Treasure Coast Essay

  I propose a toast to Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company on its 25th year of producing fresh-squeezed juice made from Florida citrus.  It was in 1989 that Robert “Bobby” Sexton – grandson of Vero Beach pioneer Waldo Sexton – came up with the idea of turning out a gourmet orange juice, freshly squeezed for each order.  His wife Marygrace Sexton joined him in setting the company up in Vero Beach.  They named the juice after their baby daughter Natalie and put a young woman’s picture on the containers.

Prime time for sharks

Sep 15, 2014

  As the newspaper USA Today recently noted, Shark Week on television is over, but it is still prime time for sharks off east central Florida, including the Treasure Coast.  This is the time of the year when large schools of bait fish are migrating from north to south.  They like to spend the winter where it is warmer, just like humans.  Close behind the mullet, anchovies and herring are hungry sharks – black tip, spinner and sandbar.  The small fish like to swim in the warm shallow water near the shore line.  The sharks follow them.  Unfortunately, that is where humans like to swim and sur

Ri-o, Ri-o, Ri-o.  Will the peacocks leave our Ri-o?  The small and sleepy patch of Martin County called Rio may be in for major development in the coming years.   The post office that opened there in 1893 was called Rio San Lucie.  I assume it was pronounced the Spanish way.  It means St. Lucie River.  Later, people just called the place Rio.

Our busy summer

Sep 1, 2014

Today is Labor Day.  No matter what the calendar says, this is the end of summer.  Kids are back in school.  Parents are back at work.

Indian River County resident John Walsh is back on television tracking down fugitives.  His new series “The Hunt with John Walsh” is shown at 9 p.m.

Beware of these scams

Aug 18, 2014

Law enforcement agencies on the Treasure Coast are warning us to beware of scams over the telephone and by email.  Seniors are often the target.  Here are some scams to watch out for.  You are nearing retirement and are invited to buy into a fund that promises financial returns much higher than normal.  Remember Bernie Madoff?   He bilked investors, including many in Florida, of billions with that promise.  Just say no.  You are told that you have won a lottery, often in another country.  To claim your winnings, all you have to do is pay a fee.

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 TCPalm.com.  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.

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