Ways to view solar eclipse — without leaving Space Coast

Great American Solar Eclipse will be Aug. 21.

Heck, just because the Space Coast didn’t make the list as one of the 10 best places to watch Monday’s solar eclipse doesn’t mean you should tune out the hype.

There will be plenty to see right here in Brevard even though we’re not in the path of totality.

“People are surprised. They expect to only be able to see the eclipse if you’re in the path of totality,” said Saida Caballero-Nieves, assistant professor at Florida Institute of Technology’s Department of Physics and Space Sciences.

But that’s not the case. Experts forecast an 85 percent chance of visibility in this area from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, with the best viewing between 2:30 and 3 p.m.

Often astronomy is such a remote and abstract field. “You don’t see any of the (celestial) movements day to day, other than the sun,” Caballero-Nieves explained. “This is a good way to see something different and rare.” It’s a chance to “get somebody aware of the cool things that go on in space.”

The next partial eclipse visible from Florida will be sometime in 2023, 2024. Usually, eclipses come in pairs: when there’s a solar eclipse, there’ll be a lunar eclipse. The next total eclipse is in 2045.

With excitement drumming up nationwide about this very unique celestial event, science centers and beachside bars are hopping on the “celebrate the eclipse” bandwagon (see below).

Florida Tech in Melbourne plans to host rooftop eclipse viewing, with interactive activities like projecting the solar image through a Ritz cracker or making a pinhole camera.

Eastern Florida State College Planetarium in Cocoa will have its powerful telescopes ready.

Most Great American Solar Eclipse events will have eclipse glasses available for purchase. Caballero-Nieves and others warn eclipse viewers to take caution. Even with 85 percent visibility, eclipse viewers could become blind or burn their eyes if they look directly at the sun.


Ultimate science lesson

Here on the Space Coast, back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon to file outside and look up toward the Cape to watch a shuttle launch — for kids and grownups.

Because the eclipse visibility window falls during school hours, some elementary schools will venture out for viewership. On a recent Brevard Public Schools’ Facebook post about the eclipse, a parent asked: Will students be taken outside to witness the event?

BPS’ answer: “Some classes are using this as an educational opportunity and have secured the appropriate equipment to keep students safe.

One such school is Ocean Breeze Elementary in Indian Harbour Beach.

“We have already purchased eclipse glasses for our whole school (students and adults) and plan on activities, common classroom resources, and morning announcements leading up to the event. We plan to have our whole school out on Aug. 21 at a bit after 1 p.m.,” principal Laurie Hering said in an email.

At Endeavour Elementary in Cocoa, the new science coach, Michelle Berry, secured viewing goggles for students and staff through an anonymous donation. “She is planning activities that include a school-wide viewing,” according to Hilah Mercer, Endeavour principal.

What to expect

Some cool factoids about the eclipse.

• You will feel a slight temperature drop during the eclipse.

• The next total eclipse is in 2045.

• Unique ways to project the solar image: Ritz cracker, collander, slotted spoon with circular holes

• Eclipse-hunting is a thing, like storm-chasing.

• A lot of eclipses fall over the ocean.

• Certain welders’ goggles can be used to look at the eclipse, but they have to have the right specifications. Check with the American Astronomical Society.

Where to celebrate

Here are a few more spots to celebrate that Great American Solar Eclipse.

• Kennedy Space Center on SR 405 in Titusville will host its Solar Eclipse Day event from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 21. Viewing will take place in the Rocket Garden at the KSC Visitor Complex with space experts answering questions and offering commentary. The event is included with daily admission, which is $50 for those 12 and up and $40 for kids ages 3-11. Call 855-433-4210 or visit kennedyspacecenter.com.

• Eastern Florida State College Planetarium, 1519 Clearlake Road, Cocoa, will host viewing for the Great American Eclipse from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 21. Solar eclipse glasses will be available for $1. Call 321-632-1111 or visit easternflorida.edu.

• Florida Tech, 150 W. University Blvd., Melbourne, will host rooftop viewing for the eclipse from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Olin Physical Sciences Center. The university will provide eclipse glasses while supplies last as well as offer small telescopes for eclipse viewing. Other activities include building pinhole cameras to project the image of the sun or using Ritz crackers and other creative items for eclipse viewing. Visit fit.edu.

• Coconuts on the Beach, 2 Minutemen Causeway, Cocoa Beach, will host its solar eclipse party from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 21. 98.5 the Beach will host a remote broadcast. Eclipse viewing glasses will be given away with a minimum $10 purchase. Call 321-784-1422 or visit coconutsonthebeach.com.

• Cocoa Beach Pier, 401 Meade Ave., will host a solar eclipse viewing party from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 21. at its Rikki Tiki Tavern. Viewing glasses will be available for purchase. Call 321-783-7549 or visit cocoabeachpier.com.

• Omni Traveler will host an eclipse viewing party and run a shuttle to Cocoa Beach to view the eclipse between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Aug. 21. Cost is $20 for the shuttle ride. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Email info@omnitnt.com or visit eventbrite.com.

• Orlando Science Center, 777 E. Princeton St., will host a solar eclipse event from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 21. Activities include making phone filters, solar-themed arts and crafts, calculating distances and possible temperatures, demos and presentations. Eclipse activities will be included with admission, which is $20.95 for adults, $18.95 for seniors and students and $14.95 for kids ages 3-11. OSC also will host free pop-up viewing locations with solar demos, models and kids activities at Central Park West Meadow, 150 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, or at Dr. Phillips Center, 445 S. Magnolia Ave. Visit osc.org/eclipse.

• The UCF Planetary Sciences Group and the Astronomy Society will host the UCF and the Great American Solar Eclipse event from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at the UCF reflection pond, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando, near Millican Hall. Telescopes will be available and some special eclipse glasses. Email planets@planets.ucf.edu.

Contact Sangalang at 321-242-3630 or jsangalang@floridatoday.com.


Final Summer Breweries run tonight at Charlie & Jake’s

We’ve made four stops so far in our Summer Breweries Tour Fun Run/Walk series. Tonight’s your last chance to join us.

We’ll start at 6:30 p.m. at Charlie & Jake’s Brewery Grille, 6300 N. Wickham Road, Suite 137, Melbourne, for three miles of fun. Stick around after for a Charlie & Jake’s brew and dinner. Brevard’s oldest brewery also has a full food menu.

The tour, sponsored by the Running Zone and FLORIDA TODAY, has drawn 430 participants over four weeks, with 15 people signing in at all four events.

Other tour stops were at Intracoastal Brewing Co. in Eau Gallie, Hell ‘n Blazes Brewing Co. in Melbourne, Florida Beer Co. in Cape Canaveral and Playalinda Brewing Co. in Titusville.

More information is available on Facebook.

Source: http://www.floridatoday.com/story/entertainment/dining/apleasantrepast/2017/08/08/final-summer-breweries-run-tonight-charlie-jakes/548379001/

Indialantic-by-the-Sea Started In 1915 By Ernest Kouwen-Hoven


EDITOR’S NOTE: Brevard County has a rich and diverse history, spanning nearly five centuries of recorded activities that include the earliest European explorations of America and the moment that humans first left this planet to explore worlds beyond our own.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Indialantic started in 1915 when Ernest Kouwen-Hoven moved to Melbourne and purchased a strip of beach side land lying between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean.

He envisioned this property as becoming an exclusive beach side resort. This one-square-mile became known as “Indialantic-by-the-Sea” and the first map of this area was recorded in 1916.

The Indialantic Casino was built in 1923 in what is now the southwest corner of James H. Nance Park, located at 201 North Miramar Avenue (State Route A1A).

The two-story Mediterranean Revival style building was designed by architect William Christen and developed by Herbert Earle. It opened on December 22, 1923, and boasted shops, an Olympic-size saltwater pool, a tall diving tower and wading pools.

The casino became a center for social activity in the Melbourne area, offering rooms for winter guests and space for club meetings, socials, and galas, such as wedding receptions, banquets and cotillions. Special events included a Midnight New Year’s Eve dinner, a Fourth of July celebration, and the Miss Melbourne and Miss Florida Beauty Pageants of 1925.

Weekly rates in 1924 for ocean-view rooms (including board) were $20 for singles and $35 for doubles. The casino’s pool was used for training World War II military personnel from the Banana River Naval Station.

Following a major renovation in 1942, Karl Abbott purchased the casino in 1944 and changed its name to the Bahama Beach Club.

From 1949 until it was acquired by the Town of Indialantic in 1967, the building was an exclusive private club. Following a period of decline, the building was razed in 1970.

– Source: Brevard County Historical Society

5646 Wood Stork Lane, Grant Valkaria, FL 32949

20170217034510321114000000-o$749,900 – 4 beds – 3,903 sq.ft. MLS#: 775999

This home is truly one of a kind. Sitting on over an acre, this beautiful brick home has tremendous upgrades. It features a full inlaw suite with kitchenette, family room area, private bedroom and bathroom! The home features impact resistant windows, plantation shutters and crown molding. The home gets most of it’s energy from solar panels with back up batteries. The kitchen is absolutely gorgeous with beautiful wood cabinets, two types of granite, full granite back splash, large island and much more! It truly must be seen to be appreciated! The screened in back porch has a built in grill, and has been finished with a slate floor! The oversized 3 car garage has been finished with a full tile floor!

— Space Coast MLS #: 775999


Local salon service, you’ll feel like you visited an A-list NYC Salon!

imperialIf you are looking for a great cut and/or style, call Ryan Wilbert!  I have never been disappointed and he always goes the extra mile to make you feel your very best.

To reach Ryan, contact the Indian Harbour Beach Imperial Salon & Spa at 321.777.4242.

An excerpt from the Imperial Salon & Spa website:

Welcome and Enjoy the Imperial Salon & Spa Experience!

The human body functions best when there is a balance of mind, body, and spirit. Our mission is to provide the treatments necessary to achieve and maintain that balance. Our philosophy is to enhance your spa visit by providing a setting of total relaxation and tranquility.

Our Facilities

Imperial Salon & Spa features private facilities for both men and women. Refreshments, spa robes, slippers, personal lockers, towels, toiletries, and other grooming items are provided. A bathing suit may be worn for spa and massage treatments.

Appointments: Please call 321.254.4432 or 321.777.4242

We ask that all spa guests arrive approximately 20 minutes prior to their first scheduled appointment time. This allows time for showering and enjoying all of our locker room amenities. Arriving late for a scheduled appointment decreases the time of your treatment, potentially reducing its effectiveness and your pleasure. Your treatment will end at its scheduled time so the next guest is not delayed. If you arrive more than 15 minutes late, your appointment will be rescheduled. In addition, we request that you notify us at least 24 hours in advance if you need to cancel or reschedule, otherwise you will be charged 50% of the value of your services.

Gift Cards

Gift cards are available in any denomination for all our salon and spa services including packages. Gift cards may only be used for gratuity if specified at time of purchase. Gift cards are non-refundable and do not expire. You must have your gift card with you at time of service in order to be redeemed.

Purchase Gift Cards


The Imperial Salon & Spa requests a 50% deposit for groups of 3 or more. A 7 day cancellation policy applies to all groups. Call to schedule parties for any occasion. Bridal parties welcome!


We provide private lockers for personal belongings. However, we recommend leaving all valuables at home. Imperial Salon & Spa is not responsible for lost or stolen items.


  • A $25 fee will apply for all returned checks.
  • Prices and services are subject to change.
  • All individuals under the age of 18 receiving spa services must be accompanied by an adult who assumes full responsibility for the person.
  • The consumption of complimentary alcoholic beverages is strictly limited to those 21 and over.
  • Partially used products may not be returned. No refunds on retail products. Store credit only will be issued. No returns will be accepted for sale or discontinued retail products.
  • A 50% deposit will be necessary to guarantee a spa package appointment.
  • A $100 deposit will be necessary to schedule your permanent makeup application appointment.
  • A $50 deposit will be necessary to schedule your eyelash extension application appointment.
  • Appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice may be subject to a 50% cancellation fee.
  • As we love children and have them ourselves, the spa’s environment changes due to their energetic nature. We ask that you please make other accommodations for them.

Visit the website to learn more!

BREXIT: Pros and Cons To Florida and Brevard County Real Estate Markets


Ever since Britain voted to leave the European Union last year, there has been a major effect across the world financial markets.

Florida has strong ties with the UK, thus it has experienced uncertainty across various sectors, such as tourism, real estate, and trading industries.

According to Reuters the effect of Brexit was evident on the world’s stock exchange, which left many Florida residents worried about what would happen next as Britain has now started its exit process.

There are other several possible negative effects that have been brought about by Brexit, such as traveling to the US state may become more expensive for UK residents, US products may increase in price due to exchange rates, and real-estate investments may decline as UK-based buyers suspend their plans of buying vacation homes in Florida.

However, for Brevard County, Brexit may have the complete opposite effect particularly in the mortgage and real estate markets.

“We have great news for interest rates,” explained Bobbie Dyer, Division President of Dyer Mortgage Group.

“Brexit is driving a flight-to-quality that we have not seen for some time. Although rates have been low for the past five years, current mortgage rates have fallen drastically.”

Read More

Winning Fantasy 5 lottery ticket sold in Merritt Island

One of two winning Fantasy 5 tickets drawn by the Florida Lottery Wednesday was sold in Merritt Island.

The quick pick ticket was sold at the Publix supermarket at 125 E. Merritt Island Causeway.

Top prize is $107,533.

Winning numbers were: 11-12-26-29-35.

Source: http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/2017/04/27/winning-fantasy-5-lottery-ticket-sold-merritt-island/100966822/

Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate Profile: Lauren A. Merrell

Established 1978
Regent Territory Vero Beach, FL and Brevard County, FL
Service Areas Indialantic

Indian Harbour Beach

Satellite Beach


Melbourne Beach




Links My Website

All My Listings


  • Shortsale and Forclosure Certified


Growing up in Brevard County, I developed a true love of the area and the distinct features that make it so special. After attending the University of Central Florida, I started a marketing career in Orlando. When my husband and I decided to start a family, we made the choice to move to Brevard County. I could think of no better place to raise my children, then where I grew up!

I started my real estate career in 2008 during the real estate recession. Everyone was getting out of real estate and I was getting in! I saw it as a good opportunity to learn the business in a unique time. I feel that education is the key to so much in life, real estate being no different. In 2010 I took additional classes to be named a “Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource” by the National Association of Realtors. I continue my education through classes in various real estate topics.

I’ve been honored with numerous Top Producer and Service awards. In 2012 I was named one of the Top Producers by the Women’s Council of Realtors and asked to speak as a panelist. It was truly an honor to be included with such a great group of professionals.

In my time off I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family. We kayak the local waterways and we also like to hike (when it’s not too hot!). Brevard County has some terrific parks and trails.

Please let me know if I can assist you in buying or selling your home! Real Estate is one of the largest assets an individual buys or sells, and I can utilize my knowledge and experience to guide you through a successful transaction.