If you are tired of all the bad news that has been hitting the airwaves, of having to decide whether to take out or eat in, or need a break from binge watching your favorite TV show, there is good news. The city and its multitude of businesses and medical centers are looking forward to welcoming back patrons and athletes to a new normal way of life.
Port St. Lucie businesses that have survived the COVID-19 pandemic are looking forward to city residents getting outside after months of quarantine.
“We have seen some retail/restaurant businesses just not able to survive the lengthy shut down and the gradual reopening process,” says Terissa Aronson, president/CEO of the St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce.
Ten new awards grace Port St. Lucie’s awards and honors list, ranging from a grant to improve emergency communications to being one of the happiest cities in America.
Every few months the city scoops up at least another 10 honors or awards from a variety of organizations that collect data on particular subjects. In many cases, city departments win multiple awards from the same organization — for example, the Communications Department has picked up 66 awards for its work since 2017.
The city does outstanding work in planning and keeping its residents informed during emergencies, as seen in hurricanes Irma and Matthew, and has been honored for that. Daily press releases are keeping people up to date on the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Treasure Coast veterans in need of skilled nursing can soon move into a place not far from home where their families and friends can easily visit. The new Ardie R. Copas State Veterans’ Nursing Home in Tradition will be only the seventh state home for veterans in Florida. Widely dispersed, the nearest now are in Pembroke Pines, 100 miles away, and Daytona Beach at 145 miles.
Ardie Ray Copas died a hero in Cambodia during the Vietnam War at the age of 19, saving the lives of four soldiers from enemy fire. His baby daughter, Shyrell Copas, then 5 months old, never got the chance to be held by her young dad. But she is devoted to him, making sure the flame that is his memory never goes out. And with the opening in Port St. Lucie this summer or fall of a home named after her dad, it never will.
Ever notice that some of Port St. Lucie’s streets are sparkling clean and litter-free? And then there are the others where fast-food bags, cigarette butts, beverage containers and worse turn the roadside into an ugly mess.
So, why are some streets clean and others aren’t? It’s because the city has an army of dedicated volunteers who go out and pick up the garbage that people toss out their vehicle windows. But the volunteer pickups don’t occur on all streets; they only take place on streets that have been adopted by residents who set up a group and schedule pickups. These groups, which can even involve a single individual, enhance the city’s own maintenance work.
Looking for a place to expand upon your technological skills and perhaps learn some new ones? The Paula A. Lewis Branch Library in Port St. Lucie is the place to go. Offering the use of state-of-the-art devices and a 3-D printer, as well as a teen gaming room, the St. Lucie County branch library on Rosser Boulevard has been an active space shared by residents of all ages since its opening in 2017.
The library has long been an important institution in communities across America. While providing the public with the usual suspects, those printed tomes, libraries across the nation have added computer access, DVDs, e-books, puzzles, laptops, tablets, 3-D printing and social activities to lure in other guests. Libraries are now a huge point of access for educational resources such as open and lower-cost textbooks, online courseware and project assistance. The library in today’s world also serves as a place to facilitate real-life connections between people in the community.
One night in 1990, when Bob Fabrey was a police officer in Ohio, a bar fight broke out between two men. It took Fabrey and another officer to control one man outside the bar. Fabrey, who had been injured in the altercation, managed to get the crazed man inside his patrol car, while the other officer took the first man away in his.
En route, the offender with Fabrey started choking. Seeing that the man — under the influence of some substance — had swallowed his tongue, Fabrey rushed him to the hospital for treatment. He then took the prisoner to the closest station and locked him in a holding cell alone. While Fabrey was enjoying a cup of tea, smoke started billowing from under the holding cell’s door. Apparently his prisoner had found a lighter hidden under a mattress and set it on fire.
Peter Bordi Jr., who grew up in a working-class family in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, said he and his two older sisters clearly remember that mom reigned over the kitchen at home while dad’s domain was in the kitchen at Pete Bordi’s, his family’s bar-restaurant in nearby Scranton. The two never crossed that line and that kept for a long-lasting marriage.
“Every day my dad would give me a kiss on the cheek and ask me, ‘What are you gonna be?’” Bordi said. “And I would reply, ‘a good person.’”
And Bordi has been living by these words his entire life. He feels it is part of his mission to always help others who may be less fortunate.
Bob Leonard loves business. He talks about entrepreneurs, networking and marketing like a wine connoisseur discusses the citrus-y notes of an exquisite chardonnay — well, maybe a wine connoisseur on steroids.
Although he’s built and sold several businesses, today he is technically retired — a word he hates.
“People think you’re out to pasture,” he says. “I’m active, living life on my own terms, traveling, doing unconventional things to learn new things.”
© 2019 Port St. Lucie Magazine | Indian River Magazine, Inc.