Friday, February 27, 2009


Funny you bring up your recent myspace account Miss V, I was just thinking about all of these social networks linking the world together! Although, at times I’m worried that even though we’ve confirmed that 6 degrees of separation does exist, society’s social skills are taking a nose dive because of it. Especially the younger crowd, I’ve noticed everyone is becoming complete narcissist between posting pictures and informing people of what they’re constantly doing on facebook,myspace, twitter – whatever.

I suppose being a young narcissist isn’t a bad thing, I mean I’m trying to find someone who loves me, as much as I love me! Tough job, inquire within. These dating sites are odd too, I’m not downing you if you use them, some people have to. But it’s like, “these are the reasons you should date me” are they even real interests? Is the picture you put up even what you actually look like? Do you really love your damn dog more than life? Your favorite book is the bible? You try to stay out of drama? I feel like these dating sites are exaggerations of what people really wish they were.

I’ll ask fellow Beach House attendees to comment as to what your thoughts are about the younger generation spending more time on the computer meeting new people than actually throwing themselves into the community! Although, I found that all this new technology does have a plus, I had a drink and a smoke VIA skype with a friend of mine who lives in another city! Convenient!

I heard a statistic on the radio the other day, I hate hearing statistics pertaining to my life. E-mailing too much can be detrimental to your health. Yes, that’s what they said, they also stated that these online social networks can cause cancer… Great, but I have a feeling with my lifestyle the Internet will not be the first thing to take me out!

Love and Hugs,

Who can keep up with all the blogging, posting, twittering myspacing and facebooking, never mind internet introductions! And to put such intimate personal info and photos out in the world for everyone to see! Call Miss Vero old fashioned, but hunnies we rather drink virgin daiquiris than have to date this way. But if y'all are interested, here's a little sample of some singles in Vero :

Seems like a lot of men like to fish and the woman are all "seeking something special". We hope they both find a good catch.


Thursday, February 26, 2009


John Bartosek, Editor, The Palm Beach Post (a real newspaper), brings to light a serious subject that has been in the media recently:

Miss Vero would like y'all to ponder this sensitive topic and at the same introduce y'all to this very respectful song and video by Mr. John Flynn:

Mr. Flynn is an incredible talent that will be in Vero Beach this weekend and we are looking forward to seeing him perform on Sunday:

Follow the links above for contact information.

We hope to see y'all there.



My place, myspace. Is this just another time wasting internet thingy that we must endure? Miss Vero has been getting "invitations" to the cyber world that is myspace and facebook and well, OK, we finally got us a myspace page, but honestly, we see this for what it really is - another waste of our precious cocktail time. Isn't it enough that Miss Vero bears all and gives y'all a daily dose (exceptin of course on weekends and even that rule has been sometimes broken) of the content y'all crave? What more can we give hunnies, we are ever so weary already with our delicate nocturnal nature and the constant upkeep of our fabulous and free blog production? Hmmm?

Well, all right then. Miss Vero now has a myspace page, grab a cocktail and join the fun:
And a big MWAH! to our friend Chris, who has prompted us to keep up with all this!


(and myspace too!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Before we get to LDouglas' wonderful post today, Miss Vero would like to say a big hello to a friend that we ran into last evening, who has been a faithful reader in spite of the fact that she doesn't agree with Miss Vero at all! We like to call her "Belle" because she is one of the most lovely, true, conservative, Southern Belles that we know. Our friendship with "Belle" reminds us that, even though we might not see the world the same, somehow the Beach House brings us all together, where a cocktail and a kind word goes a long way. So Miss Belle, knowin that y'all are a big fan of Max Newport , perhaps you'll see fit to join us in the comment cocktail lounge!

Also, we must tell y'all that the Fabulous City of Fellsmere has a new website, where the motto is "cultivate. nurture. grow...":
It is very user friendly (we love the calendar!) and informative, perhaps we can see this type of site for Vero, Sebastian and the county. A job well done by Mr. Harvey Wasserman and the great folks at

And now, back to LDouglas in Green Acres, who's post we would like to add to by providin y'all with, our new congressman, Mr. Bill Posey's web site:
Remember kids, your elected officials are just waiting to hear from y'all, so don't disappoint!

Spring is in the air

It's that time of year again, can you feel it? Spring is in the air. It's time once again for planting spring flowers and something else-- planting your opinion-- in the garden of Florida government. The regular Florida legislative session is starting on March 3rd. The full session is only 60 calendar days (including weekends) so it's going to go by fast. As usual, there’s good and bad news. The bad news is there are hundreds of bills that may (or may not) come up for a vote and our budget woes continue, but the good news is that it's never been easier to have a say about them.

I know some people ask "why bother?" because they feel like their opinion is different from the mainstream or it won't matter. But it does. They say for every letter or phone call received, a politician (or editor) knows there are many others who feel the same. So there is some power and influence behind one letter (or phone call).

Of course, not everything is cut and dry. The recent stimulus plan is a good example of that. I've read the majority of people writing and calling were against it (phone calls are influential too). However, it still passed. But the part that shows the effectiveness of opinions through letters and calls to me is that the birth control provisions were removed while a lot of the environmental provisions held up. There were many religious groups speaking out against including birth control measures and many environmental groups speaking up for the environmental measures- and they both had an impact.

While I sometimes find the process confusing and hard to keep up with, I'm hoping to be able to keep up and keep you informed of when an important bill is coming up for a vote. If you have an issue you care about, there is probably a group with a lobbyist for it willing to send you e-mail alerts. Do a search on Google. The things most important to me as you may know are the "Love Triangle"- food, environment, and health. For Florida's environmental issues, I'll be using the alerts and updates from Dave Cullen, the lobbyist for the Sierra Club, as well as the alerts from the Audubon Society.

I like to use the form letters from those organizations for ease. They're not as effective as an independent letter but they do help. Most of them let you edit it or add your own thoughts. But when it's something really important to me, I also write a separate letter and send it via e-mail. I do my best to keep it short and polite as I know they're busy and they deserve to be treated with respect. If it's real close to a vote, sometimes I'll also hand write a couple sentences and fax it. (I also follow up with a phone call, at times.)

And if there's an editorial I agree with about an issue, I'll e-mail that. I received the fastest reply ever from Governor Crist after sending one of those.

If you ask me, there is no more important time than now to make sure you speak up for those things important to you. We're facing hard times and politicians don't always tend to do what's right during hard times.

Here's a link to the Florida Senate web page listing all the House Bills for the 2009 Regular Session:

Note that page is just for House Bills, odd numbered 1-99, and you have to look to the right to jump to House Bills numbered 101 up, etc.
To get the Senate Bills, you have to use the box, ”select chamber", located above to view them.

Remember the old adage, "You reap what you sow"? Experience in politics tells us that's not always true but it shouldn't stop us from choosing which seeds we believe most in. When all is said and done there's always the possibility we may reap something different. But like gardeners we can have faith in those small seeds and cling to the hope that this year, we'll end up with a good harvest.

Some tips from the Sierra Club on how to write an effective letter if you need a refresher:

TTFN, LDouglas


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


...make yourselves comfortable, let's pour some martinis and catch up on all the hub bub...

Has the battle of the local newspapers begun?

We see today that Russ Lemmon has written about the Stanford financial situation, calling it a "Mini-Madoff" scandal:

But we know for a fact that the story from Mr. Milton R. Benjamin appeared in last weeks Verobeach32963 and finally made it to their website today:

Are we now to think that in addition to constant culling from the AP wires and other news sources, that the PJ is now picking up tidbits from the new local media? We won't even mention that Miss Vero first reported locally (back on February 5th), the unfortunate connection between Mr. Madoff and Mr. Sandy Koufax that Mr. Lemmon mentions today! Nope, not sayin a word.

Instead of frettin about what the people who are paid to bring us news are doing, maybe we should just stick to our carryin on and cavortin ways around town. And yes, we are finally back, late this afternoon, but before we make our way out again, let Miss Vero just tell y'all about last Friday night downtown....

Bodega Blue was rocking! A full house greeted Miss Vero and several friends when we arrived at 9pm to see Ben Prestage play his unusual style of fun and music. In fact, it was so packed that the crowd spilled out on to the side walk due to max. capacity laws or some such thing! Have y'all ever experienced Ben's talent? Y'all should see him if you get the chance:

So much happenin at the "Blue" these days. We wished we could have been there Saturday to see City Councilman Kevin Sawnick do his meet and greet and we are excited to see that sort of accessibility from our city council. In fact it should be mandatory that all the local politicians come out and do this, I'm sure so many folks in the community, would love to speak one on one with our elected officials, it's only seems like the right thing to do, don't y'all think so?

Anyway we are certainly looking forward to more events at the "Blue" and Miss Lynne, the owner made us feel so welcomed, that we might have to take up drinkin beer now, just to be hospitable of course.

Seems like everyone we know is going to the new restaurant that we told y'all about back in December. Here's an email we received today from one of our friends -

Hey Miss Vero!
Reading your blog recently prompted me to visit Fujiyama. I just had to see about this squirting Sake in your mouth firsthand. So I took my lovely wife out for a date, and we ordered a sashimi appetizer and the filet mignon and shrimp entree. I am very impressed, the sashimi was wonderful, better than some of the other sushi bars in town. The hibachi was also very, very good! And yes, the chef gave me a good long squirt of Sake right into my mouth. He didn't stop until I raised my hand, so I got a real good mouthful! As always, thanks for keeping me abreast of the best (and worst) Vero Beach has to offer!

Now hurry up kids, get there soon before that pesky reviewer at the PJ ruins it for everyone!


Monday, February 23, 2009


Hey hunnies, a little bleary eyed Miss Vero here and when we say here we mean not in Vero Beach. In fact we are somewhere way outside our comfort zone in a hotel lobby with free wifi, bringin y'all Max on Monday and yes, we know what time it is. Late. Late morning or afternoon but whatever kids we did manage to get ourselves to y'all.

Did y'all have a good time at your Oscar parties? Did we? Do y'all have to ask?

Max has decided to send us something about immigration which, honestly we have not taken the time to read, because we have a feelin that our battery on our laptop is gonna give up the ghost any second...

So we did the next best thing and posted along with Max's piece, a favorite little youtube video, that we hope relates.



Max Newport

If you want to see the tip of the iceberg of the immigration problem, drive by the courthouse on any Tuesday morning between 7:45 and 8:00 A.M. What you will see is a group of folks that are here illegally waiting for the courthouse to open and huddling massively. Most of the illegals are there to face misdemeanor criminal charges of driving without a license. Most will leave as convicted criminals. Those who were caught and choose not to appear, for fear of deportation, will face a bench warrant for arrest under the name they were cited under. Many were issued citations for the misdemeanor rather than physically arrested and taken to jail for the booking process since they were able to provide a local address as residence. As such they were not booked and fingerprinted. Those that appear for court, may have given the officers their real name or have a clean record on the name they are currently using. Most will plead guilty, pay a fine and leave the courthouse without leaving any fingerprints on any official document. The officer will not be there to verify that the person before the court is person who was cited.

Why don’t these folks just get a driver’s license? Since they are here illegally, they cannot get a valid license and by the way, what is confusing about the word “illegal”? Since driving without a license is a relatively low level crime, chances of deportation are low for a first offense. A second offense will get the Department of Homeland Security’s attention. They are supposed to deport after the second misdemeanor conviction or the first felony. Due to the massive numbers, they seldom do it. Hence, the line of illegals at the courthouse every Tuesday. Chances are they would be elsewhere if DHS was there to greet them at the front door.

Now driving without a license is not that big of a deal, that is why it was previously described as the tip. Add alcohol to the equation and perhaps an accident with injury to another and you can begin to see some of the waters recede. Under a literal interpretation of the word “illegal”, these people should not be here. Somehow the definition of that word has subsided. The question that cannot be answered is “Why?” Tough question.

Things must really suck in Mexico.

Recently a man was stopped with four valid Florida driver’s licenses. At least they appeared to be valid. They all had his picture. The problem was they were in four different names, each with a corresponding valid license number. Does this guy have a friend at the Department of Motor Vehicles? When he presented the license, the officer pulled up the name and number on his computer and saw that the picture didn’t match. Once the guy was arrested they found the other phony licenses with stolen identities. You can only imagine the problems for the holder of the valid license if the officer had not taken the second step to verify the license. The legitimate holder of the license could suddenly find himself arrested and hauled to jail for failing to appear for court based upon an incident he never knew occurred. Who is the guy that was actually arrested? What is his background? Why did he need so much false documentation?

More water is receding.

We are facing a giant problem in this country economically. Adding to this problem is that thousands of immigrants are entering this country illegally to work and thousands of people that are citizens are being laid off from their jobs. The illegals are working and the citizens are not. The illegals want jobs. Many of the laid off citizens want benefits. Those who defend the presence of illegals claim that they will do jobs Americans do not want to do or more likely will not do. Therein lies the problem. What does that say for the American workforce? Could it be that government benefits for not working are more attractive than doing a job you won’t like? How long can we continue to wink at the immigration laws that allow those who do not belong here to do the jobs that we don’t want to do yet continue to pay benefits to Americans who don’t want to work?

A very simple, yet unrealistic solution would be to deport those who are here illegally and open up the jobs for citizens. Citizens who are able bodied and refuse to take these jobs would be denied benefits from the government. Instead we are going deeper and deeper financially in debt as a nation to purportedly stimulate a system that isn’t working. How long can we perpetuate this standard?

Please notice that there are a lot more questions here than answers, but we can’t have it both ways. If the laws are not going to be enforced, why have them? If new laws are needed, they should be enacted and then fully enforced. The system as it is, is not working and one can surmise that it is part of the economic crisis we are currently facing. There are six bills pending in the Florida Legislature that would criminalize those who are “undocumented”. Some of these bills authorize workplace enforcement of immigration laws. If the worker doesn’t have his or her paperwork on site, the worker will get into a bus.

If you get a chance watch the movie “Fast Food Nation”. If not, we’ll be catching you at the courthouse on Tuesday morning. As bad as times are getting here, things must really suck in Mexico.

Friday, February 20, 2009


While I was out and about socializing on a lovely Sunday, I ran into someone who gave me a little constructive criticism about my writing style. He told me I was focusing a little too much on the negative, which is true, and that I needed to lean more towards “advice” which I also agree with. He told me that he would’ve loved to have known the hot spots in town when he was brand new to V. So this week’s column is dedicated to him. This might be a rough column full of stereotypes and statements you might not agree with but for the good single people of Vero Beach it’s absolutely necessary and all stated merely through observations I have made.

Disclaimer: I’m trying to drink Miss Vero under the table so this will be about the bar scene...

Riverside is great at happy hour it’s actually sophisticated from about 5:30-8. It’s when the night falls and the flood gates open to the underage and fresh out of college crew. You’ll be packed in like sardines and it averages about 10 minutes sometimes to receive your drink. Needless to say you get tired of it quickly.

Longbranch is always a drunken mistake and the bathrooms are more frightening than the dark hole in a porta potty.

Undertow is an exceptional place to socialize at any hour. I’ve probably never been in a friendlier atmosphere and that is usually the place of choice for new comers in Vero.

Costa De Este has a unique atmosphere, but it’s someplace to go to be seen, not necessarily meet new people. The people there already have their ties to Vero and are not interested in adding to their group. Not to mention on Friday nights the loud techno music is about as bad as walking into a raging ecstasy party where everyone is chewing on light bulbs.

The Indigo Room in the new Vero Beach Hotel is extravagant and I really think that would be a great place to meet people. You basically fall onto the beach when you step onto the outside deck. It’s got a great piano player, and it’s just a relaxing time.

The Patio has gotten somewhat of a bad rep with the recent closing and re-opening, but if you want to experience old Vero it’s great. They also have a piano player during the weekend and fantastic drink specials as well as food. Very rustic.

Filthy McNasty’s is…unexplainable. They definitely have their own frequent fliers there. If you’re into live bands that play hardcore rock than that is your place! Personally, it aggravates my senses but see for yourself.

Whatatavern is like a modern day cheers. It can be fun, they have great deals on drinks. It’s smokey, filthy, and poorly lit (as opposed to any other bar) but for some reason it attracts just about everybody in the demographic 19- 35 (yes, 19 face it tons of underage drinkers running around).

Bodega Blue is a perfect venue for downtown Vero, I wish we had more wine and cheese pubs like it! They always have an excellent acoustic show any given night and if you want to try a variety of beers that don’t taste like Natural Light, this is your scene!

Szechuan Palace’s upstairs bar is an amazing place to go and I personally don’t think they get nearly enough recognition for it.

Havana Night’s (Caribbean Court Hotel) piano bar is a MUST see and is a hush hush hidden treasure! If you want to get tipsy and not worry about running into people you know, than please be seated in their bed like tables.

With all this talk about bars, I might have to start the cocktail hour fairly early. Miss Vero, I'll see you in AA. OH and last but not least... R.I.P. Lenny's Lounge, gone but not forgotten.

Love and hugs,


Miss Vero wonders - What is this AA you speak of child?

Thursday, February 19, 2009


A wonderful, extraordinary and oh so professional Broadway production greeted us at the Riverside Theater this week, in the production of La Cage Aux Folles! For those of y'all that don't know the story:

Two old queens, Georges and Albin (one prone to drag) are thrown in a tizzy when their grown up and needed to be slapped more, ungrateful son, returns home from cavorting with ultra conservative holy rollin thumpers, only to announce he has breeding intentions, which rips out the heart of his poor mother Albin, who he then further degrades, by trying to hide her along with the fabulous love she has worshiped upon him, literally in the damn closet! Quick thinking friend and fag hag, Miss Jaqueline uses Rovian style trickery to oust the conservative interlopers who are having a bit too much fun (but as we all know, will denounce said fun as soon as they get back to the country club or find themselves in a voting booth) and quickly fabulizes them, pimping them out properly on stage before returning them to their native habitat of intolerance and self importance. Lessons learned? We can only hope.

Oh well, that's our version, here's another:

Now let's talk about the Riverside production. Fabulous, simply fabulous. The immense range of talent in that theater continues to amaze us. And no, it isn't, as y'all know, the fact that Miss Vero is enamored with Drag Queens, yet that was definitely a plus. This time the house was packed with a range of folks, who were most happy to give a standing ovation to the outstanding and ubertalented cast.

Benjamin Howes (Albin) was beyond amazing, he should be carried around by the chorus boys all over town and showered with roses! And the voice of Richard White - beyond compare! The nightclub scenes made us think that perhaps Miss Liza Minnelli herself would appear and the chorus boys could always get a second gig with Cirque de Solei considering the acrobatic and perfectly choreographed performances they displayed. Future RuPaul impersonator, J. Cameron Barnett continued to steal scenes while the stage lighting hypnotized us and we were appreciative of the cute, compact and complimentary orchestra! And the costumes! Yes, it all came together flawlessly. So of course, if y'all have a chance we highly recommend that you get tickets and see this show.

Did we mention that this performance got a standing ovation? Yes we did. And it made us wonder as we watched all the Chanel bag toting, perfect bob hair, pink and lime green wearing ladies with their khaki slacks and blue blazered beachie husbands, clap, clap, clapping to the story of struggle that these two homosexuals had to endure in order to raise a child and meet with the child's future in-laws, while trying to maintain some sort of dignity in the face of discrimination!

Yes, we wondered. Clap, clap, clap, that was a fine play! Indeed. Are these the same people who voted no on Amendment 2 this year? Are they they same people who would deny the right to adopt? In Republican Indian River County we had to wonder.

Well hunnies, leave it to Miss Vero to turn the spotlight on the audience!
Lessons learned? We can only hope.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I've never sinned, I've got a friend in food

With all the back and forth of religious/anti-religious letters on TCPalm lately (and though I haven't been able to keep up with them all) one thing I've seen repeated in the comment section from several of the devout Christians' is that they have a duty to inform others. That describes how I feel when it comes to health and so I've come to the conclusion that 'health' is my religion of choice. I'm not exceptionally devout by any means, (I do quite a bit of sinning) but I try to be faithful.

It is said that only 5 to 10% of the most "popular" cancers are related to genetic factors. The rest are attributed to environmental factors. Your first line of defense is one of the things you have a certain amount of control over- what you eat and how you live. Though there are a lot of factors beyond our control, nutrition matters and is the basis of a really good article in the Feb/March 2009 issue of Mother Earth News titled "Healthy Choices to Keep Cancer at Bay". I've read quite a bit about the subject and thought the author, Linda B. White, M.D., summarized it nicely into 14 easy steps anyone can incorporate into their lives to help prevent cancer.

It's a fairly short article and I could just as easily leave you a link and leave it at that. But I know your busy and though I'll include the link below if you want to read it in its entirety, I'll summarize her summary for you.

1. Follow a plant based diet. They're filled with antioxidants; they stimulate the immune system, enhance detoxification and help regulate hormones.

2. Graze on berries. Include cherries and red grapes too as they're nutrient dense and anti-inflammatory (inflammation is blamed for other diseases as well).

3. Eat from the cruciferous vegetable family- broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, brussels sprouts, etc. (Let me add, try to eat at least one serving of those daily.)

4. Eat complex carbs. Refined carbs besides being fiberless, lead to high blood sugar- sugar feeds cancer cells.

5. Add spice to your life. (No, not that kind of spice, though it’s good for you as well). Turmeric and ginger to be specific as both have "potent" anti-inflammatory properties.

6. Go for garlic. It's an antioxidant which boosts immunity, inhibits the growth of cancer cells, and aids enzymes that detoxify carcinogens. Chop, crush, or slice it ten minutes before cooking so you don't destroy the good stuff.

7. Minimize meat. Especially, processed meats and red meat. (Also, grilled meats, well-done meat and fried meat.)

8. Choose your fats wisely. High intake of animal fats and trans fats (hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated oils) increase cancer risk while olive oil, most vegetable oils and cold-water fish oil don't and seem to be protective.

9. Regular exercise. No excuses. Schedule it into your day like it's a job, a very well paying job-- because it is. Overweight women who lose 20 pounds and keep it off cut their risk of breast cancer in half. (I'd wager the same weight loss would cut a man’s prostate cancer risk too.)

10. Avoid tobacco. It's responsible for nearly 30% of all cancers. Enough said.

Okay, now I'm talking blasphemy at the Beach House but here goes:

11. Keep alcohol to a minimum. Heavy drinking increases the risk of cancer.

12. Avoid stress overload. Hard to do if your keeping alcohol to a minimum but exercise should equal it out. There's no smoking gun linking stress to cancer but stress does impair your immune system.

13. Stay social. Especially important if you’re already battling cancer.

14. Get screened. Don't miss having a yearly exam. Early detection increases your chance of beating cancer should you have it.

So there it is. All pretty simple to add to your routine if your not already doing it. And hopefully sharing it with you will put me in the good graces of the health Gods… Or that other "Spirit in the Sky". ;-)

Here's the link to the above mentioned article:

Mother Earth News (my most favorite magazine) is a true bargain at $10 a year if you subscribe online rather than use an insert. Of course reading it online is free. If you have time, check out the Home page. It's loaded with links to interesting articles to help you live more "wisely".

TTFN, LDouglas

Amen sister!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Swinging through the crowd at last years 4th of July parade! Click on the picture to get a better look.

It's your new Congressman kids and he'll be in town today to meet y'all. Not that the TCPalm is one bit helpful in giving us this information. Yesterday they posted this article that Congressman Bill Posey will be in Brevard County (Yes! Brevard County!) and that's where Indian River constituents should meet him:

But last week (Yes! last week!), they also posted that he would be at the Indian River County Commission building at 4pm to visit with constituents:

If it wasn't 2 am, as we write this, Miss Vero would call his office and confirm, but at least be thankful that we are paying attention in the first place. Now y'all need to get on down there and introduce yourselves, especially if y'all have recently lost a job or have some other concern that perhaps your nice Congressman will be more than happy to help y'all with. Here's a little info to get y'all acquainted:

Miss Vero has spent many hours in the offices of our nice Florida Congressmen and women over the years and we can tell y'all that once you go up to Washington or Tallahassee and plop yourself on their nice fluffy couches and settees and introduce yourself properly, hunnies they take notice! Heck, Miss Vero has made herself known to these folks for so long, we remember when Claude Pepper was a teenager!

These people work for y'all and don't ever pass up a chance to remind them.


Today is the 17th right? Aren't the nurses at IRMC reaching another deadline today? What's the word on the strike? Let us know Beach House readers!


Monday, February 16, 2009


Max Newport

Whoa Nellie! Help me Rhonda! As good as a Publix Deli Deluxe Italian Sub, with extra onions and hot peppers is, and they are good, please don’t eat one right before bedtime. You might find yourself suddenly awakened by abdominal noises at 3:00 A.M. and find yourself writing something as bad as this after chugging Pepto Bismol, Alka Seltzer and chewing Tums like a baseball manager devours Red Man. Going back to sleep is not a possibility. In my pained state, I have realized that I have a couple of things in common with our friend Russ, which I will explain later and also reached the conclusion that whatever I write will be disjointed and not unlike some of Mr. Lemmon’s ramblings. If I ever start a column called “Newport News”, you all have permission to hunt me down and shoot me repeatedly and without mercy. Torture is optional.

While I am typing here, I am watching my DVR version of last week’s “24” which I watched during its initial broadcast last Monday. Getting prepped for tonight assuming I can stay awake that long after a night of no sleep and a work day I cannot yet envision. To those of you who follow the series, Jack Bauer uttered the most awesome line in the history of the show in last week’s episode. The line is:
“With all due respect Madame President, ask around.”

This was so awesome that it was followed by about ten seconds of silence and a slow pan of the intended listeners who were showing their looks of awe. It is so cool that I expect to see it on t-shirts. If you are not a fan of “24”, now is not a good time to start watching. Start with the first season from Netflix. Jack Bauer is one tough little mofo.

Since I am sharing media experiences, I’ll share my thoughts on a couple of books and movies. “Milk” will probably win the Oscar for best picture since it is about gay rights and most of the voters are honked about that California proposition 8 thing. If it wins, it sure won’t be because it was the best picture (in my opinion). Denise Harvey has probably already ordered an advance copy of “The Reader”. Of the movies nominated, I would probably vote for “Slumdog Millionaire”. We watched “Wall-E” last week. This is a movie that I was prepared not to like but I will be buying the DVD just so I can listen to the director’s commentary. This is a wonderful movie. Watch it, buy it, get the shirt. I am still a little chapped that my man, Clint Eastwood, didn’t get any type of academy recognition for “Gran Torino”. Guess it wasn’t gay enough for the Prop 8 crowd.

John Grisham is an old college chum of my brother, Biff. They went to Ole Miss together and I may have actually met the guy. I have read most of his books and his new one, “The Associate” was put in the been there, done that, stack last week. This has the makings of a very good story but it has one of those “they all got run over by a truck” conclusions that I learned in a creative writing course in college. It was a standing joke in school that sometimes you write in so many directions with a plot so complex that it can’t be tied together for a coherent ending. The easy way out was to end the story with something like; “The next morning, as they walked across the busy highway for a cup of coffee, they all got run over by a truck.” The End.

Grisham has a tendency to run away from his story by ignoring the extensive plot he has created and having his protagonist just quit the law, become a teacher, move back home, whatever. Usually his movies end with the lead character getting on an airplane, driving down the interstate with all of his belongings in his car, leaving his past (and the plot) behind. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the book. I am also reading Dr. Denis Leary’s tome entitled “Why We Suck”, in which Denis answers a lot of questions that he had answered previously in some of his comedy routines. He is just not that funny in print.

A note to Viv. The dating scene will never be as bad for you as it will be for Nadya Suleman a.k.a. “Octomom”. What’s the deal with this chick? 14 kids. 8 in the past month. She’s unemployed, on welfare, lives with her parents and has 14 freaking kids! I don’t see a line of gentleman callers waiting at her door and it really doesn’t matter how much she thinks she looks like Angelina Jolie. She hired a PR firm, but they have dumped her. I see a lot of dumping in her future.

Now to Russ. Does anyone believe for a second that Mr. Lemmon went to a high school basketball game. Not me. And why so sad Russ? “Don’t Haze Me Bro” is kind of funny in a school spirit game rivalry kind of way. And wasn’t it Russ that kind of wrote off the Sebastian incidents last year as a “boys will be boys” kind of thing? I do believe that Russ was hanging out at Walmart and is capable of frightening parents of a small child. Take a look at the photo Russ chooses to publish along with his now constant drops. It’s kind of a face down, eyes up slant with a goofy grin. Those of us in the business call that look a “leer”. Leers, by their very nature, are spooky. If he gave the little girl his column photo look, I can understand the mom being upset. How did he know she was two years old? Checking i.d.’s in the checkout line now Russ? The print edition had a bizarre headline which has already been recycled in the Newport blue bin but it went something like “Don’t Talk To Strangers Baby, Don’t Talk . . . “. Russ, do what Lauri Goldstein did and get some new photos taken. Be a man and look at the camera. If we want to see leers, we’ll head to the FDLE website.

But it upsets me to see Russ so sad, so I found a couple of things we have in common. Last week on US1 south of Vero, I saw a black SUV with an Alaska license plate. Now this has to be close to the Holy Grail for out-of-state tag counters. In fact, in an effort to attempt to cheer Russ up a bit, I was thinking about taking out my iPhone, taking a picture of the plate and then email it to him. Upon realizing that I was driving at about 50 miles per hour, taking a picture didn’t seem like such a great way to destroy my car and see if my airbags worked. Hoping for a chance at a shot at a red light, I took out my phone. Unfortunately for me, Mr. Alaska hung a right when I needed to proceed south. But I do have a new hobby. What is it? Counting out-of-state license plates. How many have I counted so far this year? One. I’ll keep you posted on how this hobby pans out.

Yesterday Russ wrote about having eaten at 124 Bob Evans restaurants. A few years ago, I ate breakfast at a Bob Evans in Orlando. The food was good. The service excellent and the hospitality almost Southern. How many Bob Evans restaurants have I eaten in? One. I’ll let you know of any changes. See? Russ and I have quite a bit in common.

This is my “they all got run over by a truck moment”. Take note of my sandwich advice and maybe you will never be in this unpleasant situation. If you see me today, just say “nice suit” because the rest of me is going to look pretty darn bad. I’m off to Walgreens to get a six pack of Pepto.

I do hope my fellow beachers have a great week and please be careful when crossing the streets. There are a lot of trucks out there.


Saturday, February 14, 2009


Miss Vero here, with a little romance public service announcement, this being the day for it. Don't forget hunnies, technology is y'all's friend. While that potential hunka, hunka might look innocent enough, don't forget to check him out thoroughly.

Take for example this fella:

We rest our case.


Friday, February 13, 2009


Just too busy being fabulous…

Valentines day is upon us, and, I Viv, would like to commend the happy lovely couples that are celebrating this somewhat holiday exaggerating their love for one another. Last Valentines Day I ordered Japanese food and took Tylenol pm (the comatose sleep was much needed). I’m going to retract my comments from last week, because I realized Vero isn’t a boring dating scene at all. In fact, it’s probably exceptional to some people. I happened to go on two dates this past week and they were both lovely. It got me thinking that there is a dating scene in Vero, it’s merely finding your type. Which led me to realize I love older men….and when I say older men I mean men that are married and have children (preferably both in house). I’m kidding of course, because a girl like that would only live a life of urinary tract infections and misery.

Please do not think I have nothing going on this weekend or the entire week for that matter, I’m extremely busy with a more than full time job, so I’m certainly not going to spend my weekend listening to the Carpenter’s, which I’ve been told lead only to “madness and obsession.” I’m going to be spending this weekend working and acting as this is just another weekend, because it really is. It’s a consumer holiday, but if any of you readers are interested, my favorite flower is the hydrangea and in lieu of candy I would love a cheeseburger.

A boy I was once interested in gave me a stuffed animal for Valentines day… throughout the rest of dinner I was completely bored and didn’t care to talk to him after that night. A stuffed animal? Yes, of course it’s the thought that counts but most Valentine’s day presents are thoughtless! Roses? Candy? Stuffed Animals? Walgreen’s specials? No thank you. No sooner would I rather jump off the Merrill barber bridge! All in all, enjoy this day of love, but my marital status still remains “hopeful”

Love and hugs,

JUST A REMINDER, BECAUSE WE CARE - From the Pelican Island Audubon Society. Award-winning author Cynthia Barnett to speak at February 16 general meeting on water sustainability and Florida's future. Click on the link for all the details:


Thursday, February 12, 2009


Valentine's Day, silly. Now that LDouglas has graciously explained all we need to know about chocolate, BlessUrHeart gave us the tip about Faith, Hope and Chocolate in Downtown Vero and Max reminded us not to be stupid in the car by either talking on the phone and/or smokin the wacky tabacky, do any of y'all have any other plans that y'all might want to share?

Miss Vero suggests that with all the economic turmoil and people losing jobs and houses, that we all try to be civilized and show a little more kindness to one another. We must agree with one thing Mr. Lemmon said today:

"I’ll tell you, the lack of compassion in a situation like this is astounding."

When he's right, y'all gotta give him his props and this time Russ Lemmon is right. Never let it be said that Miss Vero isn't fair and balanced! Ok, we'll settled for fair and slightly tipsy..

Why y'all may ask? Because it's the opening weekend of LaCage!

Buy tickets, it'll be fabulous fun! Because if y'all don't know by now, that Miss Vero loves us some Drag Queens, than y'all have not been payin attention.

In fact, we've been thinkin about startin a little drinking game - stop reading and take a big ole swig of your martini, everytime y'all read the word "fabulous" at the Beach House. What, no martini? Get up and go make one, we''ll wait...

Ready? Ok, FABULOUS!


Yup that's what we heard. The new Fujiyama Steakhouse opened last week and they put on quite a show, goin so far as to squirtin Sake in y'all's mouth during the dinner festivities. We must try this and can't wait to check it out. It's located behind the Olive Garden out on State road 60. There hasn't been a Japanese steakhouse in the area since the one that was located in Royal Palm Pointe closed many years ago.

So if there's anything y'all want to to suggest or share for Valentine's weekend, let us know!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009



Will you be my Valentine?

Only if you bring me a box of fair trade or organic chocolate. Not really. I'll gratefully accept the box of chocolates I'm sure to get from either Russell Stover or Whitman's and be thankful my valentine took the time to look for a dark chocolate assortment.

The internet never ceases to amaze me. My theme this Wednesday before Valentines Day was not to preach or chide anyone about the consequences of their choices but just to raise awareness. In this case, on their choice of chocolate. Looking for a catchy phrase or quote, I googled "awareness" and the fifth result down catches my eye because it states "An interesting fact about white people is that they firmly believe that all of the world’s problems can be solved through awareness."

Hrrrumph. Whoever wrote it has damn good insight and maybe he/she has some pegged but things and people can’t be so easily characterized or stereotyped. Raising awareness may not solve every problem but it certainly does others. And it has to be better than saying nothing at all. With that, I'll share what I know about of the way chocolate is grown and processed. (In my mind's eye, when awareness alone won't solve a problem, there is always the hope that someone with more energy and passion will pick it up their newfound awareness and carry it to a solution.)

Just like coffee, if farmers clear forests to grow cacao beans instead of in the shade of them, they require a lot more pesticides and fertilizer. Sometimes pesticide residue shows up in the finished product. Lead is also a problem. I've read lead in chocolate is partly from equipment used to process it. Also, partly because Africa hasn't outlawed leaded gasoline and the outer shells of the beans absorb it from the fields and it gets transferred at processing. Other than that I couldn't find much information other than the FDA declaring levels in chocolate safe for consumption- which is really little solace to me.

The worst thing about chocolate though is that a lot of the beans are picked by child labor. I have to admit, I'm not totally against child labor. Ideally no child should have to work for their living but many children work to save their family's farm and many wouldn't be fed at all if not for their labor. However, there's estimated to be at least 12,000 child slaves (some claim the numbers are in the hundreds of thousands) picking cacao beans in many places in Africa. Stolen off the streets in places like Mali or swindled from their poor parents with promises of education and a better life only to be beaten and forced to work hard 12 hour days.

Africa is "aware" it's a problem to many people around the world and as one of their major export crops are under pressure to stop it. But only because the end consumer put pressure on the big manufacturers like Hershey's and M&M Mars et al which in turn put pressure on them. Sometimes the loudest protest is one that you make with your purchases.

The only way to be sure the cacao beans your chocolate is made from wasn't grown by child slave labor is to buy fair trade chocolate. Organically grown is also said to be free of slave labor because the organic label comes with labor standards and there are no organic farms in Africa. (Chocolate from beans grown in South America is assumed to be free of slave labor.)

A study reported by the BBC indicated that melting chocolate in your mouth produced an increase in brain activity and heart rate that was more intense than during passionate kissing, and lasted four times as long after the activity had ended. That's a good thing for us chocoholics because who knows what we'd be known as if it was the other way around.

If you’re lucky enough to receive a box of chocolates, by all means, enjoy them. But in the future should you want to splurge for quality and for the benefit of others, try a fair trade or organically grown chocolate. One of my favorites is a dark chocolate bar by Green & Black's Organic. (70% cocoa) The large bars are 2 for $5.00 on sale this week at Publix. Wal-Mart also carries them but I don't remember the price.

You can find more brands and information here:

TTFN, LDouglas

And while we're on the subject of chocolate, did y'all know that there is a fabulous chocolate shop right here in downtown Vero that has fair trade and organic chocolate? It's so nice to have local shops to support, check it out:


Tuesday, February 10, 2009



Click on the images for all the fabulous details!

Miss Vero does not know what in the H. E. double toothpicks is in the water and hunnies we just don't care, because finally, finally, Drag Queens have invaded Vero Beach!!!! Hush up y'all, it coulda been zombies or Republican refugees or something bad, but no! This is fantastic news! We though OK, we'll go to the old Atlantic Grill or the Club House or whatever it is they're callin it these days. We'll check it out and we didn't expect much frankly, because the last few of these soirees we have attended in town were not that populated.

But something has changed. Dramatically. And for the better. I can't help but thinkin, that after the election, all the down trodden children, that have lived in fear so long, finally felt that they could come out of hidin and sing that ole spiritual loud and proud - "We're here, we're queer, get used to it!"

Miss Vero ran into so many loyal and fabulous Beach House readers. as our dear friend Muse of the World (who was in attendance, of course) would say - What Fun!

What a turn out! (so to speak), but that's not all. There's more? Yes! Last night we watched the most fabulous thing on TV ever - a Drag Queen version of "Project Runway" hosted by RuPaul on LOGO!

There's more, more! Drag festivities at a place called Cosmic Charlies tonight! Somebody pinch Miss Vero, for we fear we have fallen into a Drag Queen twilight zone and we're higher than if we had smoked a Newport (or that thing that Max mentioned yesterday)! And the best part is, it's all legal hunnies, pure fun and perfectly legal! How often does that happen?

What famous NPR legal affairs correspondent, who spoke in Vero this past weekend (OK, it was Nina Totenberg) was having cocktails at the Costa D' Este with a former Vero politician, Saturday night? (That's the part y'all have to guess) Hmm?

Ok, so here's Miss Vero's plan for a little local economic stimulus. Let the Liberals have a go at this town, open some night spots, let downtown Vero become a place with art galleries, restaurants and things to do at night! Have y'all noticed it's happening anyway?

While most of our dear friends are busy with boring beachie fundraisers, we've been busy stimulatin the Downtown economy and supportin the avant guard arts. With all the fun happening, we haven't even had time to read the newspaper, but we did see that an innocent child has bore the consequences of talking to Mr. Lemmon. Did he even consider that the child's moma might have recognised him as in "Don't talk to THAT man"?

Sorry (not really), but the idea of a post with Drag Queens and Russ Lemmon in the tagline just amuses us.


Monday, February 9, 2009


Max Newport

Marijuana. Exhibit “A”. The evil weed. Call it what you will, but you smoke it, you get high. Hi! My name is Max and I’m working off a few community service hours here by writing this little thing for Miss Vero on why pot should remain illegal. First, the arrest of the comedic giant Ron White in our fair city and now Michael Phelps is photographed hitting a bong. I would think that working toward increased lung capacity would be part of any competitive swimmer’s regimen. It seems that every mention of an arrest or incident involving pot cues an outcry of public support for the legalization of cannabis. There are many well thought out reasons to legalize the stuff; taxes, jail space, popcorn sales, etc. But there is one negative that overrides them all.

We are stupid enough already.

Yep. That’s my grand conclusion. If a person is stupid enough to get arrested for possession of marijuana then some discipline is in order. Isn’t Ron White the guy who came up with the phrase “you can’t fix stupid” or is he the “here’s your sign” guy? Either will fit. White’s case was unusual in that it involved an airplane rather than a car. If Will Greenlee would take a detour on his fixation with lower body functions and research the actual marijuana arrests in this town he would find that about 95% (rough estimate) involve people driving around with pot in their vehicle.


People that get arrested for pot call attention to themselves and are stupid. Your typical marijuana arrest begins with a traffic stop for some type of infraction. The officer will smell the odor of burnt or burning cannabis. This gives him cause to search the vehicle and either make an arrest or issue a notice to appear. An officer can issue a notice rather than physically make an arrest on a misdemeanor pot charge if the person is a Florida resident and does not have a history of failing to appear for court.

So if you want to smoke pot, and it seems that many of you do, keep it out of the car. You would be amazed at the number of people who crank up their car stereo system and then fire up a joint. Sharing your music with the neighborhood is a sure invite for the boys in blue. The penalties for first time pot possession is basically going before a judge, paying a fine and being told to stop smoking pot. Technically the crime is not smoking the pot but possessing it. That is why Michael Phelps will not be prosecuted. There is no evidence that he possessed marijuana. There is a photo that makes it appear he was smoking something but you need the little guy in the lab jacket to come in and say that it is indeed cannabis sativa.

Like many of my generation, smoking pot was a rite of passage. There was something about being at the University of Florida in the early 1970’s that just begged for you to try a little “Gainesville Green”. I did try it for a few months and I simply didn’t like it. It made my heart beat fast and my hands sweaty. I imagine the hydroponic supercharged stuff out there today would simply kill me. The marijuana laws were so tough back then that the campus police seemed loathe to enforce them. I do recall students smoking openly on campus and the police ignoring it. Then there was always the mythical person who was doing life in a Texas prison for possession of one joint. Maybe that myth is still out there. Making pot de facto legal on campus didn’t make the world a better place. Students coming to class stoned created some pretty ridiculous scenarios for higher learning. The impaired student would make contributions to class that I’m sure made perfect sense in his chemically expanded brain but to the rest of us it was gibberish. I can’t say for sure if my brief encounter with cannabis had any lasting affect but I do seem to have a lot of Deep Purple music on my iPod. Others have not been so lucky.

I sometimes have contact with old friends who continue to smoke pot and mostly when I see them I feel sad. They are a continued study over quite a few years that marijuana can cause the appearance of brain damage and total lethargic behavior.

But Max, I can almost hear you say, if pot is legalized it can be taxed and the state can make all kinds of money. The user can be assured of a uniform product and the ultimate result will be more people smoking pot in more places. We do not need this. The world will not be a better place with more government endorsed ways to become impaired. If it is legal, there will be more users and we will have more impaired people to deal with. The penalties as written in Florida are not so severe that a misdemeanor possession charge will mess up your life, that is if you are stupid enough to get caught.

Keep it out of your cars folks. You have a lesser expectation of privacy in your vehicle than you do in your home. As Ron White found out, if you are out in a public place, you are subject to a legal sniff by a drug dog.
If you are still skeptical, don’t listen to me. Take it from the man himself, Joe Friday:

Now that Russ Lemmon has found the county administration building, maybe he can discover the courthouse. It would be interesting to know how many people go to jail for pot and what they were doing that was stupid enough to get arrested.

Ron White’s arrest has turned into solid gold for him. Vero Beach, I guess, is part of his act now. Here is a link to a radio interview he did in Atlanta a few days after his big bust. It is in four parts but it is worth listening to especially if you have never heard him before. He seems to have a good sense of humor.

So is pot the scourge of the universe? Of course not. Should it be legal? Other than a couple of Beatles songs, I am hard pressed to find any way marijuana has benefited our society. Regardless of how you feel about the issue, possession is a crime.

Don’t be stupid.


Friday, February 6, 2009



Today Miss Vero takes on the subject of sex and dating in Vero Beach. Imagine if y'all are young or single or new in town, just how difficult it is to find the proper companionship. Many young people, who Miss Vero has had the pleasure of socializin with lately, have complained about the lack of conversation concerning this topic. So, we have decide to dip our little toe in the tepid water of this subject and invite y'all to read the musings of one young person's first installation of the Vero dating scene. Now remember y'all, this a first attempt at expressing the angst of trying to find a decent date in Vero, so if anything, y'all need to be encouraging in comments and perhaps offer some solutions. We are very happy to welcome today's Beach House Guest -
Miss Viviene Vonvoot!

Alright, so the dating scene in Vero is boring, it’s worse than boring it’s the pitts! Everybody is either too drunk and ready to take somebody home, or worried that you’re too drunk and would never be worthy to TAKE HOME. It’s such a drag, because when you look at somebody in a bar you think you’re too good to even talk to them but in reality, they’re in a bar also and you – you're no better than them. It’s stupid bars and filthy music! Bar room chit chat is so motivational and by the way it consists merely of how drunk you got the night before.

Where are these people that aren’t in bars? What are they doing? Listening to Huey Lewis and the News in their apartments waiting to find their one and only at church camp? Take me back to 1985 and gag me with a spoon! I want to find the person who asks me if I’m off my meds or not! Where are the promiscuous binge drinkers and nicotine addicts? I’m not saying I want the person who’s telling me their feelings are state mandated, but that usually ends up being the bottom line. I Always thought that therapy would be easier to come by if I got arrested which ended up being true! Who knew! You only had to get arrested to get to court ordered treatment.

Let’s be honest, if you’re new in Vero you basically have no chance in finding anyone anytime soon. Which is why I say it's the pitts! You find yourself having the pointless conversations that are going completely nowhere! Nowhere I Say! I’ve been in them, I’ve listened to so many pointless conversations and many of you have too! No one wants to hear about your Aunt that moved to Texas and your cousin that just moved here and blah blah blah! Filter Yourselves! FORGODSAKES! FILTER! NOBODY CARES! HA!

We are only there for the moment…. That’s all it is
a momentary conversation… and to be honest that’s all we are - momentary conversations forever and always.

With my love but no respect,

Viviene Vonvoot

Comments, suggestions?


Thursday, February 5, 2009


It's a big ole buffet of info today, so get y'all a biscuit to sop up the pot liquor we'll be servin.


This weekend, the finest of all things Florida will be in Gulfport, over there in the Tampa area, where the 2009 Floridiana Festival will be swingin at the Gulfport Casino. Perfect road trip excuse!


And speakin of Florida road trippin, y'all know we ventured out Tuesday night to see the fabulous Mr. Tim Dorsey (look at how happy he was to see us!), at the Vero Beach book Center and picked up his new book "Nuclear Jellyfish", which we have already finished reading! We believe this one might just be our favorite, but then again, we say that every time we get our little paws on somethin Serge.


Oh no! Say it isn't so. Vero Beach's own Mr. Sandy Kofax taken in by that crazy Madoff money man!


As possibly promised, we listened to Charlie Wilson on Rhett Palmer's radio program, Monday (the rebroadcast hunnies, because y'all know we don't rise from our beauty sleep till the crack of noon). And we were particularly feeling sorry for Mr. Wilson who couldn't get a word in edgewise between Rhett's crazy country singin and County Commissioner Gary Wheeler, so to be real nice to Mr. Wilson for all his sufferin, we thought we'd give y'all a link to his new website:

Let's just hope that he updates it more frequently than Rhett's "readers forum" who forever keeps asking us to "check back in a few days" or the TV10 website, which is still "under construction".

Oh! We did hear a little rumor about that, it seems that the host PDMNET is holding the station owner hostage and won't release the domain name. We also hear that the same principle for this company (PDMNET) is responsible for the $600,000 wireless system(600THOUSAND?! Can that be right?) that is not working properly at the Indian River Medical Center (like they need another problem). Can any of y'all shed more light on this big ole stinkin pile of rumor and gossip? And that's just the tip of the pile kids, y'all wouldn't believe the volume of hospital rumblings stuffin our mail box concerning the goings on at that hospital. Pity.

Can it be true? Did a beachie charity event really look this good? Y'all won't believe how beautiful the Whiney Festival was photographed:
A big MWAH! and special thank you to the always fabulous Die Muse of our World for sending us such a lovely gift!

Some of Miss Vero's friends are suggesting we try a "Zumba" class that apparently is all the rage (and offered right here in Vero!) As y'all know, we have tried to exercise in the past but have never actually gotten past the initial planning phase. Maybe this time will be different. Yeah, maybe.

We offer our sincere condolences. Now if any of y'all would like to share those experiences with Miss Vero and all the Beach House readers, we will be featuring a new writer on the dating scene tomorrow and hopefully every Friday, but we're sure she'll run out of material fast, so that's why we're asking, no begging, for y'all's help. So jot somethin down and send it right now! (It's not like you're super busy getting ready for a date or anything, might as well commiserate).

A big Thank Y'all to everyone who faithfully visits the Beach House and sends gifts of gossip!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009



I'm subscribed to Brown and Caldwell's Water News (thanks to a cyber friend) and every week they send me a round-up of water news from all over. Time after time it's pretty much the same story. In Pinellas County Florida the headline reads: "Officials worry about drinking water supplies" and the story is "lack of rainfall coupled with increasing demand for water has drawn the reservoir down"...... "officials are worried the restrictions may not be enough". Another article read "despite spending millions of dollars on a reservoir and a desalination plant, Tampa Bay Water expects to pump far more groundwater than it's supposed to this spring..."

In California the headline is "Severe drought expected after mild January" and the "story is: "We're definitely in really bad shape," said Elissa Lynn, chief meteorologist with the state Department of Water Resources.”People can expect to pay higher prices for produce ... and more agencies may be rationing ... some raising fees. We just don't have enough water."

In Mexico the headline is: "Mexico City braces for water rationing" and the story is: "Supplies will be cut or reduced to homes in many areas of the capital this weekend, making a scarce resource even scarcer. We are running out of water,' an official said."

(In all fairness why does water ever make the news? Too much, too little, or too polluted. Though lately, I've been seeing worn out infrastructure added to the mix.)

The approval of the Pointe at Chessers Gap, a town house development in Sebastian consisting of 116-units on 14.5-acres got me thinking about our local supply of water. It doesn't seem like a big deal until you start thinking about all the other high density subdivisions previously approved or in the pipelines, or all the land you see sitting around with for sale signs on it. I went to the Indian River County website to learn where the water comes from for those with city water and what their plans are to meet future water needs. One page states the water currently comes from "an abundant groundwater supply" through two 750' deep wells to the Floridan Aquifer. But in the PDF file titled "CDM Alternative Water Supply Master Plan- Draft, IRC Department of Utility Services June 2007" it stated at the end of 2006 they were in danger of exceeding what they were allotted to take from that "abundant supply" and had to get a "Temporary Consumptive Use Permit" in order to withdraw more. According to the Pinellas County article, "once salt water enters an aquifer, that source of drinking water is lost forever". That's why you don't want to draw it down too far. 78 pages of CDM's report not thoroughly read or completely understood I've condensed it anyway to good news and bad news; as follows:

The good news:
They know we need to plan for future water needs.
The Board of County Commissioners (I assume) is pursuing alternative water supplies.
They state the growth between the years 2003 to 2006 far exceeded what was anticipated. (Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, so I've heard.)
They drafted the alternatives with the pros and cons as well as cost impacts.
They laid out objectives. ;-)

The bad news:
I don't believe the planning table they're using for expected population growth through 2025 takes into account increasing densities.
As it is the population expected to be served by city water by 2025 (173,329) is about double what it was in 2006 (88,233). (Note: double in less than 20 years and that's just where city water is served.)
The report recommends an alternative source by 2017.
The alternatives are surficial aquifer withdrawals (shallow wells like those for homes not served by city water), surface water (reservoirs) and desalination.
They use Tampa Bay as references. Tampa Bay is in Pinellas County. They've already been there, done all that and they still don't have enough. See above.

Darn. When I first heard about the 10,000 acre reservoir planned in Fellsmere I thought I could set water supply aside as a concern of growth. But after reading the article about Pinellas County's water woes; it dawned on me the reservoir in Fellsmere will be funded by the St. Johns Water Management District. The SJWMD covers 18 counties from IRC all the way to Nassau County. How many of those counties will be relying on that source upon completion too? I know a couple of counties above IRC have reached their sustainable limits of aquifer withdrawals and need alternatives now.

Is that how it happened to Pinellas County? They counted on a big reservoir for future water supplies so they didn't see the harm with a big subdivision here and an increased density subdivision there. When that was used up it was on to a desalination plant, and yet more subdivisions here and there.... If we're looking to Tampa Bay Water as a guide to our future water needs, are we setting ourselves up for the same story? The same 'old' story being told around the country and the world?

Well I guess we can always drink wine. Oh wait, no water, no grapes, no wine.

Link to the CDM Alternative Water Supply Plan:

TTFN, LDouglas


Tuesday, February 3, 2009


...who sent us this high-larious email?

And they say there is no free lunch. Well, Steve and I went to Denny’s this morning (10:30), set up a folding chair with the crossword puzzle and inched forward. About one hour later we were inside, seated and had our “free lunch” which was Denny’s grand slam breakfast that was offered free at all the Denny’s restaurants all over the county during the super bowl game, the big free event to happen today, from 6:00 am to 2:00.

We were committed and it was a hoot. I must say, we yakked with some very nice folks who had the same agenda and even ran into some classy old neighbors of ours. Breakfast was free, good and service was excellent. I talked to my sister in Ohio and she almost wet her pants laughing when I told her we were at Denny’s. for the free breakfast.

I called Russ Lemmon to tell him of this momentous event, and he was cold and rude and told me that Eliot Jones is covering this event and with nothing more to say since he has no humor I realized he was done with me so I said good by. I wanted to make a Bob Evans comment but decided he is not worth the time and since he was so humorless and rude that was the end of my giving him a lemon drop. Oh well.




Pensive pottery...

palm hammock haven...

and a playful pope...

What a wonderful treat for Miss Vero to be invited to the home and studio of local artist Rene Guerin last Sunday. We are always amazed and fascinated when we find special things in Vero Beach.


Monday, February 2, 2009


As Miss Vero plows through the e mail box this morning, we find a response to our "Hospital Hotbed" post, last Wednesday and the now infamous $90,738 desk invoice. We received a very nice correspondence from Miss Betsy Whisman, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Indian River Medical Center:

Dear Miss Vero: It has come to our attention that you have placed on your blog a copy of a purchase order which suggested that more than $90,000 was spent on a desk. Attached please find the back-up detail behind that purchase order that clearly shows the expenditure was to totally furnish an office for two physicians and their staff, including patient exam tables, rolling file cabinets, X-ray illuminator lights, waiting room furniture, reception area furniture, etc.--including desks for two physicians. If you have any questions on the material provided, please feel free to contact me. It is our operating style to be open, direct and factual with information about the medical center.

Ok, so here's the problem, to be fair, we would love to post the attached invoices, but the file is too big and blogger can't support it. We are however, willing to forward this file to anyone interested. Just let us know.