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.
Vote for your favorite Restaurant to Dine by Boat on the Treasure Coast!
Summer is coming and DINING BY BOAT is a favorite pastime on the Treasure Coast. To celebrate, Indian River Media Group invites you to participate in our Best Restaurant to Dine by Boat on the Treasure Coast Voters’ Choice Contest. Voting open Now – Monday, March 13, 2023
Saving history one page at a time
History can be tough enough to report in the best of circumstances.
While reporting the Cow Creek Chronicles series that appeared in the most recent issues of this magazine, I was fortunate to rely on newspaper accounts dating back to the early 1900s for much of my research. The subjects of my reporting, the Raulerson and Sloan families, were well-known and I was able to create my narrative with the help of what appeared in the newspapers back then.
A bright light was shining on a group of black school children along North Eighth Street in Fort Pierce in the days before school integration in the South. That light emanated from Blessed Martin de Porres Catholic School for Colored Children, a light of learning that led the way to professional and lucrative careers for many of the school’s graduates.
Charting the future
As you drive west along Southwest Citrus Boulevard approaching Timer Powers Park in Indiantown, a massive structure rises in the middle of vast agricultural fields. The building — Indiantown Charter High School — will be the new home of the town’s first high school. It is a symbol of hope, promising educational opportunities and a brighter economic future for local residents.
Miles of memories
The old adage “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” rings true with the father/son duo at the Alex Viesta Collection. Often, it’s the elder of the two who offers such insight, but in this case, it was the teenage son, Alex Viesta, who chose a path less traveled and built a successful business buying and selling antique cars, signage, gas relics and nostalgic memorabilia along the way.
Extraordinary practice, extraordinary dentistry
Aesthetic Dentistry of Stuart is an extraordinary practice because of an extraordinary medical team whose mission is to help give patients plenty to smile about when it comes to dental health and wellness.
The practice offers the gamut of dental services, from routine dental exams and restorations, to physiologic TMJ treatments, state-of-the-art implants and sleep apnea treatments.
When real estate prices began to climb over the last few years, oceanfront properties were no exception. Now, a home has gone on the market in Vero Beach at a record-seeking price for Indian River County.
Listed at $29.5 million, the price is not the only grand component of the house. The massive residence, at 11,600 square feet, sits on three acres, with 326 feet of direct oceanfront access. That much land on the ocean would rank the home in the top five or 10 houses in the county.
Taste of Old Florida
If Key lime pie is Florida’s most famous dessert, sour orange pie must be our best kept secret.
When I hike in the woods, I often come home with sour oranges. Sometimes I spot a couple on the ground, only to look up and see massive, healthy citrus trees underneath the oak canopy, all covered in fruit. Spanish settlers brought sour oranges, also called Seville oranges, to Florida in the 16th century...
Bev Smith VP Frank Gonzalez embraces role of being the face of Toyota and Kia stores
Spend a few minutes with Frank Gonzalez inside the music-infused upbeat Bev Smith Toyota showroom on South U.S. 1 in Fort Pierce and you’ll soon be introduced to the “Bev Smith Difference.’’
“We try hard. We try to keep everyone motivated,’’ said Gonzalez, vice president of the Bev Smith Automotive Group. “We want to create a good atmosphere out there.’’
Datebook Spring 2023
Learn from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute scientists and hear about their latest discoveries during the Ocean Science Lecture Series, every Wednesday at 4 p.m. Call 242.2293 for more information. Full calendar of events...
The Cow Creek Chronicles - A series Part 5
The Cow Creek Chronicles
Cow Creek Chronicles writer Gregory Enns retraces his steps writing the story of loss and love and returns to the ranch where it all started.
Festival returns to the days of 1923
Welcome to 2023.
Warm wishes to you for a terrific year ahead.
If you know our magazine, then you know that Treasure Coast history is our franchise.
One of our sections, called Living History, is intended to bring history alive by connecting past events to how they have shaped the present...
The Vero Beach Theatre Guild is the oldest community theater on the Treasure Coast, offering extraordinary local entertainment since 1958. From its humble beginnings when plays were presented at the old naval base or high schools and props and costumes were kept in people’s garages to its current state-of-the-art campus, the guild was built on the generosity of a community with a thirst for live theatre...
The creation of the Highwaymen Museum, which is opening in Fort Pierce in February, didn’t happen overnight. It started about 63 years ago when Doretha met Alfred Hair at Coley’s Drive-in on 25th Street in Fort Pierce.
It was 1959, and 16-year-old Doretha had just moved from West Virginia to Fort Pierce with her siblings to live with their older sister after their mother had died. As she was a high school graduate, Doretha worked as a waitress at a segregated bus station on U.S. 1 and Avenue D to help support her siblings...
At any given time, there are approximately 250 homeless people living in Indian River County and between 3,000 and 3,500 in Brevard County. Some sleep in cars. Others live in tents. Still others simply throw an old blanket on the ground in the woods and try to get a few hours rest.
They are everyday people who are simply down on their luck and struggling to get back on their feet. In addition to the basic need for food, clothing and housing, what these people really need is a good night’s sleep to face the hurdles of the following day...
When your boat show is the largest on the Treasure Coast and deemed one of the top events in the Southeast, it’s more than a boating lifestyle you’re promoting.
The three-day Stuart Boat Show, returning for its 49th year on Jan. 13, has been built on relationships. Many will be established that weekend between boat dealers and buyers...
Chili for chilly days
When the temperature finally starts to drop, there’s nothing more comforting than a big pot of chili simmering on the stove. This easy venison chili recipe is hearty and delicious, perfect for hunting season or any time you’re lucky enough to have ground venison in your freezer. If you don’t have access to wild game, it’s also great with ground beef, turkey or bison.
Chili is one of those recipes that varies a ton depending on where you’re from, and what’s authentic is subject to debate. I know some people say real chili doesn’t have beans, but in my kitchen it does. I use ground meat, but some people prefer chunks...
Datebook Winter 2023
Don't miss the annual Martin County Fair Friday, Feb. 10 to Saturday, Feb. 18. Get half-price tickets on the first day. Wednesday is $2 ticket day. Hours vary. Call 220.3247. Full calendar of events...
Some sandhill cranes [Antigone canadensis] are native to Florida while others migrate from the north in the winter. A large bird, it can be up to four feet tall and have a wide wing span. Its red head makes it very easy to see. Many live on ranch land and in state parks but a few can be found in cities...
2023 Winners Announced
In the annual Best of the Treasure Coast Contest, the leading business awards contest in St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties.
Categories include best restaurant, best barbecue, best brewery, best pizza, best new business, best place for breakfast, best tourist attraction, best home builder, best golf course, best retail store, best nonprofit, best salon/barbershop, best museum, best place for kids and much more!
A Florida Christmas to remember
As a child growing up on the Treasure Coast in the 1960s and early ’70s, I always had difficulty relating to popular images of Christmas such as carolers singing in snow-covered villages, sweater-clad ice skaters gliding over a frozen pond or horses merrily pulling sleighs. We simply didn’t have snow for the holidays, and many Christmases were warm enough to go to the beach...
Plans for downtown Stuart are designed to attract multigenerations
Downtown Stuart is a popular destination — especially on the weekends. It is buzzing with all kinds of activity as visitors shop, dine, attend open air concerts and just have fun.
“Sundays used to be our slowest day of the week, and now it’s our busiest day of the week,” says Bill Moore, president of the Downtown Business Association. “And that’s because we have a fantastic green market that Stuart Main Street is running and that’s at Flagler Park...
If there is ever a time for a theater to shine, it’s during a major anniversary year. Eight anniversaries marking decades or half decades this year foretell a brilliant season for the Treasure Coast performing arts. Expect curtains to rise on some of the best shows now that the worst of the pandemic years seem behind us.
Years of hard work and sometimes digging, hammering and sawing by theater founders created today’s robust performing arts scene on the Treasure Coast. But their communities were there for them throughout their struggles, and although they couldn’t really have foreseen the results, they hoped. And it paid off...
Museums feature their art exhibitions ranging from Picasso to the Highwaymen
From a private collection featuring European artists at the Vero Beach Museum of Art to a German Pop Art exhibition at the Elliott Museum, this Treasure Coast art season will captivate every visitor. And if paintings and drawings don’t spark your interest, the Backus Museum is having an exhibition on Walford Campbell’s ceramics. Also, car enthusiasts will enjoy the Vero Beach Museum of Art’s Streamlined Art Deco automobile show opening next year....
Floridians put a special spin on their holiday celebrations
Florida seasons are often out of sync with the rest of the country, but that’s even more apparent during the holidays. We’ve got all the celebratory spirit minus the cold weather it coincides with everywhere else. We adapt by putting a Florida spin on everything. Our decorations are a blend of traditional and tropical, with a hefty dose of kitsch mixed in. A giant inflatable snowman and Santa’s sleigh might look out of place on a lush green lawn among palm trees, but add sunglasses and a surfboard and they fit right in...
Celebrate the season by land and sea along the Treasure Coast
The Polar Express, The Messiah, The Nutcracker, lots of parades, many thousands of twinkling lights, festivals, and The Star of Wonder at the planetarium: yes, the holidays on the Treasure Coast are here with all the cheer you could want. Expect the season to be merry and bright now that COVID-19 is mostly in the rear view mirror....
Things to buy and do
Looking for that perfect gift or gift certificates for the holidays? You won’t have to travel far. Check out these offered by Treasure Coast theaters and businesses....
The MARITIME ARTIST
Talk to Jane Baldridge and you quickly learn that her life has revolved around her love for the sea. From the days growing up along the coast near Galveston, Texas, she spent much of her life sailing and racing sailboats, working at her family-owned boat store, and later in life, becoming a licensed boat captain.
“I’m a sea level girl,” she says. “I want to be on the water, in the water and looking at the water.”
It comes as no surprise then that her artwork reflects her passion for the sea. Looking back over a career that spans almost 50 years, she points out that moving water is the theme in most of her work....
Dana Fisher has a thirst for knowledge, so when she noticed that the fruit trees in her yard weren’t producing good fruit and she wasn’t able to grow vegetables, she did some research and found it was a lack of pollinators in general.
Her research revealed that honey bees were very efficient pollinators primarily because they have the big numbers and can pollinate a lot faster than the native bees and the nighttime pollinators like bats and moths. Always one to take action, she set about learning all she could about beekeeping and set up her own backyard apiary....
Datebook Holiday 2022
Make holiday memories on Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Sights and Sounds on Second annual holiday celebration and parade with magic in the air and music all around in downtown Fort Pierce, from 1-6 p.m. Call 466.3880 for more information on the day’s events. Full calendar of events...
A beautiful sunset paints the sky over the Raulerson Canal that is an ecosystem for aquatic as well as air and land dwelling life. It provides water and food for native birds who live here year round, to migrating birds that travel from South America in the summer and to the northern birds that fly South for the winter...
It is with tremendous sadness that we share the news of the death of Kathy Sloan Blanton, one of the principal people featured in our Cow Creek Chronicles series. Kathy was the great-granddaughter of Frank Raulerson, founder of Cow Creek Ranch on the St. Lucie-Okeechobee county line, and the daughter of Jo Ann and TL Sloan. Kathy, 68, died Wednesday...read more >>
The Cow Creek Chronicles - A series Part 3
The Cow Creek Chronicles
Tommy and Jo Ann buy an old farmhouse in North Carolina while the family undergoes tremendous change. Kathy gets married and has children and Tommy reveals another extramarital relationship. Tommy’s free-spending ways continue, putting Cow Creek Ranch at risk ...
Festival revisits rich history of the Treasure Coast
If you’ve been following our Cow Creek Chronicles series — or if you just want to learn more about early Florida cattle ranching and folk ways — you’ll want to mark 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, on your calendar.
That’s when we’ll be presenting a Cow Creek Reunion on the main stage of the Sunrise Theatre in downtown Fort Pierce.
Care in high places
HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital just completed a $100 million four-story tower designed to fill current needs and take it well into the future.
“The tower expansion project allowed the hospital to grow to meet the evolving needs of patients and families in the area,” hospital CEO Eric Goldman said.
The tower enabled the hospital to move the recovery room from its current location in the main building to the ground floor of the tower. That, in turn, lets the hospital put two more operating rooms...
Vision for the Future
For Dr. Rishi Singh, taking the helm at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health is about continuously improving the quality of health care in Martin County.
“I enjoy being a physician leader of this organization who is able to understand how we can do better at the bedside by working in the boardroom to impact and improve the lives...
On the Front Lines
Several years ago, Port St. Lucie pulmonologist Mark Pamer read something that planted a seed in his mind and has likely saved thousands of lives in the last year alone.
Robert Barry’s book, The Great Influenza, about the 1918 influenza pandemic fascinated and terrified Pamer and it got him wondering about what would happen if such an infectious...
One- Stop Operation
In a world where corporate health care absorption of private practice physicians is common, the doctors at Vero Orthopaedics took an entirely different approach to expansion and banded together to build their own state of the art facility that rivals any hospital.
Cookbook full of love
Every time I open one of my grandma’s cookbooks, I’m back in her kitchen. I swear I can smell fried mullet when I turn the pages. Sometimes scraps of paper fall out with notes from my grandpa: “Mom, Gone to pick up Fred. Love, Dad.” I treasure these more than the actual recipes. My grandma, Polly Summerlin Moore, never followed recipes anyway. She might look at them for ideas or to jog her memory, but then she closed the book and cooked.
A waterfront home lies on a broad expanse of the Indian River just south of old Fort Pierce, the original military supply post for which the town is named.
South Indian River Drive offers some of St. Lucie County’s most picturesque waterfront scenery, as well as historical residences, nearly all of them along the west side...
Datebook Fall 2022
Honor veterans this Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, at Port St. Lucie Veterans Park on Veterans Memorial Parkway. The ceremony starts at 11 a.m. Some chairs are provided, but those attending might want to bring a chair for themselves. Full calendar of events...
A Red-shouldered hawk perches on a wild muscadine grapevine, both Florida natives. The hawk surveys the dense woods. Wild orange trees in the back ground add bright orange color and contrast to the jungle of green leaves and gray Spanish moss. While the owls are king of the night, hawks are king of the day as they prey on squirrels, mice, frogs, birds, snakes and large insects.
Horse featured on Cracker book cover dies at 37
Spur, the horse in Jon Kral’s iconographic photograph on the cover of his book Cracker: Florida’s Enduring Cowboy, has died at the age of 37. Kral took the photograph of cowboy George Harrison “Junior’’ Mills atop Spur while Junior was cowboying in 1989. Besides serving as the horse for the storied cowboy Mills and appearing on Kral’s book cover, Spur also helped develop world title holder team steer roper Jessy Remsburg, even after surviving a lightning strike...
The Cow Creek Chronicles - A series Part 2
The Cow Creek Chronicles
Jo Ann and her husband, Tommy, take over the ranch in 1954 when Frank Raulerson dies...
Awash in memories of Cow Creek Ranch
Splashing around in the waters of Cow Creek swamp is one of my earliest memories of childhood. I was about 4 years old and my dad loaded my two older brothers and me in a Jeep for a ride around Cow Creek Ranch in the heart of Florida cattle country. As we drove down a lane along various pastures we approached Cow Creek crossing, a narrow swath where cypress trees and their knees had been cleared so you could drive through the creek...
Warm, calming waters off the Treasure Coast allow right whales to nurture newborns
In February, Derecha, a North Atlantic right whale, and her calf, made news when they were seen swimming just off of Vero Beach. Every year a few right whales use the Treasure Coast’s warm waters as a nursery for their young. Although most spend winters farther north in their usual calving grounds, enough come down to this area to be on the lookout...
Publications inform, entertain readers for all seasons
There was a time on the Treasure Coast when a significant portion of the population headed north for the summer and some businesses rolled up for a few months until fall. Not anymore.
Now commerce on the Treasure Coast is in almost full throttle 12 months a year...
Fishing captains weather pandemic, battle rising gas prices
Sportfishing charter boat captains are a tough breed. They have to be, living a sometimes precarious life chasing elusive fish every day for their livelihoods.
A competent charter captain always has to know where the fish are hiding and to be able to put his clients on the fish on demand. That’s hard enough to achieve during normal times, but the pandemic added yet another challenge for these rugged one-man entrepreneurs.
The early months of the pandemic sent shockwaves through the Treasure Coast fishing community...
Summer fishing tournaments
Anglers, get ready! Spring, summer and fall fishing tournaments will keep you busy chasing that prizewinner.
We don’t promise to have all of them here but this list is a great start...
On course forever
The sport of sailing has always been dominated by wealthy white males but the US Sailing Center in Jensen Beach has all hands on deck to shake up the status quo.
“Looking out from the center I see 10 girls out there, rigging boats right now,” says Alan Jenkinson, executive director of the US Sailing Center of Martin County.
He’s the one plotting the course for change, starting with local kids...
The beaches of the Treasure Coast are famously beautiful and residents have to do their part to keep them that way.
To keep the coastline pristine, trash needs to be kept from entering waterways. First, be a responsible angler. Recycle used monofilament in a specially designed monofilament recycling bin. Monofilament can’t be recycled in regular recycling bins, but these special PVC bins can be found at many boat ramps and fishing piers.
Next, pack a better boat lunch...
A broad and elegant mansion in Orchid Island has a legacy in Vero Beach that stretches from Baltimore to Hollywood and extends to the NFL. The house was the creative brainchild of one of Vero’s most influential builders.
The Baltimore connection comes from one of the original owners, Art Modell, who owned the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. He and his wife, Patricia, formed a company with master builder and owner of McDonald Properties, Donald Ricci, and his wife, Nadja. Together, the couples purchased an oceanfront lot in Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club and built the home on spec, completing it in 2007.
Ricci’s stamp on the luxury building landscape of Vero Beach and Indian River Shores is profound. Through his decades of work along the Treasure Coast, he built...
History of desegregation in 20th century Vero Beach revisited
A longtime certified financial planner in Vero Beach recently earned a master’s degree, but not in anything related to finance, at least not in the traditional sense of the word.
Guy Bassini, 65, a Brooklyn, New York, native who has owned Treasure Coast Financial Planning since 1995, has a passionate interest in history. He dedicated many nights and weekends during the past several years researching and writing a book-length thesis for an online master’s degree in history from the University of Nebraska. The title is: We Have Been the Most Patient of People: From Jackie Robinson to Joe Idlette. Desegregation in Vero Beach, Florida, 1941-74...
Vero Beach resident Pamela Caragol has a dream career that has allowed her to travel the world and experience things most of us only see on TV.
As a documentary producer for National Geographic, she’s spent time with a voodoo priest in Haiti and archeaologists on South American volcanos. She dove with blue hole divers in the Bahamas and filmed rhinos in Africa. She even spent time with the last person to get out of the South Tower alive on 9-11.
So, what would be the pinnacle of her illustrious career? Perhaps winning an Emmy last year for her work as one of the executive producers for...
The DETERMINED RESTAURATEUR
Sometimes all it takes to succeed is a dream, a lot of grit and tenacity, and the perseverance to push through when things aren’t going as planned. Those traits helped Chivon Hunter turn her dream of becoming a restaurateur into a reality.
The path wasn’t an easy one and there were detours along the way, but in her own words the good Lord showed her which direction to take and now she and her son, Shaun, are the proud owner-operators of Tasty Links in Fort Pierce.
“I’m originally from Newport, Rhode Island, where chili cheese dogs are a delicacy,” ...
The NATURAL GUARDIAN
Jim Moir sits at home as he gazes over aquamarine waters of The Crossroads, where the St. Lucie and Indian rivers meet, and says, “I’m the luckiest man that I know.”
He feels fortunate because he has spent a lifetime doing what he loves in the great outdoors. And it’s that very passion for nature that has led him to be actively engaged in protecting it.
“I’m a nature boy, intuitively,” he says. “Protecting the environment is the foundational keystone of my life. Being a husband and a father is very important to that. I see that I need to leave the world a better place than where I came into it. I’m dedicated to that.”...
Datebook Summer 2022
A Hurricane Preparedness Expo will provide needed information on Saturday, June 4, at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Event Center in Port St. Lucie from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Vendors will showcase must-see products and services to protect homes, businesses and loved ones. Full calendar of events...
A roseate spoonbill wanders around the wetlands hunting for food. Its large spoon-shaped bill allows it to compete with other wading birds. Spoonbills can dabble their bills in the water and sift through mud or aquatic plants to find little fish, frogs, tadpoles and insects. They often feed with other wading bird and ducks.
The Cow Creek Chronicles - A series
The Cow Creek Chronicles
The Cow Creek Chronicles is the story of a pioneering family and the vast ranch they established. Read the first installment. Frank Raulerson creates Cow Creek Ranch and develops his granddaughter, Jo Ann, to take it over...
Series chronicles history of cattle-ranching family
If you’ve been following our magazine since its launch 16 years ago you may notice that we’re doing something different this issue. Like the magazines of old, we’re running a series.
The Cow Creek Chronicles follows a pioneering Treasure Coast family and their cattle ranch through the generations. The first installment starts with this issue and we hope you’ll be looking forward to the next installment after you read it...
A visit to the Environmental Learning Center lets you take a walk on the wild side and see the beauty of Florida before the influx of development.
The 64-acre nature preserve, founded in 1988 by members of the Pelican Island Audubon Society, provides a natural habitat for birds, fish, crustaceans and mammals native to the Indian River Lagoon that surrounds the campus. The lagoon is one of the most biodiverse estuaries in North America and home to 4,300 different species of plants and animals, 36 of which are endangered or rare....
Pavilion reflects benefactor’s desire to protect ecosystem
About three years ago, Vero Beach resident Thomas R. Schidel walked into the Environmental Learning Center to see if the staff might be interested in taking his motorized Gheenoe and canoe for its programs, maintenance or whatever they saw fit.
He had visited the campus for an event prior and knew it was all about the environment, but he had no idea the scope of what was offered until management took him on a tour. Of course, the officials were elated to accept his donation...
Hitting the right notes
Pastor Wintley Phipps found his voice, a voice rich in timbre and purpose, thanks in large part to Sir Tom Jones.
The story of how a native of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and a current Vero Beach resident enlisted the vocal chops of a Welsh pop singer to help him in his mission to serve God — and along the way sang before six presidents and countless celebrities...
For anyone who has ever marveled at the skills of a fine interior designer, April Milicevic’s Riomar home in Vero Beach would seem to exemplify her preternatural gift for the art.
Milicevic and her husband, Mike, purchased the house in 2017 when they decided to enroll their youngest daughter at St. Edward’s School just down A1A. After...
Loving the blues
Of all the fruit this state is famous for, blueberries are often overlooked. Florida’s blueberry season is short and sweet. They are the first to ripen in the country and the first to hit markets in early spring.
Each year Florida growers increase...
In 1966, women couldn’t get a credit card without their husbands as a cosigner. They weren’t allowed to run the Boston Marathon, and it wasn’t until 1973 that all 50 states allowed women to serve on a jury. But in that year, Jean Hopkins was working on calculating the expectation of casualty on forced reentry for an experimental space program...
Accolades stack up for Stuart, named among ‘South’s Best Small Towns’ by Southern Living
“Happiest.” “Most Charming.” “Most Beautiful.” It’s a good thing the City of Stuart stays true to its humble roots, otherwise this steady stream of compliments could really go to its head.
The latest adjectives of adoration officially awarded to... Read more...
Nursing a Bright Future
In December 2020, renowned philanthropist MacKenzie Scott opened the door to life-changing opportunities when she pledged $45 million to Indian River State College. It was the largest individual donation in the college’s 60-year history.
The endowment was part of Scott’s commitment to donate the...
The COMMITTED EDUCATOR
Kauffmann enjoys the diversity of her students who come from all backgrounds and have ranged in age from 14 to 89. Reaching students who are on so many different levels and have such a wide difference in experiences requires creativity, empathy and a wide range of tools and knowledge...
The OPTIMISTIC TEACHER
Urbay’s special talent as a teacher has caught the attention of local school officials. In December, she was recognized as Martin County’s Teacher of the Year by the Martin County Education Foundation.
Born in Stuart, Urbay began her schooling at...
A belted kingfisher watches over the water for small fish while sitting on a fence post for a better view, patiently waiting for the right time to spring into action. It will dive into the water, sometimes underwater, and grab a fish with its pointed beak. Kingfishers are hard to see because of their shyness and speed. Some migrate to the north in summer; some stay year round.
A year of new beginnings and sad endings
As 2021 comes to a close, we look back on the things we gained — and those we lost — over the past year.
As a business, we were happy to add another magazine, Space Coast Living in Brevard County, to our seven magazines serving the Treasure Coast. Its acquisition has enabled us to cover all the communities up and down the 156-mile Indian River Lagoon waterway, making us the leading magazine company for both the Treasure Coast and the Space Coast...
Elliott Museum at 60
Sixty years later, the Elliott Museum is still a cultural hub that focuses on local history, art, an extensive vintage car collection, baseball memorabilia and much more. In addition to its permanent collection, the Elliott displays a wide variety of changing exhibits during each season to keep visitors coming back...
Back on stage
“The show must go on,” the legendary band Queen sang after tragedy threatened its very existence. Treasure Coast theaters wouldn’t have it any other way either. Defying the grim face of a pandemic, where audiences were afraid to go out and performers were afraid to perform, they nimbly picked themselves up from an unprecedented season of cancellations and pivoted to turn the downtime into something that would bear fruit in the future. Their speedy response changed COVID-19 lemons into shiny golden gifts you’ll love this season...
Back on stage
Celebrate! From the bright red bicycle to the spinning dreidel — the toys, the parades and the festivals are here. Jump on board — imagine it’s the Florida version of the Polar Express — and let it transport you straight into the holiday season....
Museums feature local artists and special events
The 2021-2022 season will be chock full of interesting exhibits for museum–goers on the Treasure Coast. Both the Backus and Elliott are featuring paintings by the Florida Highwaymen while the Vero Beach Museum of Art has scheduled an historical display from the American Folk Art Museum, New York, and an exhibit of art on loan from local collectors. And, of course, all three are providing a safe environment as visitors return from a year of strict COVID guidelines.....
Things to buy and do
Looking for that perfect gift or gift certificates for the holidays? You won’t have to travel far. Check out these offered by Treasure Coast theaters and businesses...
From pirates and parades to seafood and Sandy Shoes, there’s plenty of fun on tap
Despite the pandemic, Treasure Coast festival-goers have plenty to pick from this season. We weren’t able to include every festival but many of them are below. Some events and festivals have been postponed until next year although most are still a go and offer welcome relief from days spent indoors. It’s a good idea to check before attending events. Expect signs letting you know that social distancing and other safety measures are in force...
The holidays are here and along with them, lots of fun events for families to enjoy. Take an advance peek at many of them in our holiday story and in our holiday datebook. Given that there is still a pandemic, be sure to check carefully before you attend an event to make sure it is still on. Some are requiring that attendees follow strict safety guidelines. You may want to check that on the venue’s website...
Claws for celebration
With claws powerful enough to crush oyster shells, just imagine what a stone crab could do to a finger. To catch them, a good deal of courage and strong hands will be needed. If bought, the only thing to worry about is your wallet getting pinched. They often fetch more than $50 a pound. No matter how you get your hands on them, stone crab claws are the sweetest, most delectable meat ever tasted...
If the glory of the Roman empire had a vernacular for home design, the recent transfiguration of a South Hutchinson Island condo would be expressed as E duobus unum: Out of two, one.
Great art successes often spring from great collaborations. Like Rogers and Hammerstein, Scorsese and DeNiro, Lennon and McCartney. In this work of art, Patty Downing and Katie Astras, of Patty Downing Interiors, achieved their opus working with two homeowners who had acquired two penthouse condominiums, and a single masterwork was the result...
The MASTER OF ART
Olga Hamilton feels right at home as she points out her paintings, drawings and photographs that are displayed at the historic 1895 Church of Art in Downtown Stuart. Born and raised in the former Soviet Union, she never imagined that one day she would become a professional artist. And today, she feels very fortunate to do what she loves, creating...
In a world of art bound by mud and heat and wax, Heidi Hill found her calling. The Vero Beach ceramicist had always been aware of her artistic side, but not until she began taking pottery classes at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, simply as an escape valve, did her talent begin to flourish...
The REINVENTED ARTIST
As a little girl in Minnesota, Debra Fogarty Terrio longed to be an artist, maybe an art teacher. She created sculptures in the snow. She drew whenever she could. Her mother, a sturdy Irish Catholic raising eight children on a farm, wasn’t encouraging...
A snowy egret [Egretta thula] is hunting alone in its perfect habitat. Standing in shallow water, it’s hoping to spear its prey, which may be a frog or small fish. Adult snowy egrets are easy to recognize with an all white body, a black bill, black legs and yellow feet. At one time, the plumes of the snowy egret...
‘The river’ flows on, continuing its teaching ways
When I was a child, I had the good fortune of growing up on the Indian River.
It was the playground of my childhood. My best times were spent on the river, whether it was fishing, motor boating, skiing or, my favorite, sailing. Back then we called it the Indian River or simply “the river.”
A golden mission
As Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute turns 50, its team of researchers is focused on the critical issues facing the Earth’s oceans, near-shore bodies of water, its water supply and how these impact human health and well-being.
Harbor Branch’s mission is simple: Ocean Science for a Better World.
Facing down death
Along the Treasure Coast, new COVID-19 cases were reasonably low in the spring. More people were eligible for vaccinations. Schools had reopened on time in the fall and by then were looking forward to summer break. Travel plans, even cruises, were back in the picture.
And then the numbers took a dramatic turn.
Beginning in late May into June, a surge in cases still has hospitals and doctors’ offices scrambling. Due to the delta variant — more infectious than the 2020 strain — the increase from week to week has sometimes been as much as 20%. Misinformation and resistance on the part of many to get vaccinated have also been contributing factors.
When looking around Dr. Denise Sanderson’s reception room, it doesn’t take long to see where her passion lies. The Think Pink sign, the iconic stiletto heels representing breast cancer walks, and a plaque celebrating her chairing those fundraisers all point to her desire to fight breast cancer.
Sanderson, a breast cancer surgery specialist, treats all diseases of the breast. Her mission, she says, is to put her patients first, giving them a sense of calm through very trying circumstances.
“When they come in, I expect that they’re scared — that they’re here for me to guide them, and that’s my role,” she says. “My role is to help them to feel like they can have some control back because cancer takes away your control. And I like to let them know that it’s OK, and that we have this, and they’re going to be all right.”
Vision for the future
New Vision Eye Center is putting Vero Beach on the map with its world-class Glaucoma Institute that draws patients from far beyond its borders. The doors of the Glaucoma Institute at New Vision Eye Center opened in March, showcasing the most advanced equipment and two new, fellowship trained glaucoma surgeons, Dr. Mohamed Sayed and Dr. Sarah Khodadadeh.
“Our goal was to build a practice where folks would have all the ophthalmology subspecialty needs served in one place,” Dr. Paul Minnotti, founder of New Vision Eye Center, said. “That goal came to fruition with the addition of Dr. Sayed and Dr. Khodadadeh, and the subsequent opening of the new Glaucoma Institute.”
Stuart preservationist gives new life to historical downtown buildings
When Steven Vitale first laid eyes on downtown Stuart in the 1990s, it was love at first sight. His father, Otto, who lived in the area couldn’t wait to show the town to him while he was visiting from Miami.
“I remember driving in the car and he said, ‘You’re not going to believe this downtown Stuart — it’s so charming,’” he recalls. “He loved this downtown so much and he was so proud to show it off.”
Perfect day on the beach
Corrine and Michael Bernard — July 18, 2020
Leading up to our beautiful wedding at Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa in Jensen Beach, we faced many difficult obstacles due to COVID-19. Our wedding planner, Cindy Morley from Eventful Moments, was our rock throughout the entire process. She had set us up with her A-team vendors and we were so excited for our big day.
But when the pandemic hit, our guest list significantly dropped and we were left with a lot of unknowns, including the possibility of the venue being closed. As if that were not enough, when Tom, the banquet manager we had been dealing with since we first toured the resort a year ago furloughed, we began to lose all hope of having our dream wedding on the beach.
100 years and counting
It was the biggest party the young city had ever seen.
Almost the entire population of Fort Pierce [fewer than 2,000 people] took to the streets on May 12, 1921, to celebrate an achievement that had been more than 10 years in the making: the cutting of a new inlet that “married the ocean and the Indian River.”
The daylong celebration included the city’s first parachute jump, boat rides, parades and ... read more >>
Fort Pierce daredevil thrilled crowd at inlet celebration a century ago
While the new inlet was supposed to be the center of attention on May 12, 1921, 24-year-old Madeline Davis stole the show.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of locals gathered to watch the daring young woman board a seaplane at Cobb’s Dock and take to the air over the water, gradually reaching a height of about 1,400 feet. Davis then slipped off the wing and floated gently to earth, tethered to her canvas chute only by a circus trapeze.
Acquisition enhances coverage of intertwined communities
Before 1905, St. Lucie County and what is now Indian River County, and much of Martin County were part of Brevard County, which was named after the early settler Theodorus W. Brevard.
At the turn of the century, Brevard ran more than the length of the 126-mile Indian River, which stretches from just above Brevard at the Ponce Inlet in the north to the St. Lucie Inlet in the south. In the early days, people reached this part of Florida on foot or by boat. By 1877, commercial steamships were ferrying passengers up and down the shallow Indian River, increasing access to Fort Pierce, a former Seminole War fort, and places that later became Vero Beach and Stuart.
Ocean EcoCenter tells the story of Florida’s water
If you’re looking for a fun and educational outing this summer, drive to the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center on South Hutchinson Island in Stuart. The marine life nature center is a popular destination that is designed to inspire visitors to appreciate and take care of the environment. The 57-acre site provides a variety of displays, aquariums, live animal exhibits and nature trails that educate and entertain people of all ages.
And this month, the Florida Oceanographic Society will offer more exciting opportunities when its new Ocean EcoCenter opens. Visitors to the 27,000-square-foot center can learn about protecting Florida’s coastal ecosystems through interactive exhibits, play-based learning activities and...
Mark Castlow is a man who, by his own admission, has never had a job. He’s the quintessential entrepreneur who started making and selling surf boards at age 16 and has lived his dream building and selling boats and boards for his entire life. Now, at age 70, he owns and operates Dragonfly Boatworks in Vero Beach, which specializes in building near-shore fishing boats for people who...
As a youngster living on a chicken farm in Pennsylvania, Ronnie Rohm chopped down a hemlock tree to fashion a wooden raft a la Davy Crockett so he could float on the stream that ran through the farm. After moving to Florida in the 1950s, he spent all of his spare hours in or on the Indian River Lagoon...
The Cow Creek Chronicles - A series Part 4
The Cow Creek Chronicles
Financial problems persist for TL and Jo Ann Sloan even after they sell their beloved Cow Creek Ranch.
Less is best
The Indian River Lagoon is a fisherman’s paradise. It’s the most biodiverse estuary in North America, with nearly 700 species of fish. If you ask me my favorite fish to catch or eat, I’ll probably give you a different answer every time. Right now, it’s pompano.
Catching bait is often my favorite part of fishing, and that’s especially true when it comes to pompano. They like to eat sand fleas, which are little crustaceans you find at the beach. When the tide is right, you can spot them along the shoreline, burrowing in the sand between the waves. Many fishermen use a special rake to scoop and sift them, but as kids we caught them just digging around at the water’s edge, and I still think...
Grounds for communication
John Ruskin, the Victorian era’s most prominent art and architecture critic, believed that buildings should deliver two kinds of goodness: doing their practical duty and being graceful and pleasing in doing it. Kim and Bob Gibson’s home in Vero Beach would fulfill Ruskin’s expectations.
The Gibsons chose Banov Architects to build a new home from the ground up, at the western end of Vero Beach in the Polo Grounds. Amy and Robert Banov are the principal owners and architects in their firm, and both are also general contractors, an unusual circumstance for architects.
A small White Peacock Butterfly [Anartia jatrophae] perches on a Matchstick weed as it eats nectar from the little flowers. This species stays low to the ground because its favorite plants are found near the ground. It is identified by the three black spots on each wing and is found in southern states. The Matchstick weed has tiny purple flowers around the top of a seed stalk that resemble a matchstick, hence its name.
Indian River Media Group buys Space Coast Living Magazine
Indian River Media Group, publisher of Indian River Magazine and six other publications, has purchased Space Coast Living Magazine and will relaunch it in Brevard County in June.
The asset purchase agreement between Indian River Media Group and Space Coast Magazines LLC and principals Joe Duda and Eric Wright was executed on April 8. Terms were...
Signs of the times
Just the name Indian River citrus brings back a flood of childhood memories for me. As a child growing up in South Florida and spending a lot of time at my grandmother’s house in Palm Beach, one of my fondest memories is piling the entire family into our old Ford station wagon and heading up the coast to Vero Beach where we would buy only the sweetest citrus for my grandmother to make her fabulous marmalades.
Beauty and brains
It’s a house with brains, beauty and talent. In Seagrove West, Max and Judith Thyssen acquired a home of conventional style on an expansive section of the Indian River Lagoon and in 2016 began transforming the residence into a modern, technology-savvy oasis.
The sleek interior of the house replaced what Max Thyssen describes as “a very traditional décor with lots of gold and beige tones.” Now, a clean design dominated by a palate of white, gray and black perfectly accompanies the smart-tech features the Thyssens built into the house.
Spreading new roots
As people settle into the new year, many are trying to be healthier versions of themselves. Some may incorporate a new exercise routine while others drop a serious television-watching habit. But one of the most popular things Americans are doing is to switch to vegetarian and vegan-based diets to lose weight, diminish chronic disease or lessen damage done to the environment.
When Amber Eichling was a teenager, she made...
The Vero Beach Theatre Guild is the oldest community theater on the Treasure Coast, offering extraordinary local entertainment since 1958. From its humble beginnings when plays were presented at the old naval base or high schools and props and costumes were kept in people’s garages to its current state-of-the-art campus, the guild was built on the generosity of a community with a thirst for live theater...
In March of last year, local schools shut down for the remainder of the academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic, disrupting end-of-year plans. With school buses once more visible weekday mornings, it’s hard to tell how many students are actually attending area brick-and-mortar facilities.
Unlike some areas, Treasure Coast schools opened in the fall with changes that ...
As a young photographer on his first big newspaper assignment, Jon Kral knew what he had to do to get the shot. He strapped himself to the outside of a Stearman Double crop duster plane while his subject skimmed over orange trees in a plume of chemicals.
That photograph of the colorful Fort Pierce crop duster Harold Williams sealed Kral’s fate. From then on, the camera would always be with him and he would always go the extra mile to get the shot he wanted.
Nuts about pie
Ask anyone who either grew up in or visited Fort Pierce in the 1950s through the late 1980s, and they will know of The Peanut Butter Pie. While there may be a couple of variations of it, the heart of this inimitable recipe remains the same. The delicious dessert has been circulating among local families for several decades, but many wonder where the recipe originated from.
“Rumor has it that Mrs. Simonsen’s Peanut Butter Pie recipe was come upon purely by accident,” says Nancy Bennett, a Fort Pierce native and director of the St. Lucie County Regional History Center. “She was trying to make her coconut custard pie but ran out of the coconut and replaced that with peanut butter instead.”
Beginning in the spring and lasting through autumn, Mother Nature puts on an awe-inspiring spectacle along our coastline. Under dark, starry skies mother sea turtles emerge from the ocean so they can carry on their species. During this ancient ritual, the marine reptile slowly lumbers her way onto the beach to find a safe location to lay her eggs.
It is a difficult and delicate venture, where nesting conditions must be just right. If the setting is favorable, she meticulously builds her nest, lays her eggs, buries and disguises them with utmost care. Then she disappears back into the deep, not knowing if her young will survive.
The Treasure Coast is one of the leading hot spots for sea turtle nesting in the United States. Last year, around 26,382 nests were recorded. Seven species of sea turtles swim in the oceans today and three of those beach along our shores to lay their eggs.
Birds to see in spring on the Treasure Coast
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Power of healing
Travel changes people by opening their eyes to new cultures and ways of life. But Fred Grimm, who was just a year out of high school in April 1969, did not choose to visit the distant and exotic country of Vietnam. Yet after being drafted to serve in the Army during the undeclared war there, he remembers being pleasantly surprised for the first day or two by the country’s lush greenery and friendly people. That first impression might be what changed his life — and the lives of many others — for the better.
The honeymoon phase of his deployment with the 39th Combat Engineer Battalion American Division (where his unit constructed a bridge and guarded a landing zone) was brief as he was wounded by shrapnel just four months later. After recovering in a Japanese hospital he returned home to Minster, Ohio, and into the arms of his childhood sweetheart, Jill. They were married within months, but he says he thought of Vietnam thousands of times in the years that followed as the couple raised their family in Ohio and joined the Harbour Ridge community in Palm City in 1990. Both retired (she from her interior design business) in 2016.
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.
Indian River Magazine wins statewide awards
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.
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.
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.