The Coastal Star

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Delray Beach: City starts budget season with lower tax rate

By Jane Smith

    

Without seeing a budget, city commissioners agreed to lower the property tax rate slightly for the financial year that begins Oct. 1 while still expecting to take in an estimated $4.6 million more in tax revenues.

    Delray Beach finance staff recommended in early July to drop the tax rate from the current $7.21 per $1,000 of property value to $7.09 per $1,000 of value, or 7.4 percent more than the rolled-back rate of $6.60 that would have…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 10:10am — No Comments

Ocean Ridge: Depositions in Lucibella felony case set for late August

By Steve Plunkett



    The lawyer in the felony case against former Ocean Ridge Vice Mayor Richard Lucibella has rescheduled depositions of town officials and the police for late August.

Defense attorney Marc Shiner will depose arresting officers Nubia Plesnik and Richard Ermeri and since-retired Sgt. William Hallahan on Aug. 21, along with Police Chief Hal Hutchins, dispatcher Courtney Hammond, Lt. Richard Jones and Town Manager Jamie Titcomb.

    On Aug.…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 10:05am — No Comments

Editor's Note: Arts journalism fills important niche

    Recent estimates suggest that as many as half of local arts journalism jobs in America have disappeared over the past decade. In South Florida I’d suggest that proportion is even higher.

    Yes, there are a few local bloggers who will tell you about the movies they liked (or hated), but how often do you find an informed blog discussion on a local art exhibit, dance performance or even a theater review? Not often, I’m afraid.

    I hadn’t thought much about this recently until…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 10:04am — No Comments

Ocean Ridge: Residents, town suffer setback in mediation talks with developer

By Dan Moffett



    Two recent mediation sessions have done little to resolve lawsuits filed by developer William Swaim against the town of Ocean Ridge and Wellington Arms condominium owners.

    For the last three years, Swaim has been trying to persuade the town to grant him an easement behind Town Hall so he can develop property in the Ocean Ridge lagoon.

    Wellington Arms residents have vigorously fought the idea, asserting that the mangrove-rich lagoon…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 10:01am — No Comments

Ocean Ridge: Commissioners want contract change for town manager

 By Dan Moffett



    Recurring accounting problems in Ocean Ridge’s budgets have strained relations between Town Manager Jamie Titcomb and the Town Commission.

    So much so that the commission approved a proposal from Commissioner Steve Coz to change Titcomb’s annual contract to a month-to-month agreement when it comes up for renewal in October.

    “I’ve had various problems getting direction or getting results from Jamie,” Coz said. “I think he’s a…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Delray Beach: City starts budget season with lower tax rate

By Jane Smith

    

Without seeing a budget, city commissioners agreed to lower the property tax rate slightly for the financial year that begins Oct. 1 while still expecting to take in an estimated $4.6 million more in tax revenues.

    Delray Beach finance staff recommended in early July to drop the tax rate from the current $7.21 per $1,000 of property value to $7.09 per $1,000 of value, or 7.4 percent more than the rolled-back rate of $6.60 that would have…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Coastal Star: Cornell Art Museum’s reimagining has a fairy godmother to thank

Margaret Blume is donating almost $1 million for an interior renovation at the museum. Tim Stepien/ The Coastal Star

By Mary Thurwachter



    When it comes to backing projects,…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Gulf Stream: Commission picks tax rate 1 cent under rollback

By Steve Plunkett

    

Buoyed by its recent settlement of all public records litigation by resident Chris O’Hare, the town plans to cut its legal budget for the coming fiscal year by 30 percent.

    Gulf Stream will set aside $400,000 for outside legal expenses, down from an expected $571,000, Town Manager Greg Dunham said.

    Cash reserves will top $2.6 million on Oct. 1, he said, continuing a recovery after the battle over public records requests…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Delray Beach: Midtown project faces critical juncture with commission

This building would be constructed at the southwest…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Ocean Ridge: Prosecutors decide jogger did not resist arrest with violence

By Steve Plunkett



    One of the Ocean Ridge police officers who charged then-Vice Mayor Richard Lucibella with resisting arrest with violence last October did not make the same charge stick in a second, unrelated case.

    The State Attorney’s Office decided July 17 not to press charges against a West Palm Beach man Police Officer Richard Ermeri encountered jogging south on A1A late May 20.

    Ermeri was investigating a 911 call from a woman who complained…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 9:57am — No Comments

Delray Beach: City leaders going after drug makers related to opioid crisis

By Jane Smith



    Beleaguered by increasing overdoses in the city and receiving little help from state and federal agencies, Delray Beach leaders plan to sue big drug makers. They want to offset the financial drain on their public safety budget of responding to overdoses.

    In the first six months of 2017, drug overdoses rose 36.4 percent to 412 when compared with the first six months of 2016, according to the Delray Beach Police Department. Fatal overdoses…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 9:51am — No Comments

Lantana: Despite mayor’s objection, property taxes set to go up

By Mary Thurwachter



    The tide is turning in Lantana, where the tax rate has remained at $3.24 per $1,000 of taxable value for 10 years. At its July 10 meeting, the Town Council set the proposed rate for 2017-2018 at $3.50.

    The lone dissenter in a 4-1 vote to raise the rate was Mayor Dave Stewart, a staunch defender of keeping the rate flat.

    Stewart said Lantana would be the only one of 39 municipalities in Palm Beach County to raise its tax rate…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 9:49am — No Comments

Lantana: New bistro destined for Ocean Avenue

By Mary Thurwachter



    There’s a new restaurant on the horizon for Ocean Avenue. While all the details haven’t been revealed, Lantana Town Council members learned at their July 24 meeting that the eatery will fill the space previously occupied by Paesano Ristorante at 210 E. Ocean Ave.

    Because Paesano closed in 2016 and the property has been vacant for a year, the town zoning rules required a review and approval of a new special exception for the property…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 9:48am — No Comments

Delray Beach/Boynton Beach: New group home regulations passed

By Jane Smith



    Two large coastal cities in southern Palm Beach County passed group homes regulations in mid-July.

    The new rules, designed to rein in rogue operators of sober homes while preserving the single-family character of neighborhoods, cover all group homes for people with disabilities. A sober home provides housing for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. When they live together and maintain a sober lifestyle, they are protected by federal…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 9:47am — No Comments

Meet Your Neighbor: Dorothy Kellington

Dorothy Kellington has helped the library grow from a small part of Town Hall into ‘the crown jewel of Highland Beach.’ She has volunteered since 1998 and for the past six years has been co-president of the Friends group. Tim Stepien/The Coastal…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 9:43am — No Comments

Boynton Beach: Dogs on the beach in Oceanfront Park?

By Jane Smith



Commissioner Joe Casello thinks the time has come for Boynton Beach to allow dogs on its beach.

“We’ve taken our dog up to the Jupiter beach and he really loves it,” Casello said. “There’s nothing close by.” His family has a Cairn terrier, Charlie.

The closest dog beach is about 13 miles away in Boca Raton’s Spanish River Park. There, at Bark Beach, dogs are limited to Friday through Sunday on early mornings and late afternoons. A permit is…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 9:43am — No Comments

Boynton Beach: CRA works out subsidy, timeline with Ocean One

Ocean One’s residential units will rise just south of Boynton Beach Boulevard on Federal Highway. Rendering provided

By Jane Smith



    Boynton Beach commissioners, sitting as the city’s Community Redevelopment…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 9:36am — No Comments

South Palm Beach: Big numbers but big uncertainties for projects in town budget

By Dan Moffett



    South Palm Beach taxpayers will see some eye-popping numbers when they look at their town’s proposed budget for 2017-18.

    But the large figures come with back-stories that help put them in perspective.

    Yes, the town has listed $6 million on its budget for rebuilding the aging Town Hall. And there’s also $1.5 million for a beach stabilization project.

    For a town that runs on a total budget of just under $10 million, these…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 9:34am — No Comments

South Palm Beach: Town manager, attorney plead for action on contracts

By Dan Moffett



    The manager and attorney for South Palm Beach are pleading with the Town Council to renew their contracts and end months of delays, false starts and postponed negotiations.

     Town Attorney Brad Biggs and the council started talking about working out a new arrangement in…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 9:33am — No Comments

County Pocket: Oceanfront parcel again on market

The nearly 2-acre parcel is on the edge of the County Pocket, across the street from Briny Breezes. The owners bought it for $3.2 million in 2006 and are asking $6.895 million. Google Map

 By Jane…

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Added by Mary Kate Leming on August 2, 2017 at 9:31am — No Comments

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