Treasure Coast Essay

The new Elliott Museum on Hutchinson Island in Stuart has opened.  The old museum, a 53-year-old Martin County fixture, was fun.  The rebuilt $20 million Elliott is fun AND impressive.  I recently spent an enjoyable and instructive two hours there.  In a short essay, I can only give you some highlights.  Vintage motor vehicles were an important part of the old Elliott, and they still are.  But with a difference.  At the Wheels of Change Exhibit, 55 classic cars and trucks are parked in a three-story structure.  You decide which one you want to see close up.  With the touch of a finger on a


Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in the wildfire along Indrio Road in north St.

“I’m in the mood for love.”  I will always associate that song with Frances Langford – singer, actress and probably Martin County’s most generous benefactor ever.  She was born in Lakeland, Florida, on April 4th, 1913 – 100 years ago.   In the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the five-foot 1-inch contralto was a star on radio, in the movies and with Bob Hope’s USO tours.  She moved to Martin County in 1945.  Over the years, she and three husbands – actor Jon Hall, outboard motor executive Ralph Evinrude and attorney Harold Stuart – gave to scores of local organizations, from the Florida Oceanographic In

Where did Ponce de Leon land?

Mar 25, 2013

Five hundred years ago, on April 3rd, 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon stepped ashore on what he thought was an island and claimed it as a possession of Spain.  He named it La Florida because of the colorful plants he saw growing beyond the beach and because it was the Easter season, known in Spain as the Festival of the Flowers.  Legend has it that he was in search of “rejuvenating waters” otherwise known as the Fountain of Youth.  This happened on Florida’s Atlantic Coast.  But exactly where?  Until recently, most history books said it was near what became St.

Swim Champs 2013

Mar 18, 2013

Wow!  The Indian River State College swim team is still on top.  Both the men and the women cleaned up at the National Junior College Athletic Association Swimming and Diving Championships in Buffalo.  For the men, it was their 39th consecutive national championship – the longest winning streak in any college sport.  For the women, it was their 31st consecutive national championship.  Even though the college now grants bachelor degrees, frosh and sophomores still compete in junior college sports.   Joshua Oath-out won three individual finals and was on one winning relay team.  He was named

As the cardinals gathered in Rome, one name that rings a bell with Catholics in our area was mentioned in the Italian press as a “papabile” – or possible pope.  He is Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, 68, archbishop of Boston and once the bishop of the Palm Beach diocese, which includes the Treasure Coast.  He came to Florida in 2002 after serving as bishop in Fall River, Mass.  He stayed only eight months before being called to the troubled archdiocese of Boston.  O’Malley was considered a “papabile” because in Fall River, Palm Beach and Boston he cleaned up after disclosures of sexual abuse

Enjoying art under the oaks

Mar 4, 2013

What attracts lots of people and is held in the shade of lovely live oaks?  Paul Janensch tells us in this Treasure Coast Essay.

Twenty-five years ago, a group of environmentally conscious residents of the Treasure Coast incorporated the Environmental Learning Center on Wabasso Island in the Indian River Lagoon north of Vero Beach.  The idea was to create a place to provide stimulating experiences that foster an appreciation and an understanding of the natural world.  Today the ELC offers hundreds of programs for all ages and abilities.  To mark its Silver Anniversary this year, the ELC is putting on a long list of events tied to the theme of “Life on the Lagoon” – such as a fishing tournament and a film festival.  A

Play ball!

Feb 18, 2013

Spring training in the Grapefruit League is underway, and the first games will be played this week.  The four teams on Florida’s Atlantic Coast -- all in the National League -- are paired off on Saturday.   In St. Lucie West, the New York Mets will host the Washington Nationals, who are based in Viera.  They will play at Tradition Field, named for the planned community a few miles away.  It was Tradition Field before.  Then Digital Domain bought the naming rights.  Then the animation studio closed its doors.  So it’s Tradition Field again.  In Jupiter, the St.

On Saturday, February 2nd, I popped in on the Regional Science and Engineering Fair put on by the Indian River County school district and the Education Foundation of Indian River County at Gifford Middle School in Vero Beach.  It was an exhilarating but intimidating experience.  Exhilarating because the exhibits by the secondary and elementary school students were so impressive.  Intimidating because they know so much about the scientific method.   In fact, I dare say these students know more than most adults.  Each exhibit described an experiment in words and drawings on a cardboard displa

They’re heeeeeere!  The snowbirds, of course.  I’m not talking about white pelicans and other feathered creatures who spend the winter on the Treasure Coast.  I’m talking about the snowbirds without feathers.  Most  drive down  Interstate-95 -- some trailing a boat.  A few travel by yacht on the Intracoastal Waterway.  The snowbirds are fleeing cold and snow in favor of sun and warm temps.  They are attracted to the Treasure Coast’s low-key, outdoorsy life style with a dash of culture.  Many fish.  Many play golf.  Some bring their homes with them – RVs or trailers.  Many rent a place to st

Bookmania! is coming

Jan 28, 2013

I’m a fan of crime fiction.  So I’m especially interested in the panel called “Thrills & Chills” at the 19th annual Bookmania!

What's ahead in 2013

Jan 21, 2013

What's ahead for the Treasure Coast in 2013?  The Old Farmers Almanac predicts a cool winter, a mixed spring, a rainy summer and a warm fall.  Weather forecasters predict more Atlantic hurricanes than usual.  But maybe we'll be lucky again.  In 2012, for the seventh year in a row, Florida was hurricane-free.  The economy is expected to get better.  Tourism is expected to rise.  The citrus crop is expected to drop because of dry weather and disease.  In Indian River County: Vero Beach may finally decide to sell the city's electric utility to Florida Power & Light.

Our own bowl games stars

Jan 14, 2013

Football players from the Treasure Coast looked good in three major bowl games.  Four of our high school grads started.  In the BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Notre Dame was clobbered by Alabama 42 to 14.  But Notre Dame safety Zeke Motta from Vero Beach High School was outstanding.  Motta -- son of Bill Motta, head football coach at St. Edward's -- led the Irish in total tackles, with 16.  In the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, defensive back Terell Floyd from Port St.