Nothing dies harder than a bad idea 1

County Commission to sow seeds of discontent statewide

COMMENTARY
County Administrator Joe Baird: "We want to get a campaign to get the word out..."

County Administrator Joe Baird: “We want to get a campaign to get the word out…”

County Attorney Dylan Reingold: “We want to work with the City of Vero Beach…We do not what to have a fight with you guys.”

County Attorney Dylan Reingold: “We want to work with the City of Vero Beach…We do not what to have a fight with you guys.”

“Looking outside for the solution and blaming others may make for good politics, but it is certainly a poor example of leadership.”

“Proving they believe animus is a contagion, the members of the County Commission last week approved hiring a consultant to help stir up discontent in other FMPA cities.”

“It is time for the members of the FMPA board to prove they are more than a band of bubbas who travel to Orlando once a month to sign off on every recommendation made by their professional staff.”

MARK SCHUMANN

When the Florida Public Service Commission meets in Tallahassee Tuesday, the regulatory agency is expected to respond to separate requests from Indian River County and the City of Vero Beach for clarification on what rights, if any, Vero Beach has to continue serving some 20,000 electric customers outside its city limits beyond 2017. That is when the franchise agreement between the City and the County is set to expire. More…

National and Florida news Reply

New York Times: Medical costs rise for retirees in Florida
New York Times: The surprising power of blue-state Republicans 
Washington Post: Jeb Bush has become the GOP front-runner for 2016 – so now what?
Chicago Tribune: Blizzard waring issued for Chicago area; hundreds of flights canceled 
Los Angeles Times: More than 2 million vehicles recalled for potentially faulty air bags
Tampa Bay Times: Bush’s bond with Obama on education posts challenge
Tampa Bay Times: Governor ignored alarms about rundown prisons, ex-chief says
Tallahassee Democrat: Questioning Governor’s proposed job cuts
Orlando Sentinel: Four people with measles traveled through Florida in last 2 weeks
Palm Beach Post: What’s behind governor-Cabinet rift and can it be solfed

Ray of Hope: For the greater good Reply

The-Beauty-of-Denmark-30

In Denmark, 89 percent of the people voted in their last election and over 75 percent are members of trade unions.  Health care and higher education in Denmark are free, and their minimum wage is almost double that of the U.S.  When citizens become actively involved in the political process, government an represent all people – and not just the very rich. - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

On “villains” and “propaganda-meisters” 2

COMMENTARY

MARK SCHUMANN

Lisa Zahner

Lisa Zahner

Since its founding in 2008, the “John’s Island” shiny sheet, also known as Vero Beach 32963, has been an example of just how low a newspaper can go in its practice of advocacy journalism. Unfortunately for the Vero Beach community, advocacy journalism 32963-style is little more than slanted and selective coverage of the news.

For example, the paper has yet to report on email correspondence between Indian River Shores Town Council members, correspondence that is in clear violation of the Florida Sunshine Law. Presumably, the island weekly continues to ignore this story because it supports the Indian River Shores Town Council’s decision to sue the City of Vero Beach. It is a move sure to cost the taxpayer of Indian River Shores and the customers of Vero Electric millions of dollars in higher taxes and higher rates. More…

Bernie Sanders is right to be outraged 1

DANA MILBANK/WASHINGTON POST

Bernie SandersBernie Sanders is in his natural state – of agitation.

It’s just 9 a.m., but the socialist senator, contemplating a presidential run as a Democrat or as a populist independent, is red in the face and his white hair askew. In a conference room at The Washington Post, he’s raising his voice, thumping his index finger on the table and gesturing so wildly that his hand comes within inches of political reporter Karen Tumulty’s face. MORE…

2016 Teacher of the Year and 2015 School-Related Employee of the Year winners announced Reply

NEWS RELEASE

The School District of Indian River County’s 2016 Teacher of the Year and 2015 School-Related Employee of the Year were announced at the January 29th Gala held in the Performing Arts Center at Vero Beach High School. The evening was charged with excitement and anticipation, as each of the participants was recognized and applauded. The auditorium was filled with family, peers, friends, and students who were there to cheer on their favorite teacher or employee. Commissioner Pam Stewart, Keynote Speaker, joined Dr. Fran Adams, Superintendent of Schools, in honoring the winners. And the winners are… More…

Information filters force information flyers Reply

GUEST COMMENTARY

LYNNE LARKIN

Lynne Larkin

Lynne Larkin

The Town of Indian River Shores seems to be getting a “pass” from most of the local media.  Whatever they decide to do, whether it’s to sue Vero Beach over alleged mismanagement of their utility [never mind there is no cause of action for being stuck in contracts which have been determined to be legally binding and enforceable], or when they hold conversations and meetings outside the sunshine, Scripps and the beach weekly seem to think it’s just dandy.

Demonize the City, praise the Shores.  Who would think that the FPL/Brunjes family runs the PJ, or that the money fueling the “SELL” crowd’s traveling road show also helped start the beach weekly?  Would you have guessed from the attack-dog style used by both while they spin the City as an evil empire?  These media outlets filter your news to aid their monied backers. More…

An interview with world famous physicist, Dr. Michio Kaku Reply

MILT THOMAS

Dr. Michio Kaku

Dr. Michio Kaku

Following is an interview between Milt Thomas of InsideIndianRiver.com and Dr. Michio Kaku, world famous scientist and futurist known to millions through his appearances on television and radio news shows, articles in national magazines and as the author of international best sellers. His 2008 book, Physics of the Impossible, was judged the number-one science book in the United States. He will be appearing on February 28 at the Emerson Center as part of their Celebrated Speaker series.

Q: Dr. Kaku, you are probably best known for your work on string theory. Could you explain it to the average non-scientist like me? More…

National and Florida news Reply

IV.011313.Bush.3Tampa Bay Times: Jeb Bush staffs up for presidential campaign, hires Mitt Romney advisor

From Florida’s capital to early voting Iowa, Jeb Bush dramatically beefed up his political committee this week making it the largest GOP presidential campaign-in-waiting.

Bush’s Right to Rise PAC officially hired Iowa strategist David Kochel and opened its Tallahassee headquarters where at least eight staffers are based.

The moves are the latest in a series of aggressive steps Bush has taken as he seeks to dominate the critical early game of lining up key staff and campaign money. MORE… More…

National and Florida news Reply

New report urges Western governments to reconsider reliance on biofuels

NEW YORK TIMES

Western governments have made a wrong turn in energy policy by supporting the large-scale conversion of plants into fuel and should reconsider that strategy, according to a new report from a prominent environmental think tank. MORE…

Sarah Palin and her onetime fans on the right: It’s so over

WASHINGTON POST

They’re over her.

Sarah Palin’s odd, rambling speech last weekend before an audience of committed conservative activists in Des Moines has many influential voices on the right saying that the time has come to acknowledge that the romance has gone cold and the marriage is dead. MORE…

Obama to propose 2016 budget thAT end mandatory spending cuts

WASHINGTON POST

President Obama on Thursday will seek to rally Democrats behind a budget proposal he’ll release next week that exceeds the spending caps mandated by Congress four years ago in an attempt to reduce the federal deficit. MORE…

Gov. Scott proposes $77 billion with $673 million in tax cuts

TAMPA BAY TIMES

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Rick Scott unveiled a proposed $77 billion budget Wednesday that spends nearly all of a $1 billion surplus on tax cuts and an increase in education spending, but it also cuts the state workforce further while shifting education costs to local taxpayers. MORE…

Raul Castro: US must return Guantanamo for normal relations

MIAMI HERALD

Cuban President Raul Castro demanded on Wednesday that the United States return the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay, lift the half-century trade embargo on Cuba and compensate his country for damages before the two nations re-establish normal relations. MORE…

Senate bill seeks tougher penalties for passing stopped school bus

ORLANDO SENTINEL

On any given day, thousands of motorists illegally pass stopped school buses in Florida, authorities say.

Determined to cut down that number, state Sen. David Simmons has introduced a bill that would increase penalties for what he calls a “significant danger to our children.” MORE…

Indian River Community Foundation hires new CEO Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Jeffrey Pickering

Jeffrey Pickering

Following a nationwide search, the Indian River Community Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jeffrey R. Pickering has been named Chief Executive Officer. Pickering will begin the transition to Vero Beach after February 1, and will relocate with his family in June following the end of his children’s school year.

Pickering succeeds Kerry Bartlett who announced her resignation last summer after leading the organization for the past six years. He is a Florida native with 20 years of experience in philanthropy, grantmaking and nonprofit management. He joins the Indian River Community Foundation after serving five years as President and CEO of Kern Community Foundation and its subsidiary Kern Real Estate Foundation in Bakersfield, Calif. He also previously served as Vice President of Philanthropic Services at the Central Florida Foundation in Orlando. More…

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam criticizes Gov. Rick Scott, calls FDLE firing ‘shabby’ Reply

TAMPA BAY TIMES

Adam Putnam

Adam Putnam

TALLAHASSEE — Top state officials in both political parties leveled harsh new criticism at Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday for his decision to oust the longtime Florida Department of Law Enforcement commissioner absent public discussion with the three Cabinet members who also oversee the MORE…

See Also:
 Bondi: Blame in Gerald Bailey’s ouster is on staff, not Gov. Scott
Gov. Scott addresses Bailey controversy

Vero Beach City Council moves to freeze existing pension plan Reply

New defined contribution retirement plan will shift investment risk to employees

MARK SCHUMANN

Steve Myers of Teamsters Local Union #769 and Jason Odom, the city's labor attorney, appear before the City Council in the February 25 impasse hearing.

Steve Myers of Teamsters Local Union #769 and Jason Odom, the city’s labor attorney, appear before the City Council in the February 25 impasse hearing.

In a move Councilwoman Amelia Graves described as “radical pension reform,” the Vero Beach City Council yesterday voted 3-2 to freeze the City’s defined benefit pension plan and to move current and future employees to a new defined contribution plan.  In rejecting the recommendation of a special magistrate, Mayor Richard Winger and Randy Old joined Pilar Turner in supporting what they described as much needed pension reform. The decision came as the Council met in special session to resolve the impasse in its negotiations with Teamster’s Local No. 769. The union which represents the City’s blue collar, technical and clerical employees. More…