Monthly Archives: September 2017

One of Tiara’s Lovely Ladies Passes

It is with great sorrow that I share with you the news that Helen Fazen, long time Tiara resident (202 N), and mother of Louis Fazen III (1301 S), died this past week at her daughter Maryellen's home in Philadelphia.     Helen traveled to Philadelphia when ordered to evacuate for Hurricane Irma.    Helen passed peacefully at Maryellen's home with Maryellen at her side.

Her official obituary was shared by her family.


Helen Josephine Reichert Fazen

Helen Josephine Reichert Fazen, of North Hutchinson Island, Florida, a former long-time resident of Racine, Wisconsin, passed away on 19 September 2017.  Helen was an elegant woman of dignity and grace.  She filled the room with her presence and made everyone around her feel loved and appreciated.

Helen’s parents were the late Joseph Anthony and Margaret Mary (Butler) Reichert, who owned and operated various hotels in Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona.  She was raised in their main residence, the Hotel Foeste, in Sheboygan, WI.  Helen attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she majored in Speech and Drama, was a Kappa Alpha Theta legacy and a Ping-Pong champion. While there, she met and was dazzled by her future husband, Louis E. Fazen, Jr. They were married in the Foeste Hotel by Monsr. Joseph Delaney during Louis’ second year at Northwestern University Medical School.  After his medical training, they returned to Louis’ home in Racine, WI, where he joined his father, Louis E. Fazen, Sr., MD, FACS, in his surgical practice.

Among her accomplishments as an active volunteer in the Racine community, Helen served as President of the Racine County Medical Auxiliary and Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary, where she initiated the “Cardiac Capers”, a theatrical production, the hospital’s largest fundraising project and still a major fundraiser to this day.  Helen also was a dedicated board member of the Curative Workshop of Racine, an active member of the Racine Junior League, a Cub Scout den mother and Girl Scout leader. She and Louis raised their five wonderful children in the historic family homestead on Main Street in Racine, WI.

After Louis retired from his medical practice, Helen and Louis moved to North Hutchinson Island, FL.  Duplicate bridge became their passion and they enjoyed playing at the Vero Beach Duplicate Bridge Club, always partnering together. Mentored by the late Robert D. Smith, they achieved Silver Life Masters and received numerous duplicate bridge awards locally and abroad. Helen also was a sustaining member of the Junior League of Indian River.  Together, Helen and Louis volunteered for the Indian Health Service (USPHS) for over 12 years at public health clinics in Barrow, AK; Poplar, MT; Owyhee, NV; Independence, VA and Peach Springs, AZ.

An artistic person, Helen enjoyed painting, creating beautifully handcrafted notecards, and taught herself to make fashionable beaded necklaces, which are worn by family and friends across the country. She embraced technology and enjoyed emailing messages and e-cards on her iPad to keep in touch with her loved ones, and kept abreast of the latest world news. Helen loved life, was very proud of her family, and was always immaculately groomed and gracious to everyone.

Helen and Louis celebrated over 75 years of marriage and Louis predeceased Helen in 2013. Helen is greatly admired and missed by her five loving children, Victoria F. Wheary (James T.W. Wheary), Louis E. Fazen, III, MD (N. Lynn Eckhert MD, PhD), Robert J. Fazen (Marianne F. Fazen, PhD), Lynn F. Reich (the late Gregory M. Reich, DDS, MS), Maryellen F. Eckenhoff, PhD (Roderic G. Eckenhoff, MD), 13 beloved grandchildren, and 25 cherished great-grandchildren.

A private family memorial service will be held to celebrate a wonderful woman and a long life well lived and well played. Interment will be in the Fazen plot at Mounds Cemetery, Racine, Wisconsin. Memorial gifts can be made to the organization of your choice or to the Louis E. Fazen, Sr., MD, Memorial Student Scholarship Fund, #5G70 at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Development and Alumni Relations, 420 East Superior St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-503-1165.



Unsightly Landscaping – may get Better!

From an article by Elliott Jones in the TC Palm paper, Sept 18. 2017

Hurricane Irma's wind blasts left an unsightly legacy: "burned" plants.

Many sensitive landscape plants ended up with brown leaves on the sides where the wind blew the strongest: the east and south. It's also noticeable in the wild in the invasive Brazilian pepper plants.

Gradually, leaves turned from dark to dull green to brown because of wind damage, known as wind burn.

Even hearty plants such as the sea grape, which survive on the oceanfront, are hurt.

"It looks like plants were scorched with a blowtorch," said Christine Kelly-Begazo, extension agent with the University of Florida's cooperative agricultural extension office in Vero Beach.

Sea grape plants experience wind burn a week after Hurricane Irma passed through Indian River County.


More damage could emerge in coming weeks as plants continue reacting. Some results may take years.

"The wind shook the insides of trees such as the Laurel oak," she said. That could shorten the tree's lifespan by years.

"Plants were put through a lot of stress," surpassing what she saw during the back-to-back hurricanes of 2004 and since then, she said.

Last year's close call with Hurricane Matthew is "absolutely no comparison," Kelly-Begazo said.

That's because Hurricane Irma's strong tropical force winds lasted much longer than Matthew's wind.

"When plants are stressed, they shut down and try to save energy," she said.

The extremities, such as leaves, die. Dead leaves will fall off.

Kelly-Begazo cautions residents to resist pruning.

"(Plants) need time to recover. Wait a few weeks so the plants have a chance to respond and show which branches are dead or alive," she said.

People who can't wait can use a fingernail to scratch through the bark to see if the plant is wet and alive underneath.

Broken limbs can be cut, she said. And plants that were tipped over by the wind and rain should be put back upright.

That can be done with stakes and boards and wire, she said.


Some pictures of the landscaping at Tiara





The good news is that new buds are already appearing on many of Tiara's bushes and plants.

Friday Update – Irma Recovery

Power Reset both Buildings

On Friday around 2 pm Steve did a power reset of all units in both buildings in an attempt to make sure that the AC equipment in all units came on line.     Steve did not go into the individual units; the power reset is done from the floor electrical closets.

If you are not in residence at Tiara you might want to have someone check our your unit.   While no exterior damage to the building has been noticed, it is always possible that interior damage has occurred.

TV / Internet

We have heard that AT&T might have restored service.    Comcast is trying to restore service but the TV service has been going off and then on again;  Internet service may be present but it appears to be at a very slow speed.    Comcast TV or Internet service is not working in either party room.    When you think you might have Comcast service you might need to power cycle the settop box and/or the internet modem/router to restore your connection.

Tiara North – Update

As of 5 pm on Thursday 9/14 AC has been restored for the North tower!

Both buildings now have power and AC.     Neither building has Comcast services for TV or Internet.   Latest unofficial estimate is Friday evening, but no guarantees on that estimate.

South pool is cleaned and ready.   Steve will be working on North pool now that power has been restored.

Neither spa is in working order.

Wind-tossed debris has been removed from both parking lots.

The dune walks are fine and there is no "evident" beach erosion; no obvious "step down" on the beach.


Tiara Status – Thursday 9-14 pm

The Best of News!     Power has been restored to the North tower!

The AC is not yet working but the technician is onsite and working to get the AC on.     Hopefully the AC will be back online later this afternoon.  BTW, while the AC is out residents might want to turn on ceiling fans to get the air moving and even purchase some "DampRid", a dehumidifier product that absorbs moisture from the air and can be useful in preventing or delaying the onset of mold, and put a can of it in each room.

Many thanks to the EM staff who have worked so hard over the past few days to get Tiara up and running as well as cleaned up!   Despite their own home situation, and several also were without power, the staff have been working hard to help us.

Craig Merrill has been on site all day Thursday, working with and sometimes even cajoling FPL contractors, to identify the problem with the power at the North tower, get the parts in, and installed and restore power.    Tiara South even shared their AC-cooled party room with the contractors for a lunch break and use of the facilities.

I also want to give a note of appreciation to those residents in the North tower who came back early and stuck it out with the loss of power in their units.      Board members from the South tower talked to many of the "northers" and even knocked on doors to try to reach out with current status to those in the North tower.   Without exception those in the north tower were bearing up well, not exactly cheerfully, but with good spirits and appreciation for the work being done on their behalf to restore power and AC.     What a great bunch of people live here at Tiara!

Landscaping did take a significant hit from the storm.    Palm fronds were everywhere and it looks like we may have lost a palm tree or two (I saw pieces of trunk piled behind the garageports just to the south of the South tower).    All up and down the Island vegetation, bushes, and non-palm trees, are brown and appear dead.    The same is true at Tiara.   I was assured by Craig Merrill that those bushes have dead leaves but in all likelihood the plants themselves may still be getting enough nutrients to come back, putting out new shoots over the next few weeks.   For that reason the landscaping crew, onsite today, is only cleaning up the fallen fronds and dead leaves on the grassy areas and driveways (and removing the dozens of coconuts that fell from the trees).    The plants with dead leaves will NOT be touched or trimmed for at least 3 weeks, in order to give the plants time to recover by themselves.    It's a sad sight, but a temporary one we hope.

Pools - now that the power is back on in the North tower cleanup of the pool at the North tower can be begun.    In the meantime the South pool remains available to all.

No word on Comcast yet but when I hear anything I'll let you know.

One final note.   Several of us in the South tower experienced some water intrusion despite closed shutters and patio doors.    If you're returning to Tiara, either building, be sure to double-check the status of your carpets, area rugs and furniture to see if you too might have had some water intrusion.


Thursday, 9/14

Very Important.    Since the North tower is still without electricity, owners can apply for FEMA assistance if you make the application while the power is out!

Call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA.    Tell them you want to apply for assistance because you have no power due to Hurricane IRMA.     While there is no guarantee that you will quality for assistance you may be able to get some assistance with your insurance deductible or even a low interest disaster loan offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA).   The FEMA call will provide all the information you need.

You can apply online at also.

When you apply you should have the following available:

  • Social Security Number
  • Insurance Policy Number
  • Household Income (tho the income level has nothing to do with whether you will receive assistance)
  • Checking Account Number for Direct Deposit

THE IMPORTANT THING is to apply IMMEDIATELY while the power is still out in the North tower.

Hurricane Aftermath – Situation at the North Tower

Wednesday 9/13 6 pm update

The North Tower remains without power this evening.     FPL is dealing with outages throughout Florida as well as those on Hutchinson Island.   Several buildings on the island, not just Tiara North, are without power.   We do know that the South tower is on separate grid and that is why there is power to the South tower and not to the North.

With no power there is no AC, and while the lower floors might have water the upper floors definitely do not have water due to the lack of power to run the water booster pumps.

Without power the filtration to the North pool and spa is also not possible.   This means that the North pool and spa are closed.

Elliott Merrill has been in contact with FPL throughout yesterday and today but this is definitely an FPL problem, one of many here in Florida.     Calls to Elliott Merrill will not rectify the problem.

The diesel generator is running in the North tower but the generator is only powerful enough to run 1 elevator and the emergency lighting.     It does not and cannot satisfy the needs of the entire building.

There is no estimate from FPL when this problem will be resolved.

Residents who are staying in the North tower should evaluate their quality of life and see if there is another temporary solution that they can arrange, perhaps staying with friends in the area or moving to a hotel.      If you decide you must stay you can use the South pool, the South lobby and party rooms if those are some help to you.

As soon as we receive word that the power has been restored to the North tower we will notify you through the Tiara Newsletter and also through the Elliott Merrill website.   You can also check the FPL outages online by going to and clicking on Outages.    If you enter your billing phone number and the zip code (34949) you can get a brief status of the power outage affecting the North tower.

If you are not in residence, please do NOT come down.     Stay where you are until you hear or find out that the power and other services are available in the Tiara North building.

Finally,  Comcast service is not available in either building.    Neither building has TV or Internet or local Comcast phone.     I've heard that AT&T Internet and phone services are also not yet available in the buildings.


Hurricane Aftermath – Wednesday 9-13

Wednesday 1 pm

Not much change since Tuesday.

North Tower - no power yet and no update from FPL as to when power will be restored.    No AC.   One elevator is working on the emergency generator.     AC cannot be evaluated    Comcast is not on therefore no TV and no Internet.

South Tower - power is on and AC is working.    1 elevator is working.    Comcast is not on therefore no TV and no Internet.   Spa is down.  Pool has been cleaned.

The landscaping took some significant hits but that is repairable.    I'm not on site yet so I can't provide any pictures.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Tiara as soon as it is safe to be there.



Hurricane Aftermath – Tuesday 9/12

More Info for you

Noon Tuesday - Update from Bill Dicker, who just spoke to Craig Merrill:

 South Tower: Power on, elevators working, AC on -  Pool being cleaned of debris prior to topping off with water - spa as well

North Tower: no power, no elevators, no water, AC cooling tower leak not repaired but AC will go on when power restored, spa down with failed pump & pool will be cleaned later today or tomorrow.

North tower is on a different power grid than south tower. Otis will not inspect north tower elevators until power restored.

 Landscapers will be on property today to start clean-up

 Recommend north tower residents stay away (until further notice) until power on and elevator service restored along with AC.


10 am Tuesday - FPL says the power is restored to Tiara.  HOWEVER, I spoke to Steve Donnelly and he reported:

North tower - does not have full power yet.    No AC yet.   Elevator still running on diesel generator.

South tower - currently has power, tho since other buildings don't consistently have power, it is possible that South tower could lose power again.    AC is running, as long as power stays on.    One elevator running and Otis has been called to service the other one.

Bridges:  still CLOSED to traffic, tho those with permits are being allowed on.   The green card might get you on.   Otis service personnel may or may not be allowed onto the island.

RECOMMENDATION FROM STEVE AND CRAIG MERRILL:   Please do NOT return to Tiara on Tuesday - wait until Wednesday or Thursday.

Steve will give me an update later today.

Other info from Steve:    No major damage, just cleanup.



Hurricane Update – Monday 9-11 am

Update from Elliott Merrill:

Craig Merrill was onsite to assess the conditions at Tiara.

There is no major damage to either building at Tiara!      The diesel generators are up and running.

The power remains off and will be off until FPL completes its repairs - no ETA on power restoration.

Landscaping took some hits but that can be repaired with time.

The cooling tower in the South building has a broken pipe and a plumber has been called to repair it.    That means no AC in the South tower.  Without power on the island the North building also has no AC.

There is flooding on A1A in front of Tiara, some of that undoubtedly flows into the parking lots but that will drain with time.

Most Important! - Please do not attempt to return to Tiara until at least late Tuesday.   

Craig will provide further updates later today or Tuesday.

Other updates gathered from other sites, including the St Lucie County site:

The bridges to Hutchinson Island are closed and will remain closed until at least Tuesday.    No one is allowed onto the island.

There was major flooding in Ft Pierce, and some of it has receded today.    Many roads are closed.

It looks like there are many road closures getting from the Turnpike to Ft Pierce, and any info anyone has would be much appreciated.

We have a local source from Aquanique who remained through the hurricane who reports:

There was no storm surge on our beach and only minor flooding on the island.

Some parts of North Hutchinson Island are without water, and once water is restored to those areas there will be a 72-hour boil requirement.