Out2News Human Interest & Opinions

Treasure Coast Hospice, Veteran Pinning and the Knit Wits of PGA

In Photo: TC Hospice Patient Visitor Volunteer Dennis Diamond, Navy Vet Bob Garzone, Army Vet Gene Antuna and CEO TC Hospice Jackie Kendrick

Article by MaryAnn Ketcham

When it comes to honoring local veterans for their service and sacrifices, Treasure Coast Hospice is always on the march. As a quintessential hometown organization and a certified Level Four We Honor Veterans Partner with Veterans Affairs and other veterans organizations, Treasure Coast Hospice is dedicated to providing high-quality end-of-life care for veterans. More than that, they also offer veteran-to-veteran patient visits, veteran-hospice partnerships, individual and group honoring ceremonies, and education and assistance in accessing veteran benefits.

On Veterans Day 2020, CEO Jackie Kendrick, together with a few staff members and Veteran Volunteer Dennis Diamond, headed out for a Remembering Our Veterans recognition event at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie. On this occasion, their mission was twofold. Following the Presentation of Colors by American Legion Post 318 and an introduction by Gene Antuna, President of the PGA Village Board, they presented each veteran in attendance with a commemorative pin, a letter of gratitude, a certificate, and an American flag. Additionally, another unique group, the Knit Wits, received recognition.

For over 15 years, the Knit Wits, a social group of about 25 women, most of whom reside within PGA Village, have collaborated with Treasure Coast Hospice.

Once a week, the group gathers to knit, crochet, and catch up with one another. What began with large Christmas donations of colorful blankets for Treasure Coast Hospice veterans eventually evolved into donations of red, white, and blue blankets to complement veteran pinning ceremonies.

"We've been donating the red, white, and blue blankets for at least ten years," said Knit Wit Lois DeCarlo. "We started with hospice, and we feel honored to partner with them. We've since expanded our philanthropy to include organizations such as Communities Connected for Kids, the Salvation Army, and more."

In addition to blankets, the group also creates twiddle-muffs for dementia patients and was recently entrusted with putting together red, white, and blue chemo hats for hospice patients.

After thanking the veterans and their family members, CEO Jackie Kendrick praised the Knit Wits. "The blankets are heirlooms and works of art and so much more. They are a memory that gets passed down through generations."

Kendrick spoke to the comfort the blankets provide to family members once their loved one passes on. "I had the wife of a patient tell me that she took it home after it had been with her husband in the Inpatient Unit. Sleeping with it every night is how she survived the first difficult months."

For this group of kindhearted women, being called a Knit Wit is a badge of honor.

In Photo: TC Hospice CEO Jackie Kendrick, PGA Knit Wit members Lois DeCarlo and Sharon Daniels, TC Hospice Deborah Kotrady and Yolanda Sanchez

Helping People Succeed’s 2021 Art for Living Calendars Available for sSale and Online Virtual Gallery Launched!

It’s that time of year when Helping People Succeed distributes its popular Art for Living Calendars, available for residents and guests at local business outlets, including Barnes & Noble Book Store in Jensen Beach. Looking for that perfect gift? Helping People Succeed's 2021 Art for Living Calendar reflects the beauty we have right here on the Treasure Coast! Each month is represented by one of our talented local artists. The calendars sell for only $20.00 each.

Our featured artists this year include: Pam Patterson, Susan Roberts, Mary Neal, Marian Vitale, Diane Raymond, Dan Mackin, Chris Kling, Pat Hoshino, Stacy Ranieri, Julia Kelly, Sue Ann Saleeby-Mosley, Arundathi Wijetilleke and Amber Moran. We are also thankful for our underwriters: Water Pointe Realty, Stuart Business Systems, Green Design, Sandhill Cove, All Creatures Animal Hospital, NisAir Air Conditioning & Heating, Mark Brechbill, PLLC, Dave’s Plumbing, EW Consultants, Ross Mixing, Mary Kay Buckridge, Arlington Electric and VITAS Healthcare.

The calendars are available for sale at the Helping People Succeed office, 1601 NE Braille Place, off Savanna Road in Jensen Beach as well as throughout the Treasure Coast. For a complete listing of outlets where you can purchase a calendar – visit our website at hpsfl.org.

Something special we are doing this year is showcasing the artists’ artwork through our online Art for Living Gallery. Not only can you view (and/or purchase) the artwork that is featured in our 2021 Art for Living Calendar – you can also see additional works of art displayed by the artists. Their artwork is also for sale with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Helping People Succeed. The gallery can be found on our website at hpsfl.org. This state-of-the-art exhibit will be available for viewing from now through November of 2021.

Serving our community for over 56 years, Helping People Succeed helps develop healthy families in Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Indian River counties by providing numerous parenting, mental health and behavioral support programs. Helping People Succeed also provides support services designed to enable adults with special needs to fully participate in volunteer and employment roles in our community.

For more information, visit our website at hpsfl.org or contact Glenna Parris at 772.320.0778.

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SFWMD Takes Another Step Forward to Complete Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir Project

20 Nov South Florida Water
20 Nov South Florida Water Photo

In Photo: SFWMD Executive Director Drew Bartlett, Chairman Chauncey Goss, and Construction Manager Tim Harper break ground on the STA component of the EAA Reservoir Project

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is taking another step to expedite and complete the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir Project at the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis. With full funding in place, SFWMD began advertising the final contract today for the Stormwater Treatment Area component of the EAA Reservoir Project that moves clean water from Lake Okeechobee south to the Everglades. Bids are anticipated to be opened in January 2021.

The Request for Bids (RFB) includes two pump stations, inflow and outflow canals, levees, culverts, and earthwork necessary to make the natural water cleaning function properly. Additional details for potential bidders can be found at SFWMD.gov/Procurement.

Gov. DeSantis made expediting the completion of the EAA Reservoir Project a key priority with one of his first executive orders, Achieving More Now For Florida’s Environment. The project significantly improves the flow of clean water south to Florida's Everglades and reduces damaging discharges to the northern estuaries.

The EAA Reservoir Project is a joint Everglades restoration project between SFWMD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The 6,500-acre STA, which is being built by SFWMD, will clean the water to meet stringent state water quality standards before it is sent south. The 10,500-acre reservoir, which is being built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will hold 240,000 acre-feet of water.

A previous version of this email included the wrong project description. The description has been updated.

Who Will Pay For My Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

20 Nov Zweben

Martin Metropolitan Planning Organization Receives National Recognition, Award

Stuart - The Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) recently announced at their national conference that the Martin Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) won the Award for Outstanding Overall Achievement for a Small Transportation Management Area MPO. The award recognized the collaborative effort between the public and private sectors in the development of the first stand-alone Martin County Freight & Goods Movement Plan.

Transportation freight mobility is critical to the economic success of all communities - large and small. Stores and restaurants need to be stocked appropriately, small manufacturers need to get raw materials and local businesses need to receive packages, office supplies and other goods. The collaboration on the Freight & Goods Movement Plan shows how the private and public sectors can come together and inspire and educate the community about the importance of goods movement and the critical role that trucking plays in their lives.

Working to coordinate the improvement of transportation in Martin County, Martin Metropolitan Planning Organization staff monitors and evaluates existing conditions, facilitates public input opportunities and develops and implements improvement strategies.

"We're proud of the work we're doing to improve trade and transportation logistics and promote economic development in Martin County," said Beth Beltran, MPO Administrator. "This award recognizes our agency's commitment to efficient and reliable mobility throughout Martin County," she continued.

To learn more about the Martin MPO and their projects, including the plans and ways to get involved, visit www.martinmpo.com. Visit www.martin.fl.us, Martin County's online resource for services, news and information, and connect with us on social media. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

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FISH CAM

CHECK OUT OUR GAMEFISH LAGOON LIVE STREAM!
Tune in for live feeding programs Wednesday through Sunday between 11-11:30am and 2-2:30pm

The Gamefish Lagoon is a 750,000 gallon saltwater aquarium. It is home to over 20 different fish species, including stingrays and nurse sharks, and 4 non-releasable sea turtles. Learn more about our Animal Ambassadors and local waterways by visiting the Coastal Center and attending our daily educational programs, including the Gamefish Feeding!

Mara Wicklund Key Member Award from Kiwanis

In Photo: Mara Wicklund and Tom Maher

Vero Beach - Mara Wicklund was presented with the Key Member Award by the Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast for outstanding work in 2020 by Past Present of the Kiwanis Club, Tom Maher. Mara serves the Club as Foundation Treasurer and has been instrumental in developing fundraising programs. Mara joined the Club in 2018 after previously serving as President and Treasurer of the Kiwanis Club in Rockford Illinois where she was also named Kiwanis Lieutenant

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. We also conduct community service work days involving teenagers from schools and churches. Since 1991, we have sponsored the Annual Take-a–Kid-Fishing Tournament and since 1998, the above-mentioned Youth in Action.

Kiwanis is a 100-year old global service organization based in the US with clubs in 80 countries, all dedicated to improving the lives of children. Kiwanis has served Vero Beach and Indian River County since 1935. For more information on our activities, members and membership information, visit our website at www.verokiwanis.com or call Al Sammartino at (772) 321-1412

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Public Encouraged to Comment on Volume I of Draft 2021 South Florida Environmental Report

Web board allows public to offer input from home and participate in development of key annual report on environmental restoration progress
As part of our ongoing effort to increase public participation and engagement, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is encouraging the public to provide input on Volume I of the draft 2021 South Florida Environmental Report.
Volume I of the 2021 South Florida Environmental Report is available for public and peer review at SFWMD.gov/SFER. Public comments are accepted through Nov. 9, 2020.
About the South Florida Environmental Report
The extensive, three volume report provides the public with the science and data used to drive decisions at SFWMD. It also documents a banner year for restoration, water quality, scientific and engineering accomplishments in South Florida.
• Volume I covers findings from regional monitoring and research projects and highlights key financial information.
• Volume II provides an update on the planning and project status for nine annual reports required by law of water management districts.
• Volume III streamlines unified reporting and fulfills various federal and state permit-related reporting requirements.

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Winter Reading Challenge

Kids win free Culver's coupons and books in the Library's "Winter Reading Challenge"!

MARTIN COUNTY, FL - The Martin County Library System will once again partner with Culver's to present the annual Winter Reading Challenge, beginning November 21, 2020 and running through January 4, 2021. This collaborative effort offers prizes to children as an incentive for reading during their winter breaks from school. For example, children that read five books will win a Culver's Frozen Custard. Those that read ten books will win a Culver's Kids Meal and one book!

Children are invited to participate by picking up a reading log bookmark at any Martin County Library System location. There are also options to track their reading virtually at mcls.beanstack.org or by downloading the free Beanstack app for Apple or Android to track reading on mobile devices.

For more information on this or other library events, visit www.library.martin.fl.us or call 772-288-5702.

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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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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
Art Show Oct 2020_2a
COmputers and phones a
Converted limo_6x4 a

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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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!

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.

20 Oct Landerwiek Logo

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.

20 Sept Lesser Lesser Logo

BIKE ACCIDENTS IN THE AGE OF COVID

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”.

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

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.

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!

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

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

“YOUR" Treasure Coast Newspaper & Photo Journal

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.

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!

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

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

“YOUR" Treasure Coast Newspaper & Photo Journal

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!

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

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

“YOUR" Treasure Coast Newspaper & Photo Journal

20 Aug Skin Serenity Spa Logo LG
20 June One Florida Foundation Logo

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.

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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20 June One Florida Foundation Logo
Play your Part One FL
Zweben Final

Taking Photos After A Car Accident

Martin County Fire Rescue Gains New PIO

MC Fire Rescue

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