Dr. Cronin of IRSC selected for leadership program Reply


Dr. Marta Cronin

The National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC) has announced that Dr. Marta Cronin, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Indian River State College, is participating in the NCHCC Leadership Development Program as a 2017 Fellow.

Dr. Cronin joined IRSC in 2001 as a faculty member and has been appointed to positions of increasing responsibility.  The Port St. Lucie resident holds a Doctorate from the University of Sarasota and was promoted to IRSC Vice President of Academic Affairs in 2016.

Dr. Cronin is one of twenty-two members of the 2017 Hispanic Fellows cohort selected from college candidates from around the country.  The program is hosted by the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences and engages participants in leadership training and new strategies to help students succeed.  It is designed to develop a pool of highly qualified Latinos interesting in educational career advancement.

VNA welcomes new board member, Karen Schievelbein Reply

NES RELEASE                                                

Karen Schievelbein

The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) welcomes Karen Schievelbein to their board of directors. A VNA and Hospice Foundation board member and finance committee member, Schievelbein’s professional background includes business development, financial analysis, risk management and accounting. She has served as chief financial officer for Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California and United Behavioral Health before becoming the chief operating officer of Spectera UnitedHealthcare Dental from which she retired in 2007. 

”The role of the VNA and Hospice Foundation is to strategically build and strengthen relationships with people interested in supporting the local health care delivery system  and specifically the areas of home health care, hospice services and community wellness programs through the VNA,” said Anne Cooney, Chair of the Foundation’s Nominating Committee. “Karen’s unique health care experience and accounting expertise aligned well with our organization’s commitment to accountability, fiscal responsibility and transparency for our donors and partners.”  More…

Riverside Theatre announces KIDSPOT Reply


Riverside Theatre announces KIDSPOT, a special area designated for kids 12 and under, at select performances at the Theatre’s outdoor Loop.  KIDSPOT access is complimentary to children with tickets to a performance of Willy Wonka or iRascals.

Designed to enhance a child’s enjoyment at the theatre, KIDSPOT will engage children with activities, arts and crafts, games with prizes, character meet and greets, and complimentary refreshments.

KIDSPOT will be open one hour prior to evening performances and one hour after matinee performances. For evening shows, children will receive a dinner item and beverage prior to the show.  For matinees, they will receive a complimentary snack and beverage after the show.  Allergy sensitive options are available upon request.  Parents and older kids can purchase food, snacks, and drinks separately.

Willy Wonka and iRascals show dates and times are listed below. KIDSPOT performances are designated with a (KS).

The Shows

Willy Wonka JR. and Willy Wonka KIDS

The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale. Featuring the enchanting songs from the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka JR. and Willy Wonka KIDS follow the enigmatic candy manufacturer as he stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory – or suffer the consequences.

The hour-long version of Willy Wonka JR. starring children aged 12 to 18 takes place:

June 16 @ 1:30pm & 7:30pm (KS);                                       June 17 @ 1:30pm (KS) & 5:30pm (KS)

A shorter version, Willy Wonka KIDS, starring children aged 7 to 12 takes place:

June 23 @ 1:30pm & 7:30pm (KS)                                         June 24 @ 1:30pm (KS) & 5:30pm (KS)

 iRascals JR. and iRascals KIDS More…

Single Tickets now on sale for Riverside Theatre 2017-2018 Season Reply


Single tickets for Riverside Theatre’s exciting 2017-2018 Season of shows are now on sale. Building on the success and support the theatre has received over the last few years, Riverside is proud to present another ambitious season of music, comedy, and drama.

The season begins in October with a wonderful musical showcasing the songs of Hank Williams with Hank Williams: Lost Highway. January brings the Broadway hit musical, Million Dollar Quartet, followed by the play about football legend Vince Lombardi in Lombardi. The next production on the Stark Stage is one of the most acclaimed musicals of all time, Gypsy, and the season concludes with the Broadway smash hit, Mamma Mia. Two distinctive theatre pieces play on the Waxlax Stage: The Mystery of Edwin Drood in January and the Off-Broadway smash, Buyer & Cellar in March.

Individual tickets start at $35 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 772-231-6990 or online at http://www.riversidetheatre.com. Continue reading…

Hundreds turn out to support Jermey Gable’s struggle with cancer Reply

From Left: Jermey Gable, Shotsi Lajoie, David Moshier, Kristie Gallagher, Calvary Church Pastor Jim Gallagher, Camp Haven Executive Director Lalita Janke, Elizabeth Moshier


Chipolte, Vero Beach. The rain was no deterrent for the hundreds of people who came to show their moral and financial support for Jermey on this dreary evening full of hope. Our facebook posts and flyers told them they could make dinner a selfless act by joining Camp Haven for a fundraiser at Chipolte to support Jermey and his family in their struggle.

On Friday May 5th, Jermey found out he has adenocarcinoma in his pancreas and it had spread to his liver. The oncologist suggested that he start an aggressive form of chemo therapy ASAP but Jermey has no health insurance. Jermey is 41and has a young family. Baby Maiya is just 17 months old. We are asking for prayers and financial support to ease the many challenges Jermey, Brenda and the children will face in the months ahead. More…

Our obligation to endow the City of Vero Beach 1


Editor’s Note: Richard Winger is a member of the Vero Beach City Council.


Richard Winger

The Good news in my message today is that FP&L has submitted a document stating their intent to finalize a Purchase and Sale Agreement at Council’s only meeting in July on the 18th. Their document includes details of their  “Due Diligence” for the Acquisition of our Electric Utility.  The draft had been submitted and now they will finalize it.

This “Agreement” will be something determined by each party: FP&L’s part is the “Purchase” and the City’s part is the “Sale”. When does the City start to work on our “due diligence”?  Surely it cannot be an Agreement when only one party to it has done “Due Diligence”.

This is where the Bad enters my message. Not only have we not done our due diligence, but we now learn the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) has just made it clear they find FP&L’s offer in the Letter of Intent for the Vero Beach exit unacceptable. This is the same situation we had in the prior contract which expired last December.  At that time FP&L wanted to pass along $26,000,000 to the ratepayers, to be attached to their monthly bills, to accommodate OUC’s exit cost. If we are face with that again, power bills would likely increase over current Vero Beach rates, given the City has gone down 15% and FPL has gone up 10%.  The differential has shrunk greatly.

Cultural Calendar Reply



The Vero Beach Museum of Art offers Art & Film on Tuesdays at 5:30 this month beginning June 13 and continuing on June 20 and 27. “The World of Wes Anderson” features The Life of Aquatic with Steve Zissou (June 13); Fantastic Mr. Fox (June 20) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (June 20) Free with museum admission: Adults $6; Seniors $5; Free with Museum membership. There is still time to register for Adult Art Classes beginning today. Family programs include Art Babies, Kidz Art Shops, Artful Storytime and Toddler Tours. Summer Art Camp for ages 4-16 continues through July 28th, and enjoy the Deborah Butterfield, Horses exhibit. For offerings, visit VeroBeachMuseum.org.


Indian River County Courthouse: Gina DeMario

Indian River County Administration Bldg A: CCIRC member artists

Indian River County Main Library: Vero Beach Art Club

Image: by Chris Gunkel at County Admin



The Second Annual Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival (VBWFF) begins on Thursday, June 8 and continues on Sunday, June 11 at various screening locations in Vero Beach. VBWFF focuses on providing a truly unique festival, allowing guests to fully experience films with tailored wine and drink pairings, special guests and immersive viewing. Visit the website, http://www.vbwff.com for current offerings and to purchase passes ranging from a one-day pass to screenings, wine tastings and panel discussions is $40; four-day passes are $95 to $100. Passes with extras range from $185 to $2,500.


A possible ugly outcome for the budget 1


Editor’s note: Richard Winger is a member of the Vero Beach City Council.


Richard Winger

The Good news is property values have increased by 6.9% and is expected to provide an additional $400,000 to City revenues this year.

The Bad news is we are going into our Annual Budget preparations with an existing more than a million dollar shortfall in funding for just street and storm water repair.  And, there is not enough money for existing staff.

Please don’t accept arguments that the City has too many employees.  That simply is not true.  Past Councils have systematically reduced staff to a barebones level.

The Ugly is there is no other significant revenue increase coming in. And, there will be a loss of annual funds, once the sale of the Electric Utility to FP&L is completed. More…

Marine Bank & Trust adds new senior vice president Reply


Bill Koehne

Vero Beach, Fla. Marine Bank and Trust has announced that Bill Koehne has joined the 20-year-old bank as senior vice president, commercial lending manager. Koehne will manage Marine Bank’s team of commercial loan officers while raising awareness of the Bank’s commercial lending capabilities in Indian River and Brevard counties.

“As an independent community bank, Marine Bank is committed to being a resource for the small business owners of Indian River and Brevard counties,” said Bill Penney, president and CEO of Marine Bank. “Bill’s 40 years of experience as a commercial lender combined with his contacts in the Melbourne area will be an asset to Marine Bank’s market expansion plans.”

About Marine Bank & Trust:  Marine Bank, was chartered in 1997 and has $216 million is assets with three full-service branches in Vero Beach and Sebastian. It is the only community bank headquartered in Vero Beach, Florida. The Bank was named one of Indian River County’s Best Places to Work in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2016. The Bank is an active community supporter providing over $200,000 to more than 125 local non-profit organizations in the market over the last five years. For more information, visit the website at http://www.marinebankandtrust.com.

More than 120 high school diplomas presented at IRSC ceremony Reply


Approximately 121 Indian River State College High School and GED Preparation graduates participated in the Adult Secondary Education Graduation Ceremony on Thursday, May 25, at 6:00 p.m. in the McAlpin Fine Arts Center at the Main Campus in Fort Pierce. Commencement speaker Ann L. Decker, Executive Director of IRSC Foundation, addressed the graduates with inspirational remarks about their educational journey and career paths.

Many of these graduates will continue their education in one of IRSC’s certificate or degree programs. As Dr. Kelly Amatucci, Assistant Dean of the School of Education, explained, “Students enrolled in the IRSC Adult Education program have the opportunity to simultaneously begin their career while completing their high school credential. Ongoing support is provided through mentoring and career inventories. Financial support is also available for students in need who would like to register for college courses.” More…

Cultural Calendar Reply


McKee Botanical Garden is proud to be a Blue Star Museum and one of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense. McKee Botanical Garden will offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day, May 29, through Labor Day, September 4. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and to learn more about their community.



— Comedy Zone-Summer Nights: Shows at 7:30 and 9:30 pm with comedians Philly Plowden and Juanita Lolita.

–Live in the Loop: Free Outdoor Concerts beginning at 6 pm with Wiley Nash (rockin’ blues) on Friday and Voodoo (groovy rock) on Saturday. Visit RiversideTheatre.com for more information. More…

A Father and Son Memorial Day Reply

Jim and David Thompson  –  Once again my son David came to town and we went in uniform to the Memorial Day Service on Veterans Memorial Island. He wore his dress blues and I wore my BDUs. It’s our small way of paying tribute to those in Lincoln’s words who, “Gave the last full measure of devotion”.  (David’s grandfather, J.A. “Coach” Thompson, also served in the U.S. Coast Guard.)

The very good, the bad and the ugly 8

FPL Letter of Intent

“FP&L’s $30 million offer for a Partial Sale is low, and should it be accepted, over time, the city will have to raise rates for every remaining ratepayer to absorb the loss of the Shores customers.” 


Richard Winger

It is Very Good that Florida Power and Light has presented a new Letter of Intent to purchase Vero Beach’s entire Electric Utility. They outlined costs and terms, which signal the start of negotiations prior to a contract being signed.

Negotiations, simply put, occur when each participant has something to gain and something to lose. A successful negotiation concludes when each party benefits to the maximum extent possible.

The financial offer for the system is considerably lower than the last contract signed 3 years ago. And, it does not take into consideration the millions spent since that time to upgrade the system, close the plant, etc. My responsibility to the people of Vero Beach and the ratepayers of the Utility requires my attention to such detail. It is a starting point in negotiations.

Moving towards the full sale, through myriad details,  is something I have worked on for years and I sincerely want it to be completed this time.

FP&L last submitted a Letter of Intent on August 2012.  It led to a contract for sale in March 2014. That contract could not be executed because of contractual obligations, upheld by law, with other agencies to produce, transmit and distribute electricity. That contract expired December 31, 2016.

Those obligations exist because Vero Beach is a member city in the Florida Municipal Power Authority.  There are 19 other member cities which must, unanimously, approve an exit. This obligation blocked the sale previously, but there is a new level of optimism that approval can finally be accomplished. More…

Historic Dodgertown’s annual Memorial Day Invitational set to welcome teams from across the state Reply


Historic Dodgertown, one of the nation’s most popular tournament destinations, will welcome nearly 50 youth teams and their families this weekend at the annual Memorial Day Invitational, a baseball tournament for youth ages 9 to 14.

Families from throughout Florida, from as far as Jacksonville to Miami, will travel to Vero Beach for the three-day tournament. Game times are scheduled throughout each day, from 8 a.m. under blue skies to 8 p.m. under the lights. The public is invited to attend and tickets are priced at just $5 per person each day. Concession stands will be open and parking is free. 

Historic Dodgertown provides tournament participants an experience not found elsewhere.

From 1948-2008, Historic Dodgertown was the Spring Training home of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. Today, the same fields and facilities used by the tournament teams are the same as trained and played on by Hall of Famers from Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Sandy Koufax, to managers Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda, and to recent inductees Pedro Martinez and Mike Piazza, both of whom started their careers right here at Dodgertown in Vero Beach. 

In 2012, Historic Dodgertown opened the Quad, a set of four fields designed for youth baseball and accordance with girls and women’s softball regulations. Recently the State Junior College Softball Championships and the State High School Softball Championships were held at the Quad.

Historic Dodgertown welcomes tournaments and games throughout the year in the sports of baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, football, and land training for water sports. In addition the conference center, including hotel villa rooms and recreational amenities (pool, tennis, basketball, sand volleyball, paths and fields for recreation), hosts business meetings, parties, retreats, reunions and social gatherings.

To learn more about Historic Dodgertown, please visit HistoricDodgertown.com or call (772) 569-4900.

Come to the 28th annual Vero Kiwanis “Take A Kid Fishing” Tournament Reply

The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast will hold its 28th annual “Take A Kid Fishing” Tournament on Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. until noon (registration starts 8:15 a.m.) at the fishing catwalk under Barber Bridge in Vero Beach. This free event is open to the first 250 kids ages 5-12 and their parent/guardian who attend (adult supervision required). A free cookout lunch will be served beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Kiwanis provides rods and reels to those who need them, as well as bait and fishing guidance. Kids can bring their own equipment if they wish. Prizes will be awarded for each age bracket and a special prize for the ugliest fish. The tournament is catch-and-release, which will be greatly appreciated by the audience of pelicans and other birds!

Flyers announcing the event have been distributed to all Indian River County elementary schools. Again, registration begins at 8:15 a.m. so arrive early to avoid the wait.

For more information, go to www.verokiwanis.com (under EVENTS) or call Jim Wolfe at (772) 299-0570.

This event is made possible through the support of Kiwanis members and sponsorships.  Each year Kiwanis members devote many hours to make this event successful.  Special thanks go Jim Wolfe who has chaired the event for many years.

Cultural Calendar Reply


Visit cultural-council.org for Calls to Artists, Auditions, Scholarships and more opportunities throughout the state or sign up for our Monday Morning Newsletter at cultural-council.org.

Singers! Community Church invites you to participate in the July 2 Independence Day Celebration. Rehearsal on June 28, 7 pm.

McKee Botanical Garden is currently accepting photo submissions for the 13th Annual Waterlily Photo Contest in conjunction with the Annual Waterlily Celebration to be held on Saturday, June 17. Deadline for submission is June 13.
Image: 2016 Honorable Mention – “Beautiful Reflection” by Lee Benson More…

Detectives seek help locating wanted teen in connection with guns for drugs operation Reply


During the months of March and April, Indian River County Sheriff’s Detectives Chris Lester and Ruben Bermudez were assigned to investigate a residential burglary where two firearms were stolen. As a result of that investigation, the detectives identified several auto burglaries that also included firearm thefts. They were able to determine that five local teens, with ages ranging from fifteen to nineteen, were responsible for the burglaries.

Shawn Newman (17), and Samuel Tecsi (17) both of Vero Beach, were arrested and charged with residential burglary, grand theft of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a minor, dealing in stolen property, and violation of probation. Newman was also charged with auto burglary and additional counts of theft and possession of a firearm. During their interview both admitted the burglaries and told detectives that their motive for stealing firearms was to trade them to Michael Smith (19) of Vero Beach, for drugs. The teens said that Smith provided them with marijuana and marijuana wax in exchange for stolen firearms.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for Smith’s apartment in the 6900 block of 26th Street. Smith was arrested and charged with dealing in stolen property, four counts of possession of a firearm by a delinquent, possession of an altered firearm, possession a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Also arrested during the search warrant was Smith’s mother, Kimberly Smith, on four counts of possession of a controlled substance. More…

Health Care on Wheels mobile health clinic to be at VNA offices beginning June 1 Reply


Beginning June 1, VNA’s Health Care on Wheels mobile health clinic will now be at VNA’s offices six days a week.

Starting June 1, the Visiting Nurse Association’s (VNA) Health Care on Wheels mobile health clinic will now be stationed six days a week at VNA’s Vero Beach office located at 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach 32960. Hours of operation will remain the same, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., closing for lunch from 12 – 1 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Serving residents of Indian River County for over 25 years, VNA’s mobile health clinic has treated over 53,000 patients at no-cost and has served as a much needed resource to residents in need of same-day, non-emergency medical attention but do not have the means or coverage to pay for it. The clinic is operated by the VNA in collaboration with the Indian River County Hospital District.

VNA registered nurse practitioners on board the clinic can examine, diagnose and prescribe medications for minor, non-urgent illnesses such as upper respiratory infections, sore throats, earaches and minor cuts. The clinic also offers school, sports and work physicals. Immunization records are required for school and sports physicals. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. For children to receive care, they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

The low cost price options for the Health Care on Wheel’s services are $60 for a sick visit; $40 for work physicals; and $30 for sports physicals.  There is no charge for services for uninsured residents of Indian River County who have the Hospital District Care Card. Applications for the card can be picked up at the clinic. 

For more information about the VNA’s Health Care on Wheels and its services please visit www.vnatc.com, or call 772-567-5551.


Dogs For Life celebrates donors, volunteers, graduates 1

Devon Williams of Quilt of Valor presents to Jim Taylor and his service dog Paipai

Shelly Ferger, CEO/Founder of Dogs For Life, along with the DFL board members, staff, donors, and friends celebrated their 2016 top donors, volunteers, and assistance dog team graduates.

Kathi G. Schumann, board president, expressed her ongoing dedication to DFL and their consolidated focus to assist the veterans of Indian River County. During the awards presentation, she also cited the criteria for the Kathi Schumann Award, which was presented for the first year and given to L.A. Bykowsky.

There was much socializing and engaging introductions with new donors, volunteer award recipients, 2 graduating service dog teams and 7 re-certifying team members.

2016 Award Recipients

Assistance Dog Team…………………….Larry Ingham and Lola

Pet-Assisted Therapy Dog Program.……..Laura Beebe and Sadie

Volunteer of the Year Award..……………Sherry Ingham

Individual Philanthropist Award………….Kathi G. Schumann

Corporate Philanthropist Award…………Coast to Coast Landscaping

Corporate Philanthropist Award…………VCA Florida Veterinary League

Media Marketing Award…………………Treasure and Space Coast Radio

Assistance Dog Team Graduates ……….Mark and Ranger, Pamela and Skye

Everyone enjoyed a delicious BBQ lunch and then the agility dog show by the 4-H Dog Masters Club. All the young club members did an excellent job talking about their 4-H involvement and then all showed their dog’s skills during the show.

To wrap-up the afternoon everyone gathered in the Training Center for desserts and more celebration. Devon Williams with Quilt of Valor presented a beautiful custom made quilt to Jim Taylor, US Army (Ret.) and a smaller version to his service dog PiaPia. Shelly Ferger presented well deserved awards. She stated, “Dogs For Life can never say just how much we appreciate our donors and volunteers or how proud we are of our service dog team graduates.”

If you are interested in learning more about Dogs For Life and our service dog training for veterans in Indian River County, please call us at (772) 567-8969 and we will gladly arrange for a tour of our campus, which includes an Off-Leash Dog Park.


Crossover Mission ads two new board members Reply


Crossover Mission announces the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors. Joining the Board of Directors are John Vanderzee and Steve Hodges.

“Both John and Steve embody the spirit of community and bring talent, energy, and fresh thinking to Crossover Mission,” said Cathy De Schouwer, co-founder and director of Crossover Mission. “We are very fortunate to have them on our team as we strive to make a difference in the lives of the at-risk youth in our community.”

Born and raised in Michigan, John Vanderzee earned an Engineering degree from Princeton. After graduation, he joined the Navy where he was an officer on active duty from 1954-57. More…

McKee Botanical Gardens to host discussion on sea turtles June 2 Reply

On Friday, June 2, Kendra Cope, Indian River County’s Coastal Environmental Specialist and Sea Turtle Coordinator will lead a discussion on sea turtle biology and local impacts on sea turtles, and she will share steps that Indian River County is taking to make our beaches a better habitat for sea turtle nesting. 

Kendra Cope is an Environmental Specialist for the Coastal Engineering Division of Indian River County.  In her role as Indian River County’s Sea Turtle Coordinator, she manages the IRC Sea Turtle Program and its numerous volunteer opportunities, including the nesting, stranding, education and lighting programs.  Kendra received her Master’s Degree in Conservation Biology at the University of Central Florida as part of the UCF Marine Turtle Research Group.  She is also the organizer of the annual Sebastian Lionfish Festival and serves on the Executive Board of the Friends of the Carr Refuge.

The presentation will take place from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm in the Richardson Education Building at McKee Botanical Garden on June 2.  The cost to attend is $10 for McKee members and $12 for non-members.  To register call 772-794-0601. 

Five cars burglarized in central beach area Tuesday night 1


Our officers located five burglarized vehicles last night (Tuesday), pursuant to a suspicious persons call in the area of Holy Cross Church. All of the vehicles were located on Riomar Drive and appeared to have been rummaged through. Nothing was missing from four of the vehicles, and a key fob was stolen from one of the cars. Our officers were able to get a description for the suspicious persons and their vehicle, and Indian River County Sheriff’s Office was able to make contact with that vehicle and made two arrests. We will update you as IRCSO releases more information.

In the meantime, please check your vehicles and make sure nothing is missing or has been tampered with. As always, please lock your vehicles and do not leave anything inside. Please stay safe and vigilant, and we will keep you updated.

Officer Anna Carden, 395, Vero Beach Police Department

Bob Graham: Lawmakers ignoring ‘will of the people’ on Florida Forever funding Reply

Editor’s note: Indian River Neighborhood Association Chair, Honey Minuse, today sent the following letter to IRNA members addressing the Florida Legislature’s failure to use funds voters approved for addressing Florida water supply issues.

In 2014 voters in Florida approved a statewide amendment to dedicate a source of funding to preserve sensitive lands, a major source of water.  The IRNA supported that referendum which today is still known as the “Water and Land Legacy Amendment”. 

 It is noteworthy that 75% of the voters in Florida approved this Amendment.

 It is equally noteworthy that, for the third consecutive year, the Legislators in Tallahassee have not used those dedicated funds for the intended purpose.  

 Former Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham has been particularly alarmed about this. He recently spoke out about it and that interview, sponsored by USF, is accessed by clicking on the link in the following article.  At the conclusion of the article, you may listen to the entire interview.  

 Many of you have questioned what happened to this Amendment.  Hopefully, your questions will be answered by Florida’s former Governor, Bob Graham. 

 This information was sent to us courtesy of the Florida Conservation Coalition.

 Sincerely, Honey Minuse, Chair, IRNA Board of Directors



The Florida Legislature has voted to eliminate funding for Florida Forever, the state’s primary land-conservation program.

The only part of Florida Forever that is receiving any money this coming year is $10 million dollars for ranchers to not develop their land.  Since 2001, the state has spent nearly $3 billion to buy more than 700,000 acres of land. Continue reading…

Cultural Calendar Reply



Summer is the perfect time for beginning and intermediate students to take an evening art class in the Vero Beach Museum of Art’s Museum Art School. The summer term begins the week of June 5. Register in-person at the Museum during business hours or visit the Museum’s website http://www.verobeachmuseum.org to register. Summer class offerings include Photography 101 (beginners); Yoga at the Museum (all levels); You Can Draw (beginners/intermediate); Drawing in Everyday Life (beginners/intermediate); The Joy of Watercolor (beginners); Oil and Acrylic Abstract Painting (beginners/intermediate); Studio Painting (intermediate/advanced); Acrylic Painting-The Basics and More (beginners/intermediate); Terracotta Masks-Beyond the Clay (beginners); and Summer Clay Studio (all levels). For further information about classes or registration, please call Ellyn Giordano, Museum Art School Registrar at (772) 231-0707, ext. 116. More…

State softball finals on now at Historic Dodgertown Reply


Semi-Finals today, finals tomorrow at Historic Dodgertown.

The top high school softball teams in the State of Florida will converge onto Historic Dodgertown to compete for the Florida State Championship in each of the nine (9) respective classifications. Regional Finals have concluded around the state to determine which high schools have advanced to the State Softball Finals. This four-day event will include 36 teams competing in semi-final rounds on Wednesday and Friday then championship rounds Thursday and Saturday.

This is the first year of a new three-year agreement with the FHSAA, which is proudly hosted by the Treasure Coast Sports Commission, Historic Dodgertown, Indian River County Parks and Recreation, Indian River County, and St. Lucie West Centennial High School. More…

McKee Botanical Garden accepting submissions Waterlily Photo Contest Reply


“The Garden” by Krystial Comins

McKee Botanical Garden is currently accepting photo submissions for the 13th Annual Waterlily Photo Contest in conjunction with the Annual Waterlily Celebration to be held on Saturday, June 17 from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.
The Garden is currently accepting submissions for its annual photo contest through Tuesday, June 13. Photos must be of waterlilies and lotus photographed at McKee Botanical Garden in 2016 or 2017 with a film or digital camera. Participants may submit one photo in each of three style categories: Color, Black and White, and Manipulated. A Youth category is also available for aspiring photographers ages 17 and under. A complete list of rules with the entry form can be found at http://www.mckeegarden.org. Photos will be judged by a panel of judges on Friday, June 16. More…

City Council votes 4-1 to accept FPL’s letter of intent 1



The Vero Beach City Council today voted 4-1 to accept in principle a proposal from Florida Power and Light to acquire Vero Electric for $185 million. The deal is projected to net the City $36 million. The likely sale proceeds will fall far short of the $180 million utility activists Glenn Heran and Steven Faherty once claimed would flow to the City from a sale.

A key component in FPL’s offer is a coupling of the proposed full sale with a sale of Vero Electric’s Indian River Shores customer base. As a fallback, if the full sale cannot be completed, Vero Beach will be obligated to sell its Indian River Shores customers to FPL for $30 million.

Councilman Richard Winger, after sustaining a long and withering personal attack from Mayor Laura Loss, raised concerns about committing to the partial sale at $30 million. Last year, a team of utility experts concluded a partial sale as much less than $42 million would lead to higher rates for the remaining customers. As a candidate for re-election, former City Councilman Randy Old said agreeing to a partial sale at $30 million would be a breach of a Council member’s fiduciary responsibility to the City and to the people of Vero Beach. More…

Letter: Selling Vero Electric is Un-American 2

Editor’s note: The following letter received by InsideVero yesterday was also sent to City Council of Vero Beach, Town Council of Indian River Shores and Board of County Commissioners, Indian River County.

“I believe in municipal ownership of all public service monopolies… because if you do not own them, they will in time own you. They will rule your politics, corrupt your institutions and finally destroy your liberties!” – Thomas L. Johnson, Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, 1908


Selling Vero Electric to FPL is Un-American!

Please acknowledge about Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) upcoming multiple rate increases, surcharges and more increase(s) and surcharge(s) to come later.

Please acknowledge about FPL’s SurgeShield program is ripping off their customers. Vero Electric already have surge protections in all places and does not charge.

Please acknowledge about local media blackout (Indian River Press Journal/TCPalm and 32963/VeroNews) on FPL’s multiple rate increases and surcharges. InsideVero and out of town newspapers reported the increases.

Please acknowledge about Bob Brunjes, Indian River Press Journal/TCPalm publisher is married to Amy Brunjes, FPL executive.

Please acknowledge the current rates between Vero Electric and FPL is now less than 8% – greatly reduced from 34% in 2009. More…

Moss using personal email account for official City business Reply

For more than a week, Mayor Moss delayed turning over to the City Clerk’s Office official communication received on her personal email account



Documents requested May 2 but not released until May 10 reveal that Vero Beach Mayor Laura Moss has used her personal email account to conduct official City business.  The use of her private email address for City business would not necessarily raise questions, except that Moss has also delayed providing those documents to the City Clerk’s office. Below are just two of a number of emails Moss received on her personal email account from attorney’s with the law firm of Carlton Fields.

At the May 2 City Council meeting, Moss claimed City staff has been conducting “a thorough financial review” of the proposed sale of Vero Electric. None of the documents release by the City late last week suggest any such review has taken place. Clearly, there are only two possibilities. Either Moss is misleading the public about what review, if any, has taken place, or she and/or City Staff are withholding documents that are the subject of several public records requests.

Last summer, in her capacity as Chair of the Utilities Commission Moss wrote the Chair of the Florida Public Service Commission, but never provided the City Clerk’s Office with a copy of the correspondence. Moss’s letter to the PSC only came to light when it was made public by PSC staff.