Serving St. Lucie, Martin, Brevard and Indian River counties.
Covering Stuart, Jensen Beach, Palm City, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian, Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge, Palm Bay, Viera and Eau Gallie.
Dear Readers and Advertisers,
Please know that you have been in our hearts, thoughts and prayers as we all face the coronavirus pandemic together.
This has been a difficult time for all of us as we negotiate a new reality. We have made adjustments as needed, but want to assure you that all of our publications remain on schedule. Our next quarterly issue of Treasure Coast Business Magazine will publish this month, the summer issue of Indian River Magazine will publish in May and the summer issue of Port St. Lucie Magazine in June. In addition to the printed versions, the digital versions of these magazines, as always, will be available free online at IndianRiverMagazine.com, TCBusiness.com and PortStLucieMagazine.com. Much of our work for these issues had already been completed, and we are thankful that at this point all of our staff members are healthy.
Do you know somebody on the Treasure Coast who should be singled out for praise because of their actions during the coronavirus pandemic? Whether it’s a nurse at the local hospital, a volunteer at the local food bank or a grocery clerk going the extra mile, we’ll help you sing their praises in our new online feature Hometown Heroes of the Treasure Coast. Tell us who is your hero >>
It was a hot night in July 1973 as 26-year-old Edwin Massey drove his yellow Volkswagen Beetle along Florida’s State Road 60 on his way to interview for a teaching position at Indian River Community College.
In the passenger seat of the tiny car that had no air-conditioning was his wife, Jo, with their two small daughters in back, tuckered out from a day of battling the way kids in backseats do on long road trips. With only headlights illuminating their way, they drove along the desolate stretch, which locals called Death Road 60.
Massey was the right one
Back when Associate Publisher Allen Osteen and I launched this modest publishing effort 14 years ago, we set out on a mission to visit several key community leaders to let them know what we were doing. At the top of our list to visit was Ed Massey, the president of Indian River State College.
Massey accepted our meeting request. I had been away from the Treasure Coast for 22 years but vaguely recalled Massey’s days as an assistant administrator while I was a reporter covering the college for the Fort Pierce News-Tribune in the 1980s.
Shining bright for 60 years
Indian River State College this year is celebrating a milestone: 60 years of service to the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County. The past six decades, marked by exceptional growth and significant progress, include the evolution of Indian River State College from a small junior college into a comprehensive community college, to one of Florida’s first four-year state colleges, to the Top College in the Nation.
In honor of its diamond anniversary, IRSC has events planned throughout 2020 that will recognize the leading role the college has played in the development of our region and the extraordinary impact IRSC has had on tens-of-thousands of students. Celebratory activities will highlight students, faculty members, employees, branch campuses, alumni and others.
The college invites community members to mark their calendars for the IRSC 60th Anniversary Block Party, taking place on Main Campus in Fort Pierce on Saturday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This free event will feature live entertainment, food trucks, fun and educational activities for children and teens, as well as tours and tips for anyone interested in attending college. IRSC academic departments and student organizations will offer hands-on activities and interactive demonstrations designed to delight and dazzle.
Sixty years of milestones
1959 INDIAN RIVER JUNIOR COLLEGE (IRJC) FORMED
The Florida Legislature establishes IRJC and Lincoln Junior College (LJC) to offer general education programs for university transfer.
1960 DR. MAXWELL KING APPOINTED IRJC PRESIDENT
The first 348 IRJC students take classes at 310 Preston Court behind Fort Pierce Elementary School. The first LJC students attend classes at Lincoln Park Academy, where Leroy C. Floyd Jr. is President.
Finding their voice
For 60 years, Indian River State College has enjoyed countless advancements, seen momentous change and experienced historic growth. Throughout it all, there has been no greater priority than student success.
The college’s diverse student population represents Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties, and varies widely in age, background, and circumstance. Their collective stories of accomplishment and perseverance is what drives and motivates IRSC faculty, staff and administrative employees each day.
The following vignettes highlight a selection of these extraordinary students and their successes.
Embracing the Treasure Coast’s workforce needs
For 60 years at Indian River State College, a top priority always has been serving the community. Nowhere is that mission more apparent than in the college’s efforts to train and develop a workforce for the needs of today and tomorrow.
Business owners in St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee counties petitioned the Florida Legislature to create a junior college here, with their wish being fulfilled in 1960. Before the college, there was a complete dearth of job training opportunities unless students were willing and able to travel at least 100 miles to attend college.
Building a workforce for the future
As it has done so many times in the past, Indian River State College is prepared to anticipate tomorrow’s needs in education and workforce training with a much-needed new facility to help our region advance and prosper. The new 55,000-square-foot Treasure Coast Advanced Manufacturing Center, which links advanced technology and leading-edge industry training, will fulfill employers’ requirements and meet key areas of workforce need.
The $23.3 million industrial technology center will offer programs that emphasize modern workforce training in the era of smart manufacturing, automation and industry. Planned for a site adjacent to the Tomeu Center on Main Campus in Fort Pierce, the TCAMC will create a strong synergy with the nearby Kight Center for Emerging Technologies and the Brown Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Enriching our culture
Indian River State College serves as a vital community resource that offers enrichment opportunities of all kinds for all ages. With performances, programs, and events that range from theater, to lectures on timely topics, to summer camps and activities for children, IRSC campuses welcome thousands of residents each year who enjoy all that the college offers.
Taking the lead role in more than 30 performances annually, IRSC students who major in theatre, dance or music demonstrate their talents in the McAlpin OnStage series, which fosters a comprehensive foundation for future educational and professional pursuits. Facilities utilized by the performing and visual arts programs — such as the Fee Dance Studio, art studio space, classrooms and rehearsal rooms — all emphasize the college’s commitment to the development of a well-rounded student.
The SPECIAL NEEDS TEACHER
Coming from a family of educators — her mother and her aunts were all teachers — Pamela Brown Williams says she grew up with the realization that she enjoyed most helping those students who struggle with academics or confidence. Visiting the classrooms of her aunts, she says she saw how they were able to make learning fun for their students and she wanted to help students learn in that way, too.
The THEATER TEACHER
Right-brain people are creative. Left-brain people are analytical. But the person who has both sides of the brain functioning equally to complement each other is someone exceptional because that combination begets a highly artistic, systematic individual who’s innovative and pragmatic.
Such is the case with Michael Naffziger, theater and technical director for the Schumann School for the Visual and Performing Arts at Indian River Charter High School. For the past decade, Naffziger has taught acting, drama, musical theater, stagecraft and comprehensive theater at the school, but he actually got a degree in science in college and at one-time taught physics.
The THIRD-GRADE TEACHER
For LaShawnda McNair, being a third-grade teacher at J.D. Parker Elementary in Stuart involves far more than instructing on how to read, write and do arithmetic. It’s about molding young lives.
“I inspire kids. That’s what teaching is,” she says. “It’s making them believe that they can learn. Half of the battle is getting them to know that you care enough about them, that they can do the work — even when it gets hard.”
While in the classroom, McNair is busy helping her students become successful, responsible citizens. A rewarding part of her job, she points out, is watching their development.
Designer focuses on blending indoor, outdoor spaces
The standard design process of building a new home requires that magical mix of hiring the right architect to design it and then an interior design firm to complete the homeowner’s vision.
Interior designer Holly Brennan is integrating the practice by executing a design for the Vero Beach home of Donald and Suzanne Broyles. Working from the ground-up, Brennan will take on both skills of architecture and interior design.
The idea of architectural interior design can achieve a cohesive result in exterior themes that carry throughout the home’s interior. Brennan’s years of experience in both commercial and residential design work contribute to the seamless transition she’s making in crafting an entire package for her clients’ home.
Singer/songwriter Arlo Guthrie spent more than 20 years converting a Coast Guard building turned fish cannery into his dream home on the Indian River in Sebastian.
Determined to retain the historical look of the original building, Guthrie overcame one obstacle after another to finally complete the home known as “The Crab House” in 2010.
Legendary folksinger, songwriter and Sebastian resident Arlo Guthrie says he will continue to go on the road with his band and family until his voice won’t allow him to sing.
“Nobody retires in folk music,”Guthrie says in the dining room of his home overlooking the Indian River. “Pete Seeger died at 94 and we did a show together three months before he passed away.”
Guthrie, at 72, has slowed down somewhat but still spends eight to nine months a year touring with band members who’ve been with him since the 1970s. The days are long gone when Guthrie actually drove the tour bus to a different venue every night.
Founder’s niece takes over store, rolls out new business plan
Florida Classics Library, a bookstore and publishing house in Hobe Sound, has gotten dressed up for the new decade, with tropical colors and a mural brightening the exterior, new gardens and walkways on the grounds along Southeast Dixie Highway, and inside, carefully arranged displays of books, gifts, maps and other items prized by fans of Florida history.
The boarded-up windows that gave an eerie nobody’s-at-home look to the exterior have been replaced by plate glass windows. New French doors also let in natural light that makes the retail space shine.
Veteran bookseller Val Martin opened the business after selling his downtown Stuart store, Valentine’s Bookstore, in 1979. He operated Florida Classics Library by himself until last year, when his niece, Julie Alexander, agreed to join him in the business when she retired from the upscale retailer Neiman Marcus last spring. She grew up in Coral Gables, just two hours from Stuart by car.
Kathleen Carbonara says she knew since kindergarten that she wanted to be an artist. One look at the “pink carnation” in the Crayola box and she was smitten.
“It looked so good to me, I ate it,” she recalls.
But it wasn’t until decades later that she began painting, making a successful career as a portrait artist with works in more than 40 private collections, including the University of Notre Dame, along with pursuing a number of other subjects and themes, such as still lifes, that interest her.
Snowbirds aren’t the only ones who love Florida. Migrating birds love it, too. The Treasure Coast can be a birding haven, especially as our migratory birds pass through and our year-round feathered friends congregate at feeders and their favorite natural settings. As spring migration happens, many birds are in their colorful breeding plumage. We’ve compiled a list here of some of our favorite locations at which to see them this spring on the Treasure Coast — along with some tips for creating a haven for birds in your own backyard.
A defiant axis deer stands in the road after leaving a thick oak and palm hammock. The deer is a native of India and was introduced to Texas in 1932 and today can be found in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, California and Hawaii. The deer have spots all their lives.
It has been nearly 50 years since a young black man was shot and later died on a hot August night in a modest little bar on Avenue D in Fort Pierce. He might have been forgotten, except that he left a curious legacy that was to live on long after his death.
Alfred Hair was an artist, and his paintings of turquoise seas, peach clouds and scarlet royal poinciana trees, along with the thousands more created by his friends, family, neighbors and acquaintances, became the signature works of the 26 African-American artists who were later called the Florida Highwaymen.
To Each His Own
Using advanced technology, the 2nd Street Bistro in downtown Fort Pierce is one of the busiest and most modern restaurants on the Treasure Coast — serving more than 20,000 people a month.
Servers save as many as 2,000 steps a day using hand-held computers to transmit orders and cut down on unneeded trips to and from the restaurant’s three kitchens. With more than 75 employees, the 300-seat restaurant is open every day except Christmas.
It Takes a Village
Even though mass demonstrations have shut down Haiti’s government and kept virtually all schools closed for months, it’s been business as usual for one small primary school in the Haitian countryside that has strong ties to the Treasure Coast.
The Children’s Academy and Learning Center, supported by Vero Beach-based Haiti Partners, has remained open in a village five miles from the capital, Port-Au-Prince, despite anti-government protests that have paralyzed the country. The demonstrators, angered by rising gas prices and severe food shortages, have blocked roads in major cities, set fires and even harassed children wearing school uniforms to frighten them into staying home.
Former Fort Pierce woman joins global voyage to fight plastic pollution
Growing up on Hutchinson Island with the Indian River as a playground, Rikki Grober Eriksen relished long sails with her father, the late and loved orthopeadic surgeon Ron Grober, and developed a love of all things marine.
Little wonder that she became a marine scientist, earning her phD and going on to hold her current position of marine ecologist at the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation. And next week she will embark on a leg of a journey, leaving the Azores Oct. 27 and arriving in Antigua Nov. 18, that is taking women on a voyage around the world to raise awareness of plastic pollution and its effect women’s health.
It’s a remarkable journey for a woman who, as a Florida State University student at age 19,survived a kidnapping ordeal in Tallahassee in early 1984 at the hands of Chris Wilder, who was known as the Beauty Queen Killer and was successful at killing at least eight women.
Insect released at Adams Ranch will target Brazilian peppertree
Mike Adams spends $250,000 every year to manage Brazilian peppertrees spread over the family’s 40,000 acres of ranches in Osceola and St. Lucie counties, where his family has developed the Braford breed of cattle. Adams, whose family ranch was founded in 1937, recounts years when the invasive tree from South America overtook natural areas on the ranches, pushing out pasture and grasslands.
War on the river
There was a time when bridge tenders weren’t just maintaining the safe passage of water and vehicle traffic. Other voluntary duties came in handy when World War II broke out.
Janet Walker Anderson and others who lived in the drawbridge houses in Indian River County knew what they did to help was more than just giving access across the river. Allowing people across was an important way to help keep the lines of communication open between the mainland and the barrier island.
For people who are homeless in the tri-county area, there are a variety of places to receive immediate care for their physical and mental well-being. Non-profit organizations with hundreds of volunteers support efforts to provide medical treatment, mental health counseling and services that include meals, clothing and rides to doctors’ appointments.
Cancer. The word alone sends chills up and down the spine. Images of sitting in a room for hours at a time, worrying about the outcome, run through the mind. It’s part of the treatment process, but it doesn’t have to be as miserable as some think. What if one could pass that time by creating a work of art or by listening to some cool jazz? It might just make the treatment a little more tolerable.
Chrysanthemum Ball raises life-saving funds for a quarter century
The Chrysanthemum Ball, or the Mum Ball as locals call it, is one of the premier fundraising events that kicks off the social season in Martin County. Attendees come dressed to the nines at the black tie affair, anticipating a top-notch soirée. And they’re never disappointed. For 25 years, the ball has been held at numerous venues, including elegant waterfront estates. Many events feature a special theme — stunning themes like Cirque du Soleil, Night in Spain, Pulse of the Future — leaving guests feeling surprised, wowed and delighted. And for all of their fun, patrons have raised millions of dollars to provide top quality medical services at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, formerly known as Martin Memorial.
Indian River Magazine took home two top statewide awards during the annual Florida Magazine Association’s Charlie Awards banquet held Friday at the Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg.
The magazine won a Charlie Award for general excellence in the best custom publication division for Vero at 100, a 128-page special edition on the history of Vero Beach from prehistoric times to today. The magazine was produced as part of the celebration of Vero Beach’s 100th anniversary as a city and in conjunction with the Vero Beach Centennial Committee.
Treasure Coast Business a quarterly magazine serving St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee counties, has begun publication, with the inaugural issue arriving this week.
The magazine was launched under a unique partnership between Indian River Magazine Inc. and the Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College.
Beacon of romance
In Martin County, there is a historic, scenic, coastal setting that has been a beacon to lovers for more than a hundred years. Situated on a bluff of strikingly picturesque rocks at the southerly end of Hutchinson Island, the Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge looks out over a vast expanse of aquamarine water that melts into the horizon. A soothing rhythm of white-foamed waves splashing is heard on the rocky coast, while a cool sea breeze calms the senses.
When pirates scoured the Treasure Coast
One man. One crew. One ship can take on the entire British Empire without a hiccough or regret. However grandiose Bellamy’s assertion may sound today, it was not without sincerity.
Engaging as their legends are, the true story of the pirates of the Treasure Coast was even more captivating; it is a long-lost tale of tyranny and resistance, a maritime revolt on the seas. The foundation of the British Empire was shaken by these rogues.
'Our Soldier Boy’ of World War I'
The name Stephen N. Gladwin was a familiar one to me growing up in Fort Pierce. I first saw the name etched in the World War I memorial monument on the grounds of the St. Lucie County Courthouse, undoubtedly after seeing a movie at the Sunrise Theatre across the street.
Saving history one page at a time
When I was a rookie reporter at the Fort Pierce News-Tribune back in the late 1970s, I wore a variety of hats (but never a green eye-shade like you see in the old movies). As the youngest and least-tenured reporter on the staff, I was thrown a variety of assignments the senior reporters were able to avoid. Most of these involved putting together items that had templates so they could be easily or quickly written. In other words, things that didn’t require much writing talent.
Best of the Treasure Coast
Readers choose their favorites. From Best Brewery to Best Beach, Indian River Magazine and its readers reveal the best the Treasure Coast has to offer for 2020.
The brightest receive recognition
A distinct group of business leaders stand out from the rest on the Treasure Coast. They have made a big economic impact, showing that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our region.
Treasure Coast History
We Hardly Knew Ye
As Vero Beach prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019, no one figure stands taller in the city’s history than Waldo Sexton. He is Vero Beach’s most iconic figure celebrated and written about more than any other.