Treasure Coast Essay

Hey, Piper Aircraft.  Happy 75th anniversary!  For more than 50 of those years, you have been in Vero Beach.  In November 1937, Taylor Aircraft in Pennsylvania was re-incorporated as Piper Aircraft under William T.

She has been named a Philanthropist of the Year, and she is only 12.  I’m talking about Lauren Weaver of Vero Beach.  Lauren is one of five award recipients and 16 other honorees who will be recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indian River Chapter.  The event will be at 5:30 Tuesday at Riverside Theater.  Lauren will receive the chapter’s first Outstanding Youth Philanthropist of the Year award.  She began helping the homeless five years ago.  With $25 from her own savings, Lauren bought Christmas gifts for a homeless man she met in Pocohontas Park in downtown Vero Be

Mustering Navy SEALS

Nov 5, 2012

Next Saturday and Sunday, you can mingle with SEALS, as Paul Janensch explains in this Treasure Coast Essay.

OOOOOOOO!  Have you been to the Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge on South Hutchinson Island in Martin County?  If so, did you smell beef stew cooking even though the kitchen has been inoperable since the 1940s?  Halloween is upon us.  OOOOOOOO!  Time to focus on one of the haunted places on the Treasure Coast.  The House of Refuge, now a museum open to the public, was one of 10 shelters built after the Civil War for sailors whose ships were wrecked along Florida’s treacherous Atlantic Coast.  Each shelter was occupied by a keeper and his family.  They walked the beach after a storm, looking fo

The great annual migration of butterflies from northeastern North America to Mexico is nearing an end.  But in the southern half of Florida, we can see a lot of butterflies all year round.  Like many humans, they love the warm weather in the winter months and decided to stay.  People on the Treasure Coast have a special affection for butterflies.  LaPorte Farms in Sebastian has opened a butterfly house.  Visitors can walk through carrying cotton swabs doused with grape juice to attract the winged creatures.  At the Oxbow Eco-Center in Port St.

“Off they go into the wild blue yonder, climbing high into the sun.”  In this case, the “they” are veterans who will be flown to Washington on November 3rd to visit the World War II Memorial on the National Mall.  They will be the guests of Honor Flight of Southeast Florida, based in Stuart.  Since it joined the national non-profit Honor Flight network in 2009, the organization has sponsored 11 flights to Washington for veterans of World War II and veterans with a terminal illness.  The program later will focus on veterans of the Korean War and Vietnam.  All expenses are covered by individu

Our own billionaires

Oct 8, 2012

The Forbes magazine 2012 list of the 400 richest Americans includes three and a half residents of the Treasure Coast.  I’ll explain that “half” in a bit.  At Number 229 is Albert Lee Ueltschi, 95, of Vero Beach with a net worth of $2.1 billion.  He created FlightSafety International, a major provider of aviation service, and supports charities that help the blind.  Also of Vero Beach is Alfred James Clark, 84, at Number 328 with a net worth of $1.4 billion.  His Clark Enterprises builds sports stadiums and other imposing structures.   New to the list is Charlotte Colket Weber, 69.

Mullet time

Oct 1, 2012

Once again, the mullet are running.  Every year at this time, these little fish migrate by the millions down the Indian River Lagoon, grazing on all sorts if vegetation including algae, which choke up our sea grass.  The mullet, in turn, are food for a wide variety of birds and fish, including sea trout, jack, red drum, flounder and tarpon.  And these fish, in turn, are food for us.  Where mullet are jumping you often see humans fishing.  Which brings up a question asked on the Treasure Coast.  Why do mullet jump?  When I go out in a kayak in September or October, they jump all around me. 

The Fort Pierce pizza guy’s 15 minutes of fame has stretched to 15 days and may go on.  I’m talking about Scott Van Duzer, owner of Big Apple Pizza and Pasta.  On Sunday afternoon, September 9th, Barrack Obama, campaigning in Florida, strolled through the front door and asked, “Where’s Scott?”  The president had heard of Van Duzer’s charitable work.  The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Van Duzer embraced the 6-foot-1, 170-pound chief executive and lifted him off the floor.  The hug was captured as a still photo and video clip and flashed around the world.  The image appeared on the front page of the Ne

It looks like Port St.

It made news from coast to coast.  Twenty-two short-fin pilot whales stranded themselves at Avalon State Beach on North Hutchinson Island in St.

Classes are back in session on the Treasure Coast.  Let’s see how our schools are doing.  During the summer, the Florida Department of Education posted the grades it gave this year to the state’s 67 school districts.  For the 11th year in a row, the Martin County School District received an A.  It was ranked fifth in the state. Congratulations, Martin County!  But Indian River received a B after four years of A’s, and St.

The fall semester got under way last week at Indian River State College.  Something new at IRSC is especially interesting.  It’s the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program.  The program provides financial assistance to unemployed veterans between 35 and 60 to attend school full-time to be retrained in high-demand occupations in such fields as computers, engineering, teaching, health care and construction.  The U.S.

Neither of them won a medal, but I salute two Olympic competitors with ties to the Treasure Coast.  They are gymnast Syque Caesar and dressage rider Tina Konyot.  Syque, 21, was born in West Palm Beach, grew up in Port St. Lucie and graduated from Lincoln Park Academy in Fort Pierce.  His parents came to the U.S.

Be careful in the sun

Aug 13, 2012

Those of us who live on the Treasure Coast or are just visiting here love the sun.  But remember that the sun is like the ocean.  Love it, yes.  But treat it with respect.  It can be dangerous.  I know.  I’m fair skinned and freckly, a legacy of my ancestors in northern Germany and Ireland.  I spent a lot of time in the sun – on the beach and on the water.  Until about five years ago, I never put on sun-blocker.  I would get burned and peel and eventually tan.  Actually, my tan was more of a maroon.  Then I noticed a purple spot on my chest.  A melanoma, said the dermatologist.  It was remo