Serving St. Lucie, Martin, Brevard and Indian River counties.
Covering Stuart, Jensen Beach, Palm City, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian, Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge, Palm Bay, Viera and Eau Gallie.
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Dear Readers and Advertisers,
Please know that you have been in our hearts, thoughts and prayers as we all face the coronavirus pandemic together.
This has been a difficult time for all of us as we negotiate a new reality. We have made adjustments as needed, but want to assure you that all of our publications remain on schedule. Our next quarterly issue of Treasure Coast Business Magazine will publish this month, the summer issue of Indian River Magazine will publish in May and the summer issue of Port St. Lucie Magazine in June. In addition to the printed versions, the digital versions of these magazines, as always, will be available free online at IndianRiverMagazine.com, TCBusiness.com and PortStLucieMagazine.com. Much of our work for these issues had already been completed, and we are thankful that at this point all of our staff members are healthy.
Do you know somebody on the Treasure Coast who should be singled out for praise because of their actions during the coronavirus pandemic? Whether it’s a nurse at the local hospital, a volunteer at the local food bank or a grocery clerk going the extra mile, we’ll help you sing their praises in our new online feature Hometown Heroes of the Treasure Coast. Tell us who is your hero >>
Extraordinary efforts for extraordinary times
What a difference a few months make.
When I was writing this letter for the last issue in late February, our magazine company, like many Treasure Coast businesses, was headed for another record year, with plans to expand our business and no end in sight.
And then the coronavirus pandemic hit, temporarily shutting many of the businesses along the Treasure Coast. Advertising is the lifeblood of our business, and because many of our advertisers were shut down or severely hampered, our advertising diminished as well.
Saluting a man and his cause
On the Fourth of July, an American flag will seemingly rise from the depths of the ocean just offshore from Vero Beach’s popular Sexton Plaza and fly proudly above the crest of the waves. Its origin and purpose are often questioned by oceanfront diners and hotel guests and locals who walk the beach daily. But few know that the history and legacy of the mysterious flag is just as spellbinding as what is resting on the ocean floor.
Beginning in the spring and lasting through autumn, Mother Nature puts on an awe-inspiring spectacle along our coastline. Under dark, starry skies mother sea turtles emerge from the ocean so they can carry on their species. During this ancient ritual, the marine reptile slowly lumbers her way onto the beach to find a safe location to lay her eggs.
It is a difficult and delicate venture, where nesting conditions must be just right. If the setting is favorable, she meticulously builds her nest, lays her eggs, buries and disguises them with utmost care. Then she disappears back into the deep, not knowing if her young will survive.
The Treasure Coast is one of the leading hot spots for sea turtle nesting in the United States. Last year, around 26,382 nests were recorded. Seven species of sea turtles swim in the oceans today and three of those beach along our shores to lay their eggs.
The TREASURE HUNTER
Born into a routine life, Jonah Martinez was 10 when his father sold his business in Illinois and commissioned a sailboat to be built in Taiwan. But after a typhoon hit the boatyard, his father had to improvise.
“Dad packed us up into a camper to go on tour,” he says.
While Martinez’s mother home-schooled him and his brother, their education was enhanced by traveling throughout Mexico and South America. After the sailboat arrived, it was rigged and set up in Fort Pierce and the family finally left for the islands.
The BIG WAVE RIDER
Between shaping custom surfboards and riding huge waves on six continents, Charles Williams has had a profound impact on the Treasure Coast surfing community.
Williams and his twin brother, George, have manufactured more than 40,000 Impact surfboards at their Fort Pierce shop during the past 40 years. Three generations of faithful surfers have grown up riding custom boards made by Impact.
At age 65, Williams goes daily for a dawn patrol session at the Fort Pierce Inlet. Except when he was injured, Williams has been surfing almost every day since the age of 12. After five years living on the ocean in Ormond Beach while in high school, Williams knew what he wanted to do with his life.
The VOCAL VETERINARIAN
Cristina Maldonado, a veterinarian at Monterey Animal Clinic in Stuart, lives her dream job by caring for dogs and cats and doing everything to keep them healthy. The daughter of Dr. Carlos Maldonado, a well-known general surgeon in Stuart, she remembers wanting to work in animal medicine since she was 4 years old.
“It was something that I got in my head as a little girl and there was never anything else that I wanted to do,” she recalls.
Becoming a veterinarian was a natural fit for Maldonado, with her passion for animals and seeing the powerful impact that they have on their owners.
St. Lucie pioneer family loses patriarch
Fisherman. Father. Friend. Herman Roy Summerlin Sr. was all of these and more.
Son of Richard R. “Dick” Summerlin Sr. and Claudia Ramsey Summerlin, he was born May 4, 1938, in St. Lucie Village and raised along the shores of the Indian River where his father worked as a fishing guide. A proud member of a pioneering family, he was a third-generation resident of St. Lucie County. He died March 20.
Summerlin, 81, spent most of his life fishing on the water or running one of his many businesses. He opened his first business, Summerlin’s Seafood, in 1963. Three years later, he bought a seafood market on the South Causeway, renaming it Summerlin’s Baywood Fisheries. His brother, Astor, joined him in the venture.
Vero Beach remembers its most vocal advocate
Alma Lee Loy, known as the First Lady of Vero Beach because of her standing as a community advocate, died peacefully on April 10. A native Floridian, she was born June 10, 1929, in Vero Beach.
Loy, who co-owned Alma Lee’s Children’s Clothing Center for 42 years, will be fondly remembered for her commitment to Vero Beach projects and love of people equally.
“Honesty was an asset she learned from her parents; they were very positive people,” lifelong friend Harry Hurst recalled. “Even when she was a teenager, she always made every person feel like the most important person. She did that her whole life.”
Built to last
No builder will tell you he can build a hurricane-proof house, but many are willing to go beyond building codes, hoping the home will survive a sustained super storm.
“A home can be a bunker and still be a palace,” builder Jim Harkins says. The co-owner of H3 Homes has built more than 30 monolithic, poured concrete houses in Brevard, Broward, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties since 2007. The homes range from a 1,000-square-foot guest house to a 10,000-square-foot house in Broward County.
Sunrises on Adams Ranch west of Fort Pierce take on spectacular hues because of a lack of city lights. Soon, the sun will light treetops, birds will start their calls, wild hogs will head to the swamps, cows will pair up with their calves, horses in the pasture for the night will head to the barn for a day’s work. A great day is starting.
Snowbirds aren’t the only ones who love Florida. Migrating birds love it, too. The Treasure Coast can be a birding haven, especially as our migratory birds pass through and our year-round feathered friends congregate at feeders and their favorite natural settings. As spring migration happens, many birds are in their colorful breeding plumage. We’ve compiled a list here of some of our favorite locations at which to see them this spring on the Treasure Coast — along with some tips for creating a haven for birds in your own backyard.
Enriching our culture
Indian River State College serves as a vital community resource that offers enrichment opportunities of all kinds for all ages. With performances, programs, and events that range from theater, to lectures on timely topics, to summer camps and activities for children, IRSC campuses welcome thousands of residents each year who enjoy all that the college offers.
Taking the lead role in more than 30 performances annually, IRSC students who major in theatre, dance or music demonstrate their talents in the McAlpin OnStage series, which fosters a comprehensive foundation for future educational and professional pursuits. Facilities utilized by the performing and visual arts programs — such as the Fee Dance Studio, art studio space, classrooms and rehearsal rooms — all emphasize the college’s commitment to the development of a well-rounded student.
Kathleen Carbonara says she knew since kindergarten that she wanted to be an artist. One look at the “pink carnation” in the Crayola box and she was smitten.
“It looked so good to me, I ate it,” she recalls.
But it wasn’t until decades later that she began painting, making a successful career as a portrait artist with works in more than 40 private collections, including the University of Notre Dame, along with pursuing a number of other subjects and themes, such as still lifes, that interest her.
Legendary folksinger, songwriter and Sebastian resident Arlo Guthrie says he will continue to go on the road with his band and family until his voice won’t allow him to sing.
“Nobody retires in folk music,”Guthrie says in the dining room of his home overlooking the Indian River. “Pete Seeger died at 94 and we did a show together three months before he passed away.”
Guthrie, at 72, has slowed down somewhat but still spends eight to nine months a year touring with band members who’ve been with him since the 1970s. The days are long gone when Guthrie actually drove the tour bus to a different venue every night.
It has been nearly 50 years since a young black man was shot and later died on a hot August night in a modest little bar on Avenue D in Fort Pierce. He might have been forgotten, except that he left a curious legacy that was to live on long after his death.
Alfred Hair was an artist, and his paintings of turquoise seas, peach clouds and scarlet royal poinciana trees, along with the thousands more created by his friends, family, neighbors and acquaintances, became the signature works of the 26 African-American artists who were later called the Florida Highwaymen.
To Each His Own
Using advanced technology, the 2nd Street Bistro in downtown Fort Pierce is one of the busiest and most modern restaurants on the Treasure Coast — serving more than 20,000 people a month.
Servers save as many as 2,000 steps a day using hand-held computers to transmit orders and cut down on unneeded trips to and from the restaurant’s three kitchens. With more than 75 employees, the 300-seat restaurant is open every day except Christmas.
It Takes a Village
Even though mass demonstrations have shut down Haiti’s government and kept virtually all schools closed for months, it’s been business as usual for one small primary school in the Haitian countryside that has strong ties to the Treasure Coast.
The Children’s Academy and Learning Center, supported by Vero Beach-based Haiti Partners, has remained open in a village five miles from the capital, Port-Au-Prince, despite anti-government protests that have paralyzed the country. The demonstrators, angered by rising gas prices and severe food shortages, have blocked roads in major cities, set fires and even harassed children wearing school uniforms to frighten them into staying home.
Former Fort Pierce woman joins global voyage to fight plastic pollution
Growing up on Hutchinson Island with the Indian River as a playground, Rikki Grober Eriksen relished long sails with her father, the late and loved orthopeadic surgeon Ron Grober, and developed a love of all things marine.
Little wonder that she became a marine scientist, earning her phD and going on to hold her current position of marine ecologist at the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation. And next week she will embark on a leg of a journey, leaving the Azores Oct. 27 and arriving in Antigua Nov. 18, that is taking women on a voyage around the world to raise awareness of plastic pollution and its effect women’s health.
It’s a remarkable journey for a woman who, as a Florida State University student at age 19,survived a kidnapping ordeal in Tallahassee in early 1984 at the hands of Chris Wilder, who was known as the Beauty Queen Killer and was successful at killing at least eight women.
Insect released at Adams Ranch will target Brazilian peppertree
Mike Adams spends $250,000 every year to manage Brazilian peppertrees spread over the family’s 40,000 acres of ranches in Osceola and St. Lucie counties, where his family has developed the Braford breed of cattle. Adams, whose family ranch was founded in 1937, recounts years when the invasive tree from South America overtook natural areas on the ranches, pushing out pasture and grasslands.
War on the river
There was a time when bridge tenders weren’t just maintaining the safe passage of water and vehicle traffic. Other voluntary duties came in handy when World War II broke out.
Janet Walker Anderson and others who lived in the drawbridge houses in Indian River County knew what they did to help was more than just giving access across the river. Allowing people across was an important way to help keep the lines of communication open between the mainland and the barrier island.
For people who are homeless in the tri-county area, there are a variety of places to receive immediate care for their physical and mental well-being. Non-profit organizations with hundreds of volunteers support efforts to provide medical treatment, mental health counseling and services that include meals, clothing and rides to doctors’ appointments.
Cancer. The word alone sends chills up and down the spine. Images of sitting in a room for hours at a time, worrying about the outcome, run through the mind. It’s part of the treatment process, but it doesn’t have to be as miserable as some think. What if one could pass that time by creating a work of art or by listening to some cool jazz? It might just make the treatment a little more tolerable.
Chrysanthemum Ball raises life-saving funds for a quarter century
The Chrysanthemum Ball, or the Mum Ball as locals call it, is one of the premier fundraising events that kicks off the social season in Martin County. Attendees come dressed to the nines at the black tie affair, anticipating a top-notch soirée. And they’re never disappointed. For 25 years, the ball has been held at numerous venues, including elegant waterfront estates. Many events feature a special theme — stunning themes like Cirque du Soleil, Night in Spain, Pulse of the Future — leaving guests feeling surprised, wowed and delighted. And for all of their fun, patrons have raised millions of dollars to provide top quality medical services at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, formerly known as Martin Memorial.
Indian River Magazine took home two top statewide awards during the annual Florida Magazine Association’s Charlie Awards banquet held Friday at the Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg.
The magazine won a Charlie Award for general excellence in the best custom publication division for Vero at 100, a 128-page special edition on the history of Vero Beach from prehistoric times to today. The magazine was produced as part of the celebration of Vero Beach’s 100th anniversary as a city and in conjunction with the Vero Beach Centennial Committee.
Treasure Coast Business a quarterly magazine serving St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee counties, has begun publication, with the inaugural issue arriving this week.
The magazine was launched under a unique partnership between Indian River Magazine Inc. and the Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College.
Beacon of romance
In Martin County, there is a historic, scenic, coastal setting that has been a beacon to lovers for more than a hundred years. Situated on a bluff of strikingly picturesque rocks at the southerly end of Hutchinson Island, the Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge looks out over a vast expanse of aquamarine water that melts into the horizon. A soothing rhythm of white-foamed waves splashing is heard on the rocky coast, while a cool sea breeze calms the senses.
When pirates scoured the Treasure Coast
One man. One crew. One ship can take on the entire British Empire without a hiccough or regret. However grandiose Bellamy’s assertion may sound today, it was not without sincerity.
Engaging as their legends are, the true story of the pirates of the Treasure Coast was even more captivating; it is a long-lost tale of tyranny and resistance, a maritime revolt on the seas. The foundation of the British Empire was shaken by these rogues.
'Our Soldier Boy’ of World War I'
The name Stephen N. Gladwin was a familiar one to me growing up in Fort Pierce. I first saw the name etched in the World War I memorial monument on the grounds of the St. Lucie County Courthouse, undoubtedly after seeing a movie at the Sunrise Theatre across the street.
Saving history one page at a time
When I was a rookie reporter at the Fort Pierce News-Tribune back in the late 1970s, I wore a variety of hats (but never a green eye-shade like you see in the old movies). As the youngest and least-tenured reporter on the staff, I was thrown a variety of assignments the senior reporters were able to avoid. Most of these involved putting together items that had templates so they could be easily or quickly written. In other words, things that didn’t require much writing talent.
Best of the Treasure Coast
Readers choose their favorites. From Best Brewery to Best Beach, Indian River Magazine and its readers reveal the best the Treasure Coast has to offer for 2020.
The brightest receive recognition
A distinct group of business leaders stand out from the rest on the Treasure Coast. They have made a big economic impact, showing that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our region.
Treasure Coast History
We Hardly Knew Ye
As Vero Beach prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019, no one figure stands taller in the city’s history than Waldo Sexton. He is Vero Beach’s most iconic figure celebrated and written about more than any other.