Out2News Human Interest & Opinions

Junior League of Martin County Presents the 12th Annual Rudolph’s Reindeer Dash 5K!

20 Oct Junior League

Stuart – The Junior League of Martin County (JLMC) will host their 12th Annual Rudolph’s Reindeer Dash 5K on Saturday, December 5 from 7:00 am – 9:00 am.

This event, which is held in Downtown Stuart at Memorial Park, is JLMC’s biggest fundraiser of the year and one of the most highly anticipated events on the Treasure Coast. Proceeds will help support the JLMC’s programs that improve the local community.

The annual fundraiser features a 5k run, 10k run, Tot Trot, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, refreshments, vendors, awards, goodie bags, race t-shirts and fun! This year’s event will be following all CDC guidelines for a safe and healthy event, and organizers have added a virtual run option for those interested.

Andi McAvoy and Sara Steinhauer are chairing this year’s Reindeer Dash. “It has certainly been a challenging year, but we are looking forward to spreading some cheer this holiday season, and are excited to continue the much-loved tradition of the Reindeer Dash with safety top of mind,” said McAvoy.

In accordance with the Junior League’s focus of increasing opportunities for at-risk kids, participation by children and teenagers is encouraged. “Junior Dashers” (ages seven and under) are invited to compete in their own 100-yard Tot Trot.

Entry fees are $35 for the 5k, $45 for the 10k, $20 for the kids dash or $30 for the virtual run. Sign up individually or as part of a team of four or more racers. To register, sponsor, or donate, visit runsignup.com/Race/FL/Stuart/JLMCReindeerDash2020.

To learn more, visit jlmcflorida.org.

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Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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Elliott Museum Opens Eclectic Art and 3D Interactive Exhibits

19 Aug Elliott Logo

Stuart — Think about the opportunity of being able to create — in 3D — whatever one can imagine, and that will provide an idea of what’s possible at the Elliott Museum’s newest exhibit — a Makerspace Lab with eight computer stations, four 3-D printers, and two die-cut machines.

As part of the “Artists & Multi-Media Giants” exhibit, visitors can create their own animated movies and paper engineering projects, and make designs that can be sent to the in-house 3-D printers and laser cutters. Helpful docents are on hand to introduce guests to this easy-to-use technology. All of this is included with the price of museum admission, which is $14 for adults, $6 for children 6 to 12 years, and free for 5 and younger. This exhibit will remain through January 31, 2021.

On loan from the Lighthouse Art Center in Tequesta, the exhibit includes a whimsical gallery of madcap characters from six of the world’s leading animation artists, including Carter Goodrich, character designer for “Despicable Me,” “Ratatouille,” “Finding Nemo,” “Shrek,” “Hotel Transylvania,” “Brave,” “Open Season,” “Coco,” as well as 17 New Yorker magazine covers. Additional artists are David Biedrzycki, Bryan Ballinger, Kevan Atteberry, Marty Kelley, Matt Ficner, Patrick Girouard and Russ Cox.

Featured in the first floor gallery space is another new exhibit, “Portfolios – Eclectic Artists and Art at the Elliott,” an art show highlighting the artwork of artists from the Stuart area. The exhibit showcases a variety of mediums, styles, techniques, and subjects. Painting, sculpture, photography, glasswork and jewelry are included, with approaches ranging from traditional and contemporary to the unexpected.

The artists’ works are available for sale with a portion of their profits generously donated to the Elliott Museum. Featured exhibit artists: Dale Beam, Laura Kay Whiticar Darvill, Dot Galfond, Linda Geary, Kevin Hutchinson, Denise Justice, Carol Kepp, Livia Krof-Debonet, Mia Lindberg, Brent McAhren, Sue Ann Mosley, Kim Nolan, Bruce Wells, and Kate Wood. This exhibit will run through January 4, 2021.

For more information, call 772-225-1961 or visit the website at hsmc-fl.com. Video of MakerSpace in action: https://youtu.be/ARx-9yPiJYA.

Since 1955, the Historical Society of Martin County has served as a guardian of local history and a cultural center by operating the Elliott Museum and the House of Refuge Museum at Gilbert’s Bar, which opened in 1876 and served as a haven for shipwrecked survivors. The Elliott Museum seeks to preserve and celebrate the region’s colorful history by presenting an eclectic mix of traveling and rotating permanent exhibits, lectures and experiential events. The House of Refuge’s mission is to educate the public about the historical significance of Martin County’s iconic landmark and to ensure its historical integrity and preservation. For more information, go online to www.hsmc-fl.com or call 772-225-1961.

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Article & Photos by: Doreen Marcial Poreba, APR / prczar@prczar.com

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20 Oct Elliott Pigs
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20 Oct Trick of Treat Flyer

HONOR FLIGHT FLYBY/DRIVEBY SALUTES VETERANS AWAITING THEIR TRIP TO WASHINGTON, DC

Southeast Florida Honor Flight

Photos Courtesy of Evie Klaassen - Colorado Pawn & Jewelry

Port St. Lucie - On October 24, 2020 Southeast Florida Honor Flight along the Southeast Florida Honor Flight pays tribute to local war veterans with an air show and car parade. More than 100 veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War were honored at the event. The South East Honor Flight has flown veterans, focusing on those from World War II, to the nation's capitol to visit the memorial. The coronavirus crisis has halted their plans, the group is hoping to resume flights on April 11 and May 15 of 2021.

For more information on the  Honor Flight, please email info@honorflightsefl.org or call 1-855-FLYAVET (855-359-2838).

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Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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Derecktor Ft. Pierce Receives Army Corps Approval, Clearing Significant Hurdle

20 Oct Fort Pierce Boat

Fort Pierce – Plans to convert the nearly 100-year-old Port of Fort Pierce into a full-service repair and refit facility for the global fleet of megayachts are moving ahead at full speed.

After 11 months of review, the engineering and plans for Derecktor Ft. Pierce’s new haul-out basin have been officially approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, paving way for construction to commence once the City of Fort Pierce Building Department gives its final approval.

“Securing a permit from the U.S. Army Corps was no easy feat, especially during a global pandemic, as it required review from several different departments,” Justin Beard, marketing manager for Derecktor Shipyards, said. “The haul-out basin is a critical piece of infrastructure at Derecktor Ft. Pierce and it will allow us to lift vessels up to 250 feet in length with our 1,500-ton mobile boat hoist.”

The haul-out basin measures 220 feet in length and 50 feet wide, comparative in size to one of the two concrete silos located adjacent to the Derecktor facility at the Port of Fort Pierce. Existing upland will be excavated from the concrete pier making way for 288 auger cast piles needed to support the relieving platform surrounding the perimeter of the haul-out basin.

Construction includes the installation of an intricate system of tiebacks, whalers and sheet pile, all of which will support the 1,500-ton lift under a full load of approximately 4.5 million pounds - or roughly the same weight as a fully fueled space shuttle preparing for launch.

“An extensive amount of engineering and logistics have gone into this project, and we’re looking forward to breaking ground,” Beard said. “Once construction of the haul-out basin begins, it will take 4 to 5 months to complete, so it won’t be long until the shipyard is able to service large yachts on the hard.”

The 1,500-ton mobile boat hoist will be shipped from Northern Italy to Port Everglades later this year and will be delivered to Fort Pierce by barge. Assembly of the massive machine will take 6 to 8 weeks to complete. Standing 85 feet tall, 75 feet wide and 120 feet long, the lift will be nearly as tall as Fort Pierce’s South Causeway and as wide as a six-lane highway.

Founded in 1947, Derecktor Shipyards has since become a worldwide leader for excellence in the construction, repair and refit of yachts, commercial and military vessels. Today, four Derecktor facilities span the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. from Maine to South Florida, offering vessel owners and operators everything from marina space to megayacht construction. For more information about Derecktor Shipyards, visit www.derecktor.com, email jbeard@derecktor.com or call 772-595-9326.

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Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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One Plant Florida to Host Beach Cleanup to Support Port St. Lucie Community on Sunday, Oct. 25

20 Oct One Plant FLorida Logo

Port St. Lucie - Only a short drive from One Plant Florida’s revolutionary farm in Indiantown and situated in the heart of Florida’s Treasure Coast, the Port St. Lucie retail dispensary and delivery hub offers patients in Port St. Lucie, as well as patients in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and North Palm Beach County areas (via delivery), access to One Plant’s top-shelf genetics, hang-dried and hand-trimmed flower, vape products, concentrates and merchandise via an in-store experience, curbside pickup or home delivery. The location is positioned at the intersection of Federal Highway and Prima Vista Boulevard in the Prima Vista Crossing Plaza – at 7510 S. Federal Highway, Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 – and is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

Come out and join the One Plant Port St. Lucie team for some good, clean fun while protecting the community’s beaches.

When:
Sunday, Oct. 25, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

Where/ How:
Jensen Beach Park (Meet at the Volleyball Courts)
4191 NE Ocean Blvd., Jensen Beach, FL 34957

To register for this free event, please visit:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/one-plant-jensen-beach-clean-up-tickets-124601120305?aff=Social.

About Bluma Wellness Inc.: Bluma Wellness Inc. owns and operates a vertically-integrated, licensed medical cannabis company in the State of Florida doing business as “One Plant Florida.” One Plant Florida cultivates, processes, dispenses and retails medical cannabis to qualified patients in the State of Florida through multiple retail dispensaries and an innovative next-day door-to-door e-commerce home delivery service, thereby offering convenient access for its patients and meeting the demands of an evolving retail landscape. Bluma plans to continue expanding its cultivation and distribution operations as the Florida market grows and may enter into other US states where the production, distribution and use of cannabis is permitted under state law. For more information, visit www.blumawellness.com or www.oneplant.us.

One Plant Florida Hosts Beach Clean-up at Jensen Beach Park

Upholding its commitment to preserving the environment and building strong relationships with local residents, One Plant Florida, a subsidiary of Bluma Wellness (CSE: BWEL.U), is pleased to host a beach cleanup at Jensen Beach Park, on Sunday, Oct. 25.

As One Plant Florida specializes in organically-grown, responsibly-farmed cannabis, maintaining a clean and healthy environment is a top priority and vital component of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. Bluma Wellness CEO Brady Cobb is a proud graduate of Martin County High School and grew up surfing and fishing in Stuart/Jensen Beach.

20 Aug Skin Serenity Spa Logo LG

Jaguar Battalion Holds Car Wash

20 Oct Car Wash

On Saturday, October 10th, cadets from Port St. Lucie High School participated in a car wash fundraising event at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts. The generosity of O’Reillys enabled the cadets to raise money by washing cars, all within the safety guidelines taking COVID-19 into consideration. The fundraiser was a success due to the abundance of cars the cadets were able to wash. Everything flowed smoothly as the cadets established a system of getting cars through the washing and drying stations. The cadets were broken down into groups of five and rotated through the stations. This event proved to be a huge success for the program and they were able to raise a large sum of money. The money the cadets raised will benefit the program’s future events such as the military ball and field trips. The cadets of the Jaguar Battalion look forward to another successful car wash in March.Out2News.com LLC. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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Rivers Coalition Meeting

Rivers Coalition

Thursday, October 24 / 11:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
ZOOM MEETING

20 Oct Reynolds

Jennifer Reynolds, Division Director South Florida Water Management District

Jennifer Reynolds serves as the Director for Ecosystem Restoration and Capital Projects Division.

Before joining the District in March 2020, she served in the United States Army for 24 years as an active duty engineer.

In addition to her time working on Everglades restoration with the U.S. Army Corps, she brings experience managing emergency operations and supporting efforts in more than 90 countries worldwide.

She has worked on unique international capital projects including the Mosul Dam, health clinics, schools, and wastewater treatment plants in Iraq; Kajaki Dam and the national electricity system in Afghanistan; building maintenance facilities and road repair in Bosnia; base camp design and construction in Kosovo; and construction of training facilities in Germany.

Reynolds has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management from Western Illinois University, a Master of Military Art and Science degree from the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies, and an MA in Procurement and Acquisitions from Webster University.

Reynolds manages the District’s projects and programs to restore America’s Everglades and the mosaic of ecosystems and estuaries that comprise the landscape of South Florida.

She also supervises the design, construction, survey, modeling, and analysis teams that inform and execute the District’s restoration projects and infrastructure investments.

Please contact Barbara Osborn at barbara@riverscoalition.org for an invitation to the ZOOM Meeting
Okeechobee Watershed Protection Working Plan

The History of the U.S. Air Force Flies in Formation at the Stuart Air Show

Stuart air Show 2020

See the history of the U.S. Air Force fly in formation at the Stuart Air Show, November 7th & 8th

Stuart - The history of the United States Air Force will be on display at Witham Field in Stuart, November 7th and 8th. In addition to hosting all four USAF Air Combat Command (ACC) jet performers, each day will feature special Heritage Flights, showcasing the history of the U.S. Air Force (USAF).

The USAF Heritage flight was established in 1997 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the United States Air Force. Heritage flights bring together two or more aircraft representing different eras, to showcase the history of USAF fighter aircraft. The formation usually incorporates fighters from World War II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and other conflicts the Air Force has been a part of, paired with modern aircraft being flown today. Heritage flights feature a pass from the right, one from the left, then one final pass over the crowd, where the ships perform a separation maneuver.

This year, we will have a first in Stuart Air Show History. The USAF four ACC jets are in such high demand, that they rarely perform at the same air show. Not only do we have all four teams showcasing their individual aircraft at our show, but they will be participating in rarely seen Heritage Flights. Each day we will see a 4-ship formation made up of a P51 "Bald Eagle" and three of our four modern jets, A-10, F-22, F-35, or F-16. Formation make up will be released the day of air show.

Patrons can access the best vantage point for the Heritage Flights with our ticket upgrades that offer seating along the show line. Photographers looking to capture the perfect shot of these rarely seen performances, can get a "Photo Pit" upgrade. With three different locations along the show line, Photo Pit ticket holders can get the perfect shot with unobstructed views. All of these upgrades can be found on our website: stuartairshow.com/upgrades.

Not all the excitement at the 2020 Stuart Air Show will be exclusively in the air! Show patrons will get to experience an incredible Freestyle Motocross (FMX) show, which will include a motorcycle jumping over a moving aircraft. There will be three FMX shows each day: two on the crowd's side of the air field and one on the tarmac. Also featured on the ground will be a BMX show featuring XGames Bronze Medalist, Brian Fox. Static aircraft displays include the replica cockpit of the F-18 Hornet that will be featured in the upcoming film Top Gun: Maverick, featuring Tom Cruise.

Tickets are available on our website at stuartairshow.com/tickets or by calling 877-588-9463. Patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets online ahead of time to make access to the air field quick and easy. As a part of our COVID-19 safety initiatives, the entire show will be cash-less. Learn more about these initiates at stuartairshow.com/safety.

WHAT: Stuart Air Show
WHERE: 1895 Flying Fortress Lane, Stuart, Florida, Witham Field
WHEN: November 7th and 8th from 9am-5pm.
TICKETS: Buy tickets online ahead of time at stuartairshow.com or by calling 877-577-9463

Eggplant for Your Fall Garden

20 Oct Eggplant Photo Multi

Article by: Pinder's Nursery
Eggplant is ready to add to your garden! We have them in 1-gallon containers and they look great. We have two varieties that we’re excited about. You’ll find a classic eggplant variety, similar to what you find in the grocery store in Black Beauty. The eggplant grows to about 4″-5″ long and is a dark purplish-black. The plant itself tops off at around 24″ tall. We also have an eggplant called Orient Charm that grows in a light lavender to light purple hue. It’s longer and thinner than the classic sort. Both varieties do excellent in our Martin and St. Lucie County gardens.

Eggplant likes warm weather, and is happy not to be planted in the middle of a scorching Summer season. Now’s the time for Eggplant to shine and as you know, it is a shiny, beautiful plant to grow and there are so many hearty recipes that make eggplant the star. We grow ours on-site and carry the two varieties mentioned here and though they look different, the taste is very similar.

Here’s the recipe for growing delicious eggplant in your home garden:

Find a sunny spot that receives at least 7 – 8 hours of sunlight each day.

Use Marvin’s Magic Mix to amend your current soil because Eggplant will grow best in soil with good drainage.

Plant your Eggplant starts around at least 2′ apart.

Water them in well after planting. Don’t overwater Eggplant. They don’t need as much water as a tomato plant, for instance.

When the fruits begin to show on the plant, you may need to add stakes to keep the plants from falling.

When it comes to pests, Eggplants are pretty safe from them, though you’ll want to watch for aphids and mealy bugs. If you find any of these pests, use neem oil to treat them.

Harvest the fruit when they are plump and shiny. Even though they will look very beautiful in the garden, you will want to bring them in to eat!

Clean them and prepare them for Eggplant Parm or Baba Ganoush or brush them with oil for grilling. Is this making you hungry?

We have Eggplants in stock and ready for planting. Ian recommends a slow release granular fertilizer like 18-6-12 and occasionally a balanced 20 liquid feed.

If you have any additional questions about eggplant or other edibles, ask us!

Florida Daughters of the American Revolution Spend Time at All Saints Cemetary

20 Oct Daughter All Saints

Article & Photo by: Joyce Fletcher Menard

Jensen Beach -Halpatiokee Chapter, Stuart, FL's Daughters of the American Revolution spent a few hours in the All Saints Cemetery of Jensen Beach adding GPS coordinates to help family members and history buffs find the final resting places of the pioneers and ancestors of Jensen. The GPS locations are added to the website find a grave which is a volunteer website that records.

Out2News.com LLC. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

Out2News adheres to full compliance with C.O.P.P.A. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998)

“YOUR" Treasure Coast Newspaper & Photo Journal

Baby Boomers Buying More Online

20 Oct Baby Boomers 1

The coronavirus pandemic has forced consumers to change many habits, including how they shop. This is particularly true for baby boomers (ages 56 to 74). Nearly half (45%) said they shop online more, with some product categories seeing a large shift in online purchases. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal professional.

LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.

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Tykes & Teens Hosting Free Virtual Seminar Series for Middle School Parents

19 Nov Tykes & Teens Logo

“Finding Happiness During COVID-19” Taking Place Oct. 28 at 5:30 p.m.

Palm City – Middle school years are a challenging time for tweens and even more so during this year’s COVID-19 environment. As part of its “Mapping the Middle” program, Tykes & Teens is hosting the next in its series of free virtual seminars to help parents of middle school age students navigate through a variety of timely issues today’s tweens are facing.

As the first of the four-part monthly series, Dr. Agnieszka Marshall, PsyD, CAP, and Tykes & Teens Director of Prevention Services, will be presenting a free virtual seminar “Finding Happiness During COVID-19” on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. Based on Yale University’s sought-after class, “The Science of Well Being,” and the latest research from Positive Psychology, Dr. Marshall will share with parents of tweens the fascinating new information science has taught us about human happiness in the 2000s.

The seminar is free to parents via Zoom, but registration is required by emailing Dr. Marshall at agnieszka@tykesandteens.org. Once registered, you will receive instructions and links to join this virtual seminar.

Dr. Agnieszka Marshall is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Addictions Professional who earned her Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Florida Institute of Technology. She has dedicated her career to providing psychotherapy services for children and families with a focus on teen issues and substance abuse. Dr. Marshall is the Director of Prevention Services at Tykes where she has been providing treatment to teens for more than 14 years, and currently oversees and develops a series of activities geared toward prevention of mental health and substance abuse issues for children. Her projects span a four-county region and include community psycho-educational seminars, workshops for mental health professionals, social awareness campaigns and overseeing a classroom-based prevention curriculum. She also coordinates free and fun activities for tweens and teens in the community. She has been a guest lecturer for various psychology-related graduate and undergraduate courses, has consulted on various community task forces, and has maintained a private practice since 2011 with special focus on women’s issues and wellness. She is driven by a motivation to help contribute to the creation of an overall healthier community.

“Mapping the Middle” parent survival seminars are part of a monthly virtual series by Tykes & Teens, sponsored by Children’s Services Council of Martin County and C.O.R.E.

Additional Upcoming Virtual “Mapping the Middle” Parent Survival Seminars:

• Nov. 18, 2020 at 5:30 pm – “A Spoonful of Mindfulness” presented by Dr. Agnieszka Marshall, PsyD, CAP, and Tykes & Teens Director Preventions Services

Dr. Marshall has been teaching the community about mindfulness for nearly a decade and now it’s your turn to learn about what makes mindfulness one of the biggest breakthroughs of our time, and what it can do for you and your parenting.

• Dec. 2, 2020 at 5:30 pm – “The Birds and the Bees are Sexting” presented by Eric Garza, LCSW, CAP, CST, and Tykes & Teens Chief Operating Officer

Learn what you need to know about teens, tweens, sex and dating during an era of technology. Sex therapist Eric Garza will teach you about these new dynamics and how to navigate them with your child.

• Jan. 25, 2021 at 5:30 pm – “Don’t Push My Buttons; I’m Not an Elevator” presented by Andrea Greenlee, LCSW, and Tykes & Teens Director of School Based Services

Dive into the psychology behind parenting a teen or tween with longtime therapist Andrea Greenlee. She will teach you what to do and what not to do to maintain household peace and wellness.

20 Oct 19 Nov PAL Giveback Flyer a
20 Oct PAL Flyer

HAZMobile Household Hazardous Waste Collection

20 Oct Hazmobile a

"HazMobile" is short for mobile Household Hazardous Waste Collection Vehicle. Its purpose is to provide residents with a safe and convenient way to dispose of household hazardous waste at specified locations throughout Martin County, in addition to the permanent than the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Center in Palm City.

Residents may bring up to 100 pounds of hazardous waste to the HazMobile for FREE disposal. Residents are not permitted to leave hazardous waste at HazMobile locations unless the HazMobile is on site, or the site is attended by solid waste personnel.

ACCEPTABLE
Aerosol Cans
Fluorescent Bulbs
Antifreeze
Household Batteries
Cleaners
Paints
Fertilizers and Herbicides
Pesticides
Filters
Used/Cooking Oil

NON ACCEPTABLE
Appliances
Marine or Auto Batteries
Business Waste
Other Pressurized Gases
Computers/Laptops, Fax Machines
Propane Tanks
Electronics
Televisions
Gasoline
Tires

HOURS AND LOCATIONS

Hobe Sound
1st Wednesday of each month
Fire Station #32
12155 SE Federal Highway
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Indiantown
4th Friday of each month
Fire Station #24
16550 SW Warfield Boulevard
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Jensen Beach
3rd Wednesday of each month
Fire Station #16
2710 NE Savanna Road
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Port Salerno
4th Wednesday of each month
Fire Station #30
4725 SE Dixie Highway
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Sewall's Point
5th Wednesday of each month
Town Commons Park
South Sewall's Point Road
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Stuart
2nd Wednesday of each month
City of Stuart Fire Station
800 Martin Luther King Boulevard
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Feel-Good Politics Hurts, More Than Helps

19 July One Martin Logo

Article by: Rick Hartman - One Martin
Just days from the election, two local politicians – one a Republican and the other his Democratic opponent – are making political hay out of the Lake Okeechobee discharges that began again this week.

Yes, we all want the discharges to the St. Lucie River to end. Our political candidates know that, but the plans they're promoting to get more votes will NOT stop the discharges, and could have devastating consequences, if enacted. Last month, a guest columnist for One Martin, Scott Watson of Palm City, rather thoroughly dissected Republican Rep. Brian Mast's federal legislation, already filed, seeking to close the gate between Lake Okeechobee and the C-44 canal whenever toxic algae is above the recreational level.

That's his solution, although his over-simplified plan threatens the ecology of the lake itself, increases damage to the Caloosahatchee estuary, increases the likelihood of massive blooms of red tide that flow along the Gulf Stream to our east coast beaches, and puts lives, homes and businesses around the lake at serious risk – all without addressing the root of the problem, which is this FACT: too much water flows from the north into Lake Okeechobee in the first place. During this pre-election period, Rep. Mast's opponent, Democrat Pam Keith, says the solution is to “take” land south of Lake Okeechobee through eminent domain to add land area for water to flow south. “Just take it,” she says.

She should know that “taking” agricultural lands will not end discharges to the St. Lucie for the same reason that Rep. Mast's plan will not work – too much water flows too fast into Lake Okeechobee from the north.

As a matter of FACT, that flow into the lake is up to six times faster than the lake can be lowered with ALL gates open and ALL pumps running at top speed. Having additional land area will not end discharges, particularly if the ground south of the lake is already saturated, as it is now.

Besides, the eminent domain process, which allows a government to take private property for a public purpose with “reasonable compensation” to the property owner, sounds simple, but it's not. The legal manual that explains Florida's eminent domain statutes, illustrating more than a dozen contested cases, is a hefty read at 21 chapters.

But that's for attorneys to deal with, and without a willing seller, you can be assured that lawyers will spend months in the courts, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars in misspent attorney fees.

What citizens will be left to deal with are broken promises and knowing that the money should have been spent on environmental projects in the right place at the right time. They also would be left with the potential loss of even more land from the Everglades Agricultural Area – one of the nation's most fertile and productive soils.

Note that we said “additional,” because nearly 200,000 acres already have been converted from farmland to water restoration projects.

The myth is that the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) grows nothing but sugar cane, although the rest of the world calls the area the winter vegetable capital of the U.S., underscoring that agriculture is the state's second-largest economic driver, second only to tourism.

The truth is that we do not need to sacrifice our fertile soil for a clean river. We not only don't need to, we shouldn't.

The need to protect our food supply is the lesson we learned from living through a pandemic that took hold in March. Our emptied store shelves revealed that we have begun to rely heavily on food imports from foreign sources to stock our stores and too often those foreign contracts take precedence over local farms and ranches.

Imagine our vulnerability should we continue down this path of foreign reliance on food and the consequences of some unforeseen event – or overt action by an unfriendly actor – that suddenly cuts off our food supply altogether. The COVID-19 crisis provided us with a practice run – and we failed.

Farmers not only are competing with other countries for markets to sell their farm products, other countries are buying U.S. farms and food processing plants, like the Smithfield plant. The Center for Investigative Reporting estimates that one in every four pigs raised in America is now owned by the Chinese.

China also purchased a 146,000-acre Illinois farm in 2013, but they are not alone. The Germans and the French also have purchased farmland in Illinois and Indiana, also some of the richest soil in America, so much so that next-door Iowa recently banned all foreign purchases of their agricultural land.

Why do we lag so far behind others in valuing our farmland? That's a fact that must change. We must protect our agricultural land, as well as our river. The correct solution is to proceed with the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project north of the lake, as we continue to build the EAA reservoir south of the lake. Just like food and water, one should not be ranked above the other. We need them both.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Out2News. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

Treasure Coast Food Bank Kicks off Weeklong ‘Pack the House’ Volunteers to Pack 10,000 Holiday Boxes

20 Oct Food Bank 1

Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Pack the House returns this year with a weeklong event to meet a need that is greater than ever.

This year, the annual Pack-A-Thon will take place at Treasure Coast Food Bank’s new volunteer sorting facility located at 813 South Kings Highway, just south of Orange Avenue in Fort Pierce. Volunteers will have the opportunity to pack holiday meal boxes for families in need. It kicks off on Friday, Oct. 23 and concludes the following Friday, Oct. 30. Treasure Coast Food Bank is pleased to welcome back Wells Fargo as Presenting Sponsor of the 6th Annual Pack the House.

“Pack the House is a tradition that brings the community to Treasure Coast Food Bank for a firsthand experience of what it takes to fight hunger,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “This year, instead of a 24-hour event, we’re spreading it out over a week to ensure the safety of our volunteers and staff by following CDC guidelines for social distancing. We’re also incorporating a virtual Pack the House for people who can’t volunteer. It’s bigger than ever because the need is greater than ever.”

The event will be dedicated to packing 10,000 holiday boxes for people in need – a need that has risen 200 percent because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Morning and afternoon shifts are available each day, allowing a limited number of volunteers to pack the boxes. Temperature checks are required upon arrival, and facemasks must be worn at all times. Registration is required in advance, and to ensure that everyone is able to work while safely distanced, no walk-up registrations will be allowed.

As in past years, the packing comes wrapped in fun with a different theme that volunteers can participate in each day. Themes include a Sports Day, Trivia Day, 70s and 80s Dance Parties, and Halloween costume contest.

Pack the House begins with an 8 a.m. kick-off on Friday, Oct. 23, with local and state dignitaries, event sponsors and first responders. Breakfast will be provided by Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Healthy Harvest Catering. Walmart Supply Chain is the Ceremonial Sponsor, and the American Public Works Association is the Kick-Off Sponsor. Humana is a Supporting Sponsor, and Shift Sponsors are Cleveland Clinic Martin Health and Fort Pierce Utilities Authority.

While the number of in-person participants will be limited, everyone can participate in Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Virtual Pack the House by sponsoring a holiday meal box. A $30 gift will provide a holiday meal box for a family this holiday season.

To participate in person, make a donation, or to become a Pack the House sponsor, visit www.stophunger.org/PTH2020.

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Treasure Coast Hospice Music Therapy

Jan TC Hospice Logo

Article by MaryAnn Ketcham

As a Board Certified Music Therapist at Treasure Coast Hospice, Liz Lung has a highly-trained ear for creating pitch-perfect tones and listening to her clients' requests for the songs that resonate with them. Courses in music, clinical, and music therapy foundations, as well as 1200 hours of clinical training, have prepared her with the strong foundation she needs to create a Plan of Care for each of those with whom she works.

"Progress or "goals" look different for each patient based on their needs," said Lung. "These goals are then broken down into objectives that I work towards."

Armed with her guitar and angelic voice, Lung travels to the home of 102-year-old Evelyn "Cookie" Nelson, providing comfort and hope with songs that evoke the most pleasant of memories. An upbeat rendition of Hello Dolly begins the interaction as Cookie closes her eyes, taps her fingers and toes, and travels back in time to the happy days of her youth.

"The music takes you away and does a world of good," said Cookie. "When Liz plays The Sound of Music, I'm reminded of the best time of my life!"

Towards the end of the session, Lung's repertoire of Cookie's favorite tunes changes course to some slower, dreamier ballads bringing peaceful relaxation and meaningful sleep.

Lung also works with children being cared for on the Little Treasures Pediatric Program, which supports young patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

Three-year-old Lillian is one such patient. Born without a corpus callosum, the tract that facilitates communication between the right and left sides of the brain, Lillian suffers severe neurological issues.

"We just don't know what her levels will be," said her mom Jonita Southworth. "It's like defying gravity."

"Music helps Lillian's mouth muscles," said Lung. "She's slowly learned to stick out her tongue when I sing the Little Green Frog song."

Unable to walk or talk as yet, Lung works to stimulate Lillian's brain with various techniques, including repetition, the use of nonsensical lyrics, and a diverse array of instruments such as the tambourine, a rainstick, and more.

Rolling a cabasa, a percussion instrument with loops of moving steel balls, over the hands, arms, feet, and legs, helps with sensory stimulation and encourages a tactile response.

"Music therapy helps Lillian be able to communicate. It also helps with all of her other therapies, such as hand movements, intentional vowel sounds, and tongue play," said Southworth. "She loves it! As her mom, there is nothing more important than seeing the smiles it brings."

When it comes to the healing powers of music, Lung is a witness to what author Debasish Mridha perhaps said best, "Music can heal the wounds that medicine cannot touch."

For more information about Treasure Coast Hospice, please visit www.TreasureHealth.org.

Photo 1a

In Photo: Music Therapist Liz Lung, Evelyn "Cookie" Nelson and caregiver Dotland Walker

Photo 2a

In Photo: Evelyn "Cookie" Nelson feels rested and at peace as Music Therapist Liz Lung sings the hymn "It is All Well with My Soul."

Photo 3a

In Photo: Three year-old Lillian responds to Music Therapist Liz Lung

Photo 4a

In Photo: Music Therapist Liz Lung rolls the cabasa on Lillian P. as mom Jonita Southworth provides encouragement

In Photo: Music brings smiles to Lillians face!

Barrett-Jackson’s Collector Car Road Tour to Make Stop at Elliott Museum

19 Aug Elliott Logo
20 Oct Barrett Jackson a

Who/What: Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions, will make a stop on the Treasure Coast as part of its exclusive Collector Car Road Tours event. It begins on October 7 at Summit Racing in McDonough, Georgia, and will make a stop in Stuart, Florida at the Elliott Museum on October 12. The tour will end on October 13 in Key West.

When: 2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 12

Where: Elliott Museum, 825 NE Ocean Blvd, Stuart

Details: Eighty-two people in 47 collector cars will participate in the weeklong tour, which offers drivers the chance to enjoy their prized possessions while exploring some of the most beautiful parts of the country. The Barrett-Jackson-led tours combine scenic routes and visits to national landmarks and museums with exclusive activities and excursions to automotive-related businesses, as well as fine dining and luxurious hotels.

During their stop at the Elliott Museum, they will see the museum’s various offerings, including its renowned automobile collection. This includes some 100 vehicles dating back to 1903, rare sports cars, special interest autos, and one of the most comprehensive Model A collections in the world. Some of the vehicles are showcased in a unique “Boomerang” system, which showcases them in a three-story automated retrieval racking system. The museum’s collection includes 48 1930 and 1931 Model A and Model AA Ford cars and trucks that Elliott Donnelley donated in 2012.

“We are excited to host this exclusive Barrett-Jackson group of car collectors,” said Robert Steele, president & CEO of the Historical Society of Martin County, which oversees the Elliott Museum and House of Refuge. “It’s a great opportunity for us and for them.”

“The Barrett-Jackson experience has become something truly unique in the collector car world,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “Our auctions are the heartbeat of this hobby, but the Barrett-Jackson experience encompasses so much more. Our Collector Car Road Tours will be another example of how the Barrett-Jackson experience brings this community together to enjoy our shared passion for collector cars.”

Doreen Poreba, APR / The PR Czar Inc.
Office: 772-221-2425
The PR Czar Inc. - prczar@comcast.net

Florida Announces Hispanic Heritage Month Theme and Student Contests

20 Oct Hispanic Month

First Lady Casey DeSantis Announces 2020 Hispanic Heritage Month Theme and Student Contests

Student essay contest winners will receive a 4-Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation

Tallahassee – Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the theme for Hispanic Heritage Month will be “Celebrating Untold Stories and Contributions of Hispanic Americans in Florida” and released information regarding the student art and essay contests and Excellence in Education awards. Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized and celebrated in the United States from September 15 to October 15.

“For generations, Hispanic Americans have influenced and shaped our state with their vibrant culture, rich history and remarkable innovations,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “During Hispanic Heritage Month, the Governor and I look forward to celebrating and recognizing these individuals who have made our state, nation and world a better place including those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s theme encourages students to take a deeper look into the local leaders, innovators and community members who have contributed to Florida’s successful history and bright future.”

First Lady DeSantis invited students to participate in academic and creative contests based on this year’s theme. Students in grades K-3 are invited to participate in an art contest while students in grades 4-12 are invited to participate in an essay contest. Additionally, students, parents, teachers and principals are invited to nominate full-time educators of all student grades for the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award.

About the Student Art Contest
First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest is open to all K-3 students in Florida. Each student will submit original, two-dimensional artwork based on this year’s theme. Two winners will be selected.

About the Student Essay Contest
First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest is open to all 4-12 students in Florida. Each student will submit one essay no longer than 500 words based on this year’s theme. Three winners will be selected: one elementary school student (grades 4-5), one middle school student (grades 6-8) and one high school student (grades 9-12). Each winner will receive a 4-Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

About the Excellence in Education Award
First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award Contest is open to all full-time educators in an elementary, middle, or high school in Florida. Three winners will be selected: one elementary school teacher (grades K-5), one middle school teacher (grades 6-8) and one high school teacher (grades 9-12). Nominations may be submitted by a principal, teacher, parent/guardian or student.

Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies Participates in Girls Who Game Program to Encourage and Mentor Girls in STEM

STEM ST LUCIE CTY lOGO

St. Lucie County - Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies is participating in the Dell Technologies and Microsoft Girls Who Game program, an initiative focused on increasing young girls’ access to technology to prepare them for success in a digital world. The extracurricular gaming project provides female students the opportunity to learn through play with a focus on building global competencies and computational thinking using Minecraft: Education Edition. The program establishes a girl-centric ecosystem that empowers young girls to learn from one another as well as build confidence in a secure and positive space.

The program aims to achieve three goals:

1. Provide authentic application and engage female students (grades 4-8) in learner-driven experiences that broaden their knowledge, skills and dispositions within STEM-related fields.
2. Develop mentorship by fostering the pursuit of academic and career aspirations of young women.
3. Build a community of learners by using gaming to build relationships, amplify success, and promote reflection for continued growth and ongoing feedback.
Dell Technologies and Microsoft will be providing Dell Latitude 3190 laptop devices for the program. Dell Technologies and Microsoft Learning Design Specialists will also provide ongoing professional development for coaches to build knowledge, confidence, and advocacy in STEM disciplines. The program is currently established in schools across Canada and the US.

Real-World Challenge
Dell Technologies and Microsoft’s collaboration supports game-based learning using Minecraft: Education Edition, which provides experiences for students to develop and practice their collaboration, creativity and critical thinking as well as problem-solving skills. Minecraft: Education Edition also offers in-game coding with Code Builder. This feature allows students to write code in Microsoft’s MakeCode and see their code come to life in Minecraft. The girls in participating schools use design thinking to solve a real-world challenge and then create a solution using Minecraft: Education Edition and Code Builder. The emphasis is not on technical skills, but rather how the tool can amplify their global competencies.
“Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies has been given the opportunity to impact the community with the implementation of our STEM vision. The student population of SGAET is 75% low socio-economic. Our girls have the mindset that every adult in our Leader in Me school is here to empower them, to inspire them to dream big and to assist them in breaking down gender stereotypes. Dr. Gaines, the community member for whom the school is named, is a proponent of gender equity and is passionate about sparking girls’ interest in STEM and expanding girls' aspirations of being employed in STEM careers. This is evidenced by his wife, a former high school mathematics teacher and his daughter who majored in Biology in college. We welcome the Real-World Challenge of creativity and critical thinking with Minecraft Education Edition. SGAET is excited to foster a relationship with STEM mentors; connecting our students with women who are active in current STEM related fields.” – Mr. Keith W. Davis, Sr., Principal of Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies.

Mentorship Program
It is critical for young women to have mentors in STEM, whether that is a teacher, a parent, or someone in the workforce. According to study by Microsoft, girls who are encouraged by their parents are twice as likely to stay in STEM. [1] The mentorship aspect tied to the Girls Who Game initiative provides girls access to mentors from Dell Technologies and Microsoft to foster the advancement of young women. Mentors will virtually facilitate opportunities to inspire, educate and equip girls from the program with authentic application of necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to be successful professionals. Serving as positive role models, these mentors will strive to motivate these young girls, building self-respect and self-esteem.

“By creating more visibility of women in STEM, we want to teach these girls about what is really out there for them and provide them with the basic skills they need to truly dream big for what they can achieve professionally,” says Katina Papulkas, Education Strategist for Dell Technologies. “We want to be building leaders that have self-efficacy and confidence to continue in STEM.”

While women graduate with university degrees at a higher rate than men do, according to research from Catalyst only about a 1/3 of women in US and Canada who attended a post-secondary program opted for a STEM degree. [2] Because of this, it is essential that young girls are presented the right opportunities and education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). This starts by giving girls access to technology and getting them excited about using it, allowing them to thrive in today’s interconnected and diverse society.

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BIKE ACCIDENTS IN THE AGE OF COVID

20 Sept Chuck Geary Photo

Article Courtesy of Chuck Geary Esq.

In the age of COVID 19, cycling has become a social distancing sport of choice. People are purchasing bicycles more than ever and bike shops are having trouble keeping up with the demand. Many new cyclists have hit the streets and unfortunately, we are seeing a rise in cycling accidents.

Our firm handles all kinds of accidents and injury cases including bicycle accidents. Firm attorney, Charles Geary (“Chuck”) is a lifelong cyclist who has personally seen his share of accidents and has even been in a few cycling accidents himself.

Chuck has the following tips for fellow cyclists who become involved in a bicycle accident:

• CALL 911 AND GET HELP FOR ALL INJURED PEOPLE
• GATHER ALL THE INFORMATION YOU CAN AND WRITE IT DOWN AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT
• TAKE PICTURES OF THE ENTIRE ACCIDENT SCENE INCLUDING ALL INJURIES, ALL VEHICLES AND ALL BICYCLES
• TAKE PICTURES OF RELEVANT STREET SIGNS AND SKID MARKS
• DRAW A DIAGRAM OF THE ACCIDENT SCENE
• GET NAMES AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR ALL WITNESSES
• DO NOT DISCUSS THE ACCIDENT WITH ANYONE EXCEPT THE POLICE OFFICER
• DO NOT TAKE ANY BLAME OR FAULT
• PRESERVE ALL EVIDENCE, INCLUDING THE BICYCLE AND HELMET AND CLOTHING
• CALL OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

It is important to call us as soon as possible because we can assist you with preserving your rights and with preserving the evidence for your case. Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith, PLLC can employ private investigators who will quickly and thoroughly investigate the scene and interview witnesses on your behalf. They can take pictures of any skid marks and all vehicles involved. It is crucial to do these things immediately after the accident. You will not be charged these costs unless and until we recover compensation for you.

Remember that it is a good idea to always wear personal identification and medical information (on your person) so that you can be identified and cared for in the event you are injured while riding solo.

The firm of Lesser Lesser Landy and Smith, PLLC has over 92 years of experience in handling accident cases. Feel Free to call any time (at no cost) to discuss your cycling accident with Chuck at 772-283-6839. We take phone calls “24/7”.

Out2News.com LLC. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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20 Sept Kane Ctr Logo New

Kane Center Free Virtual Memory Screenings

Virtual Memory Screenings | By Appointment | FREE!
Brain Matters Research, a leading Alzheimer’s disease research organization, is now at the Kane Center, located within the Day Medical Center. Complete your free memory assessment from the comfort of your own home. Each screening takes about 45 minutes. Participants will be asked questions regarding orientation, language, attention, recollecting events and more. For appointments, call (561) 381-9060.

Officials Hopeful Initiatives Improve Experience for Prospective Foster Parents

Mar Communities connect
20 Sept Debbie Butler CC

Port St. Lucie - Several changes are in store for Florida's foster-care system, including systems to improve access to resources among caregivers and a centralized hotline number to make it easier for prospective foster parents to get information.

Those systems will be available from an online hub set up on the state's MyFloridaMyFamily website. The hub was established in partnership with the governor's Faith and Community Based Initiative, the Department of Children and Families and local Community Based Care agencies, like CCKids.

They include Aunt Bertha, a 211-type program that makes it easier for families to access mental health and other services, and CarePortal, which connects families being served through the child-welfare system of care to a network of faith-based donors in the community.

Most recently, the website began directing interested visitors to the newly-established Florida’s Foster Information Center, a hotline staffed with current or former foster parents who answer callers’ questions based on their own experiences and provide information about fostering.

CCKids' Licensing and Caregiver Support Coordinator Jerra Wisecup is the local contact for hotline calls and has received four calls this week from people interested in learning more about foster care.

"Instead of being left to surf the Internet alone - and trying to find the correct local agency to begin the process - prospective foster parents are given one central telephone number," Wisecup said. "They make a human connection with someone who knows the road they're about to travel, and they are directly connected to an agency point of contact assigned to help them begin the journey."

Wisecup, like most child-welfare professionals, hope the centralized hotline and a more organized network of community resources and services will help draw more people into foster care and adoption.

There are 22,781 children in Florida's foster-care system. About 250 of them live in Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast.

If you are interested in learning more about foster parenting, call Florida's Foster Information Center toll-free at 1-833-678-3735, or 1-83-FosterFL.

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SFWMD Releases Annual Wading Bird Report

20 Sept Wading Birds

Great Egrets and White Ibis are two indicator species used in the SFWMD Annual Wading Bird Report.

Approximately 37,000 wading bird nests were initiated during the year, according to the 2019 South Florida Water Management District Annual South Florida Wading Bird Report. Wading birds, one of the bellwether species used by scientists to gauge the overall health of ecosystems, are studied each year to count the number of nests and determine the success of their nesting activity.

"This year is a below average year for nesting activity, however even in historical pre-drainage conditions this would have been a below average year because of natural conditions," said SFWMD Dr. Mark Cook, lead editor of the wading bird report. "We know that our restoration projects are actively benefitting wading birds and the environment, and we expect long-term improvement as additional restoration efforts are completed.”

The report shows that three of the four wading birds species studied by SFWMD, including the Great Egret, the White Ibis and the Wood Stork, continue to meet their three-year average targets prescribed in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. It also shows that 42 percent of all nests found were in coastal areas, a region where scientists have been trying to restore nesting for years. Five to 10 years ago, as little as ten percent of all nests were found in these areas.

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20-Year Program Gets Face Lift for Christmas

20 Sept Communities Connected Photo

CCKids' Making Christmas Bright program has been fulfilling the holiday dreams of children in foster care for 20 years.

That program will get an overhaul this year when it merges with the Guardians for New Futures' Holiday Gift Drive for Abused & Neglected Children.

"We've been coordinating the community toy drive together for years," said Christina Kaiser, CCKids director of community relations. "When we lost a major partner five years ago, the Guardians stepped in and sponsored all our children in three of the four counties we serve."

They have more volunteers and more connections in the community, Kaiser said. It just made sense to merge the programs entirely and let the Guardians take lead.

Making Christmas Bright sponsors were informed about the changes earlier this month and have agreed to participate in the 2020 drive.

"The truth is, nothing will change for our sponsors or our children," Kaiser said. "It's just a better way of doing a good thing."

For more information about the project, including sponsorship opportunities, call (772) 528-0362

Out2News.com LLC. is a newspaper photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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Three Questions to Consider During Open Enrollment

20 Sept Land 3a

Open enrollment is your annual opportunity to review your employer-provided benefit options and make elections for the upcoming plan year. You can get the most out of what your employer offers and possibly save some money by taking the time to read through your open enrollment information before making any benefit decisions. Every employer has its own open enrollment period (typically in the fall) and the information is usually available online through your employer.

What are your health plan options? Even if you're satisfied with your current health plan, it's a good idea to compare your existing coverage to other plans being offered next year. Premiums, out-of-pocket costs, and benefits often change from one year to the next and vary among plans. You may decide to keep the plan you already have, but it doesn't hurt to consider your options.

Should you contribute to a flexible spending account? You can help offset your health-care costs by contributing pre-tax dollars to a health flexible spending account (FSA), or reduce your child-care expenses by contributing to a dependent-care FSA. The money you contribute is not subject to federal income and Social Security taxes (nor generally to state and local income taxes), and you can use these tax-free dollars to pay for health-care costs not covered by insurance or for dependent-care expenses. Typically, FSAs are subject to the use-it-or-lose-it rule, which requires you to spend everything in your FSA account within a calendar year or risk losing the money. Some employers allow certain amounts to be carried over to the following plan year or offer a grace period that allows you to spend the money during the first few months of the following plan year.

Tip: As a result of unanticipated changes in the need for medical and dependent care due to the coronavirus pandemic, the IRS announced it will allow employers to amend their employer-sponsored health coverage, health FSAs, and dependent-care assistance programs and allow employees to make certain mid-year changes for 2020. The carryover limit for unused 2020 FSA dollars is now $550 instead of $500. For more information, visit irs.gov.

What other benefits and incentives are available? Many employers offer other voluntary benefits such as dental care, vision coverage, disability insurance, life insurance, and long-term care insurance. Even if your employer doesn't contribute toward the premium cost, you may be able to pay premiums conveniently via payroll deduction. To help avoid missing out on savings opportunities, find out whether your employer offers other discounts or incentives. Common options are discounts on health-related products and services such as gym equipment and eyeglasses, or wellness incentives such as a monetary reward for completing a health assessment.

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal professional.

LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.

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Bank of America Charitable Foundation Grant to Treasure Coast Food Bank

20 Sept TC Food Bank

Funds emergency food and comprehensive hunger-fighting program
As businesses closed and workers were furloughed in recent months, Treasure Coast Food Bank met many people seeking help for the first time. The COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed unemployment to roughly 10 percent across the region, has underscored the importance of not just emergency food but a comprehensive program to build financial security.
A $25,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will help Treasure Coast Food Bank meet immediate food needs as well as expand its Ending Hunger Interventions that deliver a comprehensive approach to fighting hunger and its underlying causes. The need for such programs has increased significantly because of COVID-19, said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank.
“During this time of instability and uncertainty, the need for a comprehensive approach to emergency food assistance and enrollment in public assistance programs that reach the underlying causes of hunger has never been greater,” Cruz said. “We are grateful to the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for this grant as well as its ongoing support of our programs.”
Treasure Coast Food Bank will use the grant to reach some of the most at-risk, high-need areas in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties, filling gaps where people can’t easily access food and other assistance.
Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Ending Hunger Initiative is an approach that works to address hunger at its root cause with programs that not only provide food but include access to public assistance programs, affordable healthcare, and educational programs on health and wellness and financial literacy.
Bank of America has been a long-time supporter of Treasure Coast Food Bank. It has been a signature sponsor of events, including Out Laugh Hunger at the Drive-In taking place this September as part of Hunger Action Month.

Out2News.com LLC. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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Animal Emergency & Referral Center’s 2nd Pet Food Pantry

1. Kick off Event

Article & Photos by Kip Lyman

September 19, 2020 From a 100lb beast to 2lb baby, all were welcome, and all were served a generous supply of food at the Animal Emergency & Referral Center’s 2nd Pet Food Pantry on Saturday, September 19th from 11am to 1pm. Dr. Ron Lyman kicked off the event with Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson passing out food to a long line of eager furry friends. Once again, The AERC teamed up with Rayne Clinical Nutrition with matching donations of $1,200 each in dog and cat food bags and cans.

After reading about the AERC’s 1st Pet Food Pantry held on June 16th, a generous resident donated $500 in pet food for this 2nd event. Several folks waited in line just to drop food off. After all, the motto is “Take What You Need, Leave What You Can!” Without their generosity, the pantry would have run out of food long before the line of cars.

A big thanks to Lt. Suzanne Woodward and her team from the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Department who once again donated their time and talents in community service to help keep everyone safe, and traffic flowing smoothly.

The Animal Emergency & Referral Center is planning its 3rd Pet Food Pantry in the beginning of December, and will gladly take in donations of (pet food only please) at its hospital location of 3984 S. US Highway 1 in Fort Pierce (one mile NORTH of Midway Rd). For further information, please contact Kip Lyman at 561-452-6638.

3 Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson and Chihuahua puppy
5. Kip Lyman, Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson and Lt. Suzanne Woodward
6. Mrs. Boruch with food for the staff
8. Dr. Ron Lyman of the AERC with members of the SLC Sheriff'sDept.

The Green Side of Habitat

20 Sept ReStore Habitat

To make safe, affordable homeownership and home repair possible, Habitat Martin County relies on generous donations from folks like you in our community. These donations come in a variety of forms from monetary gifts, to donations of real estate, planned giving, and more. For many, that support came in the form of a donation to our ReStore in 2019. Our ReStore received a whopping 2400 donations last year! As Habitat Martin County's largest single fundraiser, these donations of gently used furniture, appliances, cabinets and more are crucial to sustaining our mission of building homes, communities and hope.

In addition to being integral to our mission, however, these donations come with the added bonus of creating a more environmentally sustainable Martin County. Since 2008, the ReStores prevented more than 7.1 million pounds of usable materials from ending up in local landfills.

7.1 million pounds is a lot of donated stuff, so where did it all come from?

Donation Drop-Offs – Generous individuals and businesses dropping off donations at the store/donation centers. 2090 NW Federal Hwy, Stuart FL 34997

Donation Pick-Ups – Our fleet of donation trucks are picking up residential and commercial donations five days a week throughout Martin County.

The proceeds of which are invested right back into our community to build safe, affordable homes and provide affordable home repairs. Talk about a win-win!

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Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council Vacancy

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The Martin County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications from individuals interested in being considered for appointment to a vacancy on the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Advisory Council. All individuals serve without compensation and are requested to submit an Application for Appointment to Martin County Administration by Friday, October 9, 2020. For an Application, please call Martin County Administration at 288.5756 or send email to
email Donna.

Vacant Position:a lay-person (non-emergency transportation) representative. This term will expire in February 2021.

The purpose and objectives of the Council are:

1. To act as a County EMS advisory body, keeping members informed about State and National issues of concerns to EMS providers.
2. To advise the Martin County Board of County Commissioners on matters concerning Emergency Medical Services.
3. To promote regional coordination and cooperation of EMS services.
4. To act as a liaison body for Martin County EMS providers.
5. To provide a forum to discuss the common problems and concerns shared by EMS agencies serving Martin County.
6. To encourage training and education of both the professional provider and members of the general public in the provision of emergency medical care.
7. To encourage optimal performance standards.
8. To engage in the planning, development and implementation of such activities and programs as deemed desirable to accomplish its general objectives or purposes, either by itself or in cooperation with other persons, groups, agencies, firms, corporations or organizations with programs relating to this Council's goals.

GraceWay Village Doubles Its Commitment to Families in Need

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In Photo: Michelle Franklin, SLC Property Appaiser, assists Dorcas Morbeth

Article by: Cathie Mouring - Executive Director
Photos by: MaryAnn Ketchum

Families in need of clothing assistance for their children and teens now have twice the opportunity at GraceWay Village. Its clothing boutique will now open twice a week where they may obtain free clothing and other apparel items.

Closing the boutique in March to clients due to COVID concerns, social workers with emergency needs for their clients were able to pick up clothing packages that GraceWay Village volunteers prepared for them. Beginning in August, the boutique was opened for current clients. It is with thanksgiving that new clients may now come to shop for their children! Celebrating this full opening, it is considered a win against COVID!

The Grand Reopening for the boutique took place on Tuesday, September 15, from 10:00-2:00 p.m.

Moving forward, the boutique will be open every Tuesday and Wednesday with those same hours.

Parents and guardians may select clothing for their children, ages 0 thru 18, receiving 12-18 items…from gently used school apparel to jeans and shoes, as well as new socks and underwear. When available, they may also receive diapers. A free lunch-to-go will also be available.

“We have been serving area children in need during the past 6 months even while we were closed to the public,” explained Chrystal Netherton, GraceWay Village’s Operation Manager. “Representatives from local social service agencies contacted us with their clients’ needs and preferences. Then, during a scheduled appointment that followed social distancing guidelines, they either selected clothes or our volunteers gathered the requested items.”

Between mid-March and the end of August, GraceWay Village distributed 5,441 items of clothing to 341 children who had been anxiously preparing for the start of school.

Since mid-March, the agency has also distributed 20,100 meals -- 12,000 more than in all of 2019 -- to everyone fighting food insufficiencies, such as the homeless, the recently unemployed, families living in poverty, homebound seniors, and those with disabilities.

Families needing assistance are encouraged to contact GraceWay Village at 772-925-3074 to verify their eligibility and arrange a day to come shop. Additional information on how GraceWay Village serves the community is at www.gracewayvillage.net.

For more information please call Chrystal Netherton, Operations Manager 772.925.3074

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In Photo: Nancy Ingle looks on from afar as GraceWay clients look through some clothing

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In Photo: Volunteers Dana Trabulsy and Nancy Ingle package items for a GraceWay client

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In Photo: Volunteers Michelle Miller and Roberta Cupoli with Dorcas Morbeth

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In Photo: Volunteer Roberta Cupoli is ready to get to work

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In Photo: A GraceWay client choses a few accessories

ANONYMOUS HONOR FLIGHT GUARDIAN CREATES $10K MATCHING CHALLENGE TO HELP CONTINUE HONORING LOCAL VETERANS

Southeast Florida Honor Flight

Stuart - Southeast Florida Honor Flight usually takes to the skies four times per year to bring local WWII, Korean and Vietnam War veterans to Washington, DC to visit the memorials built to honor their service and sacrifices. As we all know, 2020 has been a very challenging year. Not only has the organization had to cancel all scheduled Honor Flights for 2020, they, like many others, have had to curtail normal fundraising events due to the COVID-19 virus situation. As a private non-profit, all-volunteer organization, only concerted fundraising efforts can keep these veterans flying, and honored.

Enter the son of a WWII veteran--a four-time Honor Flight guardian and now guardian angel to Honor Flight—this anonymous donor has announced that he will match the first $10,000 raised for Southeast Florida Honor Flight with his own donation of $10,000. This means that any donations during the next two months will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000—a perfect time to give as donations are doubled during the challenge which will extend through November 15th, 2020.

Southeast Florida Honor Flight is thrilled with this gracious donation and challenge to raise funds to continue to fly local veterans to Washington, DC. Help Honor Flight meet their $20K goal by participating in the matching funds challenge. Donations can be made at www.honorflightsefl.org or sent to Southeast Florida Honor Flight, Inc., PO Box 1503, Stuart, FL 34995.

Besides volunteering in the community for several child, animal and service charities, such as Meals on Wheels, Feeding South Florida, Team Rubicon, Equestrian Assisted Therapies and Make-A-Wish Foundation, this anonymous guardian-donor has a rich foundation of magical veteran influences. As a child, he would rather hang out with his father’s WWII friends than kids his own age. As he put it, “All of them were involved with some type of flying, either as instructors, bomber pilots, flight engineers, or carrier fighter pilots. Whenever there was a dinner or cocktail party hosted by my folks, I would worm my way out of my room (even after being told firmly not to come out) and want to talk with them. They seemed to get a kick out of my presence and would share their stories with each other primarily benefiting the wide-eyed pajama-clad youngster before them. This was the early late 1960’s and their stories were still vivid with the war being just 20+ years behind them at the time.”
The larger-than-life veterans’ stories and character were instrumental in his decision to become a pilot himself, and to also volunteer with Honor Flight. Reflecting on his purpose to volunteer with Honor Flight, he said, “To see the smiles. To see the tears. To hear the gratitude and be a witness to it all is a heartwarming experience. Honor Flight is all about and for our veterans. I just wish to be there for and with them.”

It is in the loving memory of his father and the great veteran influences in his life that this donation is given, to honor their service and to honor all veterans who serve our great nation.

Each Honor Flight trip costs $115,000 which includes a chartered American Airlines A321, motor coaches and police escort in DC, three meals and veteran t-shirts and hats.

Southeast Florida Honor Flight, along with the 130 other hubs in 45 states in the National Honor Flight Network, is dedicated to flying America’s veterans to their respective memorials in Washington, DC, free of charge to the veteran. Southeast Florida Honor Flight is a 100% volunteer organization based in Stuart, FL and serves Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee and Palm Beach Counties. For more information, to get involved or donate, please visit: www.honorflightsefl.org, or www.facebook.com/honorflight ,
or call 1-855-FLYAVET (855-359-2838).

The next Honor Flights scheduled for Southeast Florida Honor Flight out of PBIA are April 10th and May 15th, 2021.

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Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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'Busy' Hurricane Season is About To Get a Whole Lot Busier

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Article by: I Care Magazine

The Atlantic hurricane season roared off to a stormy and record-breaking start this year, with nine named storms forming by July 30. And it’s shaping up to be one of the more active seasons on record, according to experts with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Today (Aug. 6), NOAA researchers delivered an update to their hurricane season outlook, initially presented on May 21. The new outlook predicts an 85% chance of above normal activity, compared to the May prediction of a 60% chance. NOAA models showed that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season could bring up to 25 named storms - the highest number ever predicted by NOAA - with winds of at least 39 mph (63 km/h). Of those, nine to 11 storms could be hurricanes with winds of at least 74 mph (119 km/h) and as many as six storms could be major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph (179 km/h) or higher, according to NOAA’s lead hurricane season forecaster Gerry Bell.

On May 21, NOAA had reported that 2020 would bring 13 to 19 named storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes and up to six could become major hurricanes. However, none of these predictions determine which hurricanes may make landfall, as a storm’s trajectory is shaped by weather conditions that are not predictable until about five to seven days in advance, Bell explained. Several climate factors favor the formation of so many storms. One of these is ocean conditions trending toward La Niña, in which cool waters dominate in a belt across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, rather than conditions known as El Niño, when those waters are warmer. El Niño suppress the formation of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean; La Niña does not. Other factors increasing the likelihood of more Atlantic hurricanes include warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Caribbean Sea and in the tropical Atlantic Ocean; weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds; and an enhanced west African monsoon, NOAA says.

Beginning in 1995, these conditions have fueled more active hurricane seasons overall; since that year, 70% of hurricane seasons have seen above normal activity, with nine seasons qualifying as “extremely active,” Bell said. By comparison, in the decades leading up to 1995, only two hurricane seasons were through to be above normal, and none was considered to be extremely active.

The most active Atlantic hurricane season “We’re not seeing an end to this era,” Bell said. “We’re 26 years into it, and we don’t know how long it’s going to last.” A stormy start Tropical Storm Arthur was the first named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, and it formed on May 17 — weeks earlier than the season’s official start (Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30). And by July 30 there had already been nine named storms, the most recorded since 1966, according to NOAA.

The season’s most recent hurricane, Isaias (ee-sah-EE-as), developed into a tropical storm on July 29. It drenched the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico, causing widespread landslides, storm surges and flooding before slamming into North Carolina on Aug. 3 as a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph (137 km/h), according to The Weather Channel.

Isaias then traveled up the East Coast of the U.S. By the time the storm moved into Canada on Aug. 5 as a post-tropical cyclone, at least five people in the U.S. had been killed, neighborhoods in multiple states were flooded and approximately 2.8 million homes from North Carolina to Maine were left without electricity, CNN reported.

Growing Intensity

Hurricanes’ destructive power is fueled in part by ocean heat,which poses troubling questions about the future of hurricane seasons in a warming world. Evidence already suggests that warmer oceans fuel increased storm intensity, Live Science previously reported. In a study published in May, scientists analyzed approximately 4,000 storms dating from 1979 to 2017; they found that storms in general are becoming more powerful, and that major tropical cyclones form more frequently. In fact, the researchers discovered that in that 39-year span, the odds of major hurricane formation have risen by about 15%, and most of that increase happened between 1998 and 2017. According to the NHC’s list of Atlantic tropical storm names, the next contenders after Isaias are Josephine, Kyle and Laura. There are 21 names on the hurricane season list — from Arthur to Wilfred, in 2020 — and 2019 saw 18 named storms by the time the season drew to a close, NOAA reported last year.

ESSENTIALS OF PLANNING FOR THE LIFE YOU WANT

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Article provided by: I Care Magazine

When you practice the essentials of planning, you give yourself the opportunity to make the best decisions and to have the life you want. Start your plan with the easy decisions – what to eat,what to wear, a workout plan, to do’s. Getting these essential plans written down will help you make better decisions through out your day.

Practice Planning Each Day

It takes practice to get really good at planning. Start with the essentials and start small – plan 1 or 2 days at a time or just planwhen you are going to exercise and what you will have for lunch during the week. Add small daily tasks that you can check off your list. This gives your brain a positive boost. It sees that you are making progress and starts looking for ways to make more progress.

Decisions Decisions

Most of us make hundreds of decisions each day. But when you decide ahead of time and make a plan, you lessen the chances of making choices with decision fatigue. Making these decisions and writing them down in you planner helps you to make better choices on more important decisions.

When I started my journey eight years ago, I thought I was pretty good at planning. While working in sales, I started making a daily plan. At the end of each day, I would plan and write down the things that I needed to get done, both personally and professionally. Today that has morphed into a weekly plan that I prepare each Sunday evening as well as a menu for the week that I plan on Thursdays. Using the essentials for planning, I plan for exercise, food, what I am going to wear, self-care, appointments, when I am going to the grocery, bank or other errands. Try to plan as much as you can. By using the essentials of planning tips below, you can plan your day. Word of CAUTION here – you must build some flexibility in your plan because things change and you have to be willing to go with the flow when necessary.

Paper or Electronics?

There are lots of you that are super tech savvy and use electronics for planning but me, I am a paper girl! My planner, On Sunday evenings, I sit down with my planner and plan out the week. I like “to do’s” so each day, I write the things down that I wantto be sure I do like checking our bank accounts. On ThursdayI do a menu for the following week and start a grocery list.Appointments, birthday reminders, etc. – it all goes on theplanner. Food planning and some food prep tips will be shared in an upcoming blog. In my planner, I make space to write my three goals at top of each page and I block time on the planner to work on those specific goals. Dedicate enough time to each of those goals weekly so that I am making progress. Planning is an essential tool for a good life because it helps you make decisions that are moving you toward your goals. It also takes some of the stress out of decision making and allows you to make good decisions on the important things in your life.

Essentials of Planning Tips:

Make it simple but start small

Make it doable – now is not the time for lofty goals – remember, you are practicing

Incorporate must do’s, need to do’s and its okay if it doesn’t get done do’s

Be flexible – because you are going to mess up your plan and that is OK

List your must do’s (goals) and block time on your calendar for them

Place your top three goals at the top of each page of your planner

List daily things you need to do

Choose the way you want to plan – paper or electronic Remember that it is about YOU, your life and your decisions Make your plan simple and doable. Get ready to start living the life you want!

Library Reintroduces OverDrive as Platform for Downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks

19 Aug MC Library Small Final

Stuart- To provide a more stable user environment as well as Kindle® device compatibility, the Martin County Library System is switching from Axis 360 to OverDrive in October. As people increasingly read and listen to books on their digital devices, they're discovering one of the best resources is their local public library. Martin County residents can access a wide selection of popular digital eBooks and eAudiobooks free from the Martin County Library System. With a library card, members of the community can borrow from the digital collection by visiting martin.overdrive.com or downloading Libby, the award-winning one-tap reading app from OverDrive.

Browse the digital collection, instantly borrow titles, and start reading or listening for free with a valid library card. This service is compatible with all major computers and devices, iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Chromebook™. Through Libby, readers can also "send to Kindle®". All titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Readers can also download titles onto Libby for offline use. Audio titles can be transferred to third party devices such as MP3 players or an iPod® and can be burned to disc for playback in CD players.

To get started enjoying eBooks, eAudiobooks, and more, visit www.martin.fl.us/eBooks or call 772-288-5702 x5.

Treasure Coast Food Bank Receives $110,000 Donation From Publix Super Markets Charities

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Fort Pierce - Treasure Coast Food Bank announced it has received an additional $25,000 from Publix Super Markets Charities to support its ongoing hunger relief efforts ̶ a need that has risen 200 percent during the coronavirus pandemic.

Treasure Coast Food Bank will use the donation to provide nutritious food through mobile distributions, family food boxes and individually packaged meals to families, seniors, and children in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties. The donation brings a total of $110,000 that Publix Charities has given to Treasure Coast Food Bank in 2020.

“We want to thank Publix Super Markets Charities for this donation today and for the constant support for our work fighting hunger, especially as we begin Hunger Action Month,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “We’re also incredibly humbled by the donations of produce and milk we’ve received over the last several months, which has made a huge difference to people impacted by the coronavirus. We have been able to provide families with a month’s worth of nutritious food at our mobile distributions and deliver boxes directly to the homes of people who are at high risk for the virus so they don’t have to continually seek food.”

As the impact of the pandemic took shape, many produce and dairy farmers around the Southeast saw their buying partners dry up and found themselves dumping or plowing over product they could no longer sell. Meanwhile, Treasure Coast Food Bank and others throughout the region were experiencing substantial increases in need.

To bridge the gap, Publix implemented a program to purchase surplus produce and milk from farmers and deliver it directly to food banks. Since then, Publix has purchased and delivered more than 11 million pounds of produce and 500,000 gallons of milk to Feeding America member food banks throughout the Southeast, including 668,964 pounds of produce and 55,440 gallons of milk to Treasure Coast Food Bank.

“It has been our privilege to support hunger relief throughout the Southeast for many years now, and this work has never been more important,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support Treasure Coast Food Bank and to alleviate hunger in the communities we serve and bring hope to those who need it most during these uncertain times.”

The $110,000 donation from Publix Charities to Treasure Coast Food Bank is one of several donations made this year to help provide food and other essential support to those hardest hit by the pandemic. In all, Publix Charities has donated $5 million to Feeding America member food banks and other nonprofit partners in 2020.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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20 Sept Food Bank 1

In Photo: Judy Cruz President/CEO Treasure Coast Food Bank & Robin Hankerson

20 Sept Food Bank 2

In Photo: Robin Hankerson and Judith Cruz President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank

20 Sept Food Bank 3

In Photo: Frank Ortgega Publix Truck Driver Employee for 25 years

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Hobe Sound Public Library, Hoke Library and Elisabeth Lahti Library to Partially Reopen

19 Aug MC Library Small Final

On Tuesday, September 1, the Hobe Sound Public Library will partially reopen to provide computer access, printing and copying, reference services, and item pick-up. The magazine and newspaper racks and children's areas will be closed until further notice. On Friday, September 4, the Hoke Library in Jensen Beach will follow suit and on Wednesday, September 9, the Elisabeth Lahti Library in Indiantown will do the same.

For the health and safety of all visitors, face coverings are required and a limited number of patrons will be admitted at a time to allow for 6-foot social distancing. The libraries will close midday from 12 to 2 p.m. for cleaning (closing will be 3 to 5 p.m. on their respective late day). Holds pick-up service will remain available while the libraries are closed for cleaning. The library is quarantining items and asks that all returns be placed in the outside book drops.

Visit www.martin.fl.us/Coronavirus, Martin County's online resource for information related to COVID-19. For the most up-to-date info on Martin County Library System happenings, follow us on Facebook @MartinCountyLibrarySystem.

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Local Kiwanis Club Awards Scholarships

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Treasure Coast - The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast awarded college scholarships to Indian River county high school graduates Joey Dominguez, Valerie Fodor, Victoria Fodor, Katherine Garafalo, Luke Sammartino , and Jennifer Studsill.

The scholars all achieved honors at their schools and also averaged more than 300 hours of community service. Nearly all participated in Kiwanis Youth in Action county-wide service initiatives as well as in Kiwanis-sponsored beach and island clean-up projects.

Over the years, The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast has given out more than $200,000 in scholarships. For more information about Kiwanis go to www.verokiwanis.org.

The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast mission in our community is to help support children’s education, activities and charities. Besides giving annual college scholarships, our club actively sponsors Key Clubs in Vero Beach High School, Indian River County Charter High School, and Sebastian River High School. Since 1998 Kiwanis Youth in Action has performed community service work days involving teenagers from schools and churches. Since 1991, we have sponsored the Annual Take-a–Kid-Fishing Tournament.

Kiwanis of Vero-Treasure Coast also sponsors an Aktion Club for children with special needs.

Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 and is dedicated to serving children. Today, there are nearly 600,000 members in 80 countries. The first Kiwanis Club in Vero Beach was organized in 1935 and today serves Indian River County children with programs, scholarships and events to serve their needs and goals.

For more information about Kiwanis, its programs and events, contact Doug Vitunac at 772-231-4343 or dvitunac@verolaw.com

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

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Florida Congressmen File Rail Safety Bill in Washington, DC

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Article by: Susan Mehiel - susanm@ersmd.com

Congressmen Bill Posey and Brian Mast announced today their sponsorship of new legislation dealing with pedestrian safety and the Brightline/Virgin Trains higher-speed rail system in our region. The Pedestrian Safety Study Act requires the Federal Railroad (FRA) and Federal High-way Administration (FHWA) to study the impact of All Aboard Florida’s Virgin Trains USA high speed rail project on pedestrian and motorist safety. The agencies have two years from enactment of the bill to complete the study and report to the House, Senate and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

The legislation recognizes the high number of deaths on the route and the proximity of the route to schools and playgrounds. Of the 43 Virgin Trains deaths and 31 Florida East Coast Rail (FECR) deaths since January 2018 on the corridor, 75% have been pedestrian deaths. Currently operating at speeds up to 79 mph, the project’s second phase will reach speeds up to 110 mph.

“These trains will travel at fast speeds through existing town centers and residential areas with little separating the tracks from the surrounding communities,” Congressman Posey explained. “The deaths our communities have already witnessed along this corridor clearly indicate there are safety issues, and Brightline has a long history of straight-up lying to the people of Florida…” Congressman Mast added.

As was announced by national media earlier this year, the Brightline/Virgin Trains system was the deadliest system in the U.S. per track mile in 2019. The issue of pedestrian or “trespasser” deaths, as the FRA calls them, was a concern prior to the advent of Virgin Trains with the highly dangerous FECR freight system.
In 2014, the FRA engineer who surveyed the route prior to the project start said, “Trespassing is an epidemic along this corridor.” However, much of the pedestrian gates, fencing and channeling recommended by the FRA for higher-speed rail was not installed on Phase One because the corporation wanted the cities and counties to help pay for the equipment service and maintenance.

In its report to the Florida Legislature in 2018 on Florida’s passenger rail, consultants from CPCS Transcom concluded there are “…high levels of trespassing incidents on the railroad right of way due to rail services operating in dense urban areas.” Their recommendations included special gates at crossings, fencing at key locations to deter pedestrians taking short cuts and pedestrian bridges strategically located.
As is the case with pedestrian gates recommended by the FRA, Virgin Trains management have stated the additional fencing and bridges would be too expensive to build for the Treasure and Space Coast portion. The Florida Department of Transportation has not required the safety upgrades be installed.

“We have said from the start, the 100-year-old Flagler route through the densest part of Southeast Florida is no place for trains going over 70 mph,” Susan Mehiel, spokesperson for the Alliance for Safe Trains said. “Generations of Floridians have crossed these tracks on foot to get to work, school, shops and churches. You wouldn’t put an open 70-mph highway next to a school, why would you allow a train track there?”
Two examples of schools close to the tracks are the Gifford Middle School in Indian River County and the Ascension Catholic School and Church in Brevard County. State Senator Debbie Mayfield and Rep. Tyler Sirois, Merritt Island, proposed similar legislation last session in Tallahassee. “I applaud the Congressmen for their leadership in ensuring the safety of Space Coast residents. The Pedestrian Safety Study Act will shed light on the increased dangers to pedestrians, motorists, and residents that will be forced to cross or live next to high speed rail,” Rep. Sirois commented.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

Article Courtesy - Susan Mehiel - susanm@ersmd.com

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Taking Photos After A Car Accident

Martin County Fire Rescue Gains New PIO

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Martin County Fire Rescue is pleased to announce the addition of Bethany Alex, Public Information Officer (PIO) to the fire rescue team to coordinate and manage the distribution of information to the public, facilitate media inquiries and perform various duties as a representative of the department on behalf of the Fire Chief.

Serving more than three years in public safety and fire rescue, Alex comes from the Orange County Fire Rescue Department where she worked as a Project Administrator - Public Information Officer and Fire Planning and Research Coordinator. Through both her professional experience and service learning, Alex has a wealth of experience with internal and external communication strategies in the public and nonprofit sector.

Alex received a Master of Public Administration, with a focus on program planning and evaluation in the public safety sector, from the College of Community Innovation and Education at the University of Central Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science, with a focus on nonprofit organizational leadership and leadership development, from the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Florida.

When she isn't on the clock, you'll find her enjoying a run with her Black Labrador mix, Cooper, exploring Florida's beautiful nature, spending time with her family, and making the occasional trip to Walt Disney World.

You can contact her at balex@martin.fl.us or 772-485-0014 for any fire rescue-related media relations and public information inquiries.

Neighbors Feeding Neighbors

20 May US Sugar

7 Best Image Editing Tools to Use for Your Photos

20 May Editing Tools

A picture can be priceless when it comes to storytelling. It allows us to “show” instead of “tell” and it also allows us to express ourselves differently.

I am a sucker for compelling images, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I will flip through a book with an interesting cover, read magazine articles because the photos caught my eye and clicked through to read a blog post because of the photo I see on a Facebook ad.

I can say, with conviction, that none of the images that compelled me to act in some way either by picking up a magazine or clicking through to an article, came straight from a camera without being edited in some way. Even with perfect lighting conditions, high-quality photography equipment, and cooperative subjects, a photo may still warrant an adjustment.

Every photo I post on social media or in a blog post has been edited prior to its publication. Using the proper tools have helped me manipulate an image in order to achieve the full effect. This post will introduce you to my top “go to” photography editing apps that will help you optimize an image like a rock star. Editing can only do so much. You should be starting with a photo that already has “good bones.” Some things to be mindful of are using lighting effectively, eliminating unnecessary clutter around the subject of your photo and making sure your image is in focus. This helps ensure that your rough draft prior to editing is already a strong start.
Below are several FREE options to get you started!

Snapseed,VSCO,Enlight,PS Express,Canva,Adobe Spark Post,eZy Watermark