Out2News Human Interest

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Library Local Attraction Passes

Celebrate National Library Card Sign-up Month all September by getting into local attractions for FREE by simply showing your Martin County library card! One library card will act like a day pass for a family of four. *Restrictions apply.

Local attractions include:
The Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast
Florida Oceanographic Society
The Elliott Museum
House of Refuge Museum at Gilbert’s Bar

This will help satisfy the overwhelming demand for library patrons to use existing passes provided by the Friends of the Martin County Library System, Inc. Coming soon, the limited number of passes will be available to reserve for specific dates with a library card in our new myTurn reservation system. All passes are sponsored by The Friends of the Martin County Library System, Inc.
Through September, show your Martin County library card at either museum or center for free admission. Up to four family members may be included on one pass. Family members as defined by Florida Oceanographic are parent or grandparents, with their children/spouse and grandchildren. This does not include extended family. Family members as defined by the Children’s Museum is both parents, all dependent children under 18 living in the same household.
*Restrictions: Children's Museum visit available Tuesday to Friday only. Florida Oceanographic will be closed for renovations: Monday September 16 through Friday September 20 (subject to change).






Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Summer Intern Presentations

On Wednesday, July 31, 2019 25 Summer Interns gave their final presentations.This included 20 undergraduate and 5 graduate students.

Partnered with a HBOI Faculty Mentor, these interns participated in a 10-week program in marine science or ocean engineering and technology
through a hands-on experience in a specific research area at FAU Harbor Branch.

Sponsors for this year’s interns included:

Link Foundation
The Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation
James Pomponi Memorial Internship
Fort Pierce Yacht Club Foundation

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation’s:

Marilyn C. Link Memorial Internship
Protect Florida Whales Specialty License Plate
New Faculty Hire Grant (Dr. Mike Twardowski)

Since inception, over 662 interns have been a part of the Summer Internship Program at FAU Harbor Branch.
For more information:HBOIIntern@fau.edu

St. Lucie County Fire Rescue Lt. Adam Zuccaro gives helmets to children attending the Lil' Feet Back to School event, held August 7 at the St. Lucie West Wal-Mart.

When they aren't putting out fires, these men and women are putting on little shoes

ST. LUCIE WEST— More than 40 children who receive services from Communities Connected for Kids were treated to new shoes during a special event coordinated by St. Lucie County Fire Rescue.

The event, hosted August 7 at the St. Lucie West Wal-Mart, provided about 200 shoes to children from several different non-profit organizations, including CCKids.

About 400 shoes were provided to children during a similar event the week before, bringing the total of shoes provided in summer 2019 by Fire Rescue's Lil' Feet program to 600.

This year marked the first time shoes were provided during an event. In previous years, Payless Shoe Source gift cards were given out to families, who bought shoes at various times throughout the year. When the company went out of business earlier this year, the Lil' Feet Committee decided it was time for a change.

"I was skeptical about the change, because it's not always easy to get families out to an event," CCKids Community Relations Director Christina Kaiser said. "But we had a great showing, and everyone was very happy and grateful to be there - it was a lot of fun."

Attending families were able to purchase shoes and socks up to $25 per child during the event. Most of the shoes were less than $15, which meant many families went away with two pairs of shoes for every child.

Plans for a January event are underway. All shoes are funded by proceeds of the Lil' Feet Boot Auction, held each spring.

Martin County Healthy Start Announces 2019 Dancing with the Martin Stars Cast

In Photo: George Gozdz and Marianella Tobar compete in the 2018 Dancing with the Martin Stars. Photo by Hobie Hiler.
STUART – The contestants have been selected for the 2019 Dancing with the Martin Stars cast, each of whom will put their skills to test to raise funds for the Martin County Healthy Start Coalition.

Contenders will be paired with a dancing pro to sharpen their skills while raising funds for pregnant women and babies in Martin County. The annual not-to-be-missed event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 at The Lyric Theatre, where one lucky competitor will be awarded the coveted mirror ball trophy.

This year’s star-studded casts features local business owners, educators and parents all with one thing in common – the drive to support healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes throughout our community.

Competing for the mirror ball trophy are Laura Crawford, the co-owner and director of Coastal Detox in Stuart, Maggie Slobasky, a wife and mother to four boys, Kimberly Brisky, Learning & Organizational Development Educator at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, Amy Snow, account manager at Red Hawk Fire and Security, Dean Lopes, president of Audio Visual Guy, Fabi Gonzalez, trainer at Sailfish Point Country Club, Eddie Arguelles, real estate broker at Engel & Volkers Jupiter and David Bradford, husband and father to three sweet kids.

Each dancer will square off with their professional partner after five-months of training. They’ll take on dance styles ranging from the Cha Cha to the Waltz.

“Our dancers never fail to put on a great show,” said Samantha Suffich, chief executive officer of Martin County Healthy Start Coalition. “Their passion and commitment to women and infants is unparalleled, and we are so grateful for their dedication and support. I can’t wait to see them on stage this year!”

Last year, contestants raised a record of $160,207. The overall winner, George Gozdz along with his partner Marianella Tobar, raised $31,289 and received a perfect ten dance score.

Dancing with the Martin Stars first began in 2011 and has raised $931,929.87 to date. This year, organizers are ready to pass the one-million dollars raised mark – all to support healthy babies.

Martin County Healthy Start Coalition works to ensure that every Martin County baby is born healthy. They offer a variety of programs to support that mission, including healthy start screening, care coordination services, , childbirth and pregnancy education, Beds 4 Babies, lactation support and family planning education. They also operate the Prenatal Outreach Center in Port Salerno, an invaluable resource for expectant mothers and babies to get the care and support they need.
For more information or to get tickets to this year’s Dancing with the Martin Stars, visit mchealthystart.org.

United Way Invests Nearly $2.1 Million to Boost Martin County

United Way of Martin County recently announced the investment of nearly $2.1 million in Martin County, supporting programs and initiatives that are strengthening neighborhoods, boosting economic mobility and providing a safety net for people in need.
Made possible by generous corporate and individual donors, the investment includes $959,642 in Community Impact Grants – with funding for 53 local programs and initiatives. The investment also includes $689,783 for community agencies as directed by donors, as well as funding for UWMC’s internal programs including its volunteer center, CHARACTER COUNTS!, the United Way Holiday Project and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA).
“We are grateful for the support of so many partners and donors as we work to move the needle on economic opportunity,” said United Way of Martin County President/CEO Carol G. Houwaart-Diez. “We know change won’t happen in isolation, so we are thankful to have the ability to make a collective impact through the efforts of dozens of dedicated organizations and thousands of individuals.” Grant recipients align with UWMC’s focus on improving health, education and financial stability, and are working to elevate people from poverty.
Among them: ARC of Martin County, Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, Gertrude Walden Childcare Center, House of Hope, Helping People Succeed, Alzheimer’s Community Care, The Martin County School District, and dozens more. A full list is available online at www.UnitedWayMartin.org/fundedprograms.
UWMC’s Community Impact Grants are determined by a competitive, volunteer-led grantmaking process. More than 60 community volunteers helped make funding decisions during a rigorous evaluation process to ensure grants are distributed objectively and aligned with UWMC’s goals. “United Way is driven by community – from our donors, to our leadership and staff, to our agency partners and grant recipients,” said Houwaart-Diez. “We add great value to charitable giving by evaluating community needs and holding agencies accountable for results, so donors can rest assured their contributions are making a difference and people in need get the support they deserve.”
As one of Martin County’s largest non-government funders of health and human services, UWMC’s funding strategy includes three key elements:
In education, United Way is investing in programs that increase the quality of preschools available to our kids as well as focus on achieving grade-level reading, and provide the support necessary to see our kids through high school graduation and beyond.
For financial stability, United Way is investing in programs helping individuals and families achieve and maintain financial stability with a focus on workforce development through education, job placement and retention and legal mediation. The goal is to help our community earn it, keep it and save it. United Way is also supporting food and housing assistance programs.
And in the focus area of health, United Way is investing in programs that help our community members prevent trauma, make healthy choices, manage chronic disease and increase access to health care.
Those wishing to get involved by donating their time, money or voice to make Martin County a better place can do so by visiting www.unitedwaymartin.org. About United Way of Martin County United Way of Martin County’s mission is to lift the community and change lives together through the collective power of advancing the common good. Since 1972, the United Way has been working to create long-term social change and provide support to Martin County residents by investing in programs that strive to: enhance healthy living, improve education, and support financial stability.

A Special Project of the Florida Attorney General

A Florida car dealership has paid $1.2 million in retribution and owes a civil penalty after an investigation by the Florida Attorney General’s office found deceptive business practices used by that car dealership.

While that case was resolved the investigation continues with allegations of deceptive and exploitative practices aimed at Florida’s senior citizens. Complaints include senior citizens taking cars in for maintenance and allegedly being strong armed to buy new cars with high finance rates through the dealership’s finance firm, taking vehicles in for minor repairs and allegedly being sold unnecessary services, taking vehicles in for repair and driving out with a leased vehicle that they really did not want.

Seniors vs Crime, A Special Project of the Florida Attorney General’s Office is here to help you with these issues. To file a complaint call 1-800-203-3099 or file on line at www.SeniorsvsCrime.com.

Martin Jacobson-Deputy Director 1
Seniors vs Crime


What is AlertMartin?

AlertMartin is a free service provided by Martin County that allows Emergency Management, Fire Rescue, Utilities, Martin County Sheriff's Office and municipal partners to send important public safety messages, evacuation notices and other timely warnings by phone, text, and/or email.

How it Works:

Emergency notifications will be issued when there are imminent threats to life, health, and safety for residents and visitors of Martin County. This can include, but is not limited to, severe weather events, hazardous material emergencies, evacuation orders, etc. This service allows you to opt-in to receive notifications via text message, email, or phone call.

AlertMartin allows notifications as broad as all-county, and as narrow as targeted evacuation zones, or small neighborhoods threatened by wildfire, flooding and other public safety emergencies. You can choose to receive notifications about events that may affect your home, workplace, family's schools and more. Residents and businesses are encouraged to sign up where they are able to associate landline phones, cellphones, and email addresses with a Martin County street address.

To sign up now for free, text ALERTMARTIN to 888777, or select the "sign up for emergency alerts" button below.

For any additional questions about AlertMartin, please select the "Submit a Request for Help or Information" button to submit an inquiry.

5 Things a Will Can't Do

19 Aug ProActive Logo
19 Aug Will Photo

Article by: ProActive Legal Care Law Office
Practically everyone has been told at one point or another that it is important to have a Last Will and Testament in place once they are an adult. A Will offers many important benefits both for you and for your loved ones. There is really no doubt that whether you are still fairly young or you are well into your golden years, you should have a Will. That being said, however, it is also important to know that for most people, a Will isn’t enough. There are many things that a Will can’t do, which is why additional estate planning is required. This blog identifies several of the things that a Will won’t do for you so you can ensure you are prepared.
Help Your Loved Ones Avoid Probate
If you pass away with only a Will in place, your estate will almost certainly have to go through the probate process before it is distributed to your beneficiaries. This is a time consuming and costly experience that can be avoided by using legal trusts and other estate planning strategies. In addition, the probate court is a matter of public record, so it eliminates much of the privacy that would otherwise be possible.
Make Arrangements for the Care of a Special Needs Child
While you can leave money to a child with a Will, you properly specify how it must be used. Additionally, if your special needs child can’t care for themselves, a Will isn’t an appropriate method of leaving them assets. Using a special needs trust, you can ensure your assets are used to take care of your child, without having to leave the burden of managing the assets themselves.
Transfer Some Types of Property
A Will can transfer ownership of some types of property to a beneficiary, but not all types. For example, a Will can’t transfer ownership of a life insurance policy, retirement account, joint tenancy property, and many other types. Using more sophisticated estate planning strategies will help to ensure this type of asset is transferred according to your wishes.
Minimize Tax Burden
While estate taxes aren’t nearly as common as they once were, they are still something to be considered when planning for the future. A Will can’t help you to avoid this type of tax, but other estate planning strategies can help to accomplish this goal.
Leave Assets to Beloved Pets
It isn’t uncommon to hear people say that they want to leave their money to their beloved cat, dog, bird, or other pet. The reality is, however, that animals can’t own property, so stating this in a Will isn’t going to be valid. If you want to care for a pet after you are gone, you will have to name someone to be the caregiver, and likely set up a trust to ensure your assets are used for the care of your animal or animals.
Contact Us for Full Estate Planning Help
A Will is an important beginning to an estate plan, but it typically shouldn’t be the only thing you have in place. Please contact ProActive Legal Care to discuss your specific estate planning needs and ensure that you have everything in place.


Treasure Coast Hospice Welcomes New Chief Executive Officer

19 July Jackie Kendrick

Stuart– Treasure Coast Hospice will welcome a new Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Jackie Kendrick, on July 1 to lead the organization’s comprehensive hospice care and grief support services in Martin and St. Lucie counties.

Ms. Kendrick is currently the Executive Director of HPH Hospice in Pasco County. HPH is part of the Chapters Health System, which provides end-of-life care to residents in seven counties on the west coast of Florida. She began her career at Legacy Hospice in Tyler, Texas and then served as the Executive Director at Heart to Heart Hospice in Lufkin, Texas. Under her leadership, the start-up organization developed into the largest hospice in the area. Ms. Kendrick holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas and is certified as a Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator.

“Our Search Committee did an exhaustive review of candidates for the CEO position,” says Scott A. Roads, Chairman of the Board. “We were determined to find someone who puts patient care as the top priority, has compassion and enthusiasm for our non-profit mission, and demonstrates the level of strategic thinking that will allow Treasure Coast Hospice to continue as the premier provider of end-of-life care on the Treasure Coast. The committee was unanimous in choosing Jackie as the person best suited to lead our organization into the future.”

Ms. Kendrick will be responsible for an organization that cares for more than 3,000 patients a year, a staff of 282, a volunteer force of more than 350, inpatient care at locations in both Martin and St. Lucie counties, grief support services, specialized pediatric care and educational programs as well as a Foundation that receives support from donors throughout the Treasure Coast. Treasure Coast Hospice was the first hospice provider in the area, incorporating as a community non-profit provider in 1982.

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

Service Organizations Honored with Dyer Difference Award

July SLC

In Photo: Roxy Brown, Founder of CareBag, Will Dyer, CareBag board member Mark Cunningham, Jonathan Holmes, Ilena Luts and Tatiana Dyer.

Famed humorist Josh Billings once said, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” We rely on our furry friends for companionship, but many dogs become vital assistants to their beloved humans, providing ears that hear smoke alarms, paws that tap a 911 button to call for emergency assistance, and legs that provide added mobility. Since, 2001, Dogs for Life Vero Beach has helped train dogs to provide valuable and life-saving service to individuals in need, particularly veterans. In addition to physical disabilities, many of our returning American heroes have to cope with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) issues and are at a high risk for mental illness, homelessness, and suicide. Providing training and a new lease on life for abandoned dogs and matching them with men and women whose lives are greatly improved by the unconditional love and assistance offered by a service dog is the goal of Dogs for Life, the recipient of July’s Indian River County Dyer Difference Award.

Recognizing and supporting basic needs made a big impact on the Dyer Difference selection committee this month. One of those needs is a simple shower - a luxury most of us take for granted because it’s always available. There’s something about the feeling of being clean and refreshed that help make even the most difficult obstacles of the day feel surmountable. For around 2,000 homeless individuals on the Treasure Coast, a simple shower is never a guarantee. But an organization called CareBag is trying to change that by providing mobile shower unites and a safe environment for individuals to handle basic hygiene and sanitation needs. In an effort to help this volunteer organization achieve its goal of helping to enhance, empower, and advocate for the homeless, man of whom are United States veterans, CareBag is being honored with the July Dyer Difference Award in St. Lucie County.

Since relocating to the area in 2008, each month, Dyer Chevrolet staff members at Dyer Chevrolet Fort Pierce and Dyer Chevrolet Mazda Subaru in Vero Beach meet to review the applications which have been submitted in their respective counties and select one non-profit organization to receive that month’s recognition and a $3,000 award in each county. For the Dyer family and the members of the Dyer staff, the award and the $6,000 in donations between the two counties are all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it’s an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions. If you’d like to nominate a non-profit organization for the Dyer Difference Award, please visit www.dyerdifference.org or find Dyer Difference on Facebook.

Does Mandatory Ever Mean Maybe Not?

19 July One Martin Logo

Note: It is our goal at One Martin to provide reliable, fact-based information so citizens can be better informed about our government and our community. This newsletter is part one of a three part series on Martin County’s Comprehensive Plan and its growth management process.

Dear Friends,

Some of the decisions by the 2012 county commission majority that resulted in land-owner lawsuits boggle the mind, as well as seriously dent taxpayer funds. They once denied approval of a mandatory rezoning in defiance of our Comprehensive Growth Management Plan rules.

Yes, that property owner filed an expensive lawsuit against the county, which was later settled out of court in favor of the property owner. (The result is construction of the Sheridan assisted living facility and residential project near Seabranch Boulevard in Hobe Sound.)

So, what does “mandatory rezoning” mean?

It is one of the simpler final site plan applications to process by the county's Growth Management Department. In fact, those developers get a discounted price on their application fee, because the development already meets all the requirements of the Comp Plan.

The mandatory rezoning, however, still requires public hearings before both the Local Planning Agency and the Board of County Commissioners.

Yet, if it's “mandatory,” why do we need public hearings, which typically allow public input and the right of the LPA and county commission to reject the zoning?

The answer goes back to 1967.

At that time, the county adopted its original zoning regulations, which had been developed, as needed, primarily by a county commission-appointed, all-volunteer planning and zoning committee – names familiar to many of us – Andy Pittman, Timer Powers, Bill Owens, Frank Wacha Sr., and others.

When the county's state-mandated Land Development Regulations (LDRs) and Comprehensive Growth Management Plan were adopted in 1982, those original zoning regulations were carried over to Article 3 of the LDRs, Zoning Districts.

It's not hard to imagine that the uses allowed for a parcel of land in Martin County more than 50 years ago could seldom be applied today.

Therefore, when a 1967 zoning district is inconsistent with the county's current Comp Plan and its Future Land Use Map, it is classified as a Category “C” zoning district that remains in effect until a development requires a rezoning to a Category A (current zoning district).

Category A zoning districts reflect the changes to existing structures and permitted uses on the property.

Since Category C zones are in conflict with the Comp Plan, they are considered “mandatory” rezonings, because a new zoning classification is required prior to a development's approval to bring the zoning up to date and to comply with our Comp Plan.

The decision as to what is the most appropriate zoning for a parcel of land lies with the experienced planners of the county's Growth Management Department.

Most frequently, the need for the rezoning is obvious to most of us, such as the commercial areas along Federal Highway that remain categorized as rural; however, Growth Management planners will look at the Future Land Use Map in the Comp Plan for guidance, and at the various zonings on the properties surrounding the parcel being rezoned to make their determination.

At times, more than one zoning classification may be appropriate. The Growth Management staff will explain and differentiate among the uses allowed by each classification. The planners work with the developer, but they do not work for the developer.

Their final decision goes before the LPA and the county commission, and they must be able to justify their conclusions. On rare occasions, the developer will disagree with the Growth Management planners.

The public hearings then allow the developer to state his or her case to the county commission and provide an opportunity for public comment that may affect minor differences in the type of zoning to be applied.

For instance, more than half a dozen different types of residential zoning can be chosen, based on the updated use planned for the property; however, that decision does not belong to the county staff, the property owner or the developer.

The final decision lies solely with the county commission; however, their power is limited to deciding only the type of zoning classification. They do not have the authority to reject the rezoning altogether, thus preventing construction, which the 2012 commission majority had attempted.

We have confidence that our current commission will follow the rules, will listen carefully to the county's planners, and will make justifiable decisions -- avoiding yet one more unnecessary expense on the backs of county taxpayers.


Rick Hartman

Library Card Provides Free Access to Local Attractions

MARTIN COUNTY, FL - Celebrate National Library Card Sign-up Month during the entire month of September with free admission into local attractions by simply showing your Martin County library card! One library card will act like a day pass for a family of four and restrictions apply. Local attractions include the Children's Museum of the Treasure Coast, Florida Oceanographic Society, and the Elliott Museum/House of Refuge Museum at Gilbert's Bar.

This will help satisfy the overwhelming demand for library patrons to use existing passes provided by the Friends of the Martin County Library System, Inc. In October, the limited number of passes will be available to reserve for specific dates with a library card in our new myTurn reservation system http://mcls.myturn.com.

For more information, search www.library.martin.fl.us for "passes" or call 772-288-5702 ext. 5.

Are You Prepared?

19 July Storm Safety Guide Photo

Hurricanes and tropical storms are deadly forces that can have catastrophic consequences. This guide was designed to provide you with the information and resources you’ll need to improve the safety of your family and your home in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm.

Being mentally and physically prepared are two of the most important steps you can take to successfully weather a hurricane or tropical storm.

What To Do Pre-Storm

Round Up Your Records

Figure Out Flood Insurance And Ensure You’re Covered

Make An Inventory Your Assets & Their Values

Make A Plan To Protect Your Family

Stock Up On Supplies

As The Storm Approaches Prepare Your Home & Property

Make Sure Your Family Is Ready

During The Storm Find Refuge First

Make Sure You’re Prepared For Tornados