When in Egypt… Reply

BY MILT THOMAS

EDITOR’S NOTE: InsideVero Contributing Editor, Milt Thomas, is traveling in the Middle East, and will be corresponding with our readers as he journeys to Egypt to the United Arib Emirates

Hamdy and Milt smoking sheesha

Hamdy and Milt smoking sheesha

I was never in my life a serious smoker. I smoked a pipe in college, have had an occasional cigar, but cigarettes never interested me.  One reason I never smoked is that I would cough my brains out. So, like Clinton, I never inhaled.

Another reason goes back to my childhood. My father smoked and one day as I looked at him with great admiration, he handed me his pack of cigarettes and said, “Go ahead, try it.” More…

Progress Energy turns out lights on Crystal River nuclear plant 1

Duke Energy announced today it will shutter its nuclear power plant at Crystal River.

Progress Energy announced today it will shutter its nuclear power plant at Crystal River.

BY JIM SAUNDERS, THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Ending months of debate and uncertainty, Progress Energy Florida said Tuesday it will permanently shut down a damaged Crystal River nuclear plant that has not generated electricity since 2009.

Progress and its parent company, Duke Energy, rejected the possibility of making costly repairs and decided to begin a decades-long process that ultimately will lead to dismantling the plant and decontaminating the site. The situation, which began with a crack in a containment building at the plant, is unprecedented in Florida.

Read More:

http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2013/02/05/progress-energy-closes-nuke-plant.html

Coy and Minner to address Indian River Neighborhood Association Feb. 12 Reply

Sebastian Councilwoman Andrea Coy and City Manager Al Minner will address the Indian River Neighborhood Association at a noon luncheon Tuesday, February 12,  to be held at Capt. Hiram’s in Sebastian.  Coy and Minner will discuss plans for Sebastian’s future, with particular emphasis on the ideas for the river front.

The luncheon is open to the public, and the lunch cost is $15 payable at the door.  Reservations are strongly suggested. Contact the Indian River Neighborhood Association at  772-794-4762, or by email at exdir.irna@comcast.net.

Conditions in Egypt not what they appear Reply

Egyptian family meal

Egyptian family meal

BY MILT THOMAS

“Believe nothing of what you hear and half of what you see.”

That saying has always been attributed to Confucius, but it could certainly apply to the situation in Egypt today. In the ten days since I first arrived, I have received numerous emails from friends and family warning me of the terrible problems here in Egypt. More…

State’s consumer advocate not decided yet on FPL rate case appeal Reply

Editor’s Note:  In an effort to supplement coverage in the local media on Florida Power and Light’s recent rate increase, we are offering links to stories published in south Florida newspapers.

By SUSAN SALISBURY  – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer, Jan. 15

Florida Power & Light Co. customers’ bills for January will reflect the $350 million base rate increase the Florida Public Service Commission granted the utility in December.

Read more:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/states-consumer-advocate-not-decided-yet-on-fpl-ra/nTxd8/

Regulators agree to give FPL four-year rate deal

The Florida Public Service Commission agrees to modify a Florida Power & Light settlement offer and will allow the company $358 million and four years of guaranteed profits as it bring three new power plants into service.

BY MARY ELLEN KLAS – Miami Herald Staff Writer, Dec. 13, 2012

TALLAHASSEE The Public Service Commission on Thursday agreed to award Florida Power & Light a $358 million base rate request that includes a series of rate increases over four years and rejected a call from the public counsel that the company scale back its rates.

Read more:

Voters have few advocates working on their behalf 17

BY KENNETH DAIGE
Ken Daige

Kenneth Daige

Thoughts voters in the City of Vero Beach might want to keep in mind before deciding any action on a referendum to dispose of or not dispose of Vero’s electric system to FP&L.

The November 2010 city council adopted policy to sell to FP&L. Bids for the electric system were never advertised.

Now we’re told the city is disposing of the electric system not selling it. There is no monetary value placed on that disposal; it’s a give-away. More…

FPL and OUC sign “nuclear option” agreement 7

Florida Power & Light and the Orlando Utilities Commission have executed and option agreement for the OUC to share joint ownership in two new nuclear unites FPL has proposed to build at its Turkey Point plant.

Florida Power & Light and the Orlando Utilities Commission have executed an option agreement for the OUC to share joint ownership in two new nuclear units FPL has proposed to build at its Turkey Point plant.

BY MARK SCHUMANN

About the same time Florida Power & Light, the Orlando Utilities Commission and the City of Vero Beach announced the successful negotiation of power purchase agreements that paved the way for FPL to acquire Vero Electric, FPL slipped into the last sentence of a semi-annual PSC filing notice that it had also reached an agreement giving the OUC an option to buy into two new 1,100 megawatt nuclear reactors FPL proposes to build at its Turkey Point plant. More…

Major weather event hits Egypt Reply

Traffic jam on road to Alexandria

Traffic jam on road to Alexandria

BY MILT THOMAS

EDITOR’S NOTE: InsideVero Contributing Editor, Milt Thomas, is traveling in the Middle East, and will be corresponding with our readers as he journeys to Egypt to the United Arib Emirates

Blame it on global warming or Judgement Day, but a major weather event hit Egypt yesterday – it rained. Normally, Egypt gets one to two inches of rain a year, but it seems like the entire annual rainfall came yesterday (even lightning and thunder today!). In a country more famous for dust than rain, nothing slows life down more than a combination of both. Dust becomes mud and while it cleans the air, it creates a mess on the ground. Of course yesterday is the day I went to Alexandria, a two and a half hour drive on good weather days. I accompanied ten other adults and five small kids in one mini-bus to attend an engagement party involving their relatives in the northern Mediterranean city. We left Kafr el Arbain around noon and arrived at the destination in Alexandria at five. More…

Finance Commission recommends approval of power deal Reply

VERO BEACH – With the Finance Commission’s unanimous approval of the proposed sales contract between the city and Florida Power & Light, the city moved one step closer today to completing the deal.

A number of hurdles remain to be cleared, not the least of which is the need to convince all 18 member-cities in the Florida Municipal Power Agency’s All Requirements Project to give the city a waiver enabling it to leave the group before late 2016. More…

Vero Beach and Lake Worth taking different approaches to lowering rates 2

BY MARK SCHUMANN

Responding to pressure to bring down electric rates, City of Lake Worth officials put the Florida Municipal Power Agency on notice that, rather than renewing a wholesale power agreement set to expire in 2014, they would seek alternative bids.  Lake Worth officials also resolved to consider other options, including a possible sale of the city’s electric utility.

In order to buy time to fully consider long-term solutions to meeting the power needs of the city’s 22,000 customers, Lake Worth leaders went looking for the best short-term power contract they could find on the open market.

Earlier this week, the Lake Worth City Council accepted an offer from the Orlando Utilities Commission, choosing the FMPA members utility over four other bidders, including Florida Power & Light. More…

Travel Blog -Dubai is like Disney in the desert Reply

Downtown Dubai and new superhighway under construction

Downtown Dubai and new superhighway under construction

BY MILT THOMAS

EDITOR’S NOTE: InsideVero Contributing Editor, Milt Thomas, is traveling in the Middle East, and will be corresponding with our readers as he journeys to Egypt to the United Arib Emirates

Milt Thomas

Milt Thomas

DUBAI – You may have seen TV programs about Dubai, read about it or seen Tom Cruise jump from the Burj Khadifa skyscraper in Mission Impossible Ad Nauseum,  but seeing the city in person is like the first time you ever visited DisneyWorld in Orlando. Incredible.

Even more incredible, is the fact that 50 years ago Dubai was a tiny desert Bedouin settlement along the Dubai Creek. Today, it is a city of two million, largest in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), itself a sovereign state only since 1971. More…

News Analysis – Vero Beach receives another $142,657 in legal bills 5

 BY MARK SCHUMANN

VERO BEACH – The latest invoice from the city’s transactional attorneys arrived at city hall yesterday.  What followed today was a bill from the Florida Municipal Power Agency’s bound counsel, Nixon Peabody.

For legal work done during the month of Dec., the transactional attorneys billed the city $107,841, bringing their total charges through the end of 2012 to approximately $879,000.  Added to the Nixon Peabody invoice for $34,816, the city’s legal costs for negotiating a sale of Vero Electric are fast approaching $1 million, with little if any end in sight. More…

Feinour elected to Hospital District board Reply

VERO BEACH – Less than one percent of Indian River County’s registered voters turned out Tuesday to cast ballots in a special election held to fill a vacant seat on the Indian River County Hospital District board.

In the county-wide election in which just 814 votes were cast, Eugene Feinour, former treasurer of the Indian River Medical Center Foundation, gained more votes than the other four candidates combined.  Feinour was challenged by M. Joan Hutton, Nancy Madsen, Nicholas Schaus, and Charles Searcy. More…

America’s middle class is now the “new poor,” says Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith Reply

BY MARK SCHUMANN

Hedrick Smith

Hedrick Smith

Now sputtering through the third jobless recovery since the early 1990s, the country’s economy and political system are in need of fundamental reform, says Hedrick Smith, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and author of “Who Stole the American Dream?”

Smith, who worked 27 years as a reporter and editor for the New York Times before becoming a Emmy Award-winning producer and correspondent for PBS, will speak at the Emerson Center Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. More…

Utilities Commission gives a thumbs up to sales agreement with FPL Reply

The City of Vero Beach Utilities Commission heard today from Mark Arnold, one of the transactional attorneys representing the city in its negotiations to sell Vero Electric.  Four members of the Finance Commission also attended today's meeting.

The City of Vero Beach Utilities Commission heard today from Mark Arnold, one of the transactional attorneys representing the city in its negotiations to sell Vero Electric. Four members of the Finance Commission also attended today’s meeting.

VERO BEACH – The Utilities Commission voted unanimously today to recommend the City Council approve a proposed contract between the city and Florida Power & Light for the sale of Vero Electric.

“This is a good deal for the citizens of Vero Beach and for the citizens of Indian River County.  This is a huge economic opportunity for the community,” said Chairman Scott Stradley. More…

“Rah Rah” Party Held for Dancers and Instructors of Dancing with Vero’s Stars Reply

IV.012913.Patio Rah Rah Party

A “Rah Rah” Party, hosted by the Dancing with Vero’s Stars committee, was recently held at The Patio for the ten star dancers and instructors to bring everyone up- to- date on all the current plans for the event, ticket sales information, fundraising parties, silent auction procedures and sponsor progress. In-kind sponsors of the evening were The Patio and Robin Lloyd & Associates. More…