Business leader and cyclist to “Ride 75 for Babies” March 1 Reply

Bill Penney, President and C.E.O. of Marine Bank, plans to ride 75 miles March 1 in hopes of raising $7,500 for the March of Dimes.

Bill Penney, President and CEO of Marine Bank, plans to ride 75 miles March 1 in hopes of raising $7,500 for the March of Dimes.

VERO BEACH – Local business leader Bill Penney, President and CEO of Marine Bank & Trust Company, will once again don his biking apparel for charity. Penney, who is also currently Chairman of the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce,  plans to peddle out of the Marine Bank parking lot on Beachland Blvd. early March 1 on a 75 miles ride to Melbourne and back in celebration of the March of Dimes 75th Anniversary.   The following day, the March of Dimes will hold its largest annual fundraising event, March for Babies, a walk beginning and ending at Riverside Park. More…

Riverside Theatre announces 2013-2014 season Reply

VERO BEACH  – Riverside Theatre’s 2013-2014 Season will again be another ambitious one. On the Stark Stage four great musicals will be presented to delight our audiences. On the Waxlax Stage an uproarious comedy and musical revue are scheduled. Riverside’s new season will build on the great success of last season, which brought a record number of patrons and lifted subscriptions to new heights. More…

Mary Matalin to speak Feb. 23rd at the Emerson Center’s Celebrated Speakers Series Reply

Mary Matalin

Mary Matalin

Mary Matalin, one of the most celebrated and popular conservative voices in America, a former presidential advisor and contributor to  CNN, will speak Saturday, February 23, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. as the speaker in The Emerson Center’s 2013 Celebrated Speakers Series.

Matalin is a best-selling author, television and radio host, and widely sought-after political contributor, pundit and public speaker noted for her straightforward manner and insightful political repartee. More…

Schuster Main Street’s March guest artist Reply

Work by Mainstreet's March guest artist, Don Schuster

Work by Main Street’s March guest artist, Don Schuster

Main Street Vero Beach announces the March guest artist at the MSVB Studios. Mr. Donald Schuster’s art will  be up from March 1st at the Historic Downtown Vero Beach First Friday Gallery Stroll until the end of March. Gallery hours follow MSVB office hours.

Although dabbling in art for some time, in more recent years Donald Schuster has become decidedly serious in his approach to art, and has spent a great deal of his time immersing himself in the study of painting. An award-winning artist and photographer, Donald uses his photographic images as subject matter, More…

Dance lessons lead to a new avocation for Doug and Dori Coffey Reply

 
BY KERRY BARTLETT
Doug and Dori Coffee

Doug and Dori Coffee

Doug and Dori Coffey walked into Royal Ballroom Dance Studio to take a few dance lessons before they went on a cruise. They wanted their dreams of sweeping across the dance floor while gliding across the ocean to become reality.

Unfortunately, the shipboard activities did not include many waltzes or fox trots but they loved their lessons and learning new steps so much that they decided to continue with lessons. Four years later, they are still dancing.

“We find dancing gives us the exercise we would get at a gym and is an activity we can do together, said Doug Coffey.  “In addition to exercising the body, as we continue to progress and learn more dances and programs, it is an amazing workout for the mind.” 

The Coffeys have been selected as the February Students of the Month at Royal Ballroom in Vero Beach. The couple takes private couple lessons as well as participating in a few of the diverse group classes offered each week including the Argentine Tango on Monday evenings. More…

United Way funds meals for recuperating seniors Reply

 United Way of Indian River County announced that it will provide $5000 to keep seniors experiencing a health crisis from needing a hospital stay or nursing home placement.

The Senior Resource Association, (SRA), provides Emergency Meals on Wheels to seniors needing assistance. National statistics show that when Medicare beneficiaries are discharged after a hospital stay, 20% are readmitted within 30 days. However, SRA has found that of 581 Meals on Wheels clients served, those provided with a hot meal and a visit during the first 30 days after discharge were readmitted at a rate of only 7%. SRA is not currently funded at a level to support this recognized need and United Way has stepped up to help fill the gap. More…

Nine year old girl delivers birthday gifts to Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition 2

Lynn Mueller (left) and daughter Faith with the baby gifts donated by her friends to celebrate at Faith’s 9 year old birthday party.

Lynn Mueller (left) and daughter Faith with the baby gifts donated by her friends to celebrate at Faith’s 9 year old birthday party.

Nine year old Faith Rose Mueller has proven that you’re never too young to help out others in need.  On her birthday, Saturday, February 16, Faith wanted to celebrate her special day at the Skate Factory in Vero Beach with close friends and family as well as her classmates from Glendale Christian School. More…

James A. Baker to Close Out 2013 Celebrated Speakers Series at Emerson Center Reply

James Baker

James Baker

The Emerson Center’s Celebrated Speakers series ends March 16, with James A. Baker III.  Baker served in senior government positions from 1975 to 1992 under three U.S. presidents and led campaigns for Presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush in five consecutive presidential elections. Baker’s record of public service began in 1975 as undersecretary of commerce to President Ford. From 1981 to 1985, he was White House chief of staff to President Reagan, and subsequently became the 67th secretary of the treasury, as well as chairman of the President’s Economic Policy Council under Reagan. More…

Sunrise Rotary’s Florida Craft Brew & Wingfest set for Saturday at Royal Palm Pointe Reply

IV.022113.Florida Craft Brew & Wingfest

This Saturday, from 11 a.m to 4:30 p.m., the 60 members of the Vero Beach Sunrise Rotary Club plan to pour pour thousands of bottles at the 2nd annual Florida Craft Beer and Wingfest family event. Last year, over 3,000 locals and tourists attended the festival on Royal Palm Pointe. Overflow parking and bus service will be available off Indian River Boulevard in the Parc 24 garage. More…

Same pew, different church 4

 BY MILT THOMAS

Milt Thomas

Milt Thomas

A general announcement about InsideVero just went out, so I wanted to reflect a little on how it could add a new dimension to news reporting in our community.

I wrote my first opinion column back in April, 1993. It appeared in the Treasure Coast Business Journal, then owned by Mark Schumann. I wrote about the need for a diversified economy here in Indian River County. My last column for the Treasure Coast Business Journal appeared in May of 2008. It was about the need for a diversified economy here in Indian River County.  The columns in between covered many other topics, occasionally about the need to revitalize downtown Vero Beach and do something about the Twin Pairs. More…

National Elephant Center’s first phase unveiled Reply

Phase one of the National Elephant Center, unveiled Wednesday, includes a 13,000-sqhare-foot receiving area, a keeper's station and four paddocks.

Phase one of the National Elephant Center, unveiled Wednesday, includes a 13,000-square-foot receiving area, a keeper’s station and four paddocks.

“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. More…

Congressman Posey opens office in County Administration Building 1

Fred Wilfork, Lindel Williams and Angela Perry, of the Gifford Youth Activity Center, speak with Congressman Bill Posey at the opening of  the congressman's new office Tuesday.

Fred Wilfork, Lindel Williams and Angela Perry, of the Gifford Youth Activity Center, speak with Congressman Bill Posey at the opening of the congressman’s new office Tuesday.

Congressman Bill Posey, representing the 15th Congressional District, was in Vero Beach yesterday for the opening of  his new office in the Indian River County Administration Building A, located at 1801 27th Street in Vero Beach.  According the the congressman’s office, staff members will be meeting with constituents Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Anyone interested in meeting with a member of Congressman Posey’s staff can call 772.226.1701.  Appointments are recommended

Proposed sale of Vero Electric now in the hands of voters, regulators and the FMPA Reply

Former Council members Deborah Fromang, BIll Jordan, Ken Diage and Sabe Abell, stook behind Caroline Ginn as she spoke before the Council.

Former Council members Deborah Fromang, BIll Jordan, Ken Daige and Sabe Abell, stood behind Caroline Ginn as she spoke before the Council Tuesday evening, raising her concerns about the proposed sale of Vero Electric to Florida Power & Light.

BY MARK SCHUMANN

VERO BEACH – After receiving 3-2 approval by the City Council Tuesday evening, the proposed sale of Vero Electric to Florida Power & Light will now go before city voters in a March 12 referendum.

Both sides have geared up for a short, three-week campaign, with signs already appearing on lawns and in road right of ways around the city. More…

Annual Kiwanis golf tournament March 16 Reply

Kiwanians Kevin Brown (on left) and Al Sammartino (on right) flank Vero Beach High School Key Club officers (from left) Viri Morales, Rebecca Cosgrove, Laura Conger, Nicole McRostie and Dominique McRostie as they prepare for the Vero Kiwanis Annual Golf Tournament on Saturday, March 16 at The Club at Pointe West.

Kiwanians Kevin Brown (on left) and Al Sammartino (on right) flank Vero Beach High School Key Club officers (from left) Viri Morales, Rebecca Cosgrove, Laura Conger, Nicole McRostie and Dominique McRostie as they prepare for the Vero Kiwanis Annual Golf Tournament on Saturday, March 16 at The Club at Pointe West.

The Kiwanis Club of Vero Beach will hold its annual golf tournament on Saturday, March 16 at The Club at Pointe West. Proceeds from this event will fund Kiwanis college scholarships as well as the construction of two pavilions at the Homeless Family Center in partnership with Lauren’s Way. A portion of the proceeds will also support the Indian River Golf Foundation’s Junior Program.

Kiwanis has been a fixture in our community since 1935 with a focus on children and charities that support them. They also sponsor Key Clubs at three area high schools. Lauren’s Way is the focus of 12-year old Lauren Weaver, who has received national attention for her efforts to help homeless families in the area. The Homeless Family Center provides shelter and educational help for families in need of housing as they try to re-enter the workforce and support themselves.

For information about the golf tournament and Kiwanis contact Al Sammartino at 778-9711.

Jake Owen Foundation distributes donations to local charities Reply

Boys & Girls Club of Indian River County/Vero Beach.  From left to right:  Elizabeth Thomason, Executive Director, youth participant Dashondra McGriffm, Jasmine St. Aime, Jarrod Owen, representative of the Jake Owen Foundation, Toccara Williams, Unit Director, participants Lakia Patterson, Indigo Makiposa and Johnianous Mertilus.

Boys & Girls Club of Indian River County/Vero Beach. From left to right: Elizabeth Thomason, Executive Director, youth participant Dashondra McGriffm, Jasmine St. Aime, Jarrod Owen, representative of the Jake Owen Foundation, Toccara Williams, Unit Director, participants Lakia Patterson, Indigo Makiposa and Johnianous Mertilus.

Homeless Family Center.  Jarrod Owen with Kiera, Jarrod, Aukeria

Homeless Family Center. Jarrod Owen with Kiera, Jarrod, Aukeria

Museum’s community celebration set for Saturday 1

Artist Demonstrations

Artist Demonstrations

The Vero Beach Museum of Art is sponsoring a community celebration of art this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The free event, I Love Art, will include art activities, presentations, demonstrations and exhibits.

Studio classrooms in the Museum Art School will feature hand-on art activities for all ages.  Other offerings include Artist Spotlight presentations by Museum Art School members, artist demonstrations and a Museum Art School faculty exhibition in the Patricia M. Patten Community Gallery.

Admission to all the Museum’s current exhibitions will be free, with docents available in the galleries to answer visitor questions.   The current exhibitions include:  The Golden Age of European Painting from the Speed Art Museum; Recycled Reality: Pablo Cano’s Marionettes; selections from the Permanent Collection in the Stark Gallery and Alice and Jim Beckwith Sculpture Park; Art in Bloom, and the Museum Art School Faculty Exhibition.

Art In Bloom Display

Art In Bloom Display

Family Art Activities

Family Art Activities

66th Avenue widening project now underway north of SR 60 Reply

IV.66 Avenue Widening

The northern section of the county’s $14.5 million project to reconstruct 66th Avenue as a four-lane divided road from 4th Street north to Barber Street is now underway, as trees are cleared and large earth movers are forming a new roadbed. Partly funded by a $5.7 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation, the project includes moving the roadway 15 feet west to create a buffer between the road and the 66th Avenue canal.  Pictured above is work now being done between 41st Street and 45th Street.

What if Florida was the 14th colony? 2

BY MILT THOMAS 

Milt Thomas

Milt Thomas

Many Indian River County residents are scratching their heads over the decision as few months back by both our County Commission and Vero Beach City Council to reject participation in the Seven50 project. It was created to draft a long term comprehensive plan for economic development and quality of life in the southeast Florida region.  Even more incredulous, they not only rejected participation in the project itself, but also turned down any form of participation in the pre-planning discussion process.

Some people in our community – hopefully a minority – apparently have “philosophical” problems with the project, that it somehow relates to a takeover of our government by the United Nations.  I would like some of whatever they are smoking. More…

Driving down the middle of the road is better than heading off a cliff 2

Editor’s Note:  The following commentary was first published February, 17, 2013.  

“After more than a year of negotiations that have cost the city close to $1 million in legal fees, it is painfully clear the best deal that can be made for a sale of  Vero Electric will leave the city with next to nothing, in a transaction that cannot be closed for almost another four years.”  

“Now that it is obvious a sale of the full system is a bad deal for the city and ALL 34,000 ratepayers,  the Council should slow down, draw back and more carefully consider all options, including a partial sale, or forming an independent utility authority.  The middle of the road is often the place where the more prudent solution is found.”

BY MARK SCHUMANN

When I asked someone recently to confirm a statement that seemed questionable, he said, “I read it on the internet.”

Well, there you have it.  If what he was claiming appeared in writing, it must be true.

About the same time, I also received a forwarded email with a subject line which read, “I’m not sure if this is true, but…”

If we require no more proof than to see something in writing, before accepting as fact claims that square with our beliefs, then how will we ever discover the truth that transcends our biases? More…

What exactly is an Elitist Hypocrite? 2

BY MILT THOMAS

Milt Thomas

Milt Thomas

Although that term has not been used lately by the NRA describing President Obama, it kept dancing around in my head as words often do. I know I’m not senile or paranoid because the word combinations actually make sense, at least for now. Anyway, if you Google “elitist hypocrite” you will see 82 million references to that term ever since the National Rifle Association ran an ad and PR when Obama wanted to do something about the murder of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut.

First of all, name calling is a tradition that dates back to my elementary school days when kids called each other names to try and hurt them: “You’re a dirty rotten liar!” or “Your mother wears army boots!”  It acquired a more serious connotation when Senator McCarthy called everyone a communist back in the mid-50s. That created paranoia among Americans because communism was a real threat, and when a respected senator calls someone a communist, that person could be ruined for life, even if the allegation is false. McCarthy went down in flames along with communism so no one was accused of being a communist until Barack Obama took office. More…