Treasure Coast Essay

A certain Vero Beach couple are getting a lot of media attention these days.  They are Gloria Estefan, the 56-year-old queen of Latin pop music, and 60-year-old Emilio Estefan, her partner in music, business and – for 35 years – marriage.   She is on the cover of the current issue of AARP magazine, aimed at readers 50 and older.  They were recently profiled by People magazine and are getting the spotlight on various websites, such as the Huffington Post.  On August 4th, television viewers could see the Estefans interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in their Vero Beach oceanfront home.  The one-hour

When the weather turns sultry, we see and hear references to the “heat index’”  For example, this was the forecast on the Treasure Coast for Sunday, June 30th:  “Showers and thunderstorms after 11 a.m. High near 92. Heat index values as high as 101.”  What the heck is the heat index?  The heat index combines air temperature and relative humidity in a formula to determine how hot it feels to us.  Heat is removed from the body through evaporation – that is, perspiring.

Finding gold coins

Jul 29, 2013

I was never interested in walking the beach and sweeping a metal detector back and forth in search of something valuable.  But I had second thoughts when I learned about the discovery of 48 cold coins in just six feet of water and a mere 50 yards off Wabasso Beach in Indian River County.  The coins are worth as much as $250,000.  The state is entitled to a share of them.  At first, diver Greg Bounds, a subcontractor for a salvage company called 1715 Treasure Fleet Queen’s Jewels, came across some beer cans.   Probing with a metal detector, he found a couple of gold coins in rock crevices, t

I never heard or saw Vero Beach referred to as “Velcro Beach” until a few weeks ago.  And it was in Connecticut, of all places.  I was talking with an experienced big-boat sailor named Scott and told him about living in Vero Beach.  “Oh, yes, Velcro Beach,” he said with a smile.  “Velcro Beach?”  I responded.  “What does that mean?”  It’s a compliment, he assured me, and means you get stuck on it.  Velcro, of course, is the fabric fastener made of tiny hooks and loops.  Scott explained that boaters who cruise the Intracoastal Waterway call Vero Beach “Velcro Beach” because they feel attache

Bakkedahl

Jul 15, 2013

When Dan Bakkedahl was a student at Martin County High School, an exasperated biology teacher told him, “Go be an actor.”  And he did.  He’s no hunk.  He’s balding.  But he’s very successful.   You can see him on the big screen as a DEA agent in “The Heat,” a law-enforcement comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.  You could also see him on the small screen as a sharp-tongued congressman in “Veep” on HBO and as the best buddy in “Legit” on FX.  Both comedy series have been renewed for next season.  Dan, 43, was born in Rochester, Minnesota, and grew up in Stuart.  He and his wi

“Killing Zone”

Jul 8, 2013

It’s worse than I thought.  Back in April, I commented on the alarming number of manatees found dead of shock in the Indian River Lagoon, mostly in Brevard County just above the Treasure Coast.  Now we know that dolphins and brown pelicans are also dying prematurely in the lagoon.  According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, from the start of the year to the middle of June, this is the grim toll: 111 manatees, at least 250 brown pelicans and 46 bottlenose dolphins.  Usually, the dead creatures look under-nourished – sometimes emaciated.  Some naturalists call the nor

On July 4th, 1776, 13 British colonies on the Atlantic Coast (of North America) declared their independence.  But to the south, two other colonies remained loyal to King George III.  They were East Florida and West Florida.  What is now Florida did not join the American Revolution and, in fact, became a haven for loyalists from rebel colonies.  Great Britain had acquired Florida from Spain in 1763 at the conclusion of the French and Indian War.  Florida then stretched from the Atlantic to the Mississippi.  The British divided it into East Florida and West Florida, separated by the Apalachic

This year is shaping up to be a good one for sea turtle nesting on the Treasure Coast – not great, but good.  The season began March 1 and lasts until the fall.  Erik Martin, scientific director at Ecological Associates of Jensen Beach, which counts nests in portions of Indian River, St.

Honoring a shark-attack hero

Jun 17, 2013

Recently, Vero Beach lifeguard Erik Toomsoo received the Medal of Valor from the United States Lifesaving Association.  It was hung around his neck in a ceremony at Vero Beach City Hall.  The audience in the packed chamber gave him a standing ovation.  The tribute was richly deserved.  At about 11 a.m.

(Singing) “Don’t go near the water.” That tune by the Beach Boys in the early 1970s comes to my mind when I read and hear about the rip currents along Florida’s Atlantic shoreline, including the Treasure Coast.  We need not follow the Beach Boys’ advice literally.  But we should be careful.  In Florida, rip currents kill more people than thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornados, according to the National Weather Service.  A rip current is a channel of water rushing away from the shore.  Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when going to the beach.  Swim where lifeguards are on duty.  If

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