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Merritt Island Now YOUR #1 COMMUNITY SOURCE FOR EVERYTHING MERRITT ISLAND • VOL. 7 • ISSUE 1 • MARCH • 2021

ting a r b e Cel Our

THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE OF MUSIC

Home of

www.MerrittIslandNow.com

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ON THE COVER

IN THIS ISSUE MARCH •2021 • VOLUME 7 • ISSUE 1 COMMUNITY 8 Helping Others 10 King of Fruits 12 Maintain Life’s Balance

SCHOOLS & SPORTS 14 Challenging Programs at MICS

10 15

15 Music Honors for Edgewood Students 16 Feeding MIHS Students

FEATURE

The February cover photo was taken by Ernie Arico.

Merritt Island Now Publisher: Live Vine Media, Inc. Magazine President: Lou Colombo Managing Editor: Diana Fasanella [email protected]

18 Challenger Disaster

Assistant Editor: Patty Smith [email protected]

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Advertising Sales: Lou Colombo [email protected] 321.536.2227

20 Healing Wounds 22 Gut Health 24 Eye Safety

LIFESTYLE

18

Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School sophomore Ian Woodrich practices playing the viola after being chosen to play in the AllNational Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Edgewood teacher and yearbook advisor Patrick Vickers.

26 Spectacular Fishing

BUSINESS 32 Mini-Splits: A/C’s Future?

IN EVERY ISSUE

Community Relations: Julie Colombo • 321.749.0683 Art Director: Charlie Amrich [email protected]

Contributing Writers Mike Keehbaugh ................................... 12 Ingrid Hall ................................................ 14 Patrick Vickers ........................................ 15 Ernest Arico ............................................. 16 Traci Graf, RN ......................................... 20 Jessica Beal, PHARMD ...................... 22 Frank X. Venzara III, M.D. ................... 24

4 From the Editor’s Desk

Capt. Alex Gorichky ............................ 26

6 Celebrations

Brian Campbell ..................................... 32

28 Dining Guide 34 Recent Home Sales 36 Reference Directory

Merritt Island Now is published monthly and direct mailed free to more than 19,000 homes and businesses on Merritt Island. All rights reserved © Copyright 2021

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From the Editor’s Desk

I

t was lying on its side in the road, palm fronds splayed outward like the arms of a beachstranded starfish reaching for its watery home. The garbage can, filled with yard waste, had been tipped over by the wind and blown into the road more than once since the elderly homeowner’s yard service had put out the debris much earlier than the pickup date.

I was walking my dogs when I first noticed the toppled can. I’m embarrassed to say that I did not stop to upright it during my doggie excursion that more often turns into a fast-paced pull than a leisurely walk. In fact, I barely paid attention to the can other than to steer my wannabe sled dogs around it. It wasn’t until after I passed it when I saw a young man in a red pickup truck stop, jump out of his vehicle and quickly upright it that I realized I actually saw a random act of kindness. I’ve certainly heard about selfless acts, such as people picking up checks at restaurants for police officers or veterans and pizzas being delivered to healthcare workers, but I have never witnessed one in person. It goes without saying that seeing the man picking up the fronds and righting the can made my heart smile. Too bad it blew over again within an hour’s time. Still, the act made a difference to me without him ever knowing it. The next day, I was checking out at the grocery store when a woman in front of me was having trouble finding a credit card to pay for her groceries. As she rifled through her pocketbook, it appeared she was embarrassed. The frustrated cashier, wanting to keep the line moving, totaled out her $40-something bill and told her to go to the service desk to make arrangements for payment. As she turned toward the service desk, a young man behind me quietly told the cashier to add her groceries to his bill. I was so overcome I almost started to cry … partly because it crossed my cynical mind that she was scamming the store and partly because he beat me to the punch. Sadly, the woman left, barely acknowledging his generosity. Numerous store employees and customers, however, did. We, too, want to offer our many thanks to those Islanders who selflessly help others to keep our community kind. More Peace and Love,

Diana Fasanella Editor-in-Chief DISCLAIMER: All content provided by contributing writers to Merritt Island Now is for informational use only. Merritt Island Now makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information submitted. Merritt Island Now will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. Merritt Island Now will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of any published information by contributing writers. The material in this magazine has been prepared and is copyrighted by Live Vine Media, Inc. The material is for information purposes only. The material is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date. Information provided by or cited by third parties does not necessarily reflect the opinions of endorsements of Merritt Island Now (Live Vine Media, Inc.).

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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• MARCH They must contain the full name of the person being celebrated, www.MerrittIslandNow.com 2021 the celebration date and a photo. Announcements are published based on available space.

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MI Resident Reaches Out to Help Others Despite Adversity BY PATTY SMITH

K

itty Fletcher, a 31-year Merritt Island resident and mother of four, does more than her fair share of helping her neighbors.

Fletcher is a retired Health First senior project manager, who now devotes her time and resources to easing life for those around her.

Kitty Fletcher

Friend, Cindie Robinson, concurs, “Kitty Fletcher is an amazing daughter, sister, mother, friend and neighbor,” adding, “She goes out of her way to help [others].” And Fletcher’s altruistic actions speak for themselves. For starters, she has volunteered at the Agape Pregnancy Center at 300 Magnolia Ave. and currently donates to the center, while still maintaining contact with four families from her group there. She even purchased a mobile home for one woman so her family could live “in a decent neighborhood,” Fletcher said.

OF

Fletcher wants to pass on the gift of kindness to her children. Each week, her children’s school collects food for House of Hope and money for missions. “I have chosen to help these four kids learn about giving,” she said. Each week she makes up a box with food and gives them a $1 for the offering. “It’s not much money, but it teaches them,” she said.

In addition to providing housing for people, Fletcher helps with the daily care of a stroke victim, often taking her to doctor appointments.

In November, Fletcher took seven kids on a shopping spree to purchase items for Operation Christmas Child. “I had to keep reminding them that they weren’t shopping for themselves. They loved being able to pick out the items,” she said.

Collecting Christmas cards for handicapped children to use as craft material also has been one of Fletcher’s many contributions to the community, and last year, she collected clothing, medical supplies and food, driving two carloads to Ft. Pierce to be shipped to the Bahamas.

When asked what she likes most about Merritt Island and her life here, Fletcher said, “I love the small-town feel.”

She has worked with Toys for Tots for three years and has acted as a Social Security payee for someone, having allowed him to live with her for two months while he looked for work. But Fletcher doesn’t stop there. She also gets involved politically, having volunteered for the presidential campaign and for the Back the Blue barbeque, to ensure a good future for her children. She took her children to presidential headquarters “to teach them about respect for God and country.”

Fletcher also loves visiting the KSC Visitor’s Center and teaching her children about history in space. “My grandson and I have ridden our bikes to Sykes Creek to watch rocket launches.”

From bottom, Taylor Tate, Jessenia Simons, Junior Simons, Kitty Fletcher and Tripp Francisco.

“I think it’s important as parents and grandparents that we pass on our values to the younger generation and not just the ones in your family,” Fletcher said. Fletcher has gone through her own trials, having battled and survived cancer, which was discovered in 2019. Having pulled through surgeries and radiation, she said, “God was really good during my cancer.” Today, Fletcher is completely cleared. That [the cancer] didn’t slow her down, according to Robinson. “She continues to help others and never dwelled on her situation.”

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THE M ONTH

www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

In addition, she houses foreign exchange students. “This started in 1976 with my first one from Trinidad.” Since then, Fletcher has hosted three foreign exchange students and still has one living with her currently.

“I keep in contact with all of them after they leave. I am their American mom/grandma. It is so easy for these kids to become lost and homesick. I make an effort to make them part of my family,” Fletcher said. Robinson sums Fletcher up perfectly, “She’s the epitome of what a great neighbor should be.”

A long-time Brevard County resident, Patty Smith is the assistant editor for Live Vine Media and a freelance writer.

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King of Fruits Opened Doors for Indian River Citrus Industry BY DIANA FASANELLA

T

he fieldhands toiled in the hot, Florida sun, carefully planting each slip by hand in the sandy soil. They would tend to the young plants for 18 months before their hard work paid off for Indian River plantation owners who reaped the benefits of their prickly crops.

It was not the iconic orange upon which the workers labored, but instead, the spiny leaved “king of fruits” – the pineapple, which became the pioneer crop along the east coast of the state in the 1860s. According to Julie F. Morton in her Fruits of Warm Climates dissertation for Purdue University’s Center for New Crops and Plant Products, pineapples, not oranges, put Merritt Island in the forefront of the budding Indian River citrus industry. “The earliest pineapple cultivation in Florida started in Key West. Benjamin Baker, known for salvaging sunken ships, grew pineapples on Plantation Key before shipping them by schooner to New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia,” Morton wrote. “Around the same time, Merritt Island also was producing pineapples.” A map platted around the mid-1800s of Fort Ann in the Haulover area shows that one of Merritt Island’s founding fathers, W. E. Futch, not only planted fields of orange trees, sugar cane and sweet potatoes, but also pineapples. Another homesteader, H.R. Sykes planted pineapples, as well, according to the topographical depiction. Further south on the Island, renowned botanist William W. Wittfeld secured 152 acres south of Georgiana in 1870 around Honeymoon Lake, according to information compiled by A.C. Field, Ada Parrish and George Harrell in their book Images of America: Central Brevard County. Wittfeld named his estate Fairyland, along with Honeymoon Hill, on top of which both rivers and the scenic lake can be seen. Wittfeld cultivated tropical fruits such as pineapples, bananas and citrus. He also grew a variety of tropical plants and collected Lepidoptera specimens, an order of insects that includes butterflies and moths. He sent his specimens to William H. Edwards, an entomologist and author of numerous publications on butterflies. In September 1880, the Wittfelds’ property was nearly destroyed by a hurricane. In a letter to Edwards, Wittfeld wrote that the storm “blew all the leaves off trees, tore down fences and buildings (but not his house), broke off all ripe oranges, broke flat the bananas” and “pulled pineapples from the roots.” Despite hurricanes and the freezes of the late 1890s, the

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www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

Florida pineapple industry continued to flourish. At its height, more than 1 million crates a year came from the sandy ridge along the Indian River. It was believed in those days that the pineapple benefitted by closeness to saltwater. It was not until 1910 that portions of pineapple crops along Indian River plantations began to show signs of failing, notes Florida Memory, the State Library and Archives of Florida. “A red wilt was rotting the roots of the pineapple plants, causing them to die. The disease quickly spread to entire fields. Add to that a lack of proper fertilizer due to World War I in Europe and freezes in 1917 and 1918, and the industry seemed to have disappeared.” Pockets of pineapples still grow locally for decorative and personal use. In a Facebook post, local environmental activist Harry Kersey recalled how he grew pineapples on the Island while growing up. “We grew them in the shade whenever possible. That’s where the Australian pines came from. The pineapple industry. Thirty foot on center with blocks of fruit grown between them,” Kersey wrote. “They [Australian pines] are extremely fast growing and provided some freeze protection, but ultimately [the pineapples] succumbed to the deadly frost.” He added, “If you never ate a Florida pineapple fruit grown in the shade … it is the best you’ll ever eat! Hands down!

Diana Fasanella is a native Merritt Islander, Huffington Post blogger; and editor and columnist, formerly with Gannett/USA Today newspapers.

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Office: (321) 452-7785 • 1351 N. Courtenay Pkwy., Suite AA, Merritt Island, FL 32953 MARCH 2021 • www.MerrittIslandNow.com | 11

Maintain Life’s Balance with Faith BY MIKE KEEHBAUCH

L

adies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we made it. We are surviving a pandemic, have seen many great social achievements across the United States and have managed to find some peace and comfort as the world shifted into a new norm with COVID-19. All can agree none of this has come easily and for many, social distancing and quarantining takes quite the mental toll. It gets me thinking. In a strange way, we have had a lot of reasons to become crabby and agitated. But what if for every reason we have to be crabby, we consider many more reasons to be thankful and hopeful for the future? Life is quite the balancing act; isn’t it? We wear so many hats: employee, spouse, volunteer worker, friend and member of society. Perhaps you have been feeling off balance lately. It also seems that we are busier than we have ever been with online school, working from home and always remembering our masks on trips around town. The question many of us ask is, “How do we maintain or develop this balancing act even when everything is changing, and we are busier than ever?” I am reminded that in every season of life there is purpose defined not by you or me but by God. Knowing that he is in control and will lead through uncertainty really helps get people back in balance. Maybe this sounds simplistic, but

it comes back to the truth that humans are created in God’s image, and he loves us and wants what is best. If we are secure in that identity, then no matter how many hats we wear or how busy life gets, we can stay balanced because God has got us and will lead us through. Last year gave us plenty of reasons to be crabby and agitated, but as we march into 2021, let’s find many more reasons to be thankful and hopeful for a better today and a beautiful tomorrow. God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good. Surely, God will see us through, so let’s choose joy today and forevermore.

Mike Keehbauch is the music and youth minister at Brevard Christian Church Merritt Island.

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MICS Meets Needs of Each Student with Challenging Programs BY INGRID HALL

M

erritt Island Christian School (MICS) ment activity. So far this year, students have learned about the mummification process places great importance on proin which they pretended they were apviding educational services prentices of an Egyptian pharaoh royspecifically designed to meet the al embalmer and carved an apple unique educational needs of evand used baking soda and salt to ery child. With the addition of mummify. an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) program a few years During the holiday season, ago, MICS also added the Acstudents were asked to help the ademically Talented Program head elf in charge of packaging (ATP), which was introduced by and shipping at the North Pole. The story they were told was about former ESE Director Amy Parkshortages caused by the pandemer. The program was created after ic, and packing supplies were in very Parker, along with classroom teachshort supply. Students were given a raw ers, identified high achieving students egg and a wide variety of holiday materiwho they felt would benefit from adals such as beads, tinsel, scraps of wrapditional academic challenges through Arina Forrest, Anna Lynn Hausman, Sinclair Watts ping paper and ribbon and bows. They enriching activities. were then tasked with wrapping the egg in such a way that it The current elementary ESE director, Amy Rogers, works would arrive at its destination unbroken. Students dropped with two groups of students: one group of third- and fourththeir packages off the second story balcony in the school to test grade students, the other of fifth and sixth graders. Eligibility the packages’ effectiveness. is a combination of factors, which include standardized test scores, classroom performance, report card grades and teacher recommendation. Each group has less than 10 students, and meetings occur once a week for two hours. The small group sizes are beneficial since they allow each student to be an active member with every project, giving each a chance to really dive into tasks. The students who participate in ATP engage in activities that encourage problem solving and critical thinking through teamwork. Rogers has enjoyed getting to know her students and learning about their interests and motivations. “It has been such fun. One thing I love about our program is it allows these students to be challenged in an ‘outside-the-box’ way,” she said. “We do a lot of brain teasers, and I enjoy presenting students with problems that have more than one solution. I can almost see their mental gears moving as they think.”

The groups’ culminating activity for the unit is learning about simple machines, which will allow students to work together to design and build a “Rube Goldberg” machine, using what they have learned about simple machines. ATP students enjoy the challenges that come with their projects, and being part of the group motivates them to be good examples to others.

“ATP students shine as an example of good behavior, citizenship and academic achievement. To maintain their good standing in ATP, students must agree to a code of conduct and performance that reflects the high standards they are capable of meeting,” Rogers said.

Ingrid Hall is director of social media at Merritt Island Christian School.

Rogers uses storytelling to engage students in each enrich-

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Edgewood Students Selected for All-National Honors Ensembles BY PATRICK VICKERS

T

he past year has seen many “first-evers,” and music is no exception. The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is celebrating the 35th annual Music in Schools this month with their virtual music showcase.

this elite group, with Meyer being chosen for the All-National Concert Band and Woodrich for the All-National Symphony Orchestra. Both persevered through a rigorous audition process before being selected.

Joseph Franco

The event was created after the annual in-person conference, which was to be held in Orlando November 2020, was cancelled due to health concerns. Undeterred, NAfME selected 552 best-of-the-best music students from throughout the country as members of 2020 Edgewood band director Bryan Fenzl and choAll-National Honors Ensembles. rus and orchestra teacher Joseph Franco were the driving force behind these students reaching their fullest potential.

“I do my best to begin every educational scenario with high expectations, and I hold my students to these high standards,” said Fenzl. “It is important to me that the students truly believe they are capable of setting the bar high and then following through with their goals.” “I try to get students to dig deeper into the music as much as I can,” said Franco. “I want them to go beyond the notes on the page and find a personal connection.” Both Meyer and Woodrich were excited to be selected as “the best of the best” and enjoyed the opportunity to interact with student musicians from all over the country. “Music education has shown me how my skill level at something can improve so greatly from dedicating myself to it, as well as working with other people toward an end product,” said Woodrich. “Being a part of a music community has given me an outlet for my emotions and creativity.” Meyer especially enjoyed the diversity of the event. “Music brings people together,” he said. “Music doesn’t see race or gender; it is just music.” For both Meyer and Woodrich, music will always be part of their lives, but their aspirations do not stop there. Meyer plans to pursue a career in the aerospace industry, while Woodrich has plans to become an engineer. Both feel their music education has been a significant part of their academic career. Woodrich credits his work ethic to his music tutors, Linda Utz and Dr. Mauricio Cespedes.

Trevor Myer

“They have both dedicated their lives to playing and teaching music. They have told me about their work ethic that they have had since they were young, practicing many hours a day to achieve their goals, so I have followed that example.”

For Meyer, his success has been a family affair. “My inspiration has Each of these students attended virtual workshops always been my mother. She encourages me to keep working, even when and rehearsals with nationally renowned conductors things are difficult.” during the first week of January, culminating in a recorded performance, which will be premiered online. Patrick Vickers is a teacher at Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School. In addition to teaching technology and digital design classes, he is Two Edgewood Jr./Sr. High students, senior Trevor the advisor to the school yearbook, Tribes, and monthly magazine, Myer (contrabass clarinet) and sophomore Ian WoThe Edge. odrich (viola) were among the select few chosen for

MARCH 2021 • www.MerrittIslandNow.com

| 15

Meeting MIHS Needs During Pandemic

BY ERNEST ARICO

T

Cafeteria Staff Makes Safety a Priority he coronavirus pandemic has caused havoc for many people, none more so than for the people who work for Brevard Public Schools.

Administrators, teachers, coaches, staff and students have had to adjust to new safety procedures, protocols and guidelines in the battle against COVID-19.

Sue Morosoff, cafeteria manager at MIHS, prepares chicken wraps for students’ lunch.

One department that is working hard to meet those guidelines is Merritt Island High School’s (MIHS) cafeteria staff. Under the direction of Cafeteria Manager Sue Morosoff, the staff works daily to provide fresh, healthy breakfast and lunch selections that meet the district’s requirements. “All staff are required to wear masks, especially when we are in line serving food to the kids,” Morosoff said. “Everything gets wrapped and everything has a cover.” Morosoff joined MIHS in August 2011. Prior to that, she was cafeteria manager at Clearlake Middle School in Cocoa before it closed.

PHOTO BY ERNEST ARICO

Since taking over at MIHS, her staff of 12 part-time workers has earned the district’s highest honor – the Five-Star Quality and Performance Inspection award. “When I came here, the school was in the red and losing money,” Morosoff said. “Now, we’re in the black making money, the kitchen has been reorganized and everyone has access to the prep area.”

PHOTO BY ERNEST ARICO

Before COVID-19, Morosoff said the staff served more than 200 breakfasts to students. Now, they’re down to 120. They also serve about 300 reimbursable lunches daily … and the kids’ most favorite foods – nachos and pizza.

“Believe it or not, lots of kids like to eat healthy, fresh food like salads,” she explained. “Unfortunately, we can’t offer a salad bar because of COVID-19, but we make everything fresh and offer an array of burgers and chicken sandwiches.” Baker Patty D’Sa, who has been with the staff for 17 years, said COVID-19 prevents her from making rolls and other baked goods. “It’s a challenge for us every day,” she said.

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www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

Morosoff also said there are many other issues that have affected her staff during this pandemic. “Food and drink deliveries from drivers have been curtailed because they [the drivers] don’t want to be exposed,” she said. “Everything is more time-consuming, but we’re managing.” Vicky Quinn, a cook for the department for the past 12 years, said she enjoys working in the cafeteria despite restrictions. “Show up for work, do your job and help one another,” she said. “Everything is safe here.” Morosoff said her goals as cafeteria manager are to ensure kids have a safe place to eat, a healthy breakfast and a variety of fruits, entrees and salads and for the school never to fail a health inspection. “We take great pride in the work we do here,” Morosoff said. “My employees work better when I work with them. I will never ask them to do something that I’m not willing to do. I love to have fun with the kids. I feel like this is the best job I’ve ever had.”

Ernest Arico is an award-winning reporter, editor and producer who has worked for more than 30 years in broadcasting and print media.

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Miles Sweeney – 2nd Grade

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Miles is a kind and generous boy. He is always helping his friends and teachers when they need it. He has a wonderful imagination and is a great role model for others.

Ryan is a wonderful student and role model for his peers. He demonstrates kindness and respect for all people on a daily basis! He is also dedicated to his academics and success at MILA.

Kendall Neary – 2nd Grade

Mia Zabalo – 6th Grade

Kendall is a natural leader. She is friendly, outgoing and always does her personal best. Kendall loves helping others, including her teacher and classmates, and is a great role model for the other students. Kendall plays competitive soccer for Space Coast United. When she is not playing soccer, she enjoys going to the beach, playing basketball and walking her two huskies.

Mia is an Honor Roll and LIFESKILLS Honor Roll student. She always does her personal best and is a leader in the classroom. Mia has a great attitude and a smile that is contagious. She loves dancing and singing and has sung for Howie D. of the Backstreet Boys. She also loves politics, animals and aspires to a career in finance.

Lewis Carroll Elementary School

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| 17

35 YEARS LATER: Remembering the

Back row (L-R): Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik. Front row (L-R): Michael J. Smith, Francis “Dick” Scobee, Ronald McNair. James A. Carleton

18 |

www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

Challenger Disaster and Recovery BY PATTY SMITH

T

his year marks the 35th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger explosion, which rocked the world to its core as witnesses, along the Space Coast and watching on TV, reeled in horror as a fireball burst upon the morning sky.

Salvage operations were ongoing, and eventually, dive teams found “a 4,000-pound piece of the right booster rocket casing that included the joint that investigators believe ruptured and led to the explosion,” according to nytimes. com in a 1986 article by William E. Schmidt.

The Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral Jan. 28, 1986. The flight was of special interest to the public because it was the first time that an “ordinary” citizen would be among the crew – New Hampshire teacher Christa McAuliffe.

The teams eventually located a total of 6,584 parts, including the aft skirt, parachutes and other configured parts, according to Carleton.

Acknowledged as one of the worst space program accidents, it was later determined by NASA that the explosion was caused by a seal failure on a rocket booster, allowing hot gas to ignite a fuel tank, according to abcnews. go.com. The explosion killed everyone on board, and a recovery effort was put in place, though it would take months to recover the wreckage and remains of crew members. James A. Carleton, a retired Marine and Vietnam veteran, was part of the recovery efforts.

“We found many space shuttle pieces, including the actual right solid rocket motor part with the burn-through area responsible for the failure,” Carleton said. The recovery crew also found sunken boats, trash, and lots of rocket parts from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs. They also found the engine and wing of a DC-3 and a missing Grumman TBM Avenger torpedo bomber from 1945, which later became part of NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries television program.

“What I remember most was that this was an opportunity of a lifetime. To be able to dive in a submarine and help find the cause of the accident.”

Carleton pointed out one interesting point – his team found Russian beer cans on the ocean floor due to the fact that in the early days of the space program, the Russians quite frequently would rest off the coast of Cape Canaveral, monitoring launches.

Carleton, a graduate of the Florida Institute of Technology, has been a Space Coast resident “What I remember most was — James A. Carleton since 1966. He supported several that this was an opportunity of a missile, rocket and all 135 space lifetime. To be able to dive in a submarine and help find the shuttle launches, having worked for United Space Alliance (USA) and was a director and program manager on the cause of the accident,” he said. space shuttle program. As he dove for Challenger recovery, Carleton said he It was an unusually cold January morning when Carleton awoke at 4:30 a.m. He remembers he checked the temperature and donned his warmest three-piece suit and headed to work to start “normal launch-day activities.” Upon remembering the Challenger incident, Carleton said, “It was very cold and at the instant of the explosion, I knew the crew was gone.” After the explosion, Carleton was employed by United Space Boosters, Inc. (USBI) and was requested to support the search and recovery of Challenger on board a submarine. He managed a group of engineers and technicians as the chief of refurbishment, whose task it was to “identify and retrieve Challenger components.” On Feb. 14, 1986, Carleton boarded the ship at midnight and headed for the wreckage impact coordinates. Their job was to dive to targets detected on sonar and evaluate if they were from the Challenger or from previous launch debris. He recalls they found a piece of the aft skirt on their first day down, along with other debris.

thought about how this was an extremely important and significant mission. “The cause of the failure had to be found so we could move forward and return to flight.” The press put “intense pressure” on the recovery crew with respect to the status of the Challenger crew, Carleton said. This caused the recovery crew to establish and use code words when communicating ship-to-shore to protect information relayed. Of his involvement in the recovery process, Carleton said, “The most important fact of the search and recovery effort was that we found the “smoking gun” and [for] me personally, that I was able to help.” The demolished wreckage from the crew compartment was finally located on March 7, 1986, with all seven crew members inside, although they “could not be recognized as human,” according to nytimes.com. After a 2½ year shuttle launch shutdown and redesign, the space shuttle Discovery successfully lifted off Sept. 29, 1988, continuing space exploration.

MARCH 2021 • www.MerrittIslandNow.com

| 19

Why Won’t This Wound Heal? BY TRACI GRAF, RN

T

here are many reasons why a wound will not heal. A wound is considered “non-healing” or “chronic” if it has not healed significantly in four weeks or completely in eight weeks. Some wounds can stay around for months and will not heal without medical intervention. Chronic wounds of all different kinds do have some common denominators, such as no development of a scab or new tissue within 30 days, numbness around the wound, discharge and foul odor, change in color or swelling. Non-healing wounds are an indicator of an underlying cause. One of the more common causes is infection. Our skin is covered in bacteria, which is considered normal flora for the body, but a tiny break in the skin can be enough for infection to start. The wound will be red, swollen, possibly draining or hot to the touch, and there may be red streaks visible on the skin coming from the wound. Antibiotics and/or wound care will aid in healing an infected wound. Impaired circulation creates problems in wound healing.

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www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

Patients who suffer from this can experience different symptoms, which can be challenging to treat. Poor blood flow also can be a cause of chronic edema, and a break in the skin can allow clear fluid to leak out of the skin. Compression stockings or wraps and elevation are the most effective treatments for wounds that are caused by poor venous blood flow and edema. This means the blood is trapped in the lower legs and unable to return to the heart and lungs. Elevating the legs higher than the torso, even for 30 minutes several times a day, can improve chronic edema. Keeping sodium intake to a minimum and eating a high protein diet also can be helpful. Poor circulation coming from arterial blood flow issues is a more complicated problem and may sometimes require emergency surgery if there is a blockage. These patients should be cautious with compression as the flow of blood carrying oxygen to the tissues is already compromised. Feet that are always cold, bluish or purple, sometimes swollen or painful when they are elevated can all be signs of poor arterial flow. A toe or area that appears white or dark purple can be a sign of an arterial blockage and needs immediate treatment. Uncontrolled diabetes is one of the most common causes of arterial damage. Pressure wounds or bed sores can develop quickly when a patient is unable to move properly or just spends lots of time in one position. Patients may be unaware of the development of these wounds especially if they lack sensation from a spinal cord injury. Good skin care and regular assessments of areas prone to breakdown are important. Maintaining as much mobility as possible and changing positions frequently will help prevent problems from starting. Talk to your doctor if you have any wounds that do not heal within 30 days so you can explore the reasons why. Traci Graf is a registered nurse, published author, and nurse administrator of Avid Home Care Services, serving Merritt Island and all of Brevard County.

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Gut Health can Affect Moods BY JESSICA BEAL, PHARMD

H

ave you’ve ever “gone with your gut” to make a decision or felt “butterflies in your stomach” when nervous? You are likely getting signals from an unexpected source: your second brain. Hidden in the walls of the digestive system, this “brain in your gut” also is called the enteric nervous system (ENS). Unlike the brain in your skull, the ENS cannot balance your checkbook or compose a love note; its main role is controlling digestion. When we consider the connection between the brain and the gut, it is important to know that 90 percent of serotonin is made in the gut, not in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods and inhibit pain. Scientists have found that gut bacteria produce many other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), which are critical for mood, anxiety, concentration, reward and motivation. How can lowly gut bacteria affect higher functions in the brain? How can unintelligent, simple organisms affect behaviors, thoughts and actions of intellect? These microprobes have several strategies to affect human brains, and therefore, minds. When the balance between good and bad bacteria is disrupted, diseases may occur. Good gut bacteria, or the absence of bad ones, can make people more resilient to depressive states after stressors or trauma. It is not surprising that chronic exposure to stress is associated with a higher incidence of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Not everyone who faces stress develops a mood disorder, and not everyone who experiences a trauma develops PTSD. But it has been found that chronic stress makes humans more likely to develop mood disorders as stress makes the gut more permeable to bacteria, causing increase in cortisol, which also affects the digestive system. Reciprocally, depression causes dysbiosis – an imbalance of good-to-bad-gut bacteria. In summary, depression is possibly caused by dysfunctional gut-brain-immune system interactions.

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www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

In the relatively new field of nutritional psychiatry, patients learn how gut health and diet can positively or negatively affect mood. When someone is prescribed an antidepressant, such as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), the most common side effects are gut related – often causing nausea, diarrhea or gastrointestinal problems. This gut-brain relationship also explains why antibiotics, which disturb the gut microbial ecosystem, might cause neuropsychiatric effects, interact with psychotropic medications and/or influence moods. This also explains why mood disorders are so prevalent in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. The gut-brain axis offers a greater understanding of the connection between diet and disease, including depression and anxiety. Resiliency, the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, is perhaps a function of what bacteria lives or does not live in the gut. The idea that good bacteria not only influences what the gut digests and absorbs but also affects the degree of inflammation throughout the body, affecting mood and energy level, is gaining traction among researchers. Researchers recommend altering what we eat before trying gut modifying therapies, such as probiotics and prebiotics, to improve how we feel. They suggest eating whole foods and avoiding processed and ultra-processed foods that cause inflammation and disease. Start paying attention to how eating different foods makes you feel – not just in the moment, but the next day. Try eating a “clean” diet for two to three weeks, which means cutting out all processed foods and sugar. See how you feel. Then slowly introduce foods back into your diet, one by one, and see how you feel. When some people “go clean,” they cannot believe how much better they feel, both physically and emotionally, and how much worse they then feel when they reintroduce foods known to enhance inflammation, thus causing gut imbalance.

Jessica Beal is a pharmacist at Hobbs Pharmacy located at 133 N. Banana River Dr., Merritt Island.

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MARCH 2021 • www.MerrittIslandNow.com | 23

Safety at Home: Preventing Eye Injuries BY FRANK X. VENZARA III, M.D.

D

id you know that about half of all eye injuries happen right at home? Home activities that can injure your eyes include:

■ Cleaning. Chemicals, like bleach, in household cleaning products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year. ■ Home Improvement.  Screws, nails and hand tools can launch into the air and, consequently, into your eyes. Power tools also can send wood chips or other debris flying into the air. ■ Yard Work.  Lawn mowers, trimmers and even shovels can throw dirt and debris into the air. Branches, twigs and thorns also can be dangerous.

Unfortunately, only about three out of 10 people wear protective eyewear while performing home projects during which their eyes could get hurt. The good news? Simply wearing protective eyewear can reduce risk for eye injury by 90 percent. The American Academy of Ophthalmology urges every household to have at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear. ANSI-approved means the protective eyewear is made to meet safety standards of the American National Standards Institute. WHERE TO BE CAREFUL AT HOME WITH YOUR EYES Here are places and situations throughout your home where you need to protect your eyes. IN THE HOUSE ■ Using dangerous chemicals, such as oven cleaner and bleach (accidents involving common household products cause thousands of eye injuries each year). Read the labels of chemicals and cleaners carefully and don’t mix products. ■ Cooking foods can splatter hot grease or oil. Use grease shields on frying pans to protect yourself from splattering. ■ Drilling or hammering screws or nails into walls or hard surfaces like brick or cement. The screws or nails can fly into the air, or fragments can bounce off the surface.

IN THE GARAGE OR WORKSHOP ■ Using power or hand tools. Keep tools in good condition; damaged tools should be repaired or replaced. ■ Working with solvents or other chemicals. Make sure that all spray nozzles are directed away from you. ■ Doing anything that can cause fragments or dust particles to fly around in the air.

■ Using hot objects, such as curling irons around your face. Contact with your eyes can cause serious injury.

■ Tying down equipment or loads with bungee cords. Bungee cords are a serious danger to eyes when the cord snaps back.

■ Loose rugs and railings or other hazards that could cause falls or slips. Secure rugs with a non-slip pad underneath. Check to make sure railings are secure. Put padding on sharp corners and edges if you have children or the elderly in your house.

For all these activities, remember that people nearby also face serious risk. Bystanders should wear eye protection, too, or leave the area where the chore is being done. This is particularly important for children who watch their parents perform chores in and around the home.

IN THE YARD ■ Mowing the lawn. Check the lawn or the outdoor area first for sticks, rocks or other items that can fly out from under the mower. ■ Using a power trimmer or edger. ■ Clipping hedges and bushes. ■ Playing various sports

24 |

www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

Learn how to recognize an eye injury. If you or a family member experience an eye injury, seek immediate medical attention or call an ophthalmologist near you.

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MARCH 2021 • www.MerrittIslandNow.com | 25

March Winds Blow in Spectacular Fishing BY CAPT. ALEX GORICHKY

M

arch definitely is a transition month in the outdoors realm for Islanders. The month can be beautiful and summer-like one day and frigid and rainy the next. One thing that is almost always in play is the wind. March traditionally is one of the Space Coast’s windiest months, and sometimes it feels as though Islanders will never get a break, but it can bring flat-out spectacular fishing. Offshore will produce a wide variety of fish, and some of the premier species will start to make their presence known. Cobia, mahi, tripletail and more will greet those anglers willing to pay attention to forecasts and cherry pick the perfect weather windows for their shot. Being prepared for anything the ocean will toss one’s way is not always easy but 100 percent necessary in these transition times. Fishers might have dreams of happy mahi, piling on any baits they send into the spread and completely blow by that color change loaded with manta rays and cobia as they make their early morning run east. With tarpon time on the beach still a few months away, fishers might not be inclined to run those nearshore waters.

However, the persistent winds can bring weed mats and flotsam that are prime for some great tripletail action. Just as with offshore fishing this time of year, fishers look for good windows of weather to enjoy fishing the lagoon waters that surround our island home. The fear of hard freezes is long gone by this point and lagoon predators know it. The seatrout actively prepare for the coming spawn and get their feed on to build energy. Juvenile tarpon and lagoon snook both shake off the winter chill and happily feed on the steady increase of available prey. Sometimes, its hard to focus because there are many great options to bend the rod and enjoy the water. I did not even mention one of my favorite fish to catch – the hour jack or the extra-large model – jack crevalle (pictured), that not only produces insane hits, sight fishing opportunities and melting drag washers, but also will test one’s dedication to pulling on a very angry fish. They are a blast!

Capt. Alex Gorichky is a lifelong Merritt Island resident and owner/operator of LocalLinesCharters.com

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Merritt Island

DINING GUIDE Casual & Upscale Dine-In Restaurants

RESTAURANT

CUISINE

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

SUNDAY

SPIRITS

A-Live and Healthy Cafe 321-338-2926 85 E. Merritt Ave. (Next to Home Depot)

Vegan

no

yes

Fri

clsd Sun

none

Alfredo’s Paradiso 321-453-6119 217 Crockett Blvd.

Italian

no

yes

yes

no

beer, wine

Bagel World Victoria Sq. 321-452-0737 1450 N. Courtenay Pkwy.

Bagel/Sandwich Shop

yes

yes

no

yes

none

Bagel World & Deli 321-452-3007 137 N. Banana River Dr.

Bagel/Sandwich Shop

yes

yes

no

yes

none

Bangkok House 321-305-5993 700 E. Merritt Island Cswy.

Thai/Sushi

no

yes

yes

yes/clsd Mon

beer, wine

Beef ‘O’Brady’s 321-455-6665 1450 N. Courtenay Pkwy.

American

no

yes

yes

yes

full bar

Bizzarro’s 321-453-2610 325 E. Merritt Island Cswy.

Italian

no

yes

yes

yes

beer, wine

Bonefish Grill 321-453-3011 795 E. Merritt Island Cswy.

Seafood

no

Sat only

yes

yes

full bar

Asian

no

yes

yes

yes/clsd Mon

none

Brazillian Buffet

no

yes

yes

no

full bar

Bruno’s Pizzeria 321-453-7200 117 W. Merritt Ave.

Italian

no

yes

yes

yes

none

Carrabba’s Italian Grill 321-453-7045 60 Palmetto Ave.

Italian

no

yes

yes

yes

full bar

Causeway Diner 321-454-9898 3712 N. Courtenay Pkwy.

Family Diner

yes

yes

Mon thru Fri

yes

none

Chili’s Grill & Bar 321-454-4738 530 E. Merritt Island Cswy.

American

no

yes

yes

yes

full bar

Cozy Corner Café 321-452-0305 2425 N. Courtenay Pkwy.

Family Diner

yes

yes

no

yes

none

Debbie’s Diner 321-459-3209 118 E. Merritt Island Cswy.

Family Diner

yes

yes

no

no

none

Mexican

no

yes

yes

no

full bar

American

no

yes

yes

yes

full bar

Café & Deli

no

yes

until 6pm

no

beer, wine

Hokkaido Japanese Steakhouse 321-452-8288 125 E. Merritt Island Cswy.

Japanese

no

yes

yes

yes

beer, wine

ISLAND GECKO GRILL

American

yes

yes

no

yes

none

Boonie Pepper Cafe 321-349-2615 203 Crockett Blvd. Brasas Grill 321-638-1338 325 E. Merritt Island Cswy.

El Tucan 321-453-7501 225 N. Sykes Creek Pkwy. Hawksbill Bar & Grill 321-412-3400 2700 Harbortown Drive Hayes Meats & Gourmet Foods 321-453-3550 285 Fortenberry Rd.

SEE AD PAGE 30 SEE AD PAGE 7

773 N. Courtenay Pkwy. • 321-806-3661 • www.islandgecko-grill.com • Breakfast & Lunch with an array of scrumptious items on our menus.

ISLAND WATERFRONT BAR & GRILL

Seafood

no

geckobestfood yes

1891 E. Merritt Island Cswy. • 321-806-3661 • The-Island-Waterfront-Bar-Grill Our Food, Our People, Our Location, Our Guests...All as good as it gets! Where the Locals Go!

28 |

www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

TAKEOUT AVAILABLE yes

yes

full bar

TAKEOUT AVAILABLE continued on page 30

The New Standard in Cigar Entertainment ♦ Upscale Cigar Lounge

Cigar & Pipe

♦ Craft Beer & Wine Bar ♦ Oversized Humidor ♦ Members Only Lounge ♦ Full Service, Sit Down Espresso & Cappuccino Bar ♦ Available for Events ♦ Gift Certificates Available

NOW OPEN! Stop in and tell us what you think. Grand Opening Coming Soon!

— HOURS —

Mon - Thurs: 10am to 10pm Fri - Sat: 10am to Midnight Sunday: 11am to 8pm

Halil Photography

Halil Photography

321-453-1422

925 N. Courtenay Pkwy., Ste. 1-5 Merritt Island, FL 32953 Photo Courtesy Brian Duprey

(across from Arby’s)

continued from page 28 RESTAURANT Jack & Harry’s 321-735-4810 1850 N. Courtenay Pkwy. Kelsey’s Pizzeria 321-735-4810 1850 N. Courtenay Pkwy. Merritt Island Pancake House 321-501-5996 950 N. Courtenay Pkwy. Suite #18 Molly’s Seafood 321-453-1288 1580 E. Merritt Island Cswy. Ms. Apples Crab Shack 321-459-3759 580 W. Merritt Island Cswy. Olive Garden 321-459-0306 205 E. Merritt Island Cswy. Outback 321-454-4450 777 Merritt Island Cswy. Pacific Rim 321-305-4902 300 N. Courtenay Pkwy. Pizza Company 321-455-6515 300 N. Courtenay Pkwy. Red Lobster 321-453-3520 215 E. Merritt Island Cswy. Sonny’s 321-449-9102 310 N. Courtenay Pkwy. Tijuana Flats 321-453-1881 76 E. Merritt Island Cswy. Umpa’s Diner 321-454-3422 1115 N. Courtenay Pkwy. Victoria’s Family Rest. 321-459-1656 370 N. Courtenay Pkwy. Wabi Sabi 321-452-0507 455 N. Courtenay Pkwy.

CUISINE

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

SUNDAY

SPIRITS

American

no

yes

yes

yes

full bar

Italian

no

yes

yes

yes

beer, wine

Family Diner

yes

yes

no

yes

no

Seafood

no

yes

yes

yes

full bar

Seafood

no

yes

yes

clsd Sun/Mon

none

Italian

no

yes

yes

yes

full bar

American

no

yes

yes

yes

full bar

Sushi

no

yes

yes

yes

beer, wine

Italian

no

yes

yes

yes

none

Seafood

no

yes

yes

yes

full bar

BBQ

no

yes

yes

yes

beer, wine

Mexican

no

yes

yes

yes

beer, wine

Family Diner

yes

yes

no

yes

none

Greek/American

yes

yes

Thr, Fri

yes

beer, wine

Sushi

no

yes

yes

yes

beer, wine

A Local Favorite Since 2005!

F re

M erritt Island

Breakfast & Lunch Served Daily

OPEN: Mon–Fri: 7am–2pm Sat: 7am-1pm • Sun: 8am–1pm

773 N. Courtenay Pkwy Merritt Island, FL 32953 ONLINE ORDERING & DELIVERY www.islandgecko-grill.com

321-301-4479 30 |

www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

Tiki Bar & Deck, Overlooking Our Historic Harbor FOOD! QUALITY SEA AINMENT! LIVE ENTERT DAILY! HAPPY HOUR

w w w. R u s t ys S e a f o o d . c o m 628 GLEN CHEEK DRIVE • CAPE CANAVERAL • 321-783-2033

$5.00 OFF

$25 Minimum Purchase, with this coupon. One per table. Not valid with any other offers or discounts. Expires 5/31/2021

Merritt Island Now

A Delight in Every Bite!

Happy Dine and Drink on NewPortYear ! Canaveral's Largest Waterfront

Merritt Island Now magazine is direct mailed FREE every month to 19,000 (+-) homes and businesses on Merritt Island.

n a d e e N

Ext ra ? y p o C

w Merritt Island No • 2020 • ISSUE 2 • APRIL ISLAND • VOL. 6 EVERYTHI NG MERRITT ITY SOURCE FOR YOUR #1 COMMUN

Life is a Song, Sing it! Home of

dNow.com

www.MerrittIslan

Pick one up at one of any of these Merritt Island locations. They go quick so get them while they’re HOT! My Island Thrift Store 245 Crockett Blvd 321-473-3355

Chamber of Commerce 400 Fortenberry Rd 321-454-2030

Island Gecko Grill 773 N Courtenay Pkwy 321-301-4479

MailRoom Merritt Island 137 S Courtenay Pkwy 321-452-0110

The Island Waterfront Bar & Grill 1891 E Merritt Island Cswy 321-806-3661

Moose Lodge of Merritt Island 3150 N Courtenay Pkwy 321-452-9061

Brevard Medical Equipment 105 N Banana River Dr 321-453-3370

Merritt Island Public Library 1195 N Courtenay Pkwy 321-455-1369

The entire library of past issues of Merritt Island Now magazines can be viewed on our website at MerrittIslandNow.com

Island t p o d A a Pet

—Daisy—

Meet Daisy! She was found nearly starved to death and had major wounds on her front right leg. A year later and she is up 30 pounds and down one leg, but her loving spirit continues to amaze. Due to her past experiences, Daisy needs a special family who has time, patience and energy to spare. She will do best in a home with no small animals or children. For more information on Daisy and her friends, visit Brevard Humane Society,1020 Cox Road,Cocoa. (321) 6363343 www.brevardhumanesociety.org MARCH 2021 • www.MerrittIslandNow.com

| 31

Mini-Split A/C Units The New Future

BY BRIAN CAMPBELL

W

hat is a mini-split A/C unit?

A mini-split A/C unit is a ductless air conditioning system that runs at a high rate of efficiency compared to most standard central air conditioning systems. Mini-splits are ideal for home additions, garages, Florida rooms, etc., where ductwork may not be existing or accessible. In some cases, mini-splits also can be a great alternative vs. a traditional ducted system for a whole house. Mini-splits come in different sizes and styles. The most popular is a wall-mounted indoor head unit connected to an outdoor unit by a communication wire and two copper refrigerant lines. But these indoor units also can be in the style of a four-way or one-way grille for a more aesthetically pleasing look, with the mounted units recessed into the ceiling, characterizing a normal supply grille.

The price of mini-splits used to be higher than a ducted central air conditioning system, but the prices have seemed to drop lower over the last several years due to advances in technology and other cost-affecting factors. The mini-splits most likely will be the new way of doing HVAC in the near future, and education on them is key to making the best decision for your home and family.

The mini-split units are traditionally measured in BTUH; 12,000 BTUH equates to one ton. This is an important factor to pay attention to when properly sizing the units and deciding the style with which to proceed. Most mini-splits have a minimum of a 16 SEER rating, with some reaching 22+ SEER ratings. This benefit is ideal for homeowners looking to save money on their energy bill each month. With whisper-quiet outdoor units, most homeowners do not realize their unit is even turned on and running.

Brian Campbell is the manager for the residential division at Britt’s A/C and UCF graduate with a bachelors in Business Management.

RESIDENTIAL & LIGHT COMMERCIAL Repair, Replacements & Maintenance Serving Brevard County for over 45 Years! We have experienced technicians who can work on any brand of equipment.

0% We Offer for g Financin hs 60 Mont

AVAILABLE 24/7 (Nights & Weekends)  No After-Hour Surcharges

 Emergency Same Day Service

 Free Estimates for AC Replacements

$49.00

TUNE-UP

Sched One Todule ay!

✔ Clear condensate lines and inspect drain pans ✔ Inspect indoor coils and clean outdoor coils (if hose accessible) ✔ Inspect refrigerant pressures, electrical connections, and volts/amps ✔ Monitor system in heating and cooling cycles ✔ Monitor compressor to measure amperage and volt draw ✔ Change filters provided by customer or purchased through Britt’s A/C ✔ Inspect service valves and test capacitors for proper operation ✔ Check operation of thermostats and other controls

321.267.6370  Lic. #CMC1249826  www.brittsac.com  655 Childre Ave.  Titusville, FL 32796

32 |

www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

Personal Silver Coin Collection Liquidation

STRATFORD

TREE SURGEON - CERTIFIED ARBORIST FL6183A/FL9169A - TRAQ CERTIFIED 2016, 1 oz. Silver American Eagle 30th Anniversary, Brilliant, Uncirculated Coins, .999 1 oz. BU Sold out at the mint. 2016 is the 30th anniversary of the 1 oz. American Silver Eagle bullion coin program from the United States Mint. The Silver Eagle is the most popular bullion coin in the world. The 2016 is extremely hard to find from most reputable dealers and currently priced from $43 up to over $90 per coin, plus shipping.

COIN HIGHLIGHTS: • Contains 1 oz. of .999 fine Silver • Multiples of 20 are packaged in green top US mint tubes • All are 2016 - 30th Anniversary year • Uncirculated & Ungraded This is a liquidation of a personal silver coin collection. Cash only, All sales will take place at the Brevard County Sheriff safe zone on Merritt Island.

Please call 321-536-2227 for pricing. Once these are gone, they’re gone!

Advertise Your Business Today! Help grow your business with a 1/4, 1/2 or Full Page Ad in the Island’s only monthly publication. Merritt Island Now magazine is direct mailed FREE to over 19,000 homes and businesses on Merritt Island.

CALL NOW! For more information, please call 321-536-2227 or email [email protected]

• Remote Controlled Tree Dismantling • Pruning • Reductions • Dead Wood Removal • Crown Lifting • Thinning

• Dynamic Tree Support System

Call for Free Est.-321.289.5282

StratfordTreeService.com

Simon & Karre Stratford

We’re Here for All of Your Closing Needs. • Purchase • Sale & Refinance • 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange • Residential & Commercial

COUNTYWIDE TITLE & ESCROW CORP. Jeanni A. Brown President

321- 452-9612 275 N. Grove St., # 101 • Merritt Island, FL 32953

[email protected] MARCH 2021 • www.MerrittIslandNow.com | 33

MERRITT ISLAND HOMES ADDRESS 420 Moore Park Lane 203 25 E Carib Drive 1656 Wavecrest Street 1640 Harbor Drive 1624 Shore Drive 2720 Cutlass Pointe Lane 106 1485 Morgan Drive 885 E Waikiki Drive 245 Jacala Drive 1000 Dakar Drive 620 Wild Flower Street 723 Sara Jane Lane 1615 Pluto Street 1455 Mercury Street 1445 Mercury Street 320 Orion Court 170 Diana Boulevard 4450 Hebron Drive 4702 Shannock Avenue 4692 Shannock Avenue 460 Ramsey Lane 460 E Merrimac Drive 1420 Anchor Lane 1310 Island Drive 1745 Via Roma 2175 Capeview Street 420 Indian Bay Boulevard 4800 Yuma Trail 2630 Overlook Court 1255 Potomac Drive 1360 Sanibel Lane 134 Starboard Lane 404 2340 Palm Lake Drive 540 S Banana River Dr. 301 476 Nancie Avenue 410 Allen Drive 525 Kennwood Avenue 250 S Sykes Creek Pkwy 608 200 S Sykes Creek Pkwy 601 2280 Tanglewood Lane 1235 Mercedes Drive 1150 S Banana River Drive S 2235 N Tropical Trail 1260 Pine Island Road 1935 Chase Hammock Road 1325 Newfound Harbor Drive 10890 S Tropical Trail 7208 Preserve Pointe Drive 300 Quail Drive 2155 Dumas Street 1285 Martin Boulevard 2160 Dumas Street 85 Rivercliff Lane 3025 Water Oak Drive 1248 Robin Drive 9100 S Tropical Trail 3410 Savannahs Trail 3495 Sunset Ridge Drive 4170 Savannahs Trail 3385 Savannahs Trail 9520 S Tropical Trail 216 Becky Court 1706 Sharon Lane 605 Limerick Drive 3685 Starlight Avenue 3725 Starlight Avenue 3759 Sunward Drive 435 Sims Way 411 Yellow Tail Lane 104 420 Yellow Tail Lane 107 85 N Tropical Way 118 Cove Loop Drive 809 Brookstone Drive

34 |

SUBDIVISION LVG SQ FT Anchorage 2,522 Belaire 1,152 Canaveral 1,862 Canaveral 1,952 Canaveral 1,843 Cape Crossing 1,483 Caribbean Isles 1,686 Catalina Isle Estates 1,720 Catalina Isle Estates 1,188 Catalina Isle Estates 2,178 Citrus Isle 1,850 Cordial Manor 1,176 Diana Shores 1,483 Diana Shores 1,782 Diana Shores 1,786 Diana Shores 1,484 Diana Shores 1,616 Egrets Landing 2,470 Egrets Landing 3,029 Egrets Landing 3,031 Footman Landing 2,071 Gateway 1,643 Glen Isles 1,596 Glen Isles 1,629 Harbor Colony 2,642 Holiday Cove 1,904 Indian Bay Estates 2,144 Indian Bay Estates 2,402 Indian River Village 1,680 Island Crossings 1,956 Island Crossings 2,337 Island Pointe 2,275 Lakes Of Ridge Manor 1,585 Marina Village 2,279 Merritt Ridge 1,233 Merritt Ridge 1,923 Merritt Ridge 1,740 Merritt Towers 1,260 Merritt Towers 1,854 None 2,308 None 2,800 None 5,502 None 2,520 None 2,428 None 4,134 None 2,849 None 3,945 Preserve Pointe 2,098 Quail Run Estates 1,723 Ridge Manor Estates 1,722 Ridge Manor Estates 1,468 Ridge Manor Estates 1,798 River Cliff 1,170 River Island Estates 1,962 Robin Lee 1,258 Sanders 2,599 Savannahs 2,022 Savannahs 2,202 Savannahs 2,117 Savannahs 2,698 Stewarts 2,754 Summers Creek 2,236 Summers Creek 2,082 Sunset Lakes 2,305 Sunset Lakes 2,498 Sunset Lakes 2,577 Sunset Lakes 2,531 Tropical Cove 3,075 Tropical Cove 1,949 Tropical Cove 1,949 Tropical Gardens 1,435 Villa De Palmas Sykes Cove 2,024 Watermill 2,386

www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

IN JANUARY YEAR BDRMS BATHS POOL 2004 3 3 No 1962 3 2 No 1957 3 2 No 1959 4 2 No 1963 3 3 Yes 2018 3 2.1 No 1966 4 2 No 1965 4 2 No 1965 3 2 Yes 1967 4 3 Yes 1996 3 2 No 1960 3 2 No 1966 3 2 No 1973 4 2 No 1973 4 2 Yes 1968 3 2 Yes 1966 4 2 Yes 2017 4 3 No 2020 4 3.1 No 2020 4 3 No 1987 3 2 Yes 1968 3 2 Yes 1964 3 2 No 1966 4 2 No 2002 3 2 No 1981 3 2 Yes 1987 3 2 No 2003 4 3 Yes 1980 3 2 No 1999 3 2 No 1998 4 3 No 2006 3 2 No 1989 3 2 Yes 2005 3 3 No 1960 3 2 Yes 1963 3 2 No 1959 4 2.1 Yes 1986 2 2 No 1985 3 2 No 2019 3 3.1 No 1993 5 2.1 No 1955 6 3 No 1968 4 2.1 Yes 1988 3 3 No 2010 5 3 Yes 1978 5 3.1 Yes 1969 4 4 Yes 2008 3 2 No 1995 3 2 Yes 1979 3 2 Yes 1983 3 2 Yes 1981 3 2 Yes 1970 3 1.1 No 1990 3 2.1 No 1952 3 2 No 1962 4 2 No 2003 3 2 Yes 2002 3 2 No 2000 3 2 Yes 2001 4 2.1 Yes 1980 4 3 Yes 2006 4 2 Yes 1995 3 2.1 No 2001 5 3 No 1994 4 3 Yes 1995 3 2 Yes 2000 4 3 Yes 1989 4 3.1 Yes 2005 3 2.1 No 2005 3 2.1 No 1967 3 2 No 2001 4 2 No 1989 4 2 Yes

WTRFRNT SOLD PRICE Indian Rvr $469,000 No $249,000 Canal $308,000 Banana Rvr $385,000 Banana Rvr $467,500 No $375,000 No $310,000 No $260,000 Canal $437,900 Sykes Crk $575,000 No $320,000 No $219,900 No $210,000 No $285,000 No $347,000 Canal $485,000 Canal $527,000 No $400,000 No $460,455 No $477,180 No $320,000 Non Nav Cnl $317,500 No $249,500 Sykes Crk $410,000 Newfound Hbr $630,000 Canal $525,000 No $280,000 No $435,000 No $285,000 Lake/Pond $305,000 No $359,500 No $370,000 No $305,000 No $400,000 No $242,700 No $246,000 No $287,000 Banana Rvr $271,000 Sykes Crk $314,600 No $418,000 No $464,900 Non Nav Cnl $530,000 Lake/Pond $540,000 No $550,000 Lake/Pond $765,000 Sykes Crk $815,000 Indian Rvr $1,120,000 No $407,000 No $264,075 No $310,000 Canal $425,000 Canal $475,900 No $217,500 Lake/Pond $375,000 No $215,000 Indian Rvr $1,200,000 Lake/Pond $410,000 No $415,000 Lake/Pond $430,000 Lake/Pond $435,000 Indian Rvr $800,000 No $385,000 Lake/Pond $375,000 Lake/Pond $305,000 Lake/Pond $395,000 Lake/Pond $430,000 No $455,000 No $519,000 No $200,000 No $220,000 No $230,000 No $360,000 No $440,000

Public records sales data provided by Stacy Matlock (see ad on right)

Clean AND Seal

BEFORE

PAVER SEALING • DECK RESTORATION AFTER

FREE

ESTIMATES

Get a Fresh, New Look DRIVEWAYS & WALKWAYS PATIOS & POOL DECKS

BEFORE

Maintenance Contracts Available We use hot water pressure cleaning for a deep clean, removing grit and grime and use the best sealers and coatings on the market for a long lasting finish.

10% OFF with this ad. Cannot be combined with any other offers.

AFTER

For More Information Call 321-960-1768 Today! Licensed and Insured RP # 252555228

IT’S HOT IN THE SPACE COAST REAL ESTATE MARKET AND ALL OF MY LISTINGS HAVE SOLD! Inventory Is Extremely Low & Homes are Selling in Weeks. Mortgage Rates have Never Been Lower! IF YOU ARE THINKING OF SELLING, PLEASE CONTACT ME TODAY.

FREE

MARKET ANALYSIS

Stacy Matlock

ALWAYS WORKING FOR YOU WITH INTEGRITY

Direct: 321.544.5235 www.lovehousehunting.com [email protected] ALUMNI

MARCH 2021 • www.MerrittIslandNow.com | 35

MERRITT ISLAND AREA CONTACTS — BREVARD COUNTY GOVERNMENT RESOURCES — Commissioner Bryan Lober – District 2 (MI) ......................... (321) 454-6601 School Board District 2 – Ms. Cheryl McDougall..................(321) 987-6382 Animal Control......................................................................(321) 633-2024 Building, Permits, Business Licenses....................................(321) 633-2072 Engineering Office (Traffic Signals)...................................... (321) 637-5437 Planning & Zoning................................................................(321) 633-2070 Housing & Human Services...................................................(321) 633-2007 Sheriffs Office (non emergency)........................................... (321) 264-5100 Voter Registration................................................................. (321) 633-2124 Code Enforcement................................................................(321) 633-2086 Occupational Licensing........................................................(321) 264-6935 Tax Collector - www.brevardtaxcollector.com.....................(321) 264-6930 Merritt Island Post Office...................................................... (321) 453-1366 Merritt Island Redevelopment Agency................................. (321) 454-6610 Public Library on Merritt Island............................................ (321) 455-1369 Department of Health.............................................................(321) 454-7111

— HOSPITALS — Cape Canaveral Hospital........................................................ (321) 799-7111 701 West Cocoa Beach Causeway • Cocoa Beach, FL Rockledge Regional Medical Center......................................(321) 636-2211 110 Longwood Avenue • Rockledge, FL

— BUSINESS RESOURCES — Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce................... (321) 459-2200 400 Fortenberry Road, MI Merritt Island Now Magazine................................................(321) 536-2227 www.merrittislandnow.com

— KID ACTIVITIES — Parks and Recreation............................................................(321) 633-1874 www.brevardcounty.us/ParksRecreation/Home Hockey - The Space Coast Iceplex........................................(321) 504-7500 YMCA.................................................................................... (321) 433-7770 Football / Cheerleading - Pop Warner..................................(321) 704-9225 Merrittislandpopwarner.com Football / Cheerleading - www.merrittislandmustangs.net.... (321)446-1170 Soccer - Central Brevard Soccer...........................................(321) 223-8966 www.centralbrevardsoccer.org Volleyball - Cape Coast Volleyball...................................... (321) 480-9473 www.capecoastvolleyball.com Rugby - Cape Pirates Rugby................................................ (321) 506-2540 www.capepiratesrugby.com Walk on Water Horses.......................................................... (321) 412-8057 Equine Therapy • www.walkonwaterhorses.com Cheerleading - Competition Coastal Elite.............................(321) 567-0006 Softball - Merritt Island Lassie League.................................(321) 446-8980 www.milassieleague.com Baseball - North Merritt Island Little League........................ (321) 543-6215 www.merrittislandlittleleague.com Merritt Island Swim School Swim Safe Now Master Instructor, Infant and Up.................(321) 698-5840 www.miswimschool.com US Naval Sea Cadets - The Courageous Division................. (321) 458-0677

36 |

www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

Girl Scouts of Citrus Council................................................ (800) 367-3906 Boy Scouts........................................................................... (407) 889-4403 Paintball, Skate, DMX - Brevard Extreme Sports ................. (321) 454-2374 Unlimited Kickboxing............................................................(321) 368-9307 Lacrosee...............................................www.BrevardLacrosseAlliance.com Marta’s Legacy Dance Studio............................................... (321) 453-6277 Dussich Dance Studio...........................................................(321) 452-2046 Lauts Music...........................................................................(321) 453-6424 Classes in keyboard, home organ, piano, acoustic & electric guitar, and voice.

— UTILITIES — Florida Power and Light......................... (800) 226-3545 or (321) 723-7795 Spectrum..................................................................(866) 309-EASY (3279) Waste Management..............................................................(321) 636-6894 AT&T.................................................................................... (888) 757-6500 Florida City Gas Company................................................... (888) 352 5325 City Of Cocoa Water Dept.....................................................(321) 433-8400 Call Before You Dig ................................................................................ 811

— PUBLIC SCHOOLS — Brevard County Public Schools Main Office............ (321) 633-1000 ext 500 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way • Viera, Florida 32940 Ethics Hotline ........................................................... (321) 633-1000 ext 170 Audubon Elementary............................................................(321) 452-2085 1201 North Banana River Drive Tropical Elementary............................................................. (321) 454-1080 885 South Courtenay Parkway Stevenson Elementary School..............................................(321) 454-3550 1450 Martin Blvd Mila Elementary School........................................................ (321) 454-1070 288 W Merritt Avenue Lewis Carroll Elementary School.......................................... (321) 452-1234 1 Skyline Blvd Jefferson Middle School....................................................... (321) 453-5154 1275 South Courtenay Parkway Edgewood Junior Senior High School................................... (321) 454-1030 180 East Merritt Avenue Merritt Island High School.................................................... (321) 454-1000 100 East Mustang Way Florida Virtual School .......................................................... (407) 513-3587 Brevard Virtual ....................................................................(321) 633-3660

— PRIVATE SCHOOLS — Merritt Island Christian School .............................................(321) 453-2710 140 Magnolia Avenue Divine Mercy Catholic Academy...........................................(321) 452-0263 1940 North Courtenay Parkway Brevard Private Academy.....................................................(321) 459-3466 508 South Plumosa Merritt Island Presbyterian Church Preschool ..................... (321) 453-1640 150 Cone Road Alpha Learning..................................................................... (321) 453-7077 3700 North Courtenay Parkway Suite 102 Faith Lutheran Pre-School and Day Care ..............................(321) 452-4143 280 East Merritt Avenue

Bird Island

MISSION #1 COMPLETE

ADOPT OUR

FAVORITE

ISLAND Bird Island

Join us as we take a step forward with our brand new charitable foundation, Blue Marlin Cares, supporting efforts to make our community a better & more enjoyable place to live, work & play! We are eager to hold our first group cleanup, along with many other events. Keep your eyes out for the upcoming date and time. We hope to see you there!

&

321.877.2902

INFO @ BLUEMARLINRE.COM

WWW.BLUEMARLINRE.COM

*************ECRWSSEDDM***** Postal Customer

PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID PERMIT 1037 STONE MTN, GA

SAVE TIME, PAY LESS! MONDAY-FRIDAY 8AM TO 7PM SATURDAY 8AM TO 3PM

321-636-0005

MERRITT ISLAND LOCATION

ROCKLEDGE LOCATION

1205 N. COURTENAY PKWY. MERRITT ISLAND, 32953

1950 US. HWY 1 ROCKLEDGE, FL 32955

WALK-INS AND APPOINTMENTS AVAIL ABLE

Jasen Kobobel, MD Board Certified in Family Medicine

SKIN CANCER PREVENTION Examination of the SKIN

DON’T WAIT, IT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE!

Tyler Stoots, PA-C

When treated before it spreads, most skin cancers can be cured. Even melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can spread quickly, is curable when treated early.

June Philbrick, APRN

Call Now to Make Your Appointment! Our Providers are Here to Help You.

MEDICAL WEIGHT LOSS

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• PRIMARY MEDICINE Tyler Stoots, PA-C • WORKER’S COMP INJURIES • FAMILY MEDICINE • X-RAYS, EKGS, LABS • MINOR SURGERY • GYNECOLOGY • SPIROMETRY • PEDIATRICS - 5 YEARS AND UP • DEXA SCAN FOR BONE DENSITY • DERMATOLOGY • NERVE CONDUCTIONS • MINOR EMERGENCIES/SURGERIES • ULTRASOUNDS • ANTI-AGING HORMONES • DOT (MRO CERTIFIED) • MASSAGE THERAPY • PHYSICALS YEARLY, SCHOOL & SPORTS 38 |

Expires 3-31-2021

OFFERING

• AUTO ACCIDENT INJURIES TELEMEDICINE • IDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT STUDY • IV THERAPY MOST INSURANCE • GLAUCOMA SCREENING ACCEPTED • AUDIOMETRY • FLU SHOTS HEALTH FIRST INSURANCE • WELLNESS PROGRAMS ACCEPTED • SKIN CANCER EXAMINATION

- Se Habla Español

www.BrevardFamilyWalkInClinic.com

www.MerrittIslandNow.com • MARCH 2021

MM# 27876