Tuesday, March 31, 2009


What a whirlwind weekend was had by Miss Vero! It seemed that there were fabulous friends and hats everywhere!
While we were out on Thursday night, we noticed two things - No recession in popular Vero restaurants (our party had to wait 45 minutes - even with a reservation!) and Carl Hiaasen. Again.
And no, we let him be. This time.

Mr. Hiaasen seems to be everywhere in town these days, not only have we noticed him three or four times in Vero restaurants (and yes, even at the Epicenter of Cool- Undertow), but now going so far as having his Miami Herald articles reprinted in the PJ. But hey, we're sure it wasn't his idea and that's OK because, finally something worth reading in the PJ. Could we find it on the TCPalm? Of course not, but it was probably in their best interest to not feed this one to the rabid comment crowd.

And while we love our own little pup-pup, let's be very clear in that it is appropriate doggie love. In fact, pup-pup is at the fabulous Blue Ribbon grooming and boarding today, where Mr. Martin Lavander sees to it that our little pup-pup is pampered and fluffed and socialized. When we do travel and cannot bring pup-pup, he has his own vacation in - where else? - the beach themed daycare and boarding facility!

So we are happy to tell y'all about YAPPY HOUR tomorrow night from 5:30 - 7:30 at Blue Ribbon. A little benefit not getting enough publicity, that will donate proceeds to purchase K-9 bullet proof vests for the working dogs of the Vero Beach Police Department. It's a free event, but there will be a raffle of fabulous prizes to help the cause and a doggy costume contest.
Please call Blue Ribbon for all the details, 772-567-2123

Max was right, we have no idea why we didn't make it to Downtown Friday, perhaps we were saving our energy for the four events we attended over the weekend.

Saturday, Miss Vero and our dear friend, Fashionista Franny (who keeps a diary of everything she wears, never the same outfit twice, never!), decided to attend the Junior League tour of homes, where "A glimpse of Vero" was promised. Ok, in reality our dear friend, dragged us out at 10am kicking and screaming, because we did not think for one second that this would be our idea of fun. But after a little nosh (as Franny calls it) at The Grand Harbor River Village Club and several intravenous doses of caffeine, we were rarin to go! And, we're glad we did, we really enjoyed it. As usual, Fahionista Franny was right, in fact she's known for that and we all wonder how she does it. Not only was each home unique and interesting, we loved the endless fashion statements made by all the Junior Leaguers and their fabulous hats!

Our first stop was at the palatial home of Mr. And Mrs. Kurt Wallach. First of all, let Miss Vero just say, that they are the nicest people ever. Although we have been dyin for years to give Mr. Wallach a make-over, we are now ready to give up that idea because his charm has finally won us over. Miss Vero can't even been begin to describe the beauty of the Wallach home, not because it is gorgeous and expensive (it is), but because the personal touches and decorating talent of Marilyn Wallach have made it so. We are so appreciative of all their generosity in Vero and especially, to open their home to the public.

The rest of the afternoon tour was impressive, with all types of homes, styles and building philosophies represented, including the "2008 Green Home" on Reef Road that was featured in Verobeach32963 (sorry, no link).

We tried to make lunch at Lemon Tree but got caught up in that 2:30 - 5:00, no lunch for you! zone, that even Coste d' Este thinks is a good idea on the weekend, but hunnies it's a bad idea, bad. It's season! People want to give y'all money. Take it, take it, we say! And since no one wanted to take our lunch and cocktail money we ended up at Waldo's.

All things happen for a reason and we have many friends at Waldo's, who were so glad to see us. Gossip ensued and we heard the good news of Jeannie Blatus and Leo Burke's engagement and we must say this is the cutest announcement picture we have ever seen:

Saturday and Sunday nights included private parties of which we may not speak, but Sunday morning, Fashonista Franny was back to drag us out once again. It's not that we don't love Franny, we do. It's just that she's a morning person and well, y'all know that Miss Vero rises at the crack of noon. So, as much as we may complain, we know that Franny always has our best interest at heart and by the end of the outing we're always glad she puts in the effort to drag us out.

There were four of us altogether, who were joining a fifth friend, who had arranged a lovely Champagne brunch, at a very exclusive private club (that perhaps, if we are lucky, we might be members of someday). Miss Vero is willing to endure almost anything for the reward of endless Champagne served by cuff linked, cocktail boys, so yes, out the door before noon we went.

Our first order of business? Find hats, buy hats, wear hats. After a little searchin around town, we all bought hats to match our outfits and were ready to brunch! Our mission accomplished and with extreme hattitude, we pranced into the club to some light applause and some major curiosity. We looked fabulous!
"What's the occasion?" Everyone inquired.

"Just another day in Vero, just another day. Now where's the Champagne?"


Monday, March 30, 2009


Miss Vero has absolutely no earthly idea what in the heck Max's is talkin about today (except for the Downtown Friday stuff). Must be the continued effects of his nicotine withdrawal, is all we can figure. Only thing we know about basketball is what we learned from Cheech and Chong's "Basketball Jones" cartoon, featuring Tyrone Shoelaces, which we dug up and enjoyed and y'all might remember it. This was way back in 1975, watch for the "Impeach Nixon" sign and listen for our favorite Beatle George Harrison on the guitar. Yes, and now Viv and everyone under 30 has absolutely no idea what Miss Vero's talkin about.


Max Newport

March Madness is so named for a reason. If you watch all of the games you will lose your mind. I am close to that point and there is still another weekend and a Monday night game to go. My NCAA bracket self destructed over the weekend faster than the opening tape on “Mission Impossible” and probably smells just as bad. Since my alma mater was a wallflower at the “Big Dance” for the second year in a row, I chose Pitt to be the big winner and they lost a close one to Villanova Saturday night, which means my chance of being the big college basketball guru in our office contest (no wagering please) is now nil. Winning the college football post-season bowl pool had left me with a measure of quasi-athletic prowess and an added degree of respect around the office. That is not going to happen with basketball. President Obama still has a chance with his bracket. I don’t.

To break the ongoing sound of rubber soles on wood and Verne Lundquist descending into his “dog voice”, the Newports loaded up the station wagon Friday afternoon and went to the Downtown Friday festivities and a good time was there just waiting for us. There was a good crowd. I didn’t see any of the Beach House regulars there. Miss Vero must have been out tanking on some hot tea somewhere and Miss Viv was surely trolloping up in preparation for a night of adventure. We were greeted with the sounds of the band OPM, which stands for other people’s music, wailing out the Van Morrison tune “Domino” which I hadn’t heard since the leisure suit days of the 1970’s. Being an old time rock and roller, I watched the band and realized I was seeing the band formerly known as Barracuda. They are and were a good band, but the hair dye and convenient wearing of hats doesn’t really do much to hide the inevitable aging that seems to be running rampant in my generation these days.

Much to my delight, I was able to find a video of some of the members of the band in their formative years. Here they are for your listening and viewing pleasure.

Back to basketball. As if the games in the tournament were not enough, we decided to dust off our “Hoosiers” DVD and watch that again. This is the best basketball movie ever made and may be the best sports movie I have seen. Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hopper do a great job and I am surprised this movie didn’t win any acting awards. Hackman has done a lot of stuff but nothing better than this. It was set in 1952 and it was refreshing to see a movie that was not surrounded by cell phones and computers.

We watched “Quantum of Solace” earlier in the week and are disappointed that James Bond has become an action figure. They do have a neat computer in the movie though (Best Buy here I come). I did discover a universal truth about action heroes and machine guns that deserves a mention. Whether the character is James Bond, Jason Bourne or Jack Bauer, other than having the same initials, they are invincible to a machine gun. There are several scenes in the latest Bond movie where at least 20 bad guys are shooting at our hero with machine gun bullets flying everywhere, but Bond seems immune. He doesn’t even look worried. Trying to kill one of these guys with a machine gun is the equivalent of throwing ice cubes at the sun to end global warming.

It is Sunday afternoon as I write this, and the games are about to begin. In spite of my lack of any chance to win, I still am into the tourney too much to back out now. Yesterday morning though, was a perfect time to avoid sports and go out and fly a kite. I took my dog out into the yard and we flew a kite for about two hours. It was beautiful kite weather and for me there has always been a sense of tranquility doing something akin to fishing backwards. It is always a great way to meet your neighbors, many of whom stop by to share simply with you their observation that you are flying a kite.

Even though half of my final four are gone, there is a hope of basketball dignity left. Then comes the awful college sports dry spell until football begins toward the end of summer. Until then, excuse me to watch the Sunday games and listen to old Verne growl.

May you all have a good week, and remember kids, betting on sports is not a good idea but flying a kite usually is.


Friday, March 27, 2009


I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness...


Alas, my darlin young Viv, somethings, they never change.

People have started to question Viv, and the fact that I’ve vested my humor in drugs, alcohol, incestuous situations, poor choices, gay men, and the fact that my over all actions are leaping over the line when I go...

out into the scene that is Vero Beach.

I’m merely here to warn - if you were confused before you’re going to feel ass backwards now. I am a Viking...

born and bred to decapitate the useless and drink top shelf liquor out of the heads.

I’m unreasonably young in Vero Beach and I treat it as if it were L.A. because if you hang around the right people it’s as close to the in crowd as you can get. My Character is questionable when night falls...

and many people who know me have said I’m probably going to go out like Chris Farley - but whether it will be the drugs or obesity they still do not know.

I’ve gone on COUNTLESS dates for sake of the Beach House - to prove there is a Vero Dating scene, there are people in Vero Beach that are decent to date at a young age. Unfortunately, no one has brought anything to the table whatsoever.

Some people are just plain Janes - Nothing to write home to your Mama about, right Miss V? I stagger,

around conversations regarding politics, emotions, and the well being of America but dance around gossip, parties, and David Bowie. I’m judgmental,

I smoke, drink, devour taco bell late night, make decisions that are normally frowned upon and do everything the Beach House members (well some)...

have done when they were young and restless. Can’t be old and wise if you weren’t young and crazy, right? Hopefully, nobody is confused about Viv’s personality anymore...

or possibly, you’re even more confused?

Love and Hugs,


And Miss Vero is here to remind y'all -

Good Judgement comes from Experience

And Experience...

Comes from Bad Judgement.



Thursday, March 26, 2009


The cell phone rang. "Where are you?" Vivianne VonVoot inquired. It was then that we realized we were driving down US 1 from Sebastian. How long had we been in this eerie daze? We looked at our clock. 3:45 pm! Had Miss Vero been kidnapped or had the effects of our gin soaked brain finally taken it's toll?

No, not that lucky. We had been for a visit with that 150 year ole woman -

Our Moma.

Dang. What can we tell y'all that y'all don't already know. It don't matter how old you are, your Moma's got a map to every one of your buttons and is a registered travel agent for guilt trips. Once we even witnessed our own 80 year old Grandmammy reduced to a quivering, chain smoking, martini swigin, cry baby, by something her nasty 150 year old Moma said to her (ornery meanness skips a generation in our family).

So there we were, havin our obligatory once in a blue moon luncheon with Moma, who thought it would be so lovely to go to a little tea room for the afternoon, "just us girls". Apparently, there used to be a tea room over on the beach that she liked, but it had closed, so she decided we should meet at the "Victorian Lady" in Sebastian.

We were greeted at the gate by the owner, The Crazy Happy Tea Lady, in full Victorian costume, who whisked us inside and proceeded to dress us up in feather boas and Sunday-go-to-meetin hats and then ushered us into a secret tea room filled with other folks, squirrelly eyed and wrinkled, yet sedated, already bejeweled for the ritual that was about to begin.

"Did you bring your camera?!"

The Crazy Happy Tea Lady chirped. Yes, there were special instructions given to Moma when she made the reservation and she made us swear to bring the camera. And when we produced the camera, to assure The Crazy Happy Tea Lady that we did indeed follow the instructions, she confiscated our Cannon and began to snap away.

"Get closer, hold your tea cup, put your face closer to your Moma, that's it!"

As our teeth grit and a forced smile half emerged, Miss Vero's knee started to bump up against the table, "KILL ME NOW" in Morse code was subconsciously tapped out in a desperate plea, but it was too late we had entered -

"Tea, more tea?"

The tea was suspiciously very good, the tea sandwiches were excellent. The Crazy Happy Tea Lady never let our cup empty.

"Tea, more tea?"

Strawberries, cream puffs, scones, delicious.

Tea, more tea?"

We were becoming a little more relaxed and subdued, with the familiar drone of Moma's chronic complaining voice. Her tales of acute hypochondria and other people's misery and misfortune echoing in ear, somewhere between tinnitus and madness.

Jumpin Ja-hey-zoos on a pogo stick! There must be somethin in the Dang tea!

"Tea, more tea?"

"Just exactly what kind of tea is this?" we inquired to The Crazy Happy Tea Lady.

"Creme Brule!"

She chirped some more and went over to ask the four horsemen of the RV park if they wanted more tea. By this point Miss Vero is sure we had entered the seventh circle of Hades and expected to see some sort of Beelza-bubba emerge in overalls, carryin a pitchfork and a silver serving tray with an invitation to dine at Bob Evan's for eternity.

"Creme Brule. Isn't that from Ireland, does that have liquor in it?" Moma asked.

Ohhhhhhhhhh, how we wished! And we were willing to sell our first born for it to be true, like that time Moma sold us to the carnival man just to teach us a lesson, yeah, that worked out so well.

After the tea, we were given a tour of the house, which by all accounts is lovely and was once owned by the Braddock family, who built it in 1908. Mr. Braddock died an untimely death being hit by a train. Official story is that he was reading and was so preoccupied that he failed to see the barreling twenty ton engine steaming and blasting it's horn until it was too late.

Real story? He was drunk. Now that makes sense.

The acre and a half is pretty and serene, decorated for weddings and garden parties. But the tour took 3 hours (a three hour tour... a three hour tour...), because two of the four old folks had walkers with bicycle horns and tennis balls for traction and a GPS system, that their grandchildren bought, but they still can't find the on switch so they glued a tissue box to it.

"More pictures, every one, all together, now just the two of you, now each one individually..."

Our body started to shake with the faintness of an early morning DT tremor and another soul entered our being. It was a leathery tanned, small Jewish woman from Miami Beach, who's tar and nicotined voice, raspy, but intimidating bellowed out to save us.

"Enough with the picture taking already!"

We think her name was Esther. She's welcome back anytime.

Minnie Pearlnecklace and her husband Heywood Yaspeakup have been married 93 years and brought along friends to the tearoom to celebrate and annoy us. One woman had the unmistakable aroma of internal decay and Jean Nate eau de toilet and the other had the impression that every minute detail of herself, her family and everyone she had ever met at the WalMart, was of interest to us. During one of her insightful memories of dating the entire high school marching band horn section (but not the percussionists, no, never the percussionists), The Crazy Happy Tea Lady looked over to Miss Vero and rolled her eyes.

At Last! We were transported back to momentary reality! The Crazy Happy Tea Lady wasn't so crazy afterall. In fact she was kind, spiritual and earnestly trying to live her dream of living in her Victorian House by the tracks and spreading joy through tea and not alkeehaul, lest someone gets too snockered and can't hear the train comin!

Yes, we did like The Crazy Happy Tea Lady afterall, for being so patient with the old folks, for dressing up in the silly costumes and for sharing her home. And then we realized, like always, this was all Moma's doing. She had put her evil voodoo spell on us once again. So we banished her back, back demon, back! Back down to her gated community and her pointless hours of afternoon card games! Begone!

Serioulsy, The Victorian Tea Room is fabulous and we encourage y'all to go. And as for Miss Vero, well, we pledged to go back to the Tea Room, only next time we're bringing our own friends (and a flask).


Wednesday, March 25, 2009


...and remember them at election time!


The more I pay attention, the more I realize just how short sighted and self serving some politicians can be. And the less I'm able to put an optimistic spin on the bills I see advancing in the Florida Legislature this year. I can't say there aren't any good ones but they're not moving along as fast as the bad ones.

Over the last week, I sent a letter to 5 different committees consisting of a total combination of 76 congresspersons and if I subtract the handful of automated replies, I can count 4. (Two of which were from the same guy and he isn’t even my representative.)

Not one was from the four committee members I wrote asking not to include nuclear in our "renewable" portfolio standard. But I did get a reply from Governor Crist's Energy office basically reiterating what I wrote- but it included "If you hold strong feelings about this decision I would encourage you to contact your elected state Legislators".

Righto Guv'nor. Thank you for the advice.

In the name of economic development a bunch of politicians are using our economic woes as a way to get rid of all the checks and balances we have pertaining to growth and environment (as inadequate as they've been). There's somewhere around 300,000 empty houses in Florida, we're closing down schools, more and more people are out of work, more and more water restrictions are being mandated and all they can do is use it as an opportunity for a free for all. Even if you're an anti-environmentalist and/or pro-growth you can't like the bills being pushed through. Some of them not only weaken or eliminate any checks on growth and the environment but they take decisions (power) from local governments and the people themselves.

Senator Bennett, chairman of the Senate Community Affairs Committee is pushing a bill to get rid of the Department of Community Affairs or merging it with another government agency. Even if you're a developer like Senator Bennett, the DCA works for you. The St. John's Water Management District says we'll be out of sustainable water supplies in 4 years. Other areas of Florida are already running out of water. The Tampa area with an aquifer, a huge reservoir and a desalination plant just banned all lawn watering.

That alone reminds us of the need for the only real growth management tool we have- the DCA. I know there is room for improvement in our growth management regulation but getting rid of it altogether is not in anyone's best interest. Not even if you want to build and sell houses. Go right over the IR County line in Fellsmere and there are thousands of acres of land that just like in Fellsmere were once zoned agricultural but are now annexed to Palm Bay. They're in the St. John's Water Management District too and there'll be no agency coordinating regional impacts. Remember, SJWMD's job is to find and allocate what water there is, not to say where we can or can't grow. Not to mention the impact Palm Bay's development will have on IRC roads from Babcock and U.S. #1.

Another bill wants a 3 year moratorium on impact fees and it would take away an individual county's right to decide whether or not to partake- or if they want to let off on some but not on others as was currently proposed.

Another bill will make it easier to get a permit to pollute surface water and destroy wetlands and harder for agencies overseeing wetlands and surface water to use their rules to refuse permits.

Another bill dubbed “streamlining” would weaken environmental protections and includes a moratorium on new or more stringent protections for three years.

Another bill advancing is making a one size fits all law for fertilizer run-off. Communities would have to prove they need stricter rules than the state if they should live near some watershed they want to protect such as the Indian River Lagoon or the ocean. This would impose extra expense and difficulties for local governments that want to prevent water problems rather than mitigate them.

Last but not nearly least is the Paid Petition Circulators bill designed to limit our ability to promote constitutional amendments through the petition process. In the future, anybody could be affected by this bill as a citizen, even those pushing for it. It's especially egregious because it invalidates a petition signed in good faith by a registered voter through no fault of their own. Sometimes we have no other redress but the citizen's petition process.

All those bills are being pushed in the name of economic development. Florida's economy cannot recover without clean, adequate or affordable water supplies, if the roads are jammed or in poor repair, or if we have ever rising property taxes- and still no "good" or sustainable jobs.

An interesting article on how Gainesville is taking a better path to economic development:

Green For All's web page on the Economic Recovery Package:

"The package includes BILLIONS of dollars in funding for green job training, weatherization, and greener, more energy efficient infrastructure."

There’s still some process to go through before any of those become laws or regulations so we still have time to have a say before they come up for a vote. Below are two links to letters to get you started...

A pre-written letter from Audubon in favor of saving the Department of Community Affairs:

A pre-written letter from Audubon in favor of protecting wetlands and water resources:

TTFN, LDouglas

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


If there's one thing that Miss Vero loves more than carryin on and cavortin, it's reading. Perhaps we can even be called a news junkie, but here's the thing - we read EVERYBODY. Yessiree, from those crazy Fox News characters to the liberal leaning Huffington Post and from over in Londontown, The Daily Mail- of course online. We spend every Sunday morning at the temple of the New York Times and receive more national magazines than we should, in monthly subscriptions. Locally, we devour Vero Beach Magazine, Vero Life, Verobeach32963, the Hometown News, the Palm Beach Post and yes kids, the Press Journal. So let's just talk about that today all right?

Miss Vero believes that every one of these publications deserves to thrive and be heard. Every one. Yes, we even want the PJ to be there for us. There, we've finally said it.

Apparently this is the topic of the month - the fall of print media, think of it as the dessert to the main course of the wobbly economy. Our own Max Newport had a post last week about his continued frustration with the PJ, and Mr. Laurence Reisman, editor of the Press Journal saw fit to write an editorial on this very subject last Sunday.
Three comments followed (only three?). One of which was from LDouglas, who also enjoys the TCPalm outlet for comments and we must say is one, if not the most, eloquent of participants.

Now here's the thing. We said it before and we'll say it again, the Press Journal could do a much better job of "reporting" the news. Most of the folks that have the biggest beef with the local press is that they too often pick and choose their news, their views and their perspective on Vero Beach. Please, we all beg, just do a better job. Lalalalalalalalalalalala, we can't hear you, replies the PJ!

Let's also take a look at the Verobeach32963. Now, we believe that they have really stepped up to the plate on some issues and absolutely love the way the VB32963 reporter, ex-mayor, Miss Marybeth McDonald goes after County Commissioner Tom White like a hound dawg on the tail of a treed raccoon.
And of course we'd love to show y'all the articles, but we can't because the VB32963 is not currently updated online, much to our continued dismay.

But, we will take the time to tell y'all about a recent letter, printed in the February 26th edition to the VB32963, from a Mr. Ron Farabee that complained about the reprinting of articles from The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times. Mr. Farabee states:

"These publications, with the exception of the Wall Street Journal, generally lean far to the left, and attempt to indoctrinate their readers with their one-sided view of things.

Many conservatives have a 32963 address and would appreciate fair balance in your commentaries."

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!! Oopps! Oh my goodness, we just fell out of our chair.

Wait, must......... catch........breath.

Still, laughing.


Now we're mad.

How dare you Mr. Farabee? How dare you claim the barrier island a conservative bunker. Just who, or - as y'all like to grit your teeth and speak like Thurston Howell the third - Just whoomm do you think you are? Did y'all mention a "one-sided view of things"? Just take a little ole peek in the mirror, hunney. Hey! There's your picture! We just saw it on Wikipedia explaining "one-sided view of things"!

To the VB32963's credit, a full page editorial was printed on March 12th, "The news business: Our so-called agenda" defending their publication. We can not take the time, nor do we have the energy to peck out the entire thing, but we do love this line, taken admittedly out of context:

"Spare us any more letters accusing us of a liberal bias."

To Mr. Milton R. Benjamin, we use one of his own favorite phrases and say "kudos" to you Sir! Congratulations on your first year! But please, let us be selfish and ask that y'all please get your online version as current and pretty as the big, white, beautiful, no ink comes off in your hand, publication. Pretty, please?

So here we are. Pokin around the PJ, Laughing at the "liberal bias" of the 32963, listening to Rhett Palmer doing his wacky Rhett Palmer thing, wondering if TV10 will ever emerge from it's zombie zone, reading the blogs of others in Vero like our conservative pal, Charlie Wilson, envious over Jose Lambiet's page2live gossip gig, suportin and reportin on the Drag Queen soirees in town, Viv's Amy Winehouse impression and posting contributions from folks we sometimes agree with and sometimes don't (we're talkin about you, Max).

Why? Because the Beach House is one big cocktail party! Take an hors d'oeuvre, wash it down with a little libation, but for heaven's sake if you're allergic to the shellfish or y'all gave up the hooch years ago, why would that be reason enough to stay home? Miss Vero believes the more, the merrier! Thank goodness there are so many people with so many different perspectives. We don't know about y'all, but a good lip sparrin is about as much fun as y'all can have with your clothes on.

Of course, we have to ask, as much as we like the VB32963, would it be willing to become VB32963-2-0-6-7 if the PJ failed? Yes, the PJ is weak and anemic, but wouldn't it be better to heal the PJ rather than kill it? Is there a press doctor in the house Mr. Reisman? And, although you'll never see Rhett Palmer at a Drag show (wait- we're not exactly sure of that, if y'all remember his video) or hear a Drag Queen on Rhett's show (what would be the point really, if y'all can't see them?), isn't it nice to know that both forms of entertainment exist in the same town? Miss Vero asks y'all, isn't that what our country is really about, our community, our town? That we all have our own place in the sun?

Whether we agree or not, Miss Vero will be the first one to pour y'all a cocktail and invite y'all in. And yes, even you, Mr. Lemmon, just don't be expectin coffee.



Monday, March 23, 2009


Max tackles a very sensitive subject that, judging by these vintage ads, has somewhat improved over the years, yet still exists and needs to be talked about.

Max Newport

To paraphrase a Woody Allen line from “Annie Hall”, I believe. Woody, of course, created his own form of family diversity by marrying his stepdaughter but that is not why we’re here. The topic is a serious one; domestic violence. Thanks to the NCAA college basketball tournament, there has been a reunion of sorts . . . the infamous Newport Legal Team, as knowledgeable about all things legal as President Obama is on any topic with a working teleprompter. Over 100 years of legal expertise in one room, many of them spent as former prosecutors and defense attorneys in my little town. All of that experience and talent and no one with a solution to the ongoing problem that is domestic violence.

The topic emerged during a “new facts emerge in the Rihanna, Chris Brown beating case, details after the game” blurb during a commercial break. None of us would have recognized either of the participants in this case if he or she delivered a pizza at the front door and whatever talent they might have that brings them to the limelight continues to be a mystery, but they have brought to the surface an issue that has plagued us for centuries. Domestic violence is a very broad category that goes well beyond men abusing women but most of the cases do involve a male defendant and a female victim.

Each case is different just as each victim and defendant is different but there are certain trends that the lawyers pointed out to me.

A series of war stories emerged but I am not going to discuss any specific cases even though they are a matter of public record. Some issues from certain cases will be addressed only to show some common traits of domestic violence cases.
In many cases, the victim will not cooperate with the prosecution of the case.

This is a sad fact and the crucial question is why? Why would a victim leave the hospital after a beating and go directly to the jail to bail out the person who inflicted the pain? Why would a victim wait patiently, the morning after the arrest, at the courthouse door for the building to open so that she can attempt to persuade the prosecutor to drop charges? Why would a victim take the witness stand during a jury trial and testify to facts that defy and contradict all of the other evidence in the case?

With all of the legal experience in the room there were no answers, only further questions.

Is she afraid of retaliation for going forward with the truth? Is she afraid of financial loss if the perpetrator is her family’s primary means of support? Does she feel that he has learned his lesson and won’t do it again? Is she ashamed that this is going on in her life? Has she been conditioned to think that violence is an acceptable part of a relationship? Does she think it is somehow her fault?
With all of the legal experience in the room there were no answers, only further questions.

Domestic violence has been compared to a disease and without some type of treatment it can escalate. What begins as a push can become a slap, then a punch or a choke. Then weapons can emerge and inevitably someone is seriously hurt or in the worst case, but in an all too common scenario, killed. Like alcoholism, domestic violence is a progressive disease, if not treated. Can it be treated? Maybe not, but it can be punished. People that hurt someone they profess to love, deserve punishment. We know that if a person is in jail, he will not be committing acts of domestic violence.

Since I am not going to discuss any specific cases, I did find a website created by a prosecutor in Clark County, Indiana that has some good information on some of the problems inherent with domestic violence cases.

Since we have become civilized, spouse beating has never been legal. Most of us Southern gentlemen are taught at an early age that you simply do not hit a girl. There is a myth that under old English common law that there was a “rule of thumb” which allowed a man to discipline his wife with a stick so long as it was no wider than the width of his thumb. That is a myth without substantiation. The acknowledged founder of English common law was William Blackstone and he was not an advocate of domestic violence.


When the victim refuses to cooperate with the prosecution of her attacker, that does not make her any less of a victim or her attacker any less of a criminal. Check the sheriff’s webpage and you will see just how many domestic violence arrests are made in Indian River County. Now, check the Press Journal and see how many of these arrests are actually prosecuted. Strike that. The paper would never print that kind of data because it might actually qualify as news. You will have to go to the courthouse and check the public records yourself. Maybe they will soon be online.

Many consider domestic violence a private matter. As a society we cannot. People that commit domestic violence, at a minimum; need to spend some time in jail to think about what got them there and to see their future home if they continue the trend. After punishment, then court ordered counseling is needed to hopefully do something to improve the problem.

It is not often you will see me quote Oprah since I seldom hear her speak, but I did hear her tell Rihanna that “if a man hits you once, he WILL hit you again”. I agree with Ms. Winfrey on that point.

How can we stop domestic violence? Many questions. Few answers.


Saturday, March 21, 2009


Our poor little Viv has surfaced! And after a long talk with Miss Vero, telling many tales of woe in the Vero dating world, she is beginning to get jaded. So, exactly what is it that would drive a girl to smoke, drink and munch out on Mickey D's at 3am?

Could it be the lack of available fun, young, guys (who don't mind a little smokin, drinkin and partying), that can still carry on a conversation and act like a gentleman? Why is this so difficult Viv wonders, why can't they just balance it all out like she does?

Let's see, there was the blind date who was older than her daddy, the young future politician who liked fart jokes, the overweight average boy who was completely selfish and wouldn't share his fries and the seemingly perfect date who was too good to be true (he passed out after three beers), and this was in the last two weeks!

And we didn't even mention the time we were at the Drag Queen show and Viv asked, "is he gay?", about every guy there. Miss Vero got so tired of answering, yes, yup, uh huh, yeah that one too, that finally we pointed out that everyone in the room was gay (even Miss Vero, who is truly gay in our heart), that we shouted "Viv Hunney, yes, everyone here is gay but you!" Well y'all gotta give the girl credit for lookin just about everywhere for the right guy.

Oh, this reminds us to tell y'all that Club House has moved the party to Saturday nights, click on the pic to get all the info;

So Viv, keep tryin hunney, but we don't think you're gonna have any luck at Club House tonight. But y'all never know.

We happily provide this evening's update for those of y'all that are not attending the Citrus Baron and Cattleman's Ball, that used to be fun when it first started but now is just another boring fundraiser, so much so, that we gladly send a check not to attend.



Friday, March 20, 2009


As y'all know by now, Miss Vero is ancient and has met just about everyone worth drinkin with in Vero and in many other parts of this little ole planet. So, of course we had friends who were on the popular game show Jeopardy out in Cali-forny (We especially loved sharing their life time supply of Klondike Bars!). But who would figure that of the three known Veroites that have been on the stage with Alex Trebeck, that Miss Vero would be having dinner with two of them this evening? Can y'all guess who?

On Saint Patrick's Day, we asked if there were any other Irish Pubs in Vero Beach and we were reminded that Bobby McCarthy from the legendary "Bobby's", was indeed Irish enough to have his establishment qualify as an Irish Pub. So there.

Last weekend- The St. Pat's Parade on Ocean Drive and the Pelican Island Wildlife Festival in Sebastian:
We are currently workin out just how to get a calendar widget for events posted to the site. So of course, we're lookin for any big, strong, strappin, tech boys out there, who would be willin to help.


We made another comment a while back, that City Council member, Mr. Kevin Sawnick ,was out and about in the public and quite accessible to his constituents (a quality that we certainly admire in a politician). We did receive an email from County Commissioner, Mr. Peter O'Bryan on this subject.

Miss Vero,

Please see the notice below. I have been meeting with the public on a monthly basis since I took office in November 2006. It is normally held at the Vero Highlands community center on Highlands Drive, but for March the residents of Indian River Club invited us to their clubhouse.


Wow, Miss Vero appreciates the correction and apologies to to Mr. O'Bryan for the oversight of not getting the notification out on time for the March meeting. Perhaps his office would be so kind as to continue to send Mr. O'Bryan's meet and greet schedule, so that we may share it with y'all. And, we especially like that he signed it "Cheers"!

As for the technologically unchallenged, Mr. Kevin Sawnick, we know we can always find him on twitter:

Well have to get goin kids, Viv is MIA again this morning (um, afternoon to most of y'all and we're gonna hafta go hunt her down. Poor thing, she tries so hard to keep up with Miss Vero, but this is not a job for the faint of heart (or liver).



Oh! And one more thing, Lawdy Mama - with her two medium sized children- reminded us to tell y'all that this is the last weekend for "Screen on the Green " out at Pointe West. Here's a ticket!
(Click on it hunnies, to make it big enough to read)

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Sorry kids, y'all know Miss Vero's head was a lovely shade of fuzzy green when we got in at noon yesterday from our St. Paddy's parties. So, many festivities, so little time. We took a long beauty sleep nap and woke up in time to watch the "Atocha Adventure" special we told y'all about and then went over our emails. We then realized that LDouglas' Green Acres post could not wait another week because it is happening now! So, here we are on Thursday with our regular Wednesday post "Greetings from Green Acres". We'd also like to add our two cents and remind everyone about the beautiful white pelicans on Indian River's own Pelican Island. If we were going to spend anytime watching wildlife locally,it would be to watch these beautiful birds right in our own backyard (and quite easy to do actually):

This is National Wildlife Week
(March 16th to the 20th), and a very good time to be reminded of the importance of protecting wildlife. Some people don't think it’s so important and bemoan the fact we protect spotted owls and beach mice. But by protecting wildlife we are really protecting ourselves.
Wildlife ='s Nature ='s Environment ='s Prosperity.

All inextricably linked. When you protect wildlife, you in effect protect habitat which is nature, which is also the environment. You also protect the sustainability of resources. Prosperity doesn't do you much good if that means having a million dollars in the bank you can't spend because nobody has raw materials to manufacture goods, or you don't have water coming out of your faucet or you’re sick.

Fortunately, we're learning wildlife, nature, the environment has more than quality of life value, it has monetary value and plenty of it. The Nature Conservancy recently released a report of just how valuable nature is. For example, Florida State Parks raised $70 million of general revenues in the form of sales taxes and generated over 20,000 jobs. Fishing and hunting, an $8 billion dollar industry in 2006 brought in about $800 million in taxes and generated over 85,000 jobs. Wildlife viewing is another $5 billion industry and it goes on. Not to mention the value of flood control and replenishing aquifers and water supplies.

That's the good news. The bad news is that we may be raising the first generation of Americans to grow up disconnected from nature.

If you're from the generation who grew up watching Gadabout Gaddis, The Flying Fisherman, or Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, or the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau or Marty Stouffer's Wild America, there's a good chance you spent a lot of your spare time playing outdoors. Even though there are even more nature shows today and they are as popular as ever, our kids are spending too much time indoors. If you think that describes your children or grandchildren, you might want to check out "Green Hour.org, the parents place for nature play and learning".

The web-site is run by the National Wildlife Federation promoting the "Green Hour". Ideally that’s an hour a day set aside for "unstructured play and interaction with the natural world". Besides the benefit to nature- people who love nature are more apt to fight to protect it- the benefit to children is better physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It may seem ironic a part of Green Hour's message is unstructured play and yet each week they publish a "fresh issue full of activities and information to help guide the exploration and focus on fun outdoor activities", but it's good for parents or grandparents who may like some guidance.

Miss Vero's blog last week reminded us of just how wild wildlife can be. Fortunately, it isn't everyday we have news of a hungry Florida panther on the prowl. But we do have frequent sightings of bobcats though you may never be lucky enough to see one. The next best thing and what I think is a fun activity for kids is to look for their tracks. You can often spot them on any of the Buffer Preserve trails. But beware, you may miss the forest- not because of the trees- but because your looking down for tracks. A day or two after a rain is usually a good time as the slate has been wiped clean and you get a better picture of what went through most recently. But you don't need to visit the buffer preserve to see animal tracks, you'll more than likely find them on any sandy hiking or walking trail you choose. Go to the beach early in the morning and you'll see turtle tracks going up and turtle tracks going back down. Sometimes you even see baby turtle tracks heading down. Get out there.

Other News

Something that needs our immediate attention, if you’re so inclined to agree, is our Renewable Electricity/Portfolio Standard requiring utility companies to meet the target of 20% renewable energy. The politicians who sit on the committee are being pressured by the nuclear industry to include nuclear energy as renewable. Nuclear just doesn't cut it as green renewable energy. First, uranium is a finite resource. We’re trying to get off relying on other countries for our energy needs and would be buying uranium from Russia to meet the demands. Besides that, current customers are charged for the very expensive construction of new nuclear plants, federal taxpayers are on the hook for loan guarantees and for accidents, as well as paying for storage of nuclear waste. A short time ago we paid $500 million to upgrade Yucca Mountain for storage and it still can't meet the demand for spent nuclear waste scattered around the country. Who knows what the tab would be for new sites secure enough to store the waste until we figure out what to do with it or should the utility company not meet its loans or a terrorist flies a plane into one.

From the Sierra Club:

Please email or call Governor Crist, at http://us.mc522.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=Charlie.Crist@myflorida.com; (850) 488-7146, and ask him to stand up to utility lobbyists who are trying to undermine the RPS intended to reach his target of 20% renewables by 2020. Your outreach to the Governor will make a difference!
Contact the following state legislative leaders:
They sit on key committees that will have significant influence over the RPS – it’s important that they hear that you want a real clean renewable energy portfolio, and that nuclear power has no place in a policy intended to promote renewable energy! Senator Lee Constantine (Orlando) constantine.lee.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487-5050
Senator Jim King (Jacksonville)
king.james.web@flsenate.gov (850) 487-5030
Representative Paige Kreegel (Punta Gorda)
paige.kreegel@myfloridahouse.gov (850) 488-9175
Representative Debbie Mayfield (Vero Beach)

debbie.mayfield@myfloridahouse.gov (850) 488-0952

BTW, It just so happens a bill fast tracking permits for new nuclear power plants is making it's way through the Florida Legislature. The nuclear industry has a lot of push, let's show them we have more. Please send a quick letter or make the call. And please be sure to tell Ms. Mayfield you're one of her constituents, as it has extra effect. Thanks!

More about Green Hour:

More about National Wildlife Week:

The report by the Nature conservancy: Economic Benefits of Land Conservation, A Case for Florida Forever:

A shorter article summing up the benefits:

TTFN, LDouglas

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


From our friends, the Fisher family, Miss Vero received an email about the new show "Atocha Adventure" which will air tonight at 10pm on TruTV. We believe that's the new name for what used to be called Court TV and on our Comcast cable in Vero, that's channel 54. Here's the press release:

Key West, FL (PRWEB) March 9, 2009 -- After months of editing the TruTV reality show, “Atocha Adventure”, featuring Mel Fisher’s Treasures crews working the world famous Atocha wreck site and our joint-venture partners, Blue Water Ventures working on the Margarita wreck site, has been scheduled to air Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 10pm EST.

A film crew working for Al Roker Productions based in New York City, spent time in Key West this past September filming the dive crews of the Atocha/Margarita Expedition. Mel Fisher’s Treasures operates the expedition, which focuses on the recovery of the remaining fortune in gold, silver and emeralds from the worlds most famous historic shipwreck the Nuestra Senora de Atocha. Our joint-venture partners Blue Water Ventures are focused on the recovery of the Santa Margarita’s treasures.

Both the Atocha and her sister ship the Santa Margarita sank in 1622 in a hurricane off the coast of Key West, Florida. The ships took down with them hundreds of millions of dollars worth of historical artifacts, gold silver and emeralds. To date the items recovered from the wrecks are valued at nearly half a billion dollars. According to the manifests of these ships which detail the items that were on board at the time they met their fate, there is still at least another half a billion dollars in artifacts yet to be found.

For a month the film crew made daily trips out to the Atocha and Margarita shipwreck sites, which are situated approximately 35 miles off the coast of Key West. Cameras were on board Mel Fisher’s Treasures vessel, J.B. Magruder Captained by Andy Matroci as well as The Blue Water Rose, Captained by Dan Porter.

Cameramen captured the operation with topside footage and interviews with the Captains, crewmembers and key people involved in the expedition. Daily underwater footage is also utilized allowing viewers to see how the experts systematically search each excavation zone.

Producer Christopher Tetens headed Al Roker’s crew. “We want to show how they do it, and who these guys are,” Tetens said. “There’s always that thought that there’s going to be treasure in the very next hole.” By spending each day at the site, including a few overnight trips Al Roker’s team was able to capture some rather significant historical finds including a million dollar artifact.

Essentially the show will depict the responsibilities and dangers of working on a large salvage vessel so far off shore and will allow the viewer to get to know the crewmembers on a personal level and understand the dedication that is required in the recovery of the Atocha and Margarita shipwrecks.

Mel Fisher’s Treasures is an industry leader in historical shipwreck recovery currently focusing on the excavation of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha and Santa Margarita wreck sites.

Green acres will return next Wednesday kids!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Two generations of Vero Beach High School alumni on the same page! So to speak...

Max Newport

Tonight we’re gonna party like its 1975. Max is about to take you back and share the Vero bar scene back when rock was rock and roll was roll. Disco made an unwelcome entrance later and really stunk up the joint but hard rock was prime in most of the Vero night spots. We loved the night life. We loved to boogie just like young Miss Viv likes to do here in the then unforeseen 2000’s.

Here’s a special tip for Miss Viv. If you want to turn some heads and grab the attention of the appropriate young gentleman the next time you stroll our lovely beaches of Vero, I suggest you visit this website and break out the numbered plastic. You’ll be glad you did.

Two words. Hubba and hubba.

During the summer of 1975 there was a harmonic convergence of sorts. Most of the merry crew that raised so much mayhem in the halls of Vero Beach High School returned to our little town sporting fresh new college diplomas and menial jobs to save money for eventual graduate schools. Some of us ended up as doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, etc. and one became a transgendered person (I wrote about Virginia a couple of weeks ago). While we had been away in college, the drinking age had been lowered to eighteen. Many of the hot looking girls from high school had already been married (and divorced) so there was a whole new group of available young ladies out there for us fresh college grads. And where were these girls hanging out just waiting to have an intellectual discussion with a recent college grad? The bars. That’s where. So in the true spirit of Miss Viv, here is a rundown of the night spots, in no particular order, in Vero during those two magical years where higher education was not a priority.

RICK’S DUGOUT: This was a popular club located at the present site of Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty. They always had a live band, usually from out of town, playing a variety of music. One week it would be top 40, the next hard rock. They had drunken barbeques on Sunday afternoon, usually with acoustic music. My girlfriend and I went in there one night, and after shaking a few hands I left with a job with the Florida Legislature, that is a story for another day.

MR. B’S: This is now Old South Auto Sales. It was a great place for happy hour after work. There was one old guy (probably in his 40’s) who would come by every afternoon and ask the bartender to set up seven shots of tequila. He would down the shots, pay and then leave. He was there for less than five minutes. We all figured that he either had a rough day or was not looking forward to going home to the wife. On the weekends, there was a live band, usually the great three piece hard rocking Night Bird, all local guys. On week nights there would often be acoustic music.

THE HOOTIN’ OWL: Now the Long Branch. Never went there.

BIG DADDY’S: This was part of a chain of lounges throughout Florida. They had a disc jockey and 25 cent drink night on Thursday. This usually made Fridays a little rough. I don’t remember any live bands there. It wasn’t that great of a place. It closed and became the first site of Indian River National Bank.

LENNIE’S TWO: I don’t remember if that was the actual name of the bar but it was located on US1 and 17th Street where the Chevron convenience store is now. Never went to the original Lennie’s on 43rd and now that it has been demolished, I don’t guess I will. Lennie Sutton wanted to attract a younger dancing crowd and opened this place for awhile. They had a house band called George Fye and the Mystics. I think they were called the Mystics because there were different guys playing every time I saw them. This place didn’t last very long.

THE LAMP POST: This was located on south US1. There is a probably a car lot there now but I’m not sure. They had a very good band of Vero guys called Nexus. When Nexus was playing the place was hopping. When they weren’t playing, I don’t know since we never went.

THE PUB: This was a very popular night spot. It was a restaurant with great food and in a second room they had acoustic acts, mostly local. Carolina Slim, Tommy King, Jeff Maurer, Steve Short, Tom and Anna, Glen Muni (who sounded like Cat Stevens), Nancy Wagner are just a few of the names I remember as musicians. The Pub later turned into Club 41. I was driving through Royal Palm Pointe a few days ago and if the building is still there, it wasn’t recognizable. This was a great place.

THE PATIO: Yes, Viv, THE PATIO. There was a great local band, Aberdeen Rock Fish Railroad, who played there on weekends. They were the backup band for Gary Stewart, who was a country recording artist but was more of a rocker in real life. I haven’t been to the Patio since it reopened, but it is the only survivor of this group.

DOMINO’S: This club was named after its owner Dominic Mancini and at the time was pretty highfalutin for my tastes. They had a dress code, mostly polyester leisure suits, and a cover charge. They maintained the 21 age requirement for admission in spite of the change in the law. They usually had a band of sorts. Typically a three piece combo with a female singer and a name akin to something you would find in your spice cabinet. Around that time period Van Morrison had a song called “Domino”. I think the main requirement to get a gig at Domino’s was to have the ability to play that song at least twice an hour. This bar was located on Ocean Drive across from Sexton Plaza.

THE DRIFTWOOD: Long before it became Waldo’s, the Driftwood had a bar and a small dance floor with local groups like Streetlight, which featured the unforgettable one-of-a-kind musician Howie Golub. If you heard this band, you would never forget it.

THE TAHITIAN: This place was a tradition. A true dive right on Ocean Drive. I don’t recall any live entertainment there other than the patrons. I guess the rent got too high or something and they moved it to 17th Street just east of the tracks. It just didn’t work without the beach location. It became the Pour House which ultimately became Filthy McNasty’s.

The place that turned into MARVIN GARDENS, so named because it was across the street from the city water works, was a country and western bar during the time period I am talking about. My crew never went there, not because of a dislike of the music or the people. Couldn’t afford the right kind of hat. I don’t remember when it became Marvin Gardens. I was off getting higher educated somewhere.

Those are my precious memories of Vero’s night scene during the couple of years spent here during the 1970’s. After all of the schoolin’ and testin’, marryin’ and kiddin’, the night life has passed me by. Now we settle for an Eagles DVD (in DTS 6.1 surround sound of course) and a cold glass of Cherry Diet Coke. Life in the fast lane.

Those are just some of the Vero night spots that were hopping long before young Miss Viv was born. If I have left any out, let me know.

And Viv? I’ll be looking for you at the beach.


If Lost please return to: Miss Vero’s Beach House…

My sincerest apologies for my absence on Friday. Between the full moon on Wednesday and Friday the 13th, I’ve just been mixed up, so mixed up in fact when I went on my rampage through Vero I was raping horses and pillaging the men! So confusing when your therapist prescribes the wrong mild altering meds. Do you ever have those mornings when you wake up at 6 am wondering where you are, fully clothed, wondering why there’s an admission ticket into long branch glued to your hair, smelling like a bordello, with feet as filthy as the floors of Winn-Dixie? Well it happens to the best of us I suppose.

Some nights are tougher than others as Miss Vero is well aware of. I’m glad you are so accepting of my late posts or non existing posts for that matter. It’s a full time job socializing and rubbing elbows with commoners. Carrying on and cavorting’ is CLEARLY an understatement Miss V. This job is not for the faint hearted that’s why you have to have outstanding genes to be able to live the lifestyle I do. Of course, that lifestyle will send me packing to Betty Ford in less than a year and make me age as quickly as a methadone addict. Risks I’m willing to take.

Speaking of risks, I’m going to have to say I thoroughly enjoyed our "Live Chat” and I suggest we do it again, except with a little more enthusiasm and earlier in the night for the ones that hit that sack around 10:30 pm last time.

Max, I’d like you to just go ahead and return to your temptation of nicotine - at least to keep you around the computer a little longer and to have the full effect of the buzz, your dip of choice, produces. And Jethro, I suggest you go ahead and just start smoking inside also. These are things we have to take for the team… you only live once - Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intentions of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. I’m going to get a drink or 5.

See ya Friday (seriously this time).
Love and Hugs,

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Dear Congressman Posey,

Congratulations on being a new congressman and representing the 15th district in which Miss Vero is a constituent! Good for you, getting a new job when it is so hard for folks to find one these days. And from what we hear, it'll be even harder when our beloved space program is forced to shed about 38,000 industry and related jobs in our district come 2010 (next year!).


It seems that our Democratic Senator, Mr. Bill Nelson, could use a little help in securing some funding for Florida and our district. May we suggest that y'all try to work with Mr. Nelson on this issue and stop wasting your time (and ours) by "pandering to the right wing" fringe of your party by introducing this new silly and somewhat divisive bill H. R. 1503? By the way, "pandering to the right wing" are not our words, but those of Karen Thurman, chair of the Florida Democratic Party:


Mr. Obama is our president, whether y'all voted for him our not. The matter of his nationality is a matter that's been closed.


Just like Jackson Browne once wrote - "...while the future's there for anyone to change, still you it seems, it would easier sometimes to change the past."

Wouldn't it be a better idea to focus on what we can change and work with one another to address some of the current issues that we facing in our community?

Mr. Posey, we are most sincere when we wish you all the best in our nation's capital. We know Washington is a big place with many people trying to influence you. Please, just try to remember your little ole constituents down here in Indian River County.


Miss Vero and friends.


Friday, March 13, 2009


Ok. So Friday's post with Viv seems to have not materialized. Viv "like totally spaced" or something. These things happen kids, like when Mama burns the roast after one too many afternoon cocktails. It's not the end of the world hunnies. And to be quite honest, when Viv or Miss Vero show up late, it's usually because we are out cavortin and carryin on - in other words havin a real good time. Thank goodness LDouglas and Max Newport always have their wits about them, although with Max's tabacky withdrawal, we now have cause to wonder.


Thursday, March 12, 2009


Today's post is like a box of chocolates, lots of sweet pieces, some with nuts. If y'all don't like one, try another.


And we'll give y'all three good reasons why we say there's a panther near JI.

#1 A full grown male Florida bobcat is only about 24 pounds, The poor family pet that was killed was an 85 pound Lab, whose spine was snapped, according to the vet. A full grown male Florida panther can be as big as 150 pounds. So, do the math. In addition, the attack occurred around 8:45 in the evening, an active time for panthers and a "resting" time for bobcats:


#2 Florida panthers have indeed been sighted in Indian River County and as far north as Jacksonville, so before y'all go spewing your knowledge of all things Florida, do some research:



#3 And most important, nothin ever bad happens at places like John's Island, so it might be conceivable that bad things that happen get hidden. Just sayin...


Joe Baird is quoted and Vero Beach is featured in the Sunday New York Times!

“If you maintain it, they will come,” the Indian River County administrator Joe Baird said.

He 's still thinking he's going to snag a MLB team and now the Minnesota Twins are mentioned.

More Dodger news (and pictures!) from Arizona - some long time fans miss Vero's Dodgertown, but not really:


So here's our idea for the Dodgertown property. Car Club. What? Let Miss Vero explain. There are quite a lot of big boys in this town, with big toys. Like the cute little ole jet planes that fly into our cute little ole private airport. Well, some of these boys have big boy cars too and they would like to drive them fast, but y'all know that no one can take their Porsche or Ferrari out on state road 60 and hammer the pedal down to see how fast it can go. Well, not legally. So here's our idea - Car Club!

Check it out boys:




Wealthy homes, wealthy islanders (if the panthers don't eat 'em!), wealthy car owners. It all makes sense, besides, Vero has always been a service industry town, why think it'll change? So let's stick to what we know and cater to the wealthy folks, at least we're good at that!


A great story about the ole Fellsmere Inn, but when will it open? Perhaps all of our Fellsmere connections can help us out on this one:



There's a full moon on the beach tonight and there's good music in unlikely places. Ben Prestage is playing this afternoon (5pm-7pm) at Everything Outdoor, turn off your computer and get out there right now, it's a beautiful day for it:





Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Today's "green" takes on a different meaning...

I am Woman, Count Me In

And Make Mine a Million $ Business. Did you know women own 48% of all businesses in the United States? We do. And in the process we employ approximately 27 million people, while contributing more than $3.6 trillion to the marketplace each year. (We also account for more than 70% of consumer spending.)

And although 55% of us provide half or more of our household income, 80% in the workforce (48 million), earn less than $25,000 a year. Most notably, of the 48% who own businesses only 2.6% make more than $1 million in revenue.

Something's wrong with that. And that's what Nell Merlino thought too. She was the driving force of Take Our Daughters to Work Day and is the CEO & Founder of Count Me In.

In case you didn’t already know, Count Me In is an organization designed for women entrepreneurs, by women entrepreneurs, to help their businesses grow or become more efficient.

We see all these articles about economic growth and attracting industry to IRC and yet here we may be missing the forest because of the trees. Count me in has a lot of success stories of women business owners finally topping and exceeding the $1 million mark within a year of joining, and creating jobs along the way. If you're interested, you could lobby the Economic Growth Council (which incidentally is nearly 50% women), the Chamber of Commerce or the county commissioners to partner with them (if they're not already). But if you don't want to wait on them, you can get started right away.

The primary program is designed "to inspire and support a movement of one million women entrepreneurs to build million-dollar businesses by 2010".

But they're aware not everybody wants to grow their business or is ready for the million dollar challenge. Some may just want to learn to run their business more efficiently.

Their business platform "builds on principles of the 5 Keys to Business Growth: Vision, Business Practices, $Growth$, People, and Continuous Improvement.” For instance, one key to business growth often overlooked is people, as in hiring the right employees. In one of the success stories I read when they hired based on different criteria, like hiring people based on their fit to the company instead of how good they looked on their application, the business soared.

For a $100 registration fee you’ll have access to that kind of information. They’ll also assess your business strengths and weaknesses and introduce you to peer groups and experts etc.

If you're already established and looking to grow faster, for the same $100, you can get all that and take it a step further by entering the M3 Race.

The M3 race "is a year-long business growth marathon to inspire women entrepreneurs like you to hit your revenue goals... On average, participants in the Make Mine a Million $ Business program have increased their revenue and job growth rate by more than 40% within a year."

According to their web-site entering the M3 Race grants you access to:

  • Online business assessment tool to help you identify where your business stands and what you need to reach your 2009 goal
  • Your own personalized Dashboard for easy tracking of your strategic to-do list, short-term goals and current revenues
  • Increased exposure to potential customers seeking your goods or services
  • Three national events featuring intensive workshops and competitions for prizes to enhance your business or improve your work-life balance
  • Opportunities to reach new national markets with partners like American Express OPEN, Reader's Digest, Dell, FedEx and Sam's Club
  • Promotion of you and your business through local and national television, newspapers, magazines, radio and blogs
  • Prizes and national recognition for crossing your personal finish line, as well as the chance to win our Grand Prize of $100,000 cash for your business

You can find more information about the M3 race here:


Count Me In's Mission Statement:

"At Count Me In, we believe in YOU! Our mission is to promote economic independence and the growth of women owned businesses. Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence is the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education and community support for women entrepreneurs seeking to grow micro businesses to million dollar enterprises."

"Local and state officials and government agencies across the country have joined with Count Me In to support women entrepreneurs prosper and create jobs in their communities." If you'd like Local and State Support or you are local and state support, you can find out more about what you can do by contacting Stacey Straughter at sstraughter@countmein.org.

Reader's Digest is a sponsor and is trying to bring more visibility to “this timely, critical effort to support women entrepreneurs and the economic growth their success can generate". Nell Merlino has a Make Mine a Million blog there:
A good Press Release summing up and making it clearer what the M3 Race is all about:
Linked to Count Me In is a talk radio show for women entrepreneurs. Felicia Joy aka Ms. CEO, is the host. "The show informs, inspires, celebrates and connects women across the U.S. who are running a business or planning to launch one. The live format allows listeners to call in with specific questions for Felicia Joy or guest experts while the show is on the air. Listeners can also email questions (radio@msceoshow.com) during the show for quick on-air responses. It airs live every Tuesday, 2-3pm ET on msceoshow.com and www.blogtalkradio.com, which reaches more than 1.5 million women listeners per month."
Ms. CEO's blog:

"Join a million.
Make a $million.
Create millions of jobs.
Are you in?"

TTFN, LDouglas