Treasure Coast Essay

A round of applause, please, for Osceola Park, a charming neighborhood southwest of downtown Vero Beach.  In the fall, a state historical marker about Osceola Park will be erected on the corner of 19th Street and 20th Avenue.  Other Indian River County markers will go up at Historic Dodgertown and the Roseland community.  There are many state historical markets on the Treasure Coast, but this will be the first to recognize a neighborhood in Vero Beach.   Osceola Park contains an impressive number of early 20th century houses.  One was the childhood home of Merrill Barber, who later served a

  If it comes to a fight between All Aboard Florida and St. Lucie Village, don’t bet against the village.  The tiny municipality north of Fort Pierce has a history of taking on powerful interests and winning.  St. Lucie Village – population 599 – is nestled between the Indian River Lagoon and U.S.

Should we add cane toads to the list of alien creatures that have invaded the Treasure Coast?  According to the weekly newspaper 32963, which serves that zip code, a resident of the Vero Beach barrier island noticed his 18-month-old English Setter named Major was foaming at the mouth and shaking his head.  The owner rushed the dog to a vet, who treated Major for venom poisoning from a cane toad.  Apparently, Major had bit a cane toad or licked it or just sniffed it.  Cane toads are big.  They squirt a milky venom from glands behind their ears that can be lethal to small mammals and harmful

Beautiful but deadly

Jul 23, 2014

When you hear it thunder, don’t run under a tree, as Paul Janensch tells us in this Treasure Coast Essay.

Here’s something to put on your bucket list: Horseback riding on the beach.  You know what a bucket list is – things to do before you kick the bucket.   A horseback ride on the beach is an experience you will always remember.  The only place you can do it on the Treasure Coast is at Frederick Douglass Memorial Park on South Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce.  In fact, that’s one of the few places in all of Florida where you can do it.   If you own your own horse, you can buy a permit from the St.

  It’s hard to imagine the Environmental Learning Center near Vero Beach without Holly Dill in charge.  Dill was hired as executive director in 1989 – a year after the ELC was formed and three years before it opened its 64-acre spread on the Indian River Lagoon at the west end of the Wabasso Bridge.  After 25 years, Dill, 60, decided it was time to retire.  She will stay until a successor is found.  She is a hands-on administrator.  Always smiling.  She makes sure the ELC offers programs for all ages and abilities.  Pontoon-boat rides and kayak excursions.  Nature walks and a large touch ta

Ordinary mosquitoes are enough of a problem on the Treasure Coast during the rainy season from June through October.  Now we are being warned about daytime-biting mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus or the chikungunya virus.  Both cause tropical diseases.  Neither is usually fatal.  But each can make you miserable for days or weeks.  Fever, headache, nausea, extreme pain in the muscles and joints.  Last year, 24 cases of locally acquired dengue fever were reported in Martin County.  This year, health officials fear the chikungunya virus could also invade our area.  A person goes to, say,

On average, gunfire can be heard two or three times a week in Fort Pierce, usually at night in the northwest neighborhoods.  Often someone is shot.  Sometimes the person dies.  Witnesses are reluctant to talk to police.  They are afraid of being targeted as snitches. Or they just don’t want to get involved.   From January 1st to June 10th, there were 41 reports of gunfire in the city, according to  Nineteen people were hit.  As of June 10th, seven were killed and one died several days later.  In all of 2013, seven were killed by guns in Fort Pierce.

Viewing sea turtles

Jun 16, 2014

The best months to watch sea turtles nesting on our beaches are June and July.  And the best way is on a guided sea-turtle walk.

Emails to me from friends and relatives around the country expressed amazement: “The American suicide bomber in Syria was from Vero Beach?!” They learned from the news media that the family of Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha live in Vero Beach (actually a bit north of the city), that he attended Sebastian River High School, that he loved to play basketball and that for a while he occupied an apartment in Fort Pierce.  On May 25th, Abu-Salha, 22, drove a truck to a restaurant containing Syrian government troops and detonated 16 tons of explosives