Treasure Coast Essay

Let’s take a look at the most important news stories on the Treasure Coast in 2013.  Because it seemed to catch the attention of virtually everyone, I think number one was the declining health of the Indian River Lagoon, on which we depend for recreation and our economic well-being.  In the north lagoon, dolphins, manatees and pelicans were dying, probably because sea grass was disappearing.  To the south, polluted fresh water discharged from Lake Okeechobee was wiping out marine life in the St.

  Going into the BCS national championship game on January 6th, Florida State University looked good.  And so did Bryan Stork, a graduate of Vero Beach High School.   The star offensive lineman was one of six players from the Treasure Coast on the FSU roster.

This headline in the weekly newspaper Vero Beach 32960 caught my eye: “Vero Beach emerging as world pompano capital.”  Not Pompano Beach down in Broward County?  Nope, water is a bit too warm, say those who fish for pompano.  From November to May, many pompano migrate to the stretch of ocean from Sebastian to Round Island, where the water temp averages about 70.  Vero Beach is in the middle.  You find easy access to the ocean at many locations, including South Beach Park, which is directly east of the 17th Street Bridge and, incidentally, only a few blocks from my condo.  This time of year,

The insect is called a psyllid, from the Greek psylla for flea.  It is no bigger than a pinhead.  But psyllids are causing enormous damage to citrus groves in Florida, including those on the Treasure Coast.  The psyllids carry a disease called citrus greening, which makes grapefruit, oranges and lemons ripen quickly, drop prematurely, look ugly and taste bitter.  The fruit cannot be marketed, and the disease can eventually kill the tree.  Florida’s grapefruit crop – three-fourths of which comes from the Indian River district – is expected to be down 9 percent from last season.  Florida’s or

Hey, Treasure Coast Food Bank.  Happy 25th anniversary!  Because of the current economic slowdown, the need for food assistance in our area has never been greater since volunteers got you started in 1988.  Some 100,000 people on the Treasure Coast are hungry during this holiday season.  That’s about 17 percent of our population.  A lot of them don’t know where their next full meal is coming from.  Many have low-pay part-time jobs.  Many are looking for work.  The Food Bank wants to help.  Newly relocated in St.

Hurricane-free again

Dec 9, 2013

We lucked out again.  For the eighth year in a row, Florida, including the Treasure Coast, was hurricane-free.  In fact, only one tropical storm – and that was Andrea -- hit the state during the 2013 hurricane season, which began June 1st and ended November 30th.  The North Atlantic and Caribbean regions did record 13 named storms –as predicted by forecasters before the season began.  But only two – Humberto and Ingrid – grew into hurricanes.  Both were in September, and both were category 1.  Neither hit the U.S.

Our newest hospital

Dec 2, 2013

The Treasure Coast has a new full-service hospital.  It’s the Tradition Medical Center in western Port St. Lucie.  More precisely, the hospital is in the research park called the Tradition Center for Innovation in the planned community of Tradition off I-95.  It is owned by Martin Health System, a not-for-profit health-care organization, which also owns Martin Medical Center and Martin Hospital South in Martin County, plus three walk-in clinics in Martin County and two clinics in St.

Our subject today is muck. Scientists and bureaucrats may refer to it as sediment, silt or suspended solids. But most of us just call it muck. It blankets the bottom of the Indian River Lagoon and its tributaries, and it's causing damage. Muck was always down there. It consisted mostly of saturated soil from natural erosion. But when people established farms, dug canals, laid down roads and put up buildings, the soil runoff increased exponentially and so did the muck. Churned-up muck and the accompanying algae blooms block the sunlight.

A special lifeboat

Nov 11, 2013

Today is Veterans Day, a good time to talk about something special at the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in St.

It is probably no surprise to you that the most dangerous intersections in Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties are all on U.S. 1.  U.S. 1 is the oldest highway serving the country’s East Coast, stretching 25-hundred miles from the Canadian border to Key West.  I bet it’s is also the busiest, with traffic signals every 20 feet -- or so it seems.  Let’s take a drive south on U.S. 1.  We’ll start in Vero Beach at eastbound State Route 60, Indian River County’s most dangerous intersection.  This was the scene of 21 crashes in 2012, reported Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers.

A haunted restaurant

Oct 28, 2013

Halloween is only a few days off.  This is when we hear and read a lot about haunted houses.  Would you believe a haunted restaurant?  Those who run the place don’t keep it a secret.  In fact, they brag about it.  The restaurant is Ashley’s on U.S.

Uh-oh, the mullet are migrating again along Treasure Coast beaches.  Why uh-oh?  Because close behind the mullet come the sharks  The mullet, 1 to 3 feet in length, gather in large schools near the shoreline preparing to spawn.  Then they head south to spend the winter in warmer waters.  For the sharks its supper time.  Various species of coastal sharks feed on the mullet – black tip, bull, lemon, nurse and spinner.  Most are under 5 feet.  But all have sharp teeth.  When the wind is light and the water clear, you can see silhouettes of sharks in the surf.  Check out the photos of shark sil

The Forbes magazine list of the 400 richest Americans in 2013 includes one and a half billionaires on the Treasure Coast – down from three and a half a year ago.  On the list is Alfred James Clark, 85, of Vero Beach.  Another on the list is H. Wayne Huizenga, 75, who is identified by Forbes as a resident of Fort Lauderdale.  But he also owns a home in south St.

Last month, USA Today came out with its list of the 10 best but least-known beaches in Florida.  Number 1 was Caladesi Island, a state park near Clearwater on the Gulf Coast.  But second and third are on the Treasure Coast.  They are Blowing Rocks Preserve in Hobe Sound and Vero Beach.  Fifth is Jupiter, just south of the Treasure Coast in Palm Beach County.  As a resident of Vero Beach, I was glad to see my city on the list.  But --hmmm -- which part of the Vero Beach beach is my favorite?  I pick South Beach Park, near our condo.

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