The Coastal Star

August 2018 Blog Posts (104)

Boca Raton: Thomson is council's new addition

Palm Beach County Supervisor of…

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 31, 2018 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Boca Raton: Zucaro says he'll step away from politics, BocaWatch

By Mary Hladky

Defeated Boca Raton mayoral candidate Al Zucaro intends to step away from politics and from the BocaWatch blog that he founded seven years ago.

Shortly after he conceded the race to Scott Singer on Aug. 28, Zucaro told The Coastal Star that he does not anticipate another run for election.

He also said he will will look for someone to take over the blog, which has been critical of the city council and what he and his supporters see…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 29, 2018 at 6:58pm — No Comments

Boca Raton: Council endorses rules to streamline small-business approvals

By Mary Hladky

The Boca Raton City Council has endorsed changes that would make it simpler and less time-consuming for small-business owners to get approvals for their projects in the downtown.

Council members have long talked about the need to streamline the process for reviewing downtown building and renovation projects, and the issue was highlighted earlier this year by the saga of an entrepreneur who wanted to open an ice cream shop on Palmetto Park…

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 29, 2018 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Highland Beach: Town picks manager after second round of search

Michigan man knows our issues, commission says

By Rich Pollack

After a few hiccups, Highland Beach has a new town manager.

Following a day and a half of intensive interviews, Highland Beach commissioners selected Marshall Labadie of South Lyon, Mich., as town manager. …

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 29, 2018 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Boca Raton: Landowner plans to sue city over ALF project denial

By Mary Hladky

One month after Boca Raton City Council members rejected a proposal to build a luxury adult living facility in the downtown, landowner Robert Buehl announced he plans to file a lawsuit seeking as much as $100 million in damages against the city.

The council’s 3-1 vote on July 23, with only Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers supporting the project, was unexpected since developer Group P6’s previous condo projects in the city were easily approved and the…

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 29, 2018 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Boca Raton: Artists given small window to apply for mural spots at Red Reef Park

By Steve Plunkett



Artists had just two weeks in August to fight for the honor of being chosen to paint one of up to 10 murals at Red Reef Park.

The city’s Art in Public Places advisory board is supervising the project, its first, and planned to pick the winners Sept. 5.

“The preferred artist(s) will have an extensive background in street art with proven results in public spaces, civic and community engagement to create innovative temporary public art…

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 29, 2018 at 12:55pm — No Comments

Boca Raton: City makes deal to replace a Marine Patrol boat

By Steve Plunkett



The city’s Marine Patrol will spend $224,000 for a 30-foot Intrepid model 300 boat and trailer with twin 250-horsepower Yamaha outboards.

Dania Beach-based Intrepid Southeast Inc. will get $186,990 for the center console boat and trailer and to install the motors and police siren, lights and other accessories. Boca Raton will buy the two Yahama engines for $37,403 via a state contract.

Intrepid prides itself on building boats “the way…

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 29, 2018 at 12:53pm — No Comments

Highland Beach: Town adds nickel per $1,000 to proposed tax rate

By Rich Pollack

Residents in Highland Beach could soon be paying more in property taxes as town leaders, faced with increasing fire service costs, have tentatively agreed to a slight increase in the town’s operating tax rate.

During budget meetings last month, commissioners set the operating tax rate for the 2018-2019 fiscal year at $3.12 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

That’s slightly higher than the current rate of $3.07 per $1,000 of assessed…

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 29, 2018 at 12:48pm — No Comments

Boca Raton: Crews to start rebuilding Gumbo Limbo tower

By Steve Plunkett

Work to rebuild the hugely popular observation tower at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, which has been missing in action since early 2015, should begin in September.

The new tower will be constructed with composite wood decking, rather than natural timber, but otherwise will be a replica of the 40-foot original.

Fort Pierce-based Custom Marine Construction Inc. won the $1.1 million project, which includes demolishing and rebuilding the…

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 29, 2018 at 12:40pm — No Comments

Obituary: The Rev. Gerald Grace

By Rich Pollack

HIGHLAND BEACH — For almost 20 years until his retirement in 2017, the Rev. Gerald Grace presided over the congregation at St. Lucy Catholic Church in Highland Beach as its pastor.

A native of Ireland who served the Catholic community in South Florida for…

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 29, 2018 at 12:38pm — No Comments

Highland Beach: Some protest after commissioners tighten rules on public comment

By Rich Pollack

Loud, sometimes accusatory tirades from a former vice mayor have led Highland Beach town commissioners to adopt policies that some say make it more difficult for residents to speak before their elected officials.

Since losing his bid for re-election in March, former Vice Mayor Bill Weitz has been appearing at Town Commission meetings and using the allotted five minutes per person for public comment to lash out against commissioners. After…

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 29, 2018 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Boca Raton: Letter confirms state ethics probe of Haynie

UPDATE: Judge finds corruption charges are 'sufficient'

By Mary Hladky

The Florida Commission on Ethics is investigating whether suspended Mayor Susan Haynie violated state ethics laws while she also is fighting criminal charges lodged by state prosecutors.…

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 29, 2018 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Boca Raton: Council race goes into overtime

ABOVE: Andy Thomson, here with his father, Tom, and wife, Joanna, called the close race for City Council ‘kind of hard to believe.’ BELOW: Kathy Cottrell (left) celebrates with council members Andrea O’Rourke and Monica Mayotte on election night. At…

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 29, 2018 at 12:19pm — No Comments

Boca Raton: Singer sees commanding victory as pat on back from voters

Large turnout gives mayor mandate to serve until 2020

Scott Singer celebrates his victory for the mayor’s seat in Boca Raton with a crowd of supporters on election night. Singer received about 63 percent of the…

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Added by The Coastal Star on August 29, 2018 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Delray Beach: Water project brings headaches

Rhodes Villa Avenue is getting new lines to improve stormwater drainage and make reclaimed water available for irrigation.

Patience, cars among casualties, with some…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 29, 2018 at 10:09am — No Comments

Delray Beach: Beach lights to go dark in Delray

FPL changing rules on power pole lighting

By Jane Smith

Sea turtles and humans could be in the dark each night along the mile-plus stretch of Delray Beach’s public beachfront during the eight- month turtle-nesting season.

Good news for sea turtles. Not such good news for folks walking across A1A to visit…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 29, 2018 at 10:02am — No Comments

Boca Raton: Former priest who moved to Boca named by Pennsylvania grand jury

By Janis Fontaine

A former Catholic priest living in a condo on A1A in Boca Raton and who helped at a local church for four years has been named in a grand jury report as one of hundreds of priests accused of sexually abusing children in dioceses across Pennsylvania.

Thomas J. Benestad was named in the report as one of the priests whose reprehensible behavior it specifically referenced in its introduction.…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 29, 2018 at 9:59am — No Comments

Editor's Note: Contest recognizes excellence of Coastal Star contributors

We enter journalism contests with mixed emotions. There’s something about journalists judging journalists that feels somewhat self-serving, and writing about these winnings feels unnecessarily boastful. Still, the staff at The Coastal Star are almost all freelancers and they work long and hard for modest financial compensation, so entering the fruits of their labor for professional recognition seems like the least we, the paper’s owners, can do.

This year…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 29, 2018 at 9:48am — 1 Comment

Coastal Star: Visionary environmentalist might be called a force of nature

Gordon Gilbert stands between the trunks of a gumbo limbo tree at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, which he helped found in 1984 in Boca Raton. Photos by Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

By…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 29, 2018 at 9:43am — No Comments

Obituary — Jeffrey Cail Ireland

OCEAN RIDGE — Jeffrey Cail Ireland, 32, died unexpectedly on Aug. 21.

He was born March 26, 1986, in Merrillville, Ind., to Jeffrey L. and Sandra (Rolfs) Ireland. 

Mr. Ireland’s family was proud that he graduated with a 4.2 GPA from high school.

At the time of his…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 29, 2018 at 9:30am — No Comments

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