The Coastal Star

July 2009 Blog Posts (65)

Bridge tenders have luck of the draw

By Ron Hayes



If you think waiting for the drawbridge to go down takes patience, spare a moment to honor all those dedicated men and women who spend eight hours a day waiting to lower it.

And raise it again.

And lower it again.

And know whom to call when it sticks.

“A lot of people say, ‘I'd like to be a bridge tender,’ ” says Barry Meve, the county’s bridge superintendent, “but they get bored and can’t take it. You can’t… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 11:40am — No Comments

Editorial: Tap local brains for municipal savings ideas

Call me crazy.

This past month I’ve been attending the annual budget workshops of our coastal towns, and have (almost) enjoyed the experience. I’ve learned a lot about how municipalities operate and how difficult balancing a budget can be in a year with a depressed economy and decreased property values. It will be difficult for any municipality to avoid either tax increases or reduced services — no one will come out unscathed.

Different towns have chosen different tactics to find… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 10:32am — No Comments

Boynton Beach: For Federal Highway, plans frozen in time by economy

By Thomas R. Collins



As you enter Boynton Beach from the north, the alluring Peninsula development greets you — a shiny new collection of townhomes and condos.

It’s just about to open its doors to happy new residents.

Peninsula

Waterbrook Peninsula LLC

30 townhomes, 40 condos

Project status: Abandoned, in foreclosure



Or it was, anyway.

Getting its timing all wrong, the project got whacked by… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

Hypoluxo Island/Manalapan: Tree lovers dig in for better town planting plan

By Emily J. Minor



You’d think planting a tree would be easy. Pick the tree, dig a hole, hook up the garden hose.

But Daryl Cheifetz knows better.

Cheifetz lives on the southernmost point of Hypoluxo Island in the small enclave of wealth and beauty called Point Manalapan. She’s been there five years now and loves the intimacy of her neighborhood.

“It’s quiet. It’s beautiful. It’s serene,” she said. “And the people are fantastic.”

But there is something about coming… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

Coastal Star wins 3 honors

The Coastal Star won two first place awards and one second place from the Florida Press Association in its 2008 Weekly Newspaper Contest. The first place awards were given to the staff for Overall Graphic Design and Newspaper Promotion.
Artists Margot Snyder, Bonnie Lallky-Seibert, designer Scott Simmons, editor Mary Kate Leming and publisher Jerry Lower shared in those awards.
Lallky-Seibert took second for Informational Graphics.

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

A Coastal Star — Ilona Balfour: Hypoluxo Island

There’s only a bit of truth to the legend that Ilona Balfour chained herself to a spreading ficus tree to protect it from destruction.

“I only threatened to tie myself to that tree,” she says in the lilt of her native South Africa.

“I had to sign a document that I wouldn’t protest anymore.”

Balfour, of Lantana, lost that battle, but she continues, at age 72, to keep fighting the good fight. And because of Balfour’s efforts, and those of… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 10:25am — No Comments

Gulf Stream: New fire services contract boosts tab by 80 percent

By Margie Plunkett



Gulf Stream will pay $286,250 annually for fire rescue services provided by Delray Beach, an 80 percent increase from last year and an amount some argued should have been higher.

During a special meeting late in July to approve the contract, Mayor William Koch offered perspective on prices of fire services: In 1947, Gulf Stream paid $500 a year for fire services. In 1939, it cost $12 for a fire call.

And from another angle, consider that Gulf Stream is… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 10:07am — No Comments

Delray Beach: Bernard leaves commission with vacancy, as he runs for state House

By C.B. Hanif



“District 84 goes all the way out to the Glades, so I have to do a lot of traveling,” said former Delray Beach Commissioner Mackenson Bernard. He’ll be doing a lot more if he wins the Florida House of Representatives seat he is seeking.

“Mack” Bernard has resigned his commission seat to run for the state House district that stretches from North Palm Beach to West Palm Beach and the Glades.

With the July 28 qualifying… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 10:05am — No Comments

Lantana Bridge replacement on drawing board

By Ron Hayes



Detour ahead.

Designs are currently being drawn to replace the Ocean Avenue bridge in Lantana, probably within the next two or three years.

“Sometimes we build a new bridge next to the existing one so traffic can keep flowing, then take down the old bridge,” says county bridge superintendent Barry Meve, “but in this case we’re going to put the new bridge right where it is now, so it won’t be passable during construction.”

Built in 1950, the current Lantana… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 10:02am — No Comments

Local governments sue state, opposing new development law

By Nirvi Shah



Several government agencies have sued the governor and other state officials over a growth management law they believe is unconstitutional and will foster unbridled growth, with local governments powerless to control it.

The Community Renewal Act, which passed easily in the House and Senate, was proposed to spur economic development and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Crist in June. Those who advocated for the law said it would allow more development, because… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 10:00am — No Comments

Ocean Ridge: Merger with Briny explored

Town Attorney Ken Spillias will review Ocean Ridge’s options — including re-annexation of Briny Breezes — to guard against the effects of Senate bill 360, development legislation that maximizes density along the east coast. The legislation raises concerns because it removes responsibility from a developer to provide roads to handle increased traffic, among other things, Commissioner Terry Brown explained. That, combined with the possibility that Briny Breezes could be sold in the future… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 9:58am — No Comments

Briny Breezes: Water rates up, but effect on residents delayed

By Margie Plunkett



Water rates won’t go up before this fiscal year is out — but that’s only because Briny Breezes absorbed the costs of a steep increase from Boynton Beach. Residents might want to brace themselves for times to come. “We’re trying to deal with it this year,” said Mayor Roger Bennett. “An increase would come next year.” Water provider Boynton Beach boosted rates 49 percent — 60 percent including the utility fee — to Briny Breezes effective May 1, Bennett said. Even… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 9:56am — No Comments

Delray Beach: City expands use of reclaimed water

By Nirvi Shah



While the roads along the Delray Beach coast are torn up, the temporary inconvenience will soon give way to a long-term change in residents' water-use habits.

The ripped-up strip of the coast from Atlantic Avenue north to Beach Drive is the fifth section of the city being fitted for pipes that will carry filtered wastewater for use on lawns and other purposes, aside from drinking, said Victor Majtenyi, deputy director of… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 9:43am — No Comments

Boynton Beach: Commission gives first approval to tax rate

By Linda Haase



Although Boynton Beach city commissioners applauded fellow Commissioner Jose Rodriguez’s budget proposal, which would set the tax rate at $6.53 per taxable value, they approved a tentative tax rate of $7.30 per $1,000 of taxable value at their July 21 meeting.

“We can always go down but we can’t go up (once we approve it),” said Mayor Jerry Taylor, who indicated he would be looking for ways to reduce the 7.3 rate. “I need time to verify your numbers and if we can… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 9:40am — No Comments

Ocean Ridge: Visitor dies in head-on collision

By Ron Hayes



A visitor from Georgia was killed and a Boynton Beach woman received multiple minor injuries when their cars collided in Ocean Ridge early July 18.

Luci D. Menegolo, 55, of Kennesaw, Ga., was driving north on Ocean Ridge Boulevard about 2:12 a.m. that Saturday when her 2008 Nissan SUV veered into the southbound lane as she was negotiating the curve at the Boynton Inlet, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

She collided head-on with a 2007… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 9:38am — No Comments

Delray Beach: Smart cards coming to beach-area parking

By Margie Plunkett



Don’t like to carry change? Beach-goers in Delray Beach will soon have a new option to pay for parking in several area lots and on A1A: a smart card.

The smart card — as well as credit cards and change — can be used in the $148,303 parking system that was newly installed and operating in beach-area parking lots as of June 26. The city hopes to make the smart cards available in August.

The new Pay-N-Display… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 9:36am — No Comments

Along the Avenues: Boynton frame shop hangs it up after 28 years

By Thom Smith



A cursory glimpse at Boynton Beach east of U.S. 1 conjures up images of Tombstone, Ariz. — billed in an old TV Western as “the town that refused to die.” Yep, it’s slow in Boynton, but it’s not dead yet.

Ginny Foot is shuttering the Art of Framing on Ocean Avenue (July 24), but not because of the economy.

“I still have loyal customers from Ocean Ridge, Manalapan, Gulf Stream and Boynton,” she said. “I… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 9:30am — No Comments

Delray Beach: Contest to elicit residents’ revenue ideas for city

DELRAY BEACH — Delray Beach is taking a unique approach to finding new revenue streams for the city to replace tanking property taxes: a contest. To win a $500 grand prize, $300 second prize or $200 third prize, all you have to do is come up with an idea for bringing in new income that’s easy to put in place and doesn’t increase taxes.

The contest, co-sponsored by the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce, was established after long-time Delray Beach resident and Budget Task Force… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 9:29am — No Comments

Delray Beach: New housing rules get city’s final approval

By Margie Plunkett



Delray Beach has a new set of rules in place for transient housing, limiting the number of unrelated people who can live in a household in single-family areas as well as the number of times a property can be leased, among other things.

Commissioners passed ordinances after a second public hearing July 7 that brought out another round of landlords, sober-house owners, single-family homeowners and other residents to defend their points of view. The debate… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 9:24am — No Comments

A Star is born

By Jan Norris



The only way to beat the stifling summertime heat is to pull up a piece of shade by the pool and act like you’re on vacation.

That requires only sunglasses and a cool drink in your hand. Clothing is optional.

There are a number of watering holes in our area to find libations, if you’d rather buy than build a decent drink, but these recipes are so good, you’ll want to add them to your repertoire.

To honor The Coastal Star, the bar staff at Caffe… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on July 30, 2009 at 9:02am — 2 Comments

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