

Historic Dodgertown CEO, and former Dodger owner, Peter O'Malley

Historic Dodgertown CEO, and former Dodger owner, Peter O’Malley

the fifth anniversary of Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida under the leadership of Chairman Peter O’Malley, the former president of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1970-1998. The O’Malley family has been active in developing, expanding, maintaining and modernizing the now 80-acre property since it first opened in 1948.

After the Dodgers’ final Spring Training in 2008, when the team moved to Arizona, Dodgertown was owned by Indian River County and the County shuttered it until their plans for the future were crystallized. Minor League Baseball reactivated Dodgertown as a multi-sport camp the next year, naming it Vero Beach Sports Village. Due to heavy financial losses, MiLB decided to terminate its lease and the site was about to be shuttered a second time. O’Malley and his sister, Terry O’Malley Seidler, along with former major league pitching stars Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo, stepped in to preserve its iconic stature.

Since Jan, 1, 2012, O’Malley and his founding partners became responsible for reenergizing the unique, year-round multi-sport training and conference center. More than 18,000 hotel rooms countywide are annually booked just from overflow business from Historic Dodgertown. In excess of 1,000 youth and adult sports teams train and participate in tournaments each year. More…

New FAU Harbor Branch executive director to kick off lecture series Reply

Anton Post, Ph.D. to give first presentation of the season
Anton Post

Anton Post

The Treasure Coast community will soon have the opportunity to meet Anton Post, Ph.D., FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute’s incoming executive director. Post will kick off Harbor Branch’s annual Ocean Science Lecture Series winter season on Jan. 11, 2017 at 4 and 7 p.m. with a talk on climate change. Those who attend will have the chance to meet and speak with Post following his lectures.

Talks will be presented by other FAU Harbor Branch researchers weekly thereafter each Wednesday through April 5, at 4 and 7 p.m., at Harbor Branch’s Johnson Education Center Auditorium, 5600 U.S. 1 North, in Fort Pierce. Admission is free. (The full season schedule is listed below.)

Post will lead a new strategic effort to develop interdisciplinary research by combining expertise across many FAU centers and colleges, including FAU Harbor Branch. He currently serves as the executive director of the University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Center, Graduate School of Oceanography, and will officially begin as executive director at Harbor Branch on Jan. 3, 2017.

For more information, contact Carin Smith at 772-242-2230 or carinsmith@fau.edu. More…

Soccer coaches bring international, championship experience to Historic Dodgertown camp Reply

Today from 1-3

NEWS RELEASE

Dodgertown LogoFive former professional, championship soccer players from Uruguay are offering a free soccer camp to area youth this week at Historic Dodgertown. The coaches played for international teams during their professional careers, including some on the Uruguayan National Team. 

Youth can receive free, high-level instruction each day from 1 to 3 p.m.

The five men partnered to bring high-level soccer instruction to Historic Dodgertown through the Sky Blue Pro Soccer Camp.

For details on attending the camp or for more information about the coaches, please call Julio Sosa at (973) 271-7855.

The coach bios are listed below. 

Julio Sosa: The founder of the Sky Blue Pro Soccer Camp, Sosa played 14 years as a professional goalkeeper in Uruguay, Argentina, Honduras and Costa Rica. As a high school coach in New Jersey, his team was ranked 21st nationally by Adidas and the NCAA. 

Gerardo Morales: For 16 years Morales was a professional player, and has since been involved in youth soccer in Atlanta, Ga. He played in the UEFA Champions League, the Europe League, Libertadores Cup and Sudamerican Cup. 

Cesar Pellegrin: Pellegrin competed professionally in Italy, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Finland, and in the 1997 and 1999 FIFA 20U World Cup. In 1999 his team won the silver medal. Currently he is the assistant coach of Santiago Ostolaza UAFI.

Mario Rebollo: The former Uruguayan soccer star played for Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Ecuador. As a coach for his country’s national team, Rebello participated in the 2012 Olympic Games, the 2010-2014 World Cup and other international competitions.

Santiago Ostolaza: Currently the manager of the Uruguayan 17U national team, Ostolaza played at the FIFA World Club in 1990, for Uruguay. He also played in the 1990 World Cup, the American Cup in 1989-1993, and other major competitions.

 

Cultural Calendar Reply

WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY & FRIDAY, DEC. 21, 21-23 

HOLIDAYS AT MCKEE BOTANICAL GARDEN

weekend-mckee-christmas-72-lrThe holiday spirit will soar at McKee Botanical Garden during the annual Holidays at McKee event on December 21-23 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. This year’s event will feature festive exhibits for everyone’s enjoyment including a 1924 Wurlitzer vintage band organ and a large-scale model railroad with an entirely new holiday village featuring four trains and over 200 feet of solid brass track. Children will enjoy writing letters to Santa which they can give to him personally.   Have your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus each evening during the event.  Additionally, on December 22, there will be two special performances. Tania Ortega-Cowan and her merry choir, the Tania Tunes Carolers, will be performing throughout the evening and the First United Methodist Church Handbell Ensemble will give an exclusive performance in the Bamboo Pavilion from 6:30-7:15 pm. General admission rates apply.  $12 Adults, $11 Seniors, and $8 Children ages 3-12.  McKee members and children under 3 free.  The Garden will close at its regularly scheduled time of 5 pm and will reopen at 6 pm for the evening events.  Advanced admission is available at the Garden Gift Shop during regular business hours. More…

Reader Comment: Shores residents being ‘milked’ 8

Related Story: Civic Association calls for referendum on partial sale

Larry Wapnick writes:

“All of you are correct, but remember what got all of us into this mess. Bad decisions many years ago by elected former city council members. Since then we have all paid the price, but unfortunately the present residents of Vero are “holding the bag” and must do the right thing. Continuing to “milk” Indian River Shores Residents benefits the city, but it is wrong! Yes the new council members were voted in, the voters knew their platforms, and have owned up to doing the right thing. Let us move on, we will all survive. We will all support the city, and perhaps with lower electric rates be able to support it even more.”

InsideVero response:

One: The “bad” decision made years ago by former city council members that led to this “mess” was the initial agreement to serve the Shores with utilities. The second decision that led to this season of discontent, in which some Shores residents are customers of Vero Electric and other customers of FPL, was the Shores Town Council’s annexation of area north of the original Town limits.

Two: Vero Beach has not “milked” you or any other Shores electric customer. When those who wanted to develop the area of the island now known as Indian River Shores came to Vero Beach requesting utility services, they were well aware that Vero Beach does what nearly all other municipalities do in earning a percentage of its utility revenue as a return on investment/equity. Unlike FPL, Vero Beach does not use its earnings to pay multi-million dollar salaries to top executives. Rather, the money goes to outfit police cars with defibrillators, to pay municipal employees fair wages, to guard public beaches, to maintain the parks and other facilities Shores residents regularly enjoy at no cost. More…

Left unchecked, Howle, Moss and Sykes could do much harm to the people of Vero Beach 3

Tax hikes and electric rate increases will also affect businesses

COMMENTARY

Later, if and when it becomes clear the City’s contract obligations will continue to stand as an impediment to selling the remainder of the system, the slick talkers from FPL will be long gone; while the people of Vero Beach, and all the residential and business customer of Vero Electric, will be left with higher taxes and/or higher electric bills. The alternative, of course, would be to layoff still more City employees and gut municipal services.

MARK SCHUMANN

Robert Auwaerter

Robert Auwaerter

As implausible as it may seem, the current chairman of the City of Vero Beach Utilities Commission, Robert Auwaerter, also serves on the governing body of a municipality that sued Vero Beach, and that has asked the Florida Public Service Commission to force Vero Beach to abandon a portion of its service territory.

For the taxpayers of Vero Beach and the customers of Vero Electric the stakes a high. Auwaerter and his fellow Indian River Shores Town Council members are seeking to force a sale of Vero Electric’s Shores customers to Florida Power and Light at a price that is likely to lead to higher taxes and higher electric rates for the City’s remaining customers.

Auwarter has left no doubt where his loyalties lie, and they are clearly not with the people of Vero Beach, or with the customers of Vero Electric. Though he serves on Vero Beach’s Utilities Commission, Autwarter had no reticence in going before the PSC in September to assert that Vero Electric’s rates are excessive, abusive and monopolistic. Auwaerter was, of course, seeking to persuade the PSC to strip Vero Beach of its right to serve within the Shores.

When it became clear to Auwaerter and other Shores leaders that the Town’s PSC challenge would likely fail, they decided to instead get what they want by gaining control of the Vero Beach City Council. Their takeover of Vero Beach’s government did not require an invasion, or even email hacking. Shores leaders simply ran and funded a slate of candidates for the Vero Beach City Council. Those candidates were Laura Moss, Lange Sykes, and Norman Wells, all of whom attended a meeting in the Shores in late September where they were introduced by Shores Mayor Brian Barefoot as members of what he described as “the Shores team.” More…

Civic Association calls for referendum on partial sale 9

Editor’s note: In a letter addressed to the Vero Beach City Council, the Civic Association of Indian River County last week raised questions about the proposed sale of Vero Electric’s Indian River Shores customer base to Florida Power & Light.

Further, the group urged the Council to hold a referendum before going forward with the deal. While the voters of Vero Beach were asked in 2013 to weigh in or a sale of the full system, they have not been given a say in the carving up of the system at the request of the Shores. 

All of the offered $30 million sale price would need to remain in the electric utility for debt service and capital projects, and could not be used to buffer resulting tax increases or likely hikes in electric rates. During the recent municipal election, a political action committee funded by FPL and Shores residents placed advertising, funded robo calls and mailed post cards promising the sale proceeds would be a windfall to the people of Vero Beach.

The Shores-FPL funded PAC, which supported candidates Laura Moss and Lange Sykes, went so far as to propose that from the proposed sale every resident of Vero Beach could receive a check for some $1,900. 

Civic Association of Indian River County, Inc.

Dear Council:

The Board of Directors of the Civic Association of Indian River County wishes to voice strongly its urgent recommendation to delay the question of selling a portion of the City’s electric utility. This is a monumental step to take, especially in light of the many experts, both financial and legal, who have counseled against putting the City and its taxpayers at risk by such action. More…

Cultural Calendar Reply

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15

weekend-web_hlandct-pixTheatre-Go-Round Dinner Theatre presents “Holly Leaves & Christmas Trees 2-Celebrating the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, 2016” at the Quilted Giraffe, 500 US 1 in Vero Beach. Performances are on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, December 15, 16 & 17 at 6:30 pm and on Sunday, December 18 at 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm. $55 includes dinner, show and gratuities. For reservations, call the Box Office at 772-252-9341. More…

Grall joins Marine Bank and Trust board Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Rep. Erin Grall

Rep. Erin Grall

Marine Bank & Trust is proud to announce that Vero Beach native and newly elected Florida legislator, Erin Grall, has been appointed to its board of directors. Ms. Grall is the managing partner for the Grall Law Group and represents Florida District 54 in the Florida House of Representatives.

In addition to the practice of law, Ms. Grall is committed to community service and is and has been active in many aspects of Indian River County, including local non-profits and county committees. She currently serves as Chair-Elect for the United Way of Indian River County and as Immediate Past President of the Indian River County Bar Association. She was a member of the Grants Committee of the county’s Children’s Services Advisory Committee for approximately nine years. She is a past president of the Exchange Club of the Treasure Coast and in 2008 was elected to the State Board, where she served as District Director. Ms. Grall is also the past president of Childcare Resources of Indian River. More…

McKee Botanical Garden announces holiday hours and events 1

NEWS RELEASE

MCKEE CHRISTMAS-100-LROnce again, McKee Botanical Garden will deck the halls for the holidays with events throughout the season.

The holiday spirit will soar at McKee during the annual Holidays at McKee event on December 21-23 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. This year’s event will feature festive exhibits for everyone’s enjoyment including a 1924 Wurlitzer vintage band organ and a large-scale model railroad with an entirely new holiday village featuring four trains and over 200 feet of solid brass track. Children will enjoy writing letters to Santa which they can give to him personally. Have your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus each evening during the event. Additionally, on December 22, there will be two special performances. Tania Ortega-Cowan and her merry choir, the Tania Tunes Carolers, will be performing throughout the evening and the First United Methodist Church Handbell Ensemble will give an exclusive performance in the Bamboo Pavilion from 6:30-7:15 pm. More…

Impact 100 presents video series Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Impact 100Over the course of three months, thirty interviews were filmed and the full impact of the Impact 100 grants over the last eight years became real. This video project was an intimate discussion with people in the community who directly benefited because a grant was given to one of the Impact 100 community partners.

Real people shared real stories of how their lives were changed. Watch the videos and see and hear how lives were transformed, health restored and most of all how our member donations of $1000 each and their one vote has transformed the community we live in. More…

Council moves ahead with partial sale 3

Electric rates and taxes likely to rise

COMMENTARY

MARK SCHUMANN

By a vote of 3-2, the Vero Beach City Council yesterday accepted Florida Power and Light’s letter of intent to buy the Indian River Shores portion of the City’s electric utility for $30 million.

Rather than pushing ahead with a sale of the full electric system, the new Council majority of Harry Howle, Laura Moss and Lange Sykes has set in motion a downsizing of Vero Electric that is sure to result in higher rates and higher taxes. In explaining their support for the partial sale, each member of the Council’s new troika claimed, falsely, that the public has wanted “this” since 2009.

In truth, the “this” Vero Beach voters have supported is a sale of the full system. Such a sale would, in a single move, bring rate relieve to all 35,000 customers of Vero Electric. Vero Beach voters have never been asked if they would be willing to pay higher rates and higher taxes in order to bring lower rates to the residents of Indian River Shores. More…

Wilson is back, but remains unacquainted with the truth Reply

COMMENTRY

MARK SCHUMANN

truth squadCivic activist Charlie Wilson, who more than once has promised to ride off into the sunset, was again at the podium speaking before the Vero Beach City Council yesterday. Wilson, who has long had an adulterous relationship with the truth, was again making outlandish claims and telling outright lies.

For example, Wilson claimed the Indian River Neighborhood Association has paid InsideVero.com $5000 a year “to write stories.” In truth, the IRNA has placed advertising with InsideVero.com, both online and in print. Interestingly, Wilson does not also claim the tens of thousands of dollars of advertising Florida Power and Light places with the Press Journal and with the island weekly in any way influence their reporting. More…

Cultural Calendar Reply

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1

Art Mundo’s largest fundraiser of the year and biggest party – Calendart 2017 – will be held Thursday, December 1 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Sunrise Black Box Theatre. 2016 will be the 7th year Art Mundo has created these unique, one-of-a-kind calendars with original work by our area’s very talented artists. These calendars are collectors items and only 12 of them will be available for 2017. One Calendart calendar will be awarded by raffle. There will also be an exhibit of other original work by the Calendart artists and live music by the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society, a light hors d’oeuvres buffet and a cash bar. Calendart Gala tickets are $50 per person or 3 tickets for $100. Each gala ticket includes entry for one person to the evening’s festivities and one raffle ticket. Visit artmundo.org to purchase tickets. More…

Partial sale of Shores customers tops tomorrow’s City Council agenda 1

NEWS ANALYSIS

“Last year, Howle argued a sale of the full system is possible, if only the Council would, with resolve, implement his proposed five-point plan. Now Howle seems more interested in providing immediate rate relief for Shores residents, leaving his own constituents to wait in hopes a partial sale does not make a sale of the remainder of the system more difficult.”

MARK SCHUMANN

Winger

Winger

Howle

Howle

Vero Beach City Council members Laura Moss and Lange Sykes, whose campaigns were funded almost entirely by Indian River Shores residents and by Florida Power and Light, seem set to join with Harry Howle tomorrow in pressing ahead with the proposed sale of Vero Electric’s 3500 Indian River Shores customers to FPL.

The City now has in hand a letter of intent from FPL to purchase the Shores portion of the electric system for $30 million, including $3 million to be paid by Shores residents through a three-year surcharge. The Shores Town Council last week approved the surcharge, which would be assessed by FPL. More…

Riverside Theatre presents Chicago Reply

The Riverside Theatre's production of Chicago opens Jan. 3

The Riverside Theatre’s production of Chicago opens Jan. 3

NEWS RELEASE

Riverside Theatre, led by Producing Artistic Director/CEO Allen D. Cornell and Managing Director/COO Jon R. Moses, present Broadway’s longest-running American musical, Chicago, which performs on the Stark Stage from January 3 – 22, 2017. Chicago is sponsored by Laura and Bill Frick and Riverside Theatre’s Patron Producers Group.

Winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Chicago holds the record for the longest-running revival AND the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the show follows chorus girl Roxie Hart and the murder of her faithless lover. She convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap, but when he finds out the truth, he turns on her. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie meets Velma Kelly, another “merry murderess”. Joining forces, Roxie and Velma vie for the spotlight in search of the “American Dream” of fame, fortune and acquittal. More…

Historic Dodgertown to host holiday festivities Reply

Historic Dodgertown holiday festivities to feature movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Dodgertown LogoChristmas in Vero at Historic Dodgertown is sure to become a new favorite, seasonal tradition in Vero Beach. The event will feature a Christmas Village, an array of old-fashioned traditions and treats, a movie under the stars, and of course a visit from Santa.

Christmas in Vero will take place on Friday evening, Dec. 9, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and is hosted by Republic Productions Vero Beach.

Guests entering the Christmas Village at Holman Stadium will be welcomed with twinkling lights and carolers strolling among the holiday vendors. Seasonal foods and hot beverages will be available to be enjoyed throughout the evening. More…

FPL’s multi-year rate-increase request approved Reply

FT. LAUDERDALE SUN SENTINEL

FPL LogoFlorida Power & Light’s residential customers will see their bills increase each year through 2019 following the state Public Service Commission’s approval Tuesday of a negotiated rate-hike settlement.

The first increase will take effect in January, when a typical 1,000-kWh residential user’s bill will jump about $7, from about $91.56 currently to $98.77. That bill would jump to $102.50 in January 2018 and then to $103.70 in June 2019 before declining to $102.97 in January 2020. Continue reading…

 

 

Related story: After Spending $8 Million to Deceive Solar Voters, FPL Shamefully Hikes Rates by $811 Million

Cultural Calendar Reply

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1

Art Mundo’s largest fundraiser of the year and biggest party – Calendart 2017 – will be held Thursday, December 1 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Sunrise Black Box Theatre. 2016 will be the 7th year Art Mundo has created these unique, one-of-a-kind calendars with original work by our area’s very talented artists. These calendars are collectors items and only 12 of them will be available for 2017.  One Calendart calendar will be awarded by raffle. There will also be an exhibit of other original work by the Calendart artists and live music by the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society, a light hors d’oeuvres buffet and a cash bar.  Calendart Gala tickets are $50 per person or 3 tickets for $100. Each gala ticket includes entry for one person to the evening’s festivities and one raffle ticket. Visit artmundo.org to purchase tickets. More…

Skate Park organizers looking for an ‘angel’ Reply

NEWS RELEASE

skate-park-datauri-fileIndian River County has approximately 11,000 skateboarders, bicycle motor cross (BMX) and in-line skaters using the streets, parks, business store fronts and homemade ramps to practice their action sports.  The community has only one small skate park in Sebastian for skateboarders but BMX and in-line skating is prohibited.  Police can issue citations of $15 to those who violate ordinances prohibiting skateboarding on certain streets and parks in Vero Beach and Indian River County.    

In February 2016, the City of Vero Beach City Council voted to allow the Vero Beach Skate Park Alliance (VBSPA), a non- profit organization, to raise money to build a skate park at Leisure Square, the City’s health and wellness complex on 16th Street.  Since then the VBSPA has been spreading the word about the need for a skate park and looking for an “Angel Investor” to help with its $1 million price tag.  More…

Ray of Hope Reply

vero-beach-castaway-cove-dune-line

All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.

If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them.

If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them. – Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching