Important Treasure Coast Events

Here are some events I think you guys will like. If you have anything else just  leave me a message at the bottom of the post  or if we are friends on Facebook or twitter hit me up there.  My email is This if for the Treasure Coast Only.

This month I’m looking for free Christmas meals and food or toys for kids who cannot afford. Contact me if you know of any.

If you have an important meeting or event coming up let me know.

Here are some agencies for Christmas meals and toys.

Save Our Children
Main address is 1611 Avenue D
Fort Pierce, Florida
Dial 772-466-8398
Children under the age of 61 can get one free toy. Any assistance is first come and served. Parents applying in Palm Beach are often single parents as well as families in poverty.

The Salvation Army
Multiple sites operate a Angel Tree Christmas program as well as regional Toys Shops. This allows a member of the community, whether in Palm Beach or St. Lucie County, to buy a gift for a child. The case managers at the Salvation Army will ensure the free present gets to a needy family. They also have Turkeys at Thanksgiving, thrift shops to buy games, and more. Various social services are run.

Palm Beach and Belle Glade Salvation Army centers are at 686-3530.
Martin County families can dial (772) 288-1471.
St. Lucie, there is a site in Fort Pierce (phone (772) 461-2899) and Vero Beach (dial (772) 978-0265)
Another Palm Beach Center is in Boca Raton (phone 561-391-1344) or Lake Worth (dial 561-968-8189).

In The Image of Christ
707 N 7th Street
Fort Pierce, FL 34950
A St. Lucie County based non-profit. Donations allow it to offer gifts and other assistance at Christmas.

Love and Hope in Action
Main address is 1760 SE Salerno Road
Stuart, FL 34992
For information, call 772-781-7002
This charity focuses it free holiday programs on Stuart County residents.

El Sol Jupiter’s Neighborhood – Resource Center
106 Military Trail
Jupiter, FL 33458
Dial 561-745-9860
There may be stocking stuffers for children, food baskets at Christmas, toys, games, and holiday dinners.

December 2015

Thursday, Dec 17

Taco Shack in Stuart 2nd Anniversary. Taco Shark is a great supporter of a clean river and has yummy food

555 Colorado , Stuart, Florida

11 AM- 9 PM

December 19th

Winterfest2-9 PM

Supporting TYKES and TEENS

Activities include:
* Double Feature Movie (‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ at approx. 6pm, and our main feature: ‘ELF’ at approx. 7pm)
* Food Trucks
* Snow Machine at The Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast ($4 admission)
* Sleigh rides
* Other games & activities

Any additional questions:
email or call 772-221-1430

Dec 19th

You are invited to watch the Democratic Presidential debate with fellow Treasure Coast Bernie Sanders supporters Saturday evening. There is no admission cost but space is limited. To attend, please RSVP here:

When: Saturday, December 19, 7:45- 10 PM.

Where: in the Legends Room at Duffy’s Sports Grill of Stuart South, 6431 SE Federal Hwy- south of Cove Rd.

Directions: Location is well marked on east side of Route 1 in south Stuart. From 95, take rt 76 (Kanner Hwy) about 0.5 miles north to Cove Rd (light), make right and travel east about 2.5 miles to rt. 1. Make right at light and Duffy’s is on other side about 1 mile south.

Dec 21,2016
Martin County DEC.  7 pm at the Martin County Democratic headquarters  at 948 SE Central Pkwy in Stuart.


Dec 25th (Please call and check time for dinner)

Mount Zion Church
Address is 4221 28th Avenue
Vero Beach, FL 32967
Dial 772-562-6288
A Christmas Day dinner is served as part of Our Father’s Table Soup Kitchen.

The Source
1015 Commerce Avenue
Vero Beach, Florida 32960
Phone: 772-564-0202
Free Christmas meals are offered for families in poverty. Volunteers serve them and also collect toys. Companionship, counseling, and other support is arranged too.

Monday Dec 28th. Treasure Coast Progressive Alliance

1101 N. US Hwy 1 #328
Fort Pierce, Fl. 34950
Dec 28th
Jonathan Dickinson State Park Christmas Bird Count

Location: Hobe Sound Nature Center

Address: 13640 SE Federal Hwy


The Hobe Sound Nature Center is seeking volunteers to participate in the annual Jonathan Dickinson State Park Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, December 28th. Experienced and amateur birders are all welcomed.
This count is a part of the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, which began over a century ago and is held throughout the western hemisphere. To volunteer for the Jonathan Dickinson Bird Count, contact the Hobe Sound Nature Center at (772) 546-2067 or via our website at

Dec 28th to 30th
Night of Lights McKee Botanical Gardens
Vero Beach
Members free.

January 2016

January 12. Awake the State Treasure Coast. For more information go here.

Awake the State Treasure Coast

January 18,2016

Martin County DEC.  7 pm at the Martin County Democratic headquarters  at 948 SE Central Pkwy in Stuart.

January 30th

Port Salerno Seafood Festival

more info to come


The Blessing of The Fleet Flyer for 2016
“Demand Clean Water to Save Our River”


Feb 12-20

Martin County Fair

more info to come










When will our medical community step and do something about people getting sick and dying in the Indian River Lagoon

When will our medical community step and do something about people getting sick and dying in the Indian River Lagoon?

I just want to say THANK YOU to our TC Palm reporters and also to Eye on Miami for actually paying attention to this issue and being a supportive voice and advocate for our Indian River Lagoon.


Three years ago we were talking about this. Before I even got involved in the water but doing research for a potential documentary I read reports about people going into the water and getting sick and dying. Then when we got organized and starting talking to each even more information came forward. One of our local citizens has been collecting data but there is really nothing that is out there and a part of our hospital system and health department.

Here is Robert Lord from Martin Memorial talking about our unhealthy water at our rally last year.

Our friend, Cliff Barnes suggested we called it Lagoon water born flesh rot disease after Gov. Scott.  I said “Rick Rot.” Some people said “Rick Scott Rot.”

Some one even invented this.


(Here is the website

Last year this happened.

Bill Benton went swimming in the Indian River Lagoon on a Saturday afternoon. He was dead by Tuesday, a rare fatality from Vibrio vulnificus bacteria.

The bacteria occurs naturally throughout the lagoon year-round, but infections increase in summer, according to researchers at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce.

Benton was among seven people who died from Vibrio vulnificus in Florida in 2014. It’s unknown whether Vibrio vulnificus is to blame in the July 20 death of Port St. Lucie resident David Trudell, two days after a fin fish punctured him while fishing in the lagoon. Doctors attributed his death to the incident, but did not determine what type of bacteria it was.

Then this happened.

We all knew what it was.

“A 65-year-old Port St. Lucie man died Monday, two days after being stuck by a fish fin while fishing in the Indian River Lagoon.

David John Trudell died from a blood infection as a result of a bacteria that entered his body because of the fin prick, said Treasure Coast medical examiner Dr. Roger Mittleman.

The type of bacteria could not be determined, Mittleman said.”

Why were there no blood cultures drawn at the time?

Then it happened to one of our own River Warriors. Because our friend Gayle posted the above article our friend Barb took her husband Bruce to the ER.

She wrote this

Took Bruce to the ER yesterday for an infected left leg. He had a sore on his knee on Monday, went in the IRL on Wednesday. We took several church families out on our new catamaran and anchored off Sailfish point (near the Walgreen house). Of course they all jumped into the IRL from the deck of the boat.

Yesterday Bruce’s knee and leg was black and swollen, hot to the touch and oozing. He had a fever. He NEVER complains of pain but I forced him to the ER. GOOD thing. The doctor thinks it is a blood infection from the bacteria from the IRL water on Wednesday. We will get the culture back on Monday to see what the bacteria actually is.

Gayle Ryan’s link to the TC Palm article regarding the local man who died within two days of a fish fin puncture bringing in bacteria from the IRL into his system, probably saved Bruce’s life. I wouldn’t have taken a closer second look at Bruce’s knee had I not read her article link. The doctor lanced and drained the “volcano” the size of a grapefruit on his knee. His whole leg was swollen and hot to the touch.

Today Bruce’s leg ‘s swelling is down and it is not throbbing anymore. He is on Bactrim and Keflex. Doctor said he was so correct to come into the ER when he did, could have become so dangerous to Bruce. Thank you Gayle Ryan.”

It looked like this.


Here’s is a great piece from our friend at Eye on Miami.

“This post on Face Book should remind Miami that the current water crisis is not just one in a series of crises: it is a cumulative event where impacts are compounded. The mismanagement of fresh water resources in South Florida is mainly to benefit the big campaign contributors to state legislators and to Gov. Rick Scott. Big Sugar.

In a just world, state legislators would be made to swim in the Indian River Lagoon, then see how much they like gambling with people’s water to benefit their patrons.”

You got that right  Mista Gimleteye!


A friend of mine asked me if I would go on the news. I said no. This is not about me. What I will say is our local Health Department and People running the hospital need to read the newspaper. Then they need to come up with a plan to alert the physicians in the area and come up with some sort of tracking system and people need to be warned before they go in the water.  I know that everyone has a lot on their plates but this is something we have to do. What if I didn’t know any of this and my grandson had a cut and I took him in the lagoon and he died?

You can check the salinity level

“Water quality sensors in the lagoon and its tributaries can’t detect the deadly bacteria’s presence, but the salinity level is a good indicator of whether there’s Vibrio. The bacteria can’t live in saltwater, but thrives in stagnant, nearshore, freshwater — particularly near rainfall runoff discharges.”

Really so the millions of gallons of freshwater discharges have nothing to do with that? Really?

SFWMD and ACOE you need to be aware. After all we have begged you to fix the issue with the discharges. It comes down to one thing: Salinity of the water. So besides all the other damage that you do we can add killing people to the list.

So we know this

“Healthy people who boat, fish and swim in the Indian River Lagoon are not likely to get a potentially deadly bacterial infection, especially if they take certain precautions, according to a researcher conducting a premier study of Vibrio vulnificus.

It’s people with cuts and weak immune systems like the elderly, infants, alcoholics, diabetics and those with other long-term illnesses who are at most risk and need to take the threat most seriously.”



“The people most likely to get it — in this order — are: lagoon fishermen, seafood processors and waders or swimmers.”

And the longer this vacuum persists, the greater the threat to Treasure Coast residents who swim, boat, wade, paddleboard and fish in the waterway.

“The bacteria, which is also found in estuaries like the St. Lucie and St. Sebastian rivers, occurs naturally and is not linked to pollution, Barbarite said. Quantities vary depending on climatic conditions.”

But it is connected to the Salinity of the water which also is what kills everything else like our oysters. So by forcing millions of  gallons of fresh water down the river into the lagoon the salinity is changed.

“Most likely in spots near freshwater discharges.”

“29.5 percent of cases resulted in deaths (2004-13)”

People affected: Those with Alcohol Abuse, Liver Disease, Diabetes, Heart Disease

I can’t wait to see the spin. Because just two years ago we were assured there was nothing wrong with the water.

“and the longer this vacuum persists, the greater the threat to Treasure Coast residents who swim, boat, wade, paddleboard and fish in the waterway.

Two recent incidents — one fatal — have ratcheted up the importance of identifying the microbial culprits, case by case, and establishing cause-and-effect relationships between exposure to tainted lagoon water and bacterial infections.”

“Health officials and health care providers need to get ahead of the issue. Given the fact doctors don’t have a protocol for testing or reporting waterborne illnesses, it’s easy to see why so many questions remain unanswered.”

It should be standard procedure for doctors to report all suspected cases of waterborne illnesses to the Florida Department of Health.

Moreover, this information needs to be collected in a database. Over time, this knowledge may reveal trends that prove beneficial in protecting lagoon aficionados and treating those who contract waterborne infections.”


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” Salt is the key to safe water.”  by Tyler Treadway

I’ll post the link when I can find the article. According to Gabrille Barbarite death are rare but how do we even know this if no one is reporting or logging water born illnesses?  So I would refraise  that to ” We have no earthly idea how many people have gotten sick from the Indian River Lagoon.”

“Some areas of the lagoon are safer than others.”

You can check the LOBO and Kilroy water sensors.

But keep in mind salinity can change with rain or out going tide.

What do we need now?

Our local lawmakers need to all talk to our health departments and our hospitals and doctors and urgent cares and come up with some kind of reporting system.

Warnings need to be posted for people with immune system disorders, alcoholics, people with liver diseases, diabetes, heart disease , the elderly and infants etc. We have this information now. We have a duty to warn people.

Our wonderful Dr Edie Widder from Orca said in this piece that she suspects these cases have gone unreported for years. She also said she does not think that clinics and doctors are not taking the time to culture the bacteria. How hard is that? One Agar plate zoom zoom zoom done! Or a blood culture. 2 second blood draw.

The world has gone a little wild and we have seen it up close and personal this past year with our legislators. Lets not let this  happen with the people are suppose to be taking care of us. I’m sure there is a grant out there that someone can get to do what needs to be done and there are plenty of volunteers in the medical field that would be willing to help.

If we don’t speak up nothing will be done.

Where do we start? Please add your suggestions to this blog post!

Let’s make this happen.

Fruit Stands are Ripe for Learning

Fruit Stands are Ripe for Learning

by Darcy Flierl

It was a Saturday unlike other Saturdays in Martin County. The cool temperatures offered a relief of the summer months which extended well into our fall season. Families were moved to begin the Christmas season. Perhaps that is why so many people felt compelled to stop at my six year old daughters avocado stand she set up with her daddy.

She had been begging us for months to let her start a “We Help Animals Club” that would result in her getting   “clients” that would allow her to walk their dogs on a regular basis. Of course that means, my husband and I would be walking these dogs with her on a regular basis – a little too much of a commitment when we both already have full time careers.

The idea of selling avocados was a direct result of our lemon tree not having any lemons. There we were with my daughter behind a table with a hundred or so avocados piled high and her daddy on the corner holding our homemade sign that read, “Avocados $1.00”. Car after car, people would stop to buy fresh produce from my little first grader. At times she had a line of 5 people deep wanting to purchase her goods. I watched as she would greet her customer, find out their needs, discuss the price of their purchase, take their money and extend her gratitude- which was often her jumping up and down as she would stuff the dollars into her pink fluffy piggy bank that sat on the table.   Some people would stop just to see what this little girl was selling and would decline the avocados. My daughter learned so many lessons with this experience.

Avocado Stand

This avocado stand was a lesson in learning about the joy of working, how to talk with people, the art of talking about money, how to accept rejection and ultimately a lesson in gratitude. Maybe the people most grateful were her parents. These passer -byers took the time to pull over, turn around, do U-turns and walk a block or so, simply to support a little girl’s efforts. I wonder if they know that on Saturday they made our community a better place to live, that they enriched the life of a child and a family, that they took time to make a connection and develop the strengths of a young girl.

I encourage you all to build positive relationships with young people and support their ideas. You can do this by letting the young boy down the street mow your lawn, by learning the names of the kids in your neighborhood and taking the time to greet them by name or simply stop by the next lemonade stand or in our case, avocado stand.

My daughter sold out of Avocados that day and with each avocado sold-she became a stronger, more powerful, healthier and valuable part of our community.


Darcy Flierl is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Addictions Professional, and Certified Yoga Teacher currently offering individual and family psychotherapy in Stuart, Florida.  She also enjoys teaching in the Human Services Department as an Adjunct Instructor for Indian River State College and is Consultant for Non Profits along the Treasure Coast.

She has held board positions on for a variety of local and statewide agencies from the Department of Juvenile Justice’s State Advisory Group to CHARACTER COUNTS! and others.  Darcy has received a variety of awards for her community work such as;  Soroptimist’s Rising Star Award, the Community Champion Award from the United Way and for community advocacy from the Tobacco Free Partnership and was a 2013 Nominee as a Woman of Distinction.

Besides working to make Martin County a healthier place, she donates her time doing River Advocacy for the Indian River Lagoon and raising awareness about many issues effecting young people and families.  She treasures her time with her husband, and children attending local events and enjoying Martin County’s recreational opportunities.

For more information about Darcy you can visit her website at:


June is educate your legislators in mental illness month. I said so!


who said

“More specifically, state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Palm City, advocated cuts to so-called soft services, which include mental health and drug-addiction programs, because many of these services address what Negon views as “a lack of willpower, a lack of discipline, a lack of character.” Negron was the chair of appropriations for health and human services in the state Senate.”

This attitude has got to change. We cannot have legislators that do not believe in taking  care of our most vulnerable people and do not believe in science.

Mental illness knows no parties. It is a bipartisan disease.


Let’s educate our legislators. Let’s make a difference.

Let’s make June “Educate your legislators on mental illness month.”

Society is Judged By How They Treat the Most Vulnerable.

What does this say about us?

Mental Illness Is Common
Of Florida’s approximately 18.3 million residents, close to  660,000 adults live with serious mental illness
and about 181,000 children live with serious mental health conditions.
Untreated Mental Illness has Deadly and Costly Consequences
In 2006, 2,440 Floridians died by suicide.
Suicide is almost always the result of untreated or under-
treated mental illness.
Public Mental Health Services
are Inadequate to Meet Needs
Florida’s public mental health system
m provides services to only 26 percent of adults who live with
serious mental illnesses in the state.
Florida spent just $38 per capita on mental health
agency services in 2006, or $686.6 million
Nationally, an average of 70 percent is spent
on community mental health services and 28 percent on state hospital care.
by the numbers
Criminal Justice Systems Bear a Heavy Burden
In 2006, 7,302 children were incarcerated in Florida’s juvenile justice system.
approximately 70 percent of youth in juvenile justice
systems experience mental health disorders, with
20 percent experiencing a
mental health condition.
In 2008, approximately 24,600 adults with mental
illnesses were incarcerated in prisons in Florida.
Additionally, an estimated 31 percent of female and 14
percent of male jail inmates nationally live with
serious mental illness.
Many Residents Rely on Public Services for Needed Care
Approximately 10.1 percent of Floridians are enrolled in Medicaid.
Housing is Unaffordable for People who rely on SSI or SSDI.
The average rent for a studio apartment in Florida is
119 percent of the average Supplemental Security
Income (SSI) payment, making housing unaffordable
for adults living with serious mental illness who rely on SSI.
Here is an article from Science Daily

Brain circuit problem likely sets stage for the ‘voices’ that are symptom of schizophrenia

Scientists have identified problems in a connection between brain structures that may predispose individuals to hearing the ‘voices’ that are a common symptom of schizophrenia. Researchers linked the problem to a gene deletion. This leads to changes in brain chemistry that reduce the flow of information between two brain structures involved in processing auditory information.

Here is a video by ROCHE that is a simple explanation on schizophrenia.

The biology of schizophrenia.

Mental Disorders as Brain Disorders: Thomas Insel at TEDxCaltech